Element and Quality Analysis
One way to pick up themes in a natal chart is through an analysis of the relative importance (weight) of the various elements and qualities. Included here is an “ELEMENT AND QUALITY ANALYSIS” breakdown which was developed in l974 at a mini-conference following an A.F.A. convention. This is NOT intended as any kind of a definitive statement; much more work needs to be done in this area concerning how much to weigh various parts of the chart. The most serious defect of this particular system is that it almost completely ignores aspects and whether the planets are prominent through virtue of placement on an angle, etc.
I am presenting this only as something to play with, or particularly as a place to START for the beginning astrologer or the researcher in weighting systems. Please do not take it as any kind of a final word. But do take the point that houses must be considered as well as signs!
Since this was designed in l974, the East Point Axis was not included then. One could add that if desired. I am inclined to use the Antivertex, rather than the Vertex, as it is a more personal point. However, for purposes of demonstration, I will use the form as is with the demonstration chart which is discussed in the article on Delineation Basics.
To use the ELEMENT AND QUALITY ANALYSIS, one must first fill in the upper left rectangle labeled: Personal Placements. We assign (arbitrarily) two points to the planets and one to each asteroid. Within the table, under ELEMENT, there are blanks titled House and Sign. Similarly, under QUALITY, the House and Sign columns are blank. So, look at our example chart. The Sun is in Aries in the Tenth House of the chart. We go across the row which has the Sun symbol in it. Under the ELEMENT area, the Planet column already has FIRE printed in—because the Sun is a fire planet. We fill in E for Earth under the House (the Tenth House is an Earth House.) and F for Fire in the Sign column. (Aries in a fire sign.) We continue across that row to the Quality section. Printed in is “Fixed,” as the Sun is a fixed “planet.” In the House column, we add C for cardinal; the Tenth House in a cardinal house. In the Sign column, we put another C for cardinal; Aries is also a cardinal sign. Similarly, we fill in the Moon row. It is a Fire House, a Fire Sign. And it is in a fixed house and a mutable sign. We continue the process until the entire PERSONAL PLACEMENTS rectangle has been filled.
Now move to the rectangle below, entitled “QUALITY ANALYSIS.” This is where we count up totals. I use simple ticks in groups of five. ( ) You can do what is simplest for you. Starting at the top, with the Planet/House row, I begin with the Sun. It is a fixed planet in a cardinal house, so I put two ticks (2 points per planet) under the column which has F/C at the top. Similarly, I put two slashes under C/F for the Moon. When working with asteroids, I only add one tick at a time. After I complete all the planets (and asteroids, etc.) for the Planet/House row, I go on to the Planet/Sign row, then the House/Sign row. Last, I consider the little rectangle at the upper right of this analysis, entitled “ADDITIONAL VALUE POINTS.” Those are self-explanatory; I just follow directions for those which apply. There is no co-ruler for the Cancer Ascendant, so I ignore the fourth addition. Saturn is the only planet in its own sign, so that is all I use for the fifth addition, etc. I have written in, on the left, those planets or asteroids which must be taken into consideration for this ADDITIONAL VALUE POINTS area. And I put the tick marks for those additions at the top of the QUALITY ANALYSIS to avoid confusion.
When all this is done, simply add up the tick marks in each column for the TOTALS row. The next step is to get the two small rectangles to the right: QUALITY COMBINATIONS TOTALS and QUALITY TOTALS. QUALITY COMBINATIONS TOTALS are just what one would think—the totals for different combinations, e.g. Fixed/Mutable; Fixed/Cardinal, etc. For purposes of combinations, C/F and F/C are added together to arrive at the total called C/F. C/M and M/C are combined to form the total called C/M and F/M and M/F form the F/M column. We kept them apart originally, in case there were large differences which might be of interest in research. For example, in the Mutable/Fixed mixtures, l2 out of l6 are F/M and only 4 are M/F.
The last step for the qualities is to get the final totals. The major “tricky” point is to remember that C/C; F/F and M/M are all doubled columns and need to be counted twice. So, to find the total of cardinals, we take the C/C column (which is 33) and double it (arriving at 66). We then look for any other columns which contain any C (cardinals) in them. We see 12 under C/F; 8 under C/M; l8 under F/C; and 10 under M/C. 12 + 8 + 18 + 10 + 66 equals ll4. But, our last note under ADDITIONAL VALUES POINTS (top right rectangle) says to add 2 points for the sign of the Ascendant and 2 points for the sign of the Midheaven to the final element and quality totals. Since in this case, the Ascendant is cardinal, we have an additional two points to add in. So, 114 + 2 equals 116. So, we have a grand total of 116 cardinal points.
Obviously, this by itself means little. There is no “average” score in this weighting system. It is all a matter of the balance within the person and the chart. In this case, we see a mutable total of 64 and a fixed total of 50, so we can see that the cardinal total of 116 is VERY high. We can see that this is a very cardinal person. (If we really love to play with numbers, we can say that 116 is slightly over 50% of the total number of points—230. I fear that tends to give people too firm of a conception, however. They get tied to the idea—Oh, this person is 50% cardinal, and forget that this weighting system still does not include planets or aspects. But it can be a good place to start.)
Obviously, the proficient astrologer can do a weighting in her head, without having to go through a lot of counting. That is great. This is offered as a tool for beginners to start with. And possibly, eventually, research will spin off a really complete, detailed weighting system. This may help spark ideas.
The rest of the weighting analysis—the elements follow the same procedure as did the qualities. The figures are presented here for you to check yours against.
The picture we end up with is a person who has a tremendous amount of fire (which tends to combine with water and with earth) while his air also tends to combine with earth. And he has an awful lot of cardinality, much of which is pure cardinal-cardinal mixtures. After that, his fixed combines much more than his mutable with his cardinal.
See the Delineation article for the interpretation of this and other themes.