There are numerous minor aspects to consider in a birth chart, but they have far less influence than the major ones. The minor aspects can also be a bit confusing when you're just starting out. So, it's recommended that you don't use them until you've mastered the major aspects. Concentrate on those discussed in the following few pages for now.
Conjunction, a Major Hard Aspect, 0 Degrees
This is the simplest aspect to identify, but it's also one of the most complex because of the intensity and power involved. Whenever you see two or more planets piled on top of each other, usually, but not always, in the same house, their energies fuse and intensify. If the orb is exact or within one degree, the impact is considerable.
Let's say that Saturn and Pluto are conjunct in the tenth house, within six degrees of each other. Saturn seeks structure and Pluto seeks revolution and transformation — the purposes of the two planets are at odds. This conjunction can be disruptive because the structure of a person's career (tenth house) continually undergoes transformation.
This actually means that just when Saturn had found a structure that works (but one that may also limit or restrict the individual in some way), Pluto comes along and blows it apart. Through this process, circumstances seem to force the individual to expand or change her professional approach.
This has a direct effect. Since the conjunction in this example is six degrees, the impact is considerably less than that of a precise conjunction.
In the child's chart in
A Sextile, a Major Soft Aspect, 60 Degrees
This usually represents a free flow of energy between the planets involved. It symbolizes ease and lack of tension, and provides a buffer against instability. But when there's an excess of sextiles in a chart, the individual may be too passive.
In the child's chart in
Square, a Major Hard Aspect, 90 Degrees
The keyword with this aspect is friction. But the energy that accompanies the friction tends to be dynamic and forceful, galvanizing an individual to action. Squares force you to develop and evolve. They are expressed internally through the lens of our subjectivity.
The important detail to remember about a square is that the tension can't be ignored or repressed. If you don't deal with it, the same pattern of friction will repeat over and over again until you tackle it. As Steven Forrest writes in The Inner Sky, “The friction produced in a square exerts relentless developmental pressure on each of the planets.”
Look again at the chart in
Trine, a Major Soft Aspect, 120 Degrees
Like a sextile, the connected energies in this aspect work together harmoniously. The inner harmony related to trines often acts as a buffer against turmoil, just as sextiles do. But again, if there are too many trines in a chart, passivity may result.
When trines involve an event, it comes about on its own accord and not because the individual has taken action to make it happen. In the child's chart in (
The aspect to Saturn allows the child to set realistic goals and attain them. The aspect to Neptune gives her deep compassion for other people, as well as psychic ability. Taken together, the trine attracts the right opportunities for the advancement of her goals.
Opposition, a Major Hard Aspect, 180 Degrees
This aspect forces change through conflict. Sometimes this aspect represents traits that we project onto others because we haven't fully incorporated them into who we are.
Oppositions often involve polarities: Gemini-Sagittarius, Taurus-Scorpio. This means their elements differ — air to fire, Earth to water — but complement each other. They may also share qualities, as in the two earlier examples. Gemini and Sagittarius are both mutable signs; Taurus and Scorpio are both fixed. This gives some basis for compromise.
Imagine an opposition as Siamese twins with different agendas. Twin A wants to stay home and read; Twin B wants to party. How can such different needs, in general, be resolved? The bottom line is that these differences may never be resolved. Or they may take a lifetime to work out. One thing is for sure with oppositions: resolving differences ultimately will enrich your life.