The yod is the name for an astrological aspect between three (or more) plants or points where two planets are sextile and both inconjunct to a third.
Let's break that sentence down so we're all on the same page. Start with the the word planets. In astrology a 'planet' refers to our solar system bodies including the sun, moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Chiron, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. These are not all considered 'planets' in astronomy, but in astrology, they are.
Points are not planets but important parts of the astrological picture and include the ascendant or rising sign, the lunar nodes, the part of fortune, the vertex and the midheaven. Don't worry if those terms don't all make sense. For now trust that there are non-planet components of the astrological chart that have meaning.
Aspects, and there are a boat load of them, are the angular relationship in degrees between two planets, or a planet and a point or two points. As I said, there are quite a few aspects or angles that 'count' but the basic ones are easy to grasp because they represent geometrical shapes. Let me give some examples and this will make a lot more sense.
Below are two diagrams that show us an angular relationship between a few different planets. At any given time in the sky, the planets are a certain number of degrees apart from each other. If they happen to be the number of degree considered as an 'aspect' then we say they are 'in aspect to each other.'
The easiest way to grokk this is to think of the new moon and the full moon. When the moon is new, it is in the same degree as the sun (they are 0 degrees apart). This 0 degree apart relationship is called a 'conjunction'. We say, the moon and sun are conjunct.
When the moon is full, the sun and moon are opposite each other, or 180 degrees apart. We call this, helpfully, an opposition aspect. We say the moon is opposite the sun.
Commonly Used Aspect in the Astrological Chart Include:
0 Degrees Parallel 18 Degrees 30 Degrees
33 Degrees 36 Degrees 40 Degrees 45 Degrees 51 Degrees 60 Degrees 72 Degrees 90 Degrees 103 Degrees 108 Degrees 120 Degrees135 Degrees144 Degree 150 Degrees 154 Degrees 180 Degrees
The diagrams shows the aspect pattern of the Yod. The symbols you see represent a few of the planets. The RED lines represent the inconjunct (150 degree apart aspect) and the green line represents the sextile (60 degree apart aspet). If in your natal chart you have two (or more in this case) planets 60 degrees apart AND 150 degrees to a singular third planet, bingo, you have a YOD.
Remember, there are a lot of other chart patterns every bit as exciting as the Yod. For example the grand trine, which is three planets in the trine aspect of 120 degrees, (green lines) or squares and oppositions (red line) as seen below.
What does the YOD mean? ANY aspect between two or more planets means they are scripted to dialog with each other. They are connected so that if one is active and 'doing something' the connected one wakes up to. They are partners, of sorts.
Think of the YOD aspect pattern as 'table legs'. Pick up one let of a table and what happens? All the others come up too. Let's say you have Mercury sextile Mars and they are both inconjunct Neptune. As we just learned, that's a Yod. If you 'do' Mercury (write, speak, communicate, connect) you will automatically activated the other two planets. If Mercury is the point or 'finger' of the yod (why they call it the finger of fate or God) then it is up to Mercury to process and express the synthesized energy of the other two.
How it works:
Let's say you're on a date and Mercury is talking, connecting and asking questions and having a great time but assertive go-getter Mars, well, insert that song Elvis did 'a little less conversation; a little more action'. . . Mars is over all the chit chat and he can push to assert in blunt and sometimes over the top ways. Mercury's got to keep him steady so the dialog will probably turn to action sports or stories about heroic events (staring our hero in question!). While that's going on, mystical Neptune is waking up and suddenly the mood shifts, things get dreamy, the wine flows and all the talk is about meditate or watching a film. They can then start arguing (the planets) about who gets to express! It's a big job for the pointer planet to handle it all.
To sum it up, the Yod means that three, or more, of your planets are in dialog with each other and it's up to the pointing planet to harmonize the energy. It's called the finger of fate or God because for most people this is a default. Wherever it sits in the chart, (what houses or areas of life are activated) describes where a pattern of behavior or external events occur.
It's not 'fate' as in immutable. It's the default. You can change or adjust it, with awareness.
Kim Falconer lives in Byron Bay with two gorgeous black cats. She runs an astrology forum and alternative science site‚ trains with a sword and is working on the Quantum Encryption trilogy, the follow up to Quantum Enchantment.