Sunday, August 28, 2011

Astrology Basics: The Opposition Aspect and Lily-Rose Depp

A natal chart shows the placements of the planets in the sky at the time of someone’s birth. To the average person, it may just look like a lot of dots in a circle, but to an astrologer, it reveals the patterns and tendencies in that person’s behavior and needs. The planets, while very far apart in our sky, look closer together when placed in the natal wheel, and connections between them can be seen by tracing certain mathematical angles between the planets, such as the 90 degree angle, called a square.

Mlle. Kiddie would like to introduce you to a challenging aspect called the opposition. Oppositions can be easy to spot because they are directly opposite each other. An opposition is created in a natal chart by two (or more) planets that make a 180 degree angle* when a straight line is drawn across the wheel to connect them, like this:

An opposition in a natal chart shows a connection between two planets, or parts of ourselves, that may conflict with each other because they have opposing needs and/or styles of fulfilling the needs that those planets represent. This internal 'tug-of-war' can be frustrating to manage and can feel like we are not sure what we want, but it can also keep our awareness heightened in each area because these planets pull on each other.

The chart pictured is Lily Depp's natal chart,^ the 12-year-old (currently) daughter of Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis. She has an opposition between Jupiter in Aries and Mars in Libra. Jupiter is a planet of growth, one that represents our desire to hope, to strive, and/or to take a chance. It is known as a lucky planet because it can represent opportunities that come our way, although it's up to us whether we take those opportunities, or see them as such. Jupiter in Aries shows an initiating, go-for-it kind of attitude, being willing to take leaps of faith to go for what one wants. However, Jupiter in Aries can be impulsive if allowed to go unchecked, sometimes leaping before looking.

Across the pond, Mars lies in Libra. Mars is a planet that governs the style in which we take action and the kinds of things that prompt us to take those actions. Mars in Libra people like to weigh all the options before making decisions. They also like to get the opinions of others, and want to make sure that their actions won't displease others greatly. This can be a wise and courteous style of acting, but can also lead to too much hesitation or indecision out of fear of stepping on someone's toes or making the wrong choice.

The impulse to act freely and according to one's own agenda (Jupiter in Aries) is battling the desire to act with caution and courtesy (Mars in Libra) in Lily's chart, which can represent a dynamic where she may struggle with these two opposing desires. Quite often, those who have oppositions in their charts find that they frequently get stuck here, paralyzed between the two desires and not sure how to make a move without causing themselves internal stress.

However, the key for Lily is to learn how they can balance each other. Her desire to act courteously and cautiously can help reign in her Jupiter in Aries impulsiveness, and drive to leap freely and bravely into life can help her overcome the tendency toward excessive hesitation represented by Mars in Libra. Ultimately, planets in opposition can produce fruitful results once a person learns to handle the balancing act inside themselves!

*A degree is a unit of measurement. They are marked by the degree symbol following the numbers by each planet in a natal chart. There are 360 degrees in a circle. Each sign is divided into 30 degrees, so counting restarts at 0 when entering a new sign. To find an opposition, locate any planet in a natal chart and note its degree number. Then count 6 signs from there in either direction and see if another planet lands in the same degree (give or take a few degrees) in the new sign. That’s an opposition! If you’re not sure, or you don’t have a copy of your natal chart, you can calculate one for free instantly online at!

^Lily's birth time is not publicly known, so a sunrise chart has been cast. This does not affect the planets placement in the signs, except possibly the fast-moving moon, so the planets in signs discussed are correct even without a birth time.

Image of Johnny Depp is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license and attributed to nicogenin. Image of Vanessa Paradis is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license and attributed to Lunon92.

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