Picture this: you’re standing in a group at your local dive bar, discussing star signs. “Of course you’re an Aries; I knew I liked you! I’m a Sag!” An immediate friendship fires up — excuse the pun.
Or maybe it went a little like this: “Never date a Scorpio.” “Oh, you’re a Scorpio?” Steamy silence ensues. “Ugh, I dated a Cancer once; they were so emotional.” Cue tears from a Cancerian friend who is emphatically trying to convince you their sign just feels so deeply!
Perhaps you’re nonplussed about astrology or if your signs don’t match, but it keeps your girlfriend awake on an idle Monday worrying about the fact that you’re an Aquarius and she’s a Cancer.
The stars had always recommended I fall in love with an Aries or Leo. At a stretch, a Librarian would do. To my surprise, I found myself marrying a fellow Sagittarius.
I couldn’t help to then wonder: Is star sign compatibility accurate? Is that why I look past every Taurus? Is that why it never worked out with that Virgo? Can we date with oblivion to the moon and stars, or should we consider our charts when we fall in love?
Our horoscope describes our individual character traits on a broad level, so our romantic and platonic interests should only match certain signs, right?
Well, before you go crying into your pillow or racing for the nearest takeaway cocktail, it’s likely you’re with someone because you are connecting on some level, regardless of your sun sign compatibility.
“If you’re attracted to someone, there’s something working in your signs together,” NYC –based astrologer Patti Clark assures me.
Star sign — or sun sign — compatibility is a great way to start intimate conversations with yourself or each other, but for years, I was under the impression it was a sure-fire sign for whether things worked out or not.
“It’s a good jumping point for a basic conversation, but it’s not the be-all of end,” says Patti.
Experts astrologers seek to look at the bigger picture: Planets are a huge factor for attraction in people.
Venus, the planet of love, plays an important part in our charts. My Venus lies in Sagittarius — my sun sign — which apparently means I’m curious and easily bored. Sure, but isn’t everyone? It’s in my 7th house, which says love is often expressed in close relationships in my chart.
Neptune, an often hazily described planet, seems to create confusion for people. Currently in my chart, Neptune is squaring up to my Venus in a perfect square. Basically, I’m “all over the shop,” according to Patti. She’s not wrong.
“Neptune is the higher up of Venus,” she says. “On a good day, its emphatic, caring, and tender. But a lot of times you may not see the whole picture.”
Some astrologers favor synastry charts: a process of analyzing how one person’s planets relate to the other’s and interpreting the findings. Alternatively, others use the composite chart, which is a plot of the midpoints between two people’s charts.
Vedic astrology, in particular, helps us understand the working of planets in our lives and relationships. When considering that horoscope matching is a key part of the arranged marriage process in India — which has one of the lowest divorce rates in the world — the fate-ist in me wavers. Perhaps, the stars are right whether we listen to them or not.
Astrologers may highlight some challenging moments in your chart when doing a reading (think Saturn ruling or maybe a retrograde you knew was coming), but if you’re lucky enough to find an intuitive astrologer such as Patti, often they will also give some sage advice on how to manage any tough transits.
Considering that I’m romantically linked to a fellow Sag, we both have Neptune hitting our signs in our present charts, which is something to take into consideration if we’re finding things unclear according to Patti. “You would both have similarities of the same thing going on,” she says.
If you feel you’re having a particularly rough time romantically, perhaps a glance at the stars can prove as a roadmap to navigate areas when certain planets may try to make your life a little more challenging. Hello again, Saturn!
Another element to consider with compatibility is each person’s emotional wellness and maturity, according to astrologer Kristy Belich.
“If we don’t do the work from within, it’s going to be tough to even relate to anybody,” says Belich. “Pluto squared to Mars is considered a terrible aspect, but if you’re mature enough to handle it, [it can work].”
Neuroscientists believe that brain development is still forming in young adulthood, so don’t be too hard on yourself if you let a seemingly incompatible sun sign lover slip away in your early twenties.
When we mature into our 20s, 30s, and onwards, I think we become better equipped to deal with relationships and emotional understanding of other people — specifically significant others and the effect we have on each other.
If a relationship doesn’t work, don’t frantically begin googling star sign compatibility and what went wrong, just as if you meet a mutable sign with your own, don’t start planning what kind of color scheme you will have on your wedding day.
Either way, it seems the bottom line is that compatibility is based on a myriad of things from planets, attraction, and connection — not just our basic sun signs. Phew!