Saturday, September 29, 2012

Blame it on Yod

Not exactly a traffic jam, the yod configuration in a natal or transiting chart still causes chaos and confusion.  After reading The Yod Book by Karen Hamaker-Zondag, an astrologer from the Netherlands, I know I felt perplexed.  How, I wondered am I going to find these little devils in client's charts.  However, with practice, perhaps spotting yods, also known as "the hand of God" in a chart will feel like a cake walk.

According to Hamaker-Zondag, you can look for signs in your client's life such as feelings of restlessness, feeling pulled in three directions, or getting tossed into an event that is out of the client's control and just something he or she must endure until an endpoint with a transiting yod or until middle age, when the client learns how to handle the three-way energies of the yod.  Some times more than three planets involve themselves with the yod and it's no longer a menage a trois affair.  For instance, (and I'm getting ahead of myself), yods involve planetary conjunctions so you could theoretically have 6 planets involved in a yod.

So what the heck is a yod? A yod involves two or more planets in a sextile, with another planet inconjuncting the sextile.  The example Hamaker-Zondag gives in her book involves a sextile between a planet in Sagittarius and a planet in Aquarius with an inconjunct to a planet in Cancer.  A yod must have the sextile and conjunction with an orb of 3.5 or less degrees and the signs of the planets fall into three different modes (mutable, fixed, cardinal) as well as, three different elements (water, earth, air, fire).

So in the example the author gave, we have a planet in an fixed air sign, another planet in a mutable fire sign, and the third planet in a cardinal water sign.  Now the problem someone faces with these energies is that the elements and modes operate differently.  For instance, cardinal signs want to start something now.  They are pushy.  Mutable signs don't start something, but keep what has ever started moving along. They feel restless and bored. The fixed sign is the least flexible and I like to think of the fixed signs as bringing closure and creating permanence.  They tend to act stubbornly in a chart as well as in a person.

The element of air wants to think, the water wants to feel and the fire wants to intuit.  Imagine having three people representing those qualities trying to solve a problem together, and none of them wants to sense what the others sense.  We also must consider the houses that the yod planets fall in and the rulers of those houses.  So you see, it gets complicated, not just for the person with the yod, but also the astrologer.  It's next to impossible to give any kind of advice because yods don't bring clear thinking, but more or less a cognitive traffic jam.  Imagine if you saw a fork in the road ahead of you and each of the forks had a dead end sign posted on it.  That's how I describe a yod.

So why am I bringing up yods? For several reasons, but most important, everyone on the planet will experience a transiting yod this December involving the slower moving planets and fiery Mars.  This yod involves Saturn in Scorpio at 8 degrees, Mars conjunct Pluto in Capricorn at 8 degrees with an inconjunct to Jupiter in Gemini at 8 degrees.  The yod will be exact on the Solstice or December 21 and continue through the holidays.  Since my moon calendar stops on December 31, I don't know when the yod will end.  Especially since the outer planets enjoy going backwards and forwards over sensitive points in charts.  Anyone with planets in Capricorn in early degrees have felt this with Pluto crawling back and forth across their sensitive points. (Note that people with natal yods handle transiting yods better than those of us who don't have natal yods).

The other interesting thing about this December yod is that Pluto is in Capricorn and Scorpio, the ruler of Pluto is in Capricorn's planet, Saturn.  What are they switching houses to see how the other lives? Feels like a cosmic joke, but let's end 2012 with huge drama and hopefully we don't take the world with it.  I cannot overestimate the powers in this yod.  I recommend finding the houses with Scorpio, Gemini, and Capricorn on the cusp. This will give you an idea of what areas of your life this yod will highlight.  Oh, and I bet you, it will pack some punch in those areas of your chart.  Steel yourself, my dears.

The other reason I'm bringing up yods this week (not just to frighten you), but to inform you that when you understand the yod, you can also see grace in action.  For instance, Hamaker-Zondag pulls out charts of controversial figures such as Monica Lewinsky, Linda Tripp and Kenneth Starr in regard to the debacle with President Clinton and oral sex, not to mention illegal taping of a conversation between Lewinsky and Tripp.  But before you sit yourself in the judge's chambers, view the yods and unaspected planets in the charts of the people mentioned.  You see those yods and suddenly you see that when people aren't spiritually-evolved and the hand of God pushes them into the ring (circus ring or boxing ring), they will react from their lower instincts. You see grace in action and you forgive these folks.  This could happen to any with a natal yod or even experiencing a transiting yod that aspects planets in natal charts.

Growing up with a yod brings confusion and restlessness to a person.  They don't quite know who they are or what their purpose is in the world.  They have seething anger in some cases, frustration I would guess in most cases, and more psychological issues you could shake a finger at.  They feel like they're lacking and inadequate in some ways, especially when they also have unaspected planets, then they feel disconnected too.  So if we expand our consciousness beyond the people mentioned, think of all the other people you have met in your life who you can't forgive.  Now, imagine that they have yods in their charts.  Each of these people brings a turning point to the people they touch and in some cases, an entire nation or the planet, depending the power players involved with events in which they find themselves entangled.  Imagine if for you all roads led to nowhere.  Now, wouldn't you feel uneasy and frustrated?

I understand that we all need to take responsibility for our actions, but try taking responsibility for actions coming from an empty place or from a person who doesn't know them self.  Yods are something people live with and if they work on themselves, if they can find themselves, they can extract beauty from that yod.  The author gives graceful examples of people who developed many talents and skills because of their yod and the desire to keep seeking.  Then when these people reach middle age, they combine all those skills they acquired during their restless searching days and create something of real value, whether that's a new way of living on the planet or a work of art.

Symptoms of a Yod:

Do you feel restless, always seeking, moving in several directions, taking classes, or changing jobs like changing clothing, but not knowing which direction you wish to pursue? Do you feel at odds with your family, with humanity, in a way you can't articulate?  Do you have a yod in your natal chart? Do your family members have yods in their natal charts? What about your partner?  By the way, yods run in families and lineages.  Often when an ancestor fails to live out their mission or theme, this theme gets passed down to their children, or most likely, their grandchildren who just feel like the black sheep in a family.

I recommend reading The Yod Book.


  1. Awesome work! That is quite appreciated. I hope you’ll get more success.
    astrology and horoscope

  2. Thank you for your comment. More success is welcomed, of course.

  3. Such a interesting work!! I'm new in all about natal charts and signs... I was wondering, this natal chart has more than 1 yod?
    Sorry for my english. Greetings from Argentina!

  4. Hola Gabriela, I don't give free chart readings due to time constraints. However, I can answer one question as a gift when you make a $20 donation to Whole Astrology via PayPal.

    Or here's what you look for to find a yod in your chart:

    You need two planets in a sextile and both planets form an inconjunct with another planet or a cluster of planets. The orb should be no more than 3 degrees for the inconjuncts. The three planets must be in different elements (fire, earth, water, air) different qualities (mutable, cardinal and fixed) and in different signs though you could have conjunctions at any of the angles.

    Here is an example:

    Neptune in Scorpio at 10 degrees in a sextile with Pluto in Virgo at 12 degrees and Mars in Aries at 13 degrees.

    You have Neptune in a water sign with a fixed element, Pluto in an earth sign with a mutable element and Mars in a fire sign of a cardinal element and all the legs of the configuration are within a 3 degree orb.

    Double yods are rare, but they do occur.

    I hope this answers your question.

  5. "Growing up with a yod brings confusion and restlessness to a person. They don't quite know who they are or what their purpose is in the world. They have seething anger in some cases, frustration I would guess in most cases, and more psychological issues you could shake a finger at. They feel like they're lacking and inadequate in some ways.."

    Yup, that is me!

    This is my chart (just for showing off, no need for a reading....)

    I am at the end of my Saturn Return in the 1st House and I can dare to say now that I know a little bit about who I am and what my purpose(s) is (are). Before my Saturn hit my Ascendant I was the most ambiguous being on the planet. I started to study my chart a couple of years ago and I understand now why I have been the way I've been... and that in order to obtain the best out of my mismatching mixture of energies I need to learn to be comfortable feeling uncomfortable. Focus is the key.

    I guess I could say that my Yod (which is actually a Yod Kite) makes me feel like I am many people put in one body... or more like on mind... I don't feel like my body and my mind match. I don't feel like I am my body, you know?

  6. Interesting. Which Saturn Return did you complete, the first or the second?

    I highly recommend Hamaker-Zondag's "The Yod Book".

    Sorry I don't look at charts people send to me in the comment section.

  7. Thanks for the book recommendation. I will definitely read it at some point.

    It was my first Saturn Return... I have heard it's the hardest and I surely hope so! It brought me down... really deep. I think the reason was that I have little to none Saturn or Capricorn influence in my chart.... or earth actually. I am mostly air and I've heard that we don't handle Saturn transits that well. I have learned a lot though. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right?

    I really like your blog so I congratulate you on that. I would really like to hear your thoughts about the Uranus/Pluto dance that's been going on and how it affects strong Uranian people or Uranus opposite Chiron people. I have that in my chart and I have noticed that when Pluto and Uranus come closer to a square in the sky (and specially if there's other planets that make that combo into a Grand Cross) I get very electrical. Like I feel a lot of electricity in me all around my body and specially in my hands... to the point were even light bulbs blow up quite often in my presence.

  8. Well, some people sail through a Saturn Return, but most of us received a series of wake up calls. My 1st Saturn Return was excruciating and I had no idea when the suffering would end. And I have Saturn as the ruler of my chart with a Cap AC, my Sun in Cancer and Moon in Pisces. But my Saturn Return took place in the midst of a Mutable T-Cross opposing Natal Pluto/Uranus, squaring Mars and conjunct Moon. Obviously, I survived.

    I think with your dominant Air in your chart, you can detach from your emotions and put some logical thought behind the process. Though you're correct in that Saturn is heavy for Air Signs, like a weight pressing down on butterfly wings that keeps you grounded when you would rather soar.

    That's a good idea about Uranus opposite Chiron transit for a post. I'll look into that since I'm not all that knowledgeable about Chiron it will take some research.

    Uranus rules electricity and the nervous system. With Uranus currently squaring my Sun and AC, I'm feeling more nerve problems than usual and sometimes I have trouble writing or typing. I do hope this is temporary.

  9. Hi,

    I thought let me show off as well :-)

    I have a very intense Yod on the Cusps!! It consists of my Sun at cusp 29 degree in Taurus in sextile with my Mars at cusp 29 degree in Pisces (so it runs almost in hometown Aries) and the Apex is Uranus at 29 degree Libra. The opposite planet is Chiron at 26 degree Aries.

    Having this Yod on the cusps is intense!!!! All that energy from all the 4 elements channeled towards 2 elements in the Apex and mirrored back to a 3th element fire at the reaction point is immense. It is like a roller coaster when it ain´t focused. My earth/air Sun combined with the water/fire Mars channeling to a air/water Uranus mirroring back into a fiery Chiron in Aries you can imagine the furious energy i can produce.

    I have read the Yod Book 8 years ago and had a intense relationship with somone who also had a Yod which again formed a Yod with my Chart.

    It all makes sense!! At the age of 15 i decided not to have children grown up in such a mad world! On a deeper level it might have been that i did not want to have my children deal with the same way i have grown up and see the world. Somewhere i wanted to end this f... cycle!!! It hopefully ends with me in my grave. Not that i am suicidal at the moment. I am to much scared about leaving people behind and what my parents and family and friends might think about it... They probably would say something like we always knew that this day would come!!! I don't want that day to come so allthough it feels like it is unbearable it try to bear it all. Somewhere it seems that the ones who have a Yod can handle much more stress then anybody else.

    Anyway my live is like a roler coaster it goes up and down and into a corkscrew. Sometimes it is nice but most of the time it just sucks!!

    I am glad to read that I am not alone in this world who deals with this intense energy.

    I wonder do you also have a tight grid pattern on the ball of your hand??? it indicates a neurotic character..



    1. Perhaps you need to change your perception of the world from this toxic negative fearful place to one instilled with Divine Love.

      As someone with a Mutable T-Cross involving all the heavy planets, I changed my perception years ago and the world feels more welcoming to me now. When you change your attitude, you change your frequency and the higher frequencies attract pleasant and joyful experiences.

      Yods are not punishments, but gifts given to the people with the yods. They often appear in the charts of geniuses and innovators. The message of the yod is synthesis and yes, yods are most challenging to work with and they can feel like a curse, but they're not.

      I have read that a person comes into the power of their yod at around age 50 or midlife.

  10. Ok this is amazing!!!

    Hitler also was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder!! but also had a Yod in his chart.. That explains the Furious character next to fact he was Aries/Taurus

    With the amount and diversity of drugs he used it just had to go wrong!!

    It makes you wonder why Hitler had the Yod in the first place?? and whether his Yod energy got out of control!! or that it indeed was a play of Gods!!! Like it was intended!! Like Hitler was a tool for change!!

    1. I have not seen Hitler's chart so I cannot comment on it. However, Yods don't speed things up, just the opposite. Though perhaps in Hitler's case his Yod brought him frustration to the point where he took it out on others. Perhaps, he wrongly felt victimized by the Yod, as some people would.

      I haven't read about any correlations between yods and mental illness. I would need to look at the research on that topic. I guess it would also pertain to the planets involved with the Yod, such as having Uranus, Pluto, Moon and Mars tied into it. I don't really know at this point.

  11. hi , i have six yods, one a top of the other, jupiter,neptune(sagittarius) and mercury(capricorn)in the 7 th house are conjucted, in sextile with conjucted mars,pluto in scorpio, 5th house, and all of them are quincunxed by moon (gemini) in the 12 th house, can anyone share any information about this

  12. I recommend consulting with an astrologer since this seems like a rare natal chart event. The Yod expert is Karen Hamaker-Zondag. You might try contacting this astrologer and who knows, she might want to see your chart for research.

    I'm not qualified to respond intelligently to your question since I've only dealt with single and double yods; I'm new at that.