Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Perils Of A Misinterpreted Composite Chart

One of my former astrology students kept coming back to me, years later, trying to make sense of her often-confused love life. What puzzled me about this is that, despite my rantings in class, she'd always start with the composite chart, not the two individual charts. And the more I pointed this out over the intervening years, the more she'd do it.

(For those of you not familiar with the composite chart, it's when you add up the placements in two charts and work out the average... a chart for the relationship itself, if you will. If your Sun is at 10 degrees Aquarius, and your mate's Sun is at 10 degrees Aries, your composite chart will have the Sun at 10 degrees Pisces, and so on through the other planets in the two birth charts.)

If you've been reading this blog for a while, you know that finding a soul mate is not a guarantee of bliss, in this astrologer's humble opinion. It's not even a free pass to a stable relationship. Often, it's the contrary.

I've come up with a composite chart that can give misleading results... if consciously or otherwise, you're looking to be misled. Don't laugh: a lot of durable relationships have strong Neptune action going on, and who doesn't love a good romantic delusion now and then?

Meet Matthew The Astrologer and his soul mate du jour... Richard Milhouse Nixon. I've printed my/our composite chart above.

I have certain strongly held political beliefs. I don't want to get into too much detail here... that's what the other blog is for. And in a lot of ways, Richard Nixon is a symbol of a lot of things that can go very wrong with the democratic process. Just thinking about the man can make me antsy.

But if you look at the composite chart for me and Dick, it's actually not that bad. Under different circumstances... like if it was an actual relationship... an astrologer could be forgiven for making observations like:

-"North Node in the composite 7th House gives this relationship a real feeling of destiny."

-"Mercury-Mars-Jupiter conjunct in the 4th makes for interesting, purposeful
activity on the domestic front."

-"Sun and Uranus in the composite Fifth House? You two are going to have a lot of fun together!"

All of which would be more or less true. And none of which would change the fact that if the two of us were locked in the same room for an hour, one or both of us might get killed. A lot of life's craziness comes from us trying to shoehorn people and our relationships with them into forms that don't fit.

On the other hand, a composite can certainly give you some interesting clues about what a relationship wants to be, as opposed to what it is or what you think it should be. And, come to think of it, this composite does indicate that Tricky Dick and I might in fact develop a functional relationship, if I was (for example) a member of his personal staff.

Admit it: if you heard there was a sitcom about Richard Nixon and his time-travelling liberal hippie valet, you'd watch. Besides, I've always had a sneaking fondness for the man, no matter how much he annoys the hell out of me.

Now: does that sound like any relationship you've ever been in...?



Neith said...

I like Composite charts but I'm with you on looking at the charts of the individuals first. If the individual chart screams "Freedom at all costs!!" then I am inclined to suggest looking at alternative ways of relating......

heh, just for kicks & giggles I ran ours . . . all about communication (Sun/Mercury conjunct in 3rd, NN in Gemini in the 9th) & laughing with some handy dandy Neptune illusions thrown in(Moon/Jup in 12th). I'd say classic interaction via this crazy medium, the Internet!! :-D

Matthew The Astrologer said...

Ha! Take THAT, skeptics! :)

John Townley said...

You might consider that composite charts are not standalone objects like natal ones. They only have traction when there is an actual relationship going on and they build and solidify increasingly the longer the relationship continues. So, unless you're talking to the dead, your relationship with Nixon does not apply. This is one of the things people miss about something that is a derived chart, not a natal horoscope. I put it in my book on the subject, but who reads the introductory theory stuff?? This is also the reason progressed composites don't work -- because they move too fast to solidify...

Matthew The Astrologer said...

Hey... when *I* read your book, I read the whole thing! ("Planets In Love" too!)

Oh, and by the way... thanks for dropping by. It's an honour to have you...

Neith said...

Whoa! Matthew! John Townley is the best there is on composites. Honor indeed. And he graciously gave us another clue to composites . . . :-D Thanks, John!