They Loved and They Hit Each Other
"We are a lovable, charming, decadent, hopeless couple."
(Burton about Burton-Taylor)
Couple's astrology – how does that actually work? Today's Astrolab provides a little guide to the perception of a relationship - as an astrological analysis emergency kit, not just for serious cases:
They were heaven and hell and vice versa. Who was actually just acting a role instead of being it was never really clear in the end. After all, Taylor and Burton were both very striking, narcissistic, and dominant. That Cleopatra turned Marcus Antonius into a supplicant in the film also was reflected in the life of the actors. Sometimes for her, sometimes for him. Everyone gets the flick that they deserve. This is why the loving lovers and fighters (married to each other twice, then twice divorced) serve as such a good example to explain the workings of what are actually the most important methods of couple's astrology. The toolkit of couple's astrology actually just needs three tools to start; however, they must be learned, mastered, and translated in a step-by-step manner to achieve a somewhat correct picture of the relationship.
The individual horoscope: Tock-tock! Is someone ready for a relationship?
There are a few things that should be considered before looking at these two famous people. Our radix defines the boundaries of our space, and this applies not only to the strange behavior of sexually active city slickers at mating time. What is the actual disposition of our willingness to be in a "relation-ship"? How much willingness to connect does the partner contribute? Who wants what and why? We can already find all of this in the birth horoscope as specific drawers for later contacts. The lock searches for the key and vice versa: We especially should know the position of our relationship references in our own setting for this purpose. Strangely enough, we repeatedly constellate similar topics, needs, and the degree of their satisfaction – in so far as we are not thrown out of our search patterns by special transits (see "Hands of the Relationship Clock" below). This can also become hilarious. Because after the transits, we like to return to our relationship profile. And then some new partnership simply no longer fits.
Liz Taylor: Venus-Uranus exact and in House 4 (the family of origin) in Aries of all places. This pierces right into the middle of the relationship problems for her. In earlier times, this was called a "classic divorce aspect." Which is very true for her: Eight weddings, seven divorces, and one death of a partner. Those who would like to live Venus-Uranus in a different and more modern way frequently look for long-distance relationships or find themselves in states of limbo, which then become chronic. However, the "separation from love" can also be cushioned by relationships that bring much excitement with them; it may also be consciously installed. Or through Hollywood-style mystery plays, such as that of Cleopatra – during which Burton and Taylor also found each other and lightning struck. Unwillingness to commit and the bearer's strong need for distance also tends to be behind such an aspect. But they often do not know this about themselves. For Taylor, the powerful relationship adhesive of Pluto on Apex 8 is added: She constantly finds herself in couple fights of life and death. This corresponds with the wish for deepest loyalty and existential experiences, supported by Mercury Lord 7 on a Pisces-Sun with Mars: the extremely vulnerable "heavenly desire" for merging, which can rarely or never be realized on Earth. She always retreats in the erotic sense when injured.
Richard Burton: His Sun-Saturn, also Apex 8 and additionally in Scorpio, says that Johnny Control-Freak lives here. This "power" of the bond (with very difficult experiences in childhood) makes him a driller in couple issues, who simultaneously has a number of relationship demons living in him. He is a natural psychology talent who can become malicious when others do not understand his highly dominant needs for security and life's necessities. Then he takes the bait. Lady House 7, Venus in 10 Capricorn also shows that he prefers to tighten the reins right at the start for fear of the domineering woman. His Mars in Libra is aggressive in encounters, has a thing for rules (10), and – as the top dog and as a man – constantly projects his own aggressions from the top down onto the other person. Neptune-Sun demands such compensation since he often does not even know who he is. Identification "happens" to him when things on the outside become especially chaotic. If he is confused, other people start to stonewall.
Synastry: She & He and the "Permanent Transits"
We place the two horoscopes on top of each other. When our horoscope factors are "positioned" on those of another individual, this has the effect of a permanent transit as long as we are directly in a relationship with that person. This can set completely different points of emphasis for people than they actually live out. This is why we sometimes appear to change in relationships. But this is an error because certain portions are just especially triggered. The questions are:
Which personal points touch the other person in our chart (the closer they are, the more clearly, quickly, intensively, and irrefutably this topic arises in both of us!) – especially in conjunctions, oppositions, or squares? This shows the areas that are unconsciously stirred up in the other person and vice versa.
Burton's Jupiter gives a hefty push to Liz Taylor's Venus-Uranus in the square at every contact. This interaction cannot be avoided. Either he or she flees as soon as he begins to let go of his control strategies (Jupiter intensifies the Capricorn rules of Saturn on his Sun!). She makes him insecure with her catch-me games. His boundless way of thinking in Sagittarius shears in her opposition of the Pisces planets to Neptune: Unintentionally, it continually signals to her that she is not enough. Her perception is completely irritated and she seeks anesthetization (also in alcohol or drugs). Which also drips into his tensed Mercury through her opposition axis. This is how they love and hit and put each other into a coma. Even if he does everything to manipulate into existence the cosmic marriage with Sun-Saturn on her Moon.
Whose slow-moving planets are especially affected? Whose fast-moving ones assume this input and bring it out? Even if this is undesired, the part with a number of affected slow-moving planets frequently has the role of the agitator; the effect on the other person is like the candle that burns down at both ends – the transpersonal contents of the counterpart must pass through the personal eye of a needle. This can lead to implosions.
Ranting, Fighting, or Praying?
Taylor's Neptune (her insecurity and definition of herself as a myth) has a key role here. It clouds Burton's Mercury AND Moon, whereby he also has a chaotic disposition with a wide Sun-Neptune square. He normally keeps this under control. But not with Liz' Sun-Neptune above it. Everything hurts and sinks into emotional banks of dark threatening clouds. What to do? Fog up, drink, meditate, or pray with each other. Otherwise, a relationship is not possible. It seems like the praying did not work out.
Are there axial links, even through the axis ruler? These are especially important because they strongly activate the core of the personal contents (AC) and the life orientation (MC) – or the IC as a memory of the old nuclear family and the DC as the exchange point.
His axes remain undisturbed. She does not understand his basics. His Pluto squares her Libra-MC – the super-controller who throws her life off course and cancels the beautiful pictures that she has of herself.
The Role of the Lights: Let It Shine!
How are the lights of Sun and Moon and the couple planets of Venus and Mars touched? This shows the disposition for the "cosmic" marriage, the yin-yang connection, whereby Venus-Mars tends to represent the sexual level and Sun-Moon more generally stands for the man-woman archetypes as the adhesive. Especially important: What do the Sun and Mars say for the man and the Moon and Venus for the woman – or are there opposite gender "crossings"? These sometimes turn the classic relationship roles upside down.
For Burton-Taylor, there is a double Sun-Moon-Moon-Sun. This proves the feeling of being made for each other. Unfortunately, all four lights also bring their extreme ambivalences with them and dip the other person right into the slurry – in case there is slurry. In other words: They heat each other up. And still sense (also through the water signs here) the eternal emotional bonds with each other. Sun-Moon-Saturn links, both in his Scorpio control space, hardly make it possible to get out of the mutual development (better yet: wounds). Venus-Mars also has a double-whammy. A whole lot of sexual drive and allure. If necessary, all of this must be cut back in order for anything to change at all. The reflexes are usually so strong that the development of the drama cannot catch up anymore.
What is the situation between the 5th, 7th, and 8th house rulers? Are there areas of conflict? Wherever they occur, there is often also a strong sexuality and bonds, but also existential conflict. The same applies to the Sun, Venus, and Pluto in their interactions.
See above: All of the rulers of the aforementioned houses are difficult with slow- moving planets or connected with the opposing axis lords. Their position shows how different these two people's inner needs and ideas are in the life of the relationship that they live: Hers tend to be preconscious as the victim (Lord 7 Pisces Opp Neptune, Apex 8 Pluto, Scorpio-Moon); his are dominant-controlling, "harmonious" to the outside (Venus Lady 7, but in self-determination).
What are the slow- moving planets doing? Neptune tends to make partnerships very much full of longing, energetically fine, but also often incorporeal; Uranus gives them a tendency towards states of limbo or abrupt developments; Saturn easily allows them to become chronic (sometimes indissoluble) and packs much "work" and exhaustion into the package as a result.
Saturn and Neptune – as well as the Scorpio area – have a dominant effect between Taylor and Burton. The relationship only becomes constructive when both of them have clarified their own topics. But they do not do this. It takes too much effort and the contacts are so vehement that there is hardly any time for thinking and controlling. Instead, they reflect each other's guilt and atonement. They love each other and hit each other.
What is the position of the Moon's Nodes? They are generally said to have a "karmic" effect. But this is seen from a very esoteric perspective. Things become more realistic if we attribute an indicator effect for the mutual development processes that are sometimes unavoidable.
Burton's South Node sits on Taylor's Saturn – but in two different signs. This gives an indication of how long this tugging match will take. And it already shows that the two of them will not get out of the reciprocal pattern. Time and again, they prefer to reflexively return to the old techniques that are no longer effective but just hurtful. For both.
I use the composite chart (purely mathematical intersections = halfway between positions) as a new, mutual chart (at the left, please click large) after a long trial-and-error period only as the first blueprint for the less committal contact and exercise phase of every relationship, friendship or even work or client relationship. Which means the often so hopeful and furious start and its circumstances, when we do not yet make any promises. After all, it is an "unreal" horoscope and also likes to reflect the initial period of projection in relationships. We fall in love, suddenly just see the best in ourselves and the other person, and meet for a while in at a "middle point." Until everyday life sets in through bonding and with it the deeper, more Scorpionic nature of the special contact.
I consider the composite as the basic analysis until two people commit to each other. This can be through an employment contract in the professional world, through loyalty and duration in friendships, through moving in together, having a child or getting married in a relationship or even in that both people "know": We are now a couple and belong together, through thick and thin. In the composite, this is also accordingly reflected in many options and sheer possibilities. When we compare it with the Davison Relationship Chart (DRC), we can very easily see how the honeymoon of the surface adhesion with each other then transforms into a relationship nature that sometimes could not be more different. I interpret the composite like a natal chart and compare it with the two original horoscopes again through synastry: Who animates what in the relationship? And what in the individual chart is served, stimulated, or triggered by the composite topics? This is where the first role distributions can be found. The composite is like an initial, thematic relationship wave that crashes over the partners.
Taylor and Burton experienced each other at the start (and time and again when they had cut the cord between them) like a bolt out of the blue that seemed to be made for eternity: Heaven is already reflected in the Aquarius-AC (Coup de foudre), but also the intimate distance; in the worst case, this includes separation, difficult reconciliation, ruptures, and abrupt twists. The film set can also be found here – in the cinema as in real life. After all, they meet where there is restlessness. Back then, 1961 in Rome, even though they had just barely known each other before that time. Now they play relationship. Uranus in 2 Aries says: I want you at any price! Saturn and Mars at the Galactic Center also show the vehement energy that immediately rages and seems to them like the implementation of an ancient, shining vision. No one knows what happens with whom and why it actually happens. Pluto Lord 10 in 6, cusp 7, breaks through all rituals of everyday life and characterizes the mutual deep feeling in Cancer. With the Sun in 12 as Lady 7 and Neptune in 7 of the composite, both of them together are extremely susceptible to and fascinated by the reciprocal myths in every sense:
You are the man, I am the woman. We are the only thing that should ever be. But preferably in secret or with much alcohol or drugs. Yet, as soon as the myth suddenly no longer acts like a myth but a normal human being, things get hopelessly tight and the break must be plastered. Aquarius-AC makes a couple erratic or nervous. The Neptunian also frequently represents beginning triangle relationships. At least one of them is still in a committed relationship. Both of them are here. This created a scandal, but that did not bother them. Aquarius-Venus in 1 is located on the antiscion of Taylor's Venus-Uranus. She pulls on the matter, drags it into the world, or – put in a different way – from the earthly to the sacred because her Mars sits in a wide conjunction with the composite Venus. The heavens open suddenly for her – the free Cleopatra who determines the fate of Marc Anton and finally sees hope in her own Venus-Uranus conjunction. Free and bound – this works. The excitement about each other is a trademark and the pride of these early days. The candle burns from both ends until they finally radically bond with each other. But where Uranus had been, a stable Saturn can only grow with much effort.
The Davison Relationship Chart: You, Me, Amen!
The value of the Davison Relationship Chart (a new horoscope on the actual spatial and temporal center of both births) as a tool for the relationship cannot be emphasized enough. On the whole, it takes a very strong and differentiated approach to all of the dispositions, risks, currents, and circumstances of a relationship. But only when it becomes committed (see above). It is not suitable for a new relationship unless we want to know the perspective of a possible long-term story in advance and find out what we are in for. According to Mona Riegger, the Davison Relationship Chart can be "divided." The AC (and also the lower half of the charts in my experience) strongly illustrates the role of the older partner, and the DC (and upper half) is that of the younger person. I have found this to be extremely useful. We could say that this is where the key takes hold of the lock, which results in a third entity.
The transformation of when the composite becomes a Davison Relationship Chart is also shown in Burton-Taylor. Just days after Taylor's divorce from Eddie Fisher, she marries Burton for the first time. Aquarius-AC mutates to Capricorn and demands either organized circumstances or endless cozy misery together from that point on. Lord Saturn in 11 continues to stand at the Galactic Center and revolts – chronically groomed for resistance and always with the raised index finger. It can also be an indicator for the lasting renewal of the old, if it is seen and expressed consciously. If this does not succeed, the chalk circle is drawn. Not in and not out. Everything is suddenly so serious, so eternal, and so inescapable. When the Ascendant transforms, this proves a completely different relationship climate.
Away from the vision, Saturn wants to be earthly, material, and visible; but it only comes out of itself in thoughts and the commitment to each other. Through Mars in opposition, there is an exit, quarreling, even sex -- here in 5 in Gemini -- with some experiments. It flows further and further: an enormous, sizzling, and determining energy that no one can understand or control. Included as the co-ruler, the Sun in 12 soon lights up the image of desire – as not accomplishable. This slowly becomes clear. It promises the reciprocal "coma" in which the two of them will soon live. No outlet except for outbursts.
Much remains illusionary and hidden here. The wide Pluto opposition (after cusp 7) proves the reciprocal pressure if they do not change together. The powerful components of the relationship itself, which involves drama, death, or life time and again. They are virtually always reading each other their Miranda rights. Just reversed: You have no right to be silent. Everything that you say can still be used against you. Constant talk and ascertainment - Mercury at the AC. The Sun-Mercury-AC plus Pluto plus the Moon: Such aspects frequently create an unbelievable passion at the beginning when they are still supported by the Venus-Mars Trine in air. This is where people think that they are wildly moved and suddenly end up in eroticism. A mental ambush can certainly be easily mistaken for love. The Moon in Libra (finally, the soul mate!), but in 8. In the realization, it is also vehement, obstinate, and emotionally driven by old injuries, the breaking of taboos, and pain. Sometimes people give the label of passion to what is actually emotional anorexia. Above all, for two water signs!
As Lord 1 Saturn in 11 in Sagittarius opposite Mars, Burton is marked as the older person: His hunger for structure and drive (Sun-Saturn and Aries-AC in the natal chart) takes an increasingly cool and regulated, airily distanced approach to Taylor (Moon in 8 and Pluto at the Cancer-DC = her strong water components in the natal). Despite a sextile, they inwardly belong together, but not according to what he represents on the outside since her significator Moon forms a square with him as the AC. When we turn the chart, she stands in her 2nd house (the 8th of the DRC) and seeks security and stability. But he desires freedom in 11. The Jupiter-Neptune Trine from 3 to 7 shows what a force develops from the mutual expression: Each of the films in which they were both cast became immediate hits – the couple as a public (7) myth (Neptune) and identification point of love and passions. This did not help much in the rupturing of their own connection: Venus, locked into 1 Aquarius, squares the mutual orientation and the nodes. There is no tangible resolution unless the two of them mutate out of the erratic pattern. They could talk and talk (Mercury at AC, whereby he probably liked to give lectures), but they could not understand each other (Moon squaring). The MC once again points to Pluto: Champagne or seltzer – complete transformation or the relationship's destruction in everyday life (6).
Triggers: The Hands of the Relationship Clock
The composite and the Davison Relationship Chart react very strongly and precisely to transits and progressions. This can become especially difficult for the relationship when themes are actually activated in the couple horoscope that are not yet even in the individual horoscopes. Then we are sometimes practically staggered and look at our relationship that is suddenly Neptunian and platonic, even though we had just been moving with passion. The good news: This is where we find completely independent mutual developments, which then usually have an expansive retroactive effect on the individuals involved. Like anything else, this may lead us to "more" or "less."
In important encounters that develop into genuine bonds, the conducted natal axes of at least one or both of the partners in the Solar Arc is frequently very close to the significant planets or axes of the other person. This especially seems to be the case with parents and children: For example, the parent's Solar Arc-AC then becomes the natal AC of the child.
It is clear that our own transits or progressions are also always activated in synastrically close nodes between two people at certain points. This allows us to quite easily find out what it is inside the other person that plays a role for our own movement through transits. And how we can use this more constructively.
Burton and Taylor met when Neptune was approaching their nodes of Sun-Saturn and the Moon in the Scorpio. Pluto is on his Moon and Taylor's Pisces cluster with Neptune on his Moon. Her Solar Arc directed DC approaches Pluto and her own Moon (her birth time is presumably slightly later). Her SA-Mars stands on Burton's natal AC. His SA-Moon has moved into her 10th house. The crossing of fate could not be clearer than this. The composite is activated through Pluto and Neptune in trine and sextile to Sun and Saturn -- the later being the ruler of the DRC – to Mercury in Capricorn.
They get married shortly after Sun-Mars-Saturn conjunct DRC-Venus in 1964. The SA-Moon stands at the mutual MC of the DRC and the SA-AC just 1.5 degrees before Venus (which in turn points to Taylor's later birth time). During Saturn at the DRC-Mars and Uranus conjunct DRC-Moon in 1973/74, they decide to get divorced. They get married once again the next year as Jupiter moves in opposition to the DRC-Moon and into the trine to the DRC-AC. This is over in turn just one year later: the second divorce is during the Pluto square approach to the DRC-Sun on a Sun-Saturn day that reflects Burton's Sun-Saturn. The SA-Neptune stands exactly at the DRC-Moon, the SA-Sun exactly at the DRC-Sun, and the SA-Sun almost exactly in opposition to the DRC-Neptune. The mutual coma that had so often characterized the relationship, wins against the constructive "karma" as the Solar Arc-Mars stands exactly between Taylor's IC and Venus-Uranus and Venus-Uranus is directed precisely in a square to the birth-Mars. But they never really let go of each other in the end. Throughout their lives, they remain much more than just a memory for each other.
After all, heaven and hell are always close to each other for such couples. How precisely this is can be shown by astrology when we have a little toolkit like this on hand. So have fun with testing and practicing. It is best to first look at the relationships of others since our own are frequently too susceptible to blind spots!
Picture of pedestrian zone: Pirosko derivative work, Albedo-ukr (CC-BY-SA-3.0), GreenTara: Alice/Cornelia Kopp (CC-BY-2.0) both via Wikimedia Commons