In the previous post I showed how a midpoint relationship could be visually portrayed through the use of a Venn diagram.
Typically, a chart element will be connected to one or more midpoints depending upon the orb used. Multiple midpoint configurations are typically presented as “trees” in the majority of software programs available to astrologers, with the “lead planet” shown at the top and the midpoints ranked below. An example of such a midpoint tree produced from Solar Fire is shown below:
In this example the midpoints are ranked according to the order in which they fall in zodiacal longitude. Other sorts may arrange the tree according to the proximity of the orb.
The use of the letter “d” indicates that the midpoint is direct – that is, the planet at the top of the tree will be either conjunct or opposing the midpoint in the chart.
Where multiple midpoint combinations are present, there is the potential for interpretation to become complicated. This is perhaps one of the reasons why many astrologers avoid midpoints altogether, as they often say there is too much information to deal with. But to ignore midpoints is to overlook important factors that are not normally apparent when using the conventional chart wheel which emphasises signs and house cusp divisions.
The radial diagram is something that I have been looking at quite recently as it struck me as a way of presenting the same data as that shown in the midpoint tree, albeit with a radically new interface:
In this example the midpoint connections are exactly the same shown as in the tree above but where the tree portrays these relationships as a linear structure, the radial emphasises the importance of the central planet, in this case the Sun.
Rather than treating the midpoint combinations as a straight line, the radial implies a more “holistic” relationship where all pairings are seen to radiate out from the core and are equal.
Does the visual representation of these midpoints really make a difference? Maybe not. But my instinct about all this is that the way in which chart data is set out influences to some extent the way we think about astrology, and thus how we go about constructing a narrative about what is actually manifesting in the person or event under scrutiny.