Astrologer Wendy Stacey


Quick Tips
Interpreting the Yod

A Yod is a closed combination of three planets (or two planets and one angle, more significantly the MC or AS), where two of these points are placed in a sextile and where both these points form a quincunx (or inconjunct) with another planet or angle. The Yod represent two uneasy aspects, the quincunx, and one more harmonious one, the sextile. The orbs for a Yod are usually four degrees for the sextile and three for the quincunx.

What makes a Yod different to other major configurations is that the planets and/or angle involved occupy different elements, polarities and modes to each other, which bring a larger and more complex set of factors to consider when interpreting.  It is often an overlooked and misunderstood configuration and this may be because there is some difficulty in ‘putting your finger on it’.  It is not always easy to dissect the Yod or understand how it manifests. 

A Yod is not a conflicting or confrontational configuration like a T-Square or Grand Cross but one that is more irritating, stressful or ‘crunchy’.  Unlike some other configurations, The Yod by nature does not require change but rather understanding and the capacity to cope.  This is because the various elements and modes within the three points all have different views and ways of doing things – they have little in common and are not typically compatible with each other.  They are constantly twitchy with each other and find it difficult to relax.  This can cause friction and requires the need to unpick the sextile and quincunx’s and the planets (or angle) positions individually to understand the different facets of each point, (by sign, house and aspect and rulerships) if they are to ever to become comfortable with each other. 

The apex of the Yod, (the planet or angle which make the two quincunx’s) is often referred to as the finger of God.  The apex is where all points of the Yod are expressed.  The apex tends to ‘filter’, ‘frame’ and ‘act upon’ the energies of each point which can feel very unpleasant.  For example, Mars in friendly and open Gemini sextile Venus in hearty and dramatic Leo does not feel happy when acted out through a reserved and cautious Saturn in Capricorn.  The apex will tend to harden and anchor the sextile and those planets, contemplate its expression and ensure it is timely.  Similarly, the Moon in private and intense Scorpio sextile Saturn in thoughtful and meticulous Virgo does not feel secure when expressed through Mercury in assertive and brave Aries.

The speed of the planet which sits at the apex of the Yod can also create unease.  If the apex planet is slower than the planets in the sextile, it tends to pull the sextile down, giving it weight.  It slows the processes of the sextile.  The slower planet acts at a measured speed which is uncomfortable and frustrating.  There can be a feeling of missing out on an opportunity by not reacting more quickly.  If the apex planet moves at a faster speed than the planets in the sextile, there can be a feeling of being dragged along.  The planets in the sextile have a sense of being pulled when it hasn’t had the time to digest and process what it needs to, which can feel irritable and perhaps embarrassing. 

Because of these difficulties with the Yod, there is often a sense of regret or some inner grievance for not doing things in a different way and it is not easy to find ease with it.  The best strategy for coping with the Yod is to understand and embrace the diverse nature of each point.

A look at the Artist ‘Prince’

When looking at the Yod in Prince’s chart, we can see Mars dignified in Aries in the fourth house, sextile Mercury dignified in Gemini in the seventh, both quincunx Neptune in Scorpio in the twelfth house.  These planets are well placed individually but become uncomfortable when configured within a Yod. 

We see the expression of these points through its apex, Neptune in Scorpio in the twelfth house.  People perceive him as sensitive, sexy, cool and connected; he sings to the masses of ‘When Doves Cry’ and ‘Purple Rain’ and many have found meaning in his music and identify with his highly imaginative and passionate expression.  He has ultimately projected himself as a chameleon, masking himself through his famous colourful attire and also in his ability to adapt his image and music over the decades. 

However, the base of his Yod, the sextile of Mercury and Mars depicts his strong individuality in performance, articulate song writing and through his highly distinctive voice.  In the music world Prince is also known for his pursuits and achievements to write compose and produce all his own music.  Many of his albums feature him playing several instruments himself and he has been acclaimed as a solo artist numerous times.  The song ‘Little Red Corvette’ plays out this sextile well.

The Yod works well in Prince’s chart and it helps that Mars is the ruler of Prince’s Neptune in Scorpio (and co-ruler of the AS).  Neptune is also trine the moon and sextile Pluto in Leo conjunct the MC (hence, the name Prince!) but it is square Uranus in Leo and Mercury is square Pluto and the chameleon persona, and the want for change, is what may sit uncomfortably with him. Interestingly, Prince’s major popularity decline occurred during the 1990’s when he wanted to be known as ‘The Artist’ rather than ‘Prince’.  There seems to be a pull in the Yod between a want to do it his way, and what he is expected to do, or what way will work!  The individual who once communicated in a uniquely individualistic way may now feel compelled to sacrifice his personal pursuits and give way to what has become expected and popular.   The Yod represents some tension between ‘him’ and ‘others’ and he could feel quite pacified or suppressive at times, often wanting to escape or act out.  The heavy expectations of him may often dampen his personal life somewhat and although he is compelled to do so, there is some hint of reluctance at having to carry the cross in this configuration.

There is also the issue of trust and a sense of paranoia with Neptune in Scorpio in the twelfth which may describe why he is so self sufficient - writing and recording all his own music. A quote by Prince, from the imdb website, best expresses the Yod in his chart;

“Cool means being able to hang with yourself. All you have to ask yourself is "Is there anybody I'm afraid of? Is there anybody who if I walked into a room and saw, I'd get nervous?" If not, then you're cool.”


1) Hamaker-Zondag, Karen (2000) The Yod Book.  Samuel Weisser Inc, Maine

2) Tompkins, Sue, (1989) Aspects in Astrology: A Comprehsive Guide to Interpretation, Element Books, GB.

3) Prince’s biography: June 2007.

Chart details

Prince, 07 June 1958.  Minneapolis, Minnesota. 18:17.  Source:  Clifford Data, Rating AA.

Published Articles

Pluto in Capricorn: What can History Tell Us
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Pop Divas, Vocal Range and Whistle Tones
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Unaspected Planets
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The Oscars and Golden Globes
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Quick Tips - Interpreting the Yod
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Quick Tips for Beginners - Introduction to Synastry
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Correct birth time
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The Property Market, Boom, Bust or Change
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Association of Great Britain

Volume 44, January/February 2001

All Black Defeat
Journal of the Seasons
Volume 98, 22 December 1999

Electing a moment in time
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Caesarean Births article
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Jan 2001 and NZ

My Planets and Me, The Astrological chart of a new born
Families West Magazine
Issue 24, April 1998