Study Notes - Aspects
Of all the features in a horoscope, aspects are perhaps the most difficult to interpret, but are much easier if you remember a few basic principles. The first of these is that the fact that there is any aspect at all is more important than the nature of the aspect and its perceived harmony or otherwise.
The congeniality (or otherwise) of the sign-positions of the planets is also more important than the nature of the aspect. A technically inharmonious aspect between two planets well-placed by sign usually works out more harmoniously than a technically harmonious aspect between two planets badly placed by sign.
The closer the aspect the more strongly it operates. Very wide aspects can usually be ignored. The tendency is generally to allow too large orbs for aspects, with the exception of the conjunction and quincunx. Orbs should be much reduced for aspects to the angles and other sensitive points not occupied by actual planets.
The signs occupied by the planets forming an aspect can be as important in interpretation as the planets themselves and should never be ignored.
When considering the effects of aspects on the houses, a planet (if any) occupying a house is almost always more important than the house’s accidental ruler (i.e. the ruler of the sign which is on the cusp of the house). Thus, if the Moon is in the fourth house and Mars squares it, but trines Mercury, accidental ruler of that house, the square to the Moon will generally matter more for fourth-house affairs than the Mars-Mercury trine.
Any matters governed by the planets forming an aspect can be affected by the aspect regardless of house considerations, though the effects will be stronger for matters located in the houses directly involved.
Aspects should be considered much more in terms of their ‘energetic status’ than in terms of harmony. Any aspect can be harmonious if used in the right way. Thus, squares and their relatives are active and release the energy of the planets involved. Oppositions show tension and the need for and opportunity to achieve balance, but are much more passive than squares. Trines are free-flowing. Sextiles are mentally stimulating and free-flowing. Conjunctions vary according to sign and planets involved and are probably the most difficult of all aspects to interpret accurately.
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