©7-29-2010 by Donna Cunningham, MSW
For the past six weeks, the Skywriter community has been engaged in a research project into six of the so-called minor aspects like the semisquare, septile, and sesquiquadrate. We’re generally given no more than a vague, abstract sentence or phrase of explanation about these chart features—the same unhelpful generalization repeated by author after author.
My hope was that by gathering real-life examples from readers, we’d gain a clearer understanding of how these aspects work in people’s lives. I asked readers to look for them in their charts and to give examples of how they’re expressed, with specific details. The response has been remarkable. Thanks, folks! You’re the best!
What conclusions can we draw from readers’ reports? There are some very interesting results.
Finding #1: A blog can be an excellent venue for gathering information about chart features through reader feedback. Skywriter’s readers tend to be at the intermediate to advanced level of astrological studies.
They are bright, articulate, and self-aware. They are using astrology for self-awareness and personal growth. Unlike the tepid response to most questionnaires, they participated enthusiastically in this research.
The aspects we’ve worked with and the number of participants so far are:
- semisquare (45°) 140 participants
- septile (51.43°) 70 participants
- quintile (72°) 84 participants
- sesquiquadrate (135°) 54 participants
- biquintile (144°) 17 participants
- mundane square (varied) 82 participants
(Note: the comment sections for these articles remain open, so you’re welcome to add your observations at the links below.)
Finding #2: Most participants had previously dismissed the “minor” aspects as unimportant. Once they re-examined these aspects in their own charts, they readily understood what they meant. Putting together the planets, signs, and houses, they were able to interpret them and provide specific details of how the aspect worked in their lives. Their examples made sense astrologically.
Finding #3: Even the most skeptical were surprised by how strong these aspects were and how much impact they’d had. Many vowed to start taking a closer look at these aspects in chart interpretation.
Finding #4: The nature of the two planets involved seemed to determine the effects of an aspect, rather than the particular angle between them. In the experiences readers provided, there seemed to be little difference between the various aspects.
The feelings, difficulties, and effects reported for a Mercury-Saturn aspect, for instance, were strikingly similar, regardless of whether it was a semisquare, septile, or sesquiquadrate. They also weren’t that different from Mercury-Saturn conjunctions, squares, trines, and oppositions dozens of readers had reported on in earlier posts about that combination.
Finding #5: The ease or difficulty reported with any particular aspect seemed to depend on how compatible the signs and elements involved were.
For example, the septile (51.43°) is sometimes between signs that are semisextile and sometimes in the sextile sign. The quintile (72°) is sometimes between signs that are sextile and sometimes between those that are square. The sesquiquadrate (135°) is sometimes in signs that are trine and sometimes in signs that are quincunx.
Where the planets were placed in incompatible signs, readers tended to experience the aspect as more difficult.
To sum up the results of this highly successful summer project, no clear description of the nature of the individual aspects emerged from looking at them in this way. In seeking real-life examples, we were going for the “feeling” of the aspect and its impact, rather than a theoretical formulation. This would be classified as clinical research rather than strictly along the scientific model. As a clinician rather than a scientist, that’s plenty good enough for me. (Science can bite me!!)
However, what we did discover was that the “minor aspects” are simply less well understood. I prefer to call them the lesser-known aspects, because this research confirms that their effects are often anything but minor.
If you haven’t been around for our studies of the little-known aspects in this series, you’re welcome to explore them at the links below and to share your findings in the comment sections for those posts. To learn more about what these aspects mean, have a look at what other readers have said.
Kudos to those who participated! You’ve added some very valuable information to our field. What did you learn about yourself and your astrology chart from taking part? Did you form any conclusions about these aspects and their role in our lives? Tell us about it in the comment section.
Skywriter’s Series about the Lesser-Known Aspects:
- Understanding Semisquares—Your Input Needed
- Understanding the Sesquiquadrate—Your Input Needed
- Understanding Septiles–Your Input Needed
- Understanding Quintiles—What’s YOUR Talent?
- Understanding the BiQuintile—Your Input Needed
- Quincunx vs. BiQuintile–an Answer from Numerology?
- Understanding the Mundane Square—Your Input Needed
- Mundane square case study: Outtake from a Moon-Pluto Life
- Is the Semi-Sextile a Good Aspect or a Bad One?
- Neptune & Uranus in Mutual Reception
- Pluto and the transiting Antiscia–not Over ’til It’s Over
- The Antiscia are Coming! The Antiscia are Coming!
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