Day 1: Aspects and Phases In A Planetary Cycle
The astrological aspects are the angular relationship between planets and also the cusp of degrees of the houses. Sometimes they are referred to as the planets rays of different colours. The aspects are electromagnetic currents if you like that actually have an effect upon our nervous system. In another sense they are likened to the forces of the sub atomic particles in which we live and breathe and are made of. The aspects are used as a convenient way to understand better the interaction between planets, the nature of their types of energies and the different effects that occur as a result.
An aspect can be read on its own when the rays of two or more planets connect. They form when the planets concerned are within orb as in a natal chart, or come within a certain distance or orb of each other as in transits or progressions. The key to the bigger picture of aspects and how one of them fits in to the whole pattern of an aspect cycle is each aspect makes up a set of aspects which define a certain pattern of growth and maturity throughout a planets cycle from its initial beginning to the end.
The purpose of this module is to learn the value of each aspect, in particular its nature and how those currents can be recognized in their different expressions particularly the sequence in which the order of the aspects unfolds. Aspects can be seen in particular working through the transits and are most noticeable when a transiting planet makes contact to a progressed or natal planet in the chart.
The value of aspects energies is best utilized when one is aware of the type of energies which are at play in the pattern in the chart and also in the case of transits, those that are due to present themselves at the time of the aspect, especially when it comes within orb, also when the aim in mind is to make the best use of any opportunities that appear as a result of the interaction between the planets involved when the aspect is approaching near exact, especially within 1° to 30 minutes of orb as it can be most effective in producing a desired outcome in an area of life, or at the very least is when usually the timing of the event takes place.
It’s worth noting here and remembering as a fundamental truth. There are no good or bad aspects really. Modern day thinking astrology at its best goes beyond seeing any energies as forces which do not support growth in one way or another. With the right knowledge on all aspects at the start you have the means to see your way clear as to how each one has its benefits and really use those extra subtle forces for your purposes. While aspects are simply the name given to categorize certain effects of particular types of energy they are essentially a way of describing the human nature and the effects forces of the natural world have upon life.
The most recognizable aspects can be seen through the ones that form between the Earth, and the Sun, and the Moon’s cyclic phases every day and month and yearly since time began. The eclipses of the moon and sun, the seasonal cycles of sun and nature are all the plays of the Earth and Sun and the Moon together with the other planets joining in.
An effective way of seeing these subtle rays is to visualize a planet as a ball of coloured soft light as it makes its way around your chart and as it does so it comes to a series of navigation way points on its course, where it begins to glow and certain type of light rays from it beam out and connect with other celestial bodies elsewhere in the chart. This enables the planet through the subtle effects of the angular relationship to get a bearing on its position.
So the planet travels 360° on a never ending journey around the compass wheel from beginning to end. During its journey it encounters many experiences with the other planets of the chart which shape its destiny and forge out its path of life. At those points the experiences from the angular relationships of its past experiences it sees seem to be connected—even at the present point it sees by the angular relationship its rays connect to the planets again at future navigation points on its course up ahead.
The way points the planet encounters in its journey is the “set of aspects” it makes in terms of its relationship to each one of the other planets. For each one there is a whole growth cycle where the planet’s journey has its starting point, its defined points on its way around and its ending point.
In order to get a clearer picture of the significance of an aspect set in terms of how they highlight and making interesting the human life cycle we are going to cover what each of the aspects are that a planet makes around the chart. We will use illustration of the planet as it goes through phases in its cycle from beginning to end, where it returns back and begins a new cycle once more just like in the Moons monthly phase.
* Aspects are always happening. They form on a daily, and weekly, and monthly, and yearly basis. However aspects also fit into certain stages of the human life cycle. The cycle is an evolutionary one and the aspects as you can imagine take a lot longer to form and can differ from one stage to the next. However the under currents are the same and yet when the aspects come around again the experiences can vary due to the time of life when they occur.
The Diagram below shows the standard aspects commonly used in astrology.
Aspects and Phases in a Planetary Cycle
In its planetary cycle of three hundred and sixty degrees a planet goes in the chart anticlockwise through a series of aspects which we will call its planetary phases. All planets do this according to their daily motion which is recorded in an ephemeris. In the cycle the circle is broken up into two halves with the first half called the separating part of the cycle and the second part the applying part of the cycle.
The Separating Phases
This part of the cycle begins at 0° and finishes at 180°. During that time there are a number of points measured in degrees which the planet passes through in its stages of growth and these go on from one aspect point to the next. Just like the moon goes from new moon to crescent then the first quarter and culminating to full moon, so too does the planet experience its growth phases. The energies at this time vary according to what the aspects (angle ) is which we will go into further in the next day's module.
The Applying Phases
The other half from 180° degrees back to 00° again is called the applying part of the cycle where a planet begins its return back to where it began from after reaching the half way mark. The beginning point is taken from where its position is in the chart, usually the natal chart, or in the case of its cycle in relation to another planet wherever it made a conjunction with it and begun its new relationship cycle.
The Third part of the Equation
The different aspects a planet forms in terms of the angles and degrees mark in its journey are the same in both the separating and applying halves however the energies are different. There is an interconnecting relationship that exists between the two halves and each aspect within each half, and its connection with the beginning of the cycle and end. The key to interpreting an aspects power is to see it in terms of a series of related events that took place during the course of its journey from the beginning to the first half that all have underneath them a pattern that defines something about the relationship between the two planets that was planted at the time of the conjunction. The same can be said for the applying aspects which can indicate further growth and relationship connections either when the conjunction took place at the beginning or from the half way mark at the time of opposition which can symbolize a new beginning also.
Some aspects can take quite a long time before they finish and during that time it can be difficult for a person who doesn’t do astrology to not only wonder what is happening to them at the time but also they don’t have any idea if or when the situation will ever go away or change. At least if a situation warrants it then knowing when an aspect is due to pass beforehand by consulting your chart and an ephemerides for the transit can be re-assuring to say the least.