Every day more than four million people fly on commercial airlines worldwide. Each year, 1.7 billion people on 25 million flights – rising into the air and then descending again.
Many of us get up in the morning, from our bed in our second floor bedroom, take a shower, get dressed and then go down the steps to have breakfast. Many of us drive to work, up the hills and back down again as we pass cars on the left and then on the right. We get to our downtown garage, find a spot on one of the floors then ride the elevator either up or down to get to our office where all day long we get up from our chair only to sit down again….
The point I’m making here is that our lives are anything but flat. We live and move in an up-and-down, three dimensional world. I would venture to say that 99% of our daily activities fall into the up-and-down category. Even if we walk along a level corridor, our bodies still sway from left to right and bounce up and down ever so slightly.
In astrology matters have been reversed. Over the centuries we have developed and refined this magnificent body of knowledge using house systems, zodiac signs, planets and their aspects and midpoints. However, all has been executed on paper and lately on flat computer screens. Because of the flatness of the astrologer’s ‘work space’ (basically a piece of paper), thinking has been mostly flat.
However, there is a third dimension in astrology, scarcely used and in great need of further development – declinations!
Personally I feel that one of the main reasons this part of astrology has been underused is that the tools available in ‘flat’ astrology could not be used in its third dimension, i.e. declinations. In other words, there are no house systems, no sign placement, and none of the flat aspects such as trines, squares, sextiles, semi-squares, etc. An astrologer venturing into declinations was like a symphonic musicians venturing into jazz, or a ballet dancer trying her luck in ballroom dancing. Something deep within me told me that there had to be a way to use all that had been developed in flat astrology also in the realm of declinations.
Thus, in an effort to display planetary declinations within the chart in the same way planets’ longitudes have been displayed, I have devised a system which I call the Vertical Zodiac (VZ). It neither replaces and interferes with the time honored, traditional way of dealing with declinations, nor negates any of the excellent work that has been done or will be done in that area of astrology using those ways and methods. It merely takes those methods one step further, just like the electric car takes the gasoline powered car one step further. The electric car is still a car as we have always known it, with 4 wheels, seats, an engine, a windshield, a steering wheel, a trunk, etc. The major difference however is, that it uses a different kind of fuel. Likewise, the Vertical Zodiac chart is still the same old chart we have always known, containing the same signs, planets and aspects. The major difference however is, that it displays the planetary declinations (their vertical movements) in the same way the regular planets have been displayed, in terms of zodiacal longitude. We can actually ‘see’ declinations not in a mysterious, separate, invisible up and down way, but rather in a way familiar to us, i.e. right there, visible within the chart, together with the regular planets.
I am presenting two different vertical zodiacs. The first one, which I call VZ (Vertical Zodiac), is based on the relationship between a planet’s declination and the Sun’s longitude at that particular declination, also known as the Solar Longitude Equivalent. The second one, which I call the Planet Specific Vertical Zodiac (PSVZ), is based strictly on a particular planet’s own declination.
You may ask ‘Which one of the two should be used?’, or, ‘Which one is better?’, or ‘Why should I use any of them?’. Good questions. Let me answer these questions in the following way:
You see a dress displayed in a store window and you say: ‘This is a dress’. Your answer is correct. Then you notice its color and restate ‘It’s a black dress’. Then you notice and comment ‘It’s a full length black dress’. All three answers are correct, but every successive answer provides a more detailed description. You only see its front, but would like to know how it looks from the back. So you go into the store, walk up to that particular window and now you can see that its back swoops down to almost waist level. You had to change your position with respect to the dress to find out that additional information. It’s the same in astrology, when you use different methods on the same chart, every additional method will give you additional information and add to the total picture.
I’m not an expert on the Vertical Zodiac. There are no experts at this time! To make that claim would be like saying that the first wave of settlers heading west in their wagon trains were experts on the Wild West. They had ventured into new, unknown territory, lived there and had experiences there and encouraged others to do likewise. In that respect they knew more about it than others who stayed east. But they were by no means experts.
The Vertical Zodiac is new astrological territory open for anyone to explore and experiment with. The more astrologers work with it, the more feedback we will get, the more we will learn about it, the more expert we become.
If your astrology chapter is interested in having my do a presentation on the Vertical Zodiac, please call me at 410-323-0866, or e-mail me at Lyman409@yahoo.com.