Do you believe in free will, fate or both? A Yod in astrology means your birth chart can indicate that you’re here for a unique spiritual assignment.
While we all have the power to choose a good part of our destiny, the birth chart is a map to some of the spiritual challenges and assignments we may face in order to grow.
What is the meaning of a Yod in astrology?
A small number of people are born with a rare formation in their astrology charts called a Yod, also known as the “finger of God” or “finger of fate.” The Yod in astrology is often found in the charts of people whose lives are colored by intensity and constant adjustment.
The musician Prince had two Yods in his natal chart. Princess Diana and both of her sons, William and Harry, have birth charts with Yods. Meghan Markle has a double Yod as well.
What does a Yod look like in a birth chart?
A Yod in astrology is a unique formation between at least three planets. It looks like a tall, thin triangle.
A Yod aspect pattern is an equilateral triangle made of two planets in sextile (60 degrees) to each other, with both of them forming an uncomfortable 150-degree quincunx (or inconjunct) angle to a third planet.
The sextile planets are two zodiac signs apart and form an easy angle, meaning they tend to communicate and cooperate with each other naturally.
However, both of these planets is a challenging five signs apart (quincunx) to the planet at the apex of the Yod. The quincunx planet is in a zodiac sign that forms an uncomfortable energy of friction and adjustment, interrupting the ease between the two sextile planets.
In Prince’s birth chart (above), you can see that he has not one, but TWO Yods. One points to his 0 degree Mars in Aries, the other to his 0 degree North Node in Scorpio.
The Yod triangles are indicated by the green dotted (inconjunct) lines connected by a short blue (sextile) base.
According to astrologer Kevin Burk, the planet forming the two quincunx aspects, called the apex planet, must also be the fastest-moving of the three planets in order for the configuration to be a “true” Yod. A planet’s speed is determined by how close it is to the Sun (the moon/Mercury being the fastest, Pluto the slowest).
By Burk’s theory, Pluto can never be the apex planet, while the moon (the fasted-moving “planet”) can never be one of the base planets. Not all astrologers agree with this theory, but it’s worth considering.
What does the Yod in astrology symbolize?
A Yod in astrology is relatively rare, and can be seen as “fated.”
In any chart, an inconjunct/quincunx aspect is a challenge because the zodiac signs involved speak different languages by element, modality and polarity. As such, they require flexibility—like living with a roommate who has radically different values, political leanings and habits from yours.
How does a Yod work?
Since a Yod in astrology involves three or more planets, that potentially chaotic effect is multiplied—and requires finesse to navigate.
The natural tendency between planets in aspect is to look for a point of balance and compromise. The Yod’s challenge is that the 150-degree quincunx aspect connects zodiac signs with no common ground. Thus, there is no point of balance, creating a frustrating dynamic that stymies progress or leaves the person feeling like every choice they make comes with a sacrifice.
The Yod is also described as embodying “a crisis in timing.” Since the three zodiac signs involved speak different languages, when a Yod is activated, there are multiple, distinct ways that the person can respond to a challenge. To resolve the tension, one of the two planets has to act in a manner that is contrary and uncomfortable to the nature of its sign.
How do Yod-bearers experience life?
Yods symbolize patterns in families that have lasted for generations. Carriers of the “Finger of Fate” can also feel insecure, or have trouble expressing themselves. They may find themselves in unusual situations. People with Yods in their chart have a restlessness, a sense of their unique purpose and a calling to be their authentic selves at any expense.
The discomfort of a Yod tends to manifest more in the mental and emotional realms. Yod people may always feel like some crucial understanding or piece of information is missing—one that would help transcend the irritating sense that things are not quite as they should be.
If you have one or more Yods in your astrology chart
The following experiences may be familiar:
- You are not aware of how the Yod really expresses itself
- You elicit strong, recurring responses from your environment that you don’t understand
- Your parents had trouble comprehending you as a child (and as an adult)
- You maneuver through intense circumstances that would break other people’s spirits
- You experience things “out of the blue” that are beyond the pale of general life events
- What crosses your path often involves some scare, shock, security threat, or some other uncomfortable situation over which you cannot exercise any influence. Strange events simply “happen,” often out of the blue
How the Yod in astrology calls you forth: Spiritual assignment of a Yod
Simply put, the role of Yod bearer is to break ancestral patterns. Yods are strange, but also somewhat mystical and fated. Those who have Yods in their birth charts are here to shed light upon patterns that have gone unaddressed for generations.
Yod natives know they have a distinct function of being in the world. Whether or not they ever actually discover or pursue their purpose, their very existence disrupts the status quo.
Yods and the British royal family: Example
Princess Diana, born July 1, 1961, had a Yod in her astrological chart with Mercury (in Cancer) and Pluto (in Virgo) at the base, pointing to an apex of Jupiter in Aquarius in her second house of money and work. When we look at how activated Yods disrupt ancient patterns, her life in the British Royal family was certainly a catalyst for revolutionary changes.
In the book Diana: Her True Story, Diana made remarks about always feeling different, like she was carrying a burden that she was unable to articulate, but always knew was there. Her intuition, she said, told her that life would be a winding road, always feeling separate from others; never feeling in the right place.
That is quite the description of how the Yod in astrology functions in an individual!
It’s worth noting that both Diana’s grandmother and mother had secret wishes that she would become the Princess of Wales, and that was fulfilled in Diana’s life. However, Diana herself never felt happy about it, and we know how that “fairy tale” ended for her.
Even stranger? Both Princess Diana’s children, Princes William and Harry, have Yods in their charts as well! Prince William’s yod has a wound-healing theme, pointing at his Venus + Chiron in Taurus, with Libra Pluto and Sagittarius Neptune at the base.
Prince Harry has two Yods in his chart
Prince Harry has two yods in his chart: the first has a base of Scorpio Pluto to Sagittarius Neptune/Capricorn Jupiter, all pointing to his 0 degree Gemini North Node of destiny. The second yod has a base of Sagittarius Mars and Libra Venus, pointing to his Taurus Moon, the luminary which represents the mother in astrology.
When Prince Harry married American actress Meghan Markle, the world was abuzz and the new Duchess dealt with endless criticism and outright racism. Duchess Meghan also has two yods in her chart, one pointing to her Taurus Chiron with a Libra Pluto and Sagittarius Neptune base; the other pointing to her Neptune, with a base of Chiron sextile her Cancer Ascendant.
We can clearly see that the yod runs in lineages, as it does pertain to generational experiences playing out over time. Prince William’s wife, Kate Middleton, does not have a yod, and their lives have relatively toed the line when it comes to royal duties.
In contrast, the younger Prince Harry and his wife Duchess Meghan both have two yods, and their coming together made waves unlike anything seen in the history of that family. Drawing from what he saw the press do to his mother until she died, Harry refused to allow history repeat itself with his wife Meghan, who said she was suicidal at times. After not having security, and upon learning that their new child wouldn’t have a title, Harry and Megan chose to step down from their royal duties and depart from the United Kingdom for the United States, where they currently live.
6 tips for living with a Yod
From Karan Hamaker-Zondag’s The Yod Book:
1. Live out and experience emotions; don’t be overpowered or swept away by them
2. Retain integrity at all costs; dare to become aware of who you are, in spite of your doubts
3. Watch out that you don’t attach exaggerated religious value to anything outside yourself
4. Try not to do anything too radical (as in upheaving and quitting your life to make drastic changes); try to pick up the thread of your life as much as possible
5. Don’t be afraid to run into a jam
6. Dare to wait and dare to let things take their course as they will
The paradox is: breakdowns are actually the very way to get out of a jam, so don’t fear them. In fact, welcome them! Hamaker-Zondag’s guidance is to imagine that when everything seems hopeless, senseless, or without prospect, something deep inside you is germinating and will soon be of great value.
Humans love to jump into “doing” mode to “fix” problems, but everyone can benefit from the practice of starting with looking at how they are being. If you have a yod and are experiencing challenge, let it be. Solutions automatically present themselves, often without your having had to do anything for it. Simply look for and discover the seeds.
So although Yods in astrology are strange, the answer to a Yod formation is literally this: just be mutable.
Black & white yod illustration from The Astrology Dictionary