by Stefan Stenudd
Conjunction Aspects in the Complete Horoscope
Inner Powers Merging into One in Classical Astrology
The blending of separate motivations,
making them one and unique,
and a major one at that.
The classical astrology meaning of a conjunction is that the powers involved merge, so that their characters mix and form a new character. It can be described as a fusion. If two planets are joined in a conjunction, they do astrologically become sort of a new planet, with its own distinct traits. The closer the conjunction is, the more this transformation is true.
Because two powers join like this, the result is a heightened force in the horoscope that has to be considered. In some cases, there can be three or more points joined in a conjunction. Then it really gets important — and even more difficult to interpret.
OriginThe origin of the astrological significance of the conjunction is quite obvious: When two planets in the sky seem to meet (although they are actually still very far apart), this is a dramatic event to the eye, so its occurrence must have given awe to astrologers of old. And what else than a blending of forces could be fathomed? Like two fires reaching each other, or two ingredients mixed in a bowl.
KeywordsThe number of possible combinations is to great for a listing of keywords to how all the conjunctions should be described. But you are probably helped by considering the keyword for each involved point or planet, and contemplating what kind of meaning these words form when combined. Here are the keywords for the planets and other points that form aspects:
The sun is a basic drive, a general power without particular characteristics of its own, so in conjunctions it simply enhances the characteristics and powers of the other points. Also the Ascendant and Medium Coeli are kind of neutral, mainly just absorbing the conjunct planet's traits — although in the particular field of life that they govern.
But the other planets transform into "new" planets when they join in a conjunction. For example, the moon's longing combined with Mercury's curiosity forms a power that can be described as attraction, an interest that almost becomes an obsession. Venus' affection combined with the aggression of Mars is the joining of opposites sort of meant for each other that is the essence of sexuality, just like the child of the gods Venus and Mars is Amor. And so on.
The same method applies to a conjunction of three or more planets: consider the keywords and what might describe their mix. So, the moon, Venus, and Mars, mentioned above, combine longing with affection and aggression. That is urge or obsession, being so occupied by inner needs that they can hardly ever be satisfied.
Of course, the position of the conjunction in the Zodiac and the House system needs to be considered, as well. Also other aspects to other planets.
Observe that the Ascendant and Medium Coeli cannot form an exact conjunction, and it is very unlikely that they even come close — except for latitudes close to the poles of the Earth.
Native conjunctionsConjunctions 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 conjunctions mostly express themselves.
Also, consider how long the conjunction 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 conjunctionsTransit conjunctions are those formed by the planets up in the sky to the points in your complete horoscope chart. For example, every year the sun returns to the spot where it was when you were born — that's called the solar return, and it's your astrological birthday. For the moon, this is done in just a month, so you have twelve lunar returns each year. The slowest planet Pluto takes 248 years to return, so people never experience it — but nations do, as well as other things lasting that long.
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.
The frequency of a transit conjunction 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.
ProgressionsProgressions 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.
OrbOrb 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 conjunction commences when the transit planet is 1° from the position of the natal planet, and ends when the transit planet has passed and they are again more than 1° apart. 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 conjunction I recommend an orb of no more than 5°, but there are astrologers that use as much as 10°. You can also allow the orb to vary according to what planets are involved, but that should be done moderately.
The AspectsHere are the major aspects in astrology, with links to the webpage of each:
ZODIAC SIGNSThe twelve Zodiac signs and what they mean in astrology.
MY OTHER WEBSITES
About meI'm a Swedish astrologer, author and historian of ideas, researching ancient thought and mythology. My personal website: stenudd.com