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A Graphic Ephemeris is a great way to visually spot significant alignments by observing where the planetary lines cross. This is a 30° Graphic Ephemeris, thus the vertical scale is 0° to 30°, which is the number of degrees per astrological sign. Thus, each of the 12 signs are overlaid upon each other. The planetary lines in the chart reveal the location and movement of each planet in and through their respective signs. When a line turns upward, the planet is then in its retrograde. Wherever two or more lines cross indicates that aspects are occurring between those planets that are either 30° or a multiple of 30° (30°, 60°, 90°, 120°, 150°, 180°, etc.) The aspects occurring are revealed by knowing which signs the planets are in. You can also see when planetary synods occur (red dots). They occur in the midst of a planetary retrograde, when the planet is opposite the Sun (except for Mercury and Venus which are conjunct the Sun). Learn more about planetary synods and retrogrades. Solar and Lunar Eclipses are highlighted in yellow. Learn the basics about Natal Graphic Ephemerides.
For example,in the 2008 graphic ephemeris, it is easy to see that in early September 2008, several planetary lines come together indicating that a dynamic geometry between those planets is occurring. In this case, Mars, Venus, Mercury, the Sun, Saturn and stationing Jupiter are all in cahoots over a few day period; and they are all aspecting near 18° in their respective signs. Stationing Jupiter and Saturn, the two outer slower-moving planets, create the principal resonance. Jupiter is in sidereal Sag and Saturn is in sidereal Leo, thus a trine is occurring between the two. The next dynamic of significance is created by the Sun and Saturn conjoining in sidereal Leo. (We can also see this is occurring a few days after the August New Moon, early in the lunar cycle.) The Sun-Saturn conjunction also marks the mid-point of realization in the current Earth-Saturn synodic cycle. The next level of triggers are created by the faster moving planets, Mars, Venus and Mercury, which in this case are all conjoining in sidereal Virgo, thus creating an approaching square to Jupiter. If you create a basic astrological chart around this time, you will see the dynamic. You can then find the exact times of the various aspects as well as other points of significance, such as the lunar triggers, aspecting asteroids, etc.
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