The Vertex was only discovered in the mid 1970s by Edward Johndro, and research seems to be lacking ever since, especially on the point opposite the Vertex, deemed the Anti-Vertex. Technically speaking, the Vertex is the point found at the intersection of the Prime Vertical and the Ecliptic. The west point is called the Vertex, while the east point is called the Anti-Vertex. One can find a handful of articles on the Vertex after Google searching, but the Anti-Vertex has been minimized to a “spiritual ascendant”, and that’s as far as the explanation goes. Not fun for learning astrologers trying to do their own online research. The Vertex, on the other hand, is associated with fate, destiny, and other words I hate using because they represent a laughable perspective on the nature of reality according to Western science. I’ll attempt to expand on the Vertex a bit. The Vertex supposedly gives you access to other realities if you believe in that kind of thing. Witnessing the hand of god (“fate”). But desiring the eye of god and ultimate knowledge is more in the Anti-Vertex realm to my knowledge so far. So perhaps the Vertex is the effect and the Anti-Vertex is the cause, and if the Vertex shows you the unsolved mysteries in life, then the Anti-Vertex must try to find answers and explanations for them.
With our limited knowledge on the Anti-Vertex and even the Vertex, the only option here is to do your own research and pull from other’s experiences and your own. I am fortunate to have a prominent Vertex/Anti-Vertex in my natal chart, conjunct the North Node less than a degree with Mercury tightly aspecting the opposite end (South Node, Anti-Vertex). It’s always been challenging trying to dissect these individual energetic influences and understand them. Maybe exploring my own experience and the experiences of others who’s charts have prominent Vertex axes can increase our understanding here. If YOU have any wisdom to share, please feel free to comment!
My North Node is in Aquarius, 5th house, conjunct the Vertex. At the opposite end you’ll find Mercury in Leo, 11th house, conjunct the Anti-Vertex and South Node all within 1 ½ degrees. Everything started for me with my North Node return when I was 18, in college. Transiting North Node was then also passing over my Vertex, and transiting South Node my Mercury and Anti-Vertex. This was one of the most confusing, frustrating, awe-inspiring, almost magical times of my life. It felt like I could FEEL the energies around me, influencing me, pushing and pulling, holding my tongue. And yes, South Node passing over a natal South Node-mercury conjunction can certainly inhibit your conversation skills, especially with someone you’re already nervous around. Gotta love those college infatuations. I’ve learned through transits, synastry, and progressions that my Leo South Node is related to music, saxophone, piano, band, you name it. Anyone I meet with Moon or Sun conjunct my South Node has a huge attraction or interest in me for those reasons. And, when I was in 10th-12th grade, that’s when my progressed Sun passed over my South Node. All my talents were flowing out, first chair saxophone, college piano auditions, field commander of the marching band or section leader. Positive karma and past life gifts, right? That’s definitely my South Node area. It’s also the part of me that thinks she needs the approval of others to feel good about herself, too ego-focused, overly concerned about maintaining self-image. Welcome to Leo. All this changed during my first North Node return. The incoming Aquarian energies transformed my South Node entirely, where I uncovered other gifts, other North node-inspired ways to apply my detail-oriented, music-trained Mercury. I realized very quickly that I have limited control over the events happening around me, even inside me to an extent, and that there are invisible forces all around us influencing our lives whether we’re aware or not. Though this raises the question: How much is within our power to control and how much isn’t? Because we all experience thought, decision-making, we have free will internally, so how is it that something external can alter our internal experience so drastically, the way we perceive, behave and move throughout the world, and the people and events in our lives? It’s pretty obvious that I’ve processed the hell out of everything and have tried my best to make sense of it. This is where you’re seeing my reaction to these experiences, and therefore where you’re seeing the Mercury/South Node/Anti-Vertex on the opposite end of the axis. Because that’s what Mercury does. South Node implies that I’m good at this, but I overdo it a bit; I might need to make sure I use Mercury in a healthy way, to benefit others and not spiral out. So then, that leaves the Anti-Vertex: maybe knowledge, understanding the way things work? This is a definition in progress, that’s for sure.
And to confuse you (and myself) even more: If the Vertex represents the uncontrollable, then what if the Anti-Vertex represents the opposite. You’ll notice that Vertex and Anti-Vertex people (and people without either point accented) all share drastically different worldviews when you dig far enough in. The heavy Vertex people may seem whimsical or miserable, external locus of control for better or worse. And you’ll have those with a great streak of luck and those who have received the short end of the stick repeatedly without knowing why. This group tends to be very open-minded, but sometimes they cling onto a religion to fill in the blanks that can never be answered. The heavy Anti-Vertex people are the ones that speculate, INTJs til they die, probably agnostic, possibly atheist, maybe something else. But they have questioned and will continue to do so. They are curious but harsh skeptics, extremely intellectual if Mercury is involved, even if it isn’t. You’ll usually find an internal locus of control with these guys if only the Anti-Vertex weighs on their personality without the Vertex to counteract it. So, it could be as simple as internal vs. external locus of control, but usually there’s a good reason behind that worldview. Witnessing the hand of “god” (AKA energies, unseen forces, whatever you want to call it) leads naturally to an acceptance and appreciation of the unknown and thus an external locus of control. WITHOUT this influence, the Anti-Vertex alone will naturally believe he is god, or as capable as god to uncover the truths about reality, developing the eye of god through understanding the universe that evolved on its own. Independent thought, strength in willpower. These guys are learning to be their own crutch. If they cling to a religion, it may be out of a “just incase there is a hell” theory, or going through the motions because of familial/cultural expectation. More likely though, they’ll choose atheism or a more person-focused philosophy like Buddhism.
Astrology has helped me realize that everyone’s world is tailored to their own spiritual needs. Whatever we’re here to learn, these unseen forces will provide experiences that shape your personal experience here. Sounds like a load of bull, right? I know. Maybe I am here to develop an external locus of control, so my view of the world includes astrology, other forms of divination, experiencing the magic of these unseen forces that I claim to have felt despite others thinking I’m some woowoo, wannabe guru who has schizophrenia or a drug addiction. Or an overly impressionable mind, a tendency to latch on to an idea despite the evidence against. And then, maybe there are others who are here to develop their own willpower, confidence in their opinions and beliefs. Those are the ones that will never find solace in an external locus because they’re here to leave that behind. So their truth is different from mine. Does astrology even exist, or is just a tool to help me and others learn? How is it possible to live in such a personalized universe? I’ve toyed around with the idea that we really do live in some sort of holographic matrix, where mathematical equations and geometry (astrology in a nutshell) manifest themselves as reality, one way to read the code. Or if astrology only rings true in my world, backed by patterns and observations that only exist in my world, then that implies such a complicated, multifaceted reality way beyond my comprehension or anyone else’s. What’s really going on here?
From looking at other charts, here are a few patterns I’ve found: Natal Vertex—Pluto has a pattern of traumatic experience. Anti-Vertex–Mercury conjunctions or Anti-Vertex north node conjunctions like to develop their own theories about the nature of reality. North node-Vertex or Descendant-Vertex usually have a few strange stories to tell that they can’t explain. Mercury-Vertex is a little like Mercury-Anti-Vertex, but with those strange unexplainable stories that opened them up to alternative perspectives the latter would have ruled out in the first round. These are the aspects I’ve encountered the most so far.