Is This Person Marriage Material? Synastry and the 7th House

The essence of the 7th house is the sentiment engraved on these bands: Two become one.
The essence of the 7th house is the sentiment engraved on these bands: Two become one.

Today’s issue is brought to you by a client’s question, “Will we get married?”

This is one of the most basic questions I am asked to analyze, although from my perspective, the question is, perhaps, more accurately, “How likely is it that either or both will want to marry?” and, more importantly, will these two be able to stay married? 

The seventh house is known for being responsible for everything we think of as a “real” relationship, but what do we mean by this? What is a “real” relationship? What makes the 7th house relationship more “real” when it comes to marriage than the 5th house relationship, for example?

The Difference Between The Houses When It Comes To Defining Types of Relationships

The difference between the 5th house way of approaching relationships and the 7th, and what makes the 7th house more significant in many ways than the 5th, is that the 7th house focuses on togetherness and unity, cohesion and a sense of oneness. The seventh house tests your ability to take the other person’s needs seriously, adapt, live together, get married, sign papers together, buy furniture together—the key word being “together.” While the 5th house’s reputation is about fun and romance, the 7th is less about having “fun” and more about taking responsibility for the other person.

You sometimes see married people behaving like this, but it's more typical in the romantic 5th house-type relationship.
You sometimes see married people behaving like this, but it’s more typical in the romantic 5th house-type relationship (and there are some marriages like this!).

This is distinct from the 10th house‘s connection to marriage; that has more to do with one’s reputation and standing in the community, and is not focused on interpersonal relating as much as it has to do with showing the relationship’s public face to the world.

There’s a huge psychological difference between living with someone and marrying them. Everything changes once you’re in a committed “unit” type relationship, and planets in the 7th of someone’s natal will augment that message. Needless to say, (although we’ll say it anyway), planets in the natal 7th house represent the type of person who thinks a lot about what a relationship requires, although having planets in the 7th doesn’t necessarily incline the individual towards relationship. Much depends on what the planets are and how they’re aspected.

Focus On The 7th House To Determine Attitudes About Marriage

Since today’s chart question is “Will we get married?” we’re focusing on the 7th house in synastry, and asking “Is this person marriage material?” The “will we get married” question depends on a number of factors, of course. There isn’t enough time or room here to sufficiently analyze every detail of my answer, but one place we can begin with is each person’s 7th house, because the most important question we must always answer is, “How is this person likely to relate to his or her significant other?”

There are two specific things we can look for when we’re trying to assess how someone is likely to respond to the idea of marriage (true for men or women, but each person’s chart will influence the other’s in synastry, and that can be just as important to take into account as the individual natal chart).

The first detail to look at is the nature of the 7th house in each natal. Then  look at how the planets in Chart A’s 7th house fall into the house(s) of Chart B, and vice versa. Given the fact that it’s usually women who ask me “Will he and I get married?” we can take as a given that the person who asked the question in this case is female. She wants to know if a man she’s fond of, but doesn’t know intimately, will one day marry her.

Since the date of a marriage in this situation is, realistically, a long way off, let’s answer the most relevant question I have, which is, “To what extent are these two marriage material in the first place?”

Chart B (Man’s chart)

What We Expect And Do Not Expect To See In The Natal Affects Our Interpretation

First, I want to say that I like his chart for the purpose of illustrating some basics about what we think we know about astrology. This chart’s energy is very heavily weighted when it comes to relationships, in fact, with Pluto and Uranus in the 7th, and Saturn in the 1st in exact opposition to Pluto. The question with this man will be, with two such heavy planets in exact opposition, one forced to focus on itself (Saturn in the 1st), the other taking commitment, and the “other,” almost too seriously (Pluto in the 7th), how will he contend with the pushme-pullyou of that opposition? Will he, for one thing, use the excuse of Uranus in the 7th to run away and/or keep relationships on a surface level?

Further complicating that message is the conjunction of Uranus with the Descendent. Finding a planet exactly (or within 2-3 degrees) of an angle gives it energy and extra weight. In this case, Uranus and Mars are each conjunct the Descendent. When this man puts out energy towards a relationship, he doesn’t hold back, and generally goes full force for what he wants, with both Mars and Uranus there.

What Kind of Woman Attracts This Man?

However, that combination is forceful but erratic, and the woman he’s involved with will have to give him a great deal of space to make up his mind, at least at first. In this case, her Venus in the independent, self-willed sign of Aries falls in his second house, forming an out-of-sign conjunction with his Sun in Taurus. This is a significant connection between the two charts. The conjunction of a woman’s Venus with a man’s Sun is, traditionally, one of the best combinations you can hope for, and indicates a powerful feeling of affinity between the two of them. 

My belief is that, especially when he was younger, the strong 1st house/7th house opposition from Saturn to Pluto pulled this man back and forth when it comes to making commitments to something outside himself. At this point in his life, while it’s most likely he has dealt with the energy of the opposition in his chart for many years, in fact, he will most likely work out his ambivalence about what a relationship requires from him by getting involved with the type of woman who isn’t “too” interested in him. 

His ambivalence issues, expressed most obviously through both Uranus in the 7th (which tends to run away) and the Saturn/Pluto opposition, will find the woman who is also running away (at first) the most attractive. 

The next question is, what kind of woman will he likely want to marry?  Who will make this restless  man want to settle down? [As a side note, the issue of settling down, literally and figuratively, is always crucial when you see exact, or very close, oppositions in the chart. The energy of a strong opposition is usually very restless; if not physically, then mentally, because the individual is torn between two extremes of thought or behavior, trying to make first one side of the opposition “make sense,” then the other. Integration with oppositions is key, and can literally take a lifetime to effect.]

Interpreting The Messages In Her Chart

Let’s now turn to her chart to see how his relevant planets affect hers, and how she receives his energy. Can she help him with his 7th house issues? Three strong planets at the Descendent, all of which are in opposition to Saturn, tell me that the idea of marriage, relating, and being in a committed relationship in general, are important to him, but that he also swings from Saturn’s taciturn outlook (self-sufficiency and not letting on to what’s going on inside him) to a deep need for a formal union, a commitment of some kind. With or without the wedding band, Pluto in the 7th is usually cautious, but deeply committed.

I’d be particularly concerned about suppression of strong emotion with a Saturn/Pluto opposition; Saturn/Mars means he’d swing between getting too involved too fast, and then pulling back; Saturn/Uranus is slow-and-steady versus showing up on your doorstep. So there is some volatility to be expected, but only some. The planets are all in Virgo, in opposition to the very sensitive Saturn in Pisces. Both signs are hyperaware of other people, although they are, neither of them, terribly articulate about relationships (particularly when Saturn is in Pisces involved in this series of oppositions).

A side note should be, he might have relevant transits to his 7th house/1st house planets. We shall see. This could be very important to change the dynamic here. The 1st/7th axis is all about self versus other, so this theme is crucial in his life in general, and if transits support change, then it’s very likely he will be willing to take on the responsibility of marriage.

Chart A (woman)
Chart A (woman)

A Stellium Affects The Synastry

The first thing we notice is that his Pluto/Uranus/Mars conjunction (a stellium—three or more planets all in one sign or house—in the sign of Virgo) falls in the woman’s 11th house. The challenge here is going to be that over time, her 5th and 11th houses (where his opposition falls in her chart) will have to adapt to his seriousness and ups and downs of behaviors.

It might be that he is not as romantic as her 5th house would like, since his Saturn falls there. He brings his 7th house intensity and potentially erratic nature to the section of her chart that deals with her hopes and dreams, in the 11th, and her romantic nature, in the 5th. So there is some room for concern here, if he’s not careful to control any tendency he has toward overdoing his Virgo stellium in opposition to Saturn in Pisces.

The key here, though, because our focus is on marriage, is how her 7th house planets fare in his chart. Her 7th house is very different in tone than his. Unlike him, with his Virgoan approach to committed relationships, she has Venus in the 7th, in Aries, combined with a conjunction to Mercury in Taurus. I’m not as concerned with aspects between the signs or planets (are Taurus and Virgo compatible, or are Aries and Virgo compatible, for example). What is of concern is how each person expresses their 7th house, and if their 7th houses are similar enough to make a go of marriage.

The 7th house cusp in Chart A has Aries on the Descendent, augmenting the nature of the Aries Venus. The feisty nature of Venus in Aries is modified somewhat by its out-of-sign conjunction with Mercury; this makes Venus in Aries much more thoughtful, usually. Her expression of 7th house values is going to be very different than his, however; there’s no getting around the dissimilarities between Virgo planets and Aries Descendent with Venus there.

If she can control her temper and her possible propensity to be quick with a comeback, put-down, or unasked-for advice, then it’s possible a man with strong Virgo planets will be charmed by her natural warmth, honesty, integrity, and sincerity. Nonetheless, his Virgo planets are quiet and pragmatic about marriage; her Venus in Aries would like to be swept off her feet just a little. There is a fundamental difference that probably won’t play well over time, especially when you take into account the nature of her 5th house, and the fact that his Saturn falls in the one house you do hope to see more light-hearted planets.

How Transits Will Affect The Relationship

What transits will affect these people? In 2013, Mars, the motivator, will affect the man’s chart twice; once from March to April, when it transits through Pisces (poking at his Saturn/Chiron in the 1st); the second transit that will affect his stellium in Virgo will be from October through November, when Mars will transit his 7th house. During these times, one could reasonably expect some sort of motivation and/or movement about relationship.

Throughout the year, transiting Chiron will conjunct his natal Saturn, so that will bring up some psychological issues for him. There’s no way to know for sure how he will handle that combination, or whether it will motivate him or have a dampening effect on his intentions, but Chiron over Saturn is a combination that implies learning a lesson about the self, so it could well be that this time for him will be quite profound and meaningful. It also implies, since the transit is through the 1st house, that he will take on a responsibility of some kind.

Her most significant transit in this situation will be to her Part of Marriage, as I will discuss.

The Role Of The Part of Marriage In Each Person’s Chart 

Finally, the woman’s Part of Marriage is in Scorpio, at 10˚ 41′. The man’s is 29˚ 03′ Aries. In October of 2013, a month that overlaps with the man’s chart being affected by Mars, the woman’s chart will have Saturn transit over her Part of Marriage, implying that, at the very least, marriage will be a serious subject in her life this coming year. The man’s Part of Marriage is conjunct his Sun, so there is every chance that he will want to marry, and that he defines himself through the act of marriage in a way that someone who does not have this conjunction does not. His energies throughout the course of his life will be devoted to, at the very least, understanding the nature of marriage.

The man has already had Saturn in opposition to his Sun (as it began its transit into Scorpio this past year) and that would have been the initial motivator for the question “Will we marry?” He might very well believe he has met the woman he will marry, given the timing of these transits. My overall assessment is that he takes marriage seriously, and may very well marry in this coming year. Saturn transiting over her Part of Marriage also says the same thing, but implies, as one would expect, that Saturn (symbolized by the man, who would be very serious, or at the very least, responsible and mature) will enter her life in this coming year.

Calculate the Part of Marriage in your chart at The Libra Centre

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