Saturday, October 9, 2010

Peregrine Planets: A ship without a rudder

Peregrine planets are Unaspected:  they make no primary contact of challenge or cooperation with any other planet.  They are a maverick or wild card planetary energy, and often the focus of a primary goal or action.

Peregrine Planets:  A ship without a rudder

    Focus of thought and direction is a key to organization, management of behavior, and clarity of action.  Yet there are people who may subconsciously be reacting to unknown conditions that can be identified in their chart as being something of a ship without a rudder, or better, the motor or sails at full speed and no one at the helm!  Such a circumstance may occur when an individual has a peregrine planet in his/her chart.  A peregrine planet as defined here means a planet without a challenge to harness and counter-balance its energy so that it can be applied with some form of structure and management.

    The word “peregrine” here means “wanderer.  The phrase has come under dispute regarding its original and new meaning, and in this example now, is a planet without a major challenge:  a stalemate/opposition of 180 degrees, or a “who goes first?” head-butt of a 90-degree square; the “like minds join together” of a conjunction with less than 10 degrees of union*; the interlocking pyramid of a 120-degree trine; or the distant shining star of a 60-degree sextile.  To explain this, the words of master astrologer, author, and lecturer Noel Tyl’s web site (, from his essay on Analytical Techniques on August 31, 2007:  How Peregrination becomes important

All of us should be able to give a clear definition of peregrination: any planet not making a Ptolemeic aspect in the horoscope. [Conjunction, sextile, square, trine, or opposition]  (Ptolemeic refers to Ptolemy, a Greek mathematician and astrologer who identified five types of challenging interaction and their impact on the psyche.)  The square, trine, opposition, sextile, and conjunction are the qualifying aspects.  

Indeed, there are theoretical strictures that Astrology places upon this base definition that involve {the terms} dignities, debilitations, final dispositorship, and more. In my opinion, trying to define the condition more specifically, theory clouds the issue and diminishes application.

I have pushed the envelope of our learning to go past these ancient strictures, because, empirically, it is very clear that they do not change the manifestation image of a peregrine planet. The classically unaspected state is enough to qualify. [Please see Tyl’s Synthesis & Counseling in Astrology, pages 155-190.]

All of us should know that that the word “peregrine” comes from the Latin meaning “across, through, or beyond the border.” Our word “pilgrim” derives similarly from the Latin pelegrinus, an alternative form of peregrinus. The meaning sense is being foreign, alien.   But what does all that mean? What do we learn from the derivation of the “peregrine state”?

I have an interesting image in my mind every time I discuss peregrination: I think of the United Nations in New York City: the delegates from foreign countries to the U.N. are basically exempt from United States laws. A hit-and-run traffic incident involving a delegate driver or a member of his/her family, for example, will result in a warning to the embassy of the country or to deportation of the individual, i.e., he or she loses the job at the U.N.  In other words, being in the state of the U.N. offers to an individual very special freedoms. A pilgrim far from home is given respectful audience.

A peregrine planet is in such a state. It is “far from home” (the Sign it rules) and will potentially act up, act out, in terms of the House it rules, representing the issues of its home base.  For example, relationship will become a cause celebre in life development if the planet ruling the sign on the 7th cusp of partnerships is peregrine.
Sun/Moon peregrine:  when the Sun {the soul’s core identity of ego) or Moon (emotional sensor; reflexive responses when challenged by social encounters; how the soul was nurtured or not by a mother-figure) is peregrine, we have a core development issue focus: I like to say that the individual learns very soon in life that he or she is basically untethered; i.e, not necessarily “wild,” but not assimilated with others: the world does not quite understand them, and they do not quite understand the world. Usually this leads to a state of idiosyncrasy. Even a dissociated complex about individuality fitting into the scheme of things is possible. I observe that someone with the Sun or Moon (or both) peregrine dances to a different drummer!
Hillary Clinton has a peregrine Sun ruling her 9th of lawful engagement with social and spiritual values, which is an extremely powerfully reinforced area of her life development. Mia Farrow has a peregrine Sun ruling her creative role in the 5th house of care-giving for youngsters; her life is totally consumed with issues with, about, for children. David Copperfield has a peregrine Sun square to his Midheaven of career.

A man I know, a retired police captain, is encyclopedic with specialized fact recall, e.g., the detailed profiles of Russian military officers in WWII! But similarly with so many other areas of knowledge, his Mercury is peregrine!   And recall Howard Cosell, the fabulous statistics-and-memories-engorged sportscaster! Same thing! 

We can feel the focus of a peregrine planet throughout a horoscope, especially founded upon the base orientation within the House(s) it rules.

Famed rock guitarist Jimmy Hendrix had Mars (action/momentum, anger management) peregrine ruling his 4th of home and foundation: his parents were divorced when he was 9, his mother died when he was 16, and, to spare him any further instability in the home, he was sent to live with his “inspirational” grandmother. These 4th house concerns were very powerful within his development.   In another example, sex-focused rebel-broadcaster Howard Stern has Jupiter (believe in Higher Source/Power; optimistic energy) peregrine in Gemini (communications and salesmanship; cleverness) ruling the 8th of sex and other peoples’ values!  Musician, composer, singer, and television host Merv Griffin had Neptune peregrine ruling his career 10th.   And so did Saddam Hussein, as far as we know!  The country of China has taskmaster and Father Time Saturn peregrine ruling its 12th of self-undoing and fears!
Hugh Hefner has Mars peregrine in Aquarius (rebel with a cause) and also Venus (enjoyment and pleasure principles) peregrine in Pisces (the need for beauty).  Queen Elizabeth II has Sun, Moon, and Mercury (mental activities and capacities) all peregrine! --The Sun and Moon rule her public 7th, appropriately, and her Mercury rules her 5th and 8th:  surely a monarch’s critical focus upon succession, progeny, etc.

I have learned to take this concept of peregrinating emphasis a bit further: I have found that two planets that aspect each other (usually the conjunction) but make no other Ptolemeic aspect with any other planet within the horoscope operate as a peregrine island! The focused pair is notably pervasive.  Feminist spokesperson sexual-rights rebel Gloria Steinem has Mercury-Neptune together as a peregrine island, with Mercury ruling the 8th of sexuality and others’ values and Neptune ruling her 5th of creativity!  Famed baseball player/convicted gambler Pete Rose has a peregrine island involving his Sun-Venus conjunction: the Sun rules the 5th of creativity, Venus rules the 2nd of values and 7th of relationships/partnerships!

(Mitch Lopate's comments):  My view is that peregrine planets are indeed renegades without focus—sort of a planet with Attention Deficit Disorder--or a hard-throwing baseball pitcher who can’t get the ball over the plate--or a cricket bowler who just can't deliver a good pitch--until he learns some control

           Looking at individual planets, I would consider that the Sun peregrine would make for someone who is highly energetic at getting his/her ego out on display and being true to themselves and their needs for attention.  Interestingly, I understand that JFK had a peregrine Sun.  
           A peregrine Moon might be very sensitive or empathic without realizing how much they mirror other people to get what they want done for measures of safety and security.
           A peregrine Mercury might be someone (as noted above) who is a walking library of facts, details, trivia, or just versatile with his/her hands, perhaps in art, sports, or music.
            A peregrine Venus might be someone who is deeply into his/her pleasure or hedonistic expression—or perhaps withdrawn from society if it is not in a comfortable sign such as fussy Virgo.  
          A peregrine Mars could be someone who bristles with energy—like a hyperactive disorder—or a person who needs anger management training.
         A peregrine Jupiter could be someone who has issues with “bigger-than-life” (and perhaps, lifestyle).  Compulsive gambling and risk-taking may be an indication of this.  A peregrine Saturn might make the subject an eternal seeker of responsibilities: someone who devotes his/her time to work and nothing else for a personal life.
          A peregrine Uranus could make someone unable to live within society’s boundaries; they could easily find themselves free-lance work within a specialized field of technology.  Their relationships would likely be brief, intense, and likely to be more of a game of tag, you’re it! There certainly would not be anything traditional to living arrangements within a bonded partnership.
          A peregrine Neptune might bring us an individual who is strongly bound to a life on the ocean as a sailor or a soul who thrives and flourishes in the world of music or art but can not manage their love of alcohol or other substances.  A peregrine Pluto could be someone who is unable to deal with their issues of social limitations; they may choose an exclusive reclusive lifestyle which allows them to embrace back-to-basics hands-on survival skills.
           Again, the key with a peregrine planet under the new definition is to give any planet without the major series of aspects, i.e., challenges of interaction by their respective representations of obstacles and hurdles to be overcome as a process of soul growth training.  

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