How to Use Astrology to Better Understand Your Partner

“Baby, what’s your sign?” has come a long way from a cheesy pick-up line to a legitimate question that might make or break your relationship. Okay, maybe, that’s a tad dramatic (Leos will appreciate that!). However, astrology is a great tool when it comes to understanding yourself and your relationships on a more conscious, and cosmic, level.

“In my experience as a couples therapist, the more each partner is aware of themselves and their patterns, the easier they can relate to and understand their partner,”  Lauren Donelson, MA, LMFTA, a therapist and astrologer, tells SheKnows. “Astrology can help us identify and affirm parts of ourselves that aren’t necessarily celebrated by our culture.”

When it comes to connecting and relating to your partner, knowing both your and your partner’s birth chart is essential, as it allows a deeper dive into your planet’s placements and what that means for your compatibility. Typically, your birth time is a huge help as it determines your rising sign and specific house placements. 

“Your chart represents where the planets were in the sky at the moment you were born,” says Stina Garbis, a professional tarot reader and astrologer. “It looks like a pie, and is divided into 12 different houses based on the zodiac signs, starting with Aries, in the first house and ending with Pisces ruling the 12th.  Each piece of the pie, or house, represents a different facet of life based on its ruling zodiac sign and planet. For instance the first house, ruled by Aries and Mars, is how we arrive on the scene, breaking our way into this world.  The 12th house, ruled by Pisces, is the loss of ego and how we merge with others and the universe.”

According to Garbis, the chart is always spinning with the skies, and where it stops at the date and time of our birth determines our rising sign, and where all of the planets are placed in which houses. To dig deeper into your relationships you can look into your houses — specifically the 1st, 5th, 7th, and 8th houses.

However, if you don’t have your birth time or your partner’s, Dana DeFranco, an astrologer and co-host of the Allegedly Astrology podcast, says she would advise treating your sun and moon signs as your rising signs, which she says reveal the basis of your entire perspective on life. “The sun as a rising will reveal how you see life from an ego perspective and the moon as a rising sign will reveal how you see life from more of an id perspective.”

If you’re worried that you and your partner are star-crossed lovers, don’t be. “There will always be a mitigating factor or planetary connection a couple can lean into to foster harmony and connectivity together,” says DeFranco. “More so, I’ve never seen the astrology of any relationship that didn’t perfectly explain the nature of connection between the two partners. At worst, astrology is annoyingly accurate.”

Ready to connect to your partner thanks to the stars? Here’s how.

It allows you to know their instinctual nature

“The rising sign is one of the most important aspects of a person’s natal chart and life. It is the core sense of who we are or our instinctual nature,” says Donelson. “For example, if your partner is Taurus rising, they likely enjoy the arts, music, a bit of luxury, nature, and being cozy at home. This extra layer of awareness can help add another layer of understanding and appreciation for your partner.”

Additionally, their rising sign, and first house can tell you how this person starts off a relationship and how they approach new things,” says Garbis. “If this person has Aries rising, they may start off quickly, however if they have a Taurus rising, they may begin relationships slowly. 

It helps you to communicate better

“Mercury represents communication and mental processes,” says DeFranco. “If there are problems in a relationship, Mercury is going to be the best placement to lean into for neutralizing conflict. A relationship could have great synastry but if the communication isn’t there then they’re never going to make it.” The good news is, you don’t have to have compatible Mercury signs to communicate well. “Compatibility is about ease but learning about how each partner’s Mercury functions will certainly foster understanding between two partners.”

It allows you to connect deeper

“The 5th house, ruled by Leo, represents our passions in life. This is the house where we pass our time with joy and pleasure, and where you will find hobbies and passions,” says Garbis. “The signs placed in this house, or on the cusp will give you an idea of the type of person and the type of fun you like to have in a relationship.”

For example, fiery signs like Leo, Aries and Sagittarius living in this house like to have fun and desire an active, passionate, partner who likes to have fun.  Water signs in this house love emotional relationships, falling in love, and fighting for each other or with each other.  There may be emotional hang ups and drama if Scorpio, Cancer or Pisces is living in the 5th house. Earth signs in the 5th house love stability.  They may not be as exciting as fire, or cause as much drama as water, but sensually, they enjoy pleasures of the body and home.  Earth in this house might love “Netflix and Chill” nights.  Air in the fifth house, like Gemini and Aquarius, requires mental stimulation and will love partners that make them think that they can talk all day with. Libra loves balance and harmony.

It tells you what they like in bed 

Mars is especially important in couple relationships, says Donelson, because Mars is how we relate to sex (among other things). “Your Mars placement can tell you how important sex is and the types of sex you enjoy. I look to Mars a lot when couples are experiencing a difference in desire for sex. Your Mars placement can tell you a lot about that.” For example, a Taurus in Mars placement might like to keep things soft and sensual while an Aquarius Mars might like things kinky. 

It reveals their romantic nature  

“Watching for the planet Venus in the chart and all of its aspects will give you a well rounded view of your person’s romantic nature,” says Garbis. “Their sensuality, how much attention they like, or like to give, how they like to please and be pleased, and their opinion of love is ruled by this planet. Inspecting every house that contains Taurus, Libra or Venus can give you a good idea of how they like to love.” 

It tells you just how committed they are

The 8th house, ruled by Scorpio or Pluto, is the house of sex, marriages and other peoples money: “This house elaborates and continues the 7th house relationship from who is your partner, to how your relationship works,” says Garbis. “The planets or signs in this house or on the cusp explains how you and your partner behave in marriage, how you handle money and household affairs, and attitudes towards sex.”

Fire signs in this house may run hot, be passionate, but be frivolous. Earth signs want to create a very wealthy family and leave behind a legacy but not might be the best communicators. Air signs are the communicators, Garbis adds: “They like to talk and explore, but they also may have dual sides, and act out their dark sides inside their personal relationships.”

Water signs in the 8th house create intense relationships. They crave security but they can also be highly emotional and unpredictable. 

It helps with basically everything you need to know about your partner

DeFranco says Moon and Venus signs will forever be the most helpful in understanding how to foster a harmonious environment in a relationship due to the nature of what they represent (safety and love, respectively), but all seven traditional planets are helpful for getting to the bottom of things. Here’s a handy guide of what each planet represents in a relationship: 

Sun: What to compliment them on, where they want to be recognized.

Rising: Where they’re coming from, the basis of their perspective

Moon: What makes them feel safe, secure and nurtured

Mercury: How they process information, how they communicate

Venus: How they want to be appreciated and loved, the most appropriate mode of affection on their terms

Mars: How they f*ck and how they want to be f*cked, Mars is dirty, it’s what needs to be censored, and about releasing our primal instincts

Jupiter: What they believe, what they may get self-righteous about, where you can connect from a birds eye view

Saturn: Where they are disciplined, what keeps them grounded but also what stops them from seeking more

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