Depth analysis of Astrological Aspects
The student next to me seemed about to burst with enthusiasm. He was having a “eureka!” experience. Waving his hand in the air, not waiting to be called on, he blurted, “Soooo, some squares are squarer than others!“
The teacher replied, “If by that you mean some planetary, or psychological, energy combinations are more challenging and potentially problematic as well as growth producing, the answer is ‘yes.’ Definitely some squares are squarer than others!”
He then referred us back to the twelve signs of the zodiac and reminded us that those were to be considered as six polarity pairs. For instance, Aries and Libra are a pair, as inseparable as two sides of a coin, and so on for all the other signs. He suggested we look at the sign rulers to see what their “natural” or zodiacal relationship was. In the example of Aries-Libra, the rulers are Mars (Aries) opposition Venus (Libra), therefore, in any chart with a Venus-Mars aspect, that aspect has the flavor, or underlying tint of the opposition aspect, and requires a balancing act between attraction and desire, between “us and we” vs. “I and me.”
Next we looked at the rulers of the signs in the same modalities, for example, Cardinal: Aries/Mars, Cancer/Moon, Libra/Venus, and Capricorn/Saturn.
Moon square Mars is the “natural” relationship. The urge to nurture and be nurtured is challenged by the urge to be independent, assertive, and even aggressive in pursuing action and desires. You get the image of an infantryman, rifle at the ready, going into battle (Mars) and at the same time trying to nurse an infant (Moon); or picture a Viking berserker sitting in diapers in a playpen, sucking on a pacifier. It is hard to visualize these images, and surreal when you do! There is a feeling of “damned if I do, damned if I don’t!” with a Moon square Mars. Both energies must be honored, and the challenge is to overcome the frustration somehow, and be appropriately nurtured as well as self-sufficient. Moon-Mars is a “squarer ” square.
Moon and Venus, on the other hand, is a less “square” square. Venus is exalted in Pisces (trine Cancer, the Moon’s sign), and the Moon is exalted in Taurus (Venus’ sign, sextile Cancer). At worst, it is like a mother-in-law joke – a young wife at odds with hubby’s mom. Yet, it has a potential for a greater harmony. Plus, both energies are “yin” or feminine, while Moon and Mars are “yin” and “yang” or feminine against masculine.
Just as some squares are “squarer” than others; so too, some trines are “triner.” The rulers of signs in the same element will be in a “naturally” trine relationship to each other, as the rulers of signs in the same modality were in a “naturally” square relationship.
The Fire sign rulers, Mars, Sun and Jupiter are “good buddies,” as are Venus, Mercury and Saturn (Earth sign rulers), Mercury, Venus and Uranus (Air sign rulers), and Moon, Pluto and Neptune (Water sign rulers) If we take the “old rulers” of Scorpio, Aquarius and Pisces, we notice that Mercury, Venus and Saturn (co-ruler of Aquarius) are naturally trine both in Earth and Air. The “old rulers” of Scorpio and Pisces are Mars and Jupiter. Now we know that Mars and Jupiter get along “trinely” with the Sun, but with the Moon as well? Well, yes, Jupiter does. Remember, he is exalted in the Moon’s sign, Cancer. But Mars is more compatible with the Moon if the birth time is after sunset and before sunrise, i.e. a “night chart.”
So, OK, then what about the Moon with the outer planets: Pluto and Neptune? Well, here we have to talk to the person, dialogue with him, see what his level of consciousness is. The chart will absolutely not tell you that! If the person has done his homework so to speak, is mature, has examined his life and gone beyond childish emotions, beyond herd-consciousness mentality and developed his own individuality, has “individuated,” then Moon-Pluto and Moon-Neptune work very well. A Moon-Neptune person will have developed compassion and understanding for all life on the universal level. He or she has a sense of unity. A Moon-Pluto person will have emotionally embraced the deepest levels of his being, integrated his inner darkness or “shadow,” thereby “owning” his power and establishing his fundamental sense of values and security at a profound level. Remember, when Superman’s dark half split off, and its evil character wrecked havoc, and the “good” Superman couldn’t do anything, he had totally lost his power! That’s what happens when Moon-Pluto tries to be all “white-lighty” and won’t ‘fess up to himself that there is no human evil he couldn’t commit or think about committing under extreme circumstances.
If, however, he is immature, is still living in “herd consciousness,” then he is likely to be a “hopeless case” just “looking for the magic,” asking the astrologer, “When will I meet Mr./Miss Right; when will I win the lottery?” Why is this so? Because it is not possible to “own” the transpersonal energies symbolized by Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. As Antero Ali discussed in the March 1999 talk at SBAS, free will exists only out to Saturn, and the Cosmos steps in with the outer planets to work through you, not for you. When individuals try to use these energies for personal gain or agrandizement, and they will try when these planets are configured with the personal planets (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars) there is literally “hell to pay” either in their personal lives or on the collective level. Just look at the Jim Jones, the Marshall Applewhites, the Adolph Hitlers!
Those energies use us to accomplish evolutionary purposes. We do not and cannot use them for personal purposes. Think of them as the Will of God or the Mind of God [the will to good] which is Uranus, the Love of God [the love of the true, the good, the beautiful] which is Neptune, and the Power of God [power of love, of good] which is Pluto. Now, why is Pluto, the “Power of Love, of Good,” associated with the underworld, with filth and degradation? Well, those things serve evolutionary purposes. It is Lord Shiva, the God of Destruction. What does he ultimately destroy? Ignorance. The force of evolution, which is Pluto, uses catastrophe, devastation, and destruction to clear the path for regeneration, renewal and the building of new and better forms.
So if you have Sun in aspect to Pluto or Moon in aspect to Pluto, do not try to grab power for you own self-agrandizement, nor relinquish your power to someone or something else (a guru, a political or religious philosophy or cult). It is difficult! You will spend much of your life in power struggles with others, feel powerless or all-powerful until you really get it. “He who would save his live will loose it, he who would loose his life, will have life everlasting.” The outer planets demand that the individual surrenders his sense of self to his sense of self, let his ego die in deference to the Higher Power. So long as the ego (I, me, mine, as special and unique) holds sway in the chart with personal planets aspected to the outer three, life is hell!
So, Moon with Neptune stop looking for the perfect love relationship with another human being. and Jesus is not going to marry you! Sun with Uranus may think he is Prometheus, bringing the fire of the gods to mankind, like the scientists who developed the atomic bomb. But remember the torture Prometheus had to suffer for doing that! And when Pluto’s with a personal planet, learn to serve the power of evolution in a detached way. Pluto asks you to move; resist and He actively moves you; continue to resist and He removes you!
We notice that Mercury, Venus and Saturn are naturally in harmony. Because, in reality, from earth’s perspective, Mercury and Venus can never be very far apart; they are never far from the Sun; they are the two messengers of the God (Sun), angels. Mercury carries the Word; Venus brings the Love.
Saturn is the Lord of Time; patience, perseverance, endurance, step-by-step slow advancement, persistence, responsibility are the key words. These very qualities make Mercury the scholar, the writer, the scientist and Venus the artist, the musician, the sculptor. It takes time and patience to master knowledge and art. Mercury and Venus are our perceptions; Mercury is the left-brain linear, verbal, logical and analytical mind; Venus is the right-brain, the sense of space relationship, non-verbal, alogical, holistic and synthetic mind.
Many scientific types struggle with some sort of Mercury-Saturn affliction. They may have speech impediments such as stuttering or hearing impairments, but they have clear (Saturn) minds, often are mathematically gifted.
Great artists have had Venus-Saturn afflictions. Their love lives may not have been enviable, but their works have brought beauty and inspiration to all peoples everywhere.
When we feel frustrated by the things that Saturn represents, especially if we have Mercury and/or Venus in aspect to it, it is good to remember that Saturn is the friend not the culprit. Our culture’s conditioning to expect everything fast and painless is at fault, not Saturn. Saturn makes us pay our dues, but then gives back with interest, if we have done our work and executed our responsibilities.
- Planets with a “natural” square flavor are: Moon square Mars, Moon square Venus, Venus square Saturn, and Mars square Saturn.
- Planets with a “natural” trine tint are: Mars, Sun, Jupiter, and Mercury, Venus, Saturn, and Mercury, Venus, Uranus, and Moon, Pluto, Neptune.
So, for instance if you have a Sun-Mars conjunction, that has and underlying coloration of the trine, energy, creativity and enthusiasm. If you have a Mars-Saturn conjunction, that has a hint of the square, energy and restriction.
You have to pace yourself or risk “burn out.” Of course, check to see what sign is involved. If the Sun-Mars conjunction is in a water sign it may be more problematic than if it is in a fire sign. If the Mars-Saturn is in Aries, Mars is stronger (Mars rules Aries and Saturn is in Fall in Aries) and it will be felt as very frustrating, while if it is in Capricorn it may make for a very happy and successful workaholic (Mars is exalted in Capricorn and Saturn owns Capricorn).
Keep in mind that planets always carry with them their natal meanings and implications whether by transit or progression techniques. If you have a natal Sun trine Jupiter and transiting Jupiter is squaring or opposing your natal Sun, it still has the trine flavor, it brings lucky opportunities or too much of a good thing sometimes. If you have a natal Mars-Saturn-Pluto conjunction and transiting Pluto is trining it while transiting Mars and Saturn are squaring it, that natal triple conjunction is going to get pretty hot! Check the chart of First Lady Hillary Clinton with that triple conjunction in Leo in the third house. Everything that the triple conjunction implies is going to come up: anger or assertion (Mars), ambition (Saturn), power (Pluto), as well as leadership (Leo) and communication (third house).
To conclude, some squares are “squarer,” some trines are “triner.” Lots of squares means lots of energy, challenge, and, hopefully, ambition for accomplishment. Lots of trines are easy, lucky and there’s the danger of just sitting on your laurels and not doing anything with you gifts, talents and abilities! Who’s to say trines are better than squares? If you’ve got lots of squares, use your consciousness to build in some trine energy, to create your own luck, to ease up on yourself and everybody else. If you’ve got lots of trines and sextiles, create some square energy, build in some challenges, set some goals, force yourself to push beyond the “comfort zone” every day in some area.
About the author:
Eleanor Buckwalter has studied, practiced and taught astrology in Los Altos, CA for more than twenty-five years, including three years with the late Richard Idemon, a psychological astrologer. Her primary astrological focus of interest is parent-child relationships and family dynamics.