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THE ASPECTS

A BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE MAJOR ASTROLOGICAL ASPECTS

Conjunction

The conjunction is an aspect of 0 degrees, or a division of the Zodiac by 1.  It is often considered to be the most powerful aspect, although some say it is not technically an aspect, but a ‘contact’ between planets.

Unlike most other aspects, a conjunction is not classed as hard nor soft.  The nature and effects vary greatly depending on the planets involved, and the sign they occupy.  In general, both planets in a conjunction are strengthened, and take on some characteristics of the other planet.  In a sense, the two energies are fused.  Conjunctions represent the beginning of a new cycle.  

Sextile

The sextile is an aspect of 60 degrees, or a division of the Zodiac by 6.  It is a soft (harmonious) aspect.  A sextile is an active aspect, with two planets in signs of the same duality but different elements.

A sextile is traditionally considered an aspect of opportunity.  It tends to generate enthusiasm and positive energy.  The planets involved react to each other, sparking growth or action.  Sextiles bring clarity and drive.

Square

The square is an aspect of 90 degrees, or a division of the Zodiac by 4.  It is a hard (challenging) aspect.  Squares are active aspects.  Some consider squares the most difficult aspects, because there is a constant element of tension and friction.  They can also be considered the most productive aspects for the same reason - a square rarely results in no action, and no change - it is up to the individual to determine weather the results will eventually be positive or negative.

Squares represent friction between planets.  They often lead to challenges, delays, or conflicts.  People with many squares in their birth chart are prone to inner conflicts, but also an assertive, decisive tendency.  Due to the nature of squares, they can sometimes produce spontaneous action. Squares can bring development and changes, sometimes dramatic.  

TRINE

The trine is an aspect of 90 degrees, or a division of the Zodiac by 3.  It is a soft (harmonious) aspect.  The trine is generally considered the most harmonious aspect.  It is not an active aspect, and sometimes the effects may go un-noticed unless one deliberately makes use of it.

Trines indicate a smooth flow of energy between the planets involved.  This can be one of the most helpful aspects, but often the flow of energy is so smooth it goes unnoticed.  Trines bring clarity, vision, and harmony.  Unlike sextiles, there is no active reaction between the planets, they simply exist in harmony.  In a natal chart, trines often represent un-tapped talents and abilities.

OPPOSITION

The opposition is an aspect of 180 degrees, or a division of the Zodiac by 2.  The opposition is one of the most significant aspects, representing two points literally on opposite sides of the Zodiac.  Just as a conjunction begins a new cycle, the opposition is midway through that cycle - the point of shifting from waxing to waning.  Full moon occurs when the Sun and Moon are in opposition.

Oppositions can bring tension, and a pull in opposite directions.  There is the potential for extreme imbalance, if one planet manifests much stronger, in essence overshadowing the other.  Oppositions can also bring sharp clarity, with the potential for ‘seeing things from both sides’ if the two energies are well balanced.

QUINCUNX

The Quincunx (also called in conjunct) is an aspect of 150 degrees, or 5/12 of the Zodiac.  It is sometimes considered a minor aspect, however it is the most significant and commonly used of the ‘minor’ aspects.

A quincunx is one of the most elusive aspects to define.  It is somewhat hard (challenging), though often considered to be an aspect of opportunity as well.  There is an inherent quality if incompatibility between planets involved in a quincunx, bringing almost certain need for adjustment.  It is sometimes related to fated events, or things that may seem to be out of our hands.  Quincunxes also tend to relate to spiritual events or inclinations.