If you take a look at a chart wheel, you’ll see blue and red lines that connect some of the planets. They are one of the main components of the chart and they are called aspects in astrology.
At first glance, these lines make the natal chart look messy and confusing, but once your eyes get used to them they’ll tell you exciting details about the native.
So, what is the definition of the aspect?
You can define it like this: the angle between two planets as seen from the Earth is called an aspect. The planets are located at a specific number of degrees away from each other.
It is important that planets and house cusps can be in aspect, too. For example, you can have Mars trine Midheaven or the Moon conjunct your ascendant. Pay special attention to aspects to your chart ruler.
Aspects in astrology can be soft or hard aspects. Soft aspects are considered to be beneficial and favorable. Hard planetary aspects have an inhibitory effect. They are a challenge for the native to overcome. However,
no aspect can be labeled as good or bad, it depends on you and how you use it.
Too many soft aspects can make a person lazy if there are no hard aspects in the natal chart. On the other hand, people with charts full of hard aspects often work hard and achieve their goals in life.
Major Aspects in Astrology
In astrology, there are major and minor aspects. In this article, we will look at the major aspects only. There are five of them:
They are sometimes called Ptolemaic aspects because they were also used by Ptolemy, a Greek mathematician and astronomer. He lived in the 1st century AD.
|Symbols of the Aspects in Astrology|
Trines and sextiles count as ‘good’ aspects and the square and the opposition are the hard ones. The conjunction can be either soft or hard. It depends on the planets in question and how well they work together.
In a natal chart, soft aspects are usually represented by blue lines(trine, sextile) and hard aspects with red lines (square, opposition).
Meaning of the Conjunction in Astrology
Two (or more) planets are conjunct when they take place on the same degree of the same sign in a chart. In this case, the degree between the planets is 0. The conjunction has the largest orb (degree of separation between exactitude), around 8 degrees.
The conjunction is a very intense aspect because the energies of the planets blend together and they are forced to work together. If the planets have harmonious qualities, this can turn out good. Let’s say for the Moon it’s easy to get along with Venus if they happen to be conjunct.
But if the planets are very different and can’t work well, it is a challenge for the native to learn how to use the conjunction constructively. Moon conjunct Saturn is a great example.
A multiple conjunction is called a stellium in astrology. The sign or house where the planets are located is a very important one in the natal chart. The planets of the stellium bring so much energy here that this area becomes the focal point of the natal chart.
Meaning of the Square Aspect in Astrology
If two planets form a square they are placed 90 degrees away from each other. The planets are located three signs apart. The keyword here is ‘challenge’ because the signs of the planets differ by element and need to find a way to work together.
If you have a square in the natal chart, you probably feel tension and irritation in the areas of life involved. The square counts as a dynamic aspect in astrology because it forces you to take action.
On the other hand, they are the engine of the chart. If a person has few squares, they might lack the motivation to start working on the good aspects and realize their full potential.
There are three types of squares: cardinal, fixed and mutable. They influence what the action of the square is like. Cardinal squares are quick, fixed are slow but steady, while the action of a mutable square depends on the other factors on the chart.
Meaning of the Opposition Aspect in Astrology
When two planets form an opposition they are located 180 degrees away from each other. They are exactly opposite each other six signs apart. The allowed orb is about 7-8 degrees.
The opposition is a hard aspect like the square but it represents a different kind of challenge.
You have to find the balance between the two ends of the opposition. Usually, you go with the planet that feels easier but real progress happens only when you learn how to integrate the other planet, too. It is necessary to develop understanding and awareness.
The good thing about oppositions is that they give you perspective and help you put yourself in other’s shoes.
Meaning of the Sextile Aspect in Astrology
Sextiles are easy aspects. There is a harmonious flow of energy between the planets. They are located 60 degrees away from each other or two signs apart. The elements of the signs complete each other: fire-air and water-earth and they are both active or passive. Most astrologers use a smaller orb for sextiles about 5 degrees.
Sextiles represent talents in the natal chart. However, these talents and abilities are dormant and you have to make an effort to develop them. Sextiles are often referred to as opportunities.
There is an ease of understanding between the planetary energies and they cooperate well. However, it is less powerful as the trine in astrology.
Meaning of the Trine Aspect in Astrology
The trine is the most harmonious aspect in astrology. The planets take place 120 degrees away from each other or four signs. The signs are of the same element and they understand each other very well. Most astrologers use 7 degrees as orb for trines.
Trines show talents and your natural abilities. You are so good at them that you don’t even recognize these skills as something special. This is the main problem with trines in astrology, you often take its innate gifts for granted.
However, too many trines without squares aren’t so desirable in a chart as it sounds. Trines lack stress or tension and they don’t require you to take action. Natives with too many trines sometimes tend to choose the line of least resistance and take the success for granted, too (and this, of course, doesn’t work like that).
How to Analyze an Aspect
When you look at an aspect, it’s important to take into account the signs and houses where the planets take place.
The houses show the area of life where the aspect manifests while the signs (and their element and quality) show how it will manifest.
Aspects with smaller orbs tend to be more powerful in the natal chart.