Irritation Triangle Aspect Pattern

Irritation Triangle

An Irritation Triangle is an aspect pattern made of an opposition (red), quincunx and semisextile aspect (both green). Combining red and green aspects creates constant inner tension, and relaxation is almost impossible. This energy almost never comes to a halt and is constantly recharging itself.

Missing Blue

Red and green aspects are both stimulating but in different ways. The green aspects are stimulated by the red aspect and always consider new possibilities. But the lack of a third dimension, a blue aspect, means that new possibilities cannot be realized. Green makes you want to know more, and red makes you want to achieve something and reach goals.

The high energy potential of the opposition creates uneasiness and nervousness. This energy is constantly kept on-call by the green thinking aspects, leading to a permanent state of tension and being permanently “on the go”, which can overtax the nerves, especially when the opportunity for resolution and relaxation is lacking.

The need for a third color in the aspect pattern now becomes obvious. The blue aspect is missing, i.e. the possibility to slowly and thoughtfully prepare a structure in which energy (red) and intelligence (green) can appear.


The Irritation Triangle creates motivation to draw on your energies but often makes you uneasy and nervous, sometimes leading to a breakdown. The slightest resistance or inconsistency challenges your conflictive spirit.

A pronounced philosophy of achievement leads to the undertaking of all-out efforts and constant planning of new things. This makes you push and exploit yourself and others. However, it seldom leads to the desired results, or if it does, they don’t last. As the principle of structure (blue) is missing, efforts are often fruitless. Despite many ideas, you need others to help you carry out your plans.

Constant Stimulus

The Irritation Triangle is also called a Stimulus Triangle. It needs constant movement and stimulating activity, which results in short or long periods of hectic overexertion. The energy stored in the opposition looks for a way to resolve the state of the opposing pressures, the blockage of energy flow and the rigid attitude they produce.

The quincunx makes you painfully aware of the liberation of tension as a desperate longing. However, your endeavors are only sufficient for a permanent communication process (semisextile) that predominantly manifests through the planet at the green corner of the triangle.

Fits of Anger

Sudden outbursts of anger can arise as a reaction to external pressures. This defensive behavior does not last long, though. It is over quickly and forgotten again. The ability for flexibility and adaption enables you to be evasive and to quickly make up for the damage caused or hurt feelings. [1]

According to Joyce Hopewell:

These are touchy, tetchy figures and are seen in the charts of people who are flexible, hard-working, and sensitively aware. These people can often take on more than their fair share of work, but sometimes they take on too much, reach a breaking point and explode. Those around them take cover until the storm passes, and then things calm down quickly as the person returns to what they were doing, feeling a whole lot better, having worked their angst and irritation out of their system with the outburst. [2]

  1. Aspect Pattern Astrology, Bruno and Louise Huber, 2005, p.176-177.
  2. Joyce Hopewell Astrological Psychology: Clint Eastwood.

More Aspect Patterns

11 thoughts on “Irritation Triangle Aspect Pattern

  1. Hi Jamie,

    In addition to two of these irritation triangles involving opposition to chart ruler Pluto (conj Moon and MC- sextile Jupiter conj NN and Neptune in 12) and my sun conjunct Mercury in Pisces- (15 and 16 degrees) with “opportunity” (sextiling) planet Mars (also chart ruler), you could say I’m familiar with the energies you’ve described.

    In addition – the latter is in a Thor’s hammer to Nemesis – in Gemini. So I’m a pretty typical astrologist’s nightmare Pisces – whenever I can’t express myself (with Mars in 3, this is one set of triggers); I’m (always) ‘nagged’ to communicate wants and desires that affect my status, for example.

    It’s a truth I’m still learning how to deal with it (I’m 65). For me, (gentle) escapism has, until now, been a way of life since I was old enough. Though reading, journaling, meditation, and exercise (including creative arts) are helpful. Being in community was helpful – until it wasn’t.

    I still haven’t found receptive audiences for my (occult) observations- the ones that bombard me the minute I meet someone- I got to learn how NOT to read auras!. I bite my tongue so much their are marks on it!- especially since I have the Pisces “Gift” of being empathic and compassionate; mostly folks don’t want advice, but to complain (vent).

    So meanwhile, I quietly live al(l)-one (alone) since I don’t want to hear complaints not in search of solutions, anymore.

    Despite all that, I was a successful MD for ~30 years- though being clairaudient and clairvoyant at the same time WAS interesting! My favorite places to work were the ICU and ER. (Great for Pluto conj Moon in Virgo, not so great for Sun in four!)

    Everything in the chart can be harnessed to help us reach our highest and greatest good! Though, without extra ease (which I’m cultivating these days in general), life can feel bumpy and intense.


    • “So meanwhile, I quietly live al(l)-one (alone) since I don’t want to hear complaints not in search of solutions, anymore.” i felt that, your entire comment resonated with my soul. Can we be friends? 😀

  2. So these people are the ones allowed to throw fits of anger and then continue on their way? I have often wondered how some get away with that when I cannot. So I chuckle at the doctor’s tongue biting. I suppose it’s natal mars retrograde that I am contending with that has driven me to internally process in silence. As far as people taking on too much and not honoring their limits, when I hear it, I tell them then ‘don’t do it.’ A lesson I learned fairly early in life. I like to have some open space around me so I am not forced into self inflicted fits of martyrdom. I have been waiting for someone to encapsulate some kind of definition for the quincunx energy. Thanks for that to chew on.

    • The Quincunx energy, Mars at magic, Saturn at mystery, encapsulated at a financial forum last weekend, coming off of the USA-Canada Summit. Moses reading off his tablet, threw down his analysis of the Silicon Valley; that it shall be known as Land of Gold Standard technology bearers, in cause and spirit. In its defense, Bostonia and Raleighia. And in its nurture, a horn of plenty, Kansassia.

  3. What would you call a pattern that had this Irritation Triangle plus a 4th planet making a rectangle, sort of like a Mystic Rectangle, but with a semi-sextile on each end and a quincunx on each side? What would that mean?

    • An hour glass. But because the quincunx has a Saturn quality, a long duration cycle, two Saturn returns, for instance. Other notes at aspect definitions

      “On the understanding level, thinking ahead that wanders far afield, planning ahead or striving for knowledge that is not yet there but that you are working toward. The quincunx means long deliberation, the prolonged thinking process that could lead to a better outcome. But this process often causes insecurity and crises of indecision.”

  4. Irritation aspect in the natal chart.

    Urania 9Lib25
    Eris 9Ari26
    Pluto 9Vir54

    Moon transit Pluto, July 21, 2023

    Recent posts confirm this arrangement. Eris, discord and dealing with Urania under a toxic Venus Rx, Fukishima.

  5. Been studying Astrology for a year and half now, six month fan, first time caller. Been reading about Fixed Stars and that really defined points, thank you. Had been hyper focused on my Air Grand Trine, trying to find my purpose, to achieve a better life etc. Recently found a T-Square that hadn’t been easy to see as most sites do not default display squares to Ascendant in Scorpio. I had seen the Grand Trine is a Tree as well as Hung T-Square elsewhere, feeling as if I am some AI becoming self aware, at 50 years old btw. However reading here I get the dynamics of those planet relationships as I also have an Eye, Single Ambivalence, Kite, Dominant Triangle, these go further than ordinary interpretations, I am grateful you share your knowledge on these, but this Irritation Triangle; 8H Saturn op. NN, semisextile Venus 2H (currently conjunct Pluto Transit where The Eye is focused, making me aware of PL my chart ruler…) inconjunct Saturn. I know I’ve been messed up as long as I can remember, yes I have the older woman relationship 13 yrs my elder, yes I suffer intimacy and excessive timidness to start connections with women, especially following losing my wife in 1997 before this relationship started which felt like a shelter. My usual tension it describes has turned into a wrecking ball, especially since 2019 when PL entered the Eye conjunct Venus, keep telling myself I’ll get used to the natural energy, suppose that’s nearly impossible now understanding this Irritation Triangle. The affair, that began at the same time, with a friend was amazing until I was constantly obsessive, jealous, insatiable toward her and began several affairs following that (Uranus square Venus natal). Needless to say I’ve moved out of the master bedroom from my relationship of over 20 years, her Natal Saturn (on my Venus) conjunct her Jupiter also 2H, she’s of course doing well with time… I kept my cool best as possible for years, this PL Retrograde is winding up for a big punch, I feel it coming, things have been turning to ashes, a Phoenix being born, so much energy coursing through me. I can not see my daughter or her friends (20’s), can barely go out in public and even fall in love with actresses in films, it is intense. This Irritation Triangle activated is the basis of a life long issue. Following Transits, feeling the Moon (conjunct Algol) the excessive drinking, mind altering barely suppress, the big guys all Retrograde for my big do-over crossing Angles, I can not deny this is a massive turning point in my life, everything activating in Chain Reaction, as it had my entire life, but completely un-navigable until now.
    I really am glad you point these out to teach and help guide people to better understand, knowing is half the battle. I guess I can give up trying to figure out EVERYTHING anymore, the higher self may not be attainable, the lower self is broke, broken and broken hearted. Wouldn’t wish this on anyone. -DB

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