Gregory N. Nalbandian
Using astrology to help find a partner or a lover is quite a booming business. We have seen a huge proliferation in the market place of books, tapes, videos, and even phone line services targeting relationships using astrology as the vehicle. Most of these products only use the Sun sign as the tool for analysis with astrology. Some even go as far as throwing in the Moon sign as well. Can this really be accomplished using only these few points in the horoscope? The answer lies in the nature of the question itself - Can we relate?
As with many English words, one word may have many different meanings, uses, and even pronunciations. This can be both a real problem in basic communication, and a strong tool in getting people to understand larger views. The word "relationship" is a great example of this. Most people think and use the term as a quality of being as opposed to a state of being. The question of "can we relate" turns into an idea of the quality of the relationship. In Geometry, the concept of relationships has nothing to do with the quality of the experience, and everything to do with the physical position, i.e.; two lines are parallel or perpendicular. This kind of relating is a simple observation of the nature of the environment that the two exist in together. Is this not also true with human relationships? Can we not look at the reality of the "geometry" of two people with astrology? The answer is a resounding yes, but we have to add many more points to the equation to get a more in-depth picture.
Using just the Sun and the Moon sign in looking at relationships is only looking at a fraction of the picture. These are essential archetypes in the Birth Chart, but what about the planet Mercury, which rules communication, or the planet Venus, which rules the essential needs sought through relating. There is also the Planet Mars, which rules the expression of your sexuality and the karmic energies. These additional points can help the astrologer develop a picture of the quality of the relating, as well as the necessity in what the individuals are relating for in the first place. This quality of relating is also called compatibility, i.e.; are we compatible? The reason for the answer to this question is the necessity of relating, Karma.
The issues of why two people are relating, the necessity of the experience, is a more complicated equation to explain in the space we have here in this article. These types of questions are karmic in their source, and we would have to go in-depth into the karmic picture of any chart to understand them. In another way to get a current picture of these archetypes, we can look to the childhood images of the masculine and the feminine to help us understand the roots of our own archetypal attractions. Whether you are straight or gay, theses images formed in early childhood & predominately molded by our authority figures (mother / father), have a profound effect on the types of individuals we become attracted to in our latter life. This childhood environment is a direct projection of past life needs, and therefore is very karmic in source. By looking to the karmic picture found in every chart, we can understand why we attracted our parents, and then more understand the karmic needs being fulfilled from relating to others. As you can see, the subject of the karma of relationships is very intricate and complex. We can still look at the inner planets as a guide to how the individuals relating can be dealt with, and how to improve the quality of the relating.
With most of the mass market relationship books only looking at the Sun-Sun relationship, people without a background in astrology could be easily misled as to how to deal with the workings of relating. The Sun-Sun combination will only tell of each individuals "power" source and the direction in which they are moving, and not how they work together. This is a start, but there are several other planets to look at to help reach that Sun destiny within each individual. The interactions between the Moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars will add more distinction to the equation of relating.
The word "interaction" between two point in the Zodiac in the above paragraph is call an Aspect. These relationships between celestial bodies are the foundation to understanding the interacting of the different part of the psyche that the planets represent. There are several types of aspects that we look at in relationship astrology. Conjunctions - when any two planets are at the same degree within a sign - represent the combining of the two planetary energies. Squares - when they are 90 degree's apart - represent an inner type of dynamic tension that in some cases can be that needed spark and in other times be that gritty sand under your collar. Trines - when they are 120 degrees apart - represent a type of creative gestation process. Quincunx - when they are 150 degrees apart is probably the hardest of all relationship aspects and yet it is the one that has the most to teach. Oppositions - when they are 180 degrees apart is a lot like a square aspect, but the dynamic tension will constantly draw the individual outside themselves . This all may sound overly complicated, but to fully understand relationship astrology you have to have a good grasp of how to interpret astrological aspects. With that in mind, let's just look at the inner planets and what their interactions can tell us.
The aspects to the Moons in either person's chart is a great place to start. The Moon represent an individual's emotional patterns and instinctual responses. The aspects to the Moon are some of the strongest influencing aspects in a relationship astrology, and is typified by the Moon / Moon relationship. This type of relationship is not necessarily easy, because the emotions of each individual is amplified by the other's. It will be a very emotionally fulfilling one, with each person learning to become more aware of their unconscious emotional responses to life. Moon / Mars aspects are potent for emotional sexual response. A Moon square Mars for instance, would point towards an emotional tension (Moon - Square) drawn out by the Mars sexual energy. This type of square may be wonderful for strong sexual attraction but could also cause a strong argumentative stance. Or Moon / Mercury aspects, which besides the Moon/Moon aspect, is one of the most powerful keys in relating. These aspects point to how well the Mercury individual can understand the emotional expression of the Moon person.
Mercury aspects are also very important, as Mercury is the planet of communication. With a lot of relationship problems being documented today, the one problem most expressed is "we don't talk" or "you don't understand me." You could have a favorable Moon/Moon aspect, or a strong Sun sign connection, but if your Mercury's are square or quincunx, then your communication process could break down into misunderstandings and bickering. An important point about the Mercury connection is that it is the concept of association, which is the process of not just communicating to express yourself or your feelings, but communicating to bring together two separate points of view. The Mercury/Mercury opposition would then find more understanding about it's own process of communicating by associating to the words and ways the other person states things.
With Venus and Mars, these planets have a direct function on what we see in another person and how we want to act on the feelings that came from discovering the other person. The planet Venus is a function of love, but it also transcends that to a state of self perfecting. This state is not found complete within oneself, so it drives us outward to find the missing pieces to the puzzle. We go outwards with an unconscious check list of ideas that we want to find in ourselves as they are represented in another person. This process helps us better ourselves by seeing yourself in another. The Mars function is the raw energy that is birthed out into reality. This energy is sexual in nature and can manifested in several ways. First off, it is the energy produced in the sexual glands of the body, both female and male. This energy has a need to express itself through sexual acts or any manifested act of sexual expression, i.e.: art, sports, creation/destruction. Secondly, this energy is the force behind the expression of karma's needs to create. If the Mars is squared or conjunct or opposite any of the inner planets in another's chart, then the expression of Mars energy is found to be elevated, which may give a nice dynamic tension to any relationship. A Mars quincunx is a hard one as it may bring out physical anger and/or violence.
The subject of relating astrologically, as you can see, is a very in-depth and complicated subject and far exceed just using Sun signs only. The above discussion is just touching the tip of the iceberg. There is also another concept of finding the midpoints between charts to come up with a third chart of neither of the individuals but of the relationship itself called a composite chart. There is also placing your planets into the other persons chart to see what houses your planets fall in. The use of the inner planets and the aspects between them should be able to tell you the pitfalls and bright spots in the inner workings of two people, so that in the end you can chose to work with it or choose to leave it. This information should only help you to understand the dynamics of two people and not tell you if you are "right" or "wrong" for each other. That is a subject for your own freewill to make.
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