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Unveiling Aspect Orbs: Natal & Progressed Forms

Unveiling Aspect Orbs: Natal & Progressed Forms

Someone just asked me what orbs I use for forming and separating aspects between planets.

I figured that I’d post them on the site in case you were wondering.

I should begin by stating that every astrologer has a different conception of when a planetary aspect manifests. I discuss the subject of aspect orbs, what they are and how they operate, in the article What Are Aspects and Orbs in Astrology? From that article,

It is useful to look at aspects as showing us a specific zone in the “phase relationship” in the dance between two planets as they move from the conjunction to the opposition and then mirror all those aspects as the cycle returns to the next conjunction. As the planets move in their relationship with each other, the lengths of the phases from when they first form to when they’re exact to when they are separating are influenced by many variables, including where in the sign each planet is, if any other planets are near, and whether they make aspects to other planets.

I allow wider orbs because to me, an aspect shows us which phase of the dance between two planets is happening, with the orbs indicating the entry and exit points in that phase. They are the outer limits of that particular way those two planets are relating to each other. The orb indicates the very beginnings of a specific phase relationship which grows stronger until it become perfect at the exact angle of the aspect, as well as the length of the period when the phase relationship is still active but passing out of that phase and moving into the next aspect phase within “the Whole Cycle.”

So my approach is that all aspects involve approaching energy, exact energy, and energy that is in the past but still present, because of its effects. The “orb of influence” lets us know when something is coming, something is here, or something is leaving. We are told that even the number of degrees and aspect is forming or separating has its own unique quality, so that a 3 degree forming trine has a much different energy than a 5 degree separating trine. A 73 degree quintile is different than a 76 degree quintile. An 88 degree square is different than an 84 degree square. Close observation of these sorts of distinctions yielded countless insights when I applied them to forming and separating transiting aspects.

The Orbs I Use for Natal Charts

Also from that article:

In natal charts, as a general rule I use an orb of 10-13 degrees for a conjunction or opposition involving the Sun and Moon, with the exact number depending on the variables stated earlier. For all the other planets, I use an orb of 8-12 degrees for conjunctions and oppositions. For squares and trines, I give all the planets an orb of 7-8 degrees, sextiles get an orb of 6-7 degrees, and quintiles an orb of 4-5 degrees.

Semisquares and sesquisquares get an orb of 3-4 degrees, and all other aspects, including quincunxes, 2-3 degrees at most. That means a decile is 34-38 degrees, a tredecile is 106-110, a biquintile is 142-146, and so forth. I almost never give orbs larger than 2 degrees, and frequently as narrow as a degree and a half, for the 7th, 9th, 11th, and other “minor” harmonics, since over the years I’ve found between 1.5 and 2 degrees to be the zone of maximum intensity for any aspect, whether forming or separating.

All aspects will have variances which yield different degree values. One factor is whether the planets in aspect are in signs which are naturally in biquintile or quincunx, or not. There is a huge difference between a quincunx between Aries and Leo, Aries and Virgo, Scorpio and Aries, and Sagittarius and Aries, for example. A trine between planets in similar elements is stronger in its nature than a trine between planets in signs that are not naturally in trine. A trine from 12 Aries to 18 Leo is far stronger than a trine from 28 Virgo to 4 Aquarius.

You will note an overlap in some of these orbs. Which aspect it is depends on whether it’s forming or separating, if it’s close to another planet also in orb, if it’s in sign or out of sign, and other variables such as Translation of Light, Collection of Light, and more that I discuss in the linked article, so please check it out since it has a lot more than what we're examining here.

Regarding stelliums, or groups of planets fairly close to each other, a stellium or cluster spreads the energy out. For example, in my chart I have Sun at 12 Aries, Mars at 24 Aries, and Mercury at 30 Aries. Even though Mercury is clearly out of orb of a conjunction to the Sun, Mars “collects the Light” of Sun and Mercury through its conjunctions with both and ties the entire span as a unified field. Add the midpoints (18, 21, and 27 Aries) and you have 6 points which are active in the 18 degree span between 12 and 30 Aries.

Then we have the factor of two or more planets making “out of sign” aspects to each other. An example of this is a planet at 29 Virgo making a trine to a planet at 2 Aquarius, or a planet at 26 Taurus square a planet at 1 Pisces. Though these are supposedly “weaker,” they can operate in a number of ways, especially when progressions are taken into account.

Progressions Can Create Connections Between Natal Planets Not in Aspect

Some astrologers believe that a progressed aspect only works when it’s within a degree of exact. I take a different view, in that an aspect is a phase relationship which slowly makes itself known, gets clearer and stronger until it’s partile (within a degree and a half forming and separating), and then wanes in direct influence, leaving us internally moved from where we were before the aspect was exact. It works as an approach, an internal experience, and then a movement forward affected by that shift in our internal experience.

A progression can bring planets not ordinarily in aspect in the natal chart into a connection with each other by progression. For example, in my chart, Jupiter is 26 Pisces, Saturn’s 29 Virgo retrograde, and my Sun is at 12 Aries. Ordinarily the Pisces/Virgo axis operates separately from the Aries/Libra axis, especially because my Sun is opposed Neptune at 19 Libra, creating a clear tensional axis.

However, there’s a factor which ties all of these together. My natal Jupiter, moving at perihelion, or maximum speed, quickly progressed into Aries and has formed a conjunction to my Sun for my entire life. On the other hand, Saturn by progression retrogradeed back to 26 Virgo, clearly too wide for an opposition to 12 Aries.

However, my natal Jupiter, by virtue of progressing to conjunct my Sun, (because Jupiter is opposed Saturn natally in my chart) creates an opposition between my Sun and natal Saturn which are about 13 degrees separating natally. In my direct experience of living with this planetary complex, it’s like I have Jupiter opposed Saturn, Sun opposed Saturn, and Jupiter conjunct my Sun.

This Jupiter/Sun connection became more evident once my Jupiter progressed into Aries in February 1971. After that point it began its life-long conjunction with my Sun. That was about the time I decided I wanted to get higher grades to graduate a year later. It was also the time when I awakened to the fact that I needed a new view of many things, and was turned on to Astrology that Summer.

On a final note, my progressed Jupiter will conjunct my natal Sun in December 2031 and remain in orb of a conjunction for the rest of my life. I’m already in the zone of maximum intensity of a degree and a half forming and separating, so I’m on a Jupiterian ride of many years.

So take a look at the various progressed aspects in your chart, and see the shifts when the planets moved from sign to sign, in and out of various phase relationships with each other. You will find that aspect orbs are highly variable based in all kinds of specifics which you won’t find in textbooks.

Reprinted on crystalwind.ca with written permission from Robert Wilkinson. Copying this article to other blogs is strictly prohibited. It is copyright protected. 

© Copyright 2024 Robert Wilkinson


© Copyright 2024 Robert Wilkinson - https://www.aquariuspapers.com

About the author:

Robert wilkinson An internationally-known astrologer, author, public speaker, metaphysician, and futurist, with over 25 years experience as a counselor and educator. He has presented hundreds of public talks on all aspects of Astrology, the Eastern Wisdom tradition, the Western Wisdom tradition and promoted many mass gatherings and cultural events. Some of his specific areas of interest and expertise include personality profiles, degree patterns, integrative astrology, various aspect harmonics, among others.
Source Here

Reprinted on crystalwind.cawith written persmission from Robert Wilkinson.

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