Harmonious aspects in astrology

Are harmonious aspects good?


8/22/20233 min read

We call harmonious something that has harmony. Harmony comes from the latin harmonia which comes from grec ἁρμονία meaning "union, agreement". I love to look at the etymology of words because it can give a whole new sense of them. We made the word harmony to be something positive or enjoyable but now that we looked at the definition of harmony I actually think that it is a quite neutral word because unions and agreements can go both ways isn't it? But to keep it simple, I am still going to talk about harmonious aspects and challenging aspects for now.

There are 5 (and a few others) harmonious aspects: the sextile, the trine, the semi sextile, the quintile and the biquintile. In this post I will only talk about the sextile and the trine which are the "main" harmonious aspects. I put air quotes because in my opinion all aspects are important and I also understand not everyone knows about quintiles, octiles and noviles. Moreover, I am not a specialist on aspects so wouldn't want to talk about subjects I am not knowledgeable enough about just yet.

The trine △ is an aspect between two planets forming an angle of 120 degrees (give or take a few degrees). In a whole sign chart configuration (meaning excluding out of sign aspects), it means both planets are in signs that have the same element and therefore the same gender (either masculine or feminine) but different modalities (cardinal, fixed, mutable). I would see that aspect as a sibling relationship, the planets have similar core values because raised together (same element) but they don't have the same personality (sign) nor talents (the modality). They exchange their strengths but coming from the same element, both planets stay in their comfort zone. I would say that the trine is not an aspect that brings growth, it's an aspect that reinforces something that is already there. Of course each trine is different and will have different effects when taking in consideration the planets involved and the rest of the chart. The most known aspect figures that contain at least one trine are: the wedge, the grand trine, the kite and the mystic rectangle. Some key words I would associate with the trine are: comfortable, creative, natural, easy, strengthening, innate.

The sextile ⚹ is an aspect between two planets forming an angle of 60 degrees (give or take a few degrees). In a whole sign chart configuration, that means the 2 planets are in signs that have the same gender but different elements and different modalities. I would see the sextile as a cousin relationship. We are part of the same family (the gender) but that's about it. There is understanding in a sextile, it's a "we have different approaches but we can work together towards a common goal" type of relationship. It's literally a collaboration (word coming from the latin collaborare meaning "work together"). It doesn't flow like a trine, the relationship requires more work, more communication (3rd house from the 1st house = Gemini) but that means the growth coming out of it can be more significant because there is more to learn. A sextile is more exciting than a trine because it's an exchange of skills and skills unlike talents come from practice, trials and error. However, too much excitement can be risky and that's when we have to remember the nature of the planets involved. The most known aspect figures that contain at least one sextile are: the grand trine or Star of David, the wedge, the mystic triangle, the yod or Finger of God and the kite. Some key words I would associate with the sextile are: collaboration, excitement, skillful, goal oriented, inspiring.

So to the question "are harmonious aspects good?" I would reply "not always". Are we happy when we have some and a little disappointed when we don't have a lot? Yes. Someone with a lot of trines can at some point feel like they are stuck in their "hometown" (the element) and find it difficult to try something new or to move to a new level. Someone with a lot of challenging aspects may want a break from hardships. I will leave you with that thought: Jupiter the planet associated with growth and abundance rules Pisces and Sagittarius, both mutable signs, one associated with detachment, the other with adventure. None of them with comfort.

Food for thoughts.