Synastry is the art of comparing the astrology charts of two people to see how they will relate to one another. In this area of astrology, a lot of astrologers focus on whether you and your partner are compatible. I take a slightly different view. To me, whether it lasts six months or sixty years, a relationship is a success if you grow from it, if you come out of it stronger and more emotionally intelligent. So the success or failure of a relationship doesn’t really have anything to do with whether you’re compatible, but everything to do with:
- How well you understand yourself, your partner and the dynamics between you
- How well you use this understanding to build trust and intimacy within the relationship
Synastry as a tool for self-knowledge
My own astrological journey began 15 years ago when a chance encounter with an astrologer piqued my interest in this mysterious ancient art. She drew up a natal chart for me (which at first was as indecipherable as a foreign language!) and told me some very accurate things about my personality and past. Of course I was hooked and since then have spent many fascinating hours learning to interpret my own and other people’s charts. In the process I’ve gained a much greater understanding of myself, as well as the underlying motivations for my actions and reactions.
The astrology of relationships, or synastry, takes this process of self-discovery a step further by providing an insight into the way you interact with others. A synastry chart compares the various elements of your natal chart with the same elements in another person’s chart. Compatibility analysis uses a very simple version of this, usually just looking at whether your sun signs are placed in similar signs, but this is just the beginning. A thorough analysis of the synastry between you can give you insights into the potential for:
- Communication problems
- Idealisation, or seeing one another with rose coloured glasses
- Conflict or abuse
- Sexual attraction
- Fatal attraction or obsession
An example of a synastry chart
As you can see a synastry chart is more complex than a natal chart. Instead of two it contains three concentric circles – the outer one showing the astrological signs, and the two inner ones showing the planetary placements of the two people in the relationship.
The red and blue lines are aspects or relationships between the individuals’ planets that indicate areas of harmony or potential tension. These aspects are the key to understanding a relationship through synastry and need to be studied in depth.
Another thing to consider when reading a synastry chart is where the planets of one person sit within the ‘houses’ of the other. For example, if your friend’s Venus falls in your seventh house of partnership then it is quite likely this is a relationship that is quite deep, affectionate and possibly romantic.
Getting started with synastry
Understanding where you and your friend or partner are likely to encounter challenges together can be extremely helpful. It gives you the opportunity to avoid slipping into unhealthy relationship patterns such as co-dependence and pursuer-distancer dynamics. It can also give you clues to how you can communicate with one another most effectively, overcome your challenges together and grow into greater intimacy and connectedness.
Synastry is certainly something you can learn for yourself and for those who are inclined there are many great books out there. To get started you need to know both your own and your friend’s date, time and place of birth. You can then use one of the free chart generation programs available online to create the chart. The one I use is at Astrodienst, one of the best sites online when it comes to learning about astrology. Having a professional reading can also be very valuable, especially while you are still learning.
Most importantly, it’s important to use your intuition whenever you are considering your relationships using synastry. It’s all too easy to see what you want to see in a chart, especially when you are a beginner. You will focus on all the positive aspects and discount the negative, or conversely think only about all the failings of the relationship when you know deep down that fundamentally it’s solid as a rock. Stay conscious and listen to what your body has to say instead of getting caught up in your mind. Because in the end you know what’s best for you.
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What is your experience with synastry?
Have you been able to understand the relationships in your life through a study of synastry? Please feel free to share your thoughts and experiences below.
If you don’t have one yet, you can get a free birth chart at astro.com. To understand how to read your birth chart, and follow the transits in your own life, download my free ebook The Language of Astrology.