What in the Universe Is Your Astrological Vertex? Here’s How This Point May Affect Your Fate

Getty Images/Tim Robberts
While most celestial placements in your astrological birth chart illuminate aspects of your inherent personality, there’s one particular component that sheds cosmic light on how you appear to others: the astrological vertex. Unlike many other astro concepts, the vertex isn't based on a planet or star, but instead an intersection point of two imaginary circles in the cosmos: the ecliptic, which traces the path of the sun from our perspective, and the prime vertical, which divides the celestial sphere into front and back.

This particular intersection plants the astrological vertex deep in the right side of your chart (typically, in the fifth, sixth, seventh, or eighth house), where you'll find it identified by a symbol that looks like "Vx." Based on what each hemisphere of a birth chart represents, that placement reflects a certain flavor of interaction and connection with other people.

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While the left side of your birth chart reflects your core self and the astrological houses that cover individual matters (like the first house of identity and the second house of personal finances), the right side of your chart is where you'll find the houses that relate to public-facing arenas of life and how you interact with others (like the fifth house of pleasure and the seventh house of marriage). As such, your ascendant (aka your rising sign), falls on the left side and reflects the face you show to the world, says astrologer Rachel Lang. So, it follows that directly opposite that point is its counterpoint, the descendant—and at its essence, the astrological vertex can be interpreted like a secondary or auxiliary descendant, says astrologer Maria Sofia Marmanides.

“If the ascendant is you, the descendant is just the opposite,” says Marmanides. “It’s the other person, or the kind of people whom you attract, and their relationships to you, as well as their resources.” Because the vertex acts as a secondary descendant within that right-side hemisphere of the chart, it follows that events triggered by it are related to forces outside of ourselves, she adds.

"The vertex is considered one of those points in our charts signaling events that happen to us through no effort or will of our own." —astrologer Maria Sofia Marmanides

“The vertex is considered one of those points in our charts signaling events that happen to us through no effort or will of our own,” says Marmanides. And that's why fascination with the vertex centers around its connection to destiny, or life occurrences we can’t control. Unlike your regular descendant, which relates to the types of activities, places, and other people you're drawn to, the vertex (aka an auxiliary descendant) relates to those particular outside elements that we may attract to ourselves without even being aware of it.

How the astrological vertex is activated:

Because the astrological vertex is a rather esoteric and imaginary point (as opposed to a physical planet or asteroid), its energy will not always be active in your life. “The vertex mostly lies dormant in our chart until a natal or transiting planet triggers it,” says Marmanides, generally by creating a particular aspect with it. “It needs something that reflects or holds light against it to activate it,” she adds.

In some cases, that activating force can come from someone else in your space, too. “When you meet someone whose sun, moon, or ascendant conjunct (aka are in the same sign or house as) your vertex, it can become activated,” says Lang. “That relationship can feel fated, and you might feel an instant connection.”

How to interpret your astrological vertex:

Once you’ve identified the house, sign, and degree of your vertex using an online natal-chart generator, you can take note of current planetary transits to those regions and any fated happenings that occur during those transits, says Marmanides.

“The house placement of your vertex, in particular, can also give you clues as to what kind of fated events you may draw toward you,” says Marmanides. “For example, if your vertex is in the fifth house of pleasure, you may find you’re the kind of person who falls in love at first sight and gets easily swept off their feet by a new person. Or, there could be fated moments in your life around any other fifth-house topic, like children, romance, or sex.”

What the vertex could mean for your relationships:

Because interpretations of the vertex stem from its connection to people and things outside ourselves, the sign placement of your vertex may also offer insight into auspicious relationships. While it’s admittedly less significant than the placement of your Juno sign for figuring out your relationship style, the sign of your vertex could reflect what others expect of you within a relationship, or the type of person you’ll eventually become in a relationship, says Lang, even if it doesn’t reflect how you currently perceive yourself in that arena.

For example, if your vertex is in Aries, that may mean that a partner views you as someone who will take on a more independent or passionate role in a relationship, while a vertex in Sagittarius could mean you’re destined for an adventurous partnership down the line.

And whenever the vertex is activated in terms of another person coming into your life, it functions as something like a turning point. “Events triggered by the vertex take on a before-and-after quality,” says Marmanides, “meaning there was life before you met this person, and then life after that, with the two periods feeling distinctly different.” So while fate is still quite literally left up to the stars, you may be able to tempt it just a bit with a clearer understanding of where your vertex lies.


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