While most charts look like little more than a
system of random lines, occasionally you can see a definite pattern. One
of the most common is called a T-Square (left), which
looks like a red triangle involving three planets with one at the apex and the other
two at the base. Two planets will be in Opposition to one another with the
third squared off with the other two. While all these aspects are
considered negative, it nonetheless seems to give strength to the individual as
they overcome the tension and conflicts imposed. Some charts have more
Another pattern that is easy to see in a
chart is a
Grand Trine, (below right) which shows up as a green equilateral
triangle centered on the chart. In most cases the points of the triangle
will be in signs with a common Element, i.e. Air, Water, Earth or Fire signs,
thus making it a Grand Air Trine, Grand Water Trine, etc. While it would
seem that having three trines joined together would be very positive, this is
sometimes not the case as the person may lack balance in their life and thus
understanding of others, making them perhaps lazy or judgmental, particularly if
things come too easily for them, sparing them of taking on challenges that refine
and strengthen the character. They will not have as much incentive to
broaden their reach or overcome the adversity indicated by T-squares.
If there are two
T-squares joined at the base,
they then form what is known as a Grand Cross (left).
This shows up on the chart as an obvious red square with an "X" connecting the
opposite corners. This is a powerful influence, particularly because the
planets will be located in the same modality, i.e. cardinal, fixed or mutable
signs. In other words, a Cardinal Grand Cross would involve planets in
Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn; a Fixed Grand Cross would involve planets in
Aquarius, Taurus, Leo and Scorpio; and a Mutable Grand Cross would involve
Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces.
Thus, there are a lot of similar
characteristics being conveyed, yet there is still the square and opposition
influence that introduces numerous conflicts. Grand Crosses are fairly
rare and generally denote a person who has numerous challenges and
contradictions to deal with in their life. The strength and degree of
opposition will naturally also depend on which planets and houses are involved.
Business consultant, Steven Gaffney, has described the challenges of this aspect
perfectly when he said, "Most people will say that in retrospect their most
difficult and challenging experiences were some of their most valuable ones. In
fact, most people say that hard times generally produce much growth because
responding to such times demands ingenuity. We all know that even when we are
not responsible for our challenging circumstances, we are 100 percent
responsible for our response to the challenge."
A fairly common pattern is a simple
Sextile Pattern, (right) a small
green triangle that combines two sextiles with a trine, tying three planets together
in a fairly tight aspect with generally good implications, though these folks
sometimes seem inclined to fall into a rut. Sextile people usually have
inborn abilities in the Houses affected by the pattern and are
willing to work at developing these talents and skills. If you look
carefully at the T-Square and Grand Cross example, you'll see that they, also,
have sextile patterns.
that comes up occasionally is known as the Mystic Rectangle (left).
This pattern, as it name implies, creates a rectangle with a set of parallel
sextiles linked to a set of parallel trines, tying four planets together.
modalities and two elements will be involved, linked in positive aspect.
However, if you look more closely you can see there are also two or more Oppositions
involved from each of the diagonal corners. This results in a blending of positive and negative effects that will
depend on the planets and houses involved, but could also indicate a choice or
decision is involved. Both choices may be positive, but mutually
Another possibility would be that either choice will have a
price that somewhat counters its benefits. For example, you may find your
dream home, but the mortgage will be slightly out of your comfort range or you
are given an opportunity to take a much-wanted trip but don't have enough
vacation time. Perhaps you found a great deal on a 60 inch TV on Black
Friday only to find out they don't stock
60 inch TV stands at the store and
end up having to buy one that costs more than the TV.
Triangle of Potential is
another fairly common pattern that comprises a trine, sextile and
opposition, in other words two soft aspects and one hard aspect.
In this case, the planet at the apex of the trine and sextile is the
key to solving the opposition. The person will experience
struggles, but by utilizing the energy of the trine and sextile will
be able to make them work, so to speak. In many respects the
hard aspects are what motivate us. If life was always easy
we'd have a lot less incentive to grow. A Triangle of
Potential will give a person just enough friction to utilize latent
talents and abilities that otherwise might lie dormant. [I've
erased all aspects except the ToP from the illustration because
otherwise it wouldn't be as easy to see as the others.]
Yod is formed by two
quincunx aspects to a single planet which are joined at the base by a sextile,
making it look like a pointer. The term originated with the engraved
silver hand with the index finger pointing which is used in the Torah to mark
where the last reading ended and the subsequent one is to take place. It
is also called the finger of God or the hand of fate. Frequently these are seen where a person
has a very specific ambition in life.
For example, Ted Turner's Natal Chart
shows a yod, which clearly depicts his destiny as a major broadcasting magnate.
Note the base comprised of a sextile between Mercury in the 1st
(Sagittarius) and Mars in the 10th House (Libra) indicating his personal
identity and community standing respectively. Sagittarius, particularly as
also implies long distance travel while
Mercury signifies communications of all sorts.
Mars in the 10th House, in
this case Libra, shows bold ambition that are furthered by positive
relationships to achieve high regard by society. The yod is nicely
completed with the tip pointing to Uranus, planet of
change, innovation and electronics,
located in his 5th house of creativity which just happens to be Taurus, an
sign which often houses wealth.
Interestingly enough, his wife,
Jane Fonda (left), also has a
yod in her chart, but with entirely different implications. In her case,
the sextiled base comprises the Sun in her 11th house of groups, which lies in
philosophical Sagittarius and the god of war,
Mars in her
1st house of rebellious
Aquarius. These point to
Pluto, god of the underworld and
planet of transformation, on
the cusp of her 7th House of relationships, which lies in Cancer. While some of her fame is
attributable to her work as an actress and fitness guru, this yod seems to imply
her controversial activities as an antiwar activist in the 1960s. If the
apex of the Yod is the Sun, it generally indicates that the person will
have to make a specific choice to follow a certain path in life, leaving the
others forever behind, in order to fulfill their destiny. In this case,
the apex is Pluto, implying the transformation in the public eye of
many from a young actress to an unsavory, controversial and even
subversive individual which would darken her image for decades to
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