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

When a planet is unaspected by other planets, its energy is pure and untainted, unlike the energy from planets that are influenced by other planets. W hen a planet lacks ties to other planets in the birth chart, it hides.  Eventually, it makes itself known. In those rare times when it reaches the surface, it takes control of the native’s life..  If the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, or Pluto in a person’s horoscope is all alone in the chart, it may become more dominant in that person’s life since it feels a bit ignored. Even if the native doesn’t identify the manifestation of this planetary power, it is usually obvious to everyone else. Such an unaspected planet may even produce a form of genius in its presentation, but unaspected planets can have incredible influence in a natal chart.  True unaspected planets are uncommon, and even when we do get them, they usually turn out to have some kind of minor aspect. If you’re ever in question, though, you can always fall back on the standard Ptolemaic aspects (conjunction, square, trine, sextile, and opposition) to help you out.

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. The connection with him is not humanized into ordinary life and the relationship is usually a poor one, and usually very unconscious. There may be a sense of complete disconnection from him, resulting in a lack of a sound inner image of father to mediate the godlike power of the Sun. Then there are likely to be many problems with authority, with fathering, and with one’s perception of masculinity in general. The Sun is also the sense of individual reality, and this may also be very unconscious. Then the person may not feel real unless there are other people around mirroring him or her. The self-generating power of the Sun is not easily expressed when it is inspected so one wanders about asking everybody, “Tell me who I am.”

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.

All of a person’s life force, energy, and vitality are generated by the aspects of their astrological chart. For instance, according to Liz Greene, if the Moon is not aspected, it can indicate a very unconscious connection with one’s mother and a lack of real emotional expression. The planet’s expression is further influenced by the natal aspects, which are channels via which the planet can interact with the other components in the natal chart.

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.

The eruption of an unaspected Venus might cause the individual to experience intense erotic or emotional sensations, yet these can be integrated into the individual’s life over time. Quote from Liz Greene: “An unobserved planet is like to reflect a complex that is initially quite remote from consciousness. That’s because, unlike aspects to individual planets, it doesn’t offer any natural, straightforward avenues for integration into consciousness. When previously unconscious chart points are activated, they sometimes take on a more mythic or archaic feel.” Several of the planet’s attributes are thought to be harder to express in this context. Nonetheless, these people have a strange knack for finding life partners that personify the planet without any astrological aspects.

“It’s as though the sitting tenant in the basement would really like to be included in the household but he’s inarticulate and just doesn’t know how to get upstairs, so he 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 hidden planet may remain obscured or become increasingly visible over time. The power of, say, an unaspected Mars, while it could make you active and self-reliant, comes suddenly and in great bursts of energy. When a planet in your horoscope is out of aspect, you may find yourself in a period of relative silence. Then all of a sudden, it’s out in the open for everyone to see. According to psychological astrology, a planet that is not being influenced by any other planets has its own distinct personality and is forcing its way among all other planetary gods to make 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.

The planet with no aspects may not be as well incorporated into the horoscope as the others: If you have a planet in your nativity that isn’t being aspected, you need to find a way to incorporate it into the bigger picture so that it doesn’t feel isolated. According to Liz Greene, a planet that isn’t aspected can function in an intuitive, primal, or archaic way because it hasn’t been socialised or integrated with the rest of the horoscope. Unaspected planets are closer to operating in pure energy, and the birth chart is often dominated by the quantity of energy around such a body. It’s reasonable to assume that the person is restricted more in the house of the unaspected planet because there isn’t much there to channel the planet’s energy. Yet, as transits will pass over the planet at different times, there is always something happening to keep it active and interesting. An unaspected planet is seen as a maverick by astrologers like Dane Rudhyar, who also consider it to be an archetypal figure who can at any time release their force on the personality like a “wild horse.” A common symptom, in Liz Greene’s opinion, of a planet that is not aspected is difficulties with the planet itself.

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 a planet in the solar system’s outer regions (Uranus, Neptune, or Pluto), it takes on an even greater importance because of the challenges inherent in communicating with a collective that can seem both powerful and alien.