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Astrological Synastry 101
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Have you ever read love horoscopes about your zodiac sign and wondered if there was more to it?  There is, and it's called synastry.  Synastry is one of the most rewarding fields in astrology. Going far past zodiac sign compatibility, it explores the intricacies of human relationships by way of the symbolic language of the sky.  Synastry is like a road map of a relationship.  If you are seriously interested in astrology and take the time to really study it, I think you'll find synastry extremely fascinating.

The Principles of Synastry

Every human being is born under certain configurations in the heavens.  Natal astrology is based in the belief that one's life and personality are conditioned to a large degree by said configurations. An astrological natal chart, which maps the positions of the planets and signs at one's birth, serves as a guide for the astrologer who knows how to read it. The more accurate your birth information, the more accurate your natal chart.

The theory behind synastry is that when two people come together, the energies present in their respective charts also interact. These are the basis for our reactions, feelings and attitudes toward others around us. When elements in the two charts make favorable or easy contact, we respond positively to the other person. When the contacts are difficult or unfavorable, we react negatively. More often than not, there is a mix of positive and negative contacts between two people in a relationship. Analyzing this is the art of astrological compatibility.

Foundation of Synastry

To be able to do synastry, interpreting natal charts must become second nature to you first. Zodiac signs form only a part of it. It's important to realize that the zodiac signs are not the central players or actors in astrology; the planets are. The signs only describe how the planets behave; it is the planets that tell what is at work.  Another important ingredient is houses, which tell where the planets act the most. Contacts between planets are called aspects and aspects are quite crucial in synastry.

To summarize:

  • Planets are different urges or motivations such as love, ego, instincts, fear and sex drive.
  • Zodiac signs are energy that influence how these urges are expressed.
  • Houses are fields of experience such as home, health and work.
  • Aspects are angles or contacts between planets.

A planet is always in a zodiac sign (planets travel across the ecliptic as seen from the earth), and a zodiac sign is always in a house.  As planets move, they form aspects to one another.

Example: The Moon is your emotional side. In Gemini, it is curious, talkative, seeking to vocalize its feelings in order to feel emotionally safe. If the Moon in Gemini is in the ninth house, the emotions are directed towards higher intellectual pursuits, academic achievements, travel to foreign lands, etc. Such a person may learn several languages, visit foreign countries and excel at university.  There is a constant need to stretch one's mental horizons for the sake of emotional tranquility.

Synastry At Work

As should be obvious to you now, an astrological picture of a human being is not simple like Sun sign astrology makes it sound. In synastry horoscope matching, you put your knowledge of natal charts to work to understand how two people can function in a relationship.

In synastry, you compare the personalities of each person as indicated by their natal charts.  This is the basis of analysis. Each person is different, which is why what attracts you might turn off somebody else.

Once you have assessed the personality of each partner, you can look at the two charts for horoscope compatibility. There are two basic techniques here: synastry aspects or aspects between a planet in one chart and a planet in the other chart, and house overlays or where a planet from one chart lands in the other based in its zodiac sign.

Just as planetary aspects in  natal chart show how an individual works with the various dimensions of his being, so do synastry aspects tell us how the different facets or your self interact with that of your partner.

Example: Your Saturn in Virgo is in trine with your brother's Sun in Taurus.  Your fears and concerns (Saturn) are in sync with his essential character (Sun).  You are both practical and hardworking (Virgo and Taurus are earth signs).  He can understand your worries (Virgo) and gives support (trine) through stability and resourcefulness (Taurus).

A house overlay tells us where one partner is most influential in the other partner's life. For the partner who owns the planet in overlay, it is like having an opportunity to shine in a sphere of life where they may never have before.  For the partner who owns the house overlay, it is like having someone else move into one's home or office and plays an active role there.

Example: Your Venus is in your partner's second house. You share many of the same values (Venus, second house). Your talents (Venus) may help your partner increase his or her income (second house), but you may also encourage greater spending, all depending on your Venus sign and its aspects.

Everything you discover through synastry tells you about a relationship, its difficulties, its strengths and perhaps its chances of lasting long. Chart comparison is not learned overnight. The more you practice, the better you get.

Besides the natal chart, an astrologer may also look at related charts such as the progressed charts, composite charts and marriage charts. But interpretation of a relationship always begins with the nativities. The road to discovery starts there.


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excellent article!

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