I seldom use an aspect in isolation, but 99% of the time relate it to a natal house position or houses the planets rule. This has been a habit since the late '60's when a friend and I were studying under the Rosicrucians. She told me of twins she knew who had their Suns in different houses...one in the 7th and one in the 8th. When the ruler of the 12th (a heavy planet, but I forget which one) squared their Suns in transit, secrets came out. The one with the 8th house Sun was caught embezzling, and the one with the seventh house Sun was caught in an illicit affair with his wife's friend. I never forgot how specific and appropriate the events were for each of them. This was my first encounter with this concept, and it made a deep impression.
Except for solar arc and all progressions, I believe the slower planet acts on the faster planet--especially if it's one of the outer planets. With solar arc and progressions, I blend them equally, since these are rare encounters. One time I predicted to a divorced father that a 14 year old daughter would be leaving home... ruler of his fourth quincunx ruler of his fifth (I've found quincunx aspects to indicate some kind of separation. There were probably other indicators as well, or I wouldn't have been so specific. He didn't see how that would happen since she was so young, but at the time of partile, she did. She wanted to live with her mother in a place where there was more of a social life. It wasn't a negative reflection on the father, just a choice. It wouldn't really matter which planet was faster or which "acted on" which. However, in transits, I'd say that a slow planet transiting in aspect to a faster one, acts on the faster one. It would bring out the natal promise of the two if they are natally in aspect...i.e. if the slower planet is square the faster one in the natal chart, then whatever the aspect is, even a trine, it will bring out the natal square for resolution. The event would be about whatever houses they occupy and rule. In a transit, the slower planet lingers for such a long time, there has to be more of an impact than just a quick pass of a faster planet that is only there for days or even hours.
One reliable aspect I use to demonstrate astrology to skeptics is the square, opposition or conjunction of Mercury to their Saturn. It only lasts a day or two if it's going average speed. I write on a slip of paper, "You're very tired today.", put it in an envelope and put a date on the outside. I tell them to open the envelope on that day. It is Saturn acting on Mercury, even if Mercury is doing the transiting. If Saturn is doing the transiting, it just lasts longer and will bring out deeper issues related to the houses they occupy and rule.
I divide the planets into two groups: personal (Moon thru Jupiter -- order of speed) and generational (Saturn out to Pluto). If the aspect is between the outer planets only, I would place heavier emphasis on the houses they occupy and rule since they are not personal enough to affect one individually unless connected to houses. Aspects between the personal planets (no outer planet involved) I see as personality traits but not serious enough to be considered karmic issues. However, if the aspect is between an outer planet and a personal one, I pay careful attention to that and give it a lot of weight...again seeing the slower planet as modifying the faster planet whether it's natal or transiting.
For instance, Pluto Square Venus I'd interpret as "intense and possibly controlling or obsessive (Pluto) in personal relationships (Venus)." However, instinctively, I'd look to the houses they rule and occupy to add much more to that interpretation. If, for instance, they are connected to the fourth and third, I might say that there were power struggles with the parents and siblings. I've been doing this habitually for so long, it is very difficult to isolate a couple planets and just make a generic statement. There are so many variables involved when you consider the whole chart and other influences on that aspect.
Last edited by Carole_Devine
on Sat Nov 07, 2009 9:42 am, edited 2 times in total.