How Do Aspects Work in Astrology?

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Effect of the aspect

April 3, 2023, 10:30 a.m. Mark Rusborn 3 min. to read

The effect of an aspect should be considered only in combination with the celestial state of the planet that reflects it, as well as the form of the aspect and the place it has fallen into.


Assessing the Effect of an Aspect.

The general principle is as follows:

  • A favorable aspect from a benefic planet is benevolent, while a square or opposition can have varied effects.
  • Conversely, a destructive aspect from a malefic planet is malevolent, while a beneficial one has a mixed nature.

The table below presents a combination of natural signification, essential state, and aspect nature.

Celestial state Aspect Effect
Dignified benefic Trine/Sextile Very supportive
Square/Opposition Harmless or only very slightly harmful
Benefic in exile or fall Trine/Sextile Useless or very slightly helpful
Square/Opposition Harmful
Malefic in domicile or exaltation Trine/Sextile Beneficial
Square/Opposition Useless, even evil
Malefic in adverse celestial state Trine/Sextile Useless, even evil
Square/Opposition Quite pernicious

These general statements are only valid when all other factors are equal. For example, the square of an unfavorable Saturn, the ruler of the 8th to the planet in the 2nd, portends the dissipation of money, while the same aspect to the ascendant portends death.

Or, the quadrature of Saturn, which falls into the location that Saturn rules, will produce good in fortunate houses, but this good will be accompanied by misfortune.

If the planet rules two houses, the same aspect of the same planet will signify one thing if we consider this planet a ruler of the 11th or a ruler of the 8th. The effects will be different.

Comparison of Two Aspects

Sometimes, the task arises to compare two aspects in terms of strength.

Suppose the significator receives aspects from two planets at the same time. For example, the ascendant obtains a trine from Jupiter and a square from Mars.

What effect do both of these opposite aspects have in total - do they shorten or lengthen life?

To do this, we consider 5 points.

  1. Compare the strength of the aspects. For example, a trine has 2/3 of the strength of the opposition, while a quadrature is only 1/2 as strong. This means that a trine protects against an evil more strongly than a quadrature creates it.
  2. Compare the celestial state of the planets. For instance, if Mars is strong in Scorpio and Jupiter is weak in Virgo, then Mars' square can do more harm than Jupiter's square can protect against.
  3. Compare the terrestrial state. If Mars rules the 8th house, then its square is undoubtedly harmful, whereas if Jupiter rules the 12th, it is unlikely to be of much help.
  4. Compare the proximity of aspects, as the closer an aspect is to exact, the stronger its effect.
  5. Finally, we consider the dynamics of the aspects. An applying aspect is always stronger than a separating one.

We also note if the aspect falls into a sign adverse, neutral, or consonant to the planet aspecting. For example, a trine of Jupiter to Sagittarius has a much stronger effect than a trine to Capricorn ascending.

Following and Preceding Aspects

If a planet receives several close aspects, it is also necessary to consider the sequence of aspects.

The following aspect produces the final effect proportionally to its force (assessed as described above). For example:

  • If a benefic aspect immediately follows another benefic aspect, then the effect of both will come easily.
  • If a malefic aspect immediately follows another malefic aspect, then destruction will come without delay.
  • If a malefic aspect follows a benefic one, then every good created by the first aspect will turn evil with the second.
  • If a benefic aspect follows a malefic one, the contrary will occur.

A similar situation occurs with the preceding close aspect. If the planet separates from a close benefic aspect and approaches a malefic one, the good of the preceding aspect turns evil, and vice versa.

A General Algorithm for Evaluating the Effect of an Aspect

To evaluate the effect of an aspect from a given planet, we consider seven points:

  1. The nature of the planet casting the aspect, whether it is benefic or malefic.
  2. The celestial state of that planet.
  3. Its terrestrial determination in terms of position and rulership. We can also consider the natural signification of a planet if it has a connection with the corresponding house of the same meaning.
  4. The nature of the aspect.
  5. The sign in which the aspect falls, as described in the article on how planets mix their nature in aspects (if it is the domicile, exaltation, fall, or exile of the planet casting the aspect), and the ruler of that sign - whether it is a malefic or a benefic, and its celestial and terrestrial state.
  6. The house in which the aspect falls and its logical connection with the meaning of the planet that casts the aspect.
  7. Aspects immediately preceding or following (if any).

By considering these points, we can determine the final effect of the aspect of the planet.

Mark Rusborn

Mark Rusborn

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