Cat's Eye Nebula

Cosmic Views
Quarterly Newsletter

by Carole Devine

Spring 1999

In This Issue:

Published quarterly by Carole Devine / Devine Advantage

What Determines Compatibility?

By Carole Devine

The average person probably believes that compatibility is shown by Sun signs. Actually, it is somewhat true, but that is based on some sound principles that extend far beyond Sun Signs. The signs are like an alphabet, as are the planets and houses. These "letters" of the alphabet can be combined to make some harmonious combinations and some discordant ones. In compatibility analysis, the idea is to know what combinations do which. There are some general rules of thumb that are easy to understand.

First, as an abstract principle, these signs are compatible to each other: Fire signs, which are Aries, Leo and Sagittarius share the characteristics of positive enthusiasm, spontaneity, and warmth. (Imagine tongues of fire leaping toward the sky). Earth signs, which are Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn share the characteristics of practicality, industry and patience. (Think of "down to earth"). Air signs, which are Gemini, Libra and Aquarius share the characteristics of intellectual pursuits, communication and connecting with others. (Remember air carries sound. We say we got an idea "out of the air"). Water signs, which are Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces share the characteristics of intense emotion, sensitivity and feelings. (Tears are water; we say things like "feeling being as deep as the ocean").

But these are not just principles applying to the Sun Signs. That is only a small part of the equation. We would like the Moon signs to be compatible for it represents domestic habits and family background. Mercury compatibility represents communication similarities or lack of them. Venus and Mars together represent sexual compatibility, and the other planets play roles in relationship as well. So it is possible to have compatible Sun signs, but incompatible Moon connections, which would mean that the basic characters are generally compatible, but you may not agree on how to decorate the palace, how to raise the kids, or what kind of house suits you.

At this point, you probably want to know which signs are NOT compatible with each other. Easily answered. The groups above are called "elements" for obvious reasons. We can also group them according to "mode" which is not so obvious. These have characteristics in common, but they are not necessarily compatible. The first group is Cardinal signs. Cardinal means first or foremost. These signs are initiators of activity—or rather they find it easy, indeed, desirable to be first at doing something. But they go about it very differently. They are Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. These signs in abstract principle are not easily mixed. The Fixed signs are Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius, so called, because they are "fixed" in their nature adverse to change. But, again, each does it differently. Then there are the Mutable signs, Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces. Mutable means changeable and these signs are pliable and adaptable as a general rule. You will notice that in each set of four modes, there is one each of a fire, earth, air and water sign. Astrology is very organized.

The most important thing about comparing charts, however, is the rising sign. The rising sign, also called the ascendant, and it's opposite, the descendant, is called the "relationship" axis. It is the descending sign that describes the marriage partner, whether it is a compatible sign with anything else in your chart or not. It is important where the rulers of these points are in each others' charts. This is not so easy or obvious to the layperson. Generally, there should be a strong connection for a lasting relationship. There are several combinations, but some are these: It could be a lasting bond, all things considered, if the ruler of one's descendant is in the same sign as the other's ascending sign or descending sign or their opposites. Same thing for the ruler of the ascending sign.

A "ruler," by the way, is the planet connected with a sign. These are: Mars=Aries, Venus=Taurus, Mercury=Gemini, Moon=Cancer, Sun=Leo, Mercury=Virgo, Venus=Libra, Pluto=Scorpio, Jupiter=Sagittarius, Saturn=Capricorn, Uranus=Aquarius and Neptune=Pisces. So if Libra is on the descendant in one chart, Aries would be rising. Therefore, Venus should be in Aries or Libra in the other person's chart. Another combination is one's ascendant ruler in the same sign as the other's ascendant ruler (or descendants as well). For instance, one many have Leo rising (Sun) and the other may have Gemini Rising (Mercury). If the first one's Sun is in the same sign (or opposite) as the other's Mercury, then a bond is formed. These, of course can be in any sign.

There are several of these "rules." This is just a sample of how complicated it can be to compare two charts. And then there is the composite, which is a chart of two people's combined nativities. This is found by calculating the midpoints of each component of each chart. That is another article, but by no means should a compatibility analysis be done without it.


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Cosmic Views copyright © 1999 Carole Devine. All rights reserved. Hubble telescope photo of the Cat's Eye Nebula copyright © NASA.