Inconjuncts in Synastry: Agree to Disagree

Credit: ATIC12 via iStockphoto

Credit: ATIC12 via iStockphoto

No aspect is more frustrating than the inconjunct (or quincunx). This tense 150-degree angle links two signs that have absolutely nothing in common. Each sign is in a different element (fire, earth, water, air), a different modality (cardinal, fixed, mutable), and a different polarity (positive and negative). And yet, when two planets (five signs apart) fall within orb of the inconjunct, they connect even though they have zero understanding of each other. The result is a struggle between unrelated energies that have no way of finding a middle ground. This is difficult enough to handle by transit or in the natal chart, but imagine if you have to deal with this aspect in synastry.

Here are the signs that inconjunct each other:

  • Aries inconjuncts Virgo and Scorpio
  • Taurus inconjuncts Libra and Sagittarius
  • Gemini inconjuncts Scorpio and Capricorn
  • Cancer inconjuncts Sagittarius and Aquarius
  • Leo inconjuncts Capricorn and Pisces
  • Virgo inconjuncts Aries and Aquarius
  • Libra inconjuncts Taurus and Pisces
  • Scorpio inconjuncts Aries and Gemini
  • Sagittarius inconjuncts Taurus and Cancer
  • Capricorn inconjuncts Gemini and Leo
  • Aquarius inconjuncts Cancer and Virgo
  • Pisces inconjuncts Leo and Libra

I use very tight orbs for inconjuncts: no more than two degrees. This aspect can be formed with planets, angles, Nodes or asteroids.

An inconjunct between two people is an area of misunderstanding. Unlike the opposition, you can’t find the common ground between your objectives, because there is no common ground. Unlike the square, you can’t harness the tension, because the tension of the inconjunct is a slippery, moving target; you have one way of dealing with it and your partner’s way undermines or blocks you. How much the inconjunct impacts a couple depends on how prominent the natal planets or points are in each chart. The effects can range from mild irritation to a major stumbling block.

The key to handling a synastric inconjunct is to accept the following:

  • Adjustment is required from both partners.
  • There will never be a neat solution.
  • The promise of a solution is what keeps you coming back for more.

A Synastric Inconjunct in Action

Ms. Venus has Libra Rising. Her chart ruler (Venus) is in her 2nd House of security, in Scorpio. Venus is a major player in her chart, because it describes her identity and how she loves. Venus’ 2nd House Scorpio placement means that her way of giving/receiving love is possessive, and focused on intensive investigation of her partner. Her self-esteem is rooted in how deeply her partner accepts their merging. Her partner (Ms. Mars) has natal Mars in 7th House Gemini. She’s drawn to partners who initiate (Mars) different ways of relating (Gemini). Nothing too heavy or focused. At the same time, her sexual energy is quick, curious and constantly shifting.

Mars inconjuncts Venus in their synastry. The tension creates a strong attraction. Mars is curious, because Venus is a new challenge. Venus is drawn by the promise of Mars’ intriguing puzzle (here’s someone to investigate and penetrate). However, it quickly becomes apparent that this is a thorny connection. Venus’ desire to know Mars on a profound level clashes with Mars’ breezy energy. Venus finds Mars insensitive, and Mars finds Venus suffocating. When Mars initiates sex, Venus is not in the mood. When Venus is in the mood, Mars is distracted. Mars undermines Venus’ self-esteem, while Venus is out of step with Mars’ partnership energy.

Venus/Mars inconjuncts in romantic relationships can be tough, but not impossible. The inconjunct’s oddball energy promises a very special result, and it’s that promise that continues to magnetize Ms. Venus and Ms. Mars. Venus can develop her inner resources, so she doesn’t lean so heavily on Mars. Mars can slow down in the moment and focus more on Venus. Each person can moderate the energies of their planet/sign combination, while accepting that Venus in Scorpio will always be intense, and Mars in Gemini will not. No aspect teaches more about the natal planet/sign combinations involved; the struggle to arrive at the “solution” pushes each planet to its limits.

At the same time, it’s important to avoid making the entire relationship about this one aspect. If Ms. Venus has planets in air signs, she can use their energy to connect with her partner on a sexual level (rather than obsessing about how her desires never seem to be satisfied). If Ms. Mars has planets in water signs, that’s a way for Mars to relate to her partner on a more intimate level.

›› Get your customized astrological compatibility report for insight into how the planets play out in your relationships.


I’m not going to write too much about synastric Yods here, because this subject really deserves its own article. Some of you may be wondering about this “fated” aspect, when two planets sextile each other and each planet forms an inconjunct to one other planet (the focal planet). If you look at the list of signs that inconjunct each other, you’ll see that each combination of three forms a Yod (Cancer inconjuncts Sag and Aquarius, which sextile each other). Any combination of planets/points in the above three signs in synastry can form a Yod between two people (as long as they’re in orb). If your Venus and Mars sextile each other, and they both inconjunct your partner’s Saturn, that’s a Yod. If your Sun and Moon inconjunct each other, and your partner’s Pluto sextiles your Moon while inconjuncting your Sun, that’s a Yod.

Yods place a tremendous amount of pressure on the focal planet. This becomes a specific task that one or the other partner (depending on whose natal planet it is) must deal with. There is much talk about a Yod’s fated energy: Two people are pulled together for a divine reason. While the focal point will certainly be an essential part of why they came together, we can easily say that any relationship is fated, Yod or no Yod. There’s a reason for all partnerships, and a synastric Yod is simply another way of defining it.

Challenging aspects in synastry can create an obsession with fixes. While a proactive approach is great, the inconjunct is a point of friction that doesn’t have a tidy solution. Hammering away at this aspect until both partners arrive at complete unity is a guaranteed way to make it worse. Adjust your respective behaviors, agree to disagree, and then consider if the imperfect solution is more satisfying because it’s unlike anything else you’ve experienced.

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