Llewellyn Worldwide, Ltd.
View your shopping cart Shopping Cart | My Account | Help | Become a Fan on Facebook Become a Fan | Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us | Watch Us on YouTube Watch Us | Subscribe to our RSS Feeds Subscribe
Browse ProductsAuthorsArticlesBlogsEncyclopediaNewslettersAffiliate ProgramContact UsBooksellers
Advanced Search
ENCYCLOPEDIA
Glossary
What's New
Most Popular
List of Articles

Email Exclusives
Sign up to receive special offers and promotions from Llewellyn.

Get the Latest Issue of New Worlds

March/April 2015 Issue

New Worlds Catalog

Get the FREE app for your tablet and mobile device. Now available in the iTunes Store and the Google Play Store

Also available as a PDF File.

Click for more information about New Worlds or to receive issues via mail.


The Llewellyn Encyclopedia
Print this Term Print this Article

Astrological Aspects

This article was written by Llewellyn George on May 31, 2002
posted under Astrology

There is an angle between every two planets in the horoscope which is measured in degrees. When the angle produces a significant interaction between two or more planets, they are said to be "in aspect."  The angles which give rise to the "major aspects" are produced by dividing a circle by
units of two and three (just as the zodiac is produced by such a division).  These aspects are
The conjunction (zero degrees)
The sextile (30 degrees)
The square (90 degrees0
The trine (120 degrees)
The opposition (180 degrees)


In order for two planets to be in aspect to each other they must be within a certain distance of the exact angle division.  This is called the "orb" of the aspect. Generally planets must be within five to twelve degrees of a perfect aspect for the effect to be noticeable.  The larger orbs are reserved for the Sun, Moon, and for conjunctions and oppositions. The smaller orbs are allowed for Mercury, Venus and Mars, and for the less powerful aspects.

Additional aspects, often called minor aspects include the following:
Semi-sextile (30 degrees)
Semi-square (45 degrees)
Sesqui-quadrate (135 degrees)
Quincunx (150 degrees)

Aspects are either considered favorable or unfavorable, according to how harmoniously the two planets in the aspect function together.  The favorable aspects are in the group of aspects that divide the circle by three, while the unfavorable are those that divide the circle by two. Of course, from a higher perspective one could not say that particular aspects were better or worse. It is merely a question of how these aspects are felt by the average person.

How the Main Aspects Work
Conjunction – relates to beginnings and endings of cycles, and therefore indicates prominence.

Square – produces a "fight" between planets, with each one wanting to control and direct the behavior of the other.

Opposition – indicates a stand-off where it is impossible for two planets to function simultaneously.  There is not a fight here, but an inability for the two to function at
the same time.

Trine – harmonizes the functioning of different planets so that they sympathize with each other.  When one is called forth to work, the other can aid it.

Sextiles are based on a division by three and two, and indicate a sympathetic partnership between planets which, however, may demand some conscious attunement in order to function.

Quincunx – works in a way which is quite different from the square or opposition.  The influence is
more subtle, but often more powerful than these or any other aspects.  It creates a feeling of opposition, yet requires synthesis.


How the Parts of the Chart Work Together
The signs are the "organs" of our physical and psychological bodies.  The planets, by placement channel the energy of the signs they occupy. The aspects show the interaction between the planets. The horoscope reveals how the personality relates to the environment surrounding it and to the spiritual elements which constitute its internal self, but not the spiritual character of that inner self per se. The components of astrology are based on the laws and truths of creation. They were placed by the Creator God in our environment to show the truths and laws of creation. We were place in our environment to learn these things.

In Irish tradition, there is a wonderful story of bile, the ancient tree. It grows by the side of a sacred well, and acorns, nuts, and apples spring from its branches. How wonderful it would be to live in the world of folk-tradition: a magical place where the world is joined-up, the sacred is apparent in the everyday world, and every living thing... read this article
Gold and Alchemical Healing
Why the Waite-Smith Tarot Was the Almost Perfect Tarot
Demons, Fairies, and Saints in a Renaissance Manuscript of Magic
5 Reasons to Combine Crystals, Oils, and Essences to Facilitate a Life Well Lived
May Bush and Wishing Tree Magick for Beltane

Most recent posts:
Answer the Call Spread
Taken from Tarot Spreads: Layouts and Techniques to Empower Your Readings by Barbara Moore. The Judgement card is about, in part, hearing a...

Wisdom of Swords Spread
Sasha Graham’s book 365 Tarot Spreads has a spread for every day of the year. She also includes an important historical moment from that day and...

Driving Our Own Bus Called "Life"
Readers, please enjoy this guest blog post by Kerry Nelson Selman, author of the new Crystal Resonance. Recently, as I was meeting and greeting...




Evidence of Eternity Evidence of Eternity
Communicating with Spirits for Proof of the Afterlife

By: Mark Anthony
Price: $15.99 US,  $18.50 CAN
Bite the Biscuit Bite the Biscuit
By: Linda O. Johnston
Price: $14.99 US,  $17.50 CAN
Come to Harm Come to Harm
A Novel

By: Catriona McPherson
Price: $14.99 US,  $17.50 CAN
Easy Tarot Easy Tarot
Learn to Read the Cards Once and For All!

By: Josephine Ellershaw, Ciro Marchetti
Price: $19.95 US,  $21.95 CAN
The Final Reveille The Final Reveille
By: Amanda Flower
Price: $14.99 US,  $17.50 CAN