Challenge Corner Answer
Twins offer astrologers an invaluable opportunity to test theories. It has been on twins and other multiple births that I have tested dwads, planetary nodes, Arabic Parts, midpoints, and other forms of our 12-letter alphabet. Four minutes difference in birth times only moves the Moon a couple of minutes so the primary changes involve the angles which move about a degree. But aspects to the angles can move in or out of the crucial one-degree-orb in that short a time.
Twin One is the musician, involved in spiritual studies, married and with three daughters. Twin Two is the reformed alcoholic who is now a counselor but more of a loner.
Dwads (the abbreviation of the Hindu name “dwadasamsa”) are divisions of each sign into 2 1/2 degree segments with each dwad carrying the meaning of successive signs of the zodiac. One system starts each sign with the Aries dwad but I think the more accurate system starts each sign with the dwad of the sign involved. Thus, from 0 to 2 1/2 degrees of Gemini would be the Gemini dwad. 2 1/2 to 5 degrees of Gemini would be the Cancer dwad, etc. The dwads of three of the primary angles changed in the four-minute interval between these two births. The Antivertex did not change dwads. It is in the Aries dwad for both. The MC is in the Virgo dwad for the first born and the Libra dwad for the second. That could point in the wrong direction if we failed to realize that Libra can be associated with competition and counseling as well as with marriage. Virgo is less competitive, more apt to withdraw and read. The East Point shifted from the Libra dwad to the Scorpio dwad. Both are associated with partnership and counseling but Scorpio brings in the issue of appetite control and more intense power struggles. The Ascendant changed from the Pisces dwad to the Aries dwad and is probably our best clue to choosing between the twins. Pisces could escape into alcoholism but it is clearly more associated with music, a spiritual search, and a less competitive life. The Aries dwad rising fits a highly competitive life with more potential to be a bully and a loner.
Both twins have the Sun square the Ascendant within one degree so all the Arabic Parts which use the standard formula of Ascendant plus planet minus Sun will have the Arabic Part of the planet square the respective planet used in the formula. That is, the Arabic Part of Mars will be square Mars, the Arabic Part of Saturn will be square Saturn, etc. These Arabic Parts are therefore less useful in differentiating between the twins though we could look for aspects they form to other planets in the two charts where only one is within the one-degree orb. The Part of Fortune which is more familiar to most astrologers did shift from forming a sextile to Jupiter for Twin One to forming a square to Pluto for Twin Two. The symbolism here is highly appropriate, changing from spiritual harmony to tension involving Pluto in the seventh house which could imply problems in marriage and/or in control of appetites and/or in the sharing of power.
The planetary nodes were very helpful in this case. Twin Two had the north node of Pallas trine his Ascendant. This could be interpreted as encouraging partnership or counseling. He also had the north node of Mercury semisextile and the south node of Chiron quincunx his MC while they were more than one degree from the MC of Twin One. MC aspects involving mental planets (treating Chiron as similar to Jupiter) connect the mind to the career. The quincunx to Chiron is especially significant of a major change of career direction during the life which is related to changes in beliefs, goals and values.
Unfortunately, we do not have the date of the car accident for Twin Two but I progressed both charts for Twin One’s accident and the angles clearly point to the right choice between the two individuals. The P Sun for Twin One had reached a one-degree-orb conjunction with his natal MC while P MC was still in orb of a conjunction with P Mars. The Sun and Mars are major keys to the life force while the MC is equivalent to Saturn, bringing feedback on how we are doing in handling the rules of the game. Twin 1’s accident could have been fatal. Twin Two’s P MC on that date was past his P Mars and his P Sun had not yet reached his natal MC. I suspect that his accident occurred the next year, in 1986, when his P Sun was conjunct his natal MC. Both twins changed their life styles following the accidents, as would be expected when P Sun entered the tenth house. Both twins had P Ascendant opposite Uranus at the time of Twin One’s accident. For Twin Two, the aspect was to P Uranus. By the latter part of 1986, Twin Two’s P Ascendant would have reached the opposition to Pluto as he began to deal with his substance abuse. Both twins had P Mercury square the Antivertex at the 1985 accident, and both had the P Moon octile Neptune and Saturn, on their midpoint. The factors most commonly involved in accidents include Moon, Mercury, Mars, and Uranus. If drugs or sleepiness are involved, Neptune will also be aspected, and Ascendant and/or P Ascendant will be aspected if the individual’s capacity to act freely is impaired.
Many more factors and aspects could be mentioned. Readers who have time to work with the charts can explore their own favorite techniques.