I would like to continue discussing this aspect topic with my fellow astrologers, so those of you not into looking at yourself from the perspective of astrology better skip over this post. I wear several hats here.
As astrologers I would wager that none of those reading this would confuse a New Moon with a Full Moon and apply the same interpretation to these events. But I would not wager that that you would not give the same interpretation to Mars Square Saturn (waxing) and Mars Square Saturn (waning). In fact I would probably make money betting that you would interpret them the same. I used to do that too.
I am not an historian enough to know when (if ever) we astrologers slipped into the habit of interpreting an aspect as the same regardless as to whether it is waxing or waning. This would include Sextiles, Squares, Trines, and on down the line… Semi-Sextiles, Semi-Squares, Inconjuncts, and so on ad infinitum. But we are not so foolish that we would say that the waxing Square of the Sun-Moon is equivalent to the waning Square, that the First Quarter Moon was the same as a Fourth-Quarter Moon, and so on. But with planets we do this all the time.
Years ago I broke that habit and spent (actually) several years intensely studying the phases (aspects) that make up a cycle (or circle) and came out of that research with a very different opinion to the one I went in with and had been taught, that a Square is a Square is a Square, and so on. They are not and never have been. How we drifted into that habit I wish I knew, but it is a bad habit. And worse, we are throwing away crucial information that we need to properly interpret aspects.
Astrology has been repeatedly called “The Study of Cycles” and circles or cycles are a lot of what astrology is all about. Every cycle has phases. The Monthly cycle of the New and Full Moon is divided into quarters and even eighths. In fact, in India and Tibet the lunar cycle is divided into 30 parts, each of which is good for something and the opposite points are, well, opposite in meaning. For example the 10th day in the monthly Tibetan lunar cycle is called Daka Day and is all about the male deities. In fact the whole first half of the solunar cycle is devoted to what are called the father-line deities. Conversely, the waning half of the lunar cycle in Tibet is for the mother-line deities and the day opposite to Daka Day is, you guessed it, Dakini Day. Daka Day is 120-degrees from the New Moon, and Dakini Day is 120-dgrees from the Full Moon. Think about that sometime.
My point here is that circles and cycles have phases and it is high time that western astrologers pay attention to whether the aspect they are looking at is waxing (first half of the cycle) or waning (second half of the cycle). The only exceptions are Conjunction and Opposition points and they are already properly polarized and interpreted as just that.
All of the interpretations I do take into consideration what I call the phase-angle of the aspect, whether it is ‘waxing’ (moving toward Opposition) or ‘waning’, moving toward Conjunction and the start of another cycle. I have implemented this in my own consultations, classes, writings, and programs so that a waxing Trine aspect is interpreted differently from a waning Trine aspect, and so on. Later today (hopefully) I will be releasing a free astrological program that interprets using full-phase aspects. It will work on mobile phones or desktops. You might like to play with it in terms of the above notes.
For those who want to read more about this approach, please see my free book “Astrology’s Mirror: Full-Phase Aspects” at this link: