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Basic Astrology

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ASPECTS

The aspects are the lines going across the middle of a chart. They are usually coloured to identify the type of aspect, although astrologers differ on which colours they use for different aspects. Some aspects are defined as being harmonious, easy, soft, benefic or positive while others are described as being tense, hard, difficult, bad, malefic or negative. I prefer to use the descriptions of easy and hard as it describes the aspects simply.

An easy aspect is one that flows without effort, whereas a hard aspect requires work to overcome it. Some aspects are variable as it depends on the planets involved as to how they relate to each other. The closer the aspect to within its orb, the more important it becomes, whether it be a major or a minor one.

Major Aspects

Conjunction: The most powerful of all the aspects, when two or more planets are together. This is usually a good aspect as the two or more planets combine their energies. Although with some planets, most notably Mars, Saturn and Pluto and sometimes Uranus, it is difficult for the energies to blend in a positive manner. Any planets involved in a conjunction will have strong emphasis in a chart. If there are three or more, it is known as a Stellium.

Opposition: A powerful aspect, exerting a pull on either side and one where balance needs to be achieved between the two planets. Usually formed by planets posited in the same quality or quadruplicity, such as Aries and Libra being opposite signs but also of the same cardinal quality or quadruplicity. The opposition can be complimentary, the one side providing what the other lacks and vice versa.

Trine: The most powerful easy aspect where the energies between the planets flow harmoniously. Usually formed by planets posited in the same triplicity or element, either fire, earth, air or water. The line of least resistance and can give way to laziness and complacency.

Square: Powerful though not as strong as the Opposition, creating friction between the planets. Usually formed by planets in the same quality, either cardinal, fixed or mutable. Can also provide strength and stability.

Sextile: Powerful though not as strong as the Trine, easy flowing.

 

Minor Aspects

Semi-Sextile: This is a half version of the Sextile and therefore not as strong. Most astrologers agree that this minor aspect is easy. However, there are some that say otherwise on the grounds that being as the aspect occurs between two adjacent signs that have nothing in common, it makes it difficult.

Semi-Square: This is a half version of the square and therefore a hard aspect though not as strong as the square.

Sesquiquadrate: This aspect is formed by the addition of the square and the semi-square.

Quincunx: Otherwise known as Inconjunct.

Parallel: This aspect is the only one not measured by celestial longitude. It is of two or more planets having the same distance in declination in degrees, north or south of the celestial equator. This aspect acts like the conjunction if both planets are on the same side of the equator, or like the opposition if they are on opposite sides.

Quintile, Bi-Quintile and Semi-Quintile: These three aspects were introduced by Johannes Kepler. The semi-Quintile is also known as the Decile as it is arrived at by dividing the 360 degrees of the chart by 10. These aspects, although minor and rarely used, can show potential creativity or talent in a particular area.

Novile: The aspect being 40 degrees suggests a third of a Trine and therefore an easy aspect.

 

Applying and Separating Aspects: When two planets are moving towards each other to make an exact aspect they are said to be applying. When two planets have already perfected the aspect and are moving apart, they are said to be separating.

Disassociated Aspects: An aspect is said to be disassociated when one or more planets form an aspect within the allowed orb but that is not in a sign of the same triplicity or quadruplicity.

Unaspected Planets: When a planet makes no aspect to any other, it makes it more prominent within the chart. It is like it is highlighted for special attention and consideration. Without aspects, it is out on its own. It can make it difficult to work with. It is rare to have an unaspected planet, even if it only makes a minor aspect it still has one.

Chart Aspect Patterns

The aspect lines within a chart produce patterns within themselves which make for major configurations which amplify the energy. See links top right of page.

Related Links

Grand Trine, Grand Cross, T-Square

Kite, Yod or Finger of God or Finger of Fate, Mystic Rectangle

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 The following table is of the aspects that are in general use.

Aspect

Glyph

Degrees

Orb

Strength

Type

Conjunction

0

8

Major

Variable

Semi-Sextile

30

2

Minor

Variable

Semi-Square

45

2

Minor

Hard

Sextile

60

6

Major

Easy

Square

90

8

Major

Hard

Trine

120

8

Major

Easy

Sesquiquadrate

135

2

Minor

Hard

Quincunx

150

2

Minor

Hard

Opposition

180

8

Major

Hard

 

The following table is of other aspects not in common use.

Parallel

0

1-2

Major

Variable

Semi-Quintile

 

36

1

Very Minor

Easy

Novile

N

40

1

Very Minor

Easy?

Quintile

72

2

Very Minor

Easy

Biquintile

144

2

Very Minor

Easy

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