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Aspects and Mental Alchemy Date Published: 11/14/2002 by Stephanie Clement
Bio: Stephanie Clement

Author Stephanie Clement Author of Opportunities and Your Spiritual Path, Stephanie Clement, Ph.D., has been a professional astrologer for over 25 years now. She holds a Ph.D. in Transpersonal Psychology and was professionally certified in 1974 by the American Federation of Astrologers. Since then, she's been counseling, teaching, and lecturing on astrology and psychology across the U.S. and Canada. Stephanie has always focused on the creative potential that resides in us all; through her work she strives to help others harness and refine their creative process and to get them in touch with the personal power to create the life they desire.


Books by Stephanie:

  • Charting Your Spiritual Path with Astrology
  • What Astrology Can Do For You
  • Meditation for Beginners
  • Mapping Your Family Relationships (Astrology Made Easy Series)
  • Mapping Your Birthchart
  • Civilization Under Attack: September 11, 2001 & Beyond (Editor)
  • Consciousness for Beginners (Out of Print)
  • Consciousness and the Midheaven (authored with Stephanie Jean Ennis)



The subject of mental chemistry has been approached from many different directions, in an attempt to establish the basic modus operandi of the mind of the individual. Marc Edmund Jones andothers have used the relative position of the Sun and Mercury, coupled with the speed of the Moon, to delineate four basic types, two of which are considered to be exceptional — the anxious and the deliberate.

The anxious type has Mercury rising ahead of the Sun and the Moon moving faster than average. The pattern of deliberateness consists of Mercury rising after the Sun and a slow Moon. This approach to delineating the basic arrangement of the chart can offer many insights into the ways in which people accept and digest information that comes their way.

Such a method of delineating basic mental patterns is certainly a good one, but there are complicating factors that seem to contradict what this relationship of planets tells the astrologer. Personal experience tells me (-Mercury behind the Sun and slow Moon) that indeed I am often deliberate in my thinking, considering the exact meaning of every word and the precise implication of even the most casual re-marks made within my hearing. This inspection of outside stimuli often take the joy out of life; I sometimes find myself wanting to understand the smallest detail, and often I am too sensitive about casual, unintentional remarks.

Because the Moon/Mercury relationship is so prominent in the consideration of how an individual thinks, this method is the one I will use for a basis.

But what about the times I rush into things without thinking and get into, trouble for it? Could it be that Mercury opposing Uranus alters my usual perception? This very tight opposition seems at tames to be controlling me instead of my controlling it, and the pattern of my life has shifted severely under activation of this aspect, creating situations in which there is literally no time for deliberate thought. The importance of the aspects is so central to astrology that I some-times wish it were possible to teach students how to delineate aspects before they knew anything else about astrology. That way they would grasp this essential earlier and have more time to consider its value during the rest of their initial study of astrology. A few aspects should serve as examples to show the need to keep more in mind than one relatively simple relationship in a natal chart. Because the Moon/Mercury relationship is so prominent in the consideration of how an individual thinks, this method (presented by Marc Jones at the 1974 AFA convention) is the one I will use for a basis. Suppose the chart shows you a fast Moon and Mercury ahead of the Sun. Jones defines this type as the "eager beaver," with his mind racing ahead of him, and implies that this quick mind can Be too much of a good thing. This type will tend to reach ahead for the conclusion even before he has obtained all of the data, thus finding difficulty in changing his conclusion if the data coming in differs from what he had originally assumed. This person is eager to get into things, but may lose the desire before the project is brought to a useful conclusion. The job is concluded in the mind, but not in reality. Will this person benefit from some heavy aspects?

For example, what may be the effect of Saturn squaring Mercury? Saturn could work as a damper, slowing down the fire within the person to the point of greatest efficiency. The Saturn aspect will contribute elements of deliberate action and caution essential to the fruitful completion of creative plans coming out of the unusually quick mind. On the other hand, a Saturn square, not known for being terribly constructive, could repeatedly bring into the experience obstacles to the expression of the quick, anxious mind, thus creating a frustrating condition for the individual, in which he can neither move forward quickly with his ideas, nor move deliberately toward conclusions. He seems always to run into walls which allow him no outlet. "Seems" is an important word to remember - this individual can use Saturn. to help him organize, and thus build stairways over the obstacles, or build pathways around them.

What could be the effects of a trine from Mars to the Moon in the case of the anxious, eager beaver type? Will Mars in this configuration bring more energy than can be used in thinking up new ideas? The individual may find himself in situations where his mind races for a period of time, covering many, many ideas, and then is "burn out," needing to rest for relatively long periods in order to recharge. This trine, considered to be a useful lucky aspect, can bring too much at a time. Another possible action of the Mars trine is to bring conditions to the mind which allow the thoughts to be channeled in a Martian direction. 'This could produce an individual who would be labeled a genius. He may grasp all of the aspects of his particular area of study and then produce, in a creative manner, a new idea or system of thought. This could be an advantageous aspect for a military n-dnd, for example, infusing the available data on military affairs into the quick mind system. Somehow the resulting product will be a new, fresh, perhaps revolutionary, approach to military operations. Any conjunction will have a dramatic effect on the way in which the mind works. If the Moon or Mercury is conjunct another planet, this planet will contribute so much to the apparent function of the mind that it should be considered an integral part of the pattern. For instance, Venus conjunct the Moon should be considered a fast Venus if the Moon is fast, slow if the Moon is slow. The Moon, representing the unconscious or subconscious levels of the mind, will absorb a Venus-type approach to any information that comes its way, thus giving the individual the potential for understanding the intrinsic beauty of whatever he encounters. A Mercury/Jupiter conjunction will have a tremendously expansive effect on the way in which an individual is able to express his thoughts. And if Mercury is ahead of the sun, then the Mercury/Jupiter conjunction will operate as an expansive, demonstrative press agent for the Sun, throwing out the individual's ideas with extra force. This could, however, lead to overconfidence in the expression 'of ideas which have not been care- fully thought through, or it could lead to an extremist attitude in the areas shown by house placement of the conjunction, as well as sign placement.

The semisextile aspect, offering potential for growth, is one which could have an especially influential effect on the Moon/Mercury relationship.

The sextile aspect to either the Moon or Mercury are indicative of the opportunities the individual will encounter for obtaining and expressing information. The nature of the planets forming such sex– tiles will show the nature of the opportunities, and of course the reaction of the individual will have much impact on his success in grasping any opportunity coming his way. The inconjunct aspect will bring situations into the life that require the mind to make adjustments concerning any information it is receiving. The mind will have to measure the input in an unusual way, allowing for the possibility that the facts are not exactly accurate, or that the facts may change. The quick, anxious type will very possibly suffer under an inconjunct aspect to his Mercury or Moon because he is not willing to assess the information and adjust to its impact. He wants to leap ahead to the conclusion without waiting for the data to be fitted into his already formulated pattern of knowledge. The inconjunct may not have the devastating impact on the person with Mercury behind the Sun and the slow Moon; this deliberate thinker is possibly more willing to consider and analyze in any case. The need to adjust will be an integral part of his thought processes with or without the inconjunct. The semisextile aspect, offering potential for growth, is one which could have an especially influential effect on the Moon/ Mercury relationship. This so-called minor aspect has been found to contribute a significant influence on the thought processes; growth is often accompanied by some painful realization. For example, if the Moon forms a semisextile to Neptune, the individual has an opportunity to grow through the acceptance of hidden, abstract, or psychic information. This type of data lends itself to influencing the quick type of mind in that it often does not require long, carefully thought out consideration. Either the mind can grasp this type of data or it cannot. The deliberate mind can also benefit, but the tendency to pick ideas apart, to consider all of the angles, may become frustrating when Neptune is involved. The nature of Neptune is to be imprecise and elusive, thus not likely to fit into the careful deliberate pattern. It may seem as though a particularly nice bit of psychic information is poured into the individual's cup of the mind; the cup changes magically into a sieve, and the information is gone almost as quickly as it came. The fast mind would have catalogued and filed that information without giving it a chance to slip through the spaces of the mind.

Although I have covered only a few of the many possible examples, hopefully the point has been made. Don't accept this or any detail of your delineation without considering the overall impact of aspects or other elements in the chart.

This article first appeared in Today's Astrologer, the bulletin of the American Federation of Astrologers.


© Copyright: Stephanie Clement





Other articles by Stephanie Clement

Clement, StephanieStar of the Month: Christopher Reeve

Clement, StephanieWin or Lose?: Two George Foreman Fights Seen Astrologically

Clement, StephanieDelineation of Conjunctions and Stellia

Clement, StephanieVenus: An Alchemical View

Clement, StephanieSublimation and Air

Clement, StephaniePlanet-Centered Astrology: Mars and His Moons, Phobos and Deimos

Clement, StephanieAries and the Masculine in Astrology

Clement, StephanieConjunctions to the Midheaven

Clement, StephanieDecanates

Clement, StephanieManilius' System of Dodecatemories (DWADS)



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