By Bill Meridian

Declination arc is a predictive tool that was developed by Charles Jayne and Eleanor Heseltine. Declination arc is calculated by determining the absolute value of the difference between the declination of the natal and the progressed Suns. If the natal Sun is 20 north, and the progressed declination is 15 south, then one must calculate the distance from 20 north to its maximum northerly declination, and add it to the difference from that max northerly declination down to the progressed position at 15 south. This value is then added to or deducted (for converse progressions) from the natal positions of all planets.

Charles surprised me when he said that this was the most important tool that they had devised to rectify horoscopes during a study of rectification techniques in the 1940s. I asked him why this technique might show events more powerfully than did other more traditional techniques. An answer came from further studies of predictive techniques. He also taught us ascendant arc and vertex arc.

Ascendant arc is calculated by subtracting the natal ascendant from the progressed ascendant. Vertex arc is also computed by deducting the natal from the progressed vertex. I became confused when I was analyzing a chart that had transiting Saturn square Venus and ascendant arc Saturn trine Venus. After some discussion with Charles and more analysis, I concluded that these techniques must have their own unique qualitative flavor.

The point was driven home when my ascendant arc Venus trined my Jupiter. (Natal Venus is in my 4th house.) I was anticipating an increase in income or improvement in stock-picking results. Instead, a lady who was much younger than myself moved into the apartment upstairs in New York City. A relationship developed, and she immediately decided that my apartment was too dark and set about lightening it up with flowers. Note how the event took on the ascendant quality and blended it with Venus and Jupiter. I have found that these directions have the strength of slow Mars transits or fast Jupiter transits.

From similar types of studies,
I presented Charles with the following interpretations:

Ascendant Arc— Describes happenings that relate to the ascendant in all of its meanings. These include relationships, surroundings, and how we conduct ourselves. Our surroundings and relationships encourage or cause us to act.

Vertex Arc Planets take on the flavor of the vertex. Matters that develop come from outside the self. A third party or conditions impel the person to act. The individual is not the originator of the action. Events can spin out of control.

Solar Arc— We will actions to happen. Our basic will or self as represented by the Sun causes us to act. An action is initiated based on some inner need to express oneself.

The meaning of declination arc came from conversations with Charles. The key was that this method pinpointed events better than did other methods. I theorized that declination arc did this for the following reason. Declination is measured from the celestial equator, which is derived from the extension of the geographic equator. Thus, it is earth-based. An earth-based system is likely to reflect events that are material rather than changes in emotional or mental states. Such events are highly noticeable when rectifying charts. Subsequent research has borne this out.

The following analysis of President Nixon's declination arc was presented at UAC 1995. He was born on January 9,1913 at 9:35 PM PST in Whittier, Ca. This places Saturn at 27 Taurus 29, his Midheaven at 16 Gemini 02, and his Pluto at 28 Gemini 39. During the 1960 election, his solar declination arc (SDA) MC was conjunct his Pluto. During Watergate, the addition of his SDA to his 9th-house Saturn brought the planet to his MC.

Thus, a Mercury-Jupiter contact might differ in quality depending upon which predictive method causes the contact:

Ascendant Arc— The environment becomes more communicative. You communicate more with people in your immediate surroundings. The neighbors talk to you more.

Vertex Arc— You are forced to communicate more by others or by circumstances. For example, you are served with legal papers that necessitate a reply.

Declination Arc— A book is published or some communication manifests. The key here is that the effect produces a tangible result that is very obvious.

Solar Arc—The person communicates in order to achieve some result that is the goal of his inner will as represented by his Sun.

The Forecasting Soup

When I was a student, I asked Charles Jayne to look at my chart because I was having a difficult time. He set his 086 Commodore computer running. (Younger readers will not be familiar with this old range of steam-powered computers.) Page after page of hits ran off. I finally asked what he was running. Here was the list:

  • Transits
  • Secondary Progressions
  • Solar Arc Directions
  • Ascendant Arc Directions
  • Vertex Arc Directions
  • Declination Arcs

All arcs and progressions were run both direct and converse by half, whole, and double arc. Needless to say, there were lots of exact hits every day. I protested, and he told me to shut up. He then proceeded to clearly delineate anything of any importance that had happened to me in the previous three weeks, to the day. He then said,

"You see, Bill, everything in astrology works. You just have to know what tool to use to answer the question at hand at any one time."

Charles went on to say that he and Johndro believed that astrology was so accurate that it could be used to determine exactly what will happen at any given time. They were very much opposed to saying that this week's event was caused by last week's Saturn hit or by next week's Uranus hit. There was always something happening that was exact or very close in orb – one to five minutes.

For example, we could project that Uncle Herbie will go to the easy chair and sit down and clean his pipe at 4pm this coming Saturday. This would be a fine exercise in prediction, but it would be like spending five dollars to get one dollar's worth of information. Most hits are too weak to be considered.

He pointed to the progressed Moon as an example, saying that the effect lasted one to three days, unless other factors were involved. As far as secondary progressions go, he felt that there were two that were major.

First was an eclipse by secondary progression. If you were born 10 days before an eclipse, then you would experience an eclipse by progression in the 10th year of life.

Second was the exact progression of two outer planets. If one is born with an inexact aspect between two outer planets, then the year in which they progress to an exact aspect will be vital. He reckoned that there were only four or five of these in a lifetime.

The message here is that there is value in all predictive techniques if they are interpreted in the proper context.•••