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First order of business today – If you haven’t voted for the David Gemelle ‘people’s choice’ Ravenheart award for best cover art, the poll’s about to close. My son, Aaron Briggs, is up for my latest book cover, Journey by Night. Thanks everyone for their support! We are very grateful! It’s a total honour to be short listed!

On to the Daily Astro-Flash: Mars, the action engine, contra-parallel Saturn, the god of ambition, can feel like a tug-o-war between doing and achieving. If someone throws a wrench in the works, use the pause to not only untangle the mechanisms but clarify your goals. First order of business is to check the use-by-date. Ask, is this leading to inner peace?

Mars and Saturn have been in and out of this contra-parallel aspect for a while and I thought it might be a good time to talk about what this means, really.

Definition: The Parallel aspect is formed between two planets with the same declination or distance north or south of the ecliptic. If the planets are both North or both South of the ecliptic, the parallel aspect is read as a conjunction. If they are the same declination but one is North and one is South, then the contra-parallel is read as a 180 degree opposition.

These aspects are strongest when the orb is kept to 1 degree or less. They can also magnify the intensity of any other aspect between the two planets or points. So if you have Mars sextile Saturn AND Mars parallel Saturn, you have a whole lot of contact going on.

The best way to grokk this is by example so everyone can get out their chart (or follow my tutorial for drawing it up on Astro.com). When you get your chart up you will see a list of declinations on the ‘view additional tables‘. If you are using another program or an ephemeris, look for the list of daily ‘declinations’. They will look like this: 20°35’27” N (the N is for North. North is also represented by a + and South by a -). Make a list of any planets that are within one degree of declination + or -. If both are + or both – they are parallel. If one is + and the other – they are contra-parallel.

For example I have the Pluto at 23°17’46” N declination and the Jupitier at 23°21′ 7″ N so Jupiter and Pluto are parallel. They form wide sextile aspect so this is an additional emphasis, pulling them into closer contact. Make sense?

So check your declinations and discuss here. Give a shout if you want some help. I or other declination savvy 11th house readers will jump in!

Thank you, and again, your vote for Journey by Night is deeply appreciated!