The term ‘unaspected’ planet is first and foremost a misnomer
It is generally used to refer to a planet in the birth horoscope that makes (or receives) no major (Ptolemaic) aspects (conjunction, sextile, square, trine, opposition) to other planets. Some astrologers add the quincunx/150° to the list of major aspects. However, most leave out the quincunx aspect. It leaves out both Ascendant and Midheaven. It ignores minor aspects as if they aren’t enough, assuming that every planet ‘should’ make one of the major 30-degree aspects. It refuses to acknowledge that especially multiple minor aspects involving such a planet can have a significant impact over such a lifetime.
‘Unaspected’ planets theories completely and totally leave out the parallels and contra-parallels of declination.
As Declinations fell out of common use by astrologers and pop astrology began growing around a century ago, notions such as these started gaining acceptance and spread like whispered rumors that come out altered in the end. The ‘unaspected’ planet theory attempts to explain why an astrologer could observe that a person had a particularly strong Venusian signature or behavior in a person’s life, yet see a void of emphasis on Venus in the person’s birth chart (when not looking at Declinations at all, and often failing to test the accuracy of the Asc).
The Answers are found in the Declinations, and in the inaccurate Ascendants astrologers have often worked with.
Astrotheme points out on their unaspected planets page that the phenomenon is rare. However, they go on to give celebrity examples for ‘unaspected’ planets. (Their “Rules for detecting an unaspected planet” leave out Declinations entirely as if they don’t exist.) So let’s look at them:
· King Louis XIV of France actually had Sun [6N47] Parallel Pluto [7N56] and contra-parallel Uranus [7S49]. Even if you consider the orb between Sun & Pluto too wide (1°09′), the 1°02′ orb for the Sun-Uranus aspect is certainly acceptable. There is no ‘unaspected’ condition.
· Vincent Van Gogh certainly did not have an ‘unaspected’ Sun [3N50] which was closely contra-parallel Pluto [3S41]. No ‘unaspected’ condition.
· Louis Pasteur had Moon 165°/Quindecile Sun & Neptune, Bi-quintile Mars, semi-square Saturn. Again, those are aspects. If you want to say a person has no major aspects, fine. But don’t say ‘unaspected’ as if there were no aspects at all.
· Mohandas Gandhi certainly did not have an ‘unaspected’ Mercury. How could any astrologer possibly think that such a leader of opposition to a major colonial power could have no aspects involving Mercury, thus indicating some sort of deficit of communication power! Gandhi’s Mercury [15S54] (taken from the 25 Libra rising chart) was contra-parallel both Moon [16N02] and Jupiter [16N33], with orbs not even remotely in question.
No examples are given for Venus
However, George Clooney has been offered up by some as an example of an ‘unaspected’ Venus when, in fact, it made a quintile to Saturn and a Bi-quintile to Pluto. In addition, Clooney’s rectified, validated chart that I posted and described previously shows Venus sextile Ascendant and sesquisquare Midheaven. But even if you don’t like my rectification, Venus still makes two important aspects in the quintile series.
Paul Saunders of solarisastrology.com offers up Al Gore as an example of ‘unaspected’ Venus. This may be the example that actually comes closest to any real definition of ‘unaspected’ if you don’t count the square to Mars with nearly 8° slack. However, Venus sesquisquare Neptune still counts as an aspect. Venus [21N46] was also in wide contra-parallel with Jupiter [22S55] (orb = 1°09′).
He also offers up Martin Luther King, Jr as an example of ‘unaspected’ Venus. Not even close on this one. Even if you take the extremely dubious 12 noon time for the standard chart, you will see that Moon and Venus are exactly parallel at 8S29. Venus is also trine Pluto with an orb of about 6.5°.
Back to the astrotheme examples …
· Dodi Fayed did not have an ‘unaspected’ Mars [21N30] which was parallel both Jupiter [22N16] and Uranus [21N53]. In addition it shows a very tight BQ to Neptune.
· Pete Shelley, their next example, also has Mars [21N50] Parallel both Jupiter [22N14] and Uranus [21N53] , as well as semi-square Jupiter, and BQ Neptune.
· Their example of Janis Joplin also falls short. Janis had Jupiter semi-sextile Saturn, and Quintile Neptune. If you use slightly widened orbs in declination, her Jupiter [22N23] was contra-parallel Mars [23S39] (orb = 1°16′).
No examples are given for Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, or Pluto by Astrotheme
Looking at other examples offered elsewhere …
· Daniel Day-Lewis as an example of ‘unaspected’ Saturn? No, Saturn [20S33] clearly is contra-parallel Uranus [2N05].
· Barack Obama as an example of ‘unaspected’ Uranus? which in fact receives a near exact quincunx from Saturn. It also is squared by the Moon, albeit a bit widely, but 8° is still acceptable.
· Margaret Thatcher is also a bad example for ‘unaspected’ Uranus, but her chart shows Mars [2S59] parallel Uranus [3S43], as well as Mercury quincunx Uranus.
· Walt Disney had unaspected Neptune? No, not even close. Who in their right minds would think that the King of Animation could possibly have had an ‘unaspected’ Neptune?! Disney’s chart shows a profoundly strong Neptune [22N15] in declination. It was contra-parallel Uranus [22S51], Saturn [22S26], Jupiter [22S48], Venus [22S48], and Sun [22S18]. In addition, Venus was quincunx Neptune.
Do you still hold out any hope of any real examples of ‘unaspected’ with Pluto?
· Buddy Holly as an example of ‘unaspected’ Pluto? Hardly. Sun and Moon semi-square Pluto; Mercury quintile Pluto; Moon [23N49] Parallel Pluto [22N48], and Jupiter [22S23] contra-parallel Pluto.
· John F. Kennedy? No. Mars semi-square Pluto; Neptune semi-sextile Pluto; Jupiter [17N44] & Neptune [19N22] Parallel Pluto [18N50]. If you accept the 3 PM time attributed to his mother, Moon at 17° Virgo is Quintile Pluto.
I’ve heard all the reasonings and rationale. Its only supposed to mean no major aspects. So why call it ‘unaspected’? Its a misnomer. Why not say ‘no major aspects’? But even that would have to be adjusted the way most astrologers apply it since the quincunx is a major aspect, as are parallels and contra-parallels.
There is no real agreement as to interpretation in ‘unaspected’ planet theory. Some astrologers say there is supposed to be a disconnection of this planet from normal healthy relation with the energies of the other planets (and have named the condition “peregrine” to mark it has foreign, alien, disconnected). It is generally explained that the person will display either of two extremes, total deficiency or total overboard. While I definitely think we should allow for free will, this stretches credulity.
Observing no aspects will understandably happen when the astrologer is simply surveying the wheel for obvious 30-degree aspects instead of examining the aspectarian. Thus, there is an assumed ‘lack of’ condition. This allows those engaging in ‘easy bake’ astrology to come up with or support such pet theories. Lack of assessments when dressed about with smart sounding psychological language give the astrologer an enticement with the inference they have the special insight or answer to fill in that void of …
This silly little theory that has been way overfed, more than any other reason, because astrologers have left Declinations out of the practice of astrology. It has been left out of schools, courses, texts. It is as if all of mainstream astrology practice insists that the sky is flat and the planets circulate around the Sun on an east-west flat plane with no variation north or south of the celestial equator when anyone can go outside a few nights in a row and see the Moon shows us that this is simply delusional. When will astrology pull itself out of the ‘flat cosmos’ dark age?
Finally, with Steven Forrest’s The Book of the Moon the importance of a body’s north or south position in the sky is getting more recognition. Its a good start.