What Is The Difference Between Synastry And A Composite Chart?

“Synastry” refers to the astrological study of relationships. There are several techniques. Each have their own merits.

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

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

In another case, a person’s Mars may square your Sun. They may attack (Mars) your ego (Sun). They may also just fire you up.

You have to be careful when judging these things. Synastry will show that there is an interaction between two people. How the interaction plays will depend on the choices the people make.

A composite chart is 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, to come up with a chart of their relationship. This may sound squirrelly but these charts are valid. They most definitely 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 tells it’s purpose and it’s qualities. Is the union 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 of some kind.

Also, the composite chart is meaningless unless the relationship actually forms. It’s a hypothetical.  If you see someone you like and you see that you have a nice composite chart with that person, it won’t matter unless you merge with them in some way. It is at that point, the composite chart comes into being.

You can also have two people with very difficult charts. But when you put them together their composite is great.

This would be a situation where people are better together than apart. You see it in life when someone says, “My life was crap, but then I met….”

Are you in a relationship? Check out the compatibility report, the or get both at a discounted rate!

Which synastry technique do you prefer?

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What Is The Difference Between Synastry And A Composite Chart? — 46 Comments

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

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

3. 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.

5. 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. 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. 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. 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.

9. 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)

10. 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?

11. 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.

12. 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.

13. 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!

14. 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?

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

16. 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!

17. 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.

• 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.

18. 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;)

19. 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. 🙂

20. 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 😛

21. 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.

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

22. 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!

23. 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! 🙂

24. 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?

25. 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!)

26. 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.

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

28. 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.

29. 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.

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

31. 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.

32. Am at a point where I can comprehend this. Went over my head first time around. Thanks for re-visiting.

33. But all this might be a little confusing to some.
Are folks talking about (a.) a progression of the composite,
or (b.) a composite of the two natives’ progressions?
If (a.) then it’s just a composite of nativities. Which might reveal interesting influences indeed.
But (b.) will indicate better some of the energies of the relationship.
IMHO.
Also, consider a bi-wheel comparing the progression of the composites with a current transit chart.
Could help mitigate some transitory challenges.
{Maybe…}

34. I wrote a post that disappeared. Oops. If it shows up again, please forgive the possible repetition. Or duplication of someone else’s post.

Basically, I opined that a composite of the two progressions of the natives is better than a progression of the composite.
This way one can see, astro-wise, how the living beings now will interface.
A composite of their radixes just shows natal influences; and there is no accurate point in time to progress. One is not marking the birth of the relationship by this. For that one needs a time of the first date, or something. Like in mundane astro.
But a progression of each individual shows their (astro) evolution up to now. Compositing two progressions will reveal their current combined strengths and challenges.
JMVHO.
Also, one could cast a biwheel with said progression against a current transit.
Maybe one, or two of you, could mitigate a possible troublespot by seeing a transitory bump in the road. Like a nice Venus – Mars square, e,g.

35. Jeez. I just saw some of the dates on this thread!
Heck!
I was fooled not to even look because I got here from a Twitter post that came today!

And Mercury in Capricorn even!

36. Livening up an old, forgotten thread?
Thank you, I think.

Must be the t-Ceres (growth) – t-Lilith (osc.)(empowerment) trine striking my P2 Pluto (regeneration.)
Ceres and Pluto combo’s are always good for a laugh, aren’t they?

Kinda wish something more Venusian would happen, though….

37. I use both Synastry and Composite charts. They both offer a different perspective of a relationship. In Synastry, I can get a good understanding of how we will affect each other’s lives. I think its important to look at the Synastry first so that you understand the dynamic between each other. That affects the interpretation of the Composite chart.

I had a friend that had his Venus conjunct my Sun. He was sweet as sugar to me and I loved talking to him. When I looked at our composite chart though, it didn’t look so promising for a long-term romantic relationship, so we always remained platonic.

No one will ever find 100% of what they want in a long-term relationship. There’s going to be things you don’t like, so if you want to know what they are look at the Synastry chart first and decide if its something you can put up with or a deal breaker.

38. If Uranus is square the Ascendant in a Composite chart does that spell trouble? I read that the relationship will never work out. These people are retired and want to travel in an RV together…BTW, the ONLY other aspect Uranus (in 4th house Leo) makes is a trine to Juno (in 8th H Sagittarius). OH, and another thing! The Sun is at 29*50′ Taurus!!! Isn’t that called the “Weeping Sisters” and doomed for all time, or something?