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About Rob Couteau:

Couteau in Wikipedia:


The Role of the Least-Aspected Planet in Astrocartography:

Table of Contents:




Transcendental Biographies:


Transcendental Events:


On the nature of the Transcendental Energy:


Psychic inflation:


Summary of Plametary Symbolism:


Introduction to Transcendental Planets:






















Nodes, Travel, and the "Triple-zero" Transcendental:




Additional biographies and events:







The Least-Aspected Planet as the Spiritual Raison d'Etre:


Transcendental Nations:


American Presidents & LAP Saturn:


World Events:


Beyond the “Trigger Effect”:


The LAP as the Focal Point of the Horoscope:


Zones of Intensity:


Transcendental Portraits:


Rob Couteau in Wikipedia:


Order / Contact:


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Featuring astrocartography essays on:

Joan Baez

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Elizabeth B. Browning

Sir Richard Burton

Robert Burton

Richard E. Byrd

Lord Byron

Catherine the Great

Louis-Ferdinand Celine

Charlie Chaplin

Claudette Colbert

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The Dalai-Lama

James Dean

Simone de Beauvoir

Claude Debussy

Emily Dickinson

Amelia Earhart

Adolf Eichmann

T.S. Eliot

Queen Elizabeth I

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Sigmund Freud

Indira Gandhi

Paul Gauguin

George Harrison

Ernest Hemingway

Adolf Hitler

Victor Hugo

Helen Keller

John F. Kennedy

Robert F. Kennedy

John Lennon

Abraham Lincoln

Jack London

Marcello Mastroianni

Herman Melville


Maria Montessori

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Benito Mussolini

Friedrich Nietzsche

Richard M. Nixon

Pablo Picasso

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Rainer Maria Rilke

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Erwin Rommel

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Bertrand Russell

Edith Sitwell

Ringo Starr

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Alfred Lord Tennyson

Nikola Tesla

Harry Truman

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Queen Victoria

Luchino Visconti

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Edward H. White

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William Butler Yeats


Rob Couteau in Wikipedia:


I. The Least Aspected Planet as the Spiritual Raison d’Etre:
Interview in Astrolore magazine

Astrolore: Congratulations on your recently published research into the role of the least aspected planet in astrocartography. This is set to be a “landmark” and has already gener­ated massive interest. Can I begin by asking you about the implications of your findings?

Couteau: The question that The Role of the Least Aspected Planet raises is: how can a renowned intellectual or a famous writer have almost no natal aspects to Mercury; a world-class inventor have Uranus as a least aspected planet; or a well-known philosopher, such as Nietzsche, have almost no traditional aspects to Jupiter? Also, why those who have made such significant cultural or historical contributions so often done so under the astrocartography lines of their least aspected planet?

Astrolore: Explain the nature of the underaspected planet.

Couteau: Traditionally, least aspected planets (LAPs) are believed to symbolize an unin­tegrated or “on-off” togglelike expression of energy. My research, however, illustrates the opposite: the least aspected planet is a primary psychological symbol that helps us to realize what we are meant to accomplish in our life. We can often see how this operates in the biographies of highly accomplished people. Birth, travel, or relocation under this line enhances the manifestation of the least aspected or Tran­scendental energy. The symbolic qualities associated with the planetary principle in question will manifest in the forefront of the personality and in the professional life. In astrocartography, locations under the Primary Transcendental line point the way to “des­tined” encounters, yielding a larger social, cultural, or historical significance.

Astrolore: How did you begin your research?

Couteau: For my initial research, I focused on very important cultural contributors. If we study the research of Michel Gauquelin, we see that really excep­tional historical figures have an even higher-than-average incidence of certain planets in angular positions than do historical figures who have contributed less significant things to society. In other words, while each group rates as statistically higher-than-average, the really exceptional, legendary per­sonalities exhibit an even higher incidence of angular planets. Such figures interest me, because I believe their contributions are rooted in more than just personal sources. They are destined to accomplish their work through what might be called inspi­ration or grace.2

Astrolore: The “hand of destiny” seems to be strong in the lives of such people. Is the underaspected planet the astrological signifier of such acts of grace?

Couteau: The least aspected or Transcendental planet seems a likely candidate, for several reasons. With ordinary people and, especially, with those who realize their potential in extraordinary ways, the Transcendental principle symbolizes the precise form of spiritual yearning: the spiritual raison d’être of the person in question. In other words, it signifies a point of numinosity in the psyche. How else to account for the fact that writers such as T. S. Eliot, Herman Melville, and Bertrand Russell all have least aspected Mercury and Venus–the “creative writing” combination–or that personalities embodying a grave, overburdening sense of social responsibility–such as Eleanor Roosevelt, Harry S. Tru­man, and Simone de Beauvoir–were born with a least aspected Saturn? (Among American presidents, LAP Saturn and LAP Pluto occur with a higher frequency than any other plan­ets.) And time and again I found LAP Sun (which rules nearly mythic fame) in such unlikely “least aspected” candidates as John Lennon, Charlie Chaplin, and the ever more mythic and dra­matic John F. Kennedy. There are many other examples. Eventually, I realized that the Transcendental planet represents a modus operandi for wholeness.
        The quest for psychological growth is meaningfully reflected in the astrocartography symbolizes. Transcendental experiences–events of the most central import in a person’s life–often occur under the rising, culminat­ing, setting, or apparent midnight positions of the least- or second least aspected planets. When these planetary lines appear in proximity to each other, they create fields over significant geographical locations. I refer to the combined effect of such energies as Transcendental Midpoint-Fields (TMF). They often play a role in helping us to realize our potential.

Astrolore: How do such energies manifest psychologically?

Couteau: The two least aspected planets, besides indicating a locational plexus, portray the essential personality and the principal motifs in the psychological portrait. For instance, in the case of Nikola Tesla, we have “the inventor / of wireless communication,” “the intellectual / of electricity.” His Uranus / Mercury Transcendental pairing aptly portray his life, his principal accomplishments, the manner in which his mind worked and how he created. Another example: there’s a quotation in Hunter Thompson’s book, The Proud Highway, on Jack Kennedy that beautifully sums up J.F.K.’s Primary Sun / Sec­ondary Saturn Transcendental pairing: “He had a capacity for backing off and watching himself perform, and later commenting on what he’d seen and heard ... He seemed like the only man who knew what was happening.” This illustrates a perfect combination of drama (Sun) and reality (Saturn)! To use a darker example, Adolf Eichmann, in charge of the deportation of the Jews to the gas chambers, was born with Secondary Mars and Primary Transcendental Pluto, illustrating a horrific potential for “energizing / forces of mass destruction” (Mars / Pluto).

Astrolore: Are Transcendental active in the astrocartography of mundane events?

Couteau: Historic events often yield significant Transcendental patterns. Dur­ing the secession of South Carolina, which triggered the Civil War in the States, Mars / Pluto formed a Transcendental Midpoint-Field over the American states that were principally involved in the war: thirty-two of the thirty-four United States. The two excluded from the Transcendental field–California and Oregon–were the two that remained relatively uninvolved in the war (because of their distance from the conflict). In the Civil War, the Mars / Pluto Transcendental pairing symbolized an “aggressive, violent, militarily directed / social and political upheaval.”

Astrolore: What’s your system for gauging the aspects a planet receives?

Couteau: I use a three-point system for gauging traditional major aspects, minor aspects, and aspects to the Midheaven and Ascendant. I followed the aspect orbs suggested by Robert Hand in his Horoscope Symbols. Hand is widely respected in the field, and so I thought: here’s a baseline that most of us can more or less agree with. (I only made a minor adjustment with a couple of minor aspects, which I explain in my book.) Everyone is free to experiment with their own system. I found that this was the one that worked the best.

Astrolore: It’s surprising there’s so little literature on underaspected planets.

Couteau: Underaspected planets have been largely ignored or, at best, given scant atten­tion. Bil Tierney’s book on aspect analysis is an exception, and I relied on it when writing about Transcendental Astrology. But their positive and singular role in determining the life goal and in symbolizing our central psychic orientation has never before come to light. Now, I hope this will begin to change.
        Besides helping us to achieve balance and wholeness, the symbol of the least aspected planet posits to our true or future personality. That’s what the underaspected planet represents. A spiritual yearning directs us toward a distant, future goal; we seek what we are becoming. What we seek isn’t yet fully conscious or understood or worked out or resolved. And that’s why it’s so exciting–we’re giving birth to an unknown something, and that something is the undiscovered Self.
        We couldn’t do that without some help from “above” or “below”–or wherever “it” is. That’s why I chose the term Transcendental. This planetary principle symbolizes a psychic energy that links our conscious talents and concerns with something largely transpersonal or transconscious. It forms a bridge: a means of transcending dualism, of tran­scending an either/or position. Carl Jung often wrote about the tertium non datur or “reconciling third.” In other words, a means of standing above opposites and of establishing an entirely new ground or plateau, and upon that level we find the new horizon of the Self.
        This is precisely what the Transcendental symbolizes: a focal point in the psyche, through which opposites are joined in a transcendent union. Again, this would only be possible if there was something deep within us that transcended a mere ego structure: and the linear experience of a specific, personal life. That’s why I speak of inspiration or grace: these are the means through which the Transcendental principle manifests in three-dimensional time and space. The Transcendental portrays a key symbol that we must personify on this journey.

Astrolore: What about overaspected planets?

Couteau: These symbolize either hypo- or hyperactive psychic tendencies that interfere with a proper psychic balance or wholeness. Often, they lead to compul­sive, hubristic behavior. The overaspected principle may be a bit dangerous, espe­cially later in life, because it represents tendencies that we’ve relied on too much: habitual behaviors that tend toward one-sidedness. Such planets symbolize aspects of consciousness that we have compulsively depended upon. Therefore, in geographical terms, they point to geographic areas where we may overreach, become inflated, and suffer a fall. I compare the most aspected planet to an overcharged circuit that may short-circuit, especially when we relocate to an area under its domain.
        Two historical examples: Hitler’s second most aspected or Secondary Leader, Saturn, was posi­tioned over western Russia, where he overreached and suffered his penultimate defeat. Leading Planet Intersections signify regions that are especially challenging. Amelia Earhart’s most aspected or Leading Moon and her Secondary Leader, Pluto, formed such a Leading Planet Intersection near the location of her final disappearance, indicating that she had there overreached or had in some way overestimated herself, resulting in “emotional turmoil / and death” (Leading Moon / Secondary Leader Pluto).

Astrolore: Where’s your research taking you in the future?

Couteau: My next project is involved with the study of Transcendental Nations: planets that are least aspected when a particular nation is officially formed.

Astrolore: It’s interesting to think of a country with a longed-for spiritual goal; often, spirituality is seen as a purely personal quest.
Couteau: Nations thrive for as long as they embody their spiritual principles. I don’t mean spiritual as “religious” per se. I refer here to the Zeitgeist or “spirit that moves us.” When transcendental patterns outlive their useful­ness, it’s time for a new “Transcendental Nation”: a new symbol with which to portray the future personality of the nation.3
        Just as with nations, the same principle is involved in the creation of human life. We embody a transcendental principle. Eventually, when we’ve done all we can to embody and to serve it, then we outlive our usefulness to that energy and we seek, through death, to incarnate a new transcendental portrait: a new life.

Astrolore: Thank you for sharing what I’m sure will quickly become recognized as an extremely valuable contribution to the field of astrological research.

Couteau: Thanks for inviting me to participate in Astrolore.


1. The complete transcript of the interview is reproduced here for the first time. It was originally published as: “Underaspected Planets & Astrocartography: Introducing Transcendental Astrology. An Interview with Robert Couteau.” Astrolore. The Astrology Magazine (Poole, UK). Sep. 1998, pp. 36-41.

2. “One is least related to one’s parents: it would be the most extreme sign of vulgarity to be related to one’s parents. Higher natures have their origins infinity farther back, and with them much had to be assembled, saved, and hoarded.” Nietzsche, Ecce Homo.
        Cf. Marie-Louise von Franz:  “Pregnant women very often dream that in the realm of the dead, things guard them. For instance, threads or materials are guarded and enter them and make the child. Now, if you want a rational, reductive interpretation, you can say, ‘Yes, obviously. That’s the genetic substance from the dead ancestors ... and in the woman it is now weaving a child ... a new child in her body from the body of millions of dead ancestors....’ That’s if you take it purely reductively, biologically.
        But there seems to me to be something psychologically equivalent.... I have been amazed by such dreams of pregnant women, that a child is conceived or fabricated–motifs of weaving, of manufacturing something in the realm of the dead, the realm of the ancestors, and which is now, through the womb of this woman, going to enter life. It is as if the woman were instrumental in bringing something out of the land of the dead back into life, in a wider sense than just the biological explanation.” Marie-Louise von Franz, The Cat. A Tale of Feminine Redemption, p. 48.

3. “… symbols of the Self, collective symbols of the Self, wear out. Religions, convic­tions, truths, they all age. Everything that has been talked about too much and which has for a while ruled human society is deficient in the sense that it ages. It becomes mechani­cal, too well known, a possession of consciousness.  People feel that by knowing about it they have it…. But if the highest values wear out, if they lose their shattering numinous quality, then naturally there is a great danger. And that’s why, for instance, keeping taboos degenerates into simply keeping formalities without seeing any meaning in them. One is no longer moved by the myth which is behind every taboo. ‘Oh, that damned old story again, I’ve heard it twenty times. So what!’ That again comes from this negative quality of human consciousness in that it becomes blasé; it becomes the owner of truth, and if you can own a truth, if the truth does not own you but you own the truth, then the situation is the wrong way around. That is partly a deficiency of human consciousness and another part is naturally that human situations change. That is the inner reason for the renewal of the kingdom, of the need for the renewal of the kingship.” Ibid., p. 24.

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I. Introduction

II. Transcendental Biographies    |    III. Transcendental Events

IV. Psychic inflation    -    Summary of Planetary Symbolism    -    Transcendental Planets        

V. Nodes / the Triple-zero Transcendental    |    Appendices: Orbs / References / Data

Additional Maps    |    Notes    |    Bibliography    |    FAQ


I. Interview in Astrolore    |    II. Transcendental Nations    |    III. American Presidents & LAP Saturn

IV. World Events    |    V. Numinous Consciousness    

VI. The LAP as a metaphor of the soul    |    VII. Zones of Intensity    |    

VIII. Complete Index of Names and Events
   |    IX. Order Charts / Home Page / Contact

X. Search this entire site    |    XI. Purchasing Books about Astrology

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