Importance of Increasing (Waxing) Aspects
and Decreasing (Waning) Aspects
in Heliocentric Astrology

by Luc Vergely

Many astrologers do not differentiate between waxing and waning aspects. This is a tempting simplification, but one that removes much of the precision that can be achieved with a consideration of aspects.

I will speak here only from my observations in heliocentric astrology. This must also be applicable to geocentric astrology, but I personally consider heliocentric astrology much simpler and more natural and relevant. Furthermore the Sun is the receiving and generating center of the cosmic energies of our solar system, and the Earth is like an immense magnet that takes advantage of this inexhaustible source.

To understand the importance of increasing (waxing) and decreasing (waning) aspects, it is important to understand what an aspect is

In astrology, each planet is always in a cyclical phase with each of the other planets. An aspect between two planets is the angular difference between the positions of those planets on the ecliptic as observed at a specific time from the Earth (in geocentric astrology) or from the Sun (in heliocentric astrology). When the angular difference is close to 0, the combined energy of those two planets will have a significant impact on the personality of a person affected by this aspect

A cycle corresponds to a logical sequence of stages of development of a single process, comparable to birth, life and death. Every thing, every relationship, every project, every idea, every feeling is born, grows, experiences crises, is fulfilled or fails, and comes to die one day. We can also talk about the maturation cycle as we see in everything around us, starting with Nature. From an astronomical point of view this is also true, and one could even say that this incessant ballet of celestial bodies is at the origin here on Earth of all the events that can be observed, even the microscopic

A cycle is repeated in time, but always in a different way, like an evolutionary spiral.

We can therefore meet people who are mature from a professional point of view, but surprisingly immature from an emotional point of view. The opposite is true too. No need to dwell on it. The important thing to understand is that the cycle of maturation or evolution is almost endless. We are all affected and guided at different levels, and with a wisdom and a synchronicity that are beyond our understanding

In any aspect, transit, or synastry, there is a faster planet and a slower one. In the first half of the evolution (waxing from 0° to 180°) it is the slowest planet which sets the main goal of the aspect and that tells us what the fastest must assimilate to grow and develop. While in the second half of the evolution (waning from 180° to 360°) It is the fastest planet which sets the main goal of the aspect and that tells us what the slowest must assimilate to grow and develop. It is a law of receiving and giving. The aspects between fast planets are to be considered as personal energies with short cycles, whereas the aspects between slow planets are collective aspects with long cycles.

To interpret the aspects from conjunction to opposition and back, I present here a description of each phase of a complete cycle thus giving an explanation of the main aspects

From 0 to 15: Conjunction (waxing > courage)
The waxing conjunction corresponds to the fusion of two planetary energies, which marks the beginning of a cycle. It is the realization of a deep aspiration. It is a phase of bravery, candor and temerity, which marks a new beginning in the unknown.

From 15 to 45: Semisextile (waxing > discovery)
The waxing semisextile represents the concretisation of the new energy in relation to our aspiration. Everything is set up to allow us to discover, and try to live as best we can, that which corresponds to the initial vision which propelled us on this path. It is therefore a phase of learning through new lived experiences.

From 45 to 75: Sextile (waxing > acquisition)
The waxing sextile encourages the acquisition of new knowledge, and gives us the motivation to learn and assimilate all that will allow us to perfect ourselves. It is a phase of communication and exchange, to reinforce our capacities, in order to better face the rise of the energy of the two planets concerned.

From 75 to 105: Square (waxing > perseverance)
The waxing square is the first mounted in power, which will create a pressure highlighting our weaknesses and where we need to improve. It is the first hurdle to pass but it allows us to strengthen and evolve. It is a phase of work on oneself, of perseverance, but also of flexibility. Indeed it is useless to become tense, at the risk of increasing the pressure unnecessarily, instead of taking the greatest benefit for our journey.

From 105 to 135: Trine (waxing > success)
The waxing trine allows the pressure to find a smooth path of circulation. It is a phase of fulfillment and realization, if one has learned to tame the energy, to make the best of it. However, letting go is a risk of this aspect, which can complicate the following phases. This is why we must learn to best benefit from this moment of success, to accumulate as much strength as possible for the rest of our evolution.

From 135 to 165: Quincunx (waxing > liberty)
The waxing quincunx is a phase of responsibility and discipline. The strength and assets accumulated during the previous phases must be managed as equitably and as wisely as possible, at the risk of creating imbalances. The apparent freedom of this phase is only an illusion that should enable us to learn to face temptation, and thus to purify ourselves, by learning to listen to our conscience with vigilance. This is an aspect that allows us to balance our accounts if necessary, before facing the next step.

From 165 to 180: Opposition (waxing > questioning)
The waxing opposition is a culmination for good or bad of our past actions, and therefore a questioning. It carries restrictions if we have not learned to reconcile the energy of the planets in action, and development if we have. We come to the end of the first half of the cycle, so the growing opposition sounds like an introspection of our past actions. Note that the results of the growing opposition can be very positive if we managed to tame the energy of the growing square and purify ourselves with the growing quincunx.

From 180 to 195: Opposition (waning < balance)
The waning opposition corresponds to a phase of synchronization and renewal. We must learn to make choices and take decisions that generate resolutions following the rebalancing of the opposition. It is a phase of stabilization of our convictions. It's a big step in maturation because we open up to another dimension. If the first growing phase of the cycle has allowed us to receive, we are now going into the decreasing phase of learning to give.

From 195 to 225: Quincunx (waning < commitment)
The waning quincunx pushes us to a positive reorganization of our mind to open to intuition. We can not go back. Our resolutions must become action. This corresponds to a commitment phase. We are no longer alone, and the consequences of our actions can harm others. We must learn to control ourselves to avoid falling back into the mistakes of the past, but also to better dominate our gifts. We must not feel guilty, because it is our mistakes that make us the person we are today.

From 225 to 255: Trine (waning < gratitude)
The waning trine is a phase of action and gratitude for the conscious fulfillment of our full maturity. We have learned to tame energy without suffering from it, but on the contrary to share it with the greatest mastery and wisdom, and for the greater good of those around us. We are nonetheless aware that we are only transmitting receivers, like lenses, and that the source of life does not belong to us

From 255 to 285: Square (waning < humility)
The waning square is a phase of humility, a phase engendered by being tested. Without humility, one can not access living knowledge. The previous phase may have led to criticism of us that we must learn to deal with. Even with goodwill, we are only men and women with weaknesses who try in the best case to serve with our own abilities. These are imperfect, and we must learn to accept the consequences by learning from our mistakes.

From 285 to 315: Sextile (waning < sharing)
The waning sextile is a phase of unification and solidarity, which encourages us to share the gifts and goods we have acquired through the previous phases. Arriving at this phase, we are still in action, however, we have already returned with this aspect in a certain conscious detachment which encourages us to value the fruit of our lived experiences, and to benefit our entourage.

From 315 to 345: Semisextile (waning < knowledge)
The waning semisextile calls for a period of assessment of the positive and negative actions of the cycle that is about to end. It is also the inclination toward a future still unknown, the beginning of a new cycle that arrives. It is a phase that allows us to test one last time our living knowledge in order to make it a second nature for our future evolution. It is a return to oneself that inspires us to witness by the example of the beauty of life, and thus to encourage others, for new aspirations and vocations.

From 345 to 360: Conjunction (waning < wisdom)
Back to the conjunction. This period is a secondment phase, which can be compared to a final examination. Depending on our success, we can choose or not, our future openings. The level of wisdom and maturity is what best determines the accomplishment of this phase. In all cases, life always pushes us to move forward, showing us the best possible way, to take advantage of our past experience, and to ensure a better future..

0: New cycle


Windows software which displays which aspects (between all planets at a given time) are waxing and which are waning is available on this website here for geocentric astrology and here for heliocentric astrology.

Planetary Aspects and Transits Home Page