Aspect Definitions

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Astrology AspectsAn astrological aspect is an angle between two planets. The word aspect comes from the Latin aspicere and means look. An aspect connects two or more planets to each other so they have to deal with each other whether they like it or not. Aspects transfer information so act like a communication network between the planets. An aspect can nurture, diminish, modify or increase the function of the planet concerned depending on the quality of the aspect and its angle.

The interpretation of planetary aspects is essential for reading a horoscope to form a picture of a person’s character. However, individual aspects should not be considered in isolation. They usually provide disconnected and even contradictory information. Some negative and judgmental interpretations, if taken seriously, may inhibit personal development. Each aspect may only relate to a small part of your life. Astrological aspects are part of a whole interdependent structure. So it is critical to consider all of the aspects in a horoscope holistically, especially by looking for aspect patterns.

Major Aspects

Based on empirical results over thousands of years, major aspects in astrology are based on 30 degree (°) intervals measured around the zodiac:

Degree °AspectGlyphColor
0ConjunctionOrange
30Semi-Sextile
Green
60SextileBlue
90SquareRed
120TrineBlue
150QuincunxGreen
180OppositeRed

Conjunction

A conjunction occurs when two or more planets lie together. It is a zero degree (0°) angle. The quality of a conjunction depends on the planets or points involved. Basically, it corresponds to a combination of different components that are hard to differentiate. This often causes a mainly embryonic state and indicates latent talent that must first be developed.

  • Conjunction keywords: Consolidation, connection, germination.

Semi-Sextile

A semi-sextile is a small green aspect of a 30° angle. It indicates a need to experience, learn, discuss, read, and be informed about new things. It brings the information necessary to think objectively and neutrally. It helps you think in small steps, adding one piece of information to another until the collected perceptions make sense. It works by providing information and by communicating and it reacts to external stimuli. It is easily influenced and often changes its opinion. Objectivity and indifference merge in the process.

  • Semi-Sextile keywords: Cognition, communication, informing.

Sextile

A sextile is a blue aspect of a 60° angle. It corresponds to the Venus qualities of harmony-seeking and willingness to compromise. It is accepting, adaptable and able to attract and assimilate substance. There is usually a passive defense against the loss of a state of harmony and often a fear of conflict.

  • Sextile keywords: Striving for harmony, growth, assimilation.

Square

A square is a red aspect of a 90° angle. The nature of the square is energetic, fiery and dynamic. There is usually a deployment of strength or supply of energy, which nearly always causes an increased readiness for action and motivation. There is a lot of strength available for assertion and defense. But the square also generates conflict, friction, crises, stress and sometimes also a tendency to aggression.

  • Square keywords: Friction, stress, deployment of energy.

Trine

A trine is a blue aspect of a 120° angle. It has a relaxed and harmonious effect. It is a material aspect that tends toward abundance, luxury and enjoyment and gives sensual pleasure. Sometimes it indicates perfectionism or obsessive behavior.

  • Trine keywords: Perfection, abundance, fruition.

Quincunx

A quincunx is a long green aspect of a 150° angle. It is an aspect of karmic imbalance that can affect health. It causes insecurities on the one hand and on the other the urge to achieve an imagined future goal. Sometimes it is also called the “longing aspect”, or inconjunct. It often brings crises, uncertainty, and eventually the challenge of restricting oneself to a single goal, in which case it aids decision-making. It is called “the large thinking step” and, according to the planets or points involved, it causes a “Faustian struggle” with the truth.

  • Quincunx keywords: Longing, decision, development of informed opinion.

Opposition

An opposition is a red aspect of 180° angle. It is formed when two or more planets or points lie exactly opposite each other in the zodiac. The planetary principles involved often contradict each other, which is experienced as inner tension and often an energy blockage, stress, or postural rigidity. An opposition also generates inner strength and endurance, particularly relating to the subject of the axis. Sometimes there is an increased tendency for repression, in which lateral aspects are compensated.

  • Opposition keywords: Pressure, tension, repression.

Aspect Orbs

The word orb comes from the Latin orbis and means radius. An aspect orb is a radius of influence of a few degrees on both sides of the aspect angle, within which the aspect is still effective. This varies according to the astrological importance of the planet and the aspect concerned.

The table below shows the suggested aspect orbs developed by Bruno Huber. [1] It was tested over a 30 year period at the Astrological Psychology Institute. More than a thousand active astrological consultants all over the world put the aspects in horoscopes to the test almost daily in personal consultation with their clients.

Huber Orb Table

Planet⚺  ⚻ ⚹□    △  ☌ ☍
☉ ☽35689
☿ ♀ ♃24567
♂ ♄1.53456
♅ ♆ ♇12345

From the table above, the Sun opposite Moon has a maximum orb of 9°. Sun opposite Pluto is also 9°. But Uranus opposite Pluto is only 5°.

References
  1. Aspect Pattern Astrology, Bruno and Louise Huber, 2005, p. 26.

13 thoughts on “Aspect Definitions

  1. A very Great job!!! This has been confusing my head every now and then. Thank you for opening my eyes

    • Thank you Mwanyule. I was confused for many years about this too, especially the aspect orbs. This table is a great reference for my readings. The extensive research behind it gives me confidence that I am sharing accurate information.

  2. Thank you, Jamie, for this very useful and informative reference and lesson.
    Your simplicity in describing all things astrological, without ever being shallow, is a great gift.

    • Thank you! Mercury opposite Saturn keeps it succinct which is good for writing about complex subjucts. But Venus opposite Saturn does not give enough hugs which is sad for my family.

  3. Hi Jamie – I’m intrigued by the extra meanings of the angles.

    For me, semi-sextile always meant some sort of irritation. The “need to experience, learn, discuss, read and be informed about new things” surprises and inspires me. “Objectivity and indifference merging” I’ll have to give more thought to. I like “small thinking step”.

    Quincunx – Your explanation is several steps higher – way better than simply seeing a “need for adjustment. Large thinking step indeed. Will look at charts with a more informed approach thanks to you. This is much apreciated. Derek

  4. Jamie , your thoughts on the semi sextile ring true in my personal experience of my Sun ssx Mars. This aspect is harder to externalize or tap into than the sextile but it has been very powerful resource in my life.

  5. The clockface aesthetic, smile 1:49:45, and frown 8:39:45, semi-sextile and quincunx. in some Astrologyking symbol circles, Liz Greene for example, the smile is blue, the frown red. Hope we can overcome these revelations and, in time, there isn’t too much trade secret damage. It was inevitable. Clocks get smashed (Mars) and time dissolves (Neptune). Write a song for the radio. Do a trade deal.

  6. You can see Tesla’s 3,6,9 pattern all over the Zodiac. In houses we have with no placements, do the stars in those houses aspect with the houses where we have placements ? Example – I have Moon 24 Virgo and Moon 27 Virgo, do these aspect with my 11th house Cancer and the Stars at these degrees 27, 24 ? Or I have Mars at 28 Leo in the 12th does that aspect with my Pluto at 21 Libra, or trine with my Neptune at 22 Sag ? Could you let me know, anyone. Many thanks sharing your amazing work Jamie.

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