One of the most important parts of astrology is the aspects. Aspects provide additional information about how the planets interact with each another. Orbs represent the distance in energy measured between planetary bodies in the natal chart. The number of orbs represented by the aspect reveals the potency of the particular aspect. In order to understand your natal chart in-depth, it essential to know about orbs and their function in astrology.
Measuring Aspects with Orbs
To determine the potency and impact of aspects within a natal chart is important to look at the distance between the various planets that create the aspect. This is called measuring the orb between various planets. The best way to calculate the orbs is via a professional, computerized astrology chart which will provide the details and numbers which show how far apart certain planets are when aspecting. In general, the most commonly used orb distances range from zero to ten degrees. However, most online and computerized astrology software allows for manual adjustments that can narrow or widen the orb distance for aspects if so desired.
Why Orbs Matter in Astrology
Although the distance between aspects may seem minor, the orbs are actually very important in understanding just how much of an influence a particular aspect with an astrology chart. For example, if you have two Saturn aspects within a natal chart, one Saturn Square Pluto with an orb of 3 degrees and another aspect Saturn Square Venus with an orb of 10 degrees, the Saturn Square Pluto aspect at 3 degrees will be felt more potently because the orb is smaller. In general, the smaller the orb in numbers, the more that particular aspect is experienced by the chart holder. If there is a 0-degree orb, this is considered one of the most potent aspects because it represents that there isn’t any energetic distance between the two planets that are interacting energetically.
Likewise, if an aspect shows an orb of 10 degrees or more, as with the example given above for Saturn Square Venus, this particular aspect is not felt as strongly as tighter aspects by the chart holder.
Understanding what orbs are and how they are utilized in astrology allows individuals to better understand why some aspects within the natal chart are experienced more strongly than others. It is due to the distance between the two planets which are represented by the orb.
Differing Opinions on Orb Measurements
Throughout the field of astrology, there are differing opinions on what qualifies as a tight or loose orb based on measurement. Some astrologers consider anything 5 degrees and under as a tight orb when considering the traditional planets. When dealing with asteroids, the orb is even smaller with only a 1-3 degree marker as the baseline to consider an asteroid aspect as useful for astrological interpretation.
There are some arguments that the 10 degrees orb is very wide when considering aspects between planetary bodies. However, there are some astrologers that will consider aspects with a 10-degree orb, particularly if they feel that the planets associated with that particular orb have special significance within the astrology chart.
Feeling What’s Right for You
When it comes to using orbs in astrology, there are specific rules about the various distances that would qualify the aspect to be considered for interpretation in an astrology chart. However, it is also important to consider how a particular aspect affects you as an individual no matter how large of a distance the orb is when considering an aspect. Again, using the above example, if you have Saturn Square Venus with a 10-degree orb, and you personally believe that you actually feel the energy associated with the Saturn Square Venus aspect, it may be important for you to acknowledge this aspect no matter how large that orb is because you personally feel the effects of this particular aspect.
Ultimately, when utilizing and understanding orbs in astrology, is important to consider not only the distance of the orb in order to determine whether or not an aspect is valid or should be considered within an astrology chart, it is also important to consider how the individual experiences the aspects no matter the weight of the orb. This can help combined the pragmatic use of orb measurements with the intuitive knowing of the individual to determine which aspects are most important in the astrology chart.