Sometimes groups of black aspect lines or red aspect lines form patterns in the center of a birth chart. These aspect patterns are filled with black or red and are special in different ways. Black shapes are formed by Squares and Oppositions. Red shapes are formed by Trines and Sextiles.
Some aspect patterns are common while others are rare. Whatever the frequency of the pattern, they are all significant as they will amplify the effects of all the aspects that form them. The planets that form the aspect patterns also have increased influence.
The T-Square is the most common aspect pattern. A T-square is a very active but highly uncomfortable pattern which consists of an opposition between two or more planets and a third planet placed at a point square to these. This combines all the difficulties of an opposition (relationship problems and blockages) with the complications of a square (both elements of the opposition being hindered, aggravated, frustrated, stimulated, or pushed by demands from the metaphorical components of the energy represented by the planet forming the square.
It can be an indicator of one who delights in non-conformist behavior. In some cases it can tend to block the flow of emotions. It is usually found to be a constant source of energy and, depending on the planets involved, can be a beneficial influence. The charts of many who have made an impact on society during their lives contains one or more T-Squares.
Essentially in a T-square pattern there is an individual (or event) with a built-in relationship challenge — or clear issues in dealings with other people — simultaneously stressed by demands from a third area of his life which are antagonistic to both the qualities he owns and the qualities he likely projects onto other people.
In trying to solve the problems between himself and “others” — usually his partners — he will have to also cope with personal qualities and experiences at odds with both his interests and desires and those of his relationship. This represents an intense and highly agitated way to deal with life — because instead of trying to please only two masters … this driven individual has at least three to satisfy.
The planet in point focus will resolve the problems generated by the opposition. Difficult and lacks ease in operation. The person is often very tense and lacking in fulfilment within the areas occupied by the planets. Much hard work and understanding is required in order to render the configuration harmonious and productive.
- Cardinal T-Square: are the most active and the most inclined to plunge into crises related to their personal activities, home and family life, love relationships or professional commitments. They need to cultivate balance, moderation, awareness of other people, perspective and the ability to evaluate and compromise.
- Fixed T-Square: display considerable strength of will, concentrated power and determination, particularly in regard to satisfying their own desires; they build up their energy slowly and then release it in a powerful manner, like a truck climbing a steep hill and then speeding down the other side. They usually need to discover constructive outlets for their intense energy and to develop a sense of values which includes sensitivity to other people’s desires and needs.
- Mutable T-Square: these people are usually over adaptable, changeable, restless, versatile, and very much concerned with and influenced by personal relationships. Like a team of water skiers in formation, they need to cultivate balance in relationship to other people, often by discovering a sense of purpose or mission which centres them and keeps them from being pulled in too many directions.
A T-square represents stress for all parts of the configuration, and by definition involves a fair chunk of those issues astrology examines and describes. At least 30% of the chart is invested somehow in experiencing and handling these concerns. Strategies for handling a T-square are very complicated and rarely satisfactory, but people with T-squares in their natal charts are known to be ambitious and productive, pushed and driven as they are by the “task-master” energy their T-square energy represents.
They become masters at multi-tasking, time-sharing, and compromise … but they rarely know much serenity, and their relationships are often uneasy and, at the same time, central to their lives. They’ve got a lot going on — always. And a lot to work out — always. For them, something is always getting jangled — even if it’s only the Moon in its monthly passage dragging up chronic emotional issues and hot-button irritations they have to handle over and over again.
The Grand Trine is uncommon. It is formed by three planets in a Trine aspect to each other, and forms a large red equilateral triangle. Traditional astrology regards this as a highly benevolent and charming configuration. There is, however, a tendency to inertia and acceptance thereby nullifying the tremendous advantages of the configuration. In many instances, one with a Grand Trine will put their gratifications above the needs of others. A lack of self-discipline is indicated as a warning against giving in to excess. The sense of contentment bestowed by the Grand Trine may also limit self-development and the ability to cope with the adversities of life.
- Grand Fire Trine: ceaseless energy and vitality but will have difficulty slowing down, understanding another person’s point of view, or channelling energy in response to another persons needs.
- Grand Earth Trine: able to apply themselves successfully to a job and will easily attract and manage material resources, but may become bound by ambition or mundane concerns and closed to other sources of meaning in life.
- Grand Air Trine: may be intellectually and socially a world to themselves, able to provide their own mental stimulation, but often able to turn off the mind and deal directly with emotional or practical issues.
- Grand Water Trine: have an active emotional life and a high degree of sensitivity, but may be unable to share their feelings with other people or rise above their feelings and view themselves objectively.
Minor Grand Trine
The Minor Grand Trine is a common aspect pattern. It occurs when one planet sextiles two planets that are in a trine aspect and forms a long red triangle. This favorable pattern is associated with creativity and intelligence. Depending on the planet that sextiles the other two, above average communications abilities may also be present. If you have a Minor Grand Trine in your chart, you can depend on being able to put your plans into action and achieve positive results. This pattern also highlights intuition and insight.
Indicates a special gift or talent which should be used by the person, but the talent may not be utilized.
The focal planet could be referred to as the mission in life, the finger of God, the finger of fate, the ultimate destiny.
Grand Cross / Mystic Rectangle
A rare configuration that involves two sets of oppositions, with the four planets involved all squaring each other. Those with a Grand Square in their birth charts can be the best and the worst. Generally these people are their own worst enemies and may tend to show little capacity for self discipline and moderation in their lives. The forces that are triggered with this configuration can be controlled with patience and determination, leading to an outstandingly purposeful life. It can bestow perspective, balance, and social awareness. It may be seen as indicating important karmic lessons that must be resolved. Success or failure apart, the person has a cross to bear.
The rarest of all aspect patterns, the Grand Sextile is formed when six planets Sextile each other. It also contains two Grand Trines and three Oppositions. It forms a large red hexagram on the birth chart and indicates an outstanding degree of versatility. A highly magnetic and charismatic personality is likely. With so much potential, the subject of a Grand Sextile should be encouraged to become specialized in at least one area of skill. Self-discipline should be seen as a crucial area of personal development.
A high concentration of planets in one area of the chart always indicates tremendous strength and can therefore govern the chart.