Stellium - Aspect Pattern

Three or More Planets

Stars
ChaNaWiT/Getty Images

A stellium is when three or more planets are bunched together in the birth chart.

The planets combine to form a kind of Superplanet, acting as one force.   With the stellium aspect pattern, the planets are all in the same Zodiac sign. 

It's often said that we have all twelve Zodiac signs in our nature, in some way. But if you've got a strong stellium, that's the energy that packs the most punch.  

A stellium is a highly charged, hot zone of your birth chart.

You favor these energies, and others sense them. What's interesting is that if it's powerful enough, it outshines your Sun sign, as the most outstanding constellation of traits.  

The musical genius Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (see chart), born in Salzburg, Austria, had a stellium of Saturn, the Sun, and Mercury in Aquarius.  If genius is a sustained channel to the divine mind, he had a line to that with a concentration of planets including Mercury in visionary Aquarius.

A stellium with the Wow Factor is one that involves personal planets, like your Sun, Moon, Mercury, Mars or Venus.  If your personal planets are grouped with the slow-moving outer planets, you have a special affinity for your generation's mission or the climate of the times.  

Stellium = Stars 

Stella is the Latin word for stars, so we see the origins of stellium.  Stellia (the plural word for clusters) are easy to spot in the birth chart.

A stellium is basically a conjunction of multiple planets. Astrologers vary on how close in orb (distance) some aspect patterns should be, with some saying 1 or 2 degrees, and others allowing up to 5 degrees.

But with the stellium, a more sweeping orb is allowed, as long as they're in the same Zodiac sign.

The closer the planets are together, the greater the potency.   

Many times the planets are there in the same House, but not always. I find it more challenging to interpret charts where the stellium lays over a cusp, the dividing line between two Houses. The most striking stellium – and easiest to see at play – are close in orb and in the same House.  

But planets in the same House (in different Zodiac signs) are not considered a stellium.  

Repeating Story Arc

Donna Cunningham has an ebook titled The Stellium Handbook, all about this unique pattern.

Writes Donna, "What makes you different is the cast of recurring characters – or their types – and the repeated story arcs. A story arc is an extended or continuing storyline. Explore the story that keeps replaying itself and that cast of characters. It may have minor variations but so often works out the same as the last few times."

She has a very insightful main thesis -- that it's the "sequence of planets in the stellium that tells the story."  That the lead planet (of lowest degree) is like a "first responder," setting the stage for what follows.  Your first response might be one of defensiveness, and that leads to a chain reaction.

Donna writes, "If it (the lead planet) were Saturn, you might react fearfully and close down while you figure out how to protect yourself.

Suppose Mars is the lead planet. It represents the urge to be first, to be a pioneer, to lead, and to win. It's happiest as the lead planet, but aggressive outreach isn't always an ideal approach."

If you have a stellium that you suspect creates this kind of domino effect during transits, check out the ebook at the link above.  

Striking a Balance - The Opposition

Astrologer Kevin Burk writes that a key issue with the stellium is Balance.  It's natural to favor the outlets and mediums that give the stellium free expressions.  

In Understanding the Birth Chart, he writes, "What is important, then, is for these individuals to make a conscious effort to find some balance and perspective in their lives, which they can do by choosing to explore the energy and activities represented by the sign and House opposite from their Stellium."

He makes a brilliant point then about how a transit that's opposite to your stellium, gives you that chance to find balance.   You may also have an opposition in your birth chart, that already emphasizes that dance between the polarities.  

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Hall, Molly. "Stellium - Aspect Pattern." ThoughtCo, Feb. 23, 2017, thoughtco.com/stellium-aspect-pattern-206546. Hall, Molly. (2017, February 23). Stellium - Aspect Pattern. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/stellium-aspect-pattern-206546 Hall, Molly. "Stellium - Aspect Pattern." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/stellium-aspect-pattern-206546 (accessed May 20, 2018).