Oh My Stars

In astrology, a conjunction is an aspect between two or more planets placed very closely together in the sky, like the recent Venus-Jupiter conjunction that everyone got excited about. How close together is a matter of debate among astrologers, but for my money I stick to within five degrees… unless the Sun or Moon are involved, in which case I’ll give it ten degrees. The amount of allowable distance is called “orb”… and personally I’m stingy with it.

The conventional wisdom about the conjunction is that it represents a blending of the energies of the two planets involved. Like many simple explanations, this captures a fair amount of the truth and yet kind of misses the point. When you combine sodium and chlorine, which are respectively flammable poisonous, you get salt — which is neither flammable nor poisonous. The planets involved in a conjunction retain their inherent nature and functions, but they also tend to take on qualities from the other planet(s) involved. It’s kind of like when you put two things next to each other in the fridge for a long time and they take on each other’s smell and flavor (sorry about the onion milk by the way).

The nature of each planet in astrology is quite different, and when you combine two very different things you can get some interesting results: sometimes useful and sometimes not so much.

On the one hand, consider the mule, which is what you get when you cross a horse with a donkey. Mules are more patient and better at handling rugged terrain than horses, and they’re smarter and faster than donkeys… and less obstinate as well. On the other hand, did you ever see The Fly? Yeah, you would think that combining the mind of a genius inventor with the durability of an insect would be awesome, kind of like Spider-Man, right?

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Be afraid. Be very afraid.

I know I picked on overly-simple explanations earlier, but let me try to come up with something relatively simple that still conveys the meaning of the conjunction.

If you want to know the effects of a conjunction between any given two planets, use the following handy guide.

Take the description in column A and the adjectives in column B below.

Pick a conjunction between any two planets, or a planet and an angle. Select the description in the left column and combine it with the adjectives in the right column.


Ego energy and life force

Brash and energetic


Basic emotional responses and gut instinct

Moody and / or nurturing


Thoughts and communication

Bright, chatty and scattered


Affection and comfort

Sweet and sticky


Ambition and anger

Energetic and punchy


Happiness and philosophical approach

Big and goofy


Structure and limitations

Stiff and unyielding


Individuality and uniqueness

Weird and unusual


Mysticism and sense of wonder

Weird and spacey


Transcendence and resilience

Powerful and / or dangerous


Appearance and general demeanor

Out there where everyone can see it.


Closest friends and partnerships

Projected or reflected on others.


Life goals and what you want to be when you grow up

Is what the general public will remember you for when you’re gone


Your base of operations and comfort zone

Where you’re most comfortable hanging your hat at the end of the day


So for example: Mars conjunct Saturn means that “Your ambition and anger is stiff and unyielding.” Venus conjunct the Ascendant means “You affection and comfort is projected or reflected on others.” Jupiter conjunct Neptune means “your happiness and philosophical approach is weird and spacey.”

Got that? Go through the conjunctions in your chart and give it a try.

And hey: yes, you’re absolutely right. That is a bit of an oversimplification. But it makes at least a little more sense than just saying “the two energies are blended,” doesn’t it…?

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