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What Are Aspects in Astrology?

Astrological aspects describe the different angular relationships that the planets form with one another as they move through their orbits and across the zodiac wheel. When two or more planets are “aspecting” one another, their energies combine. In some cases, the combination of energies will be harmonious; this is usually called a soft or easy aspect. In other situations, the energies will work against each other and create tension; this is called a hard or difficult aspect. The planetary aspects change frequently and are important because they help us understand how the planets may be affecting us at a given moment. Basically, astrological aspects are kind of like the deep cuts in your favorite singer’s discography – they’re often overlooked but are actually very important!

Astrology is based on the idea that the movements of celestial bodies up in the sky have a direct effect on our lives. Because of this, astrologers will often take astrological aspects into account when writing horoscopes, including the ones you see here on Starlies. When you’re reading your horoscope, you may come across terms like “trine,” “opposition,” or “sextile” and wonder what they mean. Well, these are actually all just different types of planetary aspects! There are five major astrological aspects and all of them are measured using mathematical angles. However, we’ll skip the complicated geometry and just get right to the point – how each of these planetary aspects can affect you!

The Five Major Aspects in Astrology

Each of the planetary aspects is said to have intrinsic qualities associated with it. This means that some aspects are considered to be auspicious and harmonious, while others are more likely to bring difficulty. Keep in mind that there are many more minor planetary aspects, but these five should be enough to get you started. Here’s everything you need to know about the five major planetary aspects!


A conjunction occurs when two planets are located in the same sign. This a highly focused and intense planetary aspect. If the qualities associated with the two planets are harmonious, a conjunction can be a greatly harmonious aspect that brings with it plenty of potential and positive energy. But if the two planets in the conjunction have opposing energy that doesn’t blend well together, it can result in challenges and discord.


A sextile occurs when two planets are 60 degrees – or two zodiac signs – apart from one another. This tends to be an extremely positive planetary aspect filled with lots of harmonious energy. Basically, a sextile signals a chill time when there won’t be too much tension. The only downside is that this aspect is not very action-oriented.


A trine occurs when two planets are four signs apart and form a 120 degree angle with one another. The energies of the two planets in a trine work in harmony, complementing and enriching each other. In fact, trines are considered the most harmonious aspect of all and bring with them luck, synchronicity, and the potential for positive change in our lives. The only downside is that it’s easy to get caught up in the good vibes and allow this auspicious time to pass you by. Be sure to take advantage!


A square occurs when two planets are 90 degrees – or three zodiac signs – apart from one another. As a hard angle, a square aspect is considered disharmonious and usually brings tension or challenges along with it. However, it’s not necessarily all bad news! Sometimes a little tension is the push we need to resolve a situation and move forward. But while a square planetary aspect can signal an opportunity for resolution, you should be prepared to meet your challenges with honest effort and a willingness to compromise.


An opposition occurs when planets are fully opposite of each other, or 180 degrees apart. The energy of the planets in an opposition is disharmonious – it’s sort of like the planets are butting heads and clashing with one another. However, there is an upside in all this: tension can often have a motivating or energizing effect. And don’t forget the old saying that opposites attract. It is possible to create a balance between two opposing forces – often with extremely positive results!

Natal Chart Aspects

The planets are always moving, so planetary aspects shift frequently. However, there is one area where astrological aspects don’t change at all: your birth chart. Since your birth chart, or natal chart, is a snapshot of where all the celestial bodies were located in the sky at the exact moment that you came into the world, it’s fixed and unchanging. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any planetary aspects in it. In fact, understanding the astrological aspects present in your birth chart can tell you a lot about yourself and your life! Heres’ what the different aspects in your birth chart could mean:

If you have a conjunction in your birth chart: The energies of the planets involved can blend together very closely. In effect, it can create a sort of “blind spot” where you have a hard time distinguishing between the different parts of your nature that are related to the planets in the conjunction. It marks an area of yourself or your life where you might have a hard time seeing your individuality.

If you have a sextile in your birth chart: The energies of the planets involved will be harmonious but still distinct enough to be recognizable. A sextile in your birth chart often points to talents that you can become aware of and use to your advantage in life.

If you have a trine in your birth chart: The energies of the planets involved will be harmonious but a bit harder to distinguish. A trine in your birth chart often points to talents that are so intrinsic to who you are that you may not even notice them! Take care to nurture your awareness of these strengths so that they don’t go unused or undervalued.

If you have a square in your birth chart: The energies of the planets involved will be in opposition to one another and tension can arise. A square in your birth chart can indicate areas where you need to grow or learn a particular lesson, especially in youth. Square aspects in your birth chart typically create the type of tension that demands action and can therefore be a positive – if not entirely pleasant – force in your life.

If you have an opposition in your birth chart: The energies of the planets involved will be at odds. An opposition in your birth chart often has to do with your relationships with others. Oppositions can create inner conflict and the type of tension that motivates you to seek answers in other people. With oppositions, we often we learn relevant lessons through our interactions with others.

Now that you understand what aspects are, you can be more aware of the energy that the universe is putting out at any given time. Want to learn more about what the planets mean in astrology? Check out our planetary guide! Once you have a better understanding of the planets and aspects in astrology, you can find ways to use the ever-changing energies of the cosmos to your advantage! After all, astrology is all about making sense of this confusing world by finding out more about yourself and your place in it. Good luck!