Sunday 8 January 2012

Out-of-sign aspects - don't judge a book by its cover

As if astrology is not complex enough, we have the added complication of out-of-sign aspects to deal with.  This is when 2 planets are in aspect with one another but the signs involved do not match that aspect.

When I first began studying astrology, I read that these out-of-sign aspects function by switching between the two aspects involved.  For example, I have a Mercury-Jupiter trine but between Aries and Cancer, therefore, sign-wise, it's a square.  The planets relate to one another in a trine but the signs are in a square.  According to those sources, this aspect flips between functioning like a trine and a square, so sometimes it's great, sometimes it's not. 

Besides this out-of sign aspect, I also have 4 more:

- Ascendant in Leo conjunct Jupiter in Cancer in 12th (semi-square sign-wise)
- Venus in Aquarius in 6th oppose Jupiter in Cancer in 12th (quincunx sign-wise)
- Moon in Taurus 10th sextile Mercury in Aries in 8th (semi-square sign wise)
- Moon in Taurus in 10th square Mars in Pisces in 8th (sextile sign-wise)

The way I see it, these out-of-sign aspects are like being teased by the Universe.  On the surface, it might be a trine or sextile, but deep down, it's actually a square or semi-square.  Trines are natural talents, often go undetected by the native.  In the case of my Jupiter-Mercury trine, I spent the first 2 decades living it as a square.  I felt highly uncomfortable with sharing my thoughts and ideas and talking in general.  I knew this had to be overcome, so bit by bit, I took the necessary steps to push myself to develop more confidence.  Luckily, I was blessed with beneficial transits which gave me massive support (in the name of Jupiter!).  Then, in my 20s, I began to receive positive feedback on my Mercury (e.g. presentation skills, public speaking), which I found difficult to accept at first.  But having put in a lot of effort to release that trine, I can honestly say that I can finally 'feel' it and beginning to own it.  Same for the Moon-Mercury sextile and Ascendant-Jupiter conjunction.  

On the other hand, for the Jupiter-Venus opposition and Moon-Mars square, I don't feel the harshness as much.  It's the opposite - they are not as bad as they look.

Overall, I would say that from my personal experience, these out-of-sign aspects are like cross-stitch kits or DIY kits, i.e. a 'trine kit' or a 'sextile kit'.  You need to 'make' the aspect yourself.  All the necessary components are provided for.  All you need to do is have the motivation to transform them into the final product, which matches the picture on the original package (i.e. work through the differences between the signs involved to claim or own that aspect).  

Do you have any out-of-sign aspects?  How are they turning out in your life?
Image: nuttakit /


  1. Thanks for this post! I have quite a few out-of-sign aspects, and had no idea how to handle them (and have erroneously been told that they "don't count" so many times). This makes a lot of sense to me! I've always been confused by my Venus-Neptune trine, which has always acted more like a Venus-Neptune SQUARE. Now I know why, and now I'll better understand how to deal with those energies.

  2. Thanks for your feedback Annoymous.

  3. Thanks for this, Maxine. It's really an interesting post with great ideas, and it's an area that hasn't been addressed much (or dismissed too readily). Perhaps you should submit an article with more examples to one of the astrology magazines...

    Best wishes,


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