“Getting pleasure out of the fear of others is something most of us cannot relate to– until we recall the glee of every teenager who startles a friend or sibling by jumping out of the dark.”
–Gavin de Becker, “The Gift of Fear”
Astrology has great value in the area of personal effectiveness. Everyone has a chart and in one way we can say that everyone is alike. We all have a collection of personal traits, needs and drives that can be categorized. Everyone has an ego that shapes their general outlook, a Sun. Everyone has an emotional body, the Moon, a Mercury (mind, senses), a Venus (aesthetic), a Mars (drive), an ascendant (physical presence in the world). In that way we are all more alike than we are different. We all have the same basic parts. In this way we are all alike, apples to apples. But are we all going to taste good in the same pie?
People who seek relationships to other people concern themselves with the issue of compatibility. How is the other like me, and if not just like, how are they sympathetic? What differences are too different, possibly destructive to me? People with astrological placements that are primarily similar will tend to act in ways that are compatible with the ways we conduct ourselves and the goals we strive to meet. Differences can challenge us to see things in another way, a way that can help us improve our game. Similarities mean we will have better accuracy in predicting others’ behavior, because those drives are familiar. Differences challenge us to step outside what we know and learn in order to do that. You can make the challenge of differences work for you but it takes effort. You have to understand the other and accept that difference is not wrong.
Astrology can help with that. On a very basic level, a primal level, difference is threatening because we cannot understand or predict the behavior of the other if we are only operating on the level of understanding what is like us. We have to “level up” in order to operate effectively in the larger game which includes people who are not just like us. Too much compatibility creates stagnant relationships. Too much difference is daunting. A mix is preferable to either if you wish to grow, and synastry, comparing one chart to another, shows us exactly what and where those differences and similarities lie.
Astrology can’t tell you how someone is using their energy, whether they’re striving to grow, operating “from the dark side” or languishing in stagnation. But it can tell you what tools they are working with, what variety of apple they are. And that is a great deal of information in itself. If you know what tools they have it’s simpler to spot whether they’re using them well (mastery), using them poorly (“We shall have our revenge.”) or using them at all (stagnation).
If you’re in a relationship you can look at the synastry to see how you can best work together. If you are not in a relationship and wish to be, astrology gives you the opportunity to shine up those tools and learn to use them to the best of your ability. When you do this you are more likely to attract people who are doing the same. Synastry then becomes another tool, a gauge for seeing how challenging a project it will be!
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Do you remember a relationship where the challenge of your differences brought out the best in you?