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The “Kaleidoscope Effect” in Solar Arcs

An interesting thing happens in solar arcs when two planets in a natal chart are at degrees that, regardless of sign, are either the same or else 15 degrees apart (allowing an orb of half a degree or less). About every 15 years the two planets will form mutual aspects by solar arc within a year of each other. The tighter the orb of the natal aspect, the closer in time the arcs will occur. By the same token, for wider orbs the mutual solar arcs will occur further apart in time; two years apart if the natal orb is one degree, four years apart if the natal orb is two degrees, etc.

I call this phenomena the “Kaleidoscope Effect” because of the way it shifts into new permutations at regular intervals as the planets arc around horoscope. For example, two planets that are quincunx (150 degrees) in the natal chart will arc to form a quindecile (165 degrees) and a sesquiquadrate (135 degrees) at about 15 years of age. Those same two planets will then arc to form an opposition and a trine when the person is about 30 years old, followed by another quindecile and a minor aspect of 75 degrees at age 45. At age 60 the two planets will form a quincunx and a sextile. (For those born when the Sun’s motion is slower, between about May and September, the period between mutual arcs gradually increases with age so that later permutations occur at about 46, 62, etc.)

Natal oppositions create perhaps the most interesting Kaleidoscope Effect due to the symmetry of the mutual solar arc aspects that occur, as well as the power of the first set of arcs – mutual quindeciles at about 15 years of age. At about age 30 there will be mutual quincunxes by solar arc, followed by mutual sesquiquadrates at about age 45, and then a mutual trine at age 60. A minor aspect of 105 occurs at age 75, followed by a whopping mutual square at age 90 if the person lives that long!

Studying these cycles reveals much about how emotional and behavioral patterns evolve in step with each permutation in the kaleidoscopic cycle of mutual solar arc aspects.

Take as an example my Mars at 15 Pisces and Pluto at 0 Virgo in my 10th House. At age 15, I had solar arc (“SA”) Pluto opposite my Mars and SA Mars quincunx my Pluto. This was a time of intense power struggles between my mother and me. Then, at age 30, I had SA Pluto quindecile Mars and SA Mars sesquiquadrate Pluto. At the time I was in law school and experiencing a lot of professional (10th House) empowerment. At age 45, I had SA Pluto quincunx Mars and SA Mars trine Pluto. At that time adjustments (quincunx) were made to my job that made my work life much easier (trine) – a new coworker (Mars rules my 6th House) was hired who both eased my workload, and boosted my confidence. Thus, we can see that over time my natal Mars-Pluto quindecile has unfolded in terms of first struggling with power issues, then embracing my own empowerment, and later experiencing adjustments that allowed me to relax and feel more confident. When I’m 60 I will have SA Pluto sesquiquadrate Mars and SA Mars in a minor aspect of 75 degrees to Pluto. I’ve got 10 years to figure out how to make the most satisfying use of these empowering arcs!

Take a look at your own chart. Have you got any two planets very close to the same degree point, or 15 degrees apart? If so, what happened when you were about 15 that reflects those planets in your chart? At about 30? And 45? I expect you will see a consistent theme unfolding through this kaleidoscopic lens!

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