Transit and Synastry Essentials Versus the Extras

Credit: mabel123 via iStockphoto

Credit: mabel123 via iStockphoto

With all the planets, angles, Nodes, asteroids and various parts and points to consider, astrological interpretation can be overwhelming. What do you look at first? Does one influence cancel out another? Not all synastry connections and transits carry the same weight. Understanding the levels of importance is crucial to understanding what will have a major impact, and what will act as a footnote.

The Basics

Always start with the planets. Always. It doesn’t matter how pronounced your natal Juno is, or how many aspects there are to your Part of Fortune. Planets are the building blocks of interpretation. Your Sun (ego and life’s purpose) and Moon (essential needs) are the most significant, followed by the ruler of your Ascendant (which defines your identity) and (in varying order) Mercury, Venus and Mars. These are personal planets: they represent you, as an individual. Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto are outer planets: they represent the themes of the collective, as experienced by you. For the most part, aspects to personal planets are felt more strongly because their energies are immediate and intimate. For example, transiting Saturn conjunct your Venus will define or restrict your relationships. This will dominate, even if transiting Jupiter (expansion) is squaring your natal Neptune. The big Neptune dreams will still be felt, but Saturn’s restraining influence on your Venus will be the primary theme. The one exception to this is your Ascendent ruler: aspects to this planet will be emphasized even if it’s an outer planet.

To read the rest of this article you must purchase a Lifetime All-Access Membership, which allows you to view the entirety of Sasstrology’s archives for a one-time fee of $12.

All horoscopes and forecasts will always be free to the public. New articles are only viewable to the public for 30 days after publication.

Buy Now or read more.

All-Access Members, log in here.

Related Posts:

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. Thanks for the article laying out the order of importance of influences. For a long time I didn’t include feminine asteroid contacts in synastry, since I thought they watered things down too much, and may have made a relationship seem more significant than it actually was. Even now I use tight orbs with asteroids, and only use conjunctions and oppositions, though I might change that if I see a reason to.

    One quick general question. If you have a inner-outer planet contact in your natal chart, say, Venus square Neptune, and you meet someone born within a year of you who has Neptune near yours, which would obviously aspect your natal Venus, is this considered a significant contact? You already have the energy in your natal chart, so I can’t imagine it’s anything new for you, and for the partner it’s an outer planet, so unless Neptune rules the AC or DC, or are otherwise considerably tuned into the energy, I would imagine they might not feel it much. Just wondering. Something I’ve been unsure of for a while…

  2. Nice refresher article. Thank you.

    All other things being equal, is an aspect to the “AC” stronger than an aspect to “AC ruler” or vice versa?

  3. TheCountess says:

    In terms of the 7H ruler to ascendant combinations for compatibility, are squares still bad news? And if so, can that be balanced out by a conjunction in one of the other combinations? For example, my 7h ruler squares his Asc (loosely) but my 7h ruler conjuncts his 7h ruler. And then we just have a sextile asc to asc.

  4. TheCountess says:

    Correction: asc to asc is a semi square 🙁

  5. @magiczara
    they would emphasize your Venus/Neptune issues, but so would anyone else in that generation. Then again, you’re not forming an intimate relationship with everyone else in that generation.

  6. @marion
    aspect to the AC itself is stronger.

  7. @TheCountess
    any aspect from 7H ruler to AC is preferable over no aspect at all. At least there’s something to work with if there’s an aspect, even if it’s challenging. Squares create tension, but tension creates interest.

  8. Thanks for such a fantastic article, Nadia. Explains it really clearly. I’ve heard that any angle rulers conunct are also very significant in synastry.

  9. He and I have lots of angle to angle communication. Whats the point? He is married :-(, at best sex on the side, who wants that!

    So, my DC ruler Jupiter -conjunct with my moon, sits smack on his DC, his Neptune sits there too!

    My MC ruler conjunct my Vesta is conjunct his asc ruler Venus also in 7H!
    His Venus also squares my MC IC.

    His Pluto, his DC ruler squares my ASC tightly!

    My AC + IC ruler Mercury is conjunct his IC ruler Sun, albeit widely, in my 7H

  10. @Tan
    You’re welcome. Yes, all angle rulers are significant, but the AC/DC rulers pack more of a punch in romantic relationships (in my experience).

  11. A few questions about falls within or outside the scope of essential and extras: what is your opinion about tight quincunx conjunctions between an outer planet to the n node and the ascendant to a sun/moon midpoint?

    Finally, partner’s jupiter, ascendant ruler, is in cancer (my ascendant sign). My jupiiter is conjunct my nadir. Both jupiters are in sextile. And, like him, my ascendant ruler, the moon, is also in the 8th. Essential, extra, meh?

  12. @Gem
    Quincunx between outer planet and NN: essential, especially if the outer planet is personalized in the planet person’s chart

    AC to Sun/Moon midpoint: as important as any planetary contact to the MP

    Jupiters sextile: not meh, but not quite an essential. Certainly positive and will add strength to the relationship (buoyancy). If your AC ruler were also Jupiter I would say it would be essential.

Feel free to leave a comment below, or scroll down a bit to comment using your Facebook identity. If you want to avoid having to enter your name and email every time you post, create an account. If you already have an account, login and you will be redirected back to this page.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.