What You Will Learn in This Article:
- Definition of Astrological Midpoints
- Midpoint Notation and How to Read it
- Useful Metaphors for Interpreting Midpoints
- Examples of Some Midpoints
- Transit or Solar Arc to Midpoints
- Midpoints in Synastry
- How to Calculate Midpoints
- Recommended Books
Definition of Astrological Midpoints
|Standard Midpoint Notation: Above Picture Reads “Mercury equals Saturn Pluto”, which means Mercury makes a hard aspect to the midpoint of Saturn and Pluto.|
Midpoint Notation and How to Read It
The midpoint method relates 3 astrological symbols together by way of one planet being in the middle of 2 other planets. This is written as:
A = B/C
“B/C” is the midpoint of planets B and C. A is the planet in the middle (midpoint) of B and C.
The equal sign “=” means that planet A makes a hard aspect (conjunction, square or opposition) to the midpoint of planets B & C.
(We only consider hard aspects for midpoint interpretation, as they energize life development and change.)
Regarding B/C: Slower (i.e. further from the Sun) planet influences the faster (closer to the Sun) planet.
Regarding A (i.e. the planet aspecting the midpoint): it will affect the midpoint, or be affected by the midpoint – again, depending on its apparent speed (see metaphor below.)
Useful Metaphors for Interpreting Midpoints
Picture yourself as a child, and in between your parents. Being in the middle, you were greatly affected by the quality of their interaction (e.g. were they warm or cold toward each other? Did they argue a lot or ignore each other? Etc.) In the same way, a planet in the midpoint of two other planets that are more powerful (i.e. that have slower orbits) will be greatly affected by their interaction.
Now consider another metaphor: This time picture yourself as the adult, sitting between your two children. Just by being in their middle, you affected the quality of their interaction (e.g. they either behaved themselves better, or became more obnoxious toward each other by trying to compete for your attention, etc.) In the same way, a powerful planet in the midpoint of two lesser planets will strongly affect their interaction.
Example of Some Midpoints
- Mercury/Jupiter midpoint – Rewarding and Expansive Communication:
Jupiter (being the slower planet) influences Mercury: So this midpoint represents the experience of being rewarded (Jupiter) for one’s communication. Any planet in hard aspect to this midpoint will carry this sense of expansive communication. This is why MC (midheaven) = Mercury/Jupiter often denotes a professional writer.
- Venus/Mars midpoint – Passionate Involvement:
Mars influences Venus: Romance and relationship is heated up, made passionate. This is the midpoint of sexual and artistic passion. Saturn placed at this midpoint (Saturn=Venus/Mars) will necessitate restraint on passion, whereas Jupiter or Uranus placed here may intensify the passion to excess.
- Sun/Moon midpoint – Relationship Fulfillment:
Sun influences Moon: One’s Reigning Need (Moon) is fueled by Life Energy (Sun). This is the strongest point of individual need fulfillment, and thus it has to do with relationships and self-acceptance on a deep level. Neptune placed at this midpoint (Neptune=Sun/Moon) may suggest bewildering experiences in relationships, whereas Saturn placed here will necessitate growth and maturity in relationships.
Transit and Solar Arc to Midpoint
Even without any natal planet or point to occupy it, a particular midpoint can be activated via transit or solar arc. For instance, a prolonged transit of Uranus to Mercury/Jupiter midpoint could excite the expansion of communication, perhaps resulting in new ideas or fresh business deals.
An outer planet transit or solar arc to your Sun/Moon midpoint can have a deep impact on your relationships and self-image.
Midponts in Synastry
Another person’s planet or an Angle contacting your midpoints could be significant, especially in the case of a Sun/Moon midpoint. If you’re interested in the synastry interaction of the Sun/Moon midpoint, check out this post on Sun/Moon Midpoint in Synastry.
How to Calculate Midpoints
You could simply calculate the degree difference between 2 planets or points and divide in half. To obtain a full list of all midpoints in your natal chart, you can follow the steps in this post.
If you have an astrological software that calculates midpoints, you can print a “90 degree sort” table, or “Midpoint Tree” in order to get all midpoint pictures in your natal chart.
Usually an orb of 1.5~2.0 degrees is suggested to calculate midpoints.
Summary and Recommendation for Further Study
Over the last 15 years I’ve studied well-known works on midpoints interpretation by various astrologers, and use them regularly in my consultation practice. They truly offer a fascinating additional dimension to the interpretation of natal chart and transit & Solar Arc development.
Because study of midpoints is a huge subject, it would take a lot more than this introductory post to cover adequately. For those of you who’d like to study more, I’d recommend these books:
– Don McBroom’s book “Midpoints” also offers an alternative interpretation that is quite helpful to anyone who wants to use midpoints in an empowering way.
There are other well-known works on midpoints, notably by Reinhold Ebertin (Combination of Stellar Influences), but the above mentioned books are more modern and accessible compared to this 60+ year-old text.
Do you have an interesting midpoint picture that gives additional insight into your character and motivation? Please feel free to share through comments below!