©4-13-2011 by Donna Cunningham, MSW
The Skywriter community has been looking at natal and transiting quincunxes (a.k.a. inconjuncts) this past week and has come up with great insights about how these 150° angles affect us. Since many of you don’t follow the discussion in the comment section, I thought they were worth preserving in a separate article. I’ll also demonstrate the steps in analyzing a quincunx .
What kept coming to me during the discussion was an image my teacher, Richard Idemon used to describe the action of a quincunx. Older readers may remember a novelty item from the 1940s—two tiny plastic Scottie dogs, one black and one white, like the ones in the photo below that I found on Google.
They contained magnets with opposing poles, so that when you tried to push them together, they repelled one another and would snap apart. The harder you pushed, the stronger the repulsion. Richard said that the action of a quincunx was like that, with the two poles of the aspect pushing each other away.
Another of my teachers, Charles Jayne used to distinguish between 6th house quincunxes and 8th house quincunxes. (He wasn’t talking about the actual house positions of the planets, but their degree of separation from one another.)
There are actually two different kinds–one being 150° apart in the zodiac like Aries to Virgo (or 1st house to 6th if you put the slower-moving planet on the Ascendant) and one being 210° apart like Aries to Scorpio (or 1st house to 8th house if you put the slower-moving planet on the Ascendant).
He found that the 6th house kind was more likely to result in health issues. I forget what the 8th house did…healing perhaps, or sexual tension. Or maybe that’s where the humor he mentioned comes in. (For those who are intrigued by this scholarly man, there is a book that consists of 4 of Charles’ out of print books in one: Amazon.com: The Best of Charles Jayne (A Book of His Books …)
I think a third difficulty in manifesting what you want is that with the quincunx, the two signs involved want very different things (e.g. Capricorn vs. Leo), and so you give mixed messages to other people. This sets up tensions in our relationships with them. They don’t know how to respond because they don’t know what we want or which end of the aspect we’ll show them at any given moment.
The problem of conflicting signals would be especially true in the areas of life represented by the houses the two planets occupy. And it would especially affect relationships with the people involved in those two houses. (See A Who’s Who of your Horoscope–the Players in all 12 Houses.)
Steps in Interpreting a Quincunx
Numerous readers wanted an interpretation of a quincunx. To one with Mercury in Cancer in the 4th quincunx Jupiter in Sagittarius in the 11th, I replied that this is a DIY (do it yourself) site.
What I do is to explain the principles so people can learn to interpret for themselves. I’ll use her aspect as an example of the steps in for a quincunx:
1) THE SIGNS INVOLVED: Consider the signs the two planets are in and how and why they clash. For instance, think through the qualities of Cancer and then the qualities of Sagittarius.
(For instance, Cancer can be hypersensitive, easily slighted, and take things personally, even when it’s not meant that way. Sagittarius is honest to a fault and can have a bad case of hoof in mouth disease. Put them together, and you may have someone who can dish it out but not take it.)
2) PLANETS PLUS SIGNS: Then add in the qualities of the planets and mix them with the signs.
Mercury is about our patterns of communication. Mercury in Cancer is hypersensitive and may try to avoid conflict.
Jupiter is the ruler of Sagittarius, so that doubles what I said before about being honest to a fault and having hoof in mouth disease. Again, it may be someone who can dish it out but not take it.
3) HOW WELL THE TWO PLANETS GET ALONG: Are the planets involved compatible or not? Do they have a natural affinity for one another or do their wants, needs, and qualities clash badly? Mars and Saturn do not mesh well; the Moon and Venus can get along. The Sun, Mars, and Jupiter get along; the Sun and Neptune do not.
Think about the signs they rule, as one facet of their compatability. In this case, Mercury and Jupiter are sympatico, both interested in learning and exchanging ideas–they rule Gemini and Sagittarius, a complementary pair of signs.
A complimentary pair of planets would help ease the quincunx, while a pair that clashes would make it even more tricky to harmonize.
4) THE EFFECTS OF THE HOUSES INVOLVED: The house positions of the two planets show the areas of life where they are most likely to be active. (For detailed information about what the houses represent, download a chapter on the houses here: AGSA ch13-houses and a chart blank here: Blank chart with house meanings.)
The 11th is the house of friends and groups, so perhaps you belong to groups where honesty and self-improvement is considered a plus, so friends may be accustomed to talking about faults and flaws, so they try to help by pointing out ways to improve yourself.
The 4th represents the family of origin and the current home life, so perhaps your family was less open than your friends are. Perhaps you sometimes wound others with things you say, never meaning to wound, or perhaps you try to accept these comments, but still want to withdraw when you get them.
There are numerous ways that these two signs play out, also numerous levels on which each planet can play out, plus each house rules several (related) areas of life. Thus, we may not have precisely put our finger on the type of conflict this particular quincunx presents, but it should be in the ballpark.
Challenge: Readers, can you use these steps to analyze a quincunx—either your own or another you’ve encountered? Share some of your insights in the comment section.
Continue your studies with more articles about this aspect:
- Heinous Hybrids—Why the Quincunx is No Minor Aspect
- Quincunxes, Part 2—the Transiting Quincunx
- Part 4: How to Harmonize the Tensions of a Quincunx
- Part 5: The Royal Family: A Quincunx Coincidence—or a Yod Occurrence?
- The Saturn-Neptune Quincunx and its Part in our Economic Woes
But first, since the quincunx has only a 3° orb, make sure your quincunx isn’t really a biquintile (144°):
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