What Does This Mean For Me?
A Guide for Beginners
So you’ve digested and practiced Part I, right? You have a copy of your
planetary positions, and you know how to find conjunctions and
oppositions. These are the most important aspects, so you’ve been able
to do quite a lot with this information.
The conjunction and opposition are hard aspects, meaning that they are
more forceful and definite in their action. The conjunction puts two kinds
of energy together, while the opposition ranges them across from each
other. You generally can’t ignore either of these aspects.
The trine is a soft aspect, meaning that it’s there for you, but it’s not as
compelling. It describes advantages, benefits, talents, and the easy flow
of energy between two parts of yourself, or between two people, or
between the transiting aspects and your natal chart. Trines don’t push
you to do anything, although they facilitate the process if you do take
Trines basically come in four flavors. There are fiery trines, earthy trines,
airy trines and watery trines. Fire, earth, air and water are the four
elements we use in astrology.
Fiery trines are more exciting, passionate and stirring, and so they are
more likely to manifest in some kind of definite, purposeful activity. Earthy
trines give comfort and ease, but also practical good sense, and so they
are very useful for building, growing, mending or healing. Airy trines are
light, and affect you mostly on the mental plane, stirring up ideas, bridging
communication gaps. Watery trines stimulate emotions, and encourage
imagination, intuition and intimacy.
A planet in a fire sign will trine another planet in a fire sign, if they are in
the same degree range. A planet in an earth sign will trine another planet
in an earth sign, if they are in the same degree range. And this is also
true for air and water.
So to figure out trines, you need to know which signs are fire, which are
earth, which are air, and which are water. Here’s a guide to the four
As you can see when you look at the zodiacal wheel above, the signs follow each other in this order:
fire/earth/air/water, then the same sequence again, and then again, to complete the twelve signs.
(You go counter-clockwise when you read a natal chart.)
You can also see that if you draw a line between two signs in the same element, you’ll cover one-third
of the circle. (That’s 120°, since you may remember from geometry class that a circle is always 360°.)
If you draw lines between all three of the signs in the same element, you form a triangle.
When planets in two signs form this 120° angle with each other, it’s a trine. When there are planets in
all three signs, all in trine to each other, it’s called a grand trine. A grand trine is a configuration
composed of three different trines. For example, if you had the sun at 10° Aries, the moon at 10° Leo,
and Mars at 10° Sagittarius, you’d have the moon trine the sun, the moon trine Mars, and the sun
trine Mars. And these three individual trines together form a grand trine. .
So how do you find trines? Go to your list of planetary positions, the one you compiled in the first part
of this guide. Here’s Gertrude Stein’s list again:
Sun 14° Aquarius
Moon 7° Virgo
Mercury 14° Aquarius
Venus 9° Aquarius
Mars 25° Pisces
Jupiter 1° Libra
Saturn 6° Aquarius
Uranus 8° Leo
Neptune 26° Aries
Pluto 19° Taurus
Go through this list and put the element next to every sign, and next to that, the other two signs in that
element. So it will look like this:
Sun 14° Aquarius – AIR, trines 14° Gemini or Libra
Moon 7° Virgo - EARTH, trines 7° Taurus or Capricorn
Mercury 14° Aquarius - AIR, trines 14° Gemini or Libra
Venus 9° Aquarius - AIR, trines 9° Gemini or Libra
Mars 25° Pisces – WATER, trines 25° Cancer or Scorpio
Jupiter 1° Libra – AIR, trines 1° Gemini or Aquarius
Saturn 6° Aquarius - AIR, trines 6° Gemini or Libra
Uranus 8° Leo – FIRE, trines 8° Aries or Sagittarius
Neptune 26° Aries – FIRE, trines 26° Leo or Sagittarius
Pluto 19° Taurus – EARTH, trines 19° Virgo or Capricorn
Now go to the Aspects Now page, and look for transits that are happening at the same degrees that you’ve
listed above, and that form trines to your natal planets. Allow 2° leeway, as before.
When you’re looking at trines, there’s a little bit of difference between the types of transiting aspect. So let’s
look at one of each type of aspect.
First, the conjunction. Suppose, on the Aspects Now page, you see “Mercury conjunct Uranus” and then
below it says, in parenthesis, 6° Aries. You know both Mercury and Uranus are at 6° Aries. Look at your list
of trines to see if there’s anything there. In Gertrude Stein’s list, Uranus is at 8° Leo, a fire sign, and it says
“trines 8° Aries or Sagittarius”, the other two fire signs. So both Mercury and Uranus will be trining
Gertrude’s Uranus when they make that aspect. As creative and exciting as this aspect is for everyone, it will
be even more so for Gertrude. She filters the energy of the aspect through her rebellious, creative,
Next, the opposition. Suppose you see “Mars oppose Uranus”, and then below it says, in parenthesis, “8°
Libra/Aries”. You know that when Mars opposes Uranus, Mars is at 8° Libra and Uranus is at 8° Aries.
Gertrude would first look through her transit list to see if Mars is trining anything, and then look through it
again to see if Uranus is trining anything. Mars is in air – Libra being an air sign - so it’s quicker if she just
looks through the air signs. She finds that Mars trines her natal Venus at 9° Aquarius. Then Uranus is in
fire – Aries being a fire sign - so she glances through the fire signs, and finds her Uranus at 8° Leo. Uranus
trines her natal Uranus.
When the transiting aspect is an opposition, and one of the planets makes a trine to your natal planet, then
your natal planet acts as a mediator. It helps you channel the demanding, conflictive energy of the
opposition into something more constructive. The crisis represented by that opposition is more likely to turn
into an opportunity for you. In the example just mentioned, Gertrude has two planets acting as mediators,
her Venus and her Uranus. And so the hard energy of the transiting opposition can bring out the creativity
and beauty of her Venus and Uranus.
Next, the trine. Suppose you see “Mercury trine Mars”, and underneath “8 Taurus/Virgo”. We know from
this that Mercury is at 8° Taurus and Mars at 8° Virgo when they form a trine. As you can see, those are
both earth signs. Now you look through your list – centering on the earth signs - to see if either planet
forms a trine to one of your natal planets. Gertrude sees an earthy planet in the right degree range, mainly
her moon at 7° Virgo.
Now she’s already gone through these transiting aspects, looking for conjunctions and oppositions, so she
knows that Mars is conjunct her moon when it forms this aspect. And so now she finds that Mercury is trining
her moon at the same time. Both of these planets are filtering their energy through her moon. Mars’
conjunction to her moon is stronger and more compelling than Mercury’s trine to her moon, but she feels
them both, and the harmonious trine helps her handle the more demanding conjunction.
But suppose these planets were at 8° Taurus and Capricorn. Then they would form a grand trine with
Gertrude’s moon at 7° Virgo. That would be even more auspicious. It would help her express all the best
qualities inherent in her moon.
Next, the square. Suppose you see “Mercury squares Pluto”, and beneath, in parenthesis, 9°
Aries/Capricorn. From this, you know that Mercury is at 9° Aries and Pluto at 9° Capricorn when they form
their square. Again, go through your list, to see if either planet forms a trine to your natal planets. Gertrude
Stein will find that Mercury in fiery Aries will trine her Uranus at 8° Leo, and Pluto in earthy Capricorn will trine
her moon at 7° Virgo.
A square (a 90° angle) is a tense, conflictive aspect. But if the planets in the square make trines to your
natal planets, you have an easier time with the energy, and may not have any problems at all with the
Next, the sextile. Suppose you see “Mercury sextiles Uranus”, on the Aspects Now page, and below, “7°
Gemini/Aries”. You know that Mercury forms a sextile (a 60° aspect, one-sixth of the circle) with Uranus, with
Mercury at 7° Gemini and Uranus at 7° Aries when this happens. Look through your trines list to see if
either Mercury or Uranus is making a trine to any of your natal planets.
In this case, Gertrude Stein goes through checking for trines from Mercury first, and sees that it trines her
Venus at 9° Aquarius and her Saturn at 6° Aquarius. Then she checks for trines from Uranus, and finds it
trines her natal Uranus at 8° Leo. So all these planets get involved in this sextile, and make it a lot more
important than it would be otherwise.
A sextile is a harmonious aspect, and generally it’s on the light side. But when one of the planets trines your
natal planets, it offers more energy, more luck and more opportunity.
It’s an especially powerful situation when one of the transiting planets trines your natal planet, and the other
one opposes it. (You will already have found this opposition when you were looking for those, earlier.) The
transiting planet that opposes your natal planet is confrontational, demanding, but the other transiting planet
acts as a mediator, and helps you work through whatever challenge is presented to you. So this can be a
time when you successfully tackle a problem.
Lastly, the inconjunct. Suppose you see “Mercury inconjunct Mars”. This, you treat in the same way you
would a square. If either of the planets make a trine to one of your natal planets, it helps you channel the
energy more successfully. The inconjunct is not as active and challenging as the square however. It’s
mostly felt as a minor energy block, or a recurring irritation. It’s a 150° angle between two planets.
So now you’ve learned how to find conjunctions, oppositions and trines to your natal planets. I think this is a
good moment to stop and look at the planets that are making these aspects to your natal planets. What is the
difference between Uranus trining your natal Uranus, and Mercury trining it?
The main difference is time. The further a planet is from the sun, the longer it takes to complete its orbit
around the sun, and the slower it moves from our vantage point on earth. Astrology is earth-centered, and
we measure everything according to the way it looks in our sky. Pluto takes 245 years to go through every
zodiacal constellation in the sky, and to make it around the whole circle. The moon takes the same journey,
from our viewpoint, in only 28 days, which is why the moon’s aspects aren’t listed on my website. There are
just too many of them, and they’re too fleeting.
But when Pluto makes an aspect to one of your natal planets, it’s going to stay close to that position for about
three years. These transits are major chapters in your lives.
So if you check the Aspects Now page regularly, you’ll see the same aspects from Pluto to one of your natal
planets, for months on end. It will move out of range, and then will move back into range, and then will move
out again. All the outer planets spend about a third of their time going retrograde – that is, in apparent
backwards motion – so they shuffle over the aspect, turn around and cross it again, and then turn forwards
again and make a third pass over it. Mostly the aspect is exact three times, but sometimes five times, or even
Neptune takes 164 years to go around the whole circle. So your Neptune aspects will also last about three
years, on and off. Uranus’ cycle is 84 years, and it will take about two years to get through an aspect to one
of your natal planets.
These three outermost planets – Pluto, Neptune and Uranus – have the strongest effect, because they
constantly stimulate one particular part of your chart. You’re going to feel that natal planet, and you’re going
to learn whatever it has to teach you. Pluto’s transits will put you in contact with its deeper meaning
(including its shadow), Neptune’s transits will bring out its dreams and yearnings, and Uranus’ transits will
liberate it from any constrictive influences.
Next comes Saturn, and Saturn transits can last anywhere from about six weeks to nine months, depending
on whether it goes retrograde when it’s close to the aspect. Saturn transits to your natal chart tend to be very
noticeable, because Saturn is the planet of structure and restriction, and so it asks a lot of you. These tend
to give that boxed-in feeling.
Jupiter aspects are generally easier to handle. These mostly last a few weeks, although sometimes they can
last a few months. The conjunction and trine tend to be lucky, and sometimes the opposition is too, although
it can also be a bit overwhelming. Jupiter is optimistic, and expands everything, whether you want more of
whatever it is or not.
All other aspects last a matter of days, except in unusual situations. When a planet slows down to go
retrograde, even an inner planet can linger a long time over a particular aspect. But mostly, aspects from
Mars last about a week, and aspects from the sun, Venus and Mercury will last from three to five days.
So suppose you see "Mars trine Uranus" on the Aspects Now page, and Mars is conjuncting your natal moon
while Uranus trines it. Here you have a short-term aspect from Mars (lasting about five days) and a long-term
aspect from Uranus (lasting about two years), happening simultaneously. The shorter aspect makes the long-
term aspect more noticeable. But the long-term aspect will probably still be around when this transiting aspect
is long past.
Occasionally, you'll see transiting aspects between two outer planets listed on the Aspects Now page. There
aren't a lot of these, but once they appear, they linger for quite a while.
Keep track of your aspects as you list them, and list the things that happen to you during these times. This is
invaluable reference material. When there’s a transit to a particular natal planet, you meet that planet in a
personal way. You find out what it’s all about, what it’s doing for you, what role it plays in your psyche.
Enjoy exploring your transits! Next in the series will be instructions on how to find squares, sextiles and
inconjuncts to your natal planets. Stay tuned!