Relationship Chart – What You See is What You Get

by Marilyn Muir, LPMAFA

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There is a human function we all experience called “relating”, with the word “relationship” as its most common reference. On a separate note, there is a tendency in the English language to use single words to describe more than one concept and it can cause confusion. For example: bear (animal), bear (carry), and bare (naked) or deer (animal) and dear (affection). I am continually explaining such examples to my young grandkids but I can never explain why it is necessary. The subject of this article falls into one of those oddities of language. While the field of astrology does extensive relationship work for people, there is also an astrological technique called relationship charting. I could not remotely tell you why another title was not chosen. I need to make sure you know there is a distinction between the field and a specific technique. Please realize that what I am referring to in this article is an astrological technique rather than the relationship field overall. This article is mostly about a tool.

In past articles, I have looked at relationships in general astrologically. There are also additional articles on techniques that apply to general astrological relationships called synastry and another called composites. The third technique is simply referred to as a relationship wheel. Again, be aware that what follows is a reference to a specific wheel and technique and not the broad concept.

In brief, synastry is a direct comparison between the wheels of two (or more) people and shows their effect on one another as individuals. The composite is quite different. The two natal wheels in question are combined by adding each individual facet (such as the ascendant) together. You then divide the answer in half to achieve the composite facet. That is done with each key position until a whole new wheel is constructed. This wheel is an expression of the potential of the relationship if each person were to meet the other halfway on every issue. This would represent the ideal of that relationship but in my estimation, people in relationships rarely pull off the ideal. I see the composite as a wheel of potential, but not necessarily practical or real. Why? This wheel is a construct and never occurred in real time. The real-time wheel is called the relationship wheel. This was an actual astrology pattern that occurred midway between the two births of the people in question.

How do we produce this? Mathematics. By hand, the relationship wheel is a bear (pun intended) to construct. With the advent of computers, they are now very easy to generate. They are becoming more available and therefore more usable, and more researched therefore, more applicable as a reading tool. Simply put, a real-time wheel is constructed using the midpoints between two birthdates, two birth times, time zones and standards, and the two longitudes and latitudes. This is not a speculative wheel. It is a wheel that did actually exist halfway between the two births. It can be read more as the actuality of the relationship.

Think about this – when we enter into a new relationship, we are full of high hopes that it will be successful. Most of the time we are on our best behavior, not because we are being false but because we are earnest in our efforts to succeed. Best behavior is not something anyone can keep up indefinitely. Sooner or later we will revert to normal for us, and that is just being human. That “normal” may or may not work between this pairing. That is why the “time is on your side” advice tends to be reasonably accurate. With an investment of time and patience, you will have a better view of the actuality of that pairing. The composite is excellent for the beginning, the flush of possibility. The question is: “This is what I believe and wish. What do I really get?” That is the function of the real-time relationship wheel.

The more alike the composite wheel and the relationship wheel are, the more actuality will match potential. When the two wheels are markedly different, careful study is necessary to see what those differences mean to the value and the reliability of the relationship itself. The composite wheel is more about what is possible and the relationship wheel illustrates the actual experience and outcome. I believe both techniques are useful, they just are different approaches and provide different definitions.

Composites have a long, successful history. The relationship wheel is now easily available and the body of information to support its use is building rapidly. If you are in a relatively new relationship and want to examine what you are experiencing and what the end result will look like, cast both the composite and relationship wheels and do a comparison. If you are in a long-term relationship and want to know just what happened between the promise and the delivery, this technique will also be a useful tool.

There is one proviso I would add to reading both composite and relationship wheels, and that is to keep firmly in mind that these wheels should not be used as personal readings for the two people represented in the wheel. While synastry is all about the individuals and the effect they have one to the other, composite and relationship wheels are strictly about the nature of the relationship itself and not the individuals. As you as an astrologer discuss such issues, there will be a natural tendency of the individuals involved to want to personally relate to the material under discussion. Be sure to keep the reading clean and on target. When reading the composite or the relationship wheels, the reading is about the union, it is not about the individuals involved.

For advanced astrologers with some experience in this trinity of reading methods, you can go a step further by progressing both natals to generate a progressed synastry option. You then use the two progressed wheels to generate progressed composite and progressed relationship wheels. You will want to use a computer for these wheels. Obviously, this is much more work and would be done on a selected basis when less general and more specific information is needed, such as a time of crisis in the relationship.

Remember that natal wheels are always at the core of any reading and do hold their value throughout the life of an individual. A progressed wheel is always a temporary value but it represents the current evolutionary status of the individual(s) and (their current growth or lack of it).

Understanding both the potential and the actuality of the relationship between two people is an excellent tool in the hands of an astrologer who has the skill to read all available wheels.

Recommended reading:

“Relationships – An Astrological Look at Possibilities”

“Relationships – Synastry – Who are You? Who am I? How Do We Affect One Another?”

“Composites – What is the Potential of Any Relationship”

Published on EZine online June, 2010, republished with slight editing.

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