Relationships and Astrology: Synastry

Relationships and Astrology

I belong to quite a few Astrology groups on Facebook, and I also like to spend some quality time every week surfing several different Astro-focused bulletin boards here and there around the internet. And if you were to follow my example, it would become very clear, very fast, that a whole lot of people who don’t otherwise have much interest in Astrology will dip into it wholeheartedly when it comes to the topic of romance.

And being the versatile system that it is, Astrology does lend itself really well to analyzing relationships. But doing proper work in this area involves a lot more than just asking a bunch of random strangers on Facebook something like, “Is Aquarius a good match for Libra…?”

Concentrating only on Sun Signs – which is what that question is doing – is a bit like asking if you should consider dating someone based solely on the fact that your blood types match. In each case, these aren’t exactly unhelpful things to know…but there’s way more involved in answering the complex question of overall relationship workability than just squinting at two people’s Sun Signs.

Relationships and Astrology

Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars…Ascendant, Descendant…Fifth, Seventh, and Eighth Houses…Juno and Eros and the Vertex, if you’re so inclined… In addition to the Sun, all of these factors and more can come into play when you’re assessing the likelihood of any two given people finding good romantic chemistry.

That makes it sound complicated, and to be honest, it kind of is, but it’s also manageable with a bit of study and practice. And Astrology is a generous field in this regard in that it offers a couple of different routes toward understanding possible compatibility in a relationship. The main such route, though, is called synastry

Now, before we get to exactly what that is, it’s important to note here that the primary document in all of Astrology is almost surely the birth chart. This is a very unique and personalized artifact that’s keyed to a single individual based on the specific date, place, and time of their birth. Like fingerprints, no two birth charts are exactly alike. A birth chart provides eloquent testimony as to a person’s essential wiring in this lifetime: what they will tend to be interested in, skilled at, afraid of, challenged by…the birth chart can reveal all this and then some.

Astrology Synastry chart of Chrissy Teigen and John Legend
This synastry chart lines up the birth charts of model Chrissy Teigen (inside wheel, in blue) and singer John Legend (outside, red), who are married. Synastry can reveal a tremendous amount of information about such match-ups!

So synastry, then, is a sort of doubled-up chart in which one person’s birth chart is wrapped around another’s. The idea is that the dynamics on display between the two charts down on paper will reflect the interpersonal goings-on that will probably ensue up on the personal level as these two people spend time together.

An experienced astrologer can look at a synastry chart and then note which Planets in one chart will make connections with which Planets in the other…and they should also be able to describe the natures of those connections, and whether they’ll be user-friendly, difficult, or just a foray into neutrality. They can also explain which Planets in one chart are beaming energy into which adjacent Houses in the other, and what effects that might have on the two parties involved.

Whether you’re curious as to how you might get along with your brand-new romantic possibility, or you’d like to finally understand why you and your mate of several decades keep on having the same issues, synastry analysis may be a fantastic avenue of exploration for you!

And if you’d like some help with breaking down the synastry chart in question, there’s a very relevant new Arrow In Flight Special Offer running now! Check out the details RIGHT HERE

Astrology, Past Lives, and Reincarnation – Part 3

M16_Eagle_Nebula_from_the_Mount_Lemmon_SkyCenter_Schulman_Telescope_courtesy_Adam_BlockIn my PREVIOUS POST, and also in the POST BEFORE THAT ONE, I got into some thoughts on how it’s possible to use Astrology to harvest some information about past lives that you may have led in times now departed. I was mostly summarizing some of the different indicators that astrologers use to get ideas about possible past lives, and about the lingering karma that may have flowed forward from those past lives to color the present lifetime.

What I didn’t talk about, though – and what’s difficult to nail down, since none of this qualifies as “exact science” – is how you know if your explorations into these areas are actually on point or not. It’s not like there’s some sort of past life Geiger-counter you can switch on so as to grab a quick reading for accuracy…so what do you do?

Fortunately, there are a few different phenomena that can arguably be of real value in this process. Obviously mileages vary, so you should approach any and all of this with whatever amount of healthy skepticism feels right for you…

But okay, let’s say that whatever your belief-level may be with respect to past lives, reincarnation, karma – whether you’re absolutely convinced that it’s all literally true, or you instead think it’s the weakest blend of hogwash and hooey – you’ve decided just for the sake of any diversion that this investigation may provide, that you’ll see what your birth chart might say about your own possible past life experiences and karmic signature. You either do the analysis yourself or you hire an astrologer to do it for you. And the analysis gives rise to some hypothetical scenarios and character descriptions that fit the astrological data:

  • You were in charge of an ill-fated sea voyage that ended when your ship went down without a trace into the icy waters of the north Atlantic, and everyone on board was lost
  • You were married to someone who fell prey to a horrible disease that rendered them utterly dependent on you for decades, forcing you to become nothing but a constant caretaker, giving up every shred of personal development you might have otherwise enjoyed
  • You were an outcast or exile, persecuted for your religious beliefs, and eventually killed for them in some act of gross violence

You’ve obviously washed up on the shores of existence in this lifetime as you…but who might you have been in the life before this one…and the one before that…and the one before THAT…? [Image by Moyan Brenn]
These are all pretty grim cases, but then again, we’re not likely to be haunted in future lives by the things that we got right in earlier ones… But then after cooking up these possible past life biographical sketches, how do you possibly “verify” them?

Here are some things you can either look for in your present life to date, or that you can seek out and try:

  1. Past Life Regression. Punch that phrase into your favorite search engine, and you should be able to find plenty of practitioners who can usher you through a specialized, hypnosis-like exchange designed to connect you with one or more past selves. Success will vary wildly from client to client, provider to provider, and session to session, but many people do experience very satisfying and vivid results.
  2. Walk a Past Life Site. If you believe you were a lone outlaw warrior in 4th Century Japan, and it’s within your means, then travel to the lands you believe you roamed, and see what happens when you’re actually standing there in your present form. Visit the very spot in France where you suspect a former version of you may have perished in the trenches during WWI. Walk the grounds of that small town outside of Buenos Aires where you think you may have spent most of a former adult lifetime trapped in a loveless marriage. Some people have reported experiencing spontaneous and powerful memories or sensory input from past lives when physically present in a location that may have been inhabited by a former self.
  3. Synchronicity. I wrote a post a couple of years ago in which I described how I performed some analysis along these lines on my own chart, and was then treated to a rush of synchronicities like nothing I’d ever encountered before…which, depending on your own belief system, may or may not mean much, but you can read about my own synchronicities IN THIS POST. Such occurrences might be taken as indications that the theories about past life scenarios being investigated are actually pretty sound.
  4. Recurring Dreams. Some people experience recurring dreams. These can go on for some limited phase of a person’s life, or they can run from the cradle to the grave. Not all of them will necessarily speak to past life experience, but in my own work with clients over time, it’s become increasingly apparent that a small but definite percentage of those clients do experience recurring dreams that seem to be heavily in line with the hypothetical past life scenarios that I’d come up with after analyzing their birth charts. If you currently have – or have at some point in your life had – recurring dreams or nightmares, it might be worth your time to really examine them, and see if they might be echoes of some actual past life experience…

Could your recurring dreams or nightmares actually be like scrapbooks of scenes taken from your past lives…? [The Little Evil King, by Ursula Benser, 1958]
And again, we’re not exactly taking temperature readings here, or clocking the speed of a careening sports car, so actual, verifiable proof that would satisfy a rigorous battery of scientific testing may not be on the menu at all…but the far more important outcome is whether your answers about your own possible past life experiences satisfy you.

If you’re intrigued about these concepts of karma, past lives, and reincarnation, and you’d like to see what your birth chart might offer up about your own karmic signature, please feel free to visit my READINGS page and make a chart analysis appointment – I’d be thrilled to help you gaze into this realm!

Astrology, Past Lives, and Reincarnation – Part 2

M42_Orion_Nebula_from_the_Mount_Lemmon_SkyCenter_Schulman_Telescope_courtesy_Adam_BlockIn my PREVIOUS POST, I discussed some of the indicators that astrologers use to track past life karma into a person’s present day birth chart. Some of these indicators include the Nodes of the Moon, Saturn, Eighth House and Twelfth House placements, retrograde Planets, and any Planets, Signs, or Houses that might be intercepted in a chart.

Unfortunately, in that same post, I left out yet another indicator that some astrologers favor when digging into past life information: this indicator is one of the bodies in the main Asteroid belt, that – like its fellow comrades there – makes its circuit around the Sun within the region lying between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. This particular Asteroid bears the number 3811, and the name…Karma.

The idea here is that you can pick up some clues about your past life experiences by analyzing the Sign and House placements of Asteroid Karma in your chart, along with any fairly tight Aspects it might make with any of your other natal Planets.

astro_2gw_224_napoleon_i_bonaparte_adb.48282.42069Full disclosure: I’ve never used the Asteroid called Karma for these purposes, but I thought it might be fun to give it a public workout. For my test subject, I settled upon Napoleon Bonaparte, figuring that most readers would be at least somewhat familiar with him (the Wikpedia bio on him states, “More plays and films have been produced about Napoleon than any other figure in history except Jesus,” which bodes pretty well for the mightiness of his name recognition factor here…).

So as you can see from the accompanying chart, the Asteroid called Karma was moving through the Sign of Libra when Napoleon was born, and it occupies his Eleventh House.

I haven’t found any sort of widely accepted “Ye Olde Gospel” when it comes to interpreting 3811 Karma in a chart, so I’m kind of winging it a bit here. Most of my own work in this area has focused on the Nodes of the Moon, and the Nodes are very user-friendly and symmetrical in that one of them (the South Node) details past life experiences and karma, while the other (the North Node) points the way ahead, toward karmic processing, cleansing, and release. Unfortunately, there’s only one 3811 Karma, so I’m thinking that maybe it has to do double-duty if we use it…? At the very least, I’m allowing for that possibility here…

First, let’s see what happens if we look at this Asteroid as an indicator of Napoleon’s past life experiences and lingering karma in the life we know him for.

As mentioned, 3811 Karma is in Libra in Napoleon’s H11. This could mean he came into his well-known life from a previous one that had been marked by endless stretches of Libran peace. Maybe he built up a lifetime’s accumulation of an itchy, fidgety need for conflict and competition, but found none…and so became a military archetype in his subsequent incarnation to make up for all that.

The Wheel of Existence turns and turns…

Maybe he was also boxed into life as just another cog in some great, group-think machine that allowed for no individual expression. This is, after all, one of the less palatable but definite possibilities when the tribe-centric Eleventh House is emphasized. This might prompt someone to reincarnate with a highly intensified need to be noticed for their own individual traits and accomplishments.

Napoleon’s 3811 Karma is also square his natal Venus, which lies in Gemini in his Eighth House. What does that all mean in plain English…? It could be that his tribal membership resulted in him being denied those relationships he had most desired, forcing him to try to subsist on an unfulfilling diet of interpersonal contacts that felt like the barest of nibbles to him in that prior lifetime, yielding almost zero “nutrition” for his former self. Being denied everyone you ever craved might conceivably lead you to feel in a subsequent life that conquering everyone around you would grant you access to all the relationships you could ever want and more. And given the H8 influence, you might be more than willing to add some death and darkness to the mix if it could satisfy your hungers.

So far, we can definitely make a case for some or all of the above analysis fitting what we know of Napoleon as he lived his famous life here on Earth from 1769 to 1821.

But then what about the other half of the karmic equation? What if we look at 3811 Karma as a guidepost pointing toward karmic healing, or as a warning of what might materialize if its lessons aren’t heeded?

If we treat 3811 now as more of a North Node than a South Node kind of thing, the advice might be to seek healthier versions of that tribal belonging. That is, instead of being swallowed up, homogenized, and lost within a collective, it could be that Napoleon’s karmic mission was to find a worthy tribe to belong to, and to do it in a Libran context of balance and tranquility.

And it could be that he failed in that mission…and one of the possible pitfalls of the H11 signature is that of landing in a place of alienation, outlaw or criminal standing, or even…exile. And we all know the circumstances of Napoleon’s last days before he breathed his last.

Obviously, there’s some great utility in choosing a well-known person to serve as an example in chart analysis – everyone knows who we’re talking about, and they can therefore follow along! But there’s also the danger of trying to retrofit the details of the chart and the interpretations of those details so that they’ll line up well with the facts of that person’s life. What I’m driving at is: I may have landed on some possibilities in this rundown for Napoleon that I wouldn’t have arrived at had I not known whose chart I was reading. So take all of the above with a few jumbo-sized grains of salt!

But if 3811 Karma interests you as a possible indicator of past life karma, then it may be worth your time and energy to explore it a bit. You can use my own work above as a template, or you can venture off on your own analytical course and see what happens. I’m not ready to bump the Nodes in favor of this particular symbol when looking into past life signatures in charts, but I may continue to keep it in the mix to see if it consistently yields results that feel on point. After all, it’s probably not named “Karma” for nothing!

Astrology, Past Lives, and Reincarnation

Embryonic Stars in the Rosette Nebula

Do you believe in concepts such as past lives, reincarnation, and karma?

Historically, for most of my life, I was not a pure believer in the first two in any literal way, although I did always feel that the karma principle had a lot going for it. I’ve also always been on board with the notion that consciousness doesn’t necessarily perish when the physical body dies…but that’s not the same thing as believing that consciousness gets reborn into another physical body in this same physical world at some later date after the current physical body meets its demise.

But almost three years ago, I started to explore a branch of Astrology known as “Evolutionary Astrology.” In this subset of the field, the most commonly used technique for evaluating possible past lives and unprocessed karma centers on the Nodes of the Moon. This is not the only way to assess karma and past life experiences when using Astrology, but it’s the one I started with.

I applied the Lunar Node analysis technique to my own birth chart, and I was then favored with a rush of weird synchronicities like almost nothing I’ve ever experienced in my life, either before or since. It all began the moment I theorized that based on my own South Lunar Node set-up, hey, maybe I could have been a high-ranking priest-figure in the Aztec civilization who advised my ruler, Moctezuma II, to let this guy Cortés and his Spaniard fellows into our otherwise well-fortified city because what the hell, they seemed like good guys…

You can read about those various synchronicities HERE in a post that I put together at that time.

Do you believe that each of us has an immortal spirit that goes on animating a succession of bodies in new places and new times down through the ages…?

Meanwhile, I’ve continued to explore all of this karma/past life/reincarnation business in the three years since. As I continue working as a professional astrologer, I poll my clients as to whether or not they believe in these concepts. Maybe I’m focusing on a sample of the general population that skews toward a belief in the metaphysical anyway – I mean, we do meet each other solely because these folks are consulting an astrologer – but the response is almost universally and unanimously affirmative that yes, these people do wholeheartedly believe in these concepts.

So recently, I decided to do another poll, this one across a couple of Astrology groups that I belong to on Facebook. I asked the astrologically-minded in those groups what symbols they might use when digging into past lives and karma in a chart. Not too surprisingly, the Lunar Nodes were mentioned by virtually everyone who replied. I also collected up a few additional symbols, though, and wanted to share them here. Some I’ve now long known as karma-related items in Astrology, but a few of these were new references for me in this context.

As always, it’s on you to some extent to do some of your own experimentation to see if any or all of them feel like reliable indicators in this realm…but if you’re interested in delving into the intersection of Astrology and reincarnation for yourself, then here are a few symbols you might consider examining:

  • The Nodes of the Moon – the South Node represents past life experiences and lingering karma, and the North Node symbolizes the path toward karmic cleansing and evolution
  • The Twelfth House – the Sign on the H12 cusp and any Planets found in this House serve as past life/karma indicators for some astrologers
  • The Eighth House – not as commonly cited as H12, but a small yet passionate minority of respondents believe H8 can serve in similar fashion as a summary of past life experiences
  • Saturn – very popular with astrologers as a symbol for karma, second only to the Lunar Nodes
  • Retrograde Planets – again, this was a minority view, but the astrologers who get behind this notion really get behind this notion
  • Intercepted Planets, Signs, and Houses – ditto…and this was both a concept that I had never encountered before, and the one that most intrigued me

So if you’re curious about how the concepts of past lives, reincarnation, and karma may be accessible through chart analysis in Astrology, these are a few of the symbols that you may want to explore.

And as always, I’m happy to help in this process if you feel you might benefit from the added input. Reach out to me via the info on my CONTACT page to book an appointment, and we may be able to get some ideas as to who you may have been in another place and time, and what you can do to release some of the karma that lingers on in this life from that prior Earth-walk…

Astrology Forecast: Week of July 3 – 9, 2017

Take a gander at a few highlights drawn from the overall menu of Astro-events that will be coming our way this week… Mercury remains a busy little messenger-Planet, Chiron contacts offer opportunities for healing, and late in the week, we have both a Full Moon in Capricorn and a slightly intimidating Sun/Pluto opposition on the agenda.

Also, I reference a 50,000-word novel that manages to never make use of the letter “e”…

Tune in here, and prep for the week ahead:

What Does Chiron Retrograde Mean?

Chiron, the Wounded Healer
Chiron, the Wounded Healer

Our society as a whole seems to have learned just enough about Astrology at this point to fear retrograde periods…which might actually be worse than not being aware of them at all.

It’s not super-helpful to think of retrograde periods as being necessarily “bad.” Yes, depending on the specifics of a given retrograde interval, and also depending on the specifics of your own unique chart, then it could sometimes seem that things do go off the rails for you during retrograde times. Then again, if you were to keep a journal in dedicated fashion, you’d probably also find that plenty of things tend to go off the rails in your life even when no Planets at all are moving in retrograde fashion…

More helpful than adopting a viewpoint of “retrogrades = all bad, all the time,” it’s wise to always consider first which Planet it is that’s going retrograde…and then look at your own chart to see if you have any features in it that might be on the receiving end of that Planet’s shifting energies when the retrograde event happens.

But what does that mean in plain-speak, without all the Astro-jargon…?

Basically, the first part (“Which Planet is going retrograde?”) is saying that Mercury going retrograde, for example, won’t cause the same effects or ping the same themes that, say, Venus going retrograde will cause and ping. And the same holds true for Mars, and Jupiter, and Saturn, and on through the entire cast of planetary characters. Each Planet has its own unique set of functions, so you need to focus on which Planet is doing the retro-work in question.

And then the second part – the bit about looking at your own chart – means that a given retrograde event won’t generally affect any two people in quite the same way. Think of the Planet going retrograde as a transmitter, beaming out a signal. Now think of yourself and everyone else in the world as being receivers in the shapes of humans. Each of us is different, and we’ll each receive that Planet’s transmissions in slightly different ways. Some people will be reading the broadcast so loud and clear that it will hurt, while others will have to strain to hear it at all.

So what happens when the Planet going retrograde is that interesting Planetoid, Chiron? This is a pretty good question to be asking right about now, as Chiron is set to station retrograde this coming Saturday (July 1, 2017)…

We need to start off by focusing on what makes Chiron a unique force… Chiron the Planetoid is named for a figure from out of classical mythology who was known as “the Wounded Healer.” Chiron was an immortal centaur (= half-humanoid/half-horse) who was scratched with an arrow that happened to have been coated with the blood of the Hydra, one of the most fearsome monsters ever to slither across the ancient Greek landscape. Being an immortal, Chiron couldn’t die, but the Hydra’s blood was so toxic, that he couldn’t metabolize it out of his system, either. He couldn’t heal from the wound. Chiron was therefore trapped in this horrible state of perpetual agony.

Rod of Asclepius
This is the Rod of Asclepius, a symbol associated with healing in our society. Asclepius was one of Chiron’s students – he became the greatest mortal healer of his day, in part due to the wise teachings of Chiron…

When his own already impressive medical knowledge failed to offer up a cure, Chiron traveled the world, looking into more and more exotic possible remedies. Nothing helped, but he did at least pick up so much new healing knowledge and skill that he became one of the greatest healers of all time.

Perpetually wounded + medical wizard = “The Wounded Healer”

In our birth charts, then, Chiron points out an area where we bear some sort of deep-rooted “soul-wound,” some trauma or condition that causes us ongoing pain in our lives until we can hopefully learn to heal it. This can be an actual physical condition, or something less tangible (a spiritual, emotional, or mental “wound”). The good news is that our experiences with our own Chironic wounds can allow us to become great healers of the same kind of wounds in others.

All of which is the backstory… Let’s jump now to this Saturday, when Chiron up in the sky will suddenly look to us here on Earth as if it will be stopping in its tracks, and then moving backwards in the sky. This is just an optical illusion caused by the realities of us observing Chiron from a different body in space that’s moving at a very different speed than Chiron is…but in Astrology, this kind of event carries an important meaning.

The gist of it is that whereas Planetary energies are generally beaming themselves all around us in the external world, when a Planet goes retrograde, its energies will then seem to manifest more within our inner worlds. This Chiron retrograde period will therefore be a five-month window of opportunity during which we can possibly make great strides in recognizing and even healing our own deepest soul-wounds.

The Healing Touch
“The Healing Touch” by Tim Holmes – Chiron retrograde periods are terrific times for manifesting some real healing in our lives…

Your best bet will be – as always! – to start by analyzing the Chiron situation in your own birth chart. What Sign and what House does your natal Chiron reside in? The Sign will give you some clues about the nature of your intrinsic wounds, while the House will flag some area of your life in which those wounds will most often and most intensely be felt.

Next, examine any Aspects that connect your natal Chiron to any other Planets in your chart. Squares and oppositions will be especially useful in understanding more about the characteristics of your wounds, and grasping what might cause you to keep aggravating them all over again. Meanwhile, the more harmonious trines and sextiles will be more likely to suggest ways in which you might soothe and even heal those wounds.

After you’ve put in some time analyzing your own natal Chiron, take a look at where the actual Chiron Planetoid is in the sky right now – the very final stretch of Pisces – and see if you have any important Planets or Points in that same area in your own birth chart. If so, you may be especially inclined to feel the Chironic energy-waves during this five-month period. You might also want to examine the corresponding sections within the other Mutable Signs (Gemini, Virgo, and Sagittarius) in your chart, and the same thing will hold true: if you have any important placements in the last few degrees of any of those Signs, this retrograde period may be an eventful one for you.

Chiron will remain in this retrograde state until December 5th, when it stations direct (“goes back to normal”), so you have five months during which you can hopefully tune in and really gain insight with respect to your deepest, most longstanding sources of spiritual pain. Chironic healing is a tremendous gift when it comes, so it might be terrific policy to encourage it during this retrograde interval.

Gentle and versatile healing and other holistic practices will be especially helpful at this time: Reiki, meditation, and yoga are a few examples of some modalities you might consider. You can also make use of any techniques that can be keyed more precisely into your own specific Chironic situation.

Try viewing this period not as a time for wallowing in self-pity about your wounds, but as a positive opportunity to bring about some deep and profound healing…