Astrological Aspects

Loosely speaking an astrological aspect is an alignment angle created between at least two planets or between a planet and an important point in the sky (or horoscope). In longitude this is a geometrical alignment. In declination the alignment is most often the same number of degrees on either side of the celestial equator.

Conjunction: 0°

conjunction circleconjunction The conjunction happens when two or more planets are at the same degree of the zodiac (longitude). This creates a fusion of their energies. In the birth chart it shows tendencies that are automatic and default in which the native learns to fuse the energies more masterfully over time. Considered harmonious or stressful depending on what planets are involved.

Conjunction of Sun & Venus – Here we see NASA’s image of Venus’ tiny black disc (upper left) against the Sun’s bright disc during the Venus transit of 2012. (Courtesy Wikipedia)

Parallel: 0°

parallel on s-curveparallel The parallel is a conjunction of declination. Two or more planets are parallel when they are on the same side of the celestial equator (north or south) and the same distance from it. The fusion dynamic is the same as with conjunctions. Similar interpretation. they function together as if on the same wavelength.

Opposition: 180°

opposition circleopposition Moon1.18.2011_smThe opposition happens when two or more planets are at opposite sides of the zodiac. The planetary energies may seem at odds, expressing in alternating or relational back-and-forth fashion; they seek integration, balance, retaining all their own energies in the interaction. Two seeming opposites have to be reconciled. This aspect tends to play out in relationships due to its projective nature, its subject/object dynamic.

A Full Moon is an opposition between the Sun and Moon as seen in this photo I took of the Full Moon January 17, 2011 here in Portland.


contra-parallel on s-curvecontra-parallel The contra-parallel is an opposition of declination and happens when two planets are equidistant from the celestial equator, one north and one south of that dividing line. This aspect has all the importance of an opposition in longitude. Interpreted similarly. However, the CP involves two points that are in different polarities, south = negative (-) and north = positive (+). This can re-ignite a flow of energy that has been blocked. This dynamic tends to play out in the context of inner life/outer life, or personal/public.

Square: 90°

square circlesquare The square happens when two planets are 90° from each other in zodiacal position. This is the hardest driving aspect and can have a strong ‘pushing’ or ‘pulling’ dynamic. They show energies that must work together to find outlet as if upon a common point. Think of the two lines of a wall that end at a single point, the corner. This aspect generally relates to our familial context, the emotional structures of our energies and circumstances that must be experienced to find inner resolution.

Semi-square: 45°

semi-square circlesemi-square This so-called minor aspect has the same dynamic as the square, but due to its less angular geometry has a tighter orb (shorter transit) and less power. My observations of it at or near culmination in progressed charts show it often plays part in accidents and injuries when there are dissonant and unresolved energies in play.

Sesquisquare (sesquiquadrate): 135°

sesquisquare circlesesquisquare Also a so-called minor aspect with the same dynamic as the square, but ‘mini’; important when in culmination in the progressed chart. Similar to the semi-square it has a tighter orb, (shorter transit), and less power.

Sextile: 60°

sextile circlesextile This longitude aspect is easy to spot with two zodiacal signs of separation between two bodies/points. It has a flowing mental effect that can assist in group and communication dynamics. Similar to the trine, and supportive of good relations, but usually lacking the motivation to fully express itself (unless at least two planets are joined at one end). With some applied will these aspects can help overcome other challenging ones.

Semi-sextile: 30°

semi-sextile circlesemi-sextile Not really a ‘half-sextile’ as might be perceived, acts more like a mini-quincunx. Stressful aspect, but normally minor, because of tighter orb, shorter transit. Requires adjustments, can indicate health issues, accidents, etc, if energies are far enough out of balance.

Trine: 120°

trine circletrine This longitude aspect is also flowing, not driving, but with some application of will can aid in resolution of other life challenges and extension of one’s better qualities into the world. It generally shows smooth energy output, a harmonious, but usually lacking the motivation to fully express itself (unless at least two planets are joined at one end).

Quincunx (inconjunct): 150°

quincunx circlequincunx The only major aspect to be formed by dividing the 360° circle by an odd number (2-2⁄5). This alone makes it notable. It can often be one of the most important aspects in the chart for achieving the most important personal growth and development. A standout life lesson in which the two energies are being called to extend themselves past comfort, bending, but not breaking; can act in alternating fashion between the two principles. Often shows a health/wellness issue from early in life. This aspect in transits or progressions can reveal when a detour has taken one off course of one’s life direction.

Quintile: 72°

quintile circlequintile Created by dividing the 360° circle by 5. One of the Keplerian aspects and considered minor, but important when in culmination in the progressed chart. Minor only if there are no other planets creating a larger configuration. Interpreted similarly to BQ. An esoteric aspect series worth much more in-depth study. Significant in progressed charts.

Biquintile: 144°

bi-quintile circlebi-quintile As the name suggests, it is a double quintile. Keplerian series, considered minor, but if reinforced with a tight conjunction or aligned with other quintiles, can actually be significant in the birth chart. Suggests latent or hidden talents or rich creative potential. Definitely significant in when culminated in progressed charts.

Decile (semi-quintile): 36°

Created by dividing the 360° circle by 10. Another division of the Keplerian 72°. Minor, but can be significant when culminated in progressed charts. Not normally displayed in the aspectarians of chart-making astrology programs.


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