View Full Version : Theory about applying and separating aspects in natal charts

11-01-2006, 14:49
Hi all;

I just had a thought that I have not been able to find elsewhere. I was wondering what other people thought here.

In horary and event astrology, separating aspects tend to refer to past events and their influence, while applying aspects tend to represent future events and tendencies leading up to them. In a natal chart, we tend to read both applying and separating aspects identically. I.e. few people care whether a trine off by, say, 3 degrees is separating or applying. But it occurs to me that these categories could be as different in natal astrology as in horary or mundane astrology.

For those that don't know, applying aspects are those where the aspect will become exact in the future, while a separating aspect was exact in the past.

It is also possible to have a change of course that negates an aspect in horary or mundane astrology. For example, let's say that Jupiter is at 24Sag while Mercury is at 20Ari. This would generally be assumed to be an applying aspect, possibly mutually applying as Jupiter might be retrograde depending on the position of the Sun. But suppose that Mercury is at a station and about to go retrograde. Now, the aspect has no point at which it is exact. It might be seen as an aborted aspect and in horary and mundane astrology is generally ignored.

I haven't had a chance to talk to a lot of people about these distinctions, but it seems to me that one might see applying aspects as representing directions of development while separating aspects represent inertia of the a priori self, past lives, ancestral character, kharma etc. Aspects aborted by a change of course might represent areas where there is a lack of follow-through.

Any feedback?

11-01-2006, 21:56
When working with natal or event charts, and some others as well, we have to keep in mind that there are two conditions that we need to be aware of:

1) The natal/event chart is a static picture of "the moment." In these cases, an aspect is an aspect.

2) The natal/event experience didn't just happen -- it developed! To see this view of the chart we need to understand that every pair of planets is at some phase of a natural cycle that began with their last conjunction. Where that conjunction point occurred in the chart AND the phase of the cycle that the faster moving planet is in relative to the slower moving planet gives us greater insight into the chart.

Let me comment on point 2 as everyone should be able to understand point 1. My Jupiter is in Sag, closing in on Saturn in Pisces which it has a close square aspect to. Neptune and Sun oppose Saturn, creating a strong T-Square. Where did Jupiter last conjunct Saturn in my chart? It occured some number of years before I was born -- and the conjunction occurred quite near my Sun position. Jupiter, in its closing square to Saturn suggests (phase/cycle-wise) that I have a personal goal of working out ways to balance Optimism and dreams with limitations and resources. The conjunction at my Sun-position says that my whole identity will include this dynamic.

If I just looked at the natal/event aspects, I would see the T-Square as suggesting a struggle between myself (Sun) not understanding (Neptune) how to relate to authority (opposite Saturn) or appreciate past practices -- all of this meaning that my sense of optimism and personal growth (Jupiter) would perhaps suffer from this due to the square. Of course, we could interprete this in several different shades of meaning. BUT, understanding this pattern in terms of its cycle/phase meaning adds a whole new dimension to it. Dave