The Major Astrological Aspects Explained For Dummies: Conjunction, Sextile, Square, Trine, Opposition, Quincunx

In this section only the major aspects will be discussed. An aspect is formed when we measure the distance between two planets to form a relationship. This relationship is measured in degrees. The closer the orb of degrees, the more intensely the energy is felt between the two planets. An aspect with a very wide orb won’t be as strong. Aspects point to strengths, as well as weaknesses.

The Conjunction (0˚)

Planets and points that form a conjunction are energies that are united. They are blended; therefore, they act together. The closer they are to conjunction, the more subjective these combined energies are. In a conjunction, the energies of the two planets are combined, and often the result is a strengthening of both. Orb of tolerance in a conjunction is 0 degrees-7 degrees.

The Sextile (60˚)

Sextiles occur when two planets are approximately 60 degrees apart. This is the aspect of opportunity.The sextile is often read quite like a trine, although there is a distinction between the two aspects. Sextiles, like trines, point to some talent and ease. However, sextiles have a little more “oomph” to them. These are the talents that people appreciate in themselves. They point to energies that are capable of being directed. Sextiles reveal the potential for intelligent use of the energies. Orb of tolerance in a conjunction is 0 degrees-4 degrees.

The Square (90˚)

Squares occur when two planets are approximately 90 degrees apart. Square cause friction and tension that propel the native to grow and become productive. Tension is necessary in order to stimulate action, but too much tension translates to stress. The planets involved in a square are acting at cross purposes. With squares, we may overdo and run into countless obstacles before we “get it right”. However, squares force us out of complacency and get the ball rolling. Squares are often more difficult when we are young, as these aspects force us to grow and learn our lessons. Orb of tolerance in a conjunction is 0 degrees-7 degrees.

The Trine (120˚)

A trine occurs when two planets are approximately 120 degrees apart. Trines bring about ease and comfort. There is also a sense of complacency with a trine. Planets in trine support each other. Trines, by nature, are accepting. Like the sextile, the trine points to innate talent Unlike the sextile the talent is almost unconscious because it comes so naturally. Often enough, natives don’t truly appreciate the talents these trines offer them, and they may not try to develop them. However, these talents are second nature and completely natural. Orb of tolerance in a conjunction is 0 degrees-5 degrees.

The Opposition (180˚)

The opposition occurs when two planets are about 180 degrees apart. As the name implies, the oppositions are obstacles that must be resolved. “It takes two” is the expression. Therein lies the key to the meaning of this aspect: relationship. People with oppositions seek out others, as if to mirror their own internal struggles. They learn about themselves through interactions with others. Very often, oppositions cause us to swing from one side to the other, and we feel torn.

Oppositions represent a state of divided loyalties. Inner discontent, uncertainty, and insecurity can be a result. While a square is urgent and courageous, an opposition is unsure and wavering. When we use our oppositions correctly, we are more willing to consider the other side and we can be adept negotiators. With age, the energy of this polarity can be balanced. Orb of tolerance in a conjunction is 0 degrees-8 degrees.

The Quincunx (150˚)

Planets involved in a quincunx have nothing in common as far as the elements, qualities or gender assigned to the signs involved. The keyword is adjustment is commonly used for the quincunx. The term “no choice” is also a good description for this aspect. What this means is that the native must be willing to go with the flow and adjust. Orb of tolerance in a conjunction is 0 degrees-4 degrees.