How to Harness the Friction that Arises with a Square or Opposition

How to Harness the Friction that Arises with a Square or Opposition

“Hello it’s me, your ex.
I didn’t want to call
But there’s this pain in my chest.”
Mars square Pluto
as seen in Galantis’
Heartbreak Anthem

Red lines are called hard aspects due to the tension that’s created when you have a square (90-degree relationship) or an opposition (180-degree relationship) between planets. In figure 1, the hypothetical points A & B are square to each other, as are points B & C. Points A & C are opposed each other.

Figure 1.
ic: Astrological T-square configuration

Figure 1 actually depicts a configuration called a T-square. This occurs when two squares (A & B plus B & C) are joined together by an opposition (A & C). T-squares are so intense because they include the friction that is generated from 3 separate hard aspects.

The term hard as astrological shorthand is sometimes treated as though it means difficult - like the situation in the opening quote - when that doesn’t have to be how these energies play out. Squares and oppositions can feel difficult when the dynamic is unconscious but with practice, hard aspects are actually a huge asset in terms of the energy they make available to you. They’re capable of generating a lot of momentum, and it’s really a matter of directing it properly.  "Intense" would better describe how it might feel to direct the energy consciously, and "difficult" would better describe how life feels when the native neglects to handle the aspect at all.
Figure 2.
ic: Double T-square configuration

In figure 2, we added another T-square configuration: the same principles are at play, but there are now two additional squares (C & D plus D & A) and one additional opposition (B & D). This would indicate an extremely intense life experience with 6 separate hard aspects. Even without knowing any of the sign placements, we know it demands continual resolution of tension (the squares) in four separate instances and it also demands continual rebalancing of conflicting forces (the oppositions) in two separate instances.

Hard aspects are sometimes discussed as though they deserve a negative connotation because constant tension seems like a bad thing to have inside of a natal chart. That’s absolutely not true, and in this post we will discuss how to view them without this dualistic lens that can make people feel frustrated or just make it seem as though they got the short end of the stick.

A more precise way of talking about hard aspects is in terms of the friction that they create. From a strictly pragmatic standpoint, friction can produce a huge argument or it can also produce great sex - it just depends on how the energy is consciously (or unconsciously) channeled in the context of a situation.

In astrology, we’re dealing with potentials. There’s always the choice to use the energies at a higher or lower vibration. Let’s continue with one of my favorite examples - Mars square Pluto from the opening quote.  I sometimes refer to this as a “Bruce Lee aspect” because the incredible martial artist has this prominent aspect in his natal chart. He often chose to use this energy constructively, but as with any aspect, the energy can be used at any frequency, meaning that it also has the potential to be destructive.

Remember, these are two heavy hitting planets - Mars in terms of will, aggression and drive which is constantly going up against Pluto, the planet of chaos, domination and destruction. Without conscious awareness, this can manifest as arguments, violence, power struggles, or even abuse.

With conscious awareness, however, the native can have the wisdom to harness this incredibly powerful momentum through a creative channel, just as Bruce Lee did with martial arts. Hundreds or thousands of times a day, he landed punches and kicks (Mars) in a controlled display of power (Pluto) and successfully channeled this native aspect into something that was powerfully constructive instead of powerfully destructive.

That was his choice for what to do with the square's energy. Some people with this native hard aspect allow the destructive tendency to overtake them, or they try to pretend that the friction isn’t giving them trouble at all - which results in this “toxic positivity” phenomenon that’s an unproductive use of a square/opposition. There’s no real ROI in pretending the energy away, just like there’s no point in covering up your natural gifts.

You can’t get rid of the energy itself because energy doesn’t disappear, but you can change the form it takes. You can transmute emotional frustration into a psychological breakthrough or turn anxiety into innovation in a very short time with energies like these. They’re that powerful - these squares & oppositions light a fire under you so that you learn this process quickly.

What a gift that is!

If you'd like to learn about working with soft aspects, you can check out the blog post here. To dive even deeper inside of the world of chart interpretation, you can check out Foundations of Planetary Myths to learn these astrological principles from the ground up. Students complete the course in 112 days with just 15-20 minutes of learning time per day.

The level one course includes a bonus Saturn Return Module ($99 value) - free with your course purchase. This means you can begin learning to interpret planetary transits along with natal aspects. Many people fear the Saturn return, but this is totally unnecessary - it actually helps you capitalize on and work with your limitations. It gives you more latitude & creative freedom. It lets you define your own curriculum of life challenges in a way that feels spiritually cathartic instead of frustrating.

If you want concrete examples of how your life obstacles are on the way instead of in the way - showing you how to shape all aspects of your life into new creative forms - then purchase the course and take the 3-month self-educational journey now! True self-knowledge awaits you on the other side.


Enjoy the process!


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