Relationship always implies some kind of exchange - minimally an exchange of air and in many cases emotions, fluids, and other substances. Folk traditions and wives' tales abound here, some seemingly well-grounded in reality as we know it. Regardless of the exchange involved, certain issues always merit analysis when we are asked to provide astrological input on comparisons or composites. Generally, people enter relationships because there is promise of some of their needs being met through the interaction. Any analysis must first determine each individual's needs as well as their ability to give in a relationship. To determine needs, look at the natal chart and pay special attention to the 3rd, 7th, and 11th, then the 8th, the Moon and Venus. Next compare what one offers that meets the other's needs - contacts to the Sun, Moon, North Node, ASC and DSC are the strongest indicators.

As we have another eclipse this Sunday, July 11, it seems a good time to consider the Moon's nodes. Astronomically, the nodes are the points where the Moon's orbit around the earth intersects the ecliptic, the apparent path of the Sun (and planets) around the Earth. Whether it is a north or south node is determined by whether the Moon's orbit is has crossed the ecliptic going toward the Northern or Southern Hemisphere. When this intersection of the Moon's orbit and the apparent path of the Sun and planets occurs during a new or full moon, we have an eclipse.

Astrologically, there are different schools of thought with regard to interpretation of the nodes. In general, traditional astrology treated the South node as malefic and the north node as tentatively benefic. Vedic astrologers in India do not like either one. Here are some early interpretations:

What do have Bill Gates and Kepler, Mahatma Gandhi and Pablo Picasso, Maria Shriver and Descartes, Nelson Mandela and Jim Jones have in common? No, I’m not joking! They all have the same aspect in their birth chart: Jupiter conjunct Pluto. In non-astrological language this says that seen from the earth Jupiter and Pluto are seen in the very same direction in heaven. It is as if they can shake hands. Of course there is, astronomically spoken, still a big distance between the two, but when two planets are seen very close to each other in heaven; astrologers call this ‘conjunct’. A conjunction means power and the astrological meaning of these planets will be strongly interwoven.

Pluto is a (dwarf) planet and has many faces: dark, intense, and confronts us with shadows and problems. Pluto wants power, whether in secret or in the open. But the same Pluto also has the power to bring to the surface what was hidden, has real psychological knowledge and an incredible willpower and persistence.

The Sun and the Moon have been known as the two Lights for a very long time. In Hellenistic astrology, it was advantageous for the Sun and the Moon to have attending planets, just as any earthly royalty should have a court. Early on, it was recognized that the cycle of this pair was extremely important.