Syzygy

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Syzygy traditionally referred to a conjunction of the Sun and the Moon, such as occurs during a solar eclipse. By extension, it is currently applied to the alignment of any three celestial bodies in a straight line (such as occurs during eclipses and occultations). The etymology of the term is as follows: The sy[n], which is related to the prefix of such words as synchronic, means "together;" -zygy derives from the Greek zugon, meaning "yoke," so syzygy literally means to yoke together. This makes syzygy appear to be a macrocosmic parallel to certain yoga practices in which the internal, symbolic (microcosmic) Sun and Moon are joined together—as in alternate nostril breathing, a technique said to join the Sun (right nostril) and Moon (left nostril) energies. What makes this parallel all the more striking is that both zugon and yoga ultimately derive from the same Indo-European root word yug (yoke).

Sources:

DeVore, Nicholas. Encyclopedia of Astrology. New York: Philosophical Library, 1947. Gettings, Fred. Dictionary of Astrology. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1985.

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Three or more planets that together form a configuration of a "T"—two directly opposite each other and a third at right angles to each of the opposed planets—in a horoscope are referred to as a T square. To qualify as a T square, the planets directly across the chart from each other must be involved in an opposition (180° aspect) and the third planet must make a square (an aspect of 90°) to the first two. Because astrological signs at 90° angles to each other belong to the same quality (cardinal, mutable, or fixed), T squares tend to involve planets in three signs of one quality. Thus, T squares can be classified as cardinal T squares, mutable T squares, or fixed T squares (T squares that involve planets in signs of different qualities are referred to as mixed T squares).

Because all the aspects contained in a T square are hard aspects, an individual with such a configuration in her or his natal chart is presented with more challenges than the average person. At the same time, a T square is a powerfully dynamic configuration (it is considered to be the most dynamic of all configurations, particularly when the constituent planets are in cardinal signs). Once the challenges proffered by a T square have been adequately met, the individual has tremendous personal power.

In certain ways, a T square is like a grand cross (a configuration with four planets in all four corners of a chart) minus one of its "legs." Like a table with only three legs, the T square tends to draw attention to the house where a fourth leg would be required in order to produce a stable table. Imagine, for example, a natal chart in which the three component planets of a T square are in the second, eleventh, and eighth houses. One's attention is thus drawn to the fifth house. This indicates that if natives with this particular T square invested their energy in one or more of the matters associated with this house—children, creations, self-expression, entertainment, and so forth—their lives should become more stable. Simultaneously, this configura-

tion indicates that the lessons learned in houses two, eleven, and eight could be brought to bear on whatever tasks were undertaken in the fifth house.

sources:

Brau, Jean-Louis, Helen Weaver, and Allan Edmands. Larousse Encyclopedia of Astrology. New

York: New American Library, 1980. Marks, Tracy. How to Handle Your T Square. Arlington, MA: Sagittarius Rising, 1979.

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