Strength and Aspects of the Planets
THE student of astrology should realize that every horoscope, instead of being a
combination of mystical symbols, is in fact a map of actual vibratory currents which
are operating at the time for which it is erected. These vibratory currents constitute
the inner-plane weather. It has been conclusively demonstrated by many universities
which have carried out innumerable experiments in extrasensory perception and
psychokinesis that inner-plane energies do not conform to physical laws. The
outer-plane weather not only influences life on earth, but also inanimate objects, as
illustrated by mountain chains being worn down and carried into the ocean.
However, when velocities exceed that of light there can be no atoms or molecules.
Thus the inner-plane weather, which has velocities exceeding that of light,
influences both animate and inanimate objects through non-physical laws which
may be discovered, not by theory, but by observing how things actually react to
different types of inner-plane weather.
Astrological currents constitute the inner-plane weather, the ten outstanding types
being the vibratory currents radiated by the ten planets, each having its own
characteristic influences. And to understand individual reaction to the inner-plane
weather mapped by astrological positions it should be recognized that most of the
actions of human life spring into existence, not as a result of premeditation, but due to
habitual reaction to feeling, which in turn is powerfully influenced by the planetary
energies which at any time are added to certain thought-cells of the unconscious
Psychology teaches us that at least 99% of all men’s actions are promoted by the
unconscious mind. The unconscious mind, as fully explained in the lessons on
Esoteric Psychology, is an organization of thought-elements into thought-cells and
thought structures. This organization persists in the same astral substance that carries
the vibrations of planetary influence. And not only does a birth-chart map the
arrangement and volume of energy of different types possessed by these
thought-cells, and therefore the individual’s character, but the progressed aspects
map the time when groups of these thought-cells acquire sufficient additional
planetary energy that they have enough psychokinetic power to attract events of a
As already indicated, man is not the only thing influenced by the stars. Each physical
object has an astral counterpart that is constantly affected by vibrations of astral
substance that reach it from celestial bodies. In turn, the astral counterpart
profoundly affects the physical. And as thoughts are essentially organizations in
astral substance they too respond to such astral vibratory rates. Currents of astral
force not only bring changes to man’s physical body, but they stimulate the trend of
his thinking, and impress their power upon everything by which he is surrounded.
Every horoscope is a map of such astral currents showing four important factors: (1)
The Tone, or Rate of Vibration, of each stream of planetary force. This depends upon
its wave-length and frequency. (2) The Tone Quality of the current from each planet.
While the aspects map the chief harmonies and discords, minor and quite distinctive
harmonies and discords arise from the medium, or Sign the planet occupies. (3) The
Power, or Volume of energy coming from each planet. While each aspect, through
the joining of energies, adds to a planet’s Power, much also depends upon the
Direction from which the energy reaches that point on earth for which the chart is
erected. (4) The Aspects indicate :he chief Harmonies and Discords. These depend
upon the angles at which the streams of energy meet each other.
Having such a chart of astral currents, and being aware of the particular thing
receiving these vibrations, it is possible to estimate the reactions to their influence.
Because these reactions constitute events, this makes accurate prediction of trends
1. The First Requisite for judging any horoscope Natal, Stellar Diagnosis,
Mundane, Weather, or Horary–is to know the particular Tone, or rate of vibration,
radiated by each of the planets, and what the observed effects are of these vibrations
upon life. Just as colors, musical tones, etc., depend upon electromagnetic
wave-lengths or wave-lengths of physical substance, so each planet radiates a given
wavelength and frequency in astral substance which we call its Tone. The effect of
each planetary Tone is given in Course 2, Chapter 3.
Of the 10 planets only 4 are harmonious or discordant due to their own nature. Venus
is harmonious, adding harmony equal to ¼ the power of each aspect it makes. Mars is
discordant, adding discord equal to ¼ the power of each aspect it makes. Jupiter, the
major benefic, adds harmony ½ the power of each aspect it makes. And Saturn, the
major malefic, adds discord ½ the power of each aspect it makes. The other 6 planets
are neutral insofar as harmony or discord is concerned, their harmony or discord
being determined only by their essential dignity and the aspects they form.
2. The Second Requisite for judging any horoscope is to know the Tone Quality of
each Sign and Planet in the chart. The Nature and Tone Quality of each of the 12
Signs is fully explained in Course 2, Chapter 2. This Tone Quality
of a sign influences each planet found in the sign in a somewhat different manner.
This is due to the particular planetary tone and the characteristic resonance of the
The zodiacal signs act as sounding boards, or instruments, from which the planetary
vibrations reach the earth. Each is a definite section of the astromagnetic field of
force which surrounds the sun. Due to this definite position in a field of force, the
tension of the astral substance through which the vibrations of a planet must travel is
different in each sign, and varies to a less extent even in the different decanates of the
same sign. This property of the astral substance of a sign may make it a harmonious
sounding board for transmitting the vibrations of some of the planets, but a
discordant sounding board for transmitting the vibrations of other planets.
Furthermore, when one planet is in the home sign or exaltation sign of the other
planet at the same time the other planet is in the home sign or exaltation sign of this
planet, the resonance thus created tends to be the most harmonious of any due to the
sign Positions of planets. Such sign relationship between planets is called MUTUAL
RECEPTION. Observation indicates that the departments of life ruled by houses
occupied by planets thus in mutual reception tend markedly to assist each other.
Planets do not need to be in aspect with each other to be in MUTUAL RECEPTION.
The power, harmony or discord of any birth-chart or progressed planet, aspect, sign
or house can be precisely calculated. Explanation of how to make These calculations
is given in Course XVI, Stellar Healing But here only certain comparisons will be
made. Power is measured in astrodynes, harmony in harmodynes, and discord is
discordynes. Planets in MUTUAL RECEPTION gain ½ the harmony given neutral
planets when in an angle and making he perfect trine.
It has experimentally been determined that a planet not only sets up vibrations in the
sign it occupies, but also in certain other signs. These special signs are so
sympathetically tuned to the planet that hey vibrate to it no matter where it is located.
They are keyed to the tone of the planet, and respond to its vibrations, much as a
musical instrument keyed to a particular tone will respond to that tone when struck on
another instrument, even when the other instrument is at a distance.
These signs that persistently transmit the vibrations of a given planet, whether or not
the planet is in them, are said to be Ruled by that planet. When the planet is in one of
these signs it Rules, it is said to be at HOME.
The sign that a planet rules transmits easily the constructive characteristics of the
planet when the planet is in it. A planet at HOME thus gains the harmony given
neutral planets when in a succedent house and making the perfect semi-sextile. When
a planet is in the sign opposite its home, which is called its DETRIMENT, it thus
gains ½ the discord given neutral planets when in a succedent house and making the
The vibratory quality of the signs ruled by a planet is markedly influenced by any
modification in the vibration of the planet. If it sounds from some other sign that does
not permit harmonious expression, this discord is also called out in the signs ruled by
the planet. That is, the signs ruled by a planet respond to the vibrations that actually
reach them. and these vibrations are given a harmonious or a discordant trend, not
merely by the aspects of the planet, but also by the sign in which the planet is located
When a planet is not in the sign, but rules the sign, and the sign is on the cusp of a
house, the sign through resonance gains ½ the planet’s power, harmony or discord.
If the sign is not on the cusp of a house, but is an intercepted sign, it gains through
resonance ¼ the planet’s power, harmony or discord.
The most refined influence exerted by a planet however, is not when it is at home, but
when in another sign which not only permits it to express its energy fully, but which
due to the peculiar quality of its astral substance, lends itself particularly to the
expression of the finer and more intense vibrations of the planetary tone. This other
sign, which only transmits the planet’s vibrations strongly when the planet is in it, vet
which lends itself singularly to the highest expression of the planet’s qualities, is
called the planet’s EXALTATION. A planet in its exaltation thus gains ½ the
harmony given neutral planets when in a succedent house and making the perfect
sextile. When a planet is in the sign opposite its exaltation, which is called its FALL,
it thus gains the discord given a neutral planet in a cadent house and making the
The ancients held that there is also a particular degree in the Sign of Exaltation in
which the planet exerts a better influence than in any other degree of the zodiac.
Modern observation tends to confirm his. When a planet is in this particular degree
which is called its DEGREE OF EXALTATION, it gains ½ the harmony given
neutral planets when in a succedent house and making the perfect trine. When a
planet is in the degree opposite its degree of exaltation, which is called its DEGREE
OF FALL, it thus gains the discord given neutral planets when in a succedent house
and making the perfect semi-square.
There is also another sign in which a planet gains a little harmony, but only half as
much as when at home. This sign is called its HARMONY. A planet in the sign of its
harmony thus gains ½ the harmony given neutral planets when in a succedent house
and making the perfect semi-sextile. When a planet is in the sign opposite its
harmony, which is called its INHARMONY, it thus gains ¼ the discord given
neutral planets when in succedent houses and making the perfect semi-square.
By his general knowledge of the nature of each planet and each sign, the student
becomes able approximately to determine the harmony or discord of a planet in any
sign; for as a rule a planet is harmonious in a sign the nature of which is similar to its
own, and discordant in a sign having dissimilar characteristics. But as this has been
experimentally ascertained by others, it is well to memorize the signs in which each
planet has its Home, Exaltation, Harmony, and also its Degree of Exaltation. From
these the Detriment, Fall, Inharmony, and Degree of Fall can be ascertained by using
the opposite factor in the zodiac. This harmony or discord of a planet due to being
able to express its own true nature by occupying a sign or degree which forms a
favorable or unfavorable sounding board for transmitting its vibrations is called the
planet’s ESSENTIAL DIGNITY. The table at the front of this lesson (page 34) gives
the Essential Dignities of the planets, and should be well memorized.
3. The Third Requisite for judging any horoscope is to determine the Power, or
Volume, or Quantity of force exerted by each planet in the chart. Each planet always
vibrates to one particular tone, or Key; the Quality, or resonance being determined by
the Sign it occupies; and the other harmony or discord depending largely upon the
aspects it makes. Each aspect it makes increases its Power, which also is markedly
influenced by the direction from which its stream of energy reaches the point on earth
for which the chart is erected.
The reason the astral energy flowing from a planet does not reach all points on the
earth in equal volume is probably due to the amount and density, as well as :he
movement, of the earth’s astral substance it must penetrate. Relative to the Sun’s
position, the astral substance of the earth has areas of different pressure, or density,
even as there are regions of different density in the earth’s atmosphere caused by the
sun. The trade winds, for instance, are an example of such sun-produced different
It is as if the earth were an auditorium into which the vibrations of the planets must
penetrate from the outside; and that at regular intervals there were open doors, at
other intervals small windows, and at other places thick walls, through which the
planetary tones must pass. The twelve sections, or areas of different astral densities
about the earth, called Mundane Houses, have been explained fully in Course 2, Chapter 3.
While the type of harmony or discord called the Quality of the planetary energy
depends upon the Sign it is in, and the other harmony or discord, aside from that
derived from the essential nature of the planet, depends upon the type of Aspects it
makes, the Power, quantity or amount of energy it exerts depends upon the Aspects it
makes and the Houses of the horoscope it occupies. All the planets pass through all
the houses of a horoscope in the interval of 24 hours; but they remain days, and some
of them many years, in each zodiacal sign. This house position of a planet, because of
its short duration, is technically spoken of as its accidental station. Thus the Volume,
or lack of it, due to a planet’s position by House is called its ACCIDENTAL
This Volume of energy exerted by a planet in each of the 12 Mundane Houses has
been determined experimentally. As a general rule–the rule being handed down
from ancient times–any planet in an Angular House exerts a Very Powerful
influence, any planet in a Succedent House exerts only Average influence by power,
and any planet in a Cadent House exerts Very Feeble power. But experience proves
there are exceptions to this rule. Nevertheless, it will be found that an Angular House
is more powerful than the Succedent, and a Succedent than a Cadent, House of its
own quadrant of the Heavens.
The Power of a planet in any of the angles is greater than in any of the other houses,
without exception; and the nearer a planet is to the Cusp of a house the more Power it
exerts in that house. The most powerful houses for a planet are the 1st and 10th
houses. The volume of energy received from a planet in either of these houses is
about the same. Next in volume of energy is the 7th house; and the feeblest of the
angles is the 4th house. A planet in an Angle may always be considered VERY
Next in Power are the 11th, 8th, 9th, and 12th, in the order named. A planet in the 8th
or 12th has a less fortunate trend, as a rule, than if in the 9th or 11th, but we are here
considering the Volume of Force, not its ability to attract fortunate events. A planet in
the 11th, 8th, 9th or 12th house of the horoscope may always be considered
The 2nd house is somewhat more powerful than the 3rd, but planets in the 2nd and
3rd houses should always be considered FEEBLE.
The 6th house is the feeblest position in the entire chart, the 5th house having little
more volume. Planets in the 5th or 6th houses of a chart, aside from their aspects, are
The table on at the front of this lesson (page 34) gives the ACCIDENTAL DIGNITIES
of planets when found in the various houses of a horoscope.
4. The Fourth Requisite for judging any horoscope is to determine to what extent
each planet’s rays are harmonious or discordant, and in what particular way the
harmony or discord manifests. The essential nature of the four of the 10 planets, and
:he essential dignity of each planet, contributes to this; but the chief factors are the
aspects the planet makes. In Course 1, Chapter 3 it is fully explained how the streams of
astral force from the planets converging at definite angles set up vortices, or whirls,
of astral substance, and thus–as does the outer-plane weather –affect life These
whirls are produced only when the streams of force converge approximately at
certain angles. And the nature of the whirl produced by streams of planetary force
meeting at one angle is different from the whirl produced by planetary streams
meeting at other angles. These angles, from which planetary energies meeting are
known to produce whirls of a definite character, are called ASPECTS.
The aspects which have a proved effect are ten in number, and are mentioned in
Course 2, Chapter 3. It is found that rays of planetary force converging
at half a right angle, a right angle (90°), a right angle and a half, and twice
a right angle, produce whirls in astral substance that are decidedly destructive in
nature, but that the momentum of the whirl is different in each of these aspects, and
consequently the destructive forces operate differently.
It is found that rays of planetary force meeting at a trine (120°), a half trine, and
one-fourth of a trine, produce whirls in astral substance that are constructive in
nature; but the modes of constructive activity differ with each aspect.
As do all the mentioned aspects the other three–conjunction, inconjunct and
parallel–add Power to the planetary force of the planets involved, but so far as
harmony or discord is concerned they are neutral. Of themselves they are neither
constructive nor destructive.
It might seem, from a cursory examination of the subject, as planets move north and
south of the ecliptic, or path of the sun, that in calculating aspects this celestial
latitude should be considered and the angle of the aspect determined upon a spherical
basis. So to determine the aspects would make necessary a trigonometrical
calculation for all planets not having the same North or South Latitude.
Experience proves, however, that the latitude of a planet–its distance from the
ecliptic–need not be considered in calculating aspects. The ecliptic, or path of the
sun, is the place of polarization in the field of force of our solar system; and planetary
vibrations tend to travel parallel to the plane of the ecliptic rather than to cut across it
diagonally. Therefore, the Zodiacal Degree or Degree of Declination which a planet
occupies always indicates the direction in the heavens from which its vibrations
reach a given spot, and all aspects, with the exception of the parallel, should be
calculated from Zodiacal longitude, without regard to celestial latitude. The parallel
disregards celestial latitude, but it is calculated from the declination, which is the
distance from the celestial equator. This rule applies to Progressed Aspects as well as
to aspects in the birth-chart.
I. A Conjunction is the aspect formed when two planets are approximately in the
same degree of the zodiac. It is one of the three most potent aspects. The rays of astral
energy radiated by the planets in conjunction travel almost identically the same path,
each making it easier for the energy of the other fully to manifest. Thousands of
charts analyzed by The Church of Light Research Department indicate there is no
real basis for the teaching of some writers regarding either a planet “Combust” or a
planet “Cazimi.” Instead, the closer the planet is to a perfect conjunction with the
Sun, the more its characteristics manifest. Jupiter or Venus always adds harmony to a
planet in conjunction with it; and Saturn or Mars always adds discord to a planet in
conjunction with it. But whether for good or ill, a conjunction always gives more
power to both planets involved, and makes the things signified by each a prominent
A planet is combust when it is within 8° 30′ of the Sun. According to some writers,
when a planet is combust its influence is burnt up and destroyed, and it is considered
to be a great affliction, the planet being weakened. They also say that a planet
“Cazimi” is greatly strengthened. A planet is cazimi when it is within 17′ of the Sun’s
center. As the disc of the Sun occupies approximately half a degree, a planet cazimi
sends its rays to the earth along lines quite identical with those of the Sun insofar as
the zodiacal degree occupied is concerned, and the result would be some power. But
we have never found a planet’s influence to be weakened by being in conjunction
with the Sun. On the contrary, we have found that a planet in conjunction with the
Sun invariably exerts a stronger influence in a birth-chart than when not aspecting the
When any planet is in conjunction with the Sun we have found it thus becomes a
strong factor in molding the life and character of the person then born. As Mercury is
never over 28° from the Sun, it is in combust in about one-fourth of all charts, and in a
degree of combustion in about one-third of them. Venus is never more than 48° from
the Sun, and as a consequence is combust in at least one-seventh of all charts, and in a
degree of combustion in about one-third of them. We do not think any planet is
weakened by being near the Sun, and point to the charts of Theodore Roosevelt,
Thomas A. Edison, Louis Pasteur, Ewart Wm. Gladstone
and Dr. Alfred Russel Wallace as examples picked at random who
have Mercury combust in their birth-charts. Innumerable other birth-charts can be
given of those with unusual brilliant minds who have Mercury combust.
The fortune or misfortune signified by a conjunction, either in the birth-chart or by
progression usually is largely the result of the person’s own character and actions
than that of the compelling force of environment beyond his control. The one word
that best expresses the most pronounced influence of a Conjunction is
II. A Semi-Sextile is the aspect formed when two planets are approximately 30
zodiacal degrees apart. This is a feeble harmonious aspect. Its constructive whirl
manifests as a mildly benefic cooperation between the things signified by the two
planets. It does not bring favors without effort, nor does it signify unusual abilities. It
indicates rather those opportunities that are not obvious, but which can be created
through initiative, and slowly developed and expanded into something worth while.
It signifies abilities and opportunities which are largely overlooked by less
successful people, which are nevertheless present, but require a large amount of
energy directed to them to bring them to fruition. Whatever good is signified by the
semi-sextile, either in the birth chart or by progression, requires careful cultivation to
bring it out, and is a matter of gradual expansion. The one word that best expresses
the most pronounced influence of a Semi-Sextile is GROWTH.
III. A Sextile is the aspect formed when two planets are approximately 60 zodiacal
degrees apart. This is a quite harmonious aspect. Its constructive energy manifests as
adaptation to environment; there being such ability and opportunity as are signified
by the two planets. It does not point to favors forced upon one, but both the ability to
acquire the things signified and the opportunity to do so. The sextile aspect does not
place fortune, health, fame and love in one’s lap without effort; but it denotes a happy
co-operation between the abilities of the individual and the opportunities that present
themselves whereby if he applies himself he may attain favors signified by the
planets.Whatever good is signified by the sextile, either in the birth-chart or by progression,
requires that opportunities be grasped as they present themselves; for if not quickly
utilized they soon will pass and be beyond recall. The one word which best expresses
the most pronounced influence of a Sextile is OPPORTUNITY.
IV. A Square is the aspect formed when two planets are approximately 90 zodiacal
degrees apart. This is a quite discordant aspect. The destructive energy of this astral
maelstrom acts in a violent manner. Uncontrolled, it manifests in harsh, rash,
explosive bursts of energy that tend to tear up and destroy all it contacts. It signifies
in much the same manner as the conjunction and parallel, except that it has less force.
Its strength is the same as the semi-sextile.
The obstacles it brings when Saturn or Mars are involved are not too difficult to
surmount, and the opportunities it brings when Jupiter or Venus are involved require
initiative to make much of them. Either in the birth-chart or by progression, the evil
denoted by an inconjunct is easily converted into an advantage, and the good it
signifies must be cultivated to prove of value. The aspect itself has the tendency to
bring the things denoted by the two planets into some prominence, but to force them
apart rather than together. The one word that best expresses the most pronounced
influence of an Inconjunct is EXPANSION.
VII. A Semi-Square is the aspect formed when two planets are approximately 45
zodiacal degrees apart. This is a moderately discordant aspect. The destructive
denoted manifests as uncertainty and vacillation. It sets up oscillations between the
things denoted by the two planets. In human life it causes anxiety, hesitation, worry,
criticism and many recurring abrasions, rather than cataclysmic disruptions. The evil
it signifies is usually due to the cumulative effect of the little discords in the
Either in the birth-chart or by progression, it tends toward changes. The discord it
attracts, however, may usually be turned to advantage by overlooking the small
annoyances and using them as spurs to greater effort. The one word that best
expresses the most pronounced influence of a Semi-Square is FRICTION.
VIII. An Opposition is the aspect formed when two planets are approximately 180
zodiacal degrees apart. Though acting in a less cataclysmic manner than the square,
because of its persistence and power, this is usually considered the Worst aspect. The
energies of the two planets, when so situated, meet each other head-on, and refusing
to mingle, boil back along the lines from which they came. The result is that the
qualities of both planets are brought into great prominence, even as they are in the
conjunction. Consequently the greatest abilities that men possess are mapped by the
conjunction and the opposition. The opposition confers the quality of each of the two
planets in maximum degree; and because of this a majority of the great names of
history have oppositions in their birth-charts.
Great men invariably have great opposition to overcome or they would not be
considered great. The opposition aspect attracts this. There is a constant antagonism
between the things represented by the two planets. This constant struggle for
supremacy between the two planets does not act abruptly, nor in acute crises like the
square aspect, but develops slowly and unrelentingly. It has an inexorable quality.
The issue cannot be avoided. A choice must be made between one of the two
opposing factors, and this choice involves the necessity of losing one of them.
This disintegrative action proceeds slowly and inflexibly, and invariably tends to
separate completely the things denoted by the planets. Either in the birth-chart or by
progression, the opposition signifies conditions more immediately forced upon one
by environment and apparently beyond control, that makes the choice of one thing a
necessity for renouncing another apparently desirable thing. It is a slow, inflexible
rending asunder. The one word that best expresses the most pronounced influence of
an Opposition is SEPARATION.
IX. A Sesqui-Square is the aspect formed when two planets are approximately 135
zodiacal degrees apart. This is a moderately discordant aspect, equal in strength to
the semi-square. The energy of this discordant aspect has not the force of the square,
or does it signify circumstances so important or antagonistic. Its action usually is to
break up existing conditions rather suddenly, and thus pave the way for effort along
somewhat different lines.
It acts in quite sharp and disruptive intervals. It calls for more decision than the
semi-square, but is not so persistent and long drawn out. Either in the birth-chart or
by progression, it signifies changes, either mental or physical, of a nature indicated
by the planets; but these changes usually can be made an asset if accepted gracefully,
for they open up new conditions. The word that best expresses the most pronounced
influence of a Sesqui-Square is AGITATION.
X. The Parallel is the aspect formed when two planets occupy approximately the
same degree of Declination, either both North or both South, or when one is North
and the other is South of the celestial equator. This is the only aspect considered in the
Hermetic System of Astrology which is not calculated by degrees in the zodiac. Even
as the zodiac is divided by the equinoctial colure into positive and negative polarity,
so in a somewhat similar manner the Equator divides our stellar auditorium, the astral
substance immediately surrounding the earth, into positive and negative halves.
When two planets are an equal distance from the equator, either north or south, they
set up synchronous vibrations within the earth’s astral substance that have an effect
somewhat like those produced by a conjunction in the zodiacal signs. That is, they
tend to facilitate the manifestation of the full tones of both.
Jupiter and Venus will make any planet with which it is parallel more fortunate, and
Saturn or Mars will make any planet with which it is parallel more unfortunate. The
parallel from any of the other six planets increases the power, commensurate with the
conjunction, but does not appreciably affect its harmony or discord. A birth-chart or
progressed parallel may express through the house of the chart ruled by either of the
planets involved in the parallel. But usually at the time there are other aspects
present, even though these other aspects may involve planets not ruling the house
The influence of a parallel is not so precise nor so well defined as a conjunction. In its
manifestation it is slower in development and more easily converted into energy of
some other trend. Either in the birthchart or by progression, the parallel signifies
qualities and conditions that develop slowly and that give gradual force to the things
signified by the two planets. The one word that best expresses the most pronounced
influence of a Parallel is INTENSITY.
The particular kind of a whirl in astral substance produced by each of the 10 aspects is
most perfect in its form, and manifests its own peculiar kind of energy in strongest
degree, when the aspect is the exact number of degrees designated for each. A whirl
of a given design in water, air, electromagnetic field, or astral substance, however, is
not the product of currents meeting at one single angle, any more than the color red is
the product of a single number of vibrations in the electromagnetic field per second.
There is a limited range of vibrations all producing what we call red, though of
different shades, until they finally merge into another color.
The expression of a given aspect is strongest and clearest when the aspect is perfect,
but the aspect will still manifest its peculiar energy, though less distinctly, as the
number of degrees recedes from the perfect aspect, until its own distinctive kind of
energy shades into that of the next aspect. With an occasional exception, such as
when a powerful trine overrides and dominates a not too precise sesqui-square
between adjacent aspects there is a space where the tendency to form one kind of
whirl is neutralized by the tendency to produce another kind; just as in colors certain
rates of vibration produce a shade that makes it difficult to say whether it is red or
orange, being a blend of both.
It has been determined through exhaustive research how many degrees removed
from the perfect aspect that an aspect manifests its own kind of energy with sufficient
distinctness to have an appreciable effect upon life. The number of degrees away
from the perfect aspect that a planet manifests even a slightly characteristic quality of
the aspect is called its orb of influence, or merely ORB.
Not only do progressed aspects have a much more limited orb, but there is a marked
difference in the way they operate at the margin of the orb. A great deal of research
demonstrated that the orb of any progressed aspect is one degree from the perfect
aspect, and that at the outer limit of this one degree orb the aspect has ½ the power it
has when perfect; but that in a birth-chart aspect the influence tapers off gradually
from its peak power, when perfect, to no power at the outer margin of its orb.
One of the most important, and at the same time most difficult, considerations in
every judgment from a horoscope is that of Orb of Influence. It may be well enough
to say that as a general rule an orb of 5 degrees either way from a planet should be
allowed; but students who use the full 5 degrees for the semi-sextiles in feeble
houses, and limit the orb of influence to 5 degrees in oppositions from angular houses
will find their judgment sadly at fault. They will never be able to render that fine
discrimination that takes the science from the realm of broad generalities and gives to
it the nicety and precision that are he marks of expert craftsmanship.
The table at the front of this lesson (page 35) gives the Orb of Influence of each of the aspects
when formed from succedent houses, from angular houses, and from cadent houses. It is the
result of more than 50 years’ experience judging horoscopes and the collaboration of the
Research Department of The Church of Light.
The student need not memorize this table, but should commit the following
considerations to memory: Under average circumstances an orb of 2° is right for the
semi-sextile and inconjunct between planets, and 3° when Sun or Moon is party to
the aspect. For semi-square and sesqui-square, allow an orb of 4° for the planets, and
5° when Sun or Moon is party to the aspect. For the sextile, allow an orb of 6°
between planets, and 7° when Sun or Moon is party to the aspect. For the square and
trine, allow an orb of 8° for the planets, and 10° when the Sun or Moon is party to the
aspect. For the conjunction and opposition, allow an orb of 10° between the planets,
and 13° when the Sun or Moon is party to the aspect. For the parallel, an orb of 1° is
As the volume of a planet’s stream of energy reaching a given spot depends upon the
house position, the student will find that he must allow a slightly larger orb when one
or more of the aspecting planets occupies a powerful house, and an orb slightly less
when both planets occupy feeble houses. The orb allowed should be that of the planet
with most power due to being a luminary or occupying a powerful house.
It should be memorized that for the conjunction, opposition, square or trine, when the
planets, one or both are in angles, 2° should be added to the average orb given; and
when neither of the planets is in an angle or succedent house, but both are in cadent
houses, 2° should be subtracted from the given orb. With the sextile, semi-sextile,
semi-square, sesqui-square and inconjunct, when one of the planets occupies an
angle, 1° should be added to the average orb given, and when both are in cadent
houses, 1° should be subtracted from the average orb.
Calculating All the Aspects that occur between the planets in any chart is a very
simple matter when undertaken in a systematic manner. An example of this is given
in Chapter 3. Always start with the aspects of the Sun, as most important, than those
of Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, in
the order given in Table II at the front of Chapter 1. The aspects must
always be calculated the shortest distance between the planets, and never in the
contrary direction from that usually followed by the planets as they move through the
zodiac. Always calculate from the planet that will enable you to count ahead in the
natural order of the zodiacal signs, as it is the number of zodiacal degrees apart and
not the number of houses that make an aspect.
Planets Occupying Approximately
the Same Degree of Any Sign Are
Always in Aspect
–If they are in adjacent signs they are semi-sextile, if two signs part they are sextile,
if three signs they are square, if four signs apart they are trine, if five signs apart hey
are inconjunct. Movable signs are always in square or opposition to each other, and
taken collectively are known as the Movable Cross. Fixed signs are always in square
or opposition to each other, and taken collectively are known as the Fixed Cross.
Mutable signs are always in square or opposition to each other, and taken collectively
are known as the Mutable Cross. When two planets are in approximately the same
degree of one cross they are conjunction, opposition, or square.
When two planets thus are in opposition and a third planet is square to both, it is
called a T-square. Such a combination maps much energy, which if not diverted
When two planets in opposition are both square to two other planets in opposition,
thus making a complete cross, it is called a Grand Square. This is he most malefic
combination that can occur in a chart.
The signs of any one element are always in trine, and when two planets occupy
approximately the same degree of different signs of the same element, or triplicity,
they are always in trine. When both of the two planets which make a trine to each
other are also trine to a third planet, so that approximately an equilateral triangle is
formed, it is called a Grand Trine. This is the most benefic combination that can
occur in a chart.
Conjunctions always occur when planets are adjacent, and parallels when they
occupy approximately the same degree of declination. A glance will reveal any of the
above aspects and combinations.
The Only Aspects Difficult For
The Beginner To Perceive
–These are the semi-square and the sesqui-square. The degree occupied by a planet
forming either of these aspects must always be approximately half a sign more than
that occupied by the planet counted from. Therefore add 15° to the place of the first
planet and notice if any other planet occupies approximately this degree in any other
sign, not overlooking the fact that a planet in the last degree of one sign may be
approximately in the same degree as a planet in the first degree of another sign.
When a planet is found in such a place, notice if it is in a sign that is either a sign and a
half, or four signs and a half, distant. If the former, it is a semisquare. If the latter, it is
a sesqui-square. But if it is two signs and a half, three signs and a half, or five signs
and a half, distant, it is in a position of little consequence and should be neglected.