Astrology Basics

The Hard Aspects & Complexes

20120505220734416-167450The aspects in astrology are a term for angular relationships between planets and have been described as magnets exerting a pull on one another, but also combining their forces to create a harmonious or conflicting relationship. In Latin, it simply means ‘the way a thing is looked at.’ The aspects consist of the conjunction; which is formed when two planets lie within close proximity and it may not have the objectivity of the other major configurations as there is a blending of the planetary energies and it views the world from the same vantage point.

The square forms when two planets form an angle of 90 degrees; they are said to be in incompatible elements and represent a conflict of interests. Most astrologers stress that the square rules matter and not so much relationships. Arguably, the planet involved can represent an individual, like the mother and father as in the case of the Sun and Moon in the horoscope.  A square aspect is also understood to be expressed subjectively and internally, and it tends to create great blockages and is the most resistant to change according to some esoteric texts.

The opposition involves two planets placed at an angle of 180 degrees of each other, forming a natural polarity and is thought to bring about the greatest awareness and objectivity. Everyone knows we need a force of opposition, without one we have nothing to play against, and this can make it impossible for us to prove ourselves, no matter how hard we try. The forces that confront us may come in the shape of deep insecurity, an enemy, or it could be conceptual, social and not always a person. The hard aspects create lots of tension in the personality; they are the movers in the psyche, and often create conflicts in our world. In general, the relentless nature of these aspects, at times, forces us to deal with our issues and we have to take action.

The hard aspects represent a struggle and “internal issues” that drive psychological complexes associated with the planets involved. The aspects in astrology prod and cojoal and coax us to re-examine the past, which often looks – and feels very different in retrospect. Reassessing our deepest autobiographical selves, and then everything in our inner-world acquires new context and emotional weights. When we possess difficult planetary contacts in the natal chart it can reflect our “complexes” and these energies carry the most power, and represent going through many different experiences and gaining insight. Aspects in the natal can change throughout life according to the level of awareness and recognition we bring to them, and we can dramatically transform their future expression.

Hard Aspects as Complexes in Astrology

Most hard aspects or ‘complexes’ are seeking to discharge built up energy to return to a more latent state in the unconscious. Jung had written an essay on psychic energy asking why some complexes are more energized than others. I am sure we have all wondered the same thing about our difficult contacts; while some appear extremely energetic, there are others laying low for long periods of time. Jung also wanted to know why some complexes are more energized than others at various times. Transits in the natal chart could answer this question, as they act like triggers in our life.

Aspects in the natal chart always attract new psychic energy from new experiences and it becomes enriched with more material. Liz Greene’s The Horoscope in Manifestation: Psychology and Prediction takes an interesting look at complexes. Broadly speaking, psychology is filled with information on trauma that create complexes. Astrology is the only tool that can look at the chart and see the conflict already inherent within the soul. Below is the mind-blowing psychological truth about the nature of complexes already waiting in the psyche.

Astrology goes further than that. We know that the blockages and destructive expressions of a complex may not be “caused” by trauma, but may be reflected by difficult chart configurations which represent a tendency to experience certain events as traumatic in a highly subjective way. In other words, complexes are not caused by traumas, but we register a particular experience as traumatic because of our complexes. I have met enough people with virtually identical “traumatic” experiences when young – psychological or physical abuse in childhood, a near-fatal-accident, rape or assault – to recognize that we respond to such events in radically different ways.

  1. One person may feel his or her entire life has been ruined by the experience, and uses this as a justification to inflict abuse or violence on others.
  2. A second person might suffer serious psychological disturbances, such as manic depression or hysteria.
  3. A third person may repeatedly put himself or herself in the position of the victim, unconsciously courting a replay of the original injury
  4. A fourth person might be angry and mistrustful in certain situations, but relatively whole inside. and still able to love and behave decently.

Once again we are entering into very deep waters. Remember Novalis’ profound observation – “Fate and soul are two names for the same principle.”