The quality of planetary relationships in transits

Italian version

Positive and negative transits

According to astrological tradition, a transit aspect distinguishes between “good” and “bad” aspects. This distinction is essential as specific planetary configurations can significantly impact personal experiences, unlike others that are more harmonious. Therefore, a thorough interpretative methodology should consider evidence-based assessments. However, it is essential to note that we should not be limited by a Manichean view of events and aspects. In fact, beneficial aspects such as the trine can sometimes lead to static moments and worsen situations where more energy is required.

On the other hand, critical aspects can unblock and resolve pending circumstances. Additionally, the “quality” of an aspect depends on the nature of the transiting and natal planets and their mutual attraction or repulsion. This helps define the level of harmony between the individual and the event.

When interpreting planetary transits, it is essential to consider that the “easy” transits, such as trines, sextiles, and conjunctions of related planets, do not necessarily bring about significant changes but rather favour the rebalancing of pre-existing circumstances. In some instances, the calm they induce may prevent individuals from altering the direction they have taken in the past. It should also be mentioned that trines and sextiles may go unnoticed. On the other hand, “difficult” transits like squares, oppositions, and conjunctions of scarcely compatible planets challenge an individual’s sense of certainty. They may induce a feeling of weakness, making it challenging to control circumstances. During the transit, especially in the critical phase, an individual becomes aware of a problem. The extent to which one can face this problem marks the threshold between the purification process that follows the abandonment of one’s weaknesses and the crisis, which may extend to the physical and material realms, that occurs when one remains attached to wrong attitudes.

The following tables highlight the degree of planetary affinity. The planets that share a particular symbolic analogy characterised by values of luminosity, harmonisation and expansion give rise to a substantially constructive relationship, even when – but not always – they form a critical aspect. Conversely, non-compatible planets accentuate crucial issues in the presence of negative aspects, manifesting themselves as obstacles, confused or destructive tendencies, and instinctive attitudes; in many cases, the conjunction is also considered critical. However, it should be remembered that this is only a first work prospectus, which helps to provide a basic scheme to begin the study of the subject. Knowledge of planetary symbolism, and experience, are essential for any good interpreter.    

Affine planetary relationships

Sun/Moon – Sun/Venus – Sun/Jupiter – Moon/Venus – Moon/Jupiter – Venus/Mars – Venus/Jupiter – Mars/Jupiter.

Non-affine planetary relationships

Sun/Saturn – Sun/Uranus – Sun/Neptune – Moon/Mars – Moon/Saturn – Moon/Uranus – Moon/Neptune – Moon/Pluto, Mercury/Neptune – Venus/Neptune – Mars/Saturn – Mars/Uranus – Mars/ Neptune – Mars/Pluto – Saturn/Uranus – Saturn/Neptune – Saturn/Pluto – Uranus/Neptune.

Harmonic series and aspects

The symbolic representation of the zodiac has been established through numerical series multiples of 360, which is the number of degrees the zodiac is divided into. It should be noted that the subdivision into 360° is not an accurate representation of the length of the tropical year, which is approximately 365.25 days. Despite this, the use of 360 represents an ideal compromise within the terms of sexagesimal notation, which is the basis for the division of the circle. In modern astrological practice, five harmonic series are used, referred to as lower harmonics, that are derived from the division of the circle by 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6. This series highlights the most significant angular relationships between planets from an interpretative perspective. The resulting symbolism is strictly numerical or numerological, and numerology is the foundation for mantic and divinatory sciences.

Conjunction (0°, 360/1)

The number one symbolises unity, undifferentiation, and the beginning. The conjunction aspect represents an absence of polarity between planets, resulting in a fusion that forms an organic whole. However, the nature of the planets in aspect plays a crucial role. As the conjunction contains the seed of all aspects, poorly compatible planets, such as Saturn and Neptune, can create a problematic union, making the conjunction more akin to a square or opposition. In daily life, the conjunction represents the culmination of a process, a new phase of life, intimate and profound experiences, understanding, and total union.

Opposition (180°, 360/2)

The number two holds significant meaning in terms of the polarisation of various forces and energies, such as light and dark, yin and yang, and good and evil. This number represents the perception of something beyond oneself, and two opposing planets can trigger conflict due to their lack of recognition of each other. However, this contrast can lead to interaction, as consciousness relies on comparison. In everyday life, conflicts may arise between personal and social issues, leading to a culmination or collapse of experiences. Additionally, encounters and events that require attention, as well as conflicting relationships, may require maturation to be resolved.

Trine (120°, 360/2)

In Catholic catechesis, the concept of One and Triune is present. The number three signifies the resolution of polarity conflicts through the intervention of an intermediate factor, which brings together all opposites. On a biological level, birth is a ternary fact resulting from the encounter of two sexes. The trine acts as a balancing and equilibrium factor, harmonising the planetary energies involved, but it also represents resistance to change. In everyday life, the trine symbolises the potential for expansion and creativity, efficiency, and easing tension. However, the tendency for minor changes and the ease of expression and realisation may lead to inanity and little effort.

Square (90°, 360/4)

The number four follows the creative number three in the ternary principle and serves as a stabilising force. It represents the cardinal points, seasons, and elements and allows for energy to be fixed in matter and concrete achievements. Astrologically, the square is a product of two oppositions attempting to reconcile the four constituent elements of the material world. During this angular phase, planetary relationships often predict critical periods due to the difficulty of transitioning between the subtle and the dense. This phase is characterised by resistance to change, which can be perceived as definitive. In everyday life, this can manifest as challenges imposed by circumstances that lead to changes, crises, psychological resistance, and material difficulties. However, on a positive note, the square aspect can also lead to a greater capacity for action.

Sextile (60°, 360/6)

The number six has a complex nature that may not be immediately apparent. It results from the multiplication of 3 by 2, which combines the harmonising potential of two ternaries. Its representation is the cross of David, consisting of two equilateral triangles intersecting with equidistant vertices. The triangles represent the creative spiritual forces and the unifying earthly forces. This number is associated with the son of God and the sign of Virgo, symbolising the mother of Christ or the divine principle within creation. Once a state of inner balance is achieved, the sextile can trigger a process of active realisation. It possesses the equilibrium of the trine but does not share its quiescence and inanity. It is a creative process supported by inspiration and intuition associated with a sense of opportunity. In daily life, it emphasises group relationships, low resistance to external circumstances, ease of action, pleasant and non-obstructive contacts, facilitated commitments, and initiatives. Generally, a sextile transit, if unaccompanied by other aspects, may go unnoticed.

Minor aspects

Minor aspects are used in special cases. They are: semi-sextile (30°, 360/12); semi-square (45°, 360/8); sesqui-square (135°, multiple of the semi-square); quincunx (150°, multiple of semisextile); decile (36°, 360/10); quintile (72°, 360/5); bi-quintile (144°, multiple of the quintile); septile (51°25’43”, 360/7); novile (40°, 360/9).