Major Aspects

Grand Cross 1

One of the most prominent configurations is the Grand Cross. It is also called a Grand Square because it involves four signs, four planets, four houses and four areas of life that are connected together. Not only are there four squares in the Grand Cross, there are also two oppositions. Essentially, a Grand Cross consists of four planets in the same mode or quality (Cardinal, Fixed, or Mutable), which form the four squares and two oppositions. A true Grand Cross includes a planetary placement in each element: Fire, Earth, Air, or Water. Because the Grand Cross involves a combination of squares and oppositions, it is an aspect pattern that affects action and drive (squares) as well as perspective and balance with others (oppositions).

A Grand Cross is characterized by the mode (quality), and each Grand Cross mode has its own unique expression and interpretation. However, one factor that each type of Grand Cross shares is that they are all fundamentally stressful configurations. Squares motivate action, and they are perceived as uncomfortable influences; the tension develops over time, and once it reaches a certain point, we take action to reduce some of the pressure. Depending on our actions/reactions, squares can be both constructive and destructive.

Squares, and particularly very tight orbed squares, can be hard aspects to ignore. The productive factor to a Grand Cross is that it does offer a solid foundation; a nucleus with structure and strength that can be a tremendous resource. However, finding the point of assimilation and balance in order to be able to take advantage of this gift can be exceedingly challenging. The key, of course, comes from developing balance between the two oppositions.

When the opposing influences are balanced, then they are wielding the same amount of force on the planets that are connected by the square aspects, creating a solid foundation.

When the oppositions are out of balance (i.e. too much attention being directed to one influence over the other), the structure can not hold up, and the squares (frustration) take center stage again.

Taking the time to focus in on the basis issue of each mode (i.e. Cardinal signs impact identity, Fixed signs impact self worth, and Mutable signs impact healing and reasoning) can also discover the commonality that the four signs in the Grand Cross have.

CARDINAL. Cardinal signs are typically focused with the question of self and identity as well as actions surrounding these. The focus gets directed based on whether the individual has the ability to:

impulsively express the self (Aries),

the emotional identity is nurtured (Cancer),

the social and intellectual identity is connected (Libra) or

the tangible manifestation of our identity is recognized (Capricorn).

In essence, the Cardinal Cross could become a crisis of identity. The four planets involved are each pushing to express the facet of the self, yet each operates from a different level and perspective of the self. Cardinal signs encourage action, initiation, and sometimes, impulsivity.

The test with a Cardinal Grand Cross is reflected whenever there is a transiting aspect to it. That is when all four of the placement's energies try to competitively spring into action simultaneously, and each in its own direction. This can cause the individual to feel overstretched or being pulled apart. The influence can also cause frustration based on the desire to take action without a sense of focus or direction. The action or reaction lacks an outlet. Remembering that the key when dealing with the Cardinal Grand Cross is to be alert to the stressors and how those stressors relate to one's identity. Maintaining a sense of focus on the "prize" while acknowledging that there is an action needed in order to express the self and uniqueness of the self makes it less difficult to make decisions.

FIXED. The Fixed signs are focused on the questions of self-worth. The focus gets directed based on whether the individual has the ability to

acknowledge the worth of the self and mastery (Taurus),

creativity and spirit (Leo),

vulnerability and trust (Scorpio), and

humanity and brotherhood (Aquarius).

The main purpose of the Fixed signs is to uphold and maintain the activity that the Cardinal signs created and initiated. The Fixed signs are not ready to "move" from the course of action taken and may resist any efforts to implement change.

When the Fixed Cross is activated by transiting aspects, the tendency is for the four planets to hold their course and resist outside pressures for change. Resistance seems to be the main energy of the Fixed Grand Cross in an effort to carry on or maintain homeostasis, rather than flow with an energy that might change the course.

On the other hand, when the Fixed Cross individual does initiate action, it can be exceedingly difficult to stop the momentum. The Fixed Cross is like a locomotive - slow to start but once in motion, stays on track and is exceedingly difficult to stop until it has run its course.

The self-worth of the Fixed Grand Cross develops unconsciously, for better or for worse. The value that the individual has of the self will be exhibited in their self-esteem. The challenge for the individual with a Fixed Grand Cross is to find the ability to allow flexibility into their activities and to share their accomplishments with others.

MUTABLE. Mutable signs are focused on healing and reasoning. The focus gets directed based on whether the individual has the ability to:

integrate thoughts and feelings (Gemini),

organized concepts and healing (Virgo),

diversity and wisdom (Sagittarius),

compassion and spirit (Pisces).

Mutable signs, similar to Cardinal signs, are easily scattered and disjointed when under pressure. While Fixed signs have no difficulty staying focused, the main challenge for individuals with a Mutable Grand Cross can be the inability to gather their thoughts into a collective cohesion of ideas. Learning how to sustain a sense of balance and coordination should be the Mutable Grand Cross individual's goal.

The Mutable Grand Cross individuals gain the most when they learn how to juggle their activities while maintaining a sense of consistency relative to the planetary placements in their chart. The inclination of the Mutable signs is to remain adaptable and flexible. When transiting aspects trigger the Mutable Grand Cross, the impulse of the four planetary energies is to transform; to adjust, and to avoid any obstacle that has just been placed before it. The four energies scatter in different directions in a disconcerted effort to find homeostasis. The problem is not in the desire to change. The problem arises from the non-unified reactions of the planets.

T-Square 1

The T-Square consists of three planets in the same modes (qualities) that include two squares and one opposition. A T-Square is similar to a Grand Cross, but is missing a 4th planet. Because of this, the T-Square functions differently than the Grand Cross. The T-Square is less stable; all of the pressure is placed on the planet that receives the two squares, the apex planet. On the other hand, T-Squares have a built-in focus planet, which the Grand Cross lacks. The focal planet or the Apex can often become dynamic and an important motivating factor for the individual.

The apex planet of a T-Square is the focal point. This is the planet that provides motivation, drive and is also the most critical placement of the T-square. Squares are initiative aspects placing the apex planet under considerable pressure to act and react when the T-square is triggered. The best use of the apex energy is to pretend that the apex is being opposed and incorporate that opposing energy into the necessary activities. That is the release for the pressure.

The key to utilizing the T-Square is to move forward; to become proactive with the apex planet, while minimizing the scattered feelings that may result when the T-Square is being triggered. Acknowledging that the opposing energy is missing, is what consciously provides that stabilizer in the decision making process.

Take note that when a transiting planet moves into the opposite of the apex, forming a pseudo Grand Cross, it could be providing the individual with an opportunity to release the productive energy of the T-Square in the most direct approach because the transit shines on the Apex placement, bringing awareness of the need for balance to the Apex planet while tapping onto the two squares.

To properly assess the needs of the T-Square, take note of the element of the sign that the Apex planet is in. The element provides guidance in understanding the nature of the action that the T-Square will likely produce:

 

  • Fire         spirit, enthusiasm and identity orientation;
  • Earth       practical, tangible, worth and value;
  • Air           intellect, social and intuitive;
  • Water      perceptive, emotional, and spiritual.

 

Assessing the houses that the planets are in will also provide clues about the areas of life that the pressures are most likely to be felt. The key to getting a T-Square to become productive is by defining these areas in the chart so that the individual can have access to the most supportive features of these elements and house placements and comprehend the best way to release the pressure imposed on the Apex planet.


CARDINAL. Similar to the Cardinal Grand Cross, the Cardinal T-Square focuses on the identity of the individual. The Apex Planet's sign will zero in on where integration of the focal point will be

 

  • Aries             identity of self;
  • Cancer          identity through emotions;
  • Libra             identity through social connections;
  • Capricorn     identity through accomplishments.

 

Similar to the Cardinal Grand Cross, impulsiveness is a prominent feature. Planets in Cardinal signs feel a need to act immediately. Patience is not a priority here. The Cardinal T-Square tends to be the most active of the T-Squares, although not the most productive. Coercing the three placements to work together can be the challenge. The nature is for each energy to do its own thing, causing conflicts and disjointed activities to become the main focus.

 

Remember, being aware of the "empty space" opposing the Apex planet can give the individual guidance for a Cardinal T-Square. When all the planets are focused on the same task oriented activity, moving forward becomes much easier. The difficult task will be learning how to get these three disparate energies to unite.

FIXED. The Apex planet in a Fixed T-Square will reveal where the individual is most inflexible. The opposing sign of the Apex planet, although still a Fixed sign, can help to force the individual to find a compromise. The Apex Planet's sign will guide the individual based on the focal point

 

  • Taurus            worth of self and mastery,
  • Leo                 worth of creativity and spirit,
  • Scorpio          worth through vulnerability and trust,
  • Aquarius        worth through humanity and brotherhood.

 

It will usually involve another person tapping into the individual's needs during an opposing transit aspect that will create enough discomfort or clash to cause the individual to reach that compromise. With a Fixed T-Square, the compromise between the two realms may only be reached after a very ugly confrontation. Fixed signs, remember, are focused on and maintaining self-worth.

 

The Apex planet of a Fixed T-Square will eventually take action in order to reduce tension - something that Fixed signs are perfectly happy to do so long as they feel that they are in total control of the situation. The Fixed T-Square that learns how to incorporate flexibility into the decision making process receives the best rewards.

MUTABLE. The most difficult factor for the Mutable T-Square is focus and consistency. The three planets are tapped into the concepts of healing and reasoning, however, the reasoning and protective nature may be to avoid confrontation. The Apex Planet's sign provides the guidance through the focal point's needs

 

  • Gemini               integration of thoughts and feelings,
  • Virgo                  integration of organized concepts and healing,
  • Sagittarius        integration of diversity and wisdom,
  • Pisces               integration of compassion and spirit.

 

For the Mutable T-Square, the Apex planet will be the one most likely to discombobulate since this is the planet under the most pressure. Unlike Cardinal or Fixed T-Squares, the opposition aspects are less aggressive or confrontational since the nature of the mutable sign is to adapt. The key to working with the opposing energy is to acknowledge the tendency to side-step the issues and hold on to the direction that the Apex planet needs in order to accomplish the task or to reach a decision. Avoid the tendency to get hung up on the desire to rationalize the problem away.

 

Grand Trine 1

The Grand Trine occurs when three planets are in the same element (Fire, Earth, Air or Water), while forming Trines to each other. Having a Grand Trine is similar to having a planet in a sign that it rules. It is believed that a Grand Trine is, collectively, the purest expression of an element.

Trines, and particularly Grand Trines, have a reputation for being positive and creative aspects. However, this wonderful reputation is not wholly deserved. Each aspect has its own highs and lows, and none are any better or worse than the other aspects. The tendency of the Trine is harmony and flowing. Grand Trines represent an opportunity granted with open and effortless flow of energy between the planets. While Trines can reveal where one's talents and comfort zones might be, Trines can also indicate where the individual might be lazy or uninvolved in conscious decisions. The Grand Trine energy can take on a life of its own with the individual simply tagging along rather than being an active participant in life.

Grand Trines can simply be too good and too much. The Grand Trine comfort zone may be in taking the easy way out, failing to encourage the individual to respond or participate. The reward of the challenge seems to be missing. The potential of that Grand Trine may never be tapped by the individual who feels content to go with the flow, but at the same time is afraid to explore the passions that are hidden below the surface of the Grand Trine's great flow of energy. Each element represents a Grand Trine influence.

FIRE. Fire Grand Trines tend to be constantly busy with one activity or another. Individuals possessing a Fire Grand Trine are likely to over-extend themselves in the process because the tendency of the Fire element is to burn until there is no more fuel (or oxygen) left. A Grand Trine in Fire can often contribute to a sense of self-confidence and will tend to aspire for the highest highs possible. They tend to be outgoing and perhaps a bit dramatic. Intensity might appear to be the norm in their overall nature. Expressive and perhaps explosive while demonstrating their emotions, the Grand Trine Fire individual would benefit by learning to conserve their enthusiasm and impulsive nature as well as learning to tap into other expressions of emotion that are more progressive.

EARTH. Earth Grand Trines tend to be considerably less action oriented than any of the other elements. The Earth Grand Trine individual can see no productive reason for zipping around like a humming bird, expending all that energy. Dependability, creature comforts, and practicality tend to be the goals of the Earth Grand Trine. Consistency is the true nature of the Earth element. While the Earth Grand Trine person may be a bit more inclined to fall into bad habits and routines that are not the most productive, the Earth Grand Trine individual is the person most likely to succeed in quitting these bad habits if they feel that it is necessary. Creativity and talents ranging from music to art is a typical manifestation of the Grand Trine nature. The Earth Grand Trine individual finds comfort in routine and structure. They are also likely to see the broad picture of reality when contemplating their next action.

AIR. The Air Grand Trines tend to be highly idealistic. Since the element of Air is associated with the intellectual and social interactions, these Grand Trines may have an affinity for socializing and mentally challenging others. There is a nature of duality in each of the Air signs (two twins, two scales, and two currents). Mentally, the Grand Trine Air may be turbo charged, talking almost as fast as they are capable of thinking. They can cognitively explore a concept and discard it quicker than most other individuals. The Air signs are adept at forming ideas, developing connections and expanding on the mental faculties with great ease. They are also more prone to depression, short attention span, and skimming the surface in an effort to get a project done more quickly. Actual physical action is not the name of the game and can list a litany of reasons why they should not invest their time in such draining behavior. In other words, if the activity involves too much physical work, they will quickly direct you to one of their cousins with a Fire or Earth Grand Trine.

WATER. The Water Grand Trines tend to possess the most in-depth creative potential. The Water element is the most comfortable of all the signs when dealing with emotions and the spiritual realm. The Water Grand Trine individual will typically experience life with an emotional intensity. The Water element signs react to life's events at a seemingly subconscious level; instinctively. They tend to "feel" their choices rather than needing to think about them first, and their intuition is usually correct. But all this feeling can be draining at a spiritual and psychological level. Oversensitivity can be a problem for the Water Grand Trine person, and an urge to self-medicate in order to drown out all these emotions may feel like the right way to handle the situation. In an emergency, the Water Grand Trine individual is your best ally since they have the best tools in place to help heal, nurture and transform. What they may be lacking are the tools to help themselves.

Kite 1

 

The Kite configuration is an extension of the Grand Trine. There is a fourth planet that opposes one of the three Trine planets. Kites will always be in the same polarity, either masculine (Fire and Air) or feminine (Earth and Water).

 

The influence of the Kite pattern is similar to Grand Trines with added motivation and potential. The opposition is especially productive in spurring individuals to utilize the opportunities and gifts offered up by the Grand Trine. Oppositions, however, are not always the best at creating actions without having another individual involved in the process. The opposition influence is not self-sufficient but, instead is interaction oriented, by nature. At its best, the Opposition provides a sense of bearing and of spotlight.

 

For the Kite configuration, the planet in the Grand Trine that is being opposed becomes the focal point. Think of the Trine as being a type of cross bow with the sextile aspect being the bowstring. The arrow would be the opposition reaching across the chart, from the sextiles to the tip of the Trines. The quiver end of the arrow sets the stage, while the blade of the arrow guides the individual in the direction for action. Check out the house and sign where the two trines and the opposition meet up to develop a better understanding of that focal point.

 

While the individual with a Grand Trine might generally have an easier time in life, the individual may lack a sense of purpose, awareness or perspective until they are made aware of the Grand Trines potentials. On the other hand, the individual with the Kite is likely to sense that there is something more, but may not be aware of how to tap into their talents. Consistently finding the motivation for the best expression of that Kite configuration may be the more difficult task for the individual.

 

Mystic Rectangle 1

A rare and sometimes misunderstood Mystic Rectangle pattern develops when two sets of oppositions are sextile to each other. The aspect pattern must have the following connections: two oppositions, two sextiles, and two trines. The Mystic Rectangle will always contain the same polarity of elemental energies; masculine (Air and Fire) or feminine (Earth and Water). Generally, this configuration is considered to be a "mild" aspect pattern in that it generally does not generate a lot of discomfort, resistance, or require convoluted actions in order to gain productivity.

The individual with a Mystic Rectangle does gain considerable benefit from the planetary configuration's balance and structure. There is a high degree of synchronization between the four planets when the Mystic Rectangle is triggered. Unfortunately, understanding and acknowledging the balance is not the rule - the individual must consciously react with awareness and mindful endeavors. Placing too much attention onto any one of the four placements will throw the energies out of balance and set the individual's well-intended efforts adrift.

The power of the Mystic Rectangle takes practice in order to gain the most benefit from it. The masculine reception of the Mystic Rectangle is expressed through an extrovert nature by the individual. The feminine reception of the configuration is expressed through an introvert nature. The problem arises through the two oppositions which can cause the individual to bounce out of control between four opposing influences. The sextiles and trines must be used to unify and support the polarities.

Another danger for individuals with this pattern is to become too self-contained and over-powered by the influences. Once the individual has learned how to harness the energies of the configuration, the decisions and choices in life become much easier to initiate and participate in.

Yod 1

The Yod is a fairly common configuration, but it is frequently overlooked unless the astrologer is also using the quincunx (inconjunct) aspect in his reports/charts. The Yod involves three planets involving one planet at the apex of two quincunx (150°) aspects and a sextile aspect joining the two quincunx ends together. The Yod is also identified as the "Finger of God." It is the planet in the apex, which would be the focal point, or the "Finger of God" in defining the Yod.

Some will suggest that the apex planet must be the faster moving planet of the three. The planets listed by fastest to slowest are: Moon, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. Some astrologers place the Sun before Mercury, immediately after the Moon since the rate or transit by Mercury and Venus is close to the Sun's rate of transit when the Retrograde Motion is included. The fact is that the Earth transits the Sun which adds confusion over the speed of the planets' transits.

Since some astrologers do not bother using the Quincunx aspect in their reports, many students are not familiar with the yod or the energy that the Quincunx aspect produces. The Quincunx is the "adjustment" aspect. It produces a sense of tension between the two planetary placements which, based on elements (fire, earth, air and water), modes (cardinal, fixed and mutable) and receptivity (masculine or feminine) would appear to have nothing in common.

The Quincunx is similar to the Opposition aspect, except that the two planets in the Opposition do share the same receptivity, which is not the case with the Quincunx. The two energies have no common ground, making decisions or choices more difficult when a transit taps on either end of the Quincunx placements. However, on occasion, there is some common ground based on rulership when the quincunx is formed between Aries and Scorpio (ruled by Mars) or Taurus and Libra (ruled by Venus). Because the quincunx is a minor aspect, the orb must be tighter than the Ptolemy aspects. The orb for the quincunx must not be more than 2°.

The Yod typically is identified with timing and crisis or the need to act. The need will develop through the apex while the opportunity to the action will develop through the sextiled planets. The nature of the Yod is to produce disrupting thought patterns since there is little energy within the chart configuration to unify these planets. The two sextile planets tend to work together to the detriment of the apex planet.

When the Yod is transited, the Yod individual tends to feel the urge to react immediately, then sensing that the decision to act was wrong, will wait too long to correct the first action. Individuals who can plan their actions to the timing of a transit to the first sextile planet and to end during the transit of the second sextile planet may begin to sense the "Finger of God" description given to the Yod. The annoying factor of the Yod is that the individual tends to feel that important information is missing when it is time to make a decision . When the individual learns to trust the timing and the Yod is integrated into their decisions, the individual then begins to grasp the "higher order" status of the configuration.

Boomerang 1

The Boomerang is one of the newer aspect patterns identified by Joan McEvers. The Boomerang looks very much like the Kite configuration except that the opposition is connected to the apex planet of the Yod. The Opposition in the Boomerang is similar also to the Opposition in the Kite as it adds an important piece of perspective to the configuration.

According to Joan, the fourth planet in the Boomerang typically added an important element that seemed missing in the Yod; a sense of understanding what the goal will be. The opposition provides an added focal point in regards to timing and actions which is missing with the Yod. The semi-sextiles connecting the opposition to the base of the Yod are also integral in blending the energies of the Yod into a unified force. The danger of this configuration is that it can become too self-contained, seeming to control the individual rather than the other way around.

Stellium 1

A Stellium is technically a group of three or more planets forming conjunctions to one another within an orb of 10° or less. Most astrologers are adamant that the Stellium must occur within the same sign. Actually, I've found that the house placement is most important with Stelliums and the conjunctions should not be divided up between two different houses.

The tighter the orb is for the conjunctions, the stronger the effect of the Stellium. Stelliums involving several personal planets will be more significant than, say, a personal planet conjunction with two outer planets. An example would be the Uranus and Neptune conjunction between 1989 and 1996. Anyone born in the sign of Capricorn during these years has a higher chance of having a Stellium involving Uranus and Neptune. The outer planets represent collective energies while the personal planet's conjunction to the outer planets, although still profound, is less likely to impact them at the same level as the individual with three personal planets forming the Stellium. That's not to say that the outer planet to personal planet Stellium is not valid. The personal planet connection to the outer planet will provide a level of insight to the individual that taps into the collective conscience of that generation. These individuals are more like the "go to guys" in helping that generation to understand themselves better.

While assessing Stelliums, the individual planets within the Stellium will accentuate the life experiences for the individual as a representative of the particular sign containing the Stellium. The tighter the orb of the conjunctions, the more intense the experiences and energy of the Stellium in that particular sign. In essence, the energies of the planets weave together with each other, making it more difficult to separate out the distinct needs of each planet. In very tight Stelliums, the planets are almost like conjoined triplets sharing essential organs and life experiences as a combo package. One could almost consider these tight Stelliums as a self-contained "mega-planet" that takes over the individual's chart.

The key factor with Stelliums is to not become consumed with this one area in life. Individuals with a Stellium might discover that they are devoting mega-energy and time into a certain activity that is often revealed by the sign and house of the Stellium. Assessment of the way that the individual consciously and unconsciously focuses on life can free up a lot of lost energy. It would become important for these individuals to explore the manner in which they spend their time throughout the day and decide whether the time is productive or wasted.

The best way to determine whether the individual is making effective use of their energies is to look at the opposing sign to assess whether that area of their life is also receiving equal attention. If the needs of that portion of their chart is also being met, then the individual can rest assured that he/she is doing a good job of finding the correct balance in life.

Grand Quintile 1

The Grand Quintile is formed when five planets are Quintile (72°) each other. The Grand Quintile aspect pattern contains the connection of five Quintiles, and five Biquintiles (144° aspects). This is perhaps the most rare of all the aspect patterns.

The Sun, Mercury and Venus are basically limited to occupying only one position of five because Mercury can at most be 28° from the Sun, and Venus can at most be 46° from the Sun. Mercury and Venus can, theoretically be as far as 74° apart and could form a Quintile aspect, but this is an exceedingly rare occurrence. At least one Quintile between outer planets would almost certainly be required for a Grand Quintile, and the windows of opportunity for these cycles is both relatively brief, and very infrequent.

The Grand Quintile is a configuration that does not flow easily since it is not defined by any of the themes by element, mode or receptivity. The Grand Quintile is made even more difficult based on the fact that the Quintile and Biquintile aspect orb must be less than 2°. Since most astrologers do not typically look for Quintiles and Biquintiles, the aspect pattern may be easily overlooked within an individual chart.

Since this aspect pattern is so rare, very little research has been done on the aspect pattern. It is believed that freedom and creativity are important factors in the individual's life. Quintiles have been related to vast artistic talent as well as to vast destructive force. Mozart and Hitler are have strong Quintile activity in their charts and may represent a small portion of the force generated from the Quintile aspect outside of the configuration.

The Grand Quintile is a very complex pattern and may not be a configuration that we will understand in this lifetime. There appears to be a significant connection between intellect and creativity, although it may not be tied directly into actual activities with one's life. It may be that the most productive potential for this pattern would be to connect to the energy in a way that the individual can create without destroying or discover without meddling in the flow of life.

Talent Triangle 2

At least two planets that are in favorable 120-degree trine aspect to each other, and 60-degree sextile aspects to at least one focal planet. Unlike most aspect patterns, which cross from one side of the zodiac to the other and thereby involve the whole person, Talent Triangles involve no more than one third of the chart circle and are therefore external to the core person.

 

They represent a talent that you can turn on or off. There is a skill which you can develop and to which you might turn for your livelihood, but it is not a mission to which you commit your entire self. There is something which you are good at, and which you enjoy, but it is not your entire life.
 

[1] www.lunarliving.org/astrology

2 Halloran software