As well as the Aspects and Angles made between the planets, the overall pattern of where each planet falls in a chart tells us a lot about you too. Whether you are an extrovert or more introspective; whether you are goal-fixated or well-rounded – these are all shown to us simply by the basic pattern of your chart.
Discover what the chart shape mean!
When a chart is in the shape of a ‘Bowl’, all the planets are concentrated within one half of chart, sometimes ‘sealed’ by an Opposition. Reflecting the shape of this pattern, people with Bowl-shaped charts are said to be immensely self-contained and resourceful. But they also tend to be ‘one-sided’, so their life’s challenge is to integrate the empty half of their chart.
Bowl types with the majority of planets above the horizon (the Ascendant axis) generally take a more extroverted or objective approach to life; below the horizon, the tendency is towards introversion and a more subjective viewpoint. If the bowl is to the east, or right, of the Midheaven axis, the emphasis is on establishing social outlets for personal initiatives; to the west, or left, the individual is primarily concerned with finding a balance between personal and relationship needs.
He/she can function in a self contained manner in the houses occupied by planets, but usually focuses upon achieving in the unoccupied area of the chart. The first planet in the Bowl (in a clockwise direction) indicated the energies most frequently used to fulfil his/her needs.
In the lower section of the chart: he/she is more likely to be introverted, lacking in confidence and concerned with private affairs.
In the upper section of the chart: he/she is usually extroverted and confident in public, but finds it difficult to relate on a personal level.
In houses 10 – 3: he/she is self contained and independent with leadership qualities.
In houses 4 – 9: he/she is dependant on others and is often forced to follow the dictates of others.
His/her energies are quite concentrated and directed toward definite goals. His/her realm of interests is defined and focused. He/she may be at least somewhat self contained and interested in the purpose of his/her experiences, whether practical or philosophical.
When a chart is in the shape of a ‘Bucket’, all but one planet are on the same side of the chart, with a solitary planet (know as the ‘Singleton’) on the opposite side. As the only presence in the empty half of the chart, the Singleton acts as a counterbalance to the remaining planets, and is often the conduit through which the other energies in the chart are channelled. Any planets within the bowl that aspect the Singleton modify the nature of the energy flow.
People with bucket-shaped charts tend to be goal-fixated because they are capable of concentrating their considerable energies on achieving specific aims with single-minded determination. The Sign and House position of the Singleton show how and in what area of life this effort is likely to be directed.
This pattern is similar to the Bowl pattern, except that one planet is situated in the opposite side of the chart allowing a route into the other side of the world . The handle of the bucket (the singleton) is always an extremely important focal point in his/her life. He/she channels all his/her energy through the handle of the bucket. The sign and house position of this singleton usually indicates the kind of energy he/she most frequently express and the area of life through which he/she seeks satisfaction.
The planet which serves as the handle for the chart will play an emphasized role in understanding his/her horoscope.
When a chart is in the shape of a ‘Locomotive’ the planets are more or less evenly spread over two thirds of the chart, or the equivalent of 9 consecutive signs.
People with Locomotive-shape charts are dynamic, sometimes irresistibly so, and apply their energies to challenges signified by the houses in the tenanted area. However, the vacant section of the chart represents areas in life that are not fully experienced, or at least is felt to be missing, and often indicates a vulnerable part of the personality that needs careful handling.
He/she is self driving. The planet ‘leading’ the others in a clockwise direction around the chart is the driving force of this shape which, is most significant and indicative of the manner in which he/she instigates action. Together with its house position, will show which part of the personality is the motivating force and what kind of experiences it is likely to seek out. This first planet (moving clockwise) is the engine; its sign and house position indicates the energy which fuels his/her drive.
The engine of the locomotive pattern becomes emphasized. His/her energies will be applied in a driven and powerful sort of way, according to the nature of the engine planet.
He/she has a permanent striving for balance which is rarely achieved, because he/she veers from one extreme to the other. He/she is concerned with relationships and is aware of alternatives.
He/she learns through experience. The pattern of his/her life may seem unique and individual with a good smattering of the unexpected popping up at every turn.
He/she may feel as if he/she has more than one direction in life, more than one set of motivations. At times, this can seem confusing; at other times this can be the source of great creativity.
When a chart is in the shape of a ‘Bundle’ all the planets are grouped within one third of the chart. Although rare, this shape reflects a narrowness of vision and experience. People with Bundle-shaped charts tend to channel their energies into issues related to the occupied section at the expense of the rest of the chart. This shape describes a specialist in his or her field or, negatively, an obsessive personality. They can be a highly effective operative in their limited field of experience.
He/she is tenacious, determined and has a single minded attitude to the areas and signs which the Bundle occupies. He/she has a self contained, focused personality and resourcefully concentrates his/her energy upon a limited area of life. He/she has little perspective, but has the capacity to develop his/her resources to the utmost.
In the lower half of the chart: He/she is insular and concerned with personal affairs.
In the upper half of the chart: he/she is more concerned with public affairs.
His/her field of interests and energies are likely to be very concentrated. He/she is self motivated, self controlled, and has a strong sense of his/her own desires and goals.
Rather than directing his/her energy outward through the handle, the Fan person uses the handle planet as a source of support through which he/she satisfies his/her needs.
Astrological Chart Shape: THE SPLASH PATTERN
When a chart is in the shape of a ‘Splash’ all the planets are evenly distributed around the chart, ideally with few or no conjunctions and as many signs occupied as possible.
People with Splash-shaped charts are less focussed and entrenched than others, as this chart shape indicates a more open-minded approach to life and a correspondingly wider range of abilities and interests.
The keywords for this type of person are adaptability and versatility. While these qualities give them the ability to slot into almost any environment, their all-rounder mentality can result in a lack of direction, the effects of which can be seen in their tendency to scatter their energies and spread their talents too thinly. He/she tends to scatter his/her interests, being very talented and capable, but may find it difficult to concentrate. Usually balanced, knowledgeable and understanding of life.
He/she is motivated in many different directions. Likely to be an independent sort of person who learns through experience and is interested in exploring a wide variety of possibilities in life.
However, aspects from planets to the Ascendant and Mid-heaven will help mollify this weakness.
The ‘Splay’ is one of the most common, and least clearly defined, chart shapes. This is because the planets are spread unevenly around the chart. At the very least, there must be one cluster of two or three planets, with the rest distributed randomly; but it is not unusual for there to be up to three such clusters, which may also be linked to each other in an aspect patter such as a Grand Trine or a T-Square.
People with Splay-shaped charts tend to be very much their own people, and have problems adapting to the demands of others. Typically, they hold on to their views tenaciously and give little ground to people who disagree with them. Often motivated by a strong need for freedom, Splay types are likely to be extremely self-sufficient. However, a dislike of discipline and routine can prove to be particular stumbling blocks.
He/she finds it difficult or impossible to conform. He/she is independent, unusual and often wilful. He/she is generally a unique person who self assuredly follow his/her own path.
He/she is undoubtedly a strong individualist. Uncertainty and change may colour his/her life and he/she thrives on a stimulating environment.
A Sling is a variation of the Bucket, only smaller. When a chart is in the shape of a ‘Sling’ all the planets but one are concentrated in one third of your chart and the remaining planet forms a conjunction on the opposite side (known as the ‘Handle’).
The planet forming the Handle acts as a channel for the bundled planets, producing a highly focussed individual who is driven by a vocational calling.
This person is a highly effective operator in their limited field of experience.