Seeing Attraction, Repulsion And Growth In Synastry

Rose embers by Ars Thanea

Smoldering romance still burning. Rose embers by Ars Thanea.



Why don’t you make posts about north node meanings? – Alessandra


Hi Clarissa, I was wondering about synastry and hoping you might say something on it. I know we shouldn’t discriminate based on a person’s chart but realistically we just get on better with some signs while others infuriate us. – Alex



These were two questions I received in response to this post asking what readers would like to see covered here. The first came through the comments section, the second in email. I’m not a fan of synastry in general, not that it doesn’t work but I find it overrated. Synastry that looks perfect on paper does not necessarily translate to a perfect relationship in real life. People are free to use the potential in their charts any way they please and in ways not to their partners liking, synastry chart be damned. I am more partial to using composite charts for couples but again a person is free to use the potential of a relationship however they choose, so there’s limitations to what partnership charts can do.


I also am absolutely not a fan of using astrology as a method of discrimination against people. Generally this comes from people who, when first starting to learn about astrology, look at the charts of people they don’t like or have difficulty getting along with and find a common denominator, a certain Sun sign or rising sign for example. So, they assume all people with that common denominator in their charts are such-and-such and begin to stereotype and/or avoid them. There’s problems with this, besides the obvious one of writing off large amounts of people; for one thing, a person may be encountering those who are exhibiting the worst of a particular astrological infuence. That’s something that happens to every planet, sign and house. People being free to use potential as they want means not everyone wants to embrace their better potential. How a person uses what is at their disposal is more a matter of their character, and character is not shown in a chart.


It’s common to have certain negative experiences one after another with a certain astrological denominator, make assumptions based on negative experiences, and then find someone with the same thing in their chart who changes your opinion for the better. Writing people off or painting them with a broad brush based on their charts is a great way to alienate potential friends and lovers.


That’s not to say that certain astrological influences don’t provoke significant responses in people, though. It’s worth investigating why people of a particular astrological makeup provoke such responses in you if you find this happens often. Stop and consider that there’s nothing wrong with them, that instead this reaction is saying something about you.


People can make a relationship last, and be a happy one based on so many other factors, that seemingly hard or doom-and-gloom synastry or composite aspects shouldn’t be a deciding factor. It is information worth knowing, for sure, but ultimately it’s up to the owners of the charts to make a relationship work and what looks bad on paper can make it interesting and even fun in real life. Having said all that, there are some things I look at in synastry that are worth considering, and that I find can create trouble spots if they are not actively worked with and worked out.


– Partners who trigger each others North or South Nodes The Nodes are sensitive points in our charts, full of information about who we are, where we’re going and where we’ve been and no longer need to be. As I wrote previously in The North Node in Virgo Manifesto:


“The North Node is everyone’s manifesto. It is the point astrologers look to in a chart for greatest realization of potential and fulfillment. It is always opposite the South Node, that area of life that we are old pros at and do not need to further develop; in fact lingering too long around the South Node is always to our detriment. We are not static; we are meant to move and grow. The North Node is our mission statement, our declaration of intention; the path not yet travelled but a journey we need to undertake anyway. Think of it as a tree or vine: the South Node forms the roots, the soil and terrain we are confortable in, yet if the plant never leaves its roots it dies. It is meant to grow, push forward; even when lacking all the needed energy and nutrients to pull it off easily does not alter the intended purpose. Growth is necessary to sustain life itself, and the North Node is the manifesto outlining the steps.”


It is common, then, to run into people over the course of our lifetimes who have their natal planets or angles in the sign of ether our North or South Nodes, or people who embody the essence of the houses of our Nodes (i.e. a person with one of their Nodes in the 9th house is prone to having meaningful and/or difficult interaction with Sagittarius or Jupiterian types). Our exchanges with these people will be heavily colored by this influence and often there is a “karmic” feeling involved; whether or not we perceive the interaction to be beneficial or detrimental, relationships that trigger the Nodes often have an underlying feeling of a learning and growth experience.


With the South Node being more instinctively familiar to us, it is those people who share our South Node signs or embody our South Node houses that we seem to encounter more frequently and that is more prone to being problematic. The other person finds common ground with you and thus their attraction. On your end, you’re an old pro and a natural at what they’re in the lifelong process of honing and refining. There’s instant familiarity but often there’s also the feeling that these people triggering our South Nodes are draining. It’s important to realize that it’s not because their sign or their chart is that of someone who necessarily does this to you for fun, but that it is how you are experiencing it. Your South Node is boring and does not need to be dwelled on and people who trigger your South Node do dwell there, because that’s just part of who they are and they do not find these themes tiring or draining.


One would think, then, that people who trigger our North Node would automatically be better for us. Three problems with this: 1. People are often nervous about their North Nodes, as it is uncharted territory, which tends to make them dislike or shy away from or feel inadequate around people who embody or trigger their North Node; 2. Everyone everywhere has that funny human trait of running away from what’s healthy for us; and 3. You have to actually actively cultivate and invest yourself in your North Node path before you’ll find people also on that path.


Where it gets interesting is when you find someone with whom you both touch off each others North and South Nodes. There’s elements of both attraction and repulsion here, frustrations and soothing comfort. It can show a relationship that has a strong binding glue that helps keep the relationship together as one or both experiences growing pains in finding themselves. I often say that soul mates aren’t necessarily our marriage partners (though they can be!) as much as they are those people who come into our lives for mutual soul growth that neither person could do on their own. A relationship involving triggers of both the North and South Nodes often does this.


Honorable mention to asteroid Juno, which is often referred to as the soul mate asteroid and good synastry between two people’s Juno placements often shows a deep connection and even commitment.


– The partner’s ascendant is in your 12th house This happens with people who’s rising is in the sign that precedes your rising sign (they are a Libra rising and you are a Scorpio rising, so on and so forth…).


The ascendant is the starting angle of the chart and can be seen as the front door to the house, i.e. the initial appearance we give, how we let people in, how we enter other people’s lives. The 12th house has an unnecessarily bad reputation in astrology, and having synastry aspects involving the 12th house should not be seen as doom-and-gloom. Having a partners ascendant in your 12th house is often problematic, though, at least until both parties recognize what is going on. The 12th house hides things and points to what can’t be seen easily, if at all; having a partners ascendant in your 12th usually means there is an initial misunderstanding in how your partner comes across. It is easy to see them as being one way and then be completely shocked when they do something that you would’ve thought to be out of character for them.


This difficulty is compounded by the fact that the person with the rising in your 12th does not understand your reactions to them and their behavior oftentimes, as they’re just being themselves and probably feel they’ve been quite open and honest with you. They have no problem seeing you for who you are, the way you have problems seeing and understanding them. This is not an unhealthy or impossible synastry aspect to have, but it is important to know that one person does not see the other person as well as they should and so will need to be addressed and handled through other means.


– Your Moon and your partner’s Moon are not on the same page Attraction and seduction come from our Venus and Mars, but maintaining that connection comes down to the Moon. The Moon shows our emotional needs and expectations, which are often more primal and therefore dominating than we realize. The Moon also shows our home life. It’s a little simplistic to say happy Moons = happy home life, but there’s truth to it. The initial attraction that fizzles out after moving in together can point to one or both partners Moons not feeling heard or nurtured at home.


A nice flow between two partners Moons does not guarantee a happy or long lasting relationship by itself, but if there’s other supporting factors a nice mutual Moon flow does show emotional needs can be heard and met, and that the living arrangement can be to both parties liking. Having Moons that make stressful aspects to each other can create friction in the home and either suppression or high demands of the emotional needs. This too should not be seen as impossible to live with but it definitely needs to be recognized so adjustments and allowances can be made when ones emotional needs are running counter to the others and disruption in the living arrangement will not come as a shock.




  1. Alessandra says:

    Thank you, Clarissa! A very interesting analysis of the nodes! I could never imagine there were a relationship between nodes and relationships! And the retrograde Pluto? Have you ever talked about it?! 🙂

    • I did! 🙂 it’s in the April forecast, and I’ll mention it again in my post about the upcoming Full Moon. Pluto is retrograde about half of the year, every year, so it’s really only important to look at when it stations retrograde and stations direct imo.

      • Alessandra says:

        I’m anxious to read it so!

        • Alessandra says:

          My personal experience with retrograde planet is: I’m virgo and everytime mercury is retrograde I feel it a lot. Not just with me, but people that I attract in my personal relationships. And depending on the sign that mercury is retrograde also. For example: in January, mercury was retrograde in cap, in my 9th house. So I traveled to a foreign country with two cap friends and accidentally met an old lover in this country, who is also a Capricorn guy. I think that a retrograde planet effects are stronger when this planet is also the regent of your sign! Do you agree or you don’t see any correlation?!

          • Definitely agree! Mercury rules both Gemini and Virgo and those types are absolutely more sensitive to Mercury retrograde. It’s important too to look at your rising sign, as that signs ruling planet is ruler of the whole chart. For example, Gemini or Virgo rising would again make someone very sensitive to Mercury’s movement; those with Aries rising and Scorpio rising will feel Mars and Pluto stationing retrograde just one day apart as a double whammy (since Mars used to traditionally rule both Aries and Scorpio); Cancer rising makes one strongly influenced by the lunar cycle… as these are all chart rulers.

  2. I suppose then this is not the way to go: “Come on sweetie, how can I see you better if you don’t get your AS out of my 12th house!”
    It takes a lot of dedicated work, people; “character is not shown in a chart”, indeed. We love you, Clarissa, amazing astrologer AND marriage counselor! 😀

    • Haha I see what you did there Leon 😀 though it probably isn’t the first time someone’s been told to move their AS…

      You and your wife do have character and it really is inspiring to see.

  3. This makes sooooo much sense to me. My North Node is Aries and I do find Librans chafe on me. I guess after reading your post I know it’s not their fault but they really are codependent and I am too but I don’t like that in myself. So I guess it’s like they’re a mirror?

    • I don’t know that they’re a “mirror” necessarily. Usually “codependency” is used with negative connotations, which describes how you see it. I don’t know that Libra sees codependency as a bad thing at all, they’d say no man is an island unto himself (I think that’s how that quote goes) and understanding relationships is just what they’re here to do. They probably really like your innate understanding of such things, I doubt they see that they “chafe” you.

      It’s also *so* important to look at charts on the whole and not focus too much on any single part. The Nodes are a sort of fast and greasy shortcut and shouldn’t be used alone. If you also have other Aries/Libra stuff going on you’ll need to examine that as well.

  4. Makes sense to me, also. My nodes are on the Scorpio/Taurus axis and I have other planets in those signs. I love people with Taurus and Scorpio in their charts but it’s intense. They do provoke strange reactions in me. And I find these people everywhere, can’t spit without hitting one.

    Love your blog.

  5. Grandtrines says:

    Reblogged this on Lost Dudeist Astrology.

  6. LadyLaLa says:

    Great article (again – no surprise there really 😉 ).

    My sexually and emotionally abusive ex boyfriend was the 12th house container for my 4 Scorpio planets/Stellium during our 8 years together. He didn’t know squat about how to handle all that Scorpio energy (very young guy), and I think I provoked his latent anger too… Which he took out on me sexually. He was not very good at handling critism to his ego (Moon/Venus opposition I guess). It has been hell piecing all of me together since 2012 after the break-up.
    He ended up cheating on me with my “best” friend. Mercury in 7th – in Gemini. Probably more prone to this, if feelings are not handled well I guess. Neptune in 1st house, and the Moon too. *sigh*

    My latest boss “touched my tra-la-la” (North Node). My north node is in cancer. So she gave me a lot of “mothering” and “nurturing” and I fell into the trap of leaning on her as a “mothering” figure, as my own mother has always had difficulty handling closeness and the emotionally nurturing job. My NN is in 6th house, so my “mother” really comes form my work and alas – also my bosses somehow. The last female boss was in Capricorn, probably close to my South Node. She and I had a strange relationship, and in hinsight – might have been pretty draining on me too yes.

    My Taurus BF has Cancer in his ascendant/1st house, and he is very caring and nurturing in a good way. I moved from one end of the country to another to move in with him, and even if all his Taurus planets land on my Chiron, I have been transmorphed too, into a caring soul (for myself but also other people).

    • Wow, *so* sorry to hear about your last boyfriend, but glad to hear of the connection between you and your current boyfriend and aspects to Chiron can indeed be deeply healing. He may even enjoy playing that role for you. Thanks for sharing so much about how certain synastry connections impacted you, this is how we all learn! 🙂

      • LadyLaLa says:

        Indeed! I think we all have to learn the hard way sometimes how the energies of the planets affects our lives 😉

        For me I can say that my Ex actually was a cancer too, with the sun and jupiter in 8th house – including his NN too (there were only 4 months between us). So a double dose of this NN energy makes for some very powerful connections, and it’s possible that all of this intimacy stuff “chafed” on his nerves, prompting him to reject all that intimacy which I surely represented with 7 planets in euther Scorpio or 8th house – amongst them my moon.

        He sure as h… preferred to keep things on a superficial level, except for all of his perverted fantasies…

        My Chiron is actually in a loose opposition (5 degrees) to my sun, venus and jupiter scorpio stellium so it’s a double dose of Chiron you could say – but even as a sun-moon-mercury Tauris he has come to learn (and love even) the fact that transformation and chance actually can be good for him too 🙂

        We are very “carthatic” and very nurturing around each other, and he is everything my ex wasn’t. He may be stubborn as f.. but his love (Venus in pisces) nurture my soul in the way I need. As a funny fact we met each other on a dating site called “soulmate” 😉 That’s really curious I think 😛

  7. Love your writing … quick question regarding your comments on the ascendant falling in the 12th house, does this apply to composite charts as well or just synstry?

    Thank you!

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