“You’re driven by your emotions, and I’m driven by reaching goals,” my new love interest, Natasha*, said over drinks, leaning into me. “But your Venus and mine are a great match,” she continued. I had no idea what she meant, but she smelled so good, so I leaned closer to her and listened as she went on, “So even though our zodiac charts are different in a lot of ways, I think we’re compatible enough for this to be a good thing.”
At that point, she could’ve told me the stars and planets predicted she would end up tearing my heart out and ripping it to shreds and I wouldn’t have cared. Three dates in, I was completely smitten. She revealed that the real reason why she asked for my birth date, time, and place was less about her interest in knowing every detail of my history, and more about pulling my birth/natal chart to see if we were compatible (or not). I had no real idea of what she was talking about, but because the natal chart she pulled on me seemed accurate — and because she was hot — I was interested in learning more.
Each of us come into this world with a natal (birth) chart, which is based on the exact time, date, and place of our birth, and is completely unique to us. According to the AstroTwins, your birth chart “is a map of where all the planets were in their journey around the Sun (from our vantage point on earth) at the exact moment you were born. An astrology chart reading can reveal your strengths and weaknesses, your opportunities for soul growth, the best timing for your most important moves.”
When you compare your natal chart to another person’s, you’re able to get a glimpse into who this person might be, what makes them tick, and where your lives may align. You can compare natal charts for just about anyone in your life — your parents, siblings, friends and of course, romantic partners. A birth chart comparison (called synastry in Astrology-speak) will show your areas of strength together as well as any areas where you’ll potentially run into challenges.
As it turned out, the birth chart comparison Natasha shared with me on our 3rd date was accurate — my need to talk about feelings all the time while cuddling on the couch clashed with her need to always be “on the go.” The way the stars and planets were aligned in our charts told us I would be too needy and clingy for her. Truth (what can I say? I’m a Cancer!). Still, our three years together taught me a lot — about life, love, compatibility, and yes, Astrology.
Because I have a friendship circle full of hippie-spiritual lesbians, my interest in Astrology didn’t die along with that relationship. Many in my inner-circle use Astrology not only to bitch about Mercury Retrograde and how it is messing with our cell phones and computers, but as a tool to decide whether or not the person we’re dating is worth investing in beyond a cursory coffee.
My friend Emma is a Business Analyst for a high-profile tech company. She’s as analytical and as logical as they come. And she keeps a spreadsheet that includes everyone’s birth chart information — including friends, ex-lovers, and any potential love interests she comes across.
“Essentially, my spreadsheet tells me who among my friends and lovers are the most romantic, the most angst-filled, and the most crazy,” she jokes. “Most people just think about their sun sign when it comes to comparing compatibility with someone,” Emma explained. “But it is so much more than that. Synastry is the part of Astrology that shows how one person’s planets interact with your planets. It tells us whether you’re more likely to walk down the aisle or run for the hills. Astrologically speaking, we want to look at more than just someone’s sun sign compatibility with yours to know what your relationship may be like. You want to look at your moon, rising and Venus signs too.”
Using Astrology to gauge whether or not someone is worthy of your time and love may not always be fair, particularly when someone puts so much weight into what the charts say and writes people off without getting to know them first. Laura, another fellow Astrology-buff, refuses to date Aries and Gemini’s. “Gemini’s are liars and cheats and no one can tell me any different,” she laments. “And Aries are way too busy — manic, even. Hard pass, no matter how hot she is,” she said. Laura’s Tinder profile even goes so far as to say “NO Gemini’s or Aries.”
“I get a ton of messages from offended women, which I suppose would be a good conversation starter, if I was willing to give them a chance. How many amazing women have I missed out on because of their sun sign? I may never know…”
As for me, I consider myself to be a rational, well-educated person who believes in science and evidenced-based facts. I also believe in Astrology and have used it as a bit of a “road map” for new love interests in the way my ex had, only I always asked for permission before pulling someone’s chart and comparing it with mine. In the last few years, there hasn’t been a time that I haven’t pulled my love interest’s chart, though I do take the words with a grain of salt and don’t let it guide my decisions about a person and whether or not we will date.
Still, even though I try not to put too much stock into compatibility charts and what they say about any (potential) relationship, I couldn’t help but smile when I read the analysis for me and my now fiancee: “You are made for each other. You go well together, have intellectual understanding and confidence in each other, a harmonious couple.”
And for that, I thank the stars.