The opposition aspect involves two planets, typically in partner signs, on opposite sides of a chart. They seem to act in contrasting ways, pulling the chart holder in two different directions. The motion resembles that of a seesaw, with one side up while the other is down, going from one extreme to the other.
Part of reconciling an opposition involves seeing what the two signs have in common. The following is a list of what I consider to be the key concerns of each partner sign set.
Aries–Libra: Axis of the Self and the Other. Concerned with relationships.
Taurus–Scorpio: Axis of worth and resources. Concerned with possessions.
Gemini–Sagittarius: Axis of learning and teaching. Concerned with ideas and communication.
Cancer–Capricorn: Axis of private life and public life. Concerned with providing for needs.
Leo–Aquarius: Axis of individual and collective self-expression. Concerned with free expression of identity.
Virgo–Pisces: Axis of physical and spiritual awareness. Concerned with service.
When looking at a chart in terms of themes, I’ve found that oppositions tend to reflect those themes. I, for one, have 6 unique sets of oppositions in my chart, but they only involve two pairs, the cardinal signs Aries-Libra and Cancer-Capricorn. So it can be said that one theme of my life story is balancing the give and take when relating to others, and another is balancing who I am in private with who I am publicly. The presence of these pairs can be interpreted in different ways, of course, but other placements and aspects in my chart lead me to look at them from this angle. That’s the thing about themes, I’ve found: they’re typically supported by more than one placement or aspect.
You don’t need to have 6 oppositions to feel the importance of the aspect in your life, and everyone has at least one in the form of the North and South Nodes. Many people discuss moving away from the South Node and toward the North Node, but what if, like the other oppositions, this one calls for conscious balancing, too? The Nodes and the way that oppositions show themes are why the practice of balancing oppositions contribute to the balance and understanding of the whole chart, life, and person.