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Chapter 13

Amazing Aspects: The Secrets of Cosmic Geometry

In This Chapter

bulletDiscovering the most important planetary aspects

bulletDetermining the aspects in your chart

bulletUnderstanding the minor aspects

bulletDeciphering the meanings of the aspects

Knowing the position of the planets by sign and by house isn’t enough. To comprehend the true complexity of an astrological chart, you need to know how the planets interact with each other. That information is revealed by the mathematical angles, or aspects, between the planets.

Consider the case of a woman whose Venus, the planet of love, is located within a few short degrees of Jupiter, the planet of good fortune. That combination makes expressing affection and finding love easy for her. But what if both planets are 90° from Saturn? With that harsh right angle, pessimism and disappointment enter the picture. Now you have a charming individual who easily attracts others yet is never content with them — a person who, like Groucho Marx, doesn’t want to be in a club that would have her as a member.

To detect that kind of internal process in your own chart, you need to know the degree of the zodiac that each planet occupies. That information, which is beyond the scope of this book, is easy to get via the Internet. (See Chapter 2 for tips on how to do that.) Once you have a copy of your chart, you’re ready to pick out the major aspects in it. Take my word for it: It’s a snap.

Identifying the Major Aspects

An astrological chart, like any circle, has 360°, with each sign of the zodiac covering exactly 30°, or one-twelfth of the whole. Within that circle, each pair of planets is separated by a specific number of degrees. Planets at certain significant distances from each other form an aspect. Table 13-1 lists the major aspects, along with their symbols.


Roughly speaking, there are three types of aspects. If two planets are within a few degrees of each other, they’re conjunct, which means that they operate in unison. If two planets are 60° or 120° apart, they support and assist each other. These aspects — sextiles and trines — are considered harmonious. And if two planets are at right angles (90°) or opposite each other (180°), they’re basically at war. These aspects — squares and oppositions — are considered hard.


Look at Oprah Winfrey’s chart (Figure 13-1). She’s a forward-thinking Aquarian with the Moon in optimistic, freedom-loving Sagittarius. She also has a series of aspects, both easy and challenging. They include:

bulletAn exact conjunction between the Sun and Venus at 9° Aquarius

bulletA harmonious trine between Mercury, the planet of communication, at 19° Aquarius and expansive Jupiter, the planet of good fortune, at 16° Gemini

bulletA stressful square between aggressive Mars at 23° Scorpio and Pluto at 24° Leo

Like most people, Oprah has a mix of conjunctions, harmonious aspects, and hard aspects in her chart.


Surprisingly, an “easy” chart festooned with sextiles and trines isn’t necessarily better than a “hard” chart crisscrossed with squares and opposition. Astrologers have long noted that people with harmonious charts run the risk of becoming lazy and self-satisfied, while highly accomplished achievers often have high-stress charts.

Figure 13-1: Oprah Winfrey’s birth chart.


The most powerful aspects occur when the distances between the planets are close to those listed in Table 13-1. A 90° square, for example, is stronger than an 82° square, regardless of the planets involved. But observation indicates that an aspect doesn’t have to be precise to have an influence. So astrologers allow a little leeway on either side. This leeway is called the orb of influence. Astrologers differ, however, about how large that orb should be. A few generous practitioners use an orb as wide as 14°. Stricter seers permit no more than a 5° orb. Most astrologers, myself included, fall somewhere in the middle.


In general, I recommend using an 8° orb for the conjunction, square, trine, or opposition and a 6° orb for the sextile, which is a slightly weaker aspect. (Minor aspects, which I discuss later in this chapter, can handle only a 2° orb.) In each case, you can tack on an additional 2° if the Sun or Moon is involved. This means that if your Sun is at 14°, any planet between 4° and 24° of your Sun sign is considered conjunct, a planet 52° to 68° away is sextile, and so on. Remember: The tighter the orb, the more powerful the aspect.

Figuring Out Your Aspects

Here’s how to locate the five major aspects in your chart:

bulletConjunctions: You can readily detect conjunctions. If two planets are within 8° of each other (10° if the Sun or the Moon is involved), they’re conjunct. For example, if you have Mars at 5° Sagittarius and Jupiter at 7° Sagittarius, they’re conjunct. The same rule applies even if the two planets are in different signs. For instance, if you have Venus at 28° Capricorn and the Moon at 1° Aquarius, Venus and the Moon are conjunct.

bulletOppositions: To pick out oppositions, look for planets on opposite sides of the chart. Planets in opposing signs often (though not always) form an opposition. To be sure, check whether they’re within orb. If your Mars is at 18° Sagittarius, any planet between 10° and 26° Gemini is in opposition. A planet at 6° Gemini isn’t in opposition.

bulletSquares: Squares are more difficult to spot. Look for planets in signs of the same quality (cardinal, fixed, or mutable). Then check that they’re about 90° apart, plus or minus 8°. If they are, you’ve found the source of your deepest frustrations. In Oprah’s chart, for example, Saturn, at 9° Scorpio, forms a square to Venus — which definitely puts a damper on her love life.

bulletTrines: You find trines between planets in signs of the same element — that is, both planets are in fire, earth, air, or water signs. Maybe you have Mercury in Gemini and Uranus in Libra? If they’re within 8° of each other, they’re trine — in which case, congratulations: You have a quick, original mind.

bulletSextiles: The weakest of the major aspects, sextiles happen between planets that are two signs apart. In Oprah’s chart, for example, Pluto at 24° Leo is sextile Neptune at 26° Libra.

Table 13-2 gives you squares and oppositions at a glance, and Table 13-3 does the same for the harmonious aspects.

Table 13-2 The Hard Aspects

If a Planet Is In . . .

It Squares Planets In . . .

And Opposes Those In . . .


Cancer and Capricorn



Leo and Aquarius



Virgo and Pisces



Aries and Libra



Taurus and Scorpio



Gemini and Sagittarius



Cancer and Capricorn



Leo and Aquarius



Virgo and Pisces



Aries and Libra



Taurus and Scorpio



Gemini and Sagittarius


Table 13-3 The Harmonious Aspects

If a Planet Is In . . .

It Sextiles Planets In . . .

And Trines Those In . . .


Aquarius and Gemini

Leo and Sagittarius


Pisces and Cancer

Virgo and Capricorn


Aries and Leo

Libra and Aquarius


Taurus and Virgo

Scorpio and Pisces


Gemini and Libra

Sagittarius and Aries


Cancer and Scorpio

Taurus and Capricorn


Leo and Sagittarius

Gemini and Aquarius


Virgo and Capricorn

Cancer and Pisces


Libra and Aquarius

Aries and Leo


Scorpio and Pisces

Taurus and Virgo


Sagittarius and Aries

Gemini and Libra


Capricorn and Taurus

Cancer and Scorpio


When planets are in the first few degrees or the last few degrees of a sign, be sure to check for out-of-sign aspects, which are notoriously difficult to detect. If you’re looking at a chart with, say, the Sun at 28° Gemini and Saturn at 1° Libra, it’s easy to assume that because both planets are in air signs, they must be trine. In fact, they’re separated by 93° and are therefore square. This is why you should get a computer-generated chart. Even an experienced astrologer can miss an out-of-sign aspect, but you can’t trick a computer.

A Note about Minor Aspects

The major aspects discussed in this chapter aren’t the only geometrical relationship that astrologers consider significant. Other aspects, typically described as minor aspects, also connect two planets. Because minor aspects are weak, the orb allotted to them is small — only 2°.

Two minor aspects I refer to in this chapter are the semi-sextile, a 30° aspect that’s considered mildly positive, and the semi-square, a 45° aspect whose influence is somewhat stressful. These minor aspects rise in importance if the chart has a scarcity of major aspects, as occasionally happens. But remember, they call them minor for a reason.

Table 13-4 lists the most important of the minor aspects.

Table 13-4 Minor Aspects






Mildly supportive



Mildly irritating



Promotes creativity



Stressful and active

Quincunx or inconjunct


Indecisive; on again/off again

Are there other minor aspects? You bet. There’s the septile, the novile, and more. I’ve seen symbols for aspects I’ve never even heard of. You can reach a point when adding more aspects to a chart only obliterates the big picture. That’s why I recommend sticking with the majors.

Interpreting the Aspects

In this section, I interpret the main aspects for each of the planets. I bundle sextiles and trines together as harmonious aspects. Their actions are similar, though trines are more powerful. Similarly, I tie squares and oppositions together as hard aspects, though they aren’t identical either. In general, a square brings internal conflicts, while oppositions are more likely to create external obstructions.


I consider the planets in this order: first the Sun and Moon, then the planets in order of their distance from the Sun: Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. When looking up an aspect, be sure to look for it under the planet that comes first in the list. An aspect between Mercury and Uranus, for example, appears under Mercury; an opposition between Venus and Pluto is discussed under Venus, and so on.

Aspects to the Sun

Your Sun sign represents the deepest, most essential part of your nature. The aspects it makes with other planets can help you express your potential or make it more difficult.


The Sun represents your conscious identity, while the Moon governs your innermost feelings and subconscious self. The Sun/Moon aspect shows how comfortably these two cooperate.

bulletConjunction: If your Sun and Moon are conjunct, you were born around the time of a new moon, with all the vitality that implies. Your will and your subconscious work together, so you have strong intentions, enthusiasm, and the ability to concentrate. You may also be stubborn and closed-minded.

bulletHarmonious aspects: With your Sun sextile or trine the Moon, you’re genial and energetic. Opportunities come your way. All things being equal, you’re basically at peace with yourself. Consider yourself blessed.

bulletHard aspects: If your Sun and Moon are square, your conscious self desires one thing, and your subconscious yearns for something else. So you’re never truly satisfied, and you may struggle with a tendency to sabotage yourself. Interestingly, this discomfort turns out to be highly motivating. Legions of accomplished people in every field have this aspect — so many that I’m not even sure it’s a disadvantage.

If your Sun and Moon are in opposition, you were born under a full moon, a time when emotions run high. Restless and conflicted, you find it difficult to match your desires to your abilities. You attract stressful relationships and may overreact to obstacles. Although a few people with Sun/Moon oppositions screw up in astonishing ways (extreme example: Michael Jackson), the opposition also motivates them to conquer the internal divide and become hugely successful.


The fiery Sun governs your ego while Mercury rules communication. This aspect reveals the ease with which you express your thoughts.

bulletConjunction: These two bodies can never be more than 28° apart, so plenty of people have this aspect. It indicates a nervous, quick disposition. When the conjunction is exceptionally close, within a degree or less, it may indicate an over-the-top level of self-involvement.

bulletHarmonious aspects: Mercury and the Sun are never far enough apart to form a sextile (60°) or trine (120°). But they can occasionally be separated by 28°, making them semi-sextile, a mildly helpful aspect that strengthens your ability to communicate.

bulletHard aspects: Mercury and the Sun are always so close together that they never form a hard aspect.


How these two planets interact influences your artistic talents, your sociability, and your ability to attract what you love — particularly with regard to relationships, money, and possessions.

bulletConjunction: You’re appealing, affectionate, and creative. You have a deep need to be in relationships, an innate capacity for intimacy, and a love of pleasure. This aspect also brings artistic talent. Because Venus can never be farther than 48° from the Sun, this is the only major aspect that these two bodies can form.

bulletHarmonious aspects: Venus and the Sun are never far enough apart to form a sextile or a trine. But if they’re 30° apart, they’re semi-sextile, a friendly minor aspect that supports artistic talents and the ability to express affection.

bulletHard aspects: The Sun and Venus are never in opposition and are never square. When they’re close to their maximum distance, they’re semi-square, a 45° minor aspect that can stir up sexual issues and can cause you to act out. Want examples? Think of Hugh Hefner, Bill Clinton, Woody Allen, and the Marquis de Sade.


This aspect describes your ability to focus your energy and to put your intentions into action.

bulletConjunction: You’re an adventurer with energy, courage, and strong passions — sexual and otherwise. You’re enterprising, competitive, and willing to take the initiative — a contender in every way.

bulletHarmonious aspects: Energy is there when you want it. You’re assertive without being combative and energetic without being manic.

bulletHard aspects: Controlling the vitality that flows through you isn’t easy. You tend to overdo it, often by being a workaholic. Your temper can get out of control. You can be contentious and accident-prone, and you have a tendency to act rashly. Extreme example: Lizzie Borden.


Combine the Sun, which represents your potential, with Jupiter, the bringer of opportunities, and you have an enviable aspect. The challenge is to make use of the connection between the two planets — not to waste it.

bulletConjunction: You’re blessed with good fortune, a sense of humor, high intelligence, a strong spirit, and an optimistic attitude. You can also be careless and overconfident, relying on the indisputable fact that luck is with you.

bulletHarmonious aspects: This aspect brings health, success, a pleasing and positive approach to life, and a generous nature. Possible downside: You may have a tendency to kick back and be lazy.

bulletHard aspects: You’re inclined to exaggerate, to become self-important, to misjudge, and to lack a sense of moderation. Extravagance may plague you. Even so, this aspect, because it features Jupiter, can bring opportunities and is often beneficial.


The Sun wants to dazzle. Somber Saturn advocates caution. When these two planets form a major aspect, it indicates that you feel tested in various ways. This aspect shows the way you deal with those challenges.

bulletConjunction: Restrained but persistent, you’re responsible, realistic, and introspective. You take yourself seriously. This is a taxing aspect but one that brings direction, determination, and the capacity to overcome your early sense of inadequacy through solid accomplishments.

bulletHarmonious aspects: You’re industrious, goal-oriented, and willing to accept responsibility for your own situation. Purposeful and practical, you look before you leap, and your caution pays off.

bulletHard aspects: In childhood, disappointments and frustrations may have battered your sense of self-worth. If your Sun and Saturn are square, your issues are primarily internal. If your Sun and Saturn are opposed, external obstacles or enemies may block your path. Ultimately, you have the ability to overcome everything through self-discipline, persistence, and the thing Saturn loves above all else: hard work.


The Sun represents your core identity. Uranus represents your most eccentric side. If they form a major aspect, you can be sure of this: You aren’t like anybody else.

bulletConjunction: Independent, unpredictable, and thoroughly unique, you take an individualistic, original approach to life. You’re impulsive and eccentric, a genius or a rebel, and magnetic either way. Examples: Meryl Streep and Sean Penn.

bulletHarmonious aspects: A free-spirited adventurer, you possess originality, independence, a flexible attitude, and a tendency to stumble into unexpected patches of good luck.

bulletHard aspects: You’re an unusual, dramatic person with an unfortunate tendency to act in eccentric and impractical ways and to make rash decisions. Rebellious and easily bored, you’re likely to head off in unpredictable directions, especially when events take you by surprise, as they occasionally do.


The Sun bestows vitality, while dreamy Neptune brings inspiration . . . or indolence. This combination can encourage creative potential or unrealistic schemes.

bulletConjunction: You’re a dreamer, a poet, and an inspired idealist. Intuitive, sensitive, and sometimes even psychic, you have a finely developed imagination and great creative talent for both mystical and artistic endeavors, which leaves little room for practical matters. You also have a tendency to lie to yourself (or to others) and to live in a world of fantasy, seeing only what you want to see. Drug and alcohol abuse may be a problem.

bulletHarmonious aspects: You have a strongly developed sense of intuition and the ability to use your imagination in constructive ways.

bulletHard aspects: You have an active imagination combined with a discouraging tendency to daydream and to delude yourself. As with all Neptune aspects, deception can be a problem, either because you choose to deceive others or because you’re so gullible that anyone can pull the wool over your eyes.


If these two planets form a major aspect, control is an issue for you. This aspect reveals the way you balance your core identity with your need for power.

bulletConjunction: A vigorous, charismatic person, you’re an extremist, with strong reactions, great willpower, and the ability to transform yourself. You may struggle with a tendency to dominate or to become obsessed.

bulletHarmonious aspects: Strong-willed, persevering, and at ease with power and its uses, you have personal insight combined with the ability to adapt to circumstances and to create positive change.

bulletHard aspects: Competition eggs you on. Acutely aware of the uses of personal power, you’re manipulative, resourceful, and sometimes intimidating. The challenge, whether you’re competing with others or simply trying to fulfill your own considerable ambition, is to avoid becoming overly aggressive or power-mad.

Aspects to the Moon

The Moon represents your emotions, instincts, habits, and subconscious.


Do you have a strong need to communicate your emotions? If Mercury and the Moon form a major aspect, the answer is yes.

bulletConjunction: You’re intelligent, responsive, and in touch with your emotions. You know how to communicate confidently and with grace.

bulletHarmonious aspects: You think clearly, communicate effectively, make good use of humor, and have an excellent memory.

bulletHard aspects: You respond quickly but often become anxious. Gifted with an unconventional mind, you often feel that people don’t understand you, and you’re highly sensitive to criticism.


If the Moon and Venus form a major aspect, your emotional needs and your need for love and beauty are intertwined.

bulletConjunction: A great lover of comfort, you’re responsive, appealing, kind, creative, and pleasant to be around. Your mood depends on your relationships, and you can get all wrapped up in the game of love.

bulletHarmonious aspects: You express your affections easily. You’re a likable person with good taste and finely developed romantic sensibilities, even if you do occasionally stumble into the pit of self-indulgence.

bulletHard aspects: Your love affairs travel a bumpy road of conflict and emotional frustration. Some people react by withdrawing, others by becoming demanding and possessive. Either way, you can’t help feeling that you have to work harder than other people to get what you want.


If you have a major aspect between the Moon and Mars, you’re assertive about the way you express your emotions.

bulletConjunction: You’re emotionally intense, impatient, and quick to anger. You let people know how you feel, and you aren’t always diplomatic about it.

bulletHarmonious aspects: Courageous, energetic, helpful, and direct, you’re a risk-taker who’s always ready to jump into new situations.

bulletHard aspects: Rash, defensive, and sometimes volatile, you’re impulsive, competitive, and bossy. You don’t hold back from expressing your emotions, and your fluctuating moods can stir up conflict. No matter what face you show the world, anger is an issue you must address.


The Moon wants to pour out her feelings, while extravagant Jupiter says “More is more” — which makes for a potent emotional cocktail.

bulletConjunction: You’re warm, optimistic, considerate, and empathetic, a person of huge feeling even if you do occasionally promise more than you can deliver. You have faith in your own abilities. You feel best when possibilities are multiplying and your universe is expanding.

bulletHarmonious aspects: You’re highly responsive, gentle, and supportive: a genuine human being.

bulletHard aspects: It’s all or nothing with you. You’re ecstatic or grief-stricken, blissed out or on the verge of collapse. In short, you have trouble controlling your feelings and you tend to go overboard.


Saturn is the planet of restraint, and the Moon is all about unbridled emotions. This pair could be called “Sense and Sensibility.”

bulletConjunction: The past has a strong hold on you. You may suffer from self-doubt as a result of a less-than-warm relationship with your mother. Fortunately, you wield the weapon of self-control. Common sense helps you focus your feelings in a positive way.

bulletHarmonious aspects: Disciplined and sensible, you make a mighty effort to control your emotions, and you generally succeed. This explains how daredevil Evel Knievel and horror writer Stephen King can do what they do.

bulletHard aspects: A history of emotional deprivation makes you hesitant and self-conscious. Though pessimism, repressed emotions, and difficulties with women may distress you, your understanding grows with maturity, as does your ability to find happiness and contentment.


There’s never a dull moment when the emotional Moon pairs up with the planet of unpredictability.

bulletConjunction: Impulsive and excitable, you react in unconventional ways, attract unusual experiences, and may suffer from unpredictable mood swings. This is a volatile combination.

bulletHarmonious aspects: You rebel against restriction and convention, pride yourself on your independence, and value your autonomy, even within relationships. You’re attracted to stimulating, exciting people and unusual situations.

bulletHard aspects: Talented and easily distracted, you can’t stand feeling constrained. You get worked up easily and from time to time you stir up (or attract) a crisis. To maintain your independence, you may unconsciously distance yourself from others.


The Moon harbors the most sensitive, private side of your personality, while Neptune cloaks everything in mystery. Together this pair can sensitize your imagination — or lead you into an emotional fog.

bulletConjunction: You pick up on the slightest emotional clues and often feel overwhelmed, drained, or self-pitying. You’re vulnerable and kind, with strong spiritual needs, definite psychic potential, and an active dream life. This aspect indicates imagination and creative talent. It can also produce a tendency toward escapism, alcoholism, and drug abuse.

bulletHarmonious aspects: Compassionate, intuitive, and caring, you find it difficult to say no. Although this aspect increases your creativity, harnessing it can be difficult because you’re inclined to float off on a daydream. Turning fantasy into reality involves work — and that can be a problem for you.

bulletHard aspects: You struggle with wishful thinking, irrational fears (such as hypochondria), and emotional instability, not to mention drug and alcohol abuse. But you’re also sensitive, creative, and receptive.


Pluto lends intensity to the emotional issues governed by the Moon. A major aspect between these two means that your feelings are deep and your perceptions are laser-sharp.

bulletConjunction: You’re magnetic, controlling, possessive, intense, and compulsive. You resist minor changes. But when it’s time for major changes, you understand the need and do just fine.

bulletHarmonious aspects: You handle big changes with ease. You have deep emotions and a compelling need, from time to time, to purge yourself of old feelings. Doing so brings relief.

bulletHard aspects: You’re inhibited about expressing your emotions, and you tend to hold back. People struggle to gain your trust, and you may manipulate situations in an effort to gain the upper hand. Occasionally, domestic upheavals and power struggles rock your life.

Aspects to Mercury

Mercury represents the way you think, your curiosity, the way you express yourself, and your intellect.


Lovely Venus, the muse of the zodiac, bestows grace of expression on Mercury’s mental gymnastics.

bulletConjunction: You express yourself with charm and humor. You may have literary ability, and you love to talk, which is lucky because you’re a confirmed gossip.

bulletHarmonious aspects: You’re alert, charming, diplomatic, and a skilled communicator.

bulletHard aspect (sort of): Mercury and Venus are never farther than 76° apart, so they can’t form a square or opposition. But they can be semisquare — a 45° angle that enhances your creative abilities and can stimulate you to be critical of those you love the most.


When the ruler of the intellect teams up with the planet of aggression, you get a sharp, assertive, lawyer-like mind.

bulletConjunction: You have a lively, argumentative mind, strongly held opinions, and the intellectual authority to win most of your debates — whether you know anything about the topic or not.

bulletHarmonious aspects: You’re forthright and mentally active, with a quick mind and the ability to make clear decisions.

bulletHard aspects: You respond immediately and sometimes recklessly. You also have a sharp tongue and a tendency to be combative.


Mercury is the planet of mental abilities, while expansive Jupiter makes anything bigger and better. This pair can inspire grand ideas or distracted excess.

bulletConjunction: You’re smart, philosophical, open-minded, and able to see the big picture. You ask the big questions, juggle dozens of interests, and have the ability to influence others. Gathering information and mastering new skills makes you happy.

bulletHarmonious aspects: You’re intelligent and good-humored, optimistic yet clear-eyed, with a variety of interests. You’re a persuasive speaker.

bulletHard aspects: You’re filled with exciting ideas and good intentions. But you tend to exaggerate and leap to conclusions, and your judgment can be off-base.


Fleet-footed Mercury rules the thinking process. Demanding Saturn is the planet of structure and self-control. They work well together if Mercury can use Saturn’s discipline to put thoughts into action.

bulletConjunction: You’re a serious person with a rational mind, a dry sense of humor, and an appreciation for useful knowledge.

bulletHarmonious aspects: You’re well-organized, methodical, reserved, and intelligent, with a natural understanding of how to focus your mind and absorb information.

bulletHard aspects: You don’t take things lightly, even when you should. Though you’re an effective planner, you may also be inflexible, melancholy, and uncomfortable with new ideas.


Mercury represents the way you think, while Uranus is a lightning rod that attracts inspiration from out of the blue. Depending on how the two interact, they can bring out the brilliant inventor, the mad scientist, or the talkative eccentric from down the street.

bulletConjunction: This is the Eureka! aspect — you’re a progressive thinker prone to sudden insights and startling ideas. You have an unconventional mind, a novel way of expressing yourself, and even a touch of genius.

bulletHarmonious aspects: Unusual ideas excite you. Your mind is inventive, unconstrained, and bright, and you express yourself in a lively and original way.

bulletHard aspects: Sometimes brilliant, sometimes just nervous and impatient, you have an erratic mind. You rebel against authority, routine, and convention, and in so doing you create tension and conflict. You also have a spontaneous, ingenious intellect that can take you far.


Mercury thinks, while Neptune dreams. Mercury can help turn Neptune’s fantasies into realities, while Neptune brings insight and flights of fancy to Mercury’s ideas.

bulletConjunction: You’re a visionary with an inspired imagination, a dreamer sensitive to mood and language, and a multitalented artist and poet who can create a mood through words alone. But when you get obsessed with an idée fixe, you can lose touch with reality.

bulletHarmonious aspects: You have a discriminating mind, an artistic imagination, and an imaginative manner of expressing yourself.

bulletHard aspects: Fantasy and reality vie for your attention, and it isn’t always clear which one is winning. At your best, you’re creative, intuitive, and visionary. But you may also be disorganized and oblivious, with a destructive tendency to see only what you want to see.


When Pluto, the zodiac’s detective, connects with quick-thinking Mercury, the combination gives you a commanding mind and the ability to concentrate.

bulletConjunction: You’re analytical, focused, and skilled at digging up secrets. With your penetrating intelligence, you can be a gifted researcher, investigative reporter, or detective. This aspect brings insight and writing ability, along with obsessive thoughts.

bulletHarmonious aspects: You’re an astute, creative thinker who can dig beneath the surface and who’s willing to grapple with important issues.

bulletHard aspects: You’re thoughtful, observant, and curious, as well as tense and combative, with a distinct tendency to brood.

Aspects to Venus

Venus symbolizes love, relationships, art, pleasure, possessions, and money.


Venus is the planet of allure. Mars stimulates desire. Together they stir up the forces of passion and sensuality.

bulletConjunction: Demonstrative and magnetic, you radiate sexuality, vitality, and charisma. You have no trouble attracting others because people want to be near you. But you like to see sparks fly and may unconsciously create tumultuous relationships.

bulletHarmonious aspects: You’re attractive, genial, loving, and likely to find romantic fulfillment.

bulletHard aspects: You aren’t sure what you want, especially in romantic relationships. As a result, your love life may be troubled by arguments, unhappiness, and tension.


When amorous Venus meets generous Jupiter in a birth chart, the result is an outpouring of affection, a love of luxury, and an appreciation of art and beauty.

bulletConjunction: This is a lucky aspect. Because you’re affectionate and generous, you attract love, friendship, and even money — which is amazing, considering how reckless, undisciplined, and self-indulgent you can be. This aspect also confers artistic ability.

bulletHarmonious aspects: This fortunate aspect increases your ability to attract attention, to make money, and to choose the right mate.

bulletHard aspects: You go overboard. You may eat or drink or spend to excess, be unreasonably demanding, or simply blow your feelings out of proportion. One way or another, extravagance is an issue.


Restrictive Saturn inhibits affectionate Venus. This aspect grounds and strengthens your feelings — but also brings suffering and delays in love.

bulletConjunction: Emotionally inhibited and afraid of being hurt, you take yourself too seriously to treat romance in a lighthearted way. You’re most comfortable in a relationship with someone older or more established than yourself. Some people with this aspect make love a kind of obsessive pursuit. Whether you do that or not, love is an issue for you. This aspect also enhances creativity by helping you focus (the influence of Saturn) your artistic talents (given by Venus).

bulletHarmonious aspects: Both emotionally and financially, you value security over excitement. Responsible and loyal, you seek a solid, enduring relationship — and a well-stocked financial portfolio.

bulletHard aspects: Romance can be a struggle. Defensive and afraid of rejection, you may hide behind a wall of your own creation. Even when you find a fulfilling relationship (and plenty of people with this aspect are happily married), you may feel isolated and may attempt to fill that void by taking on additional responsibilities. Something similar happens with money. In both cases, fear of loss is a motivating factor.


If amorous Venus and unconventional Uranus link up in your birth chart, you’re likely to be the impetuous star of your own romantic soap opera.

bulletConjunction: This is the lightning-bolt aspect, the one that brings an excitable personality, love at first sight, and a dramatic, often unstable love life. Like Elizabeth Taylor (married eight times) or Warren Beatty (married for the first time at age 55 after decades as Hollywood’s number one playboy), you want instant attraction and fireworks all the way.

bulletHarmonious aspects: In friendship as in romance, you’re drawn to people who are exciting and offbeat. You’re original, artistically talented, and lucky in love. Plus, you have the enviable (but entirely unpredictable) ability to attract windfalls of cash.

bulletHard aspects: Looking for a reliable relationship with an “appropriate” person? I doubt it. You seek the thrill of the forbidden. Out-of-the-blue love is part of your story; sudden betrayal may be another. Among the people in my files with a hard aspect between Venus and Uranus, I find one who had an affair with her sister’s spouse, one who ran off with her best friend’s husband, one who married her first cousin, and several who defied expectation by marrying someone of another race or nationality.


Venus lives for romance and beauty. Glamorous Neptune encourages mystery, magic, and spiritual feelings. When they’re in sync, you can walk on air, but even the conjunction can bring you back down to earth in a hurry.

bulletConjunction: Your compassion and vivid imagination can make you an inspired artist, but they can also get you into trouble, especially in romance, because you unconsciously let your desire for love (or enlightenment) cloud your vision. You’re a romantic, an idealist, and a spiritual seeker. Your ideal mate shares those inclinations.

bulletHarmonious aspects: You can be sympathetic, gentle, mystical, musical, refined, and creative. You’re also prone to laziness and self-indulgence.

bulletHard aspects: Illusion enters your life in a positive way through art, music, and film. You’re also prone to starry-eyed infatuation. Being realistic about romance isn’t your strength. You fall for Heathcliff every time.


The planet of love meets the planet of obsession. You can guess what happens: Jealousy, intrigue, and passion are the watchwords for this pair.

bulletConjunction: You’re jealous, possessive, profoundly sexual, and controlling. This aspect also brings artistic and financial ability.

bulletHarmonious aspects: Intense but not destructive, you successfully seek to transform yourself through relationships. You attract powerful people, both in love and in business.

bulletHard aspects: Ever been fixated on someone you knew wasn’t good for you? I thought so. This aspect brings passion and obsession. Fortunately, it can also make you magnetically attractive.

Aspects to Mars

Mars represents your will, desires, drive, energy, and aggression.


The “will-do” energy of Mars is a perfect complement to the “can-do” energy of Jupiter. This is an enthusiastic pairing.

bulletConjunction: Why does the most famous astrological song ever written (“Age of Aquarius,” by the Fifth Dimension) suggest that we will experience peace and love “when the Moon is in the seventh house and Jupiter aligns with Mars”? Frankly, I’m not sure. I will say this, though: If Jupiter aligns with Mars in your chart, you have energy to burn, an eagerness to explore, a natural sense of timing, and the ability to fulfill your desires in an extravagant way.

bulletHarmonious aspects: Setting big goals comes naturally to you. You’re adventurous, untiring, optimistic, and stalwart — a great combination.

bulletHard aspects: Restless and extravagant, you have stamina and drive, but moderation, though frequently recommended, isn’t your way.


Hot-blooded Mars is the planet of action; somber Saturn is the lord of caution. They don’t much like each other, but they can work together.

bulletConjunction: At its best, this aspect brings self-discipline, endurance, and courage. At its worst, it leads to shyness, inhibition, resentment, and destructive behavior.

bulletHarmonious aspects: You’re ambitious, decisive, industrious, and sensible. You get things done.

bulletHard aspects: Impatience does you in. You feel blocked and frustrated, and it isn’t easy for you to regulate your moods. Plus, you feel that you have enemies, and run-ins with authority may be all too common in your life. This can be a difficult aspect (think of River Phoenix), but positive examples abound, including Anderson Cooper, Jane Austen, and Johann Sebastian Bach.


Impatient Mars and unpredictable Uranus: the original bad-boy combination of the zodiac. These two just can’t help stirring up trouble.

bulletConjunction: You’re unrestrained and determined, with unconventional sexual attitudes, unusual desires, and great drive. But your energy is erratic, and you may be accident-prone.

bulletHarmonious aspects: Nervous and outspoken, you pursue unusual goals, seek the new, and react quickly. But do you use your considerable energy in constructive ways, or do you fritter it away? Luckily, you have the choice.

bulletHard aspects: You’re a risk-taker and a free spirit whose rebellious ways can disrupt everything around you. At its worst, this aspect stimulates truly ridiculous acting-out behavior; at its creative best, it encourages independence and adventure.


Dreamy Neptune can spend the day in foggy reverie, while heedless Mars takes action (however ill-thought out or ineffective). Fortunately, Mars also fuels Neptune’s creative plans.

bulletConjunction: Insecure, talented, and sensitive, you have trouble focusing your energy, and you may set goals that are both idealistic and unrealistic. John Lennon had this aspect.

bulletHarmonious aspects: You’re romantic, artistic, and able to direct your dreams and inspirations into action.

bulletHard aspects: You’re idealistic but easily discouraged, with a tendency to indulge in escapist behavior.


You draw from a deep well of energy and intensity. This aspect brings ambition and endurance — in spades.

bulletConjunction: Physically endowed with enormous reserves of energy, you’re aggressive, ambitious, and hardworking. You go after what you want with stunning determination. This is a powerful aspect. Example: Hillary Rodham Clinton.

bulletHarmonious aspects: You have strong likes and dislikes, a solid sense of confidence, and the rare ability to end a relationship or a job without collapsing. You also have the ability to launch a new endeavor with amazing fervor.

bulletHard aspects: You have strong passions, but you also have difficulty controlling them and avoiding conflict. Though you tend to sabotage yourself, you have impressive stamina and the ability to eliminate your negative behaviors and achieve what you really want: power.

Aspects to Jupiter

Jupiter represents prosperity, wisdom, abundance, extravagance, and expansion. Its placement in your horoscope tells you where you can expect good luck and opportunity.


Expansive Jupiter and restrictive Saturn aren’t natural allies. Mix them together, and you get tension — and determination.

bulletConjunction: When optimistic Jupiter conjuncts pessimistic Saturn, idealism gets squashed by realism, and frustration is rampant. Your path is littered with obstacles, but your capacity for hard work is breathtaking. This difficult aspect comes around about every 20 years. You may have it in your birth chart if you were born in 1901, 1921, 1940 or 1941, 1961, 1981, or 2000.

bulletHarmonious aspects: You’re sensible, cool-headed, and practical enough to recognize your limitations and to compensate with your strengths. Saturn lends you the ability to turn your most extravagant Jupiter-driven dreams into Saturnian on-the-ground realities. You can make it happen. The best therapists I know have this aspect.

bulletHard aspects: A tug of war between the forces of expansion and the forces of restriction keeps you off balance. Restlessness, discontent, bad timing, and tension may plague you. On some deep level, you fear that your judgment is unreliable, and your confidence suffers accordingly. The opposition between Jupiter and Saturn comes around approximately ten years after the conjunction: in 1911, 1930–1931, 1951–1952, 1970–1971, 1989–1990, and 2010.


Surprises abound when benevolent Jupiter meets Uranus, the planet of the unexpected. Uranus adds a maverick twist to Jupiter’s open-hearted enthusiasm and ability to attract opportunities.

bulletConjunction: You’re an idealistic person who benefits from taking risks. Somehow, despite your extravagant ways, you’re in the right place at the right time. This is the aspect of unusual opportunities and sudden good fortune — but, as with everything that Uranus touches, it may not come in the form you would expect.

bulletHarmonious aspects: Alert and creative, you have an original mind and you respond to opportunities that are exciting and off-beat.

bulletHard aspects: The predetermined path and the required courses are distasteful to you. You make startling choices and may suffer when your impulsive decisions turn out to be less than prudent. You’re a natural rebel.


Extravagant Jupiter encourages impressionable Neptune to dream big. This aspect enhances imagination, idealism, and spirituality.

bulletConjunction: Your spirituality, idealism, and financial well-being benefit from this aspect. But be careful that your friendly, sympathetic attitude doesn’t blind you to reality. While you’re blessed with a certain amount of sheer good luck, you may suffer from vagueness, self-delusion, and the tendency to zone out.

bulletHarmonious aspects: You’re compassionate, gentle, insightful, creative, and lucky, with an innate attraction to spiritual pursuits.

bulletHard aspects: You tend to scatter your efforts, you can be way too gullible, and your refusal to face reality can drive your friends to drink (a substance you should be careful not to abuse). This aspect can bring money and talent, especially of the musical variety. You may also be unrealistically idealistic, and pie-in-the-sky thinking can be a problem.


Jupiter brings opportunities and expands whatever it touches — the good and the bad alike. Pluto represents the journey inward and the power of transformation.

bulletConjunction: When these two planets are cheek by jowl, you have strong convictions and can become a powerful agent of change. One example: Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, who has this conjunction in the third house of communication.

bulletHarmonious aspects: When times of change roll around, you have the confidence to respond, and you generally benefit. You’re well-organized and a powerful leader.

bulletHard aspects: You want to change the world. At your best, you bravely confront the most fearsome of Goliaths — and win. But you harbor a secret desire for power, and you can be ruthless, suspicious, self-destructive, and fanatical. This is a powerful aspect that appears in the charts of powerful people.

Aspects to Saturn

Saturn symbolizes limitation, contraction, restriction, and the need for structure. Its placement tells you where you have to face reality, get organized, and go to work.


Tradition (Saturn) meets innovation (Uranus). Boundaries (Saturn) encounter the forces of liberation (Uranus). Needless to say, things start to pop with this combo.

bulletConjunction: You have drive, persistence, leadership potential, and the ability to focus your most original ideas by combining the brilliance of Uranus with the practical realities of Saturn.

bulletHarmonious aspects: You’re determined and decisive, able to blend the seriousness of Saturn with the originality of Uranus. This is an aspect of accomplishment.

bulletHard aspects: Compromise is difficult. You can be egotistical, callous, and hypocritical — a real pain in the neck. At your worst, you feel that you have been denied the recognition, status, or material wealth you deserve. At your best you’re a reformer, able to apply original (Uranian) ideas to old (Saturnian) problems.


Practical Saturn follows directions. Dreamy Neptune wanders around in a daze, soaking up impressions and dissolving boundaries. Depending on whether they’re working with or against each other, they either strengthen the forces of perception or cause you to become completely unfocused.

bulletConjunction: If the two planets are well-matched, you’re disciplined, sensible, and creative. If stern Saturn dominates Neptune, you distrust your intuition and squash your creative impulses. If woozy Neptune is dominant, you struggle in your efforts to be neat, organized, and in control.

bulletHarmonious aspects: Your Neptunian idealism and your Saturnian sense of reality combine forces, giving you the ability to direct your imagination in a practical, real-world way.

bulletHard aspects: Emotionally, you hold back. You don’t trust people easily, and you have reclusive tendencies. Plus, you have difficulty getting organized. The placement of Saturn in your chart indicates where you need structure. Chances are you know exactly what you should do. The trouble is that, thanks to mysterious Neptune, the planet of illusion, you have trouble doing it.


Pluto is a potent magician and the planet of deep, slow, internal change; Saturn is the taskmaster of the zodiac and the lord of discipline. When they link up in your chart, your ability to transform yourself is deepened.

bulletConjunction: Pluto is all about transformation, but cautious Saturn, which isn’t comfortable with change, restricts its action, creating compulsive behavior, hard-to-break habits, and a mother lode of resistance. To get around this intense, sometimes frustrating aspect, you need a systematic approach to problem-solving, a healthy dose of self-discipline, and an acceptance of the fact that although change may be glacial in its speed, glaciers nonetheless reshaped the world.

bulletHarmonious aspects: A trine or sextile linking Saturn and Pluto strengthens your willpower, sense of control, and confidence.

bulletHard aspects: Obsessive thoughts or compulsive behavior may keep you in their nasty grip until you find a way to lessen their power. Although obstacles may block your way, you have the will to overcome them.

Aspects to Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto

Uranus represents individuality, eccentricity, upheaval, revolution, and the unpredictable. Neptune symbolizes the imagination, spiritual strivings, dreams, visions, and delusion. Pluto represents obsession, compulsion, death, rebirth, and transformation.


Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, the three outer planets, travel through the zodiac so slowly that their greatest influence is on generations, not on individuals. The aspects that they form are in orb for a long time. A conjunction between any two of them, for example, lasts for years. So the mere fact of having such an aspect doesn’t distinguish you. It merely makes you a member of your generation, with all the pluses and minuses that implies.

Under certain circumstances, an aspect involving the outer planets may rise to prominence in the chart of an individual. That happens when:

bulletEither of the planets occupies an angle or is conjunct your Ascendant or Midheaven.

bulletEither body makes several close aspects to other planets and in particular to the Sun, the Moon, or the ruler of your Ascendant.

bulletEither planet rules your Sun sign, Moon sign, or rising sign.


Uranus governs Aquarius, Neptune presides over Pisces, and Pluto rules Scorpio.


Uranus, the planet of revolution, and mystical Neptune, the planet of dreams and visions, inspire you and bring you insight.

bulletConjunction: In 1992 and 1993, Uranus and Neptune were exactly conjunct for the first time since 1821 — a trick they won’t repeat until around 2163. Anyone born with this aspect is likely to have an inventive approach to social change and a nervous disposition.

bulletHarmonious aspects: If you have a trine or a sextile between Neptune and Uranus, you belong to a generation that’s compassionate, utopian, and spiritually inclined.

bulletHard aspects: You’re emotional, eccentric, and totally original, especially if either planet touches a third in a significant way.


Unconventional Uranus and heavy-duty Pluto collaborate to promote major, sometimes revolutionary, changes.

bulletConjunction: Ever wonder why the 1960s were so turbulent? Here’s why: For the first time in 115 years, Uranus, the planet of revolution and eccentricity, was conjunct Pluto, the planet of transformation. Transiting planets affect everyone — not just babies born under their influence. If you were born during that decade — if you’re a true child of the ’60s — you’re independent and willful, and you carry that Woodstockian sense of creative rebellion within you.

bulletHarmonious aspects: Trines and sextiles between freedom-loving Uranus and Pluto bring disruptive changes but allow you to use the energy that’s released in creative ways.

bulletHard aspects: When lightning strikes, you try to suppress your natural reactions, thereby creating, on top of everything else, an extra measure of anxiety. It’s not just you: This is a generational influence. Like everyone else in your generation, you were born during America’s Great Depression, and you’ve seen it all.


Visionary Neptune, monarch of the imagination, responds to dreams, music, poetry, mysticism, and the unseen. Powerful Pluto, lord of the underworld, plumbs the depths of the forbidden. Together, they make a mighty combo and inspire a heroic quest.

bulletConjunction: This rare conjunction, which rolled around the last time in 1892 and will not reappear until the 24th century, combines Neptunian spirituality with the Plutonian drive for power and understanding. Examples: Paramahansa Yogananda, author of Autobiography of a Yogi, and J. R. R. Tolkien, author of The Lord of the Rings.

bulletHarmonious aspects: Since around 1928, Neptune and Pluto have been roughly sextile, an aspect that links the mystical yearnings of Neptune with the transformative urge of Pluto, creating an upsurge of interest in spirituality and the occult.

bulletHard aspects: An unusual concern with sexuality or the supernatural can arise from the blocked energy of this charged aspect. Obsession is likely — but the direction of that obsession depends on the individual. Two examples, born a week apart, are Queen Victoria, who lent her name to an era known for its repressive ways, and Walt Whitman, whose poetry is suffused with joyous sexuality and uninhibited love.

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