An Astrologer’s Guide To Stelliums
How to deal with stelliums in astrology and your own birth chart.
In astrology, a stellium is a cluster of three or more planets located in the same sign. When multiple planets pile up in a sign, the collision can lead to an intense concentration of archetypes, a renewed understanding of the base sign, and unusual avenues for discovering the other, lesser-occupied districts of your chart. Whether you’re discovering your own chart or stalking your lover’s, our guide below will spell out all you need to know when it comes to these super-sized planetary phenomena.
What does a stellium in my birth chart mean about me?
Think of your chart like a parliament: ten planets (and infinite asteroids) take seats in their respective signs, coming into archetypal clashes with one another, all for the sake of your higher evolution. A stellium, then, would be like a supermajority, or a dominating party. There’s only ten planets — to have three or more in one sign means the attributes of that sign would intensely weigh over your chart.
More important than the sign, though, are the planets involved. Take note of how many personal planets (sun, moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter) versus generational planets (Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto) you have in your chart. Because generational planets spend many years in each sign, you’ll have them in common with more people. For instance, say you were born in February 1990. Three of the dark masters — Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune — were and had been in Capricorn for a while, which means that you and your cohort would be born with this stellium. Of course, the generational planets do affect your life’s direction, but their conjunct in the same sign is more of a shared burden. However, in February 1990, Venus, Mercury, and Mars were also in Capricorn, meaning that you may have six planets in the same sign. Venus and Mars own your personal embodiment, and Mercury, your self-expression. All of them will filter through a Capricornian lens.
That’s an intense assignment. You will be called to reckon with the sign’s challenges, claim its gifts, and — perhaps the hardest of all — learn and accept your blindspots. A hyper-emphasis on one sign will arm you with its greatest strengths, but it’s on you to develop conscious awareness of its natural limitations to transcend getting stuck in a cosmic cul-de-sac.
What if I have a stellium and don’t “act like” that sign?
Astrology is an art of duality, opposition and paradox. Every sign has its own contradictory behaviors, beliefs, and values. For every anally retentive Virgo you meet, there’s another who attracts chaos and destruction everywhere they go. Some Aries easily embody their sign’s penchant for confidence and individuality, while others cower in insecurity and neurosis. Most of us should live through both sides of a coin — the two faces of our defining signs.
What does this mean about you? If you don’t fully relate to the sign your stellium is in, consider its shadow side. Flip the masculine elements for the feminine. Where in your chart is this sign? Is it somewhere public, private, exposed, hidden? Then, examine the interaction of the planets. How do those archetypes express themselves naturally in your chart? Do any of them feel blocked or outshone by another? What is each planet doing, individually?
If I have several planets in one sign, and no planets in some others, does that mean they don’t apply to me?
Your chart is a compass, or a clock, preserved from the moment when you were born. Since that moment, all of the planets have continued their vast and neverending orbits around the sun. That means that throughout the year, every sign of the zodiac is activated and occupied by planets. What’s more, all twelve signs are in your chart, each representing a different house, or lens of focus.
Say you weren’t born with any Leo placements. But in summer of 2023, Venus will retrograde in Leo for quite a few months. Where is Leo in your chart? What house does it occupy? Is it close to the base of your chart, dealing with roots and family? Or closer to your career peak? One way or another, you will feel the impact of this transit, even if you weren’t born with any natal planets in Leo.
To take it further: as the currently moving planets blast through signs and houses, they make aspects — alignments, clashes, and connections — with your natal planets. Squares (90 degree aspect) and oppositions (180 degree aspect) create constructive friction and conflict; sextiles (60 degree aspect) and trines (120 degree aspect) are more supportive. That means that your natal stellium is likely always getting set off by transiting planets in other signs.
Say you were born with five planets in Virgo, and no planets in Pisces. With Saturn in Pisces from 2023–2025, it will, over its two year-plus run in the water sign, oppose all of your Virgo placements…which promises to be eventful, at the least. It’s also good to know what modality your stellium is in: is it a cardinal sign (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn); a fixed sign (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius); or a mutable sign (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces)? Are there any planets currently transiting the opposing or squaring signs? Which are they, and how do they clash with, or awaken, your stellium?
Suffice it to say, all the planets are in some sort of dialogue nearly all the time. Once you become aware of which other signs may set off your stellium, you can work with it through different viewpoints. If you were born with a Scorpio cluster, the current blowout in Taurus, its opposing sign, may reveal, provoke, or challenge your true nature in a whole new way. Could be fantastic, no?
How do I deal with a stellium that’s currently in transit?
Get in the ark and hang on, girl. At the time of this writing, Pisces is prone to a surplus of planets, as it currently hosts Saturn and Neptune. Come 2025, Aries will be the next site for the planetary monster truck rally. Naturally, you should look at these extreme convergences in dialogue with your natal chart. Are they setting anything off for you? What part of your chart are they activating?
Beyond the personal, these transiting stelliums represent bubbles which must burst, and crossings which must be faced. If it feels like too much, that’s because we collectively have gone too far with the themes of one sign and must either let a fever rage, or cure it by correcting an imbalance. An overpowering of one sign is always an invitation to recruit the others. If you can survive a stellium, then you can handle anything.