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Saturness
10-01-2012, 03:47
During my vacations I printed a few random charts to study and I came across a couple of chart that had few major aspect. They were either very scattered and had mostly oppositions and squares, or very concentrated in one portion of the chart and had lots of trines and conjunctions.

I use tight orbs for the major aspects (the usual, nothing excessive), and I don't feel comfortable with the ideas of allowing more room so more aspects should be made. I feel this a bit like cheating...

Anyways, none of my books really offer any ideas about the importance of the amount of aspects, so I looked on the internet. I didn't find much, but what I found implied that people who have charts with few aspects do not fully integrate parts of their psychological side ("the left hand doesn't know what the right one is doing", lol!), have boring lives/personalities or are not complex enough. One site used Hitler's chart (always the guy :rolleyes:) as an extremely bad case of "chart with few aspects".

I suppose all of this could be true, but honestly it sounds a bit too negative, with no silver lining. I always try to imagine how I'd translate the message to the native, and I found it very hard to even soften 'boring, psychologically unintegrated and/or not complex'. Of course, I realize that other factors would be present and hopefully would be able to balance this out.

I know we have less dramatic astrologers here, so I was wondering if anyone has other (possibly less abysmal) ideas about what a small amount of major aspects can imply in a chart, overall. :)

dadsnook2000
10-01-2012, 04:05
The fewer number of aspects can be positive or negative, but it is perhaps better to view it another way. A number of conj.-square-opp'n aspects denote conflict and balancing problems that have to be reconciled. This can either "drive" on to success as part of the overcoming process of challenges --- or it can drive one to distraction, uncertainty, the inability to decide and move on. So, those type of aspects will depend upon the Sun and Moon involvement and placement and which planets may be part of their energy patterns.

A bunch of conjunctions and trines, for example can point to a consolidation of complexes (the conjoined planets) and their ease or disassociation of integration with those planets that they trine. Trine aspects typically make for either an ease of getting along or a "ease" due to alternating between one and the other so as to not rock the boat. Here, one would tend to not face integration or conflict but would find a way to let conflicts slide past each other.

Just some thoughts. Dave

Saturness
10-01-2012, 05:40
The fewer number of aspects can be positive or negative, but it is perhaps better to view it another way. A number of conj.-square-opp'n aspects denote conflict and balancing problems that have to be reconciled. This can either "drive" on to success as part of the overcoming process of challenges --- or it can drive one to distraction, uncertainty, the inability to decide and move on. So, those type of aspects will depend upon the Sun and Moon involvement and placement and which planets may be part of their energy patterns.

Hi Dave!

Thank you very, very much for sharing your thoughts! A welcome glass half-full view.

Perhaps the most worrisome case would be the ones that have few aspects and mostly soft aspects - I suppose it wouldn't give the person many conflicts of challenges to force them to overcome their difficulties? Although I must say that I have not seen yet a chart that only has trines and sextiles - usually they have a bunch of conjunctions as well, and these are not necessarily 'soft' (I still have a hard time telling when a conjunction is positive or more negative).

But, if the Sun or the Moon happen to be rather weak in charts with few aspects (lets say, they make no aspects or are in debility) - would this weaken the chart even further, or would the importance fall on planets with more aspects/better positions?

A bunch of conjunctions and trines, for example can point to a consolidation of complexes (the conjoined planets) and their ease or disassociation of integration with those planets that they trine. Trine aspects typically make for either an ease of getting along or a "ease" due to alternating between one and the other so as to not rock the boat. Here, one would tend to not face integration or conflict but would find a way to let conflicts slide past each other.

Just some thoughts. Dave

That is a VERY interesting view, I had never read anything similar anywhere. I am finding that some authors and astrologers - even in the internet which is a "free realm" - have a bit of a black-and-white vision when it comes to certain parts of the charts. This one you are offering is far more fluid. I have met very few people whose personality were utterly black-and-white, to be honest.

Thank you very much for answering to my post! :)

Minderwiz
10-01-2012, 07:03
I like Dave's answer but there are some additional points I'd add:

Firstly;

The fewer bodies you use the greater the chances of having few major aspects. Astrology evolved with only 7 planets and I've not read any traditional text in which the author fretted about lack of aspects or bemoaned the lack of additional planets to raise the chances of such aspects. Remember that of the classical planets, Mercury and Venus can't make a major aspect with the Sun, so the Sun can only have major aspects to 4 other planets, Mercury and Venus are only likely to conjoin each other, the only other possible is a sextile, if and only if, one is occidental and the other oriental and both approaching their maximum elongations.
so for the traditional Astrologer it wasn't a big deal, if there were few major aspects. Modern Astrologers, for various reasons place much more emphasis on aspects, rather than planetary condition. In such circumstances they may feel it may matter.

Secondly;

I take the line that aspects are only connections, what matters is what is connected, more than how they are connected. That is concentrate more on the planets involved - this will influence the interpretation far more than how many aspects there are.

Thirdly;

Are tight orbs really important? Now in this I'm posing the question not suggesting an answer. Personally, like the vast majority of Astrologers, I treat aspects as angular separation, though I perhaps pay more attention to sign than others. Aspects originally are properties of signs, not planets!!! Taurus for example trines Virgo and opposes Scorpio - as a consequence, a planet it Taurus is in trine with a planet in Virgo and opposes a planet in Scorpio, no matter what the degree This held into the medieval period but by the time of Lilly the emphasis was more on angular separation of the planets - planets had gained orbs. Now it's aspects that have orbs, for modern Astrologers. Have a look at the charts with few aspects and see if there are any that aspect by sign.

Fourthly;

There are other connections besides the angular ones. Signs also relate to each other through antiscia and contrantiscia so have a look to see if there are connections that way. That is the planets lie an equal distance from the solstice line but on opposite sides. Modern Astrology rarely uses this connection but for the Traditional Astrologer it was an important connection between two planets.

I've left out the psychological interpretations, not because I dismiss them but because I would base them on the planets that were connected - depending on the chart the psychological importance might be strong.

BigLuna
10-01-2012, 09:12
I take the line that aspects are only connections, what matters is what is connected, more than how they are connected.

Love this, Minderwiz! If we polled a lot of people with Jupiter/Mars aspects, I think we'd hear very similar stories regardless of the aspect.

kalliope
10-01-2012, 09:23
Are tight orbs really important? Now in this I'm posing the question not suggesting an answer. Personally, like the vast majority of Astrologers, I treat aspects as angular separation, though I perhaps pay more attention to sign than others. Aspects originally are properties of signs, not planets!!! Taurus for example trines Virgo and opposes Scorpio - as a consequence, a planet it Taurus is in trine with a planet in Virgo and opposes a planet in Scorpio, no matter what the degree This held into the medieval period but by the time of Lilly the emphasis was more on angular separation of the planets - planets had gained orbs. Now it's aspects that have orbs, for modern Astrologers.

Do you know when the switch from planetary orbs to aspect orbs happened? Was it with the advent of modern astrology, with Leo? I'm curious about this method as one that straddles traditional and modern perspectives, although I suppose it would only yield differences in a chart in a few instances.

I have to say, the traditional "aspects by sign" method is one that feels very foreign and different, coming from a modern background. As Marina said, it can feel like "cheating" somehow, since I'm used to looking for those tight orbs as a statement about their power. Sometimes aspects by sign feels kind of loosey-goosey, creating aspects everywhere! I understand the idea behind it, and the gear is finally switching in my mind, but it definitely takes some getting used to.

dadsnook2000
10-01-2012, 10:28
Part of the answer as to when or why tight orbs and aspects became important might be "when" the heavy reliance on just natal & hoary charts was shared by directions and progressions that were based on highly accurate calculations and orbital positions.

Resources, tools, and methods are all linked. For my practice of Return and Cyclic charts of various types, virtually exact conjoining of a planet at an angles is required (within one degree).

And in case some one wants to talk about "aspects" being sign-based, not all modern astrologers insist on accuracy relative to (for example) a 90 degree square. In cyclic charts one can run into a paran square (a non-90 degree square). If angles of a chart are important, then there does not have to be a 90 degree arc between them. Lets say the arc distance is 107 degrees and a pair of planets are within 1 degree of the Asc. and the MC. This is a 107 degree paran-square. It is powerful, more powerful than a conventional square.

Again, as the technological factors associated with astrology, and the need to view the human experience through more sophisticated lenses increases and advances, more tools and procedures will be invented, experimented with ---- and some will prove to be useful and/or interesting. In the world and the astrology of a few hundred years ago there were tools and uses of those tools appropriate for that time and world. This is a different time and a different world. It is only right to expect that different tools might be needed. Dave

Saturness
10-01-2012, 20:12
I take the line that aspects are only connections, what matters is what is connected, more than how they are connected. That is concentrate more on the planets involved - this will influence the interpretation far more than how many aspects there are.

Thank you, I agree with you here. The 'how' actually derives from the 'what'... If the planets involved in the aspect naturally go well together, a hard aspect may make their connection a bit precarious and their communication, complicated. A temporary strife, maybe. If they are not friendly already, a soft aspect will represent an uneasy alliance. 'How' the planets connect does not necessarily change what they are - unless they are more neutral and easily influenced by the planet or angle they're in aspect with.

Of course, I have considered that in Traditional Astrology fewer aspects may be the norm, however I am still going with 'modern' Astrology and exploring all possible aspects (no pun intended, lol!) of it. My surprise was actually to see such a negative view on what 'few aspects' could represent.

Are tight orbs really important? Now in this I'm posing the question not suggesting an answer. Personally, like the vast majority of Astrologers, I treat aspects as angular separation, though I perhaps pay more attention to sign than others. Aspects originally are properties of signs, not planets!!! Taurus for example trines Virgo and opposes Scorpio - as a consequence, a planet it Taurus is in trine with a planet in Virgo and opposes a planet in Scorpio, no matter what the degree This held into the medieval period but by the time of Lilly the emphasis was more on angular separation of the planets - planets had gained orbs. Now it's aspects that have orbs, for modern Astrologers. Have a look at the charts with few aspects and see if there are any that aspect by sign.

I did not know about such thing. Thank you for the lesson. :)

There are other connections besides the angular ones. Signs also relate to each other through antiscia and contrantiscia so have a look to see if there are connections that way. That is the planets lie an equal distance from the solstice line but on opposite sides. Modern Astrology rarely uses this connection but for the Traditional Astrologer it was an important connection between two planets.

I also didn't know about "antiscia". Is it similar to parallels and contra-parallels? I don't know much about these either so I apologize if the question is silly!

Part of the answer as to when or why tight orbs and aspects became important might be "when" the heavy reliance on just natal & hoary charts was shared by directions and progressions that were based on highly accurate calculations and orbital positions.

Resources, tools, and methods are all linked. For my practice of Return and Cyclic charts of various types, virtually exact conjoining of a planet at an angles is required (within one degree).

[...]

Again, as the technological factors associated with astrology, and the need to view the human experience through more sophisticated lenses increases and advances, more tools and procedures will be invented, experimented with ---- and some will prove to be useful and/or interesting. In the world and the astrology of a few hundred years ago there were tools and uses of those tools appropriate for that time and world. This is a different time and a different world. It is only right to expect that different tools might be needed.

I do not know the answer, but I think Dave may be right here. Perhaps the technical improvement combined with the search of more detailed information - hence the amount of celestial bodies and minor aspects that are included in the modern charts. This can be both a door to a greater knowledge and to chaos, depending on how its used. The tools do not work by themselves, they depend on those wielding them.

Minderwiz
11-01-2012, 05:21
Part of the answer as to when or why tight orbs and aspects became important might be "when" the heavy reliance on just natal & hoary charts was shared by directions and progressions that were based on highly accurate calculations and orbital positions.

Resources, tools, and methods are all linked. For my practice of Return and Cyclic charts of various types, virtually exact conjoining of a planet at an angles is required (within one degree).

And in case some one wants to talk about "aspects" being sign-based, not all modern astrologers insist on accuracy relative to (for example) a 90 degree square. In cyclic charts one can run into a paran square (a non-90 degree square). If angles of a chart are important, then there does not have to be a 90 degree arc between them. Lets say the arc distance is 107 degrees and a pair of planets are within 1 degree of the Asc. and the MC. This is a 107 degree paran-square. It is powerful, more powerful than a conventional square.

Again, as the technological factors associated with astrology, and the need to view the human experience through more sophisticated lenses increases and advances, more tools and procedures will be invented, experimented with ---- and some will prove to be useful and/or interesting. In the world and the astrology of a few hundred years ago there were tools and uses of those tools appropriate for that time and world. This is a different time and a different world. It is only right to expect that different tools might be needed. Dave

:)

Firstly, as I said in my post, I use angular separation to define aspects, but my point about the origin of aspects is a factual one, not an opinion. That things change is natural, but one should not see change as being necessarily an improvement and as Astrology is a cyclical discipline, who knows it might come back in fashion.

Also one should be careful about assuming that early Astrology was crude or rudimentary or based on inaccuracies. Abu Mashar was able to quote the length of the solar year to within 1 percent of one day writing in the ninth century AD about Solar Return charts. Indeed his quoted time would have been accepted right up to a fair way into the twentieth century. In 240 BC Eratosthenes calculated the circumference of the Earth (note this implies a clear understanding that the Earth was spheroid) to 252,000 Stadia about 39,650 Km the recognised modern value is 40,008 Km - which is an excellent approximation for a man using a stick. Much of the scientific discoveries of medieval Arab Astrolger/Astronomers did much to measure the distance of the Sun at apogee, the height of the Atmosphere and the heliocentric nature of the solar system. Their accuracy might not be as exact as late twentieth century measurements but are certainly well within that used by Astrologers even today. Ptolemy's ephemerides were in use well into the sixteenth century, which given celestial changes over that time is a fairly good achievement.

Progressions and Directions were actually invented by the Alexandian Astrologers, who invented the Horoscope and their Horoscopic methods are still alive and well in Jyotish. The assumption that human nature is somehow more complex or evolved than it was then is one which is often made, not least by the Theosophists (who believed in the spiritual development of mankind and that Venus was being prepared as a home for the developed souls). Horary questions do tend to reflect the nature of day to day life, so questions about the weather and crops might well be more prevelant in an agrarian society but most of the questions that I get in my horary threads are similar to what Sahl ibn Bishr would have got in the ninth century - questions about romance and marriage, questions about journeys and travel, buying and selling and lost items. Indeed my list is probably less varied than his.

It was typical of the first wave of modern Astrologers to rubbish the past, and Leo especially condemned the Greeks - though this did not stop him using their primary contribution to Astrology - indeed the primary contribution to Astrology as it is practised today - the Horoscopic chart.

Tools and methods are indeed linked, and should be and indeed 'If' angles are important then one might well argue that the MC/ASC separation should be treated as a right angle, even though it obviously isn't in many cases but in so doing you are making a value judgement (which I largely share with you) and are taking your own judgement over the accuracy of measurement. I see absolutely nothing wrong with this but you need to remember that you can't always have your cake and eat it LOL.

Just my opinion :)

Barleywine
08-02-2012, 07:29
Anyways, none of my books really offer any ideas about the importance of the amount of aspects, so I looked on the internet. I didn't find much, but what I found implied that people who have charts with few aspects do not fully integrate parts of their psychological side ("the left hand doesn't know what the right one is doing", lol!), have boring lives/personalities or are not complex enough. One site used Hitler's chart (always the guy :rolleyes:) as an extremely bad case of "chart with few aspects".

I suppose all of this could be true, but honestly it sounds a bit too negative, with no silver lining. I always try to imagine how I'd translate the message to the native, and I found it very hard to even soften 'boring, psychologically unintegrated and/or not complex'. Of course, I realize that other factors would be present and hopefully would be able to balance this out.

I know we have less dramatic astrologers here, so I was wondering if anyone has other (possibly less abysmal) ideas about what a small amount of major aspects can imply in a chart, overall. :)

I knew I had something in this regard in my library, so I went digging. The closest I could come was Chapter 9 of Bill Tierney's 1983 book "Dynamics of Aspect Analysis," titled "Unaspected Planets." He cites Geoffrey Dean's "Recent Advances in Natal Astrology," (The Astrological Association, England, 1977) as "perhaps the finest resource available offering a selection of various astrological opinions concerning unaspected planets." (Unfortunately, I don't have a copy.) He goes on to say "In general, astrologers feel that, while not necessarily weak, an unaspected planet does not integrate itself easily with other components of the psyche (represented by the other planets). Yet, although these planets may not interrelate very well, their prime distinction is that they can at least retain their truer nature more markedly so than aspected planets, for better or worse. An unaspected planet can appear quite intense and one-pointed in its expression, since its energy is not colored by other planets functioning through other signs. And since other houses are not involved, this planet is apt to concentrate its circumstantial manifestation in one emphasized area. There is no blending of principles found, and thus no apparent modification of the innate expression of that planet. Yet, without aspects, planets are not encouraged to express themselves in the multifaceted manner of aspected planets." (Note that he doesn't go into house rulerships, receptions and other integrating factors that might apply.)

He is careful to point out that virtually no planet is completely unaspected in a chart, given the abundance of minor aspects in use, and confines his discussion to the major (Ptolemaic) aspects. Although he doesn't address an overall paucity of major aspects in a chart, you can figuratively stack the non-contributing planets in a corner and focus on the remaining planetary dialogues as one way to tackle it. The above is basically how I learned it way back in the early '70s, when great emphasis was placed on the escalated importance of the few existing major aspects as channels for expression of the personality. It seems that these general principles of interpretation would apply equally to a non-psychological approach to astrology.

Minderwiz
08-02-2012, 19:12
He goes on to say "In general, astrologers feel that, while not necessarily weak, an unaspected planet does not integrate itself easily with other components of the psyche (represented by the other planets). Yet, although these planets may not interrelate very well, their prime distinction is that they can at least retain their truer nature more markedly so than aspected planets, for better or worse. An unaspected planet can appear quite intense and one-pointed in its expression, since its energy is not colored by other planets functioning through other signs. And since other houses are not involved, this planet is apt to concentrate its circumstantial manifestation in one emphasized area. There is no blending of principles found, and thus no apparent modification of the innate expression of that planet.

At the time he wrote, he was indeed expressing the overwhelming and key belief of Astrologers, as it was before the Traditional resurgence of the 1990s. The chart was seen (and still is by many) as the psyche as a whole - hence the strong emphasis on integration and blending. For an alternative view see the chapter in Ben Dykes 'Traditional Astrology For Today' where the chart is seen as covering both the native and the real world with which he or she relates. Now I'm not here saying that Tierney is wrong merely that he is stating an axiom of one, albeit still the dominant, approach to Astrology. Within that approach his analysis of unaspected planets is a concise statement of belief.



Yet, without aspects, planets are not encouraged to express themselves in the multifaceted manner of aspected planets." (Note that he doesn't go into house rulerships, receptions and other integrating factors that might apply.)

Yes, Within a Traditional Approach there is at least two houses involved (and possibly more) the house in which the planet is situated and the house(s) that it rules. There is also of course the house(s) of its dispositor, and possibly planet(s) that it is connected to by antisica or mutual receptions - as you acknowledge. Modern Astrology sees the aspect as the only real way of connecting planets, the Tradition sees other ways. You pays your money and makes your choice :)


He is careful to point out that virtually no planet is completely unaspected in a chart, given the abundance of minor aspects in use, and confines his discussion to the major (Ptolemaic) aspects. Although he doesn't address an overall paucity of major aspects in a chart, you can figuratively stack the non-contributing planets in a corner and focus on the remaining planetary dialogues as one way to tackle it. The above is basically how I learned it way back in the early '70s, when great emphasis was placed on the escalated importance of the few existing major aspects as channels for expression of the personality. It seems that these general principles of interpretation would apply equally to a non-psychological approach to astrology.

As general principles, yes though the way in which it is done can be radically different. In the Tradition, an aspect will influence a planet, both through it's type (soft or hard using today's terminology) and through the essential and accidental nature of the other planet or planets involved, i.e. whether they are forces for good or not (in the context of the chart) Writing in the ninth century, Sahl Ibn Bishr talks about combining planets that are joined (in aspect) and give quite a few examples of the outcome - for example when Jupiter is joined to Saturn it breaks down it's malice and changes it - ' Jupiter releases what Saturn snags up'

So the idea of combining is certainly not knew but is not done in the same way. Jupiter/Saturn aspects do not produce some sort of mid range blend as an outcome but they do suggest an outcome which is different from one or other aspecting individually.

Barleywine
08-02-2012, 21:04
Yes, Within a Traditional Approach there is at least two houses involved (and possibly more) the house in which the planet is situated and the house(s) that it rules. There is also of course the house(s) of its dispositor, and possibly planet(s) that it is connected to by antisica or mutual receptions - as you acknowledge. Modern Astrology sees the aspect as the only real way of connecting planets, the Tradition sees other ways. You pays your money and makes your choice :)

I'm with you on this one. As I get deeper into the tradition, I can see that planetary relationships in a chart are treated more as a multi-layered web or matrix of influences as opposed to a set of strictly linear relationships that form and dissolve. This still does serve to blend or integrate almost everything (with the possible exception of unaspected, peregrine planets), perhaps even more so than through closely-defined aspectual relationships. It just feels more organic and intuitive.