Tarot and Astrological Aspects
Astrological aspects are the angular relationship between the planets in a horoscope. Astrologers talk of squares, trines or oppositions, which relate to 90º, 120º and 180º respectively, but these degrees between the planets also define relationships between the signs of the zodiac and their elemental basis.
There is a strong correlation between Elemental Dignities and the elemental relationships defined by astrological aspects. The six major aspects in astrology is seen as defining the relationships between the four elements and the 12 signs.
The characteristics below are from natal and transit astrology.
Conjunction 0º: Same element
Unifying energies. An invading energy becomes dominant. One planet swallows another.
Opposition 180º: Fire/Air or Water/Earth
A tug of war, challenges from others. Something or someone is making the querent make a decision. Blaming or learning from another.
Examples of Opposition
Fire and Air
Fire/Air: Emperor and Justice; Strength and Star; Lovers and Temperance (Dynamic, combative, active)
Aries and Libra are Cardinal signs.
Leo and Aquarius are fixed signs.
Gemini and Sagittarius are mutable signs.
Water and Earth
Taurus and Scorpio are Fixed signs.
Cancer and Capricorn are cardinal signs.
Virgo and Pisces are mutable signs.
Water/Earth: Hierophant and Death; Chariot and Devil; Hermit and Moon (Passive, inertial)
Square 90º: Fire/Water or Air/Earth
Tension between the symbolism of the energies involved. Inner worries, sense of being attacked, self-induced worry. Events that force the querent into a new type of action, things that cannot be avoided.
Examples of Square
Fire/Water: Emperor and Chariot; Lust and Death; Art and Moon
Air/Earth: Lovers and Hermit; Adjustment and Devil; Star and Hierophant
Trine 120º: Same element
Rapid development of a situation due to the removal of obstacles.
Examples of Trine
Fire: Emperor, Lust, Art
Water: Chariot, Death, Moon
Air: Lovers, Adjustment, Star
Earth: Hierophant, Hermit, Devil
Sextile 60º: Fire/Air or Earth/Water
A supportive relationship. Encountering a chance which may or may not be used to gain what is needed. Earth/Water sextiles show opportunities that fall into the querent’s life which may or may not be taken up. Air/Fire sextiles show opportunities that are enthusiastically taken up.
Examples of Sextile
Fire/Air: Emperor and Lovers; Lust and Adjustment; Art and Star
Water/Earth: Chariot and Hermit; Death and Devil; Moon and Hierophant
Inconjunct or Quincunx 150º: Fire/Earth or Water/Air
Tensions, misalignment, irritations, adjustment. Moving into a new situation – change or release. The quincunx is considered to be a “soft” aspect. Relationships that seem to have no logical connection but are difficult to change due to a want of enough energy to do so. Energies that work independently of one another in a conflicting way. Routine annoyances and tensions in life.
Examples of Inconjunct or Quincunx
Fire/Earth: Emperor and Hermit; Lust and Devil; Art and Hierophant
Water/Air: Cancer and Star; Death and Lovers; Moon and Adjustment
Summary of the Aspects and Elemental Dignities
- With our knowledge of Elemental Dignities, we can see a close correlation to the Elemental Dignity rules.
- A Conjunction shows the uniting of planetary elements in a house/zodiac element, the arrangement being, of course, ‘friendly’.
- Although an Opposition is between friendly elements, they are always of the same mode – Cardinal, Fixed or Mutable, which prevents the interchange of energies, and the elements involved are either Active or Passive.
- The Square aspect equates to the Elemental Dignity rule that Fire/Water and Air/Earth are enemies.
- The Trine connects similar elements creating a self-contained, unifying aspect.
- The Sextile has the same combinations as Opposition, both of which are friendly and passive, but do not have the problems associated with Oppositions.
- The Quincunx or Inconjunct is not so important as the other aspects. The elemental combinations are friendly, but it is in the modes that we see the problem. For example, the Aries/Virgo aspect conjoins the Cardinal energy of Fire with the Mutable energy of Earth.