The natal chart can be viewed in many different ways. In contemporary times, it's become a popular method to ‘know thyself’ in relation to the cosmos and support personal development.
Many factors comprise a natal chart, and aspects are really key. They detail geometric angles between planets and points that make up our character and inspire easy or hard flows of energy. Aspects are numerous and energetically link planets in all kinds of relationship, to produce our specific orientation to life and the various experiences we identify with.
Aspectual patterns are constantly interacting within the environment, and we can work with or against them through a preliminary understanding of the Ptolemaic aspects that we find in our natal chart.
Conjunction 0 degrees
Two planets within 10 degree orb (distance) of each other denotes the most powerful aspect - as two energies fuse together to produce an intense concentration and force of their individual natures. Creative dynamic expression is a result of the conjunction and planets in this aspect are loaded with eagerness, excitement and compulsion to exert the fusion of energetic impulse.
Example: Mars conjunct Sun is the collision of force and will as two conscious, initiating and naturally energised parts of the ego combine to maximise force and creative potential. Pending sign this person can love an adrenalin rush, be disposed to competitive activities, exhibit considerable physical strength, confidence and sexual drive. Possessing courage and will that requires an outlet like this, we can learn that occupations requiring frontline work, combat, sports and pressure filled roles are a natural fit for this aspect.
Sextile 60 degrees
The sextile is a minor supportive aspect that inspires opportunities for talent and creativity. As two planets excite and stimulate each other they are related in gender (yin/yang) and sympathy. Being related to the world of ideas, sextiles indicate the way someone thinks and require development (with little effort) to harness the inherent talents into something we use productively.
For instance; Moon sextile Jupiter can indicate substantial intellectual ability which is influenced by softness and emotional sensitivity. As emotional responses are attended by mental curiosity and care, interacting with people can be a joy as this aspect yields sociability and warmth that buoys the spirits of others and can bring about wonderful exchanges, opportunities for growth and effortless popularity.
Square 90 degrees
A potent source of tension between two planets that butt heads like bulls. Hostility, friction, stress and irritation underlie the energy pattern of the square in which a person learns that these two forces can be destructive when mishandled. Planets in square produce conflict within someone until they’re resolved, yet they do afford great opportunity for personal growth and creativity if one is willing to address the issues that lie at the squares core.
There’s a story to tell with a square involving a difficulty that we couldn’t quite handle and reacted to with a schema that now identifies someone or something as a source of trouble. The energy of a square is often projected onto external sources, that we feel tested by and perceive as attacking us from the outside. Until the penny drops in realisation that those issues and tensions manifest from within ourselves, the square will remain a source of tension, awaiting resolution through integrating conflicting energies that are highly mobilising into something workable and non-sabotaging.
Trine 120 degrees
The easiest and often termed the laziest aspect in the chart, we see the trine denotes a positive and unobstructed free-flow of energy between two planets that are associated with qualities of Jupiter for ‘luck’ and Leo for talent that shines. Whatever talent the trine indicates we can do without extraneous effort and because of this a trine is apt to go to waste through non-application or complacency. For example; Uranus trine ascendant indicates creative potentials for imaginative, quirky self-expression for a person who could use their innovative ideas to enhance career prospects, but instead talk about what they could do instead of taking action and engaging their talent in a particular occupation.
Oppositions 180 degrees
Representing a serious conflict of energy, the pattern between planets in opposition is tense, energised and even hostile as both planetary impulses want their voice heard without conceding. Oppositional influences are at maximum extension and induce a pendulum swing effect, between needs one can spend their lifetime running to and fro in trying to satisfy - ending up in chronic exhaustion, instability and emotional distress. As the lines of communication between such characters promises to snap, learning about the polarised views and needs of the opposition can help one integrate them complimentary to each other and balance the aspect.
Example; Venus opposite Mars can indicate a conflict between the need to satisfy one’s self and please another. Venus desires relationship while Mars is gung-ho about blazing its own trail. Crisis between freedom and dependency means a need for give and take, in order to balance one’s self-determining spirit with an investment in mutually reciprocal relationships.
Minor - Inconjunction 150 degrees
Minor aspects are supplementary to the main Ptolemaic ones and have significance of their own. The inconjunction or quincunx is one that indicates an awkward relating between two planets in signs that have nothing in common. Just as two people who don’t know each other might be thrown into a room and told to be friends, they wonder how to do that as the situation is awkward and something each person would rather avoid. That’s how we may react to the awkward sensation of two planets inconjunct, representing facets of our personality that are incongruent with each other and harbour an underlying sense of irritation and even distrust.
Inconjunct energies are quite subconscious and pervasive in their effects. They can unwittingly impel us to avoid certain experiences, relationships and situations as a result of the internal feeling of dis-ease associated with this aspect. Yet by drawing one’s awareness to the issue and understanding the story the planets wish to tell, we can recognise how the dynamic is playing out in our lives and make a few tweaks to integrate the energies into a harmonious relationship.
Planets in Aspect – R.Pelletier
Understanding the Birth Chart – K.Burk
The Round Art – A.T. Mann
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