Serial Lesson 87
From Course VIII, Horary Astrology, Chapter 1
Original Copyright 1930, Elbert Benjamine (a.k.a. C. C. Zain)
Copyright 2011, The Church of Light
1. The First Requisite for Judging Any Horoscope
2. The Second Requisite
3. The Third Requisite
4. The Fourth Requisite
I. A Conjunction
II. A Semisextile
III. A Sextile
IV. A Square
V. A Trine
VI. An Inconjunct
VII. A Semisquare
VIII. An Opposition
IX. A Sesquisquare
X. The Parallel
Calculating all the aspects
Planets Occupying Approximately the Same Degree of Any Sign Are Always in Aspect
The Only Aspects Difficult For The Beginner To Perceive
Table of Essential Dignities
Table of Accidental Dignities
Table of Aspects and Their Orbs
How the Aspects Express
Strength and Aspects of the Planets
THE student of astrology should realize that every horoscope,
instead of being a combination of mystical symbols, is in fact a map of actual
vibratory currents which are operating at the time for which it is erected.
These vibratory currents constitute the inner-plane weather. It has been
conclusively demonstrated bBy many universities, which have carried out
innumerable experiments in extrasensory perception and psychokinesis, that
inner-plane energies do not conform to physical laws. The outer-plane weather
not only influences life on earth, but also inanimate objects, as illustrated
by mountain chains being worn down and carried into the ocean. However, when
velocities exceed that of light there can be no atoms or molecules. Thus the
inner-plane weather, which has velocities exceeding that of light, influences
both animate and inanimate objects through nonphysical laws which may be
discovered, not by theory, but by observing how things actually react to
different types of inner-plane weather.
Astrological currents constitute the inner-plane weather,
the ten outstanding types being the vibratory currents radiated by the ten
planets, each having its own characteristic influences. And to understand
individual reaction to the inner-plane weather mapped by astrological positions
it should be recognized that most of the actions of human life spring into
existence, not as a result of premeditation, but due to habitual reaction to
feeling, which in turn is powerfully influenced by the planetary energies which
at any time are added to certain thought cells of the unconscious mind.
Psychology teaches us that at least 99% of all men’s actions
are promoted by the unconscious mind. The unconscious mind, as fully explained
in the lessons in Course V, Esoteric Psychology, is an organization of thought
elements into thought cells and thought structures. This organization persists
in the same astral substance that carries the vibrations of planetary
influence. And not only does a birth chart map the arrangement and volume of energy
of different types possessed by these thought cells, and therefore the
individual’s character, but the progressed aspects map the time when groups of
these thought cells acquire sufficient additional planetary energy that they
have enough psychokinetic power to attract events of a corresponding nature.
As already indicated, man is not the only thing influenced
by the stars. Each physical object has an astral counterpart that is constantly
affected by vibrations of astral substance that reach it from celestial bodies.
In turn, the astral counterpart profoundly affects the physical. And as
thoughts are essentially organizations in astral substance they too respond to
such astral vibratory rates. Currents of astral force not only bring changes to
man’s physical body, but they stimulate the trend of his thinking, and impress
their power upon everything by which he is surrounded.
Every horoscope is a map of such astral currents showing
four important factors: (1) The Tone, or Rate of Vibration, of each stream of
planetary force. This depends upon its wavelength and frequency. (2) The Tone
Quality of the current from each planet. While the aspects map the chief
harmonies and discords, minor and quite distinctive harmonies and discords
arise from the medium, or Sign the planet occupies. (3) The Power, or Volume of
energy coming from each planet. While each aspect, through the joining of
energies, adds to a planet’s Power, much also depends upon the Direction from
which the energy reaches that point on earth for which the chart is erected.
(4) The Aspects indicate the chief Harmonies and Discords. These depend upon
the angles at which the streams of energy meet each other.
Having such a chart of astral currents, and being aware of
the particular thing receiving these vibrations, it is possible to estimate the
reactions to their influence. Because these reactions constitute events, this
makes accurate prediction of trends possible.
1. The First Requisite for judging any horoscope—Natal,
Stellar Diagnosis, Mundane, Weather, or Horary—is to know the particular Tone,
or rate of vibration, radiated by each of the planets, and what the observed
effects are of these vibrations upon life. Just as colors, musical tones, etc.,
depend upon electromagnetic wavelengths or wavelengths of physical substance,
so each planet radiates a given wavelength and frequency in astral substance
which we call its Tone. The effect of each planetary Tone is given in Chapter 3
(Serial Lesson 47), Course II, Astrological Signatures.
Of the 10 planets only 4 are harmonious or discordant due to
their own nature. Venus is harmonious, adding harmony equal to ¼ the power of
each aspect it makes. Mars is discordant, adding discord equal to ¼ the power
of each aspect it makes. Jupiter, the major benefic, adds harmony ½ the power
of each aspect it makes. And Saturn, the major malefic, adds discord ½ the
power of each aspect it makes. The other 6 planets are neutral insofar as
harmony or discord is concerned, their harmony or discord being determined only
by their essential dignity and the aspects they form.
2. The Second Requisite for judging any horoscope is to know
the Tone Quality of each Sign and Planet in the chart. The Nature and Tone
Quality of each of the 12 Signs is fully explained in Chapter 2 (Serial Lesson
46), Course II, Astrological Signatures. This Tone Quality of a sign influences
each planet found in the sign in a somewhat different manner. This is due to
the particular planetary tone and the characteristic resonance of the sign.
The zodiacal signs act as sounding boards, or instruments,
from which the planetary vibrations reach the earth. Each is a definite section
of the astromagnetic field of force which surrounds the sun. Due to this
definite position in a field of force, the tension of the astral substance
through which the vibrations of a planet must travel is different in each sign,
and varies to a less extent even in the different decanates of the same sign.
This property of the astral substance of a sign may make it a harmonious sounding
board for transmitting the vibrations of some of the planets, but a discordant
sounding board for transmitting the vibrations of other planets.
Furthermore, when one planet is in the home sign or
exaltation sign of the other planet at the same time the other planet is in the
home sign or exaltation sign of this planet, the resonance thus created tends
to be the most harmonious of any due to the sign Positions of planets. Such
sign relationship between planets is called MUTUAL RECEPTION. Observation indicates
that the departments of life ruled by houses occupied by planets thus in mutual
reception tend markedly to assist each other. Planets do not need to be in
aspect with each other to be in MUTUAL RECEPTION.
The power, harmony or discord of any birth-chart or
progressed planet, aspect, sign or house can be precisely calculated.
Explanation of how to make these calculations is given in Course XVI, Stellar
Healing. But here only certain comparisons will be made. Power is measured in
astrodynes, harmony in harmodynes, and discord is discordynes. Planets in
MUTUAL RECEPTION gain ½ the harmony given neutral planets when in an angle and
making the perfect trine.
It has experimentally been determined that a planet not only
sets up vibrations in the sign it occupies, but also in certain other signs.
These special signs are so sympathetically tuned to the planet that they
vibrate to it no matter where it is located. They are keyed to the tone of the
planet, and respond to its vibrations, much as a musical instrument keyed to a
particular tone will respond to that tone when struck on another instrument,
even when the other instrument is at a distance.
These signs that persistently transmit the vibrations of a
given planet, whether or not the planet is in them, are said to be Ruled by
that planet. When the planet is in one of these signs it Rules, it is said to
be at HOME.
The sign that a planet rules transmits easily the
constructive characteristics of the planet when the planet is in it. A planet
at HOME thus gains the harmony given neutral planets when in a succedent house
and making the perfect semisextile. When a planet is in the sign opposite its
home, which is called its DETRIMENT, it thus gains ½ the discord given neutral
planets when in a succedent house and making the perfect semisquare.
The vibratory quality of the signs ruled by a planet is
markedly influenced by any modification in the vibration of the planet. If it
sounds from some other sign that does not permit harmonious expression, this
discord is also called out in the signs ruled by the planet. That is, the signs
ruled by a planet respond to the vibrations that actually reach them, and these
vibrations are given a harmonious or a discordant trend, not merely by the
aspects of the planet, but also by the sign in which the planet is located.
When a planet is not in the sign, but rules the sign, and
the sign is on the cusp of a house, the sign through resonance gains ½ the
planet’s power, harmony or discord. If the sign is not on the cusp of a house,
but is an intercepted sign, it gains through resonance ¼ the planet’s power,
harmony or discord.
The most refined influence exerted by a planet however, is
not when it is at home, but when in another sign which not only permits it to
express its energy fully, but which due to the peculiar quality of its astral
substance, lends itself particularly to the expression of the finer and more
intense vibrations of the planetary tone. This other sign, which only transmits
the planet’s vibrations strongly when the planet is in it, yet which lends
itself singularly to the highest expression of the planet’s qualities, is
called the planet’s EXALTATION. A planet in its exaltation thus gains ½ the
harmony given neutral planets when in a succedent house and making the perfect sextile.
When a planet is in the sign opposite its exaltation, which is called its FALL,
it thus gains the discord given a neutral planet in a cadent house and making
the perfect semisquare.
The ancients held that there is also a particular degree in
the Sign of Exaltation in which the planet exerts a better influence than in
any other degree of the zodiac. Modern observation tends to confirm this. When
a planet is in this particular degree which is called its DEGREE OF EXALTATION,
it gains ½ the harmony given neutral planets when in a succedent house and
making the perfect trine. When a planet is in the degree opposite its degree of
exaltation, which is called its DEGREE OF FALL, it thus gains the discord given
neutral planets when in a succedent house and making the perfect semisquare.
Table of Essential Dignities
There is also another sign in which a planet gains a little
harmony, but only half as much as when at home. This sign is called its
HARMONY. A planet in the sign of its harmony thus gains ½ the harmony given
neutral planets when in a succedent house and making the perfect semisextile.
When a planet is in the sign opposite its harmony, which is called its
INHARMONY, it thus gains ¼ the discord given neutral planets when in succedent
houses and making the perfect semisquare.
By his general knowledge of the nature of each planet and
each sign, the student becomes able approximately to determine the harmony or
discord of a planet in any sign; for as a rule a planet is harmonious in a sign
the nature of which is similar to its own, and discordant in a sign having
dissimilar characteristics. But as this has been experimentally ascertained by
others, it is well to memorize the signs in which each planet has its Home,
Exaltation, Harmony, and also its Degree of Exaltation. From these the
Detriment, Fall, Inharmony, and Degree of Fall can be ascertained by using the
opposite factor in the zodiac. This harmony or discord of a planet due to being
able to express its own true nature by occupying a sign or degree which forms a
favorable or unfavorable sounding board for transmitting its vibrations is
called the planet’s ESSENTIAL DIGNITY. The table gives the Essential
Dignities of the planets, and should be well memorized.
3. The Third Requisite for judging any horoscope is to
determine the Power, or Volume, or Quantity of force exerted by each planet in
the chart. Each planet always vibrates to one particular tone, or Key; the
Quality, or resonance being determined by the Sign it occupies; and the other
harmony or discord depending largely upon the aspects it makes. Each aspect it
makes increases its Power, which also is markedly influenced by the direction
from which its stream of energy reaches the point on earth for which the chart
The reason the astral energy flowing from a planet does not
reach all points on the earth in equal volume is probably due to the amount and
density, as well as the movement, of the earth’s astral substance it must
penetrate. Relative to the Sun’s position, the astral substance of the earth has
areas of different pressure, or density, even as there are regions of different
density in the earth’s atmosphere caused by the sun. The trade winds, for
instance, are an example of such sun-produced different atmospheric densities.
It is as if the earth were an auditorium into which the
vibrations of the planets must penetrate from the outside; and that at regular
intervals there were open doors, at other intervals small windows, and at other
places thick walls, through which the planetary tones must pass. The twelve
sections, or areas of different astral densities about the earth, called
Mundane Houses, have been explained fully in Chapter 3 (Serial Lesson 47),
Course II, Astrological Signatures.
While the type of harmony or discord called the Quality of the
planetary energy depends upon the Sign it is in, and the other harmony or
discord, aside from that derived from the essential nature of the planet,
depends upon the type of Aspects it makes, the Power, quantity or amount of
energy it exerts depends upon the Aspects it makes and the Houses of the
horoscope it occupies. All the planets pass through all the houses of a
horoscope in the interval of 24 hours; but they remain days, and some of them
many years, in each zodiacal sign. This house position of a planet, because of
its short duration, is technically spoken of as its accidental station. Thus
the Volume, or lack of it, due to a planet’s position by House is called its
This Volume of energy exerted by a planet in each of the 12
Mundane Houses has been determined experimentally. As a general rule—the rule
being handed down from ancient times—any planet in an Angular House exerts a
Very Powerful influence, any planet in a Succedent House exerts only Average
influence by power, and any planet in a Cadent House exerts Very Feeble power.
But experience proves there are exceptions to this rule. Nevertheless, it will
be found that an Angular House is more powerful than the Succedent, and a
Succedent than a Cadent, House of its own quadrant of the Heavens.
The Power of a planet in any of the angles is greater than
in any of the other houses, without exception; and the nearer a planet is to
the Cusp of a house the more Power it exerts in that house. The most powerful
houses for a planet are the 1st and 10th houses. The volume of energy received
from a planet in either of these houses is about the same. Next in volume of
energy is the 7th house; and the feeblest of the angles is the 4th house. A
planet in an Angle may always be considered VERY POWERFUL.
Next in Power are the 11th, 8th, 9th, and 12th, in the order
named. A planet in the 8th or 12th has a less fortunate trend, as a rule, than
if in the 9th or 11th, but we are here considering the Volume of Force, not its
ability to attract fortunate events. A planet in the 11th, 8th, 9th or 12th
house of the horoscope may always be considered MODERATELY POWERFUL.
The 2nd house is somewhat more powerful than the 3rd, but
planets in the 2nd and 3rd houses should always be considered FEEBLE.
The 6th house is the feeblest position in the entire chart,
the 5th house having little more volume. Planets in the 5th or 6th houses of a
chart, aside from their aspects, are VERY FEEBLE.
The table on page 2 gives the ACCIDENTAL DIGNITIES of planets
when found in the various houses of a horoscope.
Table of Accidental Dignities
4. The Fourth Requisite for judging any horoscope is to
determine to what extent each planet’s rays are harmonious or discordant, and
in what particular way the harmony or discord manifests. The essential nature of
the four of the 10 planets, and the essential dignity of each planet,
contributes to this; but the chief factors are the aspects the planet makes. In
Chapter 3 (Serial Lesson 41), Course I, Laws of Occultism, it is fully
explained how the streams of astral force from the planets converging at
definite angles set up vortices, or whirls, of astral substance, and thus—as
does the outer-plane weather—affect life. These whirls are produced only when
the streams of force converge approximately at certain angles. And the nature
of the whirl produced by streams of planetary force meeting at one angle is
different from the whirl produced by planetary streams meeting at other angles.
These angles, from which planetary energies meeting are known to produce whirls
of a definite character, are called ASPECTS.
How the Aspects Express
The aspects which have a proved effect are ten in number,
and are mentioned in Chapter 3 (Serial Lesson 47), Course II, Astrological
Signatures. It is found that rays of planetary force converging at half a right
angle, a right angle (90°), a right angle and a half, and twice a right angle,
produce whirls in astral substance that are decidedly destructive in nature,
but that the momentum of the whirl is different in each of these aspects, and
consequently the destructive forces operate differently.
It is found that rays of planetary force meeting at a trine
(120°), a half trine, and one-fourth of a trine, produce whirls in astral
substance that are constructive in nature; but the modes of constructive
activity differ with each aspect.
As do all the mentioned aspects the other three—conjunction,
inconjunct and parallel—add Power to the planetary force of the planets
involved, but so far as harmony or discord is concerned they are neutral. Of
themselves they are neither constructive nor destructive.
It might seem, from a cursory examination of the subject, as
planets move north and south of the ecliptic, or path of the sun, that in
calculating aspects this celestial latitude should be considered and the angle
of the aspect determined upon a spherical basis. So to determine the aspects
would make necessary a trigonometrical calculation for all planets not having
the same North or South Latitude.
Experience proves, however, that the latitude of a
planet—its distance from the ecliptic—need not be considered in calculating
aspects. The ecliptic, or path of the sun, is the place of polarization in the
field of force of our solar system; and planetary vibrations tend to travel
parallel to the plane of the ecliptic rather than to cut across it diagonally.
Therefore, the Zodiacal Degree or Degree of Declination which a planet occupies
always indicates the direction in the heavens from which its vibrations reach a
given spot, and all aspects, with the exception of the parallel, should be
calculated from Zodiacal longitude, without regard to celestial latitude. The
parallel disregards celestial latitude, but it is calculated from the
declination, which is the distance from the celestial equator. This rule
applies to Progressed Aspects as well as to aspects in the birth chart.
I. A Conjunction is the aspect formed when two planets are
approximately in the same degree of the zodiac. It is one of the three most
potent aspects. The rays of astral energy radiated by the planets in conjunction
travel almost identically the same path, each making it easier for the energy
of the other fully to manifest. Thousands of charts analyzed by The Church of
Light Research Department indicate there is no real basis for the teaching of
some writers regarding either a planet "Combust" or a planet "Cazimi." Instead,
the closer the planet is to a perfect conjunction with the Sun, the more its
characteristics manifest. Jupiter or Venus always adds harmony to a planet in
conjunction with it; and Saturn or Mars always adds discord to a planet in
conjunction with it. But whether for good or ill, a conjunction always gives
more power to both planets involved, and makes the things signified by each a
A planet is combust when it is within 8° 30´ of the Sun.
According to some writers, when a planet is combust its influence is burnt up
and destroyed, and it is considered to be a great affliction, the planet being
weakened. They also say that a planet "Cazimi" is greatly strengthened. A
planet is cazimi when it is within 17´ of the Sun’s center. As the disc of the
Sun occupies approximately half a degree, a planet cazimi sends its rays to the
earth along lines quite identical with those of the Sun insofar as the zodiacal
degree occupied is concerned, and the result would be some power. But we have
never found a planet’s influence to be weakened by being in conjunction with
the Sun. On the contrary, we have found that a planet in conjunction with the
Sun invariably exerts a stronger influence in a birth chart than when not
aspecting the Sun.
When any planet is in conjunction with the Sun we have found
it thus becomes a strong factor in molding the life and character of the person
then born. As Mercury is never over 28° from the Sun, it is in combust in about
one-fourth of all charts, and in a degree of combustion in about one-third of
them. Venus is never more than 48° from the Sun, and as a consequence is
combust in at least one-seventh of all charts, and in a degree of combustion in
about one-third of them. We do not think any planet is weakened by being near
the Sun, and point to the charts of Theodore Roosevelt (Serial Lesson 95,
Course IX, Mental Alchemy), Thomas A. Edison (Serial Lesson 19, Course X-II,
Progressing the Horoscope), Louis Pasteur (Serial Lesson 5, Course II,
Astrological Signatures), Ewart Wm. Gladstone and Dr. Alfred Russel Wallace as
examples picked at random who have Mercury combust in their birth charts.
Innumerable other birth charts can be given of those with unusual brilliant
minds who have Mercury combust.
The fortune or misfortune signified by a conjunction, either
in the birth chart or by progression usually is largely the result of the
person’s own character and actions than that of the compelling force of
environment beyond his control. The one word that best expresses the most
pronounced influence of a Conjunction is PROMINENCE.
II. A Semisextile is the aspect formed when two planets are
approximately 30 zodiacal degrees apart. This is a feeble harmonious aspect.
Its constructive whirl manifests as a mildly benefic cooperation between the
things signified by the two planets. It does not bring favors without effort,
nor does it signify unusual abilities. It indicates rather those opportunities
that are not obvious, but which can be created through initiative, and slowly
developed and expanded into something worthwhile.
It signifies abilities and opportunities which are largely
overlooked by less successful people, which are nevertheless present, but
require a large amount of energy directed to them to bring them to fruition.
Whatever good is signified by the semisextile, either in the birth chart or by
progression, requires careful cultivation to bring it out, and is a matter of
gradual expansion. The one word that best expresses the most pronounced
influence of a semisextile is GROWTH.
III. A Sextile is the aspect formed when two planets are
approximately 60 zodiacal degrees apart. This is a quite harmonious aspect. Its
constructive energy manifests as adaptation to environment; there being such
ability and opportunity as are signified by the two planets. It does not point
to favors forced upon one, but both the ability to acquire the things signified
and the opportunity to do so. The sextile aspect does not place fortune,
health, fame and love in one’s lap without effort; but it denotes a happy
cooperation between the abilities of the individual and the opportunities that
present themselves whereby if he applies himself he may attain favors signified
by the planets.
Whatever good is signified by the sextile, either in the
birth chart or by progression, requires that opportunities be grasped as they
present themselves; for if not quickly utilized they soon will pass and be
beyond recall. The one word which best expresses the most pronounced influence
of a Sextile is OPPORTUNITY.
IV. A Square is the aspect formed when two planets are
approximately 90 zodiacal degrees apart. This is a quite discordant aspect. The
destructive energy of this astral maelstrom acts in a violent manner. Uncontrolled,
it manifests in harsh, rash, explosive bursts of energy that tend to tear up
and destroy all it contacts. It signifies positive lack of adaptation to
environment, and consequent conflict. It brings acute crises, and temporary
periods of struggle between the things signified by the two planets.
Because of its abruptness, students sometimes conclude that
the square is worse than the opposition. It certainly does act with more
violence, and it frequently leaves nothing of value in its wake. The opposition,
on the other hand, usually deprives of one thing while leaving another. Yet the
square, according to my observation, has not the certainty, the power, nor the
persistence of the opposition. The two aspects bring about events that are
decidedly different, and bring them about in quite different ways.
Whatever discord is signified by the square, either in the
birth chart or by progression, results from incompatibility between the things
signified by the two planets stirring up energy that periodically gets beyond
control. A square brings acute conflict and violent antagonisms that cause
radical changes. Yet it should not be forgotten that any form of energy, if
properly controlled, can be used constructively.
Practice is said to make for perfection, and certainly men
learn to surmount difficulties by constantly being confronted with the
necessity of surmounting them. Thus we find that the great men of the world
invariably have squares in their birth charts. They have plenty of trials and
conflicts, but they make each a stepping stone to attainment, learning the
technique of overcoming obstructions, and turning the destructive energy into
constructive lines. The one word that best expresses the most pronounced
influence of a Square is OBSTACLE.
V. A Trine is the aspect formed when two planets are
approximately 120 degrees apart in the zodiac. This is the Best aspect. A trine
signifies not only the abilities and opportunities bestowed by the two planets,
but also such favors as come with very little effort. The good that comes
through the trine comes easily and spontaneously. The abilities so signified
grow naturally rather than being acquired with difficulty, and the
opportunities are forced upon one without being asked for. Because the things
denoted by the trine come so easily, they are often unappreciated.
Trines signify good qualities in the character because where
they are concerned there is no temptation. But too many trines never produce a
strong, virile character, for there are too few obstacles to overcome, and too
little struggle necessary. Character is developed through overcoming obstacles,
not in permitting others to remove them so the path will be easy. Whatever good
is signified by the trine, either in the birth chart or by progression, comes
without commensurate effort. The one word that best expresses the most
pronounced influence of a Trine is LUCK.
VI. An Inconjunct is the aspect formed when two planets are
approximately 150 degrees apart in the zodiac. It is a neutral aspect in so far
as harmony or discord is concerned, tending to be harmonious only when Jupiter
or Venus is involved, and tending to be discordant only when Saturn or Mars is
involved. Its energy manifests in much the same manner as the conjunction and
parallel, except that it has less force. Its strength is the same as the
The obstacles it brings when Saturn or Mars are involved are
not too difficult to surmount, and the opportunities it brings when Jupiter or
Venus are involved require initiative to make much of them. Either in the birth
chart or by progression, the evil denoted by an inconjunct is easily converted
into an advantage, and the good it signifies must be cultivated to prove of
value. The aspect itself has the tendency to bring the things denoted by the two
planets into some prominence, but to force them apart rather than together. The
one word that best expresses the most pronounced influence of an Inconjunct is
VII. A Semisquare is the aspect formed when two planets are
approximately 45 zodiacal degrees apart. This is a moderately discordant
aspect. The destructive energy manifests as uncertainty and vacillation. It
sets up oscillations between the things denoted by the two planets. In human
life it causes anxiety, hesitation, worry, criticism and many recurring
abrasions, rather than cataclysmic disruptions. The evil it signifies is
usually due to the cumulative effect of the little discords in the environment.
Either in the birth chart or by progression, it tends toward
changes. The discord it attracts, however, may usually be turned to advantage
by overlooking the small annoyances and using them as spurs to greater effort.
The one word that best expresses the most pronounced influence of a Semisquare
VIII. An Opposition is the aspect formed when two planets
are approximately 180 zodiacal degrees apart. Though acting in a less
cataclysmic manner than the square, because of its persistence and power, this
is usually considered the Worst aspect. The energies of the two planets, when so
situated, meet each other head-on, and refusing to mingle, boil back along the
lines from which they came. The result is that the qualities of both planets
are brought into great prominence, even as they are in the conjunction.
Consequently the greatest abilities that men possess are mapped by the
conjunction and the opposition. The opposition confers the quality of each of
the two planets in maximum degree. Because of this a majority of the great
names of history have oppositions in their birth charts.
Great men invariably have great opposition to overcome or
they would not be considered great. The opposition aspect attracts this. There
is a constant antagonism between the things represented by the two planets.
This constant struggle for supremacy between the two planets does not act
abruptly, nor in acute crises like the square aspect, but develops slowly and
unrelentingly. It has an inexorable quality. The issue cannot be avoided. A
choice must be made between one of the two opposing factors, and this choice
involves the necessity of losing one of them.
This disintegrative action proceeds slowly and inflexibly,
and invariably tends to separate completely the things denoted by the planets.
Either in the birth chart or by progression, the opposition signifies
conditions more immediately forced upon one by environment and apparently
beyond control, that makes the choice of one thing a necessity for renouncing
another apparently desirable thing. It is a slow, inflexible rending asunder.
The one word that best expresses the most pronounced influence of an Opposition
IX. A Sesquisquare is the aspect formed when two planets are
approximately 135 zodiacal degrees apart. This is a moderately discordant
aspect, equal in strength to the semisquare. The energy of this discordant
aspect has not the force of the square, or does it signify circumstances so
important or antagonistic. Its action usually is to break up existing
conditions rather suddenly, and thus pave the way for effort along somewhat
It acts in quite sharp and disruptive intervals. It calls
for more decision than the semisquare, but is not so persistent and long drawn
out. Either in the birth chart or by progression, it signifies changes, either
mental or physical, of a nature indicated by the planets; but these changes
usually can be made an asset if accepted gracefully, for they open up new
conditions. The word that best expresses the most pronounced influence of a
Sesquisquare is AGITATION.
X. The Parallel is the aspect formed when two planets occupy
approximately the same degree of Declination, either both North or both South,
or when one is North and the other is South of the celestial equator. This is
the only aspect considered in the Hermetic System of Astrology which is not
calculated by degrees in the zodiac. Even as the zodiac is divided by the
equinoctial colure into positive and negative polarity, so in a somewhat
similar manner the Equator divides our stellar auditorium, the astral substance
immediately surrounding the earth, into positive and negative halves.
When two planets are an equal distance from the equator,
either north or south, they set up synchronous vibrations within the earth’s
astral substance that have an effect somewhat like those produced by a
conjunction in the zodiacal signs. That is, they tend to facilitate the
manifestation of the full tones of both.
Jupiter and Venus will make any planet with which it is
parallel more fortunate, and Saturn or Mars will make any planet with which it
is parallel more unfortunate. The parallel from any of the other six planets
increases the power, commensurate with the conjunction, but does not
appreciably affect its harmony or discord. A birth-chart or progressed parallel
may express through the house of the chart ruled by either of the planets
involved in the parallel. But usually at the time there are other aspects
present, even though these other aspects may involve planets not ruling the
The influence of a parallel is not so precise nor so well
defined as a conjunction. In its manifestation it is slower in development and
more easily converted into energy of some other trend. Either in the birth
chart or by progression, the parallel signifies qualities and conditions that
develop slowly and that give gradual force to the things signified by the two
planets. The one word that best expresses the most pronounced influence of a
Parallel is INTENSITY.
The particular kind of a whirl in astral substance produced
by each of the 10 aspects is most perfect in its form, and manifests its own
peculiar kind of energy in strongest degree, when the aspect is the exact
number of degrees designated for each. A whirl of a given design in water, air,
electromagnetic field, or astral substance, however, is not the product of
currents meeting at one single angle, any more than the color red is the
product of a single number of vibrations in the electromagnetic field per
second. There is a limited range of vibrations all producing what we call red,
though of different shades, until they finally merge into another color.
The expression of a given aspect is strongest and clearest
when the aspect is perfect, but the aspect will still manifest its peculiar
energy, though less distinctly, as the number of degrees recedes from the
perfect aspect, until its own distinctive kind of energy shades into that of
the next aspect. With an occasional exception, such as when a powerful trine
overrides and dominates a not too precise sesquisquare between adjacent aspects
there is a space where the tendency to form one kind of whirl is neutralized by
the tendency to produce another kind; just as in colors certain rates of
vibration produce a shade that makes it difficult to say whether it is red or
orange, being a blend of both.
It has been determined through exhaustive research how many
degrees removed from the perfect aspect that an aspect manifests its own kind
of energy with sufficient distinctness to have an appreciable effect upon life.
The number of degrees away from the perfect aspect that a planet manifests even
a slightly characteristic quality of the aspect is called its orb of influence,
or merely ORB.
Not only do progressed aspects have a much more limited orb,
but there is a marked difference in the way they operate at the margin of the
orb. A great deal of research demonstrated that the orb of any progressed
aspect is one degree from the perfect aspect, and that at the outer limit of
this one degree orb the aspect has ½ the power it has when perfect; but that in
a birth-chart aspect the influence tapers off gradually from its peak power,
when perfect, to no power at the outer margin of its orb.
One of the most important, and at the same time most
difficult, considerations in every judgment from a horoscope is that of Orb of
Influence. It may be well enough to say that as a general rule an orb of 5
degrees either way from a planet should be allowed; but students who use the
full 5 degrees for the semisextiles in feeble houses, and limit the orb of
influence to 5 degrees in oppositions from angular houses will find their
judgment sadly at fault. They will never be able to render that fine
discrimination that takes the science from the realm of broad generalities and
gives to it the nicety and precision that are the marks of expert
The table on page 3 gives the Orb of Influence of each of the
aspects when formed from succedent houses, from angular houses, and from cadent
houses. It is the result of more than fifty years’ experience judging
horoscopes and the collaboration of the Research Department of The Church of
Table of Aspects and Their Orbs
The student need not memorize this table, but should commit
the following considerations to memory: Under average circumstances an orb of
2° is right for the semisextile and inconjunct between planets, and 3° when Sun
or Moon is party to the aspect. For semisquare and sesquisquare, allow an orb
of 4° for the planets, and 5° when Sun or Moon is party to the aspect. For the
sextile, allow an orb of 6° between planets, and 7° when Sun or Moon is party
to the aspect. For the square and trine, allow an orb of 8° for the planets,
and 10° when the Sun or Moon is party to the aspect. For the conjunction and
opposition, allow an orb of 10° between the planets, and 13° when the Sun or
Moon is party to the aspect. For the parallel, an orb of 1° is correct.
As the volume of a planet’s stream of energy reaching a
given spot depends upon the house position, the student will find that he must
allow a slightly larger orb when one or more of the aspecting planets occupies
a powerful house, and an orb slightly less when both planets occupy feeble
houses. The orb allowed should be that of the planet with most power due to
being a luminary or occupying a powerful house.
It should be memorized that for the conjunction, opposition,
square or trine, when the planets, one or both are in angles, 2° should be
added to the average orb given, and when neither of the planets is in an angle
or succedent house, but both are in cadent houses, 2° should be subtracted from
the given orb. With the sextile, semisextile, semisquare, sesquisquare and
inconjunct, when one of the planets occupies an angle, 1° should be added to
the average orb given, and when both are in cadent houses, 1° should be
subtracted from the average orb.
Calculating all the aspects that occur between the planets
in any chart is a very simple matter when undertaken in a systematic manner. An
example of this is given in Serial Lesson 88, "First Seven Steps in Judging Any Horoscope." Always start with the aspects of the Sun, as
most important, than those of Mercury, Moon, etc. in the order given in Table
II, in Serial Lesson 86 "How to Erect a Horoscope." The aspects must always be calculated the shortest distance between
the planets, and never the contrary direction the planets usually travel in the
zodiac. Always calculate from the planet that will enable you to count ahead in
the natural order of the zodiacal signs, and always count the intercepted
signs, as it is the number of signs apart and not the number of houses that
make an aspect.
Planets Occupying Approximately the Same Degree of Any Sign
Are Always in Aspect
If they are in adjacent signs they are semisextile, if two
signs apart they are sextile, if three signs apart they are square, if four
signs apart they are trine, if five signs apart they are inconjunct. Movable
signs are always in square or opposition to each other, and taken collectively
are known as the Movable Cross. Fixed signs are always in square or opposition
to each other, and taken collectively are known as the Fixed Cross. Mutable
signs are always in square or opposition to each other, and taken collectively
are known as the Mutable Cross. When two planets are in approximately the same
degree of any sign of one cross they are conjunction, opposition, or square.
When two planets thus are in opposition and a third planet
is square to both it is called a T-square. These things can be seen at a
glance. Such a combination maps much energy, which if not diverted attracts
When two planets in opposition are both square to two other
planets in opposition, thus making a complete cross, it is called a Grand
Square. This is the most malefic combination that can occur in a chart.
The signs of any one element are always in trine, and when
two planets occupy approximately the same degree of different signs of the same
element, or triplicity, they are always in trine. When both of the two planets
which make a trine to each other are also trine to a third planet, so that
approximately an equilateral triangle is formed, it is called a Grand Trine.
This is the most benefic combination that can occur in a chart.
Conjunctions always occur when planets are adjacent, and
parallels when they occupy approximately the same degree of declination. A
glance will reveal any of the above aspects and combinations.
The Only Aspects Difficult For The Beginner To Perceive
These are the semisquare and the sesquisquare. The degree
occupied by a planet forming either of these aspects must always be
approximately half a sign more than that occupied by the planet counted from.
Therefore add 15° to the place of the first planet and notice if any other
planet occupies approximately this degree in any other sign, not overlooking
the fact that a planet in the last degree of one sign may be approximately in
the same degree as a planet in the first degree of another sign.
When a planet is found in such a place, notice if it is in a
sign that is either a sign and a half, or four signs and a half, distant. If
the former, it is a semisquare. If the latter, it is a sesquisquare. But if it
is two signs and a half, three signs and a half, or five signs and a half,
distant, it is in a position of little consequence and should be neglected.