Day 2: The Conjunction - Square and Opposition
The following three aspects define the beginning/end, middle and halfway mark of the planets cycle, both separating and applying. In other words, you could say its new Moon and first quarter/last quarter and full moon phases, except the phase is defined not by the monthly moon/sun relationship but by the particular nature of the planets involved.
The conjunction is when a planet is at 00°. It symbolizes the beginning of a new cycle—birth, or re-birth and the start of its journey. With a planets conjunction to another planet, or group of planets, or even the cusp of a house, or an angle, it means the energies of the two become a combined mix of both natures. The quicker moving planet is determined by how many minutes and degrees it is in front of the slower moving planet (going anticlockwise) which means it is separating.
Conjunctions are a strong aspect because of the nature of the concentration of the energies involved. It takes practice to distinguish the subtle different effects of each planetary body. Quite often it takes a lot of discernment in detecting each of the planets energies operating as they can appear to act as one. Also if a conjunction involves more than two planets then there can be a greater combined energetic influence and increase in power and awareness. This can be depicted through looking carefully at the type of events that occur when for instance a transiting planet passes over the points of a conjunction in your natal chart for example.
An applying conjunction symbolizes the planet coming to the ending of its cycle and even more so when it’s within orb, whereas with the beginning of the new cycle even though it is seeded during the new phase of a conjunction it may not actually click in until the planet is out of tight orb of the meeting. If you have conjunctions in your chart you will experience times throughout your life of new beginnings in relation to the area of life, and the sign, and the planets involved in the conjunction.
Square aspects are the 90° mark that exist halfway between the conjunction, and the 180° mark or commonly known as the opposition. These days the square is often called a challenge and regarded as both a beneficial influence in terms of utilizing the energy as a positive force in order to further develop, or achieve, or breakthrough whatever it may be the aspect is defining between the planets involved. If you can imagine coming to an intersection and doing a sharp right-hand turn that puts a bit of pressure on your driving then you may get a general sense and feeling of what the type of energy a square is. In earlier astrology a square was regarded as a time of negativity. However in creative astrology especially and for a lot of other understandings about the way aspects work these days in astrology, the view is that the square is no different to any other aspect when it’s looked at it for what it's purpose is for and how it can be used constructively. Life always has its challenges one way or another no matter how one looks at it.
So the square is the 90° phase in each half. A separating square will define the challenges of any project or things initiated at the time of conjunction and the 60° mark otherwise known as a sextile. Some of the important squares can serve as a good time for testing oneself to see whether things undertaken at the conjunction and sextile time can still stand their ground. They help in letting one know whether to continue, or perhaps maybe better to give it away, or make a decision to continue on or try a different tack. A separating square builds character and rightly so, as they provide excellent opportunity to experience further growth in life where it has reached a plateau and more climbing is needed before reaching the summit.
The applying square works the same way and can either refer to new challenges to further support the rest of the return journey back to the end at the new conjunction or they may show unresolved past connections with things undertaken at the last opposition or separating trine in the first half of the journey. In all cases the planets involved and the natural ruling planets of the signs on the cusp of the houses where the aspects form will show exactly the the type of things it will be in regards to the challenge or otherwise depending on what the aspect is.
In either case separating or applying squares each represent connections and calls for understanding and awareness in the things related to what the planet stands for as it goes from aspect to aspect in its journey in relation to the other planets. The beauty of the square is it can give insight into how to determine the best approach towards utilising a challenge that may be coming up ahead, which can help in what otherwise might not have been known if time was not taken to ascertain the type of energies that were working at the time of the square.
It's very important to remember when dealing with aspects and transiting planetary aspects especially that in the final analysis it comes down to awareness and common-sense use of the energies and becoming familiar with all of them in their nature and how they work. It's then that those energies do not become forces that override ones sensibilities and awareness of the natural order in which the way the aspect energy operates.
An opposition aspect is the halfway mark at a 180° around the chart. They are exactly opposite the 00° mark or the conjunction and if you look at the symbol (see the table of aspects at the end of this module day 4 ) it’s two circles joined together by a line which in effect resembles two conjunctions opposite another one, which it is. The opposition is therefore a culmination point for the conjunction that started everything off at the beginning of the cycle and the separating aspects and also it symbolizes a sort of new beginning or conjunction point again however this time to do with the applying stage of a planets journey.
If viewed on their own oppositions will only show half or one side of two things. However they should be used more than that as the key to an opposition’s powers is not to just experience one side of things—it’s more in awareness of how they reflect, and unite, and serve as a complimentary process which supports by virtue of duality—such as for example man and woman as complimentary opposites, well the same can be found in a situation of seemingly differing views or when something is at odds with something else.
An opposition is meant to be a linking influence that symbolizes a critical stage in the planets journey and basically it also represents a connection with the other aspects. Two squares, or three sextiles, or one trine and a sextile, all make an opposition which explain why it’s a culmination point which can symbolize not only unique opposite experiences but also the experiences composed of each of the aspects since the start of the cycle.
At the opposition it can seem sometimes like there is an end of sorts and a new beginning again. It can be also a time to look back and see how far one has come and take stock ready to further explore and mature the energies for the next half in the applying cycle. At the end or the new conjunction the whole cycle reaches the culmination point of the opposition you could say, whereupon the seeds of a new beginning are sown again before the new conjunctions energies actually start to fuse in.
Sometimes in a chart it may be that a planet makes a conjunction to one planet and at the same time makes an opposition to another planet in which case it demonstrates a different energy again of a sort of mixture of opposition and conjunction type of energy as a culmination point for the experiences that happened at the last opposition.
he opposition is a highlight stage and is most noticeably a strong focal point that can light up and receive back as a consequence, reflections from the other end which is the conjunction end. It can be an appropriate time to assess and decide on an action to take even if it’s under heavy circumstances and there appears to be opposing forces. More often than not, these can be mutually beneficial regarding the particular planets involved in the opposition when a deeper look is taken with regards to the particular type of currents flowing in the circuit.
So the conjunction, the square, and the opposition are times in the cycle where beginnings are made, tests are taken, and also times where hidden opportunities can be discovered and turned to one's advantage in relation to the planets involved and the type of things that they symbolize and what you seek to use the aspects rays for.