This is the book that changed the way I looked at relationships from an astrological point of view. Stephen Arroyo, a fellow Libra, offers a fair and un-judgmental look at the astrology of relating. He clearly describes how energy moves between people as shown by the charts in synastry. I have used the guidelines he lays out in this book for many years with very consistent results.The concept I call “intra-aspects” (same planets in aspect from both charts) is one Stephen came up with and these sets of aspects are invaluable in pointing to a major theme in the relationship. There are several examples of how these work in this book. He also demonstrates how he lays out the information from both charts to find these aspects. The software I use will produce a grid making it easy to find the intra-aspects.
Stephen is also one of the few astrologers who don’t make Saturn a “bad” guy and in fact he talks about the frequency Saturn/personal planet aspects by conjunction and square show up in chart comparisons of couples who have been together for years. He refers to Saturn aspects in synastry as stabilizing and my experience concurs with this assessment. Another valuable insight for me in regards to “hard” aspects in synastry is his assessment of individual charts and their tolerance for challenges in relationships. What is overwhelming to one person may be the spice of life to another.
Another concept Stephen discusses in this book is how parallels between two charts work. For example, one person has Sun in Aries and another has Sun conjunct Mars – they tend to relate well because Mars plays a big role in who they are as individuals. When two people have a number of these types of parallels in their charts they will find it easy to understand the other even without many of the classic synastry aspects.
The downside of this book is the way it is written. Most of the material is from a series of lectures he gave and while very informative this makes the presentation uneven and disjointed in places. However, compared to the value of what he offers this is a minor issue! If you are at all interested in the astrology of relationships, this is a must have for your astrology library . . . at least in my opinion. =grin=
posted by Diane