Conjunction – 360 divided by 1. This aspect is not inherently good or bad. It all depends on the planets involved. The two merge into one being, so it really helps if they actually get on. The Moon and Mars would work as a hard aspect, whereas the Moon and Venus would work as a soft aspect. Planets in conjunction cannot see each other. A person with Sun Uranus will wonder why everyone else thinks they are insane, when they see themselves as quite normal and conventional. Conjunctions are very obvious in a chart especially when they are to personal planets or angles. They will be the number one hot spot in the chart and the first thing to hone in on. Conjunctions are like the AC, ambitious and work together for a common goal, the planets both have to step into line in order to go forward. They are focused and single minded. NB: I have started to group my aspects into “soft” and “hard” and in doing so have put the conjunction together with the quincunx to save space. At first it might seem strange that the quincunx should have anything to do with the conjunction, but we must remember that traditional astrologers don’t even regard the conjunction as an aspect since it cannot ‘see’ the planet next to it. The quincunx is also known as the inconjunct since the planet has no mode, sex or element in common with the sign the aspecting planet is in. It also cannot ‘see’ the other planet, but this time they have absolutely no common ground at all. I’m not saying that these two aspects play out the same, but there is still a kind of blindness common to them both. With the conjunction the planets are blended. So the planets do not see each other, not because they have nothing in common, but because they think they are one and the same. Aspect Patterns: The Stellium.
Opposition – 360 divided by 2. Some confrontation will be inevitable with the opposition, and it doesn’t always work like a very hard aspect. All it means is the two opposing planets need to find some balance. You cannot be in two places at once, so this is all about co-operation and compromise. It works rather like the DC, people with tight oppositions just need to learn not to focus too much on one side of it. Again it works better if one of the planets compliments the other or has a common interest where they can meet half way. Jupiter opposition Neptune could share spirituality or travel for example. Otherwise oppositions tend to swing from one side to the other and feel a little bi-polar. Transits can show which end is being emphasised. Like the DC, If we act out one side of an opposition we may project the other side onto a partner, but as the DC can also show open enemies, one side of the opposition may well reveal one’s shadow. Aspect Patterns: Kite, T Square, Mystic Rectangle, Rack.
Trine – 360 divided by 3. The trine shows the line of least resistance. Yes, it is harmonious and tends to be easy to handle by transit or in the chart, but it doesn’t actually do anything. We use our trines when we we have been pushing ourselves too hard and need to do something to unwind, usually something we are gifted at. They bring out the best in the more fiery planets, so a Mars trine Jupiter is more likely to be put to better use than a Neptune trine Venus. Trines are our talents, but because we find them so easy we might not even realise they are there. There is no urgency with them. Nothing to proove. Trines act best when easing a stressful aspect pattern, like if a trine plugs into a grand cross. A good example could be a triangular situation, like when a mistress unwittingly props up an ailing marriage by being the third party. This is when trines maintain the status quo. Trine are not a force for change. They don’t like to rock the boat and that’s the negative side of a trine. There are cases when the trine could be facilitating an undesirable situation. Aspect Patterns: The Grand Trine, Kite, Mystic Rectangle, Minor Grand Trine.
Square – 360 divided by 4. Planets in square are very much aware of each other, unlike the opposition. They are constantly getting in each others way. Some Astrologers see them as working at cross purposes with each other, but I think it is more like the square won’t let you brush anything under the carpet. Squares spur you on, to work your hardest and make you see things from every possible view. They force you out of your comfort zone and to face the unpleasant truth. They are not a holiday in the Sun no, but boy do they make you grow. Squares are Martian, they are tough-love and tough-tittie. They do get easier with age. Squares are associated with the number four, matter and manifestation. It is true that there is some fear induced by the square, but this fuels a kind of fight or flight response. The muscles tense up and action is produced. Without it we would achieve nothing. The negative side is when the square energy does not take the rest it needs, the stress builds up to dangerous levels and becomes destructive rather than constructive. When the square is worked on it becomes a diamond. Aspect Patterns: Grand Cross, T- Square, The Fist of God (Sesquiqudrate or Thor’s Hammer).
Sextile – 360 divided by 6. The sextile has less of the ease that the trine has, 6 is a Venus number it hasn’t got quite the established gravitas of trine, it’s the beginners benefic, the flowering rather than the fruit. Again we always look at the planets. If a chart has lots of squares, a sextile will not really be enough to calm things down, it will add a giggle and a tease, but it can easily be taken the wrong way. If the planets get along then they will banter with each other quite easily and this can be a very nice creative combo, maybe not so self-satisfied like the trine. The sextile has more “oomph” factor within it. It can build a nice bridge between planets also. It has an opportunist vibe to it. The planets actively encourage each other to be themselves. A sextile does not fall asleep with all that poking and prodding. Aspect Patterns: The Star Of David, Minor Grand Trine, The Yod.
Quincunx – 360 divided by 12. The quincunx continues the story of the 3 (Trine), 6 (Sextile), 12 (Quincunx). So really it should be counted as a soft aspect. But as you see with the 1 (Conjunction), 2 (Opposition), 4 (Square). Life as we get older gets more complex and carries ever more baggage and karma. The quincunx is simply a reflection of that evolution. It’s meaning is a little ambiguous and seems to derive from the fact that signs in quincunx share neither element, gender or mode. They are thought to not see each other at all, like they don’t even register on each others radar. Therefore the danger of the quincunx is in it’s passive-aggressive quality. A niggling friction inside that you can’t quite figure out. Once you do work it out, then the quincunx can become very powerful indeed. On the positive side the quincunx works like dissonance in music. It is getting two unlikely items working together like a dream, like a jam and cheese sandwich. The quincunx is a sophisticated resolution of differences. It’s also alchemical, almost miraculous because it brings together a kind of harmony where you wouldn’t expect to find it. The quincunx is also known as a karmic aspect and could be why it appears so often in synastry. When the quincunx is worked on and resolved, that internal irritation, the grit in the shell, makes pearls. Aspect Patterns: Yod, Rack.