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Minor Aspects


Athen Chimenti

21 April 2024

Paint brushes with different colored paint on them

Those who practice astrology beyond learning about sun signs are often familiar with the major aspects in an astrological chart, which are usually what’s focused on in horoscopes. Minor aspects are angles in a chart which are often less discussed yet still influential. These aspects, though subtle, can still play a significant role in the nuances of a natal chart.

Minor aspects include the inconjunct, semi-sextile, quintile, semi-square, and sesquiquadrate. Each of these aspects carries unique energies and implications, which can influence an individual's astrological profile. In addition to these angles, which are determined by their degree, there are two aspects which are determined by what’s known as declination: the parallel and the contraparallel.

Each minor aspect includes subtle yet often profound influences they can exert. Understanding these aspects offers a deeper, more nuanced interpretation of astrological charts, revealing layers of personality or fate not visible at first glance.

Inconjunct (Quincunx): A Dance of Adjustment

Adjustable Wrenches

The inconjunct or quincunx is an aspect formed when two planets are approximately 150 degrees apart. It is not an easy connection; it signifies adjustment, integration, and a kind of forced cooperation between energies that don’t inherently understand each other.

This aspect often brings feelings of perpetual imbalance, prompting individuals to make continual adjustments in areas affected by the planets involved. The key to managing an inconjunct is to embrace adaptability and seek innovative ways to blend these disparate energies.

In practice, an inconjunct may cause a person to feel like they are perpetually addressing unresolved issues that don’t seem to have a clear solution. This aspect challenges us to grow through discomfort, teaching resilience and creative problem-solving.

For example, a Mercury inconjunct Mars aspect might manifest as a disconnect between thought and action. Here, the mental and physical realms require alignment, often leading to a dynamic push-pull effect in communication and action.

Understanding and working with an inconjunct in a natal chart involves acknowledging and mediating between conflicting areas of life, which creates the opportunity for significant personal development and growth.

Semi-Sextile: Subtle Connections

Row of Doors

The semi-sextile, an aspect of 30 degrees, is subtle yet significant. This minor aspect often indicates opportunities, potential growth, and areas where life can become more engaging and dynamic.

Unlike the inconjunct, the semi-sextile offers a gentler form of interaction between planets, offering a bridge that connects and enhances planetary energies harmoniously. It is akin to a conversation between friends; it's supportive, not overwhelming, and potentially influential in shaping perspectives.

This aspect can often go unnoticed but can play a crucial role in enriching the overall understanding of a natal chart. It nudges us gently towards evolution and learning through mild challenges and opportunities for refinement.

An example might be the Sun semi-sextile Venus, enhancing one’s personality (Sun) with grace, appeal, and social abilities (Venus), subtly but effectively enhancing personal and professional relationships.

Engaging with the energy of a semi-sextile involves recognizing these subtle cues and harnessing them to foster gradual growth and enrichment in life's seemingly mundane aspects.

Quintile: The Creative Spark

Dancers in Silhouette

The quintile, an aspect of 72 degrees, is a less common but dynamic aspect that deals with talent, creativity, and potential for innovation. Quintiles bring a spark of creative and intellectual energy that can lead to significant breakthroughs or unique expressions of personal genius.

This aspect is thought to link planets in a way that enhances their creative and expressive powers. When activated, a quintile can manifest as a sudden insight, artistic inspiration, or an innovative approach to solving problems.

For instance, a Mercury quintile Neptune aspect could signify an intuitive way of thinking and communicating, often linked with artistic and spiritual insights. This aspect can enhance one's ability to perceive beyond the normal limits of communication, offering new ways to express complex ideas.

Semi-Square and Sesquiquadrate: Challenges that Propel Growth

Chess Pieces on Board

Semi-square and sesquiquadrate are aspects that create a dynamic tension between the planets involved. A semi-square occurs at 45 degrees and often signifies internal strife and friction that requires action to resolve. It’s a push for change, urging us to move from complacency to action.

The sesquiquadrate, at 135 degrees, also introduces a similar tension but with a more external manifestation. It often presents challenges that come from the outside—situations that we must adapt to and overcome. These aspects are harbingers of growth through struggle, demanding that we rise to meet challenges.

Both of these aspects are crucial for personal development. They act as catalysts, forcing us to evolve, adapt, and overcome adversities. For example, a Mars semi-square Saturn aspect might bring up frustrations stemming from restrictions or limitations, pushing one to develop patience and strategic planning skills.

Declination Aspects: Parallel and Contraparallel

Railroad Tracks Perspective

Declination aspects, specifically the parallel and contraparallel, are another layer of astrological influence that operates outside the traditional angular relationships. A parallel occurs when two planets are at the same degree of declination north or south of the celestial equator, resonating like a conjunction in zodiacal aspects, and amplifying each other’s energies. In contrast, a contraparallel occurs when one planet is north and the other is south of the celestial equator at the same degree, functioning like an opposition.

These aspects can underscore profound similarities or polarities in traits, bringing themes into focus that might be overlooked in longitude-based chart analysis. For instance, a parallel between Venus and Mars might intensify passions and creativity, blending their energies seamlessly, while a contraparallel might highlight tension between personal desires and actions, urging reconciliation and balance. Understanding these declination aspects provides additional depth to chart interpretation, revealing a nuanced layer of personality dynamics and potential life themes.

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