Will my marriage survive?

The querent (U.P.) writes: I married my wife (S.) in late 2008, but our relationship began to deteriorate visibly seven months after the birth of their first child in October 2009. I fear that a break-up is on the horizon.

Question: Will my marriage survive?

December 31, 2010
5:26 PM EST +5:00
Long Beach, NY            73w39 30            40n35 18

Ascendant:            21 Cancer 26
Moon:                    28 Scorpio 22
Day of:                   Venus
Hour of:                 Mars

Dear U.P.,

I am very sorry to hear that your marriage is troubled. Rarely is it clear how to put things back on the right track when emotions are running high. You also share in the responsibility of rearing a child and naturally want to set the best possible example while providing a stable, nurturing environment. I hope that this horary will be of help.

At the outset, I should say that the chart does warn that the question might be untimely, incompletely expressed. Or I might not have the full picture. There is no humoral agreement between the Ascendant ruler (Moon) and the Hour ruler (Mars). The Moon is in late degrees of her sign and also void of course. These red flags do make me more cautious.

I am sorry to say that the chart does not hold out great prospects for the marriage, if you stay on your present course. All hope is not lost, but you will have to work very hard for a good outcome.

You are signified by the Ascendant (12 Cancer 26) and the ruler of the Ascendant, the Moon at 28 Scorpio 21 in the 5th house. Your wife’s significators are the 7th house (21 Capricorn 26), Saturn (16 Libra 39) in the 4th house, and Mars (18 Capricorn 19) on the 7th cusp.

The first thing that jumps out at me is how heavy the chart is. All the classical planets, except for Jupiter, are “under the earth” (i.e., below the horizon). There is an atmosphere of secrecy or depression in the home, a perception confirmed by the presence of Saturn in the 4th house and the South Node in the 12th house.

The second thing I notice is how little you and your wife’s significators have in common. Since they are in adjacent signs, they do not aspect each other. It’s as if they’re in different rooms with the door closed between them. Even more surprising is the fact that there are no receptions at all between the Moon and Saturn; that is, the Moon isn’t in a place where Saturn has any role to play and vice versa. Furthermore, they aren’t in strong dignities of any other planet, either.

To be frank, all this is surprising in such a young marriage. I would expect to see at least some hints of the mutual affection that drew you together just two years ago – or, failing that, some indication of shared interests. But there really aren’t any.

This might show that affairs have almost completely disintegrated. One might also see this situation, for example, where the couple’s families have been very involved in making the match, or where there have been other external incentives/pressures to marry. If this has been the case for you, your current problem might not be so much that your relationship is deteriorating as that it hasn’t really solidified yet. You might have to weather this storm so as to give the marriage the time it needs to mature. But with such weak rapport between you two, I wonder if you will be motivated to invest that kind of time and patience.

Let’s take a look at you and your wife’s signifiers and their condition.

Your primary signifier is the Moon. Being in Scorpio, the Moon is in her Fall, a very stressful, encumbered position that often describes a person who is either disappointed in their hopes or suffering because of an unwise decision. At the very least, the Moon tells us that you are indeed unhappy. And with the Moon at the sign boundary and waning in her last quarter, you seem to be prepared to walk out the door.

Your wife’s main significator is Saturn. Saturn is very powerful, being in the dignity of Exaltation and in the 4th house, one of the “power houses” of the chart. Because it’s at the bottom of the chart, however, it’s also an uncomfortable place for an Exalted planet. Exalted planets want to be up high, not down low.

Now, the 4th house pertains to home and the family, so it’s possible that Saturn’s Exaltation may simply describe your wife as “queen of the castle.” Her behavior may seem either supercilious and detached or domineering and high-handed. But it might also be telling us that your wife needs, in the best sense, to be highly regarded, even adored. Why could this be so?

The chart shows how much of herself she is giving to your child, while the child is unable – by its very nature – give much back: Saturn receives Mars (5-ruler and signifier of the child) into its sign (Capricorn) with a square aspect, while Saturn is in Libra, the sign of Mars’ detriment. Mars/5-ruler is Exalted in Capricorn and applies to the cusp of the 7th house, describing an energetic child (Mars) who requires a lot of attention and may still be breastfeeding (Mars clinging to the 7th cusp in Capricorn) – a very literal drain on your wife’s body.

These are big responsibilities that may be overtaxing your wife, and she might not have much left over for you at the end of the day. Indeed, Saturn in Libra is in the Fall of the Sun (natural ruler of the male sex), so it may be that she is not expressing physical desire towards you. It would be natural to feel as if you are competing with the child for your wife’s attention. Nevertheless, with Saturn Exalted, she needs very much to be doted on and, perhaps more, to be desired herself. In this area, you may be called upon to go the extra mile.

Both your significator and hers are pulled toward the 5th house of the chart, leading me to think that this is where the “deterioration” you describe is being played out. Let’s look at this. Your wife’s significator Saturn is ruled by Venus; and Venus at 12 Scorpio 30 is in detriment in the 5th house. Your significator, the Moon, is actually located in the 5th house, separating from a bodily conjunction of Venus.

The 5th house rules children, and your question does show that your mind is on your child’s effect on the marriage. But the 5th house is also the place of pleasure and lovemaking. With your significator, the Moon, being debilitated in the 5th house, I suspect that difficulties, vexation or confusion in this area are at the heart of the matter.

A specific point of concern is that the Moon, your significator, separates from a bodily conjunction of Venus at 23 Scorpio 30 in the 5th house. In addition to her other roles in the chart, Venus rules the Arabian Part of Divorce, located in the 11th house at 23 Taurus 30, remarkably in exact-to-the-minute opposition of Venus. The chart seems to be pointing to Venus as the primary significator of divorce.

The curious thing is that the Moon’s separation from Venus (in her detriment!) suggests a divorce or permanent separation having already occurred some time ago. Or, minimally, it suggests that you have already firmly resolved to separate, done something that will decisively end in divorce or initiated divorce proceedings. The Moon’s even more recent separation from a trine of Jupiter/9-ruler dignified in Pisces would then make sense as a consultation with a lawyer or other such professional. Jupiter is, by the way, conjunct Uranus: a good picture of a divorce attorney. But, of course, your question implies that a break-up is on the horizon, not already a fait accompli. I hope that you will clarify this.

Otherwise, the Moon’s separation from Venus  could also describe a specific crisis event that harmed your marriage: a particular instance of a sex problem, sexual infidelity or some major disappointment in the marriage and home life. If a definite event, it most likely occurred 5 months ago (Moon separates from Venus by 5 degrees) and made you feel hopeless about the future of your marriage.

Either way, there’s trouble. The chart shows you on your way out the door (i.e., Moon at sign boundary), while your wife remains settled and in control of the home (Saturn exalted in the 4th). It seems that you are unlikely to change your mind (Moon void of course).

The Arabian Part of Marriage (a special point calculated in questions of this kind) confirms my worries. The Part of Marriage is at 19 Virgo 33 in the 3rd house. It is ruled by Mercury in detriment in Sagittarius in the 6th house. Mercury’s debilitated condition shows that the marriage is indeed troubled. The 3rd house involvement and Mercury’s rulership introduces the theme of communication. In short, your marriage is being challenged by communication problems: miscommunication, the silent treatment and/or lies. To fix the marriage, you have to fix this first.

However, as I said at the beginning, there is hope in the chart, if you’re willing to work at it. Both the Sun and the Moon behold the Ascendant, which shows that it’s still possible to bring light and life to the situation. Even better, Jupiter – the great remover of obstacles – is the most elevated classical planet in the chart. He is beautifully dignified in his own domicile (Pisces) and sends a helpful trine aspect to the Ascendant and a harder (but still supportive) square aspect to Mercury. Since Jupiter rules the 9th house (religion, learned professions), I would advise you to seek out guidance from a trusted religious guide or from an experienced therapist. Given Jupiter’s conjunction with Uranus, this professional could be somehow outside the mainstream or alternative in some way.

One last thing: since your main significator is the Moon, the chart indicates that the outcome is mostly in your hands. This is because, in any chart, the Moon is the swiftest planet and always shows the flow of events or the most important action. Your wife, however, is signified by Saturn, the weightiest and slowest planet in the chart. It seems that you are more impatient for change than she is. If you really want to save the marriage, it’s up to you to put the brakes on, take a deep breath and resolve firmly not to give up.

I do hope that the reading has been useful to you and that, through your sincere efforts, you will be rewarded with a happy home.

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