Astrology and Relationships - Composite chart vs Davison chart

The composite chart in astrology is believed to show the life force of a relationship between two people, as an entity of its own. A similar idea goes for the Davison chart. Lately I've been thinking about the differences between these two approaches. Does one make more sense than the other? Note that the ideas given here are mostly speculation, and not something experience has shown to be the case.

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The composite chart

The composite chart is basically a midpoint horoscope. What does that mean? Let's take the fictive example of Clara and James, a married couple. Clara is a Leo Sun sign, and her Sun is at 15 degrees Leo. James is a Libra, with the Sun at 15 degrees Libra, which makes a perfect sextile in between the Suns of this couple in a traditional synastry overlay (a 60 degree separation).

The composite chart between Clara and James will be a NEW horoscope, showing the midpoints of all the planets between the two. Hence the Sun in their composite chart will be placed at 15 degrees Virgo, exactly between the Leo Sun of Clara and the Libra Sun of James. The very same approach goes for the other planets. Whatever their natal positions in the respective horoscope are, you find the midpoint between them and that reveals the position of the planet in their composite horoscope. Same goes for the Ascendant and Midheaven, which in turn will be the basis for the calculation of houses in the composite.

The limitations of a composite chart

The composite chart is not a "real" horoscope. It does not correspond to a certain time and place, something we have come to expect from an astrological chart. It is not the reflection of a person or an event. It's the combination of two people. Except from the philosophical difficulties related to such a notion, we also have the problem of the distribution of planets. In what might be termed a "natural" horoscope, the inner planets (Mercury and Venus) cannot appear beyond a certain distance to the Sun. This is because their astronomical orbits are closer to the Sun than the Earth's orbit, the latter being the "outlook" point of a horoscope.

In a composite chart however, the possibility exists for Sun, Venus and Mercury to go beyond their natural limits and form an opposition to each other. There have been suggestions on how to treat these deviations, and while very reasonable, they still pose some problems for the coherence of the chart.

A composite chart should only be considered when an actual relationship has been established between two people. This in contrast to a traditional synastric overlay, where you can compare the aspects and house positions between two strangers, if you fancy, to give an estimate of the levels of attraction and compatibility. Whether the rule for a composite chart should apply also to the Davison chart remains an open question.

The advantages of a composite chart

Midpoints between planets are believed to be important in astrology, and it makes sense to extend this idea to partnership horoscopes. Let's say we believe the natal horoscope reflects the essense of a person's motivations, personality, talents, needs and so on. There is then an intuitive truth to the idea that the astronomical/mathematical combination of two natal horoscopes would show the ultimate result of a blending of the traits found in the respective individuals.

For that reason, perhaps it makes more sense to consider the combination of the CHARTS of two people, rather than than the midpoint between the time and place of their births, which constitutes the Davison chart. When you consider the difference from an energy perspective, you might think of the composite chart as more in tune with what each person brings to the union, based on their own natal horoscope conditions.

On the other hand, while the composite chart may be the merging of everything the individuals bring with them, is that really what constitutes and defines the nature of a relationship?

The Davison chart

A Davison chart is quite a beautiful thing. It is the meeting point in space and time between the births of two people. Hence, if you were born on 20 April 1970 in London, and I was born on July 23 in Moscow, our Davison chart will take into account the totality of the years, days, hours and minutes between our births, and find the midpoint in time. It will then also find the geographical longitude and latitude that lies exactly between our birth towns, and erect the horoscope from this data. In contrast to the composite horoscope, the Davison chart is a real astrological chart mirroring a certain moment in time and space.

If there is such a thing as the reality of any relationship, then I believe the Davison chart is the most accurate astrological representation of this. As complicated and intermingled the parts that make up this reality may be, perhaps the Davison chart gives the crystallization of the relationship at whole. It is not the "combination" of two people, but rather the latent potentiality of their worlds colliding. I hesitate very much to use the word, but maybe it will give a clue as to the fate of a relationship, whether romantic or other.

The composite reveals the inner dynamics of two energy patterns meeting (shown by the natal horoscopes), whereas the Davison may show how the relationship actually effects the individuals in an external sense. And even more importantly - how it evolves over time, through the transits of planets.

What you choose to focus on, in the end, is up to you. The choice could be made depending on what kind of information one is looking for. You may prefer one of the two approaches and ignore the other completely, or use both of them. Find out what works for you.

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