Aspects are an important component of any chart synthesis. Each link provides an additional influence on a given planet (aside from sign and dignity). Sometimes, the planets work well together. Sometimes, they don’t.
It sometimes happens that one planet in the natal chart makes no major aspects to any of the other planets. These planets stand alone. They’re unintegrated with the rest of the chart. Untied to the rest of the chart, they’re free to have extreme effects or little to no effect at all.
Noel Tyl notes that the unaspected planet “. . . can run away with the horoscope, if conditions of talent, energy, and plan are poised for action.” Simply said, unaspected planets can be quite singular in their effect.
This article takes a careful look at the unaspected planet. When and how they play an active role in our psyche.
Whether a planet is unaspected, is partly a matter of orb. A wider orb for measuring aspects and the likelihood of an unaspected planet decreases. Narrower orb, and the likelihood increases.
Why exclude minor aspects and aspects to the major angles (ASC and MC)? My experience shows that minor aspects and aspects to the angles of the chart do not integrate the planet that lacks even one major aspect. It behaves as an unaspected planet. Major aspects include the traditional Ptolemaic aspects: conjunctions, oppositions, trines, squares, and sextiles.
How common are unaspected planets. My own birth chart includes multiple unaspected planets. My orbs are on the conservative side. Sun, Mercury, Venus, and Mars are all unaspected.
How narrow are my orbs?
Conjunctions, Oppositions, Trines, and Squares use 7 degrees for luminaries and 5 degrees for the planets.
Sextiles use 4 degrees for luminaries and 3.5 degrees for the planets.
As you can see in my chart, even a small widening of the orbs would leave Mercury conjunct to Saturn. These are the orbs I use all the time. I didn’t select them for separating unaspected from aspected planets.
My chart is one case. My research database includes just under 90,000 charts. Applying the same narrow set of orbs, 2.34% of those charts contain at least one unaspected planet. Unaspected planets are uncommon, not rare. Approximately 1 chart in 43 contains one (or more) unaspected planets.
Unaspected planets are neither weak nor insignificant. Nor are they “bad.” They’re a curious combination of “good” and “bad.” They can bestow great advantage and nettlesome problems. The important question is how to go about achieving anything constructive with them?
The unaspected planet has to do everything on its own. While it’s an inherent part of us from birth, it can have a difficult time making its presence known.
Not everything in the birth chart manifests. Even those features that manifest, might not present themselves early in life. As we become more self-aware, we can bring latent tendencies forward. We can also curb our excessive behavior. Synastry also plays a role. Our birth chart intersects with others’. Parents, siblings, close relatives, teachers, just to name a few. Then, there’s the role of solar arcs, secondary progressions, and transits. The unaspected planet in the birth chart does not remain unaspected throughout our life. There are plenty of opportunities for dynamic interactions with other planets as we grow and learn.
Unaspected planets tend to have an on again, off again effect. Rather than operating at the level of conscious will, they’re quite often unexplained compulsions that we feel. We do our clients great benefit when we identify and discuss unaspected planets. This can help them take control over their maladaptive urges.
Often, we’re blind to the effect of unaspected planets in our own chart. Our behaviors might be maladjusted and troublesome to others, while we remain largely ignorant of their effect.
Let’s consider for a moment the child with an unaspected Mars. How do we expect that might manifest? A distinct possibility is an unusually boisterous, active child. Perhaps, even, an aggressive child. The sort of child who gets labeled with ADHD or some other behavior problem.
The child with unaspected Mars doesn’t “see” the “problem” with their conduct. They’re often unaware that their constant need for activity and attention drives others to distraction and frustration.
Making the parent(s) aware of the unaspected Mars can encourage them to be more sensitive to the child’s socialization needs. Early intervention becomes a more realistic option.
Unaspected planets are also associated, in my experience, with insecurities. They often manifest as a sense that “something” is missing.
Let’s consider another example. An adult with unaspected Venus. One way this can present is the feeling that they don’t understand what it means to be in love. Even when married, the relationship can be unfulfilling. They can feel that they married, not out of love, but for some other reason altogether. Security, perhaps.
Because the unaspected planet is unconnected to other planets in the birth chart, it’s energy is free to run amok. This’s what Noel Tyl means, when he says they “. . . can run away with the horoscope . . .” Aspects take the energies of planets and coordinate them. Some aspects add potency. Some attenuate.
Unaspected planets know only two shadings: sign and dignity. They can be among the strongest influences on personality.
Unaspected planets can bring a lot of life satisfaction to the native.
A third example might help. This time we’ll consider unaspected Mercury. This can bring quickness of wit and speech. It can present as mania or near-mania. The thing about mania is that the native often feels creative and elated. At the same time, they drive everyone else around them nuts. Another example of the “blindness” that can accompany the effects of unaspected planets.
With an unaspected planet, we need to learn to relate to that energy. As long as we fail to do that, we’ll be confronted with periodic, unconscious eruptions of that energy.