Out of Sign Aspects: Valid or Not?

I often get inquiries regarding the authenticity of ‘out of sign’ aspects in astrology. For instance, if your Sun is positioned at 29 degrees in Virgo, and your partner’s Moon resides at 0 degrees in Libra, a few astrologers might regard this as an out of sign conjunction. However, I personally don’t perceive this as a conjunction.

Astrological aspects pertain to the angle between two planets and the signs they inhabit. It’s essential to consider the effect signs have on planetary aspects since planets and signs aspect each other.

The Role of Planetary Aspects

In simpler terms, aspects define how planets interact with one another. Your planets form specific connections with your partner’s planets, sparking a form of conversation. They could be in agreement, represented by harmonious aspects like the conjunction, trine or sextile, or they could be challenging each other through opposition or square. As long as they are within the appropriate orb, they will influence each other.

Influence of Signs on Planetary Energy

Signs also influence the expression of a planet’s energy. For example, Mars in Taurus, a sign associated with deliberation, will act differently compared to Mars in Aries, which is more impulsive.

Understanding Relationships Between Signs

The relationship between signs is also described in terms of aspects:

  1. Signs of the same element (Fire, Earth, Water, Air) are in trine, which means they harmonize.
  2. Signs of opposing polarities challenge but also complement each other.
  3. Signs that square each other, like Gemini and Virgo, challenge each other.
  4. Signs that sextile each other, like Taurus and Cancer, have differing elements and qualities, but their elements are complementary, creating harmony.
  5. Signs that inconjunct each other, like Pisces and Leo, have nothing in common, representing their differing qualities, characteristics, and elements.

The Risk of Ignoring Relationships Between Signs

Ignoring the relationship between signs can lead to erroneous interpretations. For instance, a Venus at 0 degrees Taurus and a Mars at 29 degrees Leo does not form a trine. The idea behind a trine is harmony, but Leo and Taurus are not harmonious signs.

Importance of Orb in Aspects

The orb of an aspect also plays a significant role. The orb (between planets) must be narrow enough to enable interaction between the planets. A Venus at 2 degrees Cancer and a Mars at 20 degrees Cancer are in the same sign and will display compatibility. However, the large orb (18 degrees) means they won’t directly influence each other. But if Mars is at 4 degrees Cancer, the closer orb leads to intensified attraction, typical of a Venus/Mars conjunction.

Effects of Widening Orb

In her book “Aspects and Personality,” Karen Hamaker-Zondag describes the consequence of a widening orb as a dull knife, losing cutting power and eventually losing all power when it gets too wide.

Application of Aspects in Relationships

For a better understanding, consider aspects between planets as specific examples of how signs relate to each other, making them relevant to the relationship between individuals.

Guidelines for Maximum Orbs in Synastry

The following are the maximum orbs I use for synastry (the orbs for natal aspects are slightly wider). While not definitive, they follow the general astrological guidelines:

  1. Conjunction/Opposition: 5 degrees
  2. Square: 3-4 degrees
  3. Trine: 3-4 degrees
  4. Sextile: 2-3 degrees
  5. Inconjunct: 1-2 degrees

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