Life is a Quincunx

Maritha Pottenger

We continue our quincunx series with a look at the 6-11 quincunx.


The strongest form of the 6-11 quincunx would be an actual quincunx between Vesta (as our most Virgo asteroid) and Uranus. Quincunxes between Ceres (a Virgo/Cancer blend) and Uranus or between Mercury (when more Virgoan than Geminian) could also carry the 6-11 motif. Any Vesta-Uranus contact will bring up 6-11 issues, but the actual quincunx carries the most restlessness, incompatibility, and sense of “forced choice” (where we feel “If I get this, I cannot have that.”).

Other conflict aspects (squares, tri-octiles and octiles) repeat the theme of needing to make peace between differing drives, to make room for diverse needs within one’s nature. The opposition, like the quincunx, can indicate separations, something/someone leaving or being taken away, or bouncing from one extreme to the other until we somehow make room for both sides.

Harmony aspects suggest that integration is a trifle easier, that we have some inner agreement to work with, but we will still have to apply effort to resolve the clashes inherent in any combination where the letters of the astrological alphabet are 5 apart. A Uranus/Vesta conjunction indicates we do not get Letter 6 without Letter 11 (and vice versa), but it is up to us to find a constructive (rather than conflicted) combination of the two.


Any quincunxes between the 6th and 11th houses would reiterate these themes. Likewise, quincunxes between rulers of the 6th and 11th or between planets in Virgo and in Aquarius. We must face the inner ambivalence and find some way to blend very different parts of ourselves. The following are different forms of a 6-11 “quincunx” of sorts:

(1) Vesta (Mercury/Ceres) in the 11th

(2) Uranus in the 6th

(3) Any ruler of the 6th in the 11th

(4) Any ruler of the 11th in the 6th

(5) Vesta (Mercury/Ceres) in Aquarius

(6) Uranus in Virgo

(7) Any ruler of the 6th aspecting Uranus or any 11th house ruler

(8) Any ruler of the 11th aspecting Vesta (Mercury/Ceres) or any 6th house ruler

(9) Any planet in or ruling the 6th aspecting any planet in or ruling the 11th

(10) Any planet in Virgo aspecting a planet in Aquarius

As always, the more times a theme is repeated, the more significant it is in the psyche and in the life.


With the 6-11 quincunx, we are striving to combine our detailed, analytical, flaw-finding, nitpicking, hardworking, practical side with our wide-ranging, humanitarian, tolerant, freedom-loving, theoretical side. We are trying to bring together work routines, colleagues, health needs and essential details with friendships, groups, causes and the impulse to consider large issues and ideas.

Here are some of the issues we are trying to integrate with the 6-11 quincunx:





work contacts




precise, focused




what works

what might be







tunnel vision

multiple options


One integration of the 6-11 quincunx (particularly the “natural” forms such as Uranus in the 6th, Vesta in the 11th, etc.) would be work which is unconventional, unusual, erratic, varied or unique. This can range from the astrologer (whose job is outside conventional standards) to the individual whose hours, pay or duties are unusual in some way. Less constructively, it could include the job-hopper, the person who never really settles down to working. Ideally, the person is able to express his/her individuality through work—to manifest productivity as well as uniqueness.

The work routines might be odd or different—swing shifts, nonstandard hours or pay, self-employment, etc. The work could involve a high degree of freedom, variety, risk-taking, surprises, new technology, groups, organizations or other Uranian associations.

With the actual quincunx, people are more likely to feel as if they cannot have both. They may feel torn between their freedom needs and their desire to do a good job. They might feel work is too confining (and try to break loose and break free in destructive ways) or does not allow scope for the true individuality of their personality. Yet the message of the aspect is to somehow integrate our productive and free-wheeling sides.


Another variant of blending 6-11 is the person who relies on technology, the future, or the strange and unusual for health practices. This could be the individual who tries every “fad” diet that comes along—the more unusual the better. It could be the individual who buys any and every machine reputed to improve physical functioning. The unconventional is likely to have much more appeal than the conventional and the person must be wary lest rebellion against the norm lead to practices that are actually dangerous. At the same time, some healthy skepticism regarding the medical establishment (as any power group) is wise.

Someone who is having trouble fitting in his/her drives for freedom and uniqueness may manifest weird, erratic or unpredictable health problems which come and go with no apparent rhyme, reason or pattern. Intermittency in healthy functioning is possible. The more ways we find to be open, tolerant and independent as well as practical, productive and useful, the more likely we are to manifest positive health potentials: free flow, thinking for oneself and willing to try anything which might be useful.


One of the natural tensions between 6 and 11 is the question of focus. Letter 6 strives to break life into smaller and smaller pieces, analyzing, refining and sifting some more. Letter 11 seeks the vistas of the entire world (and worlds beyond), concerned with possibilities and prospects, with potential more than actuality, with what might be rather than what is.

Without integration we can swing between an excessive concern with details, nitpicking and exactitude versus a no-holds-barred, anything-goes attitude which will risk much to explore options. It is also possible that we could identify with one end (and overdo it) while attracting someone else to overdo the other side. Life is big enough to include petty details as well as sweeping overviews. We merely need to discriminate between when to focus on essential bite-sized steps and when to be more concerned with generalizations and the big picture.


In the eyes of Letter 6, there is usually a “right” way and a “wrong” way and people who feel the “wrong” path has been selected might become quite critical. Letter 11, however, tends to assume that there is more than one possibility and that can include more than one “right” answer. Letter 6 carried to an extreme is narrow, judgmental, hypercritical, flaw-finding and impossible to please. Letter 11 carried to an extreme rationalizes anything, is so “objective” as to avoid necessary value judgments and uses reason or “scientific” detachment to distance the self from truly horrific happenings. Integration requires that we know when to take a stand, to firmly criticize what we believe is destructive and when to practice a “live and let live” philosophy, promoting a diversity of viewpoints and perspectives in life.

In some of the “natural” quincunxes (Vesta in the 11th, etc.), we may succumb to excessive criticism of friends (or they or us), organizations, causes, freedom or our personal uniqueness. We may nitpick away at spontaneity, independence and our desire to be different. The challenge is to work productively with our individualistic, restless side.


Letters 6 and 11 often combine forces easily in the role of scientist. Here the pragmatic earth and logical air can be quite effective. The individual can test theories (11) against practice (6), can check generalizations (11) against particulars (6) and possibilities (11) against the real world (6). This rational combination can be excellent for engineering and many sorts of scientific investigation. Of course, in and of itself, it can also be that fearsome beast: technology lacking any heart. Potentially skilled in technical areas, a 6-11 focus can be well channeled into exploring the natural world, seeking answers about how things work and applying some creative brainstorming to matters of health or general functioning.


With the 6-11 quincunx, we may feel pulled between social contacts and friendships versus professional contacts. Perhaps work seems to take us away from our causes, groups or friends (or vice versa). One solution is to combine the two. People may find that most of their friendships come through work, that they socialize with colleagues or that what began as a cause or humanitarian activity turns into a real job. Casual associations could become very serious commitments.


People with the 6-11 quincunx emphasized in their charts may swing between criticism and tolerance; between intense focus and a wide-range lens; between essential duties on the job versus social and casual contracts; between the practical and the theoretical. Yet they have the potential of integrating these diverse drives so that they can view all the possibilities yet concentrate on getting something significant done. They can maintain networks with people who are open and somewhat unconventional while still dealing with the pragmatic needs of their colleagues on the job. They can be effective, while still expressing their individuality and uniqueness. They may choose unusual careers or hours or work routines. They may break the rules in their health habits. They may be analytical in their attitudes toward friends, associations and causes. They may have considerable skills in logical analysis, creative brainstorming, objectivity and scientific detachment.

Copyright © 1990 Los Angeles Community Church of Religious Science, Inc.

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