Aspects: Fixed—intensity

Consciousness: emotional intensification, aiming to resolve inner conflict, typically arriving after an initial surge of self-awareness has waned. The distinction between self and other is related to the Fixed cross and Ray 2.

Our responses to the impacts of life and contacts with others, how we contain conflict and harmonise intensity

Fixed cross subjectivity

Opposition: 2

Self and self-complement

As a representation of Ray 2, the Opposition is the root of consciousness itself, which cannot be experienced if there is only a ‘self’ and no ‘other’, or an ‘inner’ with no awareness of any ‘outer’.

if there were no symbolic diameter separating ‘I’ from ‘Other,’ there could be no ‘I’ and no ‘Other’ because everything would be One, and One would not be conscious of itself or anything else. —Rudhyar & Rael, “Astrological Aspects”

In a personal sense, the Opposition involves coming to terms with “the other”, which appears as a complementary the self, but can highlight unresolved qualities we see as “out there” or which we project onto others; or the contrast between inner and outer worlds or circumstances. Can indicate objectified and unresolved polarities, but resolved, this becomes a spectrum with two poles at either end, along which we learn to travel, according to the signs and planets involved. The sectors or the chart involved will be an important indicator of the two poles by highlighting both ‘sides’ of the picture.

Square: 4

Opportunity to balance and harmonise

The square in esoteric astrology also borrows something from the 4th ray of “harmony through conflict”. It can be seen as a kind of creative tension—if you are poised between cross-currents and can mediate between the planets involved and their rays constructively, new forms can be built or new ways of handling situations are learnt. The square corresponds to the “Fixed cross” qualities of a chart. By staying dynamically neutral and listening to both sides, the 4th ray harmoniser pays something of a price internally while keeping the balance by “containing conflicts”. This involves keeping the channels of communication open between conflicting people or elements in life, but the reward comes when dialogue open up and agreement, or at least tolerance, emerges. This is the mark of the mediator—a key 4th ray quality. In Chapter 3 of Astrological Aspects Rudhyar and Rael mention a “conscious, mental awakening” as a process of the square—a meaning that echoes the essence of the Fixed Cross.

The diagonal of a square is an irrational number that cannot settle into a repeating decimal pattern; this symbolises the ability to sustain creative tension without the urge to resolve it. The art of mediation requires that the mediator takes no sides, instead facilitating a relationship between the two. The essence, esoterically, is that the square represents the internal emotional state required to contain the tension of conflict while (for example) resisting too early a resolution, or keeping two opposing elements from destructive conflict. This allows the resolution to emerge, including the acceptance of any inner compromises—a description that applies to the personal as well as the social.

The Grand Cross and the T-Square

This is a particular focus on the area of development covered by the specific cross in question—see the three crosses.

Octiles: 8

Creative tension

(see diagram: ‘Bioctile’ = Square)

Esoterically, Alice Bailey links the number 8 to the “Christ principle” or the inner self, once having transformed the purely personal into something more selfless. There is a more interiorised feeling than is found with the Square, and in a more personal sense, the doubled ‘4’ suggests a sense of manageable restlessness that can be internal (45°) or between internal and external factors (135°) that requires mediation in order to harmonise (Ray 4) the two points. This suggests something we may avoid or postpone, but that can be constructive once faced and handled.

Finger of the World

This triangular aspect, recognised in orthodox astrology, is formed between three planets: two in square aspect at 90°, both Trioctile (sesquiquadrate) a third planet (at 135° from each). This can be an initial challenge where the focussed apex planet is resisted, meets with push-back or causes stress, but can provide solid strength once understood, contained and used productively. Hard-earned strength.

Hendeciles: 11 (2)

The place between

The 32.72° (32°44’) angle of the first Hendecile is recognised in orthodox astrology (by the incorrect geometrical name Undecile—hence the ‘U’ symbol, instead of ‘H’)—the remaining Hendeciles from the eleven-sided polygon—even though they’re not as close to other aspects—are usually ignored (complexity of five more aspects near other aspects, plus finding them even with software) but they have meaning in harmonic astrology (and 11 is also seen as a “master number” in numerology). The doubled number 1 adds to 2, suggesting either unity in duality or a duality contained as one—Ray1 and Ray2 conjoined.

Hendeciles originate in a prime number (and 1+1 = 2, the only even prime) although numerically they are a union of odd and even (1+10, 2+9, 3+8…). The angles of the 11-sided hendecagon occupy positions in spaces between all other aspects, some very close to more well-known aspects. They may only be useful if there are more than 3–4, or where a symmetrical hendecile pattern of three or more points appears. They suggest an ability to integrate or internalise dualisms—a kind of mediation, able to contain potentially disparate views and perspectives (in the traditional Second Ray sense). Perhaps they can show the way to a secure place beyond those occupied by opposing views or conflicting elements of the self. If the tension between these elements becomes hard to bear, their unresolved conflicts might become trapped between inescapable obligation, causing those uncomfortable “positions in little-used places” to take the form of excess or escape into internalised idealistic fantasy. The psychological challenge is obviously to harmonise and resolve this tension into something more powerfully constructive.

Eleven is mentioned in a few places in Esoteric Astrology, this quote connecting the 11th house and sign being one of the most useful:

Humanity is today participating in the preparatory tests for [the collective second] initiation … Forget not that eleven is the number of the Initiate and that today it is the eleventh house which is so dominant… Aquarius, the eleventh sign, is the sign of universal relationships, interplay and consciousness. (EA 542)

In David Hamblin’s Harmonic Charts he mentions a deep internal longing to bring [the connected planets] together: they form part of [an individual’s] deep-seated internal fantasy about [themselves] (p261) while Martin Seymour-Smith in The New Astrologer (p125) quotes from Astrologer’s Guide to the Harmonics (James and Ruth Williamsen) that the undecimal (as he calls it) aspects describe a person’s ability to integrate diversities and dualisms, adding that they can act in a manner very similar to the genuinely hard aspects, also claiming that they indicate excess. (Michael Rideout, personal email with extracts from the alt.astrology newsgroup).

Aspect Patterns and the Triangles

In an esoteric interpretation of aspect patterns that involve three or more planets, it is always important to check if the signs and/or planets appear in any of the Triangles of Esoteric Astrology.