Aversion is a term for planets which are not configured by whole sign in the chart by one of the major aspects: Sextile, square, opposition or trine. The basis of this is the concept of ‘witnessing’ based on Greek optical theory. The principle is that planets configured by one of the traditional major aspects (sextile, square, trine opposition) can see or ‘witness’ each other, thereby having some relationship or influence with each other, for better or worse.
Each planet was considered to send out seven rays (or lines of sight) according to these aspects:
So a planet will not be able to ‘see’ another planet which is located in the 2nd, 6th, 8th and 12th signs from it’s placement, as shown in the example below by the blue coloured houses below. Here Mercury in Cancer is in the 1st house. So it’s in aversion to the 2nd, 6th, 8th and 12th signs from it’s own placement, that is Leo (2nd house), Sagittarius (6th house), Aquarius (8th house) and Gemini (12th house). If Mercury was in Aries instead, it would be in aversion to Taurus (11th house), Virgo (3rd house), Scorpio (5th house) and Pisces (9th house).
In medieval and modern traditions the equivalent configurations are the semi-sextile and quincunx, or ‘inconjunct’. In Hellenistic astrology these configurations were not considered aspects but still had meaning.
So what does it mean for planets to be in aversion?
Since planets in aversion can’t see each other, they’re not considered to have a connection (there are some mitigations to this). They are ‘turned away’, sharing no common element, mode or gender. The condition implies a separateness which can have a variety of archetypally similar manifestations, and can be either positive or more challenging depending on the natal chart placements. For example if your natal Mercury is in aversion to your natal Saturn which is in poor condition (say out of sect whilst combust and in Fall), that might be a good thing!
Traditionally what’s most important to note is if the ruler of the sign is in aversion. It’s as though the ruler, the lord that can provide resources and support to any planet in it’s domicile, is away or cut off. So any planet here has to operate with less provisions, protection or help. Ancient astrologer Sahl b. Bishir (c. 800’s) says:
For truly the position of the planet which does not look at its own house is the position of the man who is absent from his home…Dykes, B. 2019 The Astrology of Salh B. Bishir Volume i: Principles, Elections, Questions, Nativities, The Cazimi Press
In terms of understanding this in relation to real world experiences, aversion can indicate a blind spot or feeling disconnected in some way from what a planet represents in your chart or the topics of the house that it’s in. Other manifestations may be estrangements, or something being out of reach. That area of life may be more slow to develop, or manifest later in life. It may require more effort to achieve objectives in that area, with things feeling less consistent or lacking in structure or cohesion. Having clarity about which direction to go could feel more challenging around the relevant topics, and feelings of worry, uncertainty or frustration could arise. Or this might be an area of life where you’ve got used to this, so don’t take notice of it anymore, or have a sense of resignation about it. BUT….this does not mean that achievements can’t be made in these areas of life. It might just take longer and require more input and effort to see results.
Sign based sympathies mitigate aversion, enabling a relationship between planets in the averse signs. One of these conditions is when the two signs share the same domicile ruler. Think of it like guests in two different homes which have the same owner. They both look to the owner for resources and support and therefore have a shared connection. So this mitigation will apply to the following signs:
- Aries and Scorpio (ruled by Mars)
- Taurus and Libra (ruled by Libra)
- Capricorn and Aquarius (ruled by Saturn)
Another mitigation is if the signs in aversion share the same ascensional times. The ascensional time is the time it takes for a sign to completely rise above the horizon, relating to the number of equatorial degrees that pass over the midheaven whilst the sign is rising. The signs which are in aversion but share a connection due to having the same ascensional times are:
- Aries and Pisces
- Gemini and Capricorn
- Cancer and Sagittarius
- Virgo and Libra
Do you have aversions in your chart? What have your experiences been? Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.
Cover image courtesy https://pixabay.com/users/fxq19910504-2080391/