Understanding Astrology – Part Five


The aspects are angular distances between planets that connect them in astrologically significant ways. The ecliptic is divided in 360 degrees. The distance between planets along the ecliptic is measured in degrees. If the distance between two planets divide the ecliptic a whole number of times, then the planets are considered to be connected by an aspect. If the distance divide the ecliptic an even number of times the aspect is considered differentiating, hard or malefic while if the distance divide the ecliptic an odd number of times the aspect is considered integrating,soft or beneficial. In theory there is an infinite number of aspects, but in actual practice only a limited number of them is used.

When considering the strength of an aspect we must consider not only the exactness of the aspect but also how many of its sports are filled with planets. The conjunction and opposition for example, if they exist, by definition will have all their sports filled, for these aspects involve only two planets. The trine on the other hand divides the ecliptic in three sectors, thus if only two planets are involve there will be one empty spot. If however, there are three planets located each one 120 degrees from the other two then all the three spots would be filled and the configuration will become Grand Trine; that, is, a trine aspect with all its spots filled. This would make this configuration extremely powerful for it will bind together the strength of three planets into a single cosmic pattern.


Based on the division by 1.

Integrating or benefic.

Two or more planets are considered in conjunction when the distance between them is less than 12 degrees. At times there are several planets connected via conjunctions. This creates an area of great sensitivity within the chart. The conjunction of various planets is called a Stellium. The conjunction has the effect of combining the energies of the planets in a harmonious way.


Based on the division by 2.

Differentiating, hard or malefic.

Planets in opposition are 180 degrees apart, plus or minus 6 degrees (that is, from 174 to 186 degrees of separation). The opposition has the effect of polarizing the chart into two opposing forces pulling the individual apart. The solution to this dilemma resides in learning to oscillate between this forces. You don’t have to express both of them at the same time. Everything has its proper time and place. Another “solution” is to find another point in the chart that would help us to express the energies of the opposing planets in a harmonious manner.


Based on the division by 3.

Integrating or benefic.

Planets in trine are 120 degrees apart, plus of minus 4 degrees (that is, from 116 to 124 degrees of separation). Dividing the chart in three equal parts you will have three sensitive spots. When all three spots are filled with natal planets you have a Grand Trine. This configuration offers great stability and continuous momentum. When only two positions are filled in the natal chart, the third position becomes a sensitive point that would be activated intermittently when a transiting planet passes through it. The Trine and Grand Trine combines the energy of the planets in a manner that creates no conflict between them; you don’t perceive their energies as pulling you in opposing directions. Rather, you perceive then as forming a continuous energy path or flow around your psyche. You can use this energy to advance your own objectives.


Based on the division by 4.

differentiating, hard or malefic.

Planets in square are 90 degrees apart, plus or minus 3 degrees (that is, from 87 to 93 degrees of separation). Dividing the chart by four creates four sensitive points. If only two of them have natal planets you have a square. If three are filled you have a T Square. And of all four have natal planets you have a Grand Square or Grand Cross. The square is perceive as two energies that interfere one with the other. Thus, you’ll find that the expression of one energy will interfere with the expression of the other. This will result in many obstacles, problems and difficulties. The solution resides first in realizing that these “obstacles” and difficulties arise because of our own internal energy conflicts. Is not that the World want to stop us. We are the ones that express ourselves in a conflicting fashion. Is our own inner expression the one that is creating or fomenting the conflicts that then materialize as external, real life problems. Thus, if we can understand and harmonize our internal drives, the external difficulties will eventually disappear or at least become quite manageable. The T Square can be understood as two square and an opposition. Thus it will be felt as obstacles and conflicts. Another element, however would be the fourth empty spot. This would become a highly sensitive point in the chart. Any time that a transiting planet passes through it, the Grand Square would be completed. Thus the T Square gives an inner sense of instability, as a four legged table that lacks one leg. The Grand Square, conversely, gives a great sense of stability, as the chart is firmly seated upon four consecutive squares, and two crisscrossing oppositions. The native would be a person used to deal with conflict and tension: accustomed to deal with problems and Difficulties.


Based on the division by 5

Integrating or benefic

The Quintile divides the chart in five sensitive areas 72 degrees apart, plus or minus 2.4 degrees (that is from 69.6 to 74.4 degrees of separation). It would form a 5 pointed star like the Star of David. The strength of this configuration would depend on the number of its sensitive spots being filled with planets at a give time. When the configuration is filled with natal planets its effect will be permanent, giving the chart even more stability and momentum than the Grand Trine for, in this case, there would be more sensitive points and planets involve. However when the configuration is form by a combination of natal and transiting planets then the actual strength of the chart would vary depending on the planets involve, whether they are natal or transiting, their orbit, etc.


Based on the division by 6

Differentiating or malefic

The sextile divides the chart in six sectors 60 degrees apart, plus or minus 2 degrees (that is, from 58 to 62 degrees of separation). When only two sensitive points are join together, their effect while differentiation would also be mild enough. This would create a small awareness of difficulties that may help us deal with them constructively. When three consecutive sextile points are joint together, you will have a Trine divided by a Sextile. Thus the effect of both aspects would be felt in combination. The domineering aspect would be the closest one to perfect. When four consecutive sextile points are join together you will have sextiles, trines and oppositions all blend together into one! This is an excellent way to softer the tension inherent in the opposition. It will also decrease the, [at times uncontrollable] impetus of the trine. When all the sextile points around the chart are filled with planets you will have a Grand Sextile. As these configuration would include several trines and oppositions, it will give the chart both inner strength (the opposition) and momentum (the trine) but, all within the context of soft, manageable awareness typical of the sextile.


Based on the division by 7

Integrating or benefic

The Septile would divide the chart in 7 sensitive areas 51.428 degrees apart, plus or minus 1.71 degrees (that is, from 49.718 to 53.138 degrees of separation). As seven is the “number of God” having a connotation of fullness and perfection, the septile is an aspect somewhat mystical, or spiritual in its interpretation. Needles to say, when all 7 septile sensitive points are filled with natal planets, the person would have a highly integrated personality, and may exhibit some mystical or transcendental inclination of some sort. When only two sensitive points are involve, the effect would be similar but in a more discrete fashion. As more sensitive points become filled, the mystical effect would increase. If at any given time, the combination of natal and transiting planets form a Great Septile, filling all 7 sensitive points, the native may then experience a Great Spiritual Uplift of some kind!!


Based on the division by 8

Differentiating or malefic

The Semisquare divides the chart in 8 sectors, 45 degrees apart, plus or minus 1.5 degrees (that is, 43.5 to 46.5 degrees of separation).

As its name implies a semisquare is half a square. Its traditional astrological significance has been seen as a mild square. As such it is not considered “malefic” provided that the native deals effectively with the situations it brings about. Otherwise, it may become a continuously nagging, bothersome, disquieting, yet unimportant minor difficulty that may cause us much harm. Of course it will be minor if only two sensitive points are involve. If all the sensitive points are involve, then it will become the dominant aspect-configuration!! Then you will have to deal with it or else!!


Based on the division by 9

Integrating or benefic

This aspect divides the chart into 9 sectors 40 degrees apart, plus or minus 1.33 degrees (that is, from 38.66 to 41.33 degrees of

separation). Its meaning would be the reverse of the semisquare. Instead of a small nagging thing, it is a small soothing thing. A small source of pleasure, peace and tranquility. Once again, this would be the case when only two sensitive points are involve. However if all 9 sensitive points are involve, it will become the dominant aspect-configuration. The native would then found himself driven by small pleasurable activities. The simple things of life would dominate his attention.


Based on the division by 12.

Differentiating or malefic

This aspects divides the chart in twelve sectors, 30 degrees apart. Plus or minus one degree. As the effect of activating only two sensitive points our of twelve would be minor indeed, this aspect has very little effect unless several consecutive sensitive points are activated. For example, if going around the zodiac planet “a” is 30 degrees from planet “b”, and planet “b” is 30 degrees apart from planet “c” and planet “c” is 30 degrees from planet “d”, and so on, then this repetitive 30 degrees cycle would become a dominant configuration in the chart. Otherwise, to have just two planets 30 degrees apart would be a minor force in the chart. Nevertheless, when you want to make an in depth analysis of a given planet, you may divide the entire chart in 30 degrees segments, starting with the natal position of the planet you want to analyze. Then you may assign to ea each 30 degrees segment the characteristics of a given sign, house, or 30 degrees aspect (semisextile, sextile, square, trine, opposition). If you are using the signs or  houses you may start with any house or sign you choose, but once started you must be consistent in its use.