The use of draconic astrology seems to go back to Babylonian times, but over the centuries it fell somewhat into disuse. Now, however, it is experiencing something of a resurgence. It has been speculated that the life readings given by the seer Edgar Cayce were based on the draconic charts of the people concerned.
Draconic astrology uses a zodiac which takes the Moon's north node as 0° Aries, that is, it is set up from the point where the Moon crosses the ecliptic from south to north.
Another way of stating this is that the draconic first point of Aries is the tropical north node. Using the true node for this purpose seems to work best, but some astrologers advocate the mean node. Most astrological computer programmes have the ability to generate draconic charts.
The basic meaning of the draconic planets, signs and houses is the same as in the tropical level though their interpretation is simplified, as this is a chart that seems to operate at a soul level.
It can be helpful to keep it in mind that at this plane of being the signs do not represent psychological characteristics or personality traits, but they correspond to deeply held values and belief patterns inherent in the soul. They are the inner maxims and higher ethics that give the individual purpose, meaning and clarity of conviction.
Being concerned with inner impulses, draconic placements indicate soul qualities and purpose and suggest the ideal the soul is striving to attain, as well as potential areas of growth and fulfilment for the present incarnation.
The draconic chart is generated from the position of the north node, an indicator of the way forward. As this point becomes the Aries point—a point of taking action—it suggests that in order to live this chart to its greatest potential, the highest qualities of the signs need to be deliberately cultivated.
Often it is these higher principles that are expressed, or at least aspired to. However, the less helpful qualities sometimes tend to come through until the soul gains wisdom and knowledge and develops spiritual maturity. The challenge for each individual is to live up to the ideals held dear at a soul level.
Keeping the above in mind, the following descriptions connected to the draconic signs are by no means a definitive list, but are meant to spark your imagination.
It might be helpful to expand on them and then note down some of your own ideas. The principles outlined relate to each planet and angle though they can best be applied to the draconic Sun, Moon and ascendant. Also keep it in mind that when, for example, Mercury is being studied, they concern the thinking and mental processes, and so on.
With regard to the signs:
Draconic Aries exemplifies valour, self-reliance, passion, strength of purpose, ground-breaking ideas, zest for life, motivation, a need for autonomy, a desire to do, forthrightness, originality, leadership qualities, but it can also be turbulent, uncontrolled, impetuous, self-seeking or display a 'me-first’ attitude.
Draconic Taurus exemplifies steadiness, a desire for security, self-assurance, pleasure in all that has splendour and beauty, consistency, commitment, affability, determination, a down-to-earth approach, but it can also be acquisitive, self-indulgent, possessive, inflexible or controlling.
Draconic Gemini exemplifies interaction, exchange of ideas, flexibility, dexterity, liveliness, connecting, discovery, edification, discussion, inspiration of the mind, diversity, movement physical and mental, but it can also be restless, changeable, small-minded or insincere. Etc.
The draconic chart can be studied as a chart in its own right, and this will give valuable information as to the guiding principles of the soul and its intention for the incarnation. The house placements and aspects do not change; however, the degrees and signs do, sometimes considerably so.
At this level there are different house rulerships as well as differing planetary strengths to consider through (for example) alterations of dignity, exaltation, detriment and fall. It is also very illuminating to study the balance of elements and qualities at this level as this can reveal important basic points concerning the underlying soul motivation and direction.
The draconic chart is sensitive to transits and can be progressed. Major transits and progressions can herald important or even life-changing events and encounters.
They can also be perceived as spiritual promptings and as such bring deep inner drives to conscious awareness. This can be a spur to action or encourage the individual towards self-understanding. Studying the draconic solar return chart can also add depth and clarity to the time span in question.
In order more fully to understand the deeper implications and lessons of the draconic chart, it should be mapped back to the tropical chart so that the resonances across the two dimensions can be seen and studied.
One of the easiest ways is to set up a bi-wheel chart on the computer; if working by hand, place the draconic positions in a different colour on to the tropical chart. Both techniques clearly illustrate how the two levels interact. The position of the tropical planets and angles in the draconic houses can also be informative.
Note which natal houses are being emphasised and where the draconic planets and angles fall in the houses of the tropical chart. In particular, the draconic lights and draconic angles indicate areas of focus and can denote hidden or latent talents and important areas of growth.
For example, where the draconic Sun falls in the tropical chart shows an area of life of deep involvement at a soul level. The placement of the draconic ascendant can show unique inner qualities whilst the draconic midheaven can reflect the soul's quest and calling.
Study what inter-aspects are formed. It is usual to note only the conjunction and opposition as these show the strong resonances between the two levels.
Further research needs to be done before the meaning of the square, trine and minor aspects are fully understood in this context. It is especially important to note any draconic planets that are conjunct a tropical angle as they can present a significant challenge or boon. The orbs used are usually tighter than in ordinary natal astrology with six degrees being used for the conjunction and five for the opposition.
It is said that contacts between the tropical and draconic zodiacs serve to 'materialise the spiritual and spiritualise the material'. In whatever ways these two dimensions work together, as shown by the connections between the charts, it is important to keep in mind that the basic tropical chart is of primary importance: nothing will come to pass that is not shown there.
Techniques such as the use of the draconic zodiac serve to enhance, expand and clarify what is in the ordinary birth chart, not to replace it Another helpful point to remember is that if a planet receives several difficult aspects then in order to bring through the higher qualities exemplified by its draconic placement, much more effort and determination is likely to be required than if it receives more free-flowing aspects.
This Study Note contains information provided as part of the White Eagle Lodge School of Astrology’s Advanced (Diploma) Course and leans heavily on the work of the Reverend Pamela A.F. Crane and her publication Intermediate Astrology Vo.1 The Draconic Chart, and the School acknowledges her work in raising the awareness, significance and value of this astrological method.
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