Just how do we approach the astrology of relationships? There are a number of techniques that we use, and each of them has many variations. Two of the basic building blocks are synastry and the composite chart.
Synastry (literally, ‘to bring the stars together’) is a time-honored technique of chart comparison in which we see how one person’s chart impacts the other person’s. Through synastry, we get a sense of how two people dynamically interact with each other. Does your Sun charge up my Venus? Does my Mars irritate your Moon?
Synastry is felt immediately, and often has a lot to do with the first impression we get from someone. No particular interaction is bad or good in itself, although some connections may require more conscious work to avoid pitfalls. Synastry is the me and you dynamic that we feel with someone.
The composite chart is created by averaging the two charts together to form a third chart of the relationship as a thing in itself. For example, if your Sun is in Gemini and mine is in Leo, our composite Sun would be between them, in the sign of Cancer. When we do this averaging for all the planets and points in the chart, we get an image of the relationship apart from either of the two (or more) people who form it.
The composite chart helps us to talk about the partnership as a separate entity that has a life of its own. This can be very useful in allowing us to ‘work on the relationship’ without developing personal blame or guilt. Unlike synastry, which is felt immediately, the composite chart takes some time to be activated and is most apparent when the people are consciously in a relationship.
Of course, there’s a lot to be said about these two techniques, and relationship astrology can get complex (although not necessarily complicated!). If you’re intrigued by these techniques and would like to learn more about them, as well as other approaches to relationship astrology, check out our one-year course!