You might think joint birth chart readings are only for couples who visit an astrologer to learn more about their compatibility and the future of their relationship. But the idea of astrological compatibility isn't limited to your love life. Scheduling a joint birth chart reading with your parents, instead of your SO, can be just as enlightening.
Compatibility is a bit of a tricky subject in astrology, due to the wide range of theories about which planets and placements actually matter. When it comes to reading you and your parents, an astrologer will analyse your relationship with one parent and then the other (trust us, it's simpler that way). First, they'll lay your charts on top of each other, so that all of your respective planetary placements appear to be on one mega chart known as a "composite chart". This way, the astrologer can more easily compare where the sun is on your chart to where it happens to be on your mum's chart, for example. Then the reading will begin in earnest.
According to astrologer Amy Tripp, your astrologer will likely focus their reading on the locations of the sun and the moon in your respective charts. The former represents one's sense of identity and the latter represents one's emotions, so they both have leading roles to play in how your relate to each of your parents.
Your astrologer can certainly find meaning by analyzing how your sun and moon signs mesh with those of your parent — maybe your Cancer moon makes you particularly sensitive to your mother's blunt honesty, courtesy of her Leo sun. But, Tripp adds, they'll probably go a bit deeper and look for any interesting aspects, or angles, between your planetary placements and your parent's.
For instance, "it's common and important to see harmonious Saturn links from a parent’s chart to a child’s chart," Tripp explains. She adds that "Saturn is the planet of commitment, discipline, and permanence." In other words, its position can reflect the dynamic between you and your parent pretty clearly. A "harmonious" aspect, like a trine, between your parent's Saturn and your sun could suggest that your parent is supportive and genuinely encouraged you to chase your personal pursuits. But, a more difficult aspect, like a conjunction or a square, may indicate your parent's tendency to talk down to you or rain on your parade. As astrologer Annie Heese writes, you can usually learn something profound from looking at this area of your composite chart.
Tripp says your astrologer may also look at the aspects between the inner or "personal planets" on your composite chart during the reading, since these planets (Mercury, Venus, and Mars) influence how you communicate, handle conflict, and express emotions. "A parent who has Venus conjunct [in the same sign as] their child’s sun would bring Venus themes (love, harmony, affection, beauty) to the child’s spirit and ego (sun)," she says. "This would be a very harmonious aspect to share between any two people."
Then, your astrologer will repeat the whole process with you and your other parent.
At the end of the reading, you may come away with little to no new information. After all, if you and your parents are relatively close, you probably understand the inner workings of your relationship with them already. But, if you've always wondered why you have a hard time speaking your mind around them or why you have such different senses of humour, you just may find that the answer was in your composite chart all along.