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12/28/2018 Aspects Astrology Affliction Unaspected Declination Parallels



Introduction to Aspects in
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A planet or point receiving from any planet an aspect RECENT POSTS

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semisquare and sesquiquadrate but also the opposition), or
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Neptune or Pluto) a conjunction or parallel, is said to be Astrolearn https:// 
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Where a planet forms no major (Ptolemaic) aspect to any
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particular area indicated by its house placement,

unmoderated by the rest of the individual’s nature. RECENT COMMENTS
Sometimes, unpredictably, it will shoot off into a crescendo
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from view completely. Its behaviour is thus erratic and can tom mcnamara on
seem uncontrolled by either the individual’s conscious will or Mercury Hour
any social conditioning. Additional emphasis will be lent to
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Declination, Parallels and Contraparallels:
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In addition to being measurable by signs and degrees Astrolearn Astrology
Library, education and
longitude around the celestial ecliptic or zodiac, the
history resource of Philip
positions of the celestial bodies relative to the earth can be
M. Graves
expressed in terms of their declination by degrees north or
south of the celestial equator. Maximum northward Josie on Welcome to Planet
declination is reached around 0º Cancer, and maximum
southward declination is reached around 0º Capricorn.
If all the planets revolved around the Sun along exactly the
same plane as the Earth and as each other, it would be October 2018

simple to deduce declination from longitude. In practice, January 2018

there are some variations in the plane of orbit within the
July 2016
band of space we know as the ecliptic which all the planets
broadly follow. As a result, the declination of a planet at any June 2016

given longitude will vary slightly at different times and for May 2016
different planets, and it is ultimately necessary to look up
April 2016
declination data in a complete ephemeris which lists it in 
addition to longitude data. March 2016

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12/28/2018 Aspects Astrology Affliction Unaspected Declination Parallels

The final major aspect type is measured by declination, not February 2016
longitude, and is called the parallel of declination. It is
January 2016
found where two planets in the same celestial hemisphere
(on the same side of the celestial equator, which traces a December 2015

line from 0º Aries to 0º Libra) as each other share the same November 2015
declination to within a one degree orb. In such
October 2015
circumstance, the effects are varied depending on the
September 2015
planets’ mutual relation by longitude:
August 2015
(1) If the planets are on the same side as each other of
July 2015
an imaginary line through the celestial sphere
connecting the tropics (0º Cancer to 0º Capricorn), then
in most cases they will also be mutually conjunct, and
then the parallel of declination is dwarfed in effect by
and becomes assimilated into the conjunction. In rare
cases where despite the parallel being in orb they are
out of conjunction orb (which will only occur at latitudes
close to one of the tropics, where for a given change in
longitude declination changes much more gradually than
it does at its maximum rate of change over the
equator), then the presence of the parallel will draw
them together almost as though they were in weak
conjunction orb.

(2) If the planets are on the opposite side from each

other of the line through the celestial sphere connecting
the tropics, then they are situated at each other’s
solstice points and said to be related by antiscia. This
provides the strongest classical condition for considering
the presence of a parallel in chart interpretation, and is
considered similar in effect to a conjunction. Planets
related by antiscia are said to behold each other (the
defining classical stamp of qualification for being in
aspect, which is also granted to conjunctions, sextiles,
squares, trines and oppositions) and to be in signs of
equal power.

Another aspect derived from declination is the

contraparallel. This occurs when two planets in the

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opposite celestial hemisphere from each other share an

equivalent degree of declination, albeit one northward and
the other southward declination to the same value, again
within a one degree orb. Again, the effects are slightly
variable depending on the planets’ mutual relation by

(1) If they are on opposite sides of the line through the

tropics, then in most cases they will also be in mutual
opposition aspect, and the contraparallel is dwarfed by
this and can be disregarded. Rarely, and only at
latitudes close to the opposing tropics, they will then be
out of opposition orb but in contraparallel orb, and then
the contraparallel may be felt as a very weak opposition.

(2) If the planets are on the same side as each other of

the line through the tropics, they will form a
contraparallel without any chance of an accompanying
opposition by longitude. They will then be said to be
related by contra-antiscia. This fulfils the strongest
classical condition for considering the presence of a
contraparallel in chart interpretation; and is considered
similar in effect to an opposition, balancing the factors
in mutual contraparallel aspect with some tension.
Planets related by contra-antiscia qualify as beholding
each other, but are said to be commanding and
obeying, with the one in the northern hemisphere
commanding, and the one in the southern hemisphere

Antiscia are distinguished from parallels in being measured

by longitude not declination; only some planets in parallel
are related by antiscion too; and most but not all planets in
close antiscion aspect are parallel. Likewise, only some
planets in contra-parallel aspect are related by contra-
antiscia; and most but not all planets in close contra-
antiscion aspect are contra-parallel. Planets parallel or
contra-parallel qualify for antiscial / contra-antiscial relation

by whole sign relationship, with no regard for orb. A rare

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antiscion or contra-antiscion aspect between planets out of

parallel or contra-parallel orb, however, will need to be
exact to within 1-2º longitude to be felt much, and then will
resemble a weak-orbed conjunction or opposition.

Quincunx vs. Inconjunct:

The term ‘inconjunct’ has sometimes been loosely used by

modern astrological textbooks to refer to the quincunx. This
is incorrect, since the classical meaning of ‘inconjunct’ is
‘not in mutual aspect’. Since conventionally semisextiles
and quincunxes were not considered true aspects at all,
planets in mutual quincunx or semisextile aspect by modern
astrological thinking would have been regarded as
‘inconjunct’ in the past, unless they also beheld each other
(as defined above) by virtue of being in mutual antiscion or
contra-antiscion relation, in which case they would not be
inconjunct. The term ‘inconjunct’ thus applies to the relation
between planets in mutual quincunx or semisextile aspect
only when they are not in antiscion or contra-antiscion
relation by whole sign.

Aspects in Ancient Astrology

In ancient astrological practice, aspects are measured

primarily by whole sign distance, and without regard at all
to any degree-precise measurements, orbs of allowance, or
harmonic circle division factors, such as are used by
moderns. There is some recognition of the added power of
exact aspects where the two factors concerned shared the
same whole degree value, these aspects being called
partile. Dissociate aspects (those between two points that
are in a particular type of aspect as measured by degrees
but not as counted by signs) are completely unrecognised,
however. Only whole-sign conjunctions, sextiles, squares, 
trines and oppositions (collectively known sometimes as

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Ptolemaic aspects since they were the only established

aspect types noted by Ptolemy) are counted. Planets in
whole-sign conjunction are known as ‘with’ each other;
those in other types of mutual whole-sign aspect ‘behold’,
‘witness’ or ‘throw rays at’ each other.

Similarly, in predictive astrology, transits of a particular

aspect type to a specified point in the birth chart are
considered to be active from the moment the transiting
planet ingresses a particular sign that is naturally in this
type of aspect to the sign in which the natal point is found,
and to retain this activity until the transiting planet exits
this same sign. Yet, they are considered strongest when the
transiting planet is in the same whole-number degree as the
planet being aspected.

A connection is drawn between the character of each type of

aspect and the character of the particular planet serving as
the domicile ruler of the pair of signs naturally related by
this aspect to the domiciles of the Moon and Sun (namely
Cancer and Leo). Thus, Mercury being considered a neutral
planet, domiciled in the pair of signs in semi-sextile aspect
to the domiciles of the Lights, the semi-sextile is considered
of neutral character (in fact, not regarded as being an
aspect at all); Venus being considered the ‘lesser benefic’,
domiciled in the pair of signs in sextile aspect to the
domiciles of the Lights, the sextile is considered of mildly
benefic character; Mars being considered the ‘lesser
malefic’, domiciled in the pair of signs in square aspect to
the domiciles of the luminaries, the square is considered of
mildly malefic character; Jupiter being considered the
‘greater malefic’, domiciled in the pair of signs in trine
aspect to the domiciles of the Sun and Moon, the trine is
considered of strongly benefic character; and Saturn being
considered the greater malefic, domiciled in the pair of
signs in opposition to Leo and Cancer (although also
quincunx them), the opposition is considered of strongly
malefic character. 

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However, in some traditions the general character of the

planets in aspect was often considered more important as a
determinant of benefic or malefic influence than the aspect
type. Thus, an inharmonious aspect from a benefic would
still be considered mildly benefic, while a harmonious aspect
from a malefic would be considered malefic.

Aspects were not anciently considered as mutual

connections between two functions of life, so much as
unidirectional influences acting upon a particular planetary
significator governing an area of an individual’s life under
consideration. The general (benefic or malefic) nature of the
planet throwing an aspect to this significator, combined with
the aspect type, determines its positive or negative
influence upon the principles of life governed by the

Planets related through their sign tenancies by semisextile

or quincunx, unless mitigated by one of the criteria of
familiarity, as discussed below, are variously termed in
aversion, unconnected or alienated (equivalent to the
term more used today ‘inconjunct’).

Aversion by whole sign from the position of the lord of a

house to that of the house itself (using whole-sign houses)
debilitates the house.

The mitigating condition of familiarity occurs when (1) the

signs are in antiscion or contra-antiscion relationship, or (2)
the signs share the same domicile ruler.

According to Joseph Crane, the ancients often distinguished

between the planets in aspect to each other with regard to
which of them was located ahead of the other by the
shortest connecting path around the zodiac. A planet in
Gemini would be ahead of one in Capricorn, while one in
Sagittarius would be ahead of one in Libra. The planet
behind ‘looks ahead’ to the one ahead, initiating the
contact by scrutinising the one ahead; in turn, the planet 
ahead ‘throws rays back’ at the one behind, conveying a
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reaction (moulded by its general nature) to the manner in

which it has been ‘looked at’ back to the one behind. The
planet behind and looking ahead is generally regarded as
superior in position, particularly where a square is

Aspects in mediaeval astrology

By mediaeval times, whole sign aspects had been

superseded in practice by an early system of aspect orb
allowances. These are set according to the moiety of (i.e.
half) the sum of the standard orbs accorded as a general
rule to each particular luminary or planet involved in the
aspect. The standard orbs are in theory loosely based on
the visible arc radius of light around each planet. The
following table shows the planetary orbs assigned by Al-

Planet Orb

Sun 15º

Moon 12º

Mercury 7º

Venus 7º

Mars 8º

Jupiter 9º

Saturn 9º

These assignations notably exclude the angles and Arabian

Parts, which as points rather than celestial bodies are
considered to have no orb; and so the orb of an aspect from
a planet to an angle or Part is the moiety of the standard
orb for the planet. Since Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and the
asteroids are not visible from Earth, Joseph Crane infers
that they too would have no orb by the mediaeval logic of 
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Applying and separating aspects are accorded more

particular significances in mediaeval astrology than in
modern astrology. Each planet is particularly strongly
associated with the next planet (in time) with which it will
form an exact aspect by application, and is said to be
joining this planet. This aspect is given priority over all
others as a conditioning influence on the applying planet as
a significator. Various associated rules include the following:

1) A planet joining or being joined by the lord of the

Ascendant is considered harmoniously integrated as a

2) The planet being joined by the Moon is considered

dignified as a significator; and it is also thought to be
harmoniously connected with the planet being separated
from (i.e. most recently aspected) by the Moon, since
the Moon is held to transfer the light of the separated
planet to the one being joined.

3) Two planets not in mutual aspect but both joining a

third are connected by what is known as collection of
light by the third planet.

The phenomenon whereby a planet apparently being joined

by the significator under consideration (since the significator
is the closest planet applying to it) is on course to join a
third planet currently ahead of it before the significator
reaches it is called abscission of light. When a planet
apparently joining a slower-moving planet moves into
retrograde motion before reaching it, it is said to ‘refrain’
from perfecting the aspect. These are examples of

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