An American astrologer, Marc Edmund Jones, introduced the idea of particular pattern types in birth charts that would have an effect of their own regardless of the signs, houses and aspects that the planets made. On some level this was already known in the sense that an emphasis on one half of the chart would produce a certain effect and the other half, something quite different.
Capricorn Research has proved this to be the case with the study of 20000 + charts of famous people. This has shown there is a strongly statistically proven link between the charts of prominent people and a tendency to have more planets on the eastern side of the chart, particularly when the Sun is close to the Ascendant.
The eastern side of the chart governs self motivated and directed activity, whereas the western side and the 7th house in particular points to activities that are done in cooperation with and dependent on other people.
Such an emphasis of a particular hemisphere is an accepted theme in astrology. The same would be the case of a chart with an emphasis in the top half, where the activities are more drawn towards career and outward expression in society, whereas a focus on the bottom half would mean a concentration on more subjective things and the home and family.
Jones extends these ideas to include chart shape as well. One of his chart types is a bucket. This is where nine of the planets are all contained within one half of the chart, but the other one is in the opposite half.
Normally the assumption would be that the focus would be strongly on the half that contained the nine and that the singleton would have minimal impact on the person’s life. Jones’ idea was that this singleton planet acted like a handle to the bucket. This view of it overturned the whole concept and meant that in order for the person to be able to deal with the issues in their life, they would focus with great determination on the planet that was the bucket handle.
It is as if this single planet gives them a way to get a handle on their life.
This situation would be even stronger if the singleton planet made oppositions to important planets in the nativity. An interesting example of this bucket type formation occurs in the chart of Caroline Aigle.
Here we have a distribution where 9 planets are contained within a space of about 140 degrees in the bottom half of the chart and Jupiter is on its own right at the Midheaven. This is a classic bucket formation because fittingly the handle is at the top.
If we forget about Jupiter’s bucket handle for a moment and look at the chart we can see that there is an extremely powerful Cancer / 4th house emphasis.
There is a stellium of 4 planets in the 4th house including the Sun together with a very strong Mercury / Mars / Pluto conjunction.
The Moon and the Ascendant is in Cancer.
So you would think that affairs of the family and home are going to dominate this chart and this person’s life.
With the Sun in the 4th and the Moon / Ascendant in Cancer there is generally a strong sense of rootedness and close connections with the family, with motherhood and children.
The Moon however is conjunct Saturn and the Mars / Pluto conjunction suggests some kind of sudden drastic event that occurs within the family situation that changes everything.
If we ignore Marc Edmund Jones idea of the influence of the bucket handle and witness the fact that Jupiter is on its own conjunct the Midheaven we might think that Caroline would have a decent career but that the work / home life balance would constantly force her to deal with family issues which would probably undermine what she wanted to do out there in the world.
But if we accept Jones’ view of the bucket, we would see someone who would very strongly focus with great determination on Jupiter’s placing in order to give her a handle on her personality and the themes in her life.
Jupiter of course is the planet of expansion and exploration, of ever broadening horizons and it is dignified in Pisces.
Jupiter is also opposite the Sun and people with this aspect always tend to do things in a very big way, a kind of larger than life experience.
So using the bucket theory, Caroline Aigle would put an extraordinary amount of energy into her career, in her attempt to become a real high flyer. Success would certainly come, but it would inevitably be undermined by all of the power of the 4th house / Cancer pull in her chart. She would fly high but be dragged back down to earth ( Moon / Saturn in Cancer ) probably as the result of a sudden and unpredictable ( Mars / Pluto ) event related to her home or her children ( 4th house ).
This is Caroline Aigle’s story, both triumphant and tragic.
Aigle was a French commander and aviatrix who achieved a historical first when, at the age of 25, she became the first woman fighter pilot in the French Air Force.
Before that she was the 1997 French military champion in triathlon, followed by the 1997 triathlon world championship in military team competition. Still competing in 1999, she and her team won the triathlon world military vice-championship. She was also a top skydiver and free-fall parachutist. On 28 May 1999, she became the first woman to receive the Air Force’s coveted fighter pilot wings. Among the top candidates, she was also on the verge of being selected as an astronaut for the European Space Agency.
All of this corresponds quite clearly with the bucket handle Jupiter. Caroline Aigle wanted to fly higher and faster than any other French women before her.
Aigle was married to a pilot and deputy leader of the Breitling Jet Team.
In 2007 at the age of 32, she was pregnant with her 2nd son when her cancer was first discovered.
Caroline refused to have an abortion despite the increased difficulty in cancer treatment options. Her son Gabriel was delivered by caesarean section, five-and-a half months into term, fifteen days before she died.
This tragic tale is such a reflection of her chart.
The illness itself coming to the fore during a pregnancy could hardly have a stronger astrological connection than the Moon conjunct Saturn in the 1st house in Cancer in square to Uranus in the 5th house.
Someone with the Moon and Ascendant in Cancer and the Sun in Virgo in the 4th house is certainly going to lay down their own life for the sake of their child, even if the baby was not yet born.
Caroline carried Gabriel for as long as possible to give him a chance of survival even though it meant her own death became more inevitable with each passing day.
The timing of Caroline Aigle’s career achievements came with Pluto’s transit in square to the 4th house Venus, conjunct Neptune, square Jupiter, square the Sun between 1997 and 2003.
Its particularly fitting that in 1999 when she became the first female fighter pilot in French history, Pluto was conjunct her Neptune square to her Jupiter / Midheaven conjunction in Pisces. She had literally moved into uncharted territory.
Her death came as Pluto was applying square to her Mars.
But the transit that really triggered the end for her was Uranus opposite her Sun in 2007.
As Uranus is in the 5th house of children, square to the Moon / Saturn in Cancer, its not surprising that this transit would be the one that brought her tragic end.
Aigle is of course the French word for eagle and Caroline Aigle soared as high as it’s possible to go in life before making the ultimate sacrifice in order to allow her son the chance to do likewise.
You could say that she had a good handle on her life.