The vertex is a relatively new angle of study in the astrological world. It 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. If you plug your chart information into the Astrodienst website (which you can do for free), you can easily calculate your vertex placement that way. From what I’ve learned and experienced over the past ten years studying astrology, the vertex plays a heavier role in charts where it is closely aspecting another angle or a planet. Charts that don’t have their vertex forming those close aspects may not see its effect as much in the three predictive measures commonly used: progression, transits and lunations.
The vertex is about having faith in something larger than us and trusting the timing of those unseen forces. The vertex itself is that unknown factor, the magical connection between everything, our inner knowing and outer manifestation, unexplained synchronicities, dare I say “God”? The alignment of ourselves with something beyond our awareness, and being able to sense the push and pull of those forces in our lives. Many astrologers toss around the word “fate”, but there is always free will that trumps any astrological forces. Even the vertex. However, those unseen forces (astrology and otherwise) are always there whether or not we’re aware of them, comply, resist, ignore, or align with them.
Technically the vertex is an axis, with the anti-vertex at the other end. The anti-vertex is how we make sense of vertex experiences or other’s vertex experiences. I think the best way to describe the vertex is through metaphor: picture a girl letting go of a balloon and watching it disappear into the sky. Trusting, letting the forces beyond her control take over. The anti-vertex on the hand is like watching a spider weave its web, trying to make sense of those complex connections and recognizing the role we all play in our lives, what we catch for ourselves so-to-speak. A vertex experience would be running into a person the day after dreaming about them. The anti-vertex analysis of that, at least on my end, would be to look into the astrology and look for any common patterns. There are other ways to look for patterns. I’ve found that anti-vertex people LOVE Myers-Briggs personality typing. Love it. Whatever is necessary to make sense of reality. Keep in mind that everyone’s ‘reality’ is different though as we each sign up for a unique experience here.
Another way to think of the difference between the vertex and anti-vertex involves loci of control, where the vertex represents an external locus of control and the anti-vertex an internal locus of control. Ultimately, we should all strive for balance. That’s why the vertex has an opposite point and forms an axis in the chart. You need one to have the other. The vertex inspires the questions while the anti-vertex tries to find answers.