Now, we will study the aspects that planets form with each other. Aspect is the angle between two planets within the Chart. That is, at how many degrees they see one another. Each Sign is divided into 30 degrees. Each degree is divided into 60 minutes, but that’s a detail we won’t need. It will only help us understand what it means to say, for instance: Moon 270 42΄ Libra. It means that the Moon is in Libra at 27 degrees and 42 minutes. The main types of aspects are:
Conjunct, when two planets are next to one another, within a distance of 0 to about 8 degrees.
Square, when they have a distance of 90 degrees.
Opposite, when they each are across from the other, that is, a 180-degrees distance.
Trine, when they have a distance of 120 degrees.
Sextile, when they have a distance of 60 degrees.
Square and opposite aspects are “hard” aspects because they bring out the negative features of the planets. (The planets’ positive and negative elements are like the advantages and drawbacks of the Signs they rule over. We will talk about ruling planets later on. Trine and sextile aspects are benefic aspects that bring good luck. The conjunct aspect is neuter. It depends on whether the participating planets are favourable (Venus, Jupiter) or unfavourable (Saturn, Pluto). That is, a Moon-Venus aspect or a Sun-Jupiter aspect are favourable. A Moon-Saturn aspect or a Sun-Pluto aspect are unfavourable.
Let’s now see a Zodiac that includes the Planets:
We see the Sun at the 06Ο 52΄ degree of Leo, the Ascendant at the 00Ο 12΄degree of Aries and the Moon at the 27Ο 42΄ degree of Libra. Then we look for the other planets, at which degree of which Sign they are.
Sun is at the same degree with Mars, at 6th of Leo, that means that these two planets are in conjunct. Venus in 27degrees Gemini is in trine with Moon 27degrees Libra. The Trine Aspect is 120 degrees. If we count from 27 Gemini to 27 Cancer = 30 degrees. 27Gemini to 27Leo = 60 degrees. 27 Gemini to 27Virgo = 90 degrees, 27Gemini to 27 Libra = 120 degrees. As we know that every Sign has 30 degrees, we can count the distance.
In the conjunct, square, opposite, and trine aspects, the degrees may be plus or minus 7, depending on the Astrologer. That is, if Venus is 27 degrees Gemini and the Moon is 23 Libra, therefore 116 degrees, we take it as a trine aspect. In the sextile aspects, the accepted orb is smaller, plus or minus 3 degrees.
The next aspect we see is the Opposition of the Moon 27 Libra to Uranus 28 Aries. They are exactly opposite each other, which equals 180 degrees (half a circle, 360 divided by 2). The accepted orb is plus or minus 1 degree in this aspect. Uranus in 28 Aries forms a sextile aspect with Venus in 27 Gemini. (30+30=60). The accepted orb is once again plus or minus 1 degree, so this hexagon is 59 degrees. Similarly, we see that Jupiter in 16 Libra forms a square aspect with Pluto in 17 Capricorn.
A test to experiment.
How many degrees apart is Mercury from Mars?
How many degrees apart is Jupiter from Saturn?
How many degrees apart is Venus from Saturn?
How many degrees apart is 05 Leo from 05 Scorpio?
How many degrees apart is 17 Aquarius from 20 Pisces?
So, we learned how to count the aspects. Let’s get to the Houses of the Chart.
Houses divide the Zodiac into 12 parts as well, but not equal ones. Depending on the longitude and latitude of the place where we were born, the Houses’ sizes may vary. The 1st House might be very large, about 35 degrees, or very small, about 25 degrees. Also, every House has the same size as its opposite one. Let’s study an example of this.
We see a Chart with the Ascendant in 13Ο 27΄ Libra. The 1st House always starts from the Ascendant. As seen on the Chart, the 1st House ends in 10Ο51΄ Scorpio, where the 2nd House begins. The 3rd House begins in 11Ο 51΄ Sagittarius, the 4th in 15Ο 14΄ Capricorn, the 5th in 18Ο 13΄ Aquarius and the 6th begins in 18Ο 02΄ Pisces. So, these are the first 6 Houses in the Zodiac, those found in the lower hemisphere of the Circle. Now, we see that the Houses found on the exact opposite from them begin in the same degrees. For instance, the 1st is opposite from the 7th, the 1st begins in 13Ο 27΄ Libra and the 7th in 13Ο 27΄ Scorpio. This goes for all the other Houses too.
Where the 10th House begins, in 15Ο14΄ Cancer, is the Midheaven (Mc) or Zenith, that is, the highest point in the sky, at noon. It might be more to the left or right, depending on the place we were born and how it appears to us. Respectively, where the 4th House begins, in 15Ο 14΄ Capricorn is the Ic or Nadir, the lowest point in the sky.
Houses have the nature of Signs, wherever they may be within the Zodiac, so they bear their properties.
The 1st House bears the properties of Aries, whatever its position may be.
The 2nd House bears the properties of Taurus.
The 3rd House bears the properties of Gemini etc.
When planets are in the cusps, that is, very close to the point where the House begins, they have great power.
In our figure, we have Jupiter in 14Ο 15΄ Libra, that is, in the cusp of the 1st House or Ascendant. So, it takes features from Aries. Jupiter is very powerful here, not just for being close to the 1st House’s cusp, but also because the Ascendant (cusp of the 1st House) is always the most powerful point within the Horoscope. Then, the planets who are in the 4th, 7th and 10th Houses also have big power. Those four Houses (1,4,7,10) are called angular Houses. The Moon and Saturn are in the 3rd House, so they receive Gemini features. Pluto is near the 4th House’s cusp, it is powerful and receives Cancer features. The Sun is one degree before the 10th House’s cusp (Midheaven), the accepted orb is about 3 degrees, so the Sun is drawn by the 10th House’s cusp and we won’t count it as if it was in the 9th House. Therefore, the Sun receives features of Capricorn which is the tenth Sign; it is also powerful. Mars and Mercury are also in the 10th House, they are powerful and receive Capricorn features too. Venus is in the 8th House and receives features of the eighth Sign which is Scorpio.
The next step is learning how planet combinations function.