Sunday, 22 July 2012

The I-Thou Axis and the 7th House

Shirley Soffer 

In astrology, the 7th house typically will tell us such things as: how a person envisions relationship to be; what someone is attracted to in a partner; and it can also tell us something about the actual partner in a literal sense. We refer to the 7th house as the house of the other, or our significant other. 

But there’s another, more psychological way of looking at the 7th house. We can say it’s the house of projection. Since the person you’re attracted to, or fascinated by, often represents that part of yourself that you don’t particularly recognize as belonging to you, you will tend to project those unrecognized qualities onto that other person. However, those qualities do belong to you, unconsciously, and you’re somehow called upon to bring those hidden parts of yourself out into the open so that you can experience them and eventually own them for yourself. You generally don’t know this on a conscious level, so someone out there provides this knowledge for you by serving as a kind of “hook” -- the “hook” being that mysterious something in someone else that somehow attracts you, or fascinates you, or compels you. You’re inexplicably drawn to that particular person because of certain qualities you perceive in that person. 

In astrology, that compelling energy is often found in the form of an actual planet in the 7th, the sign it’s in; or by way of the ruler of the cusp of the 7th, where that ruler is placed, the sign it’s in, and how it’s aspecting in the chart. Seen psychologically, during the actual course of a relationship, over time, you’ll find yourself living out that unlived part of yourself through that very person you’re with. Inside your showing personality, which is your Ascendant and 1st house, there’s the other side of the coin that’s not openly expressed by you, which is your Descendant and 7th house, which you’ve unconsciously projected onto that other person. 

The opposite pole of your Ascendant is like a mirror that shows your invisible self. But we should not always be too literal. The 7th house describes the qualities in a partner that you’re attracted to -- it’s not necessarily your partner’s actual Sun sign. More accurately, it will describe those qualities hidden in you which you need to consciously integrate into your awareness in order to become more whole. That’s why you learn so much about yourself in relationship. You may think you’re learning about the other person, but you’re really learning about yourself through the other person. Often, when you take back the projection that you’ve put onto the partner, a relationship will break up, or go through a test, because you then begin to see the person in a new way. It’s as if you no longer recognize the same person who you had met in the beginning. 

One of the ways to understand synastry is from the point of view of the 7th house as the house of one’s own psychological projection, since it encompasses the Ascendant as well -- it includes the I in the I-Thou dichotomy. We’ll take a look, therefore, at some of the possible characteristics that can be found in the 7th house of each of the 12 Ascendant signs -- using the cusp of the 7th house and it’s ruling planet to describe potential relationship qualities for each Ascendant. 

Aries on the 7th house cusp and/or Mars in the 7th: Libra Rising wants to accommodate, to create harmony, to see the other person’s point of view -- often to its own detriment. But in its desire to accomodate, Libra Rising often blurs the line between what its needs and desires are, and what others want and need. It may attract a partner -- in any sign -- who makes all the decisions, someone to be the assertive, dominant, even aggressive half. 

If Mars in Aries is also in the 7th, the Libra Ascendant will be even more attracted to a fiery, bold, active, and demanding partner. The more passive, even indecisive energies of Libra, with its airy qualities, may be happily balanced by a Martian type as a soulmate. We’ll often see this pattern in a relationship, where one of the couple is quietly accommodating, making concessions and adjustments, looking to the other person to be the dominant, active, and decisive one. If Mars is in the sign of Taurus in the 7th, the action of Mars may be more deliberate, slower, and more stabilized, but it’ll still likely denote a partner with a powerful, strong, and determined personality who the Libra Ascendant may yield to. 

But if there’s too much of a loss of ego through the partner’s dominance, it can become too much to bear and Libra Rising or Mars in the 7th will then stand up for itself -- and the fights will begin. Because Mars in the 7th can also be a relationship that’s in itself feisty, combative. In that case, if it’s too much, then Mars in the 7th becomes the open enemy, the opponent; and the relationship will turn angry, contentious, belligerent. The previously dynamic, self-assured, daring partner will now be seen by Libra Rising as pushy, bossy, oppressive, bullying. Those aggressive qualities that had been bottled up too long and projected onto the partner are finally owned by Libra Rising, and the relationship has to go through a test. 

Sometimes if Libra Rising doesn’t take back the projection and own its Martian strength outright, it’ll live out the unexpressed aggression through distortion, and deceit. That’s why you’ll sometimes see people with Libra Rising being passive-aggressive, getting what they want indirectly or passively, often by a kind of manipulation of the other. 

Taurus on the 7th house cusp and/or Venus in the 7th: For Scorpio Rising, nothing is taken at face value; whereas for Taurus, it’s only that which is at face value that’s taken seriously. Scorpio tends to break things down, even to destroy for the purpose of change and transformation, whereas Taurus seeks to preserve, maintain, and stabilize things so as to prevent change. And while Scorpio Rising wants to delve deeply into the emotional terrain of its partner, Taurus on the 7th house cusp may not be that interested in that type of deep emotional exploration. 

In relationship, Scorpio Rising may unconsciously seek someone -- in any sign -- who’ll tend to balance its drastic, extreme, sexually intense, and overly-passionate way of being in the world, since Venus, as ruler of the 7th, seeks harmony in relationship. Venus will seek to tone down Scorpio’s excesses; to translate sexuality into a more manageable sensuality. Raw sexuality and the intense emotions it brings up is often transformed by Taurus by way of such things as a love of nature, or an appreciation of beautiful objects, or simply a more practical involvement in material life . 

Venus in Taurus in the 7th will signify emotional stability in relationship, along with sensuality, comfort, and physical pleasure, since Venus is both in its dignity and accidentally dignified in the 7th house. Since Scorpio Rising may experience deep feelings of suspicion and jealousy -- and the emotional insecurity that goes with such feelings -- Venus in Taurus will offer a kind of devotion and a degree of stability to counteract these often destructive emotions. If Venus is in Gemini in the 7th, the partner’s versatility, charm, and quick-wittedness can add lightness of being to Scorpio Rising’s often dark and brooding personality. 

For those with Venus in the 7th, in any sign, the image of all that’s beautiful and good is generally projected onto the partner, in keeping with Venus’ desire for harmony; and just being in a relationship is usually enough to feel complete and fulfilled with this placement. With Venus in the 7th, therefore, the person may be blessed with an ideal soulmate, with constant and lasting affections.

But like all archetypes that the planets represent, there are also sides of Venus that aren’t all sweetness and light. Venus in her mythology was also jealous, vengeful, seductive, and deceitful -- able to stoop to the lowest depths to win over in love. Venus in Taurus, then, can also be possessive, holding, vain, and controlling when it comes to things it values, especially in love, and particularly to a person it loves. These qualities can come to the fore when the partner doesn’t live up to the ideal projection of Venus in or ruling the 7th, and the partner then begins to resemble an open enemy. Scorpio Rising then learns -- when it takes back the projection -- to balance its own emotional intensity with common sense, emotional proportion, and an appreciation of a wider variety of physical experiences that are more down to earth than purely sexual merging. 

Gemini on the 7th house cusp and/or Mercury in the 7th: Goal-oriented Sagittarius Rising is predominantly interested in large concepts of a philosophical, societal, spiritual, or religious nature, seeking to find a final answer to life’s larger questions. But because it’s always looking at the grand scheme of things, it may often lose sight of the facts and figures, the information, the necessary data that supports its point of view. In partnership, then, Sagittarius Rising may seek out someone -- in any sign -- who can analyse, verbalize, and articulate with precise words those broad concepts that it knows intuitively but not necessarily accurately. 

Sagittarius Rising can certainly appreciate the intellectual connection it has with a partner; and if there’s also Mercury in Gemini in the 7th, this type of connection is doubly enhanced, providing a partner of keen mind and a good conversationalist -- and also someone who has the ability to maneuver people, places, and things so as to accomplish a goal. Sagittarius Rising has the large vision, but it’s the Gemini side of the equation who’ll make the necessary phone calls, get the information, talk to the right individuals, etc. -- who’ll connect the dots from A to B to help bring that vision to realization. 

If Mercury is in Cancer in the 7th, Sagittarius Rising would also seek an emotional facilitator, someone who’ll provide supporting words of assurance. But whatever sign Mercury is in, regardless of the Rising sign, the person will seek a soulmate who’ll provide intellectual substance, and a kind of mental agility to keep things interesting. 

But if Mercury in the 7th comes across negatively as intellectually superior, or as someone who dominates a conversation with a “wall of words”, or someone who uses cunning and deceit, or who’s so changeable as to be fickle and insincere, then the partner can fall into the category of an open enemy. With Mercury in the 7th, it can turn negative if the person relies too heavily on the partner for carrying out ideas, or for providing the necessary communication skills. What the Mercury in the 7th house person has to learn is that communication in partnership is a two-way street. By developing good verbal and intellectual skills, issues can be aired out and discussed in a healthy and mutual way. 

Cancer on the 7th house cusp and/or Moon in the 7th: Capricorn Rising will generally present an austere, controlled, self-reliant persona. But the Cancer Descendant will describe a partner -- in any sign -- who’s emotionally sensitive, oriented toward feelings, and caregiving. Capricorn Rising may seek out such a partner to balance its more stoic, buttoned-up, and sometimes rigid personality. 

This dynamic is often played out with the strong/silent type, whose partner supplies the feeling-content of the relationship, someone who’ll soften the edges, and who’ll often pamper, indulge, and protect Capricorn Rising. This interplay is also expressed with the Moon in the 7th, regardless of the Rising sign, where the person is seeking a kind of mother in the relationship -- someone accepting, nurturing, caring, and emotionally available. 

If things are working smoothly, Capricorn Rising or Moon in the 7th will have found its perfect soulmate, where its unlived self that’s being projected onto the partner has a positive-mother imprint, someone who’ll provide a comfortable home life and a sense of family and belonging. 

But the Moon, or Cancer on the 7th house cusp really wants to establish an emotional connection that goes beyond simply providing creature comforts; and if there’s nothing more than a “marriage of convenience”, then the relationship dynamics can undergo a change, where a pattern of neediness sets in on the part of the partner, and Capricorn Rising becomes withholding. The partner will then be moody and discontented, wanting his or her emotional needs attended to, especially if the Moon is also in the sign of Cancer. If the Moon in the 7th is in the sign of Leo, Capricorn Rising may actually end up having to cater to the demands of the partner for attention and recognition. When these types of things happen, the previously supportive, nurturing, and attentive mate may now resemble an open enemy. 

If there’s balance in the relationship, Capricorn Rising -- or Moon in the 7th in any sign -- will be able to experience emotional rapport with its partner, seeing the partner as a helpmeet and support system, but also offering back the empathy, sympathy, and emotional sensitivity that both the Moon and the sign of Cancer both crave and thrive on. 

Leo on the 7th house cusp and/or Sun in the 7th: Whenever we look at the dichotomy of Aquarius and Leo, we’re looking at head versus heart. With Leo on the cusp of the 7th house, we can see how Aquarius Rising may seek to complement its cerebral, airy, and detached qualities with a more passionate, fiery, and expressive partner. So when Aquarius Rising meets up with a follow-your-heart type of person, there can be a well-balanced exchange of energies. 

If the Sun is in the 7th in Leo, this will enhance a sense of the partner being the light of Aquarius Rising’s life, the bringer of joy and happiness -- its true soul mate. If the Sun is in Virgo in the 7th for Aquarius Rising, practical work and service can go hand-in-hand with Aquarian group projects, so a working partnership can be formed. 

Aquarius Rising tends to think outside of the individual ego, envisioning instead a greater whole -- it sees the larger picture for all humanity. But its Leo half , its unlived self, may secretely feel entitled to special recognition and privilege, which it may live out in a partner -- in any sign -- with a more dramatic, powerful, and often narcissistic personality. But if the partner tends to dominate the relationship too much, where his or her overly self-centered needs go against the grain of Aquarius Rising’s higher-purpose ideals, then the partner may begin to feel less like a creative, fun-loving person and more like an open enemy. 

The Sun’s placement in the 7th house, regardless of what sign it’s in, puts solar light, vitality, and emphasis on partnership, where one’s sense of identity, purpose, and will is forged through being in a relationship. But this can be a two-edged sword: with the Sun in the 7th, sometimes the partner can be seen as a kind of god, or divine hero. But if this godlike figure usurps one’s own power, individuality, and self-will, he or she will ultimately fall from grace. This is when prestige, importance, and strength is projected onto the partner at the ultimate expense of the self. By taking back the projection, and owning one’s own power and vitality, the person can then develop a stronger sense of selfhood and autonomy than before. 

Virgo on the 7th house cusp and/or Mercury in the 7th: Here we look at Mercury again, but this time in the context of earthy, practical Virgo on the 7th house cusp instead of airy, articulate Gemini. In the Pisces/Virgo dichotomy, we have the service polarity -- with Pisces Rising seeking to lose itself through service and Virgo seeking to find itself through service. Pisces Rising tends to blur its ego-identity in its self-presentation; full of sympathy for others but often losing its personal mooring by becoming submerged in a sea of compassion and feeling. 

Pisces Rising will seek out a partner -- in any sign -- who’ll ground it in Virgoan practical service with obtainable goals. In other words, a partner who’ll define boundaries, organize tasks that have a beginning, a middle, and an end; and who’ll also see that everyday health and bodily needs are taken care of, since Pisces Rising will sometimes neglect these areas. By finding a 7th house partner who serves as a grounding counterpart to its dreamy, elusive nature, Pisces Rising will have found its true soulmate, someone who’ll help keep body and soul together, providing practical wisdom and discrimination to balance its diffused and often confused nature. 

If Mercury is also in Virgo in the 7th, the partner’s capacity to be discerning and to manage and organize everyday life is doubly enhanced. If Mercury is in Libra in the 7th, the partner’s awareness of the need to communicate adds to the possibility of a harmonious interchange of ideas in the relationship. 

But if the partner comes across to Pisces Rising as critical, judgmental, over-analytical, and condemning -- and also compulsively concerned with meaningless details and an endless search for perfection -- then Virgo on the cusp of the 7th will feel like an open enemy, someone who’s never satisfied with whatever Pisces Rising has put forward to express its dreams and visions. 

By owning its Virgo side which had been projected onto its partner, Pisces Rising can learn to make proper boundaries, to hunker down and actually work on a task in a practical manner, and to figure out efficient, competent ways to accomplish goals, instead of being over-whelmed by them and escaping into fantasy, helplessness, or ego-draining service. 

Libra on the 7th house cusp and/or Aries Rising: Now we’ve spun the wheel halfway and we’ll reverse the polarities. We’ll also take another look at Venus, this time in the context of airy Libra on the 7th house cusp instead of earthy Taurus. 

There are often issues of intimacy and commitment with Aries Rising people; when they’re alone, they wish for partnership and when they’re in partnership, they can’t wait to be free so they can do their own thing. Aries Rising has the task, therefore, of balancing its compelling need for independence and autonomy with the equally compelling need for relatedness and engagement. It is used to being decisive, taking action, and moving independently. But the Libra side of the equation will tend to be indecisive and will think before acting -- because it’s first trying to see what the partner wants. 

Aries Rising can benefit from Libra’s tendency to consider the other person by itself learning to compromise and accommodate the partner’s needs. If Aries Rising has found someone -- in any sign -- who’ll allow it to express its self-assertion and fiery initiative within the relationship, it will have found its true soulmate , as long as a separate space is found for the requirements of relationship as well. But if that space is not found, and the partner finds herself or himself constantly making relationship demands on Aries Rising, or stifling its dominance or independence, the partner may then begin to resemble an open enemy, and the relationship will lack harmony. But if Aries Rising can learn to modify its egocentric attitudes by thinking before it acts, and by considering the other person’s point of view, the relationship can then be placed on an even footing. 

If Venus is in Libra in the 7th house, there’ll generally be more success for Aries Rising to learn the lessons of relationship and to make conscious changes accordingly. With this placement, Aries Rising can enjoy the pleasures of relationship more readily. Again, Venus in the 7th, and especially in Libra, is usually a good astrological indicator of harmony. It’s a placement that will fulfill the romantic ideals of love and the quest for happiness through partnership. 

If Venus is in Scorpio in the 7th, with Aries Rising, the partnership may display more edginess, even sexual edginess or tension, with a greater tendency toward power struggles. But in this case, those power struggles can help balance things out for Aries Rising, where it will have met its match in the game of love. 

Scorpio on the 7th house cusp and/or Pluto in the 7th: Taurus Rising is typically attached to its desires, but these are mainly material ones; they’re physical, tangible things. That doesn’t exclude the partner for Taurus Rising, because it perceives its significant other as something real to possess, to physically own, to have and to hold. 

With Scorpio on the cusp of the Descendant, issues of possession -- and often obsession -- may often define Taurus Rising’s relationships, in whatever sign the partner is. Strong and intense emotions usually come into play here, with themes of jealousy, rages, strong sexuality, and power struggles. What this ultimately does is force Taurus Rising to deal with internal stuff rather than external possessions -- to look inward and probe its deeper emotions. This is something that Taurus Rising is not generally that comfortable with, but with Scorpio on the Descendant, it will invariably meet or be attracted to someone who’ll force this type of inward exploration. 

If Taurus Rising’s partner’s emotional depth and intense and compelling nature causes it to grow and develop an unlived part of its being -- that is, to probe its inner life -- then the relationship, although edgy and challenging, can become a rich and fulfilling one. Taurus Rising will have found its true soulmate, someone who can compel it to look deeper at emotional content, and in the process, help eliminate old and outworn patterns -- in a word, to transform. It’s this very process of deep transformation that defines the richness of Scorpio’s gift. 

Taurus Rising, however, is basically not psychological; it’s content to accept as real what the five senses reveal, and to leave it at that. Scorpio, on the other hand, is psychological, paying less attention to what’s tangible and more interested in the dark, instinctual, underbelly of life -- all those things that lay beneath the surface, things that are hidden in the psychic underworld, beyond the surface of things, not what’s given at face value. 

If Taurus Rising is threatened at its emotional core by the overly psychological, probing, intense nature of its partner, then the partner will begin to seem a danger, upsetting Taurus Rising’s emotional comfort level, and with it, all those things that represent security and a sense of well-being. Although Taurus Rising will tend to stay in a relationship longer than other signs, and endure and perservere longer as well, the open-enemy syndrome of the 7th house will ultimately kick in, and Taurus Rising will make that one big change and leave, learning the hard lesson of letting go -- something Scorpio often forces us to do. 

If Pluto is in the 7th house, extremes of relationship are pronounced, emphasizing the partner’s role as an agent of change, often through difficult and drastic measures. If Pluto is in the sign of Scorpio, the intense energies of Pluto are doubly enhanced. And in the sign of Sagittarius, Pluto may bring out issues of religion, philosophy, education, law, and general belief systems as instruments of power and control. But whatever sign Pluto is in, in the 7th, regardless of the Rising sign, it’s through the partner that the individual comes face-to-face with his or her own demons. These are the often destructive shadow emotions that the Pluto in the 7th house person is forced to deal with in partnership. However, by taking back the Plutonian power and using it for positive self-transformation, the person can come to own his or her unacknowledged strengths. 

Sagittarius on the 7th house cusp and/or Jupiter in the 7th: Gemini Rising is inquisitive, restless, talkative, curious about the world around it, and always seeking change and variety. It constantly seeks information, data, new facts and figures, all the while taking in the different stimuli in the environment. But what Gemini Rising may lack is an overall perspective, a comprehensive system that can tie it all together in order to make sense of it all. In its allegience to variety, Gemini Rising often doesn’t have a kind of overall “vision”, whether it be a belief system, a social program, or a body of knowledge that fits into a greater philosophy or that has a spiritual purpose to it. 

Gemini Rising will seek in its soulmate -- no matter what sign the partner is -- someone who can provide that wider perspective, that higher meaning or intention, so that the nervous Gemini energies are not scattered to the wind in all directions. Sagittarius on the Descendant represents that part of Gemini that needs direction and purpose, with Sagittarian fire providing a future-oriented visionary outlook to complement Gemini Rising’s outpouring of ideas, thoughts, and words. 

If Jupiter is also in Sagittarius for Gemini Rising, then such things as optimism, faith, enthusiasm, and exuberance add room to the potential for growth and expansion in relationship. If Jupiter is in Capricorn in the 7th, the partnership can take on a kind of practical purpose, with concrete results that it can achieve in its societal and philosophical goals; the optimism that Jupiter provides is tempered with a good dose of realism with this placement. 

As a general statement, however, Jupiter in the 7th in any sign, promises good fortune in relationship, because Jupiter is a believer. But Jupiter doesn’t always make good on its promises, often providing faith alone that the relationship will be a positive and fulfilling one; certainly, that attitude in itself can promote success. Also, with Jupiter in the 7th, the partner is typically envisioned as someone benevolent and generous, which is certainly a good way to feel about a partner. 

But if and when Jupiter -- in any sign -- or Sagittarius on the Descendant promises more than it can deliver; or if the partner is seen as too excessive in some way, being grandiose, or self-inflated, or as a philosophical wool-gatherer, forever lost in the pursuit of knowledge without anything specific being offered, then the partner will be perceived by Gemini Rising as an open enemy, where the promises, the positive outlook, the prospects, and the hope for happiness will all quickly disappear. 

Capricorn on the 7th house cusp and/or Saturn in the 7th: Sensitive, self-protective Cancer Rising is well-aware of its emotional vulnerability. It will often envelope itself in a kind of self-contained, impenetrable shell as a way of keeping its feelings from being hurt and also as a means of withdrawing from potential harm. Because of this, Cancer Rising will look to the partner -- in any sign -- to partake of the rough-and-tumble arena of the outer world; it will seek someone who’ll be able to confront the harsh reality that’s so difficult for Cancer Rising to deal with. That someone is the Saturn in the 7th individual and/or the Capricorn Descendant itself. 

Saturn in the 7th will be attracted to someone who’ll serve as an authority figure, a kind of father surrogate; someone who’ll set the rules. If Saturn is also in Capricorn for Cancer Rising, this tendency is emphasized even further, in the form, often, of an older person, or someone who’s well-established and knowledgeable in the ways of the world. Since Saturn energy is slower than most, taking it’s time, Saturn in the 7th will sometimes marry late in life as well. With Saturn in Aquarius in the 7th, the partner may share common ideals, but he or she will also carry a kind of cool detachment, even indifference, which will enhance the sense of worldliness that Saturn carries. 

With Cancer Rising’s natural qualities of nurturing and caring, it may serve as an “enabler” to its partner, living out it’s own unlived wish to achieve in the world by helping the partner become well-off and established. When this is working well, Cancer Rising has found its true soulmate, where the structure of the relationship serves as the vehicle for a successful partnership team. 

But if the balance becomes too one-sided and unfulfilling for Cancer Rising, or for Saturn in the 7th in any sign, the Ascendant person may feel that it’s doing all the work in the relationship and isn’t receiving back what it had put into the team effort. At that point, the partner can feel like an open enemy, a cold, unresponsive careerist -- or even a tyrannical task-master -- and not someone providing the security and stability that had originally been sought. Or rather, these last qualities have come at too high an emotional price. 

There’s a conservative streak with both Saturn in the 7th and Cancer Rising, in that Cancer Rising will be tenacious in clinging to those it has allowed into its sphere, often staying in a relationship longer than it should have for its own well-being. Saturn in the 7th may also tend to perceive relationship as a responsibility or burden that it has to bear, thus adhering to the status-quo out of duty, tradition, or even fear of the unknown rather than change. 

If Cancer Rising or Saturn in the 7th learns to build strength within itself -- that is, to find its own “inner father” -- to provide a sense of authority, self-discipline, and structure in dealing with the world and thereby taking responsibility for itself, it will have taken back the projection of its unlived quest for status and self-mastery, and own those qualities instead. Actually, the reward for “owning one’s Saturn,” regardless of the Rising Sign, is self-worth and a sense of accomplishment that can only be fulfilling and gratifying. 

Aquarius on the 7th house cusp and/or Uranus in the 7th: Leo Rising has the need, as a kind of birthright, to feel important, be noticed, and be appreciated; it wants to stand out from the crowd, to present itself as a single, unique individual in its own right, and to establish its selfhood. Leo Rising can also be somewhat dramatic, often displaying a sense of entitlement, along with a magnetic, charismatic personality. Along with these qualities, Leo Rising also often brings natural warmth, an innate sense of joy, generosity of heart, and the capacity to give lots of love and affection. But in return, it also expects from its partner -- no matter the partner’s sign -- a high degree of admiration, praise, and recognition. 

With Aquarius on the cusp of the 7th house, Leo Rising may find itself actually seeking a partner whose perspective places less emphasis on the personal self and its need for individual expression -- someone more geared to goals and concerns that apply equally to all people. When Leo Rising’s more typical self-emphasis is tempered by cool, objective reasoning from its soulmate, allowing it to see itself as part of a greater whole, Leo Rising can learn from its inner Aquarian to be generous in a detached way, without always expecting lots of glory in return. This type of balanced relationship will enhance the true Leo nobility, dignity, and self-pride; and Leo Rising will have found its ideal soulmate: someone who can bring out its generous heart. 

But if Leo Rising’s inherent need for affection, fun, and love is met with Aquarian indifference, unengaged aloofness, and a kind of over-rational high-mindedness, Leo’s light will begin to dim. It’s then that the partner will no longer represent someone offering a new perspective on life, but will instead be perceived as an open enemy who’s out to put a damper on Leo Rising’s exuberance and joy. 

If Uranus is in the 7th, regardless of the Rising Sign, significant relationships will be unusual in some way; they may be unstable, unpredictable, or just oddly different. Or in another sense, they may exhibit a high degree of consciousness, where matters are brought to mutual awareness and a high level of understanding through objective thinking. But however it manifests, Uranus in the 7th will typically denote eccentricity in some way: it can play out as a need for freedom and non-attachment; or for constant change for its own sake; or for some type of non-conformist or unconventional arrangement; or any number of such variances. 

In yet another sense, Uranus in the 7th will seek a partner who’ll provide stimulation and excitment; or the partner may be unavailable in some way; or out-of-bounds because of his or her high genius, eccentricity, or brilliance. But these Uranian qualities of originality and inventiveness can be owned by the Uranus in the 7th individual, instead of projecting them onto difficult mates. Paradoxically, for those with Uranus in the 7th, in any sign, by choosing inaccessible partners, they can also then assure their own inherent need for freedom and non-commitment in a relationship. This oddly becomes their indirect way of owning Uranus’ unique qualities for themselves. 

Pisces on the 7th house cusp and/or Neptune in the 7th: Virgo Rising will typically be orderly, pragmatic, discerning, and highly analytical. Pisces on the 7th house cusp, however, denotes an energy that’s strikingly different: that allows for things that can’t be easily analyzed, measured, and dissected -- and that’s also open to things that aren’t necessarily practical or even purposeful. And where Virgo Rising can be critical and often nit-picking, Pisces can signify a more lenient, tolerant, all-embracing acceptance of life’s imperfections. 

But since Virgo Rising actually reserves its most severe criticism for itself, it may find as its perfect soulmate someone -- no matter the sign the partner is in -- who’s actually oblivious to its often fretful concern with exactness and self-improvement. Pisces on the 7th house cusp may provide a partner who’s less rigid, more relaxed and flowing than Virgo Rising is -- and thereby present to it a mode of being that’s not wedded to over-precision, details, and correctness. 

But there’s also a definable limit to Virgo Rising’s tolerance: if its partner is too slovenly, for example, or overly disorganized, or disrespectful of Virgo Rising’s need for control of its space, time, and money, then the partner will appear less like a welcome free spirit and more like an open enemy, out to sabotage Virgo Rising’s need for a well-planned, sensible, and orderly existence. 

Neptune in the 7th, in whatever sign it’s in, may tend to cast an image of the partner for any Ascendant that may not be realistic. In a positive sense, the partner may serve as the vehicle for opening up feelings, as well as the realms of mysticism, imagination, spirituality, art, and the like. The partner can also become the carrier of such qualities as kindness, sympathy for others, unconditional love, and selfless service. When this is working well, Neptune in the 7th has found its true soulmate. 

In a less positive sense, Neptune in the 7th may overly idealize and romanticize its partner, ascribing to him or her a kind of divine perfection, thereby placing the partner on a kind of pedestal. This highly idealized image of the other -- whether as Neptune in the 7th in any sign, or Pisces on the 7th house cusp -- can also be a set-up of sorts, where the partner is not seen clearly but is a fantasy-figure, an illusion. In time, he or she will fall off this lofty pedestal, since no one can realistically live up to such exalted standards. 

In the process of disillusionment, when Neptune in the 7th or Virgo Rising takes back the projection, it then has the opportunity to own for itself what it had found most admirable in conjuring up its dream-partner. By owning its unlived less critical self, Virgo Rising or Neptune in the 7th can incorporate within itself those ideals of greater kindness, compassion, and sympathy, and develop more understanding and acceptance of itself and others. 

The above is a segment of a workshop presentation by Shirley Soffer entitled “The AstroDynamics of Relationship” given in Istanbul on June 7, 2008. Shirley Soffer has granted permission to reprint this material in English and to translate it into Turkish by Baris Ilhan on the NCGR Istanbul Chapter’s website.