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Synastry: Celebrities you love

Last night, I caught a documentary about the late actor and monologist Spalding Gray. It reminded me how much I adored him – that is, as much as you can adore someone you’ve never met and don’t know in any intimate way. Watching Spalding Gray perform a monologue made my heart just about explode with delight. Everything about it, about him – the mischievous arch of the eyebrows, the plaid shirts, the puppy dog eyes, the collision of words, the comic timing – made me feel good.

Spalding Gray committed suicide in 2004. I’d lost enough people I really loved to know the difference between actual grief and the vaguely pleasurable drama of bidding farewell to someone whose public image illuminated a small corner of my life; but I cried a little anyway when I heard the news, in a way that girls once cried when the Beatles got married.

Anyway, all of this got me thinking about relationship astrology, otherwise known as synastry, in which one person’s birth chart is compared with another’s to find areas of compatibility and conflict. I’ll be honest with you: I’m just not interested in doing relationship astrology. It seems terribly complicated and unreliable (anyone looking at the synastry between my chart and my husband’s would assume one of us would eventually murder the other, and yet we rarely even quarrel).  But mostly I find relationship astrology frustrating because it’s often such unhappy work. It seems that most people want you to analyze their relationship when:

(1) it’s hopelessly broken,

(2) they want you to help them figure out how to get the other person to give them what they want, or

(3) the whole situation is a fantasy – that is, they’re longing for the other person, trying to will them into a relationship, but there’s no actual two-way relationship going on.

The latter types of “relationships” are not unlike the weird, one-way infatuations we have with public figures. Elusive lovers are like unobtainable, unknowable celebrities; our attachment to them says much more about us than it does about them. So watching the documentary about Spalding Gray, I found myself wondering: what do celebrities spark in our birth charts that makes some part of us leap to attention when they wander across the landscape? What is it in their birth charts that finds a quickening response in our own?

Birth data for public figures can be elusive. Luckily for me, Spalding Gray’s birth chart is posted on his official website. There’s the arch, twinkling Sun and Venus in Gemini in the third house, and Jupiter in Gemini at nearly the same degree as my natal Gemini descendant, and – well, of course I adored Spalding Gray: he was the embodiment of my seventh house! His sly sparkle and fluidity with words represent ideal qualities for me in any partnership.

But of course, what attracts us in partners are the qualities we’d most like to develop in ourselves. I never fantasized about being with Mr. Gray; I fantasized about being him. Or at least, about having his job. I can’t imagine much that would be better than sitting onstage behind a desk and telling stories about your life, and being really good at it. Other than having that job and being happy. Which Spalding Gray, evidently, was not, poor man. But of course, that unhappiness found its way into his monologues too, and probably found resonance with my Gemini Moon and its dark square to Pluto.

Are there celebrities or other public figures who make your heart sing? You might be able to find their birth charts here. Where does their astrology connect with your own – and which parts of your inner life are projected on those blithely unaware strangers?

15 comments to " Synastry: Celebrities you love "

  • John Cusack and Roger Reese have in the past. No one currently, though. Maybe because my boyfriend is an actor. 🙂

    Joaquin Phoenix used to do it for me, as well. And when I looked at his chart and noted all the node contacts, I thought, “It’s weird — I should know him. And we probably *wouldn’t* like each other.” Sure enough, I much later managed to get the birth information of a woman I’ve long had some conflict with and, sure enough, she has the exact same birthday and year as J.P.

    • That’s pretty cool, Maria… though of course conflict and friction that drive us crazy with someone of the same sex might be weirdly captivating (for het types) in someone of the opposite sex! I have to second the John Cusack emotion (though he comes across as a tool in interviews, and that’s dampened my affections).

  • dar

    g’day prof April,
    -yup,SG,was my cuppa as well
    -could not figure out how he could leave his young family like that…until read about his horrific accident,with the years of pain & no doubt, drugs [wch destroy any semblance of biochemical order in the body,with the mental faculties being wonked most] & it was inevitable that he had to off himself
    -why o why couldn’t someone have told him about Orthomolecular Medicine? oh yeah, those minerals& vitamins aren’t patented.
    ps say hi to toyota

  • dar

    -some people have a guardian angel:

    A lifelong depressive, Mr. Edwards told The New York Times in 2001
    that at one point his depression was so bad that he became “seriously suicidal.”
    After deciding that shooting himself would be too messy
    and drowning too uncertain, he decided to slit his wrists on the beach at Malibu while looking at the ocean.

    But while he was holding a two-sided razor,
    his Great Dane started licking his ear,
    and his retriever, eager for a game of fetch, dropped a ball in his lap.

    Trying to get the dog to go away, Mr. Edwards threw the ball,
    dropped the razor and dislocated his shoulder.

    “So I think to myself,” he said,
    “this just isn’t a day to commit suicide.”
    Trying to retrieve the razor,
    he stepped on it and ended up in the emergency room.

    -what ails thine Toy twosome?

    • What a great story!
      (The 2000 Corolla is, simply, not aging well. The 1986 Corolla is currently in exile at the mechanic’s and probably needs yet another new engine, poor baby. I should retire it but I cry everytime I think about it.)

  • Kent, you should see him on Twitter with all his misspellings and his fascination with a 19-year-old girl whose Twitter name in French is slang for female genitals. Oy.

  • dar

    -FYI, prof April,
    1-when the next oil change comes,ask mr Mechanic to add a quart of Slick 50 in place of 1qt of oil
    [some used car dealers warranty their engines for 100k with that stuff in em]
    [nb.rebuilt engines should have 20k mi or rings won’t seat]
    2- get it oil undercoated- this keeps further rust away from sheetmetal&nuts&bolts, but more importantly,with all these modern car computers,sensors&multiple grounds, it prevents v.expensive electrical/driveability headaches for You& the poor mechanic who has to diagnose it
    3- ask mr.mechanic to add Lubegard Kool-it supreme coolant treatment to the radiator
    [it lowers engine running temp,prevents electrolysis,more]
    -these 3 things,in total cost, less than a night out, will add years …my ’95 exploder look&runs like new

  • Jon Layton

    Lindsey Buckingham a huge influence on me- His Sun- Mercury conjunction exactly conjunct my 10th house Pluto and his Asc-Mars- Pluto conjunction exactly opposite my Mercury-Venus conjunction. Pretty powerful stuff!!

    I agree you’ll usually wind up looking like a fool if you try to predict how or if a relationship will work using synastry (or composite), I think they are best used for spotting potential themes.

    In my experience the close aspects between the charts of people engaged in a close relationship do play out in some form but it’s impossible to tell how the people involved will handle them from looking at a chart.

    April my favourite aspect between our charts is your Jupiter on my Sun trine my Midheaven:D

    Happy New Year!!

  • Jennifer

    I won’t say who mine is, but there’s nodal contacts all over the place. I’d really like to meet the person to see if that would play out in real life or not.

  • Fuchur

    Please show your and your husband’s charts! Because I want to check the synastry too! This is a kind of research, because perhaps the Magi Astrologers are right or perhaps the method of Cece Stevens is better or perhaps there is still another method, only that your relationship can’t be seen in your synastry is very close to completely impossible…

    • First of all, my chart *is* on my site. But my husband is not a public figure. I’m not about to violate his privacy by posting his chart just so you can do some research. And I never said there were no good contacts between our charts. There’s plenty that an astrologer would call “good”, but plenty they’d call “bad.” Try to tell me I would have the same chemistry with someone who has the exact same chart, and I would disagree. It’s more complicated than that. Also, not wild about your tone.

    • You know, I reread your comment this afternoon and I see that I overreacted. I apologize for being harsh. I’m still not going to post my husband’s chart, though. Good luck with your studies.

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