First of all, what am I referring to with the name foundation point? It is my name for one of the four angles of the chart, the other three being the more familiar ascendant, descendant, and Midheaven. What I call the foundation point is the opposite end of the Midheaven axis, representing where you have come from, as opposed to where you are going in life, your life-path as detailed by the Midheaven. This angle, usually referred to as the I.C. (Immum coelli) or nadir, details significant events associated with the birth and/or early years of the person's life (in a birth chart) and represents new beginnings in return charts, etcetera. As often as not someone who had an awful start to life is reflected in the birth chart. I know of people who were abused, or even discarded as infants, and they have Pluto (negatively expressed) on their foundation point. Jupiter there would represent a very wonderful, expansive start to life, with a buoyant carefree attitude prevailing – unless of course Jupiter was making lots of negative connections to other planets, such as in a Grand Cross, whence the expansion tendencies of Jupiter would turn to exaggerated negative traits. Even Jupiter has its down side!
So by understanding the basic principles and energies of the planets, those very energies are conveyed into something surrounding the birth and/or early years. Uranus gives us some startling, classic examples, due to the sheer unpredictability of the planet. Infants with Uranus on this angle often have highly disruptive and unconventional happenings in their formative years.
Where this takes on a very special tangent though is its after effects. As I said earlier, a solar return chart for a given year with a planet on the foundation point represents new beginnings for that year, because it is a one year chart – it cannot go back to their roots. For example, Mars on the angle would suggest a very assertive, maybe aggressive (depending on the transits made to Mars at the time) new start, coupled with the typical Mars energy to achieve and get the best from the situation. It sets the scene for the imminent future. And that is what has been overlooked by many astrologers when assessing birth charts with planets on the foundation point – it sets the scene for the rest of life. It is a person's roots, their foundation. Picture two saplings growing in pots. One is merely watered, the other is fed with enriched fertilisers, etcetera. We know which tree is going to do the best – the fertilised one is equivalent to having the Jupiter treatment in its youth, the other one Saturn – restricted. What I'm saying here is that the foundation point planet is almost like another ascendant, greatly colouring the person’s approach to life.
I first came across this by accident, a few years ago when myself and another astrologer were talking to the other astrologer's friend. This friend came over incredibly Capricorn – very serious, forlorn, and cautious. Yet she was an Aries with Scorpio rising and a Gemini Moon – very lively and passionate in theory. My astrologer friend had never worked out why this was, her friend knew her birth time and there was no Capricorn in the chart – but Saturn was on the foundation point. When quizzed, she detailed what a restrictive start to life she had gone through, both with illness and the parents' financial problems. It stayed with her – her entire outlook on life is Saturn coloured.... because it is her roots, her foundation.
Let's return to the Uranus connection to really get this point over. This is an extreme case of the unexpected flavour of Uranus in action, but nevertheless shows just how powerful it can operate, especially with people whose charts have a strongly featured Uranus. A woman came to me for a reading based on something terrible that had recently happened to her. She had had readings with me before and wondered if the planets echoed what had gone off in her life, and any advice would of course be highly appreciated. Her husband of 25 years had recently left her for no apparent reason. She woke up one morning to find a note, saying he had left and would be in touch. A few days later she received a letter from the Outer Hebrides saying for her not to worry about him, he simply felt the need to make a new start, on his own, and had found a place up there. There was no other woman, and she was not to concern herself that she had brought this about, it was totally of his own doing but he could not explain it and did not expect her to understand. She was furious, dejected, felt deceived... her emotions were multiple. It would have made more sense and actually have been easy to handle if there had been another woman, or they were going through bad times. The latter was definitely not the case, but she needed proof of the former. So she hired a private detective, who did his bit and reported back with the knowledge that there was no sign whatsoever of an affair being the cause of this strange exiting. The not knowing was causing her major despair.
We examined her chart and there were current signs of emotional upheaval, and Saturn was transiting her 7th house, always an indicator of potential serious disturbances in marriages. There were no signs suggesting she was at fault with any of this. I asked if she knew his time of birth, and she did, for he was born in Scotland where they put the details on the birth certificate. As soon as his chart came up on screen I knew what the problem was. He had Uranus exactly on the foundation point of his chart and it was currently making all sorts of heavy going negative transits, chiefly to Venus. Therefore, even someone very Capricorn, like this man, would effectively – every now and then at very unpredictable times – undergo these wild, out of character scenarios. I asked her if this was the case, and she said he did have that very occasional unpredictable tendency, but never anything like this! But the combination of Uranus transits to his chart at that period, plus certain houses, including the marriage and personality houses (7th and 1stt) being activated, did the rest, in typical Uranus style! Needless to say perhaps, he soon tried to plead forgiveness and get her back into his life, but she was having none of it, the damage had been done. A very unusual, and profound case that clearly illustrates the sheer unpredictability of the wild card of the Zodiac and the importance of transits when they reach their peak. And..... the effects of planets on the foundation point throughout life.