ASPECT: The relative angle (longitudinal distance) between two heavenly bodies -- Sun, Moon and/or the eight planets: Venus, Mercury, Mars, Saturn, Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. Aspects can also occur between heavenly bodies (Sun, Moon, planets) and other points/parts in the horoscope. Examples include the Moon's north and, rarely used relative to aspects, the south node, part of fortune, ascendant and midheaven, as well as, rarely considered, other house cusps.
Aspects are derived by dividing 360° (degrees) [a full circle] with numbers beginning with # '1':
360 divided by 1 = 360° (conjunction) ||| 360 divided by 2 = 180° (opposition) ||| 360 divided by 3 = 90° (square -- also called quadrate) | ||| 360 divided by 4 = 120° (trine) ||| 360 divided by 5 = 72° (quintile) ||| 360 divided by 6 = 60° (sextile) ||| 360 divided by 7 = 51.42° = (septile) ||| 360 divided by 8 = 45° (semisquare) ||| 360 divided by 9 = 40° (novile) ||| 360 divided by 10 = 36° (decile) ||| 360 divided by 11 = 37.72° (no aspect) ||| 360 divided by 12 = 30° (semisextile) ||| 360 divided by 13 = 27.69° (no aspect) ||| 360 divided by 14 = 25.71° (no aspect) ||| 360 divided by 15 = 24° (quindecile) ||| 360 divided by 16 = 22.5° (semi-octile) ||| 360 divided by 17 = 21.17° (no aspect) 360 divided by 18 = 20° (semi-decile) ||| 360 divided by 19 = 18.94° (no aspect) ||| 360 divided by 20 = 18° (vinintile) |||
Since aspects rarely are mathematically exact, traditionally an ORB of INFLUENCE is used.
While the degree of an allowable orb varies with the personal preferences of individual astrologers, and may vary from 2 to 15 degrees depending on the size and relative importance of the individual heavenly bodies involved, most seem to allow 2 to 5 degrees for minor aspects and 10 up to 15 degrees for major aspects and/or those aspects involving the major heavenly bodies -- especially the Sun.
Orb of Influence works both ways -- plus and minus. Example: a trine is exact at 120° (degrees). If using a 10-degree orb, it would be considered in effect from 110° (degrees) to 130° (degrees) of longitudinal distance between two heavenly bodies/point/parts. (The closer this, or any aspect, is to an exact-aspect degree the stronger; the further from exact, the weaker.)
Most widely used major aspects are the conjunction (0-10 degrees apart), square (90° apart -- 1/4 of a circle), trine (120° apart -- 1/3 of a circle), and opposition (180° apart -- 1/2 of a circle)
The Conjunction, Opposition, Square, Trine Aspects Lifetime Dinner
Visualize this. You are attending a dinner seated in the middle chair on one side of an oblong table. There are five guests on each side and one guest at either end -- a total of twelve guests.
Conjunction: There are two guests to your left, two guests to your right. The two seated closest (0 to 10° apart) form what amounts to a "conjunction." Is this positive or negative? It is positive if both are your 'friends,' meaning there is mutual harmony [Perhaps Sun + Jupiter, or Mercury + Venus]. But what if one or both are 'enemies' in the sense that you have little if anything in common, or perhaps have actual open conflicts? [Perhaps Saturn + Mars, or Moon + Mars] That could be negative. Therefore, some conjunctions can be positive/productive/pleasant while others could be the opposite.
Opposition: Seated immediately across (180°) the table from you is the 'opposition' guest. He or she is all but literally 'in your face.' When you look straight ahead, he or she is always there -- and this "dinner" lasts your entire lifetime! In actuality you probably could kick each other's shins at any time -- accidentally or deliberately. Is this good? Not unless you are a masochist. You must remember that you also are in his or her face as well. Tensions can build. It's important you (and they) do everything possible to try to become friends, and work to resolve any differences between you.
Square: At each end of the table (at a 90° angle -- square) sit one of two other guests. You have to turn your head hard left or right to see them, which can be somewhat tiring. For the most part they tend to ignore you while you ignore them, meaning the lines of communication are probably not that good. If there is any conversation it's likely you and they have to speak at a volume so loud it's somewhat irritating to both of you -- and other guests as well.
Trine: When you turn your head about half-left and/or half-right (120° -- trines) you see two good friends seated second from each end of the table -- on the table's other side. Communicating with either of them is relativily easy and pleasant. They are not directly "in your face"; neither do you have to turn your head uncomfortably to see them. [Enjoy your meal!!!]
Important Minor aspects: semi-square (45° - 1/8 of a circle) [weaker version of the square], sextile (60° - 1/6 of a circle) [weaker version of a trine], (150°) quincunx -- also called inconjunct or conjunct, sesquiquadrate (135°), semi-sextile (30° - 1/12 of a circle) [weaker version of the sextile], quintile (72° - 1/5 of a circle), and biquintile (144°)
Other minor aspects (Sometimes used -- and for the most part totally senseless): novile (40° - 1/9 of a circle), bi-novile (80°), quadrinovile (160°), septile (51.37° - 1/7 of a circle), bi-septile (102.67°), tri-septile (154.27°), decile (36° - 1/10 of a circle), tri-decile (108°), and quindecile (165°)
Some Uranian astrologers consider the 22.5-degree multiple aspects, including 67.5, 112.5, and 157.5-degree aspects, as being significant. (Uranian Astrology, a fringe branch, uses "planetary pictures" based on midpoints, cardinal points, antiscions, hypothetical planets, and the exclusion of all aspects except conjunctions, semi-squares, sesquiquadrates and oppositions.) Why is it called 'Uranian'? Nobody knows -- and very few care.
Major (Important) Horoscope Aspects between Planets/Points/Parts: Brief 'Meanings'
Conjunction: 1 - 5 degrees apart (Positive or negative ~ depends)
Quinqunx: (150°) (sometimes called inconjunct or injunct) (unfavorable)
Opposition: 180° [+/- 10] degrees apart (Stress -- Need for "balance")
Sesquiquadrate: (135° ) (semisquare counting from the opposite side) (unfavorable)
Trine: 120° [+/- 10] degrees apart (Potentially the most positive)
Square (also called quadrate): 90° [+/- 10] degrees apart (Challenging, stressful - negative)
Sextile: 60° [+/- 5] degrees apart (Half a trine - half as positive)
Semisquare: 45° [+/-3] degrees apart (Half a square - half as negative)
Semisextile: 30° [+/- 3] degrees apart (Half a sextile - half as positive)
Other Semi-Important Horoscope Aspects
Bi-quintile: (144°) (favorable)
Tredecile: (108°) (favorable)
Quintile: (72°) (favorable)
Novile: (40°) (favorable)
Decile: (36°) (favorable)
Quindecile: (24°) (favorable)
Semi-octile): (22.5°) (slightly favorable)
Semi-decile or vigintile: (18°) (favorable)
Combust: Applies only to Sun when very close to -- 10 or fewer degrees -- (conjunct) any planet. Traditional thought: Sun "burns" (weakens but does not destroy) the planet(s)' influence -- except Mars, which increases its power/meaning
Parallel: Considered same as a "conjunction" -- two planets having equal longitudinal distances from the equator (north or south) (positive or negative)
[Why so many minor aspects? Perhaps it's because some astrologers faced with a horoscope containing a very large percentage of negative aspects -- oppositions, squares, quinqunxes, sesquiquadrates, semisquares -- will have something "nice" to say to the client. Personally and professionally Elbert Wade sees very little other reason because most of them don't really amount to much.]
IMPORTANT HINT: All who read horoscopes -- students of Astrology and professional astrologers -- are wise to use a ruler/straightedge to draw colored 'code' lines between aspected heavenly bodies, etc. This enables you to see at a glance all important aspects. Makes reading much easier, faster and more accurate. Suggested 'code' colors: Conjunction (gold or yellow); Opposition (red); Trine (green); Square (brown); Sextile (blue); Semisquare (black), Semisextile (light blue), etc. (Try it; you'll like it!)
Grand Trine: Three (or more) heavenly bodies (planets) each 120 (+/-) degrees distance from each other, forming a triangular pattern. Thought to be extremely fortunate. However, a grand trine, especially those involving more than three planets, can be negative if not used constructively. Could induce a feeling that 'luck' will step in and take care of everything; consequently, the individual's real potentials may never be realized because such a dependance can induce laziness and quash motivations to excel.
Grand Cross (Also known as a Grand Square): Four (or more) heavenly bodies (planets) each squaring the other, forming a square figure. There are at least two different pairs of heavenly bodies in opposition within the square which form the cross figure.
T-Cross (Also known as a T-Square or Cosmic Cross): Two heavenly bodies (planets) in opposition aspect and both squared by a third, forming the letter 'T' figure. The planet at the foot of the 'T' is especially significant since it can be the "balance point" for the energies of the two heavenly bodies in opposition. T-Crosses can often be more complex, involving more than three planets. For example, three or more planets can be in opposition and/or the 'foot' of the T-square can include two or more planets. (In my over 37-year astrological practice, the greatest number I can remember in any single client's natal horoscope is a total of eight planets involved in a T-Square configuration.)
Cardinal Cross: Same as Grand Cross except opposing planets all are in cardinal signs -- Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn.
Fixed Cross: Same as Cardinal Cross except opposing planets all are in fixed signs -- Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius.
Mutable Cross: Same as Fixed Cross except opposing planets all are in mutable signs -- Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces.
Satellitium (also known as Stellium): Multiple conjunctions of planets in one area of the zodiac/horoscope. Five heavenly bodies in one sign is an important satellitium. Most recent major satellitiums: 1987 in Sagittarius between December 18 - 21. A similar stellium occurred in Aquarius February 4 and 5 of 1962.