Why the Quincunx Aspect is a Load of Codswallop

Quincunxes are good at making you cringe and getting a high score at Scrabble, and that’s about the end of the ‘pro-‘ list. Otherwise, the so-called quincunx aspect is a load of codswallop. It’s a 150° separation between two points, and it’s a bucket of balderdash. It’s also called ‘inconjunct’, and it’s a sack of horse pucky. It’s utter tripe, malarkey, flim flam. At the risk of sounding like a gnashgabbing nincompoop, I’ll explain why considering this aspect to be on the same level as the classic and minor aspects is a folly fit for a fustilarian fopdoodle.

Kepler’s pointy cake. Great astrologer, shitty baker.

Let’s consider what an aspect is, and why aspects are important at all. It boils down to geometry, right? The geometry of the 12 signs of the zodiac is based on divisions of the circle by whole numbers. Dividing by 1 obviously gives you the conjunction. Dividing by 2 gives us the opposition. By 3, the trine. By 4, the square. By 6, the sextile, although it’s debatable whether the circle is actually being divided by 6 or whether it is just a by-product of 2 and 3; the distance between an opposition and a trine is a sextile. These divisions by whole numbers give us the classic ptolemaic aspects, which exclude other whole numbers because they do not align with the 12 signs. But let’s say you could anyway.

Divisions of the circle by 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and so on produce what are commonly known as the ‘minor’ aspects. We can’t see most of their relationships reflected in the zodiac, but they are based on the same idea of dividing a circle by whole numbers. Even if you don’t use minor aspects, you can at least see that the premise of dividing the circle by greater whole numbers is solid. So, what number is the quincunx based on? 360/150=


This is conceptually problematic, because that doesn’t look like a whole number to me! What’s the esoteric interpretation of 2.4? This is the kind of thing you’d expect in a Monty Python skit about numerology. “And your birth number based on our arbitrary base 10 number system and alphabet is…2.4. It means you’ll die at the end of your life.


Oh, look they’re 34 arc minutes apart, must be the 631.5th harmonic aspect

You could also say that it’s a six or eight-fold extension of the 12th division, the semi-sextile, but this has to make it just about the least pertinent aspect ever. What’s next, calling a conjunction the 360th harmonic? Even the sesquiquadrate, triseptile and elftile are higher up on the hierarchy of divisions than the quincunx. The elftile. And this is reflected in what traditional sources report about the quincunx.

In Hellenistic astrology, aspects are commonly referenced in visual terms; if planets are in aspect they “see” each other. Planets in adjacent and “quincunxing” (shudder) signs are considered to be in aversion, so that they can’t see each other.

The adjacent aversion, or semi-sextile is supposed to be a hostile relationship, because Cancer and Leo are in that relationship to Mercury’s Gemini and Virgo. If something is right next to you, it’s hard to really look at it from your peripheral vision.

The opposing aversion, or quincunx is considered to have the quality of Saturn, because of Capricorn’s relationship to Leo and Aquarius’s relationship to Cancer. One of Saturn’s significations is ignorance, and what’s fascinating is that all mammals, all vertebrates actually, have an alarmingly large blind spot in each eye that roughly corresponds to the quincunx, about 12-15 degrees from the center of your field of vision. You can actually see your own blind spot for yourself.

  1. Put a hand over one eye.
  2. With your remaining eyeball, come close to the screen and focus on the + symbol.
  3. Slowly back up while focusing on the + symbol and you should see the O disappear into your blind spot, which I’m nicknaming your quincunx.

+                                       O

Weird, right? Here are some other fun things to do with your quincunx. Wow that does not sound okay.

Anyway, no wonder the 2nd/12th and 6th/8th houses are considered the ‘bad places’, because they don’t form aspects to the Ascendant, they don’t “see” it! The topics of the 2nd and 12th are on the peripherals of our vision, they pertain to the possessions we take for granted and the matters which we neglect or are unaware. Certainly, with the 6th and 8th, we try to avoid and ignore sickness and death!

But if the 6th is about sickness and death, why on earth would the 6th house in the Thema Mundi be occupied by Jupiter in Sagittarius? Let’s find out.

There are some caveats to aversion: Aversion is said to be mitigated by signs with the same ruler and signs in a. That includes:

Adjacent aversion/Semi-sextile mitigation

Mitigated Aversions
  • Aries and Pisces, contra-antiscia
  • Gemini and Cancer, antiscia
  • Virgo and Libra, contra-antiscia
  • Sagittarius and Capricorn, antiscia

Opposing aversion/Quincunx mitigation

  • Aries and Virgo, antiscia
  • Gemini and Capricorn, contra-antiscia
  • Cancer and Sagittarius, contra-antiscia
  • Libra and Pisces, antiscia
  • Aries and Scorpio, both ruled by Mars
  • Taurus and Libra, both ruled by Venus

While aversions are mitigated by planets merely positioned in these signs, we have to remember that in these cases it is actually the antiscia or contra-antiscia relationship that is in effect, not the quincunx. The only time a quincunx is actually  happening is if a contra-/antiscia relationship occurs at a 150° interval, which only occurs at 15° in those specific contra-/antiscia signs.

Jupiter in the Thema Mundi is at 15° Sagittarius, in a perfect contra-antiscia relationship with the Ascendant at 15° Cancer. I’d say the person who recovers from an illness is more grateful for their health than the person who always had good health. I think the Thema Mundi shows us that mitigation of aversion is a benefic condition, by producing a connection where there is normally none.

This all suggests that the quincunx relationship, such as it is, is not an aspect but the lack of one. Must every aspect between two planets be equally meaningful? Must there always be a connection between two planets? Mustn’t some aspects be more or less in focus in people’s lives? Is every part of a picture to be equally considered? People are of course free to do whatever they want. Call me a supercilious ninnyhammer if you must, but there you have it. The quincunx is a load of codswallop.

8 thoughts on “Why the Quincunx Aspect is a Load of Codswallop”

  1. Interesting observation, Patrick. If I understand you correct the Sagittarius/Cancer 150 degrees aspect is a quincunx because there is a contra-antiscia relationship as in contrast to Sagittarius/ Taurus. Where I have in my chart a 150 degree ‘aspect’ between Saturn Sagittarius and Mercury Taurus, you would consider this as a lack of aspect and of non-importance in delineating the chart. Correct.

    Once I read that there is a difference in inconjunct and quincunx; it is called quincunx when one of the signs is a fix sign, otherwise inconjunct. What is in a name?

    1. Thank you for the clarification, I did not know that.

      There are other ways that aversion could be mitigated, if you had Jupiter in Taurus with Saturn in Sag, then Jupiter is administering the affairs of Sag even though it can’t witness the sign.

      Planets that are “quincunx” the Sun are important not because they’re in a quincunx relationship, but because it means they’re retrograde.

      1. Thank you, but in this specific case there is no other relation between planet/sign than the distance of 150 degrees.

        Another point of consideration is the orb used, which I think should be limited to 1 or 2 degrees. If one uses a wider orb you go might go from Inconjunct into the area of biquintile (144 degrees).

  2. Franklin Atherton

    All planets are in aspect to each other at all times, and each aspect has a specific effect. Just because we don’t know what that is doesn’t mean it’s not there.

  3. Lol, Patrick, I can’t agree with your thesis, but your writing is excellent. I laughed several times…which is always good (and not at you, I mean, I laughed in places you would have appreciated). I see your reasoning on the argument, I just can’t go all the way there with you.

    Yes, planets in quincunx don’t see each other…well, sort of. It’s really more like “I see you, I just have no idea where you’re coming from. I don’t appreciate your sense of humor and you need some new clothes, and what you just told me you do for a living, I’ve never even heard of it.” It’s the worst blind date ever. The thing is, because it’s endowed by a certain energy I will shortly describe, yes, it would be easier to walk away from someone you have nothing in common with, but you create a serious missed step if you do it, and on some level, you’ll know you can’t, because….

    I’ve studied this a decent amount, and the information I have on the quincunx says that the key to it is not how its derived in multiples, but its magic is in what it almost was but just missed. That is to say, that its power is in the fact that it is 27-33 degrees short or supplementary to an opposition, and that opposition it almost was is how you understand what it’s trying to tell you. When I first learned this, my quincunxes suddenly made a huge amount of sense. Applying quincunxes are lessons to be learned in this lifetime that are super active in most people’s lives if you know to look at it this way. You understand what it’s urging you to do by first looking up the quincunx itself, and then looking at the opposition it’s trying to be. I won’t spell out the instructions, but it completely opens your eyes to things you hadn’t been looking at before that. Try it. Separating quincunxes carry the same warning, but it’s less of a problem, because it reflects something you already mastered (in the last life, for those so inclined). The fact that it’s there at all is kind of like when you take the T.A.’s final exam review course to do better on the final and increase your overall course grade.

    So, true, we don’t get quincunxes by dividing by a nice, neat whole number, but at the same time, when we divide by some nice, neat whole numbers to get harmonic aspects, some of those are very strange numbers of degrees (like say a 154.29 degree triseptile). I have to say, you stumped me on “elftile.” It sounds like something you’d buy at the Home Depot Store number 00000001, Middle Earth, between North Shire and Rivendell.


    1. @Nikki do you have any handy resources that helped you understand the mystery of quincunxes? I’d really like to see what kinda information you were able to dig out. I’ve been researching and cross checking for a while about different aspects.

      1. I wish I did! I have been unable since to locate the resource that led to my insights on this. It’s been quite a white. If I find it, I”ll let you know.

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