MAP No. 5 is an exceedingly interesting one. It shows us a man born in a splendid environment, with every advantage of wealth and position, endowed also with a most lovable character and a brilliant intellect, and yet who has been more or less of a failure all through life. Why? Partly, no doubt, through inability to overcome the scattering forces of those four all-powerful Gemini planets with three of the planetary bodies weak by sign. It is a case where the environment is perfect. It looks as if all the native had to do was to go in and conquer. Probably it was all too easy. There was no outside stress and difficulty to call out the character’s strength. The native had to make his own troubles, and this resulted, as it often does, in several quite unnecessary “breaksdown.” Physically, the health was admirable. There had been no disease. The trouble, as may be judged from the Gemini planets (especially with the Sun squaring the Ascendant), showed out through the mind.
The ninth house is especially interesting. It is ruled by Venus (her sign Taurus being on the cusp)—a beautiful and harmonious influence. And it is tenanted by Mercury, Jupiter, and Uranus. Mercury in his own sign and in a favourable house is exceedingly strong; and besides he is the ruler of the horoscope. The native spoke nine languages, and was brilliantly intellectual, especially on scientific lines. Here the influence of Uranus in its conjunctions comes in, and so far every augury is excellent. But Jupiter is not well placed in Gemini—his “fall”; and all three of these “mind” planets are in square to the rather weak Moon in Virgo. The intellect has always ruled through the “higher mind,” and has been irradiated by the fires of Venus, tending to joy in art and all creative imagination, but it has been frustrated by the cold earthiness of an unresponding Moon. Jupiter allied to Mercury contributed its share of mental balance and good judgment, but here again is a case—and the strongest I have ever met—of the mischief of Jupiter squaring the Moon. As life went on, and after occasional failures of nerve, the self-deception of this aspect greatly increased. All the good Jupiter influences were still there: the religious tendency, the high ethical code, the desire to expand and to do some good in the world. But all this stopped short of fulfilment. First it would be “I shall take that poor chap (some friend down on his luck) away with me and give him a good time.” The mind would dwell upon that idea, delighting in the kindness and general approbation of such an act, but the springs of action being weakened, it never bore fruit. And finally came the temptation to speak of it as though it had been actually done. A new acquaintance would say, “What awfully kind, generous things Mr. So-and-so does!” And, after a little while, he would probably discover that it had in reality been “all talk,” and a feeling of bewildered revulsion would set in. In this way many friends were lost. “He couldn’t be sincere if he tried,” was one austere verdict. And yet it was not true. The tragedy lay in the fact of his own awareness of this weakness of the will, and the inability to conquer it. Habit had grown round him with its evil chain and could not be broken. He spent half his life ardently wishing to do kind deeds with his considerable and ever-accumulating fortune, but there it remained. “I wish I could respect myself as I respect many others,” was a pathetic saying, and absolutely sincere. The terrible indecision of Gemini no doubt contributed to the trouble. He would go out with six plans for spending the day, but would return having done something quite different. He was at his best sitting talking to an intellectual friend. Then he would unpack all the treasures of his richly stored intellect, and a sort of banquet of words would ensue. And he was at his worst when confronted with a case of misery, which he would find excuses not to relieve, or else persuade himself that he would have another opportunity of relieving. And all the time he would be miserably fingering in his pockets the Bridge winnings of the night before.…The whole thing was a tragedy.
The nerve failure first occurred when the Sun came to its evil conjunction with Saturn—an aspect still further binding the forces of the personality, and contracting the will. The environment (with the radical Sun conjunction Midheaven) was not affected. It was too strong. He never lost position nor money, but rather gained the latter at anything he touched.…But the conjunction worked upon the character and nervous organisation, and there was a bad time of depression and insomnia—nothing more.
But later in life came a more serious time, following one or two family troubles, when the nerves were much disordered; and under the aspect of Mars squaring the radical Moon, there was a certain leaning towards the idea of suicide. I think that like all other ideas it would have probably remained without fruition; he would never have been able to make up his mind either to the act itself, or to the manner of it. However, the trouble yielded to hypnosis, and the splendid intellect and memory came through the crisis unimpaired. A new friendship came into his life at this time, also under the aspect of Venus trine Uranus. This direction can be relied upon for bringing some unusual and unconventional relationship into being; and here, as in very many cases, it worked powerfully for good. It will be noticed that in the birth map Neptune is in the seventh house—an aspect bad for marriage as it squares the Sun and opposes the Ascendant. The native never married—probably because as usual he could never make up his mind! but he remained a chivalrous and courteous admirer of women in the mass. In his younger days he had travelled considerably in Europe, as the positions of the ninth house might lead one to suppose, and later on there were further journeys under a parallel of Mercury. And while mentioning this particular aspect—the parallel of declination (when two planets or a planet and the cusp of a house come into the same position with regard to the Equator, either North or South)—I would like to add a note for the sake of students. This parallel is a most important aspect, because it acts—though a little intermittently—with the force of a conjunction unless any other aspect is already formed between the two points in question. In this case the parallel takes on the nature and may be ignored. In any case, it agrees with the aspect then in force, if there is any, or, if the latter has only lately passed, it stirs it up again. And as it often lasts for years, this is an important matter. And another thing. It very frequently seems to act before its time. Its “orb of influence,” by general consent, is a narrow one. Even in a birth map it is not calculated unless the two points affected are in the same degree. And in a progressed horoscope, where the great proportion of “directions” act most powerfully when exact and when separating, NOT before, this parallel will often “cast the shadow of a coming event” directly the two points are in the same sign. After that, it moves slowly till they become exact, being quite appreciably felt all the time. I have several instances of this at the moment. One in the map of a musician whose art has been greatly hampered for some years. Venus is coming in a few years’ time, to a conjunction with Neptune. Meanwhile, a parallel between the two planets has now set in; and already it is showing and having a remarkable effect upon her musical development, while new opportunities are opening their doors. In another map, a conjunction of the Sun with Uranus is due in about five years’ time, but a parallel has just matured, and the unmistakable influences of Uranus, its changes and difficulties, have begun to manifest themselves.
No parallel, whether to the Midheaven or to a planet, should ever be overlooked; and the parallel of the progressed Ascendant should be noted with all the other directions year by year. (As this is not a matter dealt with in many textbooks, it may be added that, to find this parallel of the declination of a cusp, the best way is to look up the declination of the Sun for that special point (in any Ephemeris), and this will be the same for the cusp in question.)