Posted by: Donna Cunningham | June 29, 2010

Understanding Semisquares—Your Input Needed

 ©6-29-2010 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

 Over time, I plan a series of articles in which we jointly explore little-known minor aspects like the septile (51.5°), semisquare (45°), and sesquiquadrate (135°) in action.  Nobody really knows what these aspects mean. All you ever read about them is one fairly abstract  phrase. It gets repeated over and over in books, journals, or online with no real documentation. 

 Authors rarely give interpretations of these aspects in people’s charts with case examples of how they work in their lives. It’s all theory, no application. What I’m looking for here and what seems missing in the literature are real-life experiences of individuals who have these aspects. That’s where you come in. 

A few weeks ago, we worked with septiles, and 70 readers shared their thoughts about examples they found in their own charts.  In the process, we discovered fascinating new facets of ourselves.  For instance, the more I tease out the effects of my newly-discovered Mercury-Mars septile, the more I see about certain deficits in cognitive and motor skills that aren’t explained sufficiently by other, more common aspects.

To one reader who wondered if these aspects were really important, I replied that  we don’t know, since nobody talks about them–and maybe one reason they don’t talk about them is because nobody knows what they mean. It goes around and around in a loop.  Maybe with research like this, we’ll get more understanding of what they really do in people’s lives. We’re adding to the body of knowledge in our field! To me, this is one of the most exciting potentials of blogging. 

The other thing is that they’re harder to spot in the chart, although you can tell your software to find them. The more common aspects based on 30°, 60°, 90°, 120°, 150°, and 180° are relatively simple to find and analyze, because they deal with whole signs and an orderly progression through the signs by element and mode.

 Today, let’s work with the semisquare, a 45° angle between two planets a sign and a half apart.  The orb would be no more than 3° either side of the exact aspect.   The glyph is shown at the left. I’d like to gather real-life examples of these aspects and how they’ve worked in your life. Look at your chart and see if you find any semisquares there. (AstroDienst—or your own software program– would tell you if you have any.)

Early on in my astrological studies, I was given a one-word definition of semisquares. I have SIX of them in my chart, so I’ve observed them and FELT them over the past several decades, and that definition does seem to work. I’m not going to repeat it here, because what I want from readers is an unbiased view of the aspect at work that can lead us to a deeper understanding than a single word can convey. 

Once you locate any semsiquares in your own chart or someone’s close to you, think about the meanings, urges, and needs represented by the two planets in the aspect and about how they affect each other. Ask yourself whether you can see that combination of planets operating in your life and how.

How do they show up in your life in terms of behavior patterns, feelings, urges, repeated situations or events, and inner and outer conflicts?

Conversely, what gifts, abilities, and personality traits do they convey? Think of specific, concrete details, not abstractions. Then share about it in the comment section by scrolling down below the bottom of this article.  Are you in?  

More Articles from the Series about the Lesser-Known Aspects:

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  1. Only one semi-square in my chart, if you don’t count a couple to Chiron.

    Neptune Scorpio (6th) semi-square Sun Capricorn (8th). This is the only connection my Sun makes to another planet, unless you count a semi-sextile to the moon.

    My mother divorced my father very early on (for good reason), after which he disappeared into the ether. My stepfather was a wonderful man who brought me up as his own, but the demon booze got him in the end. This is also reflected, I think, in my Saturn conjunct Chiron in Pisces.

    I have always been interested in occult subjects and grew up quite isolated, on a diet of fairy tales (in which I cast myself as the princess who was rescued) and ghostly visitations from dead relatives. In fact lots of ‘psychic’ experiences growing up. In adult life, this still touches me somewhat, especially if I look for it.

    I have a taste for fantasy, supernatural and horror fiction, anything a bit strange and spooky, set in far away or imaginary lands.

    Having said all that, I don’t think anyone would describe me as Neptunian, and I scored pretty low on your Neptune test, compared to the other tests. People describe me as strong, down to earth, practical, sensible, clever. I have a very Earth-Air chart. This semi-square seems to describe another side of me, hidden unless you know me well. Perhaps a secret idealism buried beneath the pessimism of Capricorn and a Mercury squaring Saturn and Pluto! Secretly I dream of a free, idealistic, alternative, hippie-type lifestyle, while in reality, I hold down a very conventional job, on top of my astrology practice.

    Food for thought!

    • Very interesting, Mandi. The Sun partially represents the significant men in our lives growing up, and it does sound like it describes your two father-figures fairly well. It can also represent the type of role model–positive or negative–the father was.

      I’m sitting on my hands not to give away what I’ve concluded about semisquares, because I don’t want to bias the results. But, yeah, it sounds like you’re tapping into the aspect well. Donna

  2. I’d love to contribute to this discussion, but I’m sorry to say that I don’t have a single semi-square to speak of! I think the plethora of squares I have more than compensates for it, though 😉

    Looking forward to hearing what others have to say about this and to hear more about your conclusions regarding this aspect. And, as always, thanks for the learning opportunity!

  3. Hi! I’m a beginner in astrology (cookbook stuff mostly), so i could really use some insight as far as isolating an aspect in a chart is concerned.
    For instance:Both Venus (11th) and Pluto (2nd) are semisquaring my sun (1st) and asc., and it is fair to say that i have a thing with power, and beauty, and atractiveness, and all the possible combinations of the above. The s.squares could explain how these themes are central issues of my personality, but then again, i also have:
    1)Sun/asc on the midpoint of a perfect venus/pluto square
    2) Moon in taurus in the 8th opos. Mars in scorpio, plus a loose(10,30 degrees), out of sign Mars/pluto conjunction, plus a stellium in the first.
    So, what i meant to ask is, how do i know which aspect “does the talking”?

    • They’re probably all talking–the trouble is, is anybody listening? Seriously, it goes back to the old Rule of Three, in which anything that is a significant pattern in our lives will probably show up in more than one way in the chart. Donna

  4. I have a 1st house Cancer Sun to Virgo Venus and a Leo Mercury to Virgo Saturn.

    Since I really don’t know much about this aspect, I can’t really do much but make a guess.

    With the Sun/Venus I might say that I am not crazy about people who are in a relationship trying to push me into changing or who are too bossy. I do not like being told I “have” to do something, just because you say I do. I need a good reason.

    And I would guess that I would feel the same with the Mercury/Saturn when it comes to someone trying to restrict my communication, or in other words…shut me up. LOL I have always been one to ask why. And if I don’t understand something I will keep on asking questions. I am not one to pretend I know something I don’t. I will readily admit I have no clue about something.

    • Thanks for taking part, Susie. Would you read the recent post about Mercury-Saturn aspects and see if it feels to you like you have a Mercury-Saturn aspect? (It’s on the list of the 10 most recent articles at the top right hand side of the blog.) Donna

      • I just looked up the Mercury/Saturn Square and that fits me very well. I do go over conversations and wonder how I could have said something differently. Always wish I could have the perfect thing to say when needed. It is hard for me to accept compliments, but I am working on it. And it is hard for me to pour out my emotions. I can do it better online since that is not as personal. But, I don’t know if there is anyone I trust enough to tell everything.

        My biggest fear would be getting up in front of a group to speak. Hate it, but wish I could do it well.

  5. Turns out my unaspected Venus has a few minor aspects. I have a semi-square from 11th house venus 22.45 degrees to my 9th house sun 6,39 in Virgo, and to Pluto at 9.45 degrees also in Virgo (part of a stellium). Astrodienst does not give this aspect to the Moon at 10,58 degrees Virgo, though.
    I used to have very intense friendships that lasted for some time, then out of the blue, they were over. I always thought that was the strong Pluto (chart ruler), so I’ve been very concious of not getting into powerbattles and now my friendships last longer, although they are far from conflict free … Perhaps this is a reflection of this semi-square?
    I have no idea, really …

    • Sounds like a possibility, Natalie. There’s an article or two about Venus-Pluto aspects on this blog. Have a look at them and see if you relate. Donna

  6. I don’t know, but can’t wait to find out as there are 5 semisquares in my chart.

    Funny … my spirit/intuition or gut often perk up to new astrological phenomenon when they exist in my chart or that of someone close to me, even before the aspect, quality, etc. is explained intellectually/verbally. But semisquare may be one of my blind spots … I don’t feel a connection, despite having several in my chart (2 are under one degree, 1 is around one degree and 2 are just under 2 degrees)

    Could they be drowned out because four of them involve the planets that form two dominant squares in my chart? (So there’s a planet halfway between the planets that form the squares, and that results in two semisquares)

    Anyway, I find these “blind” spots pretty intriguing. Gemini was one — so your recent posts have been helpful!

    • Very interesting situation, Petals. Because when two planets are square one another and there is a planet right in the middle (semisquare each), then that is also a midpoint configuration, which is still another type of connection between all three planets.

      LATER ADDITION: I found a website that calculates midpoints for you, but just one at a time. It’s at

      Petals, I’d have to say the three planets you mention are all connected in important ways, but somehow you aren’t allowing yourself to sense the connections–possibly externalizing them through difficult relationships with certain types of people who embody those planet’s qualities.

      I have one semisquare between two planets that I cannot BEAR in aspect to one another in other people’s charts…in fact I refuse to write about that pair of planets in aspect because I know it’s a place I am unfairly biased. And there it sits in my own chart, doggone it, and I DON’T want to know about it or own it. We all have parts of ourselves we never want to have to acknowledge. What aspect would that be, Donna? Noooosireeee! Taking the Fifth!

      • Ha. Yes, I suspect that is the case. I’ll have to spend more time thinking about these energies … and how I may involve myself in relationships that play out that internal tension. Thank you!

      • Great tool! Alllright. One is realllly close to the midpoint, and it’s the planet I’m trying to learn more about now anyway.* The other is not as close but maybe within range. Time to start exploring! (First about midpoints in general and then about these :))

        I’m pretty sure the only other potential midpoint in my chart is a quintile within a biquintile (the aspects are within 1/6th to 1/2 of a degree). I haven’t delved into the quintile aspect at all, but am wondering if this also functions as a midpoint?

        *[Venus close to the midpoint between a tight Sun (12th/Pisces) Neptune (8th/Sag) square. Uranus not as close (1 deg 15 mins away) to the midpoint between Moon (conjuct MC/9th/Cap) square Pluto (conjuct saturn/6th/Libra)]

      • Hi, Petals, yes, a biquintile (144 degree) aspect is double the width of a quintile (72 degree aspect). Both of these aspects show your talents or particular genius. So lets say that Venus is biquintile Jupiter and Mars is exactly in the middle. Then 1) it would be a midpoint configuration, but more importantly, Mars would also would be quintile both ends of the biquintile. It would be forming a triangle that I call a talent triangle. Please, let’s don’t get started on the quintile family, folks, I’m trying to pull together the Q & A on the 12th house. Donna

  7. How close do you keep the aspect? I have Sun square Saturn, with Neptune near midpoint – 46 degrees from the Sun and 47 degrees from Saturn. I’m unclear how it works, but then that’s Neptune all over, isn’t it?! Maybe I’ve used escapism of various kinds to some degree to deal with the difficult square energy, especially when I was younger.

    • 3 degrees either side of the exact aspect. 46 degrees from the Sun is really strong; 47 is okay.Donna

      • In that case, I’ll add Jupiter semisextile my Sun (44 degrees). I have Jupiter 0 Scorpio and Neptune 2 Scorpio semisextile my Sun at 18 Virgo. They’re at the midpoint in my Sun/Saturn square, and I know I escaped into a fantasy world in my mind (Jup/Nep sextile Mercury, ruling my Sun) to deal with the criticism of my mother and any other self-esteem threatening situations. I was also very interested in religion and spirituality when I was younger, less so now that I’m “present” in the world more (Neptune 5 degrees from my IC) and since my mother passed. I think that both the ability to escape into my own mind, however dysfunctional, as well as the later search for spiritual relief saved me until I could build a stronger backbone with that Sun-Saturn square later in life.

  8. I have 3 semi-squares in my chart. They are my stellium in 6th house in Scorpio ,Moon, Venus and Jupiter….semisq. Mars in Capricorn.

    My take on this aspect is that it acts as if it is a square with half the punch.
    It is a “square in training”. Maybe next time around I will have these aspects as squares…who knows.

    Mars is energy in action…..My Moon (which I usually take to be mom ) has certainly been a challenge in terms of me getting it together and having the self confidence,etc. to go out in the world….So, I go out in the world with mega punch…mega Mars….to make up for the insecurities,etc. Mars is also conjunct Sun so I am a go-getter…

    Mars with a semi-sq. to Venus…I do not feel like a female half of the time.
    Especially with my ‘take-charge’ Mars going on….It takes effort to dress up and get made up. It is a quandry how to get things done and in a soft feminine way…..I try. I learned not to go after men I desire because it just usually doesnt work in the long run or you get a weak person…..this used to mean ‘sex’, but I am out of the loop for a real long time.

    Mars with this semisq. aspect to Jupiter….I have to watch my grandiose brain and not bite off more work than I can chew…
    Not ruin my health by thinking I am super-woman. Since this stellium is in my 6th, my body will tell me IMMEDIATELY if I have over-stepped my abilities….

    It is not an aspect that I can ignore.
    Wonder why most books do not delve deeper into it. Cant wait until you divulge what you think,Donna.

    Molly K.

  9. My case is similar to that of Petals above. I have a planet (Moon in Libra in 11th) that semisquares a powerhouse configuration of Saturn in Scorpio on Asc squaring Jupiter conjunct Pluto in Leo at MC (from late 9th house side). These semisquares are the Moon’s sole aspects (save for a quintile to Uranus).

    My experience finds me repeatedly, but not frequently, joining groups based on business or social interests and, sure ’nuff, they’re populated mostly by women. The groups are always disappointing for a variety of reasons, and so, I terminate membership if the group hasn’t already quickly fizzled anyway.

    It would nice if the Moon-in-between of mine could ameliorate my Asc and MC issues, but it doesn’t seem to work this way. Is there some potential here that I’m overlooking?

  10. Great series, Donna! I’ve been wondering about minor aspects for a while. I missed the one on septiles but will follow along now. I’ve no semisquares but enjoying reading the other comments.

  11. This discussion on minor aspects is so wonderful, especially for a person who has not considered them in his or her chart. For example, I just discovered I have Neptune SSquare Sun! This is an Aha! moment, but not a surprise. With Neptune rising in Libra, I am extremely Neptunian! Saturn (in Virgo) also squares my sun (Sag), and Saturn is in the 12th house. Again, prone to “dissolution.”

    I cannot discern whether or not the Neptune SSQ Sun plays into my lifelong sense of feeling amorphous and “not here” but I suspect it does. Since Neptune is my rising planet, and my sun is in the cadent third house, Neptune is also stronger in my chart.

    I have been a musician, and involved in many psychic and occult phenomena in my life, as well as a dancer and teacher. Most of my relationships have been with people who are either musicians, or people with a substance abuse issue. (Though I myself have never had such an issue.) Water is the only element that makes me feel whole. And earth is always very soothing.

    But as I said, this is extremely revealing to me and I think explains a lot about my life. I can never seem to get comfortable with the Neptune! Being mostly fire and air, it is always an obstacle. I don’t know if that’s because of the SSQ. Maybe. Soon I will have transiting Neptune square my sun for quite awhile. Maybe I will learn more then. Thanks again, Donna.

    • Thank you for sharing in such crystal clear detail, Regine, very useful. As you and Mandi (who wrote the first description up at the top) both have Sun semisquare Neptune, it might be very revealing to chat with one another about how it’s been working on various additional levels. Click on her name, and you’ll get to her website, good lady. Donna

      • Thanks Donna… I will check out Mandi’s Website and send her a note … Be well, Regine

      • Yes, please feel free to get in touch Regine, you can contact my via my website or find me on Facebook.

        I’m only really ‘discovered’ my Sun s-square Neptune when Solar Arc Neptune was on my Sun a couple of years back and I started ‘doing’ the aspect quite strongly, so it would be great to share experiences 😀

  12. I have a Cap moon in the 8th semisquare my Scorpio Saturn(retrograde) in the 7th. Kindof a mutual reception thing going on there too. Describes my emotional difficulites with my cold Mom and my relationship issues. Being a Cancer, with Mars/Ur in Cancer in the 4th – my emotional needs are/were often frustrated. I’ve learned to set boundaries on my emotional expression and to take care of myself emotionally the best I can rather than turn to family.

    • Kim, I have the Cancer Mars/Uranus conjunction in my 12th. Just wondered if you have problems expressing your anger, or does your anger just pop out at times? I do not like getting angry, so attribute that to the 12th, and possibly Cancer too.
      I often thought a Cap Moon would help balance out the emotions of a Cancer sun. Does it do that for you, or are your emotions confusing to you? Would that also be where the Semisquare to the Saturn comes in? Would that also put a cap…lol…on your emotions?

      • Hi Susie – I often think if I didn’t have that Cap moon (my only earth planet) I would just float away! haha My 4th stellium of Mar/Uranus in Cancer and Jupiter in early Leo does give me a temper – it’s my Dad’s temper (as everyone in my family so generously reminds me). I’ve come to realize that my energy level is very influenced by my emotional response to things. If I’m doing something I don’t like to do the energy’s not there. But if it’s an outdoor artshow I can outlast everyone, maybe even the Aries Mars people!
        The Cap moon makes me cautious, conservative, self-critical to a fault, perfectionistic, insecure. It makes me think all my feelings are bad and not “proper” to be expressed so (my Mom’s voice). My best friends are people that allow my passionate side to be expressed. My Cap moon prevents me from really going over the top.
        Examining my chart further, I’ve noticed I have another Semisquare between my Sun in Cancer in the 3rd and Pluto in Leo in the 5th. This is very revealing and enlightening to me. Could explain further my parents not wanting me to become an artist, “children are to be seen and not heard” attitude. I also can’t stand authority figures very well – and I’ve taken on abusive bosses several times and made a scene, called the health dept on one and up and quit over principles in my younger days. No one can push me around.
        Yet I feel it all.
        Pluto is also trine that Cap moon. Sun is trine that Scorpio Saturn. Similar energy expressed several times throughout the chart. Strong Cancer/moon energy against strong Saturn/Cap/Scorpio energy.

      • Thanks Kim,
        I am always curious about the Mars/Uranus aspect. I guess because it annoys me that I can’t control it as much as it seems to control me. LOL

        My Moon is in Sag and I love that placement. I too will mouth off to authority figures if I feel they are wrong, and will report wrong doing even though I know it will cause me problems in the long run. I attribute that to the Trine with the Sag Moon, Mercury/Pluto and Jupiter. I report people who abuse animals. Moon is in the 6th.

        Sorry for getting off the semisquare subject.

  13. I have Uranus at 4 Cancer in the 6th semi-square Pluto in Leo.

    I think of a semi-square as a benign stress/attractor because it reminds me of how the Sun and Venus stay in that sapect a while when Venus changes direction.

    With Uranus in the 6th, I have for years used astrology as a lens – thinking, planning, adjusting – as part of my every day routiene. By constant study I’ve developed techniques for utilizing the creative power of Pluto in Leo; all for the fun of it.

    ‘Hidden” is a good expression here. Astrology is continually facinating but I have chosen a different career.

    • I like what you say about it being a benign stress attractor, Sherry. I can see that in my semisquare between Mercury in Gemini and Pluto. My Merc in Gemini wants nooooo part of this intense stuff I’m always drawn to write (death, abuse, depth psychology, mediumship, give me a break!!!)

      So there’s restlessness, unease, and plenty of avoidance behavior when I settle in to write about topics like these. (Knowing about this aspect, I have NEVER, ever doubted that semisquares work!) And yet the Mercury in Gemini is absolutely neccessary to writing them in ways that people can understand and sit through. The Mercury-Pluto aspect even produces the occasional bit of twisted humor. Donna

  14. Hello! This is my first time commenting on the blog so here goes! I have four semisquares (which are all under 1 degree). Venus to my Sun/Mars conj. and MC to the same conjunction. I have Leo rising and Aries MC (Taurus intercepted in 10th with Venus widely conjunct asc.) so these semisquares take on a big part in my life (not to mention the same conjunction sesquiquadrate to Saturn/Pluto in Libra, but that’s another post, I guess.)

    Anytime I’ve ever read the interpretation for semisquares it seemed a tad negative, but that hasn’t been my full experience. Although there is a stronger energy than the sextile and trines, it’s not nearly as blocked as a square. In fact, it seems to be a pretty driving force in my life, although that could be because the planets in minor aspect are important rulers. It’s interesting that petals mentioned how it seemed like a blind spot because I’d have to agree, a bit. To me it’s more of a cardinal energy than a fixed energy, if you know what I mean. There’s enough kick to just “do” whatever the planets represent.

    Venus semisquare Sun/Mars semisquare MC
    I’ve always been a very artistic person, and always pretty sensual, erotic. I’ve been singing since before I can talk and always knew I wanted to be a performer. I was always very diplomatic, but once people got to know me, they soon discovered that I wasn’t a pushover. Whenever I set my mind to a goal, that was it, it was going to happen. I do believe the Venus aspect would cause a bit of vacillation in what I decided on doing. I’ll save other descriptions that seem to pick up the inflections that the sesquiquadrates seem to give to these aspects. Hope this helps!

    • Welcome, Jjason, and thanks for sharing your semisquares. It seems like you are really in touch with them, and you’ve given a really clear picture. Just what we need. Donna

  15. Hi Donna,
    I have a few semi-squares in my chart the closest is 11′ between Mercury at 21Ca38′ in the 8th house and Pluto at at 06Virgo48′ conjunct the MC at 07Virgo00′.
    The semi-square in my experience works intermittently, sorry if that’s a bit vague but there are times when I just open my mouth (mostly at work or in a Public MC situation) and I express the TRUTH (and other people hold their breath)! The best bit is I get away with it either because its taken very seriously and managers then act on my advice or mostly its simply ignored! And I mean totally ignored – they act as if I had never spoken and no-one ever mentions it again, until they they resurect it in another context as their idea!
    There doesn’t seem to be a half way house with this aspect. I have a whole load of folks at work who think I’m a complete air head and then another quite separate bunch who think I’m too intense, serious and boring.
    For me the semi-square operates inconsistently and is quite dependent on the situation – sometimes for me it is totally full-on and other times seems to be in the back-ground.
    When it operates in full-on mode for me at least there is one consistent thing that must be related to the Pluto/MC conjunction.
    Almost invariably someone else in my team at work would take any ideas I have espoused and make them their own and achieve the promotion attached to this!
    It’s happened time and time again. So many that when I was younger I became a (highly paid) contract worker because at least I didn’t have to deal emotionally with this as I could justify my apparent irrelevance in the job against my high salary!
    I think this is the gist of my Mercury / Pluto semi-square to be able to state the facts and let someone else take the glory for expressing them.
    Mmmmm semi-squares for me they

    • Hi, Lesley. I have a Mercury-Pluto semisquare also, which I just remarked on in my response to Sherry above, so do take a look at that. But I was very interested in your comments on being seen as an airhead and having others take credit for your ideas.

      Mine isn’t precisely the same, but I do think many of my more academic/intellectual colleagues see me as more light-weight than I am because I work so hard to express psychological insights in everyday language. (It is NOT easy to write so simply–it’s often a wrestling match to get it down on paper. )

      Because I shun 4-syllable words, there’s a good bit of looking down one’s nose at my “pop astrology.” In fact, my own teacher sneered at me for my writing, saying I “spoon fed” my readers…which still rankles all these years later. Well, nuts, getting ideas across to my readers is way more important to me than academic recognition. Donna

      • I think it is great that you don’t try to talk above everyone or dazzle us with big words. You want to get your point across to everyone, regardless of their level of knowledge. If you didn’t, people like me who are just learning astrology would never have a chance to increase their knowledge.

        So thanks from me!

      • Thanks, Susie–that’s my goal: no astrology student left behind! Donna

      • Your teacher was nuts, Donna! What could possibly be wrong with putting your extensive knowledge into a format that everybody can understand? I mean, if one’s goal is to teach and clearly communicate ideas, what good does it do if you’re speaking a language that’s hard for people to understand? You lose your reader’s interest if they have to sit there and dissect every fifth word that comes out of your mouth! Being intelligent and well-spoken is one thing, and being and effective transmitter of ideas is quite another……sounds like a case of Jupiter vs. Mercury to me!

        It doesn’t matter how large our vocabulary is if we can’t reach people effectively with it, and similarly having a broad knowledge base but being unable to break it down and effectually convey that knowledge to others makes it almost impotent in a way. In my opinion, this is what separates teachers from academics. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being a scholar, but the mind can be so absorbed in higher principles that something can get lost in translation when one tries to bring it down to Earth…It’s all about being able to take those great big lofty ideas, those wonderful theories, and that considerable intelligence and being able to condense it into a format that others will find relatable if your goal is to share it with others.

        I too have fought this battle, but instead of being chided I was lauded for “taking a topic which can be hard to wrap your head around and making it much easier to digest”. I greatly appreciate it when others do the same, because I know firsthand it isn’t an easy thing to do. So keep fighting the good fight 🙂

      • Thanks, Alethea, I have no doubt that I’ve made the right choice! Donna

  16. I have 2 close semisquares:

    Saturn in Cancer semisquare (11th) my Ascendant in Virgo

    Ceres in Gemini (10th) semisquare Jupiter in Taurus (9th)

    When I think about Ceres and Jupiter what comes to mind is that although I eat well, talk about eating well and care about eating well…I still like to indulge in yummy things with a Taurean appetite. However, it’s not the indulgence of a trine, just the occassional, “I probably shouldn’t eat this, but I’m going to anyway” moment- nothing super serious.

    Saturn semisquare to my Ascendant makes me think that sometimes I am more reserved outwardly than I’d really like to be. Again, it’s not a huge battle, but it’s annoying.

    What do you think?

    • I’ll take your word for it on the asteroids, Michelle, but that Saturn semisquare the Ascendant rings bells. I don’t think we’ve ever discussed it here, but squares, semisquares, and quincunxes to the Ascendant are so easy to miss in chart interpretation, yet they modify the way we project ourselves in a really powerful yet not obvious way. Donna

      • donna, can we have a quincunx article some time? because i’ve got quite a few and am VERY intrigued by them.

  17. Thanks, Donna, for this series.

    I looked at the charts of my family. My mother had Sun semisquare Venus and Sun semisquare Mars. My father had Venus semisquare Mercury.

    Four out of six kids, myself included, have Sun semisquare Venus, Mars, or Mercury and a fifth brother has Venus semisquare Mars and Mercury!

    I don’t know what this means and I haven’t read the comments above because I wanted to have a go at this first.

    My parents had the worst communication and affection between them of anyone I’ve ever known. I never saw them touch each other and they were constantly mad at each other, my father yelling and then giving the silent treatment, my mother constantly criticizing him behind his back.

    I think with these role models, we kids have had a very hard time reconciling our needs for clear honest communication, open affection, and self-protective assertiveness. I know that I, with Sun semisquare Mars, have had a very difficult time standing up for myself and when I was younger I was constantly afraid. On the positive side, I have great will-power and can accomplish anything I set my mind to.

    Looking forward to learning more. Thanks again.

    • I will say two things–aspects do run in families, as your story demonstrates, and are an important part of the family story. (Here, dysfunctional communication patterns.)

      The other is that semisquares between Mercury, Venus, and the Sun are probably the most frequent semiquares because Mercury is never more than 28 degrees from the Sun, and Venus is never more than 47 degrees from the Sun. Donna

  18. I’ve a couple semisquares: Sun/Pluto in Libra semisquare Venus in Sag, Mars in Leo semisquare Saturn in Libra, Saturn in Libra semisquare Uranus in Scorpio. With the first set I can only think that somehow my lack of romantic relationships must be involved- men somehow don’t perceive me as an appropriate/acceptable partner to pursue. I don’t seem to come off as very feminine/girly, though it is odd that women often complement me on my style, or strength of character (being very self-reliant). There’s just something that’s making the Venus expression come out distorted. Probably having Venus in freedom-loving Sagittarius doesn’t help.

    My Mars-Uranus square, with Saturn smack dab in the middle, is the one aspect in my chart I’ve always had no clue about. Mars-Uranus to me screams carelessness, accidents, explosive tempers, rebelliousness. Yet I’ve always been a very calm, cool, and collected person, bearing whatever burdens are placed on me, considering all viewpoints before taking action- especially if emotions are involved, also someone that people go to for advice, and someone who weathers the worst of it, and is none the worse for wear. I’m wondering now if perhaps the key to not showing/experiencing the negative side of Mars-Uranus is by embodying the midpoint between them, which happens to be my Saturn in Libra.

    • Also, come to think of it, the Venus-Pluto semisquare might explain why the very few men that HAVE shown interest in me only want sex, they perceive me as such (and have literally told me, “I only want to have sex with you, not a relationship). They for some reason (my friends and I are completely baffled by this one, I come off as neither sexy nor slutty nor easy- am reserved and conservative in appearance/actions if anything) are also confused that I am not interested in just sex. This is so bizarre to me.

    • Exactly, Dizzy, you’ve got one of those midpoint configurations going on that I described earlier. The midpoint of Mars/Uranus=Saturn. So Saturn (innate caution) puts a chill on the fiery temper and impulsiveness of a Mars-Uranus aspect. Donna

  19. I have one semi-square from Venus in Gemini (8th) to Saturn in Leo (9th).

    My father has a stellium of personal planets in Capricorn so is emotionally absent in my life, but this is not something that bothers me, as I very much accept the way he is and his other strengths.

    This aspect removes all of Gemini’s flirting ability, to the extent that I can be utterly useless around someone I find attractive. Relationships aren’t to be taken lightly and are analysed intensely, character flaws are stripped apart (Saturn and Pluto are dominant throughout my chart though). It wasn’t until my Saturn return that I started to find my own femininity and be able to express it in someway. I was very unaware of my sexuality as viewed by others, and this is still something I struggle to grasp.

    I can get a good sense of the signs and planets, but the house placement isn’t coming as strongly. I read your old post regarding Saturn-Venus aspects and I relate to it very much, but the semi-sq doesn’t seem to have the angst of a square. It’s not an ideal situation, but there seems to be something more accepting in the relationship between semi-squared planets. There’s no battle of wills, it simply ‘is’. Does that make sense?

    • Hi, Tizer, what you describe is very much a Venus-Saturn pattern, and it’s interesting to hear the spin the semisquare seems to put on it. I kind of get the sense of a square on a very short leash? Donna

      • Yes, a reined in square without the action/resistance.

      • An annoyance, but you can resist the need to scratch!

      • oops, turns out mine is another mid-point square. There’s also Venus to Chiron in Taurus (6th). Although I can really see the Venus to Saturn, I’ve no sense of Chiron or the 6th house. Perhaps because Virgo is intercepted in my chart?

      • Maybe the interception, or maybe it just takes more pondering to see how it works in your life. You might backtrack to see what you went through when something transited that postion. Donna

  20. OK, I have the in-betweenium Venus stuck SSQ between Mercury SQ Jupiter. You were saying that was a special configuration, Donna. Mercury is my rising planet in Pisces; Venus just barely in Taurus; Jupiter in Gemini. So apparently only my love of beauty and the veneer of civilization keep me from my runaway mouth? My only refuge from the over-Merc (score 58) is in nature and art? Or is it if I’m talking about the arts, I go on…and on…and on?

    • If I understand you correctly, I have the same configuration:

      Mercury square Saturn both SSQ Neptune. It’s like a yod, but with no give.

    • In any planetary configuration, you have to think as much about the affinity the planets have for one another as you do about the nature of the angle. Venus, Jupiter, and Mercury can all be quite compatible. Donna

      • The planetary compatibility makes sense, because I was actually stretching to find the friction here! Joking aside, the scenarios I described are indeed true for me; just about the only relief from racing (good racing or bad racing) thought processes is to find refuge in nature and art. There, time can stand still a minute and I’m known to be silent for, well, even MINUTES on end! Thanks!

  21. I’ve been thinking about it, and my conclusion is that most of these semisquares are actually inconjuncts or aversions, since planets can’t see planets that are one house away. There could be some semisquares that span three houses, if the houses in question are small and the planets in question are placed near the cusps, in which case, the two planets would be able to view each other in a sextile type fashion with squarish focus perhaps? Aversive energy does have its own frisson, a kind of uncomfortable but not necessarily strong kind of thing that could be interpreted as a “weak square.”

    I have a Moon semisquare Uranus in the 4th with a tiny orb of like 10 minutes, but I think I could get the same interpretation from my Moon (ruler of Asc) in the house of its Joy, Bona Dea, in the sign of Virgo, in several kinds of mutual reception with Mercury in Taurus (ruler of my Sun), ruler of my 4th, in close opposition with Mars in Pisces/antiscial Pars Fortuna conjunction on the cusp of the House of the 9th! No especial need for minor aspects.

  22. Hi Donna:

    I have a fairly tight semisquare between Saturn in Capricorn in the 11th H and Mercury in Pisces in the 12th H conjunct my Asc. Reflecting back, I would say that one of the ways if shows up in my life is that I do mispronounce some words no matter how much I train myself with the correct pronunciation. It just comes wrong! Another way it used to show up was in my communications with my father. No matter how I said it and how many times I said, he would not listen to me. Also a general sense of being unheard by people in my life and misunderstood.
    I would say that words are difficult for me to express. It’s a vast ocean of deep and serious words and thoughts trying to squeeze out from a a very tiny and narrow funnel. It gets all very convoluted.

    • And yet when you write, you have so much of value to say, Fabienne. Much of what you’re describing does fit the Mercury-Saturn patterns described in the recent post on that aspect–including the self-doubt where one’s mental abilities are concerned. It sounds like you read it. Donna

      • I did read your article on Mercury-Saturn and resonate in many ways with it, I have been thinking about the subject since yesterday. I was not totally satisfied with my contribution. I had a feeling I was missing something important. And then it hit me this afternoon. My Saturn-Mercury semi-square is all about FEAR. I am terribly afraid on being judged on what I am saying, especially if I want to communicate something that is really important to me. It creates major anxiety and a “shyness” of expression. The fear scenario kicks in. How my peers, friends and groups are going to judge me and find my words unworthy. Coupled with a deep seated belief that I am not heard when I express an opinion and therefore I have no voice, you have an aspect where the Internal dialogue is rich, imaginative – the easy, flowing aspect of the sextile but in a more dim way and the stress aspect of the square that feels that whatever it will be judged negatively. Shake it and you have an experiential manifestation of a semi-square aspect between Mercury and Saturn.

      • That’s very difficult, Fabienne, to live with such anxiety about your communication. I wonder if being tri-lingual also contributes a certain hesitation. I was a language major for a long time (9th grade through half of my junior year in college). At one point I was living in a house where we were only to speak German, having meals at a table where we were only to speak French, having classes conducted in both languages, and working for tuition in the language lab. I got more fluent in German and French, but wound up stuttering in English!

        I am wondering whether flower essences might help with some of the self-doubt and uncertainty. Let me give some thought to it. Ah, there are several relevant ones from the Flower Essence Society there in California, and I’d bet there are health food stores in SF that carry them. For starters, Sunflower for self-confidence, Buttercup for valuing your own talents and abilities, and Goldenrod for valuing and adhering to your own opinions and truth. If you haven’t dowloaded my introductory chapter about how to use the essences, look under Healing Tools for flower essence articles. Donna

      • Fabienne
        I kind of understand what you mean about the fear. There’s such inherent caution about speaking out loud that the internal voice rehearses what you’re going to say over and over. Quite often this takes so long that the moment to speak has gone.

  23. Thanks for this series, Donna. I don’t generally use semi-squares and septiles, etc. in consultation. There’s too much to say about the major aspects already and I don’t know enough about the minor ones. But I do love to learn something new.

    Closest I have to a semi-square is 48 degrees 5 minutes between Saturn and Mercury. Like Fabienne above, Saturn seems to represent my father. In this case, it’s his disapproval of my constant talking. Lots of ‘shut up!’ vibes in my childhood.

    Also, I really think before I speak. Always wondered where that came from astrologically. As my sister once said, all my father’s kids were out of college before we realized that some people are allowed to just talk normally without having to defend every word.

    This is fascinating. I always thought that was a manifestation of Pluto in Virgo square Mars in Gemini. But this semi-square is a bit more precise in describing some of the energy. And adds the Saturn-y diplomatic properness impulse I feel that Pluto square Mars doesn’t convey. I think both aspects are in play at once–which is usually the case with charts. They’re complex and subtle little buggers, aren’t they?

    Great post, great comments.

    • HI, Victoria. Working with clients, of course, we need to zero in on the parts of the chart that are currently bringing up issues.

      But as a long-term tool for sef-knowledge, our own charts are endlessly fascinating. Since I started looking at these minor aspects, I’ve found many that I’d never discovered in all these years. What fun! Chiron hadn’t been discovered when I first looked for them back in the late 1960s, and I have several aspects to that.

      And, yes, the post about Mercury-Saturn aspects and the comments on that have really brought a lot of information and insights into that aspect. And I don’t know if you’ve been back to the post on Saturn-Neptune, but the comments on that are so eeriely similar. What a great tool for in-depth study this blog has turned out to be! Donna

  24. Excellent and thought provoking as usual Donna. Your brand of “pop astrology” is so very educational.

    Had a quick look at my chart and found just a few ssquares that’s also part of midpoint config:

    Sun/Neptune (Scorpio-6th) ssq Venus (Cap-8th)
    MC (Aqu) ssq Venus
    Sun/Nep square MC

    Intuitively I hear words like mediator, diffusion, softening, “translator” when I think about how Venus relates to this natal square. My Venus has always felt a bit disconnected from the rest of my chart/life. Now I wonder if it’s been busy behind the scenes more than I realized.

    I looked for patterns in my family members charts and discovered that my son and I both have our Suns ssquare Venus and have MC ssquares (mine to Venus; his to Jupiter). My Venus is opposite Jupiter natally. Mentally we’re pretty simpatico. I “get” how he thinks better than my husband does, but we’re also pretty different-yet compatible somehow.

    Will continue to ponder these semi-squares and watch how they emerge in my life.

  25. i have two semi squares accodring to

    mercury in gem in the 3rd s.square ascendant/jupiter (cusp of 1) in aries: i have always been a very quiet person. as an adult, ive found that if i hold my tongue (which is hard when im arround my close friends and family) the weight of my words is tinged with an arien command instead of gemini flippedness. as a kid, this translated into a quiet student who always had the answers but only when pressed.

    its very hard for me to differentiate between the s.square and my moon/saturn conjunction
    opposing mars (in gem in the 3rd as well) however. my moon/saturn combo makes me a closed off individual in general, though ive come to see the aspect as a marker for low self esteem more than an unwillingness to talk.

  26. I have Sun in the midpoint of Pluto and Saturn. They are both semisquare to my sun.

    It’s like being crashed at both ends, but I don’t really notice (’cause it’s normal).

    Semisquare: it’s like a square but more internal, maybe? Maybe has a difficulty in getting into Action? It wants to act – but doesn’t know how? It kind of “implodes” inside because there’s no visible outlet? I don’t know: those are just my

    • Hi Dunya,
      That sounds like you have little devils/or angels on each shoulder trying to tell you what to do, and the Sun doesn’t know who to trust. Does that make sense?

      • Humm, I don’t know. That explanation doesn’t “click” with me.

        It’s more like both Saturn and Pluto are preventing me from fully expressing myself and from having Joy (9th house Leo sun).

        To me they are both “devils”, even though I like Pluto very much (I do, dude, really). I’ve always prefered Pluto to Saturn… :p

      • LOL, yes, it’s wise to placate Pluto! I’ve always been a great fan of Pluto myself. (One time I was speaking in Brazil, and the next day the headline in the newspaper about my lecture said, “It’s all Pluto’s Fault.” I wanted to ask them to print a retraction!)

        What’s going on here is another midpoint configuration, where two planets are square, and the third is in the middle, 45 degrees from each other. (Saturn/Pluto=Sun) That’s another type of aspect/configuration, and not a pure case of the semisquare. And, yeah, it would tend to put a damper on self-expression.

  27. Interesting post, Donna.

    I have two semisquares that stand out. To understand it better, picture Mars squaring Uranus and with the Sun right at the midpoint. Hence, that gives Sun semisquare Uranus and Sun semisquare Mars.

    This creates an emphasized (intensified) midpoint picture of Sun = Mars/Uranus, since the elements of the midpoint picture are themselves in aspect.

    Ebertin defines this as “A sound physique capable of sudden extra effort, a person who is able to act quickly. A sudden adjustment to new circumstances and conditions in life, injury, accident, operation, birth.”

    First off… I haven’t been in the hospital, except at visiting hours! I have never had surgery, unless we count a tooth-pulling. My first two main jobs relied heavily on my being physically strong and able to maneuver heavy weights repetitively. My Wife has often said that I don’t realize how strong I actually am. (I think part of this is the fact that I am a triple-Cancer, so of course have a Kung Fu grip!) 😉 When circumstances are in flux and something is happening that requires immediate response, I have usually been the go-to guy. I have had quite a few accidents and usually caused by not taking pause and instead pushing myself too much… I am a bit surprised in that Sun at the midpoint of a Mars-Uranus square would normally have me expect some type of heart surgery (especially since it runs in the family). Since my Sun is in a grand trine with Jupiter and Neptune, that might be my “saving grace” that (so far) has kept me off the operating table.

    One comment that I would like to make, based on my experience, is that a TIGHT semisquare is more “powerful” than a loose square is. It is listed as a minor aspect, but many very proficient astrologers don’t see it as a minor aspect at all. Ebertin! I agree with them. (The sesquisquare falls into this category as well, since it is also an aspect that comes to us from the 8th harmonic division of the circle.)

    Thanks for more food for thought, Donna



    • Good to hear from you, James. I do suspect there’s a bit of data contamination going on here, because so many of the readers reporting in have this midpoint situation. I never guessed there were so many squares bisected by semisquares. The midpoint situation I’m much more familiar with is a trine between two planets that has a sextile planet inbetween, a nice one.

      Oh, I believe you about a tight semisquare being more powerful than a loose square as that’s the case in my chart–well, I’d say that a tight semisquare is AS POWERFUL AS a loose square.

      Thanks for bringing that about the midpoints. The Ebertins’ work is somewhat out of fashion now, since I think they’re all dead except maybe the son. But you live in Germany, where I’m sure it’s still strong. Any interest in doing an article for us on midpoints? But for this readership, I think it would have to be available on computer programs. Back in the dark ages, I calculated all 144 (right?) of mine by hand. Donna

      • Hello Donna,

        Re: Midpoints

        The formula will be ((n)(n-1))/2

        Since normally, we are talking about 13 factors (10 “Planets” + Asc + MC + Node), 13 * 12 = 156. 156/2 = 78 “standard” midpoints

        Re: Ebertin, out of fashion

        I think that it’s a common phrase concerning the seriousness of his delineations in Combination of Stellar Influences. They aren’t meant to be taken strictly literally…they’re a foundation to leap from, using the details that you know and your intuition. Still, I think you are right in that there’s not much support for his work, since no one is actively promoting it. I don’t think that any astrologer should be without COSI. Additionally, he wrote an excellent book on medical astrology called Astrological Healing that I think was his last book.

        Thanks for all of your writing. You not only disseminate a lot of information, you have people studying their chart and reapplying themselves to it, which can only lead to greater understanding. A greater gift. Good job, Donna



      • Thanks for the input, James…and the validation. Donna

  28. I have Venus in Taurus (1st) semisquare Jupiter in Aries (12th) This has been an exciting discovery for me since I have this paradoxical relationship with my Venus – it is in Taurus and in the 1st house, but it forms no aspects except for a very loose square with Mars in Aquarius (6 degree orb). So I sort of assumed I just don’t have Venus despite all the stuff astrological cookbooks tell us about how Taurus Venus wants to be rubbed with aromatic oils and roll in velvet and silk all day long. I would think the Jupiter semisquare is responsible for my tendency for procrastination and sweet tooth.

    The other semisquare is Moon in Capricorn (10th) with Mars in Aquarius (11th) I guess this is responsible for my terrible flares of temper, especially in my workplace and with people who don’t get something as quickly as I think they should and I have to explain something for the umpteenth time.

    Fortunately I am extremely Saturnian (I never thought I would use ‘fortunately’ and ‘Saturn’ in one sentence!) so eventually I get over my procrastination, go on a diet and even can count to ten and take a deep breath. Or at least apologize.

  29. A sudden thought struck me – I hate shopping for clothes (I literally have to be dragged to shops by my well-meaning family and friends), I don’t give a bleep about home decoration etc. But (Venus in Taurus) I can spend any amount of money on lingerie and perfumes and I am very picky about them, things that you don’t see (Jupiter in 12th). Could it be one of these rare cases when a 12th house planet doesn’t mean prison, morgue or asylum? 🙂

    • Hi, Tatiana, that really does sound like a Venus-Jupiter semisquare. But you’re joking about the 12th being only about those institutions, right? I have quite a few articles about the 12th house here on Skywriter (use the search engine on the top right hand corner) and I am planning a Question & Answer session about the 12th house later this week. Donna

      PS. Six degree squares really do work, so don’t count yours out!

      • oh! donna! yes yes! 12th house! man, i am loving this forum. 🙂

  30. Sure I am joking. The thing is, I have a big 12th house with its cusp in Pisces and three planets inside (Sun included). As a student of astrology I’ve read enough interpretations indicating I should commit myself to the nearest psychiatric hospital, pronto. Of course this does not pertain to your texts on this house. Looking forward to the Q &A.

  31. I have Neptune in Scorpio semisquare Saturn in Sag. Seems like I always have problems, in that my ideals, my dreams and my fantasies are always stopped short by the real world and it’s demands. I am guilty of ignoring those parts of reality that I don’t want to face, and I do it at my peril.

    I also have Mars in Cancer semisquare Moon in Leo. Lots of problems in dealing with assertion and aggression. Many times, I am either too forward or not forward enough, which causes me much frustration.

    It would seem as though the semisquare acts as a kind of barrier when the individual attempts to integrate the planets and signs involved. Frustration seems to be the word I come up with when I think of this aspect.

    • Hi, Jack. Frustration does often seem part of the process, but perhaps its the combination of planets that determine the outcome. Have you read the article “Getting a Grip on Neptune-Saturn aspects” –I’d be curious to see if you relate to it and to what degree? Some of the effects reported in the comment section are very difficult, but I don’t know if the semisquare would be anwhere near as difficult. I suspect not. It’s at Donna

      • Donna, I just read the Neputune-Saturn article and it really applies to me. Amazing. I have been studying astrology for over 30 years and have always considered the minor aspects to be truly minor. Now I know that’s not so! Thanks for the education – a lot of us have needed a site like this for a long time.

        Also, I noticed that in my two semisquares, one planet in each pair trines one planet in the other almost by degree. My Mars trines my Neptune and my Moon trines Saturn, while the Mars/Moon and Neptune/Saturn are the semisquare pairs. This gives me chills. I have a lot to study with a grouping such as this. Donna, how does one interpret four planets that form multiple aspects to each other in a group?

      • Yes, I would have been surprised it you didn’t related to the Neptune-Saturn article. It seems to be one of those overarching planetary patterns that sort of takes over the chart.

        As for those aspects that are all connected, it’s always a “good” thing, I think, if planets form connections like that to one another–little triangles that have no names are fascinating to me. It means they are somehow an integrated whole, where each participant has multiple ways to work with other planets. Not something to be scared of.

        I’m more concerned when there are planets hanging out in space all by their lonesome and don’t hook up with other planets or the Ascendant or Midheaven. Donna

      • “Yes, I would have been surprised it you didn’t related to the Neptune-Saturn article. It seems to be one of those overarching planetary patterns that sort of takes over the chart.”

        Donna, can you expand on this?

      • Well, what I’m trying to convey is that when I’ve worked with clients who had a hard Saturn-Neptune aspect in their chart, the painful childhood wounds having to do with parents who were Neptunian (alcoholism, chronic physical or mental illness, often) were the hardest things for them to overcome and the residues seemed to be very hard to live with.

        There were often boundary issues and codependency due to having had to take on adult responsibilities their parents did not fulfill. And there was often depression. In short, all the issues discussed in the article on Saturn-Neptune aspects on this blog.

        Though I’d had plenty of clients over the years with Neptune-Saturn aspects, I did not expect them to be as prevalent and as strong as they were for the people who wrote their stories in the comment section for that article. Donna

    • Hi Jack, Is interesting that my son has the same ssq of mars in cancer and moon in leo. I was wondering if you can tell me more about your experience, I’m looking for ways to help him express his mars and his moon in a positive way from an early age. Thanks!

  32. Hi,

    I have two semi-squares in my chart (three if you count Eris) and one kinda ‘leaps out’. Moon in 11th (11 deg Virgo) aspects Pluto in 12th (24 deg Libra).
    Whenever something affects me, it can be like a punch to the gut; the Moon and Pluto seem to enjoy leaping into the abyss together. Also, anything affecting me in terms of anger, in particular, seems to really hit me, since I have a stellium in the 12th, with Pluto, Mars, Saturn and Jupiter at the end of it.

    The other semi-square, which I don’t really profess to understand, is between Uranus and Saturn. I always seem to vacillate between the need for structure and the need for freedom. Considering also that the stellium above is in Libra, there is an especial need for balance between order and freedom, a need for flexibility.

    • Two strong semisquares. While the one from the Moon to Pluto in the 12th might be harder to bring emotions out into the world, it’s so important to do so that it doesn’t translate into psychosomatic illesses (a property of Virgo Moon is allergies or sensitivities). As it’s in the 11th, a good support for bringing the hidden out into the open might be well-chosen friends or groups. Another possibility might be that your work might someday involve doing just that.

      Uranus-Saturn aspects have been a lifelong study of mine, since I have it conjunct, the subject of a chapter in volume 3 of The Outer Planets and Inner Life. My keyword for that aspect is what I call myself, a sane weirdo. We try to combine the traditional and sensible with the modern, nonmainstream and in so doing, act as a sort of bridge or transitional figure. Does that ring any bells for you? Donna

      • HA! “sane wierdo” – I love it! Have a septile between the two and I would say this succinctly sums it up. Don’t really come off as “wierd” at all even though I’ve always felt quite different – makes the wierdness much more palatable I think. I’ve always chalked up the “wack factor” to having Uranus inconjunct my Sun, but can now see how the Saturn-Uranus septile regulates it a bit! Thanks!

      • Enjoy it, Alethea–I tend to believe it’s a good aspect on the whole, though putting one in the middle between the staid, solid citizens, and the wildly experimental ones. Donna

      • Regarding a ‘sane wierdo’ – YES. Quite definately.
        It’s not easy, is it, being out there enough to be wierd, but not enough to be ‘nuts’.

        I was *consistently* described as wierd, ALL THROUGH school.

        Not something I expect a therapist to expect – How on earth does one resolve something like this, anyway? Because eventually, if you’re sensitive (and I am), it affects your self-esteem

      • Ah, my heart goes out to you, Lostshoe. I have a Uranus-Saturn-Venus conjunction in the 11th and I ALWAYS felt weird and didn’t fit in anywhere until I got into astrology and started meeting people with the same interests in metaphysical topics that I had. If I’d stayed in my midwest rural home town I would have been the town witch. Even now, I don’t feel like I fit with mainstream people, but my friends are just as weird as I am, and I have also met others online like myself, so it doesn’t matter where we live. Having likeminded people in your life is what makes all the difference. We’ll always be weird, but we don’t have to be lonely. Donna

      • Huh – It finally hit me – Moon in 11th – Support groups as a source of emotional comfort. And perhaps friends coming out of that.

        No wonder is so popular. It must be *teeming* with 11th house people! 🙂

  33. Donna,

    Just a response to the apparent ‘spoon-feeding’ of readers…..

    I would vigorously disagree with anyone who says they cannot be bothered with explaining things in terms that their audience will understand.

    There are reasons why many, many children drop out of school; lack of understanding and teachers who do not feel it is their JOB to teach is one of them.
    In the same way, astrology is not well-understood because few astrologers bother to explain things in as many ways as possible.
    My conclusion: Only you and Elsa Panizzon do a decent job of explaining astrology (and to a lesser extent, Ray Merriman). You each have different approaches, neither of which is superior to the other. You provide the workbook version, she provides the salty version.
    It is BETWEEN THE TWO of you that I have learnt anything in astrology.

    So please, do keep spoon-feeding us, your readers!

    • Thank you for that eloquent defense, Lostshoe. Open up and say ah, there’s another Q & A coming later this week, about the 12th house. Donna

  34. Final response – I promise!

    I was just thinking – if a square inherently represents a ‘fighting’ aspect, would the semi-square be the heckler around the two corners in the aspect?

    So, (in my case) Moon squares Uranus:
    Moon: ‘what did you say?’
    Uranus: ‘Them’s fighting words! Nobody stops me movin around!’

    Pluto (semi-square Moon, but not Uranus, oddly enough):
    Pluto: ‘Moon, girl, you gonna take that?! Uranus can’t just walk all over you!’

    Anybody else feel this way?

    • Love it, Lostshoe! I used to do a lot of astrodrama in my workshops, as they were such vivid teaching tools. Wish there was a way to do them on a blog. Donna

  35. i have been reading through all these posts the last two days and finally can sit here and write out my own s-square. this may be going out on a limb (i am not terribly confident in my interpretations even though i’ve been invested in astrology since i was 13 or 14 years old – 20 years now, holy crap!), but here goes:

    i have ONE s-square between venus (retrograde) at 25 leo in the 12th and pluto at 9 libra in the 2nd. i have never looked at s-squares before this discussion came up, but (if i may be so personal – which by the way, comes easier for me in writing than in person!!) having recently admitted in therapy that my brother sexually abused me when i was around 10-12 years old, i kept this to myself for so many years and made it “not a big thing” (still kinda doing that even though i know it IS a big thing). but i think the retrograde venus in the 12th combined with pluto signifies secretive affairs, plus pluto’s in libra (ruler of venus) and in the 2nd – well, i always think of self-esteem and self-worth as some of the 2nd house issues.

    i also have pluto trine moon (cusp of 6th), pluto sextile neptune (conjunct IC), and pluto semi-sextile my virgo ascendant (all of these are at either 8 or 9 degrees in their signs – very tight aspects).

    from the side of venus – my venus trines jupiter in aries (8th house) and i have been overweight since right about the same time this abuse happened. jupiter quincunxes my virgo sun. blah blah blah! i’m getting offtrack here! oh but also i correlate venus to sugar/sweetness and jupiter to expansion/overweight – i have been a sugar addict for probably 10 years or so now and am borderline diabetic. again, eating sugar to cope with a terrible family secret.

    i looked at my brother’s chart and his only s-square is between sun (in aries – quincunx my ascendant, trine my pluto, sextile my moon – all exact) in 5th and venus (in taurus – which trines my sun) in 7th. incidentally, he is rising scorpio (which i connect back to my pluto).

    beyond the abuse, i have been in a couple secretive romantic relationships in my past (pluto/venus or just venus in the 12th??).

    anyway, talking about this has actually given me some relief from keeping it to myself all these years (though nobody in my family knows and i would never confront my brother) and maybe i am really reaching looking for the patterns in my chart, but it is helpful.

    • You’re not “reaching” at all, Erin, and I’m glad you felt like you could share that secret here. It’s one stage of getting to heal. I worked quite intensely with sex abuse survivors for a number of years around the time my book, Healing Pluto Problems, was published. What often happens when you finally start to confront the abuse and it’s effects on you and your relationships, is that the layers of the mixed of emotions related to it come bubbling to the surface, one at a time. (fear, shame, anger, guilt, grief, etc.)

      It’s not a great idea to try to do it on your own, because 1)it can be rather overwhelming at times, 2)that doesn’t help dissipate the shame and sense of isolation associated with the secret in the same way sharing it with other survivors does, and 3)you can benefit from the range of healing tools that an alternative therapist can have to help you (flower essences, homeopathy, light, body work, etc). Find others who know how to work it through to share the process. Donna

      • thanks, donna. i see my therapist whose background is jungian psychology and dreamwork and also regularly see a naturopath who has prescribed a flower essences combo for me (and is working with me on my sugar addiction/weight issues). i also have a good friend who went through a similar situation with a cousin.

        i am definitely going through the layers you described, but honestly? this is the MOST i have allowed myself to FEEL in all my life! i think it’s quite good. sorry that i went through it, but glad to know i am going THROUGH it, i.e. going beyond it through feeling it instead of burying it with food and shame.

      • So good, Erin, you’re doing what you need to do to get free. Donna

    • Hi Erin,

      Thank you for sharing your story with us. I felt compelled to comment because, like you, I was molested by a family member when I was young – about 15 – and only recently (within the last few years) started talking about it. I too felt it was “no big deal” and can be quoted as having said “Of all the things that have happened to me in my life, this was one of the things that has affected me the least”. Still, something wasn’t right because if it hadn’t really affected me, why wasn’t I willing to about it?

      I’ve always been candid and honest about my life, even the less than pleasant parts, and though I don’t broach such topics when in polite company, I’ve never shied away from talking about my background and problems because I don’t feel ashamed of who I am and where I’ve come from. We all have a story, and if someone asks me to tell mine I’ll oblige because I think there’s a lot to be learned from it.

      As I started thinking more and more about this experience a few years ago it brought up some very mixed feelings for me. There are many layers and the relationship I had with my abuser was very complex. I loved him unconditionally (and still do) and have been able to come to a place of understanding how someone who I otherwise consider a good person could do something like this. Believe me, I am an excellent and shrewd judge of character, so this has nothing to do with wishful thinking or distorted perceptions on my part.

      I learned through another source in the family that his own family of origin had a history of sexual abuse as well. Boundaries surrounding affection were never made clear in his family and it is my belief that the expression of love gets confused between familial and romantic. Rather than hold anger and resentment about what was done to me, I see him as a hurting individual who then turned around and acted out the same type of abuse perpetuated upon him. It does not excuse his actions, but helps me to understand why this happened.

      The blessing for me in confronting all of this inwardly and being able to finally talk about this experience is that I’ve been able to truly make peace with it. Not just stuff it in the closet or hide it under the bed and tell myself it wasn’t a big thing, but really come to terms with the totality of what it has meant for me.

      Several months ago the abuser came to me from out of the blue and apologized for what he did to me. He made no excuses for himself and plain out said it was the worst thing he’s ever done in his life and that it disgusted him because he knew it was so completely wrong. He said that he didn’t understand why he did it and still doesn’t to this day. He’s been living with the full knowledge and guilt of what he had done to me and I felt no need punish him with angry words. I forgive him. However, our relationship changed forever 14 years ago, and though I truly love him things we will never again be close.

      The beauty in this experience for me was that it validated for me why I wasn’t angry with him all these years – he had the strength of character and enough courage to face up to this wrongdoing on his own, which is something your classic abuser doesn’t do. It validated for me the basic goodness that I’ve always known has existed inside of him and allowed me to make peace with myself for not being angry with him.

      I wanted to share my journey through abuse with you so that you could understand why it’s so important to take matters like this out of the closet and bring them to light. I’m sure your story is very different from mine and I don’t know what the ending will be, but there CAN be an ending once you address it. I see it all as a process of internal resolution. Blessings to you on your journey, and thanks for having the courage to tell your story – I know it wasn’t easy.

      • hi althea,

        thank you for sharing your story – i do appreciate it. in my case, i have come to realize he “sexualized” me. he was a curious young teenage boy with a little sister who was just hitting puberty herself, and he played a game with me that i for sure responded to naively. this only happened a few times – it was always about trying to see my chest (which he did). by the time i was 11 or 12, i found him spying on me after i’d get out of the shower (he’d sneak out the bathroom window and over the little gable rooftop to my bedroom window!). i caught him a few times, but never confronted him – i was so embarrassed. there was something else, too, but that is the gist of it. it probably is very different from your own personal experience, but i did kind of “forget” about it all these years.

        the other week, donna started a thread on 3rd house stuff and i made a connection to my brother’s pluto ascendant being the ruler of my 3rd house and there was one post about not trusting neighbors or not wanting to talk to neighbors (neighbors being a 3rd house element) – i think related to pluto/mercury/3rd house stuff. it HIT me that all these years, i have had a preoccupation with ALWAYS being sure my blinds/drapes were closed (at night mostly – but even daytime sometimes), practically OCD over the idea of anyone (neighbors) peering at me through a window – and how this is very much connected to how that felt to have my brother spy on me.

        it is fascinating and tremendously helpful for me as i work through my personal issues with the molestation and with my body (being overweight kept me well-guarded from men til my mid-20s) and abusing food to stymie my deep-rooted, awful (plutonian) feelings about all of it. i am just so grateful that i am facing this! so so grateful.

        i have looked at my brother’s chart and also knowing him my whole life and his relationships with women – i think it was honestly a kid not realizing what he was doing was more emotionally damaging than anything else. it did not go on and on because he got girlfriends was able to put his curiousity into them – like normal. he’s been a great brother in every other respect and is now a family man and a great dad. i have no idea if he ever thinks about all that, and in some ways i hope he doesn’t. i have forgiven him because he is a responsible adult now. he was a stupid kid then. my mom knows quite a bit about me, but i don’t share this with her because i don’t want her to look at him with different eyes. it’s hard, you know?

        you are a strong woman, althea, the way you have coped and faced your abuser. my hat’s off to you, and thank you for sharing. 🙂

  36. Dear Donna,

    I´ve found these semisquares in my chart. I hope my input is useful for you, as you articles are for myself.

    Sun in virgo 8th smsq jup in Leo 6th

    -it is easy for people to perceive me at work as a “know it all” but in a good way: people come to me for advice and answering their doubts and often assume I must know the answer.

    – I am prone to overdoing things. Alternate phases of lot of work with laziness and insanely disciplined health habits with crappy ones. Trying to find balance. Thank old Saturn.

    And I have enjoyed, in a way, this “favored”, “preferred”, exemplary (daughter, student,) dynamics.
    -Big aspirations, not going for the second best.
    -Prone to overweight.
    -The harder I work, the luckier I get.
    -A little hypochondriac.

    Sun in virgo 8th smsq venus in scorpio 9th

    -tendency to overdo “in depth” thoughts, actions, relationships
    -Enjoying style.
    -prone to self-criticism regarding my appearance.
    -attracted to arts, artists and artistic men, but exasperated when they lack of focus and hard to work to create, and then complain…
    -prone to be good-looking, but have to work hard, for it…
    – getting money from my own hard work in a foreign land. Thanks to Saturn, not overspending as I used to do.
    -put my creative powers in service of my integrity and well-being as well as the integrity and well being of others I love.
    -Love being praised. vanity, vanity…

    Moon in sag 11th smsq Uranus in 9th
    -work in a foreign-related institution.
    -had to move abroad to work in a foreign land.
    -enjoying stirring the pot with my habits in a country of very different cultural background
    -enjoying being the exotic, enlightened, independent, fiery female.
    -curious and respectful about other culture habits, but very careful of letting them into my home.
    -loved and a bit weird friends.Wild bunch of friends, group formed because of the work.
    -don’t like strangers in my home. Home is not for protocol. For friends and loved ones only.
    -instant insights about other people’s habits and moods. Full of theories and answers about them!
    -don’t understand what the hell the oppressed are thinking that haven’t rebelled yet , invaded our life and killed all of us damn bourgeois.

    Best regards Donna,


    • You did an excellent job of chronicalling the behavior patterns associated with those 3 aspects, Syd. Very useful! Donna

      • Mercury in virgo practicalityconjunct Saturn in virgo nit-picking 🙂



      • Hmm. We’re sure finding a lot of Mercury-Saturn semisquares, aren’t we? And there were lots of people who responded to that article on with Mercury-Saturn aspects too.

        You know why that might be? Because Mercury-Saturn people are the real scholars, the ones who study a subject in a serious, disciplined way and get to an advanced level. And the people who are drawn to this blog–whether advanced or just beginning–are very serious about learning astrology. This is becoming almost like a study group–such great participation! Donna

  37. Hi Donna – I have six semisquares. 2nd house Venus semisquares 12th house Pluto, making me amorous and intense in my emotions, but not jealous unless given reason to be. I learned long ago that certain types of relationships were not good for me. I’m also very committed to my values. And my Sun semisquares my Ascendant. Who am I really, and does it matter in lieu of my Virgo rising duties? That’s how it feels sometimes as I try to balance the two.

    Then there’s the exact semisquare involving my 4th house Saturn, which sits at the exact midpoint between my Mercury (on the cusp of the 3rd) and my 5th house Moon. Growing up, my intellectual and emotional responses (and needs) were pretty much squashed, which resulted in self-censorship on my part. So I do detailed research to back up my opinions, and think carefully before speaking. And I try to look at my emotional needs objectively, just to make sure I’m not expecting too much or being overly sensitive. As a kid, I was responsible for making sure my younger brother got to and from school safely (by bus) and for making sure he stayed safe in our neighborhood (which was tough).

    Later in life, I took on the responsibilities for both of my elderly parents, as well as for the final disposition of my childhood home. To say those responsibilities interfered with my own needs would be an understatement, but I was committed and got through it! For anyone wondering how a midpoint works, any serious outer planetary transit to that midpoint will bring those semisquare issues to the foreground. When transiting Pluto was within range of my Saturn, all hell broke loose, and my life took on a distinctively Saturnian flavor.

    Because Mercury is conjunct both Jupiter and Neptune, those planets also form a semisquare to Saturn. I’m cautiously optimistic, and serious in my spiritual devotion, with artistic endeavors taking on greater depth and a somewhat somber quality (at times). Artistic expression (5th house) was not encouraged in my childhood, so I’ve had to explore those talents as an adult. Better late than never!

  38. Donna,

    I think a semisquare makes for resistance, rather than blockage. There is a natural and irresistable inclination to fight back or push away from the other planet.

    My Sun Cap in 5th semisquare Venus Aquarius in 7th created a very serious struggle with “feminine stuff” from the moment my father stuck me in my first pink bonnet.

    I would launch mini-revolutions whenever I got yelled at or ordered about. In retaliation for the girly clothes my father tried to force me into, I stripped naked every chance I got until he bought me jeans, tee shirts, boots and keds. (I still feel like a drag queen in a dress or heels, which I never wear and don’t even own.)

    My earliest memories are of other lifetimes, most of them male, which I never questioned. I always believed I was in the wrong body and was going to somehow “turn into” a boy one day. (There’s also an opposition from Lilith involved.)

    From the age of 4, I spent most of my time in my head, constantly escaping reality through my imagination and the arts: reading books, writing stories, drawing Phoenician trading ships and Egyptian goddesses, horseback riding while pretending to be a cavalryman or a Mongol warrior, and creating complex fantasy games like Pirate where I’d draw maps and bury treasure, or build a hut from bamboo and twine and pretend I was Samoan, or dig out an underground “tomb” to bury an Egyptian sarcophagus. (Okay, yes I was a little weird.)

    One last thing: do you find that your own semisquares express themselves through the type of clients you attract (or used to attract, I know you are retired now)? Most of my clients come to me seeking to break free of relationships and careers that bring them no satisfaction. Others have issues regarding the handling of unusual children, or are filled with a passion to express themselves through creative writing.

    Also, I just loved the “coincidence” of seeing this entry yesterday sent at the same time as an email from a friend who asked if I could relate to a quote from an article she’d read about Brad and Angelina’s daughter Shiloh. “like a little dude…. She likes tracksuits, she likes [regular] suits. She likes to dress like a boy. She wants to be a boy. So we had to cut her hair. She likes to wear boys’ everything. She thinks she’s one of the brothers.” Would you be surprised to hear Shiloh has Venus semisquare Uranus?

    I rarely pay much attention to the semisquare, but I do see it often. I will definitely be taking a longer look from now on, especially once your reveal your thoughts on it.

    By the way, July 9 will be my 32nd wedding anniversary to a fabulous man who has Venus semisquare Saturn. Hmmmmm.

    • thanks for the detail, Tbyrd. As for your question on attracting clients who live out my semisquares, that’s an interesting one that perhaps we should ask other helping professionals about too.

      I believe I live out my semisquares in my own ways very directly, and yet, I can see it in my clients too. But then we tend to attract clients who are similar to ourselves and with many of the same issues, don’t we? We’re able to offer them the things we’ve learned by working on our own issues.

      Here are my semisquares and the types of clients I’ve had over the years:

      1) A Moon-Uranus semisquare: astrology clients, predominantly female, and unusually social conscious, feminists many of them.
      2) Uranus .5 degree semisquare my Midheaven–perfect for an astrologer
      3)Mars semisquare Neptune a major clientele of recovering alcoholics in my healing practice, and adult children of alcoholics. Taught astrology in an alcohol treatment center for 2 years.
      4) Chiron semisquare Neptune would fit that clientele, but I also worked in hospitals and agencies for the developmentally disabled.
      5) Mercury semisquare Pluto….wrote Healing Pluto Problems, had huge numbers of Plutonian clients who read the book and looked me up.
      I think there’s one more, but I forget what it is. Maybe not. Donna

    • Hi TByrd,

      So glad to read what you had to say. We have something in common here, I think.
      I never had a doll….thought they were’dumb’, but I had a soft ball, a basketball and played with boys only until after puberty….
      Had several regressions and I was a male most of my past lives……have a very strong Mars. Where is your Mars???
      Most people think I am gay, but I am not ( too bad, I would never be alone on Saturday nights )…..

      Anyway – thanks for sharing. It is comforting to me.

      Astrology is fabulous in so many ways….helps us to detach and not take our individual life paths so seriously when we
      know about others. Helps us not to take things sooo personally . It makes for changes in ways we never expected in our perspectives. And they are soft changes…unlike the universal 2′ x 4’s out there.

      I have to take it one step at a time and digest slowly.
      Have not looked at midpoints in my chart as yet. Suspect it would be more of same, interesting nonetheless.

      This is better than an astrology class…..I can learn at my own pace, read what I want to…. and feel connected to others who have the same love for astro.

      Thanks again Donna,


  39. i seem to have a different experience with my semi squares…pluto in exact semi square to neptune, an influence I think intensifies my neptune which opposes venus in pisces and squares the moon in sag. A classic thrice married codependent suffering anguishing romantic..(see previous moonmave article) moon squares venus and between them is saturn in the 7th..exact semisquare placement of 46/45.

    I believe saturn prolongs the romantic illusion but ultimately introduces reality. The delusion of venus /neptune /moon
    can be close to madness, but saturn says wake up. give it up! take back your power !

    • The thing about any aspect between two of the slower moving planets like this semisquare between Pluto and Neptune is that they last so long–as long as two years, even–and everybody born on the planet in that period has the same aspect.

      So in a way, it’s an issue that the collective is struggling with, some historical, social, or economic condition or event that we then grow up under the shadow of and that shapes us for life. Like the Great Depression of the 1930s, or the impact of the Vietnam War on its veterans and their families that we’re still not entirely healed from.

      Still, even though it’s a widespead pattern, that doesn’t mean that individuals don’t suffer the effects, especially if it’s tightly woven into the rest of the chart. Vast numbers of Vietnam veterans and their families are still living with the after-effects of that war–ask any homeless shelter or veterans hospital.

      The other combination you mention, though, the Venus-Moon square with Saturn semisquare both, sounds really tough. It’s another of those midpoint situations like so many other readers have mentioned. I had no idea they were so common. Or maybe they’re not–maybe just among Skywriter’s readers. Thanks, Maryjane. Donna

  40. I’ve never done much with semisquares, so this is an interesting exercise for me. I have only one in my chart, and the orb is a bit wide (almost 2 degrees). It’s between my Aries Sun and my Gemini Moon. The thing that comes to mind is that my father used to make fun of my mother in what I considered to be a very disrespectful way (he never did this to me). She didn’t seem to mind all that much, but it annoyed the dickens out of me, and cumulatively, when I think back on his behavior, it makes me feel angry. As an adult, I have not tolerated this type of behavior from any of the men in my life.

    • Hi, Margaret, 2 degrees is plenty wide for a semisquare. I had discounted a couple that were 3 degrees apart (Moon-Uranus), but then years ago when I styudied that aspect in depth, I realized it was quite powerful in my life. Donna

      • I’m looking forward to your article! I’m developing a pretty good sense of quintiles, septiles and undeciles, but some of these other so-called “minor” aspects like the semisquare I really don’t know well at all.

  41. Donna – I wonder if this aspect may be described as follows:
    An uneasy peace, made between parties who do not see eye-to-eye.
    These parties would not normally be in each others’ spheres, but unexpectedly, they find themselves in a situation where they must find a third way, alien to both (i.e behaving outside the comfort zone of each).

    Nevertheless, this ‘third way’ of behaving is crucial to the survival of both parties in this situation.

    (Whew – that was longer than I intended)

    • You’ve given this aspect a lot lof thought, Lostshoe, and it’s sounds like you’re getting a sense of it. I wonder if you’d try an experiment. Sit in silence and tune into the two planets in a semisquare, and then see if you can get a sense of an inner movement that is what a semisquare is like. That’s how I percieve my semisquares, as a kind of movement my body would make if it were to externalize the semisquare in the outer world. Odd, I know. Donna

  42. Here’s my stats and thoughts.

    1) Aries Sun semisquare Aquarius Venus

    My Aries Sun wants to rush headfirst full of passion, asking questions later whereas my Aquarian Venus wants to remain detached. Also I’m a nerdy(Venus) tomboy(Sun). The common denominator I think is freedom to make both happy. This combination is about as far from from June Cleaver as you can get. A male or anybody for that matter, telling me I’d better fix them dinner will have them wearing that cast iron skillet right on thier head. lol

    2) Aries Sun semisquare Taurus NN

    The energy of the Aries Sun can get impatient with the slow moving, thinking and everything else Taurus is about. The Aries Sun initiates the action on the path of the NN with Taurus giving it staying power and tenacity. I’m seeing this as get older.

    3)Aries Mars semisquare Gemini MC

    Mars wants to act NOW whereas the Gemini MC wants to talk about it NOW. So I think before I speak and act.

    • Thanks, MS, good work with combining and interpreting those combinations. Interesting to get such new insights with these much-ignored aspects, isn’t it? Donna

  43. Such an illuminating discussion.

    I’ve been thinking about those Chiron s-squares I briefly mentioned in my first comment. Never really noticed them before, but now looking at them, I realise they make one of those un-named aspect patterns you mentioned in one of your comments.

    Moon and Mars are conjunct MC in Aquarius. Both planets make a sesquiquadrate aspect with Uranus conjunct Pluto in Virgo in the 5th. I feel those aspects very strongly in my emotional life, my career and my relationship with my mother. For example, I have been well aware of the emotionality, touchiness and irritability associated with this aspect and then when you add in Chiron in Pisces (in the 11th) which is tightly opposite Uranus-Pluto and semi-square Moon and Mars, you get an interesting triangle aspect pattern.

    This sheds a new light on things and I still have some thinking to do around it. For sure, when tr. Chiron went over MC, Moon and Mars a few years ago, it would have triggered the whole thing and I did go through a significant emotional healing experience at that time. Fascinating….

    Anyway, mostly I just wanted to say thanks for giving us the invitation to look at our own charts, it just goes to show that there are always new secrets to be revealed and mulled over!

    • Thanks for getting back to us with more insights, Mandi. These aspects ARE worth pondering, aren’t they? And how fun to have a whole new facet of self revealed after many years of studying. Donna

  44. My semi square is Mercury at 0 Leo to Saturn at 15 Virgo in 3rd and 5th house respectively. As a young child I suffered from a severe stutter which I found humiliating. By sheer force of will I overcame this handicap. To this day I still have an insecurity in speech and I am now working on overcoming my extreme stage fright.
    I feel it is this aspect that caused me some great challenges.

    • My goodness–so many people with mercury-Saturn semisquares have responded, and the stories are so similar–not in the details, always–but certainly in the insecurity about their communication skills. I hope reading the other comments helped you to feel less like the odd man out. Donna

  45. Yes thank you. I have a son with a zero degree mercury who has a slight hesitation in speech. Not really noticable to others but I certainly pick up on it. He does not have the semi square which I feel challenged me so intently. He does however have a square aspect to Saturn with a 2 degree orb!
    Makes me wonder if the semi square is extra challenging or whether my handicap was more of an emotional issue.
    Very interesting.. I always thought the zero degree was the challenging point, not so much the aspect to Saturn. Well.. food for thought!
    Thanks for the interesting articles.

    • Strange, I tried to respond to you, Ely, by describing–at last–what i felt semisquares were about. I’d sworn not to tell my perceptions until we were done with the gathering of information, but it was so relevant to stuttering and other hesitations in speech. So I wrote this long description, and before I could save it, it disappeared. Well, I guess it’s not time yet. We’ve already been working on this thread for more than a week, and we’re up to comment #127, but I guess there’s still more to come. Stay tuned! Donna

      PS. You’ve read the original article about mercury-Saturn combinations, have you? It’s at:

      • Oh, I can totally relate to that article! I am also a late bloomer.. many talents but unfocused and seriously thwarted in my efforts. I also have Gemini rising and still feel that insecurity complex despite knowing better. I finally got my degree in later years and doors started to open. It is not something I am totally crazy about but I just persevered, just because I needed to accomplish something. That devil Saturn.
        I truly wish I could have come into this world better prepared and appreciate the reality we can create for ourselves….. I am not saying this from a sad perspective, just from the reality that was…. this from having become a much wiser person.
        Too bad for the lost words.. I have done it too!
        Namaste E

  46. PS: sorry to string this along. I should also tell you I am deaf in one ear. Perhaps another function of this aspect? The only other person who had this was my grandmother and I do not have her birthdate. It would be extremely interesting to see if she had such an aspect in her chart.

    • Hmm, Mercury-Saturn has an many manifestations, I guess, as Mercury has functions. We’ve certainly seen a lot of them here. Donna

      • oh yeah.. and a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you!
        Your solar return piece is relevant as I am about to have a ‘big’ birthday in 2 weeks! How cool.

  47. Alright, I’m convinced, there’s something to this semisquare business, inconjunct or not! I have 6 within 3 degrees but 4 within 1 degree:

    Moon in Virgo in 3rd semisquare Uranus in Libra in 4th: I’m like the 3rd person omniscient narrator who bumped his head and lost his memory and omniscience, but kept on narrating for some reason.

    Jupiter in Aquarius (8th) semisquare Pisces MC
    This Jupiter sort of resents the various little steps required to climb all the way up to exalted Pisces MC. Aren’t we all equal?! Let’s just set up a network and get everyone out into the 3rd world wh we can do some good!

    Venus in Taurus (11th) semisquare Asc Generally this aspect is all about “I should feel better about myself external shell than I do” except progressed Venus just passed over my Ascendant, and transiting Pluto is trining and sextiling personal planets, and the Jupiter/Uranus Conjunction is on my MC, so I actually do feel good about my external shell, which has transformed just in time for summer. Probably better than circumstances really warrant. LOL.

    Venus in Taurus (11th) semisquare Sun/Moon See Above

    • LOL! Yeah, I’d say you have some semisquares working for you. Always glad to make a convert! Donna

  48. Hello Donna,
    I have six semi-squares, involving my Sun, Venus, Saturn, Ascendant and North Node.
    My Sun and Saturn are square with an orb just over 1 degree; Saturn is conjunct Ascendant less than 2 degree orb; and Venus and NN are semi-square to Sun on one side and Saturn-Asc on the other, in a conjunction that is just over one degree orb.

    I have been a very successful professional. Two divorces and one other deep love affair later, AND with the help of a mother, who in early stages of dementia spilled some major beans (that she stopped her birth control without telling my father; got pregnant with me; because she was sure he was about to leave her), I have FINALLY figured out my pattern with men.
    They fall in love with me; I find my sense of self in that; then they dump me when I come into my own and/or a child arrives on the scene. Both husbands dumped me after a child came into our lives (figuratively speaking, I was still around, but in both cases, the shift in their consciousness, where I no longer “existed” and the child became everything was so dramatic, it took my breath away! )
    Thanks to an extremely intuitively gifted astrologer, I got on the scent of this after she told me that my father was extremely angry when he found out my mother was pregnant with me (true) BUT as soon as I was born, he “fell in love” with me. My father was dumped by a woman, his fiancee, a nurse whom he was deeply in love with just months before he met my mother. My mother was the rebound. My father told my mother , often ( I heard this story many many times growing up) that he would never love another like he loved the nurse.(..until I was born.) Then he projected all his unrequited love onto me. That changed when I was in my pre-adolescence and up until today, just before I looked at this blog on semi-squares, I thought my astrologer was right in saying it was because I have an Aquarian Sun and I would have insisted on being my own person and that would have dissolved the projection; hence, his rejection. Actually not only rejection–it changed to abuse. BUT TODAY, it hit like a ton of bricks–My SISTER was born 9 years after me (there are three boys as well–one older than me and two between me and my sister.) SHE is the one who replaced me; just like I replaced my mother; just like my daughter replaced me in her father’s affections (1st husband–not a love match) and my adopted son of three years did with my second husband (major love match–I have a broken heart.) Aside: When the astrologer and I were talking about this dynamic, a couple of years ago, I suddenly remembered how my daughter (who is off-the-charts intuitive–has autistic features) when she was quite young, less than 3, would often say to me, You don’t love me, you love the nurse. I thought it was cute–I was a M.D. intern at the time,away at work quite a bit, so I assumed that’s what she was talking about, BUT she would have said patients–she knew about patients, not nurses.
    I could go on and on…….just one last thing,
    I got back on line to your site this morning to write something about the young Venus because I haven’t been able to get it out of my head since I read on one of your blogs that a young Venus has trouble differentiating between “friendly” and “friend”. I have been resonating with that all night. But instead of finding a spot to write about that, I “impulsively” decided to do the semi-square thing, not having a clue if I had any!

    I am a psychiatrist–an excellent diagnostician and psychotherapist–and all my life I have had trouble with the “friendly” vs “friend” thing. The discovery of astrology’s depth a few years ago, not only shed a precise light on the lives of my patients, I believe it saved me from an abyss of self-recrimination when everything started falling apart.
    This is morning I sit here, once again humbled, in a profound state of gratitude for the gift of Astrology.
    Thank you, Donna, for pointing me in this particular direction.

    Blessings to Mystery
    Who sent me away;
    When I could not see
    Night for the day;
    Hearing Her whisperings;
    Holding Her gaze;
    Trolled me back.


  49. Hello Donna,
    Thought I should put in the rest of the information pertinent to my semi-squares. My ascendent and Saturn are in Scorpio (19 and 20 degreesish); Venus and NN are at (approx) 3 and 4 degrees Capricorn in the second house (transiting Pluto is right now exactly on my Venus); and my Sun is 19ish Aquarius in the third house, 8 degrees conjunct Mercury; opposite Pluto which is conjunct the MH. Venus and NN are trine Pluto; Saturn is of course Square Pluto; also trine my Uranus:Jupiter tight conjunction in Cancer and sextile to my Moon in Virgo. (Second hub and I have a less than 1 degree conjunct Moon in Virgo synastry.) Just thought that may be of use to you.

  50. Hi there! I have a ssq between Pisces sun and venus in aquarius, I haven’t got the chance to get deeper into the aspect, but relate with other comments about resisting being too girly. The pisces sun is feminine but the aq. venus gives it a kick for sure.

    • Hmm, yes, there are other differences between Pisces and Aquarius that make them very different…it’s like extreme water meets extreme air. Think about the combination more and you may see if it is working in you, creating a sort of tension. Donna

  51. Hi Donna: I have thought about posting this note to you since the day your link on the subject of semisquares appeared in my inbox. I have remained mute because of my concern that what I have to say is ‘too far off topic’. I will feel better if I say this, so I will.

    I met a man I believe to be the love of my life ten years ago. ‘Practical disaster’, to put this relationship mildly. I do not believe it is our composite Moon conj Venus that guarantees this, nor is it our Sun conj Mercury or even our Sun conj Pluto.

    What promises on a moment-to-moment, day-to-day, for-the-rest-of-this-physical-lifetime basis that we are destined (doomed) to impossible compatibility is, I believe one aspect: His Mars semisquare my Venus!

    The inescapable, ever-present, chafing, irritation, and downright DISCOMFORT and pain that this ssq aspect causes BOTH of us cannot be ignored — nor do I believe it can be ‘worked with’, lived with or overcome in this lifetime. (Personally I believe the ssq is the guarantee that I do not stray off-task for the job I came into this lifetime to accomplish.)

    • I imagine there’s no reason semisquares can’t work in composites as well. Each combination of planets has an unmistakeable quality that we can come to recognize, whether those two planets are conjunct, square, semisquare, or whatever, so I am trusting that you recognize a Mars-Venus combination. Often when an aspect appears in a composite, it’s a mathematical result of both individuals having some kind of aspect between the two planets in their own natal charts. So if you have a Mars-Venus aspect in your chart, and he has a Mars-Venus aspect in his, then the composite will have a Mars-Venus aspect as well. If that happens to be the case here, then the Mars-Venus semisquare would reflect that you each have your own internal Mars-Venus tensions to resolve and thus it affects the relationship as well. Donna

      • Thanks, Donna! Yes, and a Scorpio Mars chafing a Virgo Venus — well ——-!

  52. I’ve got 4 semisquares in my chart and two of them are with my Sag Sun 8th House: ss Aquarius Venus 10th conj Capricorn MC; and ss Scorpio Neptune 6th House opp Asc.

    I’ve got Sag Mercury 7/8th cusp ss Capricorn MC. Lastly a loose Cap Jupiter 9th 3o ss Aquarius Chiron 10th House.

    I’ve pondered and pondered this aspect since you posted the article, Donna. They seem to be both self-protective and self-harming by action and house-specific in expression.

    The Sun-Venus ss seems to contribute to my appearance as something far more goddess-like than I really am, 10th House public self. Sun-ego makes it tempting to leave the illusion in place. The Merc-MC doesn’t help those vibes because as soon as I start “mentalizing”, I remove all doubt of my mortality and bore the heck out of everybody around me. There go my worshipers.

    The Sun-Neptune is my “suspicion antenna” in my daily life 6th House. I consider it to be my primary early warning system. It fails when I come across somebody else who is highly Neptunian. Not all of us Neptunians are straight-forward and honest.

    My poor Chiron ss Jupiter makes me indescribably sad. It takes sometimes herculean effort to reign in my tendency to gush about my belief system. When I read Ann Rice’s “I am no longer a Christian” announcement today, it felt like a knife in the heart but guess what? I’m exactly where she is right now. The Church is in the worst mess of its 2,000 year existence and I cannot deal with it on a personal level. Like Ann Rice, though, I remain committed to Jesus.

    It’s…tough. It’s a day-to-day thing.

    When Cap Jupiter in 9th’s religious expansiveness runs away with me, every time I get slaughtered. Every.single.time.

    Yes, that’s Neptune in 6th…can you smell the incense? :/

    Hard words I’m saying to myself but I feel like I need to hear them even if I don’t need to say them.

    Guess these semisquares should move up on my healing list.

    • You’ve done a great job at self-examination, Parin, rigorously honest. Maybe that’s because the Sun was involved. Good work! Donna

  53. I have many ss
    1. one between my 11th house Venus on 23.45 Scorpio and my 1st house Sun on 8 Capricorn
    2. one between my 8th house Mars on 24.40 Leo and my MC on 10 Libra
    3. one between my 2nd house Mercury on 26.15 Capricorn and my 3rd house Jupiter on 8.45 Pisces between my 11 house Venus on 23.45 Scorpio and my MC on 10 Libra

    The ss involving my MC seem to have contributed to a somewhat contradictory quality that most recognise in me : they consider me cute and feminine and sexy but at the same time my manners, though very polite, are boyish and steadfast. I have a career as a corporate lawyer which I built alone, run my own little firm and I have a reputation for being a soft spoken person with a cutting mind, kind but very serious in what I do, bringing results in my own quiet but persistent manner (perhaps the trine to MC from a 2nd house Saturn on 10 Aquarius has more to do with it than the ss with Venus and Mars).

    I feel that the ss produce in my career their effects like ebb and flow – on certain occasions I feel charming and able to win by pure charm, on other occassions I feel the burst of energy of the conqueror. Still, none of the two situations lasts, they come and go, as if Mars and Venus fight for dominance, while they mitigate each other : my Venus is a no-frills Venus and my Mars is never vulgar or violent. The ss are like energies that operate when they are awakened by some other aspect (transit? progression?), otherwise they feel like a potential that I cannot fully explore or control. People say that I would make the ideal spy-woman, but though I know that this potential exists, I have no desire to consider it as an option.

    My Mercury-Jupiter SS gives me ideas about resolving problems of prctical nature (related to financial matters, complex issues processing etc.) but again I never invest in fully exploring this potential – I am happy to know that I can tap in this “talent” as needed, but I do not make much out of it otherwise. I have also a special ease with words, spoken or written; I have often thought that writing, especially novels that can be read at an esoteric, second level, but I never gave to such writing more time that to satisfy the moment of inspiration as long as it lasts.

    Ss for me seem to provide a latent potential indicated by the nature of planets/signs/houses involved. Such potential surfaces unpredictably when circumstances call for it, but does not materialise neither gives concrete results unless one accepts it, embraces it, works on it and makes a conscious effort in that direction.

    My Venus-Sun ss still leaves me wondering whether I am indeed a charming female like many people tend to think or whether I am just a plain person that becomes charming when I feel there is a good reason for it.

    I would love to hear your views on this ss matter!

  54. Thank you, Dora, for documenting your semsisquares and their meaning so thoroughly–excellent job! I have a number of semisquares myself and have been folllowing them since my earliest days in astrology. Mine don’t seem latent at all–they get triggered each time I encounter a situation they apply to.

    A couple of them that aren’t exactly sterling personal qualities I practically have to wrestle to the ground so that I don’t act on them! It may be because they’re to the stronger planets in my chart and in fire signs, involving the very public 1st and 10th houses. One of them, which also happens to be about the closest aspect in my chart, is a semisquare between Uranus (in Gemini) and the Midheaven, and I believe it’s part of what made me choose astrology as a career.

    By contrast, your semisquares seem to involve signs that are more reserved, more genteel, and thus perhaps not so out loud and proud. (Capricorn, Libra, and Scorpio). Possibly that makes a difference. Donna

  55. I had an ah-ha moment with this one. I have Pluto in Leo s. square Neptune in Libra. Maybe that’s why my show-biz ego sometimes gets me in trouble with people in my vocation (Neptune on cusp of 10th), which is show business. Maybe they see me as self-gratifying while I think of myself as completely devoted to projects and if anything, self-sacrificing (pisces sun). Hmmm

  56. Update: I finally got to tap into the energy of my ss’s! I have 7 (sun/asc ss pluto, sun/asc ss venus (~sun/ac cuts my venus-pluto square in half), venus ss ac/mc, mars ss jupiter). So, in one phrase: The drive of a square combined with the skillfullness of a sextile.

  57. I have two triangles:
    1) Saturn (Rx) 3th Leo square Uranus 5th Scorpio; Uranus semisquare Mercury 6th Sagittarius; Saturn sesquiquadrate Mercury
    2) Saturn square Venus 5th Scorpio; Venus semisquare Sun 6th Sagittarius; Saturn sesquiquadrate Sun
    Venus, Uranus conjunction; Sun, Mercury, Neptun stellium;
    Mercury is ruler of 5th and 1st, Uranus at 9th and 10th.
    Strong planets: Sun, Uranus, Mercury, Jupiter and Pluto

    In my opinion, those semisquares act constantly, with Mercury-Uranus I have always in my mind problems produced by square Saturn-Uranus (I can not immediately react to limitations/impulses, and that frustrate me a lot), I think how can I solved, sometimes I feel my mind fill the sink, i do speaches in my mind, and in one day i’ll react with wisdom. I’m analist-programmer, I think a lot and I write a little. I am very difficult controllable by others, becouse i’m intelligent not tough. When I have a problem to solve I forgot anything else. In my opinion, that semisquare mentain all alive and sesquiquadrate is the way to fly for Saturn’s energy. When a square event apare, I keep all in me and I think at one solution, and rarely I react out of me, my sad is visible (Moon oposite Saturn t-square Uranus), but my angry rarely, when this happend I think the way is this relations semisquare and sesquiquadrate, and when is to much for them, I react with Mars oposition with Mercury.
    I understand, that the key is to mentain balances between semisquare energy, if I can to don’t stop the fire with that water, or reverse, I can learn all the time, I feel like my mind is awake. Saturn is a friend, not for many years :), it is a valve in this triangle and teach me all. With Saturn sesquiquadrate Mercury, usually when I speak I am not understood, I can not speak concisely, I use big words. However I’m working on, becouse I want to talk with anybody, and now I controll many of those.

    With other triangles, Sun-Venus, I feel like I put a turkish flag on a french land. They are fighting for something, and after winning they find something else. Saturn-Venus square is a continuous challenge for men with whom I interact. Most men think that they can not conquer me. I think, becouse of semisquare, I steal the energy for some of them, and i don’t like this type of mens. All I want from men is to win my respect, but I must have my self-esteem first, although I gave up relationships first, but I think it was too late. I feel my creativity through him, i feel I grow up, and never want to change somebody. All relationships had a return. I felt jealous, but only at the end, never in relationship. In them opinion I’m very warm, sensitive and powarfull in the same time. I’m very creativ person and i feel engoy with all i do. Here is hard for me to explain the triangle, becouse i don’t find the key.

    In my opinion, this type of triangle is diferrent from t-square, becouse is not happend so quiqly. Except that square, one of the other relations of the triangle, say something early (or permanently), some warnings or some advice, and you can use it. In this area of my life, I was never surprised (but by square yes, i was).

    I hope I was helpfull
    Thanks Donna, becouse I find in you a generosity that I looked in human being for long time

    • Thank you, Stefania. I have been observing my own semisquare now for more than 40 years, and I, too, feel them when they are operating. It’s not comfortable, but it’s productive anyhow! Donna

  58. Pluto semi-square Moon here..
    Pluto in 4th/Scorpio is lone water planet.

    I crave to merge. I can’t see it reflected anywhere at all in my chart- but it could be because of a lack of water. Its totally fire and earth.No other 4th,no 8th no 12th house occupation.I am always looking for something that would explain this need of mine. Its huge and indescribable.

    I do love my mother but I find her extraordinarily irritating and agitating.
    Sorry Donna
    If it isn’t relevant.Perhaps I am assigning it to the wrong aspect.

    • Oh, it could very well be part of the explanation, as a semisquare does combine the two planets but often in a way that creates ambivalence and even agitation. Look up the article on Moon-Pluto mundane aspects on the search engine for this site and see if you relate. Donna

  59. I have a semi square from Leo Sun to Libra Venus exact. I think it is a back up or support for other aspects and is minor but as they are powerfully placed it does give me ego problems with my lack of beauty and flaws, as I see it.
    I also have Uranus semi square Mercury from the 4th and I tend to tackle too many domestic tasks at once but this can be controlled and managed. No big deal. Again it is minor.

  60. Counting Sesquiquadrate also?.4 Semi-Squares.3 Sesquiquadrate.
    Well I’ll use one example and that’s Cancer Sun – Taurus Venus its an exact aspect. Venus can not be more then 47 degrees away from the Sun. Both my siblings also got Venus semi-square Sun. Morning Star Phase.

    I find the Venus semi-square Sun to be a VERY INTERESTING ASPECT

    The morning star of war and the evening star of love are the two faces of Ishtar. Dane Rudhyar wrote that people born with Venus as a morning star (before the Sun in the zodiac) are socially impulsive; they rush into life and love, acting before thinking. People born with Venus as an evening star (after the Sun in the zodiac) tend to reflect before acting and they are more able to identify with society’s rules.

    I could see the War impulse in myself and my siblings. We were constantly fighting with each others pretty violently growing up. We are all social misfits.

    360/8=45 Semi-square is considered to be the 8th harmonic.

    Now this is the part that confuses me The semi-square is energies between compatible signs VS the semi-square between neighboring signs. Irritation because of over familiarity or a neighbor you may have very little in common with?

    With my family we ALL have the semi-square in compatible signs. Speaking for myself I think I can clearly see that most people can’t separate what they desire from what they really need. Can’t tell self vs self-worth. It causes some irritation because your consciously aware of this fact. Life seems kind of fake/plastic when you know how to please people, It does give me a very strong aesthetic awareness and considerable personal charm. I got a strong sense of personal values.

    I don’t see the Semi-Square as being “half a square”. I think its irritation or a minor Challenge towards the path of mastery. There is “always” another approach to bypass the roadblock.

    • An exact aspect is really strong, even in a “minor” aspect. My closest aspect, exact to the minute, is a novile (aka nonegan, a 40 degree aspect) between the Sun in Cancer in the 12th and Uranus in Gemini. People who get a peek at my 12th house would agree the aspect works, all right! Donna

  61. The strong coverage above of the Sun-Ven SSQ doesn’t surprise (review of my own most well-known natives shows about 15% frequency -giving a 2.30-ish orb in order to distinguish from the Novile and Septile aspects). And isn’t it lovely symbolism that Ven suffers this aspect to the Sun for the approximate 10 degree round trip (betw 42 and 47 -barring retrogrades) it makes each time in the process of reaching the maximum distance from the Sun (as if Ven needs proximity to the Sun to improve functionality).

    Although Ven is my most heavily-aspected planet, (and, therefore, less useful to study like this) my only SSQ (Sun-Ven) is the tightest of all aspects to Ven (1.11 applying) so here goes.

    I delayed marriage until the mid ’50’s age (telling people the motivation was to avoid being trapped in an unhappy job because of obligations to family – ironical hindsight is that I have always loved my job) and was faithfully/serially-monogamous before then but avoiding partners who might be “equal” enough to endure.

    You’ve gotta factor in Ven’s 90 to Uranus (3.30 loose) and Ven being stuffed 4 degrees loose on each side betw Sat and Nept, but I agree with above comments that a tight SSQ is stronger than a loose square (moot point for my poor Ven’s square and SSQ seem to reinfore each other).

    • I dont use semi squares at all except if they are exact and in strong signs or houses. If you do want to take them into account an orb of maybe 2 degrees at best.

    • Hi Kirk, I have a similar configuration to yours: several aspects to Venus (in Pisc) and an added fairly tight semi-square to the Sun (Cap)(0.39) and a square to Uranus (Gem)(1.58). You mentioned the effect it seemed to have on Venus. Do you have an opinion on how it affected your Sun? My Uranus is on the opposite side of Venus, thus forms a sesquiquadrate to Sun. Does yours? That might produce yet another factor. My only aspect to Sun is a wide trine to Jupiter (5.30)

  62. Semi-square:
    I have Venus in Virgo in the 6th. That’s makes for a practical sense of love and relationships. I’m more likely to show affection in a pragmatic way. Beauty and art tend to come through craftsmanship. But by classical definition, Venus is unaspected. Sometimes in people’s charts that can manifest by dominating the chart, but for me Venus wasn’t well integrated. It was more of an understatement or undertone. It might have worked okay for a male, but I’m a girl.

    However, Venus is semi-square my Scorpio stellium of Sun, Moon, Mars and Neptune in the 8th. I see far more application to the semi-square than the definitions for “unaspected.” When I started studying the meanings and manifestations of the 8th dynamic, it was spot on. I characterize planets in semi-square as strangers at a party who awkwardly try to make small talk but can’t quite relate. They don’t click and don’t quarrel, but mildly irritate each other.

    The Sun and Moon represent, among other things, the father and mother. With my Sun and Moon less than 1 deg apart, it would seem they would be the same to me. Not so, they were like night and day–no pun intended! I lionized my father and demonized my mother. But they had similar affects on Venus. My father cut my hair, dressed me as a boy, told me I could accomplish anything I put my mind to, and seriously discouraged shows of femininity or traditional female roles. I chose a career in male-dominated fields where femininity was unwelcome. My mother left before I became a teenager so there was no one to teach me feminine ways. But she wasn’t one for make-up and dresses, etc, had she been around. However, both were artists and endowed me with great appreciation for art and some talent for it. Again though, not integrated, just as a hobby that I had to steal time to pursue.

    My Mars semi-square Venus was awkwardness on steroids. I became very comfortable in my “masculinity” and situations where I could command, control, conquer and not have to wear heels. I found myself more of a man than the men I might have wanted to date. Might have been easier to have been lesbian, but I wasn’t. I did marry for nearly 20 years, no kids. Our relationship was more like best buddies that went hunting and fishing together.

    Neptune in the stellium gives me a huge streak of idealism. Many is the time when I’ve been dubbed Joan of Arc because I felt it paramount to brandish the proverbial sword for truth and justice. Neptune semi-square Venus was tough. It’s difficult to be the knight and the damsel at the same time. I usually found it easier to rescue myself.

    Transits to Venus were times when I was reminded that I had that feminine side. I can so relate to Sandra Bullock in Miss Congeniality. Just when I was comfortable in flat shoes, pants, eating steak and having a beer, somebody would come along to stuff me in a dress, heels, make up, and try to starve me.

    Believe me, the mother of all transits was when Pluto squared my natal Venus in the 2004-05 time frame. No one was more surprised than me when I suddenly became a fashionista, a regular at the beauty salon, and even had plastic surgery. I also became the obsession of a very Plutonian stalker but that’s another story.

    With each transit, I had to work at integrating my femininity instead of having it come naturally. I think that is the hallmark of the semi-square. You can make it work, but it takes focus and effort.

    I hope this is of some value to your project.

    • What an excellent interpretation, Niume! Clear, vivid description, very helpful in understanding how the semi-square works. Thank you for contributing to our understanding. Donna Cunningham

      • I am not one that takes note of a minor aspect such as the semi square and really it would not dominate anything. I have an exact one with Sun and Venus and it is sort of in the background adding the picture a little.

      • Thank you for the kind words.

        Two things I need to add.

        My auto-correct made a boo-boo. I was referring to the 8th harmonic, not 8th dynamic, which is entirely different.

        The other characteristic of the semi-square, I think, is the mode of manifestation. All aspects can arise through internal feelings or external events. The semi-square is one that is often described as likely to manifest externally from events or conflicts (unease) with other people. I definitely see this in my life. Every “assault” on my Venus stemmed from the actions or message from others. Left alone, I probably would not be likely to integrate Venus, except through art perhaps.

        I would contrast that to my many conjunctions. They all seem naturally assimilated, even inseparable. For instance, Mercury and Jupiter are conjunct in Sag. From my perspective, how can thinking and communication exist without expressing one’s values.

        I appreciate the opportunity to comment.

      • Mercury con Jupiter Sagittarius all about communications both local and abroad and what a learning aspect!!

      • I think that there must be other aspects with Venus as the semi square is so minor and unless it is exact and in the natural house or sign, would have little influence. IMO. I have Leo Sun semi square Venus in Libra exact and it is a niggle in the background I feel. Despite its natural placement.

      • Regarding aspects to Venus, there is a semi- sextile to Uranus (also unaspected by classical definition). The semi-square to the stellium is about 1 deg, and near exact to Nep and Mars. Venus is also in fall. My thought was this placement of Venus was a good study because it has no other aspects. It’s hard to study an aspect in isolation when everything interacts to potentially modify it.

      • Interesting about the unaspected Venus, other than the semisquare. I’d be interested to know if you identify with the description of Venus-Uranus aspects in these two articles:

        ·Venus-Uranus Aspects among the Glitterati

        ·Venus-Uranus Aspects: Two-Minute Friends and other Modern Relationships

      • I read the two articles suggested. I don’t see myself in either description. I definitely am not flamboyant. My friendships tend to be few, but deep and long lasting (the Scorpio influence). Social media has allowed me to catch up with childhood friends and relatives abroad. However, virtual friendships don’t appeal to me.

        My Uranus is another case of a planet not well integrated. As it is a non-personal planet, I didn’t think it mattered much. Integrating Venus is more fundamental to a core personality. Uranus does “pop” from time to time, though. People will react to something I say or do as kooky, unique, or bizarre. I like being considered innovative or providing a different perspective. Yet, it is probably only unique by contrast. I exist among extremely conservative types. To my colleagues, an interest in astrology would be scandalous, bizarre and even evidence of mental illness! Amongst a general population, the only obvious thing about me is the seriousness from Saturn in Cap conjunct MC dominating my chart.

        Transits were times when Uranus would suddenly strike in some startling manner, even though those appearances were highly out of character otherwise. Example: I attended a US military academy while transiting Uranus was conjunct my Scorpio stellium of Sun, Moon, Mars and Neptune. Under the required standards and codes of conduct, my appraisals had phrases like “eccentric,” “too individualistic,” or non-conformist. Trust me, the vast majority of humankind would not use those terms to describe me. But with Uranus active in an ultra-conservative environment, that was the result.

        If it’s possible to over-power Uranus, my chart might. It is very tightly integrated. All the planets are within an arc of 130 deg. Saturn con MC is trine Pluto in Virgo. The Scorpio stellium is midway with sextiles to both Saturn and Pluto. The mercury-Jupiter conjunction is midway between Saturn and the Scorpio stellium, square Pluto. How can unaspected Venus and Uranus compete with all that?

        The aspect of some interest is that Pluto is midpoint between Venus and Uranus, 15 deg from each. I find transits to that midpoint trigger Venus and/or Uranus issues.

      • Again, Niume, an excellent interpretation, with exactly the type of detail we were looking for in studying these “minor aspects. Thanks for participating. Donna

      • Venus Uranus can be out of the blue attractions that dont last because the excitement levels dont last but it can indicate an unconventional love and often homosexual or kinky.

      • Venus-Uranus aspect descriptions just don’t fit me. My love life has been dull, sorry to disappoint.

        I had a cousin with Sun Venus conjunct in Scorpio square Uranus inLeo. Now her life was “movie of the week.” She held up a liquor store at age 5, was a Lolita at 12, a dozen kids from 5+ marriages all taken by Children’s Services. Died in prison. I think she would ring the bells for both Uranus and Pluto!

  63. BTW, Donna, when I lived in Portland my favorite Indian restaurant was on NW Lovejoy near the hospital, Swagat’s. Makes me homesick!

    • One of my favorites, too. I live near there. Donna

      • That’s the area I lived. Loved the shops on NW 23rd. I hope to move back when I retire. 🙂

  64. im sorry i didnt know where to post elsewhere.if u can answer my question ill be grateful 🙂 . i have moon at 6 degree capricorn,mc at 7 capri,neptune at 19 capri and uranus at 20 capri.(moon and mc in 9th house,nep and uranus in 10th house)does this means a stellium?can i consider moon and neptune,neptune mc in kind of a conjunction or something?thank u 🙂 + i have venus conjunct 9th house (in the 8th house –>-1 degree of 9th house)and mercury at minus 5 degree of 9th house (so in the 8th house) should i consider the conjunction of venus and mercury in the 8th or 9th house?!

    • semi squares are like squares but about half the effect. Honestly, I dont use them. I concentrate oh the major aspects only.

    • Alexandra,
      1) the Midheaven is a powerful angle, and when planets are conjunct it within 10 degrees, they are quite powerful, whether they are in the 9th or 10th houses. (French psychologists Francoise and Michel Gauquelin did research on the four angles of the chart–MC, Asc, Dsc, and IC–years ago and proved statistically that they were very significant.) Thus you have a strong conjunction of Moon/Midheaven/Neptune.

      2) The 4 angles aren’t exactly parts of stelliums, but nonetheless with four chart factors in Capricorn, I’d say you get to claim a Capricorn stellium.

      3) As for Venus and Mercury, my experience is that when a planet is within 5 degrees of a house cusp, it blends the two houses together and acts on both houses. So they are both an 8th/9th blend.

      And, now, please find a teacher or more advanced astrology student to help you learn things, because, sorry to say, I am working really hard on several big projects like a new webpage and two more books that desperately need to get done. Donna

    • Dont use any of those minor aspects, people are putting whatever interpretation suits, on to them I also stick to quite small orbs of aspect. Anyone asking questions that involve several aspects are better off to load the chart in question. Stelliums traditionally have at least three planets in aspect to each other and within 5 degrees.

  65. I have semisquares to my sun virgo, uranus and neptune. i think it makes me want to act out the two planets but since its in an earth sign i do but sporadically. I have been trying to integrate them into my personality slowly.

    • Hi, Sasha, actually, I think the sporadic part of it is in the nature of a semisquare. Having it in earth might make it slower to integrate–you’d evaluate it carefully first to see if it was sound–but then you’d have it for keeps. Donna Cunningham

      • I take little notice of semi squares and unless they are exact and with planets in natural signs of houses, would have little effect in my view.

  66. My only semi-square is Sun SSqr Venus. Until recently I’ve pretty much ignored Venus. I have 2nd house Pisces Venus semi-square 1st house Capricorn Sun (39 minute orb). From what I’ve read, the SSqr tension produces an awareness of a lack of self-love (Venus) and therefore a desire for admiration and attention to fill the void and so ego (Sun) demands to be well-liked, putting the demand on “the other” to love me. I desire a “perfect” relationship (perfect woman) but feel I don’t have enough money (2nd house) to be attractive to those that fit the bill. There is also a feeling that I should be something other than I am, to be desired. Both signs (Cap, Pisces) are negative /passive /feminine and I am fairly passive where relationships are concerned. I “fall in love” easily and my ego/identity gets tied up in “love” and I’m shattered when it ends.

    • I have an exact semi square with Leo Sun and Libra Venus so it is powerful if you can say that about a minor aspect. However it has little bearing on things in my opinion. You will find that other stronger aspects will indicate what you are describing.

      • Well, that may be true but it would not be appropriate to discuss other aspects when Donna was soliciting how semi-squares work in our charts. IMO, this is one way it can work out and be supportive of other aspects which might say the same thing (rule of three). Donna has mentioned a more positive manifestation. These “minor” aspects can sometimes illuminate blind spots in our charts. Maybe it can help someone who does not have a lot of aspects think about how semi-squares work in their chart.

    • You’ve defined that semisquare and its effects on your love life perfectly, Bob. I do wonder, though, given the 1st house-2nd house connection if that pairing of two of the more positive planets doesn’t have some positive assets for your career. Some steadying (Capricorn earth) effects on clients who need both compassion (Pisces) and good solid advice and direction. (Capricorn). Donna

      • Thanks, Donna. I appreciate the more positive interpretation you give. I think in the past it often worked that way. It happened a lot when I was part of a self-help group, of which I am no longer a part. But maybe that is a good direction to look in for my spiritual journey. Thanks again

      • I wouldn’t discount Bob Miller’s description of Sun 45 Ven’s likely influence on him just because most people have felt those ways from time to time but, rather, assume the aspect is exacerbating such effects on him which is no easy task to convey in words.

        Facts can be illustrative (e.g., almost all of my skewed-sample familiars with this aspect remain unmarried into later life due to environment and/or proclivity notwithstanding their active libidos and my own 1.11-orbed Sun 45 Ven left me a successful childless, serial-monogamist until 55 due to being petrified at the thought of not being able to quit any job I might hate because of family obligations).

        Looking back, I almost always loved my jobs but still have no regrets about the strategy which seemed to pit self/Sun against surrender/money in manners most aptly represented by these two core planets lying at their maximum distance from each other (not to say I chose money over love since one can be relatively cash-flush and destructively shun it anyway).

        In sum, Sun 45 Ven seems like the seminal gateway aspect for embarking on the minors journey (being the lowest-denominatored aspect which these two essential planets can muster and relatively interpretable by applying what we already understand from lower denominatored majors).

  67. i have 7 semi squares moon semi square mercury, jupiter semi square uranus, jupiter semi square ascendant, neptune semi square mars saturn semi square mars mars semi square chiron venus semi square jupiter

    • I have been an astrologer for many years and do not use semi squares.
      Their influence would be so slight as not to really register much at all. If a natural planet in its natural sign is aspecting right on 45 degrees, I may look at it. Many have Sun semi square Venus because it is only possible to have that aspect as well as a conjunction. My advice just concentrate on major aspects. The fewer we have to deal with, the clearer the picture. If you are going to use them then use only an orb of 2 degrees maximum.

  68. I have a semi-square in natal chart involving mars and pluto orb (-1). How would that generally show up in someone’s life? Is it similar to the square aspect, but not as intense?

    • A similar set of concerns and patterns, yes, but the way of handling them is a bit different. Hard to describe, but one of the keywords about how it feels is agitation. Donna

  69. I have Mars semi square Uranus. Then Uranus Semisquare Pluto. Mars and pluto both in Scorpio in my 11th house. Uranus in the 1st in Capricorn to be more exact. This makes Mars and Pluto conjunct as well.

    Im still leanring astrology so i dont have any input but would love to talk back and forth to help fish out solid factual info relating to any signs or houses.

  70. I have Uranus in Leo in exact opposition to Chiron in Aquarius, with Uranus sextile Moon in Taurus, and Chiron Trine moon, and I have Sun conjunct Venus in Virgo both semisquare to Uranus in Leo, Describing the effects I would say, extreme individuality, combined with genius, ie. I have an IQ of 146. I find it almost impossible to compromise my individuality, no matter what the cost. I find it hard, to “fit in”, Oh, and i have a lot of weird friends and acquaintances.

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