How to Find Aspects in an Astrology Chart

This section explains what is usually the final step in chart erection which is finding the aspects that exist between the planets. When we say that a planet is in aspect to another planet, it is referring to the angular distance which may exist between two planets in a chart. This section will show you a method for finding out if an angular distance exists between the planets in the chart you are working on. If two planets are found to be in aspect to each other, you will then enter that information in the form of a symbol into the aspect graph found on the same page as your chart wheel. Now, in order for two planets to be considered in aspect to each other, a certain number of degrees will separate the two planets in question. Below is a chart of these angular distances. This chart lists major aspects. There are other aspects which exists known as minor aspects, but, for now these are more than enough to deal with in the beginning of your studies. Aspects are not always exact. Astrology allows some leeway, known as orb of influence. The orbs given below are a starting point. See also: The Easy Aspect Finder. NOTE: Many astrologers do not consider the quincunx and especially the semi-sextile to be major aspects. They are not considered major when considering the Moon void of course. When planets aspect each other the two energies are now combined to produce another type of interaction. This section deals with chart set up. Later during chart interpretation I'll go over this in more depth. The following are simple definitions of the type of interaction produced by the different aspects. conjunction - power semi-sextile - response, reciprocal action sextile - opportunity, reaching out square - irritation, challenge trine - easy flow quincunx - making adjustments opposition - conflict, seeks balance Once the planet positions have been adjusted and placed in your wheel, you are ready to find the aspects between the planets. First you should round the degrees and minutes of each planet to the nearest degree. If you desire more accuracy, you may include degrees and minutes, however, there is so much difference of opinion between astrologers concerning the orbs of aspects, that for now we are going to simplify the process. Later as you gain experience, you may want to widen the orbs yourself. The table of reference for aspects has fairly tight orbs, which I feel is recommended in the beginning. See the Easy Aspect Finder Table which will make the process of discovering aspects much easier in the beginning.
Major Aspects

Name of Aspect

Number of Degrees or Signs Apart



One lists the aspects between the planets as either soft or hard and gives a brief interpretation of possible ways in which the planets are modified by each others influence. Some astrologers do not adhere strictly to the type of aspect. After all we're dealing with celestial bodies that are millions of miles away in a space that has no end." "Be mysterious. It is perfectly acceptable to delineate the possible interaction between the planets only. You may note some minor differences in the adjusted planets minutes as compared with your own results. out-spoken and attention getting in their communications. This is due to slight variations in log tables or diurnal tables and also the fact that sometimes you have to just choose the closest figure. Later as you gain experience-see . "Don't tell all. then the chart will have gained another level of depth. This aspect would help to shake the person out of their self pity. As long as the degrees are correct. The other lists the planets by aspect type. preferring instead to note that two given planets are simply aspecting each other. I wouldn't worry about it too much. my advice is to keep it as simple as possible. I have prepared two reference sections for aspects. Or perhaps they blurt things out that shock other people. the planet positions and the aspects they make to each other will remain the same. I wouldn't recommend attempting it in the beginning!Take your time and shoot for accuracy. we can say that Mercury in hard aspect to Uranus may make the person say unusual things. that is enough accuracy for this natal application.Conjunction Semi-Sextile Sextile Square Trine Quincunx Opposition 0 (same sign) 10 2 4 8 6 3 10 30 (1 sign apart) 60 (2 signs apart) 90 (2 signs apart) 120 (4 signs apart) 150 (5 signs apart) 180 (6 signs apart) At some point in time you may be able to eyeball the aspects like a seasoned astrologer but. Planets in aspect to each other modify each other according to the type of aspect. Here we will begin to learn about the various aspects. Sagittarius is at best an optimistic fire sign. When you begin to integrate aspects into your chart reading. If you can learn to take into account the type of aspect. Hard aspects in particular keep a person from wallowing too much in one kind of behavior. The square from Mercury in Sagittarius stimulates another kind of behavior. Now. The Moon in Pisces can become melancholy and self pitying. What about Mercury in Leo Square Uranus in Scorpio? Without taking into consideration the signs involved. Take for example the Moon in Pisces Square Mercury in Sagittarius." Let them wonder what I'm thinking " That's the Scorpio traits. taking the signs into consideration we could add that Mercury in Leo can be rather loud. showing why a particular aspect is considered to be so. Whether you choose to use the equal house system or the unequal house system. based on either the differences or similarities of the signs involved. If they got too much this way then Uranus in Scorpio says. Speed will come from experience.

Many astrologers put this aspect in the hard aspect category. In this case. It does not have the easy flow of the trine. Planets which are conjunct to each other must work together. The fact that they are both in the same sign eliminates the need to blend different elements and qualities and therefore is somewhat easy. The trine from Jupiter can really exaggerate that tendency.Same quality/different element/different gender Squares stimulate either action. The charts of really successful people often have many squares. but not outstanding. Earth and Water signs are also different. She cannot sit back and wait for the goods to be delivered. sometimes you're sad. A person who is having a difficult time trying to function with a square often carries a feeling of tension which can stimulate behavior that others may find aggravating. since growth is necessary and tends to produce what we call character in an individual. Others consider it to be a neutral aspect. Note that this aspect like the difficult quincunx aspect has nothing in common as far as element. Often the feeling of something not being quite right is literally felt in the stomach. change or both. However. What looks like contradictions in the chart are simply reflections of our own contradictory natures. Sometimes you're happy. The other is a square from Saturn. Say Mercury was in Virgo-the sign of worry and concern.Complementary element/different quality/same gender The sextile is an aspect of opportunity. forcing this person to knuckle down and pay attention when they have something to learn. Squares do not let one rest easy. The Sextile .if you can add the depth the takes the signs involved into consideration. The individual has no guarantees with a sextile. Something doesn't feel right and the person feels compelled to keep trying another way until the feeling of tension is released. Since growth requires change and change is not always easy one might say this is a hard aspect.Same element/same quality/same gender Conjunctions represent power.Different element/ different quality/different gender. quality or gender and yet this aspect is often put into the soft aspect category. So. with the trine there is little stop the flow. yet share complementary elements. She must put forth some effort when the opportunity presents itself The effect of the sextile is noticeable. If the worries got too irrational Saturn would step in and say. taking into account the particular planets involved. this doesn't make sense. The Semi-sextile . there you sit staring at a planet that has at least four or five different aspects. but. Too much of either can be disastrous for the other."' Note: The sextile and the opposition have complementary elements in common. sometimes you feel distracted and bored. I feel that this aspect is one that stimulates growth. However the conjunction is a powerful aspect which makes it difficult for the individual to ignore.The above example of Mercury trine Jupiter suggests that this person finds it easy to talk a lot. . One aspect is a trine from Jupiter." " Look at what you're doing to yourself. These elements in particular seem to complement one another-in the proper amounts. The Conjunction . The square from Saturn stimulates focused discipline. Saturn represents logic too. Fire and Air signs are considered to be different. Some squares in a chart are necessary as they challenge one to go for something better. The Square . is considered to be a "soft" aspect. And. yet complementary. "Hey. the outcome of this aspect can produce positive results. Sometimes you feel sharp as a tack. The person can literally burn out trying to cope with the tension too many squares can produce. a Moon/Venus conjunction might be easier to live with than a conjunction between Saturn and Pluto. Too many can be overwhelming and a source of much frustration.. Jupiter and Saturn are so different! There are no contradictions in the chart. Let's say that planet is Mercury-the thinking/talking/learning planet. My theory is that air feeds fire and earth needs water. But.

great things can happen. a trine will not make you aware of it the way a square would. why is this always assigned to the hard aspect column? This is an aspect that calls for balance. If it were 86 . As always. qualities or gender assigned to the signs involved. signs and houses are involved. A separating aspect is one which has already become exact. but the outcome is in the hands of a higher force. A trine aspect makes it easy for the person to go overboard with respect to whatever planets. The keyword adjustment is commonly used for the quincunx. The Opposition . there is less tension involved. The traits assigned to the signs involved are opposite and yet complementary in nature. Planets involved in a quincunx have nothing in common as far as the elements. Aries (self) is opposite Libra (other people). With all of these factors in common. taking into consideration the houses involved adds another level of understanding to any aspect. that would be an applying square since it had not yet become exact at 90 . On the other hand. It's awkward to say and even harder to cope with. Some feel that an applying aspect carries more weight than a separating aspect. When you give up the ego's need to be in control. I find the term "no choice" is also a good description for this aspect. Another example would be the creation of boundaries (Virgo) versus the breakdown of boundaries (Pisces). You must adjust your wishes with the wishes of God or the universe or whatever describes a power mightier than your own. What this means is that you must be willing to go with the flow. This aspect is like quicksand. An applying aspect is one that is forming. The other name for a quincunx is inconjunct. For instance. planets opposite one another in the 2nd and 8th houses might be asking the individual to balance his own ability to earn money (2nd) with using the money if others (8th). Applying and Separating Aspects Many astrologers make note of applying versus separating aspects. The natural zodiac correspondence between Libra and the seventh house (those who openly oppose you) is where this aspect's biggest challenge is found. This is much easier said than actually done. Trines can make one feel lucky and therefore do not stimulate the level of action that a square does. Major Aspect Configurations . This may work to the persons advantage or it may not.Different element/different quality/different gender. If a behavior is not in your best interest.The Trine . I tend to agree with this concept. there is often a sense of relief. has not yet become exact. In the natural zodiac. not much easier to say. It is still within the orb of influence but. the faster moving planet is moving toward an aspect to the slower moving planet. They seem to know things will work out and often that is exactly what happens. the faster moving planet is moving away from the slower planet.Complementary element/same quality/same gender. The person copes with the obstacles in life in a more easy-going way. There is very little to stop the flow of a trine. For instance. an opposition might ask you to balance your will (Leo) with the will of others (Aquarius). (See Planet Motion Table ) The planet is within the orb of influence but. The more you struggle the deeper you go. The Quincunx . The out-of-sign aspects explanation also happens to illustrate a separating square since 94 is already past the 90 exact square mark.Same element/different quality/same gender. After the impending event is over. That is. You must do the legwork. It suggests that other people have an influence or that we must take into account others needs and motivations. When we are anticipating an important event we tend to feel more anxious.

Cancer and Capricorn. With respect to the third planet. Earth signs-Reality can become kind of god. The person feels as though free will is some kind of theory that doesn't apply to him at all. A grand square requires the person to put forth great energy in order to overcome the challenges represented by signs and houses involved in the square.As you begin to delineate a chart you will often discover that some charts contain one or more major aspect configurations. Intellectual. A planet in Libra and a planet in Capricorn. If you had to try to sit in a chair with three legs it would be hard to ignore the corner that had no leg. In Fixed signs-The challenge is breaking through old barriers and habit patterns. It's easy to dive head first into the things represented by the sign and house placements. Example: A t-square involving planets in Libra. making this configuration either extremely stressful or a tremendous motivator for success. Water signs-Emotional expression becomes paramount. A grand trine creates an easy flow. it's sign and house placement as well as the house it rules in the chart. It becomes easy for the person to detach himself from emotional entanglements. The material and sensual spheres may be over emphasized. there is little to make the person stop and re-evaluate before taking action. Most astrology software programs will automatically draw the aspect lines. Air signs-The mental realm is paramount.A yod consists of two planets sextile to each other. However. Grand Cross)-four planets squaring each other forming a large square pattern on the face of the chart. This individual can be very much like an Aries (the missing leg) at times. Ironically. . Time and again this is described as trying to sit in a chair with three legs. Matters seem to be fated and the more the person struggles to be in control the harder the situation becomes. The house of the missing leg takes on great importance also. The experience can leave one with a feeling of great humbleness towards the complex workings of universal forces. over stimulating the individuals already sensitive nature. enthusiastic and often self-involved. there is often a feeling of no choice. The Aries/Libra planets forming one opposition and the Cancer/Capricorn planets forming the other one. The person seems to instinctively fill in the missing traits in order to relieve the stress. The Grand Trine -Three planets making a trine to each other forming a large triangle on the face of the chart. In Cardinal signs-Initiating action is the focus. Psychic or highly intuitive impressions are too easily absorbed. Fire signs-Highly active. Many actions are motivated by material aims. a planet in Virgo and a planet in Capricorn. Example: a chart with a planet in Aries. You may want to include this information in your chart overview as these configurations have a considerable influence on the person's approach to life. Consider the meanings below. a planet in Cancer. The conscience is often secondary to the immediate desires. The Grand Square (or. Imaginative The Yod . Probably some of both. The T Square -The t-square is exactly like the above configuration except that one of the signs is missing. When he does this the life takes on new directions and opportunities undreamed of present themselves. The life is marked by many changes. The mental sphere may be over emphasized. Contained within the grand square are two oppositions. Example: A planet in Taurus. In Mutable signs-The challenge is finishing what one starts without losing flexibility. Spiritually the person is learning how to give up his own desires to those of a higher power. the individual becomes the fourth leg by acting out the traits which are missing in the chart. while a third planet makes a quincunx to both of those. making these easier to spot in the beginning. A tendency towards self absorption may cause it's own obstacles.

complementary # of degrees /signs apart 40 45 (1. limits Semi-square agitating.Mutual Receptions A mutual reception is not a major configuration aspect but it is another factor to consider when interpreting the chart. reaction. effect Quintile aptitude.1/2 signs) 144 Symbol N Orb 1 1 S Q 1 1 1 BQ 1 . skill. Some consider them when interpreting charts. Even though we are focusing on major aspects. Orbs for minor aspects are usually given an orb of no more than 1 to 1 ½ degrees.1/2 signs) 51 . Mars and Mercury are in mutual reception.3/7 72 135 (4. Even if these planets had difficult aspects from other planets or were involved in a challenging aspect between each other. proficiency Sesquiquadrate irritating Biquintile balance. then the mutual reception helps to smooth out the friction.Mars in Gemini and Mercury in Aries. Name of Aspect Nonagon constraint. although. I personally feel that the semi-sextile and quincunx should be included in the major aspect category. Venus rules Libra and Saturn rules Capricorn Tip: Re-trace the configurations shown on a chart with a brightly colored pen for easier standout and later reference. Minor Aspects Here is a list of minor aspects. Example:. others do not. you will often find them considered to be minor aspects. The planets involved in a mutual reception work together in a mutual fashion. Chart example: Venus is in Capricorn and Saturn is in Libra. It's as though the planets are wearing each others clothes. Like a friend willing to lend a helping hand in time of need. The minor aspects most commonly used are the semi-square and the sesqui-square (also known as sesquiquadrate). Note that Mercury rules Gemini and Mars rules Aries. many astrologers believe that a very close minor aspect can have as much impact as major aspect with a wider orb. When two planets are in the each others signs a mutual reception has occurred. provoking Septile consequence.

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