The Least-aspected Planet in Astro*Carto*Graphy:
A Metaphor for the Soul
©2000 by Robert Couteau
The following article consists of various excerpts
from: The Role of the
Least Aspected Planet In Astrocartography,
a complete ebook, ©1994; posted on-line 15 April 1998.
The title of my e-book, "The Role of the Least-aspected Planet In
Astro*Carto*Graphy," might just as well, in retrospect, have been called:
the role of Astro*Carto*Graphy in illustrating how the least-aspected
planet (LAP) is a focal point of the horoscope, and thus, by extension,
of everything related to the natus, such as Astro*Carto*Graphy and
other dynamic astrological factors.
The true function of the LAP is to somehow portray the soul and
spirit in a unique, yet archetypal, manner.* The LAP is indeed the central
focal point of the entire natal chart. While the birth chart may tell us
much about the idiosyncratic and special path and character of each person,
the LAP symbolism - whether Jupiterian, Plutonian, or Mercurial etc. - will
offer us an amazingly accurate idea of what overall archetypal pattern we
are dealing with at the very core of the chart.
For example, if the Primary Transcendental Planet is Jupiter, and the
Secondary Transcendental, Mars, then one of the special tasks of Mars is
to assist Jupiter in carrying out its special mission in life. Yet as well,
Mars, as another least-aspected planet, will uniquely color the task of
such a person. There will be something quintessentially Martian within
this characterological portrait, and biography.
With most-aspected planets (MAPs) -- also referred to as Leading Planets -- a
slightly different scenario is at work. Such planets usually portray our
most-conscious or even hyper-conscious tendencies and habitual responses,
in other words these are energies that are closer to ego-consciousness.
As such they do not represent a deeper or more transcendental mission or
goal in life. Representing conscious functions, then, such energies must be
placed fully into the service of the LAP energies: they must be directed
toward our central spiritual goal, which is symbolized by the LAP; otherwise,
a neurosis or imbalance will result.
The MAPs therefore play a very crucial role in the movement towards
the Primary Direction: towards the raison d'Ítre of the native in question.
If this does not occur, and if the Leading or most-aspected planets
attempt to dance only to the beat of their own drums, then the Leading Planets
energies may become split-off.
While LAPs have previously (by tradition)
been defined as split-off "free agents," in fact, the Leading Planets are
much more likely to function in such a manner. Psychologically, such
a situation reflects the psychological profile of a person who has
lost his innermost meaning in life. Instead of ascertaining and
following the unconscious will, when we follow merely the dictates of
consciousness, without regard for the inner destiny, we feel
This is what occurs when the role of the LAP is ignored, or when it has
been usurped by the most-aspected or Leading Planet energies.
Why does the LAP assume this central importance in the biographies of so
many people who have made such significant cultural contributions, and why
is it reflected as well as in the lives of ordinary people? There are two
possible reasons for this.
First, the LAP represents a pure, distilled,
or even "unsullied" energy. By having few if any significant energetic
relationships (aspects) to other planets, the energy of the LAP
remains more or less contained within itself. Relationships demand
a give and take, a compromise, and an exchange.
The LAP is indeed a sort of free agent, yet one of central import, and
not one that is somehow "split-off."* Its power is its purity, and this
purity seems to reflect something that stands in between consciousness
and the unconscious. Historically, the closest description of such a
"numinous consciousness" is reflected in Jung's definition of the
transcendent function: a psychic unification of two distinct realms;
a function which he visualized as a sort of suspension bridge that
creates a new or "third" thing.
There is within us
something of central importance, a focal point or center, a spark towards
which all other factors must eventually turn. That in a nutshell is
the numinous function of the Primary Transcendental Planet, or LAP.
The LAP may also be defined or clarified by discussing what it is not.
The LAP for instance does not alter the core nature of the other planetary
A LAP Jupiter does not make a MAP Saturn "somehow not purely
Saturnine any more." Saturn is not changed at the core; its energy is
still 100% a Saturnine energy. Yet Saturn here will take on an extra
or special role, that is, it will be called upon to somehow serve the
LAP. That will become a key point of "Saturnine meaning" in such a person's
life.In that sense then, the LAP does not infuse its energy into the core
energetic points represented by the other planets. Instead, it attracts
them to its unique task.
Otherwise, how could we live without that
most necessary Saturnine boost? How indeed could Jupiter's central raison d
'Ítre - the raison d'Ítre of the person as well as of the other planetary
factors - be realized without that most helpful ability of Saturn to
make things "real" and tangible? Only a fully "Saturnine" energy can
and will accomplish this.
When viewed through the lens of Astro*Carto*Graphy, the Primary
Location often points the way to 'fated' encounters yielding larger
social, cultural or historical dimensions. Once activated, it is
experienced as a singular guiding principle within the life of the native.
The Primary Transcendental Planet reveals a new awareness of
life-potentials and desires.
The Transcendental planetary energy
could be considered as a function linking unconscious psychic dispositions
and potentials with a conscious awareness and means of fulfilling
them -- a function that enables us to transcend the limiting parameters
of ordinary ego-consciousness by linking the ego-function with a higher
source of cosmic energy. In gaining access to our Transcendental
force we come into the full focus of our selves.
The wonderful discovery of how the LAP functions within the
Astrocartographic chart poses as many magnificent questions as it answers.
For one thing, Astro*Carto*Graphy shows us that many people are born quite close to their
LAP (birth under a "Primary Location"); or, that they relocate to an
area where the lines of the LAP are directly overhead (a "Primary
Relocation"). This means that the LAP really incarnates in a very
powerful way when it is touching upon the "Lords of the Four
Quarters" -- the angles - within the horoscope. This confirms again
that Michel Gauquelin was onto something of great importance.
Jung was one of the first to view the unconscious in a positivistic
sense: as not merely a junk heap or something to be feared, but rather,
as a realm of riches and of value. When I first explored the phenomenon
of the LAP, Jung's view of psyche, as well his especial view of numinous
consciousness itself - that realm that is formed between consciousness
and the unconscious psyche and which is neither dark nor light but
instead a fecund union and synthesis of the two - naturally played a
crucial part in pointing me in the right direction.
Astro*Carto*Graphy provide us with an invaluable system within which we
can further explore such acausal reflections of psyche and destiny:
a system based upon what might perhaps be termed "metaphoric probability,"
something which Jung has shown us is valid not in spite of, but because of,
the reality of imagination and the psychic visualization that it employs.
More of Rob Couteau's articles:
Rob Couteau's web site contains a vast library of articles that include
Astro*Carto*Graphy considerations about a wide variety of notables and countries. If
you are intrigued by the sample about, you will find much more on his site,
including the following:
Insights into the Spirit of Place
American Presidents and Transcendental Planets Complete aspect-analysis &
data for all U.S. presidents
Transcendental Nations--The Role of Underaspected Planets in the Birth of
Transcendental Events--The Role of Underaspected Planets in Historic
CREDITS: The background tile came from ABC Giant.
The glyphs are from a set by Ancitita at Visual Exquisites.
The beveled globe comes from a free geographic clipart collection at Graphmaps.
The green earth was done by Cadillac Graphics.
The smiling stars are from Susan's Free Animations.