The Aspects between Planets


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(See also here for advanced information on aspects and harmonics.) The aspects denote astronomically the number of degrees one planet is from another, astrologically how the planets relate to each other.

Some numbers are more important than others, and some are so important that an astrologer gives them a little leeway; in other words the planets need not be exactly in the specified distance, but have an orb of between 2 and 8 degrees.

The aspects may be neutral, harmonious or challenging and thus determine the nature of the relationships between the planets. However, harmonious is something you get served with a silver spoon - it may make you greedy. On the other hand a challenging aspect gives the opportunity to learn.
The most common are the following:

Conjunction: 0o, with an orb of 8, this is a neutral and major aspect, where the planets meld together for better or worse.
A sun/Venus conjunction makes the person pleasuresick but artistic
A Mars/North Node conjunction means the person needs to learn assertiveness and the use of will
A Moon/Pluto conjunction is emotional blackmailing, but also ruthless honesty with own emotions.
And of course, all are modified by house and sign. The first configuration in Aries in the 5. house is active, flirting and romantic, or may be a daring artist with bold tunes and colours, but in Aquarius in the 8. would be something of an experimenting and sensual lover.

Semi-sextile: 30o, with an orb of maximum 2, this is a minor and weakly positive aspect. One planet will be one sign ahead of the other, and will manifest something the other needs (and hopefully wishes) to learn.
Moon in Gemini semisextile Saturn in Taurus, may mean that a very practical oriented Saturn needs to learn to speak of his needs and wishes, and there is a possibility that the Moon will do this for him.

Semi-square: 45o, with an orb of maximum 2 degrees, this is a weak, challenging aspect. The planets have little in common, and represent different stages of life. Otherwise, interpret as a weak square.

Septile: 51o, with an orb of 2 or 3 degrees, this aspect gives creative inspiration, and has a distinctly neptunian flavour according to one Dr. Maggie McPherson

Sextile: 60o, with an orb of 4 degrees, this aspect is of medium positive quality. The planets are friendly towards each other.
Example: Neptune sextile Ascendant gives a mild, dreamy demeanour. The person seems gentle, and probably has an active dreamlife.

Quintile: 72o, with an orb of 2 or 3 degrees seems to have a Mercurial quality, and link mind to matter in _expressed_ creativity.

Square: 90o, with an orb of 8 degrees, this is a major negative aspect. The planets go in different directions and there is no compromise. The person must always choose which to emphasise, and for best results, be mindful of both. She cannot please both energies at the same time. The planets will be of the same quality (usually); i.e. both in Mutable signs for instance, but of different elements.
Example: Saturn in 9. square Cheiron in 6. indicates that she must choose between patience and dedication in higher education, and social service.
Mercury in Aries square Node-axis in Cancer (North)/Capricorn (South) indicates that his tendency to speak rashly and without thinking is contrary to his learning of emotions and acceptance of such. It also conflicts with his instinct to pull rank when things go wrong.

Biseptile: 103o, is similar to the septile.

Trine: 120o, of orb 8 degrees, is the major positive aspect. The planets are in the same element, and work in harmony with each other.
Examples: Mars in Sagittarius trine MC in Leo indicates that the happy-go-lucky, jovial energy is beneficial to his career, perhaps in drama. He shows himself royal, and his energy warms that impression and gives him a purpose.
Uranus in the 3. trine Moon in the 7. indicates that the person has changeable emotions, or, bright at school, she may find her partner there. Or a highly emotional partner is beneficial to her mind and flair for writing. He may even inspire her to greater heights.

Sesquiquadrate: 135o, is similar to the semisquare.

Biquintile: 144o, is similar to the quintile.

Quincunx or inconjunct: 150o, a confusing minor aspect of about 3 to 4 degrees orb. The relationship between the planets is a bit iffy; sometimes good, sometimes not. Because of the orbs, it can behave both like the biquintile and the triseptile. The planets are 5 signs apart; they have nothing in common, they don't even follow each other like the semisextile. However one may be of service to the other, and the other may be a mystery to the first, like the Aries/Virgo and Aries/Scorpio relationships.
Venus in Libra inconjunct the Moon in Pisces indicates that the charming, aesthetic Venus may bring to life the mysterious, changing emotions of the Moon, but that the person my also loose herself somewhat in dreams and fancies e.g. of Prince Charming.

Triseptile: 154o, is similar to the septile.

Opposition: 180o, of orb 8 degrees is a major challenging aspect, where the planets draw in opposite directions, and bring out the bad sides in each other.
Pluto 12. opposite Mercury in Pisces, 6. indicates that the poetic, serving aspect is not compatible with the volatile unconscious. The person may try to control others through evasiveness or appealing to their subconscious (malevolent use of symbolism, brainwashing, etc), or be so bent on speaking the minds of their clients, that they destroy themselves.

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