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ABC's of Basic Delineation — The 'See-Saw' Chart Pattern Date Published: 5/01/2001 by Marion March
Bio: Marion March

Marion March is a noted teacher, lecturer and writer on astrology, as well as a valued astrological counselor in her own right, and the mentor of many younger astrologers. With Joan McEvers, she is the author of a series of comprehensive instructional books: The Only Way to Learn Astrology in five volumes, which has gone through many editions, and has been translated (and published) in several languages besides English including German, Spanish and Portuguese.

The “See Saw”

This, the most common of all chart patterns, is called "Hourglass" by Robert Jansky and "See-Saw" by Marc Edmund Jones. The reason for either name is easy to understand when you look at the design. According to Jones, if it lookes like a See-Saw, it works like one. Jansky is a bit more demanding, requiring that at least a square of open space on one side and more than a sextile of open space on the other side.

The See Saw Chart

No matter what you call the pattern, you will find two groups of planets opposing each other, as for example two houses with planets opposing three houses with planets; or three houses with planets opposing a similar three houses.

Michael Caine
March 14, 1933, 10:10 a.m. GMT
Rotherhithe, England (51N30, 0W10)
Rodden Rating: B (Biography/Autobiography)


Betty Friedan
February 4, 1921 4:00 a.m. CST
Peoria, IL (40N42, 89W36)
Rodden Rating: AA (Birth certificate, Birth document)

The See Saw Chart

As the word "See-Saw" indicates, with this pattern life can become a balancing act, and you should weigh what is important and what is not, else you may feel that you are sitting on a teeter-totter, always being pulled first in one direction – then in the other. Jansky prefers the word "Hourglass," since he feels the action is a slow shift of emphasis, flowing back and forth in a uniform way like sand in an hourglass, rather than the sudden oscillation of a See-Saw. I have observed both reactions - the quick change as well as the slow shifting of values, ideas or ideals. In my experience, this depends more on interplanetary aspects (especially the ones to Saturn) than on an overall chart pattern.

In the brilliant actor Michael Caine's horoscope, for example, the 4th/10th and 5th/11th house oppositions could indicate the very poor family he was born into, and the very rich circumstances (with a Rolls Royce and chauffeur, a fancy house in London as well as an exclusive Malibu, California hilltop home) he now lives in. It can also be one indicator of the bouts of optimism versus pessimism he is said to suffer from.

The actual opposition or oppositions in the chart can indicate which opposing forces are involved. In Caine's case it is the Sun opposite Jupiter, Venus opposite Jupiter as well as Neptune, and Moon opposite Uranus.

Oppositions always describe the need to react to or against another person. The wish to cooperate with another is pitted against the resentment of needing another. Eventually you become aware (the positive keyword for an opposition) that cooperating does not deplete you, but actually fulfills you by balancing the polarities; as you recognize the lack within, you will gladly reach out to the other and understand how to reconcile the opposing forces or balance the imbalance.

The See-Saw pattern does best in a chart that can withstand ups and downs and not despair when changes are required. You will have a harder time adjusting with a fixed T-square or grand cross than with a predominance of mutable planets which enjoy involvement with others and thrive on versatility; even the cardinal quality which loves constant action is easier than the fixed mode.

Neither Caine nor Freidan suffers from an overload of fixed planets and [they] have learned how to handle the See-Saw quite well. Both found their true calling rather late in life, and went through a major change. Caine was still broke at 29 and had his first real success with [the movie] "Alfie" in 1964 (age 31). Friedan, a psychology major, married in 1947 and after ten years of being "just a housewife and mother," undertook an extensive study of supposed discontent among her peers, which launched her into the revolutionary women's movement and, in 1963, her successful book "The Feminine Mystique." (She was over 40 by then.)

If you use the See-Saw pattern positively, you are capable of unique achievements; used negatively, you will waste a lot of time and energy.


[This article first appeared in the Summer 1985 issues of Aspects Astrological Magazine]


© Copyright: Marion March





Other articles by Marion March

March, MarionABC Basic Delineation #1

March, MarionABC Basic Delineation #2 – The Overview

March, MarionABC Basic Delineation #3

March, MarionABC Basic Delineation #4 – Britain Hails a Future King

March, MarionABC Basic Delineation #5

March, MarionABC Basic Delineation #6 – Correct Birth Data

March, MarionABC Basic Delineation #7

March, MarionABC Basic Delineation #8 – Basic Chart Patterns

March, MarionABC Basic Delineation #9 – Basic Chart Patterns

March, MarionA Different Approach to Vocational Aptitudes

March, MarionHey Baby! Interpreting the Chart for Small Children

March, MarionThe Many Faces of Pluto

March, MarionSaturn - Teacher, Taskmaster & Friend



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