Anonymous asked in Entertainment & MusicHoroscopes · 6 months ago

why do most astrologers accept the idea that when a planet is within 4 degrees it is "active"?  how true depending on "planet" involved?


talking about aspects forming...example a transit of moon to your uranus. why is it within 4 degrees it is active?

2 Answers

  • Anonymous
    6 months ago
    Favourite answer

    I don't pretend to speak for "most astrologers" but I think you've misstated what is generally accepted.  First a history lesson;

    Western astrology is Greek in origin by way of Babylon.  The Hellenistic Greeks developed horoscopic astrology. First, aspects were not considered by the Greeks as important as they are today.  Second they apparently believed (we are mostly relying on translations of translations and sometimes not even entire translations. Much is lost) that regardless of distance when two planets were in aspect by sign, there was an effect.  However recent scholarship has indicated this is more a theoretical position than a practical one.  They also believed the tighter the aspect the more powerful it was, and add to that, applying aspects are stronger than separating aspects. 

    This makes the above cited "four degree rule" arbitrary.  It isn't that there is no effect at greater than four degrees or that there is some kind of on and off switch that is activated at four degrees. It only means that, in the opinion of the astrologer that the effect of a planet is usually not worth bothering with if the separation is greater than four degrees.  I happen to agree with that, and don't bother with planets separated more than that unless there are compelling reasons, e.g. one of the planets is tightly conjunct the ASC or MC, or if one of the planets involved is the ruler of the ASC.  I'll look at a greater separation in those cases. 

    Considering how important modern astrologers think aspects are, I'm genuinely surprised most of them know so little about them and in particular, the concept of orbs.  Old astrologers taught their students, in their texts, to use huge orbs. But the word "orb" has changed its meaning over the centuries. First orbs were assigned to planets, not aspects.  Secondly what we call an orb, they called a moiety.  It worked this way.  Let's say Jupiter has an orb of 10 degrees.  That meant if Jupiter was within 5 degrees applying or 5 degrees separating it was within orb.  The orb was 10 degrees, but the five degrees was called a moiety. One 17th century astrologer gave the Sun an orb of 36 degrees! That was 18 applying and 18 separating.  However, in the many examples in his voluminous text, he never used anything approaching that distance. Like the Greeks, his orb "rules" were more theoretical than practical. 

    I cannot recall seeing a single chart that required the use of more than about 3 or four aspects. There is so much else that reveals so much more than aspects, I can't understand why they are so damn popular.  

    The transiting Moon travels between roughly 12 and 15 degrees per day (don't quote me. Look that up if you need to). That puts it in and out of the four-degree range in a few hours - a half day max.   Why worry about it?

  • ?
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    Are you talking about  the orb for the impact of a transiting planet?  That is generally accepted as being a 4-degree orb, although with the outer, slower planets, sometimes you can see an affect as much as 5 degrees of orb at the last contact.

    Why do we accept that idea?  A GOOD astrologer doesn't take anyone's word for it ... they follow charts for many people that they personally know, and observe and understand from observation which concepts work and which don't.  Four degrees of orb for a transit is accurate.

    BUT ... the faster-moving the planet is, the less it affects us. And the shorter the time that transit is in effect.

    And the slower a planet moves (Saturn, on out), the more it affects us as it gets towards the end of that transit (which can last 2 to 5 years, depending on which planet it is).

    Transits primarily affect how WE react internally, and while that MAY cause us to act in ways that affect outer areas of our life, sometimes the only impact is internal.

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