Awareness and Integration: How to Work With Oppositions in the Natal Chart

Whether you’re fluent in the language of Astrology or someone who is just starting on your journey, you may be familiar with Astrological aspects, which are relationships between planets.

It may get your wheels turning to view the dynamics of these relationships similar to the ones we share with other human beings: some are free-flowing, while others may be tense or challenging. Depending on where we choose to place our focus, certain relationships can also be growth inducing or stagnating, but virtually all of them have the potential of bringing something into our field of vision that wasn’t present before.

Claudius Ptolemy, who was a Greco-Roman Astronomer, Astrologer and Mathematician, presented five “major” aspects in his highly influential work “Tetrabiblos”, which went on to be known as the “major” aspects : the conjunction, opposition, square, trine and sextile. It needs to be said that there are more aspects, but these are the ones that are most commonly discussed at large.

When we look at oppositions in our birth chart there can be a “tug of war” or “seesaw” vibe because opposing parts of our psyche are seeking integration and reconciliation. Keep in mind that manifestation of this aspect can occur (and usually does) on both an internal and external level.

Often, there is some type of “shift” brewing and a compromise needs to take place in order to balance ourselves. I like what Astrologer Sue Tompkins (Aspects in Astrology) said about oppositions in comparing them to the doorbells of the front and back doors ringing simultaneously. In the moment, we feel as if we have to make a choice on which facet of our nature to honor at that particular time.

When looking at oppositions in a growth oriented manner, we approach the idea of making room for parts of ourselves that we may not readily see until we’re involved with another person, and in turn- that person serves as a mirror for qualities that are latent and underdeveloped within ourselves. As a matter of fact, they may be so malnourished that we go through a process of denying that they belong to us at all.

However, if we embrace oppositions in our chart as an opportunity to become more of what we already are, it opens up the potential of broadening our range of self-expression and living a more meaningful life. On an inner level, navigating oppositions successfully is like reuniting with an old friend that we haven’t seen for a long, long time.

Oppositions are noticeable in the birth chart because they are usually between signs that are “opposite”, although I deem them as more complimentary: Aries-Libra, Taurus-Scorpio,  Gemini-Sagittarius, Cancer-Capricorn, Leo-Aquarius, and Virgo-Pisces.

There can also be out of sign oppositions depending on how the degrees fall in the various signs.

Take a look at the oppositions in your birth chart if you have any.

If you feel  like you’re struggling with them, ask yourself what the universe is seeking to illuminate or bring into your awareness. Is there something that you refuse to accept? Are you receiving repeated and similar observations from those outside of you which merit consideration?

The magic of Astrology is often not in the clear-cut, definite answers that it provides, but in the insightful and meaningful questions that it produces.

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