Antiscia: The Story Behind the Chart


When I first began to explore the world of traditional astrology I came across a term that was puzzling; antiscia and contrantiscia. The definition was clear enough, degrees of the Zodiac equal distant from the cardinal points of 0 degrees Cancer/Capricorn for antiscia or Aries/Libra for contrantiscia, in other words degrees mirroring each other from the cardinal axis.

Planets in antiscia relationship to each other were said to act like a conjunction, while the contrantiscia were like oppositions. In fact the contrantiscia point is in opposition to the antiscia point. For the purpose of this article I will only speak of the antiscia point, its opposition being a given.

Now the antiscia was defined as: a shadows point, a reflection or a hidden ally.  My intellectual curiosity was pricked. Whilst investigating the antiscia I found that I had two such planetary pairs in my own natal chart. Now the desire to understand antiscia became far more personal.

It seemed that the ancients put a lot of significance on these points. Some even mentioned mundane antiscia, meaning degrees of the Zodiac equal distant from the angles; a sort of midpoint. Could these points be activated by transits or progressions? This might explain those times when nothing seems to be happening in a chart and yet the life is filled with dramas and activity.

When Pluto transited my Sun, its antiscia point occupied by Venus was also activated. Because my Sun and Moon are in partile square to each other she was also being activated as was her antiscia point occupied by Jupiter. Rather then 1 or 2 planets being shaken by the newly demoted powerbroker Pluto, four planets were involved. All the houses they ruled or had command of were taken along for the ride. Suddenly the potential for what these points could mean became very interesting.

Finding the antiscia point for your ASC and MC can reveal so much about who you are and what you do, especially if there happens to be a planet or other significant point on these zodiacal degrees.

Christina Onassis

As a child I remember reading about Christina Onassis the super rich heir of a fortune. Her life played out in the tabloids as proof that money can not buy happiness. Her life ended prematurely at the age of 37 years and 11 month when she died alone of a heart attack brought on by years of drug abuse and physical neglect.

Christina was born into extreme wealth, into a culture and to a father who had little regard for women. Her mother, reputed to be a great beauty was prone to depression. Some accounts claim that she ended her life in suicide; others say she died of natural causes.

As a child Christina was close to her older brother, Alexandros, the clear favourite of their father. Growing up they had little contact with either of their parents who bitterly divorced in 1960, when Christina was 10 years of age.

She grew into an awkward and conventionally unattractive woman in a world that exalted the beauty of women. By all accounts she was a good business woman who had like her father a natural flair and instinct for business, but she is remembered more for her unfortunate personal life.

Within a 24 month period in the early 1970 she lost her entire family when her brother, mother and then father died. She was left alone in the world. Over the years she married four times, but never seemed to find happiness in these relationships. At the age of 35 she gave birth to her only child. She died three years later.


Christina’s ASC at 25 Taurus has its antiscia point at 4 Leo, conjunct her IC. The IC represents foundation, family and father; in this case it is ruled by the Sun, a universal symbol of Father. Her identity (ASC) was therefore one and the same as that of her father/family. The Sun also represents the sum total of who we are and who we are evolving into. In her case this was forever bound to her foundations and father, forging her own way in the world would have been that much more difficult.

Looking further we see that the Sun is in Sagittarius right on her 8th house cusp. The 8th house is the house of death and also the house of as “other people’s money” or in our modern terms “their resources”. This is the house of inheritance or legacy, particularly through death. The Sun’s placement on this cusp reinforces the antiscian connection between ASC (self) and IC (father/family). It also accounts for the talents and abilities she inherited from her father.

The Sun’s own antiscia point is at 10 Capricorn within a degree of Mercury, which rules her 2nd house of money and her 5th house of children & joy. There is little doubt that her money came through her father’s estate and one of the few joyful events in her life was the birth of her only child: Athina. Because of this relationship between Sun and Mercury her health & vitality would be affected by movements to Mercury as well as the Sun.

Not only was her Sun connected to Mercury by antiscia and in flowing partile aspect (to the degree) to both Pluto and Neptune, but there was also a hidden contra antiscia (opposition) relationship to Uranus. This gives us a hint of the hidden side of her father. Yes he was powerful and mysterious, but there was a volatile and erratic side that was hidden behind closed doors. It could also symbolize the more self destructive tendencies that hovered just below the surface of her life.

Not surprisingly we find that the antiscian degree of her MC is conjunct the DES, the angle of our relationships, traditionally our marriage partner. So who she was in the world was very much defined by who she was in relationship with. Interestingly her DES is ruled by Mars in Capricorn, exalted conjunct and receiving her Capricorn Moon in detriment. With such an insecure and needy Moon exalting Mars, universal significator of men and ruler of her 7th house, we can surmise that she needed relationships, but as Mars also ruled her 12th house it was potentially the road to her self-undoing. The stage for many a disastrous marriage was set.

Through the antiscia connection between her ASC/DES and MC/IC we see how the men in Christina’s life came to absolutely dominate her identity and how she conducted her life. The Sun was not just the ruler of her IC, but also in a secretly ruled her ASC. Mars didn’t just rule her 7th house, but also subverted the reign over her MC.

Antiscia by Transit and Progression

On Jan 23 1973 Christian’s beloved brother was killed in an airplane crash in Athens. On that day her vulnerable Moon at 23 Capricorn was being transited by Jupiter and her progressed Venus, whilst Neptune was on its antiscia point of 6 Sagittarius. This incident fuelled conspiracy theories and suspicion of covert foul play that were never proved. The antiscian Neptune shows us the hidden side of this very public tragedy, which was none the less a very personal loss to Christina.

At this time Christina’s progressed Sun had reached the antiscia point of her natal Sun. Her brother’s death projected her further into the world of business as she became the sole inheritor of their father’s business. Another interesting antiscian connection at this time was the progressed MC at 26 Aquarius and progressed Moon at 4 Scorpio in antiscia conjunction. This is particularly interesting as the Moon rules her 3rd house of siblings. Behind the very public news about her brother was a devastated progressed Moon in the natal 6th house of “the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune”. Her grief (Moon) was thrown up to public view (MC).

This death was the first of many in her family concluding with the death of her father on March 15, 1975. On this day Saturn was at 11 Cancer in opposition to the Sun’s antiscia point of 10 Capricorn and Jupiter was at 29 Pisces transiting the antiscia point of her natal Saturn, ruler of her MC. As well the North Node at 3 Sagittarius right on Mars’s antiscia point. In her progressed chart the Moon had reached the antiscia of her natal Moon whilst the ASC was within one minute of her progressed Uranus’s and 1 degree of her natal Uranus’s antiscia point. This last detail speaks volumes about the final blow her father’s death must have been to Christina, now she was truly alone and abandoned in the world by her family.

In her final days Neptune was approaching a transit to her Mercury, which as a result of its connection to her Sun (her vitality) would have affected her health. Whilst Jupiter (ruler of her 8th house of death) at 2 Gemini was opposite Mars’s antiscia point, her progressed Sun was conjunct Mars and transiting Mars was opposite natal Saturn (ruler of her 6th house of illness). All in all a very Mars death, though she is said to have died of natural causes she had attempted suicide numerous times during her life and her death was finally brought on by years of drug abuse and physical neglect.

There is much more to Christina Onassis chart that could be explored, but limited to looking at the story the antiscia can tell, has given us fascinating insight into a troubled life.

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Thanks very much for sharing this thoughtful analysis.

  2. Nice work, clear and easily understood.


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