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Uranus is making major moves in the sky throughout 2021. Read up on what the Uranus-Jupiter square and Saturn-Uranus squares mean in astrology.
Karma and Astrology
- The square (90°) is the circle divided by four. This aspect implies restrictions and challenges. It is a dynamic aspect since the challenges pressure you to work on the issues represented by the planets involved. Planets in square aspect are at cross-purposes.
- Squares happen when two planets are 90 degrees apart. They share the same astrological “quality” (cardinal, mutable or fixed), but nothing else. For example, say expansive Jupiter was in analytical, micromanaging Virgo—forming a square to love-planet Venus in adventurous, caution-to-the-wind Sagittarius.
Here is an explanation of the way Saturn influences Karma and how we can interpret its meaning to us as individuals. Portions of this Karma topic are extracted from a number of Farley Malorrus' shows on K-FOX (93.5 FM, 12 noon in Los Angeles) during 1987 and 1988.
The reason that each of us inherits a uniquenatal chart is that the higher self selects a particular astrological imprint,to experience certain events, and learn specific lessons. From this, anevolution occurs by processing karmic situations for optimum benefit.Situations, people, and events in our life catalyze karmic growth,but the karma lies within oneself, inside the soul. The soul is destinedto be pulled to a particular birth, time and place.
The body is like billions of tiny solar systems. When you are born, every cell in your body adheres to the frozen picture of the planets at birth. It's like a circuit imprint that's formed at birth to be a reflection of one's Dharma (purpose and destiny) and Karma (debt).
We are all one with the Universe. The Universe beats from our point of view. The moving solar system allows for the Source to design its uniqueness in each one of us, and we absorb this imprint at birth. This solar imprint at birth is actually akin to tiny little solar systems in every one of our bodies.
Physiologically, at the moment of birth, the neurons of the brain form a specific pattern, which has been scientifically documented, and this sets up the personality of the individual.
So when you are born into any particular lifetime, you are born with a particular cosmic charge. This occurs upon inhaling that first breath, and reflects the planetary locations (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Uranus, Saturn, Neptune, Pluto), and the zodiacal sign that is rising in the East from your birthplace. These elements are the things that Astrologers can examine in a your chart and identify what your Karma is. For example, any square aspect you have, when planets are at right angles to each other, indicates your karmic debt.
Planetary placements that involve squares (right angles), oppositions (180 degrees) or inconjunct (150 degrees) and by house position will reveal a lesson area, an area where pain maybe experienced showing a pay back of karmic situations. The Karma that you have with yourself may concern money, love, relationships, career, business, goals, health, home, security of self, independence, enemies and all kinds of things. If you have squares in your life, this implies a debt, so the challenge is to overcome certain lessons we failed to learn in previous lives. Oppositions mean that you are born into a situation where you can create unrealistic goals, or, show catalyzing situations where you would create people in your life that may also manifest pain and karmic growth for you.
Understanding Astrology, by getting your chart produced, and tuning into things such as Karma and learning what the words square and opposition means, will help you understand which area of pain may focus the hardest with you. Your biggest Karma may be childhood, just fighting your way out of it, or trying to get along with brutal parents. This could be a way to understand where the peace needs to be made, and subsequently processed. It could be with your emotions, with your mother, friends, or with all of your relationships. It could also be with goals, career, communication, and finances. Astrology will help to identify your own personal map of Karma and it is a great way to rebirth into the Spirit.
Afflicted planets in a chart are those that form specific aspects, or angles, such as squares. A square depicts two planets, at right angles, with the Earth in the center (as center focus). Oppositions are when two planets are exactly opposite each other, with the Earth in the middle. You could be torn with the Moon in one point of the sky, and if you drew a straight line from the Moon to the Earth, and all the way threw the Earth to the other side, you might find the Sun. This would be a Moon opposition Sun. These might be planetary aspects that you're born with. With squares, or oppositions, these diagrams are Karma, or the debts we owe for a particular lifetime. Everybody has Karma whether your born Karma free or not. Without any squares or oppositions in your chart, the moving planets form squares and other aspects to the fixed position of natal planets during ones' life (which is the basis of forecasting). This daily movement with respect to the natal chart is known as transits.
The signs of the Zodiac are magnificent stellar constellations. When we say that you have Mercury in Cancer or Gemini, that means that Mercury is located in space in the stellar constellation or grouping known as Cancer or Gemini. That's how we identify energies at birth, freezing the planets that are moving in space, through the signs, during your birth. There are all kinds of stellar constellations out there in space; The Sun, Moon and the planets, follow an orbit called the Ecliptic—which is a flat orbit. The Earth also orbits the Sun along the Ecliptic, so the planets including the Sun and Moon, do not wander beyond the twelve Signs of the Zodiac.
One of the main factors in distinguishing a karmic lesson is Saturn, as this planet is the lord of Karma. If Saturn signifies obstacles and limitations in life, it is because either your desired goal was incorrect, or a karmic reaction has been imposed. As such, Saturn's placement in your chart can indicate the areas in life that one needs to work on. Saturn's movement with time, through your natal chart, induces various scenarios to force growth in certain directions. When we ignore our real goals, certain crises' can occur in adulthood as Saturn orbits the Zodiac forming particular stressful aspects to the natal chart. Therefore, if you fail to conform to certain ways in this life, Saturn is always there to induce a karmic lesson, either immediately or in the future.
Saturn remains in one Zodiac sign for an average of two and a half years, so a whole karmic generation of Saturn people enter life during that two and a half year period. For example, people with major karmic lessons concerning Sagittarius energy and forces (meaning freedom happiness, philosophy, travel, sometimes sports, and animals) form a Karma here. It takes Saturn about twenty-nine years to circle the Sun, from our point of view, covering all twelve signs of the Zodiac. The type of Karma that each baby will have during the two and a half years of Saturn in any sign, although similar, will further depend on its aspects to other planets, the location of the house, and whether it's retrograde or not (Saturn retrograde tends to open up the energies of Uranus).
As an example; consider Saturn in the sign of Leo, positioned in the first house. Saturn/Leo is Karma with family, but Saturn in the first house is the most karmic position for this planet, particularly if this planet is intensified by being close to the Ascendant line. The first house depicts how you interface with the world, your appearance, self-esteem, and childhood. So an individual born with this placement would have childhood and self-esteem Karma. If Saturn has stressful aspects applied from other planets, there could be a very painful childhood and an inner security problem. This would be a result of some unfortunate action in a past life, where the person probably ignored forming a loving family bond, and directed his/her attention to selfish matters such as career.
There are all kinds of Karma that a person can have in a lifetime which may be revealed when examining the birth chart in general. Astrology allows for an analysis to understand ones' passion, pain or pleasure-pain syndrome. By zeroing in on what sign and house Saturn is in, and what types of aspects are formed from other planets, a significant karmic picture can be generated. Aspects between Saturn, and the Moon, Rising Sign, Mercury, Venus, Mars, and the Sun, under square and opposition, are going to have more of a severe significant effect Karmically. Of course aspects between other planets can signify Karma, but Saturn tends to be generally more prolific. The key for the symbology behind Saturn is that if necessary, it contracts situations, events and opportunity.
To understand some specific meanings, let's first examine the twelve houses, and what it means to have planets in these houses for a chart under stress. To find the houses in a natal chart look at it as if it was a clock. Locate the nine `o' clock positions (the far left part of the wheel). This is the horizon line, or Rising Sign. Now go counter-clockwise, starting at that nine `o' clock point, and label the pie sections one through twelve, as near to the center circle as possible. Note the planets you have within each house so you can understand the following information.
The First House is the rising sign house and the childhood house. Planets in this first house under stress (square opposition or inconjunct to other planets), Saturn, or planets in Aries, will often reflect a Karma with yourself or with childhood. Anything to do with the self, meaning self-esteem, appearance, even vanity. There could be a personality Karma, a character Karma, or an identity Karma, especially during childhood, leading to unprocessed experiences. As soon as we become conscious, we realize that we are in negative territory. That is why we are forced to grow up quickly with planets in the first house, in Aries, and especially Saturn, which magnifies this effect.
The Second Housewould be a Karma concerning money (nine times out of ten), value, self-worth, love, or what is important in this life-cycle. These individuals sometimes appear agnostic to the world and do not appreciate the real meaning of love. There can also be obsessions with the material so the spiritual side is of often lacking.
The Third House would show a Karma with the mind. Planets in the third house under stress, in Gemini, sometimes indicates mental instability, psychological Karma, or mental illness if one is not strong enough to handle this kind of Karma. Some of the communication problems could be with brothers, sisters, neighbors, or even teaching. It is either that they're not heard right or they don't hear things the way they should. This extends to relating things to other's that is wrong.
The Fourth House planets or afflicted planets in Cancer can show Karma with the mother, feelings, residence, and security. Saturn is detriment in Cancer, so any tendency to have an emotional wall will be further strengthened. The fourth house also signifies past lives, so when you get your button pushed and have no idea why you react the way you do, it could be from a past life.
The Fifth House planets or afflicted planets in Leo would be a Karma with the family or creative endeavor, with power, and authority. In Leo, any Karma will be with the father, or no children, but in the fifth house it is with creativity, pets, enterprises and children.
The Sixth House planets or afflicted planets in Virgo, epitomize major Karma concerning work situations, health if you don't maintain it, and service due to a lack of it. It may also affect your judgment, and analytical ability.
The Seventh House planets or afflicted planets in Libra would epitomize lessons in love or relationships. A lack of balance between yourself and partners indicates another type of Karma too. Some of the problems that can manifest here concerns the obsession to get married, but often find themselves getting divorced. A heavy Karma could indicate a persecution complex.
The Eighth House planets or afflicted planets in Scorpio would show a major lesson in life concerning sensitivity, deep emotions, love, sex, intimacy and transformability or lack of the ability to transform, change, or metamorphosize. As with other water signs, the emotions can be contracted, and restricted. It's easy for these people to be celibate. There may be jealousy and obsessions with death or problems dealing with others dying.
The Ninth House planets or afflicted planets in Sagittarius would show Karma concerning philosophy, freedom, religion, justice, travel or lack of it, and sometimes being anchored to ones' life, work, job, family, home and responsibilities. Sometimes lessons concerning happiness—a contraction of happiness—are shown, Karmically speaking. That's why these people tend to get very moody and depressed.
The Tenth House would show a Karma with external aspects of life. Planets in the tenth house under stress, in Capricorn, would epitomize Karma with ones' career, authority, practicality and ambition.
The Eleventh House planets (under affliction) or planets in Aquarius or at least two in either signs or house would epitomize the Karma concerning groups, friends, goals, organization and direction in life. Also humanity or lack of it.
The Twelfth House planets or afflicted planets in Planets in Pisces would epitomize a Karma with oneself, in being you're own worst enemy. It is a very emotional Karma, indicating self-destruction and hidden events. Hidden events are not readily visible and can effect your life in the long term, because a decision or commitment was not made when it should have. Also there can be Karma with enemies, mankind, institutions, and hospitals. Saturn in Pisces or the twelfth could be a Karma with people that definitely identify themselves as your enemy, and who would also want to hurt you. It's also a lesson in emotions.
With regard to the effect of planetary angles, beneficial aspects such as the trine or sextile onto these houses does not necessarily manifest as intensely karmic. More often they are observed as a Dharmic aspect where deeds were performed in past lives, and qualities earned to make ones' life easier. It's not all one big hard roll here, so don't become too concerned, when you find out where your planets are located in your chart. The essence of this subject is of course to identify ones' Karma.
Understanding the planets is important, as there is a karmic derivation for all of the planets, individually and in combination of course. The combination of the planets in your natal chart equal your individual uniqueness.
The Rising Sign reflects a Karma of what you have become as to how others see you. An important aspect here is the Rising point degree which is the Karma of self. The value of the degree may often influence your choice of friends and lovers, particularly those with similar value.
What's the horoscope for virgo today in english. The Sun sign or the Sun itself, is always the Karma of the Soul, Karma of the identity, and where the Sun has come through its path in the Universe.
The Moon reflects emotional Karma, and the exact reward or punishment for what you have lain out emotionally previously to this lifetime, or what your emotional lessons may be. Moon in Scorpio is in one of its worse signs as it's in fall, they are the most sensitive, vulnerable, passionate, frightened, and most extreme of all the Moons. So there is a major Karma involved with everyone whose Moon is in Scorpio.
Mercury is the planet that rules psychological Karma, mental illness, and communication. How it is aspected tells of stability or lack of stability and some of the mental Karma that we lay upon ourselves.
Venus reflects Karma that we have with ourselves concerning money, women and the feminine factor in our lives.
Mars represents the Karma we have concerning our overall life energy force and health of the body—the temple of the Soul. Mars also represents the male factor or Karma we have with ourselves concerning men.
Jupiter the philosophical Karma, the freedom factor. This lets us know what we've done in past lives as far as good is concerned, and sharing of knowledge, power, and consciousness. Also travel or mobility Karma.
Saturn is the Lord of Karma and the planet that represents the major Karma force in life. It's a very important planet to understand, as to why you were born and your generation (where Saturn was for two and a half years). The Planets further out and beyond Saturn allow for spiritual development through experiences that are beyond Saturn's limitations; the effective path towards spiritual growth.
Uranus is a planet that is metaphysically karmic, it's like a slap in the face, it's an awakener, shocker. So when ever you have anything knocking in you life, it's probably a Uranian factor in your chart. It rules accidents sometimes, and what John Lennon would call instant Karma.
Neptune is a planet that concerns a higher part of ourselves and a connection to the spiritual levels, the higher-mind. This means if we don't have a clear concept of communication from the higher mind, then it can often show us being negative, extra hard on ourselves or self destructive. Neptune is the Spiritual factor that can allow us to evolve beyond our highest good, and escape some of the pain of karmic retribution.
Pluto is a very transformative planet. It asks us to serve or suffer. If a strong Pluto is present and you are being too stubborn, not letting go, and holding on, this planet will infer change, re-birth, or become very persuasive in bringing about change. It can represent anxiety that lasts for a long time, or instant freedom, through transformation, peace and re-birth that can be wonderful when you eventually learn to let go.
Note that whenever it says square in your chart, that shows Karma with your self, you are your own worst enemy, with this trait in your personality. Squares are just us holding ourselves down, it's no one's fault but our own, we made the mess ourselves.
The opposition aspect as a Karma in your chart is usually that you create people in your life that can make you miserable, or at least take away some of that joy. (Oppositions have the effect of creating other people in our lives that create Karma)
With Saturn, conjunct, square, or opposite the Moon or Sun, there can be a fear of criticism, of being wrong or inadequate which often leads to a fear of trying anything new. There is an inheritance from a past life which can be related ones' current situation or from over-exerting ones' will or emotions. The opposition aspect can result in individuals projecting and even manifesting their fears onto others.
With Saturn conjunct, square, or opposite Mars, there can be a fear of sex, asserting oneself, or taking risks in general. These individuals may appear cruel, egotistical, stone-hearted and cynical in which they cover up inner fears. In extreme cases there can be sexual problems to either impotence or harassment.
With Saturn square, or opposite Mercury, there is a significant importance with intellect and knowledge. These aspects generally indicate slow-thinking individuals who have a fear of being thought of as slow witted, or stupid. These individuals will often work harder at learning certain skills to overcome any speaking, reading or writing impediment. Unfortunately, they can be carried away with themselves and become mentally arrogant, so they need to find a balance here. This aspect can also be a karmic legacy, where the individual took advantage of another's skill.
With Saturn conjunct, square, or opposite Venus, there can be a fear of allowing ones' emotions to be hurt. This vulnerability can result from exposure to a cold parent, a karmic legacy or tendency. The person often becomes the person they inwardly hate, which is the cold parent or figure. Sometimes a painful love experience can prompt the individual to re-examine ones' emotions more closely. Another form of love Karma here will be a pain and pleasure syndrome thing we put ourselves through.
The slower moving planetary aspects to Saturn tend to indicate more of a generation effect. These are Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.
Therefore the identification Saturn's energies in a chart greatly assists in establishing those areas in which we are vulnerable and prone to. It is then that we can try not to be so obsessed. A person with Saturn in Scorpio might keep trying to make sex and romance work, but they have so much trouble and stress because they are obsessed with it. An obsession with money can create a negative force, because the moral ethics behind how the money was acquired, either by gambling, cheating, stealing, or manipulating people to sell them something, are things that can create a negative force of Karma, and it is always your Karma. Being more spiritual and less obsessed in any area, avoids Karma.
People can really go through the wringer when Saturn and Uranus transit natal chart planets forming not only squares and oppositions, but 'T' squares, grand squares, but maybe grand crosses. So Karma overload can become very intense with the latter three, and cause a lot of pain. Sometimes, a transit can hit, and hit us hard, we can end up with tremendous anxiety that I would call undiagnosed anxiety. Often, the cause of this is a Karma that has not been resolved, absolved or dealt with, that we're suddenly confronted with. This is when we find it harder to sleep, harder to balance and harder to center. That's what the Karma overload problem is all about.
Many of us who have not been Metaphysically and spiritually endowed, have pretended to be religious, or spiritual, and have made a number of mistakes, and created certain problems. You are not born with your particular Astrological chart by mistake. In other words, the chart you are born with is a chart of energy vibration that you qualify for, or you kind of deserve. The frozen picture or chart of birth is an area of space where the planets were positioned. The planets travel through what is known as the Zodiac signs Aries through Pisces. Each planet radiates different energies. For instance, the Moon represents emotions and Mother, the Sun your Soul and Father, Mercury your mind, Venus your values and your love factor. Mars your life force and sex factor and Jupiter your philosophies. Saturn your major debt in this lifetime. Uranus your awakening factor. Neptune the illuminating factor and Pluto the transformation factor.
All these planets are like vital karmic organs. Not all planets can be in what we call a beneficial position in relationship to each other. Virtually, all of the time there are at least a few stressful aspects. Take for example, my stressful Moon square Pluto. This means there would be a Karma, with emotions and self esteem. The Moon represents one's feelings and Mother influence, while Pluto relates to secretiveness, transformation and the mystic. Moon/Pluto energies don't combine too well at the best of times, so if you have this combination, many people may find it hard to relate to this energy combination. My Moon falls in the first house, which is childhood-personality and identity, in which Farley has been learning to overcome his feelings of self-image, identity, character and self-love. With Pluto in the tenth house, (the tenth house being career, ambition and success) I have to be able to transform certain limitations and establish my ambition and success within society.
My Scorpio-Moon energies are reflected into every cell in my body, from my feet to the top of my head. So whenever anything in the sky goes into a stress sign like Leo, Taurus or Aquarius to transit my Moon, I sometimes feel it. The goal is to grow spiritually, so that you can manage these stressful transits. If the moving planets create an intense situation for you, the Universe is telling you something. It's time to wake up and listen. If your chart is lit up with karmic indicators, the stress could be more intense. When karmic indicators strike, many people just refuse to rest. They may be involved in a heavy career activity, a major relationship problem or with whatever. Sometimes all that's required is rest, and meditation. This is one of the reasons meditation absolves Karma, it's because you are resting. You are telling your body to hold the horses here, and stop it.
With love and relationships there are three things to examine in the Natal chart. These are the Moon, Venus and Mars. A Moon with squares and oppositions may depict people with emotional Karma and emotional problems. Having an unafflicted Moon makes for a better catch in marriage, which is why these individuals seem to be grabbed up quickly. The Moon also represents balance from the mother. Sometimes we act like our mothers without our knowing. Emotionally this means that people have to love the mother that is inside of them, and where the lunar Karma comes from.
Venus is the planet of love/relationships and Mars is the planet of the individual or life-force. Venus also represents the female entry into our lives and Mars represents the male entry. So if your looking for women and you want to find the Karma you have with women you should analyze Venus in your natal chart. If you are looking for men and you want to understand your Karma with men, then examine Mars in your chart. This is why a man or woman can turn out Bisexual or homosexual. A homosexual man might have an very badly inflicted Venus and a blessed Mars (Venus with squares or placed in a mutable or fixed sign. Mars in a sign with trines and sextiles). This is why some people become homosexual or bisexual because the relationship would be a lot less painful. Not everybody with afflicted Venus or Mars is homosexual though. Many people choose to confront their Karma and try to absolve it. There may also be an indication of homosexuality with a Venus/Uranus aspect. If you have the Mars square Venus, that's the person with too much initiative and not enough patience. Most of their choices are too impatient and they get into trouble, and they can go through many marriages in no time. They have a lot of Karma with relationships and themselves.
A Venus square Jupiter is just someone who just totally goes after the wrong woman, and has a lot to learn about love. This is because Jupiter is an over-and-under action in stress to that planet of love. Venus will often create situations where there doesn't seem to be any balance, as this is another representation of Venus. Venus-Mars and Venus-Jupiter squares or oppositions can all influence any imbalance. Oppositions onto Venus may show that we are attracting women who are ridiculous challenges. People can set their goals too high for a woman they know they can't have, with for example married or involved women. Its a very dangerous and adulterous Karma. A Mars square Jupiter may create the over- or under-doing it with men.
If Uranus is in opposition or square to the Moon, Venus or Mars, then often a partner doesn't know what the heck is going on. It can be like a lightning bolt effect, here today gone tomorrow. Moon-Uranus stress is unpredictable and noncommittal. Venus-Uranus stress is eccentric and fancy-free. Mars-Uranus stress can be intolerant, offensive and sometimes accidents or sudden shocks.
Neptune or Pluto square or opposition Venus will put you in another dimension with relationships. The question is that your not in strawberry fields but you'd like to be and sometimes a ridiculous dreamer or fancier concerning love, sex, relationships and intimacy. A Mars square Neptune is the fancier who has men made out to be something they never are. The Mars square Pluto or opposed Pluto is the person who will run to too many extremes in relationships, show too many sides, sometimes needing to transform and let go of old ideas and values that will hold them down. They could show some hang ups with romance and intimacy. Pluto also represents sex so a square/opposition to Mars or Venus will definitely show sex as a major evolution area, so an open mind is needed.
The Saturn Return cycle can be a significant event for some people and is where Saturn returns to the same location, in the Zodiac, as it was when you were born. This applies to individuals turning twenty-eight to thirty years old, and also fifty-seven to fifty-nine. This cycle is not a lot of fun for many of us, because a Saturn Return is so karmic! It is so incredibly karmic that usually what ever you've done wrong in your life will somehow either turn around and become corrected, or whatever you've done right in your life will be rewarded.
Now Saturn takes about twenty-nine years to complete a journey around the Sun, through all twelve signs of the Zodiac. So as we approach the age of twenty-nine and again as we near sixty this planet returns to its precise position at the time of your birth. So just like a solar return around ones' birthday, where the identity is renewed, Saturn returns are a Karma check, which is tested and reaffirmed. It's akin to slipping into the Akashic records for a two year period, finding out whether you did any of your homework for the last twenty-nine years and then coming out of the Akashic records to reaffirm what the next twenty-nine year Saturn cycle could be.
The Saturn Return can be the biggest test and lesson of your life. When you are twenty-seven, getting ready for the approach to your Saturn Return, then certain things start happening to remind you that something almost catastrophic is about to happen, to totally transform and rebirth your life, your values, judgment and everything. Many people make some serious commitments as they approach their thirtieth birthday. Some can end marriages, some can end drunkenness or alcoholism. Other's can make a commitment to marriage after a relationship which has lasted for many years. In other words many people will get married after twenty-nine or thirty, as a test for themselves. Certain people, especially men, would start a family at this time. Others might buy their first home. In the work environment many might assess their careers' and question their progress. If important changes are required, it's a good time at which to do so. In most cases they will not be too old to re-train, or feel that some additional qualification might help them. This is an excellent time at which to take a lower salary for awhile and study, which is what a lot of people do.
Now the influence is by no means easy, even though we are aware that in Astrology everything is good, as even the Saturn Cycle is a test. We often experience a difficult time during our first Saturn return, but decisions taken and changes made usually work out well in the long run and have a powerful bearing on the future. In fact, how you deal with your Saturn return—how you handle it—will dictate your next twenty-eight years. So if something good happens to you in the Saturn return and if you don't end up in a mental institution, prison, poor house or whatever and if you don't end up with hate, anger, avarice, greed and selfishness then there's hope for you. Individuals who are unable to let go, say goodbye, build self esteem, check the emotional balance and Spirit are those who experience tragedy or catastrophe in life. It is very important then that we become aware of how to handle a Saturn return.
As sixty approaches, we experience our second Saturn return. It's a time to begin to assess the next thirty years of our lives. Life doesn't end at sixty, as some people think, just because of retirement from full time work. Some consider developing those interests that were neglected because of work and children. The second Saturn return is less formidable than the first because we're more mature then.
Many Astrologers used to think Saturn was the planet of doom. Now it's seen as more of encouraging us to move forward, achieve our ambitious, aspire and leave the garbage behind.
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by Liz Greene
Relationships and how to survive them
This seminar was given on 27 April 1997 at Regents College, London as part of the Summer Term of the seminar programme of the 'Centre for Psychological Astrology'.
One plus one equals three
The concept behind the composite chart - or, as Erin Sullivan sometimes calls it, the compost chart - is that it represents the relationship itself as a third factor. Two people create a third thing between them. The composite chart is like an energy field, which affects both people and draws certain things out of each individual as well as imposing its own dynamics on both.
The composite doesn't seem to describe what either person feels about the other. In this way it is very different from synastry, which describes the chemistry between two people in terms of how they affect each other. When we are exploring the synastry in a relationship, we say, 'Your Venus is on my Mars. You are activating my Mars and bringing a Mars response out of me, and I am activating your Venus and invoking a Venus response in you. Consequently we feel a certain way about each other.' When we are looking at a composite chart, we are not exploring what two people activate in each other or feel about each other. We are interpreting the energy field they generate between them. The composite chart is like a child, a third entity which carries the genetic imprints of both parents but combines these imprints in an entirely new way and exists independently of either of them.
Because the composite has all the same features as a birth chart, we need to approach its interpretation in more or less the same way. The composite chart has a core identity which signifies its 'purpose' (the Sun) and a characteristic set of emotional responses and needs (the Moon). It has a mode of communication (Mercury) and a distinctive set of values and ideals (Venus). It has a mode of expressing energy and will (Mars). It has its own way of growing and expanding (Jupiter) and it has innate limitations and defence mechanisms (Saturn). It has a specific vulnerability to the collective due to patterns from the collective background of the relationship (Chiron). It reflects certain collective ideals which strive for change and progress (Uranus). It has innate aspirations which reflect certain collective fantasies (Neptune). It has a bottom-line survival instinct which can prove supportive to the relationship's continuity but can also be destructive if the relationship is under threat (Pluto). It has an image or role to play in the eyes of society (MC), and it has a 'personality' which will express itself in certain characteristic ways to the world outside (Ascendant). The signs in a composite chart describe the basic stuff or 'temperament' of which the relationship is made; the planets describe the motivating energies; and the houses describe the spheres of life through which the planets express themselves. All this is basic astrology, and it is no less applicable to the composite than it is to the individual birth chart.
Relationship as an entity
We do not usually think of our relationships as independent entities. More often, we think in terms of our own feelings and attitudes, or the feelings and attitudes of the other person. Yet every relationship creates its own ambience. None of us behaves in the same way when we are half of a couple as we do when we are operating solo. We might have characteristic behaviour patterns when we are alone, but the moment we are with our partner, a certain kind of energy dynamic is set in motion and we behave in particular ways which are sometimes very noticeable in the company of other people.
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Two people in relationship create an atmosphere around them, not by conscious choice, but because that is simply what happens. Other people will often reflect this back to us. 'The two of you seem such a lively, attractive couple,' a friend might say, or, 'What an exciting life the two of you must have!' Meanwhile, one is thinking to oneself, 'What on earth are they talking about? That isn't how I feel.' We might see something like composite Jupiter rising in Sagittarius and Libra at the composite MC, and other people perceive the relationship as an exciting and glamorous Jupiter-Venus entity. But one's partner's Saturn might be conjunct one's Moon and opposition one's Sun, and the synastry between the birth charts might make one feel more like Sisyphus and his rock than Mick Jagger and Jerri Hall. The opposite can also occur. The composite may have Saturn rising and Chiron culminating, and the world sees something quite heavy when one is with one's partner. But the synastry may involve lots of Venus-Jupiter-Uranus contacts, reflecting an excitement within the relationship which both people personally feel but which does not express itself to others.
We can learn a lot about the angles of the composite chart for an important relationship by asking other people how they see the relationship. Often we might be in for quite a shock, because the answer may not reflect how we actually feel about the other person. The composite, like a natal chart, presents itself to the world according to its Ascendant and MC. It has a ruling planet which will focus the expression of the relationship in a certain house or sphere of life. The houses of the composite work in the same way they do in a birth chart, reflecting spheres of emphasis through which the dynamics of the relationship are manifested. When composite planets highlight a composite house, that area of life will be extremely important to the relationship, and both people will be impelled to focus on it, even if the same house is empty in both birth charts. A relationship can push us into having to confront certain areas of life, even if natally we are neither predisposed nor well equipped to cope in that area.
Composites have their own laws and energies, and these have nothing to do with whether we are 'well matched' with someone. A composite in itself will not tell us about compatibility. That is what synastry is for. The composite won't reveal whether the relationship is 'good' or 'bad' in terms of the chemistry between two people. The composite says to us, 'If you choose to enter this relationship, here is its meaning and pattern of destiny. This is what it is made of and what it is for.' If we want to get a sense of whether or not that meaning and destiny are going to make us feel good, we have to compare the composite with our own chart.
If we examine the synastry between the composite and the chart of each individual in the relationship, we can learn a lot about how the relationship makes each person feel. We can also take a third party and compare that person's chart to the composite. This is a fascinating exercise. Let's say that I am in a long-term relationship, but also have a lover. I can take that third party's chart and look at how it affects the composite chart between me and my partner, and I can get a very clear picture of how my lover affects the relationship. We can also look at the chart of a child in relation to the composite between the parents. This is very useful in terms of understanding family dynamics. Some children have a way of really disrupting the parental relationship, while others help to glue it together. We can see this by looking at the child's chart in relation to the parents' composite. We might not see this dynamic by merely exploring the synastry between the child and each individual parent.
Freedom and fate within relationship
Working with composites makes us think in terms of something larger than ourselves as individuals. Wherever we go, we create interfaces with other people, and we may not have the same amount of choice in dealing with those interfaces as we might when we deal with our own personal issues. If one has a Sun-Saturn square in the birth chart, one can actively do something with it. One doesn't have to be its victim, or live solely from the darker side of it. It may be a difficult aspect in early life, and it may reflect deep feelings of insecurity or inadequacy. But one can say, 'I know that a lot of my self-doubt is connected with my father and my childhood. I sabotage myself because I am sometimes afraid to aim high. I am often too hard on myself, and expect too much. But I'm going to try to work on these issues. I'll make an effort to understand what they are about. I may need some psychotherapy to help me to learn to trust myself more. And I'll try to develop my Saturn sign so that I have more confidence.' Gradually one can shape that Sun-Saturn square into something very strong and creative, if one is willing to put the necessary effort into it.
But when a Sun-Saturn square appears in the composite chart, the relationship cannot go into psychotherapy. The relationship cannot say, of its own volition, 'I'm going to work on these feelings of limitation and self-doubt.' The relationship does not 'feel' self-doubt. Both individuals can work on their own Saturns. But neither may have a Sun-Saturn square, and neither may really understand why, when they are together, something in the relationship thwarts and frustrates their joint goals. The external limitations which often accompany a composite Sun-Saturn may seem strangely impersonal and beyond one's control.
The impersonal feeling of the composite may be very uncomfortable for us if we are psychologically inclined, because psychological astrology implies individual responsibility and a belief that we can change many things in our lives if we are prepared to do the inner work. Because we view the birth chart as an inner picture, we can take responsibility for how we express it, and consciousness can make a huge difference. A psychological approach to astrology allows us to transform many things if we make sufficient effort. But one can be deluded by the fantasy that one can change anything, and some things lie beyond the individual's scope of influence. I am not suggesting that composites are not psychological, or that we should abandon this approach when interpreting them. But 'psychological' does not always mean free, and change may mean a change in the attitudes of both people toward the relationship, rather than a change in the endemic pattern of the relationship itself.
We can do nothing to change the fundamental patterns in the composite chart. Of course the same may be said of an individual chart. But we seem to have more room to affect the levels on which we express our natal patterns. This gives us the inner sense - valid or not - that we have the power to participate actively in, or even create, our own future. Maybe we do, at least in some areas of life. But a composite presents us with a different experience, if not a different reality at core. We can change how we react to the patterns in the composite, and we can make the effort to provide creative outlets for its energies. But even with the maximum cooperation with a partner, the patterns of a composite still feel 'outside' our sphere of personal influence. A composite will not say, 'This is a bad relationship - get out of it.' But it may say, 'This relationship has got an inherent restriction which neither person is going to be able to alter. If you want this relationship, accept this issue.' If the composite chart has a Sun-Saturn square or a Sun-Chiron conjunction, it contains built-in limits, often of a very concrete kind. These limits may prove to be creative and positive for either or both individuals. But they feel as though they have been imposed on us. A Sun-Saturn square or a Sun-Chiron conjunction in the natal chart also contains built-in limits, but we experience them differently.
Let's take composite Sun-Chiron aspects. I have seen these many times when a relationship involves the unavoidable inclusion of limits from the past. The past may be an ex-partner who wants big maintenance payments, or it may be children from a former marriage. These situations can cause a lot of pain, especially where children are involved, because no matter how mature and conscious the two people are, there will be conflicts, divided loyalties, hurt feelings, and perhaps also financial restrictions. It is not a question of altering attitudes; a priori families, for any couple, are a built-in fact which will always impose limits. If a couple do not experience limits in such circumstances, then we probably won't see Sun-Chiron in the composite chart.
We know that Chiron is connected with experiences of wounding, particularly those which seem unfair and unmerited, and which are a product of the state of the collective at the time rather than some particular person's fault or act of malice. Sun-Chiron contacts in a composite suggest that the relationship itself carries an unhealable wound, usually from the past of both parties, or from the nature of the world in which the two people are living. At the same time, the relationship may provide deep healing for both people, or for others who come in contact with the couple, because the inherent limits invoke suffering and consequent understanding and compassion.
I have sometimes seen Sun-Chiron in a composite when two people want very badly to have children but are unable to do so. This is a wound which can make people think much more deeply about who they are and what purpose their lives serve, because they do not have the collectively sanctioned 'purpose' of a family to give them a direction in life. Another example might be a partnership where there is a great age difference, and the younger partner must watch the other grow old and frail. No amount of love and commitment can turn the clock back. Or there might be a physical handicap in one partner which may be genuinely and deeply accepted, but which limits the mobility of both people. Yet another example might be a racially mixed marriage, or a homosexual relationship, both of which may provoke animosity among neighbours who are xenophobic or too rigid in their definitions of normality. Xenophobia and rigid opinions are characteristic of many, many people, and no amount of agonising or raging will alter this unfortunate flaw in human nature. Both people may be hurt through the relationship, not because it is 'bad', but because there is something about the way the relationship 'sits' in the collective which limits its possibilities.
T Square Meaning Astrology
I am not saying that it is a static picture. As far as healing is concerned, it depends on what you mean by the word. Chiron's wounds do not heal in the sense of going away. Something has been permanently twisted out of shape, even if the poison has been released and cleansed. One cannot regain innocence once it has been destroyed by the kind of wounding this planet reflects. But one's attitude toward the wound can change, and greater tolerance, compassion, and wisdom can result. That is a kind of healing; but it cannot undo the past. One cannot, for example, make one's children by a former partner vanish in a puff of smoke. One can try to numb the wound by cutting off from the children emotionally, and never seeing them again; and then there is another sort of wound that must be dealt with. Or one can work very hard to face all the emotional complications, and eventually establish rewarding relationships with everyone concerned. But there will always be compromise and sadness and a sense of loss. Such aspects in the composite chart do not mean that the effects of the difficulty remain static and unchanging. Both people may be deeply and permanently transformed. But the past cannot be remade.
T Square In Astrology
The composite chart progresses like a birth chart, and this reflects changes within the relationship just as it does within the individual. But the composite chart as an entity doesn't have the same capacity as an individual for deciding of its own volition to change or fight against something. It is not a conscious individual. Both people may work to become more conscious, and the ways in which they experience the relationship may change accordingly. But the basic patterns of the relationship unfold like a seed growing into a plant, with a natural inevitability that may feel alien to our ego-centred consciousness.
What Does Square Growth Mean In Astrology
Relationships and how to survive them.
Part One: The Composite Chart, Part Two: The Eternal Triangle
CPA Press, London.
Birth Chart Compatibility For Couples
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