Oh My Stars

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Free Lunch from Wikipedia, yo!

I recently wrote about long-distance compatibility and how that can work out for the best. That, however, is not always the case…


I have studied relationships most of my life, whether as a psych student or a counselor or a participant. In all that time I have never found a more efficient means to analyze the strengths and weaknesses of a relationship than astrology. It continues to amaze me, even though I do it all the time. And yet as Kurt Godel discovered (look him up) no system of thought can ever completely explain everything. I confronted an example of this recently, with a friend of mine. It is a prime example of what I like to call “The Ham Sandwich Effect.”


A friend of mine who is an astrologer has recently experienced one of the peculiar things that happens in our modern age: a perfectly wonderful Internet relationship that quickly collapsed once the two people in question actually met in person. The astrologer (let’s call him Dave) had done all the math on the birth charts and didn’t miss anything very obvious. The compatibility worked, and these two people certainly seemed to like each other as they communicated by phone and Internet. But once they actually met, it quickly became apparent that both parties had made a tremendous mistake somehow.

In fact: it was a disaster. So why did the wheels fall off this wagon so quickly and spectacularly in person, when the astrology looked so good?

Overall the aspects between the two of them were pretty decent. There were a couple of potential glitches, but nothing worse than I have seen in other relationships that worked out fine. There were a lot of trines and sextiles between them, which is generally good – although in my experience sometimes trines and sextiles are a little too lazy to stand up to the rigors of a real-life relationship.

Neptune played an important role in their compatibility. Neptune lends a lot of glamour to a relationship, for better and for worse. It can be the warm, all-enveloping panacea that removes a lot of the pain from life in the real world. There is a certain impulse that most humans have — to find some kind of permanent, easy to maintain bliss. On the one hand, I think this is what drives a lot of us to find a relationship. On the other hand, ask some heroin addicts how well pursuing non-stop long-term bliss worked out for them.

In this case, Neptune did not deal the fatal blow to the relationship… it merely lead both parties into entering the situation with very high expectations. And when the cold light of reality comes in, Neptune’s illusions can slip free and fly away quickly with the high-pitched flatulent sound of an untied balloon escaping.

It’s easy to see all the positives what a relationship is fresh, but sometimes… especially in circumstances like these that form by long distance… we need to consider what I call The Ham Sandwich Effect.


For purposes of argument, let’s assume three things:

1) That instead of being born in a hospital (or the backseat of the cab or wherever you were born) you were born on the floor of a kitchen.

2) At the exact same moment you popped out of your mother and drew your first breath, someone in that kitchen was completing the act of making a ham sandwich.

3) Somewhere out there, whether you have met him or her yet or not, you have a soul mate: as perfect a match for you as any human being possibly can be in this admittedly imperfect world.

You are an individual with your own hopes and fears and desires and needs, and a ham sandwich is a ham sandwich. Although your astrological birth chart gives us a blueprint that delineates your hopes and fears and desires and needs, that ham sandwich in our theoretical example is going to have exactly the same birth chart as you do.

Suppose you meet that perfect wonderful soul mate of yours tomorrow, and within a week you’re planning to get married. That’s great. Congratulations! But then let’s suppose you suddenly die or are abducted by aliens and never returned or something. Then the following week that perfect wonderful soul mate of yours is introduced to that ham sandwich with exactly the same birth chart as you have.

What are the odds that those two will be married within a week? Yeah, didn’t think so, despite the fact that you and that sandwich have exactly the same birth chart.


A psychologist can tell you you’ll be attracted to this kind of person or that kind of person because of your formative experiences and various personality factors. A biochemist might point out that compatible immune factors might make you like the way someone smells. Each of those worldviews offers something of value to finding someone you’re compatible with, but they’re both woefully incomplete, in my experience, compared to what Astrology tells us. Even so, when all is said and done, there still needs to be one more thing that applies. Whatever that thing is, I’m not sure that a psychologist or biochemist will necessary argue much with me if I call it “magic.”

But fear not, dear Dave… there’s still magic out there somewhere.

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