The Unaspected Planet: It’s Difficult to Know It’s There

By | July 15, 2015

A completely unaspected planet is a rarity. When it occurs it has pure energy, unmired, unlike the power most of us receive from a planet which is modified by aspects from other planets. The unaspected planet in the natal chart receives no aspects whatsoever from any other body. And when a planet has no connections to other planets on the birth chart it is difficult to know it is there. It hides. Sooner or later it makes itself known. But the native does not have to deal with it constantly as people who have a strong aspect. Yet on those occasions when it ripples to the surface, it takes over the native’s life for a time. 1 If the native’s Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune or Pluto is isolated on the horoscope, sitting in the chart without any connecting threads to any of the other planetary gods, this lonesome planet may become a more powerful force in life as it wants to be seen and heard. And while the native with this placement may not realize its expression, usually others recognize this planetary power unmistakably. Such an unaspected planet dominates the life and may actually provide a type of genius in its expression.

Liz Greene says:

When a planet is unaspected in a chart, it is a kind of unconscious pocket in the psyche. It is a drive or impulse which does not really relate to anything else in the person’s life. Often he doesn’t even know it’s there, until it is triggered by a transit or progression or by something in someone else’s chart. It is though there is a god who has no ordinary outlet in the life of the individual, so that it cannot accommodate itself to external life in a gradual way. It remains primordial and unpolished, full of tremendous energy which has no outlet. It just sits there and builds up steam. An unaspected planet is very raw and archaic. It has no social graces, but behaves as though it has just been let out of prison. Often there is a kind of blank space, and the individual is sometimes very ignorant of that side of himself until it erupts. An unaspected Sun in the birth chart, for example, can suggest that it will take longer to find the Sun inside, because the relationship with the father may not be solid enough to allow the archetype to be embodied. Father as a real person does not have to be perfect. He just needs to be human enough for the child to glimpse the Sun in him, have it mirrored back and say, “This is what I admire, ” or, “This is the opposite of what I want to be.” An unaspected Sun doesn’t indicate that there is no father. But it can describe a certain absence of contact. When the relationship with the father is tenuous, the solar principle cannot be mediated easily, and it is difficult for the Sun to be internalized and rooted in everyday life.

Howard Sasportas says:

Unaspected planets may give rise to a subpersonality. If a planet is unaspected, it doesn’t mean that it is not important. Unaspected planets have a way of acting independently of the rest of the planets in the chart. If you have an unaspected Moon, for instance, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have feelings. It does mean, however, that your feelings are not tempered or modified by other planets. There may be times when you act totally without feeling – because the Moon is not connected to anything. Conversely, there may be times when you only act from your feelings and nothing else, because the Moon doesn’t pull anything else along with it. It has been said that unaspected planets can act autonomously.

Aspects in the astrology chart create all of the vitality, energy and animation; they are the driving forces of the personality. For example with no other energy going to the Moon, Liz Greene says that an unaspected Moon could mean a deeply unconscious relationship with the mother, and often there is not much real emotional communication. The natal aspects are lines of communication to other energies in the natal chart, further coloring the planet’s expression. Astrologically Speaking says:

These unaspected planets are a puzzle, for the simple reason that there are fewer factors to go on. I don’t think there is a quick and easy answer as to how to think of these. As always, that depends on the whole chart. How, then, did I answer this question that was put to me some years ago.” Astrology books seem to avoid discussion of the unaspected planet. I have Mercury unaspected. Is this a disadvantage or advantage?” I told her that in some cases unaspected planets can provide an important key to character. Aspects are energy combinations, and so the absence of aspects gives no helpful clue (in this instance, with Mercury unaspected) as to whether communicative qualities of the individual are made forceful and combative by Mars, or limited and suspicious by Saturn, and so forth. So we have to look elsewhere, remembering that we are considering a whole person. Perhaps we find a strongly aspected Moon and Venus in the same chart so that the native is ruled by his emotions and reason plays a lesser role. As a palmist would say, his heart rules his head. I recall a man with Mercury strongly placed in its own sign of Virgo. It was unaspected, yet prominent. He believed himself to be a writer but in fact had never published a word. No general statement can be made to cover every case of unaspected planets. Try studying the whole team of energies and think of the unaspected one as an energy which is not integrated with other energies in the whole. Even then it can be strong or weak, helpful or mischevious, active or lazy loner.

An unaspected Venus which erupts may plunge the person into compulsive erotic or emotional states, but eventually these can be accommodated into the life. Liz Greene says, “An unaspected planet is likely to reflect a complex that is very far away from consciousness – at least initially. That is because it does not have any easy – natural routes for integration into consciousness, which is what aspects to the personal planets provide. When deeply unconscious points appear in the chart, they tend to have a very archaic and mythic quality when they are finally triggered.” In other words, the situation is believed to confer difficulty in expressing some of the planet’s qualities. But these individuals do have a rather peculiar propensity for attracting partners who embody the unaspected planet.

“It’s as though the sitting tenant in the basement would really like to be included in the household but she’s inarticulate and just doesn’t know how to get upstairs, so she starts dropping bottles with messages in them out the window. Other people pick up the bottles and knock on the front door. So you are indirectly pushed into discovering the thing which has been hiding. Unaspected planets will always, sooner or later, receive an important aspect from a transiting or progressed planet, or they will be activated through relationship, by the planets in someone else’s chart. An unaspected planet doesn’t stay unaspected. Life provides aspects for it. A planet may begin as a very unconscious and unconnected point in the horoscope, but the moment one gets involved in a relationship with another person, the planet will start finding avenues of expression in the context of the relationship…It can prove immensely creative, and gives one a chance to get acquainted with what has previously been a deeply unconscious dimension of the psyche. The Horoscope in Manifestation: Psychology and Prediction

The unaspected planet can stay hidden or will be more obvious at times. If, say, you have an unaspected Mars, this could make you active and independent, but its power comes unexpectedly and with huge bursts of energy. Unaspected planets in the horoscope frequently lead to quiet moments, without much overt communication. Then BOOM! it’s right in front for all to see. According to psychology astrology, an unaspected planet gives rise to a sub-personality, with a powerful independent action forcing its way among all other planetary gods and making itself heard. Astrologically Speaking says:

The following remark was made to me by a client with an unaspected Mars. “I have been accused of going through life with one eye closed: to man’s inhumanity to man; violence; injustice; corruption; cynicism. How can one successfully compromise one’s ideal world with the one around us? ” The psychology astrologer would be interested. To have one eye closed to life is surely indicative of a lack of integration, and corresponds to a failure to coordinate one of the planetary energies with the rest of the team.

So, the unaspected planet may not be as integrated into the horoscope as other personality factors: The task for those in possession of an unaspected planet in the nativity is to involve the planet in the total picture, developing a more clear understanding so it won’t feel disconnected. Liz Greene thinks the unaspected planet can be unintegrated, unsocialized with the rest of the horoscope and may act instinctual, raw and archaic. A planet unaspected is closer to acting out in pure energy, and the abundance of energy surrounding this body often dominates the birth chart. It could be surmised that the native is more limited in the house of the unaspected planet as there isn’t a lot to bring out its energy into action. But this isn’t necessarily true as transits will cross over the planet at various times, and so it is never really without any activity to excite and stimulate it. Astrologers such as Dane Rudyhar believed that an unaspected planet actually brings more freedom to the individual, and it is viewed as a maverick – archetypal figure, but it is still something of a “wild horse” in the personality, unleashing its power at any moment. Liz Greene thinks that an unaspected planet may lead to problems with the planet itself, which is a common manifestation:

What if Saturn is unaspected? If Saturn is unaspected, the defence mechanisms are likely to be deeply unconscious. Sometimes this can reflect problems in establishing healthy boundaries; the positive side of Saturn is not available for the ego’s use. Sometimes it can suggest someone whose defences are incredibly powerful because they are very primitive. They are not mediated or tempered by the ego. When something is deeply unconscious, it tends to remain in a very primitive or archaic state. We’ll “civilise” planets in our chart through the mediation of consciousness. When this does not occur, we see a much more obviously archetypal, almost mythic, expressions of the planet’s qualities. I have known people with an unaspected Saturn who are very obsessively defended, but they have no understanding of how or why. The emotions attached to such defences are expressed in one particular area of life, often in a highly ritualistic way, and form a sort of pocket obsessive behavior which makes no sense to the individual.

When the unaspected planet is an outer planet, then it is in many ways much more critical, because it’s so difficult to establish a dialogue with something collective, and it can seem so potent and alien.

  1. The unexpected planet!