When it comes to dating, there are many ways to see if you’re compatible with somebody, from comparing your common interests to analyzing your beliefs and values. Some also think there’s another key factor to consider in a relationship: birth charts (also known as natal charts). But, can they really make or break your partnership? And, should they influence how things are going or should you end things if your birth charts are out of sync?
First of all, what is a birth chart exactly? Business astrologer Kathryn Hocking breaks it down: “A birth chart is a map of the sky at the precise time of your birth,” she tells TZR in an email. “It shows which constellations — or zodiac sign — the major planets and luminaries were in, and it also places each planet in a ‘house,’ or area of life. It also reveals the relationship of the planets at the time of your birth, which can be harmonious or more challenging.”
Linda Furiate, astrologer and relationship expert, adds that one’s birth chart is calculated by knowing the calendar date, location (city/state or country), and exact local time you were born. “In astrology, there are several ways to calculate — and compare — compatibility between charts,” she tells TZR in an email. “Often, this is the most highly asked question: ‘Are we compatible?’”
So, is delving into each other’s charts something that should be done early on in the relationship — or after you’ve been seeing each other a while? Ahead, Hocking and other astrologers weigh in.
When To Compare Birth Charts
Hocking says checking your partner’s birth chart can be helpful in that it allows you to understand each other better. It can offer insight into what they might need in a relationship, how they respond to certain situations, and where they might want to head in life. “But I'd recommend you don't do it too early,” she warns. “Rather, at a time when you both feel like the relationship is getting serious. You can use it as a bit of a compatibility check that your temperament and life goals are aligned.”
For instance, Hocking adds that she and her husband both have a Cancer moon (something your astrologer will explain to you when you get your birth chart read). “So, emotionally, we understand each other really well,” she says. “He has a cluster of planets in Libra, as do I, so again we have a similar disposition and temperament that makes our relationship really successful.” If this all sounds like a foreign language, don’t worry — it’ll make a lot more sense when a professional goes over your and your partner’s exact birth charts.
Dr. Jennifer Freed, psychological astrologer, who has a new book coming out in the fall, A Map to Your Soul, adds that she gives it some time before agreeing to read a couple’s charts. “Only after a few years do I read couples’ charts,” she tells TZR in an email. She says this is because they should first get used to each other, and further understand and appreciate one another as they are. “[They should] not use [comparing their birth charts] as a substitute for truly doing the due diligence of getting to know someone,” she says. She also notes that it takes a gifted astrologer to decipher your cosmic DNA, so to speak.
And Kasandra Martinez, astrologer and founder of Style By The Signs, thinks that if both people are curious about their synastry as a couple, then anytime is the right time to do it. “I think a couple's birth chart reading is a very illuminating, fun, and intimate thing to do together,” she tells TZR in an email. “The process can help you better understand each other as individuals, but also put your relationship strengths and challenges into perspective.”
What You Should Look For In Birth Charts?
Before we get into more specifics on birth chart compatibility, it’s important to first understand a few basics around some key planets and terms. Some common terms you’ll hear below — and what they represent — include the following.
The Sun, Moon, and Rising/Ascendant signs are often referred to as the “Big 3”:
- Sun — your core personality
- Moon — your emotional side
- Rising/Ascendant — how others see you
And then each planet signifies different aspects of your personality. In brief:
- Mercury — communication and logic
- Venus — love life and relationships
- Mars — sexuality and energy
- Jupiter — luck and faith
- Saturn — responsibility and determination
- Uranus — innovation and unpredictability
- Neptune — inspiration and intuition
- Pluto — rebirth and renewal
However, there’s much more to it than the above, says Furiate. As an astrologer who specializes in relationships, she says the key to chart comparison is to have an open mind. “It is also important to know that just because aspects between two charts, or two people, are hard, it doesn’t mean the relationship will not work,” she explains. “Often, easy aspects between charts may be just as challenging. ‘Easy aspects’ could mean that people are not willing to put in the work when times get tough.” But because relationships are learning experiences, she says, often the hard, or less desirable aspects, serve the relationship well — especially when the planets Venus and Saturn are involved. “Venus represents our love life and may describe what we are looking for in a partner,” she notes. “And Saturn represents our staying power: Will the relationship stand the test of time when things become a challenge?”
And Hocking says, overall, you'll want to look for similarities in your birth charts: Do you share signs across your sun, moon, and rising sign? “Like I mentioned, my husband and I have Cancer moons, but he also has Sagittarius rising and I am a Sagittarius sun,” she says. And do you have a cluster of planets (three or more) in the same sign? “My husband and I sharing Libra clusters helps our compatibility,” Hocking adds. “In addition, sometimes our Venus or Mars placement (depending on our sexual orientation and preference) will indicate the best sign for us to partner with (but not always!),” she explains.
Chemistry is another aspect your birth charts may reveal. “It may be the most important part of any relationship,” says Furiate. “Chart comparison helps to explain where that chemistry may exist.” She says things to look for include how compatible the Moon signs are between charts: Are these two people able to relate to each other emotionally? Next would be to look at the planet Mercury to see how well the two of you are able to communicate your needs and desires. “And Venus, the love planet connections, are most important, as this represents attraction to each other and things one may value in life,” she says. “Mars rules sexuality, so having compatible aspects between two charts is a must.”
What To Do If Your Birth Charts Do Not Sync Up
So — is a relationship doomed if two people’s birth charts don’t line up well? Not necessarily. “I think it is really important to get professional astrological advice if you are unsure, and not jump to conclusions that may not be accurate,” says Hocking. “I think, in general, we are drawn to someone for a reason — typically, that is because we recognize things in them that we also have in ourselves, and they just feel like home. This will likely show in your charts in some way.”
Martinez adds that she thinks the best couples' charts have a healthy mix of harmonious and challenging aspects. “Our birth charts are so complex, it would be a disservice to only focus on the things that come naturally to a couple or make them ‘compatible,’” she explains. “Sometimes, it is the juicier, more tense aspects that create the things a lot of people desire from their relationships — like passion, growth, and sexual chemistry. It’s all about working with what you have, not wishing for something you don’t.”
The Caveat Of Comparing Birth Charts
“Astrology is far more nuanced than just one placement,” says Hocking. “So you are best to get a relationship astrology reading wherein the astrologer will run a synastry chart where they look at how your charts interact with each other. You could also buy a specialist relationship astrology book or online course.”
Furiate adds that comparing two charts for compatibility can be complicated. “There are no set rules for what will work out for a relationship,” she says. “I often tell my clients any relationship can work if both parties are willing to put in the work — and understand why they want to be together for the long-term.” Freed agrees. “Never trust an outside meaning system more than your own experience,” she explains. “Build your inner knowing to be a constant reliable source of wisdom.”
And Martinez adds that couples should always go into compatibility readings with an open mind and an open heart. “There is no such thing as a ‘bad’ chart — your birth chart is not a life sentence,” she says. “If you each take the time to understand each other, and accept your strengths and weaknesses, your birth charts can be a wonderful tool to help you build stronger communication and romance.”