Bruno and Louise Huber, Michael Alexander Huber 2005 287pp
Reviewed by Sue Lewis Dip. API.
At last we have the long awaited and extremely fine English translation of Aspektbild-Astrologie, published in Zurich in 1999 and fed out in tantalising titbits to readers of Conjunction until now. This is a key reference book for anyone interested in Huber Astrology. Whether you have just finished reading Joyce Hopewell's and Richard Llewellyn's delightful introduction, 'The Cosmic Egg Timer', or have been using the Huber method for consultations for many years, you will find rich insights into motivation in Aspect Pattern Astrology that add to your understanding of the whole person and what drives each individual forward on his or her unique journey.
This dense volume goes into great detail to explain where aspect patterns lie in the five level interpretation of the horoscope, which aspects are used and why, how the effectiveness of their operation can depend on the sympathy or antipathy of planet and aspect, the reasoning behind half-way aspects, and how all aspects and their patterns can be expressed at physical, emotional, mental and spiritual levels.
One of the early chapters looks in detail at colour. Although it is a pity that, to make the volume affordable, this book is published in black-and-white, for an additional £2 you can purchase a couple of laminated bookmarks with 44 aspect patterns in colour; these are nicely presented, a handy source of reference and well worth having. It also helps to draw up your own colour diagrams if you're working with these aspect patterns in depth.
Important differentiations are made between the motivations of cardinal, fixed and mutable crosses and linear, triangular and quadrangular shapes. Whereas "the cardinal cross is always goal-oriented", what interests the linear aspect pattern "is the process of movement itself" (p83). There is an insightful paragraph on how mostly triangular types who are forced by the environment to identify with one of the other extremes become adaptors who find it difficult to establish a stable identity (p88). That rang a hollow bell of recognition!
When we advance into aspect patterns, the descriptions of the three smaller learning triangles - now described as "small", "medium" and "large", despite the fact that none of them takes up half the chart - and the dominant learning triangle with its larger occupation of core personality space are extremely thorough, developing and clarifying course material in a very helpful way. We can also see how learning triangles extend into quadrilaterals, incorporating their qualities while becoming something else.
There are full descriptions of the all red and all blue figures. Here I must take issue with some editorial choices. Efficiency squares and triangles have been redefined as "achievement" squares and triangles, perhaps to carry through the urge to achieve of the cardinal cross. The Spanish translation, "rendimiento", meaning yield, productivity, and in a technical sense efficiency, better describes these aspect patterns, which are productive; productivity resulting from efficiency does not necessarily carry with it any sense of achievement. Another choice that astounded me was to see (on p148 where there is discussion of planets in the achievement triangles) that the opposite of "hard planets" is given as "weak planets" rather than soft or gentle ("suave" in Spanish). "Weak" is a pejorative, whereas soft or gentle implies that the goal orientation of the all red triangle or square may be modified by feelings, sensitivities, or anxiety as to what the task is really all about, but the aspect pattern is nonetheless productive - perhaps on behalf of others. This interpretation requires further thought. I base my authority to make these comments on my own chart; my strongest aspect pattern is an efficiency triangle made up of the gentle planets Moon, Neptune and Mercury, with Mercury at the apex in the seventh house.
There's stacks of important material to read before you get to the definitions of the new aspect patterns, which are what experienced Huber astrologers are most interested in. My friend, whose chart I worked on through my API Diploma, had a quadrilateral figure, but I had to break it down into triangular aspect patterns for my assignments, and I always felt there was something missing. When I acquired a copy of the Spanish edition of Aspektbild-Astrologie (published 2003) and discovered she had an 'oscillo' all became clear. Curiously enough I've encountered several oscillos and surfers since I started working with these aspect patterns although they're described as a "rare quadrilaterals".
In presenting the new quadrilaterals, Michael Huber has given us cautionary provisos such as no more than one transpersonal planet and no more than one broken line for a full example; otherwise the aspect pattern is described as latent. There are going to be times when we use our intuition in one to one sessions with clients when deciding whether or not an aspect pattern is operational, and there's definitely scope for further research.
Here and there communication between the three family authors was not been particularly well coordinated - perhaps inevitably in such an ambitious project. The chart of the depth psychologist, C G Jung, is described on page 122 as having "an extended trapeze with the planets Pluto, Jupiter, Mars and Saturn". The trapeze figure, which is described comprehensively on pp 204-09, is by its very nature a balanced symmetrical figure. The figure referred to in C G Jung's chart is an asymmetrical model figure, listed as one of the "talented trapezoids" described on pp 241-42; there Jung is listed among those having a "latent" figure despite the fact that only one transpersonal planet is involved and only one half-way aspect across one of the internal diagonals. This was undoubtedly a working aspect pattern.
Although we've had a glimpse at some of the opposition quadrilaterals in Newsletter Digests, such as Richard Llewellyn's provocative figure, the full-scale introduction to seven opposition quadrilaterals, four talented trapezoids and five "rare" quadrilaterals brings a whole new dimension into our understanding of four-sided figures. It also emphasises how essential it is to know the time of birth so that we can establish which hemisphere or quadrant is being activated.
It must have been a nightmare deciding what to call some of the figures in English and users of AstroCora need to be aware that "streamer" equals "canalizer" and "bijou" equals "initiate square". I congratulate the translating and editing team for their ingenuity in sorting out the "bijou or bi-sho" and making good sense of the description of this complex motivational type.
Charts of artists, psychiatrists, astronomers, writers and yester-year European politicians are used as examples, along with the Hubers' own. The visual image of Cubist artist Braque's righteous rectangle replicates his style of painting, but few of the example charts speak to a modern British audience. So we will be encouraging feedback from readers and students, and developing our own list of celebrities for use in workshops. Our Prime Minister, Tony Blair does, of course, provide a good example of the UFO with his expression of intense concentration and capacity to say just the right thing that beguiled so many of us in his early years of premiership!
Like many key references this book extends what we know and also raises questions. We all need it to develop our understanding of aspect patterns and it will stimulate us to ask more questions and explore more charts. I recommend it wholeheartedly and thank HopeWell publications for making it available.