by Stefan Stenudd



Square Aspects in the Complete Horoscope

Conflicting Inner Forces in Classical Astrology

Square in the horoscope.

The conflict of interests,
sometimes constructive, sometimes destructive,
but always stimulating action.

Square aspectSquare is the aspect (special angle) where planets or other horoscope points are about 90 apart in the Zodiac circle.



       The classical astrology meaning of a square is that the powers involved are in conflict, so that they cause trouble for one another. So, both sides of the square are disturbed by the aspect between them. This complication can be destructive, but also constructive, the kind of hardship that leads to success for the person who persists. But it's not easy.

       The square can be regarded as sort of a lesser opposition. But where the latter usually makes it impossible for the opposed powers to interact at all, the square actually stimulates activity on both sides of the aspect - activity and problems.

       It is not as strong an aspect as the conjunction, the opposition, and the trine, but it still enhances the planets involved, compared to what their importance would be without that aspect. The closer the square is to 90, the stronger the aspect is, and the more it enhances the planets involved.

       In some cases, there can be three or more planets or other points in a square, if one or both sides of it has a conjunction. Of course, such a square is even more important.


Origin

The origin of the astrological significance of the square is from the Zodiac: it is the aspect that connects Zodiac signs of the same quality (cardinal, fixed, or mutable). Such signs have sort of their own thing going - with comparable types of means but differing ends. So forces within them tend to sort of collide if they are connected in an aspect. Also, there is math in the aspect: the circle's 360 divided by four is 90.


Squares in the horoscope.
The Squares of the horoscope. Zodiac signs of the same quality (cardinal, fixed, or mutable) are in Square aspects. Also the twelve Houses of the horoscope have square aspects, as can be seen in the image.


Keywords

There is no room here to describe all the possible squares and how they should be interpreted. Instead, see the keywords for the planets below, and you will probably figure out what their squares will signify. Also take into consideration the Zodiac sign each planet is in, which tells you more about the nature of that planet's influence - and even more so the Houses of the planets, which inform you of where in your life the square is mainly active. Here are the keywords for the planets and other points that form aspects:

  • Sun   basic drive
  • Moon   longing
  • Mercury   curiosity
  • Venus   affection
  • Mars   aggression
  • Jupiter   luck
  • Saturn   duty
  • Uranus   contemplation
  • Neptune   fantasy
  • Pluto   catharsis
  • Ascendant, AC   attitude
  • Medium Coeli, MC   self-image

       For example, the moon in square with Mercury means that your longing and your curiosity conflict, so that you have to struggle to satisfy them both. The House of the moon will tell you what you long for the most, and the House of Mercury will tell you what you are the most curious about.

       Here are the twelve Houses, and keywords for what part of life they describe:

    1st House   Identity

    2nd House   Resources

    3rd House   Communication

    4th House   Home

    5th House   Pastime

    6th House   Work

    7th House   Partners

    8th House   Unknown

    9th House   Travel

    10th House   Career

    11th House   Ideals

    12th House   Shortcomings

       So, the 1st House is always in square with the 4th House, since one's personality is difficult to express freely within one's family. The 2nd House is always in square to the 5th House, since one's personal resources are often wasted on spare time activities, which rarely bring money to the bank. And so on.

       Also the twelve signs of the Zodiac have natural squares, as mentioned and seen on the illustration above.

       Mercury and Venus never form a square, since they are never more than 76 apart.


Native squares

Squares in a birth chart never change. They show characteristics that you are born with and will keep all through your life. Pay attention to what Houses they are in. That shows in what area of your life the squares mostly express themselves.

       Also, consider how long the square lasted in the sky, at the time of your birth: Some come and go very quickly, so they are quite personal, whereas others (those of the outer planets) remain for years, so they are shared by a whole generation.


Transit squares

Transit squares are those formed by the planets up in the sky to the points in your complete horoscope chart. It happens twice during each planet's orbit around the sun - once when approaching the transited planet or point in your horoscope, and once when moving away from it. For example, every year the sun forms two square aspects to each of the points in your horoscope, six months apart. For the moon, this is done in just a month. The slowest planet Pluto takes 248 years to complete its orbit, so you may need to reach old age to experience its square with each of the points in your horoscope, and it will only happen once.

       Here are the times it takes for the planets and other points to make one rotation around the Zodiac, in round numbers - from a geocentric perspective, ie. as seen from the earth.

  • Sun   1 year
  • Moon   1 month
  • Mercury   1 year
  • Venus   1 year
  • Mars   2 years
  • Jupiter   12 years
  • Saturn   29 years
  • Uranus   84 years
  • Neptune   165 years
  • Pluto   248 years
  • Ascendant, AC   1 day
  • Medium Coeli, MC   1 day

       The frequency of a transit square decides how important it is in your life. So, Pluto causes big and lasting changes, whereas the moon does little more than influence your mood at the moment.


Progressions

Progressions are aspects formed by imaginary movement of the planets and other points in the birth chart. They don't correspond to any actual movement of the planets. Therefore, they should be used with care. But many astrologers regularly consider progressions, so you may want to try it. I rarely do it, which is why I don't present it further here. Transits make much more sense to me.


Orb

Orb is the measure of what angle is to be regarded as an aspect. For transit aspects of any kind, I would not recommend an orb grater than 1, so that a transit square is active when the transiting planet is 89-91 from the natal point. That usually takes more than a year for Pluto, but no more than about four hours for the moon.

       Be aware that some transit aspects return once or twice, because of the retrograde movements of the planets, as seen from the Earth. So, usually a transit passing is followed by a retrograde passing, and then finished with a third passing when the planet resumes its forward movement. That means the event triggered by the transit tends to announce itself, then seem not to happen, but then finish by happening pretty much as it was originally announced. That's how much in life works, because of this stellar rhythm.

     In the case of aspects in your complete native horoscope chart, orbs vary according to aspects. For the square I recommend an orb of no more than 3, i.e. from 87-93, but there are astrologers that use as much as 6. You can also allow the orb to vary according to what planets are involved, but that should be done moderately.

The Aspects

Here are the major aspects in astrology, with links to the webpage of each:

THE ASPECTS

Conjunction

Opposition

 

Trine

Square

Sextile






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Stefan Stenudd

Stefan Stenudd, Swedish author of fiction and non-fiction.

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I'm a Swedish astrologer, author and historian of ideas, researching ancient thought and mythology. My personal website:


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