Sesquiquadrates. WTF?

56 Comments

sesquiquadratesA sesquiquadrate, at 135º, falls between the major aspects of the trine (120º) and opposition (180º), and it’s not quite an inconjunct (150º).

In Horoscope Symbols , Robert Hand writes (concerning sesquiquadrates and semisquares):

These are not weak aspects. An exact semisquare or sesquiquadrate is more important than a square that is several degrees out, and many traditional astrologers who have ignored these so-called minor aspects have missed out on important information.


In Aspects in Astrology: A Guide to Understanding Planetary Relationships in the Horoscope , Sue Tompkins writes about how sesquiquadrates show up in accident charts, representing a kind of unavoidable energy- energy that manifests concretely . Regarding natal charts she believes that this aspect demonstrates itself through outer events rather than inner psychology because of what she sees as the tendency for these aspects to be “more deeply buried.”  She goes on to say,

I suggest that the reason why semi-squares and sesquiquadrates manifest so readily in terms of outward events is simply because of the greater unconsciousness of these aspects.


Both Hand and Tompkins describe sesquiquadrates as being an energy similar in expression to the square, but less intense.

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I'm Michelle and I write AstroFix. I have an Aries Sun, Leo Moon, and Virgo rising. Find me on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Google+.
  • Lee

    Hi, Can you tell me what does it mean to have Moon in the 8 house sesquiquadrate Uranus in the 12 house?

    • Hi Lee,

      Can you tell me the degrees of each planet?

      • Lee

        Cancer is at 9°47’5, Uranus is at 27°1’49

  • Lex , Just Lex

    I hope u r still writing the writing the blog of am astrology addict, can’t be sure it’s 7 years later on this particular thread. Anyhow, I got this sequiquadrate going on between venus and Juno. I’m married for 6 years. What are your thoughts on that?

    • Hi Lex , Just Lex,

      May I see your chart?

      • Lex , Just Lex

        29-07-83 20:15 Hilbrow, Johannesburg, South Africa. And BTW, what aspects do you consider worthy from that Mars there?

  • Regina

    What about Venus in the 11th house (Aires) sesquiquadrate Neptune in the 6th (Virgo)?

    • What about it? What might you say about this combination?

  • Roman

    What about sun sesquiquadrate pluto?

  • Ryannepatterson

    Hi I have Venus sesquiquadrate Midheaven (MC Taurus, Venus in 2nd house Virgo). What could this mean? Would this prevent me from getting a career in the arts?

    • No, that aspect would not prevent you from getting a career in the arts. Having Venus in the 2nd house is a good sign that you could make money through creative pursuits.

      • Ryannepatterson

        That’s a relief 🙂 so what does Venus sesquiquadrate MC cause? 

        • Hi Ryanne,

          I’ll be writing a post about Venus/MC aspects in the near future. If you subscribe to the blog you’ll get the article as soon as I write it.

  • billow

    Hi Michelle, found you again on the search.   Hope all is well.  Was just re-reading Tompkins this morning on the sesqui and I could swear she wrote that the two aspects were more intense and concrete than the square because the squaring slows down the release of energy.

    Since I have some of these I was wondering how transits would affect them.  It’s not really a pleasant thing to look at.

    Hope you are well.

    • Hi billow,

      It’s nice to hear from you! I’ve been way out of the loop … like out in the desert, without sunglasses, blistering in the sun.

      The sesquis. I struggle to truly feel how these work in my own chart. By transit, I think it’s really, really rough. Hard aspect transits to the sesquis feel like unrelenting strain to me (I’ve had one ongoing with Saturn hovering near 26 Libra). What have you been going through?

      • billow

        Hi Michelle, I’m doing pretty good catching up on what was left sitting through the very long nep square saturn transit.

        Have you checked out Lynn Koiner’s minor aspect list.  It’s on that webpage.  I really got a kick out of it.  It made sense to me on the sesquis somehow.  Even tho I wanted to kick myself in the butt for my foibiles.

        I haven’t gotten to looking at them by transit, but my natal ones made sense in a wider not so immediately graspable way.

        • I just looked at Lynn’s page. I’m not sure I can relate to her view. Maybe sesquiquadrates just show a tendency to be annoying. I annoy myself sometimes 😛

          • billow

            Yes, I annoy myself too sometimes.  But I always figured that was that virgo thing about never being good enough. 

            After reading Lynn, I started thinking about behaviors I do that walk me into situations.  Like my need to share can override my common sense.   Like my willingness to give protocol a chance over my better judgement.  Sometimes I just can’t resist walking into an ambush.   Probably a past life thing.

            • Hm … I don’t know. This is one of those things I’ll have to mull over. 

              • billow

                Well golly gosh wow, I found my semi squares.  Quite a corral of them.  On my way to exploring them (my mars rx is the only major energy not involved in semi square, talk about wtf), not only found how I can avoid the stinkums, but ran into some interesting past life traumas that I believe have affected the situations I have put myself in.  Had to beat it, had to prove that I could.  How exhausting.  Talk about old stagnant garbage.  It could have gotten me physically killed all over again.

  • Anon

    This is what happens when you don’t study philosophy.  You lose sight of the original ideas of what an aspect is by ancient astrologers.  An aspect derives from “spectacle” and means “to look” and is framed within the context of the 12 signs.  A conjunction is not an “aspect” for example because both planets are in the same place.  The semi-sextile and qunicunx are where our “blind spots” are (150 degrees and 30).  We have a hard time seeing what is adjacent to us, and one eye is blind at 150 degrees (this is a medical fact) but we aren’t aware of it because we have 2 eyes that cancel out what one eye fails to see.

  • Sesquiquadrate: I have two, one on Mars to Neptune is in fact a tight one! BAM! The next is Sun/ Neptune.. at first I really didn’t think they were as powerful as all that.. and then I take into account what I attract and how I attract it. And how others perceive me- Mars  in the first/Neptune in the 6th. Sun in the first as well. That stuff has to show up somewhere, if not within my own personality and expression then in the environment around me.

    My significant other has a Neptune – Mars opposition, his Mars is widely conjunct his Sun, so because he has this, I see a significant expression of my own relationship to Mars and Neptune I would normally not have seen.

    Like the quintile these are querky but wilder expressions, they express themselves like the “shadow” of the quintile, as when we turn our backs on the gifts we have.. they chase us down and give us nightmares! My feeling is that it has an effect in a very confusing way given the planetary influence I am dealing with, after all Neptune isn’t at all easy to assign anything to directly and neither is this aspect!

    And then I have the semisquare, one with Saturn and the Moon.. (technically it would also have the aspect with Vesta in there as well considering that tight conjunction with Saturn) I don’t know what to say about that, save for the fact that there are times I think I seem much colder than I really am, when I am just trying to brace myself from being emotionally manipulated, but I had always ascribed that to Pluto conjunct Moon in the 4th house in Virgo… someone who does not want to be manipulated, “owned” or hurt, yet rather passionate.

    I really am glad to have found this one, thanks to your tweet.

    Be well and thanks!

    • @twitter-344209049:disqus I feel like I’m still sussing out the exact differences between squares, semisquares and sesquiquadrates. I haven’t come to any particular insight that feels ‘right’ enough to share yet. Believe me, I’m working on it 😉

  • Sabs

    Hi Michelle,

    I have my Ascendant [Cancer] sesquiquadrate my Pluto [Scorpio] and my Saturn [Aquarius] with very tight orbs. I’m wondering how this manifests because I find this aspect  very hard to understand. Especially since both Cancer and Scorpio are in the same element.

    – Sabs

    • So Pluto and Saturn are tightly square to each other?

      • Sabs

        Yes, they are. Pluto in the 5th, Saturn in the 9th..

        – Sabs

        • What you have is called the “Fist of God” or “Thor’s Hammer.” It’s when 2 planets that are square to each other both form a sesquiquadrate to a third planet. 

          Acutally, looking it up again, I see it has several other names too:

          “This is an aspect configuration is known by several different names: Quadriform, Arrowhead, Thor’s Hammer or God’s Fist.It consists of two planets in square aspect (90 degrees) and both in an octile or sesqui-quadrate aspect (135 degrees) to a third planet. The energy of this aspect pattern is a little like a T-square, since it has stressful, dynamic energy. However, the octile aspects (based on dividing the circle into 8 pieces) tend to be a little more complex than the square or opposition(based on dividing the circle into 4 pieces).Some astrologers see the energy originating in the tension of the two square planets, which finds an outlet through the third (apex) planet. This means the apex planet must find a creative way to resolve the conflict of the square, or else it could vent that tension destructively. This perspective reflects the image of an Arrowhead.Other astrologers see the energy flow originating in the apex planet, which then must find a way to wield the power and dynamic stress of the square planets. It’s a little like holding a live grenade – what do you do with it?? You need to find a way to use it constructively and creatively, or the energy can become destructive. This image is like a Hammerhead or God’s Fist.By cultivating support for the energy of the apex planet, it is possible to give it strength to work constructively and creatively with the square planets.Pronounced: QUAD-rih-form. See also: Aspect configuration, T-square, aspect, square, octile. “http://www.evolvingdoor.ca/glossary/glossary_pq.htm

          • alex

            hi michelle.. i have pluto square saturn,ascendant sesquiquadrate pluto,and saturn semi square ascendant (so sesquisquare descendant) and saturn semi square mc . is it a hand of god or no?if not can u tell me a bit abt u know of my aspects?thx!

  • mirrorghost

    i just now noticed i have to sesquisquadrates, from saturn to my sun and moon (which are both square.) it kind of makes sense. also because my moon is in the 12th in capricorn, it is “difficult to access” from what i’ve read. especially in capricorn! and then the saturn is in leo in the 7th…so maybe i get it primarily through partners? meaning, this type of energy comes from outer events, which are partners of some sort. hope that makes sense.

    thanks for writing about them. i have one friend who’s into astrology (and probably a bit more advanced than me but she won’t admit it, though we’re both intermediate) and she talk about sesquiquadrates occasionally and i tend to just brush it aside…but maybe i should pay more attention since saturn is my chart ruler (also have cap rising.) i will definitely have to research more on these aspects.

    • Michelle

      The configuration that you have (one planet sesquiquadrate two other planets, which are square to each other) is called “Thor’s Hammer” or “The Fist of God.” Check out this article: http://aliceportman.com/?p=780

      Also, if you “friend” Linda Reid on Facebook, she has a great article about it in her notes: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=574141988

      • mirrorghost

        never heard of it! cool, thanks for the info, i appreciate it 🙂

  • I also like to know about some positive qualities of quincunx 150… since I have a major one in my chart beetween moon and venus… and venus and ascendant…

    • Michelle

      The ability to be flexible and adjust to viewpoints that are unlike your own and that you do not understand – which leads to problem-solving acumen.

  • Michelle

    Squares have a horrendous negative reputation most of the time too, but they have positive qualities as well.

    It’s unfortunate when descriptions are all negative; I get upset by it too. I haven’t been able to discern any particular or distinct meaning of sesqui. yet. Eventually, when I do, I’ll probably find something positive about them to say too.

    Thank you for reading.

  • Monica

    Yes, I have Mars sesquiquadrate Saturn .05 degrees. It is my most exact aspect. It’s commonly described in such negative terms that I was depressed by it. But, Dane Rudhyar explained it really well in this online article: http://www.khaldea.com/rudhyar/aspc/aspc_c12.shtml, that I didn’t feel so bad.

    Still, it would explain a lot of the difficulty in my life.

    thanks,

    Monica

  • I have moon sesquiquadrates neptun… But I really don’t know how it affects my life… I also venus semisquare sun… I also don’t know how it works or how it stress…

    • Michelle

      Check out the Moon/Neptune and Sun/Venus aspects posts – some of those descriptions should strike a chord with you.

  • I watch now my birth chart and I have a Sesqui between my Virgo Sun and my Aquarius Asc. with a difference of 1°
    My Sun is in the 7th house. What does it mean? Thank you for the informations…

    • Michelle

      I’d think there would added solar influence on your ascendant – maybe you are very outgoing and sunny despite your Virgo Sun.

  • amoureuse

    i got two semi-square: mars-uranus and saturn- uranus. i also got 2 sesquiquadrate. mars and venus; sun and uranus. not sure what this means for me.

    • Michelle

      I would expect Mars/Uranus semisquare and Mars/Venus sesquiquadrate to show up as some of the traits presented in the Mars/Uranus, and Mars/Venus posts.

  • Leah-nine

    *Forgotten sentence at the end of the first paragraph:
    Although it’s not the most obvious influence on me, it still really bothers me that I can’t have a direct, supportive relationship with my father and he treats me like a friend instead of his daughter. It’s not easy to talk about either, since it’s such a benign, non-pervasive occurrence- the subtly annoying work of the sesquiquadrate.

  • Leah-nine

    I’ve been trying to figure out the Leo Sun (11th Placidus, 12th whole) sesqui Neptune (Neptune is conjunct both Saturn and Uranus at 7 degree orbs each in Capricorn in the fourth, fifth if whole house). I’ve surmised that it causes me to act rather secretly or mysteriously without really being aware of it. I find myself not wanting to be around people that much most of the time, because I feel too “heavy” for them and don’t want to weigh them down by being overly serious. Other times, the rest of my Leo planets tend to take over and create a charming, talkative, fun person who doesn’t seem to have a dark thought about them- this be the moon, venus, jupiter, chiron and SN all bundled up nicely in the early degrees of Leo. I find that this creates a split personality type feeling (fitting with Gemini IC), and a lot of tension because I never feel like I can meld my serious sort of melancholy side with the carefree one and be one whole, honest person. My Sun has some stressful aspects; the sunny Leo characteristics tend to get trumped by the squaring Mars and Biquintile Saturn, and I’ve started to notice more the sesqui Neptune: Feeling like I can never really meld my spirituality with my inner self. Conversely, I also find that the emotional support given by my father which feels more like motherly nurturing (Neptune, Saturn in Capricorn in the fourth) feels more like an odd friendship (sesqui Sun in 11th). Although it’s not the most obvious influence on me,

    I digressed into some other aspects in my own chart, but what I’ve found about the sesqui is that it’s not any less intense (for me, anyway) than the square because the angle is not as blunt… But it’s more of a chronic nagging feeling that something isn’t quite at ease. I compare it to underwear: if someone gives you a wedgie and pulls you off the ground by your underpants, you’ve got a serious problem that requires immediate attention and action (and maybe some tongs). But if you’re wearing a pair that only just kind of fits you, they’ll shift and slide all day and you’ll have to keep adjusting and spend all day unconsciously picking at your butt- only somewhat inconspicuously. By the end of the day you realize how much it’s bugged you and you need to take care of it and either go commando or buy a pair that works.

    So maybe it is a bit less intense, but I think what gets lost in translation is when we look at descriptions of our charts and find the oppositions and squares we think “this is what the struggles in my life are going to be about and what I should really keep in mind” and just because an aspect is described as “less intense” it gets cast aside as “it’s there but it doesn’t really affect me that much.” In fact, it does, and it won’t kill you if you don’t buy a new pair of underwear, but you could save a lot of energy (and face) if you’re not picking wedgies all day.

    (Sorry for the novel, hope it serves a purpose besides mine!)

    • Michelle

      But it’s more of a chronic nagging feeling that something isn’t quite at ease
      That feels close. I’m not sure about the underwear analogy – I’ll have to let it sink in 🙂

      • Leah-nine

        I think by nature, it’s a hard aspect to peg. It makes sense to me! 😛

  • Merryweather

    “Sue Tompkins writes about how sesquiquadrates show up in accident charts, representing a kind of unavoidable energy- energy that manifests concretely .”

    Wow. I had a very bad car accident back in 2004 where I actually flatlined, came back & went into a coma. Lucky to be alive today! So I just checked the accident chart, and there are 2 sesquiquadrates in very tight orb – Moon/Mercury & Moon/Pluto. Wild.

    I’ll need to start looking more closely at this aspect. I never really thought too much of it before! Thanks for posting this!

    • Michelle

      That is wild. I’m glad you’re alright!

      I’ll need to start looking more closely at this aspect.
      Do you have them in your natal chart?

  • Isobeldust

    I have Scorpio Juno and Leo Saturn both sesquiquadrate my Aries Ascendant and square to each other, forming a Fist of God. Aside from a sextile to my Gemini Part of Fortune, Saturn is otherwise unaspected. Indeed, I have a huge problem with discipline, unable to make the sacrifices it would take to achieve even the goals I set out for myself. I find myself reading self-help sites about procrastination etc even when I should just DO IT. Perhaps this lack of discipline or anxiety regarding tasks (which usually revolve around writing and research) has to do with my father (as represented by Saturn), who has always stressed the worthlessness of such creative endeavor as writing. My partners (Juno), on the other hand, have always encouraged my writing. I wish I could find better outlets for the restlessness that underlies my lack of discipline…

    • Michelle

      Thank you for sharing your experience Isobledust. I haven’t heard from many people who have a Fist of God, so it’s nice to get a first hand account. I have one involving Mercury and Saturn both sesquiquadrate Neptune, with Mercury and Saturn square to each other.

      Saturn in Leo shows a clamp on your personal creativity. Disciplining yourself is where it’s at.

  • dollsizedpistol

    I love the idea of those aspects being recognized outwardly because we’re not conscious of them inwardly. Makes sense to me.

    I have Jupiter sesqui-whatever my ascendant (1 deg orb). Maybe this makes me a little chubby?? lol. Or just makes me come off even more buoyant, optimistic, idealistic, impractical – I have Sagg rising.

    I also have Moon sesqui Venus (2 deg) and Jupiter (3 deg). Not really sure what these do.

    • Or just makes me come off even more buoyant, optimistic, idealistic, impractical – I have Sagg rising.
      Probably.

      Moon sesqui Venus and Jupiter would give some of the same characteristics as Moon/Venus and Moon/Jupiter.

  • Oh and LOVE the tattoo picture. Only you. 🙂 — You have a knack for selecting photos…

    • Thanks 😀 I couldn’t believe it when I found that one. Sometimes finding the ‘right’ photo is like a treasure hunt.

  • Hi Michelle, I have both semisquares and sesquiquadrates in my chart. I would say that EVERY aspect is important. To suggest that one aspect is of less importance than the other doesn’t make sense to me. The energy and manifestation may be different but the importance is all the same. For example I have a lot of semi-sextiles and these manifest powerfully for me but just not the same as say a conjunction which is normally regarded as the most powerful or important of contact type. So I agree with Sue & Robert. 🙂 I’m not sure how my sesquiquadrates manifest, maybe it has something to do with NOTinvolving my personal planets. However, I can tell you that semi-squares = trouble – plain and simple. Cheers!

    • Which sesquiquadrates do you have?

      I have noticed that tight semisquares are very potent…actually any of the minor aspects in tight aspect seem strong. I’m giving them a lot more weight than I used to.