Squares and Oppositions

Like many of the articles on this site, this contribution from Jim Buss also appeared on the original Concordance website.

Concordance Squares and Oppositions
Jim Buss

The Squares (90-degree angles) and Oppositions (180-degree angles) in The Harmonic Concordance
chart is a wonderful topic, because they’re a central point of difference between traditional
materialistic karmic Newtonian-Cartesian astrology on the one hand, and spiritual energy-oriented,
roll-yer-own-reality “quantum” astrology on the other.

The Squares…

Squares represent energy, and energy is spirit.  To a slightly lesser extent, the same is true of Oppositions and conjunctions.  It’s an overgeneralization, but you could say that the more Squares and Oppositions (and conjunctions) a chart has, the more spirit has the entity being charted.

Even in traditional materialistic astrology it’s recognized that Trines and Sextiles need Squares to activate them, so this is not a new idea.  The crucial difference is this – from the materialistic perspective, Squares and Oppositions (taken together, the “hard aspects” in traditional astro-babble) and even conjunctions, can be disruptive.  If the goal of the entity being charted is materialism and stability and security and no change, then the hard aspects are “hard,” they’re challenging.  But if the goal of the entity being charted is energy and “juice” and excitement and transformation and change, then the “hard” aspects are the cat’s meow.

The Oppositions and Mystic Rectangles…

While we can see a Star of Dave as two interlocking grand Trines (which *really* need Squares to get them off their duffs), we can also see it as three interlocking “mystic rectangles.”  Rael & Rudhyar tell us to start our interpretation of a mystic rectangle by examining the Oppositions, because they hold the dynamics of the configuration.  The opposition symbolizes duality, and the spiritual function of duality is awareness.  In the “perennial philosophy” (a summary of the common elements of the world’s mythologies), awareness – consciousness – is generally considered a positive phenomenon, a path toward enlightenment.

The essence of awareness is the understanding that duality is a property of the observing intellect, not a property of the observed reality.  Duality dissolves when one moves from the mind to the heart.  In religious and political dogma, manipulation of the faithful depends on control of the dualities through fear and anger, and in that realm, awareness means the game is over.  So yes, by all means, to vampires Oppositions are as dangerous as sunrise.

Let’s look at the three Harmonic Concordance Oppositions – the illumination of the unity of [1] desire (Mars) and vulnerability (Jupiter), of [2] identity (Saturn) and healing (Chiron), of [3] intention (Sun) and emotion (Moon).  Sounds pretty good to me, almost like a line from the musical “Hair.”  Substitute other keywords for each planet if you like.  Taking the three mystic rectangles, we’re looking at unifying [1] desire and vulnerability and identity and healing, [2] desire and vulnerability and intention and emotion, and [3] identity and healing and intention and emotion.  It’s important to take a moment to visualize what each of those three integrations might look like, feeling the possibility in your body, rather than just reading them.  So then the Grand Sextile unifies desire, vulnerability, identity, healing, intention, and emotion.  Feel that one in your body!

The T-Squares…

And each of the HC Oppositions is blessed with a “t-square” – a planet (or several) at the halfway point, making a square to either end of the Oppositions.  Rudhyar used to say that the square was the evolutionary edge for hu-persons, because it was not open to intellectual analysis.  A square must beexperienced; thinking about it doesn’t do the job.  Consequently, in an intellectually-oriented culture, a square implies tension, creative tension.  It’s an invitation – often a compulsion – to risk moving beyond fear into new arenas of experience.

A square is the kind of energy you love to have in your own chart because it eliminates boredom and exposes you to the possibility of excitement – and the kind of energy you don’t want in your children’s charts because you want to *protect* them from experience.

Unfortunately, life don’t work that way on this Planet, protection actually backfires.  The spiritual function of protection, is to prevent us from facing and loving our anxiety before we’re ready to do it.  A square is the most spiritual relationship two planets can have, because Squares must be *lived* in the first person present tense.  No substitutions allowed.

The t-square, like experience of all kinds, moves by trial and error.  The t-square is The Fool archetype in Tarot, demanding the courage to do things in new ways.  In the old paradigm the “expert” was someone who learned from other people’s experience how to do everything right the first time, never having the courage to make a mistake.  In the new paradigm the “expert” is someone who has tried all the alternatives, someone who knows that the concept of “mistake” is a political manipulation, an attempt to control and prevent experience and learning.  The t-square is like Uranus – disruptive to materialism, inspiring to creativity, and ecstatic to spirit.

It’s Neptune that t-Squares the eclipse itself, giving us the opportunity to learn how to integrate spirit (Neptune) with intention (Sun) and emotion (Moon), by *living* all three in one breath.

It’s Pallas Athena that t-Squares Saturn-Chiron, providing the opportunity to integrate boundaries (Pallas) with identity (Saturn) and healing (Chiron), by exploring how the role of protection has changed.

The Goddess Party…

And best of all, it’s Venus, Vesta, Juno, Ixion, and Pluto that t-square Mars-Jupiter.  Remember that this is a yang-planet- dominated Star of Dave in yin signs.  And here we have a trio of essential yin, abetted by Pluto (relentlessness) and his neighbor Ixion (thinning of the veil).  This is such an opportunity to explore integration of the feminine (Venus) with the sacred (Vesta), the masculine (Mars), vulnerability and expansiveness (Jupiter), relentlessness (Pluto), and insight (Ixion), that I consider it the symbol for the end of the patriarchy.

When such profound changes in our realities are afoot, it’s inevitable that evolution in our relationships occurs as well, because we depend so heavily on our relationships to hold our reality steady.  The change of paradigms that we’re in the midst of, is as big as the shift at the time of Christ, from the Age of Aries to the Age of Pisces.  The Venus-Mars square in this third t-square, is waning, and a waning square implies an opportunity to release old ideas in order to open space for new ones.  *Not* a challenge to accept new ideas, but a challenge to tolerate a void while we clear away old notions but haven’t yet received new ones.  The more void we tolerate, the more of the new seed we germinate.

The Change…

This Venus-Mars cycle is the most significant and influential cycle in 35 years, and it is about change.  Change in our relationships, and most important, change in the internal relationship between our inner male and our inner female, between the way we act dynamically to create what we want, and the way we magnetize it to us.  The preceding Venus-Mars conjunction, in Gemini, involved Saturn, Pluto, and the Moon’s Nodes.  The opposition occurred the same day as Mars’s 60,000-year perigee.

The involvement of Jupiter and Vesta and Juno and Pluto and Ixion in this waning square implies a particularly profound void and a particularly profound change in the new seed that will be planted at the end of 2004.  The end of five millennia of patriarchy is a profound change.  The essence of a square is energy, and energy is unmanifest into form.  The waxing square provides the potential to manifest, and the waning square the potential to unmanifest.

A lunar eclipse brings light into the darkness, but often takes 18 months to unfold.  This lunar eclipse is about the process of manifestation into form (Taurus) and the role of passion (Scorpio) in that process, the unification of manifestation and passion.  What is hidden now about co-creation, will be revealed over the next 18 months.  It will be 14 months before this Venus-Mars cycle emerges from it’s phase of darkness, a darkness deepened by Pluto and Ixion and Juno and Vesta and Jupiter.  Our relationships have changed enormously since the Venus-Mars conjunction of May 2002, and they will change as much again between now and 2005.  Our relationship to reality has likewise changed enormously, and it too will change as much again – if we let it.

The Void…

The keys to enduring the void phase of any planetary cycle are Faith and  Trust.  The temptations of this phase, which dominates 2004 (though there are many other lights in 2004 as well), include doubt, worry, anxiety, impatience, compromise, disillusionment, and despair.  It is important that we learn to detect these states and shift them, because indulging them will recreate realities we want to change, and limit our openness to the new.

There are at least three good alternatives to these states.  One is to hold the vision of the world we wish to create.  Difficult under disillusionment and despair, but all the more powerful in those states because of the passion that’s invested in disillusion and despair.

Two is to simply recognize the void.  Imagine meditating in the dark quiet of empty space, letting the intellectual and emotional noise be swallowed by the vastness of space.  Feel the energy that permeates the void.  Shamanic power is the willingness and ability to be present with energy *as energy* until the appropriate time comes to direct it.

Three is recognize that you are a lens that magnifies whatever you focus on.  Without denying the “lower” states that are trying to swallow you, focus on Love.  That’s the ultimate healing for ourselves and the Planet, being present for the worst while holding the energy of Love.

The Outsiders…

There is one other t-square that’s not involved in the Grand Sextile – Mercury opposite the Moon’s North Node, t-square to Uranus.  Here we unify mind (Mercury) and mission (North Node), while receiving the opportunity to explore inspiration (Uranus).  This one takes on added importance by *not* being part of the grand configuration.

And finally, all of the planets and lights and major asteroids are involved in these high-energy relationships to one another, save one.  That in itself makes this an exceptional chart, so pregnant with energy and possibility.  Which planet or asteroid is left out?  Ceres!  Mother Earth is the observer here, watching to see what we do with all this energy, watching to see if we decompose into grief about losing our consensus political materialism, or rise into ecstasy over gaining new access to our essence as spirit.


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