The Astrology of Compatibility: Part 2: Composite Charts
A necessary element in determining astrological compatibility is the erection of a composite chart. This is a chart in which the two (or more) charts are blended, averaged out, to create a single wheel. We do this by assembling the mid-points of the planets and points in the individual charts, such as between Sun and Sun, Moon and Moon, etc. This chart describes the entity created by the people involved. For instance, it describes Joe and Mary as a couple instead of individuals or the Jones family instead of Joe, Mary and Joe Jr.
We are perceived in this context by the world around us and our behavior within this dynamic is distinctly different from who and what we are alone. The composite chart will tell us all the same things that a natal horoscope will, only it will tell us about the grouping. It will also tell us what the nature of the relationship will be.
For example, I may receive a request for a compatibility reading from a woman who wants to know if she and a specific fellow will become romantically involved. If the composite chart shows a strong 11th house, Saturn conjunct Venus, and the Moon in Aquarius, it is unlikely that this couple will ever be more than friends. At best, we may see one of those cold and distant, very "civilized" relationships that has little meaning to the people involved.
Or I may do a composite for a family at war that has a Mars/ Saturn opposition with Uranus in the 1st house. Battle lines are drawn and these people may only be able to connect by yelling at each other.
The composite chart can be helpful for those who are "irreconcilably together" such as mothers and daughters. Many times, through the interpretation of the lunar position, the nodes and the condition of Pluto, we may find a deeper purpose for the relationship, and can thus find ways for them to relate.
The "personality" of the relationship that is defined by the composite chart may or may not be compatible with one or more individuals comprising it. For instance, a chart could show Capricorn as an ascendant. Let's say that the husband has Mars in Sagittarius and the Sun in Gemini. He may find that he has to make significant adjustments in order to be part of this relationship.
Naturally, these are only partial examples of the types of planetary situations that can arise in the charts. Each one should be taken on an individual basis with a full reading of the charts and not just a few points.
In a compatibility reading I like to do a bi-wheel comparison of the two natal charts and a composite. It can be very enlightening to view all three together. This can give a more complete view of the relationship than just the comparisons. The composite chart should not be used as a substitute for the comparisons. It is simply an additional tool.