Yod in, yod out

In my last post about yods, I mentioned the yod’s effect as being hard to quantify as the energies of the planets are channelled through incompatible elements and modalities. People with yods in their charts tend to find it challenging to integrate these conflicting energies, if, in the first place, they are aware of it. One of the characteristics of natives with yods is that they may not identify with any of the placement of the yod planets at all… Joan Kellog writes in her book, The Yod: Its Esoteric Meaning, that the yod is a karmic configuration, and that in the realm of esoteric astrology, such configurations may remain hidden to the natives until such a time the soul is ready to deal with its energies.


I have no opinion on esoteric astrology at present, am just learning after all. But if you find the esoteric argument too convenient, it is also quite possible to see it from a different point of view — rather than see the yod’s karmic nature as causing it to be hidden to the native, it is quite possible to see its elusiveness as producing a sense that a karmic event/situation must be dealt with. Either way, self-recognition, -awareness, and -forgiveness are involved. Indeed, Robert C. Jansky’s observation is quoted here:

One of the more interesting observations that have come out of Quincunx and Yod research is that very often their significance in the chart does not become apparent until the subject is approaching 40 years of age … At about this age the affairs of life that are associated with the house location of the Apex Planet seem to take on an inordinately important focus of attention for the individual.

Temporary yods

Yod natives, like others who have to deal with ‘difficult’ conjunctions, squares or oppositions in their charts, learn, however imperfectly, to live with the stresses in their chart. For those less accustomed to yod effects, Karen Hamaker-Zondag in The Yod Book argues that this does not mean they are spared from yod energies, due to the phenomenon of the temporary yod. A temporary yod is made when a sextile aspect or a quincunx is transformed into a yod configuration by the presence of a transiting planet.

In that sense every sextile and quincunx in a chart is a potential yod. So considering the Moon makes its way through each sign roughly every two and a half days, the chances of anyone with sextiles or quincunxes in their charts getting a temporary yod even for a few hours is not unlikely. Chirotic notes in the comment stream to my earlier post that it is possible to get a yod by secondary progression as well. With slower moving planets, however, temporary yods can last a period of years, so their effects may not seem very temporary at all!

Generationally, Neptune and Pluto have been in sextile for most of the twentieth century, so most of us would at least have that sextile in our charts. As Hamaker-Zondag notes: ‘it won’t be long before half the zodiac has had to cope with a yod over the years because of this Pluto- Neptune sextile’ (127). Indeed, ‘this means that every person will go through a yod period several times in life — with the progressed Moon and the transit of Saturn, at any rate’ (127).

What is the effect of a temporary yod? This is what Hamaker-Zondag writes:

In practice, a temporary yod often turns out to have the same turbulence and dynamic as a natal yod — you can end up in the most complicated or unpleasant situations. However, if you have no yod in your natal chart, a temporary yod is still different. Since there is no question of a collective Family Shadow and the entire family theme doesn’t come into play in the same way…’ (127)

I.e. the whole ‘karmic’ dimension. Yod-less natives experiencing temporary yods are supposed, in this analysis, to have to address mainly the immediate issues at hand, while those with natal yods are said to have to deal with issues that go back further. Once the temporary yod passes, the turbulence often disappears and the effect may be one of waking up from a bad dream (128).

Coping mechanisms may also differ for those with natal yods and those without.

If there is no yod in the natal chart, it really is harder to deal with the themes of a yod, because the inexplicable feelings, the ambiguity, the feeling of having our back to the wall, and such, are new and so we have not been able to develop tools for these things. People who have a yod imperceptibly learn to live with these energies and dynamics through familiarization and another kind of attitude toward life, so that a new temporary yod may be tricky, but will not be such a great shock or produce so much confusion. (128)

I guess, put differently, for those with natal yods, experiencing another is simply a case of ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ (!). Not so very different from those with, say, Sun-Saturn conjunctions having to deal with Saturn returns, perhaps. And this is over-generalising, but it may be worth looking to see of there are any temporary yods, if you (or anyone you know) are feeling or acting out of character, especially if there is a lot of unexpected inner turbulence involved… And hey, it need not be all bad you know. See what Jansky says here:

The temporary Yod [between natal and transiting planets] will often be found in the horoscope of the individual who wins first prize … or in the chart of the gambler who really “hits it big” for the first time in his life. Wherever Destiny or Fate seems to take a hand in the life of the individual, look for the formation of a temporary Yod in the horoscope, or where a natal Yod already exists, look for an important transit to the Apex Planet.

Let it not be said, however, that winning the lottery doesn’t also bring on its own stresses and turbulences.

Update, 28 July 2008: Just came across this very interesting article about the quincunxes this summer. Not sure if a temporary yod works in the same way with two transiting planets and one natal one, but might be interesting to keep an eye out, anyway.

Images: Swing seat, and (UK) National Lottery sign. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

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