Tag Archives: synastry

True Love, the Complete Compatibility Report

© Yuri Arcurs for Dreamstime.com

This Mercury retrograde period is allowing me to slow down and catch up on some unfinished work on my website.

First on my list was writing a sample for my new romantic compatibility report, True Love. It took me a while to find a good celebrity couple – we’ve all had enough of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie. After some research, I decided on Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis, who truly are soul mates.

As with all of my new reports, True Love includes a brief, information-packed analysis by me, a custom chart, and several pages of computer-generated aspects. To my knowledge, there is nothing like this report anywhere else. You can find computer-generated compatibility reports on the Internet, of course – some of them are even free – but you don’t get the personal look by a professional astrologer to tie it all together. The other option is a personal reading, which costs far more and may not be in writing, which many of you prefer. I’m offering True Love at just $49.

Karmic connections are what almost everyone wants to know about these days, and you usually don’t find this information in computer-generated reports. Identifying karmic ties is one of my specialties. If this is your particular interest, you can let me know, and I’ll focus on that angle of your relationship. Here is an excerpt from my sample for Johnny and Vanessa:

Johnny, you and Vanessa clearly have a strong karmic connection and an unbreakable bond. There is no doubt in my mind that you are soul mates and that your relationship exists in other dimensions of time and space (commonly referred to as “past lives”).

The thing that immediately jumps out at me in your synastry chart is your double Moon-North Node conjunction; that is, your Moon is within a few degrees of Vanessa’s North Node in Capricorn, and her Moon is near your North Node in Cancer. This explains why, when you met, you felt instant recognition and a sense of knowing that this was The One.

If you’d like to know more about this interesting (not to mention gorgeous) couple, check out my sample report. The computer-generated part of the report is written by Gina Ronco and is one of the best compatibility reports out there. It’s unique in that it includes both your synastry and composite aspects.

I’m also offering a compatibility report for relationships that aren’t romantic. I’ll have that sample up in the next day or two, so check back, if that’s something you’re interested in. In addition, I’m tweaking the StarGuide report format to allow more space for my comments on where the New and Full Moon and current transits fall in your chart – “tweaking” being a good activity to do while Mercury is retrograde. I have a couple of other surprises in store, too.

I have noted that not everyone is experiencing the positive potentials in this Mercury retrograde period, especially given the transit of Mars over the T-square and eclipse degrees of the past two years. I don’t know about you, but I have that “life flashing before my eyes” feeling … and yet, it’s not entirely bad. Our lives really have changed, which is becoming more apparent as Mars moves through these critical degrees.

I’ll give you more of my thoughts on this in the upcoming weekly forecast.

In the meantime, wishing you much love and courage,
Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

Cinderella and the Solstice King, Part II

Let us refresh our memory and look at the “relating tools” William and Kate have at their disposal. How will they cooperate in building their married life?

The resemblance between these two charts is striking (Click here to view the synastry chart.) Their respective Sun and Moon in aspect by sign is a combination that is often found with married couples. Conscious will and instinctive emotional reaction are cooperating; there is a basic understanding of each other’s needs and a readiness to act accordingly. Also, the male (Sun) and the female (Moon) principles are acting in unison, which is paramount for the production of healthy progeniture – and producing royal heirs is the main point of this exercise, at least as far as the royal family are concerned.

However, William’s Sun and Moon are in the early degrees of Cancer, while the Lights in Kate’s chart occupy the middle degrees of Cancer/Capricorn. Although there is therefore no direct aspect connection, this may support the stability of the marriage, because the couple will never experience difficult transits affecting their individual inner cores at the same time.

A special sheet of stamps has been issued in the U.K. to commemorate the royal wedding.

Interestingly, Kate’s Moon is exactly conjunct William’s lunar South Node, another hint in the direction of offspring and a possible “practice round” in a previous life – in other words, a karmic connection.

The couple’s communication appears to run smoothly and without any obstacles. Both Mercuries are in logical and intellectual air-signs and connected by an easy-flowing trine aspect, meaning Will and Kate do understand each other very well. Both Mercuries are in easy communication with Mars and Saturn in Libra, and both relate to electric Uranus. All this could create an atmosphere of lively banter and friendly competition, as well as unusual interests, adventurous pursuits and travel companionship. In the best case scenario, we see two very like-minded people joining forces in an “us against the rest of the world” kind of pact, and acting in unison, if under restrictive conditions. But oy vey, if one of them goes through a change of mind without the other and coldly calculated hurts start flying in both directions! Meanwhile, however, Kate and Will do enjoy having a good laugh about their private jokes, which may be none too flattering for the subjects of their jests.

The things we like are described by Venus. Will’s and Kate’s Venus positions are connected through a square by sign, indicating action on the romance front. While Kate admires mental acrobatics, inventive logic and classic design with a twist, Will likes the hands-on feel of beauty and sensuality, material comfort and what is commonly called “the good things in life.”
Both Venus positions are related to unpredictable Uranus, indicating an electrically charged attraction between the two lovebirds, but also a certain fickleness in their mutual affections. Kate’s chart features a Venus/Uranus sextile, indicating that she knows to pick her moments and get away with it, whereas Will may encounter real opposition whenever he sticks to his individual tastes or follows his impulses regarding people, places and activities. Someone somewhere may feel shocked or affronted by his choices, and sometimes, this someone could be Kate.

We have already seen one example of the on-off quality this relationship can carry. In 2007, Kate couldn’t cope with the intense media attention and the couple split up, only to reunite a few months later. Let’s hope that they have in the meantime learned to make use of the determination and endurance their Mars/Saturn combinations can provide. If they keep following their Uranian impulsiveness, they may end up repeatedly throwing the babe out with the bathwater.

With so much fluctuation indicated, good old Saturn becomes especially important as the provider of stability. With Will’s Venus in aspect to the Lord of Time, there doesn’t seem to be much danger of him wanting to break out of a relationship once he has opened his heart. Unfortunately, Kate doesn’t have this tool in her box and we can only hope that her common sense will override her impulsiveness, if this union is to last. I believe the first test will come a few months after the wedding:

Although Kate was born a few months before Will, her Saturn occupies a later degree than Will’s. Since the wedding announcement, he has gone through the second phase of his prolonged Saturn return, which will go into the third and last phase in August/September 2011. It is the right time for him to formalise his love relationship and give it legal status. Kate, however, will go through the honeymoon phase and then experience a rather quick, one-hit Saturn return in October 2011. I reckon this will be the time when she first realises just how formal her life has become and she may not like it very much. By the same token, however, a sense of “having arrived” may prevail. I wonder whether we’ll ever know…

The Composite Chart

Since we don’t have a time of birth for Kate, we have to ignore the house positions in the composite, but even so, the planet positions are quite revealing, with regards to the potential of this relationship. (Click here to view the composite chart.)

The Sun in spontaneous and hot-headed Aries is accompanied by Mercury and Venus in the same sign. There certainly are true loving feelings between Will and Kate, but the companionship factor appears to be just that little bit stronger. This could even be a stabilising factor in the long term. If Will and Kate develop a mutual sense of comradeship through thick and thin they may be able to weather the storms that seem inevitable with this chart.

A weak Mars and the sensitive Cancerian Moon both afflict the Sun. The Aries planets suggest childish ego struggles between the couple, while combative Mars and habit-forming Moon indicate a possibly endless cycle of arguments, during which caring feelings first get hurt and then shut off. On the other hand, it looks like Will and Kate are certainly going to do their best to produce new heirs to the throne, as the T-square is calling for action. Besides, the Moon is conjunct the fixed star Alhena, which Bernadette Brady interprets as “to be on a mission.”

However, Venus in Aries is thrilled by the hunt, which will be over by the time they’re married. Additionally, the connection from Venus to Uranus could make the couple feel bored with each other quite quickly and lead them to seek new thrills, either in their own bedroom or – heaven forbid – in someone else’s.

Again, stabilising Saturn would be needed to provide the stability the rest of the planets don’t seem to provide. Unfortunately, composite Saturn is unaspected, i.e. it can’t exert its influence on any of the other planets. An unaspected planet tends to manifest itself in extremes, either not at all or completely over the top. In Saturn terms, this means the relationship may have no staying power or stability at all, or it may become super-restrictive for the two people involved. In either case, I somehow doubt we’re going to see a fairy tale with a happy ending unfold.

In the third and final part, we’ll look at the chart for the wedding.


Helene Schnitzer is an astrologer living in Glastonbury, England. Her specialities include Traditional, Horary and Hellenistic Astrology, and Astro*Carto*Graphy. Click HERE to read her full bio.

You can also find more information on her website, Trans-It! AstroLogistics.

Cinderella and the Solstice King

The invitations are out, gold-embossed and signed by Her Majesty Elizabeth II, Queen of England.

On April 29th, 2011, her grandson William, Prince of Wales, and Miss Kate Middleton will embark on their journey on the sea of matrimony. Glossy magazines, national and international news, are full of the Royal Couple. Paper cut-outs, flags, memorial plates and mugs are being mass-produced in China. And in a national soap opera, a local beauty compares her engagement ring, tongue-in-cheek, to that of “Kate Minkerton.” It’s been several hundred years since a commoner became part of the royal family, time to have a good look at the astrological implications.

Part I: The Birth Charts

Kate Middleton was born on January 9, 1982, in Reading, UK, time apparently unknown. I always wonder how a mother can forget giving birth, but okay, after the third time things may get a bit hazy. What a pity we don’t have Kate’s correct chart angles. No worries, though, we can find out a lot just by looking at the planets, can’t we? (Click here to view chart, set for noon.)

With Sun in Capricorn and Moon in Cancer, we see someone who understands the principle of hierarchies, who knows about duty and discipline, about stability and security. Through the opposition, Kate is likely to experience frequent conflicts between her instinctual reactions and the demands of material or organisational necessity. See here Cinderella who can’t go to the ball and a future queen who will put duty before fun. Or will she? It looks like the self-made millionaire’s daughter is going to the big dance after all.

Both lights (Sun and Moon) are in a tense relation with Mars and Saturn in Libra, which is not exactly a remedy, but rather exacerbates Kate’s inner tension. This could trigger fears, guilt and inertia, or, vice versa, decisive and goal-orientated action cutting to the chase. I think we have a very ambitious, motivated and energetic young lady on our hands.

Anecdotally, Kate already “knew” at a very young age that she would one day marry a prince. Talk about a go-getter!

Malicious rumours even have it that she hunted for Prince William in pursuit of her life’s ambition. Well, admittedly, with this combination and in a worst-case scenario, this kind of determined action would not be entirely unthinkable. In the best case scenario, however, this is exactly the kind of woman needed for the job of representing and presiding over a whole nation and more when the day comes.

Venus in cool Aquarius is combined with a very logically minded Mercury. Kate has a musical or artistic talent here, which she has, so far, poured into a study of art history. No wonder, her Venus (beauty, art) is in mutual reception with natal Saturn, the ruler of time and all things old! She must truly feel blessed to become part of a family so richly steeped in history and tradition!

But Venus and Mercury are also aspected by quirky and unpredictable Uranus. Kate likes to be different and original and is likely to have a very special sense of humour and style. Her designer-friendly appearance has already found ample admiration, at some point much to her own annoyance. The temporary separation between her and the man she now intends to spend the rest of her life with fits this pattern as perfectly as the subsequent reunion. Let’s hope that she will have ample opportunity to express her independence within her married life!

Prince William was born on June 21, 1982, at 21:03 BST in London, UK. (Click here to view chart.) As the eldest son of Prince Charles and Lady Diana, he is second in line to the English throne.

Astrologically, he is very much his famous mother’s son. They shared the Sun sign Cancer, the late Sagittarius Ascendant and, almost to the degree, the same position of Venus in Taurus, in the house of creation, re-creation and procreation.

But whereas Lady Diana was never to be queen, Prince William so far walks steadily towards the throne. He was born with the Sun at 0 degress Cancer, at sunset on Solstice Day, a powerful degree. According to the ancient legends, this is the time when the Holly King takes over the rule of the land for the coming half year. This is the moment of the Sun being at its highest, its most direct and powerful. With his birth linked to this potent place, ancient legends would make William into a king with special powers regarding the land and its people, shining like the sun at midday, a good and well-loved leader. With Jupiter on the Midheaven supporting the Sun by Trine, he seems to be born for both his positions, as Prince Charming and as future king of England.

In addition, collective lover Neptune on the ascendant gives William the power to appear all things to all people, who will likely shower him with sympathy and goodwill in return. Once again, that’s a best case scenario. Since Jupiter is also the ruler of William’s twelfth house of self-undoing, it is not unthinkable that he might refuse the crown or abdicate eventually.

How his shy Cancerian soul deals with the divide between private and public persona is a completely different matter. With so much emphasis on the seventh house of partnerships and the “other-orientated” sign of Libra, William will likely turn to his partner and try to make the best of it. He will need overall sharing, intellectual feedback and emotional nurturing. In the next part, we shall see how this might work between him and his future bride.


Helene Schnitzer is an astrologer living in Glastonbury, England. Her specialities include Traditional, Horary and Hellenistic Astrology, and Astro*Carto*Graphy. Click HERE to read her full bio.

You can also find more information on her website, Trans-It! AstroLogistics.

Ask Real Astrologers: Did He Ever Love Me?

Looking for AnswersFor this week’s column, I am taking a follow-up question from Carolina in Bilbao, Spain:

I’m just wondering about one comment in your answer, that you think that the strong psychic connection I felt was only one-way. Does it mean that, according to the charts, the love was only from me to him? He didn’t feel love?

From time to time, a reader whose question I’ve answered in this column will e-mail me and ask a follow-up question. Usually, I write back and suggest they schedule a consultation for more information. I’ve never used a follow-up question in this column, and yet I feel compelled to take Carolina’s question, because, once again, I believe she represents many readers (mostly women) who are or have been in similar circumstances.

Carolina, first of all, I realize that my answer to you in last week’s column was not easy for you to hear and wasn’t the answer you wanted. My intent was not to cause you pain but to help you find peace in your heart by resolving your feelings with this man and moving on.

Many women get hung up on this notion of whether the man they were in love with loved them back. I understand the need to have an answer, but astrology can’t provide it. Compatibility charts can tell us whether two people have physical chemistry, whether they can easily share their emotions with each other, how they demonstrate affection, whether the relationship will last, and whether it will be relatively smooth or laden with conflict. We can even tell whether a relationship has endured over many lifetimes.

But you can’t add up all of those components and say “Yes, it’s love,” or “No, it’s not love.” Whether someone is even capable of love depends on their level of personal development. The charts can show us tendencies, that’s all.

We might be tempted to conclude that a man or woman who plays the field isn’t capable of love, but that would be a wrong conclusion. They could feel intense love in that moment and just not wish to commit to a long-term relationship. Put another way, love alone doesn’t determine whether a relationship will last. I’m sure every one of you knows people who loved each other and yet couldn’t make a relationship work.

So, in my mind, the question of whether he ever loved you really isn’t that important. Even if he did, he decided, for whatever reason, that he didn’t want to be in a long-term relationship with you.

And there is where the trouble lies. When someone we love leaves, we want a reason and will make up all kinds of scenarios in our head to avoid the conclusion that we did something wrong or weren’t good enough.

This is why I believe “love gone wrong” is the first step for many people of both genders to start down a path of spiritual awakening. It requires that we look within ourselves, take inventory, and clear out all the baggage and outdated beliefs that hold us back from who we really are and what we want. There is a huge resistance internally to this process, and a broken heart can break down that resistance. There is no doubt that it’s a painful and difficult process, and no one with a heart would wish it on anyone. It just seems to be how we humans are wired.

So, Carolina, please try not to dwell on this question of whether he loved you or not. There’s no answer, and even if there was, it wouldn’t matter. What matters is how you’re going to heal from this experience and awaken to the true nature of who you really are and to the love in your own heart.

Wishing you much love and courage,

Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

P.S. To all of you who have written to me recently requesting a Soul Mates Karma Report, please accept my apologies for not responding right away. I’m currently not taking new clients but will get back with you individually and ask whether you’d like to be put on my wait list. Thank you so much for your patience.

Got a quick question? Click here to contact Ask Real Astrologers. You must use this form to contact me, or I won’t get your question. I do read all of your questions, although I am sorry that I can’t answer them all. If you need immediate guidance or in-depth advice, please contact me for a private consultation. THANKS!

Ask Real Astrologers: No Sex, No Money – What’s Going On?

Looking for AnswersThis week’s question comes from Brigitte in Cannes, France:

I have no certainty in any area of my life. Nothing’s working. My career is at a standstill, which has put me in a financial bind. All of my other projects have stopped since April 2005, when I started living in two apartments. As for my love life … ugh. My partner and I aren’t having sex anymore. What’s with that? Is it boredom, or was this relationship a mistake to begin with? Thanks for clarifying my future.

Brigitte, I think it’s charming that you wrote to me in French. As it turns out, I do speak French, as I lived in France for eight years. It’s been awhile, though, and my French is rusty, so I might have made some mistakes in translating your e-mail. Still, I’m pretty sure I got the gist of it.

As I’ve mentioned before, I can’t address “my whole life sucks” questions in this column, as there just isn’t enough space. But I decided to take a look at your chart, because I had a feeling you might be getting blasted by the cardinal T-square. Sure enough, it’s hitting your chart quite heavily.

Your natal Moon at 4 degrees Libra in the first house is square your Mars in Capricorn in the fourth house, which means that you have transiting Saturn on your Moon and transiting Pluto coming up on Mars (he’s still a few degrees away). It’s no wonder you feel like you’re under some kind of evil spell.

The complication with your partner is no surprise, either. He has a T-square in the mid-degrees of the cardinal signs in his natal chart, and also an opposition of Mars at 4 degrees Libra – that’s right, exactly conjunct your Moon – and Jupiter at 4 degrees Aries. Between the two of you, I’d say you’ve got plenty of shared “bad luck,” and it could explain the dip in intimacy, too.

The good news is that Saturn is now moving on, so he’ll be off that sensitive Moon-Mars conjunction in your synastry chart. He’ll also be leaving your first house shortly. That may not be so good for your financial situation, but at least you’ll get some relief emotionally. If you’ve been feeling depressed, that should lighten up some, too.

This is a great illustration, by the way, of how difficult transits such as the cardinal T-square can get complicated by orders of magnitude when they hit sensitive points in our synastry chart. If anyone else is in this bind, I offer a special report for transits for couples. Please note that I have to do a complete synastry reading first.

Je vous souhaite de bonne chance, Brigitte. Merci bien de m’avoir écrit.

Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

Got a quick question? Click here to contact Ask Real Astrologers. You must use this form to contact me, or I won’t get your question. I do read all of your questions, although I am sorry that I can’t answer them all. If you need immediate guidance or in-depth advice, please contact me for a private consultation. THANKS!

Saturday Extra! Soul Mates Revisited

Psyche et L'Amour, by William-Adolphe Bouguereau, 1889.

Since posting a Friday Q&A column recently on soul mates vs. karmic mates, I’ve received a flood of mail essentially asking the same question.

Although I do repeat questions from time to time, I typically don’t answer the same question in the Friday column more than once or twice. Yet, I didn’t want to leave all of you hanging, without a way to answer this burning question. So I’ve decided to offer a new report, accessible to more people.

Before I talk about that, though, I want to comment on the myth of the soul mate.

There seems to be some idea that a soul mate is that perfect person who will complete us and make us feel whole, and we won’t have to do a thing. All it will take is a fated meeting, a gaze deep into their eyes, and our search will be over. Our lives will change, and everything will be good again.

Our lives do change when we have true love, there is no question. What you don’t often hear is that love takes work to nurture and maintain. To expect otherwise would be like planting a garden and expecting it to grow all by itself, with no effort on your part. Imagine getting luscious, ripe tomatoes with no hoeing, weeding, watering, fertilizing, and an occasional bug.

Of course, it’s also true that you have to plant crops suitable for your climate and soil conditions, or no amount of work will get you the desired results. Likewise, some relationships won’t last no matter how much effort you put into them, but you’ll learn an awful lot about yourself, life, and the nature of the universe. Those are what we call “karmic relationships,” as opposed to a soul mate.

To help you figure out which is which, I decided to start offering the “Karmic Ties” section of my Full Compatibility Report as a stand-alone report, at an affordable price of $59. Like the comprehensive report, it’s based on synastry, which is a method of comparing the relationships between planets and key chart points in one person’s chart with those of their partner.

For this to work best, you’ll need to have an accurate birth time for both people. However, if you don’t know your love interest’s time of birth and can’t get it, I can still tell you a lot. It just won’t be the most complete information, and that means there can be gaps in our understanding.

If, after receiving the Soul Mates Karma Report, you decide you’d like to have the full synastry report, I’ll apply the cost of the short report to the long one.

Hopefully, this will serve to provide more answers to more of you.

Much love and many blessings,
Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

Ask Real Astrologers: Soul Mates or Karmic Mates?

Looking for Answers My recent Q&A column on soul mates elicited several similar questions, so I’m taking two of them together this week:

I was with my ex for a year but was having doubts and questioning my relationship with him and saw it falling apart. I’m not sure whether he was in my life for a reason, of which I was to learn and keeping growing from, or more of a spiritual growth as I become more aware. I have never felt such deep, devoted love from him, but I do love him so much, from the heart. Could you give me insight on where things are at? Should we be together, or do we need to move on?  ~ Samantha in Hampshire, England

I’ve connected to a man via the internet on a deeply emotional and open channel. I have, however, started to think that what we may have thought to be a romantic connection is actually more a karmic or soul journey. Are you able to connect any dots looking at both our charts? I’m still a novice when it comes to chart reading so would really appreciate any insights you may have.  ~ Sarah in South Africa

Love and spiritual growth go hand-in-hand. It’s no coincidence that more and more people are asking about deep, soul unions as humanity experiences a leap in consciousness. Once again, I will attempt to address what I consider to be one of the most burning issues of our time.

Samantha, there are definite sparks in the synastry chart with the gentleman whose birth data you provided, as well as some of the classic markers for a karmic connection. For example, your Moon is conjunct his lunar North Node, a major indicator of a karmic relationship. There are some positive aspects for a long-term commitment, too, notably his Sun in a tight trine to your Saturn.

However, there are a lot of problem areas in this chart, and it’s readily apparent why you were questioning the relationship. The biggest problem I see is that his Saturn is dead on your Ascendant. This suggests that you were carrying a heavy burden in this relationship, and not by your choice. The burden may have weighed you down so much that it sapped your spirit and sucked the life out of you. Sometimes we agree to carry a karmic burden for another person, but it’s a tough road to follow.

Another problem is that I don’t see much emotional fulfillment in this relationship for you. The love you feel is coming from you. That may be a source of joy, but love needs to be nurtured and fed, or it can’t survive. The fact that you feel such love and devotion is a victory. Not everyone has the capacity to love, so it is a wonderful gift when we are able to feel it so deeply. Spiritual growth and expanding consciousness require an open heart. It appears that this man did that for you, and now it’s time to move on.

Sarah, the first thing that jumps out at me in your chart with your Internet love interest is that his Sun and your Moon are quite close. This is a strong indication of a romantic relationship, and there are other indicators as well. You also have some strong karmic markers, as well as some signs of physical chemistry.

On the not-so-positive side, you have a Venus-Neptune conjunction, and that is a big, red flag that you need to keep your expectations in check, and it sounds like you are. Since his Sun and Saturn are conjunct, that also means your Moon and his Saturn are very close, and this sometimes inhibits the free flow of affection. Or, it’s possible that he’ll get cold feet and not want to meet after all.

I dabbled in Internet dating off and on, so I know the power of the mind connection. Internet attractions can be very emotional and, surprisingly, very sexually stimulating. However, everything changes when you meet in person and begin interacting on a regular basis. I always tell my clients who are having Internet relationships to meet as soon as you possibly can. And, while I hate to be a party pooper, I also tell them to keep their expectations low. Many people do marry after meeting on the Internet, but far more end up disappointed.

You are right to be cautious, Sarah, but I would give this one a chance and see how it goes. There is clearly a karmic lesson involved, and that, at least, is worth exploring further.

For anyone who’s interested, I offer a comprehensive synastry report, with an emphasis on soul connections, since so many people are asking about it these days. Whether you just met or have been married for some time, having your chart done can help you identify where you’ll have the easiest connection and where you may experience some challenges.

Thank you both for writing. I wish you much courage on your journey to love.

Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

Got a quick question? Click here to contact Ask Real Astrologers. You must use this form to contact me, or I won’t get your question. I do read all of your questions, although I am sorry that I can’t answer them all. If you need immediate guidance or in-depth advice, please contact me for a private consultation. THANKS!

Harrison Ford and Callista Flockhart, Married at Last

Blame it on the cardinal T-square.

On June 15, Harrison Ford married Callista Flockhart, his girlfriend of eight years. Why now? It’s the same question I asked earlier this month, when Al Gore, former vice president of the United States, announced that he and his wife, Tipper, were separating after 40 years of marriage.

I always start by looking at the synastry chart, a technique astrologers use to determine compatibility between two or more people. For both couples, the charts show clear indications of long-term commitment. Still, that doesn’t explain the timing.

In the case of the Gores, Pluto is on Al’s Moon, in the “hot spot” at the apex of the T-square. There are other aspects as well, but the heavy pressure on Al’s Moon, the seat of the emotions, suggests a deep-seated urge to move in another direction for spiritual and personal growth.

For Harrison and Callista, the timing can be explained by the T-square’s position in his chart. Indeed, it is quite dramatic, as all four of his chart angles are in the early degrees of the cardinal signs. As I’ve noted previously on my blog, the T-square is having a particularly powerful influence on people with personal planets or chart angles in the early cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn).

Harrison has 2 degrees Libra Rising, with Saturn approaching a third and final conjunction to his Ascendant. This is a significant milestone in life and a time when we often change our relationship status and take on more duties and responsibilities.

At the same time, Jupiter and Uranus are dead on his Descendant. Transiting Jupiter on the Descendant and in the seventh house traditionally is associated with marriage and long-term commitment. Uranus, meanwhile, has helped Harrison move out of his fear of entering a third union after two failed marriages.

Pluto is crossing his IC, or fourth-house cusp, representing dramatic changes in his home and family life. According to reports in the media, Harrison is a wonderful father to Callista’s adopted son, Liam. With their marriage, this relationship is official. Pluto in the fourth house also tends to help us grow out of early childhood programming.

The coming solar eclipse on July 11 will be within a degree of Harrison’s Sun at 20 degrees Cancer and not far from his natal Moon at 22 degrees Cancer. This nicely illustrates the point that eclipses are often felt months before or afterward, especially when they are in such a prominent position in the chart.

While I was at the supermarket the other day, I flipped through a copy of People magazine, in which friends of the couple were quoted as saying their relationship was based on an honest approach to life and to each other, and on equality. It took eight years for them to get to this point, which is a wonderful reminder that true love requires constant tending and nurturing.

Even soul mates have to work at it.

Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

Interested in how the T-square is influencing your life and relationships? Explore a personal consultation with Pat.

Ask Real Astrologers: Why Doesn’t Astro-Compatibility Work?

Looking for AnswersThis week’s question comes from Joyce in Houston, Texas:

I am an Aquarius female. The ‘stars’ say that I am compatible with Libra men. But my relationships with this sign always end up going wrong. What is the problem? We just don’t fit. It makes me believe this astrology is all wrong. Even with Aries, I just don’t connect. They are argumentative, combative, and always have to have the last word. Who I connect with most are Virgo men. Go figure.

Joyce, I love getting questions like this, and I about fell off my chair laughing over your comment about Aries — no offense to Rams. I’ll explain in a minute why you annoy her so much.

First, let me say that there simply is no way to determine astrological compatibility by Sun sign alone. This is so important that I’m going to repeat it:

There is no way to determine astrological compatibility by Sun sign.

So forget this business of Aquarius gets along with Libra and Gemini. As a fellow Aquarian, I can tell you that Libra is not my first choice for a romantic partner, either.

Astrological compatibility is actually quite a complicated affair. There are two popular techniques, the composite method and synastry.

The composite uses midpoints between each planet in the two individual natal charts to create one new relationship chart. Synastry involves comparing the positions of the planets, houses, and some mathematical points in the first person’s chart with those in the second person’s chart. I use synastry almost exclusively in my compatibility reports.

Joyce, the first thing we have to do is to look at your natal chart. You were born early in the morning, making you a Rising Capricorn. Your Moon is in early Gemini, your Venus is in Capricorn, and your Mars is in Scorpio. The Moon tells us how you relate to another person emotionally. Venus and Mars, the love planets, tell us what pleases you, how you give and receive affection, and what turns you on in bed.

Aries and Libra conflict with your Capricorn Venus and Ascendant. Moreover, your Saturn is in Libra, and that means that an Aries or Libra Sun, depending on the degree, could be in direct conflict with your Saturn. An Aries Sun opposite your Saturn in Libra definitely would rub you the wrong way, unless he had other qualities that were so enticing that you could forgive his always having the last word . . . say, if he had Mars in Virgo.

In your natal chart, Virgo makes up most of the eighth house, which is the sector pertaining to primal passion and animal magnetism. When a partner’s key planets (Sun or Mars, for instance) fall in your eighth house, you find him very sexy! In addition, Virgo forms a harmonious trine with your Ascendant and your Venus in Capricorn. Planets past 10 degrees of Virgo work better for you; otherwise they clash with your Gemini Moon.

Of the two Libra gentlemen whose birth data you supplied, I’m guessing that the first had a certain amount of sex appeal, but the arguments got to be too much, and there was a constant undercurrent of power struggles. Still, it might have had some possibilities. The second guy has more red flags than China.

I hope that revives your faith in astrological compatibility, Joyce. Done right, it can identify where a couple connects the best and where they need to work. More and more people are asking me these days about karmic connections, and synastry is quite handy for this, as well.

For those of you who have sent questions and still haven’t seen an answer, I get dozens of questions a week and am very sorry that I can’t answer them all. I try to pick a good cross section, and I tend to pick questions that other readers may identify with. I’d like to reiterate that if you are facing serious challenges and need personal guidance, please consider contacting me for a private consultation.

Keep those e-mails coming!
Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

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Splitting After 40 Years:The Synastry of Al and Tipper Gore

Al and Tipper Gore at the inaugural ceremonies in Washington on Jan. 20, 2009. Photo by Susan Walsh for The Associated Press.

Al Gore, former vice president of the United States, and his wife, Tipper, announced today that they are separating after 40 years of marriage. Why now?

First of all, we have to commend anyone who can make a marriage last for 40 years. That is a miracle in today’s disposable world, and there is no way we can call this marriage anything but successful. We can imagine that a lot of hard work and perseverance went into their relationship. Of course, they were preoccupied with a lot of external pressures, and that does tend to take the focus off the problems in a marriage.

According to media reports, the decision was mutual. The ostensible reason is that the couple “grew apart.” After looking at their synastry chart, I am taking their statement at face value.

Synastry, for those not familiar with the term, is the astrological technique of comparing the positions of the planets and houses in one person’s chart with those of the other person. The first thing I look for is a favorable aspect between Sun and Moon. Equally important, I look for evidence of a strong sexual connection. Although sex isn’t everything, especially as we advance in age, physical “chemistry” is a powerful bond and can act as a motivator to encourage couples to work through problems instead of calling it quits.

Traditionally, astrologers consider it best for the woman’s Moon to be favorably aspected to the man’s Sun, although nowadays the reverse is viewed positively as well, especially for power couples such as Al and Tipper. Her Moon at 21 degrees Aquarius makes a very wide sextile to his Sun at 10 degrees Aries, perhaps enough to cement a friendship. Al’s Moon at 3 degrees Capricorn makes a wide, out-of-sign trine with Tipper’s Sun at 26 degrees Leo. This is a little better. Still, I’d say that these two indicators are more of an easy friendship than anything else.

Al and Tipper never had the classic markers for sexual chemistry. The strongest link is an opposition between her Moon at 21 degrees Aquarius and his Mars at 18 degrees Leo. This suggests that sexual attraction may have been based on an emotional dependency. We might guess that an adult woman has worked through these issues and healed the underlying wound, which then dissolves the bond.

They do, however, have very strong aspects for longevity, primarily the tight trine between his Jupiter at 28 degrees Sagittarius and her Sun-Saturn conjunction at 26 degrees Leo. His early Cap Moon also plays into this connection. Their synastry suggests that the strongest glue in their relationship was working together toward mutual interests, which we can guess probably related to their (especially his) political and professional aspirations. There’s nothing wrong with this arrangement, in my book, as long as both parties agree to it … and they apparently did.

With all of that in mind, it’s logical that they would separate now that their “work” together apparently is complete. It is time for them to keep growing in other ways.

Looking at transits, the cardinal T-square with Pluto at the apex is making tight contact with Al’s natal Moon. Pluto conjunct the Moon often signifies the end of a committed relationship, and we can feel totally changed inside emotionally after this transit is done (see my Ask Real Astrologers post on this disturbing transit.) In short, he’s growing and transforming, and it’s no surprise that he’s moving in a different direction from his wife of 40 years, especially when you throw the Saturn-Uranus opposition into the mix.

Of no less importance, the current series of eclipses in Capricorn and Cancer is taking place in Tipper’s seventh house of committed relationships and first house of self. This is often when committed relationships begin or end.

Also, the cardinal T-square is occurring in a wide square to Tipper’s Ascendant and her natal Venus at 11 degrees Cancer. This suggests a change in a committed relationship. I’m guessing that she is going to feel liberated and will launch into a new professional venture from which she will gain not only material rewards but some public acclaim.

After looking at their charts, I think they’ve made a sound decision, and for that they should be commended as well. Even when you do everything “right,” sometimes a relationship has to end. When it has reached its logical conclusion and outlived its purpose, letting go is the best and wisest choice.

Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat