We’ve all seen it before: a friend of yours meet someone new, and you check in three weeks later and everything is absolutely wonderful. Your friend can’t say enough good things about so-and-so, and can’t help but smile thinking about so-and-so, and even when your friend knows he/she’s on the verge of becoming obnoxious about it, he/she just can’t stop anyway. Six months or a year later, your friend and their new love have faced a few challenges, but gotten through them, and everyone is still happy. Maybe the relationship continues. Maybe they get married or move in together, and so far as you can tell everything is still good. But then cracks appear in the situation, and one thing leads to another, and sure enough eventually the relationship is broken.
How does this happen? In theory, your friend and his or her mate are still the same people. Sure, we all evolve and change over time, but how does it happen that sometimes even the same things that put the two people together in the first place are the cause of the relationship’s demise?
In astrology, the primary tool we use for determining compatibility is called “synastry.” There are certain factors an astrologer looks for as to how compatible two people will be. Like any other relationship that lasts for a while before it falls apart, Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin give us some excellent examples of how both ends of that process of pairing off and breaking up happen.
On a basic friendship level, the two look pretty good on paper. Sun in Libra and Sun in Pisces are both generally sensitive and caring, but of course we have to look a lot deeper than just the Sun Signs. Chris’s Sun is square Gwyneth’s Moon within a degree. Any contact between the Sun and Moon in two people’s charts can make for attraction and/or friendship, but the square is notoriously difficult to work with. Gwyneth’s son in Libra is sextile Chris’s moon in Leo, and that is a pleasant aspect… any contact between one person’s Sun nd another’s Moon is a major connection. Often, however, in the long run the sharpness of the square aspect can overwhelm the softness of a sextile.
It’s a cliché to say that communication is important in a relationship, and for communication we look to Mercury. Chris’s Mercury is square Gwyneth’s Neptune, and that probably caused Chris an awful lot of confusion, even if Gwyneth didn’t mean to be puzzling. There were probably times when Chris looked at his wife with that classic “I just don’t get it with you” look… and Gwyneth probably returned that look.
Chris’s Venus is opposite Gwyneth’s Uranus, which can certainly lend excitement to a relationship, but can also cause a feeling of uncertainty or agitation on the part of the Venus person. Oppositions are noteworthy in that they naturally speak to a relationship dynamic — they demand compromise, but can also understand the need for it — and yet are fragile when it comes to some transits. The Uranus-Pluto Square has been grinding on that opposition between their two charts for a couple of years now. Ultimately, the fact that Gwyneth and Chris were well wired to be friends and had such nice things in their chart (like an almost exact Venus trine) ended up doing relatively little good in light of the transits. Regardless of how you feel about someone, it can be easy to get swept up in events, which is what transiting squares do best.
So in October 2002, as transiting Jupiter was conjunct Gwyneth’s natal Venus and trine Chris’s Neptune… ruler of his 7th House of relationships, the two met backstage after a Coldplay concert. A year later, biology took the wheel and Gwyneth was pregnant. And now, they are “consciously uncoupling.”
Here’s hoping Gwyneth can recover from such a devastating… whoops!
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