The Aspects, together with the Astrological Houses, are the most misunderstood and underrated concepts of the Astrological Knowledge.
I remember the big confusion that I’ve felt at the beginning when I’ve tried to understand them. The big issue with the Aspects, is that there are so many wrong and imprecise informations about them, too often even conflicting, scattered around by amateurs and profane astrologers, because of their superficial knowledge of the subject.
Very often, they only classify the Aspects as “good” and “bad”, and when you ask to them about the difference between an Opposition and a Square, they say something like: – well, the Opposition is bad, the Square is “less bad”. –
Every time I hear that, I don’t know if I want to laugh or to cry. What a superficiality.
I understand that it is hard to find trustful sources about Astrology, it took to me more than 10 years of studies of the ancient knowledges to find them, but many times it’s enough stop 5 minutes to think.
Astrology responds to the cosmological laws, it is in tuning with them, and the Cosmos isn’t chaos and superficiality, the Cosmos is order (in fact: from the ancient greek “kòsmos” = “order”), and so many times it’s a mathematical order, a geometrical order.
This is true for the Aspects especially, which are based on pythagorean geometry, developed more than 2500 years ago by the ancient School of initiated founded in Italy by Pythagoras. The Pythagorean School was one of the greatest expression of the Sacred Geometry, and, consequently, even of Astrology, because everything is connected in the Ancient Gnosis.
In Astrology, the Aspects are the geometrical relations that could form between Planets or Points from their positions on the Ecliptic in your natal sky.
So, on your Birth Chart you could find these geometrical relations, it’s a common thing having some of them on the natal sky, even because there are many types of Aspects.
Those ratios are angles of various degrees between Planets or Points (AC, Nodes, etc.), but not only, they are even angles between Planets and you at the very moment of your birth.
Those angular ratios create interactions between the Planets involved, and consequently even a specific bond.
There are 5 Aspects that are commonly considered as the main Aspects:
- Trine – angle of 120°
- Sextile – angle of 60°
- Square – angle of 90°
- Opposition – angle of 180°
- Conjunction – angle of 0°
Anyway, there are many other Aspects, often considered “minors” by amateurs and profane astrologers. Furthermore, that division in 2 categories, “majors” and “minors”, it’s too coarse and not completely exact, but it’s an advanced concept, let’s focus on the common Aspects now.
All the angles of the Aspects are based on pythagorean geometry, so even on specific geometric figures: the Triangle and the Square.
The observations through centuries, confirmed that the Aspects based on triangle [Trine, Sextile, Semisextile] are generally harmonic interactions, and the Aspects based on square [Square, Opposition, Semisquare] are generally not harmonic interactions.
But I have to say that the best clue about the nature of the Aspects, it’s always their planetary nature. That is pretty clear inside the “Thema Mundi” (the Chart of the World) which is the foundation of the whole astrological system. There’s no time for that today, I will talk about it in some future article.
There are even exceptions like the Conjunction, which is not based on geometric figure because its angle is zero (well, to be honest, we can say that it is equivalent to “the point” or “the circle”), so you have a Conjunction when Planets are on the same place of the Ecliptic (the Zodiac Wheel).
The nature of this interaction is neutral, it depends by the Planets involved on it.
Of course, that is a big simplification, and again, the list of the Aspects is incomplete, but as I said before, they are for a more advanced level of study.
At the moment, the usual Aspects are a good start point to begin study them and their meanings on your Natal Chart.
So let’s focus on them:
– The Trine
When 2 or more Planets form an angle of 120° on the Ecliptic, they are in Trine.
– This Aspect is based on triangle.
– Its nature is Jovial, so it’s an harmonic interaction.
– Its psychological key concepts are: Tuning – Development – Comfort
The Trine represents an interaction based on tuning. The parts of your psyche involved are similar forces that work together to go on in their fields of actions, in a very natural way.
That’s even because usually the Planets involved are on Signs of the same Element (Fire–Fire, Water–Water, etc.)
Their bond is very evident inside your psyche, but very often you will not be capable to perceive it on a conscious level, just because of its “naturalness”. Anyway, you can easily see its effects on your life, thanks to its constant action.
Even if the Planets involved are not “friends”, they will tend to express their bright sides only, helping you to grow up and developing easy ways to do everything belongs to their fields of action, so it has positive effects (Jupiter nature).
It’s one of the best Aspect you could have.
To better understand the Trine, imagine 2 persons (parts of your psyche) who have the same kind of strength, pushing a box (field of action) together in the same direction.
– The Sextile
When 2 or more Planets form an angle of 60° on the Ecliptic, they are in Sextile.
– This Aspect is based on triangle.
– Its nature is Venusian, so it’s an harmonic interaction.
– Its psychological key concepts are: Complementarity – Energies Interchange – Creation
The Sextile represents an interaction based on complementarity. The parts of your psyche involved are different but complementary forces, they complete each other and work together to create motion on their fields of action, very often a new kind of motion.
That’s even because usually the Planets involved are on Signs of complementary elements (Fire–Air or Water–Earth).
Their bond is pretty evident inside your psyche, so you can be capable to perceive it on a conscious level and easy seeing its effects, even because the action of Sextile specially responds to the outside’s stimulus.
Even if the Planets involved have different nature, they will be capable to create a good relationship, not calm and full of ferment, but able to give you the best parts of 2 different world, so it has positive and productive effects (Venus nature).
To better understand the Sextile, imagine 2 persons (parts of your psyche) who have similar strength but different directions: they push a box (field of action) on opposite directions, but they make a deal to avoid fighting each other and use their different strengths to create new motion, like the rotation.
– The Opposition
When 2 or more Planets form an angle of 180° on the Ecliptic, they are in Opposition.
– This Aspect is based on square.
– Its nature is Saturnine, so it’s a not harmonic interaction.
– Its psychological key concepts are: Contrast – Struggle – Pressure
The Opposition represents an interaction based on contrast. The parts of your psyche involved are similar but opposites. They have a conflict, they fight to prevaricate each other, and it creates tension in their fields of action. For that reason, it block the system often, there is a stalemate.
However, that tension it’s even stimulating, because those different forces are opposites, yes, but even complementary, so they also attract each other.
That’s even because usually the Planets involved are on Signs of complementary Elements (Fire–Air or Water–Earth) and same Quality (both Cardinal, both Fixed or both Mutable).
Their bond is pretty evident inside your psyche, but you will be not capable to perceive it on a conscious level, anyway very often you can see its effects on your life clearly, even because its action is intense, constant and persistent (Saturn nature).
The contrast between the Planets involved creates pressure inside those parts of your psyche, an inner conflict, and then stress.
Taking awareness of an Opposition, and struggling, it’s possible to make coexist together the parts of your psyche involved, and even to make work them together.
To better understand the Opposition, imagine 2 persons (parts of your psyche) who have the same strength; one pushes a box (field of action) while the other one pushes the same box on the other side, so there is only pressure and the box is motionless.
– The Square
When 2 or more Planets form an angle of 90° on the Ecliptic, they are in Square.
– This Aspect is based on square.
– Its nature is Martian, so it’s a not harmonic interaction.
– Its psychological key concepts are: Laceration – Reaction – Tension
The Square represents an interaction based on a laceration. The parts of your psyche involved are really different, they pull in different directions, so it often creates indecisions and confusion.
Into the psyche, the Planets involved are perceived like 2 irreconcilable elements, that often exclude and reject each other.
That’s even because usually the Planets involved are on Signs of dissonant or opposite Elements (Fire–Water, Fire–Earth, Air–Earth or Air–Water).
This kind of tension produces the effect of “hyper–sensitive nerve”; if something from outside touch one of the parts involved in the Square, there will be an immediate reaction, very often a sudden and impulsive overreaction.
On the long distance, the inner laceration produced by a Square might expresses itself with the thought: “Or I do this, or I do that.” and the consequently perception that is not possible doing both.
Obviously, that is not an objective fact but just a projection of the psyche who has 2 parts in Square.
So the energy accumulated by that tension, if unexpressed, causes often the inhibition of all parts involved in the Square, producing an effect of stalemate similar to the Opposition, but more “painful”, because very evident.
Using analogy, we could define the effect of the Square as an “inflammation in the psyche” (Mars nature).
But, working with determination and awareness, it is possible to find a way to give vent to the unexpressed energy, and very often the key is letting act one of the poles first and the other one after, to create a balance.
To better understand the Square, imagine 2 persons (parts of your psyche) who have 2 different kind of strength, but the same intensity. One of them pull a box (field of action) from his side, and the other one do the same on the opposite side. There’s no motion, tension and laceration only.
– The Conjunction
When 2 or more Planets are on the same degree of the ecliptic (0° distant), they are in Conjunction.
– It has no planetary nature, it is Neutral.
– Its psychological key concepts are: Union – Binder action – Concentration
The Conjunction is an interaction based on union. The parts of your psyche involved, fuse their meanings and their strengths, concentrating their “hybrid” influence on their fields of action.
Because of that, the Conjunction is a neutral interaction, it can create harmonic bond or disharmonious bond on your inner world and then positive or negative effects on your life, everything depends on the Planets involved.
If the Planets involved have affinities, their union will be harmonious, if they don’t, their union could be disharmonious.
You can understand the nature of a Conjunction between Planets, analyzing 2 main factors:
- Their Attributes (Hot, Dry, Wet, Cold)
- Their Dignities or Debilities (Domicile, Exile, Exaltation, Fall, Peregrine…)
Now, you need to understand that “harmonious” doesn’t mean “positive effect” necessarily, and vice versa, because we define “harmonious” or “disharmonious” the bond between Planets, but the Planets involved could be “problematic planets” which could have an harmonious bond to give you problems together.
Mars and Saturn in Conjunction could have an harmonious union because they are both “arid”, Dry and Hot the first one and Dry and Cold the second one, but their desiccant action could meaning “unwanted effects” in the structure of your psyche.
In another case, Jupiter and Saturn in Conjunction could having a disharmonious union, because they have no affinities (Hot and Wet with Cold and Dry), but the action of Jupiter could restrain the action of Saturn, especially, if Jupiter has some Dignity, and that could bring some positive effects into your personality on the global scale.
And that’s the second point, you have to consider even the Dignities or Debilities of the Planets involved in a Conjunction to make a good interpretation.
If Mercury and Venus are in Conjunction in Gemini, Mercury is the dominant Planet of this union, because it is in Domicile in Gemini, it has full powers, while Venus is Peregrine, so Mercury could inhibiting many traits of Venus; example: the great intellect, the logic mind (Mercury) could inhibit the sensuality or the spontaneity of the feelings (Venus).
Furthermore, it is possible having more than 2 Planets involved in a Conjunction, and that means it has more depth, more influence, and defines a strong trait of your personality, especially if Luminaries (Sun and Moon) are involved.
Because of that, when a Conjunction is made by 3 Planets or more, it is called a “Stellium”.
Seems complicated, but after few times, and using all the other knowledges in my free guide, you will start to see the big picture inside a Conjunction, if you have one of it.
That’s why the Conjunction is a neutral Aspect, its action is just fusing different forces and meanings, concentrating its effect on a specific trait of your personality and on a specific sector of your life (astrological House).
So you cannot define it as a “good” Aspect or a “bad” Aspect, you need analyzing it deeply to really understand it.
Now, that is an important concept to understand.
As for the Planets, there are no good Aspects or bad Aspects, and that is true especially for the Trines, the Sextiles, the Oppositions and the Squares.
Usually, Astrology defines the firsts 2 Aspects I showed you, the Trine and the Sextile, Harmonic Aspects, and the seconds, the Opposition and the Square, Dynamic Aspects.
That is not completely exact, because I showed you that Trine and Sextile create motion on your life, energy can flowing easily, while Opposition and Square create immobility, energy cannot flowing, it is blocked. So, I personally would prefer “Dynamic Aspects” for the firsts and “Static Aspects” for the seconds.
But, there is a very good philosophical reason for the standard classification.
The Trine and the Sextile are easy interactions, without bothers, so you don’t need to do something, they go on, working in harmony. Harmonic Aspects precisely.
On the other side, the Opposition and the Square are hard interactions, they can create issues and blocks. It seems not good, but you have to consider that they also stimulate you to do something to overcome those blocks and solving issues, they push you to act. That’s why they are Dynamic Aspects.
The secret to truly understand the nature of the Aspects is to consider the Harmonic Aspects as tools and the Dynamic Aspects as challenges.
So, always remember, because this is really, really important: Challenges can be won and tools can be used.
Knowing the astrological laws will guide you to understand which are your personal challenges, and then, where to start your inner work to face up them, how to face up them, and where to focus your energies.
It’s like being sick: you must know the sickness to understand which is the cure for it.
But Astrology does even better, Astrology can tell you the causes of your eventual “sickness”, and that is really important, because you can focus to resolve the causes and don’t waste your time trying to cure the symptoms only, which is useless for your inner growth.
It’s the same for the Harmonic Aspects; they are your personal tools, but having tools it doesn’t mean that you are using the full potential of them. Furthermore, tools can be even abandoned, repressed or rejected, because of many psychological factors, external factors above all, like social or family conditionings.
Knowing your personal challenges and your personal tools is one of the fundamental keys to improve yourself and raise your self-awareness.
On your Natal Chart, you will find the Aspects marked by colored lines that connect some Planets on the Zodiac Wheel. Usually, blue lines stay for Trines and Sextiles, red lines stay for Squares, Oppositions and even the Conjunctions.
If you are a complete beginner and you don’t know how the Natal Chart works, you can find a deep explanation of it in this article.
Of course, a single Planet could have multiple and different Aspects with other Planets, and that is the moment for you to interpret how that Planet expresses his influence inside your psyche, considering all the factors involved. There could be many informations and meanings to merge together, it could be a little bit confusing at the beginning, so my suggestion is to start analyzing one Aspect at time, little by little, you’ll begin understanding the true nature of the interaction between the Planets involved and how that interaction influences them.
Keep on studying, you will find other Aspects, like the Quincunx, the Semi-sextile, the Quintile, etc., too often underestimated or misunderstood by amateurs or profane astrologers.
Also, on an advanced level, I can assure you that you can have a deepest picture of your Natal Chart, calculating your own Aspects by yourself, with more refined parameters.
Every Aspect posses even a traditional symbol to identify it.
You will find those symbols on the Aspects Table below the graphic circle on your Birth Chart, to better identify them.
Here is the summary table containing the symbols of the Aspects that I just showed you, and all their other informations:
So, always remember how Astrology speaks about your own psyche: Planets tell you “what”, Zodiac Signs tell you “how”, the Astrological Houses tell you “where”, and the Aspects tell you the “interactions” between all of them, and they all together form the wonderful and deep portrait of your true essence, to make you able to see inside yourself.