Are We Compatible?
by Moses Siregar III
Compatibility of intimate relationships (synastry) is an extremely complex issue in astrology. So many factors have to be taken into consideration. and novices to the subject are almost guaranteed to read the situation very poorly, because it is so complex. I highly recommend consulting a professional astrologer expertly skilled in these matters if you want to really understand the dynamics of a relationship, and how to use this knowledge to steer yourself towards greater love and happiness in all of your relationships.
Until you really know what you are doing with compatibility and astrology, there is a strong likelihood of taking some influences out of context and misreading the whole picture. All relationships have relatively positive and negative elements of astrological synastry; it takes a lot of experience to know how to weigh everything appropriately. And even when you have learned a lot about the subject, it is still practically impossible (if not completely impossible) to do an objective synastry analysis of one of your own romantic interests.
So let’s start with a basic, beginning overview of astrological synastry (relationship compatibility). This article will give you a lot, but it still really just scratches the surface. So I must caution that it is definitely not possible to do a complete compatibility reading with only the information below. But it is a good start. Those who want to know more might look into my tape series or into my classes and private tutoring.
Moon, Sun, ASC, Venus, Mars
One can get a good glimpse of one’s needs and desires in relationships through the Moon, Sun, Venus, Mars, and Ascendant. In general, the Sun and Moon primarily indicate true needs, Venus and Mars primarily indicate desires or attractions, and the Ascendant indicates some general needs and desires.
Obviously, the best relationship is one where one’s needs (Sun and Moon) and desires (Venus and Mars) are both met. One way to do a general compatibility test between two people is to look at the relationship between each of these five placements across the two charts: Sun-Sun, Moon-Moon, Venus-Venus, Mars-Mars, and Asc-Asc. When the placements are in the same gender (fire and air are masculine, earth and water are feminine) or element–the same element or a close sextile is best–these placements are basically compatible. But of course it’s much more complicated than that. To begin, here’s a short discussion of the Moon, Sun, Ascendant, Venus, and Mars in terms of compatibility issues, listed in order of their importance and weight in synastry.
Planets in Synastry
The Moon is the most important ‘planet’ in relationships. The Moon represents deep security needs, and it is difficult to be with with someone who does not offer us what our Moon needs. The element of one’s Moon sign and house (I recommend using Porphyry House System) are elements that one’s partner must have in a significant way if we are to be compatible with them, or at least one of these two elements (if there are two). If one’s partner is not strongly made up of the same element of one’s Moon sign and/or house, then strong harmonious aspects between one’s Moon and the partner’s chart could also create a harmonious Moon connection.
Positive Moon compatibility will show two people who feel “at home” with one another, and instinctively care for one another. It’s like being family. That’s why it’s the most important planet in synastry. If you want to spend the rest of your life sleeping in the same bed as someone else, you obviously need to feel like family to one another.
In particular, since the Moon is feminine, the Moon shows what a man needs in a woman. But the Moon definitely shows very vital needs for women, as well.
Since the Sun is masculine, the Sun particularly shows what a woman needs from a man. But also, for men, it shows an element that must be present in their partners for compatibility to be present. If a man does not have the qualities of the element of a woman’s Sun, it will be difficult for her to ultimately trust and feel respect for him. At the very least, she must feel the basic energy as a masculine/feminine polarity, i.e. an Earth or Water Sun sign needs strong feminine energy, and a Fire or Air Sun sign needs strong masculine energy.
The Ascendant shows our view of ourselves and of life, and how we bring ourselves into the world. So being with someone who has some major personal placements in harmony with our Ascendant is also very important. It’s fairly important for two people to have their Ascendants of the same gender (fire and air signs are masculine, water and earth signs are feminine), and it’s great if they are of the same element or a close sextile, but if not, this can be balanced by having a conjunction or opposition between the Sun, Moon, or Venus of one person and the Ascendant of the other. It’s better if each person ‘receives’ one of these conjunctions or oppositions if the Ascendants are in a more conflictual sign relationship (square, semi-sextile, or quincunx), and especially if the Ascendants are square to one another.
Venus shows what a man is attracted to in a woman. Being with a woman who is strong in his Venus element, or who makes close sextiles to his Venus makes the relationship much easier, and increases sexual desire and compatibility. For a woman, her Venus is part of her feminine nature, so it is definitely best when her partner also relates well with this element. When people have positive Venus synastry, they naturally like and love each other. That, of course, is what makes positive Venus synastry so great.
Mars shows what a woman is attracted to in a man. Being with a man who is strong in her Mars element, or who makes close sextiles with her Mars, makes the relationship much easier, and increases sexual desire and compatibility. For a man, his Mars is part of his masculine nature, so it is best when his partner also relates well with this element.
However, too much Mars is really not a good thing for synastry and compatibility, and most Western astrological literature will not tell you this. Mars is not always the “pretty face” we’ve made him to be. Major conjunctions, squares, oppositions, and quincunxes with Mars are not really desirable for people looking for the most enjoyable relationship possible, but again, “a part is not the whole,” so we still have to look at a lot more. It is certainly possible to have a rewarding connection with someone, even if you have the sort of Mars synastry discussed above, but that still doesn’t mean that I would particularly recommend it. I believe that research and direct experience will show you the truth of what I’m saying. Sure, Mars contacts are great for sex, but how many hours a day can you have sex? And how many hours a day do you just spend time talking with a partner, not grunting like animals? In short, if you are the sort of person who can’t get enough of conflict, major and hard Mars synastry may be just what the doctor ordered.
Aspects in Synastry and Compatibility
Whenever the Moon, Sun, ASC, or Venus form a conjunction with the same very placement of another (i.e, Moon-Moon), or with one of the others in that group (i.e., Sun-ASC), it is especially strong for compatibility. Mars-Mars conjunctions are generally pretty volatile and conflicting, however, but are certainly good for sexuality per se, at least at first. Conjunctions in particular, with the exception of Mars (or Saturn or Pluto) conjunctions give the most compatibility. As always, the whole picture, rather than just individual details, absolutely must be taken into consideration. A relationship simply cannot be read with any one astrological ingredient. But conjunctions are really the best aspect for compatibility in general, because compability is primarily about similarity, and no aspect indicates similarity like a conjunction does.
Oppositions are interesting. They are incredibly strong for attraction, and they are also basically strong for compatibility. But oppositions also come with some … well, opposition. All in all, I consider them reasonably positive when they are between ‘soft’ planets (i.e. Mars, Saturn, and Pluto are definitely not included here), but they will eventually bring some significant elements of stress as well. Too many oppositions are probably too much to handle unless you can’t get enough of being torn in two directions at the same time. An eight degree orb works well for oppositions, but a closer orb of within six degrees is of course even stronger.
Squares between any of the five mutual placements (i.e. Venus-Venus, Sun-Sun) are definitely difficult and indicate an element of significant incompatibility, but the compatibility absolutely has to be looked at as whole, and a little bit of square energy can be okay if other conditions are right. When there are square aspects within a reasonable orb (everyone has their own opinion here, but I recommend an orb of about 6 degrees), they are particularly important. When the aspects are formed between whole signs, but not by actual degrees within a 6 degree orb, they are important, but nowhere near as significant as an actual square aspect.
Sextiles and Trines, true to the common wisdom, are quite nice for synastry. They are exceptionally nice when the sextiles are within 5 degrees of orb, and when the trines are within 6 degrees of orb. Sextiles have a bit more of stimulating feeling, and trines have a bit more of an “easy” feeling. In general, I’d take a nice conjunction as my first choice for excellent synastry, a trine second, and a sextile third.
Semi-sextile planets are placements that are one sign away from each other. For example, Moon in Taurus and Moon in Aries. This is probably the least well-understood aspect in synastry. Basically, it is not at all good. Semi-sextile energies show completely opposite natures that really do not “get” each other. It’s like someone who believes in polygamy with someone who believes in monogamy. No comprende. An actual semi-sextile aspect, within about a three-degree orb is an especially problematic issue. A large number of semi-sextile planets is not at all good for compatible synastry. Check it out and you’ll see what I mean. However, all of the above applies almost entirely to same-planet-to-same-planet semi-sextiles. So having Moon and Sun in semi-sextile signs between two people may not be a big deal at all. But having Sun-Sun or Moon-Moon in semi-sextile will eventually be an issue between two people in real intimacy.
Quincunxes are probably the most confusing aspect in synastry. They tend to get a bad rap, which is partially quite well deserved. However, an actual close quincunx between compatible planets such as Venus-Venus, Moon-Moon, Sun-Sun, or ASC-ASC is actually a very positive connection on the one hand, in addition to the problems of the quincunx on the other hand. Quincunx planets have a “6-8” relationship with each other in astrology, which basically indicates an energy that is more heavy, “karmic,” and dysfunctional. The really unusual thing about a quincunx is that a close quincunx (of three degrees and fifteen minutes or less) between basically ‘soft’ planets actually give some very strong compatibility to counter-balance the problems of the quincunx signs. I have to thank the Magi Society’s research for helping me to eventually put this puzzle together. Venus quincunx Venus within three degrees? Thank them lucky stars.
Another basic compatibility test is to see if two people are basically of the same astrological gender. Masculine people need masculine partners. Feminine people need feminine partners. Balanced people can go both ways, but are best with balanced partners. The more similar two people’s astrological gender is, the more compatible they will be.
Conjunctions between the Moon and the Ascendant, the Sun and the Moon, and the Sun and the Ascendant are some of the best aspects for long-term compatibility. Moon-Moon, ASC-ASC, and Sun-Sun conjunctions are also in this most compatible category. When these sorts of conjunctions occur, particularly Moon-ASC, it can give people a very high degree of compatibility and connection, even if other influences are really difficult. I’ve often seen people with almost all of their planets in disharmonious relationships, but then they have Moon conjunct ASC, and they stay together for a couple of decades or so. Moon-ASC almost, though not entirely, acts as a cancellation of other hard influences.
Trines and sextiles between Venus and Venus, Venus and Mars, or Mars and Mars (or a Venus-Venus conjunction) are great aspects for longterm sexual desire and compatibility.
Many astrologers today say that some major hard elements between charts are practically good. I have to disagree philosophically because of my direct research and experience. Of course no relationship is perfect, or has perfect synastry. But are relationships really supposed to be challenging “growth opportunities”? Or are they supposed to be easy, fun, and enjoyable? Any good relationship requires a willingness to communicate and listen and act co-operatively, but I do not subscribe to the idea that relationships are supposed to be hard. I guess it’s really a matter of what you like. I like my relationships without pain, struggle, frustration, and conflict. How about you?
There is also a common sentiment that aspects such as squares are somewhat good because they generate passion. I used to think the same thing, because that’s basically what I was taught. But experience has shown me that this isn’t necessarily that true. For a short-lived relationship, such hard aspects might be fine, because you can just have great sex and fight, and then break up. But if you want to be passionate with someone for a long time, you need to also very naturally love one another and find it easy to be together. Would you rather have a year of great sex and fighting, or a lifetime of compatibility and good sex? And how good can it really be to scromp like beasts every once in a while if you don’t particularly like each other the rest of the time? A square here or there might be fine. That’s life, after all. But I do not think squares are to be desired unless you’re the sort of person who truly enjoys conflict.
Example of Jimmy and Jane
Jane has Sun at 2 Cancer, Moon at 5 Aries in the 2nd House, Venus at 15 Gemini, and Mars at 28 Aquarius, and 17 Pisces Rising.
Jimmy has Sun at 23 Libra, Moon at 9 Leo in the 1st House, Venus at 24 Libra, Mars at 25 Sagittarius, and 4 Cancer Rising.
Moon-Moon: The Moons are not only in trine signs, but are actually in a trine. The Moons are in a great relationship with one another. With Moon in a fire sign and fire house, Jimmy definitely needs fire in his partner, and Jane has some strong fire. Another bonus is the Jimmy’s Moon is in Aries’ house, and Jane’s Moon is in Aries. Since the Moon is the most important planet in synastry, this is a great, great start. Even if everything else looks conflicting, Jimmy and Jane will always have a nice Moon connection.
Sun-Sun: Cancer and Libra Suns are square, which in itself is not good, but does create some polarity and difference, and well … that’s life. At least the Suns are not technically square, being far from a reasonable orb.
Venus-Venus: The Venus’s are in trine signs, which is great. It would be really great if they were in a real trine, but trine signs is a good sign.
Mars-Mars: The Mars’s are in sextile signs, and better yet, an actual sextile. This looks great for sexual compatibility. Mars contacts can be messy, but this is one of the best ways to have Mars-Mars connected (the trine being the other best way)
Asc-Asc: The Ascendants are in trine signs which is very good, but not an actual trine. That’s okay, however, because Jane’s Sun is conjunct Jimmy’s Ascendant, which is very, very good.
Overall synastry analysis: Of these five placements, only the Suns are not in harmony, but that is moderated by the Sun-Ascendant conjunction. 4 out of 5 is very good anyway, and the Sun-ASC connection makes it more like 4.5 or 4.75 out of 5. They could expect occasional Cancer-Libra differences to come up, but those would be quickly replaced by the other aspects which are harmonious. So, even when problems arise, harmonious energy will always be just around the corner.
In general you’d want to have at least 3 out of these 5 placements in harmony with one another; anything less than that would probably indicate too many problems. However, this is not a hard-and-fast (no pun intended) rule, and it is certainly possible to be relatively compatible with someone even if you do not pass the above ‘test’ together. Again, compatibility with astrology is a very, very complex matter. More has to be looked at if you want to see the whole picture.
Synastry and compatibility is a fascinating subject, and there is always a lot more to learn about it.