The Wisdom of the Gods

Italian version

The semi-square aspect inscribes the figure of the octagon in the zodiacal circle; each side of the octagon has an angular width of 45°. Being generated by dividing the square aspect by two, its interpretation is often associated in similarity to that of the major aspect, only more nuanced in its effects; but this is not entirely accurate, as we will see in the symbolic definition of the number 8.

In the Gnostic systems, the number 8 represents the Ogdoad, the abode of Sophia (from the gr. Σοφíα, Wisdom), mother of the Archons and of the Angels who preside over creation; the astronomical equivalent of this conception is the Eighth Heaven, the heaven of the fixed stars which dominates over the seven planetary paradises. In the texts of Nag Hammadi [1], Sophia is interpreted as the female aspect of the deity, bringing the divine spirit to the material plane. In the Kabbalistic Tree of the Sephirot, the number 8 is Hod, Splendour, the feminine power of God which articulates and makes reality visible through its rays. In the Major Arcana of the Tarot, the number 8 is The Justice, understood as the law of the divine world reflected in the natural world.

Thus, applying these principles, we see the mirroring of the uncreated spiritual plane at work in the material realm; this reflection, at the origin of the forms of Nature, is managed through the Law, or rather the conformity to the original divine plan. Now, as beings endowed with self-awareness, we can also not recognise the dictation from above, we can rebel against it, or we are simply unaware of it. Either way, we expose ourselves to the risk of experiencing the backlash of our unbalanced actions, resulting in what appears to be negative karma. However, it’s just a lack of awareness of the universal rules.

The transposition of the concept thus outlined on the level of astrological interpretation allows us to define the semi-square as an aspect that “breaks” the square into two compounds: the apparent or formal one and the subtle one. We know that planets in a square aspect actualise the difficulties encountered in realising psychic potentials or in overcoming the physical and material obstacles that arise in the course of existence; our attention is, in this case, focused on the impact caused by these problems, and on how to end them or use them in an evolutionary sense. With the semi-square, the focus shifts to the causes of events rather than their manifestation. In a sense, the aspect induces one to act before an effect manifests itself or is fully revealed; the need or desire to address a potential imbalance originates because one is in contact with the motivation at the origin of the need itself.

In practice, semi-square can manifest as an irrepressible motivation – or at least incredibly dynamic – to give space to constructive ideas; and, again, to get rid of long-standing circumstances that hinder personal progress. If read in a negative sense – in the presence of unfavourable aspects – the aspect causes energy blocks and obsessive-compulsive attitudes, given the inability to put one’s destiny to good use. For example, a Mars-Pluto semi-square takes the physical and energetic effort to the extreme to achieve an objective related to the House or Houses concerned; in critical cases, an effort is needed to overcome the apathetic attitudes that hinder our intentions. The same indications also apply in the case of transits and progressions. As with all minor aspects, the tolerance orbit should not exceed two degrees.