Synastry vs Composite Charts, Mars Square Mars, Grand Cross

I was taking to another astrologer yesterday, he asked me which method I favored when it came to looking at relationships. Synastry or Composite charts. Then Britney asked what the difference was, so here goes:

I use both methods because they show different things. When you compare one chart with another, you see how two individuals interact. When you actually put the charts together, you see how the relationship acts. And I can illustrate this with a story.

I was once involved in a very difficult relationship. As for the synastry…my Mars was square his. If you read about Mars square Mars between charts, some sources will tell you this is good for sex. You know. You’re at cross purposes with the other which can inflame you.

Considering this you can see what they’re talking about. Put the people together and war breaks out. It might not be so good in the middle of the mall, but for sex? Well there is a lot of energy between the two people so what you don’t have is inertia! Sparks do fly but in every day life this aspect between charts causes a lot of problems.

For one thing we could never do anything together. Whenever I wanted to go left he wanted to go right! We simply could not harness our energies to get anything done and this was apparent in even most mundane tasks. Moving something heavy for example.

If we wanted to move the couch…well, we’d get it done but not without bashing knuckles into walls, etc. Not without getting pissed off and frustrated because when I went one way he’d go the other. So that’s how synastry works. Your planet hits mine and there is a result.

Now the composite chart or the chart of the “relationship” had a Grand Cross, which is basically a train wreck and it was uncanny to me, how this played. When we would go out somewhere together, in essence we would be this freakish chart, personified and up walking around and people can see that.

Think of the couples you know. This couple is “fun”. This other couple is “unhappy”. This third couple is nervous and jerky, or whatever. And the energy of the couple is different than the energy of either of the individuals, right? If you talk to her when she’s not with him she’s much different and vice-versa. But regarding the composite chart with a Grand Cross and here is what I noticed:

Wherever we went, and whoever we ran into, they would only interact with one or the other of us. We would encounter someone and they would look at him, then back at me, then back at him, and then back at me, eventually settling on one of us and addressing them, exclusively. It was as if people just couldn’t relate to us as a couple because the energy we created was just too frenetic.

I found this a living hell because think about it. If I wanted to have energy that anyone could stand, I had to be standing not next to him and he was in the same boat. So the other day, when someone asked on a message board, “What do you think of a composite with a Grand Cross in it?” I said, “Run!”

And this the kind of thing that gets me in trouble like the Saturn filtering of people I wrote about last month, but jeez louise. You get caught in something like this and it’s very difficult to get out…

To be continued.

Do you notice that two people paired up have a distinctly different energy than each person as an individual? And do you feel you come across differently when you’re with your friend or partner than you do when you’re on your own?

To update, the soldier and I also have a composite grand cross. This series is 4 pieces long and when I’ve finished running it, I will update with the new things I have gleaned on the topic..

Skip to Part 2…

25 thoughts on “Synastry vs Composite Charts, Mars Square Mars, Grand Cross”

  1. YES, totally, utterly. Maybe because I’m very mutable this happens so obviously to me, and it was great to read about composite charts and get an explanation for it. It’s also pretty clear in other people once you start observing. Except if the people are strong in fire signs, and aries with aries rising problably won’t be as changed by other peoples energy.

  2. I’ve really noticed this with my partner and I. Natally, I don’t have a particularly strong Mars. It’s in early Libra and it makes I think only one minor aspect to the rest of the chart. Before I met my partner I was reeallly lethargic; I never exercised or asserted myself.

    Then I met my partner who has a fiery Sun and Moon and Mars in Aries.

    Furthermore, in the composite Mars is pretty prominently placed. It is angular, the apex of a cardinal T-square to the Venus and Pluto and it aspects most of the planets in the chart.
    (It is also tightly conjunct my Mercury)

    What’s more the composite’s angular Sun is exactly conjunct my Mars.

    Literally for the first few weeks after we started sharing a bed, neither of us could sleep. We felt permanently energised and wired. This was shocking to me since I am normally a terrific sleeper but really for the first month every time we spent the night together I couldn’t get any shuteye for the feeling of being really buzzed. It was really weird, because I’d never ever experienced that before.

    Also, even more shockingly this feeling of energy carried out into the other bits of my life and suddenly I wanted to exercise and ride on motorbikes, and what’s more I was discovering my bossy/assertive side and suddenly a lot of my sentences began to feature wording such as “I would like to” (It’s still a Libra Mars, mine, and just because it’s assertive doesn’t mean that it’s not polite). I know that experssing their wishes and desires is normal for some people but I’m a Cancer Sun and up to that moment stepping out and saying anything directly was really hard for me so this was quite an innovation.

    Other changes were that before we came together as a couple I was a little nomad and his house waas totally spartan (he slept on a fold out camp bed – there was no sofa so we sat and ate on the floor) because he hadn’t got around to buying furniture; But then through the course of the relationship we began to pour all this energy into making a home together, and making it beautiful (I’ve related this to the Cancer Ascendant in the composite, and the Sun in Libra conjunct the Composite IC). There’s been great effort to make the place where we live cozy and warm but also pleasing to the eye – an effort which neither of us had poured into other places we had inhabited singly.

    The other thing I’ve noticed is that to date we haven’t had a *shouting at each other* fight. I think these are natal traits (He has a Saggi Sun conjunct Neptune in the 7th, I have a Libran Mars) really emphasized and exacerbated by the composite Sun in Libra. When we do fight it’s very courteous, so that it’s more like a discussion. We bicker often – but that’s just because it’s funny to wind one another up sometimes – but our genuine fights are few and far between. Typically I will initiate them because I’m better at voicing things than he is, and then we’ll be maintaining physical contact at all times – hugging, or holding hands, or giving small kisses – I think to offset the fact that we have conflict and OHMYGOD Disharmony!

    I remember another relationship where in the composite we had a striking angular 9th house stellium in Leo (Moon, Mercury, Mars, Sun, Jupiter) trine Neptune. I don’t have any fire natally (aside from Neptune) and I remember how that relationship really woke me up into all this intense passion, and warmth, and colour; I discovered my inner exhibitionist as well as the delights of plucking eyebrows and wearing colourful jewellery and makeup and flattering clothes. The house we shared was full of glitter and rich fabrics and it was the first time that I felt beautiful with someone. It was a heavily idealised relationship though, and Leo-like in its heavy quota of soap opera factor and melodrama. But it burned incredibly brightly for a while, all the same.

  3. Oh, most absolutely. Across the board.

    Yet I have one favorite couple who are near the same when together as apart, and even more comfortable to be around as a pair. That’s rare!

    I want to hear your theory.

  4. Interesting… in a comment above… re: the sleep problems with a particular partner (which I wrote to you about recently, re: myself)… I have read in so many blogs about this between new partners or people dating… I’m extremely curious about the astrology of it…

  5. Not a partner, but my sister… we have a composite Grand Cross and yeah, we love each other of course but the energy between us is always a little tense (sometimes VERY tense) and when we’re out in public either one or the other gets attention/talked to, very rarely both. It’s annoying.

  6. Note: It’s usually her who gets the attention by the way… she’s got a powerful aura… unbelievably charismatic, extremely sociable and friendly… EVERYONE likes her. (Sun in Aquarius, Moon in Libra, ascendant in Gemini)

    I suppose it’s pretty ridiculous (not to mention disgusting) that I’d ever be jealous at all (I usually don’t care) of the attention since I get worn out from socializing too much and like to be alone a lot… I also suck at accepting compliments (I don’t know how to take them). Ah well… yeah, I need to grow up… I’m trying(!)

  7. Most of my relationships have had Libra rising conjunct Venus. I noticed that people really liked when I brought these exes as my plus one to the shindigs. We drew people to us in droves. And whenever we worked together, we could charm anyone into giving us anything. The downside? My friends and family never understood why I broke up with any of them. No matter what I told them, they’d always respond with “But you guys looked so good together and seemed so happy!” Well yea, because we had an unspoken rule to never argue in public. We kept that for home. One ex in particular who I had this aspect with…we broke up during a public argument. People thought we were performing/joking and started clapping! Then told us to kiss and make-up.

  8. So then… why is your relationship successful? (being that you have the notorious composite grand cross)

  9. Cecilia – it’s a good question. I was in this relationship I am writing about 10 years ago, wrote this 3 years ago when I was in a relationship with a composite grand trine.

    I was very conscious when I got into this relationship with the soldier knowing damned well what it would mean with a chart like that and it HAS played.

    Like I said, I will update this series after I run it but I would like to leave it in tact and in order so there is something cohesive here.

  10. Wait, wait, I don’t get it. So the Grand Cross is bad? One time I asked you/showed you a composite chart I had with my friend, you told me you and the soldier had a Grand Cross in the Cardinals and it’s kind of like a fortress. What does the Grand Cross mean again?

  11. So it’s like you didn’t want to be a part of this fortress with this guy because you didn’t even like him? Like you were stuck together?

  12. Dina, I am writing in the moment here, of my experience and my impressions of my experience circa 2006. I don’t really have anything to add after the fact.

    I was in something jarring followed by something smooth. I preferred the “smooth” and that was really all I was trying to get across here. That there is a distinction to be made.

  13. So . . . Elsa, what would a Grand Cross (in perfect orb, less than one degree!) of the personal planets Moon/Venus/Mars with Pluto mean in the MUTABLES?

    Seriously. I fell off my chair when I saw that.

    PS Mars oppposition Mars in Synastry, perfect orb

  14. I am having Composite Grand Cross with my boyfriend:

    Sun oppo Venus
    Mar oppo Pluto
    Sun Squ Mar
    Sun Squ Pluto
    Venus Squ Mar
    Venus Squ Pluto….

    We had wonderful time at the beginning few months but after 1 year until now (2 years), we fight, fight and fight….
    And recently I’ve caught him in bed with another woman (actually it was the second time within 2 years).
    I can’t forgive him anymore, we broke up last month. Of course, I still love him and miss him a lot but what I can do?

  15. Want to add more:
    my boyfriend and I are having mutual Sun Trine venus – my Sun Trine his Venus and his Sun Trine my Venus. At the same time, his Saturn trine my Sun, I thought he should be loyal to me but…..
    Maybe his natal Venus oppo his natal Pluto is the cause of the problem.
    I can’t stop wondering why he is so disloyal to me…
    Can anyone tell me why?

  16. Thanks, Elsa

    Please find my natal chart below:

    Sun Sagittarius 8.59 Ascendant Libra 28.04
    Moon Scorpio 22.56 II Scorpio 27.16
    Mercury Sagittarius 10.38 III Sagittarius 27.23
    Venus Libra 24.05 IV Capricorn 28.25
    Mars Gemini 28.09 R V Pisces 0.01
    Jupiter Aries 14.53 R VI Aries 0.31
    Saturn Leo 2.42 R VII Aries 28.04
    Uranus Scorpio 4.59 VIII Taurus 27.16
    Neptune Sagittarius 11.26 IX Gemini 27.23
    Pluto Libra 11.11 Midheaven Cancer 28.25
    Lilith Aries 3.22 XI Virgo 0.01
    Asc node Scorpio 21.48 XII Libra 0.31
    Chiron Aries 23.59 R
    Ceres Gemini 8.16 R
    Pallas Pisces 17.29
    Juno Virgo 14.56
    Vesta Pisces 23.15


    Sun Aquarius 22.16
    Moon Scorpio 21.29
    Mercury Aquarius 0.10
    Venus Aries 7.58
    Mars Aquarius 1.15
    Jupiter Taurus 22.22
    Saturn Leo 12.43 R
    Uranus Scorpio 11.46
    Neptune Sagittarius 15.49
    Pluto Libra 14.01 R
    Lilith Taurus 22.05
    Asc node Libra 26.36


  17. Hi fatbo. You will get more responses if you post your chart on the boards. Click the tab at the top to get there. Also, you will get more responses if you post a graphic of your chart. Here is link of Piya’s tutorial explaining how 🙂

  18. Thanks, Jana
    However, I am right now in China. I’ve created 2 charts already and have tried to upload using, it said uploads from China is disabled.
    Are there other ways for me to upload my images?

  19. Maybe not exactly what you are talking about Elsa, but yeah I have notices some weird thing with me crush and I.

    When he and I are in company with our nutual male friend, he is very bubbly, happy go lucky. Will laugh out laud, giggle for the tiniest reasons and is so charming (Leo sun, Libra Venus). He will be very warm and like a summer breez towards me aswell.

    But when He and I are alone, its different! He will be very calm and collected, sometimes very serious (Mars Capri), sometimes warm and kind but not “bubbly and giddy. Never has he laughed out laud to my jokes for ex. But he may do that if we have our mutual friend with us.

    His energy changes and shifts when we are alone. There is fine nuances. And I know he really likes me.

    In synastry, maybe its bc of moon square moon. Saturn square moon. And. My sun Oppo his Pluto, so he feels intimitated by me somehow?

    In Composite, We have a blue rectangle, dunno what to call it?
    And several t-squares. Leo rising. What do you think Elsa? 🙂

    1. I don’t know. There are a lot of things mentioned here. I don’t think I can give you a solid answer or even a decent guess. Sorry.

  20. Avatar
    Carolina C S Cunha

    I have a composite grand cross and want try understand it. I really dont mind about how people see the relationship. I want know if it is possible to work cause is being hard to leave… Sun opposite saturn, moon opposite Uranus. Moon square sun, sun square uranus, Saturn square Uranus, Saturn square moon. A conjunction Mars venus in orb 0, venus and mars square pluto.

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