Excerpt from my new book “Astrology’s Magic Mirror” (working title) to be published by Lisa Hagan Books in the early summer. Pages 40-48

TRUE LOVE

     What makes love the true kind? What I’ve seen in the connections of people who seem to find it are certain planetary tie-ups that positively resonate with passion and affection. The study that Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung conducted in the early fifties compared the data of 966 astrological charts (483 couples) to find out if the choice of a marriage partner was a coincidence or something else. And he came up with quite astounding results.

     Very specific planetary connections showed up. And actually they were the same connections I’d noticed in my own practice and personal life. One couple I know who in my mind live up to the gold standard of a durable and loving marriage have these very planetary tie-ups. But it’s not just a matter of having one or two of the kinds of contacts that show lasting love but at least three. Maybe it’s a kind of domino effect.

     Curiously, the kinds of planetary connections that seem to show the glue that best holds relationships together are what are known as “conjunctions.” These happen when two specific planets are very close to each other—in the same zodiacal sign. Clara and Tom, the gold standard couple, have three of these (her Venus on his Sun/ his Venus on her Sun/ and most important his Moon on her ascendant). These are classic attraction aspects and one of them was one of the marriage predictors that showed up in Jung’s study.

     Why do conjunctions seem to have such power in relationships? Maybe because when two people share them they feel a sense of recognition. They merge in a certain way. They understand each other. It feels right. Clara and Tom also have a few challenging aspects between them but the positive ones are strong enough to continually reinforce their feeling of belonging together and really liking each other.

     Venus, the planet of love, is, of course very important when it comes to connection. If you have Venus on someone else’s birth Sun, for instance, you’re going to feel affection for them even if you have other issues with them. It’s like a warm glow. You don’t know why you like them. You see their charm, their intelligence… They make you smile.

     Jung noticed that Mars and Venus crop up when someone’s Mars is astrologically conjunct—that is right next to someone else’s Venus—the reaction is chemical. This is a hot attraction. It might not go anywhere but it will be felt. This is not an indicator of love but of sexual attraction. Other combinations of the same planets will also result in erotic chemistry, but this is probably the most powerful one of all.

     I had a long-term client, Jenny, who got embroiled in a love affair with a man with whom she had a double Mars/Venus aspect, his Mars on her Venus and her Mars on his. Their sexual attraction and physical relationship were phenomenal . There was a mutual liking, but what was lacking was the heartfelt type of tie that Jung had hit upon in his research. It was a tough call for Jenny because she’d never experienced such erotic magic in her life, but it just wasn’t the kind of relationship that’s built to last.

    What caused her so much agony was that even though she was mesmerized by her lover, she couldn’t make the relationship be what she wanted it to be. And when she eventually did meet a man with whom she had not only one of the classic marriage tie aspects (her moon conjunct his ascendant) but two other real clinchers, she knew she’d met the man of her life. It was that obvious to her. Their relationship just worked. They fell madly in love. And within a few years they got married. The most binding connections between people seem to involve the birth Sun, the birth Moon and the rising sign, or ascendant. Jung found this to be true and so did the ancient astrologer Ptolemy who fixed on the formula that marriage happened when a man’s Moon conjoined a woman’s Sun. But is there a formula for clocking if marriage will happen? I think that such general rules in astrology have to be avoided. It’s a simplification that isn’t exactly true.

     One married couple I worked with, Fred and Sandy, had the famous Moon to Moon conjunction—the same Moon signs in close proximity. They were very tuned into each other and worked in the same arena: theater, but what their connection lacked was the kind of chemistry that happens with Venus and Mars. They were a team. They appreciated each other and supported each other, but at least one of them had affairs on the side.

     Aspects between couples involving the ascendant, Sun and Moon really are a kind of glue. They offer a sense of falling into place, of “rightness.” Fred and Sandy’s marriage endured in spite of their infidelities because of their binding emotional identification with each other. And the work they did together led them to success so in that sense their connection created a genuine win situation for them. They benefitted from their association in an important way. There is great frequency in attractions and love affairs. They depict what we describe as “chemistry.” And conjunctions, again, are the most powerful. Love and attraction aren’t about Sun sign compatibility as popular culture tries to suggest, but really involves these two key planets, Mars (which in medicine is the symbol used for maleness) and Venus (the medical symbol for females).

     What could be more logical? In my practice, though, I have found one of Jung’s marriage aspects to be the strongest indicator of people having lasting ties: the ascendant and Moon sign tie. It’s hard to say why this particular aspect between two people is so cohesive, but it seems to strike such a chord that it’s almost irresistible. The Sun/Moon tie is actually quite a clincher too, at least in setting up a feeling of familiarity and connection.

     I’ve always viewed this aspect as an indicator of a past life tie and from my own observation it can lead to a real feeling of understanding between people that is less likely to end up being a marriage type of tie than an enduring friendship. It certainly sets the stage for an immediate sense of connection which is important enough to form the basis of a lasting tie. When you meet someone whose Moon is on your Sun or vice versa, you feel comfortable and at home.

     If your other inter-aspects are harmonious, then you can easily side into something very binding. But what often seems to show up is that Sun/Moon connections happen with family members. I see it quite often. My brother-in-law, for instance, has his Moon on his son’s Sun and I have my Sun on my sister’s Moon. The closer the two celestial bodies are to the same degree, it seems, the more powerful the instant bond.

     When the Sun/Moon connection happens to people who are not related, it tends to develop into a marriage type of bond in a very measured way. Ptolemy fixed on it as the most important indicator of marriage but he lived in another era, and it’s hard to know what other factors might have been operating at that time. And after designating that there were three inter-aspects for marriage, Jung also qualified another. In his research, he found that conjunctions between a woman’s ascendant and a man’s Venus could also be very binding ties.

     The Jung research is very impressive. It does uphold the notion that true love is something very definite, a palpable reality—not just some pie-in-the sky fantasy. When it happens it is such magic and with astrology it’s possible to see it in black and white: the chemistry of attraction plus an almost indefinable way in which two people meet and stay connected.

     Studies don’t seem to have been done involving the nodes of the Moon in inter-aspects involving love and marriage, but they can also be very significant and telling. Why? It does come up that the Moon’s nodes—which are used much more vividly in Vedic astrology—are connected to the whole notion of karma and past lives. However we define them (the moon’s nodes are two points where the moon’s orbital path crosses the ecliptic and are always shown in astrological charts), they can crop up in very striking ways in comparison charts.

     I’ve seen that one person in a couple may have their north or south mode on their partner’s Moon quite commonly or also on their ascendant—which comes up with great frequency. These two particular ties seem to hold a great significance hinting that the two people involved have something to accomplish with each other emotionally and to learn. And these ties are worth looking for because they will help to explain what is binding two people together.

     True love does figure into this equation. The nodes to the other’s Moon or ascendant is another indicator of a great deal of feeling coming up between two people. Couples I’ve seen who have these ties are those who usually stay together or find it difficult to let go of each other even if they do separate for some reason. Deirdre, a long term client of mine, had a long lasting relationship with a man quite a bit younger than she which continues to this day even though they parted over nine years ago.

     I found that her south lunar node was on his ascendant—almost exactly. And she described that she felt a deep sense of commitment to him from the time they met. She attributes this to a past life connection In my practice, though, I have found one of Jung’s marriage aspects to be the strongest indicator of people having lasting ties: the ascendant and Moon sign tie. It’s hard to say why this particular aspect between two people is so cohesive, but it seems to strike such a chord that it’s almost irresistible. The Sun/Moon tie is actually quite a clincher too, at least in setting up a feeling of familiarity and connection. I’ve always viewed this aspect as an indicator of a past life tie and from my own observation it can lead to a real feeling of understanding between people that is less likely to end up being a marriage type of tie than an enduring friendship. It certainly sets the stage for an immediate sense of connection which is important enough to form the basis of a lasting tie. When you meet someone whose Moon is on your Sun or vice versa, you feel comfortable and at home.

     If your other inter-aspects are harmonious, then you can easily side into something very binding. But what often seems to show up is that Sun/Moon connections happen with family members. I see it quite often. My brother-in-law, for instance, has his Moon on his son’s Sun and I have my Sun on my sister’s Moon. The closer the two celestial bodies are to the same degree, it seems, the more powerful the instant bond. When the Sun/Moon connection happens to people who are not related, it tends to develop into a marriage type of bond in a very measured way. Ptolemy fixed on it as the most important indicator of marriage but he lived in another era, and it’s hard to know what other factors might have been operating at that time. And after designating that there were three inter-aspects for marriage, Jung also qualified another. In his research, he found that conjunctions between a woman’s ascendant and a man’s Venus could also be very binding ties.

     The Jung research is very impressive. It does uphold the notion that true love is something very definite, a palpable reality—not just some pie-in-the sky fantasy. When it happens it is such magic and with astrology it’s possible to see it in black and white: the chemistry of attraction plus an almost indefinable way in which two people meet and stay connected.

     Studies don’t seem to have been done involving the nodes of the Moon in inter-aspects involving love and marriage, but they can also be very significant and telling. Why? It does come up that the Moon’s nodes—which are used much more vividly in Vedic astrology—are connected to the whole notion of karma and past lives. However we define them (the moon’s nodes are two points where the moon’s orbital path crosses the ecliptic and are always shown in astrological charts), they can crop up in very striking ways in comparison charts.

     I’ve seen that one person in a couple may have their north or south mode on their partner’s Moon quite commonly or also on their ascendant—which comes up with great frequency. These two particular ties seem to hold a great significance hinting that the two people involved have something to accomplish with each other emotionally and to learn. And these ties are worth looking for because they will help to explain what is binding two people together.

     True love does figure into this equation. The nodes to the other’s Moon or ascendant is another indicator of a great deal of feeling coming up between two people. Couples I’ve seen who have these ties are those who usually stay together or find it difficult to let go of each other even if they do separate for some reason. Deirdre, a long term client of mine, had a long lasting relationship with a man quite a bit younger than she which continues to this day even though they parted over nine years ago.

     I found that her south lunar node was on his ascendant—almost exactly. And she described that she felt a deep sense of commitment to him from the time they met. She attributes this to a past life connection, and the nodes really are thought of as having this kind of connotation. Another couple, Claire and Ed, I know of who have had a lasting marriage of over 40 years, do not have the classic marriage aspects that Jung describes, but they do have the classic attraction contacts of Mars and Venus and most tellingly, his north lunar node falls exactly on her Moon.

     What adds to the fascination factor where these nodal ties are concerned is that in Deirdre’s case it was her south node—that astrologically is associated with karmic debts from the past—that showed up so powerfully in her relationship aspects with her ex, while in Claire and Ed’s case, it was his north node—which is thought to point to what we need to focus on and develop in our present lives—that came up so strongly in their relationship contacts. And in their case, their relationship lasted a lifetime.

     What astrology has to reveal about relationships can be so helpful and enlightening. Why are we attracted to a particular person? Can the relationship work? I can think of a funny example of the way in which astrology really does illustrate this: One friend of mine, Lucy, met a man she was very attracted to and seemed to resonate with in a way that seemed unique. She found out his birth information and I set up his chart and found that it wasn’t a promising one for love or connection at all.

     In fact, it was a disaster. He seemed to be one of those dance away lovers types—as soon as you start really caring, they head for the hills. (He had both Venus and the Moon afflicted by Saturn). But Lucy felt she had no choice but to ignore this information because she was so smitten. And being a genuinely aware and intuitive person, she trusted her response to him in spite of his dire aspects.

     A few weeks later, she found out that he’d given her a later birth year than his actual one because he thought she was younger than she actually was and he very impulsively lied about this age. Perhaps not a very good thing to have done, but then, once I set up his chart for his correct birth chart, it was actually a wonderful relief. He and she shared any number of powerful chemistry inducing aspects and they also had the classic Moon/Ascendant tie of Jung’s research.

     She’d been right to trust her heart. It was true love and she knew it. Within three years they married and while, as in all relationships, there were issues and ups and downs, the most important ingredient, a binding love, kept them together. The mystery of attraction really isn’t such a mystery when you can see it in black and white—in astrological synastry. And what are known as “composite charts” can also illustrate relationship dynamics in a very fascinating way.

     Just as it sounds, composite charts blend two charts together to make one which is the celestial picture of the actual relationship. This is done by finding what are called “the midpoints” between each individual’s planets and making a horoscope based on these points. A renowned astrologer, Robert Hand, wrote what is possibly the most definite books about composite charts, “Planets in Composite,” which details all the midpoint aspects and how they might play out and many astrologers will set up composite charts for their clients to check out a particular relationship that they’re involved in.

the sun