And now, the concluding portion of my three-part entry on astrology, compatibility and attraction… specifically, the factors that aren’t so immediately obvious. Part One is HERE and Part Two is HERE, if you missed them.
There are two important and underrated factors in astrology which can indicate someone to whom you are karmically attracted —
(But first, a word about “karma.” Sure, I believe in it. But I’m annoyed by the concept (no matter how just and holy and divine and whatever it may be) when it comes to the context of doing readings for people when possible. You see, although I think it’s a real thing, using karma as an excuse for everything strikes me as being somewhere between intellectual laziness and outright New Age Jerkiness. “Why did my foot get run over?” “Why can’t I find a proper mate?” “Why does my job suck?” “Why are my parents such maniacs?” are all typical of the kinds of questions I get asked during the course of a reading, but answering any or all of those with some variation on “It’s your karma” strikes me as — well, if I ever do it to you in a reading, feel free to strike me.)
…The first of these is The Vertex. What is the Vertex? Think of it as a secondary Seventh House cusp (which rules over long-term relationships). The Vertex is the point in your chart where the Ecliptic (the path the Sun appears to travel across the sky) intersects The Prime Vertical (which a line drawn between the Zenith and the Nadir — the highest and lowest points in the sky when you were born, which are not to be confused with the Midheaven and the IC)…
(Pause until the audience stops shouting things like “you said there’d be no spherical trigonometry!” and “is this going to be on the final exam?”)
The Vertex is an additional point in your chart that is often involved with attraction — specifically, that kind of “karmic” attraction that leads to a long-term mate or a business partner or a lifelong friend. Like a lot of attraction, it isn’t particularly concerned about logic or wise choices. It’s just a point of attraction. If you want to know if a relationship is actually a good idea or has the potential for long-term stability, look elsewhere. But The Vertex can certainly be a factor in who you’re drawn to. Bonus points: if your Vertex is closely conjunct or opposite a “personal planet” in your birth chart, it can give you an idea who what “type” you may go for. Is your Mars conjunct or opposite your Vertex? You may be a sucker for people who challenge you (or are always injuring themselves in sporting accidents). Got Mercury conjunct or opposite your Vertex? You like ’em when they talk a good game, and so on.
The second “hidden source of attraction” in your birth chart is an interesting (and kind of spooky) one: the Prenatal Eclipse Point (PNE). Simply put, this is the degree of the Zodiac where the last Solar Eclipse happened before you were born. Like The Vertex, the PNE doesn’t guarantee success — just attraction.
What’s so “spooky” about that? Well, it gets a little weird when you consider that the PNE is an important point to consider when one uses astrology to determine when someone will die. Yes, really. And as much as we may not like to think of it this way: a successful relationship involves a bit of yourself (as an individual) dying off, or at least needing to be muted.
That, and of course… some relationships are murder.
As you may know, when the Moon is Void of Course, things tend not to get done properly, or not at all, or may not end up the way you planned. Long Voids can be a particular drag, like now when we are just in the middle of a Void of Course Moon that’s over 24 hours long.
For example: today I was hoping to write Part Three of a series about hidden factors in compatibility. Despite knowing exactly what I wanted to write, nothing was coming together, and I was becoming pretty frustrated.
And then the chest pains started.
Oh my God oh my God oh my God this is it it’s finally happening all those years of hard living and terrible diet and isn’t this the age my Dad was at when he had his first heart attack? dear God I don’t want bypass surgery but I’ve been so stupid with how I’ve run my life I’ll need it assuming I even survive the pain the pain the terrible crushing pain starting to grow if I survive this I’ll change my ways and be better to myself I can feel it this is it this is the big one oh God I don’t want to die now not like this not like this —
(Then I burped — a massive, epic burp of heroic length and volume)
Oh whew. What a relief. Good thing that wasn’t a heart attack. Wonder if I should order pizza now…?
Last time, I talked about antiscia — the hidden compatibility one sometimes finds between seemingly “incompatible” Signs. This time around: more things that can make an “odd couple” work.
There are some peculiar astrological combos that end up working anyway, based on the planets that rule their Signs. For example, Gemini and Virgo don’t seem to have a whole lot in common: one is kind of sparky but scattershot, and the other one is more methodical but remembers where it left its keys. But they’re both ruled by Mercury, so if the individual Mercurys involved are aspecting each other, or are generally well-aspected, these two can overcome a lot of their differences by communicating… because, after all, Mercury rules communication.
Likewise, Taurus and Libra (both ruled by Venus) can overcome their differences if they agree on the little comforts in life. Once one factors in the “traditional” Sign rulerships (the ones used before Uranus, Neptune and Pluto were discovered, and which still somewhat apply) there are still more “odd couples” that can work out fine. Scorpio is traditionally ruled by Mars, thus Aries and Scorpio can work if their drives line up with each other. Sagittarius and Pisces have a Jupiter connection, so as long as they share a philosophical outlook on life (and keep the good times rolling in one form or another) they can work out too. Even Capricorn and Aquarius (both traditionally ruled by Saturn) have a shot if they share a common sense of structure and order and long-term goals.
Furthermore, one can make a case for compatibility between two Signs whose rulers are of a complimentary nature to each other, like Aries and Taurus (Venus and Mars) or Sagittarius and Capricorn (Jupiter and Saturn).
Of course, true compatibility is based on a lot more than just the Sun Sign, or indeed on any one placement. One factor that I often see recurring is relationships between people of adjacent Signs, like Aries and Taurus or Virgo and Libra. Signs that are neighbors never have anything in common, on the face of it — not element or modality or ruler (except with the special case of Capricorn and Aquarius, as previously mentioned). So why are there so many cases of successful couples born one Sun Sign away from each other? The answer lies in the orbits of Mercury and Venus.
It may be a cliché, but it’s still true: a successful relationship is largely built on communication and affection. Astrologically, those things are ruled by Mercury and Venus respectively. Those are the two closest planets to the Sun in our Solar System, and the orbits of both lie within the Earth’s orbit around the Sun. Since astrology uses the apparent placement of the planets as seen from Earth, this means that Mercury is never more than one Sign away from the Sun, and Venus is never more than two Signs from the Sun. It may not be immediately obvious, but this means that two people of adjacent Sun Signs are more likely to have Person A’s Sun conjunct Person B’s Venus, or A’s Mercury sextile B’s Venus, or A’s Venus conjunct B’s Venus, and so on. Opposite Sign tend to be attracted to each other, but their Mercurys and Venuses can never be conjunct or sextile each other. Even a “bad” relationship can be made more workable with communication and affection.
Put all these principles together and it’s easy to see how (arguably) the oddest of the Odd Couples could work nicely together…
CANCER AND LEO:
One sounds like its happiest hiding in the ocean, and the other is the loud and proud King Of The Jungle. Try for a moment to picture a wildlife preserve that caters to both Crabs and Lions together in the same enclosure. Not easy, is it? The key to this one is in the imagery of their ruling planets: The Moon and The Sun… a natural duality if there ever was one. There is a natural polarity involved: the masculine and the feminine (regardless of the actual genders of the individuals involved). Besides, once you’ve won the heart of a Crab, they cling to you. And Leos like little things clinging on to them. Just ask one of their pets.
And, as I’ve said before: no one is perfect, and thus there can be no perfect relationships. Case in point: I’m a Sagittarius who knows and loves a Libra. That’s compatible, sure… but her Sun also squares my Moon in Cancer and Mars in Capricorn. So yes, she’s a source of occasional agitation to me — but in practice that’s because she’s using those classic Libra traits to jolt me out of my complacency and routine, which are second nature to Cancer and Capricorn. And besides, she’s doing it because she cares and genuinely wants the best for me (oh you Libras!).
So, there you have it. From now on: no more blaming your bad relationship(s) on incompatible Sun Signs. After all, you and your partner are only human… and if something has gone wrong with the two of you, there are plenty of astrological factors that could cover that too. Being nice to each other and forgiving each other’s flaws is a good way to make a relationship work.
Like for example: did I say this was going to be a two-part series? Well, yes, at first I did. But then I realized there are a couple of other “hidden factors” that can produce attraction and compatibility that I haven’t gotten to yet… so Part Three is next. Forgive me.
Have you ever noticed how humans are usually a little more complex than the textbook said they should be? That’s as true from an astrological perspective as it is from any other viewpoint. When you put two humans together in a relationship, the complexities don’t just add up… they multiply. This can lead to a lot of confusion when you’re learning astrology (as it can when you’re actually dating).
This is the first of a two-part entry on astrology and compatibility: specifically, why stuff that shouldn’t work sometimes does.
Early on in the course of becoming familiar with astrology, one usually comes across the notion that any given Sign is more compatible with some Signs than with others. Fire matches with Fire (or maybe Air), Earth matches with Earth (or maybe Water), Water matches with Water (or maybe Earth) and Air matches with Air (or maybe Fire). At some point you can expect to come across an astrologer making gags about Water putting Fire out, or Air blowing Earth into dust, or whatever.
There is an element of truth to this matching of Elements (edit: possible pun?), and yet actual observation tends to lead to the conclusion that human relationships aren’t really that straightforward. First of all, astrology itself isn’t that straightforward. A couple with numerous harmonious aspects to each other’s Moons, for example, can often overcome difficulties around their Sun placements.
Not only is it painfully simplistic to reduce any human to a mere Sun Sign, doing so ignores the fact that some combinations that (theoretically) “shouldn’t work” do often work quite well. Often, it seems to boil down to the less-than-obvious things about each of the Signs in question that they, nonetheless, have in common.
One of those astrological techniques that works (but doesn’t get a lot of press) is antiscia (an-TEE-see-a) (singular “antiscion”).
Think of the antiscia this way: picture the circle of the Zodiac. Draw a line that runs from between Gemini and Cancer, and stretches across to the point between Sagittarius and Capricorn. Since Cancer is the “mirror image” of Gemini, these two Signs are considered to be “antiscions” of each other… mirror images. Admittedly, at times it can seem more like a mirror of the “fun-house” variety… but aren’t a lot of the personalities you’ve had relationships with kind of fun-house mirrors of your own personality?
Continuing around the circle, next to Cancer is Leo, and next to Gemini is Taurus. Thus, these two Signs (even though they “square” each other) are antiscia. Then comes Virgo, antiscion to Taurus’ neighbor Aries. After that is Libra and Pisces, then Scorpio and Aquarius, and finally we’ve made our way to the other side of the Zodiac with Sagittarius and Capricorn. Here, maybe this will help:
See? Some of those oddball friends of yours are starting to make sense now, aren’t they?
To summarize, the Sign that are antiscia to each other are:
- Aries and Virgo
- Taurus and Leo
- Gemini and Cancer
- Libra and Pisces
- Scorpio and Aquarius
- Sagittarius and Capricorn
Here are two examples of “incompatible signs” that (because they are antiscions to each other) defy the usual textbook definitions of “incompatible”:
ARIES AND VIRGO:
You’ve got to admit that this combination sounds like nothing but trouble. The headstrong Ram has little to no patience for things like accounting and fine details, and these are the things Virgo seems to thrive on. But astrologers often see this Sun Sign combination work out anyway. The secret here may be that both signs are far more sensitive than they normally let on. One (Aries) tends to mask their sensitivity with bluster, and the other (Virgo) with quiet withdrawal. However, once these two catch on to each other’s Big Secret… it can be pure magic.
GEMINI AND CANCER:
One just wants to talk around things, and one wants (mostly) to be left in peace. One can cover all the angles of any situation and the other one wants to fight for the One Truth (whatever that may be). What could they have in common? Both are very much products of their own minds. Gemini is ruled by Mercury, which is the planet in charge of “thinking about things.” But (as any decent Vedic astrologer will tell you), the Moon — which rules Cancer — is in charge of your “raw” or “unprocessed” mind. It’s more instinctual than analytical, but still rules basic mental processes. Gemini and Cancer may appear to be very different, but both are constantly waggling their antennae at the world around them. Keeping that in mind can make these two oddballs work well together.
Next time: More “incompatible” compatibility.