posted April 25, 2011 07:02 PM
A small tidbit from Rod Suskin's synastry book.
The marriage chart is the chart drawn for the moment a wedding ceremony begins. (Some astrologers draw the chart for the moment at which the marriage becomes legal or the vows are accepted.) Sometimes these are in fact electional charts that have been used in advance of the wedding to select the best time for the marriage to take place. This strategy often allows the astrologer to help under-emphasize problems in the relationship and give greater focus to potential strong points, although this is usually much easier said than done and there may even be new difficulties described by the marriage chart.
Although electional astrology can be very helpful, it cannot change the karma between the couple and the way their personalities interact. It can, though, create a new common ground (the marriage) within which the couple can work to make the relationship as good as possible.
It must be remembered that this is not a chart of the relationship between the couple; it is a chart of the marriage itself. A marriage may be difficult although the underlying relationship is not—marriage involves many legal and social responsibilities, new financial issues, often the enormous job of bringing up children, and countless other pressures, goals, and opportunities. These are what the marriage chart describes.
What to Analyze in the Marriage Chart
The key points to concentrate on are:
• The relationship between the Sun (male) and the Moon (female) is very significant and often has the strongest influence no matter what else is in the chart. This contact is used to explore the relationship between the two parties. These significators also hold in gay relationships, where again you can determine (by discussion and observation) which of the luminaries represents each partner.
• The relationship between the first-house ruler and the seventh-house ruler also describes the couple. In many cases, you can quickly establish which of those planets represents which partner by briefly describing each ruling planet in human terms.
• Venus is the natural significator of marriage, so its dignity and aspects are critical to understanding the opportunity to experience and express love and harmony in a marriage, or the extent to which the marriage is based on these things. Helping the couple give expression to the Venus placement can be very helpful in providing a pleasurable outlet that reminds them of their feelings for each other and why they got married in the first place. This can even save a marriage that is drowning under the weight of everyday mundane challenges.
• The first house represents the relationship itself and how it is seen in the world.
• Each of the houses is used in the conventional way, but instead of describing the aspect of an individual life they refer to those things in the shared life. Thus, the second house refers to the financial affairs of the marriage, the fourth is the couple’s shared home, the seventh is their interaction with other people, the tenth is their shared goals, etc.
• The remaining planets have their usual uses and implications.
It is best not to rely too heavily on the marriage chart, but rather to help the couple understand their roles and to use it in comparison with the synastry and composite analysis to help them understand how the pressures of marriage itself change the relationship.
EXAMPLES: MARRIAGE CHARTS, GOOD AND BAD
Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman may differ in many ways, but their marriage works famously. Their marriage chart reveals a powerful Sun, Moon, and Venus. The Sun and Venus are conjunct and trine the Moon, a strong factor for love and harmony despite the opposition they have with Uranus. That opposition, and the sixth-house location of the conjunction, do inflict some problems—each partner is very individualistic and pursues his or her own interests. Some may consider that incompatible, but the harmonious trine makes it perfectly suitable with them, and the cadent house position of Uranus makes it a much weaker challenge.
It isn’t all easy; remember, the marriage chart always reveals compromises and new challenges. Venus’s squares with Jupiter and Neptune enhance the potential for fun and romance, although Neptune must have caused a good deal of illusion and disillusionment in the early years. Pluto in the first house square the Moon would also be challenging. They must have had to let go of a lot of preconceptions, but in doing so became a powerful union and a symbol for independence and individuality within a marriage.
The marriage of Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston has some similarities astrologically, but lasted a brief four years.
The Sun, Moon, and Venus are all in the seventh house of marriage, unsurprisingly, but the Sun and Moon are both in their own dignities—each feels like the boss. Individual needs will not easily be compromised, especially since no aspect or dignity exists between them. Venus has left the conjunction to the Sun and is opposed by Uranus. Unlike Woodward and Newman’s similar aspect, this one is in powerful angular houses, making the need for independence and individuality highly emphasized.
The marriage chart is fairly similar to the chart of the long-lasting marriage of their Hollywood seniors, so why didn’t the marriage last? Remember, in a marriage chart the condition of the luminaries is the final arbiter: here, the Moon is conjunct a fallen Mars, and the Sun is opposed by Neptune, both again emphasized by angularity. Although this Moon is the seventh-house ruler and has a sextile with first-house ruler Saturn, showing the lasting love and friendship the couple have, the odds are against these luminaries: they are both close enough to the nodes to start feeling the effects of the solar eclipse a day later. Eclipses represent a bad relationship between the luminaries and will inevitably lead to problems, just as the eclipse on the wedding day of Prince Charles and Diana Spencer did.
Moving Forward into the Present … and the Future
Although the marriage chart can show the important foundation on which the relationship is built, it usually does not seal the fate of the individuals, who have the opportunity to face and deal with the issues as they arise over time.
The synastry and composite charts remain the best ways to understand the relationship, and the transiting, progressed, and other cycles these charts undergo form the ultimate description of how the couple’s shared life will be experienced.
"Lock up your libraries if you like, but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind." — Virginia Woolf