Venus reflects the Lover as imbued with aesthetically pleasing gestures, tasteful and harmonious. Her nature is geared toward the ideals of being part of a couple. (Venus in rulership in Libra)

As part of the Libran 6th House group with Mercury and Neptune, Venus is also drawn into the Fiery Grand trine. Here is one of those paradoxes in the human psyche, that is, on the surface and in the everyday world (6th House) Rory prefers a partner who displays a good measure of diplomacy in her style.

Yet, through the opposition of Neptune to Moon in the 12th House, his inner feminine also includes attributes more suited to a woman who pioneers the most dangerous routes up Himalayan Mountains. If he is ever at odds over his partner’s qualities, then this contributes to his confusion.

      In his desire nature Rory’s 8th House Mars in Sagittarius expresses an enthusiastic lust. Vigorous and spirited, he wants a woman who will share the great adventure of life with him. He craves space and freedom in which to explore. (13) In anger his self-righteousness is fuelled.

As part of the Grand trine with the 6th House Neptune, Rory idealizes freedom in his mundane life activities. His Mars rules his Moon and co-rules his Sun and Descendant; in the 8th House of shared resources Mars can instigate fights over money with his partner.

     Rory’s Ascendant is in the first few minutes of Taurus. There is a possibility that his Ascendant might fall into the last degrees of Aries, which would go along with the “Martian” feel of the rest of his chart. Given the data supplied, Rory is Taurus rising and as such he doesn’t reveal much of himself in an easy fashion. Highly resistant to provocation, he seeks an Other who can burrow below the surface of life, and won’t discard him lightly.

     Rory’s elemental balance is predominantly Air, filling in Alice’s need. Both Alice and Rory possess a Sun that shows great determination toward self-expression before they met, and nothing has changed since then! He has the Sun angular on the Descendant, in the fixed sign Scorpio. Some diehard analysis would say Alice's Sun is "accidentally" dignified (14) in the Fifth House of children and love affairs, which squares Pluto.

In a sense these two Suns are already making a similar statement about power and drive. Her Sun has wrestled with the “heavy” energies of Pluto; his Sun will not compromise itself. His Saturn falls into her 2nd House of resources, clicking nicely with the expectations of her Capricorn Descendant and 10th House Taurus Mars.

Her Fiery Moon is in his 4th House and conjunct his Pluto---through his unconscious plutonian filter he sees her Moon and equates it with his Mother image, and placed as it is in his 4th House makes her a suitable mother in his home. Her 10th House Mars falls in his 1st House making him a suitable personification of her ambitions. His intercepted Mars in the 8th and conjunct Chiron falls into her 5th House and conjuncts her Sagittarius planets---and is “found” there.

He is potent; he is virile and best of all he is desired as generator of pleasure to her (until the time he feels her Saturn on his Mars). Her Neptune is unaspected but conjuncts his Sun in his 7th House in Scorpio, and so he thinks he can see a darkly intense vision of femininity in her.

His Pluto falls into her 1st House, into the intercept, and so bolsters her personal power. His intercepted signs fall into houses of her chart where those signs take up the whole house---where they are hard to access for him, with her they are not just accessible but super-important!

His Mercury in Libra is accidentally dignified and falls on her North Node in the 3rd House, signifying that his communications skills would be of great benefit for her. Both of their Jupiters fall in each other’s 7th Houses making each other the beneficiary of their generosity.

And that is how they came together.

     Now Mary Alice has come armed with their cross-accusations. Are they valid criticisms? Their interaspects tell a story of love and war, with the latter winning out. Rory’s apparent irresponsibility and constant undermining can be linked to his Saturn square her Saturn, his Mars conjunct her Saturn, his own Neptune conjunct Mercury, and his Pluto conjunct her Moon.

The uncaring feeling she gets from him might be sourced through his 10th House Jupiter in Aquarius opposing her Moon, and his Pluto conjunct her Moon. On his part, Rory names Alice as inflexible.

This is not unjustified, with her angular fixed Grand square and its “never say die” attitude dominating her chart. He also says she disallows his free spiritedness and this can be her Saturn conjuncting his Mars in Sagittarius. But it could also be a complex interaction of her Moon conjunct Uranus, projected onto his own Moon square Uranus, with his 3rd House Uranus falling smack into the unconsciousness of her 12th House.

It might even be his Saturn squaring into her Sagittarius stellium. Here is a possible statement about her own repressed needs to act as she wants and not as she is expected. Her Moon trines his Moon and in fire they can jump back and forth quickly, one to the other. Who is the one who really wants to be the free spirit? An interesting question...

   In synastry it is not unusual to have aspects flying all over the place and between the two charts. In order to peer through this seeming chaos, it is advisable to isolate the main aspects pertaining to the client’s needs. 

     The interaspects between Rory and Alice are typical in that there are a variety of both harmonious and unsettling flows of energies. What is unique to them is the way they each plug into the other’s aspect patterns. Rory has a Grand Fire trine dominating his chart, involving his Moon, Mars, and Pluto.

Neptune forms a kite off this pattern and this is said to allow the energy a way out.  (15) His Venus and Mercury are brought into the pattern by way of conjunction with Neptune.

His Uranus squares the Moon, Saturn squares Mars, and Jupiter makes a large, separating opposition to Pluto. His Sun is further removed in its involvement, coming through a trine to the Uranus.

There is no planet not touched by this pattern. This makes for an individual who is capable of a variety of responses to the situations triggering the Grand trine. Mars can express the energy out through the square to Saturn or the sextiles to Venus/Mercury or Jupiter. Pluto can express through a similar sextile or opposition to Jupiter.

The Moon could express through its square to Uranus or opposition to Neptune. The Sun can come through Uranus squared by the Moon. (16) So internally, Rory has several choices in how to act. This is important for Alice to know. She can be made aware that she has some influence in what way this set-up manifests externally.

     Since it is so important in his natal statement, it is going to dominate in his relationship with Alice. In some ways it might even be more noticeable to her than to Rory, since Grand trines are said to be so easy in their movement, that they raise little attention internally.

Fire Grand trines move quickly from one planet to the other, with great warmth in their output. It is characteristic of this pattern to push the native forward, call attention to themselves (calling their own attention too!), and act impulsively without thought for any other. They generally infuse one with a sense of inner confidence. (17)  His Moon in 12th is naturally reticent, but I believe that the Aries vitality and trine to Mars pulls it into interactions frequently.

Alice, too, is pulled into this pattern through her Moon/Uranus conjunction with Rory’s Pluto, and her Saturn/Mercury conjunction with his Mars. His Pluto on her Moon would trigger her insecurities. Once fear begins to vibrate her Moon, this in turn would activate her own dominant aspect pattern, the fixed Grand square with Moon square Jupiter opposing Mars, and Moon opposing Chiron.

This is quite a telling statement of childhood frustrations and the pain of isolation in her relationships (Chiron in Aquarius in the 7th). When Alice’s Mars is set off, it squares Rory’s Pluto, which in turn escalates the pressure of her Grand square, and sends aggressive aspirations around his Grand trine. In this way Alice and Rory set off their personal self-anger mechanisms, and tied in with each other it is easy to see how they have come to this present scenario.

     There are four major interaspects I would focus on and bring to Alice’s attention: her Mercury/Saturn on Rory’s Mars, her Moon/Uranus on his Pluto, and her Jupiter and Mars both squaring Rory’s Pluto. With the square of Rory’s Mars to his own Saturn, these interaspects potentially bring into play some very difficult planetary energies.

The issue of domestic violence raises its ugly head and must be approached delicately. In the case of the affirmative, my recommendation to Alice is for the use of a mediator in her communications with Rory. If they cannot interact without the possibility of someone getting hurt, an intervention is imperative. A Social Worker is recommended; they are professionals who specialize in difficult domestic situations.

    Hard Saturn/Mars contacts have a reputation: “It is a curious fact that many men who appear to be normally mild or inoffensive by temperament, or who do not at least resort to the use of physical or emotional violence to express their anger, can be aggravated past the point of self-control by a woman whose Saturn falls on Mars.” (18) But never is it safe to assume; these days’ women, also, are the perpetrators of violence between partners. It’s a difficult call. A Sagittarius Mars will exhaust its anger long before the Taurus Mars has done.

In this case I would leave it to Alice as to how far she would like to go in discussing this particular undercurrent. Nevertheless, the involvement of Rory’s Saturn and Pluto, as well as his aggressive Aries Moon and Scorpio Sun lead me to think that (at the very least) Alice’s Moon (conjuncting his Pluto) can certainly sense the formidable forces at work within him whenever they have to interact.

It is also a possibility that for Alice, sensing such power as Rory contains is as real as experiencing it, given the “open” nature of her Cancer Ascendant. A particular fear that might be triggered is that Rory could steal her children from her (stellium in the 5th House ruled by 4th House Jupiter in Scorpio, Sun square Pluto).

With so many planets placed in the House of children, for Alice they could symbolize her whole life. Her self-worth, her reason for being, her social status (through Venus ruling the 10th House Mars and MC) might be entirely wrapped up in her children.

Her Venus in the 5th is where love is expressed and found---might she also be afraid that the children will not love her if Rory exerts his powerful influence on them? Her own Pluto makes few in-sign ptolemaic aspects, but it does square her Sun. As is so often the case, this aspect shows its importance in her life with her marriage to a man with a Scorpio Sun. Her unaspected Neptune, (19) deprived of any self-expression, conjuncts Rory’s Sun. Rory could appear to Alice fully robed in the personification of The Beast.

     Uranus in conjunction with her Moon will quickly set it off. Here is something of which Alice must be made aware: her Moon/Uranus does not have to set off her own Mars opposition Jupiter. And for good measure she does not have to speed over to her Mercury, another point of potential trouble.

Getting angry will activate her Mars square his Pluto. This is not a man who will bow easily to any attempt at domination. Her energies are wasted in that direction and she could precipitate a volatile situation. And clinging to her family (Jupiter expanding the Scorpio possessiveness, in her 4th House of family, squaring Rory’s Pluto) whilst unconsciously trying to drive him off will not smooth the way either! In other words, when full of emotion, hurt, scared, feeling threatened with Rory, she would do well to appeal to his own inner child.

They do enjoy a harmonious trine between their child Moons. And his inner child respects her adult Sun, as well as her Venus, both in her 5th House. Perhaps she could spontaneously offer him something she has created herself (satisfying the creative spirit of the 5th House Sun).

Any way that she could bring out his playful side with her own would benefit them both tremendously, and bares directly on the matter at hand: “This (Moon trine Moon) is especially positive for bringing up children because as parents your united front on basic values gives your offspring a balanced and confident feeling about themselves and life.” (20)   This is a much less stressful way to achieve their children’s happiness than exchanging barbs via the square between their respective Saturns.

      Saturn square Saturn between charts is a failure to understand each other’s idea of responsibility. Placed in the 5th House, as her natal Saturn is too, indicates that Rory’s Parent takes his children as seriously as she does. However, while Alice enjoys a 5th House Sagittarius Saturn---“C’mon kids! Learning is FUN!”---conjuncting Mercury and trining the Moon/child, Rory’s Virgo Saturn puts the brakes on his urge to serve his children.

Saturn here, squared by Mars, suggests one who is somehow not happy with the idea of being a parent. It may have all begun for Rory with insecurity about how one “does” romance versus feeding a very hungry desire for sex. Sex can lead to children and with a troubled Saturn in the 5th House “they also fear that what they give birth to will be unacceptable.” (21) 

With Saturn co-ruling his 10th House of the outer world, Rory may feel some sort of secret shame about his “creations.” He could possibly go on to question his potency (Jupiter in the 10th ruling an intercepted Mars conjunct Chiron in the 8th House) and this can plunge him back into the discordance between his Mars and Saturn. Alice, as co-parent, can be made aware that while he may struggle with his role as a parent, this does not necessarily have anything to do with her.

Under the circumstances it is most understandable that he would rather choose to indulge the enjoyable aspects of his chart. The Fire Grand trine with the kite to Neptune in Libra in the 6th House of everyday life is more indicative of one who would prefer to be off making wonderful, glamorous conquests. When his Saturn is activated around Alice, such as when issues of visitations come up, it is back to reality. Alice has problems with his sober side because the square to Mars also takes in her Saturn/Mercury. 

     Alice has retrograde Mercury in detriment. The retrograde influence mutes the communicating confidence, introverting one’s abilities to clearly express themselves. (22) Sagittarius heats up Mercury and can encourage foot-in-mouth disease; conjunct to the ever vigilant keeper-of-standards, Saturn, Alice has most likely experienced more than a few episodes where she was unable to say what she meant. With Rory’s Mars conjuncting and detail-oriented Saturn squaring her Mercury, one can see a major problem between them is his irritation and criticism of her words, and her tendency to say the wrong thing---or reluctance to say anything.

There is a good chance that Alice is insecure about her intellect. In their war over who is the best parent, Rory might insult Alice who would feel “stupid.” In talking to him she might feel as if she is addressing a know-it-all brick wall. Mercury is her ruler of the 2nd House of self-worth and value, and rules the Pluto residing there. Activated, her Pluto squares her Sun.

The ego is bruised because her Sagittarius 5th House Sun is gloriously identified with intellect and knowledge. Alice might experience in this scenario the familiar (to her) oppression of her selfhood.

All of this can start with one nitpicky comment from Rory, or a self-righteous statement from Alice. This is not to say that Alice cannot talk to Rory without acrimony. They have Mercury in harmonious sextile aspect. The prospect of a meeting of the minds is definitely there!

She could try different ways of communicating with him, like email, or text messaging. These would appeal to his 3rd House Uranus, with the added benefit that both mediums encourage short messages. The value in this is that Alice is forced to stick to the point---something Saturn in Virgo would appreciate.

In their communications Alice must be very aware of not allowing any anger on his part to set her off (his Mars conjunct her Mercury). A Mercury in Sagittarius can be very vocal when wanting to express its point of view!

Deep breathing and counting to 10 are other suggestions.

     The sextiles they have between his Libra and her Sagittarius planets is good news for both of them. His Libra Mercury and Venus settle into her 3rd House of general communicating. Her Sagittarius Mercury and Venus settle in his 8th House of difficult subjects.

Here is a way for her to discuss those areas of life he might rather avoid (Mercury in Libra conjunct Neptune). In positive Sagittarius manner, she can use her Mercury and Venus to uplift and inspire Rory. His Libran Mercury would be happiest maintaining the peace.

This is something I would encourage Alice to ponder: is she willing to positively focus her thoughts on engaging Rory in genial “small-talk?” Not everything they talk about has to be of earth-shattering importance, and if she can get used to the idea of banal, yet pleasant, everyday-type conversation with Rory, she might find him much more amenable to other topics she might want to raise.

     Since the energies of his Saturn and her Saturn are originating from their 5th Houses, this is a critical area in terms of Alice’s original request for a reading. His Virgo Saturn squares into her 5th House; she might feel oppressed by his exacting standards regarding the children. When his Saturn squares her Mercury, her 2nd House of worth and value is activated. She might actually feel uncomfortable when he does “parent.” This would set off her own self-justifying Saturn. In Sagittarius it “knows” a thing or two about education!

     To put it simply, they both have different parenting styles. Is Alice able to accept that Rory is just as serious as she is regarding the children, yet has his own way of performing his duties? Regarding their difference of opinion over scheduling, could Rory perhaps follow his children’s schedule?

This way he is not beholden to her timing, and his 5th House Saturn can at least be satisfied it is correctly doing its duty (without any undertones of obligation toward Alice). With Venus in the 5th Alice could possibly overvalue her children’s potential for creativity, and overextend them through after-school activities.

If Rory has questioned schedules in general, has he specifically referred to something like this? It is something to ask if only to bring to Alice’s attention that Rory may be concerned for the children’s welfare, and not necessarily trying to undermine her authority (although it would feel that way to her Saturn).

     The problems between them can be summed up as a dual power struggle. Alice is afraid of losing her children. Her fear of her children not loving her is one reason why she objects to Rory. For him, his natural instinct against being dominated has made him resent Alice.

She has been the one to come for help because Rory is not the sort of person to admit any weakness. If they ultimately cannot talk to each other in any civil way, it is better that they resort to a third person to mediate. Chances are that this can help them to work out things the way they both want.

     It is possible that Alice could do positive Saturn and support his natural Mars ways in this sign. Saturn, particularly in Sagittarius, can be a good teacher. In showing respect to Rory for his ideals, perhaps he will begin to trust the steadying influence Alice can provide. This will take some consciousness on her part. She could consider the fact that his passion for her helped to beget the children she holds so dear now (his Mars conjunct her Venus, trine her Moon, in her 5th House).

Her Saturn/Mercury can connect positively to his 10th House Jupiter in Aquarius. Here, in his role as a larger-than-life character, Rory can remind Alice of how he once may have embodied her inner image of inspiration and meaning (Rory’s Jupiter opposite Alice’s Moon, his Jupiter in her 7th House, her stellium in Sagittarius).

His Aries Moon shows that he likes a woman who is outspoken and honestly upfront. Alice is certainly capable of this, yet because of their unique interactions she must speak to him with reservation and control, in the interests of the children. For their sake, the efforts necessary for an awakening in both Alice and Rory are very worthy.


Copyright: Margaret Penner Choinski
Earth Elephant Astrology    

 1 Shakespeare, William, from The Taming of the Shrew
 2 Hand, Robert, in his Foreward to John Townley’s Composite Charts, Llewellyn Publications, 2000, p.xvi
 3 Forrest, Steven, The Inner Sky, ACS Publications, 1988, p.217 Together the Sun, Moon, and Ascendant form what Forrest calls the “Primal Triad.”
 4 Forrest, p.217
 5 Sasportas, Howard, The Twelve Houses, Thorsons, 1985, p.75
 6  Forrest, Steven and Jodie, Skymates, ACS Publications, 1989. p.46-47
 7  Sasportas, p.71
 8  Davison, Ronald, Synastry: Understanding Human Relations Through Astrology, Aurora Press, 1983, p.12
  Davison, p.31-32
10  Sasportas, p.63
11  Fairfield, Gail, Choice Centered Astrology, Ramp Creek, 1990, p.57
12  Fairfield, p.65
13  Birkbeck, Lyn, DIY Relationship Astrology, Element, 1999, p.208
14  “Accidental” dignity once said to be the placement of a planet in the house which aligns with the sign it rules, according to the natural house system, i.e. Aries = Mars = First House; this definition of accidental dignity is no longer accepted
15  Tierney, Bil, Dynamics of Aspect Analysis,
16  Venus, Mercury, and Jupiter are numerically in orb, yet out of sign. This is called a dissociate aspect. Tierney states: “…typically, one tends to become confused as to how best to synthesize the different behavioural traits of the signs, resulting in mild frustration.” p.58
17  Tierney, p.71-72
18  Greene, Liz, Saturn: A New Look at an Old Devil, Arkana, 1976, p.157
19  Tierney, p.183-184
20  Birkbeck, p.345
21  Sasportas, p.252
22  Tierney, p.198

Arroyo, Stephen, Relationships and Life Cycles, CRCS Publ., 1979
Birkbeck, Lyn, DIY Relationship Astrology, Element, 1999
Davison, Ronald, Synastry, Aurora Press, 1983
Fairfield, Gail, Choice Centered Astrology, Ramp Creek, 1990
Forrest, Steven, The Inner Sky, ACS Publications, 1988
Forrest, Steven and Jodie, Skymates, ACS, 1989
Greene, Liz, Relating, Thorsons, 1986
Greene, Liz, Saturn: A New Look at an Old Devil, Arkana, 1976
Grendahl, Spencer, Astrology and the Games People Play, Llewellyn, 1984
Neville, E.W., Planets in Synastry, Whitford Press, 1990
Sasportas, Howard, The Twelve Houses, Thorsons, 1985
Tierney, Bil, Dynamics in Aspect Analysis, CRCS Publ., 1983
Tompkins, Sue, Aspects in Astrology, Rider, 1989
Townley, John, Composite Charts, Llewellyn Publ., 2000

Software used: SolarFire 5, Esoteric Technologies, Placidus Houses, True node, supplied atlas

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