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The “polarization effect” technique is opening us some new horizons in the interpretation of the so-called “polarized” charts! It is a method that has a lot of potential, especially within the field of psychological astrology.

The first insight of this theory came to me some 20 years ago, thanks to a client of mine. He called me to arrange an appointment and he provided me his data. His chart impressed me, because all his personal planets were in Leo (forming a Stellium) and his Moon was in Aries, so I was anticipating a person with a brilliant, strong, self asserting personality. When the door bell of my office rang, I was expecting to see a sort of “Alexander the Great” stepping in! And in fact he had the “Al Pacino” type of face (strong, radiant, with “angles”). To my utter amazement though, I realized – as the consultation was going on – that he was rather insecure and fragile! Surely he was receiving by then some hard planetary aspects, but by no means were these aspects that disruptive to justify his actual state. His case puzzled me profoundly and when he left I immediately started re-analyzing his chart, trying to figure out where I was wrong – as the reality of my customer apparently did not match his chart.

And then it suddenly hit me! All his Leo planets were in his Eleventh House while his Aries Lunar energy was focused into his Seventh House! I sensed some sort of contradiction there. Somehow his strong Leonean energies were struggling to cope with the absolutely opposite “Aquarian” – Eleventh House ones (and in an analogous mode, his Aries energies were struggling to cope with the ones of his Seventh House). There was a major battle there since this “sign vs. house” polarization in his chart was turning the everyday reality of this man (expressed by his houses) against the very Universal archetypes imprinted in him (expressed by the zodiacal positions of his planets)! Thus, a huge amount of his abundant fiery energies was consumed and “dissipated”, as this person was constantly struggling to bridge in himself two diametrically opposite worlds!

I have personally coined a term for this phenomenon: I call it the “polarization effect”! Intimidating as it might sound, it actually describes a very simple condition: a planet in a given sign being simultaneously in the “opposite” House. Of course there isn’t such a thing as a House “opposite” to a sign. For the sake of simplicity though, by the term “a House opposite to a sign” we mean here “the House that corresponds to the diametrically opposite sign of the one we are referring to”! To give you an example, if somebody has his/her Sun in Aries and simultaneously in his/her Seventh House (the Seventh House corresponds to the sign of Libra, the sign diametrically opposite to Aries in the zodiac cycle), then s/he has a “polarized” Sun! The Moon in Taurus in the Eight House is “polarized”. Mars in Gemini in the Ninth is “polarized” etc. Thus, if we encounter many “polarized” planets in a chart then we call that chart “polarized”

– Britney Spears: not exactly a lucky beggar!

Few people will deny the fact that the well known pop idol Britney Spears has been through some kind of ordeal in her life. Although young, rich and famous she does not seem to be very happy, going through continuous stages of psychological breakdowns, addictive behavior etc. Allegedly she suffers from “Bipolar Disorder”, which is a major mental disorder, sending the patient to extremes ranging from (depressive) immobility and “mutism” to (manic) over-mobility and garrulity. Apparently Britney is having a certain difficulty in pulling herself together and getting a grip on life. She got married twice and divorced, she gave birth to 2 children but lost the custody of both, plus she lost (by a juridical decision) the control of her assets!

A fundamental astrological axiom claims that the chart should reflect its owner’s reality. So, with all these heavy conditions that Britney Spears is facing in her life it would be natural to presume that she has a “heavy” chart. We might have anticipated i.e. discordant aspects on her Luminaries (Sun, Moon), eventually a pivotal Neptune, an 8th or 12th House emphasis etc. Nope, not at all! Britney Spears chart seems to be one of the “smoothest”! You can see it for yourself (born 2 December 1981, 1:30 am, McComb Mississippi):

Her Sun is in the so called “lucky” sign of Sagittarius and receives no major hard aspects at all. Her Moon in Aquarius not only is not receiving any hard aspects but it even forms an harmonic aspect to Saturn. In addition, her Sun and Moon form a Sextile aspect (her “Lights” are 60 degrees apart and this in astrology is considered a positive agent). Not to mention that her Moon is in the warm, vivacious, “solid” and powerfully self-asserting Fifth House. This chart seems to belong to a happy person, having a rather easy life. But it does not reflect Britney Spears’ tormented life. Apparently we are missing something here!

There must be some crucial element in this chart that we apparently overlook. Indeed if we search better we will iencounter some hard configurations. First of all, she has a Libra Ascendant (which apparently partakes to the overall “easy going” chart pattern of hers). The planet ruling her Ascendant is Venus. And as you probably know, the planet ruling the Ascendant is of uttermost importance in the chart! So, it doesn’t surprise us much the fact that her chart’s ruler (Venus, in the 25th degree of Capricorn) is forming a PERFECT (partile) square aspect to Pluto (in the 25th degree of Libra)! Pluto is well known in Astrology for causing (when adversely triggered) huge existential crises, frequent psychological breakdowns, extreme events in life, loss of assets and any kind of ordeals. And in Britney’s case Pluto is pivotal, both because it is in her First House (in conjunction to her neighboring Saturn) and because it forms an aspect to her Sun.

And there are other configurations we did not pay enough attention to previously, as they are considered “secondary” ones (not to mention difficult to spot by the eye). We are talking here about her two characteristic semi-square aspects (a semi-square is a 45 degrees angle formed between 2 planets in the chart). Actually, Britney’s Sun stands in the very middle of her Venus – Pluto aforementioned square (right on her Venus/Pluto midpoint – to use the proper astrological term). To make it simpler, her Sun forms a perfect semi-square aspect to her Pluto, while at the same time it forms a perfect semi-square to her Venus. There is some strange geometry going on here, as all these planets (Pluto, Sun, Venus) are positioned in perfect angular distances in the zodiac cycle. That is why – although the semi-square aspect is considered a secondary one – we have to pay particular attention to it. Semi-squares are considered difficult aspects, bringing conflict and stress to people.

So, the rare delineation we just examined partially explains Britney’s ordeal. Add to it the fact of her 12th House Mars forming a square to her Neptune. As Mars is the ruler of her Seventh house, we can see her dismal relations clearly depicted in this “double whammy” aspect (Mars in the 12thHouse and at the same time in square to her Neptune, the ruler of the 12th House).

But still there is something missing here! If we thoroughly study any given person’s chart we might find similar or even heavier planetary configurations. The average person though seems to cope far better under such aspects than Britney Spears does, not getting immersed in such a gloomy and unhappy situation, not leading such a precariously balanced life style. Definitely there must be some other element in her chart bringing forth major personality disorders. And indeed there is one! The “polarization effect” we mentioned before!

There is a particular Ascendant that causes the strongest “polarization effect” in a chart: the Libra one! Mysteriously, the sign of harmony and balance causes – when it is the Ascendant of the individual – the strongest imbalances. Chances are that an Aries with a Libra Ascendant will have his/her Sun in the Seventh House, a Taurus with a Libra Ascendant will have his/her Sun in the Eight House, a Gemini in the Ninth and so on! And the fact is that when somebody has a Libra Ascendant not only his/her Sun but most of his/her planets will be probably “polarized”.

There are of course cases where an Aries individual has a Libra Ascendant but his Sun lies in the Sixth House instead of the Seventh – and this of course does not make his/her Sun “polarized”. On the other hand, an Aries with a Virgo Ascendant might have his/her Sun in his Seventh House. Thus, not ALL Libra Ascendants produce a strong “polarization effect” while some Virgo Ascendants might produce one (the Virgo Ascendant is the second best “polarizing” Ascendant). It always depends on the interaction between the House cusps and the specific degrees each planet is in.

Now, all these years that I have been studying people’s charts I realized that this “polarization effect” is CRUCIAL and it can produce huge tensions, inner conflicts, imbalances, confusion and even mental disorders to individuals otherwise having very energetic and balanced charts, eventually leading them to a certain degree of of “existential tension” and even to existential “paralysis”.

Iin Britney’s case we are astonished by the many “polarization effect” elements she has in her chart! Her Sun is in Sagittarius but in the “opposite” to Sagittarius Third House! Her Moon is in Aquarius but in the “opposite” Fifth House. Her Mercury is in Sagittarius but in the Third House. Her Venus is in Capricorn but in the “opposite” Fourth House. Her Mars is in Virgo but in the “opposite” Twelfth House. And the same goes for her Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto! In fact THE WHOLE CHART of Britney Spears is “polarized”. This amazingly rare configuration produces a huge split in her personality and explains very satisfactorily Britney’s behavior, life style and general ordeal. And it does this so effectively that no other method comes even close to it!

– Kurt Cobain and a schizophrenic patient

Let’s study another – rather tragic – case: the one of the singer with the “angelic” face Kurt Cobain – the leading guitarist and singer of the very popular group back in the ‘90’s “Nirvana”. Cobain allegedly suffered from bipolar disorder as well. For years he was addicted to heroin. He was a shy and reserved person (his Sun was in Pisces, in the Sixth House. His Moon was in Cancer). He took his life at the age of 27 by shooting himself with a gun he pointed at his head.
Cobain has a largely “polarized” chart (his Sun, Moon, Mercury, Mars and Pluto are all polarized as you can see below):

Our next case has a «spaghetti» flavor. In an interesting article entitled “Astrological research on Schizophrenia”, the prominent Italian astrologer Ciro Discepolo analyzes what he considers to be a typical chart of a person suffering from a schizophrenic disorder. Although Discepolo pinpoints and describes accurately all the significant aspects on the chart of this patient he totally misses the “Polarization pattern” which is evident in it (you may read his article – in English – here:

The chart of the schizophrenic patient:

We have a strong polarization effect here as both his Luminaries and all the other planets (except Mercury and Jupiter) are polarized. In addition, his Sun is “double-whammy” polarized, being in Taurus but at the same time in the “opposite” to Taurus Eight House and in a partile conjunction to Uranus, a planet totally alien to Taurus and related (by the Argentinean school of Psychological Astrology) to schizophrenia!

IMPORTANT: If you – or someone you know – has a strong “Polarization Effect” in his/her chart it does not necessarily mean that s/he is going to get suicidal or schizophrenic. It rather means that s/he has to skillfully bridge two opposite forces in himself/herself. And ultimately this process might transform him totally and enrich him/her enormously!

– Franco and Caligula

Keeping now in mind this “polarization effect” it gets easier to explain charts that do not make sense otherwise. Take the case of the Spanish dictator Francisco Franco for example. We couldn’t otherwise understand why a benevolent Sagittarius with an inconspicuous Moon in Gemini and a Virgo Ascendant became such a cruel dictator. Pluto is aspecting both his “Lights” alright (and Plutonian people may display fascist behavior piece of cake) but I don’t think this element – on its own – explains why this person ultimately became dictator Franco. We understand far better his nature though when we realize that his chart is highly polarized.

Last but not least, the chart of a notorious Roman emperor often described as “insane”. I am referring to Caligula. You may see his chart below. Both his Luminaries (his Sun and Moon) and additionally his Mercury, Mars and Saturn are polarized!



From my own experience, I can attest that I have encountered rather often this “polarization effect” in the charts of people with mental disorders. It seems that when someone is bounded in his/her life by many aggravating factors then this configuration somehow takes a major hold on him/her. Then the task of “transmuting” this configuration might get beyond the individual’s means. And if “unharnessed” and brought to such a critical level, the polarization effect unleashes certain very corrosive and disintegrating to the personality energies.

There is a certain “gradation” to this polarization effect. The strongest polarization occurs when both the Luminaries and a certain number of planets are polarized. If only one Luminary and some planets are polarized then we have a relatively minor polarization – but still we are worried about the polarized Luminary. When none of the Luminaries is polarized then the individual might not suffer a major “disruption” in his life but only in certain areas of his life. A minor polarization occurs when only a couple of planets (and no Luminary) are polarized.

Sometimes this “effect” might manifest under a slightly different form. In Hitler’s case i.e. his Capricorn Moon is tightly conjuncting his natal Jupiter. But this Saturnian – Jupiterian “coniunctio” is a sort of “polarization” too (Jupiter’s and Saturn’s energies are considered “opposite”). Thus, while almost everybody else (outside Germany) saw Hitler as an utterly cruel person he probably perceived himself as a rather “nice guy”! This is the polarization’s weird effect.

So, the “polarization effect” acts in a very powerful and disruptive ways in a chart. After studying it for many years I came to the conclusion that it matches the other infamous “personality disrupting agent”, the Sun – Moon tight square. Thus, I firmly believe that we Astrologers should place this “polarization effect” method among our main interpretation tools!

Thomas Gazis
Copyright: Thomas D. Gazis

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