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What’s So Bad About “Bad” Aspects?elizabethimage

It is a common notion among astrologers that hard, difficult aspects make for strong, resilient people. When we see a horoscope with a goodly dose of close squares and oppositions we know we’re dealing with a person who has experienced hardship and defeat. Aspects like these, the traditional “bad” aspects, symbolize deficiency that have to be overcome and troubles that have to be faced. Not everyone wins the battles indicated by their squares and opposition but even the losers come out of the experience a little wiser and a little tougher.


A good example of this is the horoscope of Queen Elizabeth II. (Click here to see the chart.) Her horoscope features a classic T-square with Saturn at the apex (and on the Midheaven) squaring Jupiter and Mars on one side and Neptune on the other. Just the fact that she has Saturn on her Midheaven would probably be enough to disqualify her for greatness in traditional astrology. A more modern take would indicate a life of constant struggle.
Elizabeth’s reign has certainly had its difficulties. First of all, there is the fact that, even though she wields no political power, her actions are under constant scrutiny. Then there the question of whether or not the monarchy is even necessary. It can’t be easy waking up every morning and knowing that the throne of your ancestors could be threatened by your slightest misstep.


Throughout her reign Elizabeth has had to deal with scandals. First there were the high jinks of her sister, Margaret. Then the dating habits of her son Andrew (known as “Randy Andy” back in the day.) And then, of course, there was the disastrous marriage of her son Charles to Princess Diana, their divorce and Diane’s tragic death. All of these troubles impacted the Queen’s career and public image (Saturn on the Midheaven.) Sex and death were a constant theme, as we might expect with Neptune so near the cusp of the 8th House.


A typical Taurus Sun with Capricorn rising, Queen Elizabeth handled all these difficulties with calm professionalism. If she had complaints about the tough breaks that came her way, she kept them to herself. At any given point, these difficulties might have broken her will and even scuttled the monarchy itself, but they didn’t.


This year (with the progressed Sun crossing her Descendant) Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her 60th year on the throne and her popularity, in the U.K. and around the world, is at an all time high. Despite all the hard aspects in her horoscope Elizabeth has not only survived, she has thrived. She has endured all the heartache and disappointment destiny has dealt her and come through the experience as a beacon of strength and resolve. She has also provided us with a wonderful example of what’s good about “bad” aspects.