An opposition occurs in an astrological chart when two planets are one hundred eighty degrees apart, or on exact opposite sides of the circle.

It’s probably obvious what this kind of relationship means: two energies that are as polarized as black and white, good and bad, love and hate...

And like all those pairings, the two planets approach the same question from different perspectives. They have a lot in common, and a lot to learn from each other, if they can just let their guards down!

That, in a nutshell, is the biggest challenge of an opposition. It’s human nature to feel threatened by someone or something so different from you that it seems downright alien; but an opposition dares you to get over your fears and turn it into a positive learning experience.

We’ve all heard the phrase, ‘Opposites attract’; that’s the kind of relationship that occurs between two planets that are opposed in a chart -- a love-hate relationship that can swing in either direction at any given time.

Oppositions demand that you become adept at conflict resolution. How would you handle two close friends who mixed about as well as oil and water? In a best-case scenario, you would mediate a discussion between them to try to bring them closer together by finding common ground; and that’s what an opposition in your chart asks you to do.

Find a way to make seemingly opposed energies work together, focusing on their strengths instead of allowing either one to exploit the other’s weaknesses, and you’ll master the oppositions in your own chart and life.

The major aspects are: conjunction, sextile, square, trine, opposition

A conjunction between two planets in an astrological chart is when the planets sit so closely together -- within ten degrees of one another -- that they're almost on top of each other, intensifying each other's energy in a big way.

Conjunctions are considered a hard aspect, because of that intensity; whether the interaction between the two planets is positive or negative, it's powerful!

It depends on the two planets involved whether their relationship will be beneficial or challenging in your life. Beneficial conjunctions occur between the planets whose energy is normally positive or playful, such as the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus and Jupiter. But challenges can occur when you throw a planet into the mix whose energy is restrictive, like Saturn's; confusing, like Neptune's; or apt to boil over at any moment, like that of Mars, Uranus or Pluto.

Conjunctions are all about beginnings -- the creation of something new by merging two different energies. If two 'friendly' planets come together, such as Venus and Jupiter, a happy combination of their two energies results. For example, the love planet, Venus, conjunct Jupiter, planet of luck, would create a real emphasis on pleasure, affection and expansiveness.

But if two planets come together that have opposing energies, such as Mars and Saturn, the results can be positive...or they can turn troublesome. In this case, either Saturn will have a focusing effect on Mars's ebullient energy, or Mars will shove against Saturn's restrictive influence like an unruly teenager against overly strict parents!

The major aspects are: conjunction, sextile, square, trine, opposition

Chartwheel example of a conjunction:

conjunction

The minor aspects are:

A T-Square occurs in an astrological chart when two planets oppose each other, and each squares a third planet. When drawn out on a chart wheel, it looks like a right-angle triangle. A T-Square is like a Grand Cross that’s missing one planet.

Like the Grand Cross, this configuration produces stress and obstacles, but the T-Square’s configuration puts more of an emphasis on the planet that is squared by the other two.

Squares and oppositions are both considered ‘hard’ aspects already -- they both create tension and friction. So if you put together the influences of two squares and an opposition that are shared among three planets, you can imagine the combined result -- highly fractious!

But while a T-Square can make life difficult, it also is a great motivator for change. This configuration pushes its bearer to do something about the obstacles it presents; to blast through them, by force if necessary, in order to move to a higher, less challenged plane of existence. And once those challenges are vanquished, the bearer can handle anything that comes their way.

If someone with a T-Square in their chart fails to make that critical breakthrough, they’ll be beset by conflict their whole life, within the realms of the three planets involved in the T-Square. But the good thing about this configuration is its motivational push for change.

It gives its bearer a drive unlike that of almost any other planetary configuration; it’s a major celestial challenge that, if accepted, can lead to greatness.

A Yod, also known as the "Finger of God,"occurs in an astrological chart when two planets sextile one another, and both form quincunxes with a third planet across the chart.

The resulting shape, when drawn on a chart wheel, looks like an elongated triangle -- or a long finger, which is where the Yod got its name.

The word ‘yod’ is related to the Hebrew word for ‘hand,’ and in astrology, the Yod is sometimes called the Finger of Fate or the Finger of God.

A sextile is a ‘soft,’ or beneficial, aspect, but a quincunx is a ‘hard’ aspect, one that brings trials and karmic lessons. As you can imagine, a Yod produces a sense of conflict as the soft and hard aspects mix their very different influences together.

A Yod also produces a sense of fatedness, of a karmic obligation that must be paid. In this configuration, the planets involved must learn to work together despite the challenging influence of the two quincunxes, but there is always a price to be paid.

A Yod signifies a lesson to be learned, something that must be given up. Will it be an old, outmoded behavior or belief? Whatever it is, the process will be difficult but ultimately good for the soul.

The planet that creates the long point of the Yod becomes the focal point of this configuration, and embodies the realm in which the greatest lessons must be learned. Yods signify the need for compromise in the realms of the planets involved, but also give the bearer all the tools they need to renew their soul.

One of the rarest of all aspect configurations, a Grand Sextile occurs in an astrological chart when six planets are evenly spaced around the chart wheel, each one in sextile to the next.

Drawn out, it looks like a hexagon (a six-sided shape), or a Star of David -- two perfect triangles superimposed over each other, one pointing in one direction and the other pointing in the opposite.

Thus, the Grand Sextile contains within it two Grand Trines, not to mention a host of other significant aspect configurations (Mystic Rectangles, Kites and more).

The six (or more) planets in a Grand Sextile together form six sextiles, six trines and three oppositions -- fifteen aspects total, all included in the same configuration. No wonder it’s such a rare occurrence!

Though the three oppositions within this pattern would normally mean a triple-dose of that hard aspect’s usual tension, when working together with the other positive aspects (the sextiles and trines), the oppositions lose some of their sting. In fact, they become more of a source of structure, balance and motivation than of conflict.

The Grand Sextile is so heavily weighted toward beneficial aspects that it has an incredibly creative, harmonious influence as a whole. Someone with a Grand Sextile in their birth chart would have all the gifts and strengths they needed to accomplish anything they set their mind to. Creative endeavors are best with a Grand Sextile, because this pattern’s energy is inherently innovative.

A Grand Trine occurs in an astrological chart when three or more planets lie an equal distance apart from one another, forming trines with each other and creating a perfect triangle on the chart wheel.

This configuration is stronger when the three planets are in signs of the same element or when more than three planets are involved (such as if two planets are in conjunction with each other, and together form one point of the triangle).

A Grand Trine’s influence is weakened if the three planets reside in signs of different elements.

As trines are ‘soft’ aspects, and beneficial to the bearer, a Grand Trine intensifies that helpful energy. Grand Trines are all about luck and opportunity, effortless little gifts that fall into your lap when you’re least expecting it: talent that’s come by completely naturally; self-sufficiency that enables you to do what you like in life.

A Grand Trine in your chart signifies benefits that have come your way because you’ve earned them, and now they’re yours to enjoy with no strings attached!

Grand Trines are all about creativity and energy flowing harmoniously. The only thing to watch out for with this aspect is complacence. The stability of the triangle formed by the Grand Trine represents what can happen with all that good luck and easy opportunity: The bearer can become very self-satisfied, which can easily turn into stagnation.

Someone with a Grand Trine in their chart must always stay motivated, and keep reaching out for the best that life has to offer.

A Kite occurs in an astrological chart when three planets lie in a Grand Trine pattern, and a fourth lies directly opposite one of the three planets in the trine.

This makes six aspects in all -- three trines; one opposition; and the two sextiles created between the ‘tail’ of the kite and the remaining two corners (the other two points of the triangle).

When drawn out on a chart wheel, the resulting pattern looks like a kite, and provides an actively beneficial influence for the bearer.

With two sextiles and three trines -- all ‘soft,’ or beneficial, aspects -- working in tandem in such a balanced pattern, the overall effect can’t help but be powerfully positive. Trines are all about the harmonious flow of creative energy, and Grand Trines bring positive opportunities; so a Kite enhances those effects and brings a focus on reaching out and grabbing hold of opportunities to express creativity in a concrete way.

The concreteness comes from the opposition. Normally considered a ‘hard’ aspect -- one that creates stress or conflict -- the opposition can be more of a motivating factor than a source of stress when working in tandem with the five soft aspects of a Kite.

Sometimes, the benefits of a Grand Trine are taken for granted, but the opposition within a Kite provides its usual challenge in a positive framework.

In this configuration, the opposition gives a little shove, the motivation needed to make the most of that beneficial energy.

A Mystic Rectangle occurs in an astrological chart when four or more planets are connected by oppositions, sextiles and trines. To get a better idea of this, picture a long box, or rectangle, with two long sides and two short ones, and with the diagonal lines drawn in across the center of the box.

The four corners of the box represent the four planets involved in the Mystic Rectangle; the short sides of the box represent the sextiles; the long sides represent the trines; and the diagonal lines crossing each other in the middle are the oppositions. This results in six related aspects among four or more planets -- two oppositions, two sextiles and two trines.

Sextiles and trines are ‘soft,’ or beneficial, aspects, and oppositions are ‘hard’ ones that can cause conflict. But since there are four soft aspects and only two hard ones in a Mystic Rectangle, the overall effect of this configuration is considered helpful -- with just enough of a challenge thrown in by those two oppositions to keep things interesting!

Due to the layout of the planets in a Mystic Rectangle, they’ll almost always lie in signs that complement each other. This will further affect the beneficial influence of the Mystic Rectangle as a whole.

Someone with a Mystic Rectangle in their chart will feel the effects of four planets working together in a strongly balanced and integrated pattern.

This configuration offers the bearer a chance at inner harmony -- if the challenge of those two oppositions can be faced and dealt with consciously.

A Stellium occurs in an astrological chart when three or more planets group together within one sign or house. Think of it like this: When a planet stands alone in a particular house and sign in your chart, it carries its own significance -- sort of like a little voice, speaking up about its influence and role in your life.

If a group of planets are clustered together in that same sign or house, the little voice gets a whole lot louder! That’s exactly the way a Stellium works: Several planets unite as one powerful unit to exert an equally powerful influence in your life.

So, is the influence of a Stellium positive or negative? That depends on the planets involved and the houses and signs they reside in, as well as the aspects they make to the other planets in your chart.

Every Stellium is a concentration of energy, and you can imagine how that might either make things a lot better or present a real challenge, depending on the focus.

For example, if all the planets involved were lighter in energy -- say, the Moon, Mercury, Venus and Neptune -- and grouped together in a sweet, romantic sign like Libra, the Stellium would have a very romantic influence on you; you’d be the type that lived for love and harmony.

But if the Stellium involved heavier, more powerful planets and signs, such as the Sun, Mars, Uranus and Pluto in Scorpio, the effect of the Stellium as a whole would be more about extremes: intense desires, mood swings, obsession and destructiveness. Intensity, indeed!