The Quincunx Aspect

off balance see-saw“What goes up must come down. But there comes a time when not everything that is down can come up.”
–George Burns

The aspect of the quincunx (sometimes referred to as the inconjunct) is usually not characterized as a major aspect, but I think it should be. It’s measured as 150 degrees from point to point, and most astrologers keep its orb small, two or three degrees. By orb one means only two or three degrees off exact. I’ll err a bit further if it’s the Sun or Moon involved or an important planet like the chart ruler.

The glyph for the quincunx looks like a picnic table viewed from the short side, or a see-saw. It’s a challenging aspect. It has a similarity to an opposition in that both ends require attention and the challenge is to balance. In larger terms you can see them both as see-saws. With the opposition, the fulcrum of the see-saw is low enough that the planets on each side can touch their feet to the ground at the same time. It is possible to balance with each being on equal footing. In the case of the quincunx, the balancing point is so far off the ground that only one side touches down at a time.

In terms of how the planets in a quincunx interact, it is very much like that big see-saw. In the example of Venus and the Moon in quincunx, a person would find it impossible to satisfy their wants and their needs at the same time. To understand you can contrast this with Venus and the Moon in square or opposition where a compromise can be reached by learning to accept something that’s not your natural ideal. With a quincunx between Venus and the Moon that’s too big a stretch. The solution here is to accept that you can have one and then the other, back and forth in succession, but not at the same time.

Do you have a quincunx in your chart? How does it manifest for you?



The Quincunx Aspect — 85 Comments

  1. Interesting and very much underrated subject!

    I have two exact quincunxes in my chart – first one is Sun+Sat/Aqu/(9 Placidus, 8 Koch) and Pluto/Virgo/4, the second one is Mars/Leo/3 and Jup/Pis/10.

    I fully agree that this is a challenging aspect. Ultimately this is about acceptance… which might get easier as one gets older. Or might not, depending on how one decides to live.

    There is a perennial lack of satisfaction but I guess one has to compromise somewhere, although it is kind of hard when hit by difficult transits.

  2. coolio article, satori.

    I have a few.

    Sun-Neptune in conjunct is what I just copped to having a couple of months ago. I’m a shape shifter:) Sometimes only in my mind, but yes–I get a lot of “what, YOU don’t do that” “YOU aren’t like that” “YOU’RE supposed to be like this”

    I’m glad I realized I had this aspect because frankly–I’ve spent too much time being upset that people make assumptions about me. I always felt like they were trying to pin me down/make me into something.

    Now I realize it isn’t personal and I can blame it all on Neptune:)

  3. I have 4, gotta look hard at them, not really sure yet. 10th house merc(sag) and 5th house uranus. I have gotten in trouble at work before, because I shock people at work when I speak the truth. Not sure about my jupiter 6th/chiron 11th aqua, I am having a hard time making friends with the computers at work. The other one Pluto/ASC no clue. But the one that is really gonna drive me crazy is I have this Neptune in Libra(7th or 8th~house systems) involving my Pisces ASC. HOW CAN NEPTUNE BE AT ODDS WITH HIMSELF????????

    What does an upside down picnic table mean????? and don’t answer with I am lying on my back with both legs in the air . . . .ha ha ha

  4. Great post…very intresting..
    and scary.
    I have sun in the 10th quintile asc and mc(8th), jupiter in the 8th Q saturn 6th. Woah…just thinking over it while I type…work issues!?hmm…that’s where it comes from?..

    Have to figure it out.

    And I have jupiter Q black lilith too..

    Ps:YAY !!Congratulations!!Happy engagement!!!

  5. i have one between venus and jupiter. its pretty much the closest aspect in my chart. i give in so easily to any type of request, only to regret it later, resent the person for indulging them. I spoil the people around me in a way. its a matter of learning to say no, and sticking by that. better to go overboard with the “no’s” than the other way around ya dig?

  6. I’ve always wanted to get more informations on quincux because I have always been drawn to that energy when attracting a partner.
    Mine is Sun quincux Uranus and also Sun quincux ASC. Would that be considered a yod even though ASC is just a point, not a planet?

    I have only had 3 serious relationships in the past, 2 scorpio suns and a virgo sun, although by orbs they don’t really quincux my aries planets. But still, I don’t understand why I’m drawn to relationships that require too much adjustments on each others’ part. There were no happy endings of course.
    As for my personality, I swing from philanthropic idealism to selfishism.. lol.. Just kidding. I don’t really know how it manifest in my personality. I just know that what my very critical ASC shows is very different from my Aries sun devil-may-care attitude. And I don’t know when or how one stops and another begins. Uranus in my 3rd house is my weakest planet but the most sensitive one to synastry and transits. When it gets aggravated, my sun also gets aggravated so my personality will just be so erratic and impulsive, which probably drove my partners away.

  7. This is what’s embarrasing about having merc in aries- write then think= bloopers!!
    I mixed it up .haha sorry..
    Wish I could delete.

  8. Thanks for the post, Satori! I was wondering how it differed from the opposition.

    I have a Saturn-Uranus-Neptune conjunction that touches all my planets and quincunxes the Sun. There was a time that felt like the Sun rarely shone because the conjunction was so prominent. I was drowning in it. I used to identify with the conjunction more than my Sun, but the Sun starts to shine more and get its needs met appropriately, instead of forcibly, as I learn how to handle the energies.

  9. Iathina, I totally had to go over and over your post before I figured out what you meant by being wrong! meh, no big deal, what you said was right on, just a different aspect… and so similar sounding. I’ve done similar… and felt like a dork. I can delete it if you like but I think it’s totally cool as it stands. I need to check out quintiles.

    and thanks… I’m really happy!

  10. @daisy That is a semi-sextile, a mildly beneficial aspect of 30 degrees. A sextile is an aspect of potential benefits, given that you do some work to work that aspect, so a semi-sextile is beneficial if you do more work than for a sextile.

  11. I don’t have one but the Man does, between his Venus and Saturn. One glass says:
    “You have difficulty seeing what you are actually responsible for in relationships.”
    His love life is and always has been extremely complex and he seems to have great trouble learning any lessons from the past, because he keeps making the same demands and mistakes – and causing the same pain to his lovers.

    He has a great fear of love – of being overwhelmed by love – whilst always seeking it out, and demanding it. When it’s offered and when it’s shared, he recoils (Aquarius Moon and Gemini Venus don’t help there).

    Another gloss says: “The things you value seem to have little connection with society’s expectations, and you might choose to simply ignore social norms and restrictions, feeling that they aren’t relevant to your life.”
    This too is very true of him – he ploughs his own furrow, doing extraordinary things by operating almost entirely under the radar (packed 12th)

    I googled for this inconjunction and found the following – seems the soldier has it too!

  12. interesting, i never looked into this before but i found that i have merc-jup quincunx my ascendant. i had to google it but then it made a lot of sense:

    likes to talk, sometimes too much. i look better (asc) when i practice some restraint with words (merc).

    couldn’t find a good description of jup-asc tho =(

  13. Chiron quincunx my Mars-Venus-Pluto conjunction. He’s within 5 minutes of Venus! O_O

    I don’t know much about Chiron, but bouncing between wound and love sounds rather depressing. It’s a good thing I can make my own reality. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Jilly called inconjuncts/quincunxes the “drunken K” aspect — it looks like K fell on his face. (Crooked parts on the ground.) There’s another drunken K where he fell on his back, but that’s a semi-sextile. ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. Thanks SaD and Jilly, so my neptune is flat on his face when he deals with himself, so thats like drunk squared. And flat on his back when he deals with Saturn. I think I’ll be ok, got some good aspects too. I GET KNOCKED DOWN, BUT I GET UP AGAIN

  15. Sun/Chiron and Moon for me. I’m not sure what to make of it. I can’t be secure and have freedom at the same time… YEAH.

  16. but they do relate… you work one, then you work the other. I know it sounds not so great but you can get into a rhythm that works.

    as far as the neptune/pisces thing goes, Daisy, maybe it’s your choice between “a bottle in front of me” and “a frontal lobotomy.” JUST KIDDING! thank you, Dorothy Parker, for that classic gem.

  17. A quincunx has a mutable quailty, the ability to learn from experience through thinking or perseption and hence the raising of consciousness and awareness. They reprosent the ability to digest experience and arrive at a new appreciation of life , they provide the motivation to search for truth, and to develop the ability to perceive ever deeper truths.

    The quincunx has a saturn quality, this is the other face of saturn; it is the aspect of deep learning which eventaually brings real understanding. it is consciousness building- learning, thinking reflecting; it moulds and tempers. There are three steps involved in realising the potential of the quincunx;
    1. a longing for something unknown and unexperienced ; a divine discontent; the aspiration to reach the whole truth, to encompass everything, to know the essence of something.

    2. A decision crisis; making compromises,yet not willing to restrict oneself to any one thing.

    3. Having finally made a decisiion, the law of refusal comes into play. REsolving to go for one thing, committing oneself. This has a will-building quality and involves the sacrifice of everything that does not partake of the nature of that one thing. It is conscious commitment towards the highest attainable goal.

  18. Thanks so much Satori… This explains ALOT! I’ve got Venus inconjunct my Moon. I’ve definetly seen how this has worked in my past. I had 3 failed marriages finally before I got a handle on it. In all of those three previous relationships, I thought they were what I needed in a partner, but then all of a sudden one day I would wake up and realize I was stuck with a person (and a life) that wasn’t what I wanted (at all). It always kind of bothered me that I could then walk away without looking back. When it was done it was more than done, and in at least one case it came as a complete surprise to my partner, but it was too late. There didn’t appear to be any comprimise available, it was simply one day things were fine, the next over. (period)

  19. yup. but i don’t feel them quite that way… it’s mroe like whatever fusion i need to do is inside out and has to restructure my approaches to both, completely. it’s like a forced re-creation to get them to work together.
    something like that. i know i’ve figured out how to get them to work together, is all. can’t put my finger on how, just yet.


  20. Um working on the frontal lobotomy, however every once in awhile even a skilled surgeon needs a good stiff drink to steady his hands. But there are parts of my mind(thoughts) that I do have difficulty rectifying.

  21. Ugh. Okay.


    Moon-Saturn bothers me the least. My Moon’s already a crotchety old bastard being in Capricorn, shake it up with 8th House Saturn, sure why the fuck not.

  22. I have sun in cancer in the 10th quincunx moon in aquarius in the 5th (w/in one degree).

    The image I have of the quincunx is that it’s like carrying two boxes, one is tiny and very heavy, the other is very big, but light. So, very difficult to manage both at the same time…awkward because of the lack of balance. So, you can either arrange your life just so to carry both (quite precarious), or you can carry one at a time.

  23. Hmm. Chewy. I am gonna have to look at this some more.

    Jupiter-Saturn (Jupiter is in Saturn’s sign, too.)
    Mars-Moon (Mars in the Moon’s sign)

    To quote someone who is often quoted in jest “what does it MEAN?”

    Thanks for this, Satori – something I hadn’t thought much about before. Gemini brain happy!

  24. “Moon-Saturn bothers me the least. My Moonโ€™s already a crotchety old bastard being in Capricorn, shake it up with 8th House Saturn, sure why the fuck not.”

    LOL. I have this too, in the same signs. The houses are different, though. Saturn is seriously buried in 12th, so I can mostly enjoy my 5th house Moon.

  25. Candela aren’t 5th House planets the best??

    ‘To quote someone who is often quoted in jest โ€œwhat does it MEAN?โ€’

    Shannon are you talking about double rainbow guy? I hope so, I am in love with him:)

  26. moon in pisces quincuxin’ uranus in leo…can’t be emmy lou and dolly on the same night!

    also jupiter at 0 degrees aquarius quincux pluto in virgo and north node ..the order of things is lost when i’m up in my jupiter balloon….would seem the quincux calls on a lot of blind faith
    what goes up, must come down

    very coooooooooool, satori!!

  27. Omg, I’m still laughing over the drunken K.

    Yanno, Saturn passed out when he walked in on the Sun’s party with Moon, Mercury, and Mars ๐Ÿ˜›

  28. I wonder if the Venus / Saturn quincunx can also signify a refusal to take responsibility in love? – certainly true of the Man, though obviously not of the soldier.

    He’ll take responsibility in every other area of life, but not for the consequences of his amatory behaviour. He did for his daughter though, in spite of not meeting her til she was almost grown

  29. I have Moon/Venus/Node quincunx Uranus/ascendant,
    Jupiter quincunx ascendant, and
    Saturn quincunx Neptune.

    I used to balance Saturn and Neptune, nicely… now, not so much. I need more Saturn, and Neptune isn’t coming through in the way it used to (because I no longer have the same discipline that I once had).

    I’m not sure how the others work, unless it has something to do with the way I interact with others.

  30. I have Sun (in Scorpio, 5th house) quincunx Moon in 11th, with an arc of 10′. My parents didn’t get along very well, but stayed married until my mother’s death at 63; my mom used to enjoy traveling to other countries by herself, and my father was a homebody who parked himself in front of the TV every night. I’ve noticed in my own life that it’s been hard to meet my emotional needs within relationships — the men involved (aside from the most recent one) didn’t place a high priority on communication, which is like air to me.

    And Capricorn Saturn in 6th quincunx Leo Ascendant with a 20′ arc. With Saturn/Asc it’s manifested in scoliosis which required two spinal fusion surgeries and which has left me with chronic severe back pain. The first surgery was during my first Saturn opposition to its natal place. I’m considered disabled now but work full time anyway in order to pay the bills. Another manifestation is crooked teeth (these will be corrected eventually after my father’s estate is settled). The other thing I really notice with this aspect is that people’s first impressions of me usually contain the words “serious”, “controlled”, and similar even though that Leo Ascendant is bolstered by several sextiles and trines. And of course my work life doesn’t leave enough time, in my current job, to do things and activities that make me happy.

    (Hopefully this comment won’t go into the spam filter…)

  31. I have Venus quincunx Uranus and Mercury quincunx Saturn. I always thought the Venus quincunx Uranus was a big deal one in my chart because I really do have the, to quote astrology weekly, problem of going for “freedom through relationships” instead of “freedom from relationships.” Mostly before Saturn in Libra, my mind would go through the trajectory of relationships particularly of the “show me a beautiful woman and I’ll show you a man who’s tired of fucking her” boring phase of relationships and I’d be like, aren’t I glad that I’m single. My Venus would have a longing for relationships, but then the Uranian “but you’ll have to spend every moment together and hate each other plus look at all the dysfunctional family romantic comedies” angle would come up. I think it’s partially due to my Sun Jupiter Uranus T square, too. Apparently Mercury quincunx Saturn has to do with the sudden shutting up. I have this similar issue with a writer’s block, but mostly it’s the “intuition” that I am not so great of a writer.

  32. I hope this doesn’t go into the spam filter.

    Dina, I can relate to what you say about Venus quincunx Uranus. I would rather be single that in a relationship that wasn’t a good one – and I’ve been single for a good portion of my life, because of that.

  33. I have no less than five:
    I think they’re all important, not minor aspects at all! Especially when the Sun is involved, and Venus (ruler of my Sun sign).

  34. Here is one crude way to get an understanding of and a ‘handle’ on a quincunx. Imagine the two planets involved in a conjunction, with both planets working in fusion and in strong cooperation with each other. The quincunx principle is opposite to this in many ways. The two planets have trouble ‘seeing’ each other, and an intermittent connection of “on again, off again” results. It can take till later life to get these two planetary principles working together properly. But once they do work together, they do so brilliantly. For this reason, the quincunx aspect had been called one of (undeveloped or perhaps as yet unrealized) genius.

    I know two females who have a Venus-Saturn quincunx. Both had difficulty forming a stable and worthwhile relationship, but both eventually succeeded. Both are not ‘girly’ type of girls. This is not to say that they are not feminine, but both seem to have trouble accessing that femininity at times. They also both admire women who have a better dress sense than they do.

    I am not saying this is the case for every woman with Venus quincunx Saturn – it is just what I have observed in the two women I know and am passing on.

  35. SMG oh gosh that seems like a lot of work.

    I have pluto-moon/jupiter

    I guess I should pay more attention to this. By hard transit this combo is hell up close & personal.

  36. Wow Satori. Yeah I have several.

    Moon/venus by less than 1 degree
    Venus/Pluto by less than 2 degrees
    Sun/uranus by 1 degree
    uranus/mars by 1 degree
    Jupiter/ASC does the ASC count?

  37. My merc squares my jup and sextiles my ASC I hope that gives me a way to balance that energy some? But then my merc opposes my pluto.. would plutos transformative energys constantly give a shifting energy to the asc/jup quinunx?

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