Relationship astrologer Elizabeth Hathway recently interviewed me about wedding astrology for her blog. She’s running the interview in installments over the next few days in Dutch, and with her permission I’m offering it here for English language readers.
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Elizabeth: Do you also use the traditional relating techniques, i.e. the composite chart and chart synastry? If so, how do you incorporate the information obtained from them with the marriage chart?
April: In working with wedding dates, I rely primarily on electional astrology techniques but also refer to the natal and especially the composite (derived houses) charts. My objective is to choose a date for the wedding that is astrologically sound and can stand alone, apart from the natal charts. It’s like building a house; there are certain structural requirements, rules that need to be followed, before you start taking individual needs and tastes into account. I work from a long list of “structural requirements” based on astrological tradition and personal research. I make sure the Moon is approaching a harmonious aspect to the Sun and that its last aspect in its sign is a nice one; that Venus is direct in motion and as strong as possible by sign and aspect. That kind of thing.
Now, finding a date that stands alone as a strong and harmonious chart dramatically narrows the field of available dates. If it happens that a few dates are about equally strong, I then turn to the natal and composite charts as a “tie-breaker.” Let’s say a date is generally very good, but the Sun is approaching a conjunction with Uranus. Scary… but it might actually work really well for a couple who have strong Sun/Uranus aspects in the natal or composite charts. I also take the natal and composite charts into consideration in the timing of the chart where to place certain high-tension planets, for instance. But I don’t do a point by point synastry comparison between the birth charts and wedding dates – it simply isn’t practical to find a date that is astrologically sound AND matches up with the birth charts point by point.
Elizabeth: If you had to make a comparison between the traditional techniques and the marriage chart, how well would the latter fare? In other words how important do you view the marriage chart within the whole scale of available tools?
April: Well, it’s worth pointing out that synastry and composite charts appear to be relatively modern astrological techniques, and that no astrological concept is more traditional than the idea that the chart for the beginning of a marriage – or any other event – describes the nature of that event. As the saying goes, “Anything born of a moment in time has the qualities of that moment in time.” So it seems obvious that the chart for the wedding moment would have a lot to tell us about the resulting marriage.
What distinguishes marriage from any other kind of romantic union is that it’s a pact not just between two people, but between those two people and the society in which they live. I believe the marriage chart describes this larger dimension of the relationship in a way synastry or a composite chart simply can’t. You might have great synastry with George Clooney, but until you (1) meet one another and (2) conform with your society’s requirements for legal marriage, that pact between the two of you and society simply doesn’t exist.
Putting all that aside, I’m going to offer an answer that may sound awfully convenient… but the truth is, the marriage chart always seems to reveal pretty much the same fundamental truths about the relationship that are revealed through synastry or the composite chart. I don’t know why this is the case. I suppose it’s because there’s usually only a brief window of time in which people are willing to marry, usually within a year or so; and naturally enough, the major planetary themes of that period, reflected in the marriage chart, also resonate as transits to the birth charts. And you expect to see strong transits to the birth chart when a person is going to do something as important as getting married!
I don’t think anyone needs to choose their wedding date with astrology. But I do believe it’s a good idea to do so, because it can help you align your purpose as a couple with the zeitgeist, the tone of the times. Plus, I truly believe that a marriage is a sort of entity with a personality all its own, similar to the way we read the composite chart as describing the relationship “entity” created by two people. So why not choose a marriage with a nice personality – and hopefully one that brings out the best of who you are as a couple, and not the worst? Choosing your wedding date with astrology won’t make your problems go away, but it ideally provides a harmonious environment in which to work through them.