© 1-18-2011 by Donna Cunningham, MSW
A conjunction—when two planets stand together in the chart within a range of 0-8°–is perhaps the easiest aspect to interpret because the two planets are generally in the same sign and house. Let’s go through the step-by-step process of analyzing a conjunction.
1) Before getting deeper into your analysis, think about whether the two planets are a good match or not. Some planets—like Mercury or Jupiter or Venus and the Moon have some related functions in our lives and can coexist in harmony even if the aspect they form to one another is a hard one.
Others, like the Sun and Saturn or Mars and Neptune are going to make an uneasy coupling even in the best of aspects. Let’s pick one of the more difficult duos—the Sun and Saturn.
Compare the two signs they rule. The Sun rules Leo, the sign at the peak of summer sunshine. Saturn rules Capricorn, the sign in the darkest days of winter. Leo is upbeat and naturally confident; Capricorn can be dour and self-doubting, beleiving that no matter how hard they work, they’re never ENOUGH. You get a feeling already, then, that a Sun-Saturn conjunction may not be the best aspect to have.
2) Think about the two planets’ natural functions and issues, and list some keywords and phrases that represent them.
The Sun’s functions and issues: Self-concept, identity, self-expression, what self-worth and self-confidence is based on. The Sun is the core of our being, and the Sun’s sign, house, and aspects give us a sense of who we are and what we’re capable of–in brief, it’s our identity. You’d be listing your Sun’s qualities if you described yourself as “I’m the kind of person who . . . ” When the Sun is underemphasized or challenged by difficult aspects, the person can be self-effacing and experience low self-esteem, a poor self-concept or even self-hate.
Saturn’s functions and issues: structure, discipline, desire for quality and accomplishment, career success delays, limitations, the father and other authority figures, maturity, perseverance, accountability, realism, learning from experience. Saturnian traits include perfectionism, workaholism, being authoritarian, fearfulness or anxiety, tendency toward depression.
3) Using these qualities, begin to mix and match them and speculate on how they enhance or restrict one another. Here are a few possibilities with a Sun-Saturn conjunction:
The Sun is our self-confidence, but Saturn tends toward self-doubt and perfection, toward never feeling good enough.
The Sun is what our self-worth is based on; Saturn above all values accomplishment and career success. Sounds like a workaholic in the making.
Saturn represents the father and other authority figures; the Sun represents the identity; therefore people with Sun-Saturn aspects may identify with their father and based their self-esteem on his approval or disapproval.
4) Look at how the signs they’re placed in modify the picture.
Consider the sign of the first planet—is it a sign it’s naturally happy in, or does it barely tolerate its stay in that sign? (It might be happy in a sign in the same element as the sign it rules, for instance.)
Let’s suppose the Sun and Saturn are conjunct in Virgo. Saturn is fairly well placed in Virgo, as it’s another earth sign and has the same work ethic and desire for quality as Capricorn, the sign Saturn rules. The Sun, however, would be less contented, as Virgo is self-critical and modest, giving the Sun little opportunity to shine.
Compare that with Sun conjunct Saturn in Aries. While the Sun would feel at home with assertive, energetic Aries, Saturn would be unhappy with Aries’ impatience and rashness.
(There is an ancient system of classifying planets in signs according to how comfortable they are that Claire Martin has written about here: Planets in Exaltation, Detriment and Fall – Astrodienst. These classifications deliver a judgement about whether a placement is “good” or “bad”, “weak” or “strong, based on an ancient system of religious and cultural values you are asked to swallow whole. Rather than memorizing their judgements, I’d rather see you learn for yourself about these placements by taking the planet, sign, and house apart and analyzing them. )
Second House: Attitudes regarding money and possessions are shown here, as well as ways of making money and dealing with it. Where there is chronic financial difficulty, healing around prosperity may be needed.
Having the Sun and Saturn together in the 2nd can make financial security an important criteria for feeling good about yourself—your net worth is a big part of your self-worth.
Third House: How the person thinks and communicates, any barriers to learning, writing, speaking. Describes situations with siblings and other close relatives (not parents) as well as any problems regarding them. Any difficulties with neighbors and the impact of the surrounding environment.
Saturn in the 3rd can indicate a late bloomer academically, but often a deep thinker who blooms into a true scholar.
The conjunction to the Sun suggests that early scholastic difficulties could lead to a lack of self-confidence. The person may have been often compared to an older sibling who was more successful.
These are the steps you would follow in beginning to analyze a conjunction. I hope it gives you a starting point.
Readers, use this process to analyze a conjunction in your own chart. What did you discover about yourself by doing it?
- Aspects 101: Major Astrological Aspects and What They Mean
- Readers Ask—Q&A about Conjunctions
- How Strong is your Sun? Here’s the Score!
- How Strong is your Saturn? Here’s the Score!
- Readers Ask: Q & A about the 2nd House
- Readers Ask: Q & A about Mercury, Gemini, and the 3rd House
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