Aspects measure significant angles between planets and points in a chart. Astrologers use aspects to understand how these different factors blend together. Aspects are measured in longitude, the position of a planet in the Zodiac‘s 360 degree circle. Planets are considered to be in aspect with one another if they fall within a certain number of degrees of the precise aspect angle. This allowance is called the “orb” and may differ from astrologer to astrologer. There are two broad categories of aspects called “hard” and “soft.”The hard aspects indicate challenges to be met in life. The soft aspects indicate where qualities flow together easily. The following is a list of major aspects. Some astrologers use additional aspects, or divisions of the Zodiac, which are called “minor aspects.”CONJUNCTION Angle: Zero degrees (like a New Moon). Hard or soft depending upon the planets involved. Planets in the same place. Reinforcement of planetary qualities; a concentration of influence. Potential for new birth.
OPPOSITION Angle: 180 degrees (like a Full Moon, division of the circle by 2). A hard aspect which has two planets facing one another. This can indicate polarization, separation of the two functions or projection of one of the planets on others. The opposition, though, can also bring awareness through objectivity (seeing both sides).
SQUARE Angle: 90 degrees (division of the Zodiac by 4) Also semisquare and sesquiquadrate (45 and 135 degrees or 1/8 and 3/8 of the Zodiac circle). The square “family” of hard aspects spotlights challenge or tension and a need for changes symbolized by the planets, houses, and signs involved. Development, construction, commitment, turns in the road or roadblocks. Squares are arguably the most difficult of all the aspects.
TRINE Angle: 120 degrees (division of the Zodiac by 3). A soft aspect indicating a smooth flow of events and a clarity of vision with respect to the planets, houses, and signs involved. Confidence. Harmony. Creativity.
SEXTILE Angle: 60 degrees (division of the Zodiac by 6). A soft aspect similar to a trine, lacking some of the vision, but more work-oriented, bringing clarity, drive and facilitating communication.
QUINCUNX or INCONJUNCT Angle: 150 degrees (5/12 of the Zodiac) A moderately hard aspect indicating obligation, reorganization. Adjustments, as symbolized by the planets, houses, and signs involved.Incongruity. Fence-sitting.