What do Aspects mean in Astrology?
In Astrology, “Aspect” refers to the distance between two signs and the planets that are in them. This is one way of seeing the relationship the planets in your natal chart have to one another. Read through as this article will serve as your guide in understanding Astrology Aspects.
You can refer to two signs being in aspect (e.g. Mars is conjunct Venus) or two signs being in aspect (e.g. Scorpio opposes Taurus).
You may see Astrology aspects referred to as “easy” or “hard” and this has to do with whether the energy created between the planets by the aspect is harmonious or challenging.
This does not mean that any of the aspects in Astrology are “good” or “bad”. It is simply saying whether there is a challenge you have to work through or a strength that is increased by the relationship between your natal planets.
Major Aspects in Astrology
Conjunction (same sign)
A conjunction happens when two planets are in the same sign. This is a harmonious aspect and it means that the planets that are conjunct have an easy time interacting with one another.
For example, you may have Mercury, the planet of communication, and Venus, the planet of romance, conjunct.
This could mean that you have an easy time talking about love or romance or that you are good at expressing your affections.
Semisextile (one sign apart)
Planets that are semisextile are right next to one another. This can be an uncomfortable aspect as the signs do not share anything in common.
However, this isn’t really considered to be a soft or hard aspect. A semisextile is also considered to be a “minor” aspect and not all astrologers use it when doing natal chart readings.
Planets in signs that are semisextile are like neighbors. They cannot avoid one another and will always be revolving around one another in life. This can be a challenge or it can help you to grow as a person.
Virgo and Libra are semisextile in Astrology. Virgo can be overly critical and stuck in their ways while Libra tends to see all sides of an argument and is more of a mediator.
Virgo’s gifts with analysis can help with Libra’s indecisiveness. Libra’s peacemaker nature can soothe some of Virgo’s criticisms and deliver them in a softer manner.
Signs that are semisextile:
- Aries and Taurus
- Taurus and Gemini
- Gemini and Cancer
- Cancer and Leo
- Leo and Virgo
- Virgo and Libra
- Libra and Scorpio
- Scorpio and Sagittarius
- Sagittarius and Capricorn
- Capricorn and Aquarius
- Aquarius and Pisces
- Pisces and Aries
Sextile (two signs apart)
This aspect is not considered to be a “strong” one but it is harmonious. Two planets that are sextile will have an easy time interacting and communicating with one another.
You may have to work to reap the rewards of this aspect, though. It is often called a “lazy” or “inactive” aspect as it doesn’t really push a person toward a goal. It is simply cheerful and easy-going.
Signs that are sextile:
- Aries and Gemini
- Taurus and Cancer
- Gemini and Leo
- Cancer and Virgo
- Leo and Libra
- Virgo and Scorpio
- Libra and Sagittarius
- Scorpio and Capricorn
- Sagittarius and Aquarius
- Capricorn and Pisces
- Aquarius and Aries
- Pisces and Taurus
Square (three signs apart)
The square is definitely a challenging aspect. Signs that are square to one another have only one thing in common, their quality (cardinal, mutable, fixed).
When planets are in these squared signs, it can create strong tension and a power struggle between the energies.
An example would be the square created between Scorpio and Leo. Leo is outgoing and wants to be seen, while Scorpio is more private and tends to hold things close to the vest.
A person with this square may find themselves switching back and forth between the two energies, pushing themselves into the spotlight only to withdraw later on as explained in Astrology aspects.
Learning to compromise and find a middle ground is often the best way to resolve the tension created from a square.
Signs that are square:
- Aries squares Cancer and Capricorn
- Taurus squares Leo and Aquarius
- Gemini squares Virgo and Pisces
- Cancer squares Libra and Aries
- Leo squares Scorpio and Taurus
- Virgo squares Sagittarius and Gemini
- Libra squares Capricorn and Cancer
- Scorpio squares Aquarius and Leo
- Sagittarius squares Pisces and Virgo
- Capricorn squares Aries and Libra
- Aquarius squares Taurus and Scorpio
- Pisces squares Gemini and Sagittarius
Trine (four signs apart)
This is a harmonious aspect and is considered to be “stronger” than the sextile. Signs that are trine share the same element (earth, air, fire, water).
This means that they have the same energy and oftentimes may be working toward the same sorts of goals.
In Astrology, Trines point toward your natural talents and the areas of life you find easy. Having planets that are trine in two earth signs, like Capricorn and Taurus, can mean that you have an easy time staying grounded.
You could have an easy time maintaining stability and balance between the areas that whatever planets are in those two signs govern.
Harmonious doesn’t always mean easy or happy, though. An abundance of any one type of energy can be destructive. Scorpio and Cancer, two water signs, are trine.
Both signs tend to be very emotional and the downside of this trine could be emotional outbursts or trouble reigning in negative emotions.
Being emotional or being a grounded person are not bad things and these energies can be very beneficial if expressed in healthy ways.
On the other hand, being stuck in your ways or having explosive fits on emotion can cause problems. Learning to find balance in the trine is important.
Signs that are trine:
- Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius
- Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn
- Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius
- Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces
Quincunx (five signs apart)
When two signs are quincunx, they have absolutely nothing in common. They do not share an element, polarity, or quality.
This means that the planets in these signs can have trouble “seeing” or relating to one another.
This is a very difficult aspect. You may feel like the planets that are quincunx have different, perhaps even opposing, agendas.
These parts of your personality may feel like they are at war with one another. This would drive anyone crazy!
Say you have Venus in Scorpio and Mars in Gemini. Your Venus placement desires deep, emotional connections. It may be possessive. When you love, you go all in and love with everything you are.
However, your Gemini Mars wants freedom. It is fidgety and needs constant change to be content. This can cause huge tension when it comes to relationships.
You may find yourself wanting to settle down but feel trapped or unsure the second you do.
Signs that are quincunx:
- Aries is quincunx Virgo and Scorpio
- Taurus is quincunx Libra and Sagittarius
- Gemini is quincunx Scorpio and Capricorn
- Cancer is quincunx Sagittarius and Aquarius
- Leo is quincunx Capricorn and Pisces
- Virgo is quincunx Aquarius Aries
- Libra is quincunx Pisces and Taurus
- Scorpio is quincunx Aries and Gemini
- Sagittarius is quincunx Taurus and Cancer
- Capricorn is quincunx Gemini and Leo
- Aquarius is quincunx Cancer and Virgo
- Pisces is quincunx Leo Libra
Opposition (six signs apart)
An opposition is created when two planets are in signs directly opposite one another on the natal chart wheel. This Astrology aspect can create tension within a person as they can feel like they are being tugged in two different directions.
However, this aspect can also create a powerful dynamic if the person can find a compromise between the two planets.
Planets that oppose one another share the same quality just as planets that are squaring one another do.
If you have a planet in Taurus opposing a planet in Scorpio, for example, learning to balance the mellow nature of Taurus with the passion of Scorpio can ease any tension you feel
Signs that oppose one another:
- Aries and Libra
- Taurus and Scorpio
- Gemini and Sagittarius
- Cancer and Capricorn
- Leo and Aquarius
- Virgo and Pisces
A T-square is formed between planets in three different signs. Two of the signs are opposing one another and are also each square the third sign.
When drawn on a chart, the pattern that is created resembles the letter T. The “focus” of this pattern is the sign that is squaring the other two signs
A T-square is both stimulating and challenging. It is an active aspect pattern.
The energies within the T-square are all pushing you towards overcoming the obstacles created by the tense energies both oppositions and squares tend to have.
All of the signs in a T-square share the same quality. A person with a T-square created between planets in Aries, Cancer, and Libra can be quick to act.
This can be a good thing in a crisis situation where you don’t have time to consider all your options. On the other hand, this could lead to jumping to conclusions or acting recklessly in dangerous situations.
If you have this T-square, you could be impatient but you may also be very good at initiating things as you aren’t afraid to jump right into a task.
Grand Square and Grand Cross
The Grand Square is a rare aspect pattern that is created by four signs forming four different squares in the chart.
A Grand Cross is a Grand Square that contains two oppositions within it, creating a cross within the square. As planets that are square share the same quality, the result is that each of the four signs will be either cardinal, fixed, or mutable.
These are very intense aspect patterns. There are four different agendas running in your chart and this can certainly be difficult!
You may find yourself feeling uncomfortable and stressed out by the energy these patterns create. Once the tension reaches its peak, you will be pushed into action, for good or bad.
Learning to balance and integrate all the energies within your Grand Square or Grand Cross is powerful and when you are pushed to action, you’ll be able to react in a more constructive way.
Consider a Grand Square/Cross that is created by the four mutable signs: Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces. Mutable signs are all about changing and adapting.
When it comes time for a change to take place, however, the planets in these signs may all have different agendas and this may cause you to be pulled in all sorts of directions.
If you can listen to what each planet wants and find some sort of compromise between all of them, you’ll find you’re able to smoothly adjust to the new situation.
A Grand Trine is created by three signs that all share the same element. Each sign forms a trine to the other two signs.
This is a harmonious Astrology aspect pattern as trines are harmonious aspects. You may also see this aspect pattern referred to as the Golden Triangle.
The easy-going energy of a Grand Trine can cause you to be a confident and optimistic person. Water Grand Trines find that feelings, intimacy, and inner reflection come easy to them.
Fire Grand Trines can be creative, bold, and take pride in themselves and what they do. Air Grand Trines are curious, intellectual, and love to think. Earth Grand Trines can be very grounded and sensual.
The downside here is that, as with regular Trines, Grand Trines can create an overabundance of elemental energies.
They may also keep you from pushing yourself outside of your comfort zone and hinder growth. When you go through life finding certain things to be easy and effortless, you may be less inclined to do things that are difficult.
The key to harnessing the power of a Grand Trine is in keeping the energy balanced. It is not a bad thing for a person with a Grand Trine in fire signs to feel proud.
This creates a self-assurance and self-confidence that many people would love to have. It can also cause a person to be self-absorbed, however.
Allowing the energies of a Grand Trine to flow without limit can be destructive.
You will want to take advantage of the areas in your life you find easy but don’t always rely on them and push yourself into more challenging areas.
The Yod is also called the “Finger of God” or “Finger of Fate”. This is another rare aspect pattern. A yod is formed by two planets that are sextile to one another and then quincunx to a third planet.
The Yod is considered to be a mystical and powerful aspect. It can be difficult and intense. This Astrology aspect points to some sort of destiny, life’s purpose, or hidden potential that you need to unlock.
It can also be trying to teach you a lesson in order to help you grow as a person.
In the Yod, the sextile between two of the planets is creating energy. As previously discussed, sextiles are not an active aspect in Astrology and do not push a person to actually use that energy.
The two oppositions in the Yod are pointing at the planet/sign that must be used to push this potential energy into action.
The Yod can create a lot of difficulty in life as the person learns how to positively use the build-up of energy in the sextile and the tensions created by the two oppositions.
You may find yourself making the same mistakes over and over again until you finally learn the lesson the Yod is trying to teach you. Once you learn to harness the power of your Yod, you’ll be able to unlock all that hidden potential within you.