Moon-Venus Contacts in Synastry


As a counseling Astrologer, when writing about synastry, which surveys relationship potential and compatibility  between two people (as suggested by their birth charts), one of my main responsibilities is to be an “opener of doors” and an interpreter of potentials and possibilities. No narrative between two individuals is a static, fixed one.

Advancing the art of synastry requires creativity, and a  far-seeing telescopic lens devoid of the “by rote” recitation of familiar and stale scenarios which couldn’t revive themselves even using the most powerful set of defibrillators.

In addressing issues surrounded by compatibility, our birth charts serve as a basis, foundation or a tool.  Then, the people breathe life into it, catapulting themselves off the paper into real-time, as to honor and support the unfolding human being.

Let’s take a journey into the realm of the Moon and Venus. These two planetary archetypes are firmly rooted in Astrology’s “intimacy network.”  Let’s make no mistake: they can be great friends and cohabitants, symbolizing a cozy synthesis of both what we WANT and what we NEED.

When Moon-Venus contacts are experienced between two people, there’s a GRAND OPPORTUNITY to create a “safe space” or a “heavenly haven”, if you will.  A place where you both enjoy the company of one another and there’s potential for an airtight trust that’s built on a keen emotional understanding and the desire of both partners to be in tune with one another’s innermost needs. The relationship possesses a heart barometer that each person checks frequently out of immense concern for the other.

The home and hearth are something to be cherished here, and the meanings travel far beyond the mundane “brick and mortar” definition. When it comes to the nurturing of the union between partners, a spirit of mutual cooperation can be present in service of furthering a heartfelt and erotic bond. Whether you’re a Woman or a Man in the relationship, these contacts suggest a deep and genuine appreciation for feminine principles: receptive, yielding and containing energy which is open to intuitive insights, emotional memory and the welcoming of sensitivity with open arms.

In Robert Augustus Masters’ work entitled “Emotional Intimacy: A Comprehensive Guide For Connecting With The Power of Your Emotions“, he gives an outline of some factors in synergistic combination which constitute emotional intimacy. Here are five which illustrate Moon-Venus contacts working at an optimal level:

(1) Being sufficiently well acquainted with our emotions so that when one arises, we recognize it, can name it, and acknowledge what we’re doing with it.

(2) Relating TO our emotions rather than just FROM our emotions, so that we neither fuse with nor dissociate from them

(3) Listening to others deeply, both to what’s being said and what’s NOT being said.

(4) Remaining emotionally transparent and non-defensively expressive of whatever is arising in us, be it pleasant or unpleasant.

(5) Being FULLY vulnerable.

Ladies and gentlemen, of course there’s a flip side to these dynamics, which holds the possibility of operating in quite a dysfunctional manner.

An appropriate culinary comparison to the Moon and Venus would be comfort food and sweets. Both, when consumed and enjoyed in moderation, don’t necessarily have detrimental, long-term effects. However, overdoing it is a different story. One could easily conjure up a scenario where both partners are racking their brains to come up with the last time they actually participated in a meaningful activity as an independent entity. In fact, that whole phrase sounds foreign and perplexing.

Oddly enough, when suffering from he stupor  that sugar shock brings on, all the partners can locate is 15 to 20 extra pounds and remnants of an expired gym membership. What was once healthy interdependence has now morphed into insatiable attachment hunger. The fulfillment which results from adult sharing has now given way to the fussiness and temper tantrums reflecting infantile behavior.

Like any other contacts in synastry, much depends on the attitudes, maturity and focus of the people involved; with the emphasis being not so much on whether the aspects are cast as “harmonious” or “inharmonious”, but rather uncovering, through a wide open quest, the most constructive potentials for operation of the planets in question.


What Are Some Potential Challenges of The Zodiac Signs?

Aries: Cooperation. Resisting the inclination to “steamroll” over others in pursuit of personal objectives.

Taurus: Flexibility. Avoiding inertia and rigid stances.

Gemini: Mental focus.

Cancer: Letting go of unhealthy emotional situations. Self-care.

Leo:  Self validation and appreciation.

Virgo: Accepting flaws in self and others.

Libra: Asserting desires. Putting self first in an effort to balance inner and outer life dynamics.

Scorpio: To experience emotional and psychic vulnerability. To become as revealing as they are probing and penetrating.

Sagittarius: Grounding optimism. Accepting others’ viewpoints. Detaching from dogma.

Capricorn: Experiencing the range of emotions. Embracing intuition.

Aquarius: Personal connections. Employing talents/resources for individual use.

Pisces: Facing reality. Remaining present in discomfort.

What Are Some Potential Strengths of The Zodiac Signs?

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Aries: Bold assertion of life-force. Direct confrontation of obstacles.

Taurus; Groundedness. Enjoyment of the body. Building and maintaining secure structures. Assessing value.

Gemini: Intellectual versatility. Social dexterity. Insatiable curiosity. Gathering and distributing information.

Cancer; Emotional connectivity. Meeting the unspoken needs of others. Therapeutic warmth. Nurturing capacity. Acute intuition.

Leo: Charismatic presentation of self. Noble generosity of inspirational light.

Virgo: Analytic precision. Intellectual discrimination. Improvement orientation. The ability to be useful.

Libra: Adaptability. Interest in others. Cooperation. Social refinement.

Scorpio: Intensity of insight. Willingness to travel in the dark and plumb the depths of life experience.

Sagittarius: Holistic understanding. Comprehensive viewpoints. Life-affirming philosophy. Thirst for knowledge.

Capricorn: Preparation. Administrative Organization.  Master strategist.  Ability to delay short term gratification in service of long-term objectives.

Aquarius: Questioning social conventions. Ability to convey progressive humanitarian ideals.

Pisces: The ability to merge with spiritual forces. Capacity for unconditional love. Flowing with life’s currents. The “mirroring” effect.

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How To Work With Planets Aspecting Your Ascendant


Our Ascendant, A.K.A., rising sign is one of the most important angles and very personal part of our birth charts. The Ascendant is our filter for processing our life experiences. It helps in the coloring and flavoring of perception,   as well as serving as a particular type of vehicle (based on sign) we use to navigate through life.

It would stand to reason that whatever planet or planets that come in contact with the rising sign are there to serve us as developmental tools in formulating our overall worldview.  On a technical level, the “rising” sign is the degree and minute of the zodiac sign which was rising in the east at the exact moment of our birth. It’s a very sensitive point in the birth chart, so an accurate time of birth really helps in its determination.

When a planet makes contact with the Ascendant, it’s important that we consider how the nature of the planet, expressed in a healthy fashion can contribute to our overall self-projection.

In the chart above, you’ll see that the Sagittarius Sun is in a tight conjunction with a Sagittarius Ascendant. What this suggests, is that this individual’s vitality and life force are unified in their approach to the world. In essence, the type of fuel they need to operate effectively is in alignment with their aspirations and the growth experiences they need for ultimate self-discovery.

Also, the Sun and Ascendant being in the same sign, would suggest that this person identifies strongly with the archetype of that sign. At best, there is an authentic “what you see is what you get” type of vibe. Operating in a dysfunctional manner, excessive attention seeking and hubris is hard at work.

If you have a planets making aspects to your Ascendant, study the planetary symbolism and think about ways you can honor it by integrating it into the package that is your total self-projection and the development of your identity.


The Discussion of House Systems in Astrology

“The astrological houses do not exist as an astronomical reality; their application is symbolic. This presents a sharpened argument that to use their symbolism effectively, their basis should be clearly understood. Most of us can agree with this in regard to what the houses mean. But in addition we have the problem of choosing which system of calculation to use, a highly controversial issue due to the variety of methods available and the considerable divergence of cusp locations they present. This is often regarded as the most problematic component of modern astrology. With no clear consensus of opinion to guide us, it is an issue upon which each astrologer must take an individual stance, weigh up the arguments, and resolve at a personal level.” -Deborah Houlding

This blog piece will not be a doctoral thesis on house systems and their intricacies.

This article is one Astrologer’s perspective on how we may liberate ourselves from the shackles that can potentially bind us when dealing with the topic of how the cosmos is divided.

For those who are familiar with the houses, they serve as symbolism in our birth charts for our fields of experience. They represent our various areas of life activity and development.

You may also be familiar with the fact that they can be divided in several ways, according to several systems. Some of these systems are: Placidus, Koch, Equal, Whole Signs, Campanus, Regiomontanus,  Alcabitius and Porphyry.

To give you an idea of the heat surrounding this issue, if you ask most Astrologers what should NOT be discussed amongst Astrologers when time is of the essence, house systems is a sure shot to make the top 3 or 4 answers.

If we’ve looked at our birth charts in a variety of systems, chances are, we’ll notice some differences from one system to the next. The most visible changes will most likely be that certain planets will move from one house to another.

When this happens, one of the things to keep in mind is:

this doesn’t change who we are.

I am of the opinion that the specific house system is not the most important issue. After all, we’re human beings seeking integration and wholeness and the entire zodiac, which includes the houses, can be viewed of a continuum.

Often, the affairs or themes of one house seep into the following one, so whether we realize it or not, there are no dormant houses. Our birth charts are a symbol or a mandala representing us as a dynamic life force. Never static, always becoming.

I think our core being can be depicted accurately using a number of house systems and the magic resides more with the practitioner than the system.

If we think for a moment about broad and holistic patterns, we will realize that strong chart themes stand the test of any system of house division.

Astrology is a lifelong quest to learn about who we are and how we can unfold our potential as required by the times we’re living in. I take the position that there are no “good” or “bad” houses. The thought that they’re just might be sometimes plays a part in what system we will actually accept for examining our own charts.

We may even go as far as to take the  house system route which will reflect us to the world (or so we believe) as  more “intelligent”, “sexier” , more “psychic” or “prophetic”, and the like.

Following this line of thinking, it’s reasonable to ask if we would be any “less” in those areas if our planets were located in other houses that didn’t symbolize, by rote, what we wanted to confirm ourselves as being.

It needs to be stressed that house systems are a VIEW. I may be looking at a person from a frontal view, while another person may get the side view. While some of our notes may be similar, we may also touch upon observations which the other didn’t think of. This doesn’t negate the validity of either of our perceptions.

One of the most valuable lessons which Astrology has driven home in me is that we must be able to expand the limited ideas we possess surrounding our being. We are multifaceted human beings with boundless potentials, of which some- we’re not even aware.

As Dane Rudhyar states:

“If a person asks for knowledge or guidance, the asking is thus conditioned, or at least colored, by the level at which he or she mainly operates, or by a conscious or subconscious attempt to move to the next level by gaining a new perspective. To gain a new perspective means to look at life in general and at oneself  specifically from a new ‘place’ in terms of a different frame of reference-thus from a new level of consciousness and understanding.” (Source: The Astrology of  Transformation: A Multilevel Approach by Dane Rudhyar)

There’s immensely valuable information to be gained from the myriad of perspectives that Astrology’s house systems provide.

The key is to appreciate and enjoy the views without becoming slavishly attached to them. Allowing the insights to serve one’s interests as opposed to adopting a rigid, painstaking allegiance to one point of view.


Cancer Sun, Libra Moon


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It is very important to understand that emotional intelligence is not the opposite of intelligence, it is not the triumph of heart over head — it is the unique intersection of both.” — David Caruso

How do you go about integrating Emotional perception with social acumen?

One of your life tasks is to explore this question along with an in depth consideration of the part that reciprocity plays within your personal relationships. Through active participation and building bridges with others, you increase the possibilities for illuminating and realizing the types of security and connections that energize you.

Putting it all out there” may be difficult for you, but you’ll have to come to grips with navigating this territory, both artistically and romantically. While a sense of attachment, or “belonging” to something or someone, possibly a biological or ideological “family” can generate a sense of grounding and empowerment, if it becomes your sole obsession, it can manifest in an unhealthy manner as “tunnel vision” of the heart.

Your psyche requires a balancing, which includes approaching the general principles of logic, fairness and objectivity with the same considerations that you provide for specific individuals.

A natural ‘square” relationship exists between Cancer and Libra which means that the ambiance of dynamic and developmental tension is present. These signs challenge one another. While this isn’t necessarily comfortable, a successful integration of both energies can heighten and increase the effectiveness of how they both operate.

You’ll know that you’re on the right track when a friend invites you to check out an art exhibit at the Guggenheim during the afternoon, and in the wee hours of the morning, another friend has phoned you looking for an empathetic listening ear because their relationship is on the rocks.

In her book “Aspects in Astrology” Sue Tomkins discusses the meaning and function of squares more in detail:

“Squares are useful too, because it is through meeting obstacles that we grow, either by refining our own position or making it stronger, whatever is appropriate.”

In the case of a Cancer Sun and Libra Moon, the tension may manifest through the lens of partnership, home and family. The possibility exists for competing concerns behind the requirements and challenges of carrying on two sets of relationships.

One of the most important lessons to learn for those with this combination is connected to the potential dangers of constructing an ultra-amicable front which masks one’s true feelings or vulnerabilities.

While becoming stuck in an instinctive “safe space” of feigning interest in others, one can diminish the dynamic of mutual interaction. If this is the case,  you may feel cheated because you’re rarely able to reveal your true feelings. Inner frustration follows and decisions can be made from a place of convenience rather than what gives you vitality. This is the classic cutting off your nose to spite your face; an attempt to live vicariously through others. The residue of dissatisfaction lingers around like an unpaid student loan debt that’s collecting interest.

The greater news for you, however, is that the mind and heart we never meant to be enemies. Both of them have valid ways of knowing and understanding. Successful navigation of your Sun-Moon blend isn’t a case where you devalue your capacity to feel and assign reasoning with a superior status.

In the book “Emotional Intimacy” by Dr. Robert Augustus Masters, he advances this point:

“Emotional illiteracy or lack of emotional sensitivity, understanding and savvy- has much of its rooting in the historical devaluation of emotion relative to cognition. Thinking clearly thus gets overly associated with dispassion or a muting of our emotions.”

“What we see here is the automatic identification of emotion with subjectivity in the sense that subjectivity is a failure to be objective. In fact, our logical faculties tend to lag behind our emotional “knowing” when it comes to making good decisions. This lag primarily occurs because our emotionally based take on a topic employs more of the brain and draws from FAR more data- and thereby processes it more multi-dimensionally- than does our purely logical take. Can we be objective and emotional at the same time? YES.

With a Cancer Sun and Libra Moon, your ability to be “civil” doesn’t necessarily have to come at the expense of sending your emotions to “go play in the other room.” The question to managing these energies comes down to making good decisions as to which faculties you will employ, and when. Driving this point home, Augustus Masters states:

“Distancing, dissociating, numbing or otherwise estranging ourselves from our emotions hobbles our capacity to act wisely and compassionately. Research has shown that deteriorated emotional functioning- likely caused by damage to brain regions involved in emotional processing, can retard our ability to make sound decisions even if our I.Q. remains intact. So if you want to make optimal decisions, DO NOT leave your emotions out of the picture.”

Astrologers Charles and Suzi Harvey provide counsel for the Cancer Sun, Libra Moon individual:

“When you can understand your different needs, you can direct your analytical talents to yourself and see that it is okay to be both needy and friendly, emotional and intellectual, self-protective and outgoing.”

The universe wouldn’t have conspired to grant you this particular blend if it wasn’t meant for you to have the opportunity to access the entire range of faculties and potentials contained in the Cancerian and Libran archetypes.

What sense would it make to possess this solar-lunar combination and have to “pick a side”?

Can the nurturer and the socialite be friends? Of course.

Can the artist and the healer have a productive relationship? Yes. In fact, it’s essential for them to bond in order for you to do your most potent work.

While you’ll be required to make decisions regarding the appropriate course of action where your mind and heart are concerned, if you’re truly committed to using what your sun-moon combination has to offer, you’ll be employing BOTH of them and your storehouse of resources will never be short.


Aspects in Astrology: A Comprehensive Guide to Interpretation” by Sue Tompkins (2002, Inner Traditions Bear and Company, Rochester, VT)

Emotional Intimacy: A Comprehensive Guide for Connecting with the Power of Your Emotions” by Robert Augustus Masters (2013, Sounds True, Inc., Louisville, CO)

Sun Sign, Moon Sign: Discover the Personality Secrets of the 144 Sun-moon Combinations” by Charles and Suzi Harvey (2009, Harper Collins, London, UK)