Hot Summer Squeeze: The Tightest Aspect

Okay, it’s officially the hottest summer on record–throughout the world. I heard Diane Sawyer say it on TV last night, so it must be true. Not that I can’t feel it from my sweaty scalp and my failing air conditioner. I knew it was hot here, outside New York, and most places in the States, but I wasn’t aware that it was also the hottest summer in Siberia. Kind of hard to bend my mind around that one.

So, since our brains are all half-melted from heat, I’m going to do a little no-brainer astrology for a change. (I’m not talking to you people who love the heat. Please don’t talk to me until November.) Just to give you something to look out for, since you don’t have enough things to look at already.

Venus is joining Saturn and Mars in opposing Jupiter/Uranus today, and approaching a square to Pluto, so I thought we would take some time to use this energy wisely and do a little research. Back in the dark ages when I was doing some studying with the Faculty of Astrological studies in London (note I say ‘some’ studying–I don’t have the fancy degree) there was an exercise where we were required to write an essay on our experience of the closest Ptolemaic aspect in our charts that involved a personal planet. I wondered about it at the time, why we would have to write an entire essay on one aspect only, but as I wrote the essay, it began to make sense. The assignment was assigned to illustrate the energy flow between tight aspects. There was lots to write about, because the aspect was so close. Mine was extra-easy, because the tightest aspect in my chart, using Ptolemaics and taking away angles and axis points, is a first house Mercury sextile an 11th house Moon. (You see what I’m talking about.) People with hard aspects had even more to write about, because the hard aspect facilitated experience between the two planets. Like I said, easy-peasy. Even students who were resistant to writing were more than willing to talk about it. There was lots to say.

In the old days before computers you had to eyeball the chart and do some calculating. Now all you have to do is push a button to get a list of the tightest aspects of whatever planets and points you have up on your chart software. Solar Fire will give you a list of any aspects that are within one degree. When I first got my Solar Fire program, I remembered the exercise and began taking a peek at the tightest aspect, using not only planets but angles and nodes, and expanding the aspect list. (In Solar Fire hit the ‘Reports’ button when the chart is opened, then the ‘Sorted Listing’ button on the right.) It was very interesting. Eventually, it became clear to me that the tightest aspect, using standard aspects and points, had a very clear role to play in the chart.

It isn’t the most important, most dominant or most influential aspect. It doesn’t hijack a chart the way some aspects can, or contacts with angles most definitely do. The person will not necessarily feel the aspect very strongly in a conscious manner. But the tightest aspect seems to point out a general theme in the life where circumstances will flow and affect whatever other planets and points those planets touch. A bit like a conjunction, only with more direction and purpose. A superhighway of experience.

I’m not talking about orbs of even one degree here. I’m talking about minutes. From zero to 10 either side, maybe 15 or 16 if you’re feeling generous. Zeros win the biggest prize, with the influence dwindling rapidly. Not everyone will have an aspect this close. Some people have a lot. They may feel as if their lives were indeed hijacked.

So, on these hot summer days, press a few buttons (or you can pull up a listing on and take a look at the charts of your nearest and dearest, to see their secret, inner theme. You may be surprised. Let me know if you come up with anything interesting.

Here’s a list of celebs and their tightest standard aspect. I haven’t added houses or specified aspects in most cases because I’m feeling too lazy with the heat, but if you’re interested, the charts are available online in the astrodatabank. Adding the aspects and houses makes it more fun. As always, contacts to the Nodes seem to up the ante a bit and allows the aspect to manifest in a more extreme manner.

Doris Day: Sun/Chiron, 0 minutes (Conjunct in 7th. Doris switched from a lifetime of tragic relationships to a life of animal advocacy.)

Jacques Brel: Mercury/Asc, 0 minutes; Mercury/Uranus (conjunct), 4 minutes. (Not only did he write constantly, but he was always on the move, literally–either driving (himself) from gig to gig in endless tours, flying his plane or navigating his boat.)

Charlie Chaplin: Mars square Saturn, 8 minutes (workaholic)

Mia Farrow: Mars quincunx Juno, 8 minutes

Katherine Hepburn: Moon sesquiquadrate Uranus, 3 minutes

John F. Kennedy: Uranus/MC 3 minutes

Ted Kennedy: Neptune/MC 6 minutes

Paul Newman: 10th house Saturn square Nodes in 1 and 7, 0 minutes

Jacqueline Onassis: Pluto semi-square Ceres, 2 minutes

Frank Sinatra: Vesta in 12th Libra trine and sextile Leo/Aquarius Nodes, 2 minutes

Woody Allen: Pluto sextile the MC, 0 minutes

John Belushi: Venus square Neptune, 2 minutes

Muhammed Ali: 6th house Moon opposite 12th house Chiron, 2 minutes

Kurt Cobain: Sun trine Mars, 0 minutes

Neil Diamond: Mercury/Venus, 2 minutes

Ed Gein: (the serial killer who was the basis for both Psycho and Silence of the Lambs) Mars on IC semi-square Jupiter, 0 minutes; Pluto rising square Juno, 1 minute

Janis Joplin: Uranus/Juno 1 minute, Sun/Pallas 3 minutes

Liza Minelli: Sixth house Jupiter trine and sextile Nodes in 2 and 8, 1 minute

Charlie Sheen: Mars inconjunct the Nodes, 10 minutes

Stephen Sondheim: Sun/Vesta, 0 minutes; 11th house Moon sextile and trine the Nodes in 3 and 9, 5 minutes

Peter Sellers: 12th house Mercury sesquiquadrate 5th house Jupiter, 7 minutes

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