Aspects of Life

Maritha Pottenger


These are generally short term contacts. The transiting Moon moves in and out of aspects in a few hours while the progressed Moon usually holds aspects only about two months. Directed aspects can be longer (e.g. solar arc directions last about two years).

The focus is on dealing with one’s nurturing and dependency needs. Often, this entails shifts in the home environment, including moving and establishing a new domestic scene. It can include changes in one’s relationship to the mother or mother figure or alterations in one’s own role as a mother or provider of loving care. People often deal with closeness issues during such periods. They may end up becoming more nurturing (consciously or unconsciously). Situations such as the sudden care of aged and ailing parents can be such a manifestation. Or, people may end up more dependent, more emotionally involved with others, open and vulnerable to caring. In the extended sense, the Moon is our homeland, including the basic land and physical house. So, patriotic activities, real estate, home furnishings could be a part of the focus. The Moon also traditionally relates to women (as society’s major nurturers) and to the public in general. Thus, Moon aspects could also be pointing to activity involving the general public or especially women in the life. In the psychological sense, however, it relates to integrating our capacity for emotional closeness—to care for and to be cared for by others.

A major problem in today’s society is that many men project their lunar qualities onto the women in their lives. Afraid to feel, unwilling to face vulnerability, they define gentleness and nurturance as “womanly” and ruthlessly repress their own capacities for softness. Then they criticize women for overdoing compassion, emotionality, etc. As one author has written, “The woman most in need of liberation is the woman imprisoned within each man.” Until men allow, acknowledge AND appreciate lunar qualities within themselves (and within women), we will have a patriarchal, overly competitive, warring society. (And, until women allow, acknowledge AND appreciate Martian and solar qualities within themselves, women will be victims.)

When the aspect is a conjunction, an extra strong focus on these areas is likely. We may be more “emotional” during that period, more open to our deeper feelings, desires for connections with others. With oppositions, our closeness needs are in conflict in some way. House and sign placements along with other aspects will give clues. Our child side might be in conflict with our parent side. We might wish to be warm and nurturing, but also feel we should be more realistic and practical, teaching others about consequences. With any opposition, we look for the middle ground—the ability to do both sides in a comfortable synthesis.

With stress aspects (square, quincunx, octile and trioctile), we are seeking ways to integrate our various emotional needs. With harmony aspects, there is likelihood of inner agreement about how, when, where we should share intimately with others.

It is important to remember that the outer reflects the inner. Thus, if we have dealings with a mother or mother figure during such periods, it is an appropriate outer manifestation of the symbolism of lunar aspects. But what is most important is how we deal with our “inner mother.” We are being given an opportunity to integrate our handling of dependency and nurturance issues. We are offered the option of becoming more comfortable with our capacity for emotional closeness, both on the receiving and on the giving ends.


This conjunction is often seen as a “seed” time—when we first plant the seed, before the issue is fully realized. It is considered a time of new beginnings, especially in terms of cycles. One major cycle begins when the progressed Moon conjoins the progressed Sun (about every thirty years). The nature of the new cycle is clarified by the house, sign and aspects of the Sun-Moon conjunction. This blend symbolizes a union of past and future. We close old chapters as we start new ventures. We learn to integrate our emotional security needs, our old habit patterns and dependencies with our growth potentials, the arenas in which we wish to shine and do more than we have done before. Each can support the other, if we do not turn it into a battle, or attempt to choose one side over the other.

A very warm, caring combination, this blend is often involved with children and the inclination to have children. There is an intense focus on loving and being loved. However, the fire and water must be comfortably combined, knowing when to express and go out and when to hold back and hold in emotionally for our own security and that of others.

In terms of our own mother or mother figure, the combination suggests a mother who is teaching us about dynamism, charisma and being a star. Mother could be exciting, magnetic and onstage a lot. She could also be childish and self-centered, wanting life solely on her terms—the queen role. Mother provides a positive or negative role model for us to learn about being special, about self-esteem, about pride. There is often a great love bond, but sometimes a love-hate feeling when the power drive symbolized by the Sun interferes with the loving. We may see our own mother as a child at times. Positively, this indicates the potential of great playfulness, spontaneity, and pure joy in life. Negatively, it can indicate chronic self-centeredness, a determination to have life revolve around that individual, an abuse of power, magnetism, etc. Unfinished business with our own mother is also, potentially, worked out through our children. That is, one or more of our children may act in such a way as to bring up the same issues (around power, pride, self-esteem, etc.) that we had with Mom. If we liked our mother, and like that exciting, dynamic side of ourselves, we get along with that child. But if we have not accepted that part of our own being, we will have problems, especially when the child overdoes that energy.

The “hard” aspects indicate inner conflict between our need to be a star, significant, applauded and admired versus our need to care for or be cared for in a safe, secure context. This could manifest in a number of ways. We could be torn between staying home and doing some risk-taking, speculative activities in the world. We could feel the conflict between our role as a caretaker and our role as a person of importance and admiration in the world. We might externalize the conflict in terms of arguments between our mother and our child(ren). It is usually a fairly easy blend to achieve, as both sides want warmth, caring, emotionality and response from others.

“Soft” aspects imply that it is easy to make the integration between past and future; inwardness and extraversion; the safe nest and the exciting limelight, etc.


With the conjunction, our emotional needs are tied to being efficient, productive and practical. We may work at being an even better mother, nurse, nanny or caretaker in some respect. We may incorporate more supportive qualities in our working environment. We may incorporate a more efficient approach in our domestic environment. We may devote ourselves to motherhood as a career. If our productive side is frustrated, we may unconsciously retreat to illness as a way to avoid feeling guilty for not working.

In terms of our mother or mother figure, the conjunction suggests mother is teaching us about efficient functioning. If she did that positively, she is a role model for work—not necessarily the particular job or career we pursue, but our attitudes about work, our feelings about what entails doing a good job, doing it right. If it was not so positive, she may have worked, and we might have felt neglected due to her dedication to work. Or, she may have applied the work attitude—critical, judgmental, flaw-finding, and we may have felt that no matter what we did, it was never good enough. Or, she may have retreated into illness, giving us the negative role model (of inefficient functioning) so we learned to work early by taking care of her.

Where the challenge aspects are involved, we may set up work and home in conflict with each other. We may feel torn between realism and compassion. We may be unsure about when to be hard-nosed and when to be supportive and protective. We may externalize and deal with issues of emotionality, dependency and nurturance through colleagues and co-workers. Or, we could face issues of efficiency, criticism and discrimination through interactions with a mother, mother figure or anyone in our home.

With harmony aspects, the potential is good for us being able to blend our pragmatic side with our warm and giving side, to integrate work and home in our lives.


Though a natural square, the conjunction is not too difficult to handle since both sides want some closeness. It is just a question of degree. We are learning when and where to seek the Moon style of closeness which is absorbing, intimate, swallowing up; and when and where to seek the Juno or Pallas style of closeness which is equalitarian, more detached, some space and intellectual. The mind is balanced with the emotions.

Some of this learning may occur through reaching a peer relationship with our own mother or mother figure (directly or in terms of our emotional response to her). This is the potential of mother as partner—either early on or eventually. Negative forms of one-to-one interactions can include an overly competitive relationship with our mother. Mother is teaching us about equality, beauty, appearance and dealing with others. She may value attractiveness or nice things in life, or keeping things “looking good.” She may be too accommodating. She may demonstrate a real, natural empathy in relationships, an instinctive sense of justice and fair play. Of course if the partnership is reached with Mom, and it is extremely positive, it may be a barrier against looking to other people for partnerships. All of us need a mother, and all of us also need close peer relationships. We need to be able to share equally as well as being able to nurture and be nurtured.

Challenge aspects accentuate the need to work to make this integration, while harmony aspects suggest the likelihood of ease in combining the different sides. We still must be able to relate as equals as well as relating in a context similar to mother and child. Dangers can include turning what should be a partnership into a parent-child relationship with one person doing all the support, nurturance, emotional giving and security-providing. Another danger can be demanding equality in situations or with individuals where it is not appropriate. Another potential challenge is setting up the partnership relationship in competition with home, family or nesting needs. (In the external world, we may live this out as conflicts between a partner and our mother. But all such external conflicts simply mirror the need for us to make peace within our own psyches.) Giving and receiving nurturance; being able to take turns; being open to sharing on a variety of levels are important expressions of this combination.


This combination gets a lot of bad press. Admittedly emotional, our society has tended to reject emotionality along with all qualities defined as “feminine” in our traditional roles. Our current Western culture is not very skilled at dealing with feelings. Consequently, many people see feelings and their deeper emotions as evil or negative or a threat which one must constantly control and guard against.

Like all double water, the capacity for psychic openness, intuition and depth understanding is great. This can be an incredibly empathic combination. Water is our connection to the Universe on the unconscious level. This includes not just the personal unconscious, but the concept of the superconscious from Psychosynthesis and elsewhere. That has also been called the Higher Self or inner wisdom—a source of answers and understanding in life.

This depth confrontation of feelings is usually first met through the mother relationship. Some people experience their mothers as “smothering”—too intrusive, trying to read their minds, attempting to control all aspects of their lives and feelings. Some experience mother as incredibly empathic and knowing, tuning into their deepest needs and desires, and they likewise tuned in to her. Mother is particularly a role model for the handling of joint resources. She is giving us an example—positive or negative—about how to deal with sexuality, money and joint possessions and pleasures. If the tendency is abused, mother may be overly controlling and/or manipulative. If positively expressed, mother is capable of showing how to give, receive and share pleasure, in the context of an intimate relationship. There is the potential of reaching a sense of partnership with mother, an equal sharing of the physical things in life. But the sharing needs to be equal, for mutual gratification, not one taking advantage of another.

Stress aspects have the advantage of the natural trine between these two water factors. Dependency is a potential issue. Too much water can retreat from the world, curl up in a shell. Being TOO open and sensitive is possible. In the external forms, we may experience conflicts between mother and mate, or feel as if we are being forced to choose between them. We may be torn between devoting time and energy to our depth sharing in a one-to-one partnership versus time and energy to the nest, children, caretaking activities. We may feel conflicts between our (Pluto) need for self-analysis and depth exploration within our own psyche versus our instinct to nurture (or be nurtured by) others.

Harmony aspects suggest we are able to handle the depth focus and intense feelings of this combination. We know when to operate as a mate; when to relate as a parental figure. We have time to explore our inner world as well as share closely with those in our home. We are able to be equal with our mothers (if not in the actual situation, at least in terms of our feelings and attitudes about the interaction). We are able to care deeply, fully, from the very subterranean facets of our being and feel that intensity as a support, as a solid bedrock on which to live our lives.


Idealization of the mothering principle is an issue here. We may begin dealing with the issue with our own mothers. Options can include feeling that mother is perfect; feeling mother SHOULD HAVE BEEN perfect and being disappointed when she is human and not godlike; an absent or disappearing mother figure who is then created in fantasy—the ideal image of what she WOULD HAVE BEEN like. Or, we may deal with mothers with very high religious, ethical or moral standards, strong principles. Or mother involved with spiritual quests, educational fulfillment or love of travel (all of which might take her away from the nurturing role).

Regardless of our perceived experiences of being mothered, our goal is to be the perfect mother ourselves. This includes the option of: perfect or not at all! Some people will value their freedom tremendously, so excessively high standards in a given area allow them to say, “Since I cannot do it perfectly, I won’t even deal with that area.” In terms of children, Jupiter-Moon conjunctions can go to either extreme: none or many. If we turn children and motherhood into God, then the tendency is to overdo—how can one ever have too many if children are an ultimate value in life. If we say, “I only want perfect children, to be raised perfectly, brought into a perfect world,” the likelihood is having none.

This is a freedom-closeness conflict around the nest. People are torn between the desire for emotional closeness and the desire to seek the truth to the ends of the Earth. The mother figure could originally be a freedom or truth-seeker, and the child is likely to feel there was not enough closeness and emotional support. Or, the child who early on identifies with a need for independence will feel mother was too possessive and clinging. If the child identifies with a need for a secure, rooted nest, unconsciously s/he attracts a home in a foreign land, or one with frequent moves, or where people are constantly coming and going, supplying the intellectual stimulation and need for openness which is also there. If the child identifies too much with the need for freedom and the search for ultimate answers, s/he may run away from home (literally and figuratively), leaving what seems an overly constrictive nest to search for the meaning of existence.

Challenge aspects accentuate the need for integration. We have to pay more attention, work a little harder in order to make peace between our various and ambivalent sides. Harmony aspects suggest the blending will not be too difficult. Outer world possibilities do include the home in a foreign country; the home on the road (trailer); the intellectual home, etc. In some way, we look to take our home into the world of the mind, spiritual quests, wider horizons, etc. OR to bring that wider world into our home—through books, bright and challenging people, etc.

Mother gave us our first opportunity to deal with our desire for the ultimate, our quest for perfection. How we handled that early relationship gives us clues about our later reactions to this inner conflict. But we can ALWAYS change, and it is never to late to make peace. We merely need some stability, security, emotional rootedness and comfort along with a sense of freedom, an active mind, an unrestricted exploration of the world and seeking of answers, a yearning for the understanding of existence.


This is among the most abused of all combinations in traditional books. Basically, we are dealing with a natural opposition. Regardless of the aspect involved, that opposition must be confronted. Moon-Saturn contacts pit the archetype of conditional love against the archetype of unconditional love. But, like all oppositions, there is a natural partnership here. As with all polarities in astrology, we need both ends. Each has something the other lacks, and together they do much more, and more positively than either can do alone.

In terms of our own parents, the conjunction suggests in some way a mother/father blend. This can include parents who are somewhat alike. There may not be a strict role division between them. Father may do some of the nurturing. Mother may work, wield some of the authority in the home, be strong, etc. Or, one parent may have taken over (due to death, divorce or retreat by the other parent) and be, essentially, playing both roles.

Regardless of the role division, we experience through the parent(s) some combination of conditional (“You get what you’ve earned.”) and unconditional (“I take care of you because you are; you exist.”) love. Excessive unconditional love, where the parents do TOO MUCH for the children is just as destructive as excessive conditional love. The latter is what most textbooks expect—parents who are harsh, punitive, critical, judgmental, poor, or in some way not loving and supportive of the child. That is only one possibility.

It is also possible that the parents will spoil the child, giving too much. Such children grow up not really knowing or trusting their own strength, because mommy or daddy always did it for them. The outside world comes as a shock when they discover that the rest of the world will not take responsibility for them, care for them, and always protect them as mommy and daddy did.

Some parents make the optimum blend of conditional and unconditional love. People need unconditional love, affection, caring—especially when young—to build up a sense of trust in the world (“The world is a safe place.”) and a sense of self-esteem (“I am an ok person because my parents care for me.”) But, as people grow older, they need to face reality. They must become aware of the consequences of their actions. In order to live in a society with other people, we have to make some compromises. We cannot do just as we please, have everything we wish. So we learn about the rules of the game, about the limits of what is possible in the real, physical world. The reality (conditional love) parent teaches us about karma, in the basic sense: as ye sow, so shall ye reap. When we act in certain ways, we are rewarded. When we act in other ways, we are punished (or not rewarded). We eventually internalize parental attitudes and opinions in the form of our own conscience.

It is important, again, to remember that children are not little blank slates written on precisely by parents. Children interpret, perceive, misperceive and misconstrue what occurs in their lives. Thus, a child’s conscience is his/her INTERPRETATION and own personal version of what s/he has taken from parental actions, examples, attitudes, strictures, etc. Few parents would want to claim total responsibility for the consciences of their children.

Where an opposition is involved by aspect as well, the natural polarity is accentuated, and the need to find some form of integration. Commonly we experience this initially as “out there” in the world, in some way. Often, the child perceives (accurately or perhaps not so accurately) a separation between the parents—psychological, physical, etc. But this merely demonstrates (gives us an early role model and experience to learn about) our own internal conflict between dominance and dependency; loving support versus systematic consequences; home and family versus work in the world and outside accomplishments. The more we integrate our inner struggle, the less we need any outer struggles to demonstrate the issues for us.

Squares, quincunxes, octiles and trioctiles reemphasize the need to make peace between our inner mother and father. Trines, sextiles and semi-sextiles suggest that the blending process will not be too difficult, requiring less effort than the “hard” aspects.


This is another freedom versus closeness conflict. (It is a natural quincunx.) The Moon calls for a stable, secure, dependable nest and emotional sharing in the life. Uranus calls for intellectual stimulation, a totally open-ended situation, unbonded relationships and the freedom to be involved with anyone in the whole wide world.

With the conjunction, mother (or mother figure) is, in some way, teaching us about uniqueness, individuality, freedom and the mind. If not handled, we may experience her as too free, not really nurturing, perhaps too into friends, or group activities, or mental explorations or simply erratic and undependable. Or, if we identify with the freedom side, we experience her as too possessive and run away (in some fashion). The integration is mother as friend—equalitarian, open, communicative, sharing, being herself and encouraging ourselves to be whatever and whoever we wish.

In terms of the home, as with Jupiter, there is ambivalence. A part of the nature wants the secure nest. Another part feels trapped by it. The tendency is to either move a lot, or have a stable nest and travel periodically, or bring the world into the home (e.g. communities, kibbutzim, open houses with lots of drop in visitors and constant intellectual discussions, etc.) or make the world into one’s home—the person who is literally “at home” anywhere.

Conflict aspects denote the need to allow room in the life both for freedom, an exploration of possibilities in the world, an urge for uniqueness along with a sense of roots, a secure base, an ability to share with others in an intimate fashion. Again, the mind (detached intellect) must be able to cooperate with the emotions.

Harmony aspects suggest it is relatively easy for the individual to integrate the freedom side with the desire for closeness. This integration (or lack of it) will be mirrored by the nest situation and the relationship with the mother or mother figure.

Of course, we have the same freedom versus closeness conflict concerning our own children. It is not uncommon for people with this blend to put off having children (sometimes permanently) because they do not wish to give up their freedom. Sometimes, they adopt children of the world (foster children, underprivileged kids) as a humanitarian gesture. Sometimes they are attracted to partners who have children (step-children) as that allows them a bit more freedom in the parental role. If they do have children of their own, just as with their own mother, the goal is friendship. We hope that both the parent and the child(ren) can enjoy each other’s uniqueness, appreciate one another as separate individuals and be tolerant of differences. Both need to avoid the extremes of having to split (run away, literally or emotionally) to avoid being swallowed in the relationship; or of having to be so close that differences are lost or merged in an attempt at excessive intimacy.


A psychic, sensitive combination, the emotions run very deep, but may not be very apparent. Again, the individual may want to be the perfect mother. Here, the goal of perfection is the emotional experience of merging with an infinite Universe. This is often a very caring, supportive, loving, and sacrificial blend.

Our own mother had the option of artist, savior or victim roles in teaching us about the search for cosmic consciousness. And, we have the option of artist, savior or victim roles in our own nurturing activities. This can range from the “perfect” mother—beautiful, loving, idealistic, ready to do anything for the child—to the alcoholic, psychotic, ill, absent, disappeared (idealized) mother who did not want to face an imperfect world. It can be a mother who feels she SHOULD BE perfect, or one who believes she already is. The child may keep mother on a pedestal, idealizing her always, or the child may be terribly disillusioned when mother reveals her humanness and imperfection. A feeling for beauty and the aesthetic may be shared in the mother-child interaction.

This tends to be an empathic combination. There is usually a good ability to tune into other people’s needs. But people who overdo the savior role, giving TOO MUCH to others, quickly turn into martyr and victim. The times and places for helping and healing others must be carefully judged. People with strong savior instincts are generally better off doing it professionally. Then there is a contract. Trying to help those nearest and dearest to us live up to their full potential is often asking for trouble. Meddle at your own risk.

In terms of the domestic environment, the urge for beauty and connecting to something higher may express through a truly artistic and beautiful home. But, if the search for something ultimate is going into spiritual quests, or healing activities, or other channels, the home may be chaotic or just ordinary. This is another blend which can be drawn to community living on occasion, as an expression of the idealism, wanting to do something for humanity. Taking in stray dogs, cats, people, etc. is always an option. Just be sure those you take in WANT to be saved and are willing to do their share of the work.

Because the intuition and sensitivity is great, the individual may sometimes operate out of a feeling or intuitive context, which is not always dependable. Or, they may expect more empathy or insight from others than is reasonable. But the psychic talent, if developed, can be extremely helpful when used along with common sense and logic.

Conflict aspects show a challenge, although the natural trine between the Moon and Neptune indicates this is a fairly easy combination to blend. Over-sensitivity is a potential problem. Excessive idealism (looking for God) in some area is another potential challenge. With a lot of water, the person may be too dependent. Or, individuals who love the “Cosmic mother” image can easily carry it too far.

Harmony aspects suggest a comfortable blend of our search for the emotional absolute, faith in something higher, with our desire for human warmth, sharing and commitment. We can trust God and believe in mother, without demanding she be perfect. We can have faith in the Universe and be warm, empathic, supportive ourselves, but not try to do it all. We can value relationships and closeness with others, without idolizing them, or expecting them to always nourish us exactly as we desire. We can have the best from our own personal unconscious and our superconscious or higher self. We can tune into the connectedness of all of Life as a sense of nourishment, loving support and a bulwark on which we can depend, while still doing our part.

Copyright © 1983 Los Angeles Community Church of Religious Science, Inc.

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