The Astrology Podcast
Transcript of Episode 323, titled:
With Chris Brennan and Claire Moon
Episode originally released on October 16, 2021
Note: This is a transcript of a spoken word podcast. If possible, we encourage you to listen to the audio or video version, since they include inflections that may not translate well when written out. Our transcripts are created by human transcribers, and the text may contain errors and differences from the spoken audio. If you find any errors then please send them to us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Transcribed by Mary Sharon
Transcription released December 9, 2021
Copyright © 2021 TheAstrologyPodcast.com
CHRIS BRENNAN: Hey, my name is Chris Brennan and you’re listening to The Astrology Podcast. In this episode, I’m going to be talking with astrologer Claire Moon about the basics of aspects in astrology and what they mean and how they’re interpreted, and other things like that. Hey Claire, welcome to the show.
CLAIRE MOON: Hello, thanks for having me again.
CB: Yeah. This is your second episode. We did one on transitioning into becoming a professional astrologer a few months ago, I think in June, which I can’t believe the summer flew by already that fast.
CM: Yeah, I blinked.
CB: Yeah, exactly. That’s 2021 for you, whereas 2020 was just like one long, 10-year period.
CM: Yes. [laughs]
CB: Yeah. All right. So today is– what is the date? It’s Tuesday, October 5, 2021 starting at 4:44 p.m. in Denver, Colorado. This is going to be either the 223rd or 24th episode of the show, I’m not quite sure yet. But we’re recording this partially for this new intro to astrology course that we’re developing, which is like what I’m calling it sort of in working title is The Astrology Podcast Guide; Introduction to Astrology Guide, where we’re going to use some core episodes of the astrology podcast arranged in a specific order and also with some additional lectures and other bonus material added to it in order to create sort of an intro to astrology course that’s tied in with some of the best episodes of the podcast that I’ve done. And one of the things that we realised in putting that together is that I don’t have a basic episode on aspects. So that’s what we’re going to try to cover here today. People can find out more information, I’m gonna launch that course this month at courses.theastrologyschool.com or just go to theastrologyschool.com and you’ll find the course. All right, let’s talk about aspects. Let’s assume that the listener or the person watching this has no background in the aspect doctrine, we’re going to build things up from scratch. When it comes to learning astrology, and it comes to an intro to aspects, usually I teach aspects as the third thing that you learn, because the first two things you need to learn are the planets and what the planets mean. And then you learn the signs of the zodiac and what the 12 signs mean. Then the third thing is the aspect doctrine. And aspects basically represent relationships between planets, that’s the fundamental thing that aspects do or represent in a chart, I think, right?
CM: Yep, exactly how things talk to each other and how things interact.
CB: Yeah. Because up until this point it’s like when you introduce the planets, the planets are just like what they mean in isolation. Or you talk about the signs of the zodiac and what the signs mean, or what planets in signs means sort of in isolation. But when you get to aspects, that’s when you start talking about how the planets interact with each other in the chart for better or worse.
CM: Exactly. Yep.
CB: All right. So aspects is the third thing and then usually once you learn aspects, you can build on that to learn the fourth part of the system or Western astrology, which is houses because the houses basically build on planets, signs and aspects. And then all of that comes together in the fourth part of the system, which is just the 12 houses and those 12 topics are areas of life, basically. So going into this, the main thing people need to know is primarily just the planets and some of their meanings, and the signs of the zodiac and some of their meanings.
CB: All right, let’s start jumping into it. The starting point for aspects is that aspects primarily represent distances between planets and how far or far apart the planets are, how close they are to each other. And the notion that different intervals of space are going to represent different things, I think is the fundamental starting point. The most obvious starting point for this and the most obvious aspect, the most basic aspect and probably the first one that was ever developed, is what we refer to today as a conjunction, which is when two planets come together in roughly the same spot in the Zodiac, or roughly the same spot in the sky essentially, right? CM: Mhm.
CB: Okay. So the most obvious version of a conjunction, we saw that actually last December, the great conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn when they came together and conjoined in the sign of Aquarius. What you saw then if you went outside at night, is these two little twinkling stars that sort of got closer and closer over each successive night and each week if you went outside each night, until eventually they were basically lined up right on top of each other and it looked like two stars had essentially come together in the night sky.
CM: Yeah, that was an amazing demonstration. I was out there very much looking at it all the time, inching closer every night, which took a really long time. Well, and also just the Moon conjoining in the evening sky or whatever sky you can see planets under.
CB: Right. Here’s a picture I found from a stock photo site, which just shows Jupiter and Saturn which were just like– they looked brighter. And the planets, which in Greek originally the word planet means wandering star or wanderer, so the planets look like little fixed stars but the difference is that they move over successive periods of time rather than just staying fixed in place.
CB: All right, let me see if I have other images. There’s one with the Moon. I don’t know if this is real because the Moon looks kind of big in this one.
CM: That’s too big but we get the idea.
CB: Let’s imagine, for the sake of arguments, that planets can form conjunctions, which is when they’re basically at the same spot in the sky or the Moon can form a conjunction with other planets when it occupies the same spot in the sky, and so on and so forth basically, right?
CB: That’s what it looks like visually. There’s another illustration of a conjunction.
CM: Adorable. [laughs]
CB: Two planets coming together and holding hands, that’s a conjunction.
CM: I have actually used that terminology to describe it when I’m feeling very euphemistic. [laughs]
CB: Okay. Let me share an image of a chart right now in order to show people what this looks like. Because even though I’m showing it visually using these images of two planets lining up in the night sky, most of the time when you’re actually doing astrology, you’re going to be looking at charts and you’re going to be taking that three dimensional image of what you see in the night sky, and you translate it into a two dimensional image, which is a copy of an astrological chart or most often what you’re looking at as a birth chart. So this is the chart of the moment for right now. Currently, I don’t think we have any super close conjunctions by degree, but we do have several different conjunctions by sign. That’s one distinction that we’ll have to talk about here in a little bit, which is the difference between sign-based aspects and degree-based aspects, which can allow for two planets to be in conjunction either when they occupy the same degree of the Zodiac, or when they occupy the same sign of the Zodiac. In this chart, for example, Saturn is at six degrees of Aquarius and it’s in a sign-based conjunction, it’s in the same sign with Jupiter at 22 degrees of Aquarius. They’re just occupying the same sign, therefore it’s a sign based conjunction and if you were able to see those two planets at night, which I think you can after Sunset nowadays, you would see those two planets roughly in the same vicinity of the sky because they’re in the same sign.
CM: Mhm. Yep, they’ve been hanging out for a while.
CB: Yeah, let me animate the chart and see when we can find a day when two planets are conjoining. Let’s see. If I animate the chart, it looks like there’s a triple conjunction on October 9th, 2021. Mercury, which is retrograde right now, will be at 16 degrees of Libra and it will be in the same degree as Mars at 16 Libra. So those two are in a conjunction. Also, the Sun will be at 16 Libra at the same time, so there’ll be a conjunction of three planets instead of just two. Similarly the same day, it looks like the Moon will form a conjunction with Venus, where Venus is at two degrees of Sagittarius and the Moon will catch up to Venus and conjoin Venus also at two degrees of Sagittarius. That’s basically in terms of just technical terms what a conjunction is, it’s just two planets occupying either the same degree if we’re talking about a close degree-based conjunction, or alternatively occupying the same sign if we’re talking about sort of a wide sign-based conjunction. Does that make sense?
CM: It does, yes. And then just varying intensities, would you say with that? Or how would you interpret the difference? Or are we going to get to that later?
CB: Yeah. That gets into the subject of the distinction between sign-based aspects and degree-based aspects, but also this concept that modern astrologers refer to as orbs or orbs of influence. The concept of orbs is one of those murky areas of astrology, there’s several different murky areas like that where different astrologers have different definitions of what you should use or different ranges. And for orbs, an orb is basically when somebody mentions that it’s a range of influence in which they think that the aspects sort of comes into being relevant in some way. For example, I think some modern astrologers say that for the Sun and the Moon, you can have an orb for conjunctions of up to 10 degrees, for example. And if the Sun or the Moon conjunct another planet within 10 degrees, then they’ll consider that to be within aspect, or to be within orb of being relevant and something you should actually take into account as a conjunction. But other astrologers might either tighten that orb and they say, “You should only use aspects that are within six degrees on either side.” Or they’ll say, “You can use much wider orbs of anywhere from, let’s say, 15 degrees on either side.”
CM: Okay. So the orbs is a little bit tricky because different astrologers will define it in different ways. One of the ways that I’ve come to work this out for myself in terms of the history of astrology is, when I went back and started studying ancient astrology, it turns out that they took into account both sign-based aspects and degree-based aspects that are very close. And I think the main distinction is that an aspect is in effect as soon as two planets move into a sign-based aspect. For example, with a conjunction, the two planets are aspecting each other as soon as they move into the same sign, because the analogy is that it’s like two people who are living in the same house. And if you’re occupying the same house even if you’re living on the other opposite side of that house, you’re going to have some awareness of each other and you’re going to have some influence on the other person’s living situation, just by virtue of occupying the same house.
CM: Yeah. Yep, that makes sense. If Mars is upstairs hanging a picture, banging on the wall with a hammer, you’re gonna hear it downstairs.
CB: Yeah, exactly. You know, there is a difference between living on the opposite wing of a mansion versus, let’s say, you get a little bit closer and you’re living in two rooms. It’s like a dorm room and there’s two of you living in separate rooms, but they’re like right across from each other or across the hall from each other, or right next to each other. So yeah, maybe you hear Mars playing loud music at three o’clock in the morning and it’s keeping you up even though he’s not quite living in the same room as you. That might be an aspect that’s a little bit closer by degree, like it’s within 10 degrees or something like that. The next range is an aspect that’s super close, let’s say within one degree or even within three degrees. That might be like those two planets are literally living in the same room and are kind of bunk mates together or something, living on a bunk bed right on top of each other. That’s a much more intimate and much more intense experience?
CM: Mhm. Yeah.
CB: Yes. That’s the basic aspect between sign-based aspects versus degree-based aspects and it’s one of the reasons why think the concept of orbs is a little bit nebulous and a little bit fluid, because I think people sometimes get stuck a little bit too much on this idea that an orb is like this very strict boundary that’s very clear and it’s always exactly like this number of degrees, when in fact the aspect is probably in effect as soon as they come into a sign-based aspect. But it just gets more intense the closer they are together.
CM: Yep. That’s how I treat it.
CB: Okay, cool. Moving on from there. We’re using the conjunction as sort of the archetypal aspect, but that applies to all the other aspects that we’ll get into later as well. So in terms of the history of aspects, the concept of aspects as we know it today was probably introduced or standardised somewhere around the first century BCE during the early Hellenistic tradition, and this was essentially the birth of what we call Hellenistic astrology, where some traditions of astrology from Mesopotamia and from Egypt came together and were mixed with some other currents that were present in the Mediterranean at the time. And a number of new concepts were introduced, and the concept of the five aspects of the conjunction, sextile, square, Trine and opposition is one of those concepts that was kind of introduced around that time, even if there were some earlier precursors through simple things like paying attention to an alignment of two planets, which is essentially a conjunction in the sky.
CB: There’s five basic aspects, or there’s always been five basic traditional aspects in Western astrology. Let me see if I can pull up a diagram really quickly in order to show you those aspects. Here we go. All right. We’ve talked about the conjunction, which is with when two planets occupy either the same degree or the same sign. The other aspects are the sextile, which is when two planets are either 60 degrees apart or are three signs apart. For example, let’s say that Mercury is in the middle of the sign of Cancer. It would be sextile by sign to any planets in Virgo or any planets in Taurus. So that’s three signs apart or if you measure at exactly 60 degrees from the middle of Cancer, let’s say 15 degrees of Cancer, then that would go to 15 degrees of Virgo or to 15 degrees of Taurus. I’m kind of trying to balance between introducing both sign-based and degree-based aspects at the same time, so there might be a little complicating things but hopefully in the long term that makes people understand the importance and sort of interchangeability between sign-based and degree-based aspects.
CB: The next aspect after the conjunction and the sextile is the square, which is when two planets are either exactly 90 degrees apart, or when they are four signs apart. For example, a planet in Cancer would be square to a planet in Libra, or square to a planet in Aries. Yeah. Or if you measure at exactly 90 degrees from 15 Cancer, it would go to 15 Libra or to 15 Aries. The next aspect after that is a Trine, and that measures the distance either between 120 degrees or between five signs. So a planet in Cancer would be Trine to a planet in Scorpio, or to a planet in Pisces. And then finally, the opposition which is either seven signs– sorry, six signs apart on the exact opposite side of the Zodiac or exactly 180 degrees, which is the exact degree-based opposition. For example, a planet in Cancer would be opposite to the sign of Capricorn, to any planets in Capricorn. Or if you’re measuring from 15 degrees of Cancer, the exact opposition would be at 15 degrees of Capricorn. Those are our five basic aspects. And the aspects are based actually on regular polygons. They’re basically the side of a polygon where for some of the aspects, for example, if you started in Cancer and then drew a line from Cancer to Scorpio, and then another line to Pisces, and then another line from Pisces to Cancer, you end up with a triangle. So the Trine aspect is really just one side of an actual three-sided triangle. Right?
CB: Okay. The square similarly is a four-sided square, which if you draw a line from Cancer to Libra, and then from Libra to Capricorn, and then from Capricorn to Aries and then finally back from Aries to Cancer, you end up with a four-sided square or the four-sided polygon of a square. So a square aspect is just one side of that, which is measuring the distance from one sign to another. The sextile is a hexagon. So if you started from Cancer and then go to Virgo, and then to Scorpio and then to Capricorn, then Pisces, then Taurus, then Cancer, you end up with a six-sided polygon which is a hexagon. And then finally, the opposition is just basically dividing the Zodiac you have.
CM: The diameter.
CB: Yeah, the diameter, like Euclid’s elements are in geometry?
CM: Mhm. Yeah, not technically. Do they technically call it a shape or isn’t that considered a shape? Because the conjunction and the opposition are not technically one of the shapes.
CB: Yeah, they’re not technically polygons, but instead it’s just like a point and it’s opposite. And then I guess it’s everything after that that you get a full sort of polygon or shape.
CB: Yeah. All right. So each of the aspects is just one side of that. People should– one of the things they should do early on after they’ve memorised the symbols for the planets and the symbols for the signs of the Zodiac, is the very last symbol that you really need to memorise is the symbols for the aspects, the five aspects symbols. There’s conjunction, sextile, square, Trine and opposition. I’m not going to attempt to describe them for the audio listeners, but just look it up somewhere. Most basic Intro to Astrology books will have an illustration of these. All right. We’ve talked about degree-based aspects versus sign-based aspects. We’ve talked about the fact that they’re geometrical figures. One of the distinctions that we need to make is setting the basis for the sign-based aspects. Because this is something I spent a lot of time on when I was developing and writing my book on Hellenistic astrology, titled Hellenistic Astrology: The Study of Fate and Fortune, where I went back and tried to understand the origins of Western astrology and how they came up with this system way back in the beginning. And one of the things I realised is that underlying the basic aspect doctrine and underlying the notion of aspects is the notion that there’s certain signs that relate to other signs in different ways. This is actually really important because it’s underlying a lot of the interpretive principles that we use in astrology, even in pop astrology, about how, you know, Scorpios get along with Pisces and other things like that, based on the geometrical relationships between the 12 signs of the Zodiac. So part of the basic premise underlying of this is that in order for two planets to aspect each other or to see each other– and that analogy was used very literally because the term aspect means to see, and originally the concept of aspects was denoting planets that are either able to see each other and therefore able to form some relationship, or planets that cannot see each other and therefore cannot form any sort of relationship whatsoever or sort of alienated or turned away from each other. So in order for two planets to see each other, they have to be in signs that share some sort of affinity based on the basic properties of the signs of the Zodiac, which are the gender of the signs of the Zodiac, which is masculine or feminine. The odd signs, in terms of numerology, were said to be masculine and the even signs were said to be feminine. That’s actually the basis of the sextile aspect, if you look at it, that all planets in sextile are in signs that share an affinity based on only the gender of that sign.
CM: Also, people talk about that in terms of like, nocturnal, diurnal polarities, things of that nature. You’ll hear people talk about it in those terms as well. But yeah, hexagon is the shape.
CB: Yeah, and there’s been a lot of debate recently in modern times about whether to retain the traditional names or sort of designation of like masculine and feminine and associating it with gender or if that should be changed. Another alternative, like you mentioned, is referring to the odd signs as diurnal or daytime signs, and the even signs as nocturnal. Other people have taken concepts from, like Eastern philosophy and applied it like yin and yang in order to use that conceptual structure. I mean, there’s a lot of different ways that you could go with it.
CM: Yeah, the underlying archetypal thing is all there. It’s all the same soup of archetypal thing there.
CB: Yeah. I’ll just continue to use the traditional one for the sake of ease, but people are free to use whatever they want. All right, so when it comes to that, here is the diagram again. So a planet in Cancer, let’s say that for example, Mercury’s in Cancer. So Cancer is an even sign when you start the numbering from Aries. Aries is the first sign right after the spring equinox so that’s an odd sign, a number one. And so it’s said to be, let’s say masculine for the sake of argument. Then the next sign, the second sign is Taurus. That’s an even sign, so it’s said to be feminine. Then the next sign after that it just alternates, it’s an odd sign again. It’s the third sign and Gemini is masculine, then Cancer is the fourth sign and it’s feminine, and so on and so forth. That’s the difference between masculine and feminine signs. That sets up a basic distinction between even signs and odd signs and that those signs will relate to each other if they share that in common. And that’s the basis of one of the first aspects which is the sextile. So if Mercury’s in Cancer, it’s a feminine sign. And so it shares a commonality with any planets that are in Virgo, which is three signs over which is also a feminine sign. It also shares a commonality with any signs in Taurus, which is three signs and the other direction, which is also a feminine sign. One of the initial ways to understand what the aspects mean is just based on this basic understanding of they have an affinity with each other, because they’re in signs that share something in common. And that basis of sharing something in common is the basis for starting to form a relationship.
CM: Mhm. It’s not enough just to see each other and fit into this certain polygon, the underlying thing is that these signs share something in common so they can work together.
CB: Yeah, and for me, this was really huge when I started studying traditional astrology because this gives a rationale for the sign-based aspects and it explained why a sign-based aspect could work or be relevant that’s outside of the strictly geometrical lens of looking at aspects. Yeah, that was part of it, and the other thing is that it also explains why there’s a fundamental distinction between the major aspects, these five major aspects, the first aspects that we’re talking about. Which are sometimes referred to as the Ptolemaic aspects just because they were outlined in the second century text of Claudius Ptolemy, and that was one of the only texts that was continually transmitted for the past 2000 years. So for a long time, people thought it was like the Bible of astrology until somewhat recently. So the sign-based aspects in this rationale provide a reason why there’s a distinction between these five major aspects versus some other minor aspects that were introduced much later, especially by the time of Johannes Kepler during the time of the Renaissance. I’m going to save the discussion about the minor aspects for the most part for a separate episode that I’m planning on doing at some point in the future, and instead, we’re going to focus here in this discussion on just the five major aspects of conjunctions, sextile, square, Trine and opposition?
CB: Yeah, all right. So sextile connects two signs based on gender. The square connects signs based on modality. And modality or what’s also sometimes called quadruplicity is the three different types of signs which are cardinal signs, fixed signs or mutable signs. The cardinal signs all fall at the beginning of the seasons, the fixed signs fall in the middle of the seasons, and the mutable signs fall at the end of the seasons. Basically, it breaks each season up into thirds. Anyways, a planet in Cancer for example, would be in a square aspect that’s signed any planets in Libra since Cancer and Libra are both cardinal signs, and also square to any signs in Aries because those are both cardinal signs. That’s the basics of the square. You’ll notice though that the gender of the square is reversed here. So a square aspect is connecting to signs that share something in common based on modality or quadruplicity, which is Cardinal fixed or immutable, but it’s actually two signs that do not share the same relationship in terms of gender. There’s a little bit of tension there or a little bit of, you might say a mismatch but let’s just say tension for the sake of argument.
CM: Right. Sure.
CB: Sure. All right. That’s the basis of the square and that kind of starts to get us into the qualities of the properties of the aspects which we’ll get into here in just a moment. The next is the triangle aspect which connects planets that have the same element or the same triplicity, which are the four classical elements from Greek philosophy which are Earth, air, fire and water. So a trine connects planets that are in signs that share the same element. For example, a planet in Cancer is trine to a planet in Scorpio, because those are both water signs. And a planet in Cancer is also trine to a planet in Pisces because Pisces is also a water sign just as Cancer is. And then finally, the last aspect is the opposition. Planets in opposition are in signs that share actually the same gender and the same modality, but they have opposite elemental qualities. So in this instance, Cancer, the water sign is opposite to Capricorn, the Earth sign. And Earth signs are said to be dry and water signs are said to be wet, so wet and dry are opposite qualities. Then similarly with the other signs, the fire signs are in opposition which are hot, or in opposition to the air signs which are said to be cool or cooling. Let me see if I have a diagram for that. That starts to set us up with some basic qualities and starts to explain where some of the qualities of the aspects come from. They don’t just come from the geometrical natures, but also partially through the qualities of the signs that they’re connecting?
CB: So there’s the different qualities of the signs with Earth, air, fire and water. Again, that’s a basic concept that people should have learned at this point already when studying the signs of the zodiac, and that’s one of the reasons you have to study the signs first before you get into aspects because the concept kind of build on each other. All right. There’s the hot, cold, wet and dry thing that’s based on the stoic qualities. There were some complications later in the tradition where some other qualities from Aristotle started getting applied, but I think that was a mistake and we can see many of the earlier astrologers that first introduced some of these concepts were using these stoic qualities in terms of which ones they applied to which signs. All right, so where are we at at this point?
CM: All right, we are at… Well, some history there.
CB: Yeah. I guess we can touch on that really quickly, which is just that… Well, actually, two things. So one of them is aversion that we have to mention, which is what happens when a planet is in a sign that doesn’t have any of those qualities or any of those affinities in common. And what happens is that the planets said to be not in aspect are said to be in aversion. For example, let’s say a planet is in the sign of Cancer, there’s going to be eight signs that it aspects, or I guess seven signs besides the one that it’s in that it aspects, and there’s going to be four signs that it does not aspect or would be said to be in aversion or turned away from. So if the planet’s in Cancer then it’s in aversion to the signs of Gemini, Leo, Sagittarius and Aquarius. Because if you look at and consider to count up those three qualities that we talked about earlier, you’ll notice that Cancer does not share any of those qualities in common with those four signs. For example, Cancer is a feminine sign whereas all four of those other signs are masculine signs. Gemini, Leo, Sagittarius, and Aquarius are all masculine signs so it does not share that in common with Cancer. Cancer is a cardinal sign. It’s one of the four cardinal signs, whereas Gemini is a mutable sign, Leo is fixed, Sagittarius is mutable, and Aquarius is fixed. It doesn’t share any commonality based on modality or quadruplicity either. Then finally the last one is element or triplicity, where Cancer is a water sign, and none of those other four signs are water signs. They’re either air signs in the case of Aquarius and Gemini or they’re fire signs in the case of Leo and Sagittarius. As a result of that, there’s no affinity between the signs so there’s going to be an aversion. And there’s an aversion when there’s no aspect between a planet based on the signs that it’s in.
CM: Right. So then if you have planets that are in aversion to each other in these houses, then they don’t have anything really in common and they’re not going to be connecting or seeing each other in that way.
CB: Yeah, they’re kind of just ignoring each other which sometimes is not a good thing because sometimes you want positive planets to aspect other planets in your chart. But sometimes an aversion can be a good thing actually, because sometimes you don’t want certain planets like let’s say malefics or challenging planets to aspect other planets in their chart. But sometimes it’s actually useful if they’re in aversion to whatever planet you’re looking at?
CM: Totally. Yep.
CB: Yeah. Okay, that’s the basics. This is also part of the reason in ancient astrology, and it creates a bit of a division between modern and ancient astrology, where in later forms of astrology, they introduce some additional aspects such as the semi sextile and the inconjunct are quincunx. While those are recognised as aspects in some forms of modern astrology, they weren’t recognised as aspects in ancient astrology because of this conceptual structure that had to do with an aspect needing to connect planets that share qualities in common based on the science that they’re located in.
CM: Mhm. Yeah, and I think the middle ground there is just that it all says something regardless of, obviously, it’s important to understand the concepts but we get just as much information out of aversion than not. Right?
CB: Yeah, between a lack of an aspect. I guess it’s just a matter of how you conceptualise. And if you’re conceptualising it as the non-existence of an aspect versus the aspect and what qualities you’re attributing to that, and whether they would be the same.
CM: Right. Not to just ignore signs or planets that are in aversion, but that they’re important too.
CB: Right, for sure. Yeah, and they can definitely tell you something as you were saying. Um, let’s see. So that’s the concept. And focusing especially on sign-based aspects, there was also an ancient astrology, the concept of degree-based aspects, which is just as important. It was based on this notion that each of the planets is always emitting the seven partile or degree-based rays of vision from the exact degree that the planet occupies to the exact same degree in seven other signs. For example, if Mercury is at 15 degrees of Cancer then it sends a sextile ray to 15 degrees of Virgo and to 15 degrees of Taurus, it sends two square aspect rays to 15 Libra and 15 Aries, and it sends two trine aspect rays to 15 Scorpio and 15 Pisces, and then finally one exact opposition ray or aspect to 15 degrees of Capricorn. What happens is the different planets are always moving around the zodiac and they’re always emitting these rays until eventually that exact ray of vision passes over another planet, at which point the aspect or the configuration goes exact. So what happened is that in ancient astrology, they use both sign-based and degree-based aspects. As the tradition went on further and further, it seems like there was more and more of an emphasis many centuries later on the degree-based aspects. Those came to dominate most of the astrological tradition because they were seen as more important and more intense until eventually I feel like at some point by the time of modern astrology, the sign-based aspects largely fell out of use and only degree-based aspects were recognised as real or true aspects in some ways.
CB: This has been a little bit of a change over the past decade or two with the revival of ancient astrology and traditional astrology because we’ve had this revival of not just sign-based aspects, but also the rationale for these sign-based aspects, and seeing how its integrated into the rest of the system and how it forms part of the basis of the entire aspect doctrine itself. That’s one of the reasons I use both sign-based aspects and degree-based aspects in my work. I’ll have to get into more of the history of that later once I do the minor aspects episode in a separate discussion. All right. At this point, I guess we’re going on to the concept of applying versus separating aspects, right?
CB: Okay. This is a pretty straightforward concept which you can take back to the idea of a conjunction where you have two planets that are in a conjunction ideally. An exact conjunction is when they’re both occupying the exact same space or the exact same degree in a specific sign of the zodiac like both at let’s say 15 degrees of Cancer. But what do you do when you have two planets that are not quite at an exact aspect yet like a conjunction, but are moving towards each other so that they will form the exact conjunction in the near future? That’s called an applying aspect or an application, and an applying aspect is an aspect that’s moving together or will become exact at some point in the not too distant future. That’s contrasted with a separating aspect, which is when two planets have recently completed an exact aspect such as a conjunction, but they’re starting to move apart from each other so that the distance between them is growing rather than becoming less and less. Yeah, I think that’s basically the basis, especially with the conjunction that’s really easy to visualise in a chart. But applying versus separating aspects also applies to the other four aspects as well; the sextile, square, trine and opposition just based on is the exact aspect getting closer and closer, or is it moving further and further apart?
CM: Right. Yep, and then just being careful if you are looking at that in a chart for anybody who is not presuming the speed all the time, because sometimes planets will move slower or faster and it might look just at first glance, like you have an application or separation. But if you animate the chart in a few days, you’re like, “Oh, no. Actually, that’s not moving in that direction!” You know what I’m saying? I don’t know if that makes sense.
CB: Yeah. Part of what you’re bringing up is just that different planets move at different speeds. And also planets can sometimes move forward in the Zodiac when they’re direct versus when they go retrograde, they start moving backwards in the Zodiac so they can change in that direction?
CM: Yeah, and that.
CB: Yeah. You have to pay attention to if the planets are… Like what direction the planets are moving, if they’re moving direct or if they’re retrograde, as well as what their speed is really in order to know for sure whether it’s two planets applying or separating.
CM: Right. Yeah, most of the time it’s pretty obvious, but not all the time.
CB: Yeah. Additionally, sometimes on sites like astro.com, if you look in the bottom left corner of the chart, which is the little section called the Aspectarian, it’ll sometimes show a little A which means applying, or it will show an S which means separating. You can use that as a little cheat sheet as well.
CM: Yep. On Astro Gold, if there are any users of that out there, it’s the grid view versus the circle view.
CB: Okay, cool. Another really good way to visualise it also is if you get some software that can animate or move the chart. I use Solar Fire from alabe.com, you can use the promo code AP15 to get a discount on it. So let’s do an example. Since the Moon is the fastest of the traditional quote unquote “planets”, let’s use the Moon to give an example. Here’s the Moon in a few days from now on October 9. We had talked about before, the Moon will form a conjunction with Venus at two degrees of Sagittarius that day. Earlier in the day at let’s say 11:39 a.m, the Moon here in Denver will be at zero degrees of Sagittarius and Venus will be at two degrees of Sagittarius. That means the Moon is only two degrees from forming an exact conjunction with Venus. If you move the chart forward in time, you’ll see that the Moon will slowly drift towards Venus and get closer and closer and closer to it. First, it’ll move from zero to one degree of Sagittarius. Then eventually a couple hours later, it’ll move to two degrees of Sagittarius where it will form the exact conjunction with Venus both by degree as well as by minute. So, two degrees of Sagittarius is the exact degree, but if you look at the other side of that it shows the minutes are two degrees and 33 minutes of Sagittarius which are smaller divisions of the signs. Eventually, it will change. The Moon will actually change sides when it switches from one side of Venus to the other, and at that point the Moon will start separating from Venus and eventually it will move from two degrees of Sagittarius to three degrees of Sagittarius, and then eventually it’ll move to four and five degrees of Sagittarius. At this point, because it’s moving away from the conjunction, it’s moving away from the degree of Venus, it’s separating and it’s a separating conjunction. Does that make sense in terms of applying versus separating aspects?
CB: All right. Again, that’s the conjunction and the conjunction is sort of like the archetypal aspect. But the same thing applies to other aspects as well, and maybe we should do one of those really quickly just to give an example.
CM: Moon and Saturn, they are sextile, aren’t they? In that chart.
CB: Yeah. Let’s do a trine though just to make it clear. Let me put the Moon in Gemini, which it will be later this month. So here on October 24th– and this is actually our electional chart this month. Well, it’s not the exact time but I forgot to mention the election in the forecast episode this month but it falls on the 24th, so just a heads up for anybody that hears this in time– So at 7:40 p.m on October 24th or let’s say even earlier in the day on October 24th. Let’s say we start out earlier in the morning at 9:40 a.m. The Moon is at 15 degrees of Gemini and Jupiter is at 22 degrees of Gemini. Sorry, 22 degrees of Aquarius. So the Moon, by sign, is in a sign that is trine with Jupiter because the Moon is in Gemini which is an air sign and Aquarius is also an air sign. We know that they’re already in an aspect of a sign-based trine, but at a certain point as the Moon starts getting closer and closer to 22 degrees of Gemini, that’s the point at which it will form an exact trine with Jupiter which is 120 degrees. That’s the exact aspect of the trine. If we animate the chart and move that forward, the Moon starts out the day at like 15-16 Gemini. But over the course of the day, the Moon will go through 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, and eventually it’ll hit 22 degrees of Gemini and at that point it forms the exact trine with Jupiter. That means for most of the day, the Moon is in an applying aspect because it’s moving towards the exact aspect with Jupiter. But then eventually as soon as it completes the exact aspect and gets to exactly 120 degrees away from Jupiter, then it will start separating from the trine and it’ll go into a separating aspect. Especially once it gets to 23 degrees of Gemini, 24 Gemini, 25 Gemini, it’s in a separating degree-based trine. Then eventually the following day, the Moon will change signs completely once it moves from Gemini into Cancer, at which point it’s no longer forming a sign-based trine with Jupiter at all, but instead has moved into a sign that is in aversion to Jupiter and is not aspecting it by sign.
CB: All right, so that’s applying versus separating. Part of the trick with applying versus separating the interpretive principle, it comes up especially in election astrology and to some extent in horary astrology as well, where applying aspects are said to indicate things that are coming up in the future whereas separating aspects indicate things that happened in the past. It’s very useful when it comes to electional astrology. If you’re trying to pick something that you want to happen in the future, then you try to focus on applying aspects. Whereas if you’re trying to make it so that the thing indicated by the aspect is in the past, then you make it a separating aspect?
CM: Mhm. Yep, exactly.
CB: All right. I was using the Moon for this because the Moon is the fastest planet so it’s the easiest planet to demonstrate aspects with. But basically all of the planets make applying and separating aspects at different points. It’s just that some of the planets move much more slowly, so their aspects take much longer periods of time to form. All right. I think that’s applying versus separating. Again, that brings up the idea of orbs where there’s no standard range for orbs. You’re going to find in different books, different astrologers are going to recommend different ranges for degree-based aspects. I think the safest thing is just to say that planets move into aspect as soon as they move into signs that are configured, and it just gets more intense the closer they are to the exact aspect.
CB: There can be degree-based aspects that cross sign boundaries. It gets into a broader issue at that point about what orbs you use but definitely if the planets are within like, let’s say three degrees, which was a common orb that was used in ancient astrology for close sign-based aspects, three degrees for planets or 13 degrees for the Moon, then it would still count as a degree-based aspect even if they’re not connected by sign.
CB: All right. That’s all the basic definition stuff. Now, I think we have to get into the meaning of aspects and how you actually interpret them. Were there any other basic definition things that we should have dwelled on or that we glossed over a little bit too fast?
CM: I don’t think so. Cuz you covered the last piece there about degree versus out of sign aspects. I have nothing to add. That sounds good.
CB: All right. At this point I think we should transition into talking about the meaning of aspects and once you’ve established the different ranges, like what does an aspect actually mean when you’re looking at it in practice?
CB: All right. One of the starting points for that– I wanted to read a little passage, this is from the third century astrologer Porphyry in his chapter, where he just outlines the basics of the aspect doctrine. And that’s derived from an earlier astrologer from the first century named Antiochus of Athens. So this translation is from Levente László from his HOROI translation project, which is available on Patreon where he’s just translating a bunch of Greek astrological texts, which is pretty amazing.
CM: That’s awesome.
CB: Porphyry says, “They call the mutual configurations of the stars ‘bearing testimony’. These figures are the ‘trigon’, the figure within five (signs), when there are three intermediate signs between the two (affected) signs; the ‘tetragon’, the figure within four (signs), when there are two intermediate signs between them; the ‘diameter’, the figure within seven (signs), when there are five intermediate signs; and the ‘hexagon’, the figure within three (signs), when there is one intermediate sign between them.” That’s just the basic definition of side-based aspects. Then he says, “The configuration by trigon, so the trine, is sympathetic and beneficial. And when a malefic is involved, he is less harmful. The tetragonal configuration is unpleasant and inharmonious, and capable of causing distress when a malefic is involved. The diametrical configuration is adversative, but it is even more pernicious when a malefic is involved. And the hexagon configuration is weaker.” Finally, he says, “One must also see if the figures are perfect according to the degree and not only according to the sign: the trigon in 120 degrees, the tetragon in 90 degrees, the hexagon in 60 degrees, and the diameter in 180 degrees; for the stars are often configured by sign but not by degree.” Here, he’s just outlining the basis of sign-based aspects versus degree-based aspects, and also giving us a little pointer in terms of some of the meaning of the aspects. It’s a little tricky because they used geometrical terminology that’s a little bit different from the names that we give the aspects today. But for the most part, you can still sort of tell what it’s talking about?
CM: Yeah, and he also points out that difference between degree-based and sign-based. They recognised it pretty early on.
CB: Yeah, so that’s pretty core to the basic basis of the aspect doctrine and to the so-called major aspects or the Ptolemaic aspects or whatever you want to call them. So when it comes to the quality of the aspects, there’s a few different things that you can look at in order to understand what they mean. One of them that we started talking about was the affinities between the signs and the inherent affinities between certain signs based on gender or quadruplicity or element. Another conceptual structure that was used in ancient astrology for understanding the basic nature of the aspects is by looking at them in the context of the traditional rulership scheme where you assign the two luminaries to the two signs following the summer solstice, which are Cancer to the Moon, and then the Sun to Leo. And then the rest of the planets are assigned to the signs flanking out from there in zodiacal order based on their relative speed and distance from the Sun. So the next planet out is Mercury which gets assigned to Virgo and Gemini. Then Venus is the next planet out and it gets assigned to Libra and Taurus. Then Mars is the next planet to Scorpio and Aries, Jupiter to Sagittarius and Pisces, and then finally Saturn to the two furthest signs to the luminaries which are Capricorn and Aquarius. So when you draw aspect lines from the two luminaries and you divide the zodiac into two hemispheres in between the Cancer and Leo axis, what you end up with is the sextile aspect goes from each of the luminaries from the Sun in the Moon to Venus. For example, the Sun in Leo is sextile to Venus in Libra, and the Moon in Cancer is sextile to Venus in Taurus. What this tells us is that the sextile is of the nature of Venus, and Venus is the lesser of the two benefic planets.
CB: So the sextile goes to Venus. The square goes to Mars which is in Scorpio and Aries. The trine goes to Jupiter in Sagittarius and Pisces, and the opposition goes to Saturn in Capricorn and Aquarius. So you end up with the sextile is to the lesser benefic Venus, and the sextile is the weaker of the two benefic aspects. The square goes to Mars, and the square is said to be the somewhat weaker of the two hard aspects or the somewhat less difficult of the two hard aspects between the square and the opposition. The trine goes to Jupiter, which is the greater benefit and the trine is said to be the most positive aspect. And then finally, the opposition goes to Saturn and Saturn is the greater malefic, and the opposition is said to be the most difficult of the two hard aspects between the square and the opposition.
CM: Mhm. So it sets up a lot of symbolism right out of the gate. You immediately get a lot of information about what it means to have a square versus what it means to have an opposition, what’s the difference between a sextile and a trine if they’re both good, well, of the nature of Venus versus of the nature of Jupiter. And then you get to kind of know what Jupiter and Venus are and it makes a lot more sense. So, I think it works together.
CM: Right. It starts bringing together like a bunch of different concepts at this point but also through those overlaps, we can start to understand what different parts of the system mean.
CB: That’s really useful. And some of the things that it brings up are things that like, for example, that sextile is of the nature of Venus and it’s somewhat positive and helping to unite two planets or to smooth over the relationship and create a somewhat flowing relationship between two planets. It’s moderately good, let’s say, versus the trine which is associated with Jupiter. It’s more of a strongly affirming aspect that especially when benefic planets are involved, can give you a strong yes, or positive, or affirming type relationship between two planets. That’s very helpful.
CB: Conversely, the square goes to Mars. And Mars, one of the tricky things with the squares is the square can cause a lot of tension or can indicate a lot of tension between two planets where they’re sort of at cross purposes to some extent and not getting along very good. Or there can be irritations between them in the same way that Mars indicates things that are sort of irritating or can inflame things. But at the same time, the square is often treated as an aspect that’s also very powerful or very energetic. And that’s also a consideration that’s often given to Mars, where Mars tends to speed things up and also indicate things that have a lot of energy or vitality.
CM: Right, yeah. I think about squares and Mars, just the fact that it really reflects those pivot points in the chart that are called pivots. And what did they call them? The goaden points, the goad being like the cow prod. So when I think about planets and a square relationship, I’m always thinking about that cow prod and you know, just moving things along. That energetic quality of change or action being taken, adjustments being made to friction, things like that, thinking about that imagery versus how that’s different from in opposition where we have Saturn, and we have two different extremes in polarity if you have two planets that are in opposition.
CB: Yeah, that’s a really great point. I like that. That the first house and fourth house and seventh and 10th, and also the degrees associated with those were said to be the cantrons that goad things into action in ancient astrology. And that is exactly very much like Mars symbolism?
CB: So it goads them into action or into motion. That leads to a complicated relationship with the square and to some extent with the hard aspects in general, the conjunction square, and also to some extent the opposition. Once you get into modern astrology where they’re treated often as aspects that can indicate tension or difficulties, especially if there’s difficult planets involved in them. But there’s also thought to be a tremendous amount of power in them. They’re said to be very powerful aspects that indicate things that will happen or get something moving, even if it’s not necessarily good.
CM: Right. Yeah. And I think we’re coming upon an important point of all of this, just how we put our subjective judgments on top of what is, I guess, an inherently neutral kind of conceptual framework, right? So if we have squares and oppositions or conjunctions that we find quote unquote “difficult” or which they’re certainly of the nature or of Mars of the nature of Saturn. Yes. But yeah, what’s actually happening in that story? What is it that’s being delayed or stopped by that opposition versus what is being put into action or not with the square?
CB: Right. Yeah. The squares, even in ancient astrology– I know there’s a passage from some ancient astrology that talks about the squares being tremendously powerful and not always bad, but just very energetic and able to get things going?
CB: And then finally, the opposition is of the nature of Saturn and because it’s on opposite signs of the zodiac, it tends to be two things that are pulling in opposite directions, kind of like when you stretch a rubber band to its utmost extreme and either it’s at the point where it will snap and break, or it’s at the point where you just can’t pull any further, because there’s two things that are like equal footing that are just pulling in the opposite direction. There has to be a point where they reach equilibrium.
CB: Saturn is also the greater malefic, and has this potential and a tendency to negate or say no to things. Part of the potential tendency with an opposition, especially if a malefic is involved like Mars or Saturn can be to negate or say no to what the other planet wants to signify. And that can be a potential with the opposition as well in terms of what it indicates and some of the tensions that indicates.
CM: Right. Right.
CB: That gets us to part of the basic nature of the aspects that generally speaking, the sextiles and trines tend to be more positive or flowing or easy. And the squares and oppositions tend to be a little bit more challenging or potentially negative, or dynamic and energetic, but sometimes that energy can be difficult to deal with.
CM: Right. Yeah. And then what is the kind of the perception and how it feels out, you know, in the real world for the person who is living that transit or has that in their chart?
CB: Right. Finally, the conjunction is treated as kind of neutral and capable of going either way, where it depends on the planets involved. So conjunctions with a benefic like Venus or Jupiter are going to tend to be experienced as a little bit more easy to deal with or positive, whereas conjunctions with a malefic like Mars or Saturn tend to be experienced as a little bit more challenging or sometimes hard to deal with. But because of the sort of inherent neutrality of a conjunction, it can kind of go either way, and it’s more of just a matter of blending the significations of the meanings of those two planets together in some ways?
CM: Right. Yeah. You can get so many variations and different combinations of things. It’s really hard to tell how conjunctions will turn out all the time.
CB: Right, for sure. And then with conjunctions, you run into a show also of where you can have just two planets in a conjunction, but then you can also get into three-planet conjunctions or four planets in the same sign or within the same degrees, which is the concept of a stellium which I did an episode on just a few months back.
CM: Yep, exactly. So many possibilities.
CB: Yeah. All right. There’s one more diagram for the sextile, the square, the trine and the opposition in which planets those are connected to in the traditional domicile scheme or the traditional planetary rulership scheme. All right. Let’s drill down a little bit more on some of the meanings of some of these aspects. I know we’ve talked about it and touched on it a little bit here, but there’s just a few more things that might be worth dwelling on. One of them, like we said with conjunctions, is that you have the most intense conjunction when two planets are at the exact same degree. But they can also be in the same sign, in which case, they were said to be co present in ancient astrology as if they’re present in the same house or home together, or dwelling place, and therefore having some influence on each other even if they’re not occupying the same room. We had that whole sort of analogy and now you can start to understand, using that analogy, how it really matters or depends on which planets we’re talking about when it comes to a conjunction.
CB: Yeah. All right. The idea of the conjunction, there’s a few different conceptual models underlying some of this stuff, which are whole sort of digressions that we’re not going to get fully into. One of them is the idea of harmonics and musical theory, and how musical theory may be tied into aspects a little bit in terms of different chords and different relationships or sort of vibrations that different planets have. Music theory is not my specialty, so I’m gonna save that for another– not you either, you’re not like a music expert?
CM: No. No. For everyone, I just did the ‘way over my head’ gesture. I have no idea about any of that. I just know math and music and numbers and shapes all go together, and like some fancy sauce that somebody is good at making. [laughs]
CB: Yeah, I’ll save that for another interview at some point with someone. I’ve a few options for that. Another one is Pythagorean numerology was potentially influencing the development of some of the aspect doctrine in ancient astrology and some of those notions of odd and even numbers that we were talking about earlier. But also, some of the other basic differences were just in numbers in terms of the conjunction. When two planets are together, it’s like they’re forming one body in some sense. They’re coming together to form one thing, which is like the concept of oneness and of wholeness and of singularity in some sense. But the opposition is the concept of two planets, two things being divided into two. And the sort of contrasts when you go from one thing to having two things and the inherent sometimes tensions that come up when it comes to that, when it creates sort of binary opposites like day versus night, like positive versus negative…
CM: Water versus oil… Yeah, and if you think about the house model where it’s like if you’re in your own domicile and then across the way is your antithesis or you’re in exile, it’s like literally as far away from you as possible on the other side of things.
CB: Right. So in the traditional rulership scheme, the planets are set up in opposition to each other so that the quality of those planets is seen to be contradictory in some sense. For example the Sun and Moon in Cancer and Leo, the two lights or luminaries are set in opposition to Saturn ruling Capricorn and Aquarius. And Saturn is like the furthest and the slowest and the dimmest or the darkest of the visible planets.
CM: Right, the Lord of Darkness.
CB: Yeah. And so the Sun and the Moon are in the signs that follow the summer solstice, which is during the hottest and brightest part of the year in the northern hemisphere. Whereas Saturn rules the two signs following the winter solstice during the darkest and coldest parts of the year in the northern hemisphere. So we’ve got these contrasts going on like hot versus cold and light versus dark and other things like that.
CM: Right. Then if you have two planets, one occupying each end of that, it might just kind of symbolise or feel like too irreconcilable, or difficult-to-reconcile types of influences in the life.
CB: Yeah, exactly. There’s a fundamental tension between those two because they’re really speaking from opposite ends of a spectrum. And so as a result of that, it’s hard for them to see the other and sometimes there may be a feeling like if one of them gives any ground or that if one of them takes any ground, then the other will lose. That’s part of the sort of tension there.
CM: Like a tug of war? Like a literal tug of war. [laughs]
CB: Yeah, exactly. A tug of war between the planets. I think that’s part of the basic feeling underlying an opposition. You’ve got a tug of war between two sets of two planets in your chart, and that’s critical attention in that area of your life.
CM: Right. And talking to people who have those types of placements, something that I noticed is they may even go from really focusing on one part of that diameter for a while, and then trying to overcompensate and then going to the other area, you know, and focusing on that more in their life and just kind of going back and forth this oscillation that can happen. And yeah, that’s tense. That feels like tension, not knowing which side to pay more attention to sometimes. Yeah.
CB: Right. Yeah, for sure. Let’s see… Other things that that brings up when we start getting into the houses, and I know that’s getting a little bit ahead, but some of the houses you can understand in terms of the opposition as well, and that can help you either to understand the nature of the opposition or to understand how the opposition can play out based on what houses it’s occupying in a person’s chart. But one of the most classic oppositions that shows up in the meanings of the houses is the opposition between the first house of self which represents the native or the person who was born at that time, versus the seventh house of the other, and of relationships or of partnership and marriage. So there are some times when a person has an opposition between the first house and the seventh house, there can be tensions in the person’s life between the person’s sense of self and what that means in a broad sense, versus their sort of duty to others or how they relate to other people in their life through relationships or through partnership.
CM: Mhm. Exactly. And, you know, fourth and 10th lead a private and public life, home and work. Another classic pair.
CB: Yeah, and what a funny sort of cliche tension, you know, that’s already talked about outside of astrology in modern society. The tension between one’s home life versus one’s work life. Or one’s private life versus one’s public life and reputation, and how for example, let’s say, sometimes with celebrities, a person’s reputation which is their 10th house might be very different than their fourth house and what they’re actually like in private or like at home.
CB: Or for some people, of course as we were just sort of talking about, sometimes a person’s focus on their work life can be to the detriment of their home life and their family in their fourth house.
CM: Mhm. Exactly. Very classic. It’s those things that are so ubiquitous to life and it’s just really, it’s nice to see that reflected in at first, fourth, seventh, 10th, like the most active houses that we have. Makes a lot of sense.
CB: Right. So, other oppositions. Mentioning, as the second house is said to be a place of your personal finances and your possessions, whereas the eighth house is said to be the house that represents the possessions of others or the money that belongs to other people because it’s the second house relative to the seventh. That can sometimes create tension sometimes between your assets versus your partner’s assets, especially if there’s an imbalance there for some reason. The fifth house 11th House opposition is a little bit more tricky because it’s not as challenging or doesn’t stand out as much as some of these other oppositions.
CM: Yeah. This one feels more nuanced to me too. One way that I think about is just if I’m creating something in the fifth, am I sharing it with people in the 11th? That’s one way I think about it.
CB: Okay. I was talking to somebody recently that was having a Saturn return in the fifth and one of the interesting things was they’re having tensions with a friend of theirs where some of the stuff they’re going through in their Saturn return was causing major tensions with their specific friends. So that part of her Saturn return seemed to be losing this friend or having to get some distance or some space. One funny opposition thing between the fifth house of children in the 11th House of friends is like sometimes once a person has children, they may not have as much time to go hang out with their friends because they’re raising a kid?
CM: Right. Yeah, that’s actually a really really good one. That’s super interesting. [laughs] That’s so true.
CB: Yeah, I sense a slight… You’ve had some friends recently that disappeared? [Claire laughs]
CM: More like my brothers. Byee. [laughs] That’s what happened. That’s how it’s supposed to go. #Blessed. Too blessed to be stressed.
CB: Right. Finally the last one is the third house and ninth house, which again is not– or it’s one of the last, actually. There’s one other besides that but some of the oppositions that are set up in terms of the significations of the houses are things like short distance travel versus long distance travel, or a person’s neighbourhood as opposed to foreign countries and other things like that.
CM: Yep. So familiar stuff, unfamiliar stuff are broadening your horizons in the ninth versus sticking to kind of more familiar closer things in the third. Those bigger rituals are like pilgrimages, like once in a lifetime religious events in the ninth verses, you know, I might go to a temple or synagogue or church on Saturday. I might light my moon candle from [unintelligible 01:16:58] on Monday… Those little daily third house tiny things that we do. So I feel like the third and the ninth is really another pretty clear dichotomy.
CB: Yeah, for sure. And then also sometimes in modern astrology, the third house is said to be like early K-12 schooling, whereas the ninth house is said to be like college and higher forms of education?
CB: Finally, another opposition is the sixth house and the eighth house. This is a little bit more tricky. I think in ancient astrology, there may have been a distinction sometimes between physical injuries sometimes being more of a sixth house thing versus mental types of afflictions being more of a 12th house thing as one of the implicit statements made. Both of them are said to relate to enemies in ancient astrology, but the sixth house may have been more like external enemies that are obvious, whereas the 12th house may have been more either internal enemies or sometimes it related to self undoing, because it’s connected with the first house or it’s falling away from the third house as opposed to the sixth house which is connected to the seventh house of other people.
CM: Right. And just the idea of bad fortune versus bad spirit and fortune kind of being more tied to this Earth. And physical, tangible quality versus spirit just being this more intangible type of quality and having 12th house be intangible hidden things. We can’t see hidden enemies, hidden afflictions. Versus physical, like tangible. I can feel it, touch it, see it type of afflictions or enemies.
CB: Yeah, for sure. That’s interesting to explore. Obviously, that gets into something more advanced here where we’re talking about the significations of the houses and different things like that. But in that, at least, this is where some of the different aspects, especially the opposition, really start to become relevant. And you can see how it sets up sometimes tensions and other times it can be opposite sides of the same coin, in some sense, as we saw with some of those houses. So the opposition tends to be more challenging when there’s challenging or quote unquote “malefic” planets involved in it. It tends to be less challenging when there’s benefic planets involved. But it partially depends on how the planets are situated in the chart, what houses they are in and other things like sect and things like that as well.
CM: Yep, many, many things to consider beyond just looking at the aspects for sure.
CB: Right. All right. The last thing with the opposition that I had already mentioned previously in passing earlier, but just the point that it brings up opposing elemental qualities based on the signs that the two planets are located in, and just that opposing quality of hot versus cold or wet versus dry as another major thing that comes into play just in terms of why there’s a fundamental tension there because they’re coming from opposing elemental quality type places?
CB: All right. Oh, yeah, the full Moon. This is something I was talking with Drew Levanti about, which is conjunctions and oppositions– and to a lesser extent squares– are actually most clearly seen in the lunation cycle where when the Sun and Moon are in a conjunction, that’s a new Moon. That a new Moon is basically defined by the conjunction between the Sun and the Moon. Whereas a full Moon is when the Moon is exactly in opposition to the Sun. Let me animate the chart. We’ll still focus here on October where we’re about to have a new Moon, where here we can see the Moon catching up to and conjoining the Sun at 13 degrees of Libra tomorrow morning on October 6, 2021. Then if you move the Moon forward about 14 days, it will eventually reach the degree opposite to the Sun. And when the Moon is at the exact degree opposite to the Sun, that’s when we have a full Moon each month since it takes the Moon about 28 days to do a full cycle. So the Full Moon is always the opposition. And one of the things about that, especially in modern astrology, starting with the astrologer Dane Rudhyar, he really focused on the lunation cycle as being the sort of archetype for the entire aspect doctrine. There’s a lot of interesting things that he drew from that, but one of the things is just the notion that the full Moon is one of the most archetypal images for the opposition whereas the new Moon is like the conjunction. So at the new Moon, the Moon is at its darkest and it’s at the very beginning of a cycle. And as soon as it separates from the Sun after the conjunction, it starts increasing in light. So just after the new new Moon, once the Moon increases the distance and starts moving away from the Sun, if you pay attention to it and look at it each night, it starts getting brighter and brighter and getting fuller and fuller. Eventually, when the Moon reaches the square with the Sun at 90 degrees, that’s when we get the first quarter Moon. The Moon is like half illuminated at that point and the other half of it’s dark. Then once the Moon gets to the opposition, it’s at peak brightness and peak full fullness. That’s the point where when the Sun sets that day in the evening, the Moon will rise. Which is another thing that’s tied into the opposition. It’s part of why I was mentioning earlier, that feeling sometimes with the opposition that in order for one of us to sort of rise or gain here, there’s a feeling sometimes that the other has to lose in some way.
CM: Oh, that’s very perfect.
CB: Yeah, so the Moon will- Coz oppositions also indicate planets where when one of them is rising, the other is setting. Like we have here in this diagram where the Moon is in, let’s say it’s in the first house and the Sun is in the seventh house, then the Moon is rising up over the eastern horizon and the Sun is setting. Or if the Moon was in the 10th house, then the Sun at opposition would be in the fourth house.
CM: I feel like there was some myth, too. Wasn’t there like based on the constellations, Hercules is somewhere by Taurus or someone is by Taurus, and their job is to get the Scorpion and so there’s this constant, you know, hunter and prey, this constant chase. As one rises, the Scorpion sets, you know? And they just chase each other around. I thought that was a myth or something.
CB: Oh, right. Yeah. That’s a good point.
CM: Yeah. It’s kind of like people visually saw these things. And a lot of our symbolism comes from these very visual types of occurrences.
CB: Right, for sure. Yeah, that visual component to astrology is really important and it’s tricky. Because usually when you learn astrology, you learn it through charts and looking at charts like we’re doing now. But that’s one of the reasons why it’s really important to actually go outside and start paying attention to the sky because when you do that, you get a much more intimate visceral understanding of what the chart is actually representing that’s actually happening out there in the sky.
CM: Yeah, absolutely. Cannot say that enough.
CB: Yeah. All right. So when the Moon is exactly in opposition with the Sun, we’re at the full Moon. The Moon is at peak brightness and, you know, the full Moon is interesting because it can be a really active sort of energetic period in the month. It’s a point where the Moon really comes into her own in some sense and becomes like The luminary at night that is lighting things up and is brightening up the night sky and making things visible. And, you know, the New Moon is tricky because sometimes I think in modern times it can be like a tense period where things come to a culmination or come to a head in some sense. There’s a statement sometimes about like hospitals being more busy during full Moons. I don’t know if that’s actually true or if that’s not statistically true.
CM: I mean, my anecdotal experiences in the pharmacy, it was a hot shit show every full Moon. [laughs]
CM: So yeah, I can’t confirm but that’s an end of one. That’s an anecdote, but yeah. Well, because the ancients said the light of the Moon directly kind of affects the amount of energy that’s there, right? Like more light is more activity or more busyness. So yeah, it would make sense that now you have both luminaries that are both super bright, and they’re in these polar opposite spaces. So it would make sense that you would get kind of this tense, active environment.
CB: Yeah, and even though I think for the most part that astrology functions through symbolism and through symbolic means when it comes to why planets in astrology work are indicate things, it’s through synchronicity and symbolism for the most part, there are still some interesting things about how the full Moon and the Moon’s phases can affect the tides. And the way that some of those things through the gravitational forces of the Sun and the Moon do have like biological or other physical impacts on life on Earth, and the way that that may subtly like influence things on some broader level when it comes to like human life, when it comes to different trends and things like that. Things like oppositions could in some subtle way be affecting things in a more tangible way, even if that’s not, for the most part, why astrology works the way that it does most of the time.
CM: Yeah, it’s kind of an interesting Venn diagram. Because of course if there’s a different amount of light outside, people are going to do different activities. And of course, like you just mentioned, there’s a tonne of– I mean, we could sit here for hours with examples and nature of, you know, things responding to the lunar cycles. We can talk about the material kind of reasoning behind that but certainly, it has had a huge influence on people since forever; since people started ‘peopling’. So yeah, it makes sense that it would end up in our astrology as well.
CB: Right. Yeah, for sure. It’s good to think about that a little bit as well. We have more of some of the engine component of thinking about the opposition in terms of Saturn based on the domicile scheme or based on the opposition of different zodiac signs or different things like that, but also thinking about the lunation cycle as being kind of useful as a basic framework for the aspect doctrine as well can be useful as well. And the only other point about that, besides the opposition being like the full Moon and the new Moon being like the conjunction and the beginning of the cycle, I guess the full Moon would also be the halfway point to the cycle, which is another important thing. The other important thing about the lunation cycle that’s relevant is just the two squares. So you have what’s called the waxing square which occurs after the new Moon, like seven days after the new Moon has conjunctioned. Then when the Moon hits the 90 degree point relative to the Sun, that’s the square and that’s the said to be the waxing square because it’s on the waxing half where the Moon is increasing in brightness and moving up towards the full Moon. That’s part of the nature of the square, that turning point when you’re at the halfway point on the way to the opposition and on the way to the full Moon. Then you get the full Moon at the 180 degrees and then you get the the next square, which would happen at the next 90-degree point to the Sun. And that would be what is sometimes confusingly called the third quarter Moon. [Claire laughs] This is at the halfway point between the full Moon and the next new Moon when the Moon again is half illuminated. And it’s called the third quarter Moon when it’s on what’s said to be the waxing side of the lunation cycle when the Moon is decreasing in brightness and it’s getting darker and darker and darker.
CB: Oh yeah, the waning cycle as it’s getting ready for the next new Moon and the end of one cycle and the beginning of another. All right, that is the opposition and that’s some of the things that come along with the opposition. Besides that, we get to… I was going to talk about the trine but actually we should talk about the square at this point because that’s kind of the natural entryway for that, since the lunation cycle that we just talked about provides us part of the framework for the square. It’s an aspect of tension with a lot of energy, but it’s also an important turning point as we can see from the lunation cycle where you get those sorts of 90-degree points. And you can kind of connect these to some extent with the houses a little bit. Not too much, because that framework gets a little bit overdone and in modern astrology and acquainting things a little bit too much. But for the most part, to the extent that the first house is like the conjunction, the seventh house is like the opposition, the two squares are kind of like the 10th house and the fourth house, let’s say relative to the first house.
CM: Right, we can use it as an analogy for the moment for sure.
CB: Right. One of the things about that is just they’re said to be very prominent. Squares can tend to be more prominent that can indicate tensions, but also actions and activity between planets, so that the tension between the two planets can be very productive and can spur them into motion in a way that can be even more than other types of aspects.
CM: Right. Yeah, just because you have a bunch of squares doesn’t mean you’re never going to get anything done with your life. I think Kamala Harris’s chart is riddled with squares. [laughs]
CB: Yeah. It does get tricky with squares because with squares, it can be a very lopsided aspect with the opposition. They’re both planets that are almost on an even footing that are pulling in two different directions. But with a square, it’s tricky because squares are tense aspects that more clearly have one planet that has the upper hand over the other planet. So it creates even more of an imbalance in the relationship in some ways than the opposition, certainly, and then the conjunction. To give an example, let’s say that Mars is in Leo and Jupiter is in Taurus. One of the distinctions that was used in ancient astrology that we’ve recovered recently that kind of fell out of use by the time of modern astrology but that’s become really useful again, is the distinction between right-sided versus left-sided aspects. That distinction is kind of hard to get into and people always find it super confusing, so I’m actually not going to dwell on it too much in this talk, because it’s something I go into in my book that I go into in the Hellenistic Astrology course. But the basic gist of it is just that not all squares are the same and that there’s a difference between let’s say, Mars is in Leo and Jupiter is in Taurus. In this instance, Jupiter, because it’s in the earlier sign in zodiacal order, would have the upper hand over Mars. And so Jupiter would be in a better position to sort of boss Mars around and tell Mars what to do. In this instance, it’s like the benefic planet Jupiter has the upper hand over Mars. There’s tension between them as if they’re sort of like wrestling is one of the ancient analogies, but Jupiter is the one that has the upper hand and is able to sort of tell Mars a little bit more what to do in terms of that aspectual relationship between the two of them. Versus, let’s say, it was reversed and Jupiter was in Leo and Mars is in Taurus. In that instance, Mars is the one that has the upper hand because it’s the one that’s earlier in zodiacal order. So in that case, Mars is the one that gets to tell Jupiter what to do. And since that’s a square and since Mars is a malefic planet, that could be more challenging especially if this was like a day chart where Mars can sort of get Jupiter into a bit more trouble and Mars can say no to some of the things that Jupiter wants to indicate more. Whereas if it was the reverse and Jupiter has the upper hand in the day chart, Jupiter is able to say yes to or to affirm or smooth things over a little bit more than Mars is able to mess things up.
CM: Right. So it’s not as simple as simply, you know, on a piece of paper saying Mars squared Jupiter, Jupiter squared Mars. We need to know much more to be able to tell how this is going to turn out with this interaction between these two planets? What is the outcome going to be? What might this manifestation look like? It’s not as simple as just this planet squared this planet.
CB: Yeah, and it’s really tricky because most delineation websites or texts like books that you’ll read will just give you a blanket interpretation for like Mars or Jupiter and they won’t distinguish. But it is actually in practice and in terms of an astrologer interpreting charts that use right versus left-sided aspects or this concept of overcoming when one planets in the superior position, it does actually add a lot of nuance into things.
CM: It does, right. Because we can have kind of our three buckets of, you know, this is Mars’ stuff, this is Jupiter stuff, and this is a square. And then of course, if you want to add in the signs and all the houses, then we can put all those things together and hope for the best and get some kind of delineation out of that for sure. But yeah, even more nuanced, even more ability to get finer detailed information if we’re then looking at the relative position of planets.
CB: Right, for sure. Why don’t we generate some delineations for this actually? Let’s provide some delineations and say… Let’s say we have a chart with Mars and Leo and Jupiter and Taurus, one of the things– let’s say this is a day chart, so we’re also going to layer in the concept of sect. If it’s a day chart, that means Mars would be the most malefic planet and Jupiter would be the most benefic planet. And if Jupiter is in a square with Mars and there’s some tension between those two planets but Jupiter is one that has the upper hand, Mars would have a tendency to want to indicate suffering and separation in the part of the life that it’s in. So let’s say it’s in the first house, that might apply to the body and or the person’s character. So the person may be particularly impulsive or argumentative, sometimes as a character trait in their life. However, if Jupiter was in the sign of Taurus and a superior square overcoming Mars, it would be able to calm Mars down a little bit and takes some of the edge off of Mars so that it’s going to be a little bit less antagonistic from a character standpoint, and a little less harmful from a bodily standpoint. And instead make that something that the native is able to sort of learn to overcome a little bit better or make it so that it never becomes the worst case scenario.
CM: Right. Yeah. So like someone could have knowledge of how to preserve their bodily form and then not get their hand chopped off at their job or something?
CM: Like by wearing protective equipment or, you know?
CB: Yeah. Or even like a scenario, let’s say you get injured doing something. You’re doing stunts on like a motorbike or something like that and you go off a big ramp because you’re doing daredevil stuff and crash, but then there just happens to be a medic there who is able to help you and get you to a hospital in time so that you don’t die or otherwise suffer a permanent injury from that. That would be a really concrete example of a challenge comes up but positive things still intervene to sort of save the native.
CM: Right. Yep. So it’s mitigating and it is ameliorating. It’s doing some risk mitigation depending on what the situation is.
CB: Yeah, so that’s like a literal, sort of dire sounding traditional interpretation of that. But another, let’s say more of a psychological modern interpretation could be maybe with Mars in the first house. The person has an impulse from a character standpoint to be more aggressive, or more divisive, or, let’s say to like blurt the first thing out that comes to mind and sometimes get themselves into trouble from some of the things that they say. But if Jupiter is there in the 10th house overcoming Mars, maybe as the person grows up, it’s something that they either learn to control a little bit better than they could, or something that they learn how to channel some of that energy into a positive direction that ends up being beneficial to them in some way. Maybe they become a stand up comic that does, you know, roast battles. And so they go and they insult other comics, but they’re able to channel that and use it in a way that’s positive for them or takes them in a good successful career direction with Jupiter in the 10th house.
CM: Right, some kind of wisdom or learning something up there in the career life path. Kind of helping them not be as inflammatory to themselves as they might be otherwise.
CB: Yeah. One of the things that happens with astrology and with birth charts in particular is sometimes aspects in a person’s chart are experienced is more challenging early on in a person’s life, because they haven’t learned how to deal with it or how to make those aspects work out for them or how to sort of manage them in some way earlier on. So some of those things that might get them into trouble more earlier in their life because they’re not experienced with working with them, later in their life as they get older they may have an easier time of figuring out how to use those things or figuring out how to manage those energies in a little bit more constructive of a way.
CM: Oh yeah, absolutely. I certainly noticed a difference speaking to people who are in more advanced decades of their life and that even if they just heard of astrology yesterday, they’ve already figured out a lot of the challenges in their chart. They’ve been working through them without knowing it, you know? Yeah, that definitely makes a difference. Also then you can bring in that idea of applying and separating and then of course, we can get even more nuanced as to, “Okay, will this issue be something that is hopefully in the rearview mirror at some point in your life? Or is it going to continue to be a challenge?”
CB: Right, for sure. Yeah. And in consultations, that was always something that sometimes was a little annoying where I always enjoyed, it was always easier to talk to somebody that’s older, because they’ve already done so much of what their chart indicates that oftentimes you’re just telling them things that they already know about their life or they’re able to confirm. Like, “Yeah, that related to this. And I went through a whole thing of learning how to deal with that and eventually overcame it or had this experience from it or what have you.” Whereas a younger person, so much hasn’t happened to them yet and their life and there may be some things indicated by the chart that are still coming up, or other things that they’re still learning how to get the best out of in terms of those placements and haven’t quite figured out the exact the exact formula. Yeah?
CM: Right. Yeah, exactly. Yep.
CB: Yeah. All right, so that’s part of what happens with squares. Squares are tricky because they can be very powerful for good, especially if a benefic is involved and has the upper hand, or conversely they can sometimes be more difficult and have a tendency more towards challenging things if the malefic planet is the one that has the upper hand.
CM: Mhm. Yep, exactly.
CB: Yeah. All right. I think that’s good for squares. Is there anything else that we need to mention about squares or is that pretty good?
CM: I think that is about it. Yeah, I don’t really have anything to add.
CB: Okay, cool. Well, let’s move on to the- Last thing, actually, I meant to mention in passing that the square is kind of like the division into four because it connects the four-sided polygon. Yeah, so square is like four. Numerologically, three is the trine because the Trine is a triangle and if you draw the entire polygon across the zodiac, it connects three different signs together that share the same element of Earth, air, fire and water. The trine is viewed as the most positive or harmonious aspect. And I think part of it is the fact that it connects planets that are in two signs that share not just the same element of Earth, air, fire and water, but also the same gender. It’s like doubling up on things that you share in common with somebody. Sort of like if you go to a party and you meet somebody that not only went to the same high school but also listens to the same music, or has the same favourite band. And the more that you talk to that person, the more that you realise that you have in common, the more that instantly creates some sort of bond or affinity between the two of you.
CB: Yeah, so in [unintelligible 01:44:35], of course, the trine is associated with Jupiter. Or in the domicile, the rulership scheme. And so the trine is thought to be the most positive but also kind of an affirming aspect that indicates friendship and accord and kind of an affinity between two planets, so that their energies are really getting along together and are complementary in some way. Even if the Trine is involving malefic planets like Mars and Saturn, it’s said to be indicating that planet’s still getting along with and doing something constructive with the other planet or working together with it in a positive way.
CM: Right. Yep. Even if it is a quote unquote “malefic planet” as our technical term for it, if you put it in a certain environment it can still act for your benefit.
CB: Right. Yeah. So the trine is said to be positive, easy flowing. It’s also connected to the special role that the benefics have through these conditions known as bonification and maltreatment. I have a whole chapter on this in my book and a whole lecture in my course where I go into these seven special rules of bonification and maltreatment. But one of the special rules is the benefics have this special power to say yes to or to affirm what other planets want to signify in the chart. And one of the ways that they can do this as if the ethics are configured by a trine aspect to another planet in a chart. The benefic will say yes to whatever that planet wants to signify in the person’s life, typically in a positive or affirming fashion. For example, if let’s say Jupiter is trine the planet that rules the seventh house of marriage or the planet that signifies relationships, then it might say yes to relationships or yes, this person will be married at some point in time. Or if a benefic planet like Venus or Jupiter is trine to a planet connected with a person’s 10th house or a career, it might indicate that yes this person will have career success. Or this person will find and achieve the career that they want to pursue at some point in time and have success with that. Or sometimes things like fifth house and like children, or the 11th house and friends… All of the different topics in life where you have a range of possible manifestations where, you know, some people have those things or get particularly lucky with them and on the other extreme end of the spectrum, some people don’t have those things or are deprived of those things or somehow get unlucky when it comes to those. The benefics through the trine will have a tendency to be able to affirm or say yes to those things as part of their special power when they’re configured with a trine aspect.
CM: Yep. So anytime I’m looking at some planet in a trine relationship with another, I’m thinking of that planet, its help or whatever it has to offer then easily flowing down to help or offer something to that other planet in the trine relationship?
CB: Right. Yeah, exactly. There’s additional considerations to that, like the benefics will do that better and more effectively when they’re of the second favour when you take the concept of sect into account. Which makes it so that Jupiter is more positive in day charts and Venus is more positive in night charts, basically. So they have the greater power to exert that through the trine in that condition based on sect. The other one is the distinction between right and left aspects also applies to the trines and also to a lesser extent the sextiles, but especially the trine and the square so that if the benefic is in a trine and it is also earlier in zodiacal order, then it will have the upper hand over the planet that’s later in zodiacal order and therefore a more powerfully positive role to play in that relationship.
CM: Right. Even going a little further on that spectrum of manifestation, we can almost get sometimes too much of a good thing which can then be like in its own little weird way deleterious to the person. But yeah, within that spectrum of things. It’s always a lot nuance.
CB: Sure. For sure. I don’t want to dwell on that too much because it’s something I spend a tonne of time on in my course on Hellenistic astrology in my book, but it’s worth mentioning at least in passing as additional factors that you could take into account and that you’d want to once you start getting into the more advanced interpretive principles. All right, let’s move on to the sextile. The sextile is a soft aspect, it’s connecting together planets that are three signs apart and it’s connecting that six-sided polygon. A sextile is basically half of what a trine is and that’s often how it’s treated in most traditional authors, that a sextile is kind of like good but it’s half as good as a trine, basically.
CM: Yeah, it seemed like something you kind of had to add in a little bit more effort to get the good juju out of it, or something like that. I’m not sure if that’s real or not but that’s kind of how I’ve read about it.
CB: Yeah, it’s just like a little extra positive thing that indicates a flowing relationship between two planets that’s affirming and helpful, but it’s not typically something that’s majorly life changing necessarily. Or it’s not a major overriding factor in the same way that a trine can be in like pushing things in an extremely positive direction.
CM: Right. And that’s a good point too because if I’m looking at a bunch of different factors, I’m trying to kind of wrap my head around a configuration and I see all these different interacting things, if one of those things is a sextile, that’s not going to be at the top of my priority list of configurations that are really going to make or break the outcome of what I’m looking at.
CB: Yeah, that’s a really good point. I’m trying to think of what the prioritisation would be if we’d rank the most important aspect versus the least important. Definitely though, sextile would be at the bottom of the list in terms of important aspects.
CM: Yeah, just the power to shift a situation or something like that, certainly a trine is going to be more powerful than a sextile.
CB: Right, for sure. One other thing mentioned about the sextile that might be useful as an interpretive principle is thinking about it in terms of friendship and getting, you know, just a hand from friends occasionally. If you look at the houses scheme and the significations of the houses, and the first house is the self and as the native, the sextile that goes upwards in the order of signs goes to the 11th house, which is one of the places of friends and groups and alliances. Whereas the sextile, if you draw it downwards from the first house, goes to the third house which is also one of the places of friendship, but it’s also the place of siblings. So a sextile, in some ways you could kind of make an analogy, it’s like getting a little bit of help from a sibling or a friend who’s in a high place. Let’s say that you’re applying for a job and you have a friend or you have a sibling that works there that’s able to put in a good word for you. Now, it’s still not typically going to be the thing that makes or breaks it, you’re still going to have to apply for the job and get it for the most part on your own merits. And if you’re a terrible candidate, it doesn’t matter if you get a good word from your friend or your brother or what have you. Because they’re not going to hire you if you’re a terrible candidate. But if you’re sort of applying, you’re putting your best face forward, and you also happen to have a referral from a friend or from a sibling, then it could be that little extra thing that gives you just a slight advantage and pushes you over the edge compared to the other candidates.
CM: Right. They’re helped around.
CB: Right. Yeah, that’s kind of what a sextile is like. All right. That kind of concludes the section on the quality of the aspects, and giving some people some basic keywords and some basic things to think about when it comes to what an aspect might mean in a chart, and some analogies to use or to sort of invoke in your mind when you start looking at your chart and trying to understand some of the different aspects. In this last section, I just wanted to talk a little bit about some of the different uses of aspects and where aspects come into play and how they get applied in different areas of astrology. I think the primary area that they get applied, and it’s relevant that everyone’s going to be the most familiar with or get the most use out of, is within the context of natal astrology and looking at aspects in a person’s birth chart. That’s certainly what we focused on primarily today, I think. Right?
CM: Yeah, we’re getting a lot of examples of how we kind of use aspects when we’re trying to make decisions about a chart.
CB: Right. However, you can also use aspects in different contexts. It’s not just something that’s static in a birth chart, but you can also look at aspects in terms of things like, let’s say transits, for example, where you have your birth chart and then you look at where the planets are located now in the sky or in the future, and what sort of aspects they make to planets in your birth chart and how the astrology of now relates to the astrology of your birth chart itself. The access point, the primary access point for that is through aspects.
CM: Right. So you can have a transiting planet aspecting another transiting planet, or you can have a transiting planet aspecting a natal planet in your birth chart.
CB: Exactly. I’m planning a whole separate episode on transits so we don’t have to sort of dwell on that too much. However, there was one example I always use. It’s one of my favourite examples for transits actually, I use his chart for a lot of stuff. But what it is is the director and the filmmaker George Lucas who was the creator of Star Wars, so he was creator of Star Wars, of the Indiana Jones trilogy and a bunch of other things. Here is his birth chart, his time to birth chart where he has 17 degrees of Taurus rising and the Sun at 23 Taurus, Venus at 11 Taurus ruling the Ascendant to the rising sign, and Mercury at six degrees of Taurus. Then he has Mars at 25 Cancer in the third house of short distance travel. The story I always tell about George Lucas is that early in his life, he grew up and he wanted to be a racecar driver. He liked to drive cars, and he liked to drive cars really fast as a teenager, which is actually kind of funny with like Mars in the third house of short distance travel in his birth chart, right?
CM: That’s totally perfect.
CB: Yeah, that’s pretty perfect. Here is, again, showing that. Like houses, diagrams, just to show you I’m not making that up. That, in the third house short trips, which one of the things that falls under that is like driving your car around your neighbourhood or locally, as opposed to the ninth house which is like foreign travel and like getting on a plane and flying to a different country.
CM: Right. Yep.
CB: Yeah. So he liked driving cars but on this one day when he was a teenager, he was racing cars and he got in this terrible car accident where another car slammed into his, and his car was thrown into a tree and he was ejected from the car and terribly injured but thankfully ejected from the car before it smashed into a tree and crumpled like a soda can or something like that. He ended up in the hospital for several weeks, but he was sort of like miraculously saved at that time and after that point, he never wanted to race cars again and he instead decided to go to college and ended up studying filmmaking and then the rest is history because then he became the director of Star Wars and Indiana Jones and everything else. But it all came back to this one pivotal day where he had this terrible car accident, right?
CM: Mhm, right.
CB: What I’ve always found fascinating about the story was his transits for the day that he got in this car accident, where if you look at where the planets were in the sky on the day that he got in this accident, they actually lined up really well in a really interesting way, at least, with his birth chart. His chart’s in the middle here, and remember, he has Taurus rising so his Ascendant is in Taurus. And Venus is the ruler of Taurus, so that means Venus rules his Ascendant and his first house of self and body, and it makes it what some modern astrology astrologers call the ruler of the chart, or what ancient astrologers would call the helmsman, or like the captain of the ship would be his Venus placement. And on the day that he got in this terrible car accident, transiting Mars in the sky came right up to 10 and 11 degrees of Taurus and went to the exact same place and formed a conjunction with Venus in his birth chart. So we would call that a transiting conjunction where Mars occupied the same degree of the zodiac as where Venus was in his birth chart.
CM: That’s so interesting.
CB: That’s kind of a negative indication, because it’s like a difficult or malefic planet that’s coming up to the planet that’s representing his first house of his body and his physical vitality. And it’s also taking place in his first whole sign house or in his rising sign, which is the first house of self and body and mind.
CM: Yeah. And then also Venus in the third, which is kind of interesting, too. But yeah, that’s so right there.
CB: Yeah. I think that’s the counter balancing positive indication. It wasn’t just transiting Mars conjoining his Venus, but also on strikingly the same day, basically. Transiting Venus came up to 24 and 25 degrees of Cancer, which is where Mars was located in his birth chart at 25 degrees of Cancer in the third whole sign house. This is kind of like a positive counterbalancing influence of a positive benefic transit over his third house Mars, which I have always interpreted as the sort of positive counterbalancing thing of even though he was in this terrible car accident, he was kind of like thrown from the car and miraculously saved. It’s another way that you can look at it.
CM: Yeah, that is very very interesting. There’s a transiting conjunction of Mars on top of Venus.
CB: Yeah, Mars on top of Venus and Venus on top of Mars.
CM: It’s like a palindrome, it’s like tacocat or radar. [laughs]
CB: Yeah, I’ve been searching for years– and some people have heard me mention this in the forecast episodes– like a name a name for that where you get like a double whammy as what one friend of mine was calling it. I’m looking for something a little bit more more, I don’t know, has a different ring to it than double whammy.
CM: [laughs] Right, it’s a little too idiom, it’s a little too much of an idiom.
CB: Right. There were some interesting ideas that were put forward or different proposals, but I’m forgetting what some of them are at this point. But I’ll try and mention them or write them down before I do the Transit episode sometime soon. But so that’s an example of how aspects are also used to study transits and used in order to study timing. And it happens both when aspects go exact from where they are in the sky to where they were in a person’s birth chart. But even aspects when they move into a new sign in the sky, it means they’re also going to start forming a new aspect in a person’s birth chart based on the sign-based aspects. And that can be very relevant as well. So think things like the Saturn return, for example, when you are between the ages of 27 and 30, Saturn which takes about 28 years to go around the Zodiac, will eventually return back to its natal sign where it was in your birth chart. And that’s the beginning of the Saturn return. Then eventually, when the conjunction goes exact, that’s the exact Saturn return. And then eventually, when Saturn leaves that sign, that’s the end of the Saturn return by sign.
CM: Right. A good demonstration of sign based aspects and degree based aspects and how they all matter.
CB: Yeah, and that’s actually the way if somebody is questioning how sign-based aspects can work or be possible, that’s what I usually recommend them to check out. Is that you can actually see it working in practice if you follow your transits, that the transit begins as soon as the transiting planet moves into a sign-based aspect. It picks an intensity and importance and relevance when the exact degree-based aspect happens, but then it eventually doesn’t end until the sign based aspect departs and is over. That’s another area you can use aspects within the context of transits. You can also look at aspects within the context of synastry, which is the ancient method of doing relationship astrology where you compare, you take two charts and you overlay them on top of each other in order to see where two people’s planets fall relative to one another and what that says about describing how they relate to each other basically in their relationship. And whether they have more tense aspects or whether they have more flowing aspects or what have you can be used to describe two basic relationship analysis.
CB: Yeah. Are there any famous celebrity examples that you think of when it comes to synastry?
CM: I have not gotten too much into the synastry. I just know that people use tighter orbs, tend to look for conjunctions, and just very tight orbs of aspects between two charts. That’s all I really know about. I don’t really practice too much of it myself.
CB: Okay, yeah.
CM: We just have enough time, we need more hours in the day. [laughs]
CB: Yeah. That’s one of the things about astrology is it’s such a vast field that nobody can specialise in every different part. It’s good to have a little familiar familiarity with different areas, but it’s so vast that it’s impossible to study and master everything. So sometimes what you got to do is kind of pick a piece that you really want to focus on and then specialise in that.
CM: Do you have any good celebrity synastry charts? Any good Brangelina? Like astrological versions? [laughs]
CB: Oh, yeah. Well, that is a good one; Brad and Angelina. That’s more of like a 2000s one. A more recent one I was thinking of is like Machine Gun Kelly and… I’m spacing on the name.
CM: Oh, oh no. I was thinking about an example you used with an enemy. Eminem?
CB: That would actually be really funny to look at. Well, Machine Gun Kelly, that was his Saturn return when he put out the diss track against Eminem and then Eminem responded. It was actually a really funny Saturn return story. I may have mentioned this in one of my Saturn in Capricorn Retrospective Saturn Return stories last December. But no, I was thinking of Eminem’s current girlfriend who’s actually an astrologer. And I know the movie that she is-
CM: Megan Fox?
CB: Yeah, Megan Fox. Sorry.
CM: Oh yeah. Good old Resident celebrity person who is sympathetic to astrologers, Megan Fox. Thanks, Megan. [laughs]
CB: Yeah. Well, she’s an actual astrologer and I think she was the one that recently not leaked, but let us know what Machine Gun Kelly’s rising sign is, which was pretty cool actually.
CM: Oh my gosh, that’s so fantastic.
CB: I was thinking of Jennifer’s Body, which is a great movie that’s become like a cult classic when I was trying to think of what her name was just now. People look at things like that, like celebrity synastry as a fun thing or interesting thing that you can do sometimes as a public example. But other times people look at synastry for things like, you know, their own relationships and how they get along with different people. And sometimes you can learn things about comparing past relationships that you’ve had and seeing how some of the closest aspects between you and somebody else manifested for better or worse.
CM: Or dabbled, unfortunately. [laughs]
CB: Okay. When you were saying you hadn’t done synastry I was a little sceptical because…
CM: Well, I mean, not professionally but, no. Of course we’ve all done the post mortems of our past relationships. That’s like, why else do you become an astrologer? Right? [laughs]
CB: Yeah, that’s one of the best ways to learn about aspects. It’s by doing comparisons like that. Synastry does not have to be restricted to romantic relationships, but can also be applied to family relationships. Like seeing how your chart relates to your parents chart, or your siblings chart or other relatives, to bosses and coworkers, to friends and other people that you meet during the course of your life. Because that’s one of the fascinating things about astrology, everyone’s got a birth chart and your birth chart is interacting with other people’s charts in different ways. And the aspects are the primary ways of characterising those interactions and those relationships.
CM: Absolutely. Yeah. Yeah, it can be very, very, very helpful. I just like to look at Mercury sometimes and make sure there’s no, or if there is an aspect, just making sure my communication. I guess a little bit more seriously, I will sometimes glance at or I’ll think to myself in my mind what my Mercury is and how I communicate versus if I’m thinking about someone else’s Mercury and how they communicate, and making sure that I don’t antagonise someone unwittingly. [laughs] But I use it for those purposes as well.
CB: Yeah, for sure. Mercury aspects are good for communication, and Sun and Moon aspects can be good for emotional connections and how two people just relate in terms of their internal identities to each other and so on and so forth.
All right, the last thing where aspects comes up most frequently as in mundane astrology, which is just, you know, what are the current aspects that are in the sky today. Usually in terms of intro to astrology, people hear about and learn about things like Mercury retrograde and things like that initially, which is a type of mundane astrology. It’s just Mercury’s retrograde right now and things are kind of going haywire in different people’s lives or in some areas of the world. But one of the things that’s relevant is like when Mercury went retrograde this time, what aspects was it making? And then how does that change or characterise the nature of the Mercury retrograde or alter it based on which planets it’s aspecting. One of the things we talked about in the forecast episode that we recorded like a week ago in late September was that Mercury would station retrograde squaring Pluto, and we started talking about the significations of Pluto and how it has this digging and unearthing quality and this investigative quality. And it’s been really funny over the past few days to see all of these stories coming out in the news about disclosures of different things where one of them was there was this huge media disclosure of offshore financial dealings of different people around the world and how this started being leaked in the media very early in the course of the retrograde through investigative reporting. Or elsewhere, there was a Facebook staffer who sort of defected from Facebook and decided to disclose a bunch of secrets with Facebook, and then the same day Facebook and Instagram and a bunch of other things went down for a little while I think yesterday. Did you experience that?
CM: I did, but I did not hear that juicy story about what happened before. Holy cats!
CB: I was wondering if it’s a little bit related because it’s happening like a little close together where it was like the same day that this whistleblower comes forward and leaks a bunch of Facebook documents and stuff, then Facebook and Instagram suddenly go out as a sort of a power outage type thing and sort of drew some of the attention away from that. I don’t want to get too conspiracy theory here, but it was a little weird.
CM: Oh, I know. Boy, Pluto certainly likes to cover stuff up, doesn’t it though? It likes to. [laughs] Or uncover, it goes both ways. Covering and uncovering.
CB: Yeah, that’s a really good point. That just as much as Pluto can sometimes uncover and dig up secrets and indicate people that have that drive to unearth secrets, sometimes it can also be that drive to bury secrets as well.
CM: Mhm. Yeah. This all sounds very appropriate for this Mercury retrograde to be having that aspect from– so it’s basically this different anytime we have a configuration whether it’s a lunar configuration, a lunation like a new Moon, a full Moon, any of these things, station direct, a station retrograde… Any of the aspects coming in or piping in some kind of type of flavour or plot or whatever it is, you know?
CB: Yeah exactly. The big aspect that we’ve talked a lot this year on the forecast in the forecast episodes like The Year Ahead Forecast is the square between the two outer planets, Saturn and Uranus, and the sort of tension between those where Saturn can be more of like a traditional planet and more of a conservative planet and more about setting boundaries and foundations and things like that. Whereas Uranus in many ways can be the opposite, where it’s more about freedom and liberation and the destabilising of the old order, and revolution and things like that. So this year, with Saturn squaring Uranus, we have this fundamental tension set up between these two planets that are kind of going in different directions in some ways or at least have different meanings, which then manifests in some striking ways as a result of that.
CM: Right. Yeah, so you’ve already got just two very juxtaposed buckets of meaning and symbolism, and then you put them into a square configuration which of itself has some of this tension. So you almost got like two layers here of tension.
CB: Yeah, exactly. It’s like if it was a trine aspect and it was more flowing, then it’s like you get those two planets that have very different energies kind of getting along and finding ways to complement each other, which leads to innovation. Like the innovative tendency of Uranus builds on top of the traditional foundation building of Saturn. So you get a sudden innovation that’s graceful and goes smoothly. Whereas here with the square, we have certain changes and destabilizations that go much less smoothly, so to speak?
CM: Yeah, and just even putting it one final way is just like if you kind of imagine in your mind, if you’ve got two people talking and those two people are Saturn and Uranus, and they’re having all kinds of difficult discussions. If there’s a moderator, like that’s square, if the moderator is Mars– for instance if it’s a trine and that moderator’s Jupiter, that’s going to be a different outcome for sure. [laughs]
CB: Right. Here’s just an example of the exact square that will happen in December, I think that’ll be the second exact square between Saturn and Uranus. Or maybe it’s the third where Saturn will be at 11 degrees of…
CB: It is the third, okay. Saturn will be at 11 degrees of Aquarius and Uranus will be at 11 degrees of Taurus, so that’ll be the exact square. And then mundane astrology, sometimes when things are coming up here, is that the planets because of their retrograde cycles, they’ll make three aspects or sometimes more depending on how fast they’re moving and things like that.
CM: Yep. I was trying to think in my mind if it was three or if it was more than that, because I know they’ve both been kind of back and forth. But there’s been at least two. [laughs]
CB: Right. One of the things that’s really useful that I’ve been enjoying over the past year or two is; for mundane astrology, I sometimes show in the forecast episodes the website Archetypal Explorer, because it takes the exact aspects between planets and it puts them on a graph and it shows when the aspect goes exact versus when it moves away. That’s a really good way to visualise especially in mundane astrology or in transits, the sort of longer term connections between planets and how to sort of visualise the exact aspects versus when planets are still not too far away but are not as close as the exact aspect.
CM: I like the visualisation. It makes what is a really practical thing to understand about astrology very visual, in that just because you have that exact day where the degree-based aspect is perfect, it doesn’t mean that that’s the only day that you should pay attention to.
CB: Right. Here’s an example of the Saturn Uranus squares this year that Kyle from archetypalexplorer.com put together for me where the first exact Saturn Uranus Square was on February 17 at seven degrees of Aquarius to seven degrees of Taurus, and that’s like the peak in intensity. But then they start moving away from each other and start getting distance so the aspect kind of drops off a little bit. But then they retrograded back and they came back into an exact aspect on June 14, from 13 Aquarius to 13 Taurus. That one was kind of tricky. That was one of the ones where shortly after that, there was that condo building that collapsed. I think it was in Florida or something like that, which was a very vivid, very literal manifestation of the symbolism of the Saturn Uranus square.
CB: Then the two after that start moving away from each other and start getting quite a bit of distance in terms of the orb of distance between them, and the graph drops by late September or early October, which is actually where we’re at now, but then it starts steeply climbing again after that until eventually you get to the third exact aspect when Saturn will be at 11 degrees of Aquarius to Uranus at 11 Taurus on December 24. Which is kind of interesting, that’s like right around Christmas.
CM: Another “Let the good times roll” moment.
CB: Yeah, fun holidays.
CM: Yeah, on the holidays [laughs]
CB: Right. So that’s another way that you can sort of visualise and that you might visualise exact aspects versus aspects that are moving together or that are applying or separating, is in these kind of waves of intensity basically in some sense. Thanks to Kyle for that from Archetypal Explorer. I think that’s basically it in terms of the use of aspects in those four major areas. Let’s see… One other area where aspects come up was a whole other episode that I did previously on aspect patterns. And normally aspects or when there’s just two planets involved for the most part– like one planet is aspecting another and the aspect is applying or separating or is exact or is sign based or degree based– when you start throwing in more than two planets, when you have three or more planets that are aspecting each other in some way, that’s usually what’s referred to as an aspect pattern. And there’s different types of patterns that you can look at when you start having multiple planets aspecting each other at the same time.
CM: Right. So like a T-Square, a mystical rectangle, grand trine… Does yard count? Is a yard one of those?
CB: Yeah, yard is a pattern.
CM: Kite… I’m trying to think of the other ones. But, yeah. Stellium.
CB: Yeah. I did an episode on that with Carole Taylor I think last year in Episode 266. So if people Google Aspect Patterns in Astrology, you’ll see a whole episode that I did on that.
CM: Yeah. I’ve actually thought about T-Squares a lot, because I’ve tried to parse out if I can think about it in terms of traditional aspects and how that interpretation relates to kind of the more aspect pattern or any idea that if you have a T-Square which is made up of an opposition between two planets, and then a third planet that’s making a square between the two opposing ones, if you have that T-Square, it’s kind of thought– and correct me if I’m wrong– but that that third planet that’s in square to the both of the other two is kind of like a release point for that energy? And this is my own opinion but if you think about it in terms of traditional square in superior/inferior and having that kind of earlier in zodiacal order upper hand planet versus further on planet, you can almost come up with a similar story that middle planet does have to make a change or adjust something, do the square thing to move on to do the next square with this second planet that it’s going to do a square with. So it’s really interesting to really try to think about that, like why do these aspect patterns mean what they do? Yeah, thinking about the concepts behind it a little bit. And I don’t know if modern astrologers think about them in that way, or if they kind of have their own other process for thinking about aspect patterns.
CB: Right. I think some of that modern stuff about aspect pattern theory can be integrated really well like you were saying with some of the traditional concepts, because the traditional concepts of right versus left or sect or bonification of maltreatment just help add additional nuance into some of the things that the modern astrologer is already doing with some of those things. Here, I just found a diagram that Paula had made for me of the T-Square aspect pattern, which is where you have two planets that are in opposition, and then both of them are squaring simultaneously a third planet. Is that one of the ones you were just describing?
CM: That’s exactly what I was just talking about. This is exactly what I was trying to describe with my words, is that in this example, we’ve got the Sun who’s in the upper hand because it’s earlier in zodiacal order over Mars. So whatever that outcome is, granted, I’m assuming that the aspects will happen in this order chronologically, which we do not know. But that outcome then, maybe whatever that Sun tells Mars to do, Mars will. Then it’ll have a downstream effect into how that affects that square with Jupiter. That’s kind of how I think about it. But yeah, it’s really nice to have the visual.
CM: Yeah, totally. So there’s a T-Square aspect pattern. Here’s a Grand Square, or sometimes called the Grand Cross where you have four planets where two of them are in the opposition, and then those two planets in opposition are squaring two other planets which are themselves in opposition, which creates a big square across the entire chart.
CM: Yeah, looks like so much fun. [laughs]
CB: Yeah, it’s good times. Or a grand trine, which is when you have three planets that are all in a trine with each other to create a big triangle pattern across the chart. Kite pattern is when you have a grand trine and then a fourth planet that’s in opposition to one of the planets that are in trine while simultaneously being in a sextile to two other planets. Basically, aspect patterns is where things start getting complicated, where you’re seeing broader relationships and geometrical patterns that are being inscribed on the chart that may say something more general about different dynamics in a person’s life and chart.
CM: Mhm. It gets complicated, but very interesting.
CB: Yeah, for sure. All right. People can listen to Episode 266 titled Aspect Patterns in Astrology for more about that. But I think that’s pretty much it when it comes to this little introduction to the concept of aspects in astrology. Is there anything that we forgot to mention or meant to mention but didn’t?
CM: I bet there is, because it’s Mercury Retrograde right now! So I bet there is. But I can’t think of anything right now. I think we pretty much covered as much as people need to get a super good idea about what aspects are about, and that there’s this whole underlying concept behind them. We didn’t just have people make up a square and a triangle and then that was it. There’s certainly a lot to consider. And it just really shows how something so simple and something so foundational– maybe not simple, but foundational is a better word– you can get so much information from that just by itself. That’s really a valuable lesson.
CB: Yeah. It’s a really crucial next building block because I think most people get into astrology and they know something about zodiac signs, and then the next thing you learn is about the planets, and that there’s more than just your Sun sign but that there can be other planets besides the Sun like your Moon sign or your Rising sign. Then the next one after that really is aspects, because that’s when you start layering in much more complicated stuff, but it starts with some very basic principles of like, you know, what happens when two planets are together in the same sign and how do they rub off on each other? Versus what happens when two planets are in the opposite sign and that sort of tension that that creates in the chart?
CM: Exactly. Yep.
CB: Yeah. So this was just a basic introduction. We’re gonna be putting together, like I said, The Astrology Podcast Intro to Astrology course. It’s going to be one of the lectures in, and I’m hoping to launch that later this month in the month of October. So people can check that out at theastrologyschool.com. I also have a book where I wrote a lot more about all of this. There’s a whole chapter on aspects and a chapter on the bonification and maltreatment conditions called Hellenistic Astrology: The Study of Fate and Fortune where I spent 10 years reconstructing ancient astrology and wrote a whole book about it, where you can read about where aspects come from and why we use them and how they actually work in practice with over 100 example charts. The book is used in my online course on Hellenistic astrology, where I have over 100 hours of video lectures where I use a lot of example charts and I break down some of these concepts like the aspect doctrine in much more detail going through the ancient stuff, but then also showing how it applies to charts. And you do consultations, you do a weekly– or is it bi weekly live Instagram discussion– and have other offerings as well, right?
CB: Yeah. Yeah. So, your book is great. Everybody buy the book, it’s found at fine bookstores everywhere on Amazon. I have my website aligninglightastrology.com. I’m on Instagram, Facebook as Aligning Light Astrology. You can book consults with me, you can book tutoring with me, whatever works. I do a live offering on the first and third Tuesday of every month on Instagram, just an hour to talk about astrology, to ask questions. If you have astrology questions, you can come to me there. But, yeah. Otherwise, I’m just bebopping around the internet working on this intro course. If you need anything else if it’s not clear, email me.
CB: Awesome. Yeah. So aligninglightastrology.com, and then you’ll be helping with and people can get some hands on help hopefully in this course that we’re creating. It should be a lot of fun, I’m excited to launch it this month and we’ll see how it goes.
CM: Yeah, sounds good.
CB: Cool. All right. Well, thanks a lot for joining me today for this episode of The Astrology Podcast. It’s always good to have you on the podcast. I look forward to doing it again sometime.
CM: Yeah, thank you so much.
CB: Cool. All right. Well, thanks everyone for watching or listening to this episode of The Astrology Podcast. Let us know if you have any questions in the comments below on YouTube. Please be sure to like this video, or if you’re watching my videos and haven’t subscribed yet, please be sure to subscribe to the YouTube channel because it really helps. If you want to get early access to new episodes, then check out our page on patreon.com/theastrologypodcast. Otherwise, that’s it for this episode. We’ll see you again next time.
CB: Special thanks to all the patrons that supported the production of this episode of the podcast through our page on patreon.com. In particular, thanks to the patrons on our producers tier including Nate Craddock, Thomas Miller, Catherine Conroy, Kristi Moe, Ariana Amour, Mandi Rae, Angelic Nambo, Sumo Coppock, Issa Sabah, Jake Otero, Morgan MacKenzie, Kristin Otero, and Sanjay Sreehari. If you like the work that I’m doing here on the podcast and you would like to find a way to support it, then please consider becoming a patron through my page on patreon.com. In exchange, you’ll get access to bonus content such as early access to new episodes, the ability to attend the live recording of the month ahead forecast each month, access to a private monthly auspicious elections report that we put out each month, access to exclusive episodes that are only available for patrons, or you can also get your name listed in the credits at the end of each episode. For more information, go to patreon.com/astrologypodcast. The main software we use here on the podcast to look at astrological charts is called Solar Fire for Windows, which is available at alabe.com and you can use the promo code AP15 to get a 15% discount. For Mac users, we use a similar set of software by the same programming team called Astro Gold for Mac OS, which is available from astrogold.io. And you can use the promo code ASTROPODCAST15 to get a 15% discount on that as well. If you’d like to learn more about the approach to astrology that I outlined on the podcast, then you should check out my book titled Hellenistic Astrology: The Study of Fate and Fortune, where I traced the origins of Western astrology and reconstructed the original system that was developed about 2000 years ago. In this book, I outline basic concepts but also take you into intermediate and advanced techniques for reading a birth chart, including some timing techniques. You can find out more about the book at hellenisticastrology.com/book. The book pairs very well with my online course on ancient astrology called the Hellenistic Astrology Course, which has over 100 hours of video lectures where I go into detail about teaching you how to read a birth chart, and showing hundreds of example charts in order to really demonstrate how the techniques work in practice. Find out more information about that at theastrologyschool.com. Finally, special thanks to our sponsors, including the Mountain Astrologer Magazine which is available at mountainastrologer.com, the Honeycomb Collective Personal Astrological Almanacks available at honeycomb.co, the Portland School of Astrology at portlandastrology.org, and the Astro Gold Astrology App which is available for iPhone and Android. You can find out more information about that at astrogold.io