Question: What Aspects and Orbs to use?
Astrology is individual in practice and so it’s always a personal answer based on one’s personal observations. Modern astrologers prefer using the major aspects (conjunction, sextile, square, trine, and opposition). However, naughtily, I often leave out the sextile in interpretation. For me, the sextile has never really struck as being massively influential in my own chart. In theory, we are meant to pump the sextile in order to give it a bit of oomph, otherwise, it’s comparable to a bit of “fluff” in the natal chart.
In general, the sextile aspect symbolizes talents and abilities, but maybe not on the level of the trine. Barbara Hand Clow, for instance, wrote about the sextile in her unique spiritual style, with some tantric yoga, deep meditation, and super uber galactic powers. The author referred to sextiles as enacting on a comfortable level if just left alone, but they can attune consciously to the greatest level if we activate them. Hand-Clow is probably right, but we can get lazy.
Howard Sasportas says that the sextile aspect is often overlooked (hands up guilty) and simply relegated to the status of a weak trine. The author believed they deserve way more attention, and can be blended creatively to one’s evolutionary and psychological advantage. This really does give us something to think about and maybe we all have some talents laying low; the reason for this happening is that we don’t really energize them. Or, to use Howard’s words, we “overlook” those natural abilities. The resonance is not as powerful, and this should be expected if we imagine the aspects as having a hierarchy from the most potent to least.
Many astrologers believe the conjunction to possess the most power. The reason being is the energy whacks a punch. In truth, there really isn’t the same conflict inherent as we experience with our squares and oppositions unless the planets themselves are not compatible. The major aspects are outlined on Astrodienst, and it includes all of those other minor aspects. The minor aspects were used mostly by traditional astrologers, but there are many modern practitioners that still use them. They add subtleties to a horoscope reading and we could even find an exact minor aspect and question its meaning, but there aren’t a lot of interpretations found on these contacts for deeper investigation.
Most people, generally, prefer to stay with the major aspects. Plus, the conjunction, sextile (coughs), square, trine and opposition aspects have the most powerful vibrations. We usually refer to them as interrelationships, symbolizing a more complex way of viewing our psychology, rather than only planets, signs and houses. They delve further into our personality, create complex, dynamic, internal drives, and add fascinating layers.
The difficult aspects – conjunction (sometimes), square and opposition, demand more effort and create greater tension. The trine and sextile live in harmony and have reached a place of easy expression, showing abilities and talents. Jung led the way in this challenging area of aspects since he viewed astrology as something akin to alchemy. We are definitely transforming our being on many levels through the natal chart.
In Jungian astrology, it is thought that the astrology chart represents aspects of the personality (well, obviously), and we know it is the great illuminator of the human character. Jung even went as far to say that astrology represented the summation of all psychological knowledge of antiquity, he held astrology in high esteem.
The orbs are covered in this article.