Better together…

It’s my wedding anniversary today.

Twenty-three years since we did the whole I do, white dress, make it legal thing. And, we were together for five years before that. Twenty-eight years together. We have the Saturn Return of our relationship coming up next year. (As an aside, we started dating when he was having his Saturn Return.)

If I were being political, which of course I’m not, at this point I’d add that I’m grateful we have the option of doing so…but I’m not going there.

Anyways, 23 years married. How have we done it? Lasted as long as we have?

We sometimes joke that we’re perfect for each other: he’s so fixed that he can’t be bothered to change, and I have so little focus that I can’t remember to!

Seriously though, It hasn’t been bliss – most marriages aren’t – and it’s more richly textured because of that. If it were, I probably wouldn’t still be here – complete compatibility, like complete commitment, isn’t my thing. That’s not to say that we’re not compatible and I’m not committed – of course we are and I am. It’s just that he knows me well enough to know that space when I need it is necessary for me, and I know him well enough to know when to seek that space out and when to stay close.

Nor is it perfect – something I constantly have to remind my Virgo Descendant of. Besides, if it were, Uranus and Pluto sitting on the Descendant in my chart would have something to say about that.

My mother has always said that I’m hell to live with – and I am. With as much Pluto and Uranus as I have, I’m constantly doing the power, control, reinvention and freedom thing. I’m also full of Pisces and Neptune, so am super-duper emotionally charged and sensitive – and live in a world not entirely based in reality. My moods are explosive and random, and my soapbox rants legendary.

On the other hand, his chart is full of Libran planets – that fill up the empty spaces in my no air chart nicely – partnership is his thing. Despite his Scorpio Sun and Mars (it’s a 6thhouse one, so I tell him that my 8th house Scorpio Mars will trump his every day) he’d prefer to find a peaceful outcome to a conflict any day.

His Moon is in Gemini, so he needs social interaction much more than my Pisces Moon does, and his Taurus Ascendant and Libra Venus likes to let it be from a position on the couch while I flit around looking for something to keep my Venus in Aries amused.

I’m challenged from a boundary and reality viewpoint, and his Saturn in Capricorn provides a necessary grounding. On the other side of the coin, my Jupiter in Cancer and all of that Neptune brings in faith and light when he’s looking for what could go wrong.

So, somehow it works.

That’s the thing about relationship astrology – the challenges in the synastry often show as much about what keeps a couple together as the obviously compatible aspects. It’s the challenges that help us to grow – although, on the flip side, too much challenge, or too much resistance to growth and it’s this that can also help us grow apart.

Aside from the obvious changes- we’re both 23 years older, my hair hadn’t yet been coloured and I was 30 kilos lighter – we’ve both changed inside as well. After 37 years with the same company, he’s now looking for new opportunities, and I’m on my third complete career reinvention – banker to project manager to astrologer and writer. He has grown into his Capricorn Saturn and gained that assurance that Saturn brings with age. There are other differences too – most of which have come from our shared experiences.

We’ve had some challenges – as have most couples – over the years. Last year was both individually and collectively one of the toughest. Ironically we seem to have come through that feeling stronger together – possibly because we each needed the strength of the other to do what we’ve done. Possibly because we’re better together.

So, 23 years today on a sunny Autumn day in Canberra. Where has the time gone?

For more on DIY relationship astrology, check out What’s love got to do with it?

 

Happy Valentines Day…

So it’s Valentines Day.

I know it’s a travesty to my Pisces-ness, but I’ve never, and I mean never, done Valentines Day. Perhaps it’s my Venus in Aries. Perhaps it’s my 7th house Uranus.

In every other way I consider myself a romantic – after all, as a romance novelist, my business relies on me contriving happily ever afters – but Valentines Day? No, I don’t get it…but, that’s just me.

Seven years ago I was in New York with a friend (hello Astrosparkles) over Valentines Day. We contemplated going up the Empire State Building on Valentines Night – you know, like in Sleepless In Seattle. I didn’t want to queue – as well as not doing Valentines Day, I don’t do queuing either. Instead we went up on the night of the 13th, which was Valentines Day In Sydney anyway.

Honestly it was so freezing up there that if I was Meg Ryan, there’s no way I would have waited any longer than I had to for Tom Hanks.

Anyways, Valentines Day turns the mind to relationship.  Are we meant to be together for, like, ever? In fact, the most common question I’m asked is: how do I know who the right person is for me?

My quick answer is – I have no flipping idea. Love is not an exact science, and (even though I’ve been with the same man for 28 years) I’m not sure that I think there is one perfect person for everyone. I definitely don’t believe in the idea of perfection when it comes to love and relationships – but that’s just me, so please don’t write to me.

The thing is, relationship is complex. It isn’t just a matter of Sun sign compatibility, it’s so much more than that. It’s how we react emotionally to each other, how we communicate, what each of us needs from relationships and how we are in the bedroom.

More than that, it’s how our charts interact and combine. It’s complex.

Some of you like challenge in our relationships and are drawn to partners whose planets aspect yours by square or opposition. Some of you need harmony and a relationship that settles into something inherently easy. If this is you, you’ll be looking for someone whose chart seamlessly aspects yours.

Some of you are drawn to the unattainable, the unavailable, the “unsuitable”. Some of you are drawn to the missing elements in your own chart. Some of you are drawn to your opposites. Some of you are a combination of all of these things.

There are some relationships where the charts compared against each other would be either ho hum or short term in nature, but that when combined are long term and stable. It’s a little like that in my relationship – on paper we’re far from “perfect” yet are better together than we are apart. Over the years there have been times when it’s been far from easy – I suspect that will continue to be the case.

So, how do you know if you’re meant to be together? If you’ll hook up? If he likes you as much as you like him? A chart comparison won’t show you that. A chart comparison will only show you the potential if that relationship ever comes to pass. Incredible synastry between your chart and George Clooney’s chart means nothing unless you’re actually in a relationship with George Clooney.

Horary is a good quick answer- and can be scarily accurate…but before you ask, I don’t do relationship horary. I refuse to. Why? Horary is supposed to be question and answer. Short, simple, no nonsense. In my experience, relationship horary questions are rarely simple, and the answer is rarely the answer you want to hear. This leads to questions and more questions and what ifs. My Venus in Aries has moved on already. I do also have this theory that love isn’t meant to be certain. If it were, the 5th house – the part of life where we give birth to things and take risks (including risks with our emotional security) – wouldn’t be where we fall in love.

If, however, you do want a horary chart done, Kelly Surtees is fabulous with horary. Her details are here..

So, it’s Valentines Day, and you are fortunate enough to have a significant other, or a significant other in mind, and you want to know if 2 + 2 equals something magical?

Check out this post for a quick and easy pointer to how you two combine. You don’t need birth times, just a birth date. If you need to cast a chart for your other half, check out this post.

Remember, keep an open mind on this- challenging aspects bring with them spark and interest, and encourage growth. If it was all hearts and flowers it would be as boring as batshit – or that could be just me too…

Something about 20 years ago today…

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It’s my wedding anniversary today.

It’s not just any wedding anniversary- it’s our 20th. And, we were together for five years before we did the whole white dress, make it legal thing.

If I were being political, which of course I’m not, at this point I’d add that I’m grateful we have the option of doing so…but I’m not going there.

Anyways, 20 years married.

It hasn’t been bliss- most marriages aren’t. If it were, I probably wouldn’t still be here- complete compatibility, like complete commitment, isn’t my thing. That’s not to say that we’re not compatible and I’m not committed- of course we are and I am. It’s just that he knows me well enough to know that space when I need it is necessary for me, and I know him well enough to know when to seek that space out and when to stay close.

Nor is it perfect- something I constantly have to remind my Virgo Descendant of. Besides, if it were, Uranus and Pluto sitting on the Descendant would do something to stir that up.

My mother has always said that I’m hell to live with- and I am. With as much Pluto and Uranus as I have, I’m constantly doing the power, control, reinvention and freedom thing. I’m also full of Pisces and Neptune, so am super duper emotionally charged and sensitive- and live in a world not entirely based in reality. My moods are explosive and random, and my soapbox rants legendary.

On the other hand, his chart is full of Libran planets- that fill up the empty spaces in my no air chart nicely- so partnership is his thing. Despite his Scorpio Sun and Mars (it’s a 6th house one, so I tell him that my 8th house Scorpio Mars will trump his every day) he’d prefer to find a peaceful outcome to a conflict any day.

His Moon is in Gemini, so he needs social interaction much more than my Pisces Moon does, and his Taurus Ascendant and Libra Venus likes to let it be from a position on the couch while I flit around looking for something to keep my Venus in Aries amused.

I’m challenged from a boundary and reality viewpoint, and his Saturn in Capricorn provides a necessary grounding. On the other side of the coin, my Jupiter in Cancer and all of that Neptune brings in faith and light.

So, somehow it works.

That’s the thing about relationship astrology- the challenges in the synastry often show as much about what keeps a couple together as the obviously compatible aspects. It’s the challenges that help us to grow- although, on the flip side, too much challenge, or too much resistance to growth and it’s this that can also help us grow apart.

Aside from the obvious changes- we’re both 20 years older, my hair hadn’t yet been coloured and I was 30 kilos lighter- we’ve both changed inside as well. He’s still in the same company he was in when we met back in 1989, and I’m on my third complete career reinvention- banker to project manager to astrologer and writer. He has grown into his Capricorn Saturn and gained that assurance that Saturn brings with age. There are other differences too- most of which have come from our shared experiences.

The fixed elements, Taurus Ascendant and Libra Mercury and Venus in my hubby’s chart would prefer a comfortable, easy life. He needs to feel uncomfortable in order to make changes. I help (although he’d probably dispute the word) with that.

I’m the opposite- I don’t know when to stop and feel content. Yet, in order to finish anything, that’s what I have to do. He’s the one that brings me back to earth and centres me.

You can see that in our composite chart- a technique where the two charts are merged into one. In ours, my Venus is conjunct the Ascendant, and his Venus is conjunct the Descendant. That makes sense.

The composite chart has a Capricorn Sun opposite a Cancer Venus- both of which have been hit by the cardinal cross. As I said, no marriage is bliss. That makes sense- each of us have our own, shall we say, challenges at present. These transits are wake up calls, and that’s never a bad thing.

So, 20 years today.

Back then we couldn’t afford any more than a long weekend up in the Gold Coast for our honeymoon- we hadn’t long bought a house, and both had potential redundancies hanging over our heads. So next week we’re off to Bali- it seems a fitting way to kick off the next 20.

For more on DIY relationship astrology, check out What’s love got to do with it?

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What’s Love Got To Do With It?

Painted heart

All you need is love…

As an astrologer, without doubt the one thing most people want to know about is love.

I get that. We want to know how we fit into this world, and who we fit in there with.

The answer isn’t that simple.

Do I believe in soul-mate connections? Yep. Are they always about romance? No.

I’ve felt it three times- one I went on to marry, the other two have been incredibly important to me in terms of both a karmic feeling friendship, and opening my eyes to a different career path.

Do I believe in one perfect person for everyone? No. I can’t. The part of me that believes in endless and infinite possibilities can’t.

So, how do you know?

I don’t know the answer to that either….except to say that you do when you do.

Nor can I predict when you’ll find love.

I’m not a lot of good am I?

I can, however, tell you when the weather is right so that if you venture outside and open and risk your heart a little, it could be there, behind a door you haven’t noticed before.

I can’t even tell you how long it will work for. What is time? It’s for as long as it’s supposed to be for.

The thing is, we fall in love in the fifth house- that part of the chart where we spin the wheel, have a flutter, take a risk. Just like at a casino, there is no guarantees that when you lay your money- or your heart- on the table, that you’ll get it back. That’s why it feels so good.

What I can also help you with is to know what you need from relationship, what your personal deal breakers are. The fact is, we each want different things.

Take compatibility for instance. We talk about that as though it’s a given, a good thing.

‘Oh yes, so and so are very compatible- in every way.’

That’s great if you want an easy life. It’s also great if you’re looking for a flat mate with or without the benefits. But if you’re, for example, a Uranian type who wants a little excitement, to mix it up every so often, you’re going to find compatibility in every way as boring as the proverbial bat-shit.

You see, relationships consist of (usually) two people who each have individual needs, and individual growth patterns. There will be some conflict- there needs to be in order for both the individuals and the relationship to grow and mature.

When I was a teenager, I remember reading all about how the sun sign of my latest unrequited (they were always unrequited) crush fitted with Pisces. It was probably the reason many of us became interested in astrology. Did it get a 3 star rating or a don’t bother honey, this is never gonna work? I was rarely attracted to the signs that according to the books I was supposed to be attracted to.

Now I know it’s about more than the Sun signs.

The Sun signs will show the essential nature and where each is motivated, but there’s so much more to us that that. When it comes to relationships, it’s also about what each person needs to feel emotionally secure and nurtured (the Moon), about how each communicates and understands (Mercury), how each relates and what each needs from relationship (Venus), and what turns them on and off, and how they go about getting what they want (Mars).

Generally speaking, if the respective planets are in the same element, the compatibility is good, if  they are in different elements but the same polarity (eg Air/Fire, Water/Earth) it’s ok, and if they are in different elements and different polarity, there’ll be challenges in that area.

While compatibility is nice, challenge is what brings friction, excitement and growth. Being completely compatible does not guarantee longevity, nor does a mismatched chart guarantee the opposite.

Take mine for example:

Sun Moon Mercury Venus Mars
Me Water Water Water Fire Water
Him Water Air Air Air Water
Good Challenging Challenging Ok Good

Our Suns are compatible: the Pisces, Scorpio mix is, generally speaking, a good one. We’re both motivated by our emotions, and we’re both quite intuitive.

On the whole, it doesn’t look like a match made for more than a good time.

The thing is, I have no Air in my chart, and he brings that- filling up the empty houses, so to speak.

Also, even though are Moons are in different elements, and square each other, we both have Pluto Moons- mine opposes Pluto, his squares it. We might be on different wavelengths from an emotional viewpoint, but we get it.

If I took this one step further and looked at what houses each fills, we’d see that my Pisces planets fall into his 11th house- we started as friends. His Libra and Scorpio planets fall into my 8th and 9th – this is about life journey stuff for me.

When I look into the planetary connections, the squares and oppositions in our synastry provide friction, and guarantee the occasional stormy waters to navigate. While this doesn’t suit his Libra Venus and Mercury need for calm and balance, it does suit my Uranian nature, and pushes him out of his Taurus Rising comfort zone. Speaking of which, his fixity and his Saturn in Capricorn, provide me with the stability and firm foundations I need, while all of my Pisces , Neptune and Jupiter lightens his outlook.

I could go on, but I’m sure you get the idea.

My point? Relationship astrology, just like relationships, is complex. There are no simple answers…that’s what makes it all so interesting.

Check out also I think I love you, for more links to DIY relationship astrology posts.

 

Transits by association….

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Saturday 12 October

Moon in Capricorn

I didn’t publish yesterdays daily planets post. It was a little too Capricorn Moon in style. Todays was likely to be the same, so I’m not posting it either. Despite the blue skies, I’m finding this Capricorn Moon cycle particularly bleak. Don’t worry, it won’t last- there’s a Sun/Jupiter square around the corner…

But, as my mother said, if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all…or talk about the weather.

So I didn’t post. I strategized and plotted. Trust me, under this little floaty Piscean exterior lies a lot of Pluto. And there’s nothing like a sexually transmitted Saturn transit to get my Scorpio Mars into full on seething mode.

It made me think, though, about transits. About how things don’t just happen to us. When you’re in a relationship, any sort of relationship, transits don’t just impact you, they impact your partner through synastry. Just as your chart makes connections to theirs, so too do the transits received by each.

What do I mean by that?

Take mine and hubby’s chart as an example. Hubby is currently having a pesky Saturn transit. Soon Saturn will be conjunct his Mars and trine my Ascendant. Because his Mars is trine my Ascendant, my Saturn/Ascendant transit will be flavoured by his 6th house Saturn-Mars transit. When Saturn was conjunct his Sun, it was also conjunct my Mars and gave a Saturn feel to our Mars-Sun connection. Next year when Saturn moves to sextile his 10th house Saturn/Jupiter conjunction, it will also trine my Sun.

In our case, because his Saturn makes easy aspects to mine, and because his Scorpio planets make easy aspects to mine, these Saturn transits of his may just provide opportunities for both of us. Besides, he deals with Saturn well- much better than I do.

When Saturn was in Libra, the only major aspect he made to my chart was an opposition to Venus. Yeah, that was tough, but somehow it felt tougher than I expected that it would. It also zapped at my vitality and my image of myself. Yet, Saturn wasn’t making any (traditional) aspects to my Sun or Ascendant…was he?

When Saturn conjoined his Libra Venus- and trined his Gemini Moon- because his Moon squares my Sun and Ascendant, I also received his Saturn transit. He sailed through it- after all, he does Saturn and Venus positively. I do neither well, so I didn’t enjoy his transit much at all.

Likewise, he suffered more from my Uranus conjunctions than I did- because I’m more comfortable with Uranian energy than he is.

Get the idea?

Don’t just look at your nearest and dearest. What happens when your business partner is copping it from Pluto? Does the part of her chart receiving that transit connect with yours? Also, don’t look just at the potentially difficult side of this. My forthcoming Saturn-Ascendant trine will potentially be helped by his Saturn/Saturn sextile.

Take it even further. What about if the Prime Minister is receiving a transit from Saturn- how does that impact the chart of Australia? Our new Prime Minister’s Sun is at 11 Scorpio. That’s one helluva powerful Saturn-Sun conjunction he’s just had. In the chart for Australian Federation, Australia’s Sun is at 10 Capricorn. Yep. Regardless of the politics (I’m so not going there on this one) that’s a pretty big opportunity for change…I’d comment on whether I think that the change will be positive, but, as my mother says, if you can’t say anything nice… the sun is shining and the sky is blue.

Leave me alone, I’m lonely….

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Tuesday 27 August

Moon in Taurus

A friend posted the picture above on her Facebook page yesterday morning.

I suspect I could ask this question of 10 friends and get 10 different answers- and a number of extremely judgemental responses.  The answer I get, the answer you’d give, would be determined, at least in part by your Venus and her relationship to Uranus in your chart.

Venus/Uranus contacts bring with them a compulsion to share your individuality with another, to be yourself with another. And yes, that does make sense….and yes, it is possible. It’s the nature of the aspect involved that will provide information as to how easy (or otherwise) you find this.

When difficult aspects are involved ie the conjunction, the square, the opposition or the inconjunct, you may find it difficult to resolve the tension between the concept of relationship and the concept of individuality.

The conjunction, I hear you say… surely the conjunction isn’t difficult? When Uranus and Venus are involved, it absolutely has the potential to be. Venus, after all, is, amongst other things, about relating, and Uranus…well, Uranus is not. In many cases, the motivation of the two planets is different…in many cases.

I remember when I first started studying, someone (who should have known better) looked at my chart, saw Uranus in the 7th in opposition to the Sun and Moon and inconjunct Venus and asked me how many times I’d been married. Hmmm.

Anyways, when Venus and Uranus are in difficult aspect, you may find that you become easily bored in relationship, that you need more variety and experimentation in order to feel completely satisfied. Indeed you might find that within a relationship you might need to reinvent yourself or the way in which you commit in order to, well, stay committed.

This is the mood that’s in the air right now as Venus opposes Uranus.

The thing is, the whole flush of excitement and newness can’t last- not forever- that’s part of what makes those moments so amazing. But there are moments of wonderful to be found in even the longest and most familiar relationships- if you’re prepared to find them, and if this is important to you. Perhaps it’s not.

Also, you can be in a relationship and still maintain your own identity- if you’re prepared to do so, and if this is important to you. Perhaps it’s not.

That’s the message of this opposition- how to balance your need for individuality and space (Uranus in Aries) against the idea or ideal of what relationship should be (Venus in Libra). Your idea…not that of your best friend or your parents or society or the church or the state. Yours. No judgement.

It might be that your relationship may be conducted on more unconventional grounds than others. It might be that you’re no longer prepared to fight or fight for it, or it might be that after a period of apart you’re ready again to be close. It might mean that stability is your motivator so you’re prepared to look for excitement in creative or career endeavours. It might mean all of these things or something very different. We’re all different- as are our relationship and identity needs- despite what society may have conditioned you to think.

In any case, this transit is short-lived- unless it is part of something bigger happening in your chart.

Tomorrow Venus squares Jupiter. Despite the square, this transit is one that’s both self indulgent and strangely conducive to personal relationships…so here’s me thinking that you’ll probably be able to get your own way- if you’re clever about it. If you’re feeling a little stuck in a rut, find something that you both enjoy doing, and give yourself up to some fun.

Oh and my answer to the question? That would be telling…

you light up my life…

Miss T at 6...
Miss T at 6…

It’s my baby’s birthday on Sunday.

She’ll be 15. How did that happen? When did that happen?

Aside from being reminded of her fabulousness every day, the relationship we have- her chart against mine- is a daily transit I live.

Every day her Sun sits in my first house, against my Saturn, and lights my life while simultaneously reminding me of my responsibilities and commitments.

Every day her Moon/Neptune conjunction lights up the friendship sector of my chart.

Every day my Venus in Aries chats with her Mars/Mercury/Saturn conjunction.

As I said, her chart is a daily transit to mine.

That’s what relationship astrology is, a transit chart. It mightn’t be a transit that comes and goes like the Moon, it’s a transit that plays out on your chart for the length of the relationship.

Just like a transit, the nature of the aspect will tell you whether that contact is one that will challenge you, help you grow, complement your or compliment you. Think about this one.

I have friends whose Sun in Gemini squares my Pisces planets. They ask me the tough questions, they don’t let me get away with my usual pattern of obfuscation.

Then there’s the people with Virgo planets- with them it’s a little like holding up a mirror. As with many mirrors, quite often you don’t see what you want to see.  Instead you see something you need to see.

Get it?

It’s one of the reasons that I ask clients not to over react when they see big, fat, hairy, scary transits coming at them- if you think about it, really think about it- you’re probably living with one of those transits every day.

And that’s a good thing- it’s the things and people that make us uncomfortable that create the tipping points that push us outside our comfort zone and help us to grow.

Too much compatibility, like too many easy aspects, are all too easily taken for granted.

Taking this concept further, there’s certain people whose presence in your life makes you feel good about yourself, reminds you of what’s important, who you feel comfortable talking to about anything, who feel like family.

Now think about what part of your chart their Sun falls in. This is the part of your life that they will light up.

Those whose Sun falls in your first house will give you confidence and energy. Somehow you will feel more vital just being with them. Someone whose Sun falls in your 10th house will be a person who lights your career or public life.

Check out the theory with your nearest and dearest…and, indeed, with those people you simply don’t get on with.

You can take it further by looking at the other personal planets- where do you feel the lunar influence of others? What about the Venus? Or Mars?

It’s relationship astrology, but not as you know it.