Introduction to the PSPsSept., 2002
The Personal Sensitive Points (PSPs)
© 2012, Michael Munkasey
The Personal Sensitive Points (PSPs) are ONE of the SEVEN traditional parts, or tools, used by astrologers. These seven parts are named the: planets, signs, houses, aspects (or harmonics), the Personal Sensitive Points, fixed stars, and long precessional cycles.
The PSPs derive from the astronomy of the quality of TIME around an event. The PSPs are time sensitive. The accuracy of the time used when erecting a chart is important in determining the accuracy of the PSP locations for that chart. That is, every chart which uses an accurate time gives accurate PSP information. Charts with questionable times could show less accurate PSP positions.
There are eight (8) PSPs. They are each paired points. That is, they are NOT one location in the chart, but they lie across a chart axis as a PAIR of points. It is important to think of them as a connected set of points.
The pairs should NOT be separated when working with most astrological delineations. One common exception to this is the use of the Moon's Node in esoteric astrology. Otherwise, for example, when delineating meanings for the Ascendant this automatically also includes the Descendant; the MC and the IC are a delineation set; etc. The names of the PSPs and their commonly used abbreviations are:
Primary Name (abbrev.) Paired Name (abbrev.)
Ascendant (ASC, AS, A) Descendant (DSC)
Midheaven (MC, MC, M) Lower Heaven (IC)
Equatorial Ascendant (EQA, EQ) Equatorial Descendant (EQD)
Vertex (VTX, VT) Anti-Vertex (AVX)
Co-Ascendant (CAS, CA) Co-Descendant (CDS)
Polar Ascendant (PAS, PA) Polar Descendant (PDS) and,
The Aries Point (APT, AP) The Libra Point (LIB)
The Node of the Moon can be logically included with these personal sensitive points and its name, symbolic abbreviation and its opposing point is:
North Node (NN) South Node (SN)
I recommend use of the Moon's True Node, not the Moon's Mean Node. Some computer programs incorrectly call the Equatorial Ascendant 'the East Point.' Astronomically, the East Point is the east point on the horizon, and NOT the Equatorial Ascendant which astrologers use. The correct name for the astrological point is 'the Equatorial Ascendant.' Please ask your computer programmer to correct any erroneous labels in his / her programs.
Each of the PSPs contains information about parts of the human mind. It is important to understand that the human mind is NOT one thing. It has parts to it. There is a forefront of the mind, there is a back of the mind, there is a part of the mind which receives non-sensory information, etc. The PSPs deal with the structure of how you receive, process, distribute, and then give back information through your five physical as well as your ESP senses.
The planets, signs, etc., introduce earthly attributes and traits, but the PSPs represent your personal interpretation of these qualities and traits. E.g., Venus astrologically represents love, money, etc., but greed and jealousy are shown through the Venus associated PSP. Mercury represents how you communicate, or process and classify information, but the Mercury associated PSP deals with how that information is treated by your mind.
These Yang and Yin pairings show extremes of contrast within each PSP.
PSP Pair Name Planet Ruler Yang idea Yin idea
Ascendant Mercury everyday attitudes narrow mental focus
Midheaven Saturn growth, maturity a lack of discipline
Equatorial Asc. Moon inner archetypes no role models
Vertex Venus wish fulfillment greed, jealousy
Co-Ascendant Mars ESP awareness self-centeredness
Polar Ascendant Jupiter community ideals bending of rules
Aries Point Sun seizing opportunity irresponsibility
Moon's Node (none) affiliation, joining unsettled issues
Here is how to hand calculate the PSPs:
LST = Local Sidereal Time on the Midheaven (MC)
LIT = Local Sidereal Time on the Lower Heaven (IC)
LIT = LST + or - 12 hours
LAT = Terrestrial Geographic Latitude (LAT)
CLT = Co-Latitude = 90 degrees minus LAT
Name of point Use Use Look up in Table of Houses
ASC LST LAT Ascendant Column
MC LST MC Position / Notation
EQA LST 0 degrees Ascendant Column
VTX LIT CLT Ascendant Column
CAS LST CLT Ascendant Column
PAS LIT LAT Ascendant Column
APT - - - - Use: Zero Aries
Moon's Node (True) Look in Ephemeris
The PSPs show information about you. Some of these PSPs are more astrologically popular to use than others. Some you may not even have heard or read about. This does NOT mean that they are not useful in an astrological way. You do not HAVE to use each PSP, but I strongly urge you to do so. They can add much to the information to the charts you study.