I was prompted to muse on this topic after a moody water sun/moon trine yesterday in the water signs. As a very airy person, I have little patience for such a flood and was almost in competition with my two-year-old for who can be the most emo about dumb things. So why not take that as a reason to come back to my blog?
One of the first things we learn about when beginning a study of astrology are the aspects--how planets and points interact with each other in a chart. We're often introduced to this topic by being taught which aspects are "hard" and which are "easy," which then tend to get translated into "bad" or "good," because of how we assume they'll manifest in real life.
Among the most observed aspects, it looks like this:
Hard: Square, opposition, quincunx, conjunction (sometimes)
Easy: trine, sextile, conjunction (sometimes)
It's crucial to master a very basic understanding of all astrological concepts before going into an intermediate study, so I won't say it's wrong to start here.
When I was studying French, I most certainly would have quit immediately if they tried teaching me the pluperfect tense in French I. It was insane enough by French II or III.
Easy is not always good
At the risk of sounding like an inspirational Instagram page, just because something comes easy in life doesn't mean that it's directly good. Because astrology is a way of understanding human life, purpose, motivations, etc., the same simpleton principle applies.
If your moon trines your rising point in your chart, you have an "easy" aspect there. However, while you might be blessed with the ability to freely express your emotions and some people feel like they can really connect to you, you might also tend to over-share, blubber on, and come across too strong to some other people.
Maybe you have a trine between Mars and Saturn in your chart. This "easy" aspect could bless you with a killer work ethic, to where you take every task and duty extremely seriously and won't hold back in executing it. Then again, it could mean that you get so energetically invested in the task at hand that you sometimes lose perspective of other important things. You might also shroud your identity in outward accomplishments and feel constantly inadequate.
The "easy" qualifier of these kinds of aspects is just that the energy between the two points or planets in the chart flows easier. There are fewer obstructions or turns in the river. They work together with less tension. However, to be super extreme, see the stories of criminal couples like Bonnie and Cylde or Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka for reasons why two things who seem to really get along don't always produce ideal results.
Anything worth having requires hard work
So what about the "hard" aspects? If two things in the chart are in one of these orientations, their placements are thought to not get along. Can you find any peace with these types of aspects or are you destined to constantly battle it out internally?
This time the example moon is squaring Venus. You might struggle to be emotionally expressive in relationships, maybe you've been searching all your life for a work endeavor or special project that you truly connect with and keep coming up frustrated, or maybe people even think you're hiding something. Then when you finally realize that these kinds of issues keep reoccurring and you identify the disconnect, that mindfulness will pay off. You can now learn how to check in with both parts of yourself each time a question or situation arises in your life that speaks to both emotional/comfort and love/relationship/enjoyment matters, and you can make sure that the choice you make honors both. After practicing, you'll know what won't work and you can avoid it altogether.
Some might argue that this process of self-improvement and intentionality is more rewarding than the easy stuff.
The "hard" in "hard aspects" does mean there are more obstructions in the river, but also great potential. Just one more cheesy metaphor. The Grand Canyon is pretty cool and it was created by water flowing over rocks and stuff for centuries.
While some of our self-improvement takes place over centuries of lifetimes (if you're a believer in reincarnation like me), this lifetime isn't centuries, so you just might have to work more diligently--both at synchronizing seemingly adversarial energies and learning to properly control and channel abundantly flowing ones.
See THIS POST for my series on overcoming "hard" chart aspects :-)