Posted by: Donna Cunningham | July 20, 2010

Understanding the Sesquiquadrate—Your Input Needed

 ©7-12-2010 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

 This summer, Skywriter’s readers have participated eagerly in a series of research projects into little-known aspects like the septile (51.5°), semisquare (45°), and mundane square. You’ve been asked to look for these aspects in your charts, consider whether they have an effect on your life or not, and share how they have worked. It’s been fun to see these aspects come alive through your stories, so let’s continue.

The sesquiquadrate is a 135° aspect—a square and a half—with a 2-3° orb.  An easy way to find it is to look for a trine (120°) and add 15.  Easier still is to find an aspect grid for your chart in the software program or at AstroDienst.  The symbol is shown above. 

It would be helpful if you followed this format when you join in:

1) Look at your chart to see if you have a sesquiquadrate.

2) Is there any other type of connection between the two planets?  For instance, if Venus and Neptune are sesquiquadrate, do you have Venus in the 12th or in Pisces or a prominent Neptune in Libra (e.g. on the Ascendant or Midheaven or conjunct the Sun or Moon?) If so, that creates another sort of connection that could partially explain any effect of the sesquiquadrate.

 3) If there’s no other connection between the two planets, then think about the qualities and issues the two planets represent and see if they are a pattern in your life.

 If you’re new to astrology, read descriptions of aspects between the two planets in books or look for them on line. There may also be an article about this combination of planets on Skywriter, so use the site’s search engine at the top of the right hand column.

In your report, think about the meanings, urges, and needs represented by the two planets in the aspect 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.

5) Tell us your conclusions in the comment section for this article by scrolling down below the bottom of this article.  For more insight into the aspect, read what others are saying about their own sesquiquadrates. 

(Incidentally, the comment sections are still open for the other aspects in the series, so if you discover them in your chart as well, you’re welcome to add your observations.)

Thanks for joining us in adding more information about this little-known aspect to our field!   Donna Cunningham Skywriter

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

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 If you’re already a subscriber and want a copy, forward the most recent email post to me at To sign up for a subscription, go to the top right hand corner of the blog and click on “Subscribe.”  Then send me an email with your subscription confirmation or an email post with a request for the booklet in the subject line.


  1. I have 3 of these, 2 of them, are exact.

    Sag Mercury in the 10th, ruling 4th (and 7th) – Leo Mars in the 6th, ruling my 2nd. I’ve always had this reputation at work of having a sharp tongue or being the one who’s not afraid of telling it like it is to the Big Scary Boss. and this reputation seems to have a life of its own, as in my mind, I’m always careful in choosing my words or the timing, and I honestly never really made any scenes or actually said nasty things to anyone, ever, to their face. it’s more like what people “fear” I “might” do. Mercury is conj Neptune, Neptune is conj MC, so I’m thinking my “reputation” is often more a projection of others’ fears and dreams than a true reflection of what I do.

    from the inside, it feels like my Mercury is fast enough to keep up with the needs of the Leo Mars in the 6th. I’ve often lost patience with slow co-workers or anything slow for that matter. a trine from Saturn keeps things in check though, so I have no idea where the restlessness of the Mars-Mercury aspect ends. I would say it gives me the courage not to back down from a ‘battle’ of wills or words, but also the strength to walk away when it’s appropriate. a square, I think, would fight regardless.

    Sun, in the 11th, in Capricorn and Saturn in the 7th, in Leo, thus in Mutual Reception by sign. it’s like I’m aware of what Saturn ‘wants’ (jn terms of restrictions, lessons, rules, etc), but I get to decide what goes where, what I accept, what not. it feels like a choice, anyway – bc whatever Saturn ‘wants’ is, at the same time, what I want and I “get it”, it makes sense – it doesn’t have to be enforced onto me. of course my partner has always been my best friend, and with some Leo/Aqua, and I played the role of Saturn for them, sometimes unwillingly. Venus is always in Cap, conj the Sun.

    Gem Jupiter, in the 4th/5th and Sco Uranus in the 8th. this is 1 degree orb, and I often think of it as a square. Uranus rules my chart and conjuncts my Moon. it’s always been my tendency not to grow roots anywhere. Just before I get used to a place, it’s like a light bulb goes on inside and I can’t stand still anymore – I gotta go. the Moon rules my 6th and my 5th, so it’s always been about the ‘new love’ (actually a hobby) and the new job. and all of them fit with the thin spreading of Gem Jupiter as ruler of my MC opposing Sag Mercury. I really am the jack of all trades, but the owner of none, sadly.

    • Thanks, Chris, excellent job of describing how these sesquis work in your life! Donna

  2. Hi to all! First of all, I love it when our “input is needed” here- makes me feel less like a moocher-though I find it hard to believe that your in need of anything astrology wise, Donna!
    So, here’s what I’ve come up with:

    1) Moon ss Jupiter. Most of the things I’ve read in my cookbooks about this aspect could be explained by Jupiter’s placement in the 1st, possibly in loose conjunction to my asc (mom gives a 20 minute range for my time of birth), and the moon’s aspects to asc/sun. I am indeed very tolerant, open to the new,more forgiving than my pluto troubles indicate, I tend (try?) to see the best in people (my sister says that my heart is a bus- anyone can come on board / which is not true by the way!), and, at times, I can be a real drama queen (not with my gut feelings though, those I keep to myself).

    In order to seperate this aspect from the rest of the chart, and given the fact that it’s considered to be a hard one, I tried to think of any negative connotations, in terms of luck/excess of these qualities, and here’s what I find.

    a)I don’t have a very strong sense of right and wrong, it’s just impossible for me to view people in a “black or white” light, no gut reactions on that part. For example, I wouldn’t call a murderer a monster, I’d most probably go ‘wow, he must have been really pissed, and now he’s gonna spent the rest of his life in jail, what a sad story’. Don’t get me wrong, I am a very fair person, but more in a mars/pluto way, defending the weak/ underpriveleged.
    b) If I’m not mistaken, the moon rules nutritional habits, and guess what, when it comes to food, I am a hard-core conservative. I dont wanna try anything new, I don’t want to experiment with multicultural cuisine and exotic ingriedients, and I consider non-chinese people who successfully bring theirselves to swallow raw fish brave (maybe a bit weird, too!). When I travel abroad, I always try the local cuisine, but that’s a torture I have to endure in order to understand the culture, sth that serves my philosophical interests, not a gastronomical pleasure. I’ve never liked anything I tried, and generally, I just wanna have what I know, again, and again, and again! Grandma’s recipes kinda gal!
    This is getting really long, so maybe I’ll come back with my moon ss neptune later! Regards-

    • Thanks for taking part, VR, and for doing a good analysis of whether the aspect is significant or not. Donna

      • Wow, it’s incredible what brainstorming on the aspects can produce, even for a newbie like myself!
        I just realized that I often experience kind of ‘unfair feelings’. Like, someone says sth, i take it out of context, deliberately distort it, make it huge in my mind, link it to evil motives on his part, so that ultimately, he gets to be the bad guy. (pattern reinforced by moon pluto trouble)

        On the plus side, I can’t bring myself to open my mouth and share these unfair thoughts/feelings, which is mainly the reason why i don’t fight or share personal stories; if it’s not unfair and biased, it’s not out of my chest! So, i just shut up and become cold and distant, or, if pushed, utter rationalisations (merc. trine moon)

        It’s possible that the ss produces the emotional unfairness, or that could be pluto, and in that case, the ss is what ultimately keeps me fair. So maybe there’s room for a positive navigation of this aspect!

  3. I have two!

    My 11th house Aries Sun is sesquiquadrate my 6th house Scorpio Moon. Despite the fact that this is billed as a “hard” aspect, I don’t really feel a lot of tension between the two energies; it feels rather like they operate independently of one another despite the connection, or even that they work together in spite of this tension. My best guess is the Mars connection between the two signs.

    The other is a sesqui-quadrate between Venus in 12th house Aries and Saturn in 7th house Sagittarius. This is a pretty straightforward piece of my attitude towards relationships: caution, import, hints of self-sabotage (Venus in the 12th). This aspect is just a reinforcement.

    • Good analysis, Nicalyse. Donna

  4. what’s an aspect grid? what software are we using?

    • If you don’t have your own astrological software, you can have a chart calculated on AstroDienst’s website. Most software (including AstroDienst) can print out a table of all the aspects in your chart in a grid format (hence an aspect grid). Some people are accustomed to finding the aspects in a chart on their own. Donna

  5. Two ss aspects:
    1) Moon in 7th/Taurus ss Jupiter in 11th/Libra – much the same as VR – both in Venus signs – always try to see the best in people. Passionate about food – waistline never seems to contract – but tend to have the same dish in a restaurant on return visits.

    2) Sun in 2nd/3rd/Sagittarius ss Uranus in Leo/9th/conj MC – very lucky in career – what seemed strange choices to folk at time turn out to pre guess employment trends eg got in IT after dropping out of university (35 years ago), changing jobs intuitively – more secure employment than my sibs who took more conventional routes. Am blessed with job of my dreams with manager who gives me a complete free hand as he trusts me to know what’s needed next 🙂

  6. I have 3, 1 exact, 2 at 2 degrees!

    Cappy Moon in 8th ss Pluto in Virgo(conjunct Leo IC). Moon is opposite Venus in 2nd. I have ALWAYS attracted these very powerful females(who were my superiors) at work who wanted to “Mother” me, they even made candy and cookies for me. I mean serious mothering, they always wanted to help me, LOL, and it was always fine at the beginning until they started wanting to “change” me. Can we say “control” issues? I am a double Gemini, so I would roll with it, but then there ALWAYS would come a point where I had to make my break from them, and of course they usually had some prominent Cap/Cancer placement. My own Mother constantly rode me to perform in school or whatever I was doing and it took me years to break from her. When I finally broke from her control, guess what? The controlling women disappeared! I recognize them immediately now and draw clear boundaries, so it’s not an issue anymore.

    Mercury in Taurus, in the 12th ss Saturn in Cap( 8th house conjunct moon). I have always been inhibited with my intelligence as I did not graduate from college. Own my own business and hired PhD’s and MBA’s to work for me, as I always surrounded myself with people much smarter than me. At 51 now, it has only been in the last 4-5 years that I discovered that I am highly intelligent. However, I have no problem speaking my mind as I am the one that notices the “white elephant” in the room and will ask about it. I do it such a way though that people constantly tell me I am funny, and I am not trying to be funny at all, but tend to have a dry humor, in my opinion. I am a “plodder” and will keep going long after everyone else gives up to bring a project to completion. I can always find a way to make it work.

    North Node in Libra in 5th ss Chiron in Aqu conjunct MC in 10th(and of course Chrion is opposite Pluto in 4th). I take in kids! I have three daughters, took my God-daughter when her parents died, and have housed to many female children to count. Over the past 20 years heavily involved in the Healing Arts and taught every child that came my way Reikki, UHE, Tarot, Runes, Angels Aliens, you name it, I am a magnet, much to my chagrin many times, for female children. They would drive me crazy at times as a single Mom my home always had an “estrogen posse” until just a few months ago and I am finally living alone. To be sure, I live in a small Condo, room for me!

    • Hi, Robin, thanks for a detailed description of the Moon-Pluto sesqui. (We could have used the comment section for a recent post “Outtake from a Moon-Pluto life). The last aspect you describe (involving NN in Libra) actually sounds more like a continuation of the Moon-Pluto sesqui.

      Do you have a triangle between the Moon (opposite) Chiron, with Pluto sesqui the Moon AND semisquare (45 degrees) Chiron? If so, in my practice I found that such triangles function as a unit, a bit like a t-square. Donna

      • Agreed, they are very much intertwined and actually have a spiral effect on one another, from my point of view. Pluto is semi-square Venus in 2nd though, with Chiron semi-square Moon in 8th. Because they trigger one another, I am very much aware of regularly transmogrifying myself with the undelying & oh so subtle friction present!

        Thank you for asking the questions and feedback, as I learn so much from everyone’s responses. You’re a smart woman, getting us to learn this way, LOL! Appreciate the knowledge, but I do have a suggestion, can you put “Yod’s” on the list for an upcoming Q&A? I thank you for sharing your knowledge!

      • The Yod as in the whole enchillada–the triangle that contains two quincunxes (aka inconjuncts) joined by a sextile? Or just the quincunx aspect itself?

        I can’t see doing a whole major configuration like that as a Q&A–it has to be taken apart and interpreted piece by piece, so I would wind up having to do a whole post on one person’s yod. And I don’t do chart interpretation for individuals any more.

        But a piece about quincunxes in the fall, sure. I’ve already written plenty about it and can excerpt some. I am planning a teleseminar series on aspects in the fall, so will be doing some posts about aspects then. Donna

      • Would love to see a series on quincunx…..I learn so much from reading everyone’s input on these Q&A’s as I am working hard to hone my skills, and I assume you will be letting everyone know about the Webinar series! I would also be interested in some Q&A on Arabic Parts, LOL! Thank you so much Donna!

      • Hi, Robin. I’ll let people know about the aspects class. We’ll do something on the quincunx, but not a series. As for Arabian parts, I don’t know much of anything about them, but you’ll find a neat online resource in the category “Internet Find of the Week” that will calculate dozens of parts for you. Donna

  7. Hi Donna,

    I have two pretty tight sesquiquadrates. My Jupiter (8 Leo) and my Chiron (6 Taurus) are sesquiquadrate my ascendent (22 Sagittarius). So you could argue that the sesquiquadrate plays a highlighted role in my chart because Jupiter is my chart ruler. But since this pattern involves my ascendent, I don’t necessarily see the repetition of that energies like you illustrated in your example.

    I should note that my Jupiter/Chiron square is one leg of a t-square (Venus 9 Scorpio) that I’ve only recently consciously tapped into. Chiron is that wound and square my chart ruler means that the Chirotic archetype is actively speaking through me as I struggle to integrate family wounds (Chiron in the 4th, root chakra stuff) with sunnier side of Jupiter in Leo and the power of the 8th house.

    It’s also worth mentioning that Sagittarius is also my 12th house ruler, so that t-square is also karmic for me and a pattern I’m working out from past lives. So for me it’s respecting the shadow of this formation, this Chirotic wound, and figuring out the higher expression. It’s a journey.

    • You’re finding out some pretty interesting things about your Chiron of late. In just a few days, a friend of mine who’s a long-time Chiron maven will publish a test on the strength of Chiron (modeled on the tests we do here), so it will be interesting to see how you score. Donna

      • It’s this Cardinal Climax business, bringing to the surface a lot of here-to-fore hidden stuff for transformation. I await the Chiron test eagerly! (Although eager is perhaps not the word one associates with Chiron,)

  8. I have a 2deg Venus/Sun conjunction in Gem in 8th ss Uranus in Scorpio in 12th. Uranus is conjunct the Asc. Venus to Uranus ss is tight and I feel this one much more strongly. Uranus is not highlighted elsewhere in my chart but I suspect Venus will be a high ‘scorer’.

    I am strongly anti-marriage but my history doesn’t provide any reason for this. I could not sign a piece of paper to secure my relationship with someone; my attachment to someone is something I give or take freely and does not require evidence. In an otherwise layed back non-opinionated person, this is the one thing I can rant and stamp my feet about when pushed! But I do respect others’ choice, this is just something personal to me.

    I will go out of my way to be helpful and cooperative, but if I feel that someone is ‘telling’ me what to do, particularly without logic, I will dig my heels in and strain against their apparent authority. I’m assuming this is the Sun-Uranus aspect.

    It’s very much about having a free will rather than being different as the Uranus-Asc would suggest. But I’m assuming that the strength of my ss is to do with the involvement of the Asc.

    • Yes, Tizer, I think you’ve nailed the Venus-Uranus aspect, especially the anti-marriage part. You might want to read the articles here about Venus-Uranus aspects to see if you relate to the other qualities they describe. Donna

      • Hmmm, I have a 12th house issue with this. I can’t look at my Uranus directly; I have to peer sideways when she’s not looking! My friend recently told me that he couldn’t see me playing team games cos I’m a non-conformist. Huh?!! Comments like these completely throw me. Mind you, I’d rather be me than one of the masses.

        I don’t think I’ve got the pizzaz that you describe in the Glitterati post. But I am attracted to those who openly express their individuality. I think the Scorpio influence removes any tendancy for a ‘parade of short-term attractions’ but it certainly adds an intensity to how I feel about this aspect.

      • Yes, that’s true, Tizer, about the Scorpio influence mitigating the short-term attractions. Part of understanding an aspect like the sesquiquadarate, semisquare. or septile would be taking the signs involved into account. Donna

      • I’ve just realised that this aspect creates a ring of conjunctions around my chart. Sun/Venus to Uranus/Asc/NN to Jupiter/Dsc to Jupiter/Mercury and back to Sun/Venus in Gemini. Is this just one of those things that are intrinsic to how charts work? It suggests a flow of energy similar to a grand trine, but if there were difficult aspects to deal with in this kind of ring, there would be little outlet? Lucky for me, they are easy conjunctions! Donna, your thoughts would be appreciated 🙂

      • Hi, Tizer, I’m having a difficult time getting the visual picture, but it sounds like you’re saying there’s a triangle going on with semisquares and sesquiquadrates. That’s a formation I’ve often seen, and I think it’s a bit like a t-square. Donna

      • That’s not what I meant, but not to worry. My eyes cross whilst trying to read other people’s descriptions of their chart!

    • LOL! Me too!

  9. With Uranus in Gemini 1st house SS
    my Chiron in Scorpio 6th house…I am always having health challenges….food allergies,sensitivities
    that are not exactly run-of-the-mill.
    Since Uranus rules electricity & ‘out of the box’ options , I decided to go w/ my gut and try out Radionics ( this involves electricity and vibrations ) and also flower essences,(TreeFrogFarm, thank you, D.C!) & I see some health changes for the better.

    Also, I have Sun in the 7th in Sag SS Pluto in the 4th in Leo conjunct the IC and Saturn…..I attract men as friends who play the role of helper in my life. This has been a major plus.
    Also, I have attracted some people with power/control issues…..Even though Saturn is at 8 Leo and not directly SS the Sun,since Saturn conjuncts the IC and Pluto… has the effect of depleting my vitality (Sun) through bouts of major depressions (Saturn)…

    SS –powerful and
    with a pervasive ongoing effect……
    Not to be ignored.

    • Good interpretations, Molly. Donna

  10. Only one sesquiquadrate in my chart: Moon (in Gemini in the 8th House) ss Saturn (in Libra and House 1).

    My father hated it when I cried, and I have spent a fair amount of my life trying hard not to cry (without much success). There has been some depression involved, as well, perhaps related to this dynamic (although with Saturn in the first house, this would already be a possibility). Perhaps Saturn’s energy of constriction and suppression has been acting on my Gemini Moon’s need to communicate emotion. But the sesquiquadrate seems to be an angle that, in this case at least, struggles without being able to succeed – with the lack of success being a good thing, as we all need to be able to communicate our emotions!

    A complicating factor in interpreting this, though, is that my natal Mercury (ruler of Gemini) is in Pisces, and quintile to my Moon. Mercury in Pisces would already be inclined to be somewhat quiet and possibly weepy. And the Moon-Mercury quintile would likely make me rather effective in communicating my emotions.

    • Hmm. Moon-Saturn aspects of one kind and another often are accompanied by depressions of the biochemical kind, often a heredity pattern of major depressions, sometimes on the maternal side. So if it’s that kind, I wouldn’t write the sesquiquadrate off, though you’re also correct that having Saturn in the first could be another contributing factor. Donna

  11. Hi, Donna,
    I have two — one is Moon in Libra (at 12th House cusp) sesqui Venus in Taurus in 7th House. Venus is my sun-sign ruler. The Moon is also one leg of a Yod, but that’s another story. I looked up what is out on the web about this, and this is a very developed sense of beauty or aesthetics. BTW Libra also rules Japan — and I had studied ikebana (Japanese flower arranging) for a few years when I was younger. This is a tight aspect.
    The second one involves Mars in Cancer near 9th House cusp, sesqui North Node in Scorpio in my first house. I have a hard time finding anything on this, and I can’t offer much of an interpretation. I do think that it has to do with the fact I have been more competitive than I admitted to myself for years. Only recently have I admitted to myself that gosh darn it, I like to win. This is hard for women who have not been brought up to do so. Interested in sports as spectator, almost like a guy thing. Can talk about football. Mars is, I just recently found out, a power planet in my chart. I have not been using it enough.
    I think that the sesqui aspect is something that you need to work on to integrate into your personality.

    • Hi, Lau, thanks for telling us about your aspects. There is a double–or maybe a triple–connection between the Moon and Venus in your chart, which keeps it from being a pure case of the sesqui: 1) the sesqui, 2) Venus “disposes” of the Moon, meaning that the Moon is in Venus’s sign, Libra, and 3) Venus is a 7th house planet (similar to Venus in nature) aspecting the Moon.

      The other one, the sesqui to the nodes, wouldn’t be one I would have counted, but you make a decent case for it. Donna

  12. Another great question, thanks Donna.

    Moon conjunct Mars in Aquarius sesq. Pluto in Virgo. This aspect I can definitely feel, encompassing all the themes/feeling/experiences you usually get with Moon-Pluto and Mars-Pluto hard aspects. However, in talking to clients and friends with squares and oppositons between these planets, I realise that my sesq. seems to be less heavy and all encompassing than the sq. or opp., if you know what I mean. I went to a Lynn Bell seminar a few years back and she said that the sesq. has a narrower focus and impact and for my aspect at least, that seems to fit.

    And thank you once again, because I have discovered another new aspect! Venus Aquarius sesq. Jupiter Gemini (<2 degree orb). Certainly I don't feel like a Venus-Jupiter person, although I do consider myself to be very tolerant and quite generous, I'm not given to excesses and can be quite antisocial at times. Will have to think more on that one. I certainly have the classic Venus in Aquarius general friendliness, along with the strong need for independence and alone time…perhaps the Jupiter connection inflates that. I have lots of friends with Venus in Aquarius, btw, I seem to attract them 😀

    • Good to know about the reduced impact–I haven’t any, though I have semisquares galore and they’re a bit like a hornet’s nest when they get activated. Did you happen to see the recent post on Moon-Pluto aspects (“Outtake from a Moon-Pluto life”)? It covered a diversity of Moon-Pluto aspects in the comment section, pretty intense. Donna

      • Just read outtake from a Moon-Pluto life and all the comments, wow! What powerful stuff and can certainly relate.

        Forgot to mention that Uranus is also part of my Moon-Pluto sesq. because I was born with the Ura-Plu conjunction. That aspect is one of those double whammies because the Moon is in Aquarius.

        I think my story demonstrates Ura as well as Plu. Mum was a single mother who worked full time (a rare thing in the 60’s) so I had to be independent from a v. young age. Then in my early teens, she fell in love and married so I was pretty much left to do my own thing (a kind of abandonment, more independence). When I was 18 I left home to attend college and claim my full independence (going to college was not the done thing in our family, I was the first and only one). This was when the control and manipulation started. You’ve probably heard this story a million times from clients etc. “I’ve never forgiven you for growing up” “all i’ve got to live for is my kids” “if you don’t do X you don’t love me”, her 100% conviction that she ‘owns’ me etc. etc. That feeling of fear and bending over backwards to please her, to calm the wrathful beast waiting in its cage. It got easier once I realised that she needs me more than I need her.

      • I don’t think I’ver ever pondered how the Uranus-Pluto conjunction modifies the Moon-Pluto aspects, but of course it would! At least, being in Virgo, it gives you plenty of survival skills. Thanks for adding to our store of knowledge on both the sesqui and the Moon-Pluto aspects. Donna

  13. I have Jupiter in the 12th SS Pluto in the 5th..
    I’m afraid these are outer planets, so I am not sure if they relate to anything other than the fact that I am a baby boomer?

    • Jupiter isn’t really one of the slow-moving outer planets, so I wouldn’t rule it out in a sesqui. It moves fairly quickly, through a whole sign in a year, and what it does in most aspects is to amplify the qualities of the planet it aspects. (Its main property is to expand what it touches. Donna

      • okay, so pluto in the 5th house points to passion, creativity, and feeling fated. Childrearing is not taken lightly, neither is creativity or romance.
        good grief, so expand that? Jupiter in the 12th house, luck when it’s least expected.. So maybe I’ll be lucky with my art career?

        Well, i was featured on the front page of the New York Times sunday paper when a reporter did a story on people painting Barack Obama’s portrait.
        the day that happened both Venus and Mars were in my 12 house (where Jupiter lives) and Venus was trining Pluto.

  14. 4th House Mars in Cancer sesquiquadrate (0 degree orb) 8th House Neptune in Scorpio:

    Sexual secrecy because of pain, shame, guilt, or just to keep my secrets my own.

    (I even hemmed and hawed a good deal before deciding to post this rather innocuous admission. Good grief!)

  15. Hi Donna – I hesitated to comment because I’m not sure I have a handle on how this aspect works in my chart, but after reading everyone’s comments, I’ll give it a shot.

    My 2nd house Libra Sun (which is conjunct my North Node, Venus and Neptune) forms a sesqui with my Gemini MC. I’ve always attracted the attention of authority figures and generally end up in charge of things in very practical ways. When I was about 14 years old, I joined a summer program devoted to putting inner city kids to work doing minor neighborhood repairs, such as painting and simple carpentry. Within a few days, they made me “supervisor” of the other kids. That’s kind of been the theme throughout my life; I’m a natural manager. My artistic talents seem to attract attention as well.

    The negative side of this is that I sometimes have to take charge when I’d rather not. Authority figures have not always been trustworthy, nor have they always had my (or others’) best interests at heart. And there are usually unavoidable conflicts between my need to earn a living and my value system. Physical challenges (related to Gemini) have also made it difficult to work in recent years. That’s okay though. I’ve just had to rethink my career path.

    My Sun is right at the midpoint between Saturn and Pluto, so it’s a very sensitive point in my chart. As you already know, my Pluto (conjunct Ascendant) squares my MC (conjunct Mars).

    • I think you’ve got a handle on it, LB. A Libra Sun surely would be uncomfortable being in charge. (Can you say, “ruling by consensus?”) Donna

  16. I have 4.

    1) Moon SS exact with Saturn
    2) Moon SS exact with Uranus
    3) Pluto SS exact with Mercury
    4) Pluto SS 2 deg with Mars

    I notice a pattern, my SS are centered on two planets– Moon and Pluto. My Moon and Pluto are actually opposite each other with Pluto in the 8th house and Moon in the 2nd house (but a degree away from being in the 3rd house).

    I think the sesquiquadrate energy works like how its icon shows, like a “z” shape. The energy is not straightforward, not obvious and hard like the square, nor smooth like the trine. It makes a sound like a “zing” (if it makes sense lol) and travels indirectly from one planet to another. The energy moves straight, meets a bump, moves down, meets another bump, then moves towards the other planet. The “z” shape.

    I am very much emotional and lunar (and that’s not just because I’m Cancerian!) yet Saturn makes me unable to express emotions without being awkward about it, so actually people do not perceive me as someone who is sensitive (a.k.a easily hurt) and might not even think I’m a loving person oops.
    But Uranus makes me a little zany too, scratch that a little part, I’m actually super hyper and cheerful and optimistic and weird.
    It’s hard to reconcile sensitive and emotional with a prankster personality, awkward with expressing sympathy and concern.

    I am dark and intense (even though I try to disown that side of myself, tomorrow I’ll say I’m not really dark and intense at all), in that I really want to know and get to the bottom of people’s deep dark secrets and I’m constantly psychoanalysing them (again I deny that I actually psychoanalyse people despite my friends telling me that I do)
    Plus I’m insatiably curious, that’s Mercury and Pluto trying to reach out to each other harmoniously but it’s like a trial and error process with lots of bumping around in the dark.

    Pluto and Mars. Eh. I’m passive and forceful. I don’t know how this two works out. Maybe it’s my Mars in Pisces. Pisces is not as directly forceful as Scorpio (where my Pluto is in), yet I want what I want.

    I am not really sure, I can’t put my finger to what the SS stands for in my life. Just that my general feeling is that it is an aspect that creates awkwardness, like a gangly youth with all limbs and little control motor-skills wise– all bumps and knobs that somehow we need to learn how to grow into through trial and error, or through wisdom that hopefully comes with age and maturity.

    • I very much like your summaries, Heidi, which I highlighted in bold type. The part about the shape of the glyph, especially–it goes to sacred geometry, that shapes have meaning and emotional impact. I’ve had some of my classes draw the very old glyphs for the zodiac signs big with their hands and arms. After a while, you get more of a sense of what they are trying to convey. Donna

  17. I have a similar configuration as Molly.
    Sun/Mars exact conjunction in 11th Gemini in exact sesqui to Saturn/Pluto in 4th Libra exactly conjunct the IC. I mentioned in the semisquare thread that Sun and Mars are my Asc and MC rulers, respectively, and they exactly semisquare the MC (This whole configuration has Venus, Moon, Neptune and Nodes closely aspected as well, so of course there’s a lot going on). I will say that the sesquisquadrate is probably the most powerfully influential aspect in my chart. Sun/Mars ss Saturn/Pluto has played out
    in many ways:
    – I had a very passively aggressive, dominant, strict father.
    -I am utterly sensitive to, and aware of any power struggles (particularly in the workplace) and tend to lock horns when I don’t sense fair play in those areas.
    -A funny story…when I used to take long car rides as a child, I used to just pass out. My parents always thought I was tired, but I wasn’t. I always had so much energy (which I could contain and precisely control), that my body would just kind of shut down if I couldn’t disperse it. It was like I was forced into hibernation.
    -I can also be considered a workaholic, because if I’m focused on something, I can go until my body is literally running on fumes, and then some (Sun/Mars/Saturn/Pluto in air signs). I’ve had many friends keep me in check about that one.
    -I am extremely scorpionic when it comes to getting rid of old habits (or even friends) that I’ve outgrown.

    Like Molly mentioned, sesquiquadrates (and semisquares for that matter) seem to be extremely powerful. The energy seems to manifest, regardless of if you’re aware or not. Again, maybe the ease is mitigated by the element.

  18. *maybe the harshness is mitigated by planets in SS that share an element.

    • Excellent point, Jason. Thanks! Of course, the sesqui is not always trine by element, usually just when the earlier planet is in the first half of the sign, because it’s a trine (120 degrees) plus 15. Let’s say you have Mercury at 5 Gemini, the sesqui would be 20 Libra, both in air signs. But if mercury were at 16 Gemini, then the sesqui would be at 1 Scorpio, air and water mixed. Donna

      • Donna,

        I’ve paid so little attention to my sesquis over the years I’m surprised to find that this aspect has so much influence in my chart.

        Mercury 23 Sag 5th house to Jupiter 11 Taurus 10th house

        That Merc sesqui Jupiter reveals itself when I say something perfectly innocent and well-meaning, and somehow discover both feet stuffed in my mouth. Depending on the person I’m talking to, they either laugh hysterically (Mercury), or get pissed in a huge overblown (Jupiter) way. This has been a life theme since I’m a kid, although it did lessen as I became more conscious of it.

        For instance, this morning I heard a weird noise coming from the kitchen, I called to ask my husband what it was. “I’m sweeping the floor,” he said.

        “No wonder I didn’t recognize the sound,” I answered, and then as he started laughing, I realized it sounded like I was making a subtle but snide remark about him being a housework shirker, which he is not!

        Although I personally tend toward hyperbole and drama-queen tendencies, I believe this aspect also has to do with my trouble “getting” puns, figures of speech, and wordplay. That Sag tries for deeper philosophical understanding, and since there is none I completely miss the simplicity boat, and that can piss the punner off. For instance, I once repeated something unflattering I’d overheard my Aunt Ruby say about her sister’s husband.

        Ruby angrily turned on me, “I can’t believe you let that cat out of the bag!”

        I said, “I didn’t know you had a cat! Where is he?”

        “You know what I mean. Why did you have to spill the beans?”

        “Beans? I don’t have any beans. What happened to the cat?”

        I was only five years old, but Ruby flew into a rage, believing that I was deliberately ratting her out and then pretending not to understand her just to further mess with her head.

        Mars 1 Pisces 7th house sesqui Uranus 16 Cancer 11th house

        That Mars sesqui Uranus gives me a weird, wacky sense of humor as well as a super-optimistic outlook on life that some might think hovers on the manic borderline. With Mars and Uranus both water signs, I don’t feel I have any problems processing this aspect. I adore the career(s) that chose me: Astrologer and screenwriter. I see clients in my home (Cancer) and work on my computer (Uranus) out of my home office. The scripts I write are exclusively comedic romantic fantasies and sci fi, with highly developed characters and wacky situations ranging from extreme to outrageous. Our production company’s mission statement includes “entertain and inspire main-stream audiences through socially relevant messages.” (Uranus in 11th anyone?)

        Although I had what anyone would consider a toxic family and childhood, I’ve left that drama/trauma behind in my 20s. Now I’m ridiculously chipper almost all the time. I love my life, my work, my husband, my cat. And you, Donna. Thanks for all you do.

  19. This is really interesting. Thanks to these articles, my unaspected Venus suddenly has three or four aspects.
    I have four ss. One and two: 3rd house Jup 7’51 pisc ss 11th house Venus 22’46” Libra. Since Jupiter is con Chiron at 8’34” that’s one too. Jupiter is very strong in my chart – a focal planet of a kite. I’m not very familiar with chiron yet.
    The third ss is 2nd house Saturn 6’11” aq ss MC 21’35” in Virgo. The MC has no other aspects, but Saturn is the focal planet of a yod, so there’s a lot of things going on the both Jup and Sat. Makes it hard to see how the energies of the smaller asp plays out. I’m lucky with my friends – I have no other family – and I’m artistic, so perhaps there’s a reinforcement going on between Ven and Jup.
    I wonder if the Saturn-MC can explain my off-timing. I seem to be out of sync a lot of times. (F.ex: I had a book published on the 9-12-2001). And I have to work very hard – nothing comes easy.
    There’s also one from 8th house Mars in Can ss Asc 21’12” Scorpio. (The only other asp to the ASC is a con with the pars of fortune …). That Mars is a mousy one. Intellectually I realize that if I’m going to be able to make a better living from my career, I’ll have to get more public and put myself out there, but that’s really hard for me and I have to overcome some huge inner obstacles to do so.
    I find so many good things to work with from the comment section – so thanks to everyone!

  20. First off, I just wanted to say I also liked Heidi’s description of the sesquiquadrate (SS) energy…especially the “Z” and “zing” 🙂
    Also, forgive me if this post on my aspects gets really long— I have 8 sesquiquadrates (SS)! Most are exact or less than 1 arc, as well as the squares involved. I realize that may sound a bit extreme, though they actually flow together making tight connections throughout my chart.
    I have a “splash” pattern containing multiple configurations (T-square, Thor hammer’s, cradle, etc) just to give you idea of how one chart can contain so many SS, yet all rather connected.

    The SS aspects I would like to share are concentrated in my 3rd/9th houses.
    One my 3rd house cusp I have an Pisces Sun-Mercury (cazimi) conjunction, and this is SS Scorpio Uranus Rx 10th house, also SS Leo Saturn Rx in my 7th house. Uranus squares Saturn and this forms a “thor’s hammer” aka “Poleaxe” that points to my late degree Pisces Sun-Mercury 3rd house.

    One the other end of the axis, I have an angular 9th house Libra Pluto and Pluto is SS Aquarius Mars 2nd house, and Pluto is SS my Jupiter-Lilith conjunction in Taurus 5th house. Mars squares Jupiter, thus forms another “Thor’s hammer” and this one is pointing to Libra Pluto in the 9th house.

    From what I’ve come to understand/experience about the energy dynamic of the thor’s hammer/poleaxe/quadriform (two planets in a square, both SS a third planet)is that the energy of the square is funneled into the third planet which is receiving the SS aspects. In my case that would be 3rd house Pisces Sun-Mercury, and Libra Pluto 9th house. This is an enormous amount of pressure applied on my Sun, Mercury, and Pluto! (psychic energy overload, requiring meditation time daily or watch out! lol)

    Now these energy dynamics (6 SS + 2 squares)being experienced through the 3rd/9th axis don’t include a vital piece of the puzzle—I have Capricorn rising with Aquarius Moon in my 1st house, with an angular fixed t-square between my Moon and it’s rulers Uranus 10th & Saturn 7th. Further, and key to the show is Aries Venus, who is Rx conjunct Aries SN who is also conjunct the IC from the 3rd house side, and also conjunct Chiron who is conjunct IC from the 4th house side (hopefully you follow how it connects energy wise in the story).

    I’ve had an intense life full of pain and loss very early on. I would say Aries Venus Rx conjunct Chiron has basically been running the show from the ‘underworld’. I came in to existence with so much pain, yet an incredible yearning for liberation of the past, or for ‘God’ who I really felt had foresaken me and all the people around me (I have Neptune 12th SS Chiron IC) I’m extremely emphatic and the most poor boundaries…been learning to set them.

    My 9th house Libra Pluto Rx squares my Asc (and Jupiter is SS Asc and Pluto), trines 1st Moon, and sextiles both Neptune and Saturn. I was deeply wounded though unaware, I just felt so unloved and unaccepted (Venus Rx-Chiron-IC)
    When Neptune began crossing my Asc (age 11) I began running away looking to fill the void and desiring to save all the other wounded lost souls from the hell I knew.

    Little did I know transit Pluto had made his way over my MC and was about to began squaring all my personal planets (houses 1-3 in Aquarius & Pisces) over the next 10-20 yrs.

    I was so bold and fearless, you just could not tell me nothing! Deep inside I was just desperately seeking truth/’God’/love from my immediate environment (Pisces 3rd Sun-Merc) and with such a potent Pluto up in the 9th house the regular path just wasn’t for me…too boring. I dropped out of the 8th grade, and literally lived on the streets.

    I meet so many other people, all throughout the various cultures and neighborhoods I explored seeking new experiences and friends, which I spent time living with thus learned about…from asian, hispanic, black, white…christian, jew, catholic, buddhist, muslim, even atheist—you name it! It were as if 3rd Pisces and 9th Libra Pluto forced me to cross various cultural and religious boundaries, which actually ended up giving me a lot of existential shocks. A process seemingly stripping away all of my previousily held beliefs, attachments, and fears I had absorbed up to that point coming from my roots (many past lives, dysfunctional abusive family, Christianity, and basically much of what society had agreed and claimed as truth—this is where the Uranus/Saturn cap. rising with 1st aqaurius moon come to play I believe).

    I always felt humanity was my true family, especially the socially rejected outcasts as they were humans and deserved love/forgiveness too! (they were me essentially) I was a really naive Pisces though and through all these intense experiences, I ended up locked in jail for several years after I went through a phase where I associated with and was involved with a street gang and drugs. I also spent years in the underground club and strip bar scene.

    Needless to say I’ve had a couple guns put to my head, was ALMOST killed, ALMOST beaten and ALMOST raped on several occassions—Almost is the key word as I did not actually experience that part, just the harsh and scary awareness the “I was almost…” it gave.

    I have actually come to attribute this part of my past story with the SS aspects in my chart. You could say the squares involved (Uranus/Saturn—rulers of my 1/2nd houses, then the Mars/Jupiter—rulers of my 4th/12th houses) along with these particular 6 SS aspects in my chart created some VERY tense and dangerous moments (my soul craved deep transformation), but was not enough to go all the way. Thus I was spared from a much worse and more intense possibilty.

    While it was surely enough to get my attention and facilitated the needed adjustments realted to the SS aspects. Ironically, by the time I had my Saturn return (and all those transit ‘harsh’ Pluto squares to all my Aquarius & Pisces personal planets) I had been truly ‘reborn’! I was given a fresh slate…transformed perception, like a different mind, or awareness.

    I ended up graduating college (did VERY well even though I was single raising 3 kids alone and working), and began a trauma ICU career as a Nurse. I have since set my aims towards actually making a more positive and productive difference in the world through pursuing a more Libra and 9th house approach, and have since realized I must heal and save myself before I can try to save others. While that is still a big working process, I see all SS’s as helping the needed adjustments/changes to be able to utilize the more beautiful side Pisces/Neptune bring and the friendly innovated side Aquarius/Uranus (not social outcast escapist way!) I’m thinking all the SS’s in my chart may have saved my physical life as well. Who knows?

  21. Hi Donna,
    First of all apologies as this has become a Neptune …. once upon a time, kind of tale……LOL!

    I have a Sesquiquadrate between Venus in Gemini @ 25°26’ in the 8th house and Neptune in Scorpio at 8°31’ in the 12th which is also conjunct my Asc at 14° 57’.
    Donna, I’ve owned your book OPIL2 (Outer planets with Venus and mars) for a few years now and until recently I always considered myself a Venus/Uranus gal as it is involved in a Yod in my chart……
    However the more I consider it, Venus/Neptune has also always been a big feature in my life.
    As anyone who has this aspect can tell you, everyone projects onto you. They can’t help it. My dad has a Virgo Venus/Neptune conjunction in the 5th house and he was a natural musician so much so that he didn’t even regard it as a gift but a hindrance and then gave it up, no dropped it, to be an engineer!

    As for me well the frustration of the Venus /Neptune Sesquiquadrate is getting clearer now as I have in my past a number of ex-partners all saying ‘but you aren’t the one I fell in love with, And I’m not going to forgive you for making a fool of me!’.
    I think it’s this aspect which is responsible for the following:- so many people I’ve been friends with or have worked have hit on me, normally much to my complete astonishment, perhaps the Venus/ Uranus Sextile had some input into this but honestly the astonishment and unexpectedness of most of these events still astound me.
    This sounds like boasting but I’ll give you an extreme example, I have a Lesbian Tran-sexual neighbour who made a pass at me when I was 45! Hardly, the first bloom of youth is it? And it gets worse because afterwards she said ‘you are the kind of woman I want to be’……Yuch! Not me of course she has never bothered to get to know me, she has no idea what I am like and doesn’t even try to find out. She has never ever asked me about my job or interests, whenever she does talk to me it is always a lewd question all about my ‘sex life’.
    Recently she asked if she could babysit my kids! and was so hurt when I said Err, NO! Honestly I could elaborate this but wont as its just too weird. Sorry Venus with Uranus/Neptune & everyone has with Pluto too……
    All my pals laugh about this unanimously and say well could only happen to you as they have all heard it before.
    Seriously though, I am now 49 and raising two kids on my own & as pretty much every man I’ve been in relation with has been completely and unforgivably disillusioned with me (Neptune conjunct Asc) because I wasn’t what they thought I was.
    And yes my transsexual neighbour has reached the same conclusion……she says I must dye my hair blond again…LOL! & cover all the grey….

    This is a glib if extreme example but remains an enduring relationship model, no-one has ever forgiven me for letting them down.
    Maybe this the twist in the Sesquiquadrate!!! Frustration!
    I think this is good example of this aspect: I once had a friend who was a very, very successful ‘call girl’ she owned and ran a brothel and made serious money. I met her when I was in my early 30’s which you would think is a bit old to join that trade. Yet she told me quite categorically that should I ever need a job she would employ me immediately!
    I was bemused and flattered as at the time I was a computer programmer, a job I stayed at because it suits my Virgo MC and I still work in computing, albeit in a different role. For me this story summarises my life in a way, a strong Neptune needs a lot of Saturn, mine is in Capricorn. My last boyfriend actually thought I had made the wrong decision as he works in computing as well and my job simply didn’t suit his projection, he thought i should have taken the risk into prostitution. Not that I have a judgement about it, it just want for me. Even all those years ago I didn’t trust the gifts of Neptune as though they can be immense they are uncertain & yes they can bestow fame and riches ….but mostly they don’t, my goodness this is so illuminating for me. And all you have to do with Saturn is make sure you work at some boring job to be rewarded by a decent enough life boring as hell though!
    Heidi , I like what you said ‘It makes a sound like a “zing” and travels indirectly from one planet to another’, in my case it travels through ‘a.n. other’.
    This aspect only operates for me through someone else but it is different to an opposition as it invariably means I WANT in fact I must ‘buy in’ to believe the projection. Somehow the ss needs me to support it as when I don’t agree to the projection it loses strength, however when I do!!!! It operates big time. I think the opposition is a more passive aspect in that the projected person is a screen, (Dante and Beatrice as an extreme example) I think the Sesquiquadrate needs active involvement as Heidi says it’s a zing. i understand that totally!
    Sorry this is such a long tale. transiting Neptune is in my 3rd house as well, sorry! LOL!

  22. My Mercury in Taurus (8th) is ss my Libra ascendant. I totally agree with the zigzag energy comments. With this aspect, I am intelligent, but my mental processes are often “short circuited” or blocked from time to time. I can seem like a bumbling idiot, but I’m really not (honest!). Other times I come off like some kind of genius, and people are often intimidated by my vocabulary.

    This aspect, plus my Saturn in the third, and my Mercury combust add to this effect. I’m like a radio station that comes in loud and clear but experiences a lot of static from time to time.

    Thanks, Donna for these amazing opportunites for learning and sharing, and thanks to all who post here.

  23. Moon in Leo ss Neptune retrograde in Sag by 1 degree

    I can’t think of any other way my Moon is Neptunean/Piscean because it’s in the 9th house and only other aspects are trines to planets in 1st house Sag.

    I believe this aspect sheds light on my relationship with my mother. As a child I was very emotionally and psychologically dependent on her. But I had a strong awareness of that and it made me feel shameful. It made me feel stuck and stunted. As a result I consciously pushed her out of my life – I didn’t want to be dependent on her, even if it meant severing our relationship altogether. I’m so ambivalent about her because I feel she helps everyone by sacrificing (Neptune) her needs (Moon), so much so that she’s now a shell of a person, no feeling or passion (a cold Moon).

    As an adult, I think this aspect manifests in my ambivalence in nurturing relationships. As a mother I’m very conscious about overextending myself. I don’t believe mothers should put their kids first – I really don’t. They should put themselves first (just like fathers!) and then parent as someone whole, not as someone depleted, drained, or defeated. I admit though sometimes I do feel like my role as a mother stands in the way of my other goals in life. And then it flips and sometimes I feel guilty because I think I’m sacrificing my son’s happiness for mine. So I certainly don’t think I’m mother of the year – I think I’m *ambivalent*, and that’s probably what this aspect is about. The obstacles are not so in-your-face as a square or an opposition. They seem to be more internalized and harder to perceive, like a subtle undercurrent you become aware of only once in a while.

    • It sounds like an extremely potent aspect, especially given that there aren’t any more Moon-Neptune connections. Thanks! Donna


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