Here is where east meets west. Actually if you have your wits about you, you’ll know that its not about “east meeting west” but about seeing the link between what is modern and what is ancient.
In ancient astrology, which for the most part is what Vedic astrology is, every planet aspected the sign opposite from it. Of course, some of you are wondering what an aspect is. Its the way that something influences something else from a distance. Like if you are sitting in a restaurant right in a particular line of sight from some kid, and you wind up continually looking at each other. You have a relationship where there is a connection between you, in spite of physical distance.
That’s what an aspect is.
Its how a planet influences a place in the sky besides the place it actually occupies.
So, in Ancient astrology, every planet aspects the sign directly across from it. So, for example, if you were a planet in Aries, you would aspect (and thus influence) anything in the opposite sign, Libra. But, there were always three special planets who had additional aspects.
- Mars, besides the 7th house (opposite sign) also aspects the 4th and 8th.
- Jupiter, besides the 7th also aspects the 5th and 9th.
- Saturn, besides the 7th also aspects the 3rd and 10th.
Now, fast forward to modern “western” aspects. They talk about trines, squares and also about quincunx sometimes. These are geometrical patterns. I am going to tell you how these patterns came to be recognized, and how important they are even to those who practice the ancient techniques of Vedic Astrology.
Much of what you think is about reading a birth chart, is not really about the birth chart, but about how the chart implicitly will react to transits. I’m writing this sentence here. I am going to post it on the internet. Probably a 10th of the people who should read it are actually going to read it. And probably less than a 10th of them are going to pay the attention to it that they should. The chart means what it means mostly because of how it will react to transits.
This is something you really have to meditate on.
Say you have one planet in Aries and another in Leo. They are “trine” – they are 5 houses / signs apart. Western astrology says they have a certain relationship therefore. In fact so does Vedic astrology. This is why: If two planets are trine, it means they are going to both be activated by the same transits at the same time, every time – and thus create a regular pattern throughout the person’s life.
In this case, with one planet in Aries and another in Leo, whenever Jupiter goes into Sagittarius, both of these planets will simultaneously be activated by that transit, because Jupiter’s 5th House aspect will hit Aries, and his 9th house aspect will hit Leo.
Or, whenever Saturn is in Aquarius, the same thing will happen, Saturn’s 3rd house aspect will hit the planet in Aries, and his 7th house aspect will hit the planet in Leo. both planets will be activated by the same agent at the same time.
Again, whenever Mars transits Capricorn, his 4th House aspect will trigger the natal planet in Aries, and his 8th house aspect will trigger the other planet, in Leo.
So any planets which are trine to one another (5 or 9 signs away from one another) most definitely have an extremely strong relationship, because they will always operate together on the native, throughout the natives life. This cannot be denied. You must look for it in any chart you look at.
Western geometrical aspects operate within “orbs” or ranges. This is also true in Vedic astrology because of our reliance on the divisions within each sign, the Vargas. The closer two objects come in degree, in orb, the more vargas they share in the harmonic divisions – and therefore the more intense their relationship. By the way – this explains why orbs are a useful tool for Western astrologers.
So if that planet in Aries is at 1º Aries, and the other planet in Leo is at 28º Leo – they do have a sort of 5/9 “trine” relationship yes… but it is not as strong as if the Leo planet was much closer to 1º of leo, or the Aries planet was much closer to 28º of Aries. The closer the two planets are by degree, the more exactly they will be simultaneously triggered by the trinal aspects of the Mars, Jupiter and Saturn.
Types of Patterns
- Jupiter says that Trines and Sextiles are blessed
- Mars says that Trines, Squares, 2/12, and Quincunx are agitated
- Saturn says that Trines, Squares and Quincunx are distressed
Trines and Sextiles
Because Jupiter simultaneously affects the 5th, 7th and 9th position from him – if you have planets that occupies some or all of these spots anywhere in a chart – they will be simultaneously activated by Jupiter repeatedly throughout a persons life by Jupiters transits. The strongest possible configuration would involve 4 points, A planet occuping Point A, another planet Trine to Point A, and second planet in the other trine (forming a “Grand Trine”) and a fourth planet opposite one of the trines. I suppose you could even have two other planets opposte the other two members of the trine to make a “Star of David” aspect pattern, which is fairly huge.
So for example
- Sun: 5º Aries
- Moon: 5º Leo
These two are in an exact trine. They are therefore strongly related because all the outer three planets (Mars, Jupiter and Saturn) will activate them simultaneously.
- Add Mercury: 5º Gemini
Mercury is “sextile” to both the Sun and Moon. He is 3 houses away. In this case, exactly 60º. Any sextile planets are strongly related to Jupiter, because Jupiter aspects 120º, 180º and 240º from wherever he is (5, 7 and 9 signs). Each of these is 60º appart. So any planets in a trine or a sextile are blessed by Jupiter.
- Now add Mars: 5º Sagittarius
This puts Mars in trine to both the Sun and Moon – a grand trine. All four planets will be simultaneously activated whenever Jupiter transits Sagittarius, especially when he is close to 5º Sagittarius.
Trines are the most important of all relationships because all three of the planets, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn aspect trines simultaneously.
Squares, Quincunx, & 2/12
Mars aspects any planet in it’s 4th House. Saturn aspects any planet in it’s 10th House. In other words Mars aspects any planet 90º away in one direction, and Saturn aspects any planet 90º away in the other direction. A 90º aspect is a “Square” in the modern western terminology. Why are squares considered difficult aspects? Because they are activated by Mars and Saturn.
Mars will also simultaneously aspect any two planets which are Quincunx which means they are 150º or 210º apart – in 6th or 8th house/sign relative to one another. This aspect pattern should not be overlooked or undervalued. A planet in Libra, for example, and another in Taurus have a strong relationship besides the fact that they both dwell in property owned by Venus – they are 6 and 8 houses away from one another and therefore in a Quincunx pattern. This means that they blend their energy together because they will always be activated at the same time by the same agent over the course of the native’s life.
Saturn also simultaneously activates planets in this relationships. This is why Quincunx, like Square, is known as a very agitating, challenging, and powerful aspect pattern between planets.
If you have two planets in adjacent signs (especially if close to the same degress), they are bonded together by the aspect of Mars. For example if the Sun is at 5º Aries and the Moon 5º Taurus, whenever Mars transits near 5º Libra – he will simultaneously activate both the Sun and Moon for the native. Thereby causing them to act as a pair.
Relative Strengths of the Patterns
This 2/12 relationship is a weaker relationship that Quincunx, because only Mars is involved. Quincunx and Square is a stronger pattern because both Mars and Saturn activate it. And trine is strongest of all because Jupiter, Saturn and Mars all activate it. Sextile is of lesser strength as well, for the same reason, only Jupiter activates it.
Opening the Door
Hopefully this stream-of-consciousness article has not just alerted you to what I have directly spoken about, but has opened the door to the whole new consideration of how the configuration of a chart will implicitly be activated by transits. This may also lead you to a related subject of examining the relative positions of the Ascendant and Moon and Sun in light of the implicit transit effects there. Anyway, in short, I hope this has opened your mind and made new connections for you. Namaste.
- Vic DiCara