An opposition is an aspect between two planets or significant points in the Natal chart. The opposition in a Birth chart can also be activated through transit or progression. An opposition is defined as two planets or significant angles (the midheaven or the ascendant) forming an angle of 180 degrees from each other. The normal orb for an opposition to be active in a Birth chart is 8-10 degrees + or – the 180 degrees. Therefore, if a planet is 170-190 degrees from another planet or an important angle, it is termed an opposition.
To describe an opposition you would take into consideration the two opposing forces described by the planets/angles as well as the house placement where the planets are located. The house placement would define the areas of life involved.
For example, Saturn in the third house (the house communication) would create a difficult time for the individual to express their views--being held back. At the opposite end of the example, if you had Pluto in the ninth house (the house of higher learning), Pluto acts as a disruptive force and may even lead to power struggles or ego interference. With these opposing forces, there may be difficulties expressing oneself due to ego interference and a challenge to take charge or outdo others. This could revert to a power struggle and could either surface as restrictive behaviours and a feeling of being subdued or angered when defining oneself, or pushing yourself beyond the normally accepted lines of communication and forcing one’s opinions on others. This could also surface as schooling issues as the ninth house deals with higher education.
In many cases, oppositions deal with open confrontations where one’s views or beliefs are being challenged by someone else’s opinion. This can lead to ego interference and clinging strongly to one’s beliefs or opinions. This individual would not lend an open mind to hear and utilize another individual’s opinion. If for example the ninth house had Mars in opposition to Pluto in the third this could lead to arguments or even physical exchanges during these tumultuous confrontations.
Oppositions tend to draw attention to the opposite area of focus. An example of this might be if the fourth and tenth houses were in opposition through planetary links, it may surface as an issue between spending too much energy at work or at home and one or the other not getting its needed consideration. This individual would favour the occupation and their earnings over the needs of the home and family. Confrontations and opposing views are often by-products of the opposition especially when a transiting planet opposes a Natal planet.
When we learn to work with our oppositions, we can gain strength from these opposing views and we can mold the two together making them work as one, rather than against each other. Within the Natal chart, an opposition can create a war within oneself that has to be worked out and rectified. Oppositions build inner strength when you learn to deal with the difficulty and challenges associated with the house placement and the planetary energies.
Oppositions are considered stressful aspects and need to be approached with gentle understanding and an openness to learn and be open to opposing views. Much depends on the planets involved and the houses these planets are located in the Natal chart. When viewed with clarity, we can gain great insight from the opposition. As we mature, we will be forces to face our oppositions and deal with them appropriately, thereby unlocking their true potential.
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