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Dissociate (out-of-sign) aspects

Usually, aspects between planets occur when they are in particular signs of the zodiac. Squares to your Saturn in Aries, for instance, will usually involve planets in Cancer or Capricorn.

However, sometimes planets can be in aspect to each other even when they are in the “wrong” signs. It has to do with aspect orbs, the amount of “wiggle room” you allow between two planets that are close to, but not quite in exact aspect to each other.

For instance, say the Moon in your birth chart is at 28 degrees Aquarius, and Mars is at 2 degrees Gemini. If you glanced at this and simply noted the signs involved, you’d say, “Great, a nice trine between the Moon and Mars!”

But look more closely. 28 Aquarius is just two degrees away from being in Pisces, and thus only four degrees away from 2 Pisces – which forms an exact square (90 degrees) to Mars at 2 Gemini. Nearly all astrologers would consider an orb of four degrees to fall into the acceptable range for a square aspect.

These “out-of-sign” aspects are called dissociate aspects. They can take a little practice to find, but if you begin by keeping your eye on relationships between planets that are at the very beginning or very end of their signs, you’ll find most of them.

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