### What Is The Difference Between Synastry Chart And A Composite Chart?

“Synastry” refers to the astrological study of relationships. There are 3 main techniques and each of them have their own merits.

A synastry chart or what I would call a “chart comparison” is when you check how one person’s planets relate to another person’s and interpret what you find.

If you want to understand this in real terms just consider that you are a person and you respond to other people. Some people you just automatically like and feel easy around, others activate you in ways that are not so comfortable.

As an example, people who have their Jupiter conjunct one of your personal planets are almost always benevolent towards you. In return, your energy buoys them.

In another case, a person’s Mars may square your Sun in which case they may attack (Mars) your ego (Sun). They may also just fire you up. It may be the attack itself that has this effect so you have to be careful when judging these things. That there will be interaction is a given. How the interaction plays (for good or ill) is dependent on the people wielding the power (or the energy).

A composite chart is actually a chart of the midpoints between two charts. Say again?

The mathematical midpoint between the two Suns becomes the composite Sun. The midpoint between the two Moon becomes the composite Moon and so forth. What you’re doing is merging the two charts, or the two people to come up with a chart of their “relationship”. This sounds somewhat squirrelly but most agree, these charts are valid. They work!

The difference is that the one method (comparison) shows you how two people interact and affect each other. The other (composite) gives information about the relationship itself. It’s purpose for example. Is it happy? Stable? Erratic?

Two people can feel really good around each other but still have a relationship that is erratic and fraught with difficulty or impediment or whatever the chart might show.

There is one more important point to make. The composite chart is meaningless unless the relationship actually forms. It’s a hypothetical.

If you see a man you like and you see that you have a nice composite chart with him, it’s not going to do you any good if he doesn’t like you in the first place because he is not going to enter into a merge with you.

There is me, there is my husband. Since we have entered into a relationship, there is an “us” and the composite chart comes into being.

In another circumstance you can have two people with very difficult charts of their own but when you put them together the composite is great. This would be a situation where people are better together than apart. You see it in life when someone says, “It was like crap but then I met….”

The astrology is great. But if you can go beyond reading to observing how these principles play in real life, it will make you a much better astrologer and position you really enhancing your relationships with others.

Are you in a relationship? Check out the compatibility report, the composite report or both!

Which synastry technique do you prefer?

Planets in shy.

#### 37 Comment responses

1. February 16, 2009

I’m sure my boyfriend and I have horrible planetary stuffs. I just like to learn the hard way.

2. February 16, 2009

How do progressed individual and composite charts and even solar return charts enter into the equation of synastry?

3. February 16, 2009

Hey Togi, I am going to wait for Elsa to respond to your question first and then later on I might try to take a stab at adding something from my experience.

4. February 16, 2009

5. February 16, 2009

Is the composite chart trying to turn the two people in to one being? or should I not try to understand it and just do the math because it works?

6. February 16, 2009

dana – it just gives another perspective. For example, people who know the soldier in Special Forces know the soldier. When they show up on this blog and see the soldier mashed with me, there is something new to see.

If you take him away from me… he would go back to being this separate entity.

In fact, I just spoke with him and he’s all CHARGED. I told him he better get home for some taming, he’s been in wild too long.

So separate from me = one thing
In the relationship – something else constellates.

7. February 16, 2009

So Togi, I’ve never thought to calculate a solar- return-composite-chart although I am sure it could be done. This is a new idea to me and kind of interesting, but anyway, I’ve never seen it.

OK as to the progressed composite chart, it is similar to the progressed natal chart. Just like a progressed individual chart will show you a different way of looking at your natal chart, (by, for example, looking at the progressed planets and how they aspect your natal chart, or looking at the progressed chart by itself) the progressed composite chart does the same thing for the original composite chart.

This IS a thing that is commonly done, and if you go to http://www.astro.com you can get your composite chart and your progressed composite chart between yourself and your partner.

As an aside, I really like Elsa’s point about a hypothetical relationship, versus one which is already established. I had the exact experience she suggested could happen. For example, I liked someone one time and got the data and ran a composite chart. The composite chart said “great relationship, beautiful!” Thereafter I wasted a bit of time pursuing something that was in no way meant to be because if one party is not ‘in’ there is no composite chart.

Anyway, back to the progressed composite, for example, I can look at the composite chart of myself and someone I am involved with, and that is the composite chart which shows “the relationship.” Then, I can progress that composite chart to the date of today, and get a picture of a different kind of relationship, in other words, this is a picture of the exact same relationship, only more like how it looks today.

I believe in the natal promise in the individual chart which means that the natal chart is probably more important than the progressed chart and I would believe the same is true with relationships. In my opinion, the composite chart has a certain amount more weight than the progressed composite chart, but they both definitely count. I would never look at one without looking at the other.

I hope that helps a little.

8. February 16, 2009

I did try to answer the question, and maybe it went poof, and maybe it will show up!

9. February 16, 2009

ok thanks, so far it seems like the synastry is how someone elses energy may affect you depending on the chart, like his mars is in my second house of virgo, etc. The composite seems like the relationship and how it is as a whole. I’m sure I’ll get it as I go along. I might need to study the synastry and composite of two people together at some point.

10. February 16, 2009

Dana, I think a great place to practice is with yourself and various other people in your life. It helps me understand the relationship with my mom, for example, to do both synestry and composites (and progressed composites)

11. February 16, 2009

Thanks for your response Loon. It is awfully confusing trying to wade through this as a beginner. I have used composite charts and composite progressed charts to get some sense of my relationships but they end up confusing me more than enlightening me. However with my own personal natal and progressed it’s freaking weird. I can see the energy charges literally switch on and off as the new signs grab hold. For someone with a cold natal moon in capricorn my progressed moon in cancer has made me weepy and emotional. My natal sun in virgo has switched to progressed Scorpio and I could give a rats ass about anything Virgo at all – like I cleaned my house for the first time in two months this last weekend. I am feeling stuff so deeply it’s off the hook. Too much water. Need air. My ex went from Virgo to progressed Libra and within a month it was like, who the hell are you? I literally didn’t know this person anymore.

Anyway I’m kinda off topic…sorry. OH one last question. If lots of your planets fall into certain ‘relationship’ houses of another person but theirs don’t fall into your ‘relationship’ houses, it means you like them more than they like you, right?

12. February 16, 2009

Togi, I would answer “not necessarily by any means” to the question you asked in the last sentence of your e-mail.

It IS complicated! It’s a life time of learning but you’ve got to start somewhere !

I share the amazement when I see my life changes with my progressions. The P. Sun just went into Cancer and the P. moon remains in Cancer until the 20th of march. Double cancer, too much water for my comfort, I can’t wait until mar 20th because I know I am going to feel that P. moon moving into leo! Yay Leo, I am familiar with this energy as that is where my natal moon is, it will be a huge relief! I just know it.

I do a lot of dealings with Cancer anyway and I can’t complain that much as it is Cancer which holds my Jup/Uranus conjunction.

13. February 16, 2009

Loon I’m jealous. I have another year of this moon. Plus it’s in the eighth house. I’m just drowning in emotions. Ick….all the crappy ass transits I’ve had since the fall of 2007 there just never seems to be an end in sight. I just want to shed my skin.

14. February 16, 2009

Hey dana,

“In the relationship – something else constellates”

I have had two years with the composite chart for me and my boyfriend – it looks like a bit of a minefield, but what I have discovered is that it acts like a roadmap of the relationship. Every time planets go around and hit an important point, we go through something major. The way the chart is, that happens about 3-4 times a year. So, it’s a heads-up.

So that experience gives at least some evidence that not only does a composite describe a relationship’s energy pattern, but it’s also like a birth chart that is affected by transits. COOL!

15. February 16, 2009

Just checked a bunch of synastry charts– realized both son and boyfriend’s moon are 28 degrees Gemini. I don’t know why but that makes me feel verrry weird. Could someone tell me that is actually common?

16. February 16, 2009

I find that to be common. there are shared signatures between family members, even family that is not blood.

17. February 16, 2009

Maybe some of this is more common than it seems. His daughter’s moon and my asc are both 13 Virgo. Ok. Off to Google!

Love the beginner’s series!

18. February 16, 2009

thanks satori

19. February 17, 2009

I find composites so much easier to work with than synastry because I enjoy abstract thinking and there are fewer aspects to try and sort out.

The composite chart is like the natal chart of the relationship and it will receive transits and progressions just like a natal chart would. Except that since the entitiy of the composite is not conscious you can’t really exercise awareness of the transits in the same way you could in your personal life. The composite itself doesn’t think or feel – it just experiences and reflects.

I love composites because to me they are a symbol of something alchemical that is created when two people come together (whether their union is a romantic one or not), because the combination of relating gives rise to something other – something that is neither quite you or me and sometimes the contrast between the composite and the personal self can be huge and how comfortably each person FITS into the relationship depends on their individual charts.

As a working example I have the Sun in Cancer, Moon in Scorpio, Virgo Rising, Gemini Venus and Mars in Libra. My husband has a Sagittarius Sun, Taurus Rising, Venus in Capricorn and Mars and Moon in Aries.

On the other hand the composite has Cancer Rising with a Mars in Cancer in the 12th, Libra Sun-Pluto opposite an Aries Venus and trine an Aquarius Moon.

So, when Z and I came together something was created that was different than who we were as individuals. Both of us got a strong urge to create a home and a family together, which surprised us since neither had felt that urge before (Composite Sun is in the 4th house). There is a strong need to protect one anaother and invest energy in the family (Mars in Cancer) and there is a tension between relating to each other as friends and lovers (Aquarius Moon vs. Venus in Aries). Being friends feels natural – the Aquarius Moon in the composite has a similar vibe to my own Moon-Uranus is sympathetic to Z’s freedom and friendship-loving Sagittarius Sun. So being friends is easy. We are good friends, always have been, will stay so.

However, the relationship also needs fire and passion and excitement (Venus in Aries) in order to feel good. With the composite Sun-Pluto there is never a feeling of safety – rather the whole thing feels a bit like Revolutionary Road. If you trap yourself in the suburbs in the safety of a lovely house and lose connection to what is vital and alive in yourself and your relating then the whole thing will erode and suffocate you. On the other hand if you stay connected to your need to transform, it won’t be easy or comfortable but a deeper purpose will be served. (Each time we have felt really happy or comfortable, something has come to disturb the equilibrium – which in one sense is really upsetting at the time, but generally it draws us closer together).

The Sun of the relationship is in Libra and both of us have this termendous, incredible need to relate to each other harmoniously and beautifully. I can count on the fingers of one hand the number of times we have sworn or yelled at each other. Instead, even when we fight we tend to fight really courteously – a discussion rather than a heated debate and the small details of our home and interaction matter. For example, setting the table so it looks nice is really important. Having a clean house is really important. Which is not to say that the house is always clean – simply that when it is the energy flows differently. We instantly feel happier and more fulfilled.

I think Z isn’t always comfortable with our style of relating. He has an Aries Mars and can feel stifled by being too polite, too worried about hurting my feelings. On the other hand, hte composite Sun Pluto conjuncts my Mars which has suddenly come alive in this relationship (having before been really hidden in my life). Of the two of us, I am the one who ends up having the shorter temper and the outbursts of fury (I frequently end up throwing things at him, and just yesterday when he pissed me off I punched him in the arm; although this is still Libra so I make sure that what I am throwing is soft and won’t hurt him and that when I do throw I throw off-mark).

The relationship really thrives when we relate to each other beautifully (all that composite Libra) and really dies when we bicker. The first months of our son’s life were so hard for us not because of baby boot camp as much as how the tiredness made us hiss at one another and fight about who had the hardest day and who deserved rest more.

Steven Forrest has a brilliant book about Composites Called Skymates II, which I found really helpful when I was first learning this stuff. Liz Greene also writes about it in Relating, which I really enjoyed reading once I had worked out the basics.

• August 23, 2013

Thanks Nina. This sounds a bit like the relationship I am in which has some Mars Pluto stuff. The never feeling 100% safe etc. Big drama and big love (Venus Sun) . Helps to hear of your own experience. Composites are cool.

20. February 17, 2009

I too would like to recommend “Skymates II”:)
I think it has a very positive and constructive take on every single placement – even the traditionally off-putting ones, like planets in the 6th house and such;)
Liz Greene’s mythological/archetypal exegesis makes for really fun reading if you think mythology is even remotely interesting – I think the Neptune book in particular is a gem! – but her view of Saturn is a bit too much “doom and gloom” for my personal taste, anyway. Only trines and sextiles are workable for her. Personally, based on my limited experience, I’d only rule out the square.

Just checked Liz Greene’s natal chart at astrotheme: Saturn conjunct Pluto^^ Go figure;)

21. February 17, 2009

ok, now i know what a composite chart is. thank you!

my husband and i composite have a packed 12th house in virgo. so it makes sense that people come to us for support when they are going through a breakup or divorce, i guess, while they’re digging through the psych and emotional issues.

22. February 17, 2009

yeah, but i’m still resisting composites. they seem to work but my logic syas it’s just sliding things around on an abacus.
which i guess as a metaphor kind of defeats the resistance, really

23. May 21, 2009

Yea great synastry doesn’t mean jack. Dated this guy… the synastry was highly favorable, the composite was amazing, I even found this eastern/vedic reading thing and that came back highly favorable… but things just never materialized. I liked him a lot. I thought he liked me but after a few weeks it became apparent that he didn’t like me as much. When I quit calling he did not pick up the ball. Heartbreaking, really. After a 20 year marriage with horrible synatry and composite, I was so excited to meet this new guy. But no, great relationship charts just don’t mean anything, until they do I guess.

• August 23, 2013

Its may have been due to transits or maybe the progressed composite chart would show why it didn’t work.

24. June 12, 2010

nina – that’s very interesting. now you’ve motivated me to go look up mine & my hubby’s composite chart.

elsa – thanks for the sun-jupiter example. my husband has jupiter conjunct my sun-venus. you can find lots of stuff online about how the jupiter person will be generous with the sun person but it’s nice to read about the role of the sun person too!

25. June 12, 2010

But what if a synastry shows intense,”difficult” and erratic interactions (for instance lots of uranus and pluto going on)and the composite shows a rather harmonious relationship?

ps: I’m a newnie here so I feel like saying a big hello to everybody and thanks to the hostess for her great work!

26. June 12, 2010

Welcome, anotheravatar. If you post this to the board (where it will be seen), you are almost certain to get a response.

27. June 12, 2010

So the stuff on composite charts brought up something that I’ve been considering for a bit, but have been forgetting to bring up.

So, suppose two people in a relationship were born pretty close together (like with a few months or less time)- the composite chart is going to look a lot in some aspects like each individual – yes? To make an extreme example, I saw an article a couple of weeks ago about a couple who are going to get married, and they were born on the same day (I didn’t read the article, so I don’t know their birth data). Of course, these two likely have different ascendants, and the planets are in different houses. But there is the likelihood that all the planets are in the same signs, with the same aspects. Then you end up with a composite that’s pretty much the same chart as the two people! What can that mean?

28. June 12, 2010

curiouswanderer – this is pretty much true for my husband & i relative to the outer planets. but sun, moon, mercury, venus, mars are quite different. so the composite result is that those planets are entirely different in our chart than in our individual charts.

another question about couples charts though. what importance would you give to event charts, eg, the chart for when we got engaged or married. (too bad i hardly keep track of when i meet people!)

29. June 14, 2010

What is the third technique, Elsa? Or was that just a typo? Sorry if it was, i was just expecting maybe the Davison chart to be mentioned, but it wasn’t.

30. June 14, 2010

Alyson, the 3rd technique I had in mind was putting one person’s planets in the other person’s chart.

31. June 14, 2010

So like house overlays? Alright, i’ve always grouped that in with synastry so it would’ve never occurred to me that you were considering it separately, haha.

32. July 11, 2010

the composite scares me a bit. mutable square. and a mutable/cardinal t square (w/pluto in libra.) no wonder this summer is triggering it.

ascendant is 1 degree scorpio.

33. August 22, 2013

Your new site looks super blocky–why not use fonts that are more rounded to even things up a bit?

34. August 22, 2013

This prompted me to look at B’s and my composite chart. I usually look at comparisons.

Yesterday was our chart’s Solar return. D’aww.