Midpoint Tree

The midpoints within a small orb of 1.5 or 2 degrees around a planet are crucial to interpreting the quality of the planet. When the midpoints are arranged in sequence from before the planet, the planet, and after the planet, we get a midpoint tree. The midpoint tree for a planet provides invaluable insight into the planet's significance to the individual.

When we look at a horoscope, we want to know what kind of Sun is driving the life, what kind of Moon is influencing the instinctual response to circumstances, and so on for all the planets. To get such an understanding, we look at the sign in which a planet is placed, the house it is in, and the aspects to it from other planets. For instance, the Sun in Cancer in the 5th house, square Uranus and trine Mars is a particular kind of Sun, much different than a Sun in Taurus in the 3rd house opposite Mercury. This gets the ball rolling, but we can know a lot more about what kind of planet we are looking at if we look at the midpoints surrounding it. This is where a 45-degree midpoint sort comes handy.

The Sun signifies leadership. Presidents and prime ministers are leaders of their country and their party. But every leader brings certain particular qualities to their leadership, which we can see in the midpoints around the Sun in their horoscope as shown in the 45-degree sort. Here’s the 45-degree midpoint sort for Obama’s horoscope:

In the sort, the Sun is at 12 Tau 33. If we use the recommended orb of 2 degrees on either side, we cover a band of midpoints in which the Sun is embedded. The band goes back from the Sun up to Sun/Nep at 10 Tau 34 and forward up to Jup/SNo at 14 Tau 22. (Of course, we would disregard Sun=Sun/Nep because every entity in a midpoint equality must be unique.) This is a lot of new information that will help us get deep into the nature of the Sun.

For purpose of illustration of the general idea, let’s keep things simple and look at the midpoints within 1 degree of orb of the Sun. These would be, in increasing order of orbs, the midpoints Ven/Mar (orb 22′) and Sat/Mid (orb 26′) before the Sun, and Jup/Ura (30′) and Nep/Asc (46′) after the Sun. This is shown as a graphic to the right, in what is called a midpoint tree. The midpoint tree shown is for the Sun, restricted to a 1-degree orb. Sat/Mid and Ven/Mar occur before the Sun, and Jup/Ura and Nep/Asc occur after. The midpoint tree depiction was introduced by Michael Harvey and Charles Harvey in their book “Working with Astrology – The Psychology of Harmonics, Midpoints, and Astro*Carto*Graphy“.

Let’s see what Ebertin has to say about these midpoints:

  • Sun=Ven/Mar: A strongly physical love, artistic power of creation
  • Sun=Sat/Mid: Lack of courage to face life, insufficient powers of defense with regard to other people
  • Sun=Jup/Ura: A good intellectual grasp, an inventive mind, far-sightedness, physical agility or mobility
  • Sun=Nep/Asc: The inclination to face others with a show of physical weakness, the misfortune to be exploited or harmed physically

It is important to recognize that several possible manifestations are described for each midpoint. Not all of these need to be true or come to fruition. Each symbol in each midpoint has a range of possible expressions, and the meanings that are detailed in the descriptions are likely extreme manifestations that will not be seen in every individual with these midpoint pictures.

Noel Tyl has offered alternative significations, in particular to Sun=Sat/Mid which he describes as “Need to fight hard and having the capacity to do so“, and Sun=Nep/Mid for which we writes, “Projection of aesthetics, creativity; the arts as a profession; sensitivities are used for gain, or there is discomfort and frustration”.

In both sets of interpretations, I have italicized the significations I believe influenced Obama’s leadership, both in his campaign leading up to the presidency of the US, and in his presidency thereafter.

Knowing Obama’s background, the many words he has written, the speeches he has given, and his track record as president, we can add more to the interpretations above.

At a most fundamental level, Venus is a receptive energy while Mars is an assertive one. So Sun=Ven/Mar puts the driving energy of life at the intersection of giving and receiving. Obama will give as good as he gets. Or, he will always try to walk on the middle ground between conflicting or opposing paths. A combination of the feminine energy of Venus and the masculine energy of Mars often lends charisma. With the Sun at their midpoint, this charisma was front and center at Obama’s campaign for the presidency of the US.

The combination of Saturn and Midheaven is about setting and achieving goals that matter to the world. Status (Midheaven) is a serious matter (Saturn), and the Sun=Sat/Mid suggests that the life purpose is to climb and stand atop the highest mountain.

Jupiter and Uranus together suggest fortunate circumstances. When Jupiter is in aspect to Uranus in the natal chart, there is an inherent capacity to attract benevolence. Things just seem to always work out positively. For those of us who are not so lucky as to have a Jupiter-Uranus aspect in our chart, we can look to the times when transiting Jupiter aspects Uranus (short burst of sudden good fortune), or transiting Uranus aspect to Jupiter (miraculous deliverance from a bad situation).

I feel that Sun=Jup/Ura has the same effect: the Jupiter/Uranus combination of good fortune pours into the life path signified by the Sun. We all know how Obama seemingly came out of nowhere and beat seasoned politician Hillary Clinton to the presidency of the US. On Nov 6, 2007, when he was elected President, transiting Pluto was within 20′ of the natal Sun by a 135-degree (sesquiquadrate) aspect, triggering the lucky Jup/Ura energy to pour out in a massive way through the Sun, to leadership, to the most powerful position in the world.

Ebertin’s Sun=Nep/Asc description, in particular, seems way off with regards to Obama’s life. “The inclination to face others with a show of physical weakness, the misfortune to be exploited or harmed physically” – this just doesn’t apply. Neptune signifies ideals, and the Ascendant is the way the individual comes across to others either in person or through speeches and videos. So another take on this midpoint could be that the Sun combines the sense of idealism with personal projection to chart a course in life. “Dreams from My Father” and “Audacity of Hope” both speak to this particular kind of presentation that is wholly authentic (Sun) to Obama.


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