top of page

The Lovely Quintile

People who are fascinated by the “divine ratio” which appears in nature, will also appreciate the creative manifestations which can flow from a 72 degree aspect between planets. In astrology we call these aspects quintiles because it takes five of them to make up the whole of the 360 degree circle. We think of a quintile not so much as one-fifth of a whole, but as a full participant and embodiment of the quality of “five”. Sometimes we call it the “fifth harmonic”.

The quality of five is quite evident in our lives and even in our bodies. Figuratively, a human being is depicted with four limbs and a head (think Da Vinci’s Vetruvian man), coinciding with the early Greek view of the “divine proportions” in nature. Humans also have five fingers and five toes. We have five senses to our physical bodies. Venus, the planet which comes closest to us in its orbit, describes five loops in our sky as it traverses around the Sun. Perhaps it is teaching us something about the qualities of creation and evolution.

Not everyone has a quintile between planets in their birth horoscope, though quintiles are not especially rare. Astrologers consider it to be a “minor aspect”, because it is like the icing on the cake. More specifically, it is like the icing on the Cake Boss’ cake! Buddy Valastro ( of that New Jersey based Cake Boss tv show), always aims for the most fitting design for the top (and sides) of his cakes. His natal quintile is a tight one between Sun in Pisces and Jupiter in Taurus. We can almost taste that aspect with one swipe of the finger! It certainly feels like something “over the top”, based in fantasy, and scrumptious.

Quintiles are definitely not the building blocks of the chart, though they may be in attendance to the blocks. The building blocks are the conjunctions, squares, and oppositions which hold everything together. We can recognize the quintiles in the elegance of the final touches, like the boutonniere on a suit, because its whole character is seen in its readiness to flower, with its “burstability” always riding on the edge.

Here is the reflective reasoning of all this. The quintile is the main ingredient in the golden ratio. You can study the golden ratio and the Fibonacci numbers until the cows come home, but you’ll never get to the beginning of it or to or end of it. Like pi, like eternity itself, “phi” has no beginning and no end. Sometimes mathematicians refer to this ratio as the “Tau”, which can remind us of Taurus which goes with the fibonacci movement of from our Earth position.

A man named Nigel Reading, an architect who presently lives and works in Hong Kong, has made a lifetime study of the golden ratio. He calls it “symplexity” because it is the creation of complex structures in the most simple way, unfolding within the process of time. The golden ratio, he says, is movement which toys at the edge of chaos and then transforms into utter efficiency. Nigel says the golden ration is the bridge between “flow and form”.

Every artist, innovator, and scientist wants to encounter that bridge between flow and form. The subject has been spoken of by many, including Einstein who said that hard work is like a faithful servant, but intuition – ah! intuition - is a sacred gift! That bridge is reached though hard work that then accepts the flow of intuition. It can happen within one person, one group, or as an evolution of mankind.

We can see examples of the quintile in country horoscopes and in the charts of famous people, or in our own chart or that of a friend. Einstein had a very close quintile between his Moon in Sagittarius in the 6th house and his Jupiter in Aquarius in his 9th house. Perhaps it is not beside the point that the 6th house is the worker bee, the servant of his chart, and the 9th house is the pot of golden ideas that inspired him.

With that quintile configuration we can see the “boutonniere” or “cherry”on the top that Einstein knew was there. The quintile seems to have impunity from the blunders of our own making. Sometimes we just discover or create something that does not feel like our own discovery or creation. It falls in our lap or we accidently tap into it. It seems quite literally to be a gift.

Nature in general is neutral, and is neither divine nor demonic; that is, if one even believes in something called demonic or divine. For our purposes here, the word divine describes that which is so pleasing to the senses as to be the epitome of style, and even considered to be “good” and “just”, whether it is a human face, a building, or a carefully tended organization.

Quintiles themselves are neutral. A mathematically inclined health care worker named Isaac Hodes wrote a blog once asking himself if the divine ratio could be evil! It was a joke, but after he crunched the numbers, he came up with the conclusion that evil was included in the set of numbers derived from the phi ratio, since it was possible to get the number 666 from the sum of the first 146 fractal digits of the phi sequence. He did not mention that the number 146 devolves in numerology to the number 2, which is of course the number for duality, good and evil, God and the devil.

All joking aside, we have to consider that there might possibly be evil uses of a golden ratio gift. Take Hitler, for example. Hitler had a complete five pointed star in his chart if we include his Ascendant which is opposite from his Mercury (using the most accepted birth time) and also using the Black Moon Lilith in the last spot. Admittedly, it is a stretch, but, why not consider it? The quintiles are most pointedly focused on the Moon and Jupiter closely conjunct in his 3rd house, which is bracketed as a midpoint by the Saturn and Neptune quintiles. Hitler’s ability to lure and enthrall the public with his hysterical speaking abilities is legendary. If these were gifts dropped on him by evil forces at opportune times, then it would explain some things, but fortunately most of us do not have any experience with that phenomenon.

I especially like looking at the horoscopes of famous people who have quintiles that are back to back to each other in the chart, two quintiles put together, with the middle planet acting as an anchor or a point of shared purpose. Famous American story teller Mark Twain was just such a person. He had Mercury quintile to Neptune, and then Neptune quintile to Pluto. Surely Neptune represents the proclivity for the “tall tale”. Mercury is thus in what we call a biquintile (144 degrees) with Pluto, and we see the underlying need to confront the moral issues of his day by using some play and humor (the Neptune) to demonstrate. Notice that Neptune is also in a tight square with Saturn, which is a crucial building block in Mark Twain’s chart. The work of a square must happen first to form a goal, and then the intuition can kick in for those flourishing touches.

Speaking of goals… the chart of soccer player Lionel Messi is another very good example. Lionel Messi is probably the best soccer player in world history. He has a biquintile between Mars and Saturn, that 144 degree aspect. Mars and Saturn in any aspect in a chart are always speaking of controlled action and spared energy. In other words, efficiency. The midpoint of Messi’s biquintile is 4 degrees Libra, which is where we want to see something happen astrologically to bring the quintile energy into manifestation. There is no planet there, but it is the midpoint between Messi’s Sun and Neptune. So even though there is not a planet there, there are two planets there - the Sun and Neptune. The power of a midpoint is why many astrologer use the equal sign to designate it. Thus, Sun/Neptune = 4 Libra, which is also the quintile or midpoint between his Mars and Saturn. With that midpoint picture, we immediately recognize the grace and style and the hard work of a Sun-Neptune opposition. If a person brings the hard work to the point of flow, the bridge leads to form.

The remarkable thing about Lionel Messi, according to the 2019 Netflix soccer documentary “This is football”, is that he never wastes a move. He works close to the ground because he is shorter than the average player, and he watches and waits constantly until he is ready to spring into action and make a goal. This is the efficiency that Nigel Reading talks about.

The last example here is the horoscope of psychic Allison Dubois, who is a psychic medium profiler who lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and sometimes works with the police department on murder cases. The tv show The Medium was based on her life. Her horoscope is rated A for accuracy of birth time; Uranus is on (close to) the Ascendant. Mars is on the Descendant, and square to them both and on the IC is Mercury. She can read people.

There is a biquintile between the Uranus on the Ascendant and Venus in the 5thhouse, with Jupiter in the middle, making a quintile to each of them. Jupiter rules the 3rd house of communication, and is in it. Notice I am allowing the orbs to be only 1 degree on either side of exactitude, and preferably during the approach rather than the fade. My computer program’s default allowance for quintiles is 1.5 degrees, but it is better if it is under 1 degree. A 72 degree measurement seems too specific an amount to allow it much of an orb of separation.

For those of us who do not have a quintile in our birth chart, I propose that we need not despair of ever having our own “Ah-ha” moment of efficiency and creativity. We can use any planet in transit that comes along and makes a quintile with one of our natal planets. Or if we already have a quintile in our natal chart, then we can watch for it to be triggered by a transit (or better yet a solar arc), particularly when it is receiving a conjunction.

Please use this information here in your own experiments with yourself. Think about in what ways you would like to be more creative, and then use the upcoming astrology to either form a quintile to an important planet in your chart, or enhance an already present quintile in your chart, and then watch for the timing. Put it to good use. See what happens.


bottom of page