The Missing Piece: When Someone Completes Your Natal T-Square

Sometimes a person’s planets combine with your planets to create (seemingly) insurmountable relationship challenges. But actually, that person is the missing piece of your puzzle. Case in point is if you have a natal T-Square: two planets in opposition, and both squaring a third (the focal planet). If your partner’s planet opposes your focal planet, a Grand Cross is created between the two of you. That’s a whole lot of tension (a giant square with two oppositions inside it). However, this is actually one of the stronger synastric connections.

Let’s start by breaking down the T-Square. Melanie’s Saturn (rules and limits) opposes her Neptune (dreams and illusions). The tension between reality (Saturn) and fantasy (Neptune) is pronounced in her life. Neptune and Saturn both square Mars, the focal planet. Her actions (Mars) are undermined by dreams, or blocked by restrictions/fears. She either chases after illusions, or gives up in frustration because everything is overwhelming.

Melanie meets Ahmed, whose Sun (ego and purpose) opposes her Mars. Rather than cranking up her tension even more, Ahmed seems to reassure Melanie. Yes, his Sun is being hit by awkward squares from her Saturn/Neptune opposition. But the key with a T-Square is that the missing piece (the house and sign that oppose the focal planet) functions as the solution. And Ahmed’s Sun fills in that missing piece.

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Related: If It Were Only So Simple: The Dreaded T-Square

About Nadia Gilchrist

Nadia Gilchrist offers over 19 years of experience in astrology. Her writings and personal consultations focus on applying practical astrological analysis to the real world. Nadia blogs regularly at Ruby Slipper Astrology.


  1. What if they have a mutable grand cross already ( but out of sign so does that make it just two T squares?) and you plug into it by conjuncting both ends of one of their oppositions. Just as binding and felt that way for both of you?

  2. Oops, hit post too soon. What if you also plug into a natal grand trine. Easy energy to mitigate the grand cross scenario above? Thanks for the interesting article!

  3. My husband’s sun completes my Jupiter/Saturn/Uranus t-square. His sun is in Capricorn and he provides stability and endurance to this otherwise crappy t-square. I don’t have any Capricorn in my chart and I have Saturn in detriment, in Cancer. His Saturn energy is just what I need to balance these planets. Great post.

  4. My Gemini and I have this. His Jupiter in my 1H 7 deg cap opposes his mars/my sun exact in cancer in my 7H and his Venus at 4 deg cancer. Those planets are squared in libra with his moon/Uranus and my mars at 12 degrees in my 9H but close to my MC (18 degrees libra.)

  5. Are squares to the nodes similar to this in synastry? My NN/SN at 13 degrees cancer/cap are squares by his moon/Uranus at 12 and 13 degrees libra and his NN/SN at 27 deg Capricorn/cancer are squared by my moon at 28 libra and Pluto at 24 libra.

  6. @Leo
    If it’s out of sign I don’t count it as part of the configuration. If you plug into their Grand Trine, it will make things easier. The trine will act as an outlet for the tension of the T Square.

  7. @K
    Thank you. 🙂

  8. @Acquagal
    Squares to the Nodes are a different issue. If you look in the archives, you’ll find an article I wrote on this topic (What Happens When You Meet your Skipped Step). But the end result can be just as binding.

  9. Hi Nadia,

    Can the missing piece be a point rather than a planet as well? What would it be like when it is North Node or Vertex?

    Also, can someone’s planet trine and sextile the opposition thereby creating a half rectangle supporting the T square, rather than squaring it.

    Thank you

  10. Ana Maria Oliveira says:

    Hi, I almost thought that you were tlaking about me! 🙂 The same planets, same houses but in my case Saturn in Aquarius, 11nd House is the focal point. My Saturn is in conjunction with my South Node squaring Mars Taurus 2nd and Neptune Scorpio 8th. So, I know that the answer is in my 5th house NN Leo… But what is the question that my Saturn asks (like tmy he Mars in your example)? It’s whats is my responsability to myself? It has to do with being able to give expression to my criativity, to play, not being so serious and not afraid of expressing fun, receive pleasure, sharing emotions and warm feelings (also have the moon in Leo, but in 6th house conjunction with Uranus, ruler of the 11House). Can you tell me?
    I have to say also that I like very much Leos, and my last partner was a Leo, and he makes me feel happy, it was a relationship full of laught, play, adventure. A big challenge also, but when I think of it I remenber him always with a smile in my lips.

  11. Thanks Nadia for another great insightful article.
    Have you written (or if not, could you please write) about “out of sign aspects” you mention above.?
    I know some people consider them, and you and others don’t.
    Obviously the energy between the signs differs from that of the corresponding in-sign aspect, but what of the energy represented by the aspect angle (which might have a very tight orb) ? ie When is a square not a square?

  12. @Marion
    The missing piece is most noticeable if it’s a planet. Trining or sextiling the opposition will be felt very mildly, if it’s felt at all by the T Square person.

  13. @Ana Maria Oliveira
    11th House Saturn conjunct SN would be about letting go of habitual limits/fears regarding your relationship to the group. So the question would be…how can you “be”, out in public, and maintain your authority but not cut yourself off from, as you said…creativity/fun. Your 5th House NN actually completes your T-Square, so it’s your answer.

  14. @melcom
    I did write an article that touches on this idea…”The Myth of the Cusp”. It’s not the same topic but the theme is similar; the dividing line between signs. But let me run that idea by Jeff…see what he says about an article on out of sign aspects.

  15. Aries Scary Squares says:

    Hello. I have Moon(22) Jupiter(23) Gemini, Pluto & Uranus (both 16) Virgo, Saturn(22) Mercury(24) Pisces. My Partner has Saturn(1) Capricorn and Moon & Jupiter (both 0) Sagittarius. Which would be the missing piece of my T-Square, how would it help, and does my partner deserve a medal? Thanks for your insight.


  16. Very interesting!
    Have u ever seen Grand Crosses forming on a composite chart? I have this with the love of my life.

    Cancer Sun (and Mercury) opposite Capricorn Neptune…. and Libra Mars opposite Aries Jupiter. I have read (like you mentioned in your article) that it isn’t so good… it is all red lines after all!! But the fact the they’re Cardinal signs gives me hope.

  17. @Aries Scary Squares
    The missing piece would be whatever sign/degree is opposite the focal planet in your T Square. But it doesn’t look like any of your partner’s planets would fill in that missing piece, since the degrees you’ve listed for your partner are so far out of orb to you degrees (I don’t see any of their planets opposing yours). Plus, your partner’s Saturn in Capricorn is not in a Mutable sign (it looks like you have a Mutable T Square).

  18. @Regina
    Yes, I’ve see Grand Crosses in composite charts. Those can also be quite binding.

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