As a general principle: a singleton planet creates strong focus for the birthchart as a whole.
The surrealistic painter, Salvadore Dali, for example, has 9 planets above the horizon, and only Uranus below.
With a southern preponderance, we expect Dali to be an extrovert, shaped largely in response to the norms and expectations of consensus reality. If anything, the opposite seems true.
Early in his career, Dali was known for his near photographic realism, painting still life oranges with every dimple visible. Today, Dali is known for an extremely subjective style of art called surrealism that celebrates the unconscious and the interior landscape of the psyche.
At the other extreme, we have filmmaker Steven Spielberg, who has 9 planets below the horizon and only Uranus above.
With a northern preponderance, Spielberg should be a classic introvert, living in his own world, shaping himself according to some internal dictate. Yet Spielberg is one of the most prolific directors of his generation, with many of his films touching a powerful chord of recognition within the public – exploring such extroverted subjects as extraterrestrials, the horror of war, and the adventures of swash-buckling heroes.
As a child, Spielberg suffered from Asperger’s Syndrome, a mild form of autism that leads to obsessive interests – often with positive results, but here noted as an expression of the exaggerated introversion his pattern would lead us to expect.
Despite the northern orientation of his chart, its singleton effect has propelled him to superstar status within the extroverted domain of public recognition. He is noted for projecting his personal obsessions onto the big screen for public consumption – speaking a common language with widespread resonance.
As an example of western preponderance with an eastern singleton (Mars), we have Sigmund Freud.
A European Jew born in the mid 19th century, Freud grew up in a world that was a broad social experiment in adaptation to the German mores of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Jewish men of the day were limited to careers in law or medicine, and so Freud chose medicine. What he really wanted to do was neurophysiological research, but he lacked the necessary funds. Since Freud was already engaged, and planning a family, he chose a practical career as a physician with a specialty in neurology – essentially pursuing an adaptive path in line with his western orientation.
With a singleton Mars in the east, however, Freud had the opportunity to put his distinctive stamp on the practice of neurology. His big breakthrough came when he underwent self-analysis (a particularly eastern experience) that would continue for the rest of his life. Out of this came his notion of the Oedipus complex that put sex (governed astrologically by the planet Mars) at the root of human motivation.
The opposite situation exists with impressionist painter and older contemporary of Freud, Pierre-Auguste Renoir – who had an eastern predominant chart, and Mars as a singleton planet in the west.
Expressing an early interest in art, Renoir took an apprenticeship painting decorations on china for a porcelain factory. He moved on to study the classical art of the Old Masters, but soon rebelled against the art establishment of his day. In contrast to the somber realism of Victorian Europe in vogue, Renoir began painting colorful scenes in bright colors and quick brush strokes, cultivating a style that came to be known as impressionism. Shunned by the stodgy art elite, Renoir and some fellow renegades started their own Salon des Refuses, the show of the refused ones – a rebellion often characteristic of eastern predispositions.
Unlike Freud, who started pioneering in his 40s, Renoir returned to his roots as a traditional arts craftsman and admirer of the Old Masters, and to a more classical style, involving greater attention to detail. His subjects, however, remained cheerful dancers, sun-drenched landscapes and young nubile women painted in luminous, vibrant colors – blending a typical Marsian lust for life with a western response to the challenge of his critics that impressionists sell "sketches that are hardly dry.”
Revisiting Singleton Planets--Alone, but not Lonely
What are Singleton Planets? They are unaspected planets in a Natal Chart, at least they don't form any aspects with other planets, though they might have conversations with asteroids, Moon Nodes or appear in a a prominent place in a chart such as in an angular house. When we first notice an unaspected planet we might think that the planet is weak in the chart, yet, I have noticed the opposite scenario. A Singleton planet actually carries more weight in a chart because it arrives in its purist form in that no other planet adds its influences to it.
However, since the planet doesn't aspect other planets, we have little access to it. Singleton planets remind me of planets that fall in the 12th House where they hide from us. I have a Singleton Venus (which I've written about in previous posts) that falls in my Sixth House and represents one of several retrograde planets in my chart (I also have Saturn and Neptune retrograde). On one hand, I feel like I have to work hard to look attractive. When I wore makeup it smeared, didn't often stay in place and I struggled with getting it right (Venus). I can't stand my thin hair which often frizzes. And I have ruined clothing, often snagging silk or staining favorite blouses.
And yet, others don't notice these flaws and I often don't see what they see in me. When I was a teen I subscribed to fashion magazines and envied the models, but at the same time, I'm an aesthetic person so I admire "beautiful people" too especially since my Singleton Venus forms an inconjunct to my Neptune in Scorpio. Since this Venus falls in my Sixth House, if I don't take care of my health (drink enough water, get rest, exercise and eat healthy) I resemble a hag. And so a beauty routine is part of my regime and has been since I turned 13 years of age. While I could go on, I would rather you read another article I wrote on Singleton Planets.
I met a woman on the bus with a Singleton Jupiter. I was admiring a satchel that she said she found at a thrift store. While that was definitely a "find", something someone with a Jupiter Singleton excels at, this woman gave me the vibe that she considers herself unlucky. Yet, someone with a Singleton Jupiter seems extremely fortunate to other people. They are in the right place at the right time and whatever they're doing, we wish we could do. Yet, Singleton Jupiter people feel like they're often down on their luck. They don't notice that the Universe is blessing them at every corner because they don't have that awareness.
So what happens is that they complain to others and sometimes act like victims. When they do that, the other people scoff at them. I mean these are the folks who often have jobs we envy or they buy their first lottery ticket and take home a prize or they always seem to manifest what they desire, though usually in obtuse ways. Contrarily, they could also come off as intense Polly Annas and scare people with their exuberance (Jupiter) or enthusiasm. They also learn foreign languages easily and wonder why other people struggle learning new languages. They love to travel and they fit into whatever culture they visit. Or they could stand out like a sore thumb such as a tall Swede traveling in Japan.
The point I'm trying to make is that we require an awareness of any Singleton Planets in our Natal Charts or in the charts of our children, friends, parents, lovers, etc. People with Singleton Planets are not playing mind games with us. They really lack an awareness of how others see them and witness their lives. It's like that saying, the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing. And yet, when we dismiss these planets and don't integrate their energies in our lives, we can't reach a place of wholeness and feel like something is missing from our lives (for me that has always been a relationship with a significant other or feeling comfortable in my own skin).
The next step is to look for the Ruler of the Singleton Planet (or in the case of Venus or Mercury, rulers) and see which House it rules and any planets in that house. So if a person has a Singleton Mars in the Sixth House we look for Aries in the chart. Perhaps the person has an Aries Ascendant and normally would identify with an Aries persona and themes, except that Mars energy is hidden from this person which could come off as anger issues such as repressed anger or a stormy personality that causes other people to disappear from a room. Yet, they see themselves as peaceful or as nice people.
Also look for the sign and house the Singleton Planets falls in as well as its direction. A Singleton in retrograde motion gives us even less access to its energy. And what about a planet that falls in its own sign or an exalted sign as a Singleton?
While we shouldn't spend all our time exploring the Singleton Planets when reading ours or clients' charts, let's not skim over these planets either. With transformational astrology especially, these Singleton's bring up emotional issues or even wounds (my Venus square my Natal Chiron) that we must address at some point. And I think it's better to do this as young adults rather than to wait until middle age. And for many years I dismissed my Venus as unimportant not knowing that she gave me an emotional workout behind the scenes. And that's the same for any Singleton Planet.
If you have a Singleton Planet in your Natal Chart (which you can find by running a free chart from any number of websites), don't just stop at this article. Explore your planet and its themes. Read other articles and chapters in astrology books on Singleton Planets. And if you find that you're battling with ongoing problems that your other aspects don't explain fully, then see how the Singleton plays a role. Self-discovery is a gift bestowed on us by unaspected planets.
The Singleton Planets