The general location of planets in the chart has long been an important consideration, but it was only in this century that certain patterns were formally identified and labelled, initially by the American astrologer Marc Edmund Jones. Examination of the chart shape forms a very useful part of any basic reading of the horoscope.
The planets are gathered in two opposing groups. This suggests a person who may be pulled in two completely different directions. There may be an awareness of opposing possibilities and an ability to manipulate these.
Two planetary groups in opposition.
The planets are grouped in tight bunches emphasizing a few houses and signs. This suggests a person who may be highly motivated in several completely different directions.
Like Splash but with a stellium (small group) of planets in one sign or house.
Locomotive All the planets are gathered within 2400. The unoccupied sector of the chart tends to remain unexpressed.
Planets evenly spread around chart, with 2 or 3 consecutive houses empty.
All the planets are contained in one half of the chart except for one ‘singleton’ in the opposite half. This planet is the ‘handle’ of the bucket and assumes extra importance.
All planets in half of chart (120 degrees) but one planet (or conjunction of planets) outside of the 120 degrees.
All the planets are contained within 1200. The individual tends to focus on one part of life’s potential and ignores the rest. This pattern is especially strong if all the planets are on one side of either the Ascendant-Descendant axis or the MC-IC axis.
All planets in one-third of chart (90 degrees).
The planets are evenly dispersed around the zodiac. The individual has a wide range of abilities and experiences but may fail to concentrate sufficiently on any one goal.
Planets evenly distributed in as many signs as possible.
The bowl pattern consists of all 10 planets contained within 6 or 7 adjacent houses creating a ‘bowl’ shape. This is indicative of a self contained personality. The lead planet (clockwise), will have special significance.
The majority of planets above the horizon (the thick horizontal line) can show that the individual’s focus in life is on conscious, external activities. Things like socializing, work and ambition.
Most planets below the horizon emphasis more personal issues such as health, self image, family, property and the sense of belonging.
When the majority of planets are on the left side of the chart then the individual is likely to take direct control of their lives. Whilst most planets on the right side indicate that the individual’s life is greatly influenced by other people.
A ‘Fan’ is like a ‘Bundle’ but one of the planets or a conjunction (within 8 degrees of one another) of planets are outside of the 120 degree area.
This configuration is very similar to the ‘Bucket’, but the ‘handle’ planet(s) holds much more significance. Not only might this person be somewhat obsessed, as in the Bundle, but the energy from the Bundle of planets is directed towards the ‘handle’. This can often indicate someone that has a vocational calling or feel they have a mission in life. Special attention should be given to the placement by house and sign of the ‘handle’ planet(s).
As above but one planet (or conjunction of planets) outside of the 90 degrees.