Seen Any Good Cosmodynes Lately?
by Allen Edwall
Have you ever looked at an astrological chart and wondered which planets were the strongest? Have you ever gazed at a chartwheel wanting a quick thumbnail sketch of just what this person was all about? Or what about the case where you have two charts displayed together in a bi- wheel, have you ever thought about having a quick way to gauge the compatibility between them? Well, if you're like me, then all these things have happened to you as well. I would like to enlighten you on a technique that just might be able to help you in these instances, as well as others along the same vein. The technique I want to share with you is COSMODYNES.
Cosmodynes, also called astrodynes, are an astrological measure of strength and harmony. The original techniques were developed in 1946 by Elbert Benjamine (aka C.C. Zain) of the Church of Light in Los Angeles and W.M.A. Drake. The methods used to calculate astrodynes have been published in several books. The Church of Light has published their "Course XVI, Stellar Healing" book and Elbert Benjamine's "The Astrodyne Manual". The AFA has published Doris Chase Doane's "How To Read Cosmodynes" and Ken Stone's "Delineation with Astrodynes". This last book gives perhaps more interpretation of the various astrodynes than any of the other books mentioned.
Okay, with the source reference material taken care of, let's get back to what cosmodynes actually are. Cosmodynes are units of astrological power. Just as electric power is measured in watts and physical energy is measured in joules or ergs, astrologers can use cosmodynes to measure astrological power. Each planet, sign, and house in any astrological chart has power associated with it. Cosmodynes is the technique that quantifies that power and gives you numbers that can be related to the cosmodyne numbers of the other planets, signs, and houses. From a listing of these cosmodynes you can very quickly tell which planets, signs, and houses in your chart are more powerful and which are relatively weak.
The amount of power a planet has is determined by the house the planet resides in and the aspects the planet makes or receives. The Church of Light uses only the following ten aspects in their determination of planetary power: conjunction, semi-sextile, semi-square, sextile, square, trine, sesqui-quadrate, inconjunct, opposition, and the parallel of declination. The orb for the aspect varies depending on which planets are involved, from which houses the aspects originate, and what aspect is being considered. Complete details of the calculations for planetary power can be found in the above mentioned sources. Believe me when I tell you that the calculations are not easy to do by hand and that they are very time consuming. When I did my first cosmodyne calculations by hand, it took me 9 hours to do everything I needed to do. Now, though, since I am a computer programmer as well as an astrologer, I have written programs (AstroWin and MatchMkr) that do all the necessary math.
Getting back to the actual logistics of cosmodynes, there is more to consider. There is the matter of harmony and discord. All planets, signs, and houses have a harmodyne or discordyne component as well as a cosmodyne (power) component. In other words, there is always a harmony or discord associated with the power of each planet, sign, or house. Harmodynes measure the amount of harmony a planet, sign, or house has, while discordynes measure the amount of discord or inharmony a planet, sign, or house has. This is important information when reading a chart because you need to know how the energies of planets, signs, and houses are likely to work out. In other words, will those energies be used harmoniously or inharmoniously, will the energies likely attract harmony or resistance (discord) from the environment, thus tending to bring positive results or negative results, respectively.
The harmony or discord of a planet is determined by three things, 1) the nature of the planet itself, 2) the nature of each of its aspects, and 3) its essential dignity including mutual reception. House position does not affect harmony or discord, it only affects power. I shall not go into more length here regarding the details of these calculations or how the harmodynes and discordynes for the signs and houses are calculated. All this information can be found in the references previously cited. If you are interested in all the calculations, then you can check out the original source books for yourself. I am mainly interested here in telling you how cosmodynes can be used in a natal chart (a subsequent article will deal with the technique of dual cosmodynes, i.e. cosmodynes between two people's charts).
With a basic background in place, let me now mention some further points regarding cosmodynes. The planet with the most cosmodynes is the ruler of the chart, as it depicts the strongest energy potential. Why is power so important? Well, according to Benjamine and Doane, the strongest planets in a chart indicate those aptitudes that can be cultivated most easily into abilities. Well, you can see that if this is true, then it has powerful and immediate benefits for those who do vocational astrology. Now, what about harmony and discord? What good are they? Again, according to Benjamine and Doane, the best (most harmonious) planets show the things with which the individual can associate to bring good fortune. Along a similar line, the strongest and most harmonious houses emphasize environments or areas of life where the person will find it easier to practice his vocation, the extent that department of life will be active in the individual's life, and the harmony or discord (environmental resistance) that may be expected in that department of life. And the signs? The signs give a picture of the natural, instinctive motivations (likes and dislikes, attitudes and reactions) and enable one to judge whether or not a vocation, among other things, will bring personal satisfaction.
To give an example from Doane's book "Astrology - 30 Years Research", research has shown that in order for a person to be successful as a writer that person should have a strong Mercury (the planet of communication and writing - the Moon and Uranus are also planets associated with writing), a strong third house (the house of writing), and a strong 9th house (the house of publishing). Remember, strength in a chart is shown by the number of cosmodynes a planet, sign, or house has. Additionally it would certainly be hoped that Mercury and the 3rd and 9th houses had as many harmodynes (units of harmony) as possible. This, of course, would tend to make all efforts and actions work out along positive lines rather than negative lines and these actions would receive less resistance from the environment. Going with the flow is easier than trying to go against the flow, right? Ms. Doane and the Church of Light have identified what they call birth-chart constants that need to appear in order for the things signified by them to work out along various lines. You can check these out for yourself in their publications.
Now that we have a better idea as to what we are looking at (the power and harmony or discord of each planet, sign, or house in a chart), let's go through a chart and look at how to form accurate conclusions from the cosmodyne calculations. I will use my own chart here because I know myself much better than any other person. The first chart you should check out should be your own. With that in mind, here is the birth data from my birth certificate: 22 Sep 1949, 10:43 am CST, 95w23, 29n45 (27 Sco 10 rising).
Here is a listing of my cosmodynes:
By the way, you can also use cosmodynes to see the power and harmony of your elements, your quadruplicities, your house combinations, etc. Here are mine:
A positive number under Har/Disc indicates harmony and a negative number represents discord. I should mention here that according to the Church of Light all these numbers are only valid with and within the one chart you are looking at. You cannot compare the raw power and harmony/discord cosmodyne numbers with someone else's directly (although you CAN compare the percentages), at least not by using the techniques described above. In another article I will present to you a listing containing mutual (or dual) cosmodynes, whereby I believe you CAN compare two people's charts using these principles.
Anyway, what do you get from all the above information? Well, I ask you, which planet(s) in my chart are strongest? Which are most harmonious? Please give me answers for the signs and the houses as well. Now, based on that information, give me a quick delineation of my chart, without even looking at my chartwheel. Take a moment and do some thinking. Use your logic, reason, and experience.
Finished?? Okay. I will now tell you a few things about myself so that you get a better idea of the ways in which you can possibly use the cosmodyne data.
Let's look at the houses first. Where do you think I put most of my energy, in what area of my life? That's right. I put most of my energy into working (career - 10th house). In fact, that's all I ever seem to do. The reason for this is that my 10th house has much greater power than any other house, in fact almost 1/3 of the total energy I have is directed into this house (area of my life). Now, where do you suppose I put very little energy, what area of my life gets very little attention? That's correct, the 5th house of fun and amusements. I rarely go out for entertainment, as the work I do is so much fun that it is almost not work at all. Do you see how (why) I channel things into the 10th house? Because it has all the power, well, a third of the total power - more than any other area. You do what you have the energy to do and you direct it into the areas of your life where it naturally tends to flow. For me, it's the 10th house. You can perhaps now imagine what other areas of life are important to me, what areas of life get my attention: philosophy, outlook on life, abstract thought and ideas, expressing public opinion (9th house); doing things to help better the world, advising, counseling (11th); ideas and attitudes toward death and dying, taxes, other people's money (8th house). Well, I think you get the idea.
Now what about the signs? Can you tell me why I'm sometimes an analytical fuss-budget? Yes, it's because Virgo has more power than any other sign. But I am also very indecisive at times and I always look for analogies when I think about things. Sound like Libra to you? Well, Libra is my second strongest sign. And why am I so intense, so unwilling to let go of things sometimes, so fanatical about the things I love, sometimes an all-or-nothing sort of guy? Well, Scorpio is my 3rd strongest sign.
I know what you're thinking. Well, gee, of course he's a Virgo, his Sun and Saturn are there and Virgo is on the MC. And of course, he's going to be Libran with all three mental planets in that sign. And yes, his scorpionic tendencies will always be there because he has Scorpio rising. All that is true, but I tell you this, sometimes a chart isn't as clear-cut to read as this one and that's where cosmodynes can really come in handy. Try it for yourself. Check out your own chart. Check out your spouse's chart.
Okay, now what about the planets (this is where the meat really is)? Well, as you can see, the Moon, the Sun, and Uranus are my strongest planets. This suggests that my natural aptitudes lie in those things ruled by these planets. What does this suggest to you? Do you see aptitude here for electronics, circuit design, astrology, computer programming, umpiring, softball team manager, adult continuing education teacher (electronics, bridge, horary astrology, and computers), mailman, grocery store clerk, wanting to be a policeman, pastor, and/or railroad engineer when I was younger? I think you get the idea.
Do you see where whatever intelligence I have might come from (Mercury you say??? maybe, but I think intelligence is shown more by the Moon, and the more power it has, the higher the potential intelligence - I speculate). What about leadership, being able to take charge and direct things? A strong Sun certainly can't hurt.
Well, this gives you a bit of an idea of what cosmodynes are all about and how they might be very useful in helping you understand yourself and others better. As great as this is, though, I think there is even more potential using cosmodynes to help you better understand your relationships and compatibilities (or lack thereof) with the closest people around you. Another article goes into this in much detail.
References and Bibliography
2. DOANE, Doris Chase - Astrology - 30 Years Research. AFA, Inc., Tempe, AZ, 1956. ISBN 0-86690-070-5.
3. DOANE, Doris Chase - How To Read Cosmodynes. AFA, Inc., Tempe, AZ, 1974. ISBN 0-86690-073-X.
4. STONE, Ken - Delineation With Astrodynes. AFA, Inc., Tempe, AZ, 1972, 1981. ISBN 0-86690-002-0.
5. ZAIN, C.C. - Course 16, Stellar Healing - Astrological Predisposition, Diagnosis and Treatment of Disease. Church of Light, Los Angeles, CA, 1947 and 1996.
copyright by Allen Edwall - all rights reserved
Edited with permission from Allen Edwall. This and other related articles and sharp astrological softwares can be found on the web at http://www.astrowin.org
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