by Robert Wilkinson
It seems that I just keep learning more and more about the Art and Science of Astrology! Today we explore the Kite pattern that has been termed “The Hammer of Thor.”
I was tipped to this by something friend of the site Alexei posted on FB. The term intrigued me, and after poking around the web and finding a bunch of incoherent nonsense, I found a site that explained it in terms that made sense.
The term "Hammer of Thor" is astrologer Alice Portman's term for the “Kite” pattern involving a square with a third planet at the inverse midpoint making two sesquisquares to the planets in square. So it’s another “Kite” pattern, along the same lines as the Yod, or Finger of God (2 planets in sextile with a third at the inverse midpoint making two quincunxes). Other examples of “Kite” configurations can be seen when two planets are in quintile with a third at the inverse midpoint making two biqunitiles to the quintile, as well as two planets in septile with a third at the inverse midpoint making two triseptiles.
At the current time, we have two planets in square (Uranus square Pluto), with Venus in Leo at the inverse midpoint, making two sesquisquares to the two planets in square. In a curious “coincidence,” the septile-double triseptile is also in play right now, as per the article posted earlier. Over recent days we’ve had Jupiter in early Leo triseptile Pluto, and now it’s making a triseptile to Neptune.
Regarding this current “Hammer of Thor,” given Venus is in late Leo making a sesquisquare first to Pluto (right now!) and over the next few days to Uranus, this is a good time to observe how interlocking sesquisquares to the Uranus square Pluto will manifest. Remember too that as a transit to transit configuration, we cannot take it personally, even though it may affect us personally.
At Alice Portman’s site, we find that her interpretation of this type of “Kite” involving Octile series aspects (square, sesquisquare) is as follows:
This is a particularly difficult pattern as the sesquiquadrate aspect tends to give quite severe criticism from others and this produces considerable personal tension. To work at its best it needs at least one planet in the pattern to have an outlet i.e. an easy flow aspect to another planet or planetary pattern. The outlet planet can describe people who help and/or a talent or ability that eases the pressure.
In terms of transits to a natal “Hammer of Thor,” she states
Dynamic series transits to Thor’s Hammer can be very stressful as they bring a high level of criticism from others. The trick is to carefully listen to the criticism and take on board the components you feel may be accurate. You can then work on finding ways to turn that energy into a positive… It is wise to discard all criticism that you feel is unfair or unjust as trying to please the critics can destroy you.
I’ve always found that a sesquisquare involves frictional interactions with others, but these do not necessarily produce a crisis. More like a constant irritation that won’t quite go away, cannot be resolved in an easy way, and must be dealt with the best we can.
I’ve also found that with each of the “Kite” configurations, both those listed above as well as others (such as two planets in biquintile with a third tredecile each) that the “nozzle” planet, the one at the inverse midpoint, is the key to productive expression of the energy of the aspect between the two planets “anchoring” the Kite. In our current “Hammer of Thor” involving Uranus, Pluto, and Venus, it’s Venus that will express the energies of the square through the agitation indicated by the double sesquisquares.
Taking the dynamics one step further, the “nozzle” planet will express through the sign opposite to the one it occupies. So Venus in Leo will express through Aquarius. This time shows us how integrated or out of harmony our Aquarius sector is. Keep alert to Leo-Aquarius challenges, and especially express positive Venus qualities. These sesquisquares could help us release tremendous Venus in Leo energy in focused, noble, creative, and/or playful ways.
Another important factor involves the aspects made to the planets in the configuration. In the current situation, the Sun has been harmonizing Uranus via a biquintile, and harmonizing Pluto via a trine. When we add a very favorable and harmonizing Jupiter trine Uranus, it indicates the Uranus square Pluto may not be as difficult now as when either Uranus or Pluto are caught in stressful aspects.
The Pluto part of the square can help us see to the core of things, and we can use economy of energy to cut to the chase in many parts of our lives. Jupiter is harmonizing the individualizing pulse of Uranus in Aries, helping all of us stabilize new heart strengths and commitments in line with the individuality we’ve embraced the past several years. This trine from Leo to Aries will fire up and flame on once Mars gets into Sagittarius, heralding many Grand Fire Trines to come later this year.
I’m sure this topic will raise many questions. There’s no way for me to answer all of them, and so I won’t try when it comes to questions about individual charts. But since I personally have a “Hammer of Thor” in my own natal chart, I may try to offer you some insights in a future article.
This particular “Hammer of Thor” expressing through Venus in Leo will not be repeated next year when the inner planets and Jupiter pass through the same span, as Uranus will NOT be square Pluto next Summer, since they’ll be too wide an angle. Thank heaven! Here’s a brief look at the next transit to transit times when the “Hammer of Thor” will occur.
Sept 13 will have Mercury in Libra square Pluto with both sesquisquared by the Moon in late Taurus, and Sept 17 shows Mars in Sag square Neptune in Pisces with both sesquisquared by the Moon in late Cancer. Oct 10-11 shows Venus in Libra square Pluto with both sesquisquared by the Moon again in late Taurus.
November 3 shows the Moon in Aries square Mars in Cap with both sesquisquare Jupiter, and Nov 14 shows Moon in Leo square Venus in Scorpio, with both sesquisquare Uranus. Those are all I could find in terms of transit to transit configurations.
On a final note, there are many of these made each year, which provide us periods when we can see how they actually work, rather than speculate. And if you have a square or sesquisquare in your chart, there will always be times when a “Hammer of Thor” is made to those planets in your chart.
Look back on major transits creating the configuration, and you’ll probably find those times in your life involved heavy agitation. These may or may not have involved criticism, and of course, please remember we are programmed to perceive it whether it's there or not. That's in the nature of the mind itself.
It could also be said these are times when external sources of friction spur us to get clear about how to express ourselves. Perhaps these are times to use the agitated mind in productive ways, and get rid of useless friction.
In that sense, no configuration "makes" anything happen magically. We are forever the ones who are acting, reacting, or being acted upon. These teach us detachment, compassion, discrimination, and our power to stop whatever and move in a new direction of our choosing.
Here are some final insights to meditate on regarding the meaning of this "Hammer of Thor" configuration. The name of Thor's Hammer is Mjolnir. It has the quality of being able to destroy anything in its path, including mountains, and it always returns to Thor's hand.
It comes from root words "to smash" and "lightning." Because it's associated with lightning, and therefore storms, then it's also another name for Vajra, Sanskrit for thunderbolt or diamond. These symbolize indestructibility (diamond) and irresistible force (thunderbolt).
From the Prose Edda, "... Then he (creator of the hammer) gave the hammer to Thor, and said that Thor might smite as hard as he desired, whatsoever might be before him, and the hammer would not fail; and if he threw it at anything, it would never miss, and never fly so far as not to return to his hand; and if be desired, he might keep it in his sark, it was so small; but indeed it was a flaw in the hammer that the fore-haft was somewhat short."
So if this configuration does in fact have the qualities of "the Hammer of Thor," it will shows as it "cannot fail," "it would never miss," will always return to the hand that throws it, is small enough to carry with us, and has a short handle. Just a few things to ponder as you enjoy exploring the qualities of one of the powerful Kite configurations!
© Copyright 2014 Robert Wilkinson