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How to Determine Compatibility Using Astrology

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Discover the basics of determining whether two people are compatible based on their birth charts.

Discover the basics of determining whether two people are compatible based on their birth charts.

Are We Compatible?

Along with understanding yourself better, the most common reason for an interest in astrology is to answer the age-old question “are we compatible?” Having studied astrology—not to mention people—as a hobby for over 30 years, I can tell you that astrology can definitely give you insight into whether or not you are compatible with someone. As with all questions related to astrology, it cannot tell you everything there is to know; however, it can be amazingly accurate and provide important insights into how relationships work.

Astrology Basics: Birth Charts

First, some basics about astrology. Each person’s astrology chart represents where the planets (and other heavenly bodies) were located at the exact moment of their birth. For example, at the moment of my birth, the Sun was in Pisces, Moon in Gemini, Mercury in Pisces, Venus in Aries, and Mars in Scorpio.

Although there are other planets and bodies represented in the chart, the first five are of the most importance, in my opinion. Astrologers will disagree with regard to which bodies are more important; however, for now we will focus on these five.

Note: Some astrologers place significant importance on your Rising Sign. I do not. Your Rising Sign gives a very surface level, or business level, indication of your personality. Therefore, unless you are interested in compatibility in a business relationship, I find it of little use when determining long-term compatibility.

The Four Elements of the Zodiac

Each sign falls within one of four elements: fire, earth, air, and water.

  • Fire signs include Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius.
  • Earth signs include Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn.
  • Air signs include Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius.
  • Water signs include Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces.

As a general rule, signs within the same element will be compatible with each other. They are also compatible with their polar element. Water and earth are compatible, as are fire and air. Conversely, water is not as compatible with fire or air and so on.

Each sign also has a core set of attributes associated with the sign. An in-depth understanding of each sign is not necessary to get a basic compatibility reading. Print out, or write down, some basic attributes of each astrology sign before you begin your compatibility analysis so you can refer to them as you compare your charts.

House Placement and Aspects

If you don’t know all your placements, or those of your partner, there are numerous online places that offer to calculate a free chart. I use Alabe—no strings attached, just a free chart.

House placement and aspects can give you a more advanced reading on compatibility. For now, however, we will focus on the basics. Even without an in-depth understanding of astrology, anyone can look at the first five placements and get a fairly good idea of the level of compatibility between two people.

Look at what signs are in each placement and decide whether the two placements are compatible. Then take an overall look at the level of compatibility between all ten signs for a surface-level reading on compatibility between the partners.

Sun Sign

Most people know what their Sun sign is and that of a potential partner. Therefore, we will start by looking at what your Sun signs can tell you about potential compatibility. Look first to what element each Sun sign falls into. Signs within the same element tend to have a natural compatibility. This is known as a 5/9 vibration in astrological terminology.

While someone with a Sun sign in your same element can be a positive sign, someone with your exact same Sun sign can create too much of a good thing. If your potential partner does not have a Sun sign in the same element, all is not lost. Consider how the two elements work together. As mentioned earlier, polar elements typically provide the next best compatibility prospect. Other elemental combinations tend to prove challenging absent other indications of compatibility.

Moon Sign

Your Moon sign is the other half of your core personality and of equal importance when determining compatibility. Your Moon sign indicates your deepest desires, feelings, fears and emotions. Your Moon sign speaks to what you feel but often cannot explain. Consider Moon sign compatibility in the same way you consider Sun sign compatibility.

Look as well to compatibility between one partner’s Sun and the other’s Moon and vice versa. For example, a pair with one partner Sun Pisces and Moon Leo with the other partner Sun Aries and Moon Cancer may appear incompatible at first glance; however, when you look at Sun-Moon compatibility you see that there may actually be a basis for understanding and compatibility because partner A’s Sun is compatible with partner B’s Moon and vice versa.

Mercury Sign

Mercury tells you how you process information and how you communicate that information. As such, it can be an important indicator of how the two of you will be able to express your needs and desires as well as how you will express your anger. It will also give you some insight into how you will resolve problems or issues within the relationship. When Mercury signs are incompatible, you may both feel as though the other person is speaking a foreign language, leading to incompatibility.

Venus Sign

The placement of Venus in both charts is, arguably, the most important indication of long-term compatibility. Venus tells us what we need in a relationship. Does your partner need space and freedom or security and affection? Look to the placement of Venus for the answer. If you have Venus in a water sign and your partner has Venus in an air sign, for example, you have conflicting needs and views with regard to a relationship. You need constant reassurance and symbols of affection while your partner may need freedom and can live without any outward show of affection.

Mars Sign

Now we get to the best part—sex! Your Mars placement, and that of your partner, can tell you a lot about your sexual compatibility. Mars in Scorpio—you are intrigued by the darker side of sex and open to exploring sexual taboos. If, however, your partner has Mars in a more reserved sign, Capricorn for example, you could have a problem in the bedroom. If your partner has Mars in Leo, on the other hand, you may have a lively sex life, but you may run into problems deciding who is in control!