The Sky Between Us
Astrological Profile for you and your Intimate Relationship
An Astrological Perspective on the Relationship
Between John and Julie
TEXT by STEVEN & JODIE FORREST
Programmed by Astrologer, Alphee Lavoie
& Sergei Tarasov,
THE HEART OF THE MATTER
No astrological connection between two people is so inherently dreadful that enough patience, love and determination cannot only make last, but make it something precious to both of them. At the same time, there is no kind of astrological connection so wonderful that enough selfishness, confusion about sex, or plain immaturity cannot turn it into a nightmare. That's the heart of the matter, and it underlies every word you are about to read. This isn't just some squirmy attempt on our parts to escape responsibility for any errors we might make -- it's a recognition of your miraculous capacity to love, to live consciously and creatively, and to take responsibility for yourselves. The power is not in hands of the planets; it's in your own hands, and we want to honor that.
Still, the planetary patterns at your births do reflect certain needs and potential blindspots in your natures. Sometimes there is a beautiful match between those needs and your partner's strengths. Other times, some of your needs might have to survive on a diet of thin soup -- but maybe that's a worthwhile compromise because of the feast you enjoy in other parts of your life together. No relationship is ever perfect in other words. And of course sometimes your blindspots get tangled up with your partner's blindspots and everything becomes a horrible mess. We can't fix that, but we can provide you with some language and perspectives that can help you fix it yourselves, or at least avoid unnecessary emotional wear and tear.
The bottom line is that even though we're astrologers we're not going to forget that you are both human beings, and therefore potentially creative, unpredictable, intelligent, and alive. As long as you two are involved with each other, the planets may insist on asking you certain pressing questions, but the answers you give are always your own.
CUTTING TO THE CHASE
Too many books and theories about relationships assume that the same answers work for everybody. And of course that's not true. Passionate folks need a different kind of relationship than do more detached or laid back ones. Some people are very domestic by nature; others wither unless they have more breathing room or a less traditional bond with each other. Our first step then is to explore each of you as individuals. Were John to be swept away on a UFO, Julie would still be an individual human being with needs and drives in the relationship department. So exactly who is John, independently and as an individual? Let's explore that question in some detail astrologically, then do the same for Julie. Later on in the report, after getting acquainted with the two of them as separate people, we'll wrestle with the obvious questions of how well they fit together.
John's astrological profile
What follows is a thumbnail sketch of John, focusing on the parts of his character that are most relevant to questions of sex, love, and intimacy. Later we'll explore how well all this matches up with Julie.
The center of the astrological universe is always the Sun. There is something to which John must be true if he is going to be authentically real, psychologically centered, and fully committed to life. Astrology is a lot more complicated than Sun Signs, but we can never leave them out of the picture. The Sun is what holds the solar system together, and it holds all the different voices in John's psyche together the same way.
When John was born, the all-important Sun was in the Sign Leo, the Lion. John displays a great capacity for warmth, magnanimousness, generosity and playfulness. The ideal partner is an affectionate, demonstrative soul who helps him enjoy life to the fullest, encourages his inventive spirit, and isn't threatened by his charisma. If a relationship fails to provide sufficient shared joy and healthy mirroring, John may eventually feel undervalued and deprived. However, if the relationship is the sole source of his "strokes," he is courting trouble, because that's too much to ask from any one person. John would do well to have a creative outlet, and/or another source of personal affirmation and satisfaction besides the relationship.
The Houses of the birthchart are just a way of indicating where a planet was physically in sky when a person was born -- rising, overhead, down below the horizon somewhere. Symbolically, they're just as important as Signs. At the time of John's first breath, the Sun was in the Eighth House, which suggests a quality of intensity, passion, and depth in John's character, and underlying that, a deep tidal flow of energy, drives, and images welling up from the buried, taboo, instinctual realms of the human psyche. Quite a stew! This is always a touchy subject because, while John does need to guard against becoming simply moody, withdrawn, or "too complicated,", we must also respect a few legitimate facts about him: he feeds his spirit with that kind of pensive, solitary reflection, and without it, his energy would be sapped. He also possesses a genuine need for emotionally-charged, unflinching connection with a few dear souls in this world. And no one who really loves or even understands him is going to be too quick to interpret those parts of his character in terms of his being "demanding" or full of "unreasonable, unfathomable emotional needs." One unmistakable bottom line is that John gets along most easily with other people who have a similarly profound, passionate orientation and with whom he can exchange these mysterious, ancient energy-sacraments. Such people are thus not inclined to be too judgmental about his lack of some requisite "appropriateness" or "perspective." What a more shallow, self-controlled kind of person might perceive as emotional excess on John's part, a deeper soul might see as refreshing honesty.
The Moon, in a nutshell, is the heart. One could describe it as the "mood" of a person's life. It's connected to whatever makes us happy -- what feeds or nourishes us emotionally. It's always at least a little bit irrational, and yet if we don't take care of the Moon, we tend to be in a chronic lousy mood and to be hard not only on ourselves, but also on the people around us. Needless-to-say, a reasonably healthy Moon function is absolutely essential to intimacy for one simple reason: if we are not taking care of our Moons, were not even intimate with ourselves, and that puts severe limits on our ability to be intimate with anyone else.
When John was born, the Moon was passing through the Sign Taurus, which has always been associated with a combination of grounded practicality and earthy sensuality. Consistent with that kind of picture, the mood of John's life is one of steadiness, an appreciation of stability and material quality, and a commitment to full presence in the here-and-now. Intimate life with such a down-to-earth creature has many charms, high among them the fact that he is probably not shy in bed, but those advantages might be balanced by certain propensities in John of which he may not be fully aware: a stubborn streak, a certain vulnerability to becoming unconsciously bogged down in psychological routines, and a kind of committed, absolute reasonableness that might choke magic, passion, and spontaneity. He doesn't have to be a living, breathing illustration of all that darker material -- but avoiding it requires that he be willing to see himself in reflected in the mirror of love...which is to say that he listens to the observations of those who care about him.
The Moon was also in the Fifth House of the birthchart, suggesting that the central reigning needs for John are the drive to express himself creatively, the hunger to be heard and noticed, and, rather delightfully, the simple desire to have a memorably good time. He is a natural performer, able to rivet people's attention and create an atmosphere of celebration. His mental wellbeing is enhanced enormously if he honors his authentic creative gift by developing it and expressing it. Failing that, he could catastrophically attempt to make up the "joy deficit" in ways that could ultimately hurt him -- excesses or poor judgement in terms of food, alcohol, recreational drugs, and of course sexuality. However we look at him, we must recognize that John is a true "pagan" in the best sense of the word -- alive, a little wild, and ready to drink the cup of existence to its proverbial dregs.
Sun and Moon are like head and heart, but there's a third factor that's almost as important. It's the Ascendant, which is simply the Sign that was dawning in the east at the instant of birth. Quite simply, it represents how you "dawn" on people: it's your style, the way you present yourself. At the time of John's birth, Sagittarius was dawning over the eastern horizon of Cambridge City Hospita.., and thus he wears the "Mask of the Gypsy." As that archetypal image implies, there's a dashing aura of devil-may-care style around him, full of breezy zest, panache, and color.
The Ascendant works like a colored filter through which the light of the rest of the chart shines, so all John's interior processes and drives, whatever he may actually be feeling, are given this unconstrained, free-spirited, high-minded Sagittarian "spin" as they are expressed -- bright, lofty, and not necessarily leaving a clear trail of breadcrumbs to follow into the deeper recesses of his emotional life. More than John likely realizes, people tend to think of his flair in almost mythically grand terms, not always seeing what is beneath it. Creating that superhuman impression is not his actual intention, but his "gypsy mask" may have that effect...and the quality of John's intimate life benefits from a little reflection on the misunderstandings, even on the parts of people he deems very close, that may be the price of that phenomenon. At the same time, we need to add that anyone trying to be close to him offers John a tender gift by supporting his occasional need to go howl at the moon somewhere on the south side of the "wild blue yonder."
Everybody's chart contains all the planets, but sometimes a given planet really stands out as particularly definitive for that individual. One of the simplest and most powerful ways a planet can attain that kind of prominence is just by being lined up closely with any of the three big factors we've looked at already -- in a "conjunction" with the Sun, Moon, or Ascendant. Another way is for the planet to be "the Ruler of the Ascendant," which is simply a way of saying that the planet has a special relationship with the Sign that was rising when you were born. Investigating those possibilities, here's what we find in John's case:
The Sun was conjunct Mars, the traditional God of War, pumping up John's passion in every sense of that word. He has a streak of hot temper, and a kind of animal vitality which many people will find both irresistible and simultaneously a bit frightening or overwhelming. The need for simple sexual release is typically emphasized in Mars-people, and John may tend to get temperamental and tightly-wound if that avenue is blocked for very long for any reason. A relationship with him is not for the faint-hearted, nor for any shrinking violet, nor for anyone with a terribly prim attitude toward the appetites of the body. Whatever difficulties or stresses may be involved with sharing life with him, there's one factor that balances them all: Like the good "warrior" he is, John is fiercely loyal to those whom he loves.
When John was born, no planet was actually rising, but all is not lost! Our next stop will be a consideration of which planet was RULING the Ascendant.
Jupiter is the "ruler" of John's Ascendant. When we look for it in his birthchart, we find it in the Sixth House. That emphasizes a quality of competence and skill in his nature, and probably a strong sense of responsibility -- clearly positive attributes when it comes to the task of keeping a relationship on track...unless he slips into a pattern of offering a partner services, labor, and duty as a substitute for simple sharing, vulnerability and love.
One cannot talk long about the astrology of love without bumping into the Goddess of Love herself: Venus. There's an unfortunate tendency to "feminize" Venus, but a casual glance at any man's birthchart will reveal a startling fact: males possess the planet too! Still, Venus is connected with a lot of behaviors that have traditionally been allotted socially more to women than to men: tenderness, romantic drives, the urge to make oneself attractive, how we go about the delicate art of "arranging to be caught."
When John was born, Venus was in the Sign Gemini. In the sentimental realm, John is inquisitive, alert and lively, albeit somewhat easily bored. Gemini is the Observer and the Storyteller, and with hisVenus there, John responds to colorful, energetic partners, good listeners and raconteurs. Gemini likes to share ideas and experiences, and absolutely loves new ones--and people who are open to new experiences. Conversational style helps, but substance is just as important. In courtship, you may not have to be the most articulate person in the room, but it definitely helps if he finds you one of the most fascinating. How to win John's heart? Make his life far more interesting with you than it would be without you. Give him something to wonder about. Be willing to go on safari for information together. How to drive him away? Refuse to learn anything new, close your mind and lock it, and be as predictable--and as bland--as yesterday's oatmeal. It was also in the Seventh House, which implies that John's attractive Venusian energies, and his awareness of them, are central to his relationship dynamics. He brings grace, sensitivity and charm to relating, and yearns for an appealing, courteous, cultivated partner. Aesthetic sensibilities may be strong in John and would be appreciated in a mate. Reciprocity and a fine-tuned social awareness are also important. However, because the Seventh is the House of everything which we at least initially perceive as not part of the self, John may feel that he lacks all of those attractive Venusian characteristics. If that feeling remains, to make up for his perceived shortcomings, he may unconsciously seek an enchanting, creative, drop-dead gorgeous god or goddess for a partner--and be profoundly insecure about his ability to hold such a prize. The more that John develops and recognizes Venusian poise, attractiveness and refinement within himself, the more likely he is to draw someone who shares them.
If Venus has been overly feminized over the centuries, certainly Mars has been overly masculinized. Here's the "War God" -- a symbol of the heat of your blood, your intensity, and your healthy animal desires. It's passionate and unabashedly sexual. While Venus represents the tender contact of eyes and hearts, Mars is centered a little further south in the human anatomy.
In John's chart, Mars lies in the Sign Leo, which invigorates it. The God of War lights up in the exuberant sign of the King. John's erotic energy and other passions are easily kindled, ardent, generous and impulsive. There's an ability to lead and inspire others, a need to give and receive praise, and a short fuse. Chronic negativity is a turn-off for John. At worst, he can be egocentric and melodramatic, may demand that the partner's world revolve around him, and may sulk, pick fights or flirt if it doesn't. When John's Mars is healthy, he has playfulness, a well-developed sense of humor, an understanding of courtship as a delightful game best conducted with mutual appreciation, and a love of color and romance. A creative and resourceful lover, John can woo by treating the partner like a king or queen--and blossoms under the same royal treatment in return. Cultivating the ability to laugh at himself brings out the best in John's Mars sign. It was also in the Eighth House, where its fiery energy becomes associated with John's sexual style and psychological nature. If he is reasonably honest and courageous about his own inner realities, he is a passionate, intense, hungry creature, full of the need for shared emotional experience and shared emotional release. The simple urge for sexual pleasure is perhaps stronger here than in other people, but the point is really larger than that: John's drive is for "grand passion," and that is every bit as much a psychological process as a physical one. If he understands that, then the mating process becomes one of almost frightening honesty and emotional nakedness. If he missed the point, then he would imagine the drive to be more narrowly physical than it ultimately is, never be satisfied, and as a result probably get rather nasty about it.
Classically, the Seventh House of the birthchart is called "The House of Marriage." Any planet or planets there give us insight into the nature of our most natural partners and friends in life -- a subject we'll explore thoroughly a little later in the report. Such planets also tell us something very significant about what we need to learn and where we need to grow if our intimate life isn't going to read like gossip column -- or the obituaries.
When John was born, Mercury, the "Messenger of the Gods," was low in the western sky and therefore in the Seventh House, making vigorous, eager communication a central, essential theme in all his truly close relationships. At one level, John is skilled here, with a particularly elevated ability to frame words and ideas in a way that is custom-designed to work well for whoever is listening. On a deeper level, the key for John's longevity in commitments lies in maintaining intellectual interest in his partner -- and that in turn depends absolutely upon his cultivating an eternal willingness to listen freshly, to expect surprises, and above all never to "finish other people's sentences for them." That may seem to be a minor breach of etiquette, but with Mercury in the Seventh, it's a far more serious than it seems. If John does that, he has stopped really listening. He has begun to imagine that he knows what his partner is going to say. Right or wrong, that's the beginning of a kind of self-created mental boredom, which quickly kills the very roots of love for anyone with the "Lord of Words" in the House of Love. From the evolutionary perspective, it's really all about listening -- and giving the partner half a chance to BE interesting.
Everybody older than twelve knows the meaning of the words "chemistry" and "electricity" in the context of sexual attraction, but they are notoriously difficult to define -- or predict. We've all met people who seemed utterly inappropriate as partners for us, but there was "just something about those eyes..." Sometimes of course that's a signal to catch the next shuttle for Alpha Centauri, but other times it's a reminder that, as sexual beings, we are inheritors of an ancient and mysterious biological legacy, and while we perhaps shouldn't let it run our lives uncritically, a relationship that lacks that certain undefinable quality of compelling passion might not have the oomph to get us through those inevitable threadbare patches on the road of love. Astrologically, these matters are reflected in the Eighth House of the birthchart. It describes your "natural lover" -- a notion we'll investigate in detail later on -- and also the qualities you must develop in yourself in order fully to inhabit your primordial, instinctual sexuality.
In John's case see above.
Human relationships are precisely twice as complicated as individual human beings. We'd like to complete our investigation of John's intimacy profile in a graphic way with a series of scales that compare him to the average human being in a variety of categories. Let's emphasize that there's no special virtue in scoring "average" in every category. Extremes here aren't unhealthy -- just strongly individual!
Our first Scale is called "Centrality of the Relationship Drive." What we're getting at here is just how important the urge toward intimacy is for John both from a psychological perspective and also from the viewpoint of the evolutionary needs of his soul.
Next, the Need for Psychosexual Intensity. This isn't to be confused with how often John wants to "do it!" What we're looking at here is the drive toward deep, almost scary eye contact and the exchange of strong, primal emotions. This kind of fire isn't everyone's cup of tea, but for those who need it, living without it can feel like walking death sentence.
Our "Capacity for Conflict" Scale reflects the fact that all relationships involve friction at times. Some people are more comfortable with the expression of anger than are others. There is no ultimate right or wrong in this, but if two people are very far apart on this scale, there are some obvious challenges in terms of finding effective ways of communicating their frustrations with each other.
"Domesticity" is word that conjures up boring images of Dagwood and Blondie Bumstead. That's not what we mean here at all. Some people are naturally oriented strongly toward homelife -- quiet evenings spent reading, meals shared, family feelings, caring for the physical home and enhancing its beauty and comfort.
Next, we come to our "Flirtatiousness" Scale -- and please don't take this as an indicator of infidelity! As any sexually sophisticated person knows, part of what puts the sparkle in our eyes is the sexual or romantic awareness that people have of each other in broad, usually safe, social contexts. Of course, some of us are more "flirtatious" than others. Serious differences between people on this scale could lead to a lot of tension, insecurity, and argument. How does John look in this department?
"Need For Verbal Communication." What about talking things out? Some people need to put everything into words in order to feel close and connected. Others are comfortable with silent understandings. Here's how it looks for John
"Need for Solitude and Privacy." Love is wonderful, but we all need some time alone too. How central is the drive for solitude and privacy for John?
"Need for Autonomy and Independence." Relationships always involve compromise and joint decisions. Some people find that surrendering of absolute authority over their own lives easier than do others. How strong is John's need for autonomy and independence?
"Need for Stability and Security." Solidity, reliability, and predictability in the relationship area have some appeal for almost everyone, but they sometimes must be paid for in terms of spontaneity, freedom, and serendipity. How strong is John's need for stability and security in the relationship?
"Need for Emotional Expression." People can talk about their needs and drives reasonably and logically, and that's necessary sometimes. But what we're getting at here is the fact that some people need to experience their partner's emotions more directly and also to express their own inner states in less cognitive, more primordial ways -- tears, touch, tone of voice. Where is John on that scale of human possibilities?
This completes our preliminary investigation of what John brings to this relationship, quite independently of Julie. There will be a lot more information about John emerging later, but for now let's leave him and turn our scrutiny toward the mysterious case of Julie.
John's natural mate
Read enough of those paperbacks about "How to Find the Perfect Relationship" and you might get the idea that if only you could find somebody who'd underlined all the same passages, you'd live happily ever after. But there's something ancient and wise inside all of us that knows better. The "right person" isn't just some walking statistic who agrees with you in every way -- how boring! Choosing a mate is lot more complicated than that dull, deadeningly safe game, and many dimensions of our psyches are involved in making the right choice. We've already investigated some of the more enigmatic parts of that material under the headings of "chemistry" and "electricity." But there's an even deeper mystery here.
Look at any happy, long-lasting relationship. Consider the birthchart of either of the people involved. If you know even a little astrology, you'll make a fascinating discovery: that chart describes not only the person who "owns" it, but the partner as well. It's really pretty amazing -- while you're lying there in your cradle, your chart already describes the individual with whom you'll be sharing life, often in eerie detail...somebody who may not even be aboard the planet yet! One soul-satisfying way of making sense of that fact is to believe that such meetings and relationships are somehow pre-destined...that the notion of "soulmates" isn't totally airhead, in other words.
Our next step in this analysis is to consider what information John's birthchart provides about his natural mate -- and see how well Julie fits that profile. And of course, a few pages further on, we'll turn the tables and look at it from Julie's point of view.
Before we start, two comments: "perfect fits" are just as rare in the relationship department as they are in a shoe store -- and, like shoes, a little wear often makes them a lot more comfortable!
The second comment is that in a mate what we ask for is always complex, and often contradictory -- we might spend a long time looking for the perfect "introverted extrovert," for example. That brings us back to the scarcity of "perfect fits." In the pages that follow, we are going to try to bring some order into this psychologically chaotic question by dividing up John's and Julie's "needs" into a lot of areas. What turns us on erotically in a person may be different than what allows us to relax and be ourselves. What entertains us may be different than what we instinctively trust. All are legitimate desires, of course. Which ones we might be most willing to compromise depends on who we are. A lot of our insights into what qualities in a partner we really can't live without are there in the previous pages where we discussed John's and Julie's personal profiles. As we move forward into thinking about the character of John's natural partner, our first step is to consider the simple question of...
WHAT KIND OF PERSON HE LIKES
Certain kinds of people simply fit John's style of living and being, regardless of gender -- folks who would make good roommates, let's say. That may not be the most exciting idea in the world, but it's absolutely essential to two people sharing life sanely and harmoniously, without their emotional circuits frying. Astrologically, the Seventh House -- the traditional House of Marriage -- gives us lots of insight into the kinds of people with whom we simply tend to "get along."
One way of exploring this House is to consider which planet "rules its cusp." At the moment of John's birth, Sagittarius was rising, as we saw earlier. That means that the opposite Sign, Gemini, was on the western horizon - and that's the Seventh House cusp. Now, Gemini is ruled by Mercury, the Messenger...and that in turn suggests that the people with whom John can form the most lasting, stable relationships are ones with strong communicative, cerebral, questioning qualities, balancing his own tendency toward leaps of faith, mental or otherwise. We are not talking about narrow-minded criticalness here, but rather about a willingness to ask the "taboo" questions that puncture the balloon of ungrounded belief. These are usually intelligent, curious folks, often avid readers or students, intolerant of mental laziness or of anyone who sweeps facts under the carpet. John needs people who balance him that way, helping him to delve more deeply into things, to integrate a little healthy suspicion into his inner equations. Differences, even some "heresy," may arise and press John's Sagittarian buttons from time to time in minor ways; that's just static on the line. There is, however, one absolute emotional hair-trigger for John: boring, closed-minded rigidity. Any such failure on a partner's part to be fully open to life kills his affection faster than a drunk kills a beer. And that, above all, is why these highly curious, itchy, energetic Mercury qualities are such an essential part of any true soulmate of John's, and why it's worth putting up with the occasional differences that go along with them.
How well does Julie answer this description? Lots of astrological factors go into answering a question like that one, but Fear Not: we've reduced it to a simple scale:
Julie's match? Poor fit
When John was born, Mercury was in the Seventh House. This tells us that John's natural partner in life is motivated by a sizzling degree of mental curiosity. Intellectualism is not the point at all; much closer to the mark is the simple, innocent hunger to encounter new experiences and perceptions -- and to share them. It's a commonplace notion that good communication is important to any relationship; to add that it takes on particular importance for John is certainly worth saying. But far more vigorously we emphasize that his natural partner will simply never bore him! Such a person reads, thinks, soaks up new ideas -- and feels a real desire to bounce them off John and learn his viewpoints and reactions. The process is mentally rewarding, and also simply fun for both of them. John may very well find himself happily bonded to a writer, a teacher, or a person involved with the media -- those are the places his natural soulmates often find themselves.
Julie's match? Poor fit
There's more, which tells us that this kind of partnering, negotiating, sharing behavior is an important area for John. When he was born, Venus was in the Seventh House. We probed what that position meant to John personally earlier. Our aim here is to see it from a new perspective -- not about John's own inner workings, but rather about what this Venus placement says about his natural mate. Such an individual would certainly be "Venusian," which is to say, affiliative, friendly, and probably popular -- and very likely quite attractive to others, both personally and physically. There's an excellent chance John's soulmate would prove to be an artist of some sort -- or at the very least, someone of distinguished tastes and aesthetic sensitivities, who brought a level of grace and sophistication into John's life...and maybe helped him dress more flatteringly, polish his social skills, and generally spend more time soaking up "the finer things."
Julie's match? Yes!
When he was born, Uranus occupied the Seventh House. In earlier pages we scoped out the meaning of that placement for John as an individual. Now we turn our attention to the meaning of Uranus in the "House of Marriage" in terms of his natural partner in life. Such a person, being a true Uranian, would defy categorization...except as a person who despises being categorized! Like cats, each Uranian who has ever lived has a totally original quirk. From conventional points of view, they are always a little strange..."eccentric" is the word most often trotted out. For reasons known best to the angels, John needs that "wild card" played in his own life, and his natural mate will be one who brings many unexpected developments and unusual people into John's life. Probably, from the initial perspective of John's friends, his choice of mates might seem hard to understand..."they don't seem right together" often being the overture to many happy, if unpredictable, years together. For John, one critical secret in stringing together those happy years lies in realizing that his lover is one who is hyper-reactive to any attempt on his part to be "controlling or judgmental" -- qualities that may exist at least partly in the mind of the beholder, since Uranians tend to be touchy there.
Julie's match? Ooh la la!
Ah, but there is more to love than merely "liking" each other! What about...
Here we're not exactly talking about sex -- don't worry, that's next! -- but something less definable and just as important: romance. Maybe a better way to put it is that if a relationship lacks that delightfully mysterious entanglement we call "romance," sex usually doesn't interest us for very long, no matter how physically attractive the person may be. We're getting at some feelings here that are tough to nail down in precise words, but which loom large in the human heart (and human birthchart!) anyway: feelings of fondness and affection, feelings that make our insides fluttery and warm. What kind of person might inspire John to "climb the highest mountain, cross the widest sea?" Who strikes him as "cute?"
Unsurprisingly, Venus plays a big part in shaping such romantic responses. When John was born, "the Goddess of Love" was in the Sign Gemini the Twins...proverbially, the most talkative of the twelve signs. So, does John have a thing for chatterboxes? Well, certainly his natural lover is one who enjoys a good conversation, and that means listening as well as talking. The real point here is that John responds in a viscerally romantic way to people who always have something new and interesting about which to speak. These are individuals, in other words, who are very much engaged with learning, with seeing new places and meeting new people. They sense that life is rich and brief and that we'd better "eat it now" while we've got it. John can certainly be faithful, but he is not the type of person who can or should truly "forsake all others." his natural mate is one who easily allows him space for contact with other people, and expects the same attitude from him. Part of the magic of such a partnership lies in its deep commitment to freshness and change, to mental stimulation, and to the ongoing adventure.
How well does Julie match up with that profile?
Houses are important here too. John's Venus lies in the Seventh House, revealing to us that John responds romantically to qualities of warmth, aesthetic sensitivity, graceful courtesy, and probably a beautiful face in a partner. Traditionally, the "House of Marriage," the Seventh House is a natural place for Venus, traditionally suggesting "good luck" for John in the relationship category. Much of that fortune depends ultimately of course on choices he makes. But right at the top of the list is the right choice of partners, and one point is sure: John won't be the only one interested! his natural mate is a disarmingly lovely human being, one with many suitors. And yet the hand of destiny is operating here...
Julie's match? Yes!
Romantic feelings are closely tied to the Fifth House of the chart as well. That's the traditional House of "Love Affairs," and has a lot to do with all the sassy, funny, sexy energies that keep the sparkle in people's eyes.
As with the Seventh House, we learn a lot about the Fifth by considering the planet that "rules its cusp." When John was born, Taurus was on the cusp of the Fifth House, which makes Venus its planetary ruler. For John to feel loose and at ease with the spontaneous expression of his sexuality, it helps him a lot to have a partner who is down-to-earth, comfortable in the body, and not so mental or ethereal as to have difficulty embracing the simply sensual, instinctive dimensions of lovemaking. Nothing tacky or crass is implied -- quite the opposite really: John's natural partner is animated by a quality of naturalness, a clarity about human appetites, and comfortable ease with the ways of the "inner animal."
Julie's match? Yes!
When John was born, the Moon was in the fifth house, which really increases the astrological importance of romance, courtship behavior, and some of the inspired silliness that can surround love. In fact, John has an emotional need to keep feeling some of the tender spark of early courting throughout the relationship. Fortunately, he is willing to give a great deal in this area, just as much as he needs to receive. His natural mate is someone capable of great tenderness, a gentle, sensitive lover who helps John feel safe as well as cherished. Someone willing to "nest." Someone who comes straight from--and goes straight to--the heart. Although such a feeling-oriented mate can sometimes be moody, he or she can also be incredibly nurturing, and deeply tuned in to wherever John is emotionally at any given time.
Julie's match? Pretty good
Now for the PG portion of our program...
If not absolutely essential to happiness in a relationship, great sex is at the very least a tremendous assistance to it. They don't call it "making" love for nothing! Around our twelfth birthdays give or take a couple of years, most of us begin to learn exactly how easy it is to trigger those kinds of hot, aroused feelings -- and within a few more years we've learned a more baffling lesson: that they are very difficult to sustain, at least in the context of a long-term monogamous relationship. Whimsical passions are easily found, but what we are about to explore is that much rarer jewel...
Keeping the heat turned on! Some people don't even believe it's possible -- that you inevitably "get over it" and soon settle down to the far more sober realities of arguing over whose turn it is to carry out the garbage. Cynics! Astrology teaches us that sexual energy between two people is in fact sustainable, and that while part of the answer lies inside ourselves (see what we wrote about John's "chemistry" and "electricity" themes in the earlier parts of this report), a significant part of keeping sex alive depends on simply choosing our "natural lover" -- a person in whom all the ancient, eternal archetypes of mating and bonding are focused for us. Astrologically, the Eighth House holds these secrets. One way of unraveling them is to learn which planet "rules its cusp." In John's birthchart, Cancer is on the Eighth House cusp, which puts the Moon in charge as House-ruler. The Moon is the "Healer" or the "Comforter," so the configuration suggests strong themes of mutual nourishing, soothing, and supporting. John's natural lover is certainly a caring person and very probably a markedly giving one, not hesitant about the expression of feelings, and deeply aware of the need to create a space for receiving impressions of John's own inner states. There are warmly domestic themes here and they are inseparable from healthy, lasting sexuality; the joys of sitting in the kitchen drinking tea, of improving the house, perhaps of cultivating the company of a fine, lazy cat. For John, gentleness, sensitivity, and a certain "mellowness" are tremendously desirable qualities in a partner. Only with the sense of an absolute commitment to heart and home together can John open up the deepest, most primal dimensions of his passion, which involve levels of emotional intimacy and nakedness that most human beings never even imagine.
Julie's match? Ooh la la!
At John's birth, the Sun was in the Eighth House. We looked at some of what that piece of the puzzle meant for John personally earlier in the report. Now we can discover what it tells us about his natural lover. Such a person is of a SOLAR nature, which is to say a distinctive, memorable individual, and one with at least some degree of charisma and presence. Since John's own nature is passionate and intense, it follows that his natural mate possesses similar qualities, and is one who can be open to some of the more extreme psychic and emotional places that deep, committed sexual communion can reveal. There are more kinds of "nakedness" than the kind that comes from undoing buttons -- and anyone who has to think twice about what that line means may be a very fine person, but not one qualified to share John's bed for very long! Being close to him is rewarding, but it's no job for a wimp.
Julie's match? Yes!
The plot thickens, which lets us know that maintaining a deep erotic attunement to each other is a particular imperative for John. When he was born, Mars dominated the Eighth House. We put that configuration under the microscope for John personally a few pages ago. Now let's consider what it adds to our characterization of his natural lover. Mars is the Warrior, so anyone who is likely to hold a lasting erotic fascination for John will have a warrior's nature -- lots of passionate intensity, an appreciation of directness, healthy physical appetites. Above all, such an individual is willing to risk peace for the sake of truth. That may not be the easiest way to get amicably through a typical rainy Tuesday night, but in the long run it does breed depth and lasting passion between people, and is good antidote to the sleepiness of love grown perhaps too comfortable and predictable...the latter conditions being perhaps the most frightening notions in the world to the sort of human being who is wired to share John's bed for the long haul.
Julie's match? Yes!
When he was born, Pluto held dominion over the Eighth House -- a place for which it has a great natural affinity, so this is very focused, charged astrological material. Earlier we analyzed some of what that configuration implied about John as an individual. Now let's see how it fills out our portrait of his natural sexual partner. Anyone who could hold his erotic attention for the long haul would be distinctly Plutonian -- which is to say, an intense, penetrating, probing person, one radiating a vibration of considerable personal power and magnetism...the sort of individual to whom strangers are inclined to make unbidden confessions. John needs intensity; we saw that earlier. Now we find evidence that he may at times think he "prayed a little too hard" for it! (he didn't really; this is just exactly what he requires. No other kind of relationship would command his fascination over the span of years.)
Julie's match? Yes!
Finally, we come right down the roots of the matter. Romance, partnership, terrific sex -- when they work their magic on us, they are like three rivers flowing into what is perhaps the most basic and ancient of all human institutions: a sense of home. After a while, given hard work and the Grace of God, couples may come to a place where they can "take each other for granted" -- in a very pleasant sense of that phrase! No one is going to leave. Trust and commitment are total. And (blessedly!) time spent "working on the relationship" diminishes. Astrologically, these deep feelings of comfort and familiarity are represented by the Moon. We've already considered it from other perspectives, but now, with John's Moon in Taurus, we can see what light it sheds on this most ancient of human institutions: clan, home, and roots. Taurus is deeply connected with the earth itself, and with Nature and all Her creatures...so anyone who is likely to be a natural life-partner for John is likely to share his passion for such primordial matters. This could mean someone who loves to garden, one who has slept under the stars more than once in the past decade, or one who can start a fire with flint and steel. But we need to cast our net a little more widely than all that backpacking talk. What is at stake with Taurus is the "inner animal" -- a part of us that is physical, instinctual, and sensual. And an emphasis on those properties is essential in anyone with whom John is likely to be comfortable for the long haul. Such a person will have enthusiastic, generally uncomplicated attitudes toward all our biological appetites and needs, and a corresponding taste for keeping things simple and on an even keel in the intimate department...one, in other words, who can "mate" with the rustic simplicity of a mourning dove -- or a Taoist sage.
Julie's match? Pretty good
Another piece of the puzzle when it comes to these feelings of having deep roots together is the Fourth House -- the traditional "House of the Home." One way of getting perspective on this part of the chart is to discover which planet rules its cusp. At the moment of John's birth, Aries was on the Fourth House cusp, which makes Mars its ruler. This is the ancient war-god, and that tells us that for John to feel truly and absolutely committed to a home, his partner there must be a person of ferocious and fiery loyalty -- one with a "warrior" nature, in other words...at least when it comes to commitment to "hearth and home." Such people are often hot-tempered, but the real issue here is not temper, but rather a fierce capacity to make a vow and "die with our boots on" keeping it. While John understands that the process of relating often involves working through disagreements, if someone or something "out there in the world" attacks him, he knows he can count on his partner's devotion and fidelity throughout the duration of the assault...and that the "rights" and "wrongs" of the situation will be sorted out later, pointedly perhaps, but only after the "attacker" -- which may be a person or an event -- has been sent packing. Allegiance is the key word here, and without it, the whole notion of "home" loses its center of gravity for John.
Julie's match? Yes!
When John was born, there were no planets in the Fourth House, so most of what we can learn about this part of John's life we already discovered a moment ago when we considered the sign on its cusp.
Enough of considering how well Julie meets John's needs. It's time to turn the tables.
Julie's astrological profile
In the following few pages we do for Julie what we just did for John, again concerning ourselves primarily with the dimensions of Julie's personality most connected to questions of sex, love, and intimacy. Later on, we'll put all this together and investigate how her profile connects with John's.
As we saw earlier, the center of the astrological universe is the Sun. As above, so below: there is a psychological "center of gravity" around which Julie's life must orbit if she is going to be authentically real, centered, and fully alive. When she was born, the life-giving, identity-defining Sun was in the Sign Libra, the Artist. Julie would probably agree that relating is like breathing--not that it's as easy, but that it's just as necessary. In fact,she needs healthy and ongoing heart-ties with several close friends, as well as a primary relationship. Julie wants to be fully and gracefully partnered, with fairness, courtesy, reciprocity and balance, as well as romance. She has a world of attention to offer in return. Shared appreciation of the arts and other aesthetic experiences are great pluses here. So is a firm decision by both partners that Julie's needs are just as important as her partner's needs--not more so and not less so. Therefore, Julie would do well to learn some conflict resolution skills, and not settle for merely the appearance of the harmony that she so cherishes and is quite capable of establishing.
The Houses of the birthchart, as we learned a few pages back, tell us where in the sky a planet was at the time of a person's birth -- rising, setting, whatever. Symbolically, they're really just as important as the Signs, even though they may not be as widely-known. At the time of Julie's birth, the Sun was in the Eleventh House, which suggests a quality of teamwork, good political instincts, and a sense of strategy in Julie's character, and underlying that, a slowly unfolding pattern of destiny. This is potentially a touchy subject because, in a nutshell, Julie is something of a late-bloomer. While she does need to guard against impatience or subsequent distraction by the whimsies of the crowd, we must also respect a few legitimate facts about her: she feeds her spirit by slowly achieving an elevated inner state of vision -- and only then expressing it publicly. Without that enduring sense of the long view and the slow realization of her aspirations, her energy would be sapped. She also possesses a genuine calling to participate in the destiny of larger groups of people -- organizations, teams, crowds of friends -- and this must be honored. One unmistakable bottom line is that Julie gets along most easily with other people who have a similarly long-term, strategic orientation, and who can be "team players." Such people are not inclined to be judgmental about her lack of some requisite "lone gunman" mentality. What a less savvy kind of person might perceive as delay or unnecessary consensus-building on Julie's part, a deeper soul might see as an expression of her sense of patience, realpolitik, and the long view.
The Moon represents the emotional, subjective part of life -- Julie's "mood" averaged over the span of her years. It's linked to whatever makes her happy -- what nourishes her heart. Moon-energy always feels a little "trans-rational," but if we don't indulge ourselves and succumb to it occasionally, we become moody and hard. One bottom line is that if Julie isn't taking good care of her Moon, she's not in touch with herself at an emotional level and naturally that limits her ability to connect with anybody else, Julie included.
When Julie was born, the Moon occupied the Sign Aries, which has always been associated with the Warrior Archetype. The mood of Julie's life is one endless push, and perhaps more than she knows, there is an unconscious tendency to frame everything as an urgent battle -- a battle which must absolutely be won! Intimate life with such a fiery creature entails some emotional wear and tear, and requires some diplomacy. But those costs are balanced by Julie's appealing qualities of intense, almost devotional loyalty. Still, she nourishes her soul with peak experiences and over-the-top bursts of berserker effort. Not all of these detonations unfold in the relationship department, but one point is clear: in Julie we are looking at a person who requires a passionate, somewhat rough-and-tumble, style of intimacy...and one who, given half a chance, promises one gift that just might balance all the stress:she will never be boring.
The Moon was also in the Fifth House of the birthchart, suggesting that the central reigning needs for Julie are the drive to express herself creatively, the hunger to be heard and noticed, and, rather delightfully, the simple desire to have a memorably good time. She is a natural performer, able to rivet people's attention and create an atmosphere of celebration. Her mental wellbeing is enhanced enormously if she honors her authentic creative gift by developing it and expressing it. Failing that, she could catastrophically attempt to make up the "joy deficit" in ways that could ultimately hurt her -- excesses or poor judgement in terms of food, alcohol, recreational drugs, and of course sexuality. However we look at her, we must recognize that Julie is a true "pagan" in the best sense of the word -- alive, a little wild, and ready to drink the cup of existence to its proverbial dregs.
The Ascendant, as we saw earlier, is the third leg of astrology's basic tripod, along with the Sun and Moon. Technically, it's simply the Sign that was rising in the east at the instant Julie was born, just as the Sun rises in the morning. The symbolism is straightforward -- it represents how she first appears to people: her style, the way she behaves socially, even the way she is most comfortable dressing. At the instant of Julie's birth, Scorpio was dawning over the eastern horizon of Rome 41N5400 12E2900 , and thus she wears the "Mask of the Scorpion." As that image implies, it's not wise to mess with Julie -- there's an aura of intensity, perhaps even of danger, around her, full of penetrating gazes and disarming candor.
The Ascendant works like a colored filter through which the light of the rest of the chart shines, so all Julie's interior processes and drives are given this laser-beam-to-the-heart Scorpionic "spin" as they are expressed -- insightful, piercingly astute, and not necessarily designed to put anyone at ease. More than Julie likely realizes, people tend to feel the need either to "confess" to her -- or to flee! Creating that impression is not her actual intention, but her intensity of style may have that effect...and the quality of Julie's intimate life benefits from a little reflection on the possible misunderstandings that may ensue. At the same time, we need to add that anyone trying to be close to her offers Julie a tender gift by learning to feed her heart with time taken for real contact, eye-to-eye, uncensored, and unabashed.
Sun, Moon and Ascendant are always critical pieces of the puzzle, but sometimes a certain planet really seems to help define a particular individual. One way a planet can claim that kind of power is by being lined up closely in the sky with any of the three big factors we've looked at already -- in a "conjunction" with the Sun, Moon, or Ascendant. Another road to fame for a planet, as we saw in the case of Julie's chart, is for it to be "the Ruler of the Ascendant." In Julie's astrological chart, here's what we find:
The Sun was conjunct Venus, the traditional Goddess of Love, placing intimacy concerns very much in the center of Julie's pattern of motivations. She is romantic, erotically-alive, and tender by nature, and radiates a kind of magnetic attractiveness to which an (appallingly!) wide variety of people respond. Typically, there is courtesy -- and the expectation of its return! There is also in Julie a deep aesthetic sensitivity, which is linked irrevocably to her sexual responsiveness. That means that she is moved to erotic openness by the sharing of flowers, music, candlelight, scent, lovely clothing, and the effort to be as beautiful as Nature permits -- and conversely, that nothing turns her off faster than crassness or gross lapses in personal hygiene!
When Julie was born, no planet was actually rising, but all is not lost! Our next stop will be a consideration of which planet was RULING the Ascendant.
Pluto is the "ruler" of Julie's Ascendant. When we look for it in her birthchart, we find it in the Tenth House. That position emphasizes a quality of destiny, public ambition of some sort, perhaps a real sense of "mission" in her life -- definitely an ambivalent set of virtues when it comes to relationships. On one hand, Julie could be perceived as "taking too much time away from the relationship" -- and feel misunderstood and resentful that her nature was being unfairly framed in those kinds of pathological terms. On the other hand, sharing life with her is likely to be an interesting ride, full of amazing developments, and if she plays her cards right, it probably culminates in financial improvement -- and "social improvement" too, however Julie and her partner might define that notion.
The astrology of love must of course pay homage to the Goddess of Love herself: Venus. Here we find the most elemental symbol of our romantic drives, the urge to make ourselves attractive physically and emotionally, and how we go about drawing out feelings of fondness toward us in others.
When Julie was born, Venus was passing through the Sign Libra. In the realm of romance, Julie is charming and refined, but may need to be more forthcoming about her own needs. Libra is the Lover, and with Venus there, Julie appreciates almost any graceful and considerate gesture whose intent is to further the relationship. Almost no other Venus sign can be so attentive, can simply notice and remember so much about the mate. Libra wants harmony and reciprocity, to be fully met and fully partnered by an equal. In courtship, this implies that Julie can give a great deal--and wants just as much in return. She can easily put herself in the partner's place, but shouldn't assume that everyone else was born with the same innate people-smarts. A useful exercise for Julie might be to state, clearly and plainly, exactly what she wants, rather than expecting the partner to be a mind-reader. In a committed bond, nothing upsets Julie more than unfairness, needless abrasiveness, or lack of courtesy. Venus was also occupying the Eleventh House, which implies that Julie's attractive Venusian energies may be slow to develop. Planets in the Eleventh House may bloom late, but can nonetheless become incredibly powerful later in life. The older that Julie becomes, the better she will understand her relating needs, so she might be wise not to make a commitment early in youth. The Eleventh is the House of the Future, the House of Goals. It rules our membership in the groups, formal and informal, who help move us towards our personal future. With Venus in this tribal House, Julie is a sociable creature. Her natural allies are Venusian: artistic, cultured, warm and considerate. A primary relationship shouldn't cut Julie off from these vital contacts, but neither should she spend so much time in group dynamics that it leaves her little energy for a more personal and intimate relationship. Among the gifts that Julie can offer are a sincere delight in the partner's friends, a willingness to help a partner reach the partner's goals, and an increasing, not decreasing, capacity for romance.
There's another face of love, hotter, fiercer, and far more urgent. That's Mars: hunter, pursuer, fiery lover, slayer of dragons. In Julie's birthchart, Mars heats up the Sign Virgo, which refines it. The God of War can become subtle and discriminating in the sign of the Analyst. The flow of Julie's energy is disciplined, organized, oriented towards detail and, if too often frustrated, may sometimes be sublimated into overwork or health care routines. Here we find the Mars of a technician or a craftsperson, wielding a stiletto, not a blunderbuss. Chest-thumping, cave-dweller displays of ardor don't go over particularly well with Julie, who can be earthy but tends to dislike crudeness. Precision, diplomacy, strategy and selectivity mark her natural erotic style. Julie can woo by demonstrating how much she could improve the partner's life, by trying to make herself indispensable. Helpful, efficient and logical, Julie may sometimes be overly analytical or critical, and can also be highly susceptible to criticism from a partner. However, the invaluable accompaniment to Julie's sensitivity is an aptitude for fearless self-appraisal, a willingness to admit errors and a desire to improve both the self and the relationship. The War-God was also in the Eleventh House, where its fiery energy becomes associated with Julie's well developed ability to think strategically and competitively. She tends to have clear, emotionally-charged aims and desires, and to go after them with passionate, almost monomaniacal focus. Anyone who is going to get along with her will of course have at the very least to know enough to get out of the way when she shows symptoms of being on the "warpath." In a mate, that particular kind of sensitivity is essential. Among friends and colleagues, inevitably there will be some who find Julie's fierceness in pursuing her goals uncomfortable, and they might react negatively to her, creating some "interpersonal dramas" on the team.
"The House of Marriage," in traditional astrology, is the Seventh. If any planets are found there they provide sketches of our most natural partners and friends. That's a matter we'll investigate in Julie's case quite deeply a few pages further on. Seventh House planets also point out what we need to know about ourselves and about our authentic relationship needs if our love life is going to feed us more than it drains us.
In Julie's case, there are no planets in the Seventh House, so we need to look elsewhere in her chart for relationship clues. And don't worry -- they're abundant.
We have all met attractive, thoroughly appropriate, people whom we "really liked," but with whom we simply could not conceivably imagine ourselves in bed -- just not enough "chemistry" and "electricity." Familiar words, but what do they really mean? The qualities that induce such a strong response of deep familiarity, connection, and bodily "rightness" in us toward another person are reflected in the Eighth House of the birthchart, and it never pays to ignore them. The Eighth House describes Julie's "natural lover" -- a profile we'll detail later in the report. It also defines the qualities she needs to honor and maximize in herself in order fully to claim her primordial, instinctual passion.
There are actually no planets in Julie's Eighth House. That doesn't mean that sexuality has no meaning for her! But it does put the focus on the more rational, less instinctual concerns we've already been investigating.
As we did a few pages earlier with John, we'll cap our outline of Julie's intimacy profile in a graphic way with the same series of scales. Again, remember that there's no special virtue in coming out "average" in every category. Hitting extremes here is really only a problem if your partner is at the other extreme -- and even then, although it takes good communication skills, a sense of humor, and a willingness to be tolerant of human differences, two polarized people can potentially provide each other with a lot of perspective and support.
"Centrality of the Relationship Drive." As you may recall, what we're getting at here is just how important the urge toward intimacy is for Julie, both from a psychological perspective and also from the viewpoint of the evolutionary needs of her soul.
Next, the "Need for Psychosexual Intensity." Again, this isn't to be confused with how often Julie wants to make love. What we're looking at here is the drive toward deep eye contact and the exchange of strong, primal emotions. Such penetrating intensity is not for everyone, but for those who need it, living without it is very painful.
All relationships involve some anger. Some people are more comfortable with that than are others. Our "Capacity For Conflict" Scale measures how readily a person adapts to those fiercer intimate realities. Remember that there is no ultimate right or wrong here, but if two people are very far apart on this scale, there are some obvious challenges in terms of finding productive ways of communicating their frustrations with each other.
"Domesticity" isn't meant to be a boring word. It simply reflects the fact the some people are naturally oriented toward homelife -- quiet evenings spent reading, meals shared, family feelings, caring for the physical home and enhancing its beauty and comfort. That's what we're getting at here.
Next, we come to our "Flirtatiousness" Scale -- and please remember not to take this as an indicator of infidelity! Part of what puts the sparkle in our eyes is the sexual or romantic awareness that strangers or even friends trigger in each other. Of course, some of us are more flirtatious than others. Serious differences between people on this scale could lead to a lot of tension, insecurity, and jealousy. How does Julie look in this department?
What about talking things out? Some people need to put everything into words in order to feel close and connected. Others are comfortable with silent understandings. Here's how our "Need for Verbal Communication" Scale looks for Julie
Intimacy may feed the soul, but we all need some time alone too. How central is Julie's drive for solitude, "space," and privacy?
Relationships always involve compromise and joint decisions. Some people accept those negotiated settlements more easily than others. How powerful is Julie's need for autonomy and independence? Again, scoring high here isn't a bad thing...unless your partner is at the other end of the scale, in which case a lot sensitivity and generosity of spirit on both sides are essential.
Stability and security in the intimate life have some appeal for almost everyone, but they sometimes must be paid for in terms of spontaneity, freedom, and serendipity. How strong is Julie's need for stability and security in the relationship?
"Need for Emotional Expressiveness:" People can talk about their feelings reasonably and calmly, and that's a life-saver sometimes. But what we're getting at here is the fact that some people need more primordial exchanges of emotion in order to feel connected -- tears, touch, tone of voice, body language. How strong are Julie's needs on that scale?
Julie's natural mate
Is it best to be with a person who meets your needs perfectly? That's kind of an essay question, isn't it? Complicated, in other words. Our first reaction is probably, "Of Course!" But sleepiness and deadening ritual are the eternal enemies of love, and there's nothing that keeps us alive and alert to each other more effectively than the compelling, exhausting process of "working on the relationship." A little of that may go a long way, but SOME elements of conflict seem to be a useful spice in the stew of committed love. So in the previous pages and in the pages to come, there are places where John meets Julie's needs better than other places -- and vice versa. Keep perspective! Some of those frustrating tensions may be precious in the overall ecology of your relationship.
Onward! We move now to a consideration of what perspectives Julie's birthchart provides about her natural mate -- and a peek at how effectively John satisfies those appetites.
WHO SHE LIKES
The essential "good roommate" syndrome...that mysterious spirit of "simpatico" which allows two people to schmooze, merrily and naturally, in fundamental happy accord -- that's what we're searching for here. We saw it from John's point of view a few pages back. How does it look from Julie's viewpoint? Again, we turn to the Seventh House. In her birthchart, what Sign rules its cusp?" At the moment of Julie's birth, Scorpio was rising, as we saw earlier. That means that the opposite Sign, Taurus, was on the western horizon - and that's the Seventh House cusp. Now, Taurus is ruled by Venus, the Goddess of Peace...and that in turn suggests that the people with whom Julie can form the most lasting, stable relationships are ones with strongly empathetic, diplomatic, tolerant qualities. That helps balance her more confrontative or perhaps intrusive Scorpionic style. We are not talking about terminal "niceness" here, but rather about courtesy, a respect for boundaries, and the laudable drive to make love, not war. These people are aesthetically alive, often artists themselves, intolerant of unnecessary ugliness. Generally they have a lot of Taurean earthiness in their characters too -- a love of gardens, or animals, as well as powerful beautifying impulses. Julie needs people who balance her that way, helping her to create more effective boundaries, helping her avoid complexity in relationships that don't merit it. Differences, even some argument, may arise and press Julie's Scorpio buttons from time to time in minor ways; that's not a big deal. There is, however, one absolute emotional hair-trigger for Julie: shallowness that amounts to withdrawal from the relationship. Any perceived failure positively to connect with her, and to place the quality and depth of the relationship itself first, kills affection faster than a nightmare kills a good night's sleep. And that, above all, is why these highly relationship-oriented Venus qualities are such an essential part of any true soulmate of Julie's, and why it's worth putting up with the occasional differences that go along with them.
John's fit? Pretty good
At the moment of Julie's earthly debut, there were no planets actually located in the "House of Marriage." This doesn't mean that relationship questions are unimportant to Julie -- only that we'd better pay more attention to the material that follows.
Living in relative peace and not bothering each other too much are well and good, but Julie may not be adverse to a little...
What makes Julie's eyes light up in that department? What qualities in another person fill Julie with the desire for long moonlit walks on the beach? For roses and candlelight? What fills her with heartwarming feelings of specialness, rightness, and magic?
Venus helps answer those delightful questions, and when Julie emerged from her mother's womb, "the Goddess of Love" was in the Sign Libra the Balance. So, does Julie have a thing for folks who are always weighing things? Or who are utterly balanced themselves? In a sense, yes. The real point here is that she responds in a viscerally romantic way to people who take a balanced attitude toward everything, who aren't dogmatic, and who can have their own opinions and still entertain Julie's perspectives, even when they are miles apart...people who are fair, in other words. This sense of balance and proportion suffuses more than the mental attitudes of someone who is wired to trigger Julie's gut responses. Anyone would also observe it instantly in the way such an individual dresses, decorates a home, and deals with people: there is an elegance, a sense of style, that, while never pretentious or loud, always seems pretty close to perfection. Julie has a real appreciation of beauty; her natural romantic partner may or may not have been blessed by the gods physically in that department, but one point is sure: such an individual will present an appearance, in action as well as in more material concerns, that maximizes whatever beauty, inner or outer, those gods may have offered.
John's fit? Pretty good
Houses figure in our analysis here as well. Julie's Venus holds court in the Eleventh House, revealing to us that Julie responds romantically to qualities of social skill, popularity, and simple friendliness in a partner. Traditionally, the "House of Friends," the Eleventh House actually refers to almost every human endeavor that requires the coordinated talents and energy of more than two or three people: everything from bands and baseball teams to spiritual movements. For Julie, a natural partner is someone who happens to have a lot of motivation and involvement in some such territories, and some real destiny there. The good news is that Julie will meet a lot of interesting people through her partner. The downside is that sometimes Julie will feel as if she needs to wait in line for attention.
John's match? Pretty good
Julie's Venusian romantic nature is rendered a little more intricate because of a planetary influence on it. At birth, Venus was conjunct the Sun, which suggests that Julie's natural partner is a person with considerable "presence." Such an individual, while fascinating and memorable, is also probably a bit of a handful when experienced at close range. "Dominant" doesn't mean quite the same thing as "domineering," but the very qualities which Julie desires and pursues in a lover will also present her with real challenges once the relationship begins in earnest: in the face of that kind of all-consuming energy, how does Julie remain faithful to her own nature and direction in life? Where does healthy compromise end and wimpiness or co-dependency begin? When has her partner slipped over the fuzzy line that separates the clear expression of one's needs from simple tyranny? These are tough questions, but they pale before one immutable truth about Julie's romantic side: she is destined to share the road with a person who is quite authentically haunted by destiny.
John's fit? Pretty good
The Fifth House -- the traditional House of "Love Affairs" --speaks of the playful, sassy part of sexuality and of relating in general. As with the Seventh House, we begin to unravel its message by pondering the planet that rules the Fifth House cusp. When Julie was born, Pisces was on the cusp of the Fifth House, which makes Neptune its planetary ruler. For Julie to feel easy about the spontaneous expression of her sexuality, it helps her a lot to have a partner who is sensitive, compassionate, and imaginative, and for whom no sexual experience is complete or whole without a sense of the two SOULS embracing as enthusiastically as do their mortal coils. Such a person is undefinable and mysterious, and probably at least somewhat psychic, and together with Julie their lovemaking takes on qualities of some deep, ancient yoga from less inhibited times.
John's fit? Poor fit
At the time of Julie's emergence into the world, the Moon was in the fifth house, which really increases the astrological importance of romance, courtship behavior, and some of the inspired silliness that can surround love. In fact, Julie has an emotional need to keep feeling some of the tender spark of early courting throughout the relationship. Fortunately, she is willing to give a great deal in this area, just as much as she needs to receive. Her natural mate is someone capable of great tenderness, a gentle, sensitive lover who helps Julie feel safe as well as cherished. Someone willing to "nest." Someone who comes straight from--and goes straight to--the heart. Although such a feeling-oriented mate can sometimes be moody, he or she can also be incredibly nurturing, and deeply tuned in to wherever Julie is emotionally at any given time.
John's fit? Yes!
Strolling down the street on a Spring afternoon, we may whimsically "fall in love" three times before we get to the end of the block. Mother Nature seemed determined that there would always be plenty of us around, in other words. But sexual energy, while notoriously easy to turn on, is not always so easy to sustain once the realities of living with another human being set in. So what qualities in another person best support Julie's capacity for...
One of the lower circles of hell, in most of our minds, is reserved for those people with whom we have experienced purple erotic heat, but with whom we simply just could not get along! Well, we've looked what qualities support "getting along" and even "romance" for Julie -- and those needs had better be met if a relationship isn't going to send her packing for the loony bin. But now let's look into putting the cherry on top of that Sundae -- what qualities in another human being can best be trusted to fill Julie with the sort of sexual soul-heat that might last for decades? Astrologically, the Eighth House holds the answer. Which planet rules its cusp? In Julie's birthchart, Gemini is on the Eighth House cusp, which puts Mercury in the catbird seat as House-ruler. That's the "Storyteller" or the "Teacher," so the configuration suggests strong themes of communication, shared ideas, and mental, verbal stimulation. Julie's natural lover is certainly a curious person and very probably a markedly intelligent one, not shy about the expression of ideas, and deeply aware of the role the mind itself plays in maintaining erotic interest between civilized human beings -- conversation, debate, shared experiences of learning, the delights of sharing the bed with a kindred soul and a couple of good books. For Julie, open-mindedness and intelligence are tremendously desirable qualities in a partner. Only with the sense of an ongoing, endlessly unpredictable, far-ranging dialog promising to last for decades between them can Julie open up the deepest, most primal dimensions of her passion.
John's fit? Pretty good
At Julie's birth, there were no planets actually in the Eighth House, which places a lot more emphasis on the material about the sign on the cusp, which we just investigated.
Two people, loving, negotiating, laughing, being scared together...playing, working out a million issues...letting the ancient mysteries of sex wash over them...sooner or later, if all goes well, they begin to experience a sense of "roots" together. Together, they have become a "home." In many ways, this is the Holy Grail of human love. Astrologically, this sense of "belonging together" is signified by that most soulful of symbols -- the Moon. We've already considered Julie's Moon from other angles, but now, with Luna in Aries, we can see what light it sheds on this most ancient of human institutions: clan, home, and roots. Now, Aries is the sign of the Warrior, and perhaps the very highest expression of the Warrior archetype lies in its quality of Protectiveness -- macho-silliness aside, that's the lofty, moral reason behind the existence of Warriors in the first place: to PROTECT home and hearth. With Julie's Moon in Aries, she has a compelling instinct to shield, to guard and to provide. Somewhat ironically, her natural home-mate is no weakling who really NEEDS that much protection - a wimpy person just couldn't cope with Julie's fiery nature! So, such a person is instinctively skilled at a delicate, paradoxical dance: there is an ability to offer Julie absolute safe haven when she is feeling battered by the world, and also a capacity to allow her the Arian joy of offering protection. In other words, for Julie's mate there is no shame in being helped and protected, but there is also a formidable ability to offer the same kind of support...and to sense when the moment has come to flip the switch.
John's fit? Yes!
The Fourth House -- the traditional "House of the Home" -- is certainly part of this picture too. What planet rules its cusp? At the moment of Julie's birth, Aquarius was on the Fourth House cusp, which makes Uranus its ruler. That planet is the harbinger of earthquakes and revolutions, so it's clear we are dealing with high voltage lines here. The kind of place where Julie can most easily feel at home is likely to be modern and airy, full of light, but most tellingly, it will bear the mark of her very real individuality -- which is to say that from a conventional perspective, it may seem a bit zany. It follows that anyone fit to be Julie's hearth-mate is the sort of person who is comfortable in those kinds of surroundings...an independent, futuristic sort, at least slightly eccentric, not overly worried that some maiden aunt will disapprove of the art or furniture or, more likely, the electronic equipment that figures so prominently in the decorative scheme. In domestic matters, such a person is also inclined to take a "live and let live" attitude toward Julie herself -- and to expect the same!
John's fit? Poor fit
When Julie was born, there were no planets in the Fourth House, so most of what we can learn about this part of Julie's life we already discovered a moment ago when we considered the sign on its cusp.
MY SKY OR YOURS?
If my planets are opposite your planets, there might be some tension between them. If mine line up with yours, they might share some natural understanding. "Aspects" is the technical word astrologers use for those kinds of geometrical relationships, and we've found a few of them to be particularly sensitive in human relationships. Planets ninety degrees apart seem to bother each other. Ones separated by sixty or 120 degrees get along more harmoniously. And there are other so-called "minor" aspects as well.
Aspects between charts are tremendously important in synastry, but we need to use them carefully. Lots of astrological harmony between people may sound like a fine thing, but it can easily lead to boredom and sleepiness -- too many shared defense mechanisms and too many "collusions" to avoid growth, to put it in more psychological language. Similarly, lots of tense aspects can make trouble for people in obvious ways...even deciding where to eat tonight can become another "growth experience!" But those tense aspects also breed alertness between lovers, and skill in working through difficulties. They can be quite passionate, in both the delightful and in the exhausting senses of that word. After a fight that comes to a good, clear conclusion and a better understanding between partners, they often feel closer and more intimate: that's the simple, human idea behind the astrological jargon.
So what about Julie and John? On our Harmony/Disharmony Scale, here's how they look:
Remember while you think about this scale that harmony, even though it can be sweet, can just as easily be monotonous -- and that disharmony, while troublesome, can also be passionate! What all this really means for Julie and John as individuals depends on how they work with the unique challenges and opportunities of their own situation.
Regarding those challenges and opportunities, one point is sure -- there is little risk of these two falling asleep in this relationship! There are many ways in which Julie will simply never understand John, and vice versa. Good listening, clear self-expression, and a tolerant sense of humor are all "musts" here, but the greatest asset they've got is the endless, fascinating mystery that each one poses for the other. Long after many couples have faded into a blither of "yes, dears," Julie and John have the potential to be surprising each other, stretching each others' boundaries, and discovering new erotic doorways into each other. This relationship is passionate, growth-intensive, and demanding. If both Julie and John commit to the work, their bond will be precious to both of them. If they don't: let's hope their neighbors have fallout shelters.
Theoretically, it's possible that two people might meet who had absolutely no aspects linking their charts. They probably wouldn't even notice each other. There's an old saying in astrology, "No aspects, no action." In practice, having very few aspects between two charts is a far bigger challenge than having many difficult ones. Many aspects make for a complicated web of bonds between lovers, and such patterns often appear in relationships that last a long time (...even if, in retrospect, they perhaps should not have!) Having many aspects between charts seems to act like a kind of glue -- and you can use it to repair delicate, precious things that may have gotten cracked, or you can epoxy your elbow to your thumb and your thumb to the telephone while you're dialing 911! Glue is just sticky, that's all. It's what we do with it that counts.
How dense are the aspects that link the birthcharts of Julie and John? We've got another Scale, and we'll spare you the technicalities behind it. Suffice to say that not all aspects are created equal, and in creating this Scale we've taken that into account, weighting the portentous ones more than the penny-to-a-dozen kind.
Julie and John are linked by a markedly thick pattern of planetary aspects between their charts. This relationship, both humanly and astrologically, is highly complex. It demands a lot of work and commitment, and it rewards the two of them with the potential for a great richness of intimacy. Both Julie and John will be changed in deep and fundamental ways as a result of their interaction; each one has already seeped deeply into the other's psyche. The web of connectedness which links them would be difficult -- and painful -- to unweave.
So far, in talking about the links between Julie's chart and John's chart, we've just been looking at the big pattern. Now it's time to get down into the details of the matter.
DEVILS AND ANGELS
The specific webwork of planetary connections linking Julie's and John's birthcharts gives us a lot of detail about how these two people get along -- exactly how they compliment each other, bother each other, enjoy each other, befuddle each other. In the pages that follow, we concentrate individually on the most energetic of these geometrical "aspects" that link their two charts, focussing first and most deeply on the truly central ones.
As two planets move away from an exact geometrical alignment -say, they're 174 degrees apart instead of a "perfect" 180 degree opposition - the power of the aspect they form diminishes rapidly. In order really to spotlight the most critical information, in this report we mostly ignore the "sloppy" aspects and concentrate only on the "tight" ones, except in cases where the planetary configurations are just so important that we can't ignore them even if the geometry is loose.
As we saw earlier, some aspects are harmonious -- but perhaps sleepy. Others are disharmonious -- and perhaps full of passionate alertness. We'll call the disharmonious ones "devils," but as you'll soon see, they often offer real energy, aliveness, and intensity to a long-term human bond. The easier ones are our "angels," and there we'll be seeing how the automatically easier parts of a relationship can be made into something even better...if we don't snooze through the opportunity.
As you read, do try to keep perspective! No single "devil" or "angel" tells the whole tale, however nasty or sweet it may be. What we are doing here is bringing up a lot of details about the way Julie and John interact. As always, when we do that, there's a danger of losing the big picture.
Let's start with the biggies then move onto the details.
John's Sun / Julie's Sun
Sun-energy is ego energy, and that's not necessarily a bad thing. Without our egos, we would just sit and stare into space -- and without healthy ego-function, we would never trust ourselves enough to reach very far beyond the refrigerator or the remote control. With John's Sun and Julie's Sun in a harmonious association, they have a natural tendency to energize and encourage each other. Deep in the core of John's identity, the archetype of the Big-Hearted Performer is dominant. And that energy blends well and creatively with Julie's archetype of the Big-Hearted Performer. That linking force is always there between them, although of course on rainy Tuesdays it might be masked by duller feelings. There is a distinct tone of friendship here, of being on each other's team, which is very good news indeed when it comes to longevity in a relationship. Always though, when ego-energies support each other this way, John and Julie must be on guard about being too quick to enhance each other's defenses...they might be blind to the same dangers at the same time, which would be less of a risk for people who saw the world more differently. Still, this harmonious connection between their Suns is a classic sign of astrological compatibility.
John's Sun / Julie's Asc
The inharmonious blending of John's Sun and Julie's Ascendant is a problematic contact. Both Sun and Ascendant are rather self-centered symbols in general, and we do observe the spectre of an unseemly war between egos here. There is something about Julie's style that sometimes rubs John the wrong way, and something about his more narrow, prideful, self-centered side that can trigger volatility and "shutting out" behavior on Julie's part. When it gets bad, John winds up looking like the sorry archetype of the pushy egomaniac, while Julie doesn't fare any better, resembling the archetype of the flaky loudmouth. How can this messy scenario be avoided? Start with the recognition that the dark side of the human ego is the basic problem here. Nobody is immune. And if you are sure that the problem really lies with your partner, try this simple test: If you actively love each other in the present moment and ego isn't getting in the way of that, then you can make soft, open eye contact. If you're caught in the nets of this Sun-Ascendant tension, you can't.
John's Moon / Julie's Mars
The easy connection of John's Moon-feelings and Julie's passionate Mars-energy is a torrid, ardent, and inherently unstable combination, at least at the emotional level. John encourages and enhances the development of Julie's sexual confidence and fire, which is of course good news. Julie, meanwhile, possesses a kind of native eroticism which seem custom-designed to go right to John's deep mammal brain, filling him with passion and also the lunar-urge to make a "nest" and protect it. The instability of the aspect arises from the fact that the Moon and Mars are both emotional and inclined toward irrationality, which is great when it comes to the expression of love, but explosive when conflicts arise. Even with the easy astrological aspect between them, John's and Julie's blood is simply heated -- in every sense -- by this relationship.
John's Asc / Julie's Mars
There is often a prickly, stormy quality to this relationship. John's natural style of presenting himself is flavored with the archetype of his Ascendant, that of the the flaky loudmouth, which is perfectly fine and natural...but there's something about it that just seems to get Julie goat. The key to living peacefully with this tense astrological aspect lies in remembering that the tension is stylistic, and doesn't have much to do with either John's or Julie's real essence. Compromising essence is always a catastrophe in a relationship, but failing to compromise on trivial questions of style is just self-righteous egoism. Julie needs to lighten up; John needs to show some diplomacy, self-restraint, and empathy.
John's Moon / Julie's Jupiter
The uneasy link between John's Moon and Julie's Jupiter isn't terribly problematic by the standards of our "devils" -- neither symbol has enough rough edges to create serious difficulty. It's mostly a question of good intentions gone awry. John may feel uncomfortable when Julie misunderstands a passing mood and tries to "cheer" it up, while the shoe may be on the other foot when John "encourages" Julie in areas where she doesn't feel she really needs it or about which she simply doesn't care.
John's Moon / Julie's Saturn
A tense connection exists between John's Moon and Julie's Saturn and it can easily create a very particular kind of misunderstanding. Saturn is practical while the Moon is emotional, and those parts of the human mind speak very different languages. The risk is that when John needs nurturing and kindness, Julie might be inclined to offer stern, clear counsel -- well-intended, on target, but poorly timed. And of course we can turn it around: times might come when Julie needs concrete commitments, clarity, and adult reasonableness, and feels that John is offering only fuzzy reassurances more suitable to the needs of a child...again, well-intended, but off the mark.
John's Asc / Julie's Jupiter
Here's a blessing for simple joy -- the happy connection between John's Ascendant and Julie's Jupiter. There's a delightful tendency here toward good humor, mutual support and encouragement. John and Julie have a touching kind of faith in each other, and they show it. Psychologically, that pushes both of them toward higher levels of self-actualization. But it's not just a question of attitude: Synchronistically, this combination also triggers the merry phenomenon we call dumb luck.
John's Asc / Julie's Neptune
John and Julie are blessed with the magical ability to look "into" each other's eyes rather than merely "at" them...that may sound subtle, but to the human soul it is a huge distinction. The trick here lies in remembering to make time for this kind of communion, because it is one of the basic nutrients of their relationship. And, while this may seem unfair, in practice it is going to be mostly up to Julie to initiate those quiet moments of spirit-connection, and to read the moments when John is receptive to it.
John's Venus / Julie's Mercury
Julie's style of communication supports John's ability to verbalize his emotions and intimate needs. She benefits a lot from this encouragement, finding new levels of closeness that way. Meanwhile, there is a softening, graceful flow of tenderness from John toward Julie which helps her feel interesting and sexy. And of course anything that enhances the quality of communication in a relationship is priceless.
John's Venus / Julie's Neptune
Ah, lucky you! Neptune is the planet of higher love -- the mystical, eye-gazing sort. With the easy connection between John's Venus and Julie's Neptune, there's a wonderful potential for a kind of psychic communion here that goes deeper than the flesh, deeper than psychology and emotions, and yet manages to include those layers most wonderfully. The rub? Well, there is one and it can be serious. Even a taste of that "garden" is intoxicating. Afterwards, anything less feels like robbery. For John and Julie, there are two challenges: one is learning to create the time and space that are conducive to these kinds of communion. That basically means deep, quiet hours together, away from the world, and it may involve intentional spiritual practice: meditating together, for example. The second challenge lies in learning to see those high moments as Gifts of Grace to be appreciated, not some kind of romantic cosmic entitlement program to be resented when it fails to appear on schedule.
John's Venus / Julie's Pluto
There may be an easy astrological connection between
John's Venus and Julie's Pluto, but its helpful to remember that these two planets aren't naturally very friendly toward each other. Pluto is about hard psychological truth. Its nature is challenging and confronting, while Venus is in all things more moderate. Julie brings a kind of confronting intensity to bear on John's relationship patterns, instincts, and history...something which she may not always appreciate. Still, this exchange works better than we might expect, and the end result is that John gradually becomes more savvy and communicative and probably somewhat tougher, while Julie learns some necessary lessons about patience, forbearance, and humor.
John's Mars / Julie's Mercury
There is an edgy connection between John's Mars and Julie's Mercury, which may lead to sudden, unintentionally escalating, tiffs between them. When that happens, each may blame the other, but an outside observer would be hard pressed to say exactly who had started the battle -- it happened so quickly. Both John and Julie need to be aware of this volatile place in their relationship, and choose moderate language instead of spectacular, over-the-top one-liners that work better in movies than they do in real life between real people with feelings that can get hurt -- and claws that can scratch back.
John's Mars / Julie's Uranus
Since both Mars and Uranus have short fuses and they tend to egg each other on a bit in John's and Julie's charts, we can expect that "colorful" emotional moments abound between these two. Their relationship isn't fundamentally about peace, but there's a playful spirit of teasing and rivalry here that keeps their interaction lively. In the long run, both John and Julie will experience markedly more adventure and surprise in their lives due to this zesty chemistry...provided they're careful not to hide their more tender sides behind the razzing rituals of lusty comradeship.
John's Mercury / Julie's Mercury
With their Mercury's operating in a tense relationship, a gush of stimulating language and ideas is trying to break through between John and Julie. But as always with traditionally "bad" aspects, obstacles must be surmounted before the higher ground can be attained. The bottom line is that John and Julie have very different mental and communicative styles. If they really listen to each other, each will see things that otherwise would remain invisible. They need to avoid cheap ways of avoiding each other intellectually -- turn off the television in other words, and really get into sharing ideas. Talk about books you've read, provocative films you've seen, weird ideas you've been entertaining. Build the skills, and your different mental, intellectual, cognitive styles turn from a problem to a source of enlightenment and stimulation.
John's Mercury / Julie's Uranus
The intellectual and mental cross-fertilization between John and Julie is one of the Wonders of the World. They bring out each other's innate genius, sprinkle it with wit, and encourage its expression and development. At the simplest level, this is plain fun. At higher levels, these two can generate a tremendous flow of creativity together...and that doesn't just mean "art." It could easily manifest in business.
John's Mercury / Julie's Neptune
With John's Mercury and Julie's Neptune in a tense relationship with each other, communication between the two of them can be muddied. There is something about Julie which sometimes nonpluses John verbally, leading him to lose track of what he is trying to say. What really aggravates the problem is when Julie is actually sort of "out to lunch," all the while her appearance suggests rapt attention. John seems to pick up that vagueness subliminally, and get derailed by it.
John's Jupiter / Julie's Jupiter
The easy connection between John's Jupiter and Julie's Jupiter implies that they bring a lot of encouragement and support to each other, and also that they tend to attract a lot of simple luck to themselves. The only bugaboo lies in the fact they may tend to over-extend and say "yes" to too many things. Unchecked, that could lead to superficiality, glitz and maybe even plain exhaustion taking a toll on the core of their bond.
And with that we end our analysis of the astrological dimensions of Julie's and John's relationship. We thank you for letting us touch this very intimate part of your lives, and hope that you've found the words and perspectives helpful. All through this report, we've endeavored to honor your human capacity for improvisation in the face of difficulty, for maturity and self-determination, and for magic. We've looked at some challenging areas, but we hope we've conveyed to you that no challenge is so great that enough love on both sides can't surmount it. More happily, we've also looked at many areas in which it seems you were made for each other -- and we encourage you stay alert to them, resisting the sleepiness that turns new love old and wrinkled.
Wherever your journey together takes you, we wish you joy.