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Oh My Stars

Ever gone to a large family gathering and gotten stuck sitting at the children’s table? You know: the place where they park all the kids to keep them out of the way of the grown-ups so that actual adult conversations can happen? If you’re a huge fan of children in general, this can be an enjoyable experience — but if you get stuck at that table at every family gathering, it won’t take long for you to get the impression that you’re being left out of all the important stuff… and in fact, you’re likely to miss out on a lot of the most important news.

Still: children are the future, yadda yadda, and it’s best to have at least enough of a passing familiarity with them to make sure none of the little darlings are breaking things or starting a fire. In that spirit, let’s acknowledge the minor aspects and then get back to drinking and talking about sex, as adults do.

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There are lots of minor aspects, which all come from dividing the circle into ever-smaller pieces, and the more you divide the circle up after the major aspects, the less effect those new aspects have. For example, the semi-square and the sesquiquadrate (think of them as the “half a square” and “the square and a half”). They have roughly the same effect as a square, but are much less pronounced and less troublesome. Any proper square will have a much more obvious observable effect on your personality, but these two can show up as minor annoyances.

Two of the minor aspects stick out a bit more as far as their importance and usefulness, though: the quintile (one-fifth of a circle, or 72 degrees) and the septile (one-seventh of a circle). The quintile represents a relationship between two planets that takes effort to bring out, but once you do it reveals you have a talent for it. You can also have a bi-quintile (144 degrees of separation) which acts the same way. A quintile is kind of like that guy you know who can write reasonably well, and is always talking about that great novel he wants to write… but he never seems to get any further with it than talking about it.

The septile has a lot to do with fate, destiny, and the deeper meaning of life. This would make them a gold mine of astrological spirituality if it weren’t for the fact that every other aspect out there is a lot louder and more demanding, and the septiles are hard to define in hard-and-fast terms anyway. If you based an entire astrology consultation on septiles, there would be a lot of hand-waving and talk about Karma, but nothing of actual practical use coming out of the meeting. If you see a lot of septiles in someone’s birth chart without a lot of other stuff going on, you may be dealing with someone who would rather chant, pray, and cast a spell to win the lottery than go out and actually get a job in order to make money, for example. Furthermore: the septile is one-seventh of a circle — that is, about 51 degrees 25 minutes 43 seconds. Since 360 degrees doesn’t divide evenly by seven (360 divided by 7 equals 51.428571428571…), this aspect can be pretty maddening for those who enjoy exactness and precision.

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Want more astrological minutiae? There are also noviles, vigintiles, quattuorvigintiles, undeciles, semi-deciles, quindeciles, and a horde of other really minor aspects… and more than one astrologer has referred to them all as “The Futiles.” To be honest with you… professional astrologers don’t really need to worry about them much, so you probably shouldn’t either. Just keep them quiet at their own table until their bedtime, and then we’ll get this party started, all right…?

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