Birthchart: Also called a natal chart, an astrological chart of the time of a person's birth, calculated using the full birthdate, exact time of birth as shown on the birth certificate including AM/PM, and city/state/ country of birth. A birthchart looks like a circle or wheel with 12 pie-shaped sectors, and symbols for the planets are distributed around the chart according to where they were at the time of your birth. If your chartwheel were a clock, you would see your Ascendant (Rising Sign) in the "9 o'clock" position on the circle.
Planets: The planets are symbolic of archetypal energies, qualities and potentials in a person's life.
Ascendant or Rising Sign: The sign rising in the east at the time of your birth, determined by your full birthdate, exact time of birth and location of birth. Your Rising Sign is correlated to your physical appearance and outer personality, talents and interests that are easy for you to develop and share with others. The Rising Sign is the astrological "calling card" you present to the world, what people see when they first meet you. The Ascendant (and degree) is a key orientation point in the astrological chart, determining all of the other house cusps and where the planets are located in your chart.
Houses: The pie-shaped sectors in an astrological chart, showing areas of human concern such as self, body, money, communication, home, children, job, partner, and much more.
Aspects: Mathematical relationships between planets, degrees between them, such as:
THE BIG PICTURE
All planets, houses, and every factor in your astrological chart bears on your relationships. Some planets carry extra weight in relationships, such as Sun, Venus, Moon, and Mars.
The Sun symbolizes your true self, your vitality and individuality, your heart and courage.
Venus relates to love, affection, values, aesthetics and affinity, and shows which qualities must be present for you to love and be attracted to a person or situation, and where you're most likely to find love.
The Moon symbolizes your needs for emotional security and acceptance, and shows where you're likely to receive support and attention from others.
Mars shows action, passion, sexuality, initiative, taking a stand and willingness to fight.
If you compare your birthchart to that of any other person - friend or stranger - there will be some points of compatibility, ease or attraction, and some points of stress. Your relationship with the person depends on many factors including soul's desire for experience, common ideals, emotional comfort, communications, personality, spirituality, beliefs, chemistry, sexual attraction, habitual ways of being and acting, and issues to be worked out. Depending on your own ethics, maturity and temperament, a factor of ease can be flowing, pleasurable and dependable, or it can be taken for granted and seen as boring. A factor of stress can be exciting and stimulating, or it can be antagonistic and oppressive. Much depends on what each of you bring to the table, and how each of you plays the game of life.
Therefore, astrological charts can indicate much basic information about a relationship, including factors of harmony or stress, but it's up to the two individuals as to how to live. We delight in the understanding, telepathy, unconditional love, closeness, emotional safety, and joie de vivre that some people bring into our lives - a celebration of those qualities in ourselves!
On the other hand, it takes tremendous awareness and maturity to be able to overcome some of tougher challenges reflected by certain astrological aspects, some of which may only show up after several years - such overcoming can be done as a mutual effort. Whether you want to take the challenge, or whether both parties are willing to do what is necessary, are other questions that only you two can decide about a particular relationship.
Astrology can validate and guide couples, families, friends, lovers, partners, and coworkers in making the most of their interpersonal relationships.
METHODS: Astrologers use several methods to analyze relationship dynamics. Here are some of the most common:
PLANETS IN ASPECT (SYNASTRY): How the planets of Person A aspect those of Person B, and vice versa. Conjunctions and oppositions are the most impactful, with trines, sextiles and squares being lesser factors. The crudest example of comparing planets by aspect is to look at Sun signs alone, but there are dozens more factors to be considered and weighed, which is why you need to have both charts accurately calculated.
PLANETS IN HOUSES: The planets of Person A are placed into the houses of Person B - and vice versa - to see what each brings to various areas of life.
Each person's SUN in the other's chart is fundamentally significant, showing the major influence this person will have in the other's life, what area of life is "lit up" by being in relationship with them.
TRANSITS AND PROGRESSIONS in each person's chart show current trends and developments that may influence the person's relationships.
COMPOSITE CHART: This is the chart of the relationship itself, the 3rd energy formed by 2 people coming together in relationship. Composite charts are calculated using near-midpoints of both Suns, both Moons, both Ascendants, both Venuses, etc. The composite chart can also be updated with transits to show relationship trends and developments.
Contemporary astrologers use selected ASTEROIDS in addition to the planets. The asteroid Juno relates to marriage, partnership, and empowerment. Ceres is a nurturing influence. Vesta is purposeful, passionate, and deals with protecting the home. Chiron shows maverick behavior, relates to the "wounded healer," and bridging gaps.
LEVELS OF DETAIL: When a relationship is new and speculative, a quick overview of each person's planets by comparison yields basic information. If a client brings in the birthdate of a new friend, it's also possible to place the friend's planets in the client's houses. This quick overview does not require research time, so is economical to provide on basic studio time.
However, when a relationship is serious, where the individuals contemplate marriage or partnership, where divorce is pending or just completed, or the individuals are struggling, then a detailed compatibility study and consultation(s) are needed. Because of the complexity of factors the astrologer will consider, extra research time is required to prepare for this reading. The results and objective input from such a reading can be very worthwhile to you because the astrologer can immediately surface information and issues that could otherwise take many hours, or even years, by other methods such as ordinary contemplation or therapy. You now know what to look for, and the reading will also suggest ways to deal with your issues. If you follow up your astrological consultation with viable therapy, it's likely you'll be able to save a lot of time and expense, as you're now more aware and able to address key issues quickly.
PROBABILITY: We know that the planets don't cause human behavior, but we don't know exactly how astrology "works." I speculate that planetary configurations and cosmic harmonies symbolize, reflect and mirror our deeper collective agreements about present and future reality. But after 26 years of private practice as an astrological consultant, I will say that there are certain aspects and configurations I have observed to correlate with certain outcomes.
For example, here are some very harmonious factors I like to see in comparing two people's birthcharts for marriage:
Any one aspect by itself is not sufficient to predict a lasting harmonious relationship, but if several of these are present it points to a strong attraction that may last, if there are not severely stressful aspects.
Here are some dis-harmonious factors I do not like to see in the charts of two people attempting a long-term relationship:
These aspects are so severe as to be "deal-killers," even though it may take a while for the aspects to play out. When they do show up, they tend to be all-consuming. However, spirituality, therapy, maturity, and giving each other a lot of space and respect can do wonders to turn battles into opportunities.