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Quincunx is a Latin word that literally means an arrangement of five objects or five twelfths of a whole. Five twelfths of the 360° of the Zodiac corresponds to 150°. The aspect of quincunx is formed when a planet or luminary forms an angle of 150° with another planet or with the other luminary or with the angles of the respective houses: Ascendant, Descendant, Medium Coeli and Imum Coeli (‘bottom of the sky’).

Nine years ago, I began to study the quincunx, concentrating exclusively on the transits. My interpretations were confirmed by people who had agreed to put them to the test and to whom go my sincere thanks. The course of the orbit that I was considering follows the usual one of the other transits, that is: ± 2° for the fast planets, ± 3° for Jupiter and Saturn; ± 2.5° for Uranus and ± 2° for Neptune and Pluto.

What mostly drew my interest was the observation of how the individual perceives the harmony of the transit, which leads the person to the attainment of excellent results in sectors that depend on the nature of the planets, houses and signs concerned and where the quincunx is located but, at the same time, how they also feel the associated fatigue and the price paid to obtain them. The difference in the perception of the transit was a question whose answer was only possible when, once the operation of the quincunx on the transits was understood, I turned my attention to the birth chart, keeping the orbit to ± 8°, which made it all clear to me and led me to develop a classification of quincunxes, dividing them in harmonious, neutral and dissonant: a classification that is in line with the rules of astrology. These, amongst other things, regard the signs of Aries, Leo, Scorpion and Capricorn as masculine; the signs of Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Aquarius as neutral; and the signs of Taurus, Cancer, Libra and Pisces as feminine.

Harmonics. I consider quincunxs as harmonic when they put the signs-houses in communication, such as: Aries-Scorpio (masculine), Taurus-Libra (feminine), Gemini-Scorpio (neutral-masculine) and Taurus-Sagittarius (feminine-neutral), when they have two planets in common.

The meaning in the birth chart and in the transit will be felt in a predominately positive manner, given that it reinforces the shared symbolism of the signs-houses, instils a greater sense of security in the individual, even if that person has to adapt or modify attitudes or situations which will depend on the two different planets which complete the signs-houses; adjustments that do not, however, affect them profoundly.

Neutrals. I designate as neutral the quincunxes of Gemini-Capricorn (neutral-masculine), Cancer-Sagittarius (feminine-neutral), Leo-Pisces (masculine-feminine), Virgo-Aquarius (neutral), which are signs-houses that all present different planets; the last couple is the only group that is an exception to this, since they share a planet, the neutral Uranus.

In the birth chart and the transit, the aspect will be experienced positively by the subject, even if the person will be under the influence of multiple symbolisms, represented by the various planets, with the consequent predisposition to broaden their mental capacity or to use various methods to reach their goal and this, while on one side may enrich them with new awareness, on the other could leave them short of energy, since so much is wasted.

The interpretation of the harmonic and neutral transits should therefore be read in the light of the symbolism of the aspects in conjunction-sextile-trigon.

Dissonants. I define as dissonant the quincunxes of Aries-Virgo (masculine-neutral), Cancer-Aquarius (feminine-neutral), Libra-Pisces (feminine) and Leo-Capricorn (masculine), that is, those signs-house which present the luminaries, Sun-Moon, opposed to the counter-luminaries, Uranus-Saturn.

The interpretation of the birth chart and the transit will still lead to positive effects, but the price will be high because the subject will feel under pressure, anxious and irritated by the fact they are constrained to behave or act in an unusual way, sometimes even against their nature, even though they attain their set goals.

Therefore, the interpretation of the dissonant quincunxes should be read in the symbolism of the negative aspects: semi-quadrature-quadrature-opposition.

The harmonic and dissonant quincunxes are of the same character for all the genders: masculine, neutral and feminine.The neutral quincunxes differ between the masculine pair of Leo-Pisces and the entirely neutral pair of Virgo-Aquarius.

I classify the quincunx, like the conjunction, as an ambiguous aspect, both in what it reveals and because it maintains a numerical harmony between the positive aspects: semi-sextile, sextile and trigon, and the negative ones: semi-quadrature, quadrature and opposition.

To interpret the quincunx in the transits, the radical planet is observed first of all, then the sign and the house where it is located: the symbolism of the planet of transit, the house and the sign in which the passage takes place all depend on it.

The explanations for the reading of the quincunx in transits are given in my book “The symbolism of the astrological transits - an aid for reading the future". I am currently writing about the interpretation of the birth chart in my new book dedicated to the symbolism of the radical aspects.

As an example, I present the birth chart of a woman who works as a psychotherapist.

In this traditional graphic, Saturn, the planet of the tenth house-work-career, lies in the eighth house - Scorpio, in sextile to the M.C. and in trigon with the ASC, indicating the subject’s tendency to psychologically analyse herself and others, as prompted by Scorpio-eighth house. But it would be too simplistic to argue that this might have determined the choice of psychology, even though Saturn is connected to the M.C., since the professions favoured by Scorpio-eighth house are many and range over various fields such as politics, trades unions, the hotel sector and commerce.

The choice is evident in this second graphic, since Saturn forms a harmonious quincunx with the Sun, indispensable in identifying the profession, which is in Sagittarius-first house. This means that the Ego, beyond an orientation towards honesty and generosity, is focused on itself, while the super-Ego Saturn obliges it, symbolically speaking, to exercise self-control and follow the social and ethical rules. In addition, the quincunx of Saturn with Mercury, whose harmonious influence on the houses is much more important than the dissonant influence on the signs, focuses the mental capacity of the subject on psychology since the sense of justice and the desire to follow the logical thread of Saturn’s stance leads away from the other Scorpio-eighth house professions which require a conniving attitude, enabling the boundaries of good and evil to be crossed in order to achieve the objectives of power and profit.

Translated by Nick Skidmore


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