by Robert Wilkinson
There are several ways to find out how compatible we are with another, and where our points of harmony and friction occur. Many have compatibility and/or composite charts done for a prospective loved one, and these offer much valuable information. There is another crucial chart to have calculated before we marry, and that's the Marriage chart, done for the time of initiating the marriage ceremony. This begins the adventure, and gives new momentum and energy to a relationship.
The Marriage chart is very important, like the timing on launching a business, starting a project, or when we buy or sell something. A crucial component of success in relationships, along with resources, tools, and skills, is the best time for beginning a partnership, project, or new initiative. The branch of astrology dealing with launching things is Electional (or Inceptional) Astrology, and is an art in itself. Each moment has its special qualities and challenges, and it's always good to launch our boats on a favorable tide.
That said, it is equally important to remember that it is impossible to counteract "real world" conditions. For instance, you can plant potatoes on the best day of the month astrologically, but will probably not get many potatoes if you've planted in November rather than April in Northern climes. By the same token, you may get a great deal on a house, but if the house has plumbing problems, you'll still have to deal with them. And yes, plumbing (or electrical, or foundation) problems can be seen in the chart of when you first look at a house, as well as when you close escrow.
A compatibility chart done using Synastry, tells a lot about whether two people are suited to each other. This is where we look at how person A's planets fall in person B's houses, and vise-versa, along with the aspects between all the rulers of houses. It reveals many intricacies between people, and where common ground can be found, if it can be found at all. We're usually attracted to various planet energies for all kinds of reasons, some of which change over time. That's why we fall into harmony and disharmony for whatever reasons.
While compatibility analysis is extremely important and revealing of points of harmony and conflict, there are other important charts that give valuable informaton about two people's compatibiility. One is a chart done for the time when two people first meet. Another is the composite chart. The composite chart is derived from the midpoints of the similar planets between two charts, i.e., if one is an Aquarius and the other is a Gemini, as a rule the composite Sun will be in Aries. And if one Moon is in Sagittarius and the other Moon is in Aquarius, the composite Moon is likely in Capricorn, the sign in between Sag and Aquarius.
The marriage chart is actually an Inceptional chart, in that a marriage is the inception of the contract of partnership. Thus it shows the past, present, and future of the individuals, as well as the composite unit. That's why it's important to find a time that is very compatible with the charts of both, and is compatible within itself. This is a specialized branch of Astrology, but crucial in the social-emotional realm of applying our craft.
If you know astrology, here are a few pointers to consider. In any marriage chart it is good to make sure that the natal chart rulers of the two people getting married are harmoniously aspected with each other, and if possible, the matual rulers of each's marriage house (7th house). FYI, "love affairs" are ruled by the 5th house, not the 7th. That's why even if one has a boyfriend or girlfriend for years but has never "married," then it cannot be counted as a 7th house activity. Contracts are governed by the 7th house, and marriage is a contract, both written and verbal.
The first marriage is ruled by the 7th house, as are all partnership circumstances throughout the life. The second marriage is ruled by the 9th house, the third marriage by the 11th house, and so on. This is the source of much confusion among amateur astrologers and novices at the craft, and the reason I ask people who come to me for a wedding date whether they've been married before or not. If I'm planning someone's second wedding, then their significator is the ruler of their 9th house and any planets in that house, and the 7th becomes more of a secondary generic influence.
When I first wrote this article, it was a great week for marriages, due to many favorable aspects made between the rulers of many signs. Another observation - it seemed that Jupiter in Libra brought more marriages to the fore than I remember in other years. Maybe Libra, the sign of marriage and partnership, is somehow expanded by Jupiter into a hopefulness and an adventure in partnership. Maybe marriages under the influence of Jupiter in Libra symbolized the archetype of what the higher truth of relationship is really all about.
Obviously there are many days where a marriage can be happy and last a long time. It sometimes depends on what time of day you're willing to do it, which is a consideration if one does not want to explain why the ceremony HAD to begin at 7:28 am on maybe 8:34 pm on any particular day. And what is good then may not be good done an hour earlier or later, due to rulership changes.
I'll close with the thought that even if a marriage chart has difficult aspects we may be able to create a favorable outcome if the foundations of affection, respect and heart-centered Love allow the Higher Self of each to come forth. Then we grow in Love and Wisdom despite the challenges we confront. We may not be able to control some events. We may not be able to control the responses of others. But we can always choose to see the Higher Way, since we are in fact, Spirits in the material world.
(Rewrite of a piece originally published 11 July 2005)