Copyright © 2005 All Rights Reserved

by David Cochrane


If you are an astrologer, you frequently see Neptune and Pluto in sextile aspect. If you were born in the 50's, 70's, or early 80's, Neptune and Pluto are in sextile aspect. Neptune and Pluto stayed in sextile aspect for decades!


If we use a very small orb of 1 degree, then Neptune and Pluto are considered to be in sextile aspect when they are between 59 degrees and 61 degrees apart. This occurred from 1950 to 1960, and again from 1971 to 1986. The sextile aspect causes the two planets to interact in a smooth and harmonious way similar to the trine aspect, so we can interpret this sextile aspect as creating a smooth and harmonious inner drive and compulsion (Pluto) to achieve our ideals (Neptune). Interestingly, using the small orb of 1 degree, Neptune and Pluto were not in the very pleasant sextile aspect during the 1960's. The 60's were a time of wild and crazy activity. In the USA there were race riots, war protests, and the hippie movement in the 60's, that fizzled out when the 70's began. This is also when Neptune and Pluto moved back into sextile aspect. Is this a coincidence? I think not.


Some astrologers use only the major aspects: the conjunction, opposition, square, trine, and sextile. Most astrologers also interpret the semisextile (30 degrees) and the quincunx (150 degrees). Some astrologers also interpret the semisquare (45 degrees) and the sesquiquadate (135 degrees). There are some astrologers who also interpret additional aspects, and these aspects are generally referred to as minor aspects.

I am one of those astrologers who uses the additional aspects; the theory for using these aspects was developed by British astrologer John Addey. Using Addey?s theory of harmonics, we can refer to an aspect as a fraction of a circle, so we can view a trine aspect, for example, as simply a 1/3 aspect, and a square is a 1/4 aspect. According to harmonic theory, the larger the denominator of the fraction, the smaller the orb that is used.

During the 1960's Neptune and Pluto were in 2/11 aspect. What is a 2/11 aspect? It is simply 2/11 of a circle, which is 65.45 degrees. When the angle between Neptune and Pluto increased to 64.45 degrees, it came within 1 degree orb of being in 2/11 aspect, and the two planets stayed in 2/11 aspect as long as the angle was between 64.45 degrees and 66.45 degrees. This occurred from 1962 to 1968, the time period of the rebellious 60's.

What does a 2/11 aspect mean?
Few astrologers use this aspect so there is little information on its meaning. I have been using minor aspects for over 30 years, and I believe that any aspect that has 11 in the denominator is very unstable, erratic, impatient, and rebellious. In the 1960's, therefore, the inner drive and compulsion to achieve ideals was unstable, erratic, impatient, and rebellious.

The term minor aspects, in my opinion, is a misnomer because I believe that the so-called minor aspects are very important. The denominator of the fraction is often called the "harmonic". Given below is a list of the dates of all aspects up to the 13th harmonic with up to a 1 degree orb between Neptune and Pluto from 1900 to 2040:

Neptune-Pluto Aspects from 1900 to 2040
(up to 13th harmonic, 1 degree orb)
1913 - 1916
1918 - 1918
1919 - 1920
1920 - 1924
1925 - 1928
1930 - 1933
1937 - 1940
1941 - 1948
1950 - 1960
1962 - 1968
1971 - 1986
1988 - 1999
2001 - 2011
2011 - 2023
2034 - 2039

  • The 9th harmonic aspects give a pleasant, healing, unifying influence.
  • The 7th harmonic aspects give self-control, discipline, a love of ancient heritage, and a quiet, reflective, inner mystical quality.
  • The 11th harmonic aspects are unstable and impatient.
  • The 13th harmonic aspects are inclined towards expansion and domination.
  • The trine and sextile aspect are, of course, harmonious and pleasant.
  • The conjunction, opposition, square, semisquare, and sesquiquadrate aspects are dynamic, energizing, and challenging.

The table above shows that World War I and the latter half of World War II, as well as 1988 - 1999 had the expansive and dominating 13th harmonic aspects in effect. These are times when people are willing to take risks to achieve their ideals and they tend to throw caution to the wind.

The Neptune 1/7 Pluto aspect from 1937 to 1940 is somewhat surprising at first sight. As World War II began, was the world striving for its ideals in an internalized, self-controlled way? It does not seem like it, but, interestingly, Adolph Hitler was motivated by a twisted and sick form of interest in ancient symbols, and the desire to "cleanse" the cultural influences that have been passed own from ancient times. Obviously, this was an extremely negative expression of the Neptune 1/7 Pluto aspect. Generally speaking, western countries tend to not understand and appreciate 7th harmonic influences very well.

The United States, in particular, focuses more on tangible outer rewards in life and the USA exports a great deal of rock 'n roll and dynamism in both art and science rather than thoughtful, more introverted, disciplined, and quiet developments.

At the current time period, from 2001 to 2011, we are in another Neptune 1/7 Pluto aspect time period. This is a time when traditional and meditative interests are likely to rise. Right now as I write this article in January, 2004, the movie "The Last Samurai" is appearing in the USA, and this big hit movie reflects the higher qualities of the 7th harmonic. The Iraq War also has brought into focus a traditional and ancient culture. It is extremely important that the war against terrorism does not become a war against Middle Eastern culture! In fact, this is a time when traditional culture and ancient wisdom should flourish, and this should be a time when ethnic styles from all over Asia and the Middle East should flourish. Unfortunately, this development however, is more slow and subtle than it should be; the intense volume of the rock 'n roll beat that comes thumping out of the USA does not quiet down easily. In the first decade of the 21st century however, it is easing up a bit . By the way, I am an American and I love my country dearly. All nations, as do all people, have their strengths and their weaknesses.


We can look at aspect patterns between other outer planets, such as between Uranus and Pluto and between Uranus and Neptune to gain additional insights into global trends. Uranus moves much faster than Neptune and Pluto and consequently the aspects to Uranus do not last as long as the aspects between Neptune and Pluto. It is the aspects between Neptune and Pluto that are the most powerful in setting a mood and an orientation of the general public.

When analyzing aspects of Uranus to Neptune and Pluto, it makes sense to stop the anlaysis at a lower harmonic. The orbs for higher harmonics is smaller and the faster moving Uranus moves through these higher harmonic aspects in just a few months at most, and this is not long enough to set a mood for the entire country. With this in mind, I have compiled a list of dates of aspects between Uranus and Pluto from 1900 to 1940 up to the 9th harmonic, with an orb of 1 degree.

Uranus-Pluto Aspects from 1900 to 2040
(up to 9th harmonic, 1 degree orb)
1901 - 1902
1907 - 1910
1909 - 1911
1911 - 1912
1913 - 1914
1916 - 1917
1921 - 1922
1927 - 1929
1931 - 1934
1935 - 1937
1938 - 1941
1943 - 1945
1946 - 1948
1948 - 1950
1950 - 1952
1954 - 1955
1965 - 1966
1978 - 1979
1983 - 1985
1986 - 1988
1989 - 1992
1994 - 1997
2002 - 2005
2006 - 2010
2012 - 2015
2018 - 2022
2025 - 2029
2031 - 3034
2034 - 2037

  • The Uranus-Pluto aspects last only a few years, creating an additional "accent" that changes the basic themes set by the Neptune-Pluto aspects.
  • A Uranus-Pluto aspects sudden and spontaneous (Uranus) inner drives and compulsions (Pluto).
  • The aspect between the two planets determines how spontaneity and explosive energy is expressed. When these two planets are in 5th, 11th, or 13th harmonic aspects or in hard aspects, we would expect that things may get out of control.
  • When Uranus and Pluto are in sextile, trine, or 9th harmonic aspect, we expect that there may be less disruption and chaos.

The table above does, on the whole, confirm these expectations:
Uranus and Pluto are in 5th harmonic aspect from 1913 - 1914, the start of World War I, from 1938 to 1941, the start of World War II, and from 2002 to 2005, which is when the Iraq War and the massive war on terrorism was initiated by the United States, triggered by the destruction of the twin towers in New York City on September 11, 2001.

Given that Uranus and Pluto will be in 2/9 aspect from 2006 to 2010 and that Neptune and Pluto are still in 1/7 aspect during this time period, we can expect that from about 2006 to 2010, there will be a more peaceful, harmonious, and constructive rebuilding of Middle Eastern cultures and sharing of cultural influences between different cultures.

Hopefully the period of 2006 to 2010 is one in which traditional cultures, ancient wisdom, discipline, respect, and honor will spread throughout the world faster than it is at the current time.

The calculations to obtain the data in this article were performed with Kepler software, of which I am one of the developers. With the power of modern computer software, we can assemble information and analyze it in a way that was never before possible in history. Without this computing power, I would not have been able to assemble the information needed for this article and to analyze it in a reasonable amount of time.

I hope that this article has intrigued you, and demonstrated that "minor aspects" may not be so minor after all, and may, in fact, be a key to being able to give more precise and accurate astrological interpretations.

David Cochrane is the author of the Kepler astrology software, author of 2 astrology books, well known for his innovative work in harmonics, degree meanings, and other areas of astrology, co-founder of the Avalon School of Astrology, and past President of ISAR. This article first appeared in Japanese on the website and is printed here for the first time in English with permission of Terumi Kondo and David Cochrane. David can be reached at email address

David Cochrane AUTHOR: David Cochrane