The Basics Of Astrological Compatibility
Compatibility is one of the most talked about (and misunderstood) areas of astrology today. Bookstore shelves are full of volumes on the subject. Google “astrological compatibility” and you’ll get over 140,000 results. Everyone (even astrologers) has a theory or a method to determine how compatible you are with your friends… your co-workers… your family… your lover.
Most of you have heard the sun sign comparisons, the who-doesn’t-go-with-who and who’s ideally suited to who. While this is a great starting point, it’s only that — a start. There is so much more to a persona (and yourself) than simply the sign the Sun was in at your birth. There’s emotion. There’s thinking and communicating. There’s affection and action. Choosing (or avoiding for that matter) relationships based on Sun signs alone is like choosing someone by hair or eye color alone — arbitrary and ridiculous.
Astrology is a great tool for helping understand those around you…
Astrology cannot predict the success or failure of a relationship, tell the future or find your answers for you. It is potentials and possibilities, not hard-and-fast rules to use to plan every move… to wonder and worry about.
What astrology and compatibility do is help you to understand how another person thinks, how they express emotions, what they value, how they take action… who they are at heart. What’s more, it can help you get insights of great value about yourself too.
It all starts with a birth date
To assess your compatibility with another, you need the month, day and year of birth for yourself and the other person. Once you have the birth data, an ephemeris (in print or online at http://www.Ephemeris.com/ephemeris.php) will tell you the precise zodiac positions for the all-important inner planets — the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus and Mars.
Notice you’re looking at more than one planet — not just the Sun but all the inner planets (the Sun and Moon are called planets by convention) that astrologers believe have a profound effect on the individual. It’s a much more complete picture!
Sun: your will… who you are at the core
Moon: your emotions, nurturing and relationship with the nurturing parent
Mercury: your thinking and communication ability
Venus: how you express affection, what you value
Mars: overall energy level and temperament
You may want to print out the page of an online ephemeris for each of you, or you can jot down the sign given for each of the inner planets. If you use a print ephemeris, the zodiac signs may appear as two- or three-letter abbreviations, or as symbols which look like gibberish to everyone but trained astrologers. If the ephemeris you use has the symbols, use the list shown here to decipher them.
The inner planets are the what… the zodiac sign is the how .
Now you’ve got a list of planets and zodiac signs, you’ll want to have a good astrology textbook or online resource by your side. A very complete, but simply written and easy-to-understand online site is at http://www.starlightastrology.com/signsindex.htm. Take a look at interpretations of the zodiac signs for both sets of inner planets. It’s a lot to take in so you might want to take a few notes, or print out pages that apply to you. This will give you a solid sense of the other person (and some surprising insights for yourself as well).
So even though you might not appreciate Aunt Mary’s sharp tongue, her Mercury (thinking and communication) in Virgo colors her thoughts with the traits of Virgo — sharp, honest and sometimes fault-finding.
Now look for elements in common.
Astrologers look to the elements of the 12 signs as an important indicator of compatibility, and you can too. The traits of each element (fire, air, earth and water) are shown to some degree in all of its signs — water brings emotion and compassion, sensitivity and moodiness, traits shared by all 3 water signs, though expressed differently by each one.
Fire signs are energetic, volatile and passionate — Aries, Leo, Sagittarius
Earth signs are practical, conservative and reliable — Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn
Air signs are logical, rational and inquisitive — Gemini, Libra, Aquarius
Water signs are sensitive, emotional and express compassion — Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces
In general, signs of the same element have an immediate connection with each other and are most compatible, though the weaknesses they share may also be emphasized. Two Earth signs for example will relate quite readily to each other and work well together since they share a practical, down-to-earth nature. Their potential downfall? Lack of imagination.
Signs of complementary types (fire + air; earth + water) balance each other and can exist comfortably together. An Aries/Gemini pairing would be able to take advantage of the best of both — the energy of the Fire sign (Aries), and the intellect and imagination of the Air sign (Gemini). Of course they might also struggle with a lack of practicality — prone to thinking first and dealing with the practical details later (or never).
The more challenging match-ups — fire + water; earth + air — aren’t any reason, in and of themselves, to throw up your hands or run for the hills. Quite the contrary. Opposites attract, bringing to the relationship just what the other lacks. While a Scorpio/Leo pairing might be more volatile, need more work and patience to nurture and maintain, it can also be the most exiting, intense and exhilarating relationship you’ll ever have.
By looking at each of the inner planets in turn, you’ll see fairly quickly where you are compatible, and where your relationship might face challenges. Understanding this can help you manage the relationship more effectively, giving you both the chance to make it better and stronger.
Lastly, consider the modes of each inner planet.
After getting a sense of how the elements match up, most astrologers would also suggest you consider the modes, or qualities, or the signs for each inner planet. The 12 zodiac signs are divided into 3 modes — qualities that describe, in general, how the sign operates.
Cardinal are active and assertive — Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn
Fixed are static, tenacious and stubborn — Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius
Mutable are adaptable, changeable — Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces
You’ll notice that each mode (cardinal, fixed and mutable) contains one sign from each of the four elements (fire, earth, air and water) discussed earlier. This is what makes each zodiac sign unique — and can give you a quick (and surprisingly accurate) idea of how that particular sign might operate in the area of life represented by the inner planet.
As you study each inner planet in turn, compare the modes for both parties and you’ll get a sense of where you match up, and where the challenges lie. As a rule, signs of the same quality (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn for example) can indicate a mutual fascination for each other, though these two could also struggle with some fundamental differences if the mode is the same, but the zodiac sign is different.
Signs of different qualities bring more challenges, different perspectives and unique approaches. Again, different modes do not, by themselves, mean that a relationship is doomed. Many long-term, successful relationships thrive even with (or in spite of) such placements. So, if you and that special someone are a more challenging match-up, don’t despair — use the information astrology brings to pinpoint these areas, and create strategies to manage them.
When all is said and done, remember this…
There are really no totally terrible combinations… and none that are completely problem free. Nearly every practicing astrologer knows of relationships between people who aren’t supposed to be compatible yet somehow manage to stay together for 50 years. Of course, there are just as many tales of those with the “perfect” astrological match-up who didn’t make it past the first couple of dates.
Need more info?
If you want to know more… and have birth details such as exact time and place, you might consider consulting a professional astrologer for a more in-depth compatibility reading. There are online resources for this as well, though they lack the personal interaction you’ll get with a face-to-face session with an astrologer in your area. By casting natal charts for both parties, a skilled professional can give you solid, sensible information on the strengths, weaknesses and challenges you face.
Another option is to have a chart cast for the moment of “birth” of your relationship. Synastry is a means to getting a surprisingly accurate picture of the relationship, as well as the strengths and challenges to come. To have such a chart cast, you’ll need to supply the exact date (month, day and year), plus the time and place of your first meeting, or your first day on the new job, or that first class of a new semester. Armed with this data, an astrologer can help you make sense of the potentials that are out there, waiting to be discovered.