By Steven Seinberg…
I’m a huge fan of the metaphysical in general, and two of my main areas of interest are Astrology and Tarot. I teach both of these disciplines to interested parties as part of my professional work…and it’s become very clear to me over time that certain subjects within each field seem to present special challenges to students.
For example, over in Tarot, one of the biggest hurdles for beginners is learning how to interpret what we call the “Court Cards.” These are the “people cards” – they feature characters who make up a sort of royal family within each Suit. Their designations might change from one deck to the next, but basically, we’re talking about Princesses, Princes, Queens, and Kings. No other subset of the deck seems to be as migraine-inducing for people as this one is.
And similarly, over in Astrology, it seems to be the Aspects that represent the biggest obstacle for students. Even when people are able to grasp the primary sets of astrological symbols – that’s the Planets, Signs, and Houses – those people often experience serious cases of brain-lock when it becomes time to start disentangling the Aspects that the symbols can form together.
So what are Aspects, anyway…?
In terms of sheer mechanics, Aspects are the things being represented by all those colored lines running amok through the inner portion of an astrological chart.
Aspects are usually one of the more eye-catching features in any given chart…but while they tug at the eyes, they also seem to frustrate the brain. It’s one thing to memorize some of the major meanings of, say, Jupiter, when it’s considered in a vacuum…but it demands a whole other level of expertise to grasp what it might mean when somebody’s natal Jupiter lies in Aquarius in their Sixth House, and it’s making a square Aspect with Saturn in Taurus in their Ninth House. Suddenly, we’re drowning in details…
So here, then, is your life-preserver, a flotation device that will keep you above the waterline while you work on your interpretational skills:
Any Aspect – regardless of the Planets, Signs, Houses, and even specific Aspect-type that are involved – is about two Planets trying to merge their energies together somehow.
And you might then wonder, “But hey, all Planets appear in any given chart…so aren’t they all kicking in energies?”
On a very basic level, the answer is yes: to some extent, every Planet, every Sign, and every House contribute energies to the overall psyche being represented by any birth chart. So what’s so special about an Aspect, then, right?
Here’s a hopefully helpful analogy…
Out in the California desert near Joshua Tree National Park, there’s an interesting structure called the Integratron. Its creator was very involved in UFO culture, and he built this domed sound chamber in an effort to provide a means of rejuvenating the human form. The idea is to lie quietly inside the Integratron while someone plays a set of crystal singing bowls. The unique location and acoustical peculiarities of the place are then intended to allow the sound waves from the bowls to purify and nourish the physical form of any attendee.
I have been to the Integratron, and I experienced one of these sound-healing sessions first-hand. And whatever else occurred there for me there that day, I also got a first-hand taste of what sci-fi writer Alfred Bester once called a “Whisper Line.”
In his novel, The Stars My Destination, Bester explained that through a quirk of physics, a character in one part of a large prison could converse very clearly with a different character who was located a quarter of a mile away in a separate part of that prison, even though they had no special equipment to aid them in their communication. As long as each character remained in a certain part of their respective cells, they could hear each other as clearly as if they were lying in bed together.
And it was like that inside the Integratron…except not with everyone.
When we filed in, they had each one of us lie on a mat inside the circular room, with our heads oriented toward the center of the room, and our feet pointing out toward the perimeter. And I quickly realized that the room provided “Whisper Lines” much like in Bester’s book. Except inside the Intagratron, it was only the person lying exactly opposite to me that I could hear as clear as a church bell. Even though the guy in question was lying, like, 10 meters across the room from me, I could hear every breath, every sigh, every rustle of clothing, as if we were in adjacent bunk beds.
So to be very clear, there were almost two dozen people lying on mats in that room, and contributing their energies to the occasion…but I only experienced that weird, Whisper Line connection with one of those people, and that was because that person was lined up directly across from me.
If either one of us had gotten up and moved, that Whisper Line connection would not have moved with us – its existence depended on our respective positions in the circle satisfying certain spatial requirements.
But if the guy across from me had moved, and someone from elsewhere in the room had then shifted over to take his place, then I would have experienced the same Whisper Line phenomenon with that newcomer. The connection is tied to the locations of the participants, not to their specific identities.
Eventually, it becomes necessary to be able to process all the specifics of an Aspect to wring the most helpful meanings from out of it: which Planets are involved, which Signs and Houses are hosting them, and which specific Aspect are they forming? That all takes time and practice. Until you can do that easily, though, just keep yourself cinched snugly into that life preserver:
Any Aspect is about two Planets trying to merge their energies together somehow.
An Aspect highlights two Planets in a chart lining up so as to experience a special connection, much like the Whisper Line you might take part in should you ever travel to the Integratron. Understand first that the two Planets can hear each other with incredible strength and clarity, way more so than other Planets in the chart can hear each other…and once you get that idea, then you can start to explore exactly what they might be saying to each other.
Do you want to learn Astrology? I can teach you! Take a look at our PRIVATE LESSONS page for more details.