Bowl Planetary Pattern Sun photo

Black Chancery text

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The Bowl Planetary Pattern

Bowl planetary pattern horoscope chart

The Bowl Planetary Pattern with a fixed T-square: Caroline Kennedy



         The Bowl Planetary Pattern (page 315 in You and the Universe) is a chart in which all ten planets are within approximately 180° of each other, or within half of the zodiacal circle. The pattern remains classified as a Bowl until the separation between the boundary planets is less than 130°, at which point it is known as a Wedge. And if there is an open area within the bowl that is greater than 60° it is no longer considered a Bowl but rather an Hourglass or a Seesaw planetary pattern.

         The two planets at the lips or rim of the Bowl may or may not be opposed; if they are, their opposition is known as the “rim opposition.” Both the presence of a rim opposition and a T-square strengthen a Bowl. The more exact the rim opposition, the stronger is the Bowl pattern’s influence in your character. If your rim opposition is wide (say more than 8° from exact), or there is no reinforcing T-square in the Bowl, the Bowl Pattern in your chart may not be extremely definitive of your character or compelling in its nature. But it is still present.

         If you have a Bowl chart you are probably very self-contained and often have a mission, cause or advocacy in life, which manifests either as dedication to an ideal, or more onerously as a cross to bear. You often base your sense of self-worth upon a significant contribution that you’ve made to life that others have valued and acknowledged; if you haven’t already done this, it is probably a necessary and important step for you. You function best in crisis situations, where, according to Marc Jones, you have “an ability to hold steadfast under strain.” Be aware, however, that your reliable steadfastness doesn’t turn into intractability. You’re also a whole-hogger, putting your heart and soul into the enterprises you take on.

         Bowl Pattern individuals tend to seek balance and harmony with your environment, perhaps to compensate for the polarity between the occupied and unoccupied halves of your charts. The occupied half of your chart symbolizes what you have to give to the world, and the unoccupied portion what you, consciously or unconsciously, feel you lack.

         Imagine your planets rotating around your chart in a clockwise direction, which in fact they do, due to the daily rotation of the earth. The planet at the clockwise end of the Bowl group is the most highly emphasized planet in the chart, and is known as the "cutting planet." (In the Bowl sample chart in the upper left on page 52 in You and the Universe, and shown above, the cutting planet is Uranus-¨ .) The name comes from the fact that as the Earth rotates, the cutting planet seems to "cut" into the ascendant rather than being drawn passively through it as is the other rim planet. If the cutting planet is also the ruler of the ascendant, it is a very important planet in the chart! The cutting planet is also greatly emphasized if it’s in an angular house, especially the first or the tenth. The affairs of whatever house the cutting planet occupies are emphasized in proportion to the cutting planet’s emphasis. The rim opposition symbolizes—through the signs and houses of the opposed planets—a need for compromise between their opposing energies that is usually resolved in favor of the cutting planet.

         A hemispheric Bowl Pattern is one in which all ten planets are either in houses 7 - 12 ("upper hemispheric bowl"), houses 10 - 3 ("eastern-hemispheric bowl"), houses 1 - 6 ("lower hemispheric bowl"), or houses 4 - 9 ("western hemispheric bowl"). Let's take a look at the four types of hemispheric bowls below.

         Upper hemispheric Bowl

         The occupied upper hemisphere symbolizes the outer and social world, the not-self, competence, riches, and complex needs and expression in otherness, groups, and in the professional arena. Your upper hemisphere Bowl symbolizes a very public person compelled to live an outer, practical life who can hide little from others. You are very giving, but have a strong need for the experience and strength of others. Since the Bowl is overturned and therefore symbolically emptying itself, you will have a hard time retaining the fruits of your efforts. The unoccupied lower hemisphere, on the other hand, may symbolize a feeling of lack or inadequacy in self-worth and in who you are.

         Eastern (Left-) hemispheric Bowl

         The occupied eastern hemisphere symbolizes self-determination: you are the source of initiative in your life, and are primarily an actor as opposed to an experiencer. In order to be effective, however, you must both act and observe; that is, to act consciously you must take others into consideration. You tend to “scoop up” experiences, and are the cause of your problems and successes. The closer Saturn or Neptune is to the ascendant, the more they will cancel out the effects of an eastern hemisphere emphasis. The Moon and Venus here also tend to weaken the actor temperament, although not as much as Saturn or Neptune. Planets in the twelfth house also weaken the actor temperament, requiring caution and consideration before manifesting. Celebrities with Eastern Hemispheric Bowls are/were Britt Ekland, Gurumayi, Joe Greene, Elizabeth Jagger, Ian McShane, Gregory Peck, Anthony Quinn, Nancy Sinatra and Carrie Snodgrass.

         Western (Right-) hemispheric Bowl

         An occupied western hemisphere symbolizes the ‘capture’ position, where one’s tendency is to take on activities initiated by others and bring them to fruition. With this bowl pattern your major problems come as the result of the actions of others. Of all four possible hemispheric bowls, this one is most the product of the times and environment; when you come to prominence it is generally of your own doing. You are an opportunist able to take great advantage of situations as they present themselves.

         Lower hemispheric Bowl

         If we take the figure of a bowl more literally, an occupied lower hemispheric bowl symbolizes a Bowl that cannot spill its contents, symbolizing that you are more self-contained than with any other orientation of the Bowl. You are a very private person, often your own best friend, and if the cutting planet is in the first house, have a great need for ego satisfaction. Because the emphasis of a lower hemisphere Bowl is on emotional foundations, home, and roots, you may have trouble orienting yourself to others and to the outside world; but once you do, your treasure is that you then have a lot of yourself to give.

         Celebrities with the Bowl pattern are/were Paul Anka, Desi Arnaz, Arthur Ashe, Candice Bergen, Daniel Berrigan, Pierce Brosnan, Julie Christie, Bill Clinton, Franco Corelli, Jane Curtin, Donovan, Patty Duke, Steve Forbes, Joe Greene, Phil Hartman, Goldie Hawn, Jimi Hendrix, Tommy Lee Jones, Caroline Kennedy, Billie Jean King, Stephen King, Penny Marshall, Steve Martin, Bette Midler, Joe Namath, Olivia Newton-John, Carlos Santana, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kenneth Starr, Oliver Stone, Barbara Streisand, Pete Townshend, Margaret Trudeau, Donald Trump, Henry Winkler and Peter Ustinov.

         This Bowl-Planetary-Pattern-in-Astrology page and much of this 600-page website are excerpted from You and the Universe, a personalized, fine art astrology-mythology-astronomy book through which is woven each recipient's complete astrology reading.


11 Planetary Patterns:


T-square Grand Trine Hourglass or Seesaw
Bowl Locomotive Wedge or Bundle
Bucket Tripod or Splay Fan
Grand Cross Splash




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©Carl Woebcke, The Bowl Planetary Pattern in Astrology, 1991-2017. All rights reserved.