Karma & Relationships
Exploring Karmic Relationships with Astrology
This new feature will be expanded over the next few weeks.
Each individual will bring their own karma into relationships, as indicated by specific factors in their natal charts. Cross-aspects between two people reveal more to the story. Some are one-way–for example, my Venus squares his Neptune and his Neptune doesn’t contact my Venus–and more potent configurations are two-way (example, my Venus squares his Neptune and his Venus semi-squares my Neptune).
This article will explore relationship karma as seen in the individual’s chart (personal karma, i.e. what we carry forward into our relationships in general) as well as relationship karma in synastry, or the comparison of two people’s charts.
N.B. You don’t have to believe in past lives in order to benefit from these interpretations. Personally, I take a psychological, growth-oriented approach to astrology. Although the term “karma” implies the issues that a soul brings into this life, one can just as well consider it to be an individual’s expectations, early life conditioning, inherited factors, and predispositions.
Many believe that outer planet contacts to inner planets, as well as contacts with the Moon’s Nodes, are indicators of karmic set-ups. It’s interesting to note that if I have Venus square Neptune, for example, in my natal chart, people of the same generation will have their Neptune square my Venus. In my romantic relationships, if I form relationships with people born within a few years of me, their Neptune will square my Venus.
The natal chart can reveal a person’s expectations and ingrained beliefs. Generally speaking, Venus-Saturn aspects suggest fear of rejection, Venus-Chiron aspects suggest the expectation that love is painful, Venus-Uranus aspects suggest a deep fear of intimacy and dependency, Venus-Neptune aspects suggest the belief that ideal love and relationships exist and can be attained, and Venus-Pluto aspects suggest a deep fear of losing love and betrayal.
In synastry, outer planets (Saturn, Chiron, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto) in one chart forming strong aspects to the inner planets, angles, and Nodes of another person reveal karmic ties. For the most part, the degree of ease or difficulty of these ties is revealed through the type of aspect (or tie) formed. Repeated themes are something to watch for. This can take the form of two-way interaspects, as well as one-way interaspects that are repeated in the composite chart.
Generally speaking, Saturn contacts in synastry (Saturn interaspects) can indicate karmic debts and obligations, with or without a strong feeling of guilt. Chiron interaspects indicate the urge to help and heal a person, perhaps as a form of redemption. Uranus interaspects suggest a theme of dependency versus freedom, and can indicate relationships in which either person is learning to commit or to let go. Neptune interaspects suggest a theme of striving towards unconditional love, but also can indicate victim/savior themes. Pluto interaspects suggest a theme of domination, issues of power, betrayal, and dependence. Jupiter interaspects have a growth theme, as do Nodes of the Moon interaspects.
Venus contacts with the outer planets in the natal chart – Expectations in Relationships
The following interpretations are from the Karmic Insight report. We will be expanding on these interpretations shortly.
Venus conjunct, opposition, square, semi-square, sesquiquadrate, or quincunx Saturn
In this lifetime the arena of human relationships and personal love will be full of challenge and lessons for you. Love is hard to find, hard to sustain, or just plain hard! Shyness and loneliness, due mostly to an acute sensitivity to the possibility of rejection, are apt to plague your younger years. Even when friendship and open affection is offered to you, you are prone to doubt it, push it away in disbelief, or feel unworthy of it. Pure, unadulterated pleasure in any form discomforts you. Subconsciously at least, you believe that there is a price to be paid for any love or pleasure you receive, that you may be punished if you enjoy too much or love too much. There is an inner link between love and loss, love and separation, or love and punishment that inhibits you or makes you wary. Worst of all, you may feel that you are unlovable or unwanted. All of this is a karmic carry-over which needs to be handled with great compassion toward yourself. You may have toughened up and hardened your heart a great deal due to past injury, so that you have acted in cold, unfeeling, ungenerous, or unloving ways towards others and yourself. Perhaps, too, you have put work or other responsibilities ahead of the needs and desires of your heart. An opening and healing of the heart, first of all by cherishing yourself, is necessary. Once you start valuing yourself, your personal relationships will reflect that, and happiness in love in your later years can do much to make up for the earlier difficulties. You might wish to wear or carry rose quartz, tourmaline, lavender, jade, or chrysoprase.
Venus trine or sextile Saturn
Deeply-felt loyalty, faithfulness, and commitment in love and in friendship are soul-qualities with which you are gifted. You value that which lasts and endures, and are not prone to be consumed with frivolous or superficial values. You can also be quite happy in solitude or in relatively simple, uncluttered surroundings, content with a few genuine friends and those few things which are truly necessary. An appreciation for elegant simplicity, and the wisdom to recognize what is truly valuable, give your life much richness and depth. You will be blessed with a mature and lasting love.
Venus conjunct, opposition, square, semi-square, sesquiquadrate, or quincunx Uranus
Both in your personal relationships and in your personal tastes, you will feel an attraction to wildness, rebelliousness, newness, and erratic rhythms. “Alternative” life styles or love styles, with an emphasis on a strong need to be free, to experiment and to be spontaneous, appeal to you. Even if, at a conscious level, you believe you want stable and “normal” relationships, you will be drawn to people who are inconstant, creatively unwilling to make a commitment. You, on the other hand, may be the adventurous, noncommittal one, or find yourself sabotaging a relationship once it becomes steady and reliable. In some part of your life you must feel free to experiment emotionally and creatively. Dancing or music or some other free-flowing art form could be an outlet for this. Keeping love alive, fresh, and surprising is an ongoing life challenge for you.
There may well be a number of unions and separations, unexpected disruptions in intimate relationships, and/or periods of relatively little deep intimacy in your life: the karmic purpose of which is for you to be able to develop independence, autonomy, and detachment from an overdependence upon relationships. However, you must beware of behaving selfishly, insensitively, impersonally, and coldly in your pursuit of personal freedom.
Venus trine or sextile Uranus
Your gifts include an unusual flair or creative spark, playful inventiveness, and a taste for adventure and surprise that lead to new forms of pleasure or beauty.
You are also open to unconventional, nontraditional ways of sharing, loving, and relating to people. Collaborating and bringing unusual combinations of people together makes you happy.
Having bells or chimes in your environment can augment and bring out these qualities and gifts. Musical abilities and a wonderful sense of rhythm are talents you have brought with you into this cycle of life. When you are out of balance or overwhelmed, music or dancing is a way you can rejuvenate yourself.
Venus opposition, square, semi-square, sesquiquadrate, or quincunx Neptune
You are in love with love, and your path in life, as well as many of your challenges, involves understanding and experiencing the realm of the heart. Irresistibly romantic, you have the soul of a poet, a devotee, and above all, a lover.
In its earliest stages of development, this pattern within inclines you to be easily seduced, overcome with emotional yearning and infatuation, unable to discern the motives and intentions of others, particularly if the other person appears beautiful, soft, innocent, or in need. You can confuse pity with love. You see the angel in the other person, and are deeply disillusioned to discover the selfishness or sordidness.
Further on, your relationship with spirit may become paramount in your life, a relationship between lover and beloved. Your path is then what the Hindus refer to as “bhakti” -spiritual devotion and service. This higher octave of love and widening of the heart’s affections can be very beautiful, but herein lies the crux of some of your very human problems: “Where are the limits or boundaries in relationships?” “Are there conditions in love, or is unconditional love the ideal?”. Sorting out these questions and similar ones are part of what your life is about.
Venus conjunct, trine, or sextile Neptune
You are highly sensitive and receptive to beauty. You love art, beautiful music, harmony, and love in all its forms. You have delicate feelings and intuitively understand others through compassion. Thus, you naturally want to help, to give, to alleviate suffering where you can, and not just for people, but for all creatures. Your love naturally is inclusive, all embracing and unconditional. This pattern in you bespeaks of considerable spiritual evolvement and refinement. You are one who can walk and talk with the angels. Perhaps the only drawback here is that you are easily bruised, and it is difficult for you to endure harshness, prolonged conflict, and other “earthly” conditions.
Venus conjunct, opposition, square, semi-square, sesquiquadrate, or quincunx Pluto
The realm of human love and human relating is not one you can enter into lightly or casually. For you it is always an all-or-nothing, whole-hearted, and ultimately transformative experience. Great joy and tremendous pain, betrayals, intense desire, and longings are part of your soul’s path and pattern in this lifetime. A deepening of your heart and your capacity to love, as well as a purification of your values, is what this is all about. It may be the loss of one particular person in a particularly poignant and excruciating way, or a series of encounters which bring you ever deeper into your own attachments. Even abusive relationships may be the arenas in which this occurs. Ultimately, you are meant to discover the power of love to heal, to renew and resurrect your own and others’ lives.
The darker side or temptation on this path is to use love (or attractiveness, and others’ love for you) to control, manipulate, or force your will upon them. A love of power -instead of the power of love – would then be your downfall.
Venus trine or sextile Pluto
You are able to project love with great depth and great feeling, and through your personal magnetism and power of attraction (which is considerable) you can influence others in a remarkable way. You instinctively know what people need and want, and how to give it to them. You also exude sexuality and affect people often without realizing it. Beware of using “it” in a dishonorable way.
On another level, you are extremely fortunate and resourceful financially. You have a way with money and with developing and using all of the resources that are available to you.
Also, your creativity and artistic powers are unusual. You have a special giftedness combined with a passion for beauty, and can craft some unusual, compellingly attractive creations.
Karmic Interaspects (Synastry) and Composite Chart Aspects
The following are our discussions about how the outer planets (Saturn, Chiron, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto) and Nodes of the Moon play out in synastry and in the composite chart.
Saturn interaspects. When one person’s Saturn contacts another person’s personal planet, a sense of duty, obligation, or karmic debt can exist. This can be supportive or it can be extremely challenging–and frequently a bit of both. Note that strong Saturn in synastry (interaspects) and/or the composite chart seem almost necessary for two souls to bind together over a fair length of time. At a soul level, there is a need, desire, or feeling of indebtedness to stay with each other. At the beginning of the relationship, there is great comfort found in each other. Although “moving fast” is often associated with the planet Uranus, often people in Saturn relationships bond very quickly to one another. Still, one or both people involved can feel a strong reluctance at the same time that they feel a compulsion to be with the person. It’s as if they sense that this will be a “heavy” relationship, which it is likely to be. With some Saturn-personal planet contacts, two people stay together out of a sense of duty (or one person feels this most strongly). In other cases, there can be a real love-hate relationship that develops, as the Saturn person tends to restrict and direct the personal planet person. The personal planet may resist these attempts on some level, but acquiesce anyhow (often grudgingly!).
The Saturn person often plays the role of “parent” to the personal planet person, attempting to extinguish the personal planet person’s “inner child”. The personal planet person begins to feel like he or she cannot be playful, act spontaneously, or express his/her inner child around the Saturn person. Censoring or withholding feelings is the most common reaction over time, and distancing begins.
Hard aspects (conjunction, semi-square, square, sesquiquadrate, and oppostion) between Venus and Saturn and the Moon and Saturn in the composite chart tend to affect us most intimately. Themes of separation, distancing, withdrawing, and obstacles are strong. Over the course of the relationship, there is a danger of the relationship deteriorating into a seemingly unemotional and mechanical pattern of existence. Another expression of these aspects is a strong desire to be together, but outside obligations or influences seem to keep you apart. Whether the distancing seems to be indirect or direct (coming from without or coming from within the relationship), the general theme is roughly the same–blockages of the natural and spontaneous flow of emotional expression. Couples with these positions tend to live with the idea that their relationship is often emotionally unfulfilling. Both parties may feel that they end up quite lonely or insecure because of their experience together. It’s not about the love they have for each other, which can be considerable. However, tests and trials are part of their relationship. Overcoming them can be a fulfilling experience in and of itself.
There is a great attachment here–one that can keep you together many years, if not indefinitely. The going is bound to be a little tough, but it is also very hard to let go of each other because of this basic bond. You may find that you go through many moments when you think the relationship is over, only to find that you can’t seem to imagine life without one another. These ups and downs can be inspiring, but if there are too many, it can be exhausting! At some point, mindfulness on the part of both individuals needs to be present in order to grow with each other.
Building trust for one another is an issue. When you first met, there was likely a strong feeling of comfort and apparent trust. As you go along, there is a basic trust in one another on a physical level. However, trust with regards to sharing feelings, or your innermost desires, can begin to fade.