Although traditional astrology is geocentric (Earth-centered), some astrologers have undoubtedly considered using a heliocentric (Sun-centered) system ever since the Copernican revolution. The argument against heliocentric astrology is that, since we are situated on Earth, we need to focus on Earth's relationship to the other celestial bodies—a Sun-centered astrology would make sense only if we were born on the Sun.
This argument was persuasive enough to prevent the emergence of a true heliocentric astrology until relatively recently. The two factors behind this emergence were (1) the discovery that scientists had found a correlation between sunspot activity and angles between the planets (the same basic aspects that are used in geocentric astrology) and (2) the personal computer revolution, which made casting heliocentric horoscopes quite easy. Use by NASA scientists of a form of heliocentric astrology—under the rubric "gravitational vectoring"—to predict high sunspot activity was not just an important verification of astrological principles; it also, because of the well-known effects of such activity on weather conditions, on radio wave propagation, and on other terrestrial events, alerted astrologers to the possibility that astrological forces impacting the solar sphere had an influence on Earth's astrological "atmosphere."
The early solar charts presented a barren appearance: There were no house divisions, no ascendant, no Sun, and, sometimes, no zodiac (because for the tropical zodiac, the first sign always begins at the spring equinox, a notion that has no meaning from a heliocentric viewpoint). Earth, which is always 180° away from where the Sun would be in a geocentric chart, is drawn in as a cross surrounded by a circle (like the symbol for the Part of Fortune, only shifted 45°). Because the Sun in traditional astrology represents one's deepest "soul" self, some heliocentric astrologers have proposed that solar horoscopes chart the astrology of the soul.
Heliocentric astrologers began with the principle that the heliocentric perspective would supplement rather than supplant the geocentric perspective. This principle paved the way for a newer approach to heliocentric astrology that represents the heliocentric and the geocentric positions in the same horoscope. These are technically "geo-helio" charts. Astrologers who use this system claim that including the heliocentric positions is like "finding the missing half of the horoscope." The heliocentric planets have the same meaning as when used geocentrically, although they are said to manifest their influence in a different manner. This newer approach did not entirely overturn the older heliocentric system, so there are now at least two distinct heliocentric approaches, one purely heliocentric (but which does not reject the validity of a geocentric chart, using it only in an entirely separate phase of the operation), and the other a mixed geo-helio approach in which the two charts are merged.
Most contemporary astrologers, although not actually opposed to heliocentric astrology, have not integrated it into their practice, primarily because there are so many new techniques that no one astrologer can possibly master them all. The heliocentric perspective is just one tool among a multitude available to the astrological practitioner. Many astrologers have adopted the attitude that very good astrologers are rare enough, so why not just stick to mastering the basics? This argument has more than a little merit. And, after all, if we adopt a Sun-centered astrology, why not also make use of the many insights that are probably waiting to be discoved in a Moon-centered or a Mars-centered or even a Ceres-centered astrology? If a heliocentric chart cast for one's birth time gives valid insights for a native of Earth, then it should be possible to apply the same principles to any planet or planetoid in the solar system!
Such considerations have caused many astrologers to greet heliocentric methods with indifference. At the same time, the widespread availability of chart-casting programs that include heliocentric positions as a standard option makes it almost inevitable that the astrologers who buy them will experiment with these positions, resulting in more astrologers who use heliocentric or geo-helio charts. Thus, the future of heliocentric astrology as a continuing presence within the astrological community seems ensured.
Brau, Jean-Louis, Helen Weaver, and Allan Edmands. Larousse Encyclopedia of Astrology. New
York: New American Library, 1980. Davis, T. Patrick. Revolutionizing Astrology with Heliocentric. Windermere, FL: Davis Research Reports, 1980.
Sedgwick, Philip. The Sun at the Center: A Primer of Heliocentric Astrology. St. Paul, MN: Llewellyn Publications, 1990.
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