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There are several different techniques used in astrology to examine a couple’s energy or personality. Synastry is one such method. In synastry, you overlay the two people’s charts to see how the planetary aspects affect each other. Using the wheel or an aspect grid, this method technically uses the other person as a transit. While it is an excellent method, you cannot look at the transits of the couple as a unit.
The ideal method is to have a birth chart of the partnership. Some might consider the first date the birth of the relationship, let’s say a kind of electional chart. The problem with this is not everyone has a first date, so do you use the first meeting? What happens if you happen to meet in a class, sitting beside each other? The classmate situation develops into a friendship, and you take coffee breaks together. When did that relationship start? It could have started when you passed the pen, or the first coffee break, or the first dinner date?
The other way to go about it is to combine the charts of the two individuals. If an individual’s birth chart gives you that individual’s potential, then by reason, if you combine the charts, you would have the potential of the two individuals as one unit. Kind of one plus one equals one!!
There are two types of composite charts. One goes by the name of Composite, and the other by Davison, named after the inventor, Ronald Davison.
The first technique is the Composite chart. You average all the points in the chart against each other to create new points. For example, if one person’s Sun is at 0° of Aries and the other person’s is at 30° of Aries, the composite chart would have a 15° Aries Sun, and so on through the planets and the angles.
The first question you are probably thinking about is what happens with an opposition? The planets are averaged to the smaller value. If one person has 0° Cancer Mars and the other has 1° Capricorn Mars, the composite charts would have 0°30’ Aries Mars. One problem with this method is that it is not an actual chart. In most cases, at no time would there be a place and a time where the planetary placements could occur. In fact, you can have Venus opposite the Sun using this technique. However, that might be representative of the couple.
The Davison chart is different because it takes the averages of the birthdays and the locations to come up with an actual chart. If person A is born on 1 January 2000 at 0:00, and the other is born on 1 January 2001 at 0:00, then the Davison composite will have a birthday of approximately 30 June 2000 at 0:00 (give or take). The same goes for the place. If one person is born in London and the other in Toronto, the average will be in the middle of the ocean, but it would still be a place on Earth. This chart will be for an actual time and place.
My mentor, Alphee Lavoie, has always stressed the importance of the Davison chart over the Composite chart for this very reason. Since the Davison is a real chart, you can look at the chart’s secondary progressions or cast a solar return chart for the relationship. The fascinating thing about the Davison is if you create a chart for a group, you can look at transits that affect the group, which you cannot do with the composite chart.
You cannot study the relationship of a group of people using the Composite chart. Image a group of 4 people with Suns on the four signs of the cardinal axis. Where’s the midpoint? With the Davison chart, you can find the average of all the birth times to come up with a date and time. The same goes for the place. This way we can study a group using the Davison chart.
Let’s take the Beatles, for instance. Here is the Davison chart for the Beatles. The place is easy as they are all from Liverpool. The birth dates for the Beatles are as follows:
John: 9 October 1940 18:30
Paul: 18 June 1942 14:00
George: 4 February 1943 23:42
Ringo: 7 July 1940 00:05
This averages to 17 September 1941 07:49:15 in Liverpool.
(for those not familiar with Star Trax Millenium, Θ = the previous solar eclipse (6 Aries in chart) O = previous new moon)
The Sun is in the 12th house of self-undoing, and the Beatles were the cause of their own demise. They dabbled in spirituality travelling to India to learn transcendental meditation with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. While the older generation were not fans of them when they first came out, the Beatles appeal has transcended borders and cultures. They mixed and blended sounds of Indian culture with the use of sitars, Black rhythm and blues, country and harder rock. The song Tomorrow Never Knows is a proto Drum and Bass style song. Helter Skelter was a precursor to Punk Rock. Musically, they were all over the map over their seven years of recorded music.
The Sun is in Virgo, giving them the Virgoan sense of attention to detail. Regardless of whether you are a fan, the chord progressions, musical fills, and song structure are relatively detailed in their form. The opening chord to Hard Days Night has baffled musicians for decades.
The Sun is conjunct Neptune, the planet of music, and conjunct the North Node, their destiny. Neptune is also associated with drugs and addictions. Both the Sun and Neptune are in the 12th house of self-undoing. The Beatles got into heavy drug use, but towards the end of their career together, the other Beatles began taking issue with John’s heroin addiction. The music, though, was the main focus, and that is what they were able to do best with their chart-topping songs. The Beatles were credited as one of the bands leading the charge to more album-oriented releases.
Jupiter is squaring the cluster the Sun-Neptune-Node from the 9th of publishing and foreign lands. Jupiter makes things expansive, and it is visionary. It gives what it touches a larger-than-life persona. At the time when my older sisters were growing up in Toronto, you were either a Dave Clark Five fan or a Beatles Fan. The Beatles eventually blew them to bits and pieces. What made the Beatles the go-to band everyone wanted to emulate? We can consider Jupiter’s influence in the Davison chart as a factor.
The Galactic Centre is a point at 27° of Sagittarius. If this point is activated in a chart, it can bring global notoriety, whether in your home town or on a worldwide level, people will notice you. It was the Sun/Neptune/Node squaring the Galactic Centre that helped launch them to stardom. Now, combine this with the square to Jupiter, the planet that rules foreign lands, and the Beatles were destined to become an international success.
The Ascendant of the chart is Libra. The band had social appeal and was pleasing to their followers. They had a sense of art and style to them, not only in music but with fashion and the artwork used on their albums. Both Pluto and the Moon square Venus, giving them that air of being both pleasant and bad at the same time. When they were starting out, they wore moptops which were quite rebellious, but they wore suits, although customary in the era. The Moon in a chart can represent the public, so with it conjunct Pluto and the Moon, one could see the sex appeal with the younger crowd and the disapproval with the older folks.
Looking at the retrograde and warlike Mars in the already aggressive Aries in the 7th house of relationships was what gave them their drive. However, it also brought about the battles that eventually ended the group. The prenatal solar eclipse on the descendant furthered this warlike tension suggested that relationships would bring the end of the group, not only between the members but also from their spouses. Yoko Ono and Linda Eastman involvement in the band was seen as a point of tension within the Beatles.
The Pete Best Beatles
Ringo Starr was not the original drummer of the band. Pete Best was. Looking at this chart, you can see that they may have had some success. The Sun is trine Neptune and the previous solar eclipse. The Sun is conjunct the last new Moon suggesting this was a start. The chart ruler, the Moon, is in the 10th house; however, it is intercepted, suggesting success and recognition would come later. This chart does not have the same appeal as the other. As a result, Pete Best was sacked on 16 August 1962, when solar arc Sun was squaring natal Saturn ruler of the 8th house from the 8th house. It was more about personality than anything else.
Aspects to the Davison
Returning to the Beatles, what can the transits to the Davison chart show us?
4 March 1966 – Bigger Than Jesus
John Lennon was quoted saying, “Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn’t argue about that. I’m right, and I’ll be proved right. We’re more popular than Jesus now. I don’t know which will go first, rock ‘n’ roll or Christianity”.
People in the deep south of the USA, the Bible Belt, did not take this statement lightly. They started burning Beatles albums. If some artist said this today, we would yawn and move on to a cat video on YouTube, but this was 1966, and the world was far more conservative then. The Beatles were touring North America at that time and received threats as well as the Ku Klux Klan picketing their shows.
The transits for the day were quite telling. Mercury in Aries on the descendent was ready for a war of words. Transiting Mars in Pisces, the sign associated with Jesus, was at the midpoint of transiting Mercury and Chiron. Mars was squaring the natal Galactic Centre in the 3rd house of communication by 3’ of arc. If words were going to cause a storm, the previous solar eclipse was in the 3rd house of words and opposite the chaotic natal Uranus in the 9th house of religion by 22’ of arc. Transiting Venus in the rebellious Aquarius was trining the Ascendant, just saying what it wanted.
27 August 1967 – Brian Epstein Dies
On 27 August 1967, Brian Epstein, the Beatles manager, passed away. Many people feel the death of Epstein was what led to the band’s eventual downfall. Epstein not only managed the band’s finances but also helped with the communication between members. He would put down rebellions and stop infighting. With him out of the picture, there was reportedly an increase in dysfunctionality amongst the band members.
The Solar Arc Saturn was two minutes of arc squaring the Natal Sun on that day. The square alone is a problematic aspect that brings conflicts or difficulties. Saturn is also the planet of endings, and it is also the ruler of the chart’s fourth house of endings. On the day of Epstein’s death, it was in a precise square to the natal Sun or the band’s identity.
In transit, the previous solar eclipse occurred in the 8th house of death and transformation and squared the bands Part of Fortune. Eclipses are ominous, to begin with, and with it in the 8th house of death, one can only imagine what will be in store for the next six months. In converse transits (chart not shown), which can represent hidden matters, transiting Neptune was square natal Venus, the chart ruler. Neptune tends to wash away or dissolve what it touches, and with Venus ruling, the band was an indicator of things to come. Remember that Neptune is the ruler of drugs, and the band’s dependency on them, especially John, gave rise to more tensions.
As an example of a Solar Return chart for a group Davison, the 1966 return is quite revealing. Epstein died in August of 1967, 11 months after the return. Two things in the chart suggest death in that year. The first indicator is the previous eclipse in the 8th house of death, and the other is the north node in the 8th house. The 7th house represents managers, and Aries is on the Descendent with the ruler in the 10th house. The Moon rules the 10th house, and it is in the first house quincunx to the eclipse. The career and the identity of the group would be undergoing significant upheaval.
September 1968 – July 1970 – The Pluto and the Downfall
Pluto, the planet of death, transformation, and power struggles, transited over the band’s Sun from September 1968 until July 1970. Not only does Pluto deal with death and transformation, but it also deals with underworld dealings. In the months following that first conjunction, John and Yoko were arrested for drug charges in October 1968 during the final mixing of their last album, the White Album. Also, Pluto acted as the lord of death during this time, John’s divorce (death) from Cynthia became official on 8 November, and Yoko suffered a miscarriage (death) on 21 November.
On 12 March 1969, five days after the exact conjunction, George and Patti Harrison’s house is raided for drugs, and they are fined when Neptune (drugs) is opposite Saturn (the law). The nice four English lads of the early sixties were now on the radar of law enforcement as other rockstars were as well.
The final exact conjunction occurred on 22 August 1969. What happened on that day in the history of the Beatles is the most telling. It was a photo shoot for their upcoming album. More than that, it would be the last day the Beatles would ever appear together. The photo, shown here, was used for the Hey Jude album released later in January of 1970.
Here are the transits for that day.
In the chart, transiting Pluto, who rules death, transformation, power struggles, was exactly, and by exactly this means 0° of arc, conjunct the Sun, which represents the life force and the natural essences of the band.
The previous solar eclipse was opposite the band’s natal Neptune by a mere 0°07’ of arc. Basically, the eclipse is exactly opposite Neptune. Eclipses are foreboding, as stated in an article on my website, where I showed Tiger Wood’s having the previous eclipse in transit on his Midheaven the day he had his car accident. Neptune is the ruler of music, so something was destined to happen to the band’s music as a collective would be affected by that aspect. Neptune is also the ruler of the 6th house of their work. The Beatles rarely recorded songs together at this point in their career. One would go in to lay down tracks, and the others would come in to do overdubs.
Uranus, the planet of revolts and independence, was close to the ascendant. It was precisely on the Ascendant on 9 September. On that date, John, Paul, and George had a meeting to discuss the future of the Beatles. Ringo was not in attendance as he was undergoing a procedure in the hospital, but they brought a tape recorder to the meeting so Ringo could listen to it afterwards. This meeting was considerably frank. Paul told George was told George’s writing was substandard. John rebuked with Maxwell’s Silver Hammer, and Oblidi Oblida should have been passed off to other bands because the band hated playing them.
John officially quits the Beatles on 29 September 1969. He promised to keep quiet about it because they had a couple of albums coming out. Uranus was 0°10’ from squaring the Midheaven. Transiting Mars was 0°03’ from a square to the Sun in the converse transit. In Solar Arc, Solar Arc Mercury, ruler of the 12th house, was precisely squaring the Part of Fortune. The converse Solar Arc Moon, the ruler of the 10th house, was 0°01’ square to the prenatal solar eclipse.
On 10 April 1970, Paul McCartney announced the Beatles were through. On this day, the Solar Arc Midheaven, ruler of the career, was 3 minutes of arc squaring the natal Venus, ruler of the Davidson chart. This suggested there was an issue with how the group was viewed in the public light and by the band itself. By transit, Jupiter was precisely on the natal Venus. Jupiter rules the 3rd house of communication and the 6th house of work, and it was on Venus, the band’s ruler, indicating there were significant issues with the life essence of the band. At this point, the band was not speaking to each other.
As we have seen, the timing of the Beatles’ historical events fairly accurately relate to the transits of the band’s Davison chart. Obviously, one needs to start with accurate birth times of the members as that will impact the accuracy of the group chart. As demonstrated, once you have the chart, then you can apply all your typical astrological techniques.
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