The Marduk dragon – restored Ishtar Gate at the Pergamon Museum in Berlin
Hi Everyone, this is one of my favorite astro-techniques, straight from ancient times!
Get ready to be blown away because this is a rich and magical aspect of astrology. Not many astrologers use it in modern times, but I find it extremely valuable.
The word ‘Draconic’ is from the Latin ‘ draconem’ (nom. draco) “serpent, dragon,” from the Greek drakon (gen. drakontos) meaning “serpent, seafish.” In astrology, the Caput Draconis is the ‘Dragon’s head’ or North Lunar Node and the Cauda Draconis is the ‘Dragon’s tail’ or South Lunar Node. The Draconic chart, or Draco/Draconic Zodiac then, is another reference system for plotting the chart but instead of starting 0 degrees Aries at the vernal equinox as the familiar Tropical Zodiac does (the one we use in Western Astrology and is calculated at astro.com etc), The Draco Chart begins 0 Aries at the Moon’s North Node.
Hang on! It’s not a complex as it sounds!
It just means that instead of the node being at the particular degree you’re accustomed to seeing it, it is ‘dialed back’ to 0 degrees of Aries. The planets all stay in the same houses and have the same angular relationship (aspects) to each other as in the tropical zodiac (T) charts but the signs and degrees are altered. Here is an example.
This will help you fully understand how this ‘other zodiac’ is determined. Or skip on to the next Para if you simply want to trust the ancients philosophy here.
To find YOUR Draconic chart, you can subtract the North Node in degrees of longitude from 360 and and add the difference to all the planets and house cusps. In the case above, the North node is 1 Pi 27 which (rounded) translates into 331 degrees of absolute longitude. Subtract that from the full circle, [360-331=29]. Add  degrees to every planet, point and angle and you have the Draconic coordinates. For example, the Sun in the tropical chart above is 13 degrees Sagittarius. We add  degrees to it [13 Sag + 29 = 42 (-30) or 12 degrees of Capricorn.
For those not wanting to learn the basis for this zodiac yet, you can go Astro.com and choose Extended Chart Selection, then click the Natal Chart drop-down option and click Draconic Chart.
Below is the Draconic Chart for the exact same moment as the tropical zodiac chart above. All the planets are in the same position by house and aspect but the signs have shifted the exact number of degrees the North Nodes was away from 0 Aries.
Like the North Node, the Draconic chart says something about where we are headed, if we chose to reach out, and also like the South Node, it says something about where we have been, what’s comforting, familiar and secure. Some think of the Draco chart as as the “purpose” behind the soul’s intention and link it to a sense of destiny or fate.
I like to think of the natal Draconic chart as a layer of “soul fabric” that lies underneath the outward personality. You can’t see it unless you look deep. Like the silk lining of a jacket, we never think about it being there and it never fully shows, yet it is a substance that makes the wearing of the coat more comfortable—a better fit—and when the breeze flips up an edge and we get a glimpse of that contrasting color and silky texture, we go “ahhh”.
The Draconic chart is something like that.
In this metaphor there is no “blending.” The Draconic chart is not woven into the natal chart like a tweed. It is the satin underneath, distinct and of its own, usually different, nature.
If you were born in 1950, 1969, 1987, 2006, check that your Node is exactly 0 Aries. If so, then your Tropical and Draconic charts will be identical, suggesting that your soul fabric is a perfect match to this lifetime’s expression.
Consider the Draconic chart and it’s relationship to the NODES. In the Draco system, the North Lunar Node is ALWAYS Zero Aries and the South Lunar Node is always 0 Libra. This is a major hint as to the meaning and purpose of the chart.
The Nodes, which have so much to do with unconscious patterns from the past and new conscious directions towards the future, are the points in the chart that say “This is where you have been and what is comfortable (South) and this is what you can experience if you reach out into the new and unexplored (North). Life is a balance between the two and the Draconic chart resonates with this theme—where we’ve been and where we are going. Remember, everyone has the SAME nodes in their Draco Chart. That is a KEY to understanding the principles at work.
To top it off, the Lunar Nodes in the Draconic chart are ALWAYS on the Zero degree Aries point! Talk about destiny meeting intention! (North Node on the AP)
North Node as the first degree of Aries, suggests how our “will to be”, or sense of I AM, moves out from the subjective and into manifest reality. The Node here gives everyone an incredible sense of self-assertion and WILL to move forward, IF they choose to develop it.
South Node as the first degree of Libra says, “I relate”, showing how our drive to interact with others in socially significant ways moves from our inner world and out towards other individuals. Because it is “from the past” it can indicate a feeling of too much reliance on “what others think” or letting others do things for us, or even run our lives. In this Libra – Aries polarity we have to make our own decisions and find how growth comes form our own experiences and adds to our capacity to relate.
In the Draco chart, there is no “sitting on the fence” or hesitating about “what to do” if we want to seek our destiny, and any aspects to the natal chart can be quite instructional. Remember, the ONLY thing different in the Draco chart is the signs of the house cusps and the signs of the planets. This tells us about an underlying orientation that we have, but may not always see.
There are two main ways to work with the Draconic Natal Chart. It can be read as a stand alone, checking the difference between the orientation of the signs (element, polarity and modality) in the natal chart, and it can also be read in aspect to the natal chart. The fist technique is works best if you compare the two Zodiacs planet by planet, cusp by cusp. For example if the Natal chart has the sun at 2 degrees of Gemini in the 10th house, we might say there is a need to communicate widely and knowledgeably in ones chosen profession–to feel distinct, this person needs to shine before the public in a sharp, dynamic, witty way. If the Draconic sun is there (it will always have the same house position and aspects) in the sign of Capricorn, there may be an underlying need for that public recognition to reap tangible results–something Gemini alone is not too concerned with. It also amps ambition. Going through all the planets and angles in this way brings insights.
The second technique is a way of comparing aspects between planets and points otherwise not revealed. The measurement, remember, is the distance of any planet from the North Lunar Node. If, for example, the original natal chart has the Moon 32 degrees ahead of the North Node and the Draconic Chart has Saturn at 2 degrees of Taurus (32 degrees ahead of the Draconic North Lunar Node or 0 Aries) there is a conjunction between the Moon and Saturn that otherwise would not have been obviousd. This can explain much in charts were there is no original aspect between planets but a powerful conjunction in the Draco to Tropical charts.
Below is an example of a natal chart (inner wheel) with the Draconic chart placed around the outside as you might place transits or progressions. Here many contacts are seen that are not apparent by the natal alone. (D) Saturn is conjunct (T) Mercury and Venus, (D) Pluto is conjunct (T) South Node, (D) Uranus is conjunct (T) Chiron, and (D) Jupiter is conjunct (T) Part of Fortune.
With this kind of comparison it is best to keep orbs tight. Look particularly at conjunctions and/or oppositions within 0 – 2 degrees of orb. Remember, all the planetary aspects in each chart are identical. What is going to be interesting is how the Draco chart relates back to the natal. More examples are in the tutorial below.
The main thing to keep in mind is that there are TWO zodiacs in play here.
Synastry describes the technique of comparing the natal or progressed charts of two or more people. It literally means ‘stars in the same place’ such as when one person’s Sun is conjunct another person’s Moon. All aspects between the two charts are important, the angle, or type of aspect, being less relevant than the actual link. Each planet contact brings its own symbolism to life in a relationship and evaluating them in synastry charts can supply information as to the needs, purpose and desires that are awakened when two people meet, connect and interact.
People are like permanent transits. When you meet someone who has their natal Jupiter conjunct your natal Sun, it’s like having Jupiter on the Sun whenever they are around! This is an easy contact to spot when comparing the tropical zodiac natal charts but they many also have their Draconic Pluto on your Mars, and that might feel a little different. It might also go a long way in explaining some intense dynamics in the relationship that might not otherwise be obvious.
There are several ways of using the Draconic zodiac in relationship comparisons. You can look at Draconic to Draconic or Draconic to Tropical natal or progressed charts. In this way, there may be connections under the surface that aren’t obvious in the Tropical Zodiac charts but make a lot of sense when they show up in the Draco. Here is one example:
In this chart the (T) Mars of one person is conjunct the (D) Mars of the other. There is no Mars aspect in the tropical synastry and the feisty, sexy, battle & banter nature of the union is well explained by looking at the Draconic links. There is also a Jupiter/Mercury/Venus contact not see in the Tropical charts alone, and boy can these two talk!
Another method is to make a composite (midpoint) chart of the Draconic natal’s. This may be very different than the tropical composite and progressed composite charts, shedding new light on the purpose and energy of the relationship. Some useful exercises for reading these charts will follow in the tutorial below. Draconic Transits
Transits to the natal Tropical chart from Draconic positions can be insightful as can the reverse–Tropical transits to the Draconic Natal. Again it may be most instructional to keep orbs tight, within a few degrees, and focus primarily on the conjunction and opposition, at least to begin with.
Transits of any kind are often associated with outer events. Although this may be an accurate association, the initial effect is usually an inner one. Some part of the psyche, some interior figure or archetype, awakens. Concurrent with the nature of the transit, house and sign position, once awake it generally starts looking around for recognition. That means it looks for a crown, a throne and lots of patronage. If the recognition is readily forthcoming and conscious awareness is placed on the needs, desires and offerings of the figure, what it represents can transform into what we consciously express without a hint of an outer event. We simple add the new aspect of being into the multiplicity of ourselves.
If, on the other hand, the needs and wants of the figure are denied by consciousness, we will meet them outside ourselves. Jung said “We people our lives with bits or ourselves,” and what we deny inwardly we bump into in the daily life as a person, place or thing. In this case, the event can be disruptive. This disruption, (or exhilaration), insures acknowledgement of the waking archetype, one way or another.
To sum it up, remember, the entire chart needs to be considered when evaluating Draconic Zodiac transits. Those, and the other major and minor Tropical transits and progressions. for example, if there is a Saturn transit to the Sun with a Draco Jupiter transit to the Nodes, the Draconic transit may be less prominent. If there is a transit to the Draconic Moon and a Tropical New moon conjunct the Ascendant, the impact can be far greater regardless of the outer planet transits. Draconic lunar events can also be considered as a “timing” device like Mercury, suggesting when major transits may manifest in an inner or outer event.
Step One: Construct your natal Draconic Chart by using a computer program or by subtracting the North Lunar Node in degrees of longitude from 360 and then adding that figure to all the planets and house cusps.
Step Two: Start a page with columns. On the left, list all your planets out from the Moon, Sun etc to Pluto (include Chiron and any asteroids you like) It would start for example, like this:
1. 2 23′
Step Three: Add a few key words to describe the ORIENTATION of each planet in that sign. Focus mainly on what it “Wants, Needs and has to offer.” You can be as brief or elaborate as you like.
1. 223′ – Loves communication, offers curiosity.
Step Four: In the right hand column, place the Draco sign and degree and its orientation. Focus also on “Wants, Needs and has to offer.” It might look like this:
1a. Tropical 223′ – Loves communication, offers curiosity.
1b. Draconic 1525′ – Loves deep feelings, offers sensitivity.
Continue on with this until all your planets are listed. You can actually SEE the difference in orientation by polarity, element and modality. The Draco positions say something about that silk lining, what is underneath your tropical needs and orientation. Remember: This doesn’t negate your tropical chart or BLEND meaning. It ADDS a new dimension.
You can expand on this by comparing transits, progressions and synastry placements to other people as well.
Step Five: Do the same exercise above using your Tropical house cusps in the left hand column and your Draconic house cusps in the right. It might look like this:
1a. Tropical ASC. 10 34′ – Initiates in unique ways, zany energy.
1b. Draconic ASC 29 12′ – Initiates after much analysis, quick mind.
Continue this through all 12 houses, focusing on the needs of the signs as they apply to the qualities of each house. You can take this further by considering the rulers of each sign on each cusp and were they fall in both the Tropical and Draconic chart. In the example above, the (t) Asc is ruled by Saturn and Uranus where as the (d) Asc is ruled by Mercury.
These above exercises are a great way to become familiar, step by step with your Draconic Chart.
Step Six: Find any aspects (look for the conjunctions and oppositions first) between the natal Tropical placements and the Draconic. As in the chart example above, consider the conjunction between (d) Saturn and (t) Mercury/Venus. How does that make the natal chart different? What is underneath the Mercury/Venus conjunction that was not obvious before?
Now, approach this at the level you feel comfortable. You might want to run your Draco chart and compare the sun sign, Moon and Ascendant. That’s plenty to start with. Others of you will go through the whole tutorial. It’s all good. My goal here is to inform you of this other zodiac, and give you the tools to get started.
So, any questions? Insights? Let’s all discuss them in the comments.
I wanted to re-post about the Zero Degree Aries point as we have strong activation there via Mercury Direct, Rx and Direct in Dec-Jan 2017, various transiting midpoints in 2017. If this is activating anything you your chart, let's discuss. I know these midpoint transits will be lighting up four different houses, if nothing else.
Click here to speed-dial down to the summary.
Review from earlier post on FalconAstrology.com
What is the ZERO Degree Aries Point? The Aries point, or vernal equinox in the tropical zodiac, is a NODE. It marks the place where the sun crosses the equatorial plain going north. Think of it as a Sun/earth node, as opposed to the Lunar nodes which involve the Sun/earth/Moon).
In the Uranian system, the Aries Point, or AP, also links to zero degrees of all the cardinal signs (as seen on a 90 degree dial). Every chart—natal, progressed or horary—has the AP at exactly the same zero degrees, yet each chart will be unique as far as the house placement of this degree and the planets and other points that relate to it. Think of the AP as a 0 degree cardinal cross involving Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn.
What is the significance of the AP?
The AP represents a movement (cardinal) from an inner quality to an outer manifestation. It orients us towards the world at large—society, public events and all relationships propelled from the individual to the collective. Sometimes it represents a "spectacular out rush of energies... and involvement with the world at large" Celest Teal
The AP also seems to relate to meetings with those famous, respected or expert in their field.
As the first degree of Aries, this point suggest how our “will to be”, or sense of I AM, moves out from the subjective and into manifest reality.
As the first Degree of Cancer, this point suggest how our need to love and nurture, our sense of “I Feel”, moves from the subjective into the world.
As the first degree of Libra, this placement says, “I relate”, suggesting how our drive to interact with others in socially significant ways moves from our inner world and out towards other individuals.
As the first degree of Capricorn, this placement says, “I produce”, suggesting how our urge to bring tangible results moves from “self” to society as a whole.
Isabel Hickey said that it the AP is the initial point where the spirit incarnates, the starting point of the SELF. By house and aspect contact, the AP indicates how we project out into the public, meeting life in distinct ways that the collective recognizes, acknowledges (or judges) and remembers us by.
What does it mean if a planet or point conjuncts the AP?
Don McBroom calls the AP the “Power behind dominant traits and public projection. He says, “…the AP can be an indicator of an individual's Potential for Public Projection. Often this measurement was uncannily related to the person's claim to fame or for what they will be remembered. When there was direct contact between a specific Planet or Point (i.e. Ascendant or Midheaven) and the AP (within a two-degree orb), there was frequently a distinguishable relationship with the energies traditionally associated with that planet that was publicly observable in the individual.”
Read his article at: http://www.noeltyl.com/techniques/010130.html
When a planet or point conjuncts the AP the nature and energy drive of that planet has the added thrust or urge to express collectively. It may also represent what the public at large recognize most readily in us, or remember us for.
Sun-AP Can mean our energy, vitality and drive seeks to express through society. People see us for our solar qualities and we propel our creative drive into the collective. The famous individual.
Moon-AP Suggests that our inner world of feelings, reflections and intuition expresses in public ways, and these qualities are noticed by the collective. The famous psychic.
Mercury-AP Can mean our intellect, thoughts and ways of communicating capture the public eye. We are recognized as being witty, bright, mercurial, and clever. The famous writer.
Venus-AP Can mean our sensual, accommodating ability to connect and bond with others moves out into a greater social arena. People see us for our capricious, artistic and ingratiating qualities. The famous artist.
Eros-AP Suggests our passionate desire for erotic transformation is noticed by the collective. People see our potent energy as tantalizing or threatening, according to their own views. The famous courtesan.
Mars-AP Suggests our assertive, direct and action oriented qualities grab the attention of society. We are seen as commanding, raw and imposing. The famous warrior.
Jupiter-AP Can mean our leadership qualities, expansiveness, optimism and call for justice capture the attention of the collective. We are seen for our vision, immensity, and joviality. The famous world leader.
Saturn-AP Suggests our ability to build tangible results through persistent and sustained effort is highlighted by public acclaim. We are seen for our ambition, caution and pragmatic detail. The famous corporate director.
Chiron-AP suggests renown for our ability to teach, understand, strive for the impossible and restore compassion. We are seen as a healer for those who have lost faith or are in despair. The famous Guru.
Uranus-AP suggests our ability to make sudden changes, rebel against dogmatic convictions and break out of the safety zone is noticed by society. We are seen as surprising, inventive and inspiring. The famous revolutionary.
Neptune-AP The longing for the divine and the desire to merge with the collective unconscious is captured by the projection of society. We are seen as the public want to see us. The famous movie star.
Pluto-AP The ruthless drive for power and control is noticed socially as it wrestles with the need to plumb the depths of the unconscious mind. We are seen for our potent qualities, the dark hero who can be transformed. The famous eccentric.
Ascendant-AP Being known for personality traits and interactions in the world. Having famous friends!
Midheaven-AP Known for social achievement through career, mission or profession. Working with famous people!
North Node-AP Being known for following the path to the future. Having a famous guide!
South Node-AP Being known for redeeming the path of the past. Being a guide to others.
What Orb is used with the AP?
Orbs are always controversial. Some astrologers use a 2 degree orb, allowing anything from 28 degrees of the mutable signs to 2 degrees of the Cardinal. I use a little tighter, say 1.5 degrees either way. As in all things, if it acts like it is in orb, then it probably is! Still, the idea here is to keep it tight.
How is the AP different from the MC and the Asc?
The ASCENDANT describes the way we put ourselves out into the world: “Hey, this is my personality! This is how I initiate things and assert myself. This is how I look.” Isabel Hickey said the Ascendant was the window through which we view the world and that seems to work both ways. It is often the way the world sees us, on a PERSONAL level. Think of Aries as the natural ruler of the Ascendant and first house with its emphasis on personal self-awareness. This is Me, Here Now!
The MIDHEAVEN is not personal, like the Ascendant. It is public. It has to do with our social standing, career in life, mission or profession. Now, instead of personal appearances (Asc.) we are in the realm of PUBLIC APPEARANCES. This is our social identity and often reflects how we interact with “the public” or the collective. The Asc. is individual identity, the MC is social identity. Think of Capricorn as natural ruler of the MC with the Sea-goat’s ambitious, pragmatic (and sometimes mystic), social awareness.
The Ascendant is always that moment of ascension, and the MC is a moment of culmination. The AP, however, can occur anywhere in the 365 degrees! It is always 0 Aries but where it falls is unique to us (if we know our birth time!)
By contrast to the Asc and MC, the AP is a solar node. It’s energy is about INSTIGATION, beginnings, and action, not in terms of personal needs and drives or even for career or profession, but for Solar manifestation and distinction.
It is not so much how you see the world or leap (or tip toe) into activity (Ascendant) and not so much what you will encounter and express as you pursue your social ambitions or mission in life (MC). The AP isn’t so much how we interact with society (MC) but how and WILL the world see us! It can indicate the relative “fame” of an individual (or infamy) and how society at large or world events may effect our lives.
We are not all touched equally by these kinds of things! The AP has to do with who, or what, in society, we notice and, like the two way window of the Asc., who or what will notice us. According to the Uranian School, the AP is also our concept of the world, people in the public life and our approach to manifest reality!
What about the house(s) where the AP is found?
The AP is literally, and symbolically, the point where the spirit (SUN) enters manifest reality (EARTH). For everyone, that is an ARIES thing (or a cardinal thing: action, initiation, inauguration). WHERE that initiation of spirit into matter occurs, is what becomes important. What house is it in? What area of life will evoke the feeling of connection to and action with the collective? The answer here tells us where it is we “begin” in relationship to the world at large.
What about midpoints that include the AP?
The authors of "Working with Astrology" state that the Aries Point and the midpoints to it were considered by Alfred Witte to be of great importance in every chart, and next in importance only to the MC.(page 437). For Robert Hand the Aries Point, which was used by the Greeks and also in the beginnings of our modern horoscopic astrology, is very subtle. “It isn´t an energy supply like a real planet but it is considered like the last one because it forms aspects and it can be the focus for the combinations of midpoints”.(Horoscope Symbols", Robert Hand)
The AP is the connection to the world in general, our link to manifest reality. To unravel what this means, look at the CLOSEST planet or mid-point between 28 degrees of mutable and 2 degrees of cardinal signs in your chart. What would that be? What does that say about your relationship to society? How do they see you?
What about Transits or progressions to the AP?
Transits to the AP awaken the way and means of projection out into the collective, tending to indicate events more public than private, more famous than obscure.To unravel the meaning of transits to the AP, start by observing the planets, asteroids or points that are transiting. What dose that transit want to wake up? What does it need? What does it have to offer? Answers to these questions will help in understanding what the AP means in practical terms, and how that applies to the immediate moment.
Not sure how to find the Aries Point in your chart? Here are the quick step tutorials to get you there!
Chart of the character James Bond with the Zero degree Aries Point highlighted in the 7th house
1) Create your chart online
2) Find your Ascendant and any other point in the chart
3) Look for the Aries glyph - and remember the signs run counter clockwise around the chart. In the case of James Bond, on the right, 8 Aries rules (sits on) the 8th house cusp, so we go back 8 degrees into the 7th house to find 0 Aries (8-8 = 0)
Where you find 0 Aries, you want to take positive action from within. Amp up your physical and mental activities, be the boss, lead the way and nurture (respect) your inner warrior. For bond, this would probably mean facing ‘open enemies’ or taking over direction in a partnership.
Comments and chart examples welcome!
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