matthew currie astrology when is a square not a square (This is part of the “Ask An Astrologer” series, where I occasionally try to demonstrate how getting a consultation can genuinely help and provide real guidance, using real-life examples. Want to find out for yourself? There’s a link to my e-mail at the bottom of this blog entry.)

GS writes:

“If you have very weak squares in your chart ranging from 5 degrees to 7 degrees etc … are these the worst things in the world? Even if they are squared with Saturn?”

First, since we are talking about (in this case) a newborn child’s birth chart, CLICK HERE and CLICK HERE for my previous comments on the special considerations that come with reading a child birth chart.

Now: there’s a simple answer and a “hey, not so fast there buddy” answer to your question. The simple answer is that different astrologers use different “orbs” (as we call them) to determine whether or not an aspect counts. In my case, I tend to use an orb of up to about 5 degrees, unless the Sun and or Moon are involved, in which case it’s more like 10 degrees.

But this does raise some interesting questions. Take a look at your son’s birth chart that I have posted here. Venus is at 18 degrees Libra, the Moon is at (almost) 21 degrees, and Mercury is at (almost) 25 degrees.

By the rule I just established a couple of paragraphs ago, you wouldn’t think I would count Mercury and Venus as being conjunct in this case. Yet the Moon at 20 degrees Libra is conjunct both of them. Does that mean that all three planets are conjunct each other?

In this case, I would tend to think of them as all being conjunct. Certainly Mercury and Venus are both conjunct the Moon, and given the importance of the Moon in a birth chart, that makes them pretty important.

So, from my perspective, does your son have Moon, Mercury and Venus square Pluto?  Yes. Does your son have Moon, Mercury and Venus square Pluto? Mmmmm… not so much. And under those circumstances, is it really easy (as a concerned parent) for you to accidentally overlook your son’s Moon, Mercury and Venus close sextile to Jupiter? You bet it is!

Now remember when I said I allow 10 degrees of orb for the Sun or Moon? you will notice that your child’s Sun is at 6 degrees Libra and his Mars is at 27 Virgo. Does this count as a conjunction? Personally I tend to think not. Although Mars is within 10 degrees of the Sun, being in a different sign does appear to have a certain effect. if I was going as a conjunction, it would be what is called an “out of quality” conjunction. That just means that the two planets are in different Signs, not that the conjunction is “lacking in quality.”

I also use the same general approach for transiting planets. Just you watch his moods whenever the transiting Moon is in Aries, Cancer, or Capricorn! He’ll be feeling it… and of course so will you.

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