- Astrological aspect
astrology, an aspect is an anglethe planets make to each other in the horoscope, and also to the ascendant, midheaven, descendant and nadir. The aspects are measured by the angular distance along the eclipticin degrees and minutes of celestial longitude between two points, as viewed from the earth. They indicate focal points in the horoscope where the energies involved are given extra emphasis. The astrological aspects are said to influence affairs on Earth according to millennia of astrological tradition.
As an example, if an
astrologercreates a horoscopeshowing the apparent positions of the heavenly bodies at the times of a person's birth (a natal chart), and the apparent distance between Mars and Venus is 92°, the chart is said to have the aspect "Venus square Mars" with an orb of 2° (i.e., it is 2° away from being an exact square; a square is a 90° aspect). The more exact that an aspect is, the more important it is said to be according to astrological precedent and tradition. The difference between the exact aspect and the actual aspect is called the "orb".
Modern approaches to astrological aspects, grounded more on current research rather than historical references, are more in alignment with research on astrological harmonics, of which
John Addeywas a major proponent in England(and which Johannes Keplerset forth in his book " Harmonice Mundi" in 1619). In routine practice, the German schools of Uranian astrologyand its derivative Cosmobiologyhave taken a wholly empiricalapproach to the aspects, largely divorced from traditional assumptions, and based on extensive research. In the process, they have come to conclusions different from traditional astrologers about the power and effect of the various types of aspects. Among the Uranians, the term 'aspect' is even sometimes avoided, to divorce traditional beliefs from current observations.
The research of Françoise and
Michel Gauquelinon the significance of planetary configuration in the astrological chart showed strong signs that the semisquare and sesquiquadrate, "minor" aspects according historical assumptions, might in fact be relatively "major". Many of these valuable realizations have been lost in a recent wave of return to traditional astrological beliefs.
A list of traditional aspects below presents their angular values and a recommended orb for each aspect -- the orbs are subject of controversy even today.
With the introduction of the manifold midpoints used in Cosmobiology and the many "formula" points of Uranian/Hamburg Astrology, most modern Astrologers, now, use much narrower orbs for aspects than what were common prior 1970.
The traditional major aspects are sometimes called "Ptolemaic aspects" since they were defined and used by
Ptolemyin the 1st Century, AD. These aspects are the conjunction (approx. 0-10°), sextile (60°), square (90°), trine (120°), and opposition (180°). It is important to note that different astrologers and separate astrological systems/traditional utilize differing "orbs" (the degree of separation between exactitude) when calculating and using the aspects, though almost all use a larger orb for a conjunction when compared to the other aspects. The major aspects are those that can be used to divide 360 evenly and are divisible by 10 (with the exception of the semi-sextile).
Whether the union is to be regarded as "positive" or "negative" depends upon what planets are involved: Venus, Jupiter and the
Sun, in any possible combination, is considered the most favourable scenario (and all three actually met on November 9–10, 1970, for example), while the most unfavourable configurations involve Mars, Saturn, and/or the Moon(with all three conjoining on March 10in that same year). If the planets are under stress from other configurations, then the conjunction will be said to intensify the stress. When a planet is in "very" close conjunction to the Sun it is referred to as cazimi; when a planet is moderately close to Sun, it is said to be combust. The Sun and Moon are in conjunction monthly during the New Moon.
, or 1/2 of a trine [120°] ). A separation (orb) of 60±04° is considered a sextile. The sextile has been traditionally said to be similar in influence to the trine, but of less significance. It indicates ease of communication between the two elements involved, with compatibility and harmony between them, but only provides opportunity, requiring effort to gain its benefits. See information on the "semisextile" below.
indicates practicality and prudence with thoughts and communication, concentrating on practical matters. It is also indicative of caution in planning and other mental tasks. However, the square between those planets indicates mental restraint, excessive censoring of communication and overemphasis on trivial details. It also indicates pessimism and a stilted and fearful approach to life. The square is said to indicate strain, tension, frustration, inhibitions, disruption and inner conflict. However, it can become a source of energy and activation to a person determined to overcome limitations, presenting challenges to achievement and an opportunity to develop strength of character. See the information on the "semisquare" and "sesquiquadrate" below. The square is also sometimes known as the "quartile".
(abrv. Tri) is an angle of 120° (1/3 of the 360° ecliptic). A separation (orb) of 120±04° is considered a trine. The trine indicates harmony, and ease of expression, with the two elements reinforcing each other. The trine is a source of artistic and creative talent, which is innate. The trine has been traditionally assumed to be extremely beneficial, providing ease even if undeserved, but it can be a 'line of least resistance' to a person of weak character. Too many trines are said to make a person weak and unable to cope with adversity. Complacency can also prove to be a problem. Due to the harmony bestowed by the trine, the person may not feel the need to develop the gifts given by this aspect, thus it follows that the person has no need to satisfy a need and supply what is lacking because it is already satisfied from the time of his or her birth.
The traditional minor aspects, introduced by the famed
astronomer/ astrologer Johannes Keplerin the 16th Century AD, were long considered to be of relatively secondary importance, although many modern astrologers are not in agreement with this. These included the quincunx (150°), semisquare (45°), sesquiquadrate (135°), semisextile (30°), quintile (72°), and biquintile (144°).
More progressive research-oriented schools like
Cosmobiologyor Uranian astrology( Hamburg School of Astrology) consider the semisquare and sesquiquadrate to be relatively "major" aspects while the traditional sextile (60°) and trine (120°) are thought to be relatively "minor" in influence — this based on current research rather than historical documents or beliefs. Astrologers using Cosmobiology and Uranian/Hamburg Astrology work with many more minor aspects than were used prior to 1970, i.e. multiples of 15° (15°, 75°, 105°, & 165°) and multiples of 22.5° (22.5°, 67.5°, 112.5°, & 157.5°).
The sextile and quincunx (inconjunct) are considered as the 'border' aspects in-between major and minor ones. Most of the astrologers consider the sextile (60°) as major aspect, while a quite a noticeable group uses the quincunx aspect (150°) as major, while only a very small minority considers the inconjunct (30°) as a major aspect. All major aspects, along with these three 'border' aspects, are called the 'Ptolemaic aspects'.
Quincunx — major/minor aspect
(or inconjunct, abrv. Inc) is an angle of 150°, which is five-twelfths of the 360° ecliptic. A separation of 150±2° is considered a quincunx. The quincunx is said to be of moderate but somewhat unpredictable influence, bringing strain. It indicates difficulty and stress, due to incompatible elements being forced together. It can mean an area of self neglect in a person's life (especially health), or obligations being forced on a person. This aspect is also sometimes called the "inconjunct", though this usage is technically incorrect.
(abrv. SSq) is an angle of 45° (1/2 of a square [90°] ). A separation of 45±2° is considered a semisquare. This aspect is considered a weaker version of the square and indicates somewhat difficult circumstance. It is sometimes known as the "octile" or "semiquartile".
The sesquiquadrate (abrv. Ses) is an angle of 135° (a square [90°] + a semisquare [45°] ). A separation of 135±2° is considered a sesquiquadrate; it indicates somewhat stressful conditions. it is considered similar in influence to the semisquare. The sesquiquadrate is sometimes called a "sesquisquare", "square-and-a-half", "quartile-and-a-half", and/or "trioctile".
The semi-sextile (abrv. SSx) is an angle of 30° (1/2 of a sextile [60°] ). A separation of 30±2° is considered a semisextile. This aspect signifies a weak strain connected with making decisions, and indicates an area of life where a conscious effort to be positive will have to be made. Alternate names include "confinis" and "inconjunct".
. A separation of 72±2° is considered a quintile. This aspect is considered somewhat similar to a semisextile (moderately beneficial), but effort is not needed to reap its benefits. Indicates talent and vaguely fortunate circumstances.
(abrv. BQt or BQn) is an angle of 144° (a quintile [72°] x 2 = 144°). A separation of 144±2° is considered a biquintile. This is considered similar to a quintile.
Additional aspects used, though not commonly, in astrology.
These aspects are based on the division of the circle of the zodiac by seven.
The septile (abrv. Sep) is an angle of 51.428571°, one-seventh of the circle of the zodiac. It is supposed to be aspected to have irrational relations between its constituent components but confer the hidden underlying nature and deeper destiny of them [http://www.astrologyweekly.com/astrological-aspects/septile-7th-harmonic.php] .
The biseptile (abrv. BSp) is an angle of 102.857143°. This aspect is considered the externalized septile.
The triseptile (abrv. TSp) is an angle of 154.285714°. [http://www.khaldea.com/eon/eonintro.shtml Khaldea.com] ]
These aspects are based on the division of the circle of the zodiac by nine.
The novile (abrv. Nov), also known as a "nonagon", is an angle of 40°, one-ninth of the circle of the zodiac. The novile is said to represent a constriction between the aspects that can be unlocked and used as a catalyst to self-enhancement. [http://www.astrologyweekly.com/astrological-aspects/novile-9th-harmonic.php Novile - 9th harmonic aspect · astrological aspect · astrology aspect/aspects ] ]
The binovile (abrv. BNv) is an angle of 80°.
These aspects are based on the division of the circle of the zodiac by ten and are related to the 5th-harmonic aspects (the quintile and biquintile).
The semiquintile (abrv. SQn), also known as a "decile", is an angle of 36°, one-tenth of the circle of the zodiac. This aspect is said to impart ability to help others [http://www.zanestein.com/AstrologyFAQs.html] .
The sesquiquintile, or "tridecile", is an angle of 108°, which is supposed to confer a social creativity or the need for withdrawal and introspection needed for external originality. This aspect is also known as the "quintile-and-a-half".
The semi-decile (abrv. SD), or "vigintile", is an angle of 18°, one-twentieth of the circle of the zodiac, or half a decile.
These aspects are based on the division of the circle of the zodiac by eleven.
The undecim (abrv. Und), also known as the "undecimal", is one-eleventh of the zodiac circle or an angle of 32.727272°; in addition there are biundecim (65.454544°), triundecim (98.181816°), quadriundecim (130.90908°) and quinqueundecim (163.63636°). The undecim is said to be associated with social consciousness and the ability to reach beyond oneself for help. [ [http://www.zanestein.com/AstrologyFAQs.html Astrology Tribe Faqs ] ]
These aspects are based on the division of the zodiac by fourteen and are related to the 7th-harmonic aspects (septile, biseptile and triseptile). They are said to have a sense of empowerment about them arising from the correct use of structure. [ [http://harmonics.50megs.com/Introduction.html Axial Harmonics Introduction ] ]
The semiseptile (which has also been called "quattuordecimal") is an angle of 25.714286°, one-fourteenth of the circle of the zodiac, or half a septile. It is said to have to do with giving up what one has completed in order to move on to the next cycle of activity. [http://www.ciuboda.com/rss/index.php?q=septile Ciuboda.com] ]
The tresemiseptile is an angle of 77.142858°, three-fourteenths of the circle of the zodiac.
The quinsemiseptile is an angle of 128.57143°, five-fourteenths of the circle of the zodiac.
These aspects are based on the division of the circle of the zodiac by sixteen and are related to the 8th-harmonic aspects (semisquare and sesquiquadrate). All are considered "hard" or "stress" aspects. [ [http://www.ccrsdodona.org/m_dilemma/1992/gem/politics.html Gemini 1992: Political Miscellany ] ] Many Uranian astrologers use only the semioctile and its multiple aspects, including the sesquioctile and 112.5° and 157.5° aspects, claiming that they are not "minor."
The semioctile is an angle of 22.5°, one-sixteenth of the circle of the zodiac.
The sesquioctile is an angle of 67.5°.
These aspects are based on the division of the circle of the zodiac by twenty-four. Some Hamburg School astrologers consider multiples of the quattuorvigintile, including the squile, squine, and quindecile, aspects.
The quattuorvigintile is an angle of 15°, one-24th of the zodiac circle.
The squile is an angle of 75°, considered a hybrid between a square and a sextile.
The squine is an angle of 105°, considered a hybrid between a square and a trine.
The quindecile (also known as the "johndro" or "contraquindecile") is an angle of 165°. It is supposed to be associated with an unrelenting headstrong determination, with disruption and upheaval. [http://www.llewellyn.com/bookstore/article.php?id=109 Llewellyn.com] ]
The "parallel" and "antiparallel" (or "
contraparallel") are two other aspects, which refer to degrees of declinationabove or below the ecliptic. They are considered strong influences, though not much research has gone into studying these particular aspects.
*"Parallel": same degree± 1-degree 12-minutes of arc. This is similar to a conjunction, but usually provides benefits.
*"Contraparallel": opposite degree± 1-degree 12-minute of arc. Said to be similar to the opposition, but weaker.
References and further reading
Hard aspect (astrology)
Soft aspect (astrology)
Applying aspect (astrology)
Sesquiquadrate (astrological aspect)
*Aspects of specific celestial bodies:
Transit of Venus
Transit of Mercury
Aspects of Mars
Aspects of Uranus
Aspects of Neptune
Aspects of Pluto
Aspects of the Sun
Aspects of Mercury
Aspects of Venus
Aspects of Jupiter
Aspects of Saturn
Aspects of Ceres
Aspects of 1 Ceres
Aspects of 2 Pallas
Aspects of 3 Juno
Aspects of 4 Vesta
Aspects of Eris
*Astrological traditions that focus almost exclusively on the aspects include:
Hamburg School of Astrology
**Astrological direct & retrograde motion
* [http://www.skyscript.co.uk/aspects.html An articles on the use of the aspects]
* [http://www.khaldea.com/ephemcenter.shtml Online Ephemeris from Khaldea.com] -- 600BC to 2400AD -- Calculated for
Midnight GMT; also with an Aspectarian included for years 1900 to 2005
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