ASPECTS IN MEDICAL ASTROLOGY
The Sacred Geometry of Health
In Medical Astrology, the most important aspects to consider are the hard or dynamic aspects, especially the conjunction, square and opposition, but also the minor hard aspects, especially the semisquare and sesquiquadrate. This is because the hard or dynamic aspects actively provoke events, crises or manifestations in the health or disease of the organism. The soft, flowing aspects lack this dynamic, provocative quality.
The conjunction is an aspect of 0 degrees. It is a union, merging or fusion of planetary energies. The conjunction could be called the most dynamic and energetic of the hard aspects because of the sheer proximity of the planetary energies involved.
Also, the terrain of sign and / or house on which the planets meet must also be assessed. Either it will favor one planet over the other, will not favor either one, or the terrain will be neutral. The terrain is crucial in determining the relative balance of planetary energies in the partnership.
The conjunction is essentially a direct relationship between two planetary energies. Whatever affects one planet will also affect the other, usually in similar relationship or direct proportion.
The opposition is an aspect of 180 degrees, or half the circle. It is an aspect of balance and complementarity, in which both planets are inversely or contrarily related; one will usually benefit to the detriment of the other.
In Medical Astrology, oppositions concern homeostasis. Although the organism must constantly maintain a state of dynamic equilibrium, or homeostasis, within all its organ systems, planetary oppositions in the natal horoscope indicate particular areas of homeostasis that are unduly stressed or challenged in the individual.
Due to the high level of stress and tension indicated by planetary oppositions in the natal horoscope, there is a high potential for signs, symptoms and pathology to manifest if the opposition is challenged by stressful planetary transits.
Planets in opposition will usually align along pairs of opposing signs and houses. Each pair of opposing signs forms a certain Medical Axis, or axis of pathology, governing a certain area of health. There are six different medical axes. Through the essential correspondences between the signs and the houses, the corresponding houses also denote the same axis of pathology.
The natures of the planets involved are also important in the opposition, although not nearly so much as in the conjunction. Because of the inverse or contrary nature of the opposition, planets that are complementary to each other in some way usually work best, so that balance or homeostasis may be reached, instead of conflict, rivalry or tension. Since balance is important to the opposition, the relative strengths and dignities of the planets by their sign and house placements are also important factors to consider.
The square is a perpendicular aspect of 90 degrees. It is an aspect of friction, competition, conflict, and being at cross-purposes. The two planets involved are obstructing or impeding each other.
The nature of the squaring planet is also important. Active, dynamic planets like Mars or Uranus tend to excite, irritate or aggravate in a square, whereas cold, heavy planets like Saturn or Neptune tend to depress, block or inhibit in a square.
Planets squaring important planetary oppositions in the natal horoscope, whether natally or by transit, make the balance and homeostasis stressed or challenged by the opposition all the more precarious, and can trigger manifestations of active pathology. The apex planet of a T-square, which is squaring both opposing base planets, is the focal point of much dysfunctional or pathologenic stress and tension, and needs to be scrutinized thoroughly.
Since planets squaring each other usually share a common modality in their sign placements, the modality involved in a square is very important. The most stressful and difficult squares tend to be in the Fixed signs, the most flexible and easiest to resolve tend to be in the Mutable signs, and those involving Cardinal signs can be precarious and changeable.
Squares also represent the cardinal quarters or turning points in a cycle involving two planets. In Medical Astrology, the most important such cycle to consider in this respect is the monthly cycle of the lunar phases, or quarters. Important turning points or crises, either for better or worse, tend to happen at the lunar quarters. In all planetary cycles, it's important to consider whether the square is waxing or waning.
The physiological or organic functions of the planets involved in a square are health factors that need to be worked on. The functions of both the sqaring planets need to be taken to a higher level of balance and efficiency.
The Minor Hard Aspects
The minor hard aspects are mainly the semisquare (45 degrees), the sesquiquadrate (135 degrees), and the quincunx, or inconjunct (150 degrees). The semisquare and sesquiquadrate are called the cross-quarters or Uranian aspects, and are important in assessing the effects of planetary midpoints. The quincunx or inconjunct has interesting characteristics of its own. Because these are minor hard aspects, the orbs used are very tight - two degrees or less.
The basic nature and character of the semisquare and sesquiquadrate are similar to the square in that it's an aspect of friction and conflict, but less intense. They are the most important minor hard aspects to consider in Medical Astrology.
The quincunx has the general character of Virgo if waxing, and of Scorpio if waning. Both tend to manifest constipation and digestive troubles. They can also represent planetary functions that are out of sync, and need to be brought back into alignment or adjustment.
The tighter the orb, the more powerful the effects of the aspect. The major hard aspects operate within wider orbs than the minor ones, especially if the Sun, Moon or Ascendant are involved. Conjunctions or oppositions involving the Sun, Moon or Ascendant can have an orb as wide as 8 to 10 degrees and still be functional. Squares require tighter orbs, generally of five degrees or less.
The minor hard aspects - the semisquare, sesquiquadrate, and quincunx, require very tight orbs, of two degrees or less.
Applying and Separating Aspects
In assessing the aspects in a natal horoscope, consideration must be given to whether the aspect is applying, or moving towards exact, or separating, which is moving away from or past exact. In applying aspects, the pressure is building towards a climax, and they are generally much more powerful and intense. In separating aspects, the pressure is off, and the aspect isn't nearly as powerful.
Applying versus separating aspects are especially important to consider in aspects involving the faster moving planetary factors, especially the Moon, Ascendant, or the other cardinal angles. They are usually involved in medical phenomena and manifestations that are very time sensitive.
The Soft or Flowing Aspects
The soft or flowing aspects aren't nearly as important to consider as the hard or dynamic ones because they aren't so involved in medical events and active manifestations of pathology. Nevertheless, the major soft aspects can be taken into consideration as indicating metabolic and physiological functions that work smoothly and well together, and thus constitute a source of good health and resilience for the organism.
The soft, flowing aspects are the trine (120 degrees) and sextile (60 degrees). Of these, the sextile is more active and dynamic and the trine more relaxed and passive.
The essence of the sextile is excitation and synergism. The physiological functions of the planets involved stimulate and encourage each other.
The essence of the trine is ease, harmony and sympathy. Trines usually connect planets in signs of the same element, with corresponding affinities of humor and temperament. If the more passive, Yin planets like the Moon, Venus or Neptune are involved, the trine can get too relaxed and passive, and even sluggish and Phlegmatic in character.