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.
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.“
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.
- Put a hand over one eye.
- With your remaining eyeball, come close to the screen and focus on the + symbol.
- 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.
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 antiscia or contra-antiscia. That includes:
Adjacent aversion/Semi-sextile mitigation
- 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.