Astrology Basics
Astrology Basics
Getting Started
Chart Structure
Types of Astrology
Planet Characteristics
Planet Characteristics
Visiting Dignitaries
Personal, Social, & Transpersonal
Essential Dignities
What is Retrograde?
Sign Characteristics
Sign Characteristics
Ambience in the Room
Constellations vs Signs
House Characteristics
House Characteristics
What's the Subject

Aspects - How Things Get Along

An astrological chart can be drawn for any moment in time, showing the position of the planets by degree and sign at that instant.  Aspects measure how far apart the planets are from each other in degrees.

Some aspects form angles that allow the energy of the planets involved to flow easily and harmoniously together, while others are difficult and work against each other.  In judging whether a given aspect is in effect, an Orb of some number of degrees away from exactitude is allowed, depending on the type of chart being examined.

The aspects are grouped together as Major Aspects and Minor Aspects.


Major Aspects

The most commonly used aspects are the Ptolemic Aspects, since they were defined by Ptolemy in the 1st Century AD.   These include the conjunction, sextile, square, trine, and opposition.

The Conjunction:        0 degrees apart

The Conjunction - United We Stand
United We Stand

The Conjunction is a total combining of the energies of the planets involved.   The energy generated by this complete merging of identities is bigger than both of them.

The conjunction is the most powerful of all the aspects.   Your task is to figure out how to use this energy wisely and how to avoid being overcome by it.

The Sextile:        60 degrees apart

The Sextile - Your support team
Yay Team!!

It took me a long time to really get a feel for the Sextile, but I've come to realize that the planets involved in a Sextile aspect are your support staff. These are the guys that have your back when you need it.

You can use the traits described by the planets and the interests of the houses they are in to help you succeed.

The Square:        90 degrees apart

The Conjunction - United We Stand
Not On Your Life!!

With the Square, there is just no compromise. The planets and the houses they are in describe just what this blockage is.

The squares might not be fun, but they are the aspects that bring action. They're not easy and complacent. They make you decide what has to be done even and then they give you the will do just do it!

Your task is to figure out how to resolve the easy task, but well worth it.

The Trine:        120 degrees apart

The Trine - Easy Street
Easy Street

The Trine is an easy, harmonic flow of energy between the planets involved. It feels good,it makes you happy, and it doesn't take a lot of energy.

But Trines can take you down back alleys as easily as down main street.

Your task is to avoid becoming complacent and to use this energy for its higher purpose.

The Opposition:        180 degrees apart

The Opposition - ATug of War
It's A Tug of War

The Opposition is a dilema, pulling the energies of the planets on each side first in one direction, then the other. It feels like you're between a rock and a hard place.

Your task is to find a way to find the balance between the two different energies.

Minor Aspects

In addition to the Major Aspects, there are other aspects used by Astrologers to more fully understand the nuances of the chart they are studying. Of the many additional aspects that exist, I have found the Semi-Sextile and the Inconjunct (also called Quincunx) to be most useful.

GlyphAspectDegrees ApartHow It Feels

A Real Nail Biter
Semi-Sextile30 In my experience, the Semi-Sextile shows how external influences are the source of Worry, Anxiety, Stress, and Emotional Upheaval. And, you have little control over these influences.
Anger and
(aka Quincunx)
150 Most astrologers say that this aspect shows the need for adjustment. What I see is that it shows where anger and resentment are boiling beneath the surface. Maybe an Attitude Adjustment might help!

And these are some of the more familiar other minor aspects:

GlyphAspectDegrees ApartHow It Feels
Semi-Square45 The semi-square aspect is said to be one that shows some kind of friction that is difficult to deal with.
(aka Sesqui-Square)
135 Like the semi-square, the sesqui-quadrate aspect is a friction aspect with issues are difficult to resolve.
Parallell0 The effects of the Parallel aspect are similar to that of the Conjunction, but it is based on matching declination of the planets involved rather that their positions in the zodiac. The declination of both bodies are either North or South.
Contra-Parallel180 Like the Parallel aspect, the Contra-Parallel aspect is based on the declination of the planets involved, but in this case, one is North and the other is South.   And like the Opposition, the energies pull you in two opposing directions.