Planetary Motion in Astrology: Perfection in Horary Astrology

The Planets’ Movement in the Horoscope

Though it is easy to forget that the planets are in constant motion, because we see them frozen in time in a particular horoscope, it is very important to understand how the planets move and what this means. Now would be a good time to refresh your understanding of the relative speeds of the planets, as well as the meanings of the five major aspects (conjunction, sextile, trine, square, and opposition). If you’re comfortable with all of the above concepts, let’s get started.

Here are a few cardinal rules and terms to engrave in your brain (figuratively speaking):


1. APPLICATION.

Faster planets apply to aspects with slower planets.

Example: The Moon, which is the fastest planet, is at 10° Cancer. Jupiter, which is much slower than the Moon, is at 13° Cancer. The Moon is applying to a conjunction with Jupiter in 3°.


2. APPLICATION (another way to think about it).

Slower planets are applied to by faster planets.

Example: Saturn, the slowest planet, at 3° Capricorn, will be squared by the faster Jupiter at 2° Libra. Saturn is applied to by Jupiter.


3. SEPARATION.

Faster planets separate from aspects to slower planets.

Example: The Moon is now at 15° Cancer, leaving slower Jupiter in the dust at 13° Cancer. The Moon has just separated from a conjunction with Jupiter.


4. VOID OF COURSE.

If a planet will not aspect or be aspected by another planet as long as it is in the same sign, that planet is Void of Course.

Example: The Moon is at 17° Cancer and will not make a Ptolemaic aspect to any other planet before it enters the next sign, Leo. The Moon is Void of Course.


5. FERAL.

If a planet will not aspect or be aspected by another planet the whole time it is in a sign, it is not just Void Of Course, it is feral.

Example: The Moon is at 0° Cancer, and all of the other planets are in Leo. The Moon will not make any aspects until it enters Leo, and therefore it is feral for as long as it is in Cancer.


6. TRANSLATION OF LIGHT #1.

When planet A aspects planet B, and then A goes on to aspect planet C, planet A is translating the light between planets B and C.

Example: The Moon at 15° Cancer has just conjoined Jupiter at 13° Cancer, and will next conjoin Venus at 17° Cancer. The Moon is translating the light from Jupiter to Venus, though Venus and Jupiter themselves will not form an aspect, because Venus is faster and is already ahead of Jupiter.


7. TRANSLATION OF LIGHT #2.

When planet A aspects planet B, and then B goes on to aspect planet C, that is also translation of light. In this case, it is B which is doing the translating between A and C.

Example: Mercury at 20° Gemini sextiles Mars at 20° Aries. Mars then squares Jupiter at 21° Cancer. Mars has just translated the light from Mercury to Jupiter. Note that Mercury could not aspect Jupiter, since one is in Gemini and the other is in Cancer, and therefore cannot form any of the five Ptolemaic aspects.


8. COLLECTION OF LIGHT.

When the slower planet A is first aspected by faster planet B and another faster planet C, planet A has collected the light of planets B and C.

Example: Saturn, the slowest of all planets, is at 20° Aquarius. It is first conjoined by Mercury in Aquarius, and then trined by Venus at 20° Libra. Saturn has just collected the lights of Mercury and Venus. Observe that Mercury and Venus would not form an aspect in their current signs, as Mercury is faster than Venus, and is already ahead of her and separating.


9. PROHIBITION #1.

When planet A is applying to aspect planet B, but before A can get to B, A aspects or is aspected by planet C, this is called prohibition. C has prohibited the aspect between A and B by getting in the way.

Example: The Moon is at 20° Libra, applying to conjoin Venus at 23° Libra. Before it can do so, the Moon will trine Mercury at 21° Gemini. Mercury has prohibited the aspect between the Moon and Venus.


10. PROHIBITION #2.

When planet A is applying to aspect planet B, but before A can get to B, B aspects or is aspected by planet C. This is also prohibition. C has prohibited the aspect between A and B.

Example: Jupiter at 10 degrees Sagittarius is applying to sextile Saturn at 12 degrees Aquarius. Before Jupiter can perfect the aspect, the Sun conjuncts Saturn in Aquarius. The Sun has prohibited the sextile between Jupiter and Saturn from perfecting.