Aspect Sets

Because so many of us use Solar Fire, this space will collate the various tips & custom templates. (Some free downloads are scattered around the forum in other locations where they make more sense.)
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Jim Eshelman
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Aspect Sets

Post by Jim Eshelman » Wed Jan 17, 2018 10:55 am

We use different aspects (and different orbs) for different situations. Solar Fire gives enormous flexibility in this with a feature called Aspect Sets. You can create one master Aspect Set that you use for all situations, or (like me) many Aspect Sets through which you move frequently as you are looking at different kinds of charts.

This post will describe how to create a new Aspect Set, and how to move between Aspect Sets as you use Solar Fire. I will then list my own favorite Aspect Sets as examples, and in case you want a recommendation for starting points.

1. In the front screen of Solar Fire, click Chart Options | Aspect Set | Planets. (TIP: You can get to this same box several different ways, e.g., within an opened chart by right-clicking on the chart and picking Aspect Set, etc.).

2. Click Create. (TIP: If you have an existing Aspect Set that that is similar to what you want, you can select the similar existing set first, then click Copy instead of Create. Then you can edit it.)

3. Give your new Aspect Set a name. The name is entirely up to you. (If you picked Copy instead of Create, there are a couple of extra clicks: You need to click Save after typing the name, and Edit to edit your set.)

4. In the Edit Aspect Set box, on the left, the aspects you want to include will have a + in front of them. To add or remove an aspect, double-click it.

5. For each aspect, set its orb. You can distinguish according to Luminary vs. Other, and applying vs. separating (though I make no such distinctions and make all entries in a given row the same). You can distinguish between natal, progressed, and transits. Click Save when done.

TIPS: You can use the Tab key to bounce between boxes. Also, if you use only full-degree orbs, e.g., X°00', you can just type the whole number and tab to the next - Solar Fire will format the fine details for you.

You can access Aspect Sets in different ways.

You already know one way to access your Aspect Sets. From the from screen in Solar Fire, click Chart Options | Aspect Sets | Planets.

Perhaps the most useful way to access Aspect Sets (the way that makes the most sense in real-life working with charts) is from within an open chart. Double click any chart to open it. Now, right-click anywhere on the chart to get a context menu that has a long list of useful options. One of these is Aspect Sets. You can use this to switch between aspect sets while working with a particular chart.

Notice that aspect sets are available for all sorts of things, not just charts. You can work with them in a Synastry Grid. Or, in SF's research model called Chart Search, you have an Aspect Set box in the lower right.
Jim Eshelman

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Jim Eshelman
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Re: Aspect Sets

Post by Jim Eshelman » Wed Jan 17, 2018 11:07 am

I will list my personal favorite Aspects Sets. (These, of course, have evolved over time and are subject to change. I frequently make custom Aspect Sets for all sorts of specialty uses.)

This set is for Sidereal Mundane Astrology. Because I work in this field more than any other these days, and these particular aspects are the most important anyway, this is my default Aspect Set (the one selected when I open Solar Fire).

It includes Conjunctions and Oppositions with 4° orbs, and Squares with 3° orbs. Just to complete the set, I put progressions and transits at 1°.

This name was picked because it's the Aspect Set Anna-Kria and I selected to put in our physical, hand-written notebooks. It's basically Class 1 aspects, and is my default for looking at a natal chart. (If you use this, you might want to call if Class 1.) It includes:

Conjunctions & Oppositions 4°
Squares, Trines, & Sextiles 3°
Semi-square & Sesqui-square 1°
Just to complete the set, and make it more usable in the past as my general default aspect set, I put progressions and transits at 1°.

Class 2
These are Class 2 orbs. I use this as a second layer to get more subtlety in a natal chart if I want to go further than the strong first impression from Class 2. It includes:

Conjunctions & Oppositions 7°
Squares 6°
Trines & Sextiles 5°
Semi-square & Sesqui-square 2°
To complete the set, I put progressions and transits at 1°.
NOTE: I also have a Class2-Plus set that includes dozens of additional aspects, including every 10° multiple around the wheel. I'm not going to detail it, and it takes about half an hour to set it up, with many more choices and customizations.

Transits to solar ingress and quotidian angles have proven to have a viable orb of 2°. I frequently need to calculate the dates that such transits (especially of outer planets) are in this orb, so I created a custom Aspect Set for it.

It includes only conjunctions, oppositions, and squares within 2° in all 12 boxes, making sure that progressions (quotidians) and transits also use these orbs. (When I use the Dynamic Report tool to calculate these, I make sure that the targeted points are only MC, Asc, and EP, then filter out the squares to EP.)

This is my default for examining solar and lunar returns. It's based on Fagan's assertion that conjunctions, oppositions, and squares within a pentade (5°) are what deserve attention. I don't know that this is exactly a correct cut-off - in general, I prefer such aspects within the SMA thresholds above - but it's a good rule-of-thumb way to get a look at the SLR or SSR.

It consists of conjunctions, oppositions, and squares within 5°. To complete the set, I put all transits and progressions at 1° (though, as with many of these sets, that is generally never of any particular use).

This includes 1° orbs for conjunctions, oppositions, squares, trines, sextiles, semi-squares, and sesqui-squares, because, every now and then, that's what you want :)

I created this long ago and essentially never use it anymore. (I've moved away from my earlier view of compiling a list of "valid" synastry aspects, and now use a different, layered approach that focusses on other priorities.) Nonetheless, you might want to see it.

This Aspect Set is the only one I've created where I distinguish between orbs for luminaries vs. non-luminaries. That's because I did a study in the '80s which persuaded me that close trines and sextiles involving are synastrically valid, while those without luminaries are not. (I previously thought that no trines and sextiles were valid in synastry.) In addition to transits and progressions being filled out with all 1° orbs for completion, here is my original Synastry Aspect Set for Solar Fire:

Conjunctions, Oppositions, Squares 5°
Trines, Sextiles 3° (luminary aspects only)
Semi-squares, Sesqui-squares 2°

In all the SF lists, such as Aspect Sets, I have an entry called Temp. This changes constantly. It's quite common that I want a specific planet set, or aspect set, or some other feature narrowed to a particular situation. I either open Temp and edit it, or take the set that is the closest match and copy it to Temp, then edit it.
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Re: Aspect Sets

Post by SteveS » Wed Jan 17, 2018 11:51 am


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