Because many of us already look to astrology to help us understand our own personal makeup and the general ways in which we relate to others, it’s only a small step to then consider whether it can shed light on our intimate relationships. Finding someone with whom you feel truly compatible can be a rare experience. Can astrology help you to refine your search, by pointing out the places where you ought to be looking – and the places that you ought to avoid? Or maybe you’re already involved, but wondering whether a truly lasting chemistry is present between you and your partner. Can an examination of your respective astrological charts reveal how good of a fit the two of you may be?

Many of us have found that our astrological profiles are fairly accurate and helpful tools for understanding our likes, dislikes, strengths, weaknesses, and lifestyle tendencies. It’s fair to assume that possessing similar knowledge about the people whom we’re involved with can be likewise helpful. If your most basic values, ideals, and life philosophies are fundamentally at odds with your partner’s, then the relationship is bound to be a rocky road.

But we human beings are pretty complex by nature, and our core values aren’t always so easy to define. To explore the question in astrological terms, we have to look not only at the basic characteristics of our Sun signs (the basic traits that people are asking after when they say, “What’s your sign?”) but also the ways in which those characteristics are influenced by the position of our Moon and Rising signs as well as (to a somewhat lesser degree) the positions of the planets in our charts.

The Swiss psychologist Carl Jung often drew upon astrology when treating his patients. He noted that oftentimes with couples, the Sun position of one would correspond to the Moon position of the other. What this implies is that partners aren’t necessarily drawn to each other by similarities, but rather by an attractive pull that’s created when one is living out certain qualities that are more deeply hidden in the other. It’s often a matter, then, of your astrological makeup complementing your partner’s well, and not necessarily a matter of the two of you being so much alike. The old adage about opposites attracting holds some weight here.

The most important thing to remember is that knowing our astrological influences really just points us to the “raw materials” of our makeup. It’s like a list of the ingredients in a cake. There’s still a lot of ways that that cake can turn out, and it’s dependent upon a lot of factors. Couples who may seem completely “astrologically incompatible” may commit to their relationship and discover something wonderful together, while couples that may seem like a match made in heaven according to their astrology will still fizzle out if they’re unwilling to put in the work that’s involved with real intimacy. Astrology is a tool, not a shortcut or a guarantee. Your life and your partnerships are still what you make of them.

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