Those of us with natal oppositions, or two planets 180 degrees from each other, are people at odds with ourselves and our environment. If we consider that the early environment, our first relationships, and our personal origins are in the birth chart, oppositions can manifest not just as internal, but external struggles.
Just to clarify a few things:
Squares are not just oppositions that don’t suck as much. On those note, sextiles aren’t just trines that aren’t as much fun. All aspects have their own manifestations, characteristics, and possible expressions. Even though squares and oppositions tend to be challenging, they are not the same.
Consider this: two people don’t like or understand each other. In reality, they are very alike, and this is what they hate about each other. Unfortunately, they are locked in a room together, and they are tethered together with a rope around their waists. However, they‘re trying to walk away from each other. They get as far as they can until the rope is pulled tight. In order to keep away from each other, all they can do now is walk in a circle around the room. They are always on opposite ends of the room. They are experiencing the opposite ends of the room. They see out of different windows. They bump into different types of furniture.
They, stop turn around, and face each other. Each person knows that the other person is experiencing a different part of the room, but they can only see what the other person is doing. One person sees that the other is by the window. They can see the window and the other person by the window. However, because they are watching the other person, they bump into a footstool. The person by the window can see the person bumping into a footstool. What they cannot see themselves is that the sun is shining through the window behind them.
This is important. The planets FACE each other. They are looking at each other head on. They have an insight into the other planet. They know what the other planet wants to do and where they want to go. They just won’t let them. They can tell them, but they aren‘t experiencing it, just looking at it from a distance.
A square is different. Imagine that same room, but the two people are standing in different corners of the room, diagonally from each other. One planet is standing in the top right corner, and the other is standing in the bottom left corner. If you traveled the perimeter of the room from one planet to the other, you would get a right angle, 90 degrees. One person is in the corner of the room while the other is standing in the middle of the room, diagonally from them.
These guys can actually see each other in their peripheral vision, and look at each other this way. They can see the other somewhat. They have an idea that the other is taking up a certain amount of space. They aren’t ever directly facing each other. They know that they can’t move into one corner without the other one moving, too. They can’t get closer, and they can’t run from each other.
Such is the same with planets. Planets that are both opposite and square from each other are in the same mode, meaning that the signs approach life in a similar way. Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn are in cardinal mode, which means that their approach is to initiate, or start, something. Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius are in fixed mode, in that they tend to allow things to happen around them but are not moved. Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces are in mutable mode, in that they change based on the energies around them.
Planets in opposition or square are in the same mode, though in elements and different hemispheres or quadrants of the zodiac.
The hemispheres are on either end of the midheaven/immum colei line, the cusps of the 10th and 4th houses.
The eastern hemisphere is the LEFT side of the zodiac. This includes the eastern horizon, which is the ascendant. The ascendant is the degree of the sign on the horizon. The eastern hemisphere includes the 10th through the 3rd houses. It is mostly concerned with what is inside of me or what I want to let out.
The western hemisphere is the RIGHT side of the zodiac. This is the 4th house through the 9th, and it is concerned with what have with other people and the world.
Each sign opposite the other is also in a house opposite each other. These opposite signs are in the same mode, but have different expressions. For example, Aries and Libra are in the same mode. Both are concerned with initiating something, but Aries and Libra have opposite desires: Aries wants to pioneer, while Libra wants to share. The houses themselves are also opposite: the 1st house is autonomy and single personal identity, and the 7th house is partnership and shared personal identity. The 1st house is who I am, what I look like, what I am like alone. The 7th house is who I am in an intimate relationship, what we are like together, and what my partner does or is that I don‘t do or am not, or on the other hand, what I am like in the relationship that I am not like when alone.
When we have planets that are opposite each other, we were born at odds with our environment. This is especially true for those who have oppositions that involve the sun or the moon. There is something about where we were born that just doesn‘t work for us. This is because in the place we were born and in that environment, we struggle to meet the needs represented by the planets. Planets represent persons or circumstances in our environment that directly shape or effect us, and the houses they are in are what areas of life they effect. The signs they are in are the ways that that the planets express themselves.
In the theater of life, planets are the actors. The signs are the costumes they wear, and the houses are what they do. The script is written by all of humanity and projected onto the stage of the heavens.
People with oppositions are inherently frustrated. However, they tend to be geniuses in their own way, though they are often the prophet who is castigated in their own community for going against the grain. The inherent frustration they feel within themselves, and with opposing demands from their environment cause them to see things differently and come up with new solutions. But it doesn‘t usually work where they are born, because there are still people representing the frustrating opposite demands.
The solution? Go away. Get out of there. Move far away and start a new life where one can spread their wings. True, the opposite doesn‘t go away, but at least the people and circumstances represented by the opposition are no longer an issue. This is, however, less so in the digitized world in which our origins can keep a strange-hold on us.
I hate LinkedIn for this reason. It doesn‘t really benefit the Renaissance man or woman who has had a few careers or has a lot of talent. It is meant for people who follow but one path in life and is meant to help them continue on that one path. The pressure to be on LinkedIn is the pressure to conform to a pathetic idea that we have but one vocation and that vocation only exists in the limited, defined occupations already existing. It doesn‘t do much for those who create their own way, or sneak into careers through the back door.
But where to move? This depends. Look at the angles of the chart. Are the ascendant, descendant, midheaven, and immum colei in cardinal signs, fixed signs, or mutable signs? If they are in cardinal signs, you don‘t have to move far. You have the natural energy to initiate whatever you want. If they are in fixed signs, move at least one time zone away. You probably don‘t want to be too far away, but try to find a place you feel you put down roots. If they are in mutable signs, get as far away as you can. Become an ex-pat. If you live in a big country like the USA or Canada, go as far as you can in your own country, if you choose not live abroad.
Keep in mind that one will not escape the internal struggle of the opposition, but one will escape the people and circumstances that make the opposition so oppressing. However, one must be sure not to run back into circumstances or places in which things are largely the same. I‘m starting to realize now, with law school, that I was quite wrong about it. In my experience, I have found that most people in law school are NOT intellectuals, at least not most of them: they are hyper-normative people who are really good at doing hyper-normative things, and the study of law seems to be a comfortable place for hyper-normative people who want a hyper-normative career. Unfortunately, the law is mutable, but it doesn‘t appear that way on the outside. While there are certainly people who are intellectual and curious in law school and in my class, the general mode is to be very, very conventional.
What can one do in these circumstances? Keep going. The conventional people only get a conventional reward in life, and truly, in this market, that is ever the case. I have never personally known a successful person to be a person who is really good at being conventional. They may give the illusion that they are, because they become successful enough to change what is normative, but they begin as unconventional people.
To further illustrate the point, it can be said that a person with a strong opposition in the chart is meant to go far away and seek out greener pastures. It also means that the person is looking internally, since there is no hope of finding validation outside the self, in other people, in institutions or structures that already exist. Thus, if the circumstances are that a person with an opposition cannot leave the geographic area, the next best thing is to depart from the people and the institutions.
Opposition are thus signs of rebellion in the chart. An internal struggle, initiated by frustration with the circumstances outside of one‘s self, makes one have to take measures to break away. To conform is to die; to not be able to express the self as the self exists and needs to be in this lifetime. One thing a person with strong oppositions learns is that cooperation gets them little of what they really want, and as they age, the opposition doesn‘t mellow. While squares tend to mellow as one ages, oppositions become more intensified. This is often because, as one ages, one becomes more set in their ways, more patient, and more able to create the life that they want.
Case in point? US Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders. Take a look at his chart:
This is a man who has always rebelled against the institution when it comes to giving people what they really want and need to feel secure and happy (Moon/Mars opposite Venus). He was born in affluent Brooklyn Heights but relocated to Vermont in 1968. He has gone against the grain for decades, and in his presidential campaign has been no different. While Americans tend to fear the mere word ‘socialism,‘ with time, we have been catching up and realizing that some of our most beloved institutions — churches, unions, and schools — are socialist in nature, and that perhaps in order to solve the problems of economic disparity, we need to institutionalize fairness (there is that Venus again!). Everyone deserves a shot at happiness (Moon/Mars opposite Venus), not just those born into favorable circumstances. This is a man who would like to free Americans from the slavery of student loan debt.
And all in all, being born with an opposition in the chart makes a person feel that, in some way, they are born into some sort of slavery, in which they cannot escape the grip of their circumstances unless they flee, because the circumstances they are born into are meant to keep them from full autonomy. This makes sense. A slave born onto a plantation cannot simply work his way up to one day owning the plantation. He must flee or he must rebel and fight the man who enslaves him. A woman born into a world in which she is simply expected to marry and have children cannot simply say no, never marry, and try to establish her own life. The circumstances are against her, and the institutions are set up such that she can never change the situation alone. She must flee, or she must all out rebel.
For those of us with oppositions in our natal charts, life isn‘t easy, but then again, those who make the world a better place aren‘t the people who like it just the way it is.