Harmonic Case Studies: 5H

David Hamblin, in his book “Harmonic Charts” writes:  “When we move into the H5 chart, we move for the first time into unknown territory.”[1]  It is a move away from the familiarity of twoness found in the H4 chart and into the unevenness of H5–H5 forces us to choose the unnatural.  Hamblin uses the analogy of time signatures found in music.  As a musician, I can confirm that the time signature of 5/4 (or 4/5) is very rare and, in my opinion, uncomfortable and awkward both to play and to listen to.  I have never seen it used throughout an entire piece (though I’m sure someone has tried to do it).  Instead the 5/4 time signature is used only for a few measures, perhaps to induce a feeling of  emotional discomfort to the listener–it is a technique deliberately chosen by the composer for the effect it would have.

The H5 chart draws together the quintiles and bi-quintiles into conjunctions and all aspects connected through one-fifth of the circle (72 degrees).  Mathematically, this makes sense but what does it mean?  To me, Harmonics gives astrologers a chance to explore the meaning of numbers.  So what of the H5 chart?  John Addey, according to Hamblin says the H5 chart is “the putting together of form and matter and in this sense art.”[2] Addey goes on to indicate that this is a process of the mind and so the H5 chart is also connected to power because “to be able to arrange matter into a form of one’s choosing is to exert power over it.”[3] Hamblin clarifies by saying that “Fiveness is essentially connected with the idea of making, arranging, building, constructing, structuring, forming.  It is to do with the creation of order out of chaos. . .It is therefore the first number in which man asserts his power over the world.”[4]

So, how did Baudelaire create order from chaos?  I want to imagine a blank piece of paper in front of him and examine the process of how he writes–but this skips over his choice to put this piece of paper in front of him in the first place. Why does he chose to write is perhaps a better question with which to start.

Though Hamblin relates H5 to pure science and engineering, clearly this is inappropriate to Baudelaire, a word artist. As a writer, one might expect Baudelaire’s Mercury to feature highly in the H5 chart. On investigation of his chart, it can be seen that his Mercury is connected by the sextile aspect to Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune, by semi-sextile to Chiron and by square to his ascendant.

The Mercury sextiles in Baudelaire’s H5 chart seem to be indicating the search for truth, freedom and escape (Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune).  Baudelaire’s mind finds confidence in patterns (Jupiter) and he would not be troubled by the unexpected or the unknown of Uranus/Neptune (as he was in his natal chart). One of the most fascinating aspects in Baudelaire’s chart is his Mercury square the ascendant.  Natally, Mercury was conjunct Mars and Pluto which can be quite obsessive.  Also he had squares to both Uranus and Neptune.  The square indicates a great effort and between Mercury and ascendant in H5, it represents Baudelaire’s struggle to find a style.  It is known from his biography that he spent most of his inheritance on funding his sense of style:  he even called himself a “dandy.”  He chose to change himself from the ordinary into something quite memorable–a decision which lead to his financial downfall. In order to create, Baudelaire had to project the right image of himself.

Natally, Baudelaire had no planets on the asc/des axis.  However, in the H5 chart, he Saturn conjunct the ascendant indicating that he took steps to adopt self imposed inhibitions in his creative work.  Also in his natal chart was a concentration of planets on the western hemisphere.  In the H5 chart, there is a shift to the southern hemisphere with the Moon as the handle of a bucket-shaped chart.  Here is can be see his writing was created with the intention of being seen by the world–and his feelings were paramount for this to happen.  As the Moon and Saturn are in a trine aspect in H5, it can be surmised that he controlled his feelings with a deliberate lack of sensitivity in order to create.  Baudelaire moved from being challenged by his emotions in the natal chart to using them creatively to his advantage in H5. This is also echoed with Saturn and the ascendant square Pluto in H5 but this also adds the depth of being obsessive and single minded in his creativity.

Hamblin side-steps the nodes in Harmonic Charts because of the discrepancy between the true and mean nodes means there can be a vast difference in any harmonic chart if one chooses one or the other.  However, the mean nodes of Baudelaire’s H5 chart square Mars (the nodes are unaspected in the natal chart) so therefore are worth commenting on.  If it is taken that the nodes are an indication of creative destiny then Mars can be interpreted as a creative or stylized effort to change the direction of his work.  He may have been over used the Mars energy to drive his creative impulses–perhaps there is even a sexual element here with Baudelaire overstating the themes of sexuality in his creative work.  This theme also runs in the Moon-Uranus square of the H5 chart: Baudelaire found his style through the harshness of this aspect–a style that shocked a lot of people of the time.

Overall, there are fewer squares in the H5 chart as opposed to their abundance in the natal chart.  Baudelaire’s creativity was easier for him to express than his natal personality.  His mind found discipline through Saturn in the H5 rather than his emotions railing against the harshness and restrictions he faced in his natal chart.

Morrison’s aspect frequency analysis report from his natal chart shows a less than average number of hits for the conjunction and trine and, with the exception of the semi-square, for the minor aspects of semisesquiquadrate, semi-sextile and quintile. Morrison has slightly more hits than expected for the square and opposition. However, natally, it is the number of hits for the sextile, semi square and bi-quintile aspects that stand out most as they are in abundance in Morrison’s chart. Planets linked by the sextile aspect work together harmoniously, efficiently and productively and “can be symbolised by the busy bee, systematically creating the hexagonal honeycomb.” Uncontrolled, the sextile aspect can produce mindless repetition. Planets linked by the semi-square aspect have the potential to produce solid results and this aspect “is particularly related to the precipitation of the ’events’ of the life through which the past and the present can be reconciled and worked out.” Used wisely, the semi square aspects are amongst the most constructive aspects; uncontrolled, the result is “a ‘fated’ involvement with events beyond one’s control.” The number of hits in the natal chart for the bi quintile aspect suggests Morrison’s 5H chart should have a number of major aspects between planets. Natally, it can be expected that Morrison can use his creative nature to gain a mastery over the elements required for success. There are fewer aspects than expected for the septile and bi septile aspects but a higher than average number of hits for the tri-septile aspect, suggesting that there may be fewer conjunctions or major aspects in the 7H chart. I would expect that Morrison would have an unusually strong 5H chart.


Jim Morrison’s 5th harmonic

Having established the major factors at work in his natal chart, it is now possible to look at his 5H chart to examine how Morrison can use the energies available to him on a creative level.

David Hamblin, in Harmonic Charts wrote: “My own research has convinced me that Fiveness is essentially connected with the idea of making, arranging, building, constructing, forming. It is to do with the creation of order out of chaos: the bringing together of things that are naturally separate into a formal relationship with one another.” Most eye-catching in the 5H chart is the grand cross involving the Sun, Moon, Neptune, Pluto, N. Node, Chiron, MC and Jupiter. In Jim, there was a magnificent struggle to develop his creativity involving his sense of self (the Sun), his emotions (the Moon), his dreams and addiction (Neptune), his ability to transform the self (Pluto), his role as the wounded healer (Chiron), his goals and sense of identity (MC and North node) and the opportunities available for him (Jupiter). There are few soft aspects, in fact, far fewer than expected. Morrison’s 5H chart overflows with conjunctions, oppositions, squares, semi-squares and, particularly, sesquiquadrate aspects. This shows that the planets in the 5H chart are striving towards fiveness, struggling to find an appropriate style of expression. Morrison, although undoubtedly creative, would have developed a brash, abrasive style as he tried to bring his creativity into manifestation and he may have developed pointless obsessional habits in his efforts. One wonders, with so much conflict in the 5H chart, how Morrison ever made it out of the house or achieved anything. As he developed his style, he may have found himself unable to connect or be a part of the natural world as we understand it. He may have found his style set him apart from others. Though Hamblin provides no interpretation for an abundance of sesquiquadrate aspects in the 5H chart, it is a derivative of the semi square and square aspects which suggests Morrison never ceased in his efforts to develop his own style. It would have been impossible to know this from Morrison’s natal chart alone.

Having analysed the prominent aspect types, individual aspects and their synthesis can be examined.

The tightest aspect is Mercury inconjunct ascendant. This aspect provides a clue as to why Morrison was able to leave his home despite such a 5H: perhaps he was able to communicate a working understanding of his creativity. Perhaps, as he developed the factors in his 5H chart, he was able explain away any unusual behaviour in a manner developed from the resolution of problems he experienced when he was younger.

The next tightest aspect is Uranus conjunct Venus. Morrison was able to creatively use his charm in an original and most likely exciting manner. He expressed a sharply defined individuality that excited those he related to. Morrison’s expression of pain and his ability to help others was his most likely goal or intention (Chiron/S. Node conjunct MC) but he would have struggled to make this work with his need to be innovative (Venus/Uranus sesquiquadrate Chiron/S. Node/MC). As the sesquiquadrate usually delivers the goods it promises eventually, the style Morrison expressed would have produced the effect of an eccentric able to soothe the hurts of those who heard him sing or saw him perform. It may even be said, with Pluto conjunct the IC that Morrison’s creative emotional skills had a way of transforming through their expression (as in music or poetry–which would be Neptune and Mercury connections). With Uranus sextile Mercury, Morrison would have been able to communicate his own uniquness and style–which would have set him apart from other.

In Morrison’s Moon/Sun/Neptune conjunction, we see a creature of habit determined to project a caring, sacrificial, romantic vision through its expression of creativity. This triple conjunction is the driving force of the grand cross and its opposition to Jupiter would have magnified it’s intensity whilst its square to the MC may indicate the excesses damaged or posed a challenge to Morrison’s successful career. However, as has already been indicated, squares provide the opportunities to turn the greatest weakness into the greatest success. We can also see this potential to turn failures into successes in Morrison’s 5H Mars sextile Saturn. With all the energies of Uranus in the natal chart (he had the conjunction natally), in the 5H we see the ability to incorporate physical energy with the application of discipline

It is fascinating to study the charts of successful people. However, it must be pointed out that Morrison died at a young age and at a time in his life when he was moving away from what had made him so successful. At his death, he was not the man so revered by men and women. He had become far removed from the “Lizard King” loved by his fans and yet this does nothing to diminish his influence and power (5H Pluto conjunct IC and nodes). In fact, Morrison’s influence remains so strong that to this day, some thirty-seven years after his death, his grave is still covered with cigarettes, condoms and other symbols of excess associated with Morrison (5H Jupiter square MC/Chiron, Pluto and nodes).


[1] Hamblin, David Harmonic Charts, The Aquarian Press (1983), p. 47

[2] Ibid, p. 48

[3] Ibid

[4] Ibid

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