Malefic

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Malefic (Malefic Aspects; Malefic Planets)

(religion, spiritualism, and occult)

Malefic is a traditional term found in older astrological works. It refers to aspects and planets regarded as having an unfortunate, inharmonious influence. Malefic aspects are angles like squares and oppositions (called hard aspects by modern astrologers) and planets like Mars (the Lesser Malefic) and Saturn (the Greater Malefic). The antonym of malefic is benefic. Contemporary astrologers have largely abandoned these older terms, if for no other reason than to avoid frightening clients. There are, however, other good reasons for dropping such language, the primary one being that the “benefics” do not always indicate unmitigated benefits, nor do “malefics” always indicate unmitigated difficulties.

The situation is different in horary astrology, where the traditional malefics can have a distinctly negative bearing on the question being asked. It should also be noted that Vedic astrology, which is very similar to classical Western astrology in this regard, still uses terms like malefic and benefic.