What the @#!* is my astrologer talking about? A quick guide to trines, squares, and more

halfmoonIf you love reading your horoscope, you’ve likely come across astrologers talking about aspects – squares, trines, oppositions, sextiles, conjunctions, inconjuncts, and more.

The planets are always on the move. The aspects they form are measured by their distance to each other and the angles they create. Some aspects are “soft” in that they are easier, or more supportive.

Others are “hard” aspects that can feel more challenging, though that doesn’t necessarily mean any aspects are either good or bad.

There is no black and white. Everyone can be affected by aspects in different ways, and depending on what else is happening in your chart, you might not feel certain aspects at all.

I like to explain aspects as something that happens when the planets enter into some kind of dialogue together. It might be a face-off or a shouting match. It might be a beautiful relationship. Whatever it is, aspects wake up different energies and introduce themes into our collective and individual lives.

Here’s a quick introduction to six major aspects:  

Conjunct: Planets are conjunct when they are in the same sign, zero degrees apart. This means they are travelling very close to each other. Conjunctions are considered the strongest aspects, as two planets are joining forces. It’s like having a concentrated dose of their energies combined. Although this is a strong aspect, its influence will depend on the planets themselves, and the sign they are in.

Sextile: A soft aspect. Sextiles occur when planets are 60 degrees apart. Sextiles can show where your creativity or ideas can flourish – there may be an opportunity for you to uncover. They can also show where bursts of inspiration or “ah-a” moments may be waiting. When I’m working with my own chart, I often find that sextiles have introduced certain people or key conversations into my life that sparked new ideas or pathways.

Square: A hard aspect. Squares happen when planets are 90 degrees apart. Often, the planets will contradict each other in some way. They introduce some kind of tension, conflict, or challenge. While squares can bring up frustrations, they can still be productive. If you pay attention to the lessons they bring, they can be quite productive in helping you to wake up to certain changes that need to be made.

Trine: When planets are 120 degrees apart. These planets will be in the same element – earth, air, fire, or water. A trine indicates opportunities, happiness, and breakthroughs. In your natal chart, a trine can indicate where you can find your gifts and luck in this lifetime.

Inconjunct (or quincunx): When two planets are separated by 150 degrees, or five signs apart. This is another hard aspect. There is stress between these two planets because they will be in signs that don’t have any connection to each other. It’s like mixing oil and water – they just don’t want to blend. Things can feel contradictory, or confusing. It can also bring up “opposites attract” situations.

Opposition: When two planets are separated by 180 degrees. This means the planets will be in opposite signs of the zodiac (i.e. Aries vs. Libra). Oppositions can introduce things into your life. They can indicate external circumstances like people and situations that may challenge you. Oppositions can also be things you feel you can’t do, or are told you can’t do. Themes of power struggles, alienation, and misunderstandings can come up. You might have to rebel against or break away from something.

Remember that you will feel every single aspect, transit, or other astrological influence. We are all affected by astrology in different ways. Some aspects might not be what you need right now, or not what you are choosing to work with.

Understanding the energies that are available to you, and the themes we are moving through collectively, is simply one more way you can deepen your self-awareness and potential for growth.

If you’d like to learn more about yourself, an astrology reading can help. Book one here.

Until next time,

Liz xo

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