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Synastry – The Age Old Questions

by Debbie Nagioff (DMS Astrol) (

Synastry. That lovely part of astrology that people in chat rooms and forums just can’t help talking about. But to the lay person what is Synastry? Well in astrological circles Synastry is that part of the science devoted to relationships, looking at two birth charts and seeing how they interact with each other.

The birth chart is an astrological map (usually circular) of that precise moment in time when a baby takes its first breath. From that moment, an astrologer can draw up the birth chart, which is divided into 12 parts or houses. Depending on what system of houses you use, (I use Placidus) these represent twelve spheres of life. On the Eastern horizon will be found the Ascendant and the Midheaven is just that, the sign directly overhead at the time of birth.

Add to this the precise position of the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, Chiron, North Node, South Node, various lesser asteroids, Juno, etc. and the chart begins to look rather crowded. A further layer on the cake is the aspects that the planets, ascendant and Midheaven have to each other. Still further the signs in which the planets fall and the emphasis on elements, fire, earth, air and water, whether the planets fall in Cardinal, Fixed or Mutable signs, and so on. To the astrologer, this concoction is nothing new. To the outsider, they probably wished they’d never asked!

But it is the interplay between two birth charts wherein lies Synastry. And not only that, the two charts form a Composite. The Composite takes the midpoint between each planet and Ascendant (although sometimes the place of residence is used), and this forms another chart called the relationship chart or Composite. The relationship as it is, can be at odds with the Synastry between the two pe ople. Still further we can look at the First Meeting chart, the moment the two people met.

It is little wonder that us astrologers have our work cut out for us. In the old days we used to set up our charts longhand, but nowadays, with the advent of many useful astrological websites, we can do this very quickly. But the real art is in mixing process of all these wonderful and not-so-wonderful aspects, planets, signs and houses.

Where people, with a little knowledge of Synastry and a whole lot of love for another person, often go wrong is to take an isolated aspect between the charts and ask a forum if their relationship is going to be successful? Does he love me? Does he desire me? This can’t be judged on an isolated aspect. Nor can spewing out transit information help to resolve the relationship query, or obscure asteroid connections. One has to realise that some people just don’t feel certain transits, and feel others rather acutely. For my part I’ve had Neptune dithering on or near my Aquarian Ascendant for the last few years, causing quite a huge amount of confusion. Add to that Uranus has been causing great shocks to my Moon/Venus conjunction in Pisces, but even though Jupiter has been around to lend a hand, he ain’t had a look in.

These transits also affect the Composite and the First Meeting Chart. But as an astrologer I would never do a Synastry without looking at the individual birth charts first. For no matter how wonderful the Synastry, one has to look at each person’s latent potential to form healthy relationships. No manner of lovely Venus conjunct Mars or Venus conjunct Pluto will ever convince me that this is a match made in heaven, without looking at the individuals first. For me that’s a no-brainer!

After I have ascertained the strengths and weaknesses of each party, it is down to the Synastry itself. It is remarkable, again, how Synastry buffs, with just a smattering of knowledge will hold out for the Venus and Mars interactions, without looking at the interaction between the Ascendant of one and the luminaries of the other, or the inter-luminary play. Still further, for long term relationships, particularly with those carrying a karmic debt, you must look at how Saturn comes into play. Saturn is the planet of restriction, reality and limitation. If a Synastry is devoid of any Saturn links, challenging or otherwise, one can categorically state that this relationship will not last the course, irrespective of how many lovely Venusian or Jupiterarian inter-aspects there are.

Look also to Pluto, the planet of transformation to see how that compulsively takes hold. Again, this is one of the planets that, in Synastry, will never let go. (My article “The Twin Soul connection touches on Pluto as forming part of the “dance” between Twin Souls).

The planets and the parts they play are too numerous to discuss in an article such as this.

Suffice to say that if you are serious about looking at a Synastry, then you must find a serious astrologer who will look at both charts individually before putting them together.

In Synastry the age old questions have never changed, and the age old answers are still the same.

© Debbie Nagioff 2011

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