Eleanor Asks:

“I would be interested in any information you would like to share on Yods. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of information on them. I have a Yod with the apex Saturn in Aries, and the other two planets, Venus in Virgo and Mars in Scorpio...I’m also trying to understand the significance of Saturn in Aries...of course my Saturn return is coming...for whatever reasons, I’m having a really difficult time with this.”

Wendy Asks:

I have what I believe to be a “true Yod” in my natal chart. Neptune is making a sextile to Uranus and both quincunx my Saturn in Aries. I have read in your book, Astrology: A Comprehensive Guide to Classical Interpretation that because Saturn is the fastest moving planet I have the “real deal” going on here! But because there is so little information available about this so-called mystical aspect I’m having a hard time trying to figure out what it all means! Can you help?”

Kevin Answers:

Eleanor and Wendy,

The Yod, or Finger of God configuration consists of three planets; the apex planet is quincunx two other planets, which are in turn sextile each other. Now, technically, Eleanor, what you have in your natal chart doesn’t qualify as a Yod because Saturn is the slowest of the three planets, and with a Yod, the apex planet is supposed to be the fastest moving planet.

But don’t get too excited: you do have a sextile between your Venus and Mars, and every sextile is a Yod waiting to happen by transit. Saturn in Aries, approaching your Saturn return, will form a Yod to your Mars and Venus because the transiting Saturn is faster moving than the two (fixed) natal planets. Wendy does indeed have the “real deal” and we’ll address that shortly.

YodYods, as you may have noticed, are tricky little configurations, and some are trickier than others. To begin to understand what a Yod is about, we first need to look at what the Quincunx aspect means.

Quincunxes occur between planets that are in signs that have nothing in common by either triplicity (element) or quadruplicity (modality), and that also are in different polarities (masculine/feminine). Basically, the planets have no (obvious) common ground and share no (immediately visible) connections. With Quincunxes we often feel the need to try and balance the two energies, to find a point of equilibrium as with an Opposition. However, unlike an opposition, there is no way to balance a Quincunx (usually, that is...I’ll stop qualifying this and start explaining in a minute.) Quincunxes usually require some sort of an adjustment somewhere along the line.

With Yods, you have not one, but two Quincunxes, and usually, this amounts to a crisis in timing. Our first instinct is to take action with the earlier planet too soon, and then we tend to wait too long and miss our chance to use the later planet. (In the illustrated example, the Mars in Virgo would tend to “fire” first, and the Saturn in Scorpio would miss its chance by waiting too long.)

The key to integrating and working with the Yods, is to focus on the opposition point to the apex, which is also the midpoint of the Sextile. This is the release point of the Yod. With Natal Yods, when a planet activates the Yod by transit, the time to act is when that planet reaches the midpoint of the sextile, not before, and not after.

Now, as far as Wendy’s Yod goes, yes, it is real; however, it is also a generational aspect. Just about everyone born within a few months of Wendy will have this Yod in their chart; the Uranus/Neptune sextile was in effect from 1965 through 1968, and the Yod occurred in every single chart from April through September of 1968. As this configuration does not involve any personal planets, it has more to do with your experience of and relationship to social change. The Uranus/Neptune sextile represents a time when innovation and change (Uranus) and imagination (Neptune) supported each other; the social changes in the 1960’s are closely connected to this energy. With the Saturn in Aries making a Yod to this sextile, you have the established authority (Saturn) making a mess of things because of an inability to find an acceptable point of balance. The most that this Yod could do on an individual level is to force you to make adjustments and become more aware of how you interact with and exert authority.

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  • Dover, UK

    Dear Kevin,

    I have (I think) a true yod: Its apex is my natal Capricorn moon (at 18 degrees 14 Capricorn). My native Saturn in Gemini (20 degrees 24) is sextile my retrograde natal Jupiter in Leo (17 degrees 59).

    Transiting Jupiter is now very close to my natal Jupiter, and Pluto has gone retrograde after coming almost conjunct my natal moon.

    Please will you comment. (I have read your analyses of Elaeanor's and Wendy's yods, but I am far too uniformed to be able to infer anything from them about my own.

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