The composite chart is the midpoint of your planets and angles with another person. For example, if your sun is at 25 degrees gemini and your partner's sun is at 25 degrees cancer, the composite chart sun would be at 10 degrees cancer. This is because there is a 30 degree separation between the suns, so you must divide this in two to get 15 degrees, and then you add 15 degrees to the sun which is earlier in the zodiac, 25 degrees gemini. The result is 10 degrees cancer. Fortunately, there is software to calculate the composite chart, and you may create a free chart on www.astro.com. We think of the composite chart as useful for learning about the karma, strengths, weaknesses, personality and overall flavour of a relationship. This is the energy projected onto the world by the couple, and how they are viewed in society when they are together.
You can compare your natal planets and angles to the planets and angles of the composite to see how the relationship affects you. For instance, if your natal north and south nodes are the same as the composite's ascendant- descendant axis, this relationship will have a profound impact on you, and feel very fated, regardless of how long you stay together. If your moon is conjunct the IC of the composite, you will feel naturally at home with the person and may feel you get into deep conversations, sharing things you normally don't share with others so quickly, or at all. The relationship has an unusual comfort that develops at a fast pace, and you can find yourself pouring out your soul to this person.
We can see one-sided relationships through the composite, when one person's natal chart is highly activated and the other person's is not. For instance, if my natal sun-moon opposition falls close to the asc-dsc axis or MC-IC axis of the relationship chart, it will play an important role in my self-concept and self-development. I may have a high attachment to the relationship. For the relationship to be a long term, mutually engaging one, both people's natal charts must be activated by the composite. The synastry chart must be studied along with composite to get a comprehensive analysis.
I find that the composite is an invaluable tool for gaining insight into the themes and trends affecting a relationship at any given time period so I use it in my predictive readings. The transiting planets and eclipses affect a composite chart in the same way they affect a natal chart. The retrograde and direct motion of outer planets are relevant in the timing of energetic shifts. To help you to see how this operates, I will use an example of a couple who briefly dated. From the woman's perspective, she had met a man in the past few weeks whom she connected with immediately; she was thinking about him often and was able to share her innermost feelings. They spent hours talking on the phone every night and when they met in person it would be sweet and romantic. It felt to her that it was just the two of them regardless of how many people were there. He said the right things at the right times and she felt special with him.
Looking at their composite, the asc-dsc axis at 17 virgo-17 pisces was just one degree away from her sun-moon midpoint at 18 degrees virgo and was closely conjunct her solar arc directed asc-dsc axis. This is significant as it shows the degree of investment and hopes projected onto the relationship, at least from the woman's side. I could see the intensity of connection she felt in quite a few ways. To name some of the most important:
1. the composite vertex was 8 degrees away from the composite descendant,
2. his converse progressed asc-dsc axis was 4 degrees away from the composite asc-dsc axis,
3. his converse progressed vertex was exactly conjunct the composite vertex,
4. the composite nodes were 8 degrees from the composite asc-dsc axis,
5.his natal nodes were just 4 degrees away from the composite asc-dsc axis,
6.his progressed vertex made an exact conjunction to her natal sun,
7.the composite moon was 3 degrees away from the composite IC,
8. both of their natal moons were conjunct the composite chart IC, hers by 3 degrees and his by 8 degrees. Her converse progressed vertex made a one degree conjunction to the composite IC.
9. his secondary progressed venus was just 1 degree away from the composite asc-dsc axis, and was just 2 degrees away from her natal sun-moon midpoint.
10. his secondary progressed asc-dsc was 3 degrees away from her natal IC-MC and his secondary progressed MC-IC was just 2 degrees away from her natal asc-dsc axis.
11. his solar arc directed venus made an exact conjunction to her secondary progressed ascendant
12. her natal nodes were conjunct his natal asc-dsc axis by 8 degrees
Intensity and excitement do not necessarily translate into longevity and I wasn't optimistic regarding the long term potential. Looking at the aspects, it would be fair to conclude that they had a strong genuine mutual attraction with the potential for great emotional depth. At the same time, it was not real love nor the type of enduring karmic bond you would see in couples who marry or stay together for a long period. The main issues were caused by hard aspects to neptune. Neptune was of greater significance to her because her natal neptune made an exact conjunction to her natal vertex and squared her natal nodes by just 1 degree. Hard neptune aspects cause unrealistic expectations, putting the other on a pedestal, and being disappointed when the partner can't live up to those expectations. It can also cause people to be less than honest, vague, sometimes deliberately lying, confusing and gaslighting the other for their own purposes. With hard neptune aspects, we ignore red flags despite the advice of those closest to us. We can go to great lengths to justify what should not be justified, and to accept treatment we would not put up with from other people. We hope in vain the other person will change when there is no reasonable basis for it. We ignore objective information about their past and present to arrive at the conclusions we desire.
These are some of the most problematic neptune aspects:
1. There was an opposition between venus and neptune (I call this the heartbreak aspect) in the composite. Her progressed venus was opposed to their natal neptune, his natal venus made a quincunx (minor hard aspect) to their natal neptune and his converse progressed venus was oppose their natal neptune, all within 2-3 degrees. Her converse progressed venus was square their natal neptunes (widely).
2. Though the composite showed a trine between mercury and neptune, her secondary progressed neptune made an exact opposition to his natal neptune and his natal mercury squared her natal neptune which made miscommunication and both concious and unconscious deceit prominent. They both heard what they want to hear from the other.
3. His solar arc directed moon made a one degree conjunction to her natal neptune. This is a highly idealistic and sensitive aspect. At the same time, people try to shape the relationship into something it can't be and get disappointed when the other's human flaws become more apparent.
4. Her natal mars was opposite his natal neptune. His mars (which was his 7th house ruler) squared his own and her natal neptune. His neptune squared his asc-dsc axis. Because of his natal aspects, he had a strong natural tendency to see partners not as who they were but who he wanted them to be. This would stay with him all his life and affect all his partners.
In addition to this, looking at the chart for the day they had their first date, transiting venus, sun, and mars were widely square their natal neptune and the asc-dsc axis of the first date chart. The transiting moon, saturn, north node and pluto were widely conjunct their natal neptune. The ascendant of the first date chart was 15 degrees capricorn, meaning that it made a conjunction to their natal neptune and had transiting saturn, north node and pluto within 5 degrees of the ascendant.
There was good reason to believe that her feelings would abruptly change with the direct motion of neptune, when the rose colored glasses came off. This was set to happen about 7 weeks from the date they met.
Transiting neptune on the day they met was at 16 degrees pisces and it was retrograde. For saturn, uranus, neptune and pluto, we can feel the energetic shift for a week before they go direct and before they go retrograde. Six days before neptune turned direct, she had a change of heart and informed him she didn't see a future for them romantically. There was an eclipse at 4 degrees capricorn that made a conjunction to both of their natal neptunes at 7 degrees capricorn. This eclipse occurred a month after she broke up with him. Keep in mind each person must have their own personal transits signalling a break up, the transiting neptune and the eclipse are just a few triggers.
Eclipses can have their effects retroactively for up to a year or can be triggered by transits for up to 5 years after they occur (depending on the power of that particular eclipse). The eclipse can show its effects around the actual day/week of the eclipse, or perhaps the preceeding or following month, if this is so it does not need a planetary transit for its effects. This is in contrast to new and full moons in which the strongest effects are always felt within the month, if it does activate an important point in your chart. The new and full moons always fall in a house where its possible you feel some effect but you may not notice anything significant unless it makes a hard aspect (including a conjunction) to a planet, angle, vertex or node.
As relayed to me, it was a shock to him. She felt she was being fair because a few weeks prior, she clearly communicated the issues she saw in the relationship, along with suggestions on how to make things better. He listened and said he would try to change the behaviour that most upset her, and then never made any effort to change. She was willing to adjust her expectations but he was not meeting her halfway. The fact that he did not try at all was the last straw, because this showed he didn't value her. His sun and south node fell in her natal 2nd house, and his converse progressed mercury right on the cusp of her natal 2nd house, so he had a greater effect on her sense of self-worth than usual. She kept in touch with him for a couple months after that via phone and text, to see whether they may function better as friends. It was difficult because she felt he wasn't making an effort to stay in touch with her and was distant during their conversations, despite verbally saying he wanted to stay friends. Finally, as neptune crossed the composite descendant, 4-5 months after they met, her feelings for him changed permanently as she reflected on his behaviour and felt he was not at the man he pretended to be in the beginning. It was clear to her she did not want him in her life as either a friend or a lover. With the direct motion of neptune, she was able to think clearly and let him out of her heart and mind.