Point 1 Mars the energy center

What is the 15 point method?

Marc Edmund Jones put together for the student of the Sabian Assembly, The Fifteen Most Important Points in a Horoscope. He felt it was a dependable method that could help anyone go through a chart and create a general portrait of the person. He later expanded this to 16 points.

He was insistent that his method required an exact birth hour. If the astrologer rectifies the chart, then this new chart , must give its own clear testimony of the person, as one aspect depends upon another, and so on creating a unified portrait. There can be one striking thing like the singleton in a hemisphere or unaspected planet, but the chart should have few of these things, otherwise it does not stand as a whole.

Ostrich skeletal system

Ostrich atomy

Jean Léopold Nicolas Frédéric, Baron Georges Cuvier1, once remarked: “Show me a bone and I will identify the animal.” Jones said he thought the comment humorous until he took a class in comparative anatomy. The professor greeted me with a grudging cordiality; “Why are you, a philosophy major, doing over here on the science side?”

“Well,” I said, “philosophers have to talk about science sometimes and I want to know what I am talking about.”

He turned to address the group of us, all but me, on the way to become doctors. “You must work hard if you want to get A’s here,” the professor remarked. He told me how I could get into the laboratory at night, Sundays and work the hours. Finally, we sat down before the bone box, with the idea I could recognize anything he handed me. He began with the longest bone I ever saw.

“If it wasn’t so big,” I said, “I’d identify it as the femur of a bird . . .. but I suppose it’s a crazy hybrid.” He laughed: “Why don’t you stick to your guns? Did you ever hear of an ostrich?”

Marc Jones

Astrology duplicates this preposition every day. If you have skill enough, you can take any fragment of a chart and read the life from it. For practice we would take a torn quarter of a chart and find how much we could gather from just that. This is how I boiled down the technique.

Beginners always take the houses, and go around the chart completely, bringing out everything about personality first, then money, and so on. A more effective method is to just use the planets because then you are reading more dynamically because with the houses you are locked down and pinned into a reading ; i.e. it is becoming static. Better to just look at quadrants, like Ptolemy suggests, and see the geometric layout of the chart but read from the planets as they are the dynamic bodies that distribute the forces of actual living and experience, setting up the strains and stresses of life and create a basic complex. They articulate the forces of the universe and represent your distribution of this energy.

Demonstrating Teddy Roosevelt

To show this method, we will use the chart of President Theodore Roosevelt whom George MacCormack, a founder of the Guild, got the data rather directly from the Roosevelt family, and has done a lot of work upon it, so we can be rather sure of its accuracy.


Mars – the energy center

I begin with Mars because it has the most to do with activity. It represents how you throw off energy, fly off the handle, and move the hardest to get things done. It is also the planet closest to the earth. Mars is in the first house in Teddy Roosevelt’s chart, therefore it calls for unusual energy, which describes the native. Now let’s get a technique down for this proposition of reading from the planets. First look at each planet by what sign they are in, then by house and finally symbolic degree.

The justification for a use of these symbolical degrees is that they work. Here is something that baffles people. I remember the story in the Bible of the boy who was cured of blindness. The learned people came to him and said it was impossible. It just didn’t happen. The “medical books” said it couldn’t be done that way. This is my version of the story! The young man in the Bible narrative, who was a simple fellow, remarked: “What you say is very interesting. You are learned, gentlemen. I am convinced you are clever and know much more than I do. However, all I know is that once I was blind, and now I see.”3

And so, like that boy, we won’t go into a discussion of the symbolical degrees, but content ourselves with the fact they are something that works.

Critical Discrimination

Mars is at 17 Capricorn 49, or energy in the sign of critical discrimination. Since I have Mercury in Scorpio, I will give you many a nickname tonight, and I would suggest that you make your own when mine do not click. I have made them for myself to save time and effort, and I find them a great help. To me, Capricorn is the sign of “critical discrimination,” well illustrated by Teddy’s campaign against the “nature fakers.”

The Sabian degree for Capricorn 18 reads:

“From the proud new warship of Britannia, a token of her maritime power, flies the Union Jack in calm dignity. “

T.R. made the United States a first-class power, and he did it with the Navy. The symbol puts the case forward exactly. But what is a warship? It is any ship used as a weapon for combat; never for defense. It has dignity and represents the country that builds and floats it, and so too this man, with his personality and critical discrimination — the ability to distinguish two or more things from each other — was a man who, in everything he did, said: “We have to make this stand out, & make this dignified.”


It was no different for himself.  He went out West and became a cowboy, and a good one. Not the kind they have on dude ranches–pretty boys that prance around and do nothing, but a real working cowboy who roped and broke horses.  He used these skills in the Rough Riders, the First Volunteer Calvary unit in the Spanish-American War.

When he was a sickly, scrawny youngster with squinty eyes, he was determined to be well, and he made himself over in the image of male virility and health by becoming a real “rough rider.” It shows all this by his first house and the sign and the degree of Mars.

 Thus, you have the first salient point in a horoscope: Mars.


  1. Jean Léopold Nicolas Frédéric, Baron Georges Cuvier , was a French naturalist, zoologist and paleontologist during First Empire. Cuvier was born August 23, 1769, eight days after Napoleon Bonaparte’s birth, in Montbéliard, the Duchy of Wurttemberg.
  2. I took these notes from a Marc Jones’s talk for the Guild in 1942.  You can read all 15 points here.
  3. This parable is from the Gospel of John chapter 9 verse 25, Revised Standard Version:
    1. He answered, “Whether he is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I know, that though I was blind, now I see.” 
  4. You can download TR’s horoscope in the Placidus format that Jones uses, here.

Depersonalizing the occult Gail Fairfield

Astrologer Gail Fairfield in her book Choice Centered Astrology states her parents were missionaries to Foochow, one of the five treaty ports opened wholly to the West, and where she was born on February 27, 1950 at 3:52 PM. She has written several books on the tarot and astrology and is a student of astrologer Joanne Wickenburg, winner of Marc Edmund Jones scholarship award, whose major work was on astrological Interceptions.

gail foo

 Mapping Gail

Fairfield’s ascendant is 26 Scorpio 35 or the Hyperion Symbol of a blackbird whistling highlighting her ability to see things that other people cannot and enjoy the subtlety of the experience; its keyword is an enigma.

Gavin McClung writes that the poem, Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird, read in the video above by its author, Wallace Stevens1 and written in 1917 was the inspiration for this degree, which coincidentally favours occult tendencies. Her Jupiter in Aquarius conjunct Mercury bestows an “electric intelligence” that can see and perceive connections before anyone else notices.

Foochow anchorage, unknown Chinese painter c. 1870

A Splash temperament with few conjunctions (blind spots), some oppositions (awareness) with her Northern hemisphere slant ties this together forcing her to overcome her reclusive tendencies for her career (Saturn in Virgo in the Tenth) and reach out beyond her small circle into the world at large to express her singular view on the occult tradition. Her few oppositions are striking though they help bridging the two separate parts of her See-saw temperament.

One such opposition is between Pluto in the Ninth and Mercury highlight how her long distance travels and good education have given her a penetrating awareness of gender/racial/class/age constructs in language — something in both her astrology and tarot books she seeks to avoid.

I worked with a number of mythologies that described the Major Arcana (in Tarot) as a system and became dissatisfied with each one in turn. I have realized that for me, the greater mysteries of the universe go beyond any one mythology or ordering system. Many of the stories are effective as triggers that can help us remember what the cards mean, but too often we get caught up in the limitation of those stores and forget that the myth was just created to help us with our memories. We see the myth as the only truth.

Gail Fairfield, Everyday Tarot, a choice-centered tarot, Red Wheel/Weiser LLC. copyright 2002

In that brief clip, we see how her three conjunctions, all at Trine points, give her ability to always see the choices in life via her penetrating awareness of the limitations of the current rage of one-dimensional decks but it is also a key point to her writings on the two subjects. She insists this myopic trend gives a false hope of nirvana to readers, as they become locked in another’s viewpoint and slowly get cut off from other deeper implications of the tarot, or for that matter, planets and asteroids in astrology.

1895 FooChow penny stamp

If you ever read one of Gail’s books, and I hope you do, at least keep that admonition in mind as it maybe just the tonic for seeing Jupiter not only as enthusiasm but also as a “seeker”2 and thus a desire for the quest for power and money or even perhaps someone who goes into politics or the law to seek social justice.

Sabian Aspects

  • Gail’s Mental Chemistry is perceptive but cautious. Gail may see trends ahead of time but she tends to keep those ideas close to her vest and wait for confirmation.
  • She is a Splash temperament type and tends to be people-centric, particularly if she is in charge.
  • Her Line of Motivation is sesquiquadrate.
  • Her Line of Vitality is absent.
  • Her Line of Efficiency is inconjunct.
  • Her Life of Culture is absent, highlighting her lack of interest in making an effect on society at large. Instead she is more interested in her own circle of friends, family and associates.
  • She has a marked Air emphasis that shows her missionary zeal towards her Choice-Centered approach and has written books on the subject: two on the tarot and one astrology. She writes what she she feels very strongly about, and has the need to communicate this to others.

Other Aspects – Configurations

Other aspects Gail has is a Rosetta Stone. This is rather new configuration created by Sally Fisher and Linda Shelnutt which is made like a yod but instead of the two planets in sextile pointing to a third that is mutually inconjunct, a Rosetta Stone aspect has two planets that are trine each other and inconjunct the third; obviously this aspect does not show up often.

With the Rosetta Stone, problems bounce off the individual but never to find closure! For Gail the Rosetta is comprised of Uranus in the eleventh, Mars in the third and Venus in the sixth, so she is also searching for an astrological solution but never happy with the results, and so continues her exploration. The abundance of Air in her chart probably contributes heavily to this miasma.

The other unique configuration Gail has is Thor’s Hammer. This one is composed of the Moon to Mercury to Mars. Alice Portman, an Australian astrologer based in Adelaide, gets the nod for this aspect which again is similar to the yod. This time the two planets are squared (ninety degrees apart) to each other and both make a sesquiquadrate aspect (135 degrees) to a third planet. Another aspectual rara avis. Portman says that the Thor’s Hammer is a harsh aspect with the native having little patience for excuses, why you need an aspect to tell you this, is another question.


  1. The poet Warren Stevens died in the same hospital as our friend Mike “Bogey” Boguslawski at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford, Connecticut. Stevens, while born in Reading, Pennsylvania, worked at the Hartford Insurance Companies, as an attorney; Mike was born in a nearby Connecticut suburb and had returned home to be with friends and family.
  1. Fairfield, Gail, Choice Center Astrology, Red Wheel/Weiser LLC, 1998. Gail calls Jupiter the “Seeker” in this book, the only astrology book I am aware of her penning. In it she writes that Jupiter’s ORBIT: is SOCIETAL where one is actively taking part in the World and its task is to seek the truth and philosophize about what it finds.
    1. ITS VOICE: is I teach and expand the possibilities for growth.
    2.  JUPITER is the largest Planet in the solar system, and its meaning reflects its size.
    3. Its symbol signifies the expansive mind, questing outward for broader knowledge and experience. 
  2. –Fairfield, Every Day Tarot, Red Wheel/Weiser, c. 2002. pg. 19.
    1. Here like in Choice Center Astrology, Gail eschews mythological and religious associations, thus tarot card #5, typically the Hierophant, is not associated with the planet Jupiter.
    2. Gail writes, while “the image of the Hierophant is usually that of a religious leader, often the Pope He is a morally conscious and conscientious person who has the desire and responsibility for blessing others or making decisions for others. 
      1. ” Upright: You are involved with a group or another person because of your shared philosophy, common goals, or social orientation. You may have a sense of connectedness with a family, lover, church, political group, spiritual group, or whatever. You feel loyalty toward these others and choose to live in accordance with the beliefs you share with them.
      2. ” Reversed:  A part of yourself is accountable to another part of yourself. You are choosing to live by a particular philosophy or belief structure that seems important to you. As a result, you direct your own actions in accordance with your philosophy. Even when your drives or desires may lead you in one direction, you will choose to curb them in order to be accountable to your larger goals or aims.”

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