In the Nature of a Square

Posted by Eric Francis Coppolino


The prevailing aspect of our moment is the square. Long misunderstood, this is an aspect of high integrity, of durable structure, and of action — though admittedly, as Eric writes, it can be a little stressful.

The prevailing aspect of our moment is the square. Long misunderstood, this is an aspect of high integrity, of durable structure, and of action — though admittedly, it can be a little stressful. Like, especially if you’re a federal employee who didn’t get paid on Friday.


I was doing some research in the vast Planet Waves library this morning (I am well into the writing of a book, and I’ll have news about that soon), and pulled A Handbook for the Humanistic Astrologer off of my shelf. This is a classic work by Michael Meyer, which has all kinds of bits that will take you out of astrology’s dark ages. Many astrologers are trained to treat squares like a case of the measles.

Of the square, he says that it’s about “the exteriorization and actualization of relationship. The giving of concrete form. Crisis and the need to take clear-cut action. Confrontations and their results. Creative tension. Solid power.”

Wow, I bet you’ve never read anything like that before. OK, maybe you have. Some astrologers are onto the advantages of squares (Robert Hand and Barbara Hand Clow, to mention two hands clapping).

Presently, the main superstructure that surrounds the Earth is a compound square from Aries to Capricorn. Take a look at it — anyone can see it. All those red lines are individual square contacts between planets. In Aries, we currently have, in order, Mars, the Moon, Eris and Uranus. Lurking right around the Aries Point is the Kuiper object Salacia.

In Capricorn we presently have Saturn, Mercury, Pluto, the Sun and the South Node. Lurking right around the Aries Point (its Capricorn leg) is the centaur Pholus.

The backbone of this whole seemingly complicated business is Pluto square Eris, which we will be living with for years.

Over the past few days of federal government mayhem, the Sun has been passing through this square. There’s lots and lots of tension that’s looking for tangible expression. You will feel better if you take action on something important that you need to do. Squares want something to happen. Nothing is more annoying than doing nothing under potent square energy.

Then, there is the square between Jupiter way at the top of the chart, and Neptune, the little blue trident, toward the lower left. Look how exact that is — within three minutes of arc. Jupiter-Neptune squares are pretty rare. This one is exciting because it’s in the signs both ruled by Jupiter (from classical astrology); and the sign where Neptune is the modern ruler (Pisces).

Jupiter square Neptune is about focusing your ideals. It’s also prone to idealization, but if you skip that part, and make contact with what you really and truly hold out as the vision for your life, you will be happier. If you’re in doubt, cancel your social plans, disable your gadgets, and spend the evening with your notebook. The kind where you hear the nib or pencil scratching along on the paper.


A Handbook for the Humanistic Astrologer associates the square aspect with the tetrahedron, not a cube. I found this illustration that shows how the tetrahedron, which has four faces and six edges, fits inside of a cube. I still don’t understand the metaphor. If you get it, please email me.

Of note, Jupiter is conjunct the Great Attractor, the core of the Laniakea supercluster. This is one of the defining features in the whole zodiac. If you tap into this, you will be unstoppable. Read more about it here (and don’t miss the video).

With these two squares going so boldly and so beautifully, I thought it would be a good time to offer a little more information. I used to hang out with an astrologer up in Vancouver named Ani Black. If I could, I would buy her a sushi dinner at least once a month (hi Ani!). She handed me this and a few other good ideas that I leave right on my desk and never put away.

In practical terms, a square presents an either/or situation. But it’s an “either/or” where you have a need to prioritize both items. One arm of the square represents one set of priorities; the other side of the square represents the other.

So, the tendency is to work one side of the square for a while, and do as much as you can, often neglecting the other. Then the other side gets your attention, and you focus on that. Then you go back to the first side, and so on — and as you do this, you gradually integrate the aspect pattern, and your actions begin to support the whole.

This is how integrity is cultivated and built. This is how busy people get so much done. This is how strong people become strong. You weave, you build, you align yourself, you cultivate strength.

One last thought, re: squares. The approach variously known (in different times and places) as Uranian Astrology or the Hamburg School or the Witte School or Cosmobiology has many clever ideas that fly in the face of classical astrology (but which also curiously endorse it). One of them is to fold up the chart and treat everything on the same axis like a big conjunction. Imagine you fold up the paper and those squares lay on top of one another, which concentrates their power.

One last bit. Sally Brompton called the tune on Jupiter square Neptune when she said to stick to your decisions.

This is a good week to get shit done. Make sure it’s what you want to do the most.

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