The Group Horoscope – Introduction

First published in “The Mountain Astrologer”, December 2017
German version originally published by ASTROLOGIE HEUTE magazine No. 180, April 2016

For many centuries, individual horoscopes have been central to astrology. As a rule, particular points in time are analyzed, whether concerning human beings, states, organizations, or mundane constellations. Currently, however, only two horoscopes can be conveniently related to each other. Groups of three or more individuals quickly become difficult to master when conventional tools are used, and such groups therefore elude a systematic analysis.

What is essential for a systematic approach, however, is the synthesis of relations within a group. Whether a family, a circle of friends, the department of a company, a party executive committee, a government, the G8 Summit, a football team, or a rock band, a group is always more than the sum of its individuals or of the relations between any two members within it. To this end, I have developed a new astrological method that allows a synoptic view of up to 20 horoscopes: the Group Horoscope or Niederwieser Relationship Chart.

In this article, I present the basics of this innovative technique. I also demonstrate its practical application, using an example from my daily work as an astrological business consultant: This case concerned the research and development department of a medium-sized company, which had lost its talent for innovation. Finally, the article introduces a wide range of further applications of the Group Horoscope.

Previous Tools of Group Analysis

Suppose a client tells you the following: “Something’s wrong in our research department. We have capable engineers and technicians who all work assiduously and are dedicated to their project plans, but at the end of the financial year we lack innovative product developments. Can you help us?”

Once you are given the birth dates of the employees in this department, the madness begins: Astrology provides excellent tools for decoding the individual character, the strengths and weaknesses of a person or an organization; likewise, the relations between two horoscopes, including their evolution over time (transits, progressions, directions, etc.), can be analyzed by having recourse to the traditional tools. However, decoding the essence and dynamics of groups astrologically is a much more difficult process. Dealing with three or more persons becomes extremely laborious.

For situations such as these, astrologers have elaborated various approaches. Sometimes the network of relations is reduced to the sum of relations between two members: You can relate the head of the department to every single employee, or you can analyze problematic relations between any two co-workers who don’t get along. But what is inherently wrong with the department will not be fathomed.

Other astrologers may spend hours delving into all the individual horoscopes, juxtaposed in front of them on a huge desk or on a wall. With this kind of approach, you can reach your aim instinctively, but you run the risk of neglecting important correlations, while spending far too much time on the matter.

Then there are the long established tools of partner analysis: On the one hand, the Composite Chart uses the half-sums (or midpoints) of the single horoscope factors of each partner to create a new horoscope. On the other hand, the Davison Relationship Chart calculates the arithmetical mean of the time of birth and the coordinates of the place of birth of two horoscopes. Both methods also have their group variants, the Multi-Composite Chart and the Multi-Davison Relationship Chart. That way, as many persons as necessary can be added at will, a conventional chart being produced at the end of the process. While these horoscopes clearly show the essence of the group as an entity, individual horoscopes totally disappear from the chart. It is impossible to initiate changes through organizational development or systemic therapy (a special form of psychotherapy that focuses on the social environment of the client).

Finally, astrology software often offers multi-synastry, an extension of synastry. This type of graphic representation is perfectly suitable for two or, at best, three horoscopes. Although more than three are possible, they quickly become confusing, thus making them unsuitable for a clear synthesis.

Example: Group Horoscope of an R&D Department

The Niederwieser Relationship Chart

Several years ago, I developed a new chart that is suitable for groups of up to 20 members: The horoscopes of all participants are inscribed in the same zodiac, and each individual is assigned one specific colour so that they can be distinguished from one another. When ten or more persons are involved, the colours are supplemented by geometric figures in which the planets are inscribed (e.g., planets within circles, triangles, squares, etc.), making it possible to distinguish them easily at first glance.

I recommend placing 0° Aries on the left as a fixed point. Alternatively, adherents of Uranian astrology can still use 0° Libra, of course. If I want to highlight the relation of a particular person to the rest of the group, I will use the conventional view and place that person’s Ascendant on the left, with the remaining horoscopes built around it.

To facilitate the navigation in Group Horoscopes, I recommend using a coherent colour scheme. I, for one, always use the colour black for the focal person (the client, the head of a department, etc.). The colours of the remaining members of the group can be assigned according to the element of their Sun sign (or of their Ascendant or Midheaven): red hues for fire signs, blues for water signs, greens or browns for earth signs, and yellows or greys for air signs. This colour scheme is shown in the Group Horoscope for the above-mentioned research department. It is also possible to use warm hues for women, cool ones for men, or to adjust the colour lightness according to the age of the person concerned (e.g., darker tones with increasing age).

Suitable colouring frequently depends on the group structure. If a group consists of a large number of people belonging to the same age group or the same sex, or having the same dominant astrological element, the latter examples will obviously not be appropriate for the colour scheme. If the group features various sub-groups — for instance, a focus on certain products (product segment A, B, C) or functions (engineering, research laboratory, prototype-building, design, patents, etc.), as in the case of the above research department — this may be the most adequate criterion. There are no limits to the variants. You need only to make sure that your colour choice reflects your intuition, that it enables you to navigate quickly and reliably across the Group Horoscope.

Generational Imprint

In the basic chart form, all factors are inscribed in the inner circle. In order to improve the visibility of the generational imprint, I place Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto in the outer circle. That way, the generational task of the group members (how the group is connected to the zeitgeist) is made evident. The inner circle thus features the personal dispositions: Ascendant and MC (when known), Moon, Sun, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and North Node — while the outer circle shows the cultural lens: how the group is embedded in trends and generations (the trans-Saturnian planets). If necessary, I also add the relevant minor planets, such as Eris for matters of competition, Nessus in cases of harrassment at work or Makemake in creative groups.

A separate collective graph can also present an additional advantage, because for several decades there has been an overbalance on the right half of the zodiac. For the age group professionally active today (birth years c. 1950–1995), Pluto is positioned between Leo and Scorpio, Neptune between Libra and Capricorn, and Uranus between Cancer and Capricorn. If all factors were inscribed in the inner circle, it would give the impression that these signs are overrepresented. A separate collective diagram has the useful side effect that the chart becomes clearer and more comprehensible.

Generationenprägung der aktuell berufstätigen Jahrgänge

Generational Imprint of the current Working Cohorts

The Focal Person in the Group Horoscope

In groups, there is very often a central person whom others gather around. Most of the time, this is the founder or head of the group. In the above-referenced chart, we can see the department of research and development of a medium-sized company. As is often the case with astrological business consulting, only the person’s day of birth is available, and thus we do not know the person’s chart angles. The head of the department is mapped out in black. The Sun, Mercury, Mars, and Saturn in Capricorn attest that he is a very capable administrator, a diligent, extremely reliable boss committed to the values of the company and devoted to its management. The dominance of Capricorn makes him an ideal representative of his department, with an acute sense of each employee’s roles and responsibilities. He treats his co-workers with respect and upholds fairness in the workplace. The Moon and the North Node in Leo attest to his open heart for the people in his department. He grants them a lot of freedom, fights for high salaries and bonuses, and keeps inconveniences from them. “My staff members should be able to concentrate on their projects and must not be disturbed while they work!”

The head of a department often plays a central role in the recruiting process; many of them choose candidates through the lens of their own horoscope, selecting somebody with whom they have affinities and to whom they are sympathetic, rather than somebody who would meet the best requirements for the job. I have often noticed that particularly long-time heads of departments build their co-workers around their own horoscope, as an extension of their own personality, so to speak. In this Group Horoscope, notice the striking fact that substantial clusters are formed around the department head’s Venus and Moon; many employees’ planets snuggle up to them.

A Research Department without Innovation

The central task of an R & D department is to develop innovations. The company’s products should constantly be adapted to the needs of the customers, according to cutting-edge technologies. Ideally, the department functions as a pioneer and invents new technological solutions never before imagined.

This central task is represented by what I call “the innovation zone of the zodiac” — the signs of Aquarius, Pisces, and Aries. The creative potential of the undiscovered, from which new ideas timidly sprout like tender saplings, is located in Pisces. If new paths are to be tried, someone has to venture into these mists and seas of the unknown. Following the path of causality (in the sequence of the zodiac), Aries propels this novelty into appearance and storms out into the world. He is a pioneer pushing the idea forward by playfully exploring and testing, approaching the possibilities of implementation through trial and error. As the driving force of innovation, he brings new impulses into the group and starts new projects at its vanguard — often in a chaotic zigzag.

Following the path of finality (in the zodiac’s opposite direction), Aquarius flies through the world of these innovations like a bird, making sightings of the current inventions, trends, and ideas circulating in the scientific community. He is always on the lookout for the extraordinary, for constructive new ideas he can use for the improvement of his own developments. In astrology, inventive talent is often denoted by Aquarius or its ruler, Uranus. This is but half the truth: He is only the messenger collecting the innovations born in Pisces and using them for building his inventions.

A research department should therefore have an emphasis on Aquarius, Pisces, and Aries in order to have the capacity to develop true innovations. In the Group Horoscope, this sector is practically empty. It is instantly noticeable that this R & D department will hardly be able to invent successful, innovative products.

Through his Jupiter in Aquarius, the head of the department may have a marked interest in the newest discoveries of the science world, and would be willing to spend more time with research. But he is burdened with organizational obligations to such a degree that this Jupiter is practically paralyzed. Aside from that, the other Capricorn worker (in green) occupies the innovation zone with the Moon in Pisces and Mars in Aries. Because of this person’s lower educational level, he never made it further than technical draughtsman, spending his time perfecting existing sketches and draughts. He lives out his urge for experimentation in his private workshop.

The remaining team members keep to trodden paths. Their product innovations are mostly new combinations of established products in new colours, new materials, and new packaging. The enormous concentration of the department’s planets in Leo is particularly striking. This is even mirrored in its premises. The company’s other offices are cramped; however, thanks to “historical coincidences,” the research and development department is housed in a very big office with lots of space, where every employee has been able to build his own comfort zone. While hectic nervousness is king in the other departments, here people walk through the corridors at a dignified pace. There is a dictum in the company, in accordance with the Leo cluster: “In our company, R & D does not stand for research and development, but for recreation and downtime.” Although this dominance of Leo can be an excellent constellation for a marketing department, its contribution to the central aims of the research department were negligible.

Approaches to Systemic Solutions

Ideally, such group deficits can be compensated by recruiting new employees who have planetary clusters in the vacant zodiac areas. But the budget necessary for such a step may not be available. Still, there are always solutions for improving the situation within the bounds of possibility. In this particular case, several screws had to be adjusted.

Some of the organizational tasks were delegated from the head of the department to the Leo employee (in red), who revealed himself to be an excellent organizer and went about his new task with great dedication. Thus, the department head had more time to keep up with the newest technological developments and participate more intensively in the research itself.

The employee (in green), who has his Moon and Mars in the innovation zone, was entrusted with a project in the domain of foundational research. Despite his age, he was also given the opportunity to undergo further training and to regularly visit trade fairs and conferences. Similarly, he has grown into his new role and now repeatedly surprises the team with unconventional ideas and pragmatic solutions that nobody would have expected from him before.

Finally, since the in-house toolmaking department had to be closed due to internal restructuring measures, the workers’ council had negotiated the transfer of at least three of the ten employees concerned. In an astrological pattern analysis, I immediately noticed two Aquarius workers born in 1962, with enormous planetary clusters in this sign.

In private conversations, one of them turned out to be a rebellious spirit, the source of regular conflicts, according to the head of the toolmaking department (he was later fired). The other had participated in the punk movement in his youth and had never graduated from high school. Although starting a family had not been among his priorities, it had nevertheless accidentally happened and tamed him; the company had subsequently recruited him as an unskilled worker. Due to his faculty for quick perception and witty ideas, he had managed to obtain the position of deputy head of the toolmaking department. Privately, he had gathered an impressive amount of knowledge over the years and baffled me with explanations of molecular structures and quotes from Nietzsche, among other things. It was worth a try. Thus, he was made an assistant in the research department, where he thrived and became much more motivated. The company has even registered a patent in his name!

Other Applications of the Group Horoscope

I conceived the Group Horoscope in regard to the specific requirements of human resources and organizational development. I also rely on it regularly for market analyses, competitive analyses, and for the positioning and repositioning of products and brands, for instance. The potential applications extend much further, though; the Niederwieser Relationship Chart is a helpful tool wherever interconnections of three or more horoscopes have to be analyzed.

One important domain is systemic family analysis. The Group Horoscope can quickly reveal the family structure and internal relational patterns. It is fascinating to follow the family members’ ancestors and their entanglement over several generations. The Group Horoscope is also extremely helpful regarding love and relationship issues: For those who repeatedly end up with the wrong partner, a Niederwieser Relationship Chart involving all previous partners is very useful. It quickly reveals the search patterns that one has followed unconsciously.

A third example would be mundane astrology: The synthesis of many horoscopes is often indispensable, but has so far been very time-consuming, particularly in this domain. Group Horoscopes of the most important geopolitical states and politicians, of the parties or the government in a particular country, or of the leading companies in a particular sector represent a massive improvement in ease of analysis. At one glance, you can realize who has been most affected by the recent Saturn–Neptune square, for example, and who is the most probable “carrier subject” of this constellation (mundane constellations need carrier subjects to realize their potentials into actual events).

I will present this and numerous other applications of the Niederwieser Relationship Chart in more detail in the future. In the meantime, I would like to encourage you to experiment on your own with your circle of friends, family, co-workers, even important points in time in your own life. Although astrology has been centred on single persons, organizations, and events, now the vast world of synoptic view lies open before you.

Group Horoscope SOFTWARE

Since 2022 there is an innovative software, that enables you to calculate and analyze any kinds of Group Horoscopes very easily: The CHRONLEX Astrology Software, developed by Dr. Christof Niederwieser and Torsten Wernecke. CHRONLEX is cloud-based and works on any devices or operating systems.

Group Horoscope SEMINAR

In  2018, Dr. Christof Niederwieser has given a seminar at the Conference of the FAA (Federation of Australian Astrologers) in Melbourne. There he introduces into the 4 different steps of the interpretation system:

  • Collective Analysis: What makes up the group as a whole?
  • Role Allocation: How are the individual members positioned in the context of the group?
  • Group Dynamics & Relationship Patterns: How are the members networked with each other? How do they interact?
  • Focus Perspective: How does an individual member see the rest of the group from his or her personal perspective?

You can watch the entire 200 minutes video recording HERE.