Wednesday 5 October 2011

Interpreting Unaspected Planets

Peregrine  – Original Definition and Adaptation By Noel Tyl

In traditional astrology, the term “peregrine” was defined as a planet that has no essential dignity (by rulership/detriment, face, term, triplicity) and is not in mutual reception with another planet.  A peregrine (meaning “foreign”) planet was considered weak and wandering, much like someone visiting a foreign land without knowing anyone locally.

In the last 20 years, Noel Tyl began to use the word “peregrine” to describe a planet that forms no Ptolemaic aspect (i.e. conjunction, sextile, square, trine or opposition) with any other planet.  Rather than considering the planet weak, however, Tyl asserts that these unaspected planets can actually become the dominant feature within one’s personality (in his words, a peregrine planet can run away with the horoscope.)
Chiefly due to Tyl’s work, many modern astrologers now recognize the term “peregrine” to mean “lacking any major (Ptolemaic) aspect.”  With that in mind, we’ll simply call these “unaspected planets” in this article.

Some Points to Consider When Interpreting Unaspected Planets

  1. Unaspected planets do not connect with the rest of the psyche – much like someone in a foreign land, it is disconnected from the surroundings, and integration becomes challenging.
  2. This can be mirrored as a feeling of disconnection in outer relationships, especially if a key body such as the Sun or the Moon is peregrine: there may be a feeling that the world doesn’t quite understand us.  We may “march to a different drummer.”
  3. Because smooth integration is difficult, often how we use the energy of the unaspected planet tends to be over-compensatory: Unaspected Mercury could suggest someone whose emphasis on thoughts or speech is pronounced, like the writer Norman Vincent Peale, who wrote “The Power of Positive Thinking.”  It could just as well suggest someone that cannot seem to stop talking.
  4. As a result of overcompensation, the unaspected planet may gain dominance within the personality, almost becoming the defining characteristic of the person.  How such dominance is expressed of course depends on the “level” of the person.
  5. An unaspected planet may be interpreted as both strong yet insecure, dominant yet vulnerable to isolation.  Consider how such dual meaning would color the archetypal expression of the unaspected planet.

Interpreting The Unaspected Planet

Here are some keywords you may want to consider when exploring the interpretation of unaspected planets in a horoscope.

Unaspected Sun: Marching to a different drumbeat.  Strong emphasis on self expression and leadership – possibly demanding ego recognition.

Unaspected Moon: Possibly suggests emotional disconnection from the parents.  There may be a need to express a caring, nurturing instinct in order to connect with the world.

Unaspected Mercury: Emphasis on thoughts and/or speech.

Unaspected Venus: This could suggest some difficulty relating to others in a relaxed manner.  To overcompensate, there may be an emphasis on being attractive, flirtatious, charming or understanding in order to be liked and appreciated.

Unaspected Mars: This may necessitate a special focus for directing one’s energy, which should be considerable.  How does one deal with anger?

Unaspected Jupiter: Emphasis on philosophy, education and international or spiritual dimensions.  One may be able to “turn on” optimism like a switch.

Unaspected Saturn: Possibly, a lack of support from the father figure.  Emphasis on work accomplishment or self-discipline may compensate for insecurity.

Unaspected Uranus: Emphasis on being significant, or being different from others.  A battle cry for significance.

Unaspected Neptune and Pluto are rare today, due to these two planets forming a sextile for what seems like the last 60+ years.


Unaspected planets can be hard to tame.  Integrating the unaspected planet into our psyche may feel like trying to have a tall Westerner blend in with a crowd of Japanese people – it can’t help but stand out.  Rather than trying to make it “act normal”, one solution may be to consciously find a challenging outlet for the energy of the unaspected planet – be it writing a book, learning a foreign language, forming a nonprofit organization, or practicing martial arts.  That way, the rest of our horoscope could be benefited through the unaspected planet’s energy as well.  The key thing is not to leave it unattended – which tends to make it behave strangely.

Do you have an unaspected planet in your horoscope?  (Remember we’re only counting conjunction, sextile, square, trine or opposition here.)  How does it get expressed in your life?  Please feel free to share your experience through email or comments.