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Understanding Collision Graphs

Collision graphs are line graphs which show the trajectory of dynamic synastry aspects.

The vertical axis shows distance (in degrees), while the horizontal axis shows time. In this example, the time is 1932 to 1984.

The red line shows the trajectory of the aspect (in the example below this is an opposition between Elizabeth Taylor's progressing Venus and Richard Burton's progressing Mars). The blue line shows the period of time when the aspect was inside it's orb of effectiveness (178 to 180 to 178 degrees).

An opposition is an angle of 180 degrees. In the example given, the distance begins at 165 degrees in 1932, the year of Elizabeth Taylor's birth. It achieves orb (or comes within two degrees of being exact) in 1962, the year their relationship began. It achieves exactness (180 degrees) in 1965 and falls back out of orb in 1972. By the time of Richard Burton's death in 1984, the planets are 173 degrees apart. The couple married in 1964 - this is when the aspect was at the height of its intensity - just before it became exact.

The vertical axis is labelled 0 to 18. These numbers represent degrees of orb. When the line hits zero, the aspect is exact (180 degrees) at 2 (in 1962 and 1971) it is at 178 degrees.


During the applying period (in this case 1932 to 1962) the aspect is not directly relevant to the relationship. Burton and Taylor first met in the mid-1950s, but neither showed any interest in having an intimate relationship at this juncture.

When the aspect passes over the two degree mark its relevance to the relationship becomes more realistic. The two degrees prior to becoming exact marks out the time in progressed synastry when the effect of the aspect it at its most intense.

The period of time when the aspect is within two degrees (applying and separating) is referred to as the Window of Opportunity. This is the period of time when the aspect is relevant to the feelings the couple share.

Curiously, it appears that if the relationship began when the aspect was at, say, one degree from exact, it is likely that effective limerance will start to fade at one degree of aspect separation (see Olivier and Leigh and Geldof and Yates in the book When Stars Collide for examples of this phenomenon)

Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton were married in 1964, at the point in time when this aspect was at its most intense. It became exact the following year.

The separating stage of the progressed aspect can imbue different kinds of feelings. If the aspect was a square, then it is possible that these feelings are feelings of relief. Other aspects can fade to frustration, confusion or contentment.

The separating aspect ceases to have real-time relevance typically after about two degrees, although this is a vague line in the sand. In the case of Olivier and Leigh it was 1.75 degrees, Yates and Geldof 1 degree.
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