Your Lifespan Declination Graph
By Sarah Laurent
This article is a compilation of information from two 1997 lectures at ASA by Darrell Harris and Nelda Tanner.
The lifespan declination graph is a depiction of your natal planets in declination degrees (for the year of your birth) and secondary progressed declination degrees (for the years following your birth).
Declination is a measurement north and south from the equator.
Declination measures the position of planets in space north or south of the Earth’s equator, which is 0 degrees. As the Sun travels around the zodiac along a path called the ecliptic, it reaches a maximum of 23.27º north and 23.27º south of the equator. The northernmost point is known as the Tropic of Cancer – this is where the Sun is directly overhead at the summer solstice; the southernmost point, or Tropic of Capricorn, is where the Sun is directly overhead at the winter solstice.
Declination is another way to measure planetary movement and relationships. For instance, Venus and Mercury may be making no aspect whatever in the sky. But if they are within 1 or 2 degrees in declination, some astrologers say they have an influence. If planets are in the same declination – i.e., 20º N – they are said to be parallel, and the influence is likened to that of a conjunction. If planets are in opposite declination – one is at 20º N and the other is at 20º S – they are said to be in contraparallel, and the influence is that of an opposition.
Planets in northern declination = sowing karma. Planets from Libra to Aries. Ptolemy called these the commanding signs.You have more control in the houses ruled by these signs.
Planets in southern declination = reaping karma. Planets from Aries to Libra. Ptolemy called these the obeying signs because these are the areas in which you have to respond to someone else.
When you get to Virgo and Pisces, check the ephemeris, since the declination moves back and forth over the ecliptic.
Any planet above 14ºN22’ indicates great power. The person has the ability to use his or her energies in a righteous way. The energy has been so well-used that the person is charged to use it responsibly. The person can control his or her own spiritual destiny.
Any planet between 0º and 14ºN22’ indicates talent.
Anything on the southern side (between 0º and 23º S 27’) is karma to be resolved. Venus and Jupiter can be good karma.
Declinations are spiritual in nature. A parallel brings things together forever. The contraparallel brings them together temporarily and splits them later.
The lines on the chart
The 0º line represents the equator, and crossings of this line are important. The Sun will go no further north or south than 23.27º, and this is considered a boundary. Other planets can go beyond this line and are considered “out of bounds” (oob) when they do.
When planets go out of bounds, the person doesn’t follow the rules. They are accused, perhaps justifiably, of inappropriate behavior. Another writer says that when a planet is out of bounds you are very comfortable with its energy, having mastered it in previous lifetimes. It gives you extra talent. You can use it positively or negatively, but whatever you do, you go beyond conventional behavior.
When lines cross, this represents an important event or period in the life. When 3 or more lines cross, there’s a crisis and usually action. Since the graph covers a period of time, the point where lines cross can represent a year – or in the case of the Moon’s turning point, up to three years.
The Moon moves the fastest, and its motion creates a regular sine wave along the graph. The length of time between successive peaks or troughs can vary from 24 to 30 years. It slows down considerably as it nears the achievement of a maximum north or south declination.
The Moon can reach a maximum in an individual chart anywhere from 18º north or south to 29º north or south. Declination specialists have written that when a Moon is natally out of bounds, it seems to indicate a person with extraordinary gifts.
Notice the direction the Moon takes right after birth. If it is placed near the north or south maximum degrees, the parents usually are in a turning point in their life together. The oob Moon carries an indication of possible nurturance issues and could have some degree of mental, emotional, or physical abuse associated with it. Turning points for the oob Moon individuals tend to be more impacting or complex for the individual. Those who achieve the oob Moon after birth by progression have the possibility of experiencing a more normal emotional life except for the periods when the Moon progresses to the oob position and wild-card, free-falling emotional events can take place.
Those born when the Moon never travels out of bounds are usually not subject to the higher degree of emotional drama associated with the out-of-bounds position or the need to prove oneself. These individuals usually can deal with the changes life brings with moderation rather than over-reaction.
The phase of the progressing Moon at north maximum is called peak experience, and from the peak to the equator is a time of harvest. The Moon at the equator and heading south begins a time of contraction, and the south maximum point is gestation. Consolidate your financial and other affairs at this time.
If the Moon crosses a planetary line a year or two before it reaches its maximum curve, the event can be repeated or enhanced when the Moon returns to the natal line a few years later.
The Moon tends to travel quickly past the equator, but the significance of this zero degree position has proven to be a place of relationship issues. People enter or leave your life for any number of reasons.
From Nelda Tanner’s talk at ASA
Parallels aren’t necessarily equal to conjunctions and contraparallels aren’t the same as oppositions. The energy of the planets is more important. If you have Saturn and Mars together, there’s a certain energy no matter what the aspect.
If you have a planet along the 0º line, you have trouble with that energy. It is in its infancy and doesn’t know how to direct itself. As it goes up the page, it matures.
A critical point can occur when one planet crosses another by declination. These two energies come together and can create an event. Sometimes it shows up better by declination than by a longitude aspect.
A planet that is out of bounds follows no rules. When a person’s Moon is out of bounds, that person has no emotional boundaries and is usually extremely intuitive as a result.
When Venus is out of bounds, the value system is different.
She uses a 1º orb for declinations, but you need to use judgment with this. Close to the equator, a 2º orb may work. At higher declinations, 15’ may be sufficient.
When a planet crosses the 0º line, there’s often a change of consciousness, residence, life direction. You may be held back for a time.
The peaks and valleys of the Moon show critical times. The first planet the Moon crosses after birth sets a subconscious pattern in the mind. The energy of that planet forms a background of instinctive feeling, and you need to be aware of it because you’re acting from it.
How to Calculate Your Lifespan Declination Graph
From Solar Fire Tips & Tricks
In Solar Fire, go to Dynamic > Graphic Ephemeris. Under “Ephemeris Selection” choose Progressions and change the type from Longitude to Declination. Change the “Angle of Extent” to 30 degrees. Make sure that “Radix Positions” is selected. In the Period of Report section, you want to start the report with the date of birth and you want to choose a time period of 100 years.
Under Point Selection: Progressions, chose Planets, and under Point Selection: Radix, choose your favorite listing. Click on the Save Selection button and call it Lifespan Declination Graph. In future sessions, you can choose this same arrangement by selecting it from Saved Selections.