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Major Aspects

The main aspects in astrology

Athen Chimenti

3 March 2024

Compass and Ruler

The relationships between the planets in the natal chart tell a story of harmony, challenge, and growth. At the heart of this narrative are the major aspects — the angular distances between the planets that show the relationship between the different parts of our psyche. Below we'll delve into the intricacies of the 5 major aspects: conjunctions, oppositions, trines, squares, and sextiles. You can use our sidereal chart calculator to view the aspects in your personal natal chart. These aspects are not mere lines on a chart — they are the dialogues between the self.

The Conjunction: Joint Ventures

Conjunction

As the planets transit the sky, they often draw close to one another in what astrologers call a conjunction. It occurs when two planets are close together, typically within an orb of 10 degrees of each other. This merging of planetary energies can be likened to a meeting of two individuals in a single room — each bringing their qualities and agendas to the table.

A conjunction is a starting point, a seed moment. For example, when the Sun conjuncts Mercury, the mind (Mercury) is infused with life force (Sun), sparking intellectual creativity — merging these two energies together. However, if Mars conjuncts the Sun, aggressive Mars turns the heat up, energizing or even aggravating action — merging together the fiery energies of both planets.

Consider the conjunction as an amplifier. It can magnify the best or the worst of the planets involved, depending on their nature and the signs they inhabit. A Venus-Jupiter conjunction in generous Sagittarius may expand love and abundance, while the same aspect in scrupulous Virgo might magnify a critical eye in relationships.

The Opposition: Recalibrations

Balance

An opposition occurs when planets are directly across the zodiac wheel from each other, creating a full 180-degree angle. This aspect is about relationships and awareness, often presenting challenges that require balance and integration between two opposing forces or areas of life.

Imagine an opposition as a seesaw, with each planet at opposite ends, demanding to be acknowledged equally. When the Moon opposes the Sun, the emotions and needs (Moon) seek recognition as much as the conscious will and ego (Sun). This dynamic can produce tension but also the potential for greater awareness as one learns to navigate between the two poles.

The key with oppositions is to avoid swinging between extremes. Instead, aim for a harmonious blend of the qualities. A Mercury opposition Saturn might present a tug-of-war between communication and authority, asking for a bridge between youthful curiosity and mature wisdom.

The Trine: Harmony

Harmonious

Trines occur when planets are approximately 120 degrees apart, often within the same element (fire, earth, air, water). This aspect suggests a harmonious flow of energy, where the planets involved support and enhance each other effortlessly.

Trines are considered as a cosmic 'green light.' When Venus trines Mars, for instance, desire (Venus) harmonizes with drive and assertiveness (Mars), often smoothing the path in relationships and creative endeavors. A trine between Jupiter and the Sun could easily be seen as a day of good fortune where opportunities (Jupiter) align with one's core self (Sun).

Yet, trines can also lead to complacency or laziness due to their easygoing nature. The challenge lies not in overcoming obstacles but in utilizing the ease of these aspects to one's fullest potential.

The Square: A Call to Action

Squares

Squares create a 90-degree angle between two planets, representing a challenge that prompts action. This aspect is dynamic, often triggering events or internal pressures that demand change or adjustment.

Squares are the hurdles in the race, the mountains to climb. A square between Mercury and Jupiter may indicate a tension between details and the bigger picture, urging one to find a middle ground between minutia and philosophy. Similarly, a square between Venus and Uranus may shake up the status quo in relationships, pushing for greater freedom or unconventional expressions of love.

The gift of the square is in its capacity to motivate. It's the sand in the oyster that creates the pearl — a necessary irritation that can lead to growth and strength if faced with courage.

The Sextile: Opportunities for Growth

Two flowers in nature

The sextile is a pleasant aspect formed when planets are about 60 degrees apart. It offers opportunities, ease of communication between the energies of the planets involved, and potential for productive output.

Sextiles are the conversations that spark ideas, the encounters that lead to collaboration. A sextile between the Moon and Mars, for example, can indicate an opportunity to assert one's emotional needs effectively or to act on intuition. When Mercury sextiles Venus, it could facilitate charming communications and social connections that are both satisfying and beneficial.

Unlike the trine, the sextile requires effort to unlock its potential. Think of it as an invitation that needs an RSVP — you must take the initiative to reap the benefits.

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