Astrology For Dummies
Book image
Explore Book Buy On Amazon
An astrological birth chart can easily have dozens of aspects in it. The aspects that deserve the closest attention are those that are the tightest, those that involve the Sun or the Moon, and those that weave three or more planets into a single pattern, as in these configurations:
  • The Grand Trine: Three planets, each at a 120°angle to the other two, form a giant good-luck triangle called a Grand Trine, shown in this figure.
A Grand Trine.

A Grand Trine.

A perfect Grand Trine includes at least one planet in each sign of a given element. In those areas of life, things seem to click into place — you don’t have to do much — and opportunities abound. Horror writers Shirley Jackson and Stephen King have Grand Trines in fire signs. Babe Ruth and Ruth Bader Ginsburg have Grand Trines in water. Stephen Hawking had one in earth, F. Scott Fitzgerald in air. But not everyone fortunate enough to have this harmonious aspect uses it effectively. The Grand Trine, a symbol of the slacker, is notorious for bringing just enough good fortune to keep you from feeling that you have to exert yourself.

  • The Grand Cross: If two sets of planets in your chart oppose and square each other, as shown in the following figure, you have your hands full because there are many moving pieces with this pattern. The perfect Grand Cross is a relatively rare but insistent aspect that brings conflicting motivations, uncomfortable clashes, and a boatload of tension, obstruction, and frustration. The Grand Cross can be a source of commitment and courage. Examples are Miles Davis, Mia Farrow, Conan O’Brien, and Jan Morris, the Welsh historian and writer of renown who became one of the first prominent people to have sex reassignment surgery and to write openly about her transition.
A Grand Cross. A Grand Cross.
  • The T-square: When two planets oppose each other with a third planet square to both, as shown in the following figure, they form a T-square — a dynamic, troublesome but commonplace pattern. A T-square, which looks like a table missing a leg, inevitably creates tension, discontent, and the feeling of being besieged. It also spurs you to alter your situation, which may be why so many successful people have T-squares in their charts. Among them: Prince, Ronald Reagan, Diane Arbus, Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, Steve Jobs, and Cher.
A T-Square. A T-Square.
  • The Yod, Finger of Fate, or Hand of God: Sounds serious, doesn’t it? Actually, this challenge-to-spot configuration, shown in the following figure, is subtler than the other aspect patterns. It looks like a long, narrow triangle, with two planets at its base forming a sextile (a 60° angle) and a third at the apex, or peak, forming 150° angles to the other two.

That 150° aspect, also called a quincunx or inconjunct, has a stop-and-go energy that creates false starts, backslides, uncertainties, and frustrations. It demands continual adjustment and impairs your decision-making abilities, notably in the areas affected by the planet at the tip of the triangle. This aspect sets up complex dynamics within a chart. But is it lethal? No. Is it a sign of special favor from God? No. Do plenty of people have this aspect? Yes. (Try Leonardo da Vinci, Winston Churchill, Meryl Streep, Bonnie Raitt, Margaret Atwood, Amal Clooney, and Barack Obama.) Don’t let the name of this aspect unhinge you.

Astrologers have invented all kinds of additional aspects, most of them variations on those described above. There are kites, castles, cradles, mystic rectangles, pentagrams, trees, wedges, trapezoids, and a series of 60° angles called a Grand Sextile, Star of David, or Seal of Solomon. There’s a hammer, a butterfly, a warrior, a variation of the Yod called a boomerang, and more. But it’s not necessary to know every possible combination. Start with the Grand Trine, the Grand Cross, the T-square, and the Yod. For quite a long time — maybe forever — that should be sufficient.

A Yod, or Hand of God. A Yod, or Hand of God.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book author:

Rae Orion has written books on photography, astronomy, and mythology as well as the mysteries of astrology. She is the author of both previous editions of Astrology For Dummies.

This article can be found in the category: