House Foundations: The 7th and 8th Houses
This issue we move into the second half of the chart. I will be considering the Seventh and Eighth Houses in today’s column. Both these houses are connected to our close relationships with others. Here, we relate intimately with partners and close friends. The key is systematic, regular interaction.
The Seventh and Eighth houses are the areas in the chart where we are most prone to projection. By projection, I mean disowning a part of ourselves and attracting others to express that disowned part. Unfortunately, traditional astrology encourages projection by talking about the seventh and eighth as the “houses of other people,” as if they had nothing to do with the native. Remember, everything in the chart is YOU! Some of us, however, prefer (at times) to express parts of ourselves through others, rather than doing it directly.
In ancient astrology, Scorpio and Libra were combined. What is now Libra was in the claws of the scorpion. And it does seem that the seventh and eighth houses of the horoscope are more closely linked than any other two. Both must be considered when we are talking about close relationships. The seventh has more to do with an open confrontation of self versus other, while the eighth symbolizes our learning to share power over the material world and pleasures with another human being. This column will consider the two houses together—both symbolizing parts of ourselves we express, attract, and meet in our close emotional bonds.
My philosophical assumption is that: “Within relationships, we are attracted to those aspects of ourselves that we choose to experience through the being of another person.” This is not always a conscious, knowing choice. In fact, it is generally made on an unaware level. But it is through our own doing, and if we become aware, and in touch with that, then we can change those choices, even if they were originally less than fully conscious.
It is possible to choose certain aspects in other people, and still be in touch with those same qualities within ourselves. E.g., I may choose to be attracted to intelligence in other people, but also choose to be able to express my own intellect. Usually, there is not a problem. If, however, I choose to experience my intelligence only through that other person, then it gets more difficult. S/he must do all the thinking, communicating, etc. within our relationship. The more I deny a part of myself, the more I encourage those around me to OVERDO that quality.
A basic assumption is that everyone we are surrounded by is there in our lives for a reason. Everyone is reflecting back a part of ourselves, which we need to be able to acknowledge, to deal with, and to express in a positive way. The more we deny a side of our character, the more we see it, in an exaggerated fashion, in the people around us. Life repeats the message, stronger each time, until we “get it.” If we find ourselves surrounded by people who are really way out, or exaggerated, or overdoing some part of life, it is a message that we are not doing that part of life enough. Not that we should be doing it the same way they are, because they are doing it in an exaggerated fashion. But we should find a positive, appropriate way to use that same kind of energy.
Again, the focus here is on our regular, systematic relationships. I’ll be discussing the various planets in the seventh and eighth, but similar principles hold for signs, only not as strong. The sign on the cusp is less important than how the ruler of that sign is placed and aspected.
With anything in the seventh or eighth, there is the potential of us being in touch with it, and looking for this, expressing this within the relationship, within ourselves, and with the other person. If we are out of touch with that quality, then the likelihood is that we will find another person who will do it for us. We will see them as having that quality, and think it has nothing to do with us. As always, any placement can be positive or negative, depending on how that person is handling that side of life.
If someone has Mars in the Seventh or Eighth and is in touch with that Mars, s/he will say, “I want a free relationship. I want an open relationship where we each do our own thing.” The principle I liken this to is Piaget’s concept of “solitary play.” Piaget studied thinking in children, and how their concepts are qualitatively different than adult concepts. He was very interested in people’s stages of thinking. Around age two to three years, children start playing together, but in what Piaget called solitary play. That is, they do not really play games together and cooperate, and do a real interchange. What they do is play side by side. So Kirsten and Josh sit side by side and Kirsten plays with the truck, and Josh with the car, but there is not real interaction. There are no rules, no competition, or cooperation. Solitary play: where they’re together, but they’re doing their own thing. This is my vision of Mars in the seventh or eighth. There is a relationship, but there is a lot of freedom, and each is doing his/her own thing within the relationship.
Now, if the person is not in touch with their Mars, then we have three negative potentials in terms of projection. This can be felt as, “My power, my ability to do what I want to do is in the hands of other people.” If I give away that power, my identity, I may (1) play doormat; (2) fight to wipe out that other person; (3) withdraw from the power that I fear they own. All are reactions to my seeing the other person as possessing the power. In one, I try to appease the other. In the second, I fight to get them before they get me (since I assume they WILL get me if they can—having the power). In three, I retreat from the power I see them as having, and try to protect myself with walls, etc.
Women are socialized to do the doormat routine more than men. Men are socialized to do the power struggle variation more than women. Mars in the seventh, all other things being equal is more prone to doormat than Mars in the eighth. Mars in the eighth is more prone to withdrawal than Mars in the seventh. But, as always, all the other factors must be considered.
The three positive variations for handling this combination are: (1) cooperation; (2) healthy competition; (3) helping people. With the first, I give up some of the power; the other person gives up some of the power, and we meet in the middle. With the second, we test our strength against each other in healthy, structured ways (sports, games, business) where there are rules and regulations to make sure we don’t get too hurt. I find I can win and not have to wipe out the other person, and I can lose and not be wiped out. With three, I take the power back into my own hands, but use it to lift up the other person, rather than putting him/her down.
One classic expression of a projected Mars is the attraction to free souls. If I am out of touch with my own need for freedom, for space, for independence, for being able to do my own thing, I find myself—over and over again—attracted to people who are independent. They may strike me as self-centered and selfish. They are always leaving me, going off to do their own thing. Out of a room full of dependable, solid Earth-Water types, I unerringly find the one Fire-Air “free soul” who will end up leaving me. S/he is the only person who turns me on. So I end up feeling, “How come all the exciting people are always this way?” I will get progressively more frustrated until I get in touch with my own need for space, freedom, and independence. Then, I can build space into my relationships, and don’t have to have a free soul leaving to give me the space I unconsciously desire.
Obviously, Mars in the seventh or eighth is one corner of a freedom- closeness dilemma. Mars in the seventh is like Aries opposite Libra, and in the Eighth, like Scorpio quincunx Aries. We are learning to balance our wants, needs, desires, pleasures with those of another person. This takes extra work to integrate, but as long as we remain in touch with the fact that we NEED some space and freedom, then we can make sure there is space for both freedom and closeness in our lives.
A lot of books that you read are in love with Venus in the seventh or eighth, just like Jupiter. Venus in its natural essence is very passive and lazy. It does not guarantee anything! Letter Two is the lazy earth sign that wants things to be comfortable, wants things to be easy, wants the world to give it to them. “I want to sit here and smell the flowers, and it would be even better if you brought me the flowers in a vase, served me dinner as well, and the whole bit!” That’s Venus, Taurus, and the Second House.
So Venus in the seventh or eighth is an attraction to beauty, comfort, but it should be easy; it should just flow; it should be beautiful all the time. People who are not expressing this in a positive way are having the feeling that their relationships have to be beautiful. If they are on a really superficial level, they are only attracted to physically beautiful people. On a slightly less superficial level, they have the fairy tale idea that one shouldn’t argue, fight, etc. One harsh word means you obviously do not love them. They have trouble handling negativity in the relationship.
Venus can be a passive kind of orientation that everything should come to me and be comfortable. Depending on the rest of the chart, this could go with an attitude of, “I am so beautiful, charming, sweet and nice, the relationship should just flow and be easy.”
Now if the person is in touch with the energy symbolized by Venus, there is an orientation towards beauty and comfort in the relationship, but they will work to make that relationship comfortable (given other parts of the chart supporting willingness and practicality). Even though Venus is a love planet, it is more of a platonic orientation, a sense of being very comfortable with this person, the sort of person you can spend time with and just feel at ease. There is no need to make conversation, or not make conversation; it is just easy and comfortable.
(You can see the potential for conflict already if you get someone with a strong Venusian quality in terms of relationships: wanting things to flow and be companionable with someone into Martian relationships who needs fire excitement and change to keep the relationship stimulating. The one is going to be creating crises consciously or unconsciously just to keep things from getting boring, and the other is likely to be frustrated and uncomfortable, because they just wanted to flow along in their nice, easy going rut.
So Venus does not give one “happily every after”. The person WANTS life to be beautiful, but whether or not that will actually happen is another thing. This is, of course, also a very sensual placement. Physical resources and pleasures will be important within the relationship. Shared pleasures and possessions are even more a focus when Venus is in the eighth, making the natural opposition. There may be power struggles over resources, who owns what, who enjoys what, who does what to whom. There may be indulgence versus appetite control problems.
Venus in the eighth (and sometimes in the seventh) has a bit of a tendency to feel, “I should be provided for materially, and my needs should be gratified. You are here to serve my pleasures and desires.” One can always turn this around and feel, “I am here to serve your pleasures and desires.” If we project and are really out of touch with our own needs for beauty, comfort and ease, we attract other people who are only looking for physically attractive partners or expect partners to make it all easy for them. We get frustrated and say, “But I want something deeper!” That is because we are not acknowledging our own investment in that part of life, so we constantly find it in others, who overdo.
If both of us express Venus, we are accepting, really like and enjoy each other, are very comfortable with one another, are expressing beauty either directly (artistically) and/or making a beautiful relationship. Venus can be lovely, but remember, life and partner will NOT do it all for you.
With Mercury, we say, “I want someone bright, who will talk to me, who will communicate, who is interesting, varied, and into a lot of different things. I want an intellectual relationship.” It is first a meeting of the minds.
Depending on the rest of the chart, this can be a very cool kind of placement, particularly if there is a lot of Earth and Air in the rest of the chart which says, “I value rationality, logic, and meeting on the mental rather than on the physical, emotional, or spiritual level. If we are in touch with it and aware of that, we can structure our relationships so that is what we get. I think it is a matter of each person getting what s/he needs. If the individual is mainly oriented towards rationality and logic, s/he may not need a super heavy-duty emotional or sexual-sensual bond. But it really does depend on the rest of the chart. If they have a very sensual chart (particularly the fixed planets, signs, houses emphasized), and also have Mercury involved with the seventh and eighth, and they try to do only the mental side of life, thinking, “This is what is really important!” they will end up frustrating their sensual side, because other needs are not being met.
If Mercury is projected, we may attract bright, verbal people who are always talking, always brilliant, always making great statements. We sit there feeling dumb and inadequate watching and listening to all this brilliance. Eventually, we have to realize, “Hey, why is it that I can appreciate all their brilliance, if I am so dumb?” Then we can re-own our intellectual capacities.
I do think some degree of air for communication is important in relationships, but anything can be over done. There are people who communicate to death, and intellectualize a relationship to death. Intellect without feelings can be very cold.
Mercury in the seventh is double air, and easier in the sense that communication seems more natural, but extremes are more possible in terms of over-intellectualization, etc. Mercury in the eighth is initially tougher because we have expressive air versus holding back water. If integrated, this is both intuitive and rational, a great combination for sensing your own inner depths and being able to express them verbally.
As the natural ruler of the third, Mercury in the seventh or eighth ties partners to collateral relatives (siblings, aunts, uncles, etc.) In some way (positive or negative), a collateral relative is a role model for our partners. We will tend to elicit similar feelings from partners as we had with this early family member. Any unfinished business with a sibling or other relative will be faced in our later relationships, until we learn to handle it.
Mercury symbolizes a need for much stimulation, especially mental, so people need to eschew routine in their relationships. The humdrum will push them away faster than anything else. New activities and interests are always a focus. As long as both partners are contributing their minds, communicating and sharing a breadth of interests, there should be few problems.
With the Moon in the seventh or eighth, to quote Rob Hand, you are looking for “unconditional love and acceptance” or, you are “looking for Mom.” (Talk about the power of words!) This is a blend of the search for dependency or nurturance within the relationship. If I’m projecting it all, I can look for a mother, or mother-figure, someone to look after me, give me really deep, close, intense emotional support—love, caring, unconditional kinds of things.
Or, I can look for someone who I can give that to: someone I can nurture, support, look after, take care of, treat like a child. I can do all the dependency, or all the nurturance. If I am more balanced, then I will look for someone with whom I can be inter-dependent. We can take turns taking care of each other. There is still a parental energy, but built-in equality because it is an exchange.
This placement is a parent-partner mixture. Mother or mother figure is a role model for partners. If positive, we may want someone just like Mom. If negative, we may want the unconditional love we feel Mom never gave. (Or, we play Mother.) Unfinished business with the mother figure will be faced again in partnerships. We will attract close partners who elicit the same sorts of feelings we had with Mom until our issues are integrated.
This includes the potential of our own parents (Mom in this case) becoming partners—having an ongoing peer relationship with Mother even after we leave home. There is ongoing, regular interaction. As far as partners, we tend to parent or be parented. The challenge is to share the mothering and dependence so we can take turns doing both.
Moon in the seventh is another corner of the freedom-closeness dilemma. Both sides are oriented towards closeness, but it is a matter of the degree. The Moon says, “I want to absorb or be absorbed in a deep, emotional bond.” The seventh house says, “I don’t want to be absorbed. I want some space between us. But I do want a bond.” It is a matter of balancing how much I do the absorbing Water kind of relationship versus the more detached, but equal air relationship.
Moon in the eighth is more intense. It’s a bit easier for people to get into one-sided relationships because of the Water intensity and the all-or-none quality of the eighth house. People can go totally into dependency, or totally into nurturance. It combines really nicely because the Moon in the eighth, if I am being super mother, provides all the material needs, the resources, etc. in the partnership. If I am being super baby, then you provide them all for me and take care of me, meet all my needs. The Moon in the eighth is another combination that is very sensually oriented. The physical security needs are very important within the relationship. If the individual is into the insecurity of the Moon, s/he is prone to anxiety and fear about resources and having his/her basic needs met in the relationship.
There is another side to the Moon which also applies to Neptune and Pluto, the other water planets. Water is intuitive, empathic, sensitive. All these planets can symbolize a sensitivity to the other, and to feelings within the relationship. This can be very positive. But the sensitivity can be overdone (by self or partners). And the empathy can be overdone. One potential danger is people becoming too assured about their empathy: “Well, of course I understand. I know exactly what you feel. You don’t have to say anything; I can practically read your mind.” Or, over-estimating the other person’s empathy: “I shouldn’t have to say anything! You should just understand!” People may assume they know more than they actually do; they may assume the other person can mind-read and understand them, when it is not really clear. It may actually inhibit communication that is needed in the relationship from this assumption of, “Well, I understand because I am empathic, compassionate, caring, etc.” These are all things which we can do ourselves to our partners, or “choose” partners who do it to us. Either way it is the same message: get in touch with the energy and express it positively in the relationship.
The Sun has a little bit of the same potential as Mars because the Sun is our ego needs. It is our need to feel pride in ourselves, to give and receive strokes, love, admiration. Putting the Sun in the seventh or eighth can be experienced as, “My need for approval, my need for emotional response, my ability to feel proud is in your hands.” So, I may do the same positive and negative numbers that I did with Mars. It is a bit more likely to go (in the negatives) to doormat or fight variations, because the Sun really needs that involvement. Withdrawal is less likely, especially with the Sun in the seventh (again depending on other factors as well).
The Sun in the eighth is most likely to go into power struggles, especially over resources and pleasures (if it’s being expressed negatively). Remember, the positive alternatives are all available as well. The power struggle variation is “I’ll get you first, and hopefully in such a dramatic, grandiose way that I can get love and admiration from others about how I do it so royally and flagrantly.”
The Sun in the eighth is fire-water and very intense emotionally. It is more prone to extremes than in the seventh, where air aids lightness and a bit more intellectuality than emotionality. The potential for clashes over spending vs. saving, your pleasures vs. mine, who earns it, who spends it, etc., are all there. It is a double sexual placement, and sexuality may be an arena for power struggles. In extremes, this could include sexual power trips and other unpleasant numbers.
Wherever our Sun is, we need to shine. This is our ability to be magnetic and pull admiration, response from others. If we project it, we attract partners who are constantly on stage. They are always getting the adulation, while we sit in the wings and applaud. We get more and more frustrated, till we learn to be a Star ourselves and allow our natural magnetism and charisma out. If we overdo solar trips in our relationships then we are the perpetual star, and need to learn to share the limelight.
In a positive expression of the Sun in the seventh or eighth, we have a mutual admiration society, each of us sincerely appreciating and approving the best in each other, spurring one another on to bigger and better efforts. We are both Stars, but can take turns.
With Ceres in the seventh or eighth, we have an Earth Mother quality attached to our relationships. Like the Moon, mother or mother figure is a role model for partners, and unfinished business with Mom will be faced again in our close relationships. We may attract people who play mother earth for us: stable, responsible, care-taking, or find people whom we play Mother Earth for. The emphasis is more on productive, responsible care-taking, rather than the unconditional love and emotional nurturance of the Moon.
As a Virgo asteroid, this is also a work-partner interface. This can include working with a partner, having an ongoing practical as well as romantic relationship. It can include working at relationships, e.g. through counseling, consulting, etc. It can include being very practical about our relationships (few fairy tale expectations). It can include having an ongoing relationship of equals with our mother or mother figure.
If we are handling the Ceres potential, we take care of each other in responsible, productive ways, and are able to be effective together in work and relationships. If we are not handling Ceres, one or the other of us is likely to overdo the Mother Earth trip, or service to others may put a crimp in the relationship. Criticism may also be a problem, but is much less likely with Ceres than with Vesta.
Ceres in the eighth is much more obsessive-compulsive and productively oriented than in the seventh.
Vesta in the seventh and eighth is a strong Virgo trend. If we are in touch with and handling the energy, this is the ability to be practical about relationships, and the willingness to work at relationships. It is a little hard on somebody who is in love with love (e.g. Neptune, Jupiter involvements with Fifth, Seventh or Eighth) to meet the person with strong Vesta emphasis here. The Vesta type is into, “Let’s be practical about this. No need for moonlight and roses.”
Individuals may work at relationships (counseling, consulting, etc.) They may meet partners through work, and work with partners. If the critical side of Vesta is not being channeled into productive work, it may spill over into personal relationships. We can attract people who criticize us, or people we tend to criticize, or both.
Vesta has an all-or-none quality in that it often seems to be a choice of work OR relationships. The individuals have to struggle to do both. If we are not handling Vesta, our work will often take us away from our relationships. This can vary from a conscious decision, “My work is so important; I have to do it so well and so perfectly, that I don’t have time for relationships.” to an unconscious choice which we make clear by working late all the time, or constantly bringing work home from the office and being “too busy” to deal with relationship issues. Often, people end up leaving us so we have only our work in the end.
If we handle Vesta, we build a solid, realistic foundation, can work together comfortably and are able to put our energies into the relationship as well as our job. Of course, we can also make the relationship our job (e.g. marriage as a career), or if projected, pick someone to do the Vesta workaholic thing for us (and support us), although we usually end up criticizing them for working so much the relationship suffers. Balance is, as always, a key. Practicality and emotional attachment must be blended comfortably for both people.
Having Juno or Pallas in the seventh or eighth is a double relationship emphasis, as we assign the rulership of these asteroids to Libra. Juno is particularly an extra emphasis on marriage because it is the marriage asteroid. The sense is, “I really want this committed relationship.” There is more emphasis on the legal tie, on having the very close relationship with the other person, either by us or partners we pick. Also a strong emphasis on equality and the artistic sense being expressed through relationships.
Either Juno or Pallas over there may attract us to partners with whom we are highly competitive, or who are highly competitive with us. We may fall into heavy game playing around keeping score, and keeping things “even.” E.g., “You picked the restaurant last night, so I get to pick it tonight.” Etc. If negatively expressed, we may be interested (like Venus) only in physically attractive partners, or attract partners who demand physical beauty from us. Or, there may be an over-concern with appearances in the relationship, by one or both partners, in terms of “keeping up with the Jones.”
Pallas in its own nature seems more into detached relationships, and we may express a lot of the energy through counseling or group activities. Both Libran asteroids can be highly competitive, especially in the seventh and eighth houses, and need an outlet through sports, games, or business, so the competition doesn’t spoil the personal relationships.
Since both asteroids are Libran, they are quite adaptable and their nature shifts considerably, depending on house and sign placement, and aspects. In the seventh house, both are going to be more pure Libran: airy, intellectual, artistic, open discussion of self versus other issues. In the eighth, both will be more possessive, more clinging, more security-oriented. We may search for this in our relationships; do it to partners; and/or pick partners who do it to us.
Ideally, we share a sense of beauty, and seek harmony, balance, and equality together with a partner. If projected, partner is expected to provide beauty for us or insure our feelings of harmony. Doormat behavior (by self or partner) as well as competitive power games both are extremes to be avoided. Once we truly learn to be equals, there is an exchange and an interchange. We blend and harmonize, and score- keeping is unnecessary.
With Pluto in the seventh or eighth, the native wants intensity and depth! It’s a very passionate placement, especially in its own eighth house. There are a lot of deep feelings, the possibility of emotional repression, a strong tendency to hold in and hang on. It is important for people with Pluto over here to communicate, and learn to express. There is a tendency to feel intense, deep emotions, but not fully share them with the other person. Repression is even more likely in the eighth than the seventh, because the double water holds back even more.
If these strong emotions are not dealt with, all sorts of negative consequences are possible: illness due to repression, power struggles over sharing, passive-aggressive behaviors to “get back” for buried emotions, or occasional explosions when the emotions get too intense. Remember, we may do these behaviors, attract partners who do them, or both.
There is a strong need for emotional involvement. Don’t put strong Plutonian types with Mercurial or Uranian types who are into the intellect. The Plutonians will feel frustrated and unfulfilled. They need that deep, watery, emotional connection and intense exchange. They can be very upset with what they perceive as superficiality. A favorite sentence is, “But what did you REALLY mean by that?” There tends to be constant soul searching, a very introspective approach to relationships—the sort of person who goes into therapy to look at his/her relationships.
The tendency is to be very faithful (again depending on other factors.) Both Pluto and Saturn have a forever and ever tendency—to the death. They hang in and hang on. Often, the lesson with Pluto is to know when to let go, when a relationship is no longer healthy or useful. This includes the danger of hanging on to old feelings, anger, resentments, grudges, etc. If repressed long enough, we may explode emotionally or get ill.
Power is an issue in the relationships. Sharing power over the material world is a challenge. Dealing with issues of shared money, resources, and pleasures is very important. Learning to truly share, without trying to manipulate, control, or possess the other person is the challenge of Pluto.
In its most positive aspects, Pluto over there is like being involved with your therapist. The relationship is one of constant probing, self- examination, self-mastery and self-transformation. There is tremendous power symbolized by Pluto and it can be one of the most intense involvements ever. However, if not handled wisely, that intensity can be destructive rather than constructive.
Jupiter is looking for God, so putting it in the partnership houses is a perfect partner combination. This “God” is particularly one with all the answers to the universe, the sage, the wise philosopher. If both parties are expressing the Jupiter theme, the relationship is quite intellectual, often with heavy philosophical discussions into the wee hours of the morning. Truth is often a focus and strong demand. The meaning of life, all the existential questions are asked and the answers are searched for. Individuals may travel, go to school, religion, science, etc. in their search for the ultimate answers.
If Jupiter is projected, people start looking for the perfect partner, that is the wise guru who will tell them everything s/he knows, the wondrous teacher with all the mysteries of the universe at his/her fingertips. We pick someone to put on a pedestal. Or, if we are overdoing Jupiter ourselves, we search for that wide-eyed student who will idolize us, as we pontificate about all the answers to the questions about ultimate reality, morality, truth, etc.
Since Jupiter is also a freedom planet, often individuals with this placement will shun involvement because no one is “perfect” enough. They say they want to get involved, but no one measures up. This way, they retain the freedom which they strongly desire. If projected, like Mars, we may pick free souls who leave us to travel or find the meaning of the universe elsewhere. Another form is the person who marries God quite literally through religious work. No human being is perfect enough.
Since Jupiter is a key to our ultimate values, this combination is very idealistic in terms of relationships. If handled, relationships are a priority, a goal in life, and the people can seek together, quest for truth and meaning together. With Jupiter, we need a sense of faith. If we expect a partner to provide us with that sense of faith, or try to be everything for a partner, we are doomed to disappointment. If we share a faith in something higher, and pursue it together, we can value the excitement, challenge, intellectual excitement, and freedom of the quest.
I call Jupiter “Great Expectations” because that, all too often, is how the planet is seen by traditional astrologers—”The Great Benefic.” Like Venus, there are no guarantees with Jupiter (or anything else). We expect a lot with Jupiter, but unless we are willing to do our share, and have our faith in the right place, Jupiter will symbolize dashed hopes rather than great fulfillment.
Conversely, Saturn is traditionally given a hard time. Just as Jupiter does not guarantee ease and perfection, so does Saturn NOT insure a difficulty. Like Pluto, Saturn is an attraction towards fidelity in relationships, really enduring and finishing. (Again, there may be a problem in knowing when to let go.) Saturn is basically a work letter of our astrological alphabet. People may work with partners, in business as well as romance. They may make a career out of marriage, do a relationship (e.g. counseling) career. They may meet work through partners, or partners through work. If projected, we may pick people to work for us, or who expect us to work for them.
Father or the father figure is a role model for partners. This is the conditional love parent, the one with performance demands, the one who teaches you the reality of the world, the consequences of your actions. Whatever is unresolved from one’s relationship to Dad and other authority figures will be faced again in partnerships.
We may attract strong partners who try to play Daddy for us—always being the dominant, responsible one. Or, we may attract weak people who expect us to be daddy and carry the whole load. Power is an issue. Work is an issue. The parent-child division is a danger. As with the Moon, we must be able to take turns being parent and child with one another. If one person is a constant parent, the equality is lost. We no longer have a partnership. Criticism may also be a problem, from them to us, or us to them, or both.
Saturn includes our sense of the power of the universe and laws on all levels—what we can do, cannot do, and must do. When people are excessively anxious or fearful, they can do a negative Saturn trip in terms of expecting the other person to dominate, criticize, put down, hurt, or reject them. Then, they MAY do the traditional Saturn in the seventh (and eighth) trips: marry late, never marry, marry an older person. The first two have to do with delaying (or avoiding) because of the fear we have of being dominated, rejected, etc. by the other person. It is easier to put up a wall, try to appear invulnerable. Very often, there is a self-critical number going on. The individual is afraid that being vulnerable will expose him/her to others who will criticize exactly what that person most despises in him/herself.
We can handle the control issue of Saturn by retreating or avoiding, although that is usually lonely in the end. We may hold on to all the power and insist on being daddy in the relationship, or give it all away and pick a strong, stable, dominating partner. The aloof reputation of Saturn is often connected to this projection of a “stiff upper lip” for fear of being vulnerable. People may hold back emotionally in order to feel safe and secure.
People who handle Saturn well are practical and realistic about relationships. They are able to see clearly what is going on, and do what needs to be done to make it better. They don’t have to overdo the critical trip. They don’t have to overdo control or dominance (of themselves or others) to feel safe. They work at their relationships, to build a solid, lasting commitment.
Uranus in the seventh or eighth is the message: “We should be friends!” There is an equalitarian and a freedom orientation. Typically, people are friends before and after any romantic commitment. There is often a feeling of mutual tolerance, openness. The intellect is emphasized, and a lot of communication is common.
If mishandled, either partner may be super detached and rational. This is a transpersonal planet, and people may be too impersonal for close one-to-one relationships. With the freedom issue strong, relationships are often erratic. Either we split periodically, or attract free souls who leave us. The cardinal sin with Uranus is boredom. Be anything, but not boring!
Uranus includes our capacity to be unique and individualistic. If we are not expressing this, we can project and attract really weird partners who do eccentric things to an extreme, to make up for our lack. This can range from real kooks to people of very different backgrounds, races, religions, etc. It is important to distinguish the different Uranian drives. The equalitarian principle may attract us to people of any background, race, etc., which is healthy. We feel the community and equality of humankind. However, if we are repressing some of our uniqueness, getting involved with someone very different could be less healthy. It may even be a form of covert rebellion against parents, society, etc. In the first example, the person is what is important, a positive Uranian expression. In the second, the person is merely a symbol, and we may not even like him/her. (Of course, once that person finds out how s/he is being used for rebellion or whatever, s/he is likely to split. So the free soul can be part of this too.)
Uranus symbolizes a very equalitarian approach to relationships. Generally power plays are not an issue. However, it is a very restless orientation. The need for variety, constant new and different stimulation is very strong. Humanitarian causes, new technology, unusual behaviors may all provide a focus for energy in the partnership.
In its most positive form, people with Uranus here are very open, accepting and tolerant. They don’t need to change each other. Like Fritz Perls’ Gestalt Prayer, they are able to enjoy each other without having to live up to one or the other’s expectations.
Neptune is the most romantic of the possible combinations, because Neptune symbolizes the beautiful dream. We are searching with Neptune for infinite love and beauty—Cosmic Consciousness, a sense of oneness with the universe. That is VERY difficult to get from another human being.
If we look to a partner to be or provide our beautiful dream, we are doomed to disappointment and disillusionment. If we search for the beautiful dream together, there is more of a chance. We may be fellow artists or helpers and healers, trying to make the world more beautiful and more ideal.
If we project our Neptune, then we tend to attract artists, saviors, or victims. Artists and saviors are looking for the beautiful dream by making the world more lovely or more perfect, a better place. Victims feel unable or unwilling to get their beautiful dream, so they look for an escape, an easy answer, through drugs, alcohol, fantasy, etc. If we play savior, we attract victim partners. If we play victim, we attract savior partners. If we project the beauty side, like Venus, Pallas, and Juno, we may demand physical perfection from partners (or they from us), or be attracted to artistic types who do the beauty side of life for us.
Neptune, like Venus, has a tendency to be passive, expecting the beautiful dream to be provided like manna from heaven. There is a pull towards the fairy tale mentality: the search for Prince or Princess Charming. Both Neptune and Jupiter can fall into the search for the perfect partner, but Jupiter is more likely to search and never be satisfied because of the strong freedom urge. Neptune is more likely to get involved repeatedly because of the strong romantic urges, each time fooling oneself into believing “Here s/he is: Prince(ss) Charming!” only to be disillusioned later. The idol falls off the pedestal. But Neptune’s rose-colored glasses quickly find another potential idol to turn into God, and the beat goes on.
If handled, like Jupiter, this can be beautiful, the relationships “made in heaven” in the sense of tremendous, mutual idealization and value placed on each other and the relationship. The people may pursue saving instincts together, or be fellow artists, mystics, etc. They search for oneness and love and beauty in their lives, but do not demand that one or the other provide it for them.
In summary, let me remind you that this is, as always, an overview, a brief summary. I obviously cannot cover all the possibilities. You as readers must fill in between the lines. But the basic principles are there. Life is a constant process of projection: meeting ourselves through the people around us. The closer we are to someone, the more they can teach us about ourselves. So watch what you most love and despise in others, and learn how it applies to you. Life is a mirror. We may not always like what we see, but it would be a lot harder to change how we look if we didn’t have that handy reflection.