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Using astrology to better understand love compatibility
Sam Deeley, a fourth-year new media student at Ryerson, first got into astrology as a teen in high school, thanks to one of her best friends. What started as a mild interest in her daily horoscope morphed into a fascination with birth charts, particularly how it translates to her relationship with others. And when it comes to dating, she admits that “astrology inevitably comes up.”
“I would be lying if I said I didn’t Google compatibility charts. I think (with) every guy I’ve ever dated, I always looked up our compatibility. It’s fun seeing it play out and seeing if it’s true,” she said.
Lucas Lee, a fourth-year Ryerson journalism student, believes astrology is, point-blank, stupid.
“Trying to find love or even a connection that way…it’s kind of silly,” he says. “It doesn’t make any sense.”
This tension between these two differing opinions points towards astrology’s prevalence in society today. Various major newspapers, magazines and online platforms publish daily, weekly and monthly horoscope updates to a dedicated mass of readers. In a 2011 study conducted by The American Astronomical Society, nearly 1,000 undergraduates were questioned about their beliefs in astrology over a 20-year period. The results revealed that 78 per cent of students considered astrology “very” or “sort of’’ scientific.
But can astrology really give you insight into your potential romantic compatibility with another?
Lady Samantha, a Toronto-based astrologer, asserts that birth charts are complex and that there isn’t a set system that can determine compatibility between two individuals.
“I’m not going to be that astrologer that says, ‘Oh yes, Gemini and Aquarius (two air signs) are a great match.’ It’s very unrealistic to take that approach,” she reasons.
Even so, when it comes to sun signs, certain elements will have a similar orientation to the world, while others will feel more definitive differences. Two Yin (or feminine) signs — namely earth and water — tend to understand each other well. Conversely, two Yang (or masculine) signs — fire and air — may also tend to have an easy, instant rapport with the other.
“When we start to mix signs – like water and fire — we’re creating polarity. Which doesn’t at all mean we can’t be in a relationship with them,” she adds.
Beyond the sun sign, your moon, rising, Venus and Mars signs are equally significant. Your moon sign is perhaps even more important than your sun sign; if your sun sign dictates your personality, your moon sign reveals your inner world, fears, longings, motivations and anxieties. It determines how you feel emotionally supported, which is an important ingredient in relationship astrology since it can provide insight into how a couple will deal with conflict.
Your rising sign can be referred to as the “mask” you wear. It can encompass your outlook on life and the first impression you project to others.
Venus represents what you want in a partner. “It’s our love language,” Lady Samantha said. “This is how you want to be courted. It’s how you express your love to your partner. Mars represents how we lust after someone. The drive we have, our gut instinct.”
The first step to evaluating compatibility is looking at the elemental (fire, water, etc.) distribution between you and your partner’s five signs. This can help you determine where you are dominant and where you are lacking.
“A relationship can be like a puzzle piece,” Lady Samantha says. Therefore a couple with a varied mix of all four elements between the two of them can often feel a shared sense of balance, each complementing the other.
A couple’s planetary aspects are also significant when it comes to astrological compatibility. “It all comes down, really, to the aspects,” Lady Samantha says. “You could look at it and say, ‘Oh, these two are both water signs,’ but if they’re so far away from each other, it doesn’t create much of a contact.”
Aspects are the angle the planets make in proportion to each other, measured mathematically. There are seven major aspects: conjunct (same sign), semisextile (one sign apart), sextile (two signs apart), square (three signs apart), trine (four signs apart), quincunx (five signs apart) and opposite (six signs apart). Conjunct, sextile and trine aspects are considered “soft” aspects and will typically result in a deeper sense of harmony in relation to the two planets and what they represent in the relationship. In contrast, semisextile, square quincunx and opposite are “hard” aspects, and may result in tension.
Sun, moon, Mars and Venus are all personal planets that describe personal traits about each individual. “Between the charts, if these personal planets hit the other person’s personal planets, it forms a familiarity or a connection between those two, that you feel right away,” Lady Samantha says.
Saturn is another key planet, especially when it comes to the stability and longevity of a relationship. “Seeing (contact with) Saturn points towards a long-lasting relationship — it sticks you together, and makes you feel responsible for one another.”
It’s important to note that “hard” aspects don’t necessarily mean a couple is “doomed.” For instance, if Venus and Mars are present, even aligned in a way that creates a negative aspect, this can often manifest as strong sexual attraction between a couple. Conversely, “soft” or positive aspects will create more ease within a relationship.
“What (people) need to understand about the more challenging aspects is that there has to be some challenges,” Lady Samantha says. “There has to be confrontation somewhere between the two charts because that is how a relationship will grow. Otherwise, nothing happens and it’s boring.”
These differences thus encourage intellectual awareness, accountability and personal development.
In fact, the world shows up as “pieces of ourselves and lessons that we need to learn,” which of course, applies to the romantic partnerships you may attract.
But Lady Samantha says people still wonder about those differences.
“People always ask me, ‘why do people keep coming into my life that like this or that?’ Or, ‘it’s the same thing over and over.’”
She says she tells them that, at the end of the day, a birth chart is unchangeable, which is why it can be a useful tool.
The purpose of astrology, according to Lady Samantha, is to help you grow and work through these differences, to recognize them so that you can be more accepting of what you are and what you are not.