The inconjunct or quincunx (the terms are generally used interchangeably) aspect in astrology is formed between planets that are roughly 150 degrees apart. If we use an orb of 2 degrees, the planets or points in question can be anywhere from 148 degrees to 152 degrees apart.
The planets and points involved in a quincunx don’t understand each other. Unless it’s an out-of-sign quincunx, the signs not only are of a different element, they are also of a different modality. For example, take Leo-Pisces. Leo is Fixed Fire, while Pisces is Mutable Water. It’s difficult to see common ground between the signs.
Some keywords that describe quincunxes are: redirecting, challenging, requiring adjustments, diverting.
What I have found is that people with quincunxes tend to compartmentalize the two areas of life indicated by the planets and points involved.
When we express one of the planets or points involved in an opposition, the other planet or point feels “left out”. Nevertheless, the opportunities to find a balance are there. With the quincunx as well, it can be difficult to merge the energies of the planets involved. But the difference here is that there is a sense that the two cannot be merged, and this is where compartmentalization comes into play. The areas of life described by the planets tend to conflict with each othernot in as overt a way as is commonly seen with a square or opposition, but the individual separates them either consciously or unconsciously. This is why adjustment is associated with the quincunxboth planets/points represent distinct needs and areas of life, and it can take a lot of energy to sort them into different compartments!
A couple of examples will shed some more light on the theory. With a Moon-Venus quincunx, our emotions (Moon) and our values/love nature (Venus) are difficult to blend. We feel the need to separate satisfying the needs of our Moon (by sign, house, and aspect) and the needs of our Venus (by sign, house, and aspect). This will play out in a variety of ways, depending on the individual involved, and depending on what the Moon and Venus represent, by way of their position and what houses they rule in the chart.
Take for example a mother with this Moon quincunx Venus aspect. She might have a difficult time blending her romantic life with her role as a mother. If she is married, she may compartmentalize her role as a romantic partner and her role as a mother. She might slot the two roles/needs into different categories, and find it too uncomfortable to take on both roles at once. If she is unmarried, she may have a difficult time even imagining that she could fulfill her children’s needs and her partner’s needs in a harmonious way if they are done at the same time. She won’t neglect either role, but she will separate them. As a result, much energy is spent in her life trying to deal with both roles or needs at different times.
Now, she may consciously separate these areas of life, slotting them in such a way to keep them separate, or she may feel like life circumstances force her to do so. Whatever the perception, the challenge is coming from within her because it does not feel natural for her to blend the two areas of her life. Integrating the energies of these planets within her is the only solution if she feels outside forces are causing her to make constant, energy-draining adjustments.
On another level, if we equate the Moon with what makes her feel comfortable, and Venus with what makes her feel good, there can be a conflict between her social life and her need for safety. She can feel ill at ease in social situations. Perhaps a vague sense of guilt or fear accompanies her when she is playing the social butterfly. When she isolates herself, however, and tends to her inner sense of peace, she might feel lonely and unloved. Because Venus rules pleasure and money, she may find that spending money on herself, or on things that seem frivolous, takes away from her family or home in some way. Another possibility is that the people she is romantically attracted to threaten her sense of security in her family. Perhaps her family does not approve of her partners, or she has difficulty integrating her friends and partners with her family. Conversely, her partners may have difficulty accepting her family.
Moon quincunx Venus is associated with overindulgence. It is not hard to imagine that a person with this aspect may overdo comfort food, spending, and so forth because a quincunx, when it is not integrated and handled properly, leads to dissatisfaction with both planets. The Moon and Venus both deal with comfort and pleasure, and if we’re unhappy with these areas of life, we are certainly more prone to overcompensating.
Another example: A man with Venus quincunx Mars. In this case, his Venus is in Cancer and Mars is in Sagittarius. The differences between the needs of the signs involved are emphasized because of the additional energies of the quincunx. (If a quincunx weren’t formed between these planets, and he simply had Venus in Cancer and Mars in Sagittarius, there isn’t a critical relationship established between the energies of the planets). His needs for nurturance, closeness, and warmth in romantic situations and in partnership are at odds with his sexual and assertive needs. If we tear this down to basics by equating Venus with love/partnership and Mars with sex, we might find that this man will find a way to compartmentalize these two needs instead of attempting to merge them. Perhaps he will maintain a romantic partnership (such as a marriage) and find other outlets for his sexual needs by way of affairs in which he can act out his more fiery, independent sexual nature that seems to run counter to his need for security, romance, and tenderness in love. Because he doesn’t naturally see a way to integrate the two energies, he feels the need to separate them. As with the example above, he may feel he has to do this for some reason or another. Perhaps he feels his sexual drive will interfere with the harmony (Venus) or family goals (Cancer) of his partnership.
This aspect often plays out in such a way that people who he is romantically attracted to are radically different than those he is sexually attracted to. Taken at a different level, let’s equate Venus with finances and Mars with sports. Perhaps he has to face the problem of not having the funds to finance his sports endeavors. If we equate Venus with comfort and Mars with action, we might find that he can’t, for example, go on a vacation that combines lots of activities with leisure. He will do one or the other! Or, he may satisfy his desire to travel (Mars in Sagittarius) outside of his partnership by going on trips without his partner. If we equate Venus with harmony, and Mars with assertiveness, we might find that this man separates the two drives/needs as well. He may go out of his way to avoid asserting himself or getting angry with his partner, feeling that it would be disastrous to his partnership, and redirect that anger into another area of life. If Mars rules his 6th house, for example, he might channel much of his aggression and assertion into his job. As a result, he may seem like an entirely different person at work than he is at home with his partner.
Sun quincunx Moon in the natal chart suggests an individual who seems to live life constantly making adjustments and concessions. There can be a tendency to offer too much and then feeling taken advantage of. Passive-aggressiveness can be a problem as well. The native seems to expect that he or she has to make compromises in life in order to get what he or she wants, but in the process, undervalues his or her needs. When the native expresses his or her will (Sun), he or she feels vaguely insecure, as the emotions don’t “back up” the will. When the native expresses his or her needs (Moon), the ego balks. Indecisiveness is the result, as well as a tendency to be quite unfocused, tense, on edge, and largely unsettled. The native needs to work on accepting both the Sun and the Moon in his or her personality in order to feel whole and to avoid sabotaging relationships and life goals with self-defeating attitudes.
The bottom line, I have found, with the quincunx is that the quincunx’s “owner” perceives the energies of the two planets as very separate and has difficulty satisfying the divergent needs concurrently. Adjustments that can be energy-draining are felt to be necessary and accepted as a fact of life. From the outside looking in, we might be puzzled as to why the person cannot fulfill the needs simultaneously. Often, the individual has no idea why this cannot be done, and might blame life circumstances or others for the problem.
Some astrologers have associated quincunxes with health problems. This makes sense, because the way I see it, there is a lot of misplaced energy involved when the individual works to compartmentalize the planets and points involved in a quincunx. Guilt and a sense of failure are often a by-product of the quincunx, and these can certainly contribute to health problems.
Quincunxes show areas of weakness, in terms of low self-esteem, that others find easy to prey upon. The individual, by not accepting the areas of life represented by the planets in quincunx, leaves himself or herself open to being taken advantage of. Quincunxes point to an area where we may have an inferiority complex. We have difficulty integrating these energies into our personality to the point where we are not happy with either energy. Feeding one planet’s needs is a separate activity from feeding the other planet’s energies. A vague sense of guilt is often the result, and this can undermine confidence with both energies.
The key to handling quincunxes is, firstly, knowledge, and then integration. Awareness that the discrepancy lies within the personality is essential before integration can occur. Quincunxes can often make us feel that external events or other people are forcing us to separate, compartmentalize, or redirect the energies of the planets involved. We need to understand that it is, in fact, ourselves who are compartmentalizing. These needs are especially difficult to integrate because they are not as “in your face” as aspects like the square or opposition, and the nature of the quincunx itself is awkward.
Look for quincunxes in a composite chart to see what basic energies of the relationship the couple will naturally tend to compartmentalize. The planets involved in a quincunx in the composite chart can be the source of weakness in the relationship, unless they are consciously worked on.
Interpretations of the Quincunx/Inconjunct Aspects for the Sun through Jupiter
The following interpretations are from the Indra report. We’ve included interpretations of the Sun through Jupiter in quincunx to the Moon through Pluto, although more (including the Ascendant) are interpreted in the Indra report.
Sun Quincunx (Inconjunct) Moon
Your perceptions of others and of life circumstances alter as you get older. As others misunderstand your intentions and you misjudge others’ motivations, natural corrections occur for you. It is through concentrating on the core values of communication in relationships that you make major adjustments between your ego drives and your emotional needs. This becomes a critical mechanism for personal growth and development.
Sun Quincunx (Inconjunct) Mars
There is a combative and defensive part of your nature that fears being taken advantage of. As a result of this concern you develop a pattern of self-expression that is energetic and creative, but often leads you far afield from your designated goal. You are on the path of real development when your enthusiastic explosions of interest attract other person’s positive interest, and carry toward your aims, even when your path is rather convoluted.
Sun Quincunx (Inconjunct) Jupiter
Laziness or overextension is a big problem for you at certain points in your life. Any personality difficulties you have (including issues of value) are cleared up through ever deepening self appraisal and honest reflection on how past expectations match your history.
Sun Quincunx (Inconjunct) Saturn
It is easy for you to take on responsibilities that aren’t yours while ignoring ones that are. Because you work hard and aren’t always recognized or compensated for it, you often “run out of steam” before your work is done. Your life works best when you learn to take care of your most important responsibilities first.
Sun Quincunx (Inconjunct) Uranus
Your self-expressive urges are usually misunderstood by people and this creates frustrations for you. As you disconnect from the need to be understood and get more in contact with the will to achieve positive results from your actions, your true self emerges from the core of your personality. You grow by learning to leave well enough alone.
Sun Quincunx (Inconjunct) Neptune
Your energy tends to be directed unrealistically. Your own sense of self changes as you learn from your own misappraisals of situations that are important to you. If you feel drained or frustrated it is always helpful to look at your overall direction in life and determine if you have taken on more through your high ideals than your physical vitality can sustain. It is always worthwhile to see how your ideas are received by others, to see if you can involve them in your vision. When you can’t, avoid trying to do everything yourself. Slow down, “if it is worth having it is worth waiting for.”
Sun Quincunx (Inconjunct) Pluto
You are forced to focus, time and again, on details that you would prefer to ignore. When life slows down or becomes uncomfortable, simplify and be patient. You are changing and growing in ways that you can scarcely perceive. Stay involved in your everyday routines and only force a change on yourself when you feel stuck in some repetitive pattern.
Moon Quincunx (Inconjunct) Mercury
You end up confused at times because you read more into communications than are there. It’s good to be able to read between the lines – just make sure you are also reading what is on the lines. Your expectations and imagination are assets as soon as you are able to develop a method for expressing your true feelings. Since many of your feelings are hidden from you, self expression becomes a path of self-discovery.
Moon Quincunx (Inconjunct) Venus
The frustration you experience in life often comes because you get what you ask for from other people (and life in general). Unfortunately, what you ask for isn’t what you want. Partly, you are slowly learning better communication skills, and partly you are learning to understand your own deeper cravings as they are. You see the unacknowledged and undigested parts of your sensitivity and creativity present in others, but, these are really projections that you have to own within your self if you are to change for the better.
Moon Quincunx (Inconjunct) Mars
Learning to be emotionally consistent is harder for you than for most people because your feelings and desires cover such a wide range of possible expression. Your manner of self expression can inadvertently add weight and encouragement to components of your personality that you actually wish to minimize or even transform. It takes much experimentation with relationships in order to have emotions that serve your higher needs rather than just running amuck on their own mission of blind, disconnected expression. Either artistic or idealistic goals are necessary to achieve satisfaction.
Moon Quincunx (Inconjunct) Jupiter
To really understand others and life itself, you need to allow others to know you. You always “land on your feet” but often so far away from where you expected or where you said you will be, that you confuse others. Practice being more reliable; then, you will understand yourself, others and life all at once. Your optimism needs focus and to be harnessed to specific projects.
Moon Quincunx (Inconjunct) Saturn
Your assumptions about life and yourself are colored by your early childhood experience of inconsistency and uncertainty about your parents’ roles. They seem to have been reversed. This has left you uncertain as to what to do or what you are capable of in life. As you become more certain as to your true responsibilities in life, your vision clears as to what you can accomplish. This is also the key to becoming more productive. Through accomplishment, you can become more knowledgeable as to how your habits and procedures affect the life circumstances in which you find yourself.
Moon Quincunx (Inconjunct) Uranus
You may have to sort through the “hidden messages” you received as a child in order to make sense out of some of your adult actions. You act, at times, without any forethought. This is because you are driven by forces out of your immediate awareness. Your spontaneous bursts of enthusiasm either serve you well or they don’t. Early in life you may have been “told” that you should be different, but, your differences will stop you from succeeding. It takes time and adjustment to really learn that it’s okay to be both unique and successful.
Moon Quincunx (Inconjunct) Neptune
Romantic and idealistic, you easily project qualities onto situations and people that they can’t possibly live up to. The root of this problem is really inaccurate self-appraisal. You expect more from yourself than is realistic, then react to your shortcomings with guilt driven service to others and deep expression of overly sympathetic feelings. In the long run, you have many opportunities through this aspect of your nature to refine and express your higher vision of the truth to others. Through this expression your daily life becomes a clearer picture of your true inner being.
Moon Quincunx (Inconjunct) Pluto
You confuse intensity with desire, and need with love. As a consequence of this, your relationships with others (especially romantic partners) can be powerful and “spicy” without engendering much closeness. It takes time for you to recognize the habits that get in the way of intimacy; it takes time to alter them once recognized. Letting go of negative history lays the groundwork for change. Give others permission to be different than everyone else has been before. Through this, you give yourself permission to be different.
Mercury Quincunx (Inconjunct) Mars
General circumstances as well as other people encourage your reach to exceed way beyond your grasp. Anger and impulsiveness carries you way beyond your resources. Left in a highly overextended position, you can end up wasting immense amounts of energy trying to do what you said you would do, or running away from situations you created through lack of forethought. Recognition that your ideals are different from the actual circumstances sets you in the right direction.
Mercury Quincunx (Inconjunct) Jupiter
Exaggeration is second nature to you. Whatever you focus on tends to grow in your mind without anything happening in the external world. Circumstances in life can easily seem much better or much worse than they really are. Learn to trust other people’s assessment and to judge life more on the concrete facts and less on moral pronouncements which tend to be very colored by self justification and avoidance.
Mercury Quincunx (Inconjunct) Saturn
Putting your life in order will require exercising positive judgment as to how to get the large projects you envision to manifest. The sheer scope of your goals in life can require more effort than is immediately obvious. Hard work can take its toll on your health. Correct partitioning of big ideas into segments that are achievable one at a time and exacting uses of your time is the way to move forward while maintaining inner poise and outer health.
Mercury Quincunx (Inconjunct) Uranus
The new and unusual things that occur to you may carry you far from the basic needs of your everyday life. Good ideas do not necessarily require you to act immediately to bring them about. Positive innovation will require you to alter yourself and your basic habits before you will see much change in the world or your environment.
Mercury Quincunx (Inconjunct) Neptune
Lots of time and effort can be wasted when you plan on things that are way out of reach. Your imagination and ideals serve you well when you are careful to keep the sequence of essential happenings in mind and accept your own idiosyncrasies. Be careful you don’t promise more to others than you can deliver. Self-honesty is not easy but it is essential in order to develop.
Mercury Quincunx (Inconjunct) Pluto
The compulsive side of your nature may lead you into being way out of control. Your judgment on circumstances (as well as yourself and others) can be so severe that you aren’t able to make intelligent and consistent progress in life. Strive to be more trusting and less strict with yourself and your life is easier.
Venus Quincunx (Inconjunct) Mars
You are easily led into doing other people’s jobs for them. You want others to think well of you and get confused as to your real responsibilities. Learn to contain yourself in relationships and be more demanding of what you want. It can be frustrating for you to always be chasing an ideal and to not be given any real opportunity to get satisfaction. Clarity in your interactions and correct evaluation of what you really want helps to bring more joy into your life and gives you better use of your energy.
Venus Quincunx (Inconjunct) Jupiter
You easily overextend yourself. Overindulgence and exhaustion can come from feeling over-optimistic about yourself and what the world will do for you. You take on obligations that are other people’s responsibilities because you feel so good about yourself. You are happy and healthy when you learn how to set real limits without being talked or coerced into overdoing it, in some area of your life.
Venus Quincunx (Inconjunct) Saturn
You have difficulty seeing what you are actually responsible for in relationships. Consequently, you take on more responsibilities than necessary in order to insure the continuation of your relationships. Do people like you for you or because of what you do for them? You are easily confused on this point. If you are busy doing things for people, they never get a chance to know the real you.
Venus Quincunx (Inconjunct) Uranus
Learning to let go of the past means being willing to release relationships you have outgrown. Further, you need to reevaluate the way you imprison yourself in mindless routines, then revolt against them. Different is not improvement necessarily, yet change is integral to development. Learning to abruptly alter circumstances without emotional turmoil is the way of growth. You need freedom through relationships, not freedom from relationships.
Venus Quincunx (Inconjunct) Neptune
You are suffering at times because you are attracted to inaccurate perceptions of others. This is based on incorrect appraisals of who you are and where you are going. You approach the unachievable with naive confidence, then get confused when you aren’t able to be complete with your various projects. This creates an environment where others find you unapproachable and difficult to know. As you show genuine self-acceptance (including your limitations) your range of love expression increases.
Venus Quincunx (Inconjunct) Pluto
Fear of disappointment and fear of others is the mechanism for keeping your love nature on a roller coaster. Growth requires you to be honest as to what is causing your fears. They are rooted in your lack of good boundaries and lack of positive self esteem. You are easily pulled into overly burdensome roles in other people’s lives because you feel it is your lot in life. Further, your unconscious compulsiveness first ritualizes then continuously repeats self defeating and denying reactions to others. Careful examination of your routines and feelings about yourself are necessary to free your love to develop and grow. This creates a deep, inner healing.
Mars Quincunx (Inconjunct) Jupiter
Taking care of others can be a way of putting them down. You need to recognize your own competitive instincts for what they are rather than masking them in the idea of service to others. Evaluate any projects before you get involved. Your great energy and humanitarian spirit can get linked to other people’s unrealistic expectations in a way that leaves you drained and unappreciated. If you are able to evaluate your everyday habits in a positive way, you will see whether or not they really support your long term goals.
Mars Quincunx (Inconjunct) Saturn
Your sense that only you can do something right is lodged in your imbalanced self-picture. Too much work and too little spectrum of relating leave you feeling slightly victimized by life. You create your own limits. Slowing down and quieting down helps you see this. You need a better sense of time, then you achieve better results with less effort. You can do this as soon as you are more balanced in your outlook and your judgment works in a less comparative mode.
Mars Quincunx (Inconjunct) Uranus
You want something different than the rest of society and this in itself is neutral. Your frustrations can arise because your manner of expression of your unique desires cuts against the grain of what other people expect from you and your methods don’t achieve your goals. Slow down – your intensity and drive can leave you drained without getting you closer to your goals. Only when you are able to hold to a course of action for a long time are you able to get results. Your attempt at “quick wins” always requires you to start over.
Mars Quincunx (Inconjunct) Neptune
Your idealism and inflated expectations of others and life can lead you into very frustrating circumstances where you feel emotionally and physically drained. Your energy and emotions strengthen as you learn how and where to be involved in other people’s projects. You have difficulty learning realistic boundaries with others and realistic limits as to what you can expect from yourself. Artistic expression can help give form to your humanitarian temperament.
Mars Quincunx (Inconjunct) Pluto
You suffer by having a picture of just what needs to be done and how it is to be accomplished. This can cause you to be controlling and argumentative. When you feel the weight of the responsibilities that you have taken on or when you feel lonely and isolated, then, you are ripe for personal growth. Your desire, manner of expression, and the way you use energy will have to be changed – to be less compulsive, less forceful, so you are able to achieve greater accomplishment and more personal happiness.
Jupiter Quincunx (Inconjunct) Saturn
You easily overextend yourself, then wonder why others take advantage of you. Learning to see your real obligations without being talked into having an overblown picture of yourself is the way to success. You can get in a trap of believing that only you can do a certain task, thus you end up having to do it. At root you may find the same item in your personality that throws your self picture askew is that quality which causes you to develop a self-righteous attachment to your deeply held prejudices.
Jupiter Quincunx (Inconjunct) Uranus
Overly ambitious, you have an intuitive grasp of the big picture, which stems from optimum flexibility of your values. You are easily led by your impulses to quickly adjust to deep changes in your values. Without discipline you will be in trouble because your enthusiasm will carry you into uncharted waters. Expression of your energy can get you into trouble. Slowly, you learn to harness this expression into something truly creative.
Jupiter Quincunx (Inconjunct) Neptune
The imaginative and humanitarian side of your nature needs lots of exercise in a “trial and error” manner before you are able to get your best skills to emerge in a way that is non-intrusive and can elicit the best qualities in others. The artistic side of your nature may seek a manner of expression that allows you to stay behind the scenes so you do not have to climb the learning curve required to interface directly with the public.
Jupiter Quincunx (Inconjunct) Pluto
Your overly self-secure mode of interacting disguises some deep distrust of your own foundations. Behind your flamboyance and manipulative assertions are some profound insecurities. When you come to terms with your own weaknesses and see them as not so profound or bad, you will simultaneously become more open and acknowledging of other people’s values and points of view. This lays the foundation to use your vast insight and expanse of vision in a positive manner.