View Full Version : Astrology symbol: the square

30-01-2007, 04:59
I'm not sure if this is the correct place to post this question, but I needed to ask someone who is knowledgeable about astrology. I was researching (on symbols.com) the square, and it said in astrology it represented the most difficult and tense aspect that can occur between the planets. A square symbol can be found on the chest of the man in The Chariot (which is why I was researching this symbol). If the square does represent this in astrology, it would definitely fit with the meaning of the Chariot.


30-01-2007, 05:27
Yes and no. The square on the chest of the driver of the Chariot does make sense in light of the astrological symbol, but it is not the most challenging aspect a planet can encounter. Oppositions are (180 degree difference between planets). A square is a 90 degree angle between planets and represents challenges... much like the challenges our Will's face in day to day life. They, the squares, serve us by giving us the friction necessary to polish our personalities. Sextiles and Trines are easy flow aspects, which make life rather simple for us in those areas where planets are so aspected... so, like The Fool, we have no need for attention in those areas.

I've always thought of the square on the chest of the Chariot driver as representing the wold of the elements, which the driver wears as a pendant, thus signifying his success at mastering them. But this in no way removes from your idea. In fact, your idea explains the "how" as well as the "what."

30-01-2007, 06:09
Thank you Baccus93 for your explanation! So, if I understand you correctly, the square is a challenge that causes conflict, but it is not such a huge (Tower experience) conflict as I first thought.


30-01-2007, 07:31
That's correct. For example, if you had Mercury square Mars in your natal chart, you would have a tendency to jump to conclusions. That's a challenge you would have to overcome if you were to become more productive in your life (and other things depending on what areas of your chart this is all happening in). Or when a transiting planet (its current position in the sky) squares a natal planet, you will face challenges concerning the issues represented by these planets. This is not usually a big Tower like upheaval, although it can be. In any case, the best way to look at a square is to consider it an opportunity for improvement.

When I see the Chariot, I always think about the challenges I faced when learning to master Raja Yoga (which, the successes remind me of the Strength card). Sitting perfectly still, I tell you, is not as easy as it looks.

31-01-2007, 00:50
Aspects are not so cut and dried that one can say that one aspect is better or worse than another. I believe that an explanation for early-studies students of astrology has to always be couched very carefully. Please permit me to offer a couple of guidelines and then some comments.

Conjunctions, oppositions, squares, semi-squares (45 degrees) and sesquiquadrates (135 degrees, also called square-and-a-half) are considered "hard" in that they are often linked to physical events and actions.

Trines and sextiles are often called "soft" because they involve communication, understanding, easy assimilation and accommodation.

The inconjunct (150 degrees) and semi-sextile (30 degrees) have been seen as fitting into a number of categories. Both are awkward and require lots of adjustment between the planets involved. Some astrologers believe they are always strong, others that they are always weak and secondary at best. There are also "harmonic" aspects built upon the division of the zodiac's 360 degrees by numbers like five, seven, nine, etc. wherein multiples of 40, 52, and 72 degrees are used. These can be quite useful if you know how to use them.

Now that we have briefly identified some common aspects, lets talk about the primary issue concerning aspects -- the planets that they link. The very nature of the planet can modify the nature of the aspect. Moon in a closing square to Sun can be quite positive, challenging one to live up to their public face, be responsible and work with their ego-will-focus in concert with their needs-emotions-habits. On the other hand an opposition between Saturn and Pluto can be brutal, whereas an opposition between Mercury and Moon might be conducive to mental-emotional swings in relationships such that life is changeable and flighty. An opening square by Venus to Mars can push one to take something desirable now and have to deal with consequences later, not always a harsh aspect but one that keeps one's life stirred up and full of tensions with others.

We have to also balance things like "orbs" (closeness or looseness of the aspect -- as this affects strength of effect), sign and house position, closeness to the angles, etc.

My advice is to 1) read alot, 2) initially adopt a set of guidelines that feel right for you, 3) do a lot of charts, and 4) modify and refine your guideline over time based on your experience and your continued reading and interaction with other astrologers. The study of astrology is something that evolves and deepens as you progress. You will both move to a mainstream position and understanding over time as well as develop unique interests and skills.

I wish you luck and excitement, bodhran, as you pursue your studies. Good luck. Dave

31-01-2007, 04:23
I also like to mix a little astrology with tarot because it makes me see both schools from a different light. For instance, relating the moon to the High Priestess has given depth to my views of the card.

But anyway, I dont think the square on the chest of the chariot relates to the square in astrology. That is a completely personal opinion, but they are taken out of context, and distorted somewhat. In astrology you are comparing two energies with the square, and on the chariot it is symbolism.

Symbolism can vary; in Paul Foster Case's book is means
'A square on thie cuirass represents order and purity by its shape and color. On it are the three black T's, which stand for the limiting power of saturn. They also, like the .V.T on older versions, refer to the letter Tav. (97)

The chariot is connected to cancer. This is shown by the moons on his shoulders, and if you look very very closely (this is why i love tarot) you can see the cancer symbol on his little kilt thing. Oppositions are big themes in tarot (you may know) and that is shown with saturn being the square (saturn and the moon are black and white opposites).

Although there is some astrology in tarot (if you look for it), you might be better looking into kabbalah for a more interesting symbol explanation.

31-01-2007, 04:24
I also wanted to second Dave's comment on aspects depending on the energies involved.

31-01-2007, 06:36
Thank you everyone for taking the time to make such detailed and in-depth comments. I see I definitely found the right forum to ask! :D


01-02-2007, 09:05
Squares are arguably the most powerful and energetic aspect, next to the conjunction. I've heard it said, for example, that "a magician cannot have to many squares in [their] chart." Perhaps this is related to the 'physical manifestation' thing mentioned earlier.

On a practical level, Squares often suck. Really and truly. Or at least, with their gifts, they often extoll a great price. Theory says that once you 'get them right' they are the greatest boon, but, at least in my experience, they are all too often a great big P.I.T.A.

I think they are more difficult to deal with than oppositions: and here's a logical explanation of why:
Oppositions (in-quality) always involve elements that are friendly with each other -- air to fire, water to earth. Squares are always of the same mode but of an element of different gender, if not outright antagonistic.

THe Golden Dawn elemental qualities stuff would have you believing that a Capricorn-Aries (Earth-Fire) square isn't as difficult as an Aries-Cancer (Fire-Water) square. Likewise, Aquarius-Taurus (Air-Earth) would be more difficult than Scorpio-Aquarius (Water-Air). I haven't decided if there's anything to that are not.

I do know that opposing signs often have similar means to opposite goals, and there's ample opportunity to balance the forces. Squares seem to have no common goals -- to quite literally be at "crossed-purposes."
Taurus wants nature, Aquarius wants technology
Aquarius wants detatched intellectual objectivity, Scorpio wants involved emotional intensity

I have Pluto square to Saturn. I have serious problems with bureaucratic systems, and owe the government large amounts of money.

Mercury square to Moon. I have difficulties expressing my emotions in a controlled and useful manner.

Pluto is currently transitting square to my Sun in Virgo. I have serious motivational issues/depression problems. (admittedly the depression is probably related to Saturn).

Actually I'd like to go into those more, but I have to catch a train.

Hey, at least they're not boring.

01-02-2007, 12:29
Squares are arguably the most powerful and energetic aspect, next to the conjunction. I've heard it said, for example, that "a magician cannot have to many squares in [their] chart." Perhaps this is related to the 'physical manifestation' thing mentioned earlier.

I always look for the closest square(s) in a person's chart to determine where the negatives in their personality will most likely manifest. I also think people tend to really feel a square (probably everyone else in contact with them feels it, too), especially squares to the inner planets. I also think, you spend your life dealing with the issues of a square, which means you have the chance to master the conflict. It can lead to something you strongly believe in and turn to the better. Or no. Maybe the conflict in feelings need to be manifest due to karma. So in your next life, the square may become a conjunction or trine... an inflence more smoothly used.

If you believe in that sort of thing, that is.