Equally as alive and fluid as the astrology of an individual is the astrology of a relationship, yet even more challenging for the astrologer to interpret. When looking at an individual, there is just the “I.” In a relationship reading, the astrologer is presented with “you,” “I,” and “we.” When two people meet and exchange energy, a new “being” is born – the “we.” By relationship, I am not referring to romantic, physically intimate relationships exclusively. One individual has many relationships, such as employer/employee, parent/child, brother/sister, teacher/student, and friendships. Even our friendships may be classified into further categories. Are we the same person in each of these relationships? In essence, at our core, yes. We are who we are. Yet we often behave and express differently with different people. Why do you think that is? “Well, because she/he is my BOSS, MOTHER, DAUGHTER, SISTER, FRIEND, [fill in the blank].” – but does that actually give a valid reason for the different patterns of behavior and communication we have with different individuals? No. What role someone plays in our life has only a certain influence on how we relate to them.
The patterns of relating can be seen by a skilled astrologer. During the course of any relationship, there may be many good reasons for having an astrological reading. You may desire to understand the dynamics of the relationship so that conscious choices in how you conduct yourself in the relationship can be made. You may be questioning whether or not it is in your best interest to pursue or maintain the relationship. You may be aware that there is “something” going on, something more than you are able to understand or see, and you want someone else who has no vested interest in the relationship to look, listen, and to help you see what you cannot. Like the men in the story of the blind men and the elephant, we all have a tendency to “look” at the small part that we can feel, but we miss the entire elephant. Warning: Not being aware of the whole elephant may prove hazardous – I’ll let your imagination consider the various ramifications.
There are many places online where you can receive a free relationship “reading” based on the aspects between your own natal planets and that of the other person. This is known as synastry. While that can be slightly helpful and insightful, it can also do more harm than good. The majority of these aspect comparisons divide the aspects into good/bad. To look at the aspects alone of an individual’s natal chart while ignoring other factors like chart pattern, elements, planetary placements, and houses can only give a small view of the individual since it does not consider the sum and total of the entire natal chart. How, then, can the dynamics (and possible fate, if someone places their decisions upon the synastry of aspects) of a relationship between two people be determined fully from the incomplete data of planetary aspects alone? Is the person who requested the reading expected to look at the list of “good” versus “bad” aspects and deem the other as “good” or “bad” for them? And where is the “we,” the composite of the two? Again, the story of the blind men and the elephant comes to mind. In my opinion, there is no free reading or computer-generated printout that can see the whole elephant. But if you choose to twiddle with just the tail or trunk of the elephant, note that many of these types of readings have the fine print “for entertainment purposes only” for a good reason.
If you are looking to astrology as a means to understanding yourself and your relationships, then I recommend you do one of two things or both things. First, study astrology. Second, have professional readings. The best way to test the validity and usefulness of anything in your life is to learn something about it and give it a try. If you have no interest in learning beyond the very basics of your own natal chart and what it means for you, then keep an open mind and listen to your chosen astrologer carefully. Can you see the big picture? Does it resonate, make sense, and feel real despite the use of “astrologese” terminology? Is it helpful? Then you have probably chosen a good astrologer. If things are too vague and sugar-coated, your “astrologer” may only be a well-intentioned psychic reader who has a copy of Linda Goodman’s “Sun Signs” at hand and feels qualified to add the title to the list of reading skills offered.
When I look at a relationship, I may look at as many as 8 charts to see what is happening between two people. Natal charts, transits and progressed natals, a synastry chart, a composite chart, a progressed composite, if necessary, and then I look at the exchange of energy between each respective natal chart as it relates to the composite – the triangulation of “I,” “you,” and “we.” This takes anywhere from 90 minutes to 3 hours or more. Sometimes the elephant is very big!
Over the next few posts, I will explain what I do to “read” a relationship. No two readings I do are ever the same in their unfolding, but I do follow a loose framework and look at certain key things that I can recommend to students and DIYers. Over the years, I have put many things to the test myself and have insights and examples aplenty. By the end of the series, I intend that you will have a better understanding of the astrology of relationship and how it relates to you.
The Blind Men and the Elephant
by John Godfrey Saxe
It was six men of Indostan, to learning much inclined,
who went to see the elephant (Though all of them were blind),
that each by observation, might satisfy his mind.
The first approached the elephant, and, happening to fall,
against his broad and sturdy side, at once began to bawl:
“God bless me! but the elephant, is nothing but a wall!”
The second feeling of the tusk, cried: “Ho! what have we here,
so very round and smooth and sharp? To me ‘tis mighty clear,
this wonder of an elephant, is very like a spear!”
The third approached the animal, and, happening to take,
the squirming trunk within his hands, “I see,” quoth he,
“the elephant is very like a snake!”
The fourth reached out his eager hand, and felt about the knee:
“What most this wondrous beast is like, is mighty plain,” quoth he;
“Tis clear enough the elephant is very like a tree.”
The fifth, who chanced to touch the ear, Said; “E’en the blindest man
can tell what this resembles most; Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an elephant, is very like a fan!”
The sixth no sooner had begun, about the beast to grope,
than, seizing on the swinging tail, that fell within his scope,
“I see,” quothe he, “the elephant is very like a rope!”
And so these men of Indostan, disputed loud and long,
each in his own opinion, exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right, and all were in the wrong!
So, oft in theologic wars, the disputants, I ween,
tread on in utter ignorance, of what each other mean,
and prate about the elephant, not one of them has seen!
John Godfrey Saxe (1816 - 1887)
Originally posted to Dunnea.net