Subtle Astrological Aspects – Listen deeply

This is a post for people who have at least a little bit of astrological knowledge.  If you don’t have that, you can read through it and at least have a little laugh.

Ever wonder about this little known astrological aspects?  Like the semi-square, semi-sextile or the sesquiquadrate?  Did you even know that last one was a word?  <chuckle chuckle grin grin>

This is a post about possibilities when we slow down enough to listen and notice.  There are astrological aspects which most people do not notice – or they experience them and just go about their busy-ness.  Recently, I have been slowing down more, intentionally.  This is tough to do if we live a typical lifestyle, as there are many responsibilities and countless distractions.  First a little more about my story, and then into the astrology.

If you are a first time reader, welcome, and I will share a little background info.  I am a Tibetan Buddhist practitioner which means I attend an annual teaching retreat where Tibetan lamas (monks and teachers) discuss and teach on Buddhist theories, meditation and philosophies.  Having been a practitioner for several years now, and an avid supporter of the Tibetan Meditation Center (where they host many such retreats), I have developed a deeper relationship with several of the teachers there.

I have been fairly active over the past eight weeks or so, organizing for their Spring Retreat and then helping to organize for a high lama’s teachings in my home town of Charlottesville.  Actually “active” is not the right word.  I would say “overwhelmed and barely able to catch up with myself” are closer to the truth.  Typically, when I help to organize an event, I say I can do one thing but end up agreeing to take on more and eventually, at least in the past, I would get frustrated and realize, “Hey!  I have too much on my plate!”  So to be more accurate, I have been wired and tense as I accumulated responsibilities.

Prior to that, I have been finishing my undergraduate work at the University of Virginia in addition to working as a self-employed healing facilitator offering Craniosacral Bodywork sessions and Spiritual Astrology interpretations.  Therefore, since 2006, I have not really had much down time – school in the fall and spring, winter retreat, and work like hell over the summer.  The word vacation is foreign to me, since the last time I went on one was in the previous century…  Yowsers!  So when Drupon Thinley Ningpo, a Tibetan lama and one of my heart teachers, told me, when I solicited advice, “You need to slow down.  You need to relax.”  Being confused at first, I asked for clarification, not understanding that all he wants me to do is rest down.  He said, “just relax, that’s all.”  Well, that sounds easy…

But as I mentioned above, there are numerous distractions and like most people, I need to pay my bills.  But I have been purposefully resting down as of late (the past few weeks anyway) and I intend to continue.  As I slow down, I am realizing there are numerous astrology aspects which occur, but in the past I could never have noticed them as I was just barely able to finish the next thing on my unending to-do list.

So what actually occurs when we experience a semi-square?  Do we ever feel positive effects from a semi-sextile aspect?  And for those of you wondering, I will also answer the questions: what is a semi-square?  semi-sextile? sesquiquadrate?  🙂

In geocentric astrology, when someone is born, their birth chart or natal horoscope is a snap shot of the solar system from a top-down, Earth-centered view.  And of course, the planets continue moving as the days go by, and this continual planetary motion is known in astrology as Transits (because the “transiting planets” continue to circle the Sun and aspect planets in the natal horoscope).  It is these aspects that I am concerned about for the purposes of this post.

In astrology, there are Hard Aspects – the major hard aspects are the Conjunction (depending on the planets involved), the Square and the Opposition.  And there are Soft Aspects – the majors ones are the Trine and Sextile (and occasionally the Conjunction when beneficial planets are involved).  It is these major aspects that most people are concerned about because they indicate significant tension, benefits, strife, opportunities, relationships, conflict, support, etc.  It is the major aspects that are hard to miss – especially the Hard Aspects, the Square and Opposition reflect events in our lives that tend to catalyze change and transformation, the beginning, middle and end of cycles.

But… this post is concerned about the minor aspects.  There has been much written on the major aspects, but it is rare for a book to come out and say, “I know all about the subtle, insignificant, barely-noticeable minor aspects and here is what they are about…”  Who would buy that?

Now I’m not trying to say that I know about them.  Good grief!  I am a Leo Rising, but I think I have gotten a grip on my arrogance and pride.  However, I do have a little bit of experience as a Professional Astrologer, so I will share what little I know below.

So, now that I have bored you to death and written way too much in the way of an introduction…  If one can slow down enough, they can notice all of the aspects occurring between their Natal charts and the Transiting Planets.  The Square (90 degrees, one fourth of the chart) is an aspect which reflects tension and challenge in someone’s life – the square can indicate resistance and stubbornness because, seriously, who wants to change?  We all have expectations about what our lives are supposed to look like, and who wants to go against the grain and transform themselves?  Well, sometimes we don’t have a choice.  Impermanence is a fact – things change.  Sorry  🙂

Well the semi-square (45 degrees) is a minor version of its major relative.  It is one eighth of the chart.  The semi-square indicates behavior that could get us in trouble if we continue to perpetuate it.  It indicates habits which are in the process of forming.  Depending on which planets are in aspect, these habits can be detrimental or positive for our healthy growth and continued resting in alignment.

The Sextile aspect (60 degrees) is a just barely a major aspect.  It is one sixth of the chart.  Some astrologers consider it to be a minor aspect because having many Hard Aspects occurring at the same time can sharply reduce the events reflected by Sextiles.  In general, the Sextile tends toward opportunities and benefits, but of course you need to see which planets are in aspect and which astrological houses are involved to become clear of the meaning.  Some sextiles, for instance involving Jupiter or Venus are almost always positive, where other sextiles, perhaps involving Mars or Pluto can be a little trying or steamy, but still positive in the long run.

The semi-sextile (30 degrees) is even more subtle than the Sextile.  Which means that it is the least discernible of all.  I would say that if you have several semi-sextiles operating at the same time, then you might notice.  It is one twelfth of the chart.

Finally, the sesquiquadrate aspect (135 degrees) is an odd aspect that occurs when you add the Square plus the Semi-square (90 and 45 degrees respectively).  It is a little more than one fourth the chart and it is difficult to discern unless you really search for it.  Again, in my experience, I would say that you need to keenly seek out the planets involved in it and then be aware of what they indicate when in aspect.  In other words, don’t put too much effort into locating these!  See below.

I plan to wrap this up shortly, by the way…  One example first, in addition to a little advice about these subtle aspects.

Regarding the subtle aspects, if you lead a busy life, forget about them.  They are subtle and you need several of them operating simultaneously to notice.  The only one which might carry some weight is the semi-square.  It is fairly easy to locate – 45 degrees is a full sign plus a half.  In my experience, none of these subtle aspects reflects major, life-changing influences.  However, if you notice yourself drifting off into a deluded state, it might be good to see if Neptune is making a semi-square with Mercury or another personal planet.

Generally, you will notice these subtle aspects the most when the planets involved reflect something which you have not resolved in your subconscious (psycho-spiritual) process.  For instance, in my chart, I have Uranus in a Square aspect to Venus in my Natal Chart – which means I am constantly walking around with a dynamic, magnetic, charming yet bohemian (Uranus) way of relating (and sense of style), especially regarding loved ones (Venus) – I need space and I will often surprise even people who know me with some unpredictable behavior (Uranus).

So if and when transiting Uranus makes a minor aspect to my Natal Venus, it can indicate a stimulation of these energies – whether from within my psyche or from other people without (which still originate within me – e.g. who am I attracting and why?).  If Uranus makes a Major Aspect to my Natal Venus look out – then there would be some events in my life (reflected of course, not caused, by the aspect) that would seem to be unavoidable.  The only thing I can control is my reaction to them.

Well guess what.  Recently I noticed, transiting Uranus is presently making a semi-square to Venus, and due to transiting Uranus’ slow movement, it has been sitting in this relationship to Venus for several months.  So that explains a bizarre and unexpected relationship faux pas which I recently experienced.

Yes, sometimes if you experience a curious event and you do not see “evidence” for it in your major transiting or progressed aspects, then it might be good to look at what is occurring locally or on more of a minor level.  Then, and only then, is it helpful.  And remember, astrology simply provides understanding about ourselves and others.  It is a tool and nothing more, nothing less.  Don’t spend too much time with it, but having a bigoted, prejudiced attitude toward it is not good either.

Thanks for reading and have a good day.

Let me know if you are interested in having your chart done (receiving an Interpretation).

Published by Kirby Moore

Kirby Moore is a healing facilitator based in the beautiful rolling hills of Charlottesville, Virginia. He does sessions in-person and long distance via Skype and Zoom, working with Spiritual Astrology, Somatic Experiencing, Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy and Birth Process Work. His healing work is informed by fifteen years of meditation and Qigong practice. He works with client's intentions and deepest longings to attain clear, tangible results. Contact him for more info at (email): kirby [at] mkirbymoore [dot] com

One thought on “Subtle Astrological Aspects – Listen deeply

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