Step Three Looking for Aspect Patterns

A birth chart can easily have two dozen aspects in it. Fortunately, some are more important than others. The aspects that deserve the closest attention are those that are the tightest, those that involve the Sun or the Moon, and those that weave three or more planets into a single pattern, as in these configurations:

11 The Grand Trine: Three planets, each at a 120° angle to the other two, form a giant good-luck triangle called a Grand Trine, shown in Figure 14-9.

Figure 14-9:

A Grand Trine.

Figure 14-9:

A Grand Trine.

A perfect Grand Trine always includes at least one planet in each sign of a given element. In those areas of life, energy flows and opportunities are abundant. For example, pop artist Andy Warhol was an attention-grabbing Leo with a Grand Trine in fire: His Moon and Uranus were in Aries, his Sun was in Leo, and his Saturn was in Sagittarius. Like most people, Andy Warhol had other areas in his chart that offered plenty of difficulties. But he used his Grand Trine to his advantage, both artistically (thanks to Saturn in the fifth house of creativity) and socially (thanks to his high-spirited Sun sign). You can take a look at his chart in Chapter 19.

Not everyone fortunate enough to have this aspect uses it so effectively. The Grand Trine, a symbol of the slacker, is notorious for bringing just enough good luck to keep you from feeling that you have to exert yourself.

1 The Grand Cross: If two sets of planets in your chart oppose (or square) each other, as shown in Figure 14-10, you have your hands full. The Grand Cross is a relatively rare aspect that symbolizes tension, obstruction, and frustration.

Some people are overwhelmed by a Grand Cross. Think of Nicole Brown Simpson, O.J. Simpson's murdered wife, whose chart was positively overflowing with squares. But the Grand Cross can also be a source of incredible commitment, courage, and energy — as in the charts of Miles Davis, Stonewall Jackson, and Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Figure 14-10:

A Grand Cross.

Figure 14-10:

A Grand Cross.

I The T-square: When two planets oppose each other with a third planet square to both, as shown in Figure 14-11, they form a T-square — a restless, troublesome, but fairly common configuration. A T-square inevitably creates tension and dissatisfaction. It also motivates you to do something about your situation, which may be why so many successful people have T-square configurations. Oprah is one of them. Turn to her chart in Chapter 13. You'll see a classic T-square involving four planets: Pluto in Leo, Saturn in Scorpio, and the Sun and Venus in Aquarius.

I The Yod, Finger of Fate, or Hand of God: Sounds serious, doesn't it? Actually, this difficult-to-spot configuration, shown in Figure 14-12, is subtler in action than the other aspect patterns. It looks like a long, narrow triangle, with two planets at its base forming a sextile (a 60° angle) and a third at the apex, or peak, forming a 150° angle to the other two.

That 150° aspect, also called a quincunx or inconjunct, has a stop-and-go energy that creates false starts, backslides, and frustrations. It demands continual adjustment and impairs your decision-making abilities, especially in the areas affected by the planet at the apex. This aspect sets up complex dynamics within a chart. But is it lethal? No. Is it a sign of special favor from God? No. Do plenty of successful people have this aspect? Yes. (Try Meryl Streep, Winston Churchill, Quincy Jones, and Leonardo da Vinci.) Don't let the name of this aspect unhinge you.

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