New to the Valley
Spirit on the Job
The Aspects of Astrology
by Drew Chittenden
One of the keys to understanding the meaning of an astrology chart is the aspects. The aspects are the lines in the middle of the chart connecting the planets. Aspects are formed when two planets form a geometric angle to each other. If you think back to geometry class you'll remember that one corner of a square is a 90 degree angle, therefore when two planets are 90* apart we call that aspect a square. A trine aspect is one side of a triangle so its 120* apart, obviously an opposition is 180 degrees and a conjunction is zero. Now these don't have to be exact, usually within 5-8 degrees is close enough. These four aspects, square, trine, opposition and conjunction are called the major aspects, there are many others but these are the most important ones.
So, the question is, just what do they mean? Based on thousands of years of observations astrologers have concluded that when two planets form an aspect they set up a line of communication, a way of expressing energy, that is very noticeable in a person’s chart and naturally each aspect expresses itself differently. Now, we don't refer to aspects as "good" or "bad" anymore, not only isn't it PC but it also isn't really accurate. As human beings we generally require challenges to strengthen us and to encourage change and growth. If all our aspects were easy, life would get dull and we wouldn't learn anything. The aspects called opposition and square are considered challenging, trines and conjunctions are harmonious. Conjunctions, when two planets are very close to each other, indicates a blending of the energies involved. A square (90*), indicates obstacles to overcome, action is required. A trine (120*), indicates creativity and expansion, natural talents. An opposition (180*), creates a situation where cooperation is required, the key is trying to find balance.
Lets look at two planets and see how they react to different aspects. We'll take Mercury, messenger to the gods, in charge of communication, mind stuff, and ruler of Gemini and Virgo. And also Mars, god of war, all things masculine and impulsive and ruler of Aries. A conjunction between the two indicates a sharp, active mind, great for reporters and investigators. The square shows argumentative tendencies that need some work but could be channeled, great debaters, trial lawyers. A Mars mercury trine shows mental concentration with depth and endurance, good writers, researchers and scientists. The opposition could get combative, a real need to act decisively - good leaders once they learn balance either politically or militarily. Once you get a feel for the planets, signs, houses and aspects, your own chart really comes alive for you and you actually start to "read" it yourself.
The astrology for the rest of the summer looks like the calm before the storm, so have some fun and get some rest. We start August off already in a Mercury retrograde cycle, so stop whatever it is you are about to do, slow down, don't push so hard. This is a time to finish projects and tie up loose ends. Try not to start any new projects until after the 15th. On August 17th Jupiter trines Neptune, this is an excellent time to explore your spiritual nature, take some long walks, open up to new ways of thinking, go to a different church for a day. Meditators should find it easier to go deeper. For the full moon in Aquarius on the 19th, freedom is the key. Don't get possessive or you'll lose it all, keep it light, keep it fun. August 23rd the sun moves into Virgo and wants to know just how practical you are. Are you prepared for Fall? Have you taken care of the details or did you just play all summer? I hope the answer is play.
September 11th – The Dalai Lama’s Message
September 3rd is the new moon in Virgo, and now is the time to take advantage of that Virgo energy. Ask yourself - how can I be more effective, more efficient? And now we come to our featured chart cast for noon on September 11th. I picked this chart because of the anniversary and this is also the day of the Dalai Lama's visit. What I noticed first is the sun is conjunct Mercury, a good time for a speaker who really needs to be heard. The sun is also trine Mars - this will be a very energetic, action orientated time. Now the sun is also square a moon Pluto conjunction, so we're going to be talking about power, who has it and why, what is happening versus what needs to be done. This is going to be a very exciting weekend, and just maybe a peek of things to come.
As I write this column Saturn just moved out of Cancer and into Leo. This is a big shift in the energy, moving away from fear as chief motivator. I've been told that the opposite of fear is love, so then now is the time to fight fear in all it's forms with all the love you can manifest. Namaste.
To schedule a reading with Drew, or for comment or feedback, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.