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are comets symbologically significant in casting a chart? say, if halley's comet was passing at the time someone was born?
for that matter, are spacial anomalies given any attention astrologically?
Comets and spatial events are not generally given any astrological significance due to the reason Minderwiz gave -- they are not repeatable or cyclic and no relationship between their happening and some observable impact has ever been made.
Astrology involves, among many things, cyclic interaction wherein everchanging relationships occur among planets (astrologocial bodies) having regular, cyclic, measurable, repeatable movement.
Comets do have periodicity and orbit the Sun in a regular fashion, but many of the more spectacular ones have such lengthy cycles that they are not visible from Earth even once in a human lifetime. Rudolf Steiner and other anthroposophical astrologers associate comets with a "negativity-scouring" function within the solar system, but do not assign meanings to them in individual charts. Comets have long been considered omens in mundane astrology (the branch concerning world governments and the fortunes of nations).
it would be good to have more sustainable data concerning
I've never seen any delineations for particular comets - such as Halleys - and as Astraea says they do have periodicity. However they are only visible for relatively short times and Halley's periodicity is around 73 years or so.
Some (but by no means all) Astrolgoers link significance to light and movement. Assuming that this is true, whilst the comets definitely move, they only transmit light (from an Earth perspective) for very short periods and therefore any influence would be highly transitory.