Quincunx: A minor aspect?
Since I started studying Astrology, I have been told that quincunxes were minor aspects and that they weren’t that important. But as my experience expands, I keep encountering this aspect in birth charts, synastry, transits, and can’t help but notice its extreme importance. The quincunx (otherwise called inconjunct) is an aspect formed when two planets are 150° apart (3 degrees orb allowed).
Quincunx in synastry
In synastry, I have seen an overall great synastry with a tight quincunx creating a lot of blockages and misunderstanding. In a natal chart, I have seen a fluid chart becoming extremely blocked in the presence of a quincunx. In transits, I’ve seen people experiencing depression when nothing else but a quincunx (well a Yod in this case) was there to explain the symptoms. These experiences lead me to believe that the discussion on quincunxes wasn’t where it should be.
Why is a quincunx so hard to define and explain? I think the answer is that a quincunx is such a weird combination of energy. The element is different, the mode is different, and therefore it’s like taking two persons from different backgrounds and with completely different personalities, and forcing them to hang out together. Weird right?
Quincunx in the birth chart
A quincunx in the birth chart speaks of inner conflict and inner tension which you can interpret by sign, by modality and by house.
For example, one part of you wants to keep things exactly as they are no matter what the cost and no matter how troublesome (fixed sign) and the other part of you wants to move on as quickly as possible (mutable.)
A quincunx is different than a square or an opposition because it represents inner conflict, but an inner conflict that isn't strong enough to push to a resolution, or, an inner conflict that does not seem to have a possible resolution. It seems to represent a sort of "perpetual problem" that weighs on someone but doesn't cause chaos like a square, or relationship difficulties like the opposition. It's like walking around with a piece of toilet paper stuck to your shoe and not being able to get it off. Do you look silly? Yes. But can you walk? Yes.
Quincunx by transit
I can speak of this one from my personal experience as I have been having Uranus inconjunct my Libra stellium for the last couple of years. It truly feels like a watered down version of what I was experiencing during the opposition. So for example, when I had Uranus transit opposite Moon, I moved in with someone from the beginning of the relationship and we stayed together 4 years. We were an "instant family" and it was fun and exciting. During the quincunx, I also had a "love at first sight" experience, and we spent every day together from the day we met. That relationship broke down a few months later, but it was similar, just less tangible. I think this is exactly how I would describe a quincunx by transit: Look at the meaning of the transit for the square or opposition, and consider it a watered down version.
How to deal with a quincunx
How to deal with it? Flexibility is one of the keywords, as well as creativity. Moon-Uranus inconjunct, find a living situation that allows you to move around a lot. Venus-Saturn quincunx, finding pleasure in responsibilities / developing love within commitment. Venus-Uranus quincunx, finding a way to live your relationships that preserves your freedom. Mars-Saturn inconjunct, find a way to be lasting in your action without losing all your energy.
How to deal with it in a relationship? Well that is a even harder question. Quincunxes in relationships represent a mismatch, and somehow quincunxes seem to attract people together as it is really often found in synastry. It represents huge possible areas of growth, but it is really hard depending on the two-person natal chart and their willingness to provide the effort. A quincunx requires a lot of flexibility and adaptation, and most of us don’t really want to adapt that much. I myself remember saying to a partner with who I had quincunx “we need to laugh more at this”, and this is one of the advices for quincunx couple: Laugh more, as there are going to be a lot of trivial disagreements.
Another thought is that people who find quincunxes in their relationships probably need to learn the skill of adaptation and compromises for their own personal growth. It is a tough skill to master but very rewarding on the long run.
As far as the energy flow goes, quincunx and Yod holders have consistently quoted Reiki as a great solution to reconcile incompatible energies in their natal chart.