When you bring together two people who are nothing alike, what happens? Will there be an instant dislike? A clashing of the minds? A fiery battle? In some cases, yes. However, sometimes these polar opposites can surprise each other. Perhaps they'll find out they have more in common than they initially thought. Maybe they can teach each other something. In the end, they may even realize they complete each other. So, what is an opposition in astrology? Think of it as two very different people sitting down for a debate. You have no way of knowing which direction it will take, which is exactly what makes it so exciting.
An opposition is an aspect in astrology. Aspects describe the way in which planets are communicating with each other and how well they understand each other’s energies. When you look at a circle chart, you’ll notice a mess of lines and angles darting across the graph — these are aspects. Astrologers typically keep an eye on the five major aspects: trines, sextiles, squares, conjunctions, and oppositions. While there are tons of other minor aspects the planets can make with each other, these five pack the biggest punch. Oppositions are formed between signs that are directly opposite each other on the wheel, forming an aspect line that bisects the circle. Say you have the moon sitting in Cancer, while Mars is in Capricorn, so the moon and Mars are forming an opposition.
This aspect is not the most cut-and-dry when it comes to significations. Do opposites really attract? Or are their innate differences too much to handle? Below, astrologers break down exactly what oppositions mean when it comes to your birth chart, synastry, and planetary transits.
What Are Aspects In Astrology?
More importantly, why should you care? After all, you’ve already got the signs and planets to consider. Isn’t that enough? As usual in matters of astrology, there are still plenty of ways to complicate things further. According to professional astrologer Dalanah of the Moon Matters podcast, aspects are what make astrology personal and real. “There are really four parts to astrology,” she tells Elite Daily. “The first is zodiac signs, and then you have planets, and then houses, and then aspects,” she continues. And the more you work with them, according to Dalanah, the more they become these refining factors that add tons of detail to the chart. “I like to say that aspects have all the tea,” Dalanah previously explained.
Aspects can be seen as the relationship between planets and their attitudes with each other. Dalanah likes to think of it as a conversation, where the aspect is describing the tone of the discussion. Do the planets get what the other is saying? Do they agree? Are they able to blend their energies and work together smoothly?
Aspects can occur in several contexts, all meaning different things. First, there’s your birth chart. Aspects here will tell you about yourself as far as your personal challenges and strengths and fine-tune your whole chart. You can also look for aspects between two people’s charts in what’s called synastry, aka compatiblity. Both of these areas are constants — aspects here stay the same no matter what the planets are doing in real time. But you can also watch how the planets are moving in the sky to get an idea of the overall vibes for a certain period of time.
Dalanah breaks the five major aspects up into “harmonic” and “dynamic” aspects rather than the common “hard” and “soft” classifications to avoid the “good [and] bad” connotations. “It puts people in the mindset of ‘Oh, I have a bunch of squares, that means my chart is bad’ and that’s really not the case,” she previously told Elite Daily. Instead, think of dynamic aspects (squares and oppositions) as lessons — they take work and they bring action, but ultimately lead to growth. Whereas harmonic aspects (trines and sextiles) are more flowy conversations between planets who naturally understand each other’s energies, conjunctions can fall into either category, depending on the planets involved. Ideally, a birth or synastry chart would be balanced with both harmonic and dynamic aspects.
What Is An Opposition In Astrology?
When two planets are opposite each other, they're situated 180 degrees away from each other and six zodiac signs apart. When in the midst of an opposition, two planets could not be farther away from each other, and yet they're still deeply connected. This immense distance they share grants them two very different perspectives. As a dynamic aspect, the planets are not seeing eye-to-eye here. “But instead of dancing around each other [like in a square], they’re staring straight at each other and just being like, ‘I’m not moving. I’m looking right at you and I don’t care what you have to say,’” Dalanah says. It’s a stubborn, immovable force, she adds. “It’s very much fighting for dominance or power ... It’s like, ‘We’re facing off right now, we couldn’t be more opposite.’”
Not only are the signs opposite each other, but the houses they’re in are also opposites. For example, the first house is known as the house of the “self,” while its opposite house, the seventh, is known as the house of the “other.” “So, even what they stand for in the areas of your lives are opposing,” Dalanah explains. This aspect can almost be seen as more intense than a square because it’s so intentional and confrontational — the planets are staring each other down rather than just feeling uncomfortable bumping shoulders.
However, even if these planets believe they have nothing in common, what they may not immediately realize is that the other planet contains what they lack. If they can bridge the gap between them and come to an understanding, it can result in so much growth.
Oppositions Happening In The Sky
Transits can tell you what to expect on a daily basis. You’re looking at the sky and seeing what the planets are doing and what aspects they’re making with each other. This is how astrologers write horoscopes, according to Dalanah. This information is key to understanding what type of energy will be affecting the collective and yourself more specifically when you look at aspects to your natal placements. “You could look at it in terms of the weather,” Miami-based astrologer Valerie Mesa tells Elite Daily. “Do we take our bathing suit, or do we stay at home and order pizza?”
The amount of time an aspect between celestial bodies lasts and is felt depends on the planets involved. When you look at the slower-moving outer planets, like Saturn or Jupiter, you’re seeing the topics of longer-term global events and shifts. For a look at how your mood might be for the day, you’d note the aspects that the fast-moving inner planets are making, like the moon. The moon zips through signs in about two and a half days, so the energy is constantly changing.
One opposition that occurs monthly? The full moon, which is when the moon is opposite the sun. “That is a call for balance, but it is also why we feel so heavy or uncomfortable, or that emotional intensity whenever there’s a full moon because the sun, our ego, is sitting directly across from the moon, which is our inner world,” Mesa explains.
As another example, take Mercury and the sun. “In general, that would mean the two intellects are at odds with each other,” explains Dalanah. “The sun wants to be center stage — it’s like, ‘I am the spiritual intellect, I am your soul, listen to me.’ And Mercury is like, “Well, I’m your higher mind, I am your actual intellect, listen to me.”
When the sun is opposing Mercury, the two have to figure out how to move together and understand each other while they’re feuding over who’s right. This clashing energy might have you struggling to get out what you want to say or saying things in ways you don’t mean to. “The sun is saying one thing and Mercury is saying another thing, and it might just come out either wrong or egotistical ... because [both planets] are trying to exert so much influence,” Dalanah explains.
Oppositions In A Natal Chart
When you have an opposition in your birth chart, it can certainly be something to be proud of. This means you've got two very different energies within your personality, and it can be an incredibly empowering and motivating aspect. However, it's something you need to learn to control before it controls you. An opposition can manifest as an internal struggle, which leads you to behavior that can be contradicting. Perhaps you act one way but feel another. Maybe you feel torn between two different instincts. If you can strike a balance between these polar opposite planets in your birth chart, you'll realize this opposition actually grants you with a very deep and expansive understanding.
Take the sun and Mars, for example. When these two are opposite each other in a natal chart, it can deliver a loud or intensely excitable energy that can come off as intimidating. You have the sun, who’s always trying to be the main character, absolutely going at it with bold and action-packed Mars. “It can make [you] very impulsive, very rash, and aggressive,” Dalanah explains. “But when channeled properly, [it’s] great,” she adds, suggesting lots of physical activity and creative pursuits for someone with this aspect. It’s all about finding the right outlet for the excess energy that will please both planets. “Finding a common goal for both of them is very important,” Dalanah says.
When you have an opposition in your birth chart, it means two planets are never allowing each other to rest, but that can mean they refuse to stop watching you grow.
Oppositions In Synastry
When it comes to romantic synastry, having oppositions can turn up the heat, depending on which planets are involved. Say your Venus — the planet of love and beauty — is opposing their Mars — all about aggression and passion. “That can be a little spicy,” Dalanah tells Elite Daily. “It’s never bad to have Mars and Venus [in aspect] as far as sexual attraction goes, but seeing as they are opposing each other, that could very much be a bad romance as well,” she continues. It could end up being a tumultuous ride because one person’s Mars is wanting one thing, while the other’s Venus wants the exact opposite. It’s important for these people to find common ground because they can be prone to heated arguments.
Those significations are dialed up even more when you have Mars opposing Mars. It’s aggression going to bat with aggression. “Opposing Marses is like, ‘We’re fighting.’ Everything you say is a fighting word,” notes Dalanah. With Mars and Venus, the situation is soothed. “Mars has a soft spot for Venus ... It can be a little more coy,” she explains, “but when it’s just Mars and Mars, there’s no coy ... It doesn’t mean they’re doomed; there’s just a lot of rage and passion that needs somewhere to go.” When you are on the same page, this pairing can be quite beautiful and unstoppable.
On the less confrontational side, say you have an opposition between your moon and their Venus. “This is one where there’s a lot of compassion and understanding, but it might be misplaced,” Dalanah tells Elite Daily. And because the moon is your emotions, it can also be manipulative. “If you’re not careful, instead of being loud in outbursts like Mars is, [this relationship] could be very passive-aggressive because it’s [also] Venus,” she continues. Venus is not going to want to outright say something to you, but neither is the moon. When they’re in opposition, there may be some missed feelings or feelings of not being seen. “But at the same time, if you work through it and you find that common goal, then your feelings flow really well,” adds Dalanah, noting that both the moon and Venus want things to be smooth and flowy.
The beauty in an opposition is that you truly have no idea how the energy will play itself out. All you can do is try to open your mind to a different attitude and hope you can come to an agreement.
Valeria Mesa, professional astrologer, soul coach, and writer
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