Do you ever feel at odds with yourself? Maybe it’s connecting your head to your heart, communicating what you want effectively, or some other personal problem. Maybe you feel destined to do something great, the need to achieve something, or maybe feeling like you’re always unlucky. Interestingly, the answers may just lie in your birth chart.
A birth chart is a blueprint of you – aspects of your personality, areas of life, and the fine details. At the time of our birth, we each immediately have a birth chart. This chart is pictured as a circular graph that represents the 360 degrees of the night sky based on our vantage point on Earth. Within this chart, we each have several aspecting planets, signs, asteroids, and more! Depending on the aspects, multi-planetary aspects can form. Multi-planetary aspects are special pictures that essentially hold meaning within themselves, the same way the lines between two aspecting bodies do within the chart. With these celestial bodies aspecting one another, thus making up multi-planetary aspects, we can begin to uncover even more information about ourselves in our charts.
The Major, Median, and Minor Aspects
The major, commonplace aspects are conjunct, oppose, sextile, square, and trine. We consider these commonplace as they can be found in the majority of birth charts and daily planetary transits. We consider these major as these aspects have a resounding effect on everyday life.
Conjunct/Conjunction This refers to 0 degrees separating two or more planets/signs/bodies. In other words, conjunct aspects are neutral, if happy, aspects as these celestial bodies share the same sign. A great example of this would be Aries Sun conjunct Aries Venus. Regarding synastry between two people or within one individual’s chart, conjunct aspects allude to an immediate connection or understanding in the governing celestial bodies. So, the Aries Sun conjunct Aries Venus alludes to an immediate understanding between the core ego (Sun) and how the individual loves/is in partnerships (Venus).
Oppose/Opposition On the opposite hand, opposing aspects mean that there is a separation of 180 degrees, so six signs apart. Oppose aspects refer to the polarity between signs. All opposing aspects include Aries-Libra, Cancer-Capricorn, Taurus-Scorpio, Leo-Aquarius, Gemini-Sagitarrius, and Virgo-Pisces. Opposing aspects mean one of two things; 1) this can be a powerful dynamic, or 2) a disaster. Sometimes, having opposing signs alludes to the power of mastering the strengths of both signs, which means that reaching for the strengths of a Capricorn also strengthens the weaknesses of a Cancer, and vice versa. With much deliberation, self-mastery, and maturity, opposing aspects can bring on the best of both worlds. If left unattended or disregarded, these opposing aspects can create stress, awkwardness, tension, frustration, and confusion.
Square When celestial bodies square one another, this occurs at three signs apart, a.k.a. at 90 degrees. Square aspects are difficult aspects as two parts of us are at odds with one another. Signs who square one another often share the same modality (cardinal/fixed/mutable), so the signs have the potential to get along. However, there is still tension and friction which will either bring the aspects together, or cause stress. It’s ultimately up to the individual to decide on how they choose to appraise a square aspect.
Sextile At two signs apart, so at 60 degrees, sextile aspects are harmonious, cooperative aspects. Sextile aspects occur between Water-Earth pairings and Air-Fire pairings. An example would be a Cancer Sun sextile Virgo Sun, or Aries Moon sextile Gemini Moon. Although different, sextile aspects allude to an easy-going, good-natured relationship.
Trine When two or more celestial bodies trine, this refers to the celestial bodies as having signs that share the same element. Trines are only possible at four signs apart, so occurring at 120 degrees. Which means there are only four possible elemental trines: Fire (Aries/Leo/Sagitarrius), Water (Cancer/Scorpio/Pisces), Earth (Capricorn/Taurus/Virgo), and Air (Libra/Aquarius/Gemini). This is a harmonious, fluid aspect to have as these signs are so similar that they naturally get along. Trine aspects create a feeling of where one sign stops, the other sign picks right back up.
The median aspect is quincunx. This is considered median as it’s not represented as often as the major aspects, but when it does occur, it can have as much influence or power. Quincunx occurs at 150 degrees, so five signs apart. This is a tense, awkward aspect. These signs aspecting at quincunx want to get along, however, constant adjustment and communication are needed to bring the aspecting signs together. Self-mastery, compassion, and empathy is key to making the most of a quincunx.
The minor aspects include semisextile, semisquare, and sesquiquadrate. These aspects are minor as they don’t quite occur often, hold minimal power, but can still lead to quite the conundrum if left unadvised. All minor aspects occur within +/- 2 degrees of the determined degree the aspect has. So, if semisextile aspects are 30 degrees with +/- 2, then this also initially widens the range of degrees the aspect could occur at. In other words, semisextile often occurs at 30 degrees, but could also occur within 28 to 32 degrees.
Semisextile At 30 (+/- 2) degrees, semisextile aspects may occur. Semisextile aspects create minor tensions and awkwardness, but because semisextile aspects can be so insignificant, they may not have a huge influence on everyday life.
Semisquare Occurring at 45 (+/- 2) degrees, semisquare aspects can create mild, internal conflict. If left unattended, the internal conflicts can become externalized into everyday situations. Semisquare aspects call for self-mastery through calmness, rationalization, and clear judgment.
Sesquiquadrate Lastly, sesquiquadrate aspects occur at 135 (+/- 2) degrees, creating a deep-seated tension and urge to act out because of the tension. This aspect alludes to a suppressed conflict or negative energy. Unlike square aspects, sesquiquadrates may not be immediately recognized or apprehended, thus leaving the debilitating qualities of an untreated sesquiquadrate to fester. Control through healthy coping mechanisms and emotional regulation is key when apprehending this aspect.
The Basic Multi-Planetary Aspects
If there are enough aspecting signs within the chart, then this can form a funky multi-planetary aspect. It would be fairly unusual for a chart to lack an aspect, so most individuals can find at least one multi-planetary aspect within their chart. These can make up the pictures, or figures we may see within our charts and can add more details to the bigger picture – our lives.
T-Square With the square and opposition aspects, a T-Square can form within the chart. Named after its “T” shape, the T-Square is composed of a focal point (highest degree in the aspect) and a release point (lowest degree). The focal point is the area of tension, awkwardness, and stress within the chart whereas the release point is where the energy can be refocused. Although the T-Square points towards conflict, it also points towards the drive and vigor one needs to resolve the conflict. Because it’s composed of major aspects, this is one of the more common multi-planetary aspects.
Grand Trine Like a Trine, a Grand Trine forms as a perfect triangle when three (or more) aspecting bodies have the three elemental signs. For example, a Grand Trine may be composed of an Aries Sun, Leo Mars, and Sagittarius Pluto. Essentially, all these bodies are the same degrees away from one another, creating a perfect triangle. Within this aspect is also the dominant (or one of many) element in the chart. Grand Trines are auspicious multi-planetary aspects as these aspects allude to parts of the personality that flow really well with one another. In other words, the individual possesses all the wonderful qualities, gifts, and traits of the three elemental signs.
Cradle/Trapeze A Cradle (or Trapeze) is formed from two signs that oppose one another, one more sign that trines an opposing sign, and another sign that sextiles the other opposing sign. Cradles are powerful multi-planetary aspects as they allude to great conflicts and hardships in an individual’s life. However, the Cradle also holds the key to rising above each difficulty. Luckily, the ability to heal and grow from stressors is a possibility as Cradles are composed of complementary elements (Fire/Air or Water/Earth). The energy of the Cradle aspect calls for the individual to consistently work towards self-mastery through deliberation, accountability, responsibility, self-love, and self-compassion. Because Cradles are half of a Grand Sextile, the energy within the Cradle can be ultimately rewarding.
Grand Sextile Similar to the Star of David in shape, the Grand Sextile aspect is made up of two opposing elemental Grand Trines. So, if an individual has both water and earth (or fire/air) Grand Trines, then the Trines come together to form the Grand Sextile. But this isn’t the only way to form a Grand Sextile, as other aspects can be used to create the dynamic, rare aspect. In total, Grand Sextiles call for FIFTEEN aspects!! This makes the Grand Sextile not only rare but utterly powerful as this individual with the Grand Sextile harnesses a plethora of gifts.
Grand Cross/Square Yikes. Composed of four signs at the square aspect, the Grand Cross/Square is one of the rarer multi-planetary aspects. The “X” within this aspect seems to mean, “X marks the spot… of great difficulty and upheaval in this individual’s life.” Astrologers consider the Grand Cross/Square to be one of the more difficult aspects to live with as it bodes great tension, stress, upheaval, conflict, bad luck, and more. At least the signs within the Grand Cross/Square share the same modality, so self-mastery is possible.
Yod Also known as the “Finger of God/Fate”, Yods are compromised of two signs that are sextile to one another, then both signs are also quincunx with the third sign. Although rare, this is not an easy multi-planetary aspect to facilitate. Individuals with Yods almost hear the clock ticking down to the minute, creating a strong sense that they need to hurry. Because of this, Yods often hold the power to awaken great spiritual and emotional discovery – a gift, if you will. Unfortunately, Yods can also allude to a more “difficult” personality… This isn’t to say the individual is difficult, but rather, there are aspects within the Yod that work against the individual’s personality. This can create stress, frustration, and tension if left untreated or ignored. However, the Finger of God brings forth emotional, mental, and spiritual gifts/awakenings/strengths/discoveries that ultimately make up for the negative and positive occurrences at play. The Yod is the Finger of Fate for a reason – but its ultimately up to the individual to act upon the aspect to gain it’s full benefits.
Kite Starting with either a Yod or Grand Trine, the Kite is then finished off with one opposing aspect. Depending on what planetary aspect is at play with the opposition, the Kite may be easy to facilitate. If the Kite begins with a Grand Trine and opposing aspect, the Grand Trine allows for fluidity and the opposing aspect could be seen as a “missing” link needed for a well-rounded Kite. Kites that are made up of a Yod and opposing aspect can be frustrating as the focal point is there, but other aspects may block reaching the focal point. Yod-based Kites call for more control and self-mastery than a Grand Trine-based Kite.. Yod-based Kites call for more control and self-mastery than a Grand Trine-based Kite. Regardless, the Kite can also allude to fate and destiny (especially Yod-based Kites).
Rectangle/Mystic Rectangle Composed of two trine/sextile aspects and two opposing aspects, the Mystic Rectangle is rarer if under-appreciated aspect. The beauty in opposition aspects is that one sign will offer the significant traits and gifts that the other sign may lack, and vice versa. The sextile/trine aspects make for a more harmonious aspect already. Together, the Mystic Rectangle may refer to tension and stress earlier in life, where self-mastery has not yet been reached. However, the negative effects of this aspect are minimal and are usually outweighed by the benefits of the aspect. The major benefit of having a Mystic Rectangle is that there is a great sense of peace as each aspect works together to create balance within the individual.
Practice Makes Perfect!
With this article in hand, I implore you to create your own birth chart to see how your own aspects play out, and even if any create a multi-planetary aspect!
I suggest using Astro-Charts to create your own birth chart. This is a really nifty site to use as it does a great job on color-coding aspects, which makes it easier to see which aspects are which. It also breaks down your chart into the multi-planetary aspects that are within it.
Although rather difficult to see these individual details within the chart, and to pick out the multi-planetary aspects, practice does make perfect. So, a website like Astro-Charts may aide in deciphering what a multi-planetary aspect looks like alone versus in the birth chart. Through trial and error, you too can learn how to pick apart any chart.
~ As above, so below.