One of the problems with using midpoints in a chart is there are so many of them, at least 72 just for the basics. And, when you’re doing synastry, there are twice as many to look at, literally cluttering the skyscape. What are the first ones to look at, the most important branches of the tree to inspect before getting lost in the leaves and twigs?
That depends on what subjects you want to focus on in the nativity, of course, but the five basic planetary pairs and their basic qualities are a good place to start:
Sun/Moon, primal – Sometimes called the “Karmic Ascendant,” this is the center of the inner child, the strongest axis in the chart, combining the fundamental ego (Sun, self outwardly projected) and the emotions (Moon, self as responsive mode). It represents preverbal development as the child after birth learns the shortest repeating cycles in the first two or three years after birth. You’ll find its degree prevalent among close friends and family.
Venus/Mars, physical – This is where desire (Venus) meets action (Mars) and together they make up not only the sexual nature but the charisma (or lack of it) that comes from being able to achieve your goals or be conflicted about them. You find it in your lovers, both real and unrequited, and your general passion for life.
Jupiter/Saturn, social – This fundamentally societal axis doesn’t really kick off until the first Jupiter return, and ultimately the first Saturn return, but it still exerts influence across the board, representing the balance between social and economic change and advancement (Jupiter) with stability and enduring values (Saturn). It’s the key to your income.
Uranus/Neptune, spiritual – It’s a bit of a stretch to call this axis “spiritual” as that term is so multiply-defined, but it has to do with longer-range goals (Neptune) and defining understanding and achievements (Uranus) that most people don’t even see a full cycle of just one. Thus, it’s about yearnings and longings and visions that transcend the individual or even his/her generation in favor of greater historical evolution. It drives the beliefs that you would live or die for.
Mercury/Pluto, structural – Not everyone would make this duo a complimentary pair, with two cycles so different in length. But, it is the contrast of developing structure and organization (Mercury) and the destruction of what has been created (Pluto), the paragons of childhood learning and death of all one has constructed, literally or figuratively. It’s your sometimes terrifying handle on stark, immutable reality.
The midpoints of these pairs are particularly strong meeting points of yin and yang, outgoing and intaking style, and any third planet that falls there highlights the fundamental character dynamic, both when it is within your natal chart or from another’s natal to your own. Treating them all could (and may) be the subject of a series of articles, but for the moment, the most immediately attention-grabbing pair serves as an example:
Venus and Mars, the “point of passion”
It’s well-known that where Venus and Mars meet tells much of the tale of your sexuality, and your reaction to that of others. As a conjunction, Venus and Mars together show up disproportionately in the charts of people in show business, politics, the military, industry management, and other areas where compelling personal magnetism and charisma are critical to success. People with that aspect just have a sparkle and effulgent energy that’s almost palpable. You get stimulated just being in their presence. The reason? Perhaps because any cycle of progressions or transits hits both their Venus and Mars at the same time, so desire and action go hand in hand, and they just naturally get what they want just by reaching for it, something that at times can appear almost magical, although it may be totally circumstantial. It means that for them it’s all right and indeed customary to get what they want, ask for more, and get it again. And, when it’s not available, because of an adverse transit, they don’t even want it. So different from individuals with Venus and Mars in square or opposition, where hesitation and disappointment make for lack of confidence, bad timing, shyness, or even bumbling. Not that the style can’t be made to work for you, but it takes more effort and some painful mistakes along the way.
Whatever your relationship of Venus and Mars, or even if you haven’t any major aspect between them, what’s on their midpoint will kick them into action according to the added planet involved. So, people with the Sun or Ascendant as the midpoint of Venus and Mars tend to be particularly self-obsessed or even narcissistic, as they are literally getting off on their own ego/personality or reflection in the mirror. No fault (though it can be off-putting), and often it’s quite a charming effect, as it’s just the way it feels to them, and they get rewarded for it. Jupiter there has an ebullient effect, producing a large appetite for sex and life in general. Planets traditionally looked upon as malefics tend to tamp down sexuality or give a strong, controlling or compulsive aspect to personal needs and gratification. Such people can be highly-charged and even dangerously attractive or repulsive, depending upon how they are exercising their preferences and upon whom.
Inflame and Melt
In synastry, the effect can sometimes be even more telling. When you meet someone with Ascendant or the Lights on your Venus/Mars, that person can enflame and melt you on the spot, without either of you even knowing why. They literally awake your inner passion – not just sexual, but total life energy and attraction. It’s definitely what great love affairs are made of, and it can be as effective a bond as the more traditional Light-on-Light marriage aspect. On the other hand, if that’s the only contact, it can make for merely transient affair or, quite oppositely, lasting but largely unrequited love. Similarly, a marriage without any Venus-Mars contact may be a great friendship but without a sexual core – or, either or both may pursue sexuality and/or life passions elsewhere.
Transits and progressions have their place as well. A transit of Pluto to your Venus/Mars midpoint axis can shut down the dynamic only to have it blossom in a new form after the transit has past. Jupiter crossing the axis, on the other hand, can bring new life where it was dormant and cause positive new ground to be broken. Those with Venus/Mars at the winter or summer solstice areas have been getting a taste of both lately.
Even locational astrology is useful in taking full advantage of this midpoint. Areas where your Venus/Mars is on the Angles will tend to have a special magnetism for you, and when you go there, you’ll feel your feet rise a bit above the ground as the energy of the place incites and excites you, carrying you along. Go there and be thrilled.
Deep Background – Your Magical Spot
The developmental aspects of Venus and Mars are critically important as well. The process of learning how to get (Mars) what you want (Venus) begins with the first Mars return (initializing the “terrible twos”) and evolves throughout childhood until adolescence begins with the first Jupiter return, by which time your sexuality has already been mostly formed. The inner desires and strategies, the way you handle your evolving growth chemistry as you relate (or don’t) to both sexes of your age group and adults as well, all develop then. If you’re a straight arrow, it’s because that period was largely obstruction-free – and if you’re weird, it’s because you had to devise some unusual strategies to bring need in line with action, all in those formative years. And later, when you hit someone with an important planet right on your Venus/Mars midpoint, it all washes over you and you’re carried off by the familiar flood.
So watch your “point of passion” and treasure it like the hard-earned jewel that it is. Although it can be highly sexual, above all it’s your sparkle, your joie de vivre, your inner charisma that allows you to shine and take center stage while everyone looks on with approval. And when you find others with something special there, expect to share your stage with them and enjoy the play.