The Basics
 The 30° Wheel
 Lunar Mansion
 Sunset Chart
 Erect a Chart

"That we can now think of no mechanism for astrology is relevant but unconvincing. No mechanism was known, for example, for continental drift when it was proposed by Wegener. Nevertheless, we see that Wegener was right, and those who objected on the grounds of unavailable mechanism were wrong."
-Carl Sagan, Astronomer

Compatibility in the Chart

Now let us look at compatibility charts. The sunset method is probably the easiest form of synastry. The term synastry stems from the Greek "synastria" meaning similarity of stars. It denotes the study of how two or more people's charts compare with each other for the purpose of describing their relationships (like the birth chart compared to the sunset chart).

Charts between two people, in any kind of relationship, will have certain planets in common. The more popular method is somewhat complex and requires a great deal of time and effort to evaluate properly. The sunset method is simple and will provide you with a great deal of information.

With compatibility charts it is advisable to use the natal charts whenever possible because in these charts the Ascendant and Mid-heaven are known. Additionally, the Moon is in its "critical point" at the time of birth. If the time of birth is unknown for one of the two charts, then use the sunset charts for both individuals. Always use similar charts (Sidereal or Tropical, birth charts or sunset charts) when comparing your client's chart with someone else's chart. This is admittedly not as desirable but, under general circumstances, will still help evaluate the relationship. We will use the trans-saturnian planets (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto) because the charts we are using for examples are of famous people and they speak to us of both their private and professional lives. However, in using the outer planets, it is my opinion that they are not fully activated until fame is achieved. These planets are non-operative in the pre-fame years but are, also in my opinion, considered gateways to success. However, upon acquiring their new-found status, pre-fame marriages usually dissolve into divorce because the trans-saturnian planets are activated in the chart of the successful person and not the spouse.

The Process

To view the compatibility of two or more charts simply stack the planets in numerical order starting from the highest degree of longitude to the lowest. Next, for compatibility purposes only, list the sign with the degree of longitude for the purpose of establishing planetary aspects between both charts. Obviously, if two charts have planets that are the same degree but are in different signs, it is important to recognize what works well (trine and sextile) and what type of process (square and opposition) must be done to surmount and maintain the relationship. I generally use one (maybe 2) degrees for this exercise.

The more planetary contacts the better. Lack of planetary contacts between two charts indicates a weakened relationship. If you or your client has just met someone and there are only transiting planets contacting natal planets, the relationship will be short lived, probably for the duration of the initial contact only. No planetary interplay whatsoever indicates that there is no chance for a relationship to develop. For example, in sports, we often see a great player who will not stay with any one team for any length of time because of a few weak aspects between the player and the franchise date of the team. Often when the player finds a team with the "correct" franchise date, one that matches his chart in synastry, he is happy and will stay with that team.


		SUN 21° VIRGO 21'    semi-sextile  SUN 22° LEO 16'
		PLUTO 1O° CANCER 15' semi-sextile  MERCURY 10° LEO 45'
		MARS 8° VIRGO 04'    sextile       PLUTO 8° CANCER 22'
		URANUS 1° TAURUS 40' trine         MARS 1° CAPRICORN 54'

From the moment he saw her, John was attracted to Cynthia although he considered her a "bit snobbish." She was as polite as he was aggressive, but she understood John's lack of consideration for others. When he first met her, his appearance was unusual, compared to the rest of the college students. He had a "scruffy," tough-guy image. However, with Cynthia's gentle influence, John managed to alter his image to be more in keeping with the school's more accepted "arty" look. He changed to using scarves, black slacks and loose fitting jackets. He even changed the style of his hair from the greasy duck-tail fashion he usually wore to the more fashionably long-hair "dry look." His influence on her was pronounced as well. At his urging, she started to wear doe-eyed make-up and began dressing like Brigette Bardot. When we examine their compatibility charts, there was undoubtedly a need for each other's company. There were favorable aspects between them. Although they were both pleased when Cynthia became pregnant with Julian, they both admitted they probably would not have married if the pregnancy had not happened.


		MOON 26° SAGITTARIUS 54'  square  URANUS 26° PISCES 41'
		SUN 21° VIRGO 21'         trine   MARS 21° LEO 41'
		MERCURY 13° LIBRA 18'     trine   N.NODE 13° AQUARIUS 58'
		MC 11° SAGITTARIUS 30'    sextile MERCURY 11° AQUARIUS 58'
		URANUS 1° TAURUS 40'      oppose  MOON 1° SCORPIO  14'

John was quoted as saying, "When I met Yoko, I had to drop everything" (for her). He describes their first meeting: "Imagine two identical cars racing toward each other at a hundred miles an hour on a head-on collision course and slamming on the brakes just before they hit each other, where they stop with the bumpers just inches apart with smoke everywhere." It is surprising that the first time they met she did not think much of him. Of course, this may be attributed to her being seen with another celebrity at the time. Later, she relentlessly pursued John with letters and phone calls that both annoyed and fascinated him. Yoko stated that there was "electricity in the air" when they were together and that they had a "very tempestuous relationship."


		PLUTO 13° TAURUS 38'   conjunct   PLUTO 13° TAURUS 49'
		                                  NEPTUNE 13° TAURUS 14'
		MERCURY 12° TAURUS 15' inconjunct URANUS 12° LIBRA 38'
		NEPTUNE 11° TAURUS 52' inconjunct MERCURY 10° SAGIT. 56'
		MARS 6° SCORPIO 53'    sextile    SATURN 6° VIRGO 50'
		SATURN 5° LEO 49'      inconjunct SUN 5° CAPRICORN 08'
		SUN 2° GEMINI 22'      inconjunct MARS 3° SCORPIO 04'
		VENUS 2° CANCER 11'    trine      MARS 2° SCOPRPIO 04'
		N. NODE 0° GEMINI 37'  inconjunct S. NODE 0° SCORPIO 31'
		                       square     MOON 0° VIRGO 23'

Stan Laurel was raised in the theater and felt he always knew what he wanted to do. Note Mercury's triadic position between Neptune (theater) and Pluto (determination). On the other hand, Oliver Hardy had always been hampered by a feeling of inferiority to the point where he even dreaded watching himself on the screen. Note his Mercury squaring Saturn. They were complete opposites in every way, except that they were both "unfailingly courteous" to everyone they met. At first, Stan was not too keen on the idea of them working together. However, it was Oliver who saw their potential and was anxious for them to work as a team. As they developed their routine, each played the perfect straight-man for the other. It was Stan who became the more dominant of the two. He always wanted to direct and wrote most of their scripts. He also insisted on "only one take" to maintain their spontaneity. Oliver always trusted Stan's judgment and studied the scripts each night so he would know what the scenes were about. In that way he would be able to ad-lib his scenes the next day knowing that the dialogue would be changed during the shooting.

The above discussion gives the reader an idea how to look at chart synastry. For a more in-depth review there are additional considerations which can be added to the mix. For example, in viewing either the sunset or birth chart note how the planets that make up latitudes align, in what sections and by what degree; how the decanates influence the overall patterns; the Nodes and how they fit into the soul's scheme. By reviewing the entire chart in this fashion, a lot of the "weaving and unraveling" within the circular diagram can be dismissed, making it easier to come to conclusions about the individuals involved by use of these "checkpoints". •

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