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.
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 myself 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 instead 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 becomes 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.
To demonstrate 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.
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 nicknames 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.
- Jean Léopold Nicolas Frédéric, Baron Georges Cuvier , was a French naturalist, zoologist and paleontologist during First Empire. He was born on August 23, 1769, eight days after Napoleon Bonaparte’s birth, in Montbéliard, then Duchy of Württemberg.
- These notes were taken from a Marc Jones’s talk for the Guild in 1942. You can read all 15 points here.
- This parable is from the Gospel of John chapter 9 verse 25, Revised Standard Version:
- He answered, “Whether he is a sinner, I do not know; one thing I know, that though I was blind, now I see.”
- You can download TR’s horoscope in the Placidus format that Jones used, here.
- You can read it online at Sabian.org