©3-14-11 by Donna Cunningham, MSW
Here are some questions and observations from readers about a variety of astrological aspects in theircharts, conjunctions and quintiles in particular. For those who aren’t familiar with them, a quintile is a 72° aspect, within about 2-3 degree range. In the natal chart, it describes your personal “genius” or talent.
Q: How many degrees work for a conjunction? I’ve been taught 5-8°, so I’ve never really considered Mercury-Saturn aspects before, although I have a wide conjunction (10°) between Mercury at 1° of Aquarius and Saturn at 11°.” (She goes on to describe characteristics and circumstances that are highly typical of the aspect.)
A: My tongue-in-cheek reply: Sigh, I hate it when 10° degree conjunctions work, especially that well. Not spozed to, but when you talk to people who have them, they often do work. So untidy!
It’s really odd–we’re taught that the closer a conjunction, the stronger it is, and the wider it is, the weaker, but my forays into talking with people with 10 degree conjunctions suggest that it isn’t so. I’d venture to say it depends, instead, on the strength of the two planets, which you can find by doing both planetary tests, and then adding the two together. (See: Planetary Tests)
Approaching aspects are considered stronger. Perhaps in your case it works because it’s an approaching conjunction, meaning that Mercury hadn’t passed Saturn yet when you were born, but was moving in the direction of a conjunction, rather than having passed Saturn and moving away from it. That’s a separating conjunction as would happen if Saturn were at 11°. and Mercury at 22°.
(To determine whether an aspect is approaching or separating, look at whether the faster moving of the two planets is still approaching the exact aspect or has already made the exact aspect and is moving away from it–a separating aspect.)
By progression, Mercury would have been approaching your Saturn until about age 11, and then moving away from it for maybe another 10 years, at least through high school. So, yes, I’d say the Mercury-Saturn conjunction works in your chart. A whole new aspect to get used to! Read about Mercury-Saturn aspects here–and read people’s experiences in the comment section: Understanding Mercury-Saturn Combinations.
Q: I have Pluto conjunct the Ascendant and often feel isolated, but people are always telling me their secrets.
A: That’s such an interesting point about people telling you their secrets with Pluto conjunct the Ascendant. I’d never thought of it, but I have exactly the same experience and have Pluto there as well. One of the reasons I was forever hiding in my room when I spoke at conferences was exactly that. Complete strangers would drag me off in a corner at cocktail parties or accost me in the hallways and dump their horror tales.
This aspect is an asset in the consultation room, but fairly wearing in everyday life. I learned not to talk to seatmates on planes, for they would wind up telling me every bit of dirty laundry in their family. I’ve learned not to reveal to casual strangers what I do for a living.
As for the isolation, being one with Pluto on the Ascendant myself, my healing work on myself over many years has gradually diminished those barriers, and weirdly enough, people who don’t know me well now see me as a grandmotherly type. (They wish!!) The isolation can change.
Q: A reader with Mercury conjunct Uranus in Scorpio in the 1st notes, “The main obstacle that I have seen time and again with hard Mercury-Uranus revolving around the cardinal houses is a certain isolation in one’s various relationships. Such isolation is due to one’s thoughts/ideas being so radical or eccentric that others simply cannot connect on a personal level.”
A: I think the isolation factor is compounded by Scorpio planets being in the 1st, and yes, having Uranus there in the 1st makes the ways you are different stand out like a sore thumb. It could be, too, that a certain “chip on the shoulder” attitude intimidates people or makes them feel like avoiding you. The thing to remember about Mercury aspects that are difficult, is that communication skills are learned and learnable. (For more intell on Mercury-Uranus aspects, read: Understanding Mercury-Uranus Combinations—It’s DIY Time! )
Q: My Dad and I both have Mars-Pluto aspects, but we don’t get along at all.
What’s interesting is that aspects do run in families–your Mars-Pluto square, his Mars-Pluto opposition–but the aspects aren’t compatible here, and so you may set each other off in some unpleasant and fairly competitive ways.
People with oppositions like his tend to project their undesirable qualities on others…”look what you made me do.” Here he could be projecting his undesirable Mars or Pluto qualities onto you, since you have a Mars-Pluto aspect yourself.
Also, squares of any sort tend to be more edgy and to push their luck just a bit, so he may worry that you’ll go too far in a direction he’s trying hard to keep himself from going.
Q: Do quintiles to the angles, like to the Midheaven or Ascendant, mean anything, since only one planet is involved?
A: I never thought of it, but a quintile to the Midheaven would be a career booster and one to the Ascendant would be an over-all appealing personality characteristic. For instance, Venus quintile an Aquarius midheaven would definitely have people skills that give the career a boost–”it’s who you know….”
Q: How about quintiles in a Solar Return Chart? Do they speak of a special talent during that year?
A: Maybe not a new talent, but the chance to develop moderately good abilities into far stronger ones.
Q: What about a quintile in chart comparison?
A: I don’t honestly think it means much in chart comparison. To me, the conjunctions are the real “juice” of a relationship.
Q: Do you find that people express their quintiles naturally when they are young, but stop doing it so much when they are adult?
A: What a good question! I’ll bet they do, but not so much because of the nature of the aspect but rather about the nature of life.
I think it’s common–and sad–that gifted young people have a certain amount of freedom to express their talents before the responsibilities of adulthood settle in–the demands of a job and parenthood, the necessity to earn a living to support a family.
Then, too, our talents don’t always get the opportunities they deserve. As an astrologer in NYC, I had so many clients who came to the city in order to try to make it in the arts, took a waitress job to pay the rent, and wound up being…a waitress! I don’t recall their charts any more, but I’d wager there were lots of wasted quintiles.
Also, many artistically talented people will put their gifts aside after a setback or two–giving up after one or two auditions, a novel being rejected once or twice, or one bad review of a play. Quintiles are nice, but they could use some help from Saturn or Pluto to keep going despite lack of instant success.
The Bach flower remedy Gentian, available in health food stores, helped a number of them to go back and begin using their talents again, even a number of years after the setback.
What about you, Readers? Do you have talents that you stopped using years ago? What’s stopping you from using them now, if they would enrich your life?
Coming Next Sunday, March 20th, at the Vernal Equinox: I will be conducting a special Question and Answer Session on Uranus transits, starting at 1:00 PM Pacific. It’s International Astrology Day.
Articles from the Series about Aspects:
- Aspects 101: Major Astrological Aspects and What They Mean
- Readers Ask—Q&A about Conjunctions
- How to Analyze a Conjunction
- Understanding Quintiles—What’s YOUR Talent?
- Understanding the BiQuintile—Your Input Needed
- Quincunx vs. BiQuintile–an Answer from Numerology?
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