Astrology, at its simplest, is complexity piled upon complexity. In the minds of many students, however, the problems of interceptions proves to be a complication of back-breaking quality. This material is offered as food for thought in an attempt to clarify the purpose and meaning of signs and planets being placed in such a way that their vibratory "area" does not touch house-cusps. "Interceptions" can mean "woe is us" until we perceive the possibility of a philosophical meaning behind this particular pattern. When we do, we are well on our way to achieving an organized approach to its interpretation.
First a break-down of horoscopical structure. Use a twelve-housed wheel; connect by straight lines the pairs of cusps as follows:
Four horizontals--parallel to the horizontal diameter: cusps of 11th-9th, 12th-8th, 2nd-6th and 3rd-5th.
Four verticals--parallel lo the vertical diameter: cusps of 12th-2nd, 11th-3rd, 9th-5th and 8th-6th.
The mandala as it now appears symbolizes the symmetry of astrological structure. These lines connect points of the circumference of the wheel that are equidistant from the arch-structure lines of the horizontal and vertical diameters. These, in turn, form the composite of the lines of force that are basic to the contents of the wheel. These two diameters symbolize the cross of incarnation. Now create a symmetrical square by connecting these "cardinal points" by straight lines. This square is the abstraction of relationship-structure, our "field of experiences" by which we unfold our potentials in incarnation. Create another symmetrical square by connecting the mid-points of the 2nd, 5th, 8th, and 11th houses. This forms the symbol of the static square--the arch-symbol of congestion of spiritual potentials. This congestion is decrystallized by the symbol comprised of the diameters of 1st-7th, 3rd-9th, and 5th-11th. This symbol--the sextile aspect-- is a symmetrical open symbol representing the "lines of force" inherent in the composite of two closed equilateral triangles; these two triangles are formed by straight lines connecting (1) cusps of the 1st, 5th, and 9th and (2) 7th, 11th, and 3rd.
All of these designs are balanced, symmetrical figures inherent in the interior essence of the wheel. Since they are structure designs they apply to all horoscopes, because the structure of any horoscope is a twelvefold division of the wheel's interior into equal sections--"houses"--of thirty degrees each. The composite of these designs illustrates, by symmetry, the equal importance of all houses. No one house is more important than another; every house is a channeling for the releasement of potentials and the unfoldment of consciousness toward the realization of ideals in incarnation. It also serves, by its symmetry, to illustrate the equi-importance of both sexes since the symmetry of these figures is continually evident no matter which of the four cardinal-house structure- points is placed at the Ascendant.
To complete the "symmetricalness" we now add the symbols of the zodiacal signs outside the wheel, starting with Aries on the cusp of the first house and continuing around the wheel in regular sequence. The result is the Great Astrological Mandala--the abstraction from which all horoscopes are derived. This addition of the zodiacal signs integrates vibration with structure. We now recognize that the application of thirty degrees of each sign to the thirty degrees of each house represents a charging of structure with vibratory life just as a house becomes a home when it is used as a habitation by people and a violin becomes a musical instrument when it is played.
In a horoscope that has no intercepted signs the symmetrical parallel of signs with houses is everywhere evident. The three structure-crosses: cardinal, fixed, and mutable, and the four generic trines: fire, earth, air, and water, appear in regular sequence and in geometrical formation; the six structural diameters parallel the six vibrational polarities, the house-quadrants parallel the zodiacal quadrants and the outline of planetary rulership of the twelve houses is concise and clear. The trine-pattern represented by the vibrational generic element covering the cusps of the 1st, 5th, and 9th houses represents the arch-resource of creative spiritualization for this incarnation. The "structure-sign-pattern" represented by the sign-vibrations covering the cusps of the 1st, 4th, 7th, and 10th cusps represent the arch-resource of Relationship-Consciousness and Relationship-Experience-Interpretation.
Before we go into a detailed approach to intercepted patterns, we will consider the pattern of the twelfth house--in relationship by sequence--of any house in a horoscope.
Let us remember that every house is the twelfth house of the house which follows it; every sign is the twelfth sign of the sign which follows it; in horoscopes, signs are correlated to houses so (for example):
Leo on the twelfth cusp is the twelfth house-sign of the Virgo Ascendant; Gemini on the eighth cusp is the twelfth house-sign of Cancer on the ninth cusp, etc.
Twelfth house is "that from which something emanates." The Ascendant itself "emanates" from the twelfth house as the diameter of Ascendant-7thcusp emanates from the diameter of 4th cusp-10th cusp or as the trine of Aries-Leo emanates from the trine of Sagittarius-Aries or as the quadrant of Libra-Capricorn emanates from the quadrant of Cancer-Libra. And so on. In the Great mandala, the fire trine of Aries-Leo-Sagittarius, initiated by the cardinal Aries, emanates from the water-trine Pisces-Cancer- Scorpio; the latter trine is initiated in the past by the cardinal Cancer "root" of the vertical line of "vibrational heredity." This vertical diameter- -abstractly Cancer-Capricorn--out of which Aries-Libra is emanated--is astrology's symbolic picturing of what most people call "heredity."
The processes of Life as evolution are a continual emergence from that which was (the past) into that which now is (the present) and thence into that which is to be (the future). Nothing "just appears;" that which was conditioned that which is; that which is is conditioning that which is to be. The sequence of houses correlated with the sequence of signs is astrology's way of picturing the sequence of life's ever- becomingness as continual releasement of potentials. In other words the horoscope is a static symbol of the eternally rhythmic (the symmetry of time) emergence of potentials from octave to octave in perpetual unfoldingness.
Therefore, when the unfoldingness of an individual human is thrown out of rhythmic timing a defect results in the synchronization of sign with house. For whatever karmic reason or consciousness-conditioning, the emphasis of one level of unfoldment at the expense of another has the effect of intercepted signs appearing in the natal horoscope as a picturing of structural-vibratory defect.
To illustrate: use any chart you have available that has an intercepted diameter. Apply the approach explained in the foregoing by connecting the "points" that represent the structure of the crosses and trines. Somewhere along the line you will see a defect in the symmetry of these designs because somewhere a cross-point or a trine-point will not coincide with a house-cusp. Thus the vibrational-content of the wheel is thrown out of symmetry and the sequence-content of the wheel is thrown out of rhythm. There are varying degrees of complexity and difficulty in interpreting "intercepted charts" as in anything else. Let us see if we can organize an outline of approach, starting with the easiest:
Type 1-A: The horoscope has the cusps of the first, fourth, seventh, and tenth houses covered by a perfect vibrational cross--cardinal, fixed or mutable. In this pattern the composite "generator" (fourth-tenth) and the composite "generated" (first-seventh) coincide with four quadrants of the zodiac and the clarity of basic relationship-structure is pictured.
Type 1-B: The above requirements are depicted in the Basic Generic Chart. This is a variation of the natal chart by which the sign containing the natal planetary ruler is used as Ascendant. This variation focuses the power of the vibratory ruler of the chart--the planet that rules that sign.
Type 2--three possibilities: A--a perfect generic trine covers the cusps of the first, fifth, and ninth houses; B--a perfect generic trine covers the cusps of the seventh, eleventh, and third houses; C-- a perfect generic trine focused structurally at either the cusp of the fourth house or the cusp of the tenth. In all of these classifications, the problem of intercepted signs is comparatively minimized because the arch-symbols of cross and/or trine are synchronized with the basic structure-points of the wheel. When the placement of intercepted signs "creates a disturbance" in the relationship of sign-sequence with house-sequence of the structure-points, the interpretation problem becomes more complex. Study your intercepted-sign charts with an eye as to the relationship of a complete cross or a complete trine by sequence from the Ascendant. In other words, find out how close the intercepted-sign chart comes to fulfilling the requirements of symmetrical design; in so doing, you mentally reduce to a minimum the "hazards" presented by the complexities of "irregularity" in the wheel.
"Past evil impelling the present incarnation" is pictured abstractly by a mandala as follows: a twelve-housed wheel with Aries on the Ascendant; the symbols for the mutable signs are placed appropriately on the cusps of the mutable houses. In other words the modulation for further regeneration is shown by the square of the mutable houses focalized by the most mutable of those four signs-Pisces--as the "end of the previous cycle" out of which the present one emanates. Apply this thought to any horoscope: which cross appears as the composite of modulations from each quadrant of the wheel into the next quadrant? This cross has much to say about the needed redemptions required for the quadrants initiated by the cardinal houses--as the entire horoscope is initiated from the twelfth house into the first house. Each mutable house is the karmic background for the ensuing quadrant; the signs covering these cusps represent the four-fold congestion of consciousness which is focalized in the chart by the planets ruling those signs.
As a result of an intercepted diameter in a chart there will be two pairs of houses covered by the same diameter. Wherever this "phenomenon" occurs, you will know that the houses concerned in this "duplication" represent experience-patterns on which the person concerned is "making up for past defaults;" in other words the two houses having the lower degree of the sign of their cusps will portray the past; the two houses having the higher degree on the cusps will portray the unfulfilled past projected into the present. Such a pattern tells us also that the influence of the planets ruling the intercepted signs is to a degree, "held in abeyance" until a certain degree of redemption has been made. The planets ruling the duplicated cusps are, correspondingly "made to work overtime;" in the ease of Venus and Mercury--each of whom normally rules two signs -their influence can extend to three houses and their significance in the sum-total of the wheel is increased. Just as-- in human terms--if Johnny ''flunks an exam" in school, he has to study with added application to make up his work in that subject.
It is very interesting to study charts that have the same sign on twelfth as is on the Ascendant. These charts have two principal classifications: (1) those with the succeeding sign intercepted in the first house; (2) those with the succeeding sign on the second cusp. The first classification tells us that the person may have been out of incarnation for an unusually long time; he has to "tie in" with his past in this incarnation, recapitulate something of his past mistakes--if the ruler of the twelfth house and Ascendant is congested, learn from his mistakes, apply more constructive measures and then move in sequence to the progressive vibration represented by the sign intercepted in the first house. This pattern promises progress in this incarnation but it also promises that the person, subconsciously tending to live this incarnation in terms of his past, will bring himself to a "blank wall"--the power of congestion representing that the resources from the past have become depleted; his natural urge to progress will be timed for awareness to the potentials represented by the intercepted sign in the first house, and, tuning in with this vibration will represent a "new life" in consciousness. He then, largely, will feel the urge to "leave the past" and throw in his lot with the "vibratory companion" represented by the planetary influence of the intercepted sign in the first house. This pattern also qualifies his marital consciousness since the first house interception has its complement intercepted in the seventh. It is a twofold awareness of new life and his complementary-relationship consciousness must unfold and progress if he is really to transcend the gravitational or congested pull of past negatives. If the second cusp is covered by the next sign in sequence, then we know that the person is destined in this incarnation to express a higher octave of quality of his past, and if the interception in his chart indicates that the cusp of his fourth or tenth house is in the same generic trine that his Ascendant-sign is in, we know that that parent-- father or mother--represents an outpicturing of the best of the person's past as a contribution to the best of his development in this incarnation. No one ever exactly repeats a level from one incarnation to the next--upwardness is always a factor to be considered in karmic interpretation.
From a practical standpoint, there is not much more that can be said here as interpretation of the various possible placements of intercepted diameters. You as an astrological student, thinker, and philosopher must exercise the capacity of your own awareness of structure principles in application to the charts you analyze.
Structure-structure-structure is your key to finding the significance of intercepted signs and the planets they contain. Find as many "regularities" and "symmetries" as you can in each chart of this type--by reference to patterns of cross and trine--and then study sequence so that you can determine the possibilities of why one diameter may represent a "holding back" or a "promise of future development" in this incarnation. The duplicated diameters--when they are lined up with structure-sequence--will indicate which pair of houses represents a condition from the past that must be repeated--for complete fulfillment--in the present.
Elasticize your awareness of horoscopical structure. You will--or can--be thrilled by this stimulus of your intellect and your resource of esthetic sensitivity and understanding. The rhythm, sequence, design and drama that are pictured in the Astrological Mandala are archetypal of all artistic principles; and in a more specific philosophical sense, they picture the magnificent flow of Life-Principles as it outpictures the great Universal laws of Cause and Effect, Polarity, and Divine Harmony.