©9-26-2013 by Donna Cunningham, MSW
Readers, I miss you and really miss blogging, but these days, rather than blogging, I am slogging through the final chapters of The Stellium Handbook. I’m in the midst of writing not one but two chapters on conjunctions, and thought you might enjoy a short sample.
A conjunction is a potent connection (called an aspect) between two planets in which the planets stand close together and blend their energies. It usually only involves one sign and one house of an astrology chart, although the two planets sometimes straddle houses or signs.
The orb (number of degrees apart) for a conjunction is officially 8°. When there’s a question as to whether the aspect is too wide, I describe the way the two planets work together to clients to see if they relate to it. It’s often working at 10°, even when one of them is a slow-moving outer planet.
With a conjunction, it’s difficult to get a separate perspective on the parts of you that either planet symbolizes. When Mars and Jupiter are conjunct, for instance, the need for action that Mars represents and the desire to expand that Jupiter represents are merged. This suggests someone who is a dynamo with an insatiable appetite for experiences in the areas of life related to the conjunction’s house position.
The importance of the order of planets in a conjunction: The lead planet of the pair in a conjunction may dominate in much the same way as the lead planet in a stellium sets the tone for the action. This is an important consideration in interpreting a conjunction, as the first planet in the pair is the first to be activated by a transiting planet.
Suppose someone has a Mars-Pluto conjunction in Libra, and transiting Uranus is forming an aspect to the pair. The first response to the threat of a disruption to major relationships would be a Mars approach—active, taking the initiative, even potentially combative, depending on the sign.
If the order is Pluto-Mars, however, the response would be more emotionally intense but less overt. The person might withdraw and brood. They could also resort to manipulation or emotional blackmail. Being psychologically astute, they may conceivably use the weaknesses of the person who is threatening them in a vengeful way. Which of the two would you rather cross?
The sign’s modes of action—Cardinal, Fixed, or Mutable—is important to look at in analyzing a conjunction because the action of a particular pair—or trio—of planets is very different, in different modes, and, therefore, so is the outcome.
To summarize, Cardinal signs are action oriented, goal driven, and forever on the move. Fixed signs are stable and intent on preserving the status quo. They’re gifted with endurance, but stubbornly resistant to change. Mutable signs are adaptable, flexible, and can cope with change, yet are sometimes scattered in their energy.
Depending on the planets involved, people with conjunctions in Cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn) form a clear picture of their desires and work toward them whole-heartedly. These four signs each have a different set of goals, but when they see what they want, they go for it in a focused way. Thus, conjunctions in cardinal signs are energized and show a good chance of success in the mission.
Depending on the planets involved, conjunctions in Fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius) represent our ability to persevere to the point of bringing our ideas and hopes into a concrete, finished form and then preserving them. However, they’re a mixed blessing, in that they’re stubborn, slower to react, and can be rigid and resist change. If two planets are conjunct in fixed signs and indicate a conflict of interest, it’s very hard to get the person to bend in that area of life.
Depending on the planets involved, conjunctions in Mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces) are responsive and able to adapt to changing circumstances as they arise, so they’re more able to contend with transits to a stellium. They’re versatile and always looking for greater understanding of their fields of interest. Their drawback is that they’re distractible and can lack a steady focus for their efforts.
What do I mean by “depending on the planets involved?” The nature of the planet can shift the energy of the response. For instance, Neptune could indicate haziness and confusion that could hinder a Cardinal sign from taking effective action. Saturn in a Mutable conjunction could symbolize focus and persistence in completing a goal.
Applying vs. separating conjunctions: One thing that can affect the strength of a conjunction is whether the faster-moving planet of the pair is applying to the conjunction (approaching the degree of the other planet on its way to being at exactly the same degree) or separating from the conjunction (having passed the exact point and moving away).
Though I pay more attention to the scores on the planetary strength tests, many astrologers say that the aspect is stronger when applying and weaker when separating. (More about the tests here: Take the Planetary Tests .)
That’s all for now, Readers. This is just a wee sample of a total of 28 pages on conjunctions, which are almost always a big part of a stellium, since it can include anywhere from 4-7 planets in one sign or house. Here are some other articles about conjunctions on this blog:
- How to Analyze a Conjunction
- Readers Ask—Q&A about Conjunctions
- Mars-Pluto Conjunctions? Use your Manifestation Mojo!
- The Mercury-Pluto Conjunction—Grievances, Grudges, Gripes and Grinches
- The Mars-Uranus Conjunction in Pisces and Children Born with it
- Interpretations of the Uranus-Neptune Conjunction of the 1980s-90s
More Things You May Not Know: