Think of aspects as a conjuction in a sentance, like an "and" or an "or". Aspects are the astrological componets that show how the symbols of the planets, signs, and houses interact with one another. The aspects are essential to learn if you are looking for accuracy in any chart, as they are key degrees of seperation that allow you to see how, say, a planet in one house is related to a planet in another and thereby linking those symbols and areas of life together.
So, what are aspects?
Aspects are degrees of seperation between the planets, points, or angles that have specific symbols or meanings in astrology. The distance between the planets' coordinates show us how those planets will relate to one another. Below you will find the meanings of the most commonly used aspects, and the names and degrees of some of the more obscure ones. Different astrologers will use different aspects. While some will only use 4 or 5 of the aspects in delianation of a chart, other will use many or all of them. While you should become familiar with the "major" aspects, you should also get an understanding of the less-used aspects if only to get a feel for them, play with them, and find out what works for you!
The Conjunction is a 0° aspect with an orb of about 8° in either direction. In a conjunction, the planets are right next to one another. A conjunction is traditionally thought to be a "positive" or "harmonious" aspect. However, like everything else in astrology, it can show something easy or challenging, all depending on the planet symbls involved and how it is used. This aspect combines the planets' or angles' symbols involved so that they work as one. The symbols are combined in a way that they become one. When the conjunction is used well, it can be a powerful place in the chart, and sometimes a great talent. Used irresponsibly, it can show that the person acts with excess in that area of life. An exact conjunction with the Sun is called combust. Three or more planets in conjunction with one another is called a stellium.
The Opposition is a 180° aspect with an orb of about 8° in either direction (Six signs away). In an opposition, the planets are literally opposite on another. The opposition is traditionally considered to be a "negative" or "hard" aspect. When you have two planets are in opposition to one another, it shows a challenge for you to express both symbols easily. Sometimes people will choose one planet in an opposition to express and project the other symbol onto those around them. However, the opposition is important to show your capacity in learning lessons in life, and can show what you can strive to be. As a matter of fact, the complete lack of oppositions in a natal chart can show that the person has a hard time handling conflicting emotions. For example, if Mercury is at 12° Virgo then Venus could be between 4°-20° Pisces and be in opposition to one another.
The Trine is an aspect of 120° with an orb of about 6° in either direction (Four Signs away). The Trine is so named as the aspect looks like one side of a triangle. This is traditionally considered to be a "positive" or "harmonious" aspect. Planets in a trine aspect to one another show talents or easy areas of life. The Trine will show what seems to come to us naturally and what we really don't have to work for. Sometimes when you find a chart that has a preponderance of Trine aspects, the person will not be challenged to learn more and become lazy or chronically bored.
The Square us an aspect of 90°, with an orb of about 5-6° in either direction (Three signs away). The Square gets its name for it's 90° angle. This is traditionally seen as a "negative" or "hard" aspect. It is generally associated with a challenge. Planets that are square to one another have a "stiff" relationship to one another. The symbols of the signs that the planets are in when in the Square aspect generally do not go together "well." However, the square keeps us learning and striving to be better. I find that unlike the problems of an opposition where one of the planets is often denied a place in the personality, we are usually conscious of the challenges with our Squares. If we didn't have Squares in the chart, we could no doubt become shiftless with nothing to strive for or to challenge us to improve. When we master problems related to the planets, signs, or houses that are involved in a Square, we tend to feel great accomplishment.!
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