"There's a good tradition of love and hate staying by the fireside.. "
Sung by Tanita Tikaram
There's a good traditional belief that love and hate between people can be predicted by astrology. I disagree with those good traditions. I don't think love can ever be completely based on the stars, or any other tabulated system. Astrology cannot make you fall in love, nor make the person of your dreams love you. Astrology cannot create love, nor can it promise perfect happiness - that is up to you. Even when you do find that "perfect match" person it is still up to you. Love is not the end of a fairy tale, it's the beginning of an epic saga.
Personally, I don't think astrology should be used to pick your friends and lovers. For me the attraction of astrology is how it can be used as a way of making already existing relationships work better, rather than predicting "love" or "hate" for the two people involved. As anyone who has ever been in love can vouch - the border between love and hate can be remarkably foggy at times!
Astrology's gift is not the fact it can tell you who is right for you, but rather the fact that it can point out the potential problems and weak spots between people. It can show you the areas of your personalities where you both need to adjust in order to make the relationship "fit" better. Because ultimately all relationships, from parents and partners to friends and family, only thrive when they are based upon good communication and the willingness of both sides to compromise when necessary.
In Western Astrology many publications focus solely on Sun signs, which is rather like basing your whole choice of partner on what shoes they wear. Western astrology is far more complex than Sun signs alone. Any good astrologer will tell you that you need to know the person's entire chart, as well as your own, in order to make any kind of evaluation. You need to be able to compare the other major planets.
To give a very brief example:
Moon signs will show up how you both react to life and each other on an intuitive-emotional level. Do you "connect" without words or do you both struggle to get your personal feelings understood by the other?
Mercury signs will show if you both think alike, or have very different ways of thinking and communicating. Could you work together or do you both need separate careers?
Venus will show your attitudes to love and what you want from a romantic relationship. It also governs money so Venus can also point out who is the miser and who is the spendaholic. Venus can tell whether
you should both be considering separate bank accounts!
Mars signs govern energy and aggression. They will show how you react in anger as well as why one of you wants to be off mountain climbing at dawn while the other prefers to sleep in late and watch TV all weekend. Mars will show who enjoys fighting and who prefers to give into keep the peace.. or sulk in seething silence.
Chinese astrology is equally complex and, once again, you need to know both the animal symbols and the elements. The relationship between the elements is particularly interesting. Remember that children's game of "Rock, Paper, Scissors"? The Chinese Elements follow a similar concept. Each element has the ability to conquer, or be conquered, by another element. These are the elements that are seen as hostile towards each other. But unlike that childhood game the Chinese elements each have the ability to nurture another.
Water makes plants grow and creates life
- Water people nurture and are good for Wood people
Wood burns to create fire, warmth and protection
- Wood people nurture and are good for Fire people
Fire dwells in the depth of our Planet and gives it life
- Fire people nurture and are good for Earth people
Earth gives us our ores, minerals and precious stones
- Earth people nurture and are good for Metal people
Metal (to the Chinese) creates steam and water
- Metal people nurture and are good for Water people
Water puts out Fire
Water people dominate Fire people
Fire melts Metal
- Fire people dominate Metal people
Metal saws and axes are used to cut down trees
- Metal people dominate Wood people
Wooden tools dig into the Earth
- Wood people dominate Earth people
Earth absorbs Water
- Earth people dominate Water people
Although these are seen as "bad" compatibility connections it is possible to have a happy relationship between a dominant and weak element - provided the dominant person does not take advantage of their "power". It also should be pointed out that a dominant person who becomes a bully runs the risk of forcing the weaker element person to survive in the relationship by resorting to underhand tactics, such as emotional blackmail and manipulation.
Ultimately both Chinese and Western Astrology are only a means of understanding ourselves and others better, not Harry Potter's magic wand. The truth is that every relationship is made up of two ordinary people who bring with them all their "baggage" of past history, flaws and phobias. Since there are no perfect human beings so there cannot be any perfect relationships. There are only wonderful, miraculous, horribly complicated flawed real people. If you can accept that fact, and learn to rejoice in those horrible yet wondrous complications, you will find love and you will have that enduring relationship.