I typically start by taking a look at the 1st and 7th rulers transiting each other, either by progression or transit. The slowest transit planet to the faster natal planet, and then fastest transit planet in relation to the slower natal planet. I have a pretty high rate of success doing it on this website under “One Big Question”. The trick is to find out and explain to a person what may hold him/her back to making the commitment. This is where astrology can help a lot, especially if the synastry between the partners is available for analysis.
Here an attempt to do it “scientifically”:
The Astro Investigators, a.k.a. the “Gators,” have undertaken this research in the interest of beginning to unravel the complex astrological chemistry of synastry in birth data between two persons who make a commitment to “officially” marry each other. In this particular study, we have defined “marriage” as a legal pronouncement of marriage occurring between a man and a woman, regardless of how long their marriage may or may not have lasted. Our hypothesis is that there is much more to observe statistically through researching Marriage Synastry than what can be described in simple, common statements like, “There must be a Venus-Mars or Sun-Moon-Angle contact or a strong 7th house between two people for a marriage to occur.”
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The most common solar arc progressions for marriage are; Venus well aspected to the ascendant or midheaven. Transits, progressions and solar arc directions will be active the year you marry. Both transits and progressed or solar arc Lunar positions will be active in the year you marry. However the converse progressed or solar arc Moon is more frequently shown. Lunar eclipses may help to time the month of marriage; especially if they fall into your seventh house of partners.
I’ve spent the last 10+ years specifically studying relationship charts, and this is what I’ve noticed over and over in marriages and other long-term relationships, drawing on at least 500 – 600 charts I’ve looked at (if not more than that… I’ve lost count):
-Mars square (or sometimes conjunct) Saturn. This pops up SO MUCH it’s mind-boggling — at least 85% of the married synastry charts I’ve looked at have it. I think it attests to the drive (Mars) for responsibility (Saturn) set in motion by the friction of the square. It’s not often a pleasant aspect but it works like glue.
-When there’s no hard Mars/Saturn aspect, there’s almost always a conjunction between Saturn and the sun or Saturn and the ascendant.
-Alignment of the angles. The most common is one person’s AC conjunct the other’s MC or IC. Less common but still occurring is AC conjunct AC and AC conjunct DC. I’ve noticed that with marriages, it’s much more likely to be AC conjunct MC, whereas shorter-term relationships, or relationships people have when they’re younger, involve AC conjunct AC or DC. I think this is because the MC/IC axis involves more than just attraction and represents inner/domestic life as well as public life, which tend to become more important in marriages.
-There is usually at least one significant nodal conjunction (either with a planet or angle), but no consistency as to what that conjunction is. Node conjunct Saturn seems more common than node conjunct a personal planet, and nodes conjunct the angles (either AC/DC or IC/MC) also occur with some frequency.
-There is almost ALWAYS at least one planet/angle conjunction, often more. Conjunctions to the IC and MC are just as common, if not more so, than conjunctions to the AC and DC.
-I have not noticed any of the classically “good” aspects like sun conjunct moon or Venus conjunct Mars appear in marriage synastry any more often than they would by chance. Sextiles between Venus and Mars are actually the most common aspect I’ve seen between those two planets, but often there is no aspect at all.
-I have seen many marriage synastries with no major sun/sun, sun/moon, or moon/moon aspects at all, and in these cases there’s often a lot of Saturn action going on.
-There is often a major, tight conjunction between a personal planet or angle and one of the following asteroids: Union, Amor, Valentine, Eros, or Psyche (or these asteroids will aspect each other). Eros/Psyche conjunctions aren’t particularly common in marriages, but seem much more common in relationships that don’t culminate in marriage.
-Likewise, in the charts I’ve checked with name asteroids, there is often a significant conjunction of one person’s name asteroid with the other person’s name asteroid or personal planet, OR one (or both) people have the other person’s name asteroid conjunct a personal planet in their natal chart, especially the sun. Sort of like finding this person was “written” into their chart from birth…
-Chiron trine, sextile, or conjunct Venus is REALLY common. Chiron trine, sextile, or sun also occurs with some frequency.
-Tight orbs don’t seem to matter. When the relationships have sun/moon or moon/moon aspects, for instance, orbs of up to even 8 or 9 degrees seem to function just fine for compatibility. There usually are only a few aspects that are close to exact, and those aspects really set the tone of the marriage.
I have a theory that lots of tight aspects and exciting conjunctions eventually become too intense and uncomfortable, unless both people are VERY mature, and either cause two people to start repulsing each other or force the relationship to break apart for other reasons. This has been my experience time and time again. For a relationship to progress into a marriage, there needs to be some Saturn action, growth-oriented challenging aspects, a few nodal or angle connections, and significant progressions or transits to kick things off.
Bad luck with marriages? According to the astrologer C.E.O. Carter in An Encyclopedia of Psychological Astrology , if following degrees have Mars or Saturn, the person is likely to have problems with marriages: 8 degrees Aries and Libra, 25 degrees Virgo, and 19 and 27 degrees Leo and Aquarius. Wonder if anyone can confirm this?
There are many, many ways to calculate marriage timers in the chart. Secondary progressions (especially prog. moon) is one of the best ways. You can also look at transits and your Sun/Moon midpoint.
Here I will tell you a way to discover your marriage years in your Natal chart. Hope it’s not too confusing.
Sometimes the marriage year will show up easily in the natal chart. You look to the distance between your love planets (Sun, Moon, Venus and Mars) and the angles of your chart and sometimes the Part of Marriage.
First you count the number of degrees between the love planets (S, Mo, V, and Ma) and the angles of your chart (ASC, DSC, MC and IC)
For example: I have Venus at 25 degrees Gem. in my fifth house. If I count the degrees to my DC which is at 18 degrees Cancer I get 23 degrees, in between that love planet and the angle. This is a possible marriage age for me: 23 years old. Well, that one didnt happen. But there are more.
I have Mars at 15 degrees Leo in the 7th house. If we count back the degrees to the DC (18' Can) – in this case we get 27 degrees in between – another possible marriage age.
I also have the Sun at 26' Taurus, 12 degrees away from my IC. Obviously I would not be getting married at 12 yrs. old. In some cases you double the number, as in this case. And I have 24 another possible marriage date. I was with the (one of) love of my life at that age, and although we didnt get married, I felt like I was married to him. A very karmic relationship.
Okay now to the Moon. At 29 degrees Virgo in the 8th house. The next closest angle is my MC at 14' Scorp. There are 44 degrees between these two points. Fourty-four years old is another possible marriage timer.
Now obviously you cant rely on this way of timing alone. There are other things that will set it off if there is to be an actual marriage. In actual marriages you will often see about 9 or more triggers. Whether they be by transit, secondary progression, solar return planets aspecting natal planets, most likely a number of these things going on all at once. Dont rely on this alone. It is definately a great timing tool though.
The best timer for any event but especially marriages for women is a Moon/Mars aspect. Usually the conjunction of the two. (not transiting moon to mars though )
I will provide some more info if you’d like when I can find the book I learned all of this from. This is just something I remembered and it is usually spot on.
Again I will say there will be many other things going on in the chart at the time of something important like a marriage. There is alot to be looked at. This can give a good reference though.
I’ll look for the book and get back to you. Pay close attention to the Progressed Moon. It is the biggest timer in a chart.
***Also this method doesnt work for every chart. Some people’s love planets are all too far away from the angles. In this case you look to other methods. It doesnt mean you wont get married.