The Aspects

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The Aspects between Planets is one of the most important parts of learning astrology.

First of all, i’ll introduce the aspects:

  • Conjunction (~0 degrees apart). MAJOR aspect.
  • Semi-Sextile (~30 degrees apart).
  • Semi-Square (~45 degrees apart).
  • Sextile (~60 degrees apart). MAJOR aspect.
  • Square (~90 degrees apart). MAJOR aspect.
  • Trine (~120 degrees apart). MAJOR aspect.
  • Sesquiquadrate (~135 degrees apart).
  • Quincunx (~150 degrees apart).
  • Opposition. (~180 degrees apart). MAJOR aspect.

Conjunction is where 2 planets are very close to each other. They could be in the same sign, or 1 sign apart but that is more uncommon. Conjunctions provide us with strength (Like Transit Sun aspects do), so we can achieve our short term goal planwell for long term goals.

Sextiles are more harmionious than Conjunctions. Planets are generally 2 signs apart in a sextile, but again this isn’t always the case! Sextiles are more friendly and passive than any of the other aspects; like 2 good friends getting along together or talking together and understanding. (Transit Venus aspects).

Squares are where 2 planets are at right angles (literally) with each other, friction is created and needs to be handled. This can go 2 ways. Either the individual harnesses the energy and uses it to surge them forward, or they let it get the better of them; and it can lead to bad things. Squares are like Transit Mars aspects, they increase dynamicism but also the possibility of a clash of wills. Compromise needed!

Trines are even more harmonious than Sextiles, as the aspect denotes 2 planets that are in the same element. (-4 signs apart). Trines are good-hearted aspects, they allow energy to be released easily and efficiently, but with a cost of complacency. If you take our example of 2 good friends chatting with the sextile, the trine would indicate laughing or having a deep conversation, because the 2 understand each other better than most other people. (Transit Jupiter aspects).

Oppositions are our lessons we need to learn. 2 planets at opposition to each other can create a see-saw effect, as you go up and down (sitting on one planet and then hoping to the other). A compromise is definately required here to help overcome the opposition. The best thing to do is do something which involves both the planets, so you use the strengths of both planets. (Generally 6 signs apart). Oppositions are like Transit Saturn aspects, they are hard lessons, but teach us the real things in life.

Take a look at the chart for a visual view of these aspects.

chart anno

The other 4 aspects, semi-square, semi-sextile, sesquiquadrate and quincunx are MINOR aspects.

They still effect us, but are not as dominant as the MAJOR aspects.

Semi-Square –> Instead of Internal Frustration (Produced by the Square aspect), Semi-Square energy is more External Frustration, and manifests itself into the real world. However, if you find an outlet for this energy, then you can achieve alot because the energy can be express in situations which require persistance and dedication.

Semi-Sextile –> This is actually a ‘soft’ aspect. Semi-Sextiles are reasonably weaker than sextile energy, but usually provide ‘gifts’ or creative abilities for the individual, as it combines together 2 signs which are next to each other, so you get the energy of the former sign and the latter sign.

Quincunx –> Quincunx is 2 planets which are 5 signs apart. The planets are essentially out of sync and need to be re-connected again. Like the see-saw analogy, but the see saw doesn’t touch the ground the other side. Great effort must be required to harness this energy. Generally the signs involved are completely different, so you can have 2 viewpoints without getting stuck in 1 area. Good huh?

Sesquiquadrate –> 2 planets which are 135 degree apart, indicates imbalance. However, surprisingly the individual will want to achieve harmony from this aspect, and with this in mind, they’ll be able to eventually achieve harmony.


Orb factors are the deviation between planets to allow a certain distance; and still be classed as an aspect.

All Minor aspects have an Orb factor of 2 degrees.

Conjunctions, Squares and Oppositions all have 8 degree OF.

Sextiles has 4 and Trines have 12 degrees.

Of course, the tighter the orb, the strong influence the aspect has on the individual.


    • Hi Jon, tighter refers to the proximity of the 2 planets. For example, you might have a Sun in Leo at 12 degrees and a Jupiter in Sagittarius at 15 degrees. The aspect is Trine by 3 degrees. A tighter aspect would be any aspect which is small than 5 degrees, as the planets contact each other. The tighter the aspect, the greater the influence!

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