The Least-aspected Planet in Astro*Carto*Graphy:
A Metaphor for the Soul
©2000 by Robert Couteau

The following article consists of various excerpts from: The Role of the Least Aspected Planet In Astrocartography, a complete ebook, ©1994; posted on-line 15 April 1998.

The title of my e-book, "The Role of the Least-aspected Planet In Astro*Carto*Graphy," might just as well, in retrospect, have been called: the role of Astro*Carto*Graphy in illustrating how the least-aspected planet (LAP) is a focal point of the horoscope, and thus, by extension, of everything related to the natus, such as Astro*Carto*Graphy and other dynamic astrological factors.

The true function of the LAP is to somehow portray the soul and spirit in a unique, yet archetypal, manner.* The LAP is indeed the central focal point of the entire natal chart. While the birth chart may tell us much about the idiosyncratic and special path and character of each person, the LAP symbolism - whether Jupiterian, Plutonian, or Mercurial etc. - will offer us an amazingly accurate idea of what overall archetypal pattern we are dealing with at the very core of the chart.

For example, if the Primary Transcendental Planet is Jupiter, and the Secondary Transcendental, Mars, then one of the special tasks of Mars is to assist Jupiter in carrying out its special mission in life. Yet as well, Mars, as another least-aspected planet, will uniquely color the task of such a person. There will be something quintessentially Martian within this characterological portrait, and biography.


With most-aspected planets (MAPs) -- also referred to as Leading Planets -- a slightly different scenario is at work. Such planets usually portray our most-conscious or even hyper-conscious tendencies and habitual responses, in other words these are energies that are closer to ego-consciousness. As such they do not represent a deeper or more transcendental mission or goal in life. Representing conscious functions, then, such energies must be placed fully into the service of the LAP energies: they must be directed toward our central spiritual goal, which is symbolized by the LAP; otherwise, a neurosis or imbalance will result.

The MAPs therefore play a very crucial role in the movement towards the Primary Direction: towards the raison d'Ítre of the native in question. If this does not occur, and if the Leading or most-aspected planets attempt to dance only to the beat of their own drums, then the Leading Planets energies may become split-off.


While LAPs have previously (by tradition) been defined as split-off "free agents," in fact, the Leading Planets are much more likely to function in such a manner. Psychologically, such a situation reflects the psychological profile of a person who has lost his innermost meaning in life. Instead of ascertaining and following the unconscious will, when we follow merely the dictates of consciousness, without regard for the inner destiny, we feel "hollowed out."

This is what occurs when the role of the LAP is ignored, or when it has been usurped by the most-aspected or Leading Planet energies. Why does the LAP assume this central importance in the biographies of so many people who have made such significant cultural contributions, and why is it reflected as well as in the lives of ordinary people? There are two possible reasons for this.

First, the LAP represents a pure, distilled, or even "unsullied" energy. By having few if any significant energetic relationships (aspects) to other planets, the energy of the LAP remains more or less contained within itself. Relationships demand a give and take, a compromise, and an exchange.

The LAP is indeed a sort of free agent, yet one of central import, and not one that is somehow "split-off."* Its power is its purity, and this purity seems to reflect something that stands in between consciousness and the unconscious. Historically, the closest description of such a "numinous consciousness" is reflected in Jung's definition of the transcendent function: a psychic unification of two distinct realms; a function which he visualized as a sort of suspension bridge that creates a new or "third" thing.

There is within us something of central importance, a focal point or center, a spark towards which all other factors must eventually turn. That in a nutshell is the numinous function of the Primary Transcendental Planet, or LAP. The LAP may also be defined or clarified by discussing what it is not. The LAP for instance does not alter the core nature of the other planetary energies.


A LAP Jupiter does not make a MAP Saturn "somehow not purely Saturnine any more." Saturn is not changed at the core; its energy is still 100% a Saturnine energy. Yet Saturn here will take on an extra or special role, that is, it will be called upon to somehow serve the LAP. That will become a key point of "Saturnine meaning" in such a person's life.In that sense then, the LAP does not infuse its energy into the core energetic points represented by the other planets. Instead, it attracts them to its unique task.

Otherwise, how could we live without that most necessary Saturnine boost? How indeed could Jupiter's central raison d 'Ítre - the raison d'Ítre of the person as well as of the other planetary factors - be realized without that most helpful ability of Saturn to make things "real" and tangible? Only a fully "Saturnine" energy can and will accomplish this.


When viewed through the lens of Astro*Carto*Graphy, the Primary Location often points the way to 'fated' encounters yielding larger social, cultural or historical dimensions. Once activated, it is experienced as a singular guiding principle within the life of the native. The Primary Transcendental Planet reveals a new awareness of life-potentials and desires.

The Transcendental planetary energy could be considered as a function linking unconscious psychic dispositions and potentials with a conscious awareness and means of fulfilling them -- a function that enables us to transcend the limiting parameters of ordinary ego-consciousness by linking the ego-function with a higher source of cosmic energy. In gaining access to our Transcendental force we come into the full focus of our selves.

The wonderful discovery of how the LAP functions within the Astrocartographic chart poses as many magnificent questions as it answers. For one thing, Astro*Carto*Graphy shows us that many people are born quite close to their LAP (birth under a "Primary Location"); or, that they relocate to an area where the lines of the LAP are directly overhead (a "Primary Relocation"). This means that the LAP really incarnates in a very powerful way when it is touching upon the "Lords of the Four Quarters" -- the angles - within the horoscope. This confirms again that Michel Gauquelin was onto something of great importance.


Jung was one of the first to view the unconscious in a positivistic sense: as not merely a junk heap or something to be feared, but rather, as a realm of riches and of value. When I first explored the phenomenon of the LAP, Jung's view of psyche, as well his especial view of numinous consciousness itself - that realm that is formed between consciousness and the unconscious psyche and which is neither dark nor light but instead a fecund union and synthesis of the two - naturally played a crucial part in pointing me in the right direction.

Astrology and Astro*Carto*Graphy provide us with an invaluable system within which we can further explore such acausal reflections of psyche and destiny: a system based upon what might perhaps be termed "metaphoric probability," something which Jung has shown us is valid not in spite of, but because of, the reality of imagination and the psychic visualization that it employs.


More of Rob Couteau's articles:

Rob Couteau's web site contains a vast library of articles that include Astro*Carto*Graphy considerations about a wide variety of notables and countries. If you are intrigued by the sample about, you will find much more on his site, including the following:

New Insights into the Spirit of Place

American Presidents and Transcendental Planets Complete aspect-analysis & data for all U.S. presidents

Transcendental Nations--The Role of Underaspected Planets in the Birth of Nations

Transcendental Events--The Role of Underaspected Planets in Historic Events







CREDITS: The background tile came from ABC Giant. The glyphs are from a set by Ancitita at Visual Exquisites. The beveled globe comes from a free geographic clipart collection at Graphmaps. The green earth was done by Cadillac Graphics. The smiling stars are from Susan's Free Animations.