Inner Planets to Angles: Electric Bolts from the Blue

Synastry Studies by Dawn Bodrogi

We’ve all felt it at one time or another, that feeling of instant ‘ooo la la.’ Our eyes meet another’s, we feel a frisson of electricity, and then we know. We’re at home, at peace, and it feels good to be known. We’re complete. This is the ‘other’ we’ve been waiting for.

There are a lot of aspects that are responsible for this kind of sudden attraction, usually from the outer planets: Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. The “three bullies,” as I call them, all act as magnets when they attach themselves to one of our more personal or sensitive areas.

But the most potent, and dependable, source of attraction is something a lot of people don’t pay enough attention to in synastry, and that is planetary contact with the angles and angle rulers. (The “angles” are the Ascendant, IC or Imum Coeli, the Descendant, and the MC or Medium Coeli.) It doesn’t matter what planet it is; if it falls on your angles from someone else’s chart you will feel it immediately, and often profoundly. And because the angles are what they are, they provide a kind of intimacy that often eludes the outer planet attractions.

Angle Ruler Contacts

Comparison of angles and angle ruler contacts used to be considered crucial in synastry. In fact, it used to be an astrological ‘rule’ that you couldn’t have a long-term relationship unless the angles of one person hit the relationship planets (Venus-Mars, Moon-Saturn and the Sun) of another, or the angle rulers were in contact, in some way.

The Sun and the Moon are a natural archetypal pairing, much like Yin and Yang. But the other planets here are considered relationship planets because they have to do with our relations with the external world. We have the polarity of Aries-Libra, and their natural association with the Ascendant/Descendant and ‘Self’ versus ‘Other.’ But we also have the polarity of Cancer-Capricorn and Moon-Saturn. This is the polarity of ‘inside’ (Moon) versus ‘outside’ (Saturn): What I have within versus what I must make of myself. And these are the natural rulers of the fourth and tenth houses, representative of yet another angle, the MC/IC (Imum Coeli/Medium Coeli). Who can deny that both conditioning (IC) and status/growth (MC) play their part in our attractions?

Angles and the Cardinal Cross

In essence, our relationships are determined by the archetype of the cardinal cross. Cardinal signs are known by the keyword ‘initiation.’ In other words, our cardinal houses, and our angles, get things going. This is how love makes the world go round. It’s no accident that our relationships are often the greatest spur to our spiritual growth.

But, for some reason, angles are not treated with the respect that they deserve. While we’re all busy figuring out the meaning of the midpoint between Ceres and the Black Moon, the angles languish in confusion and anonymity. A lot of people are uncomfortable with the idea of the rising sign itself, and mostly we relegate each angle half to one or two keywords: the Ascendant is ‘the mask,’ the IC represents ‘family,’ the Descendant is ‘partner,’ and the MC is ‘career.’ What a sad and simplistic description for so dynamic and active a cross.

Angle Calculations

Our angles are gateways to our own becoming, which is why they are so potent in relationship ties. Angles aren’t static, but are descriptive of who we are as a work in progress. (In fact, you can see this clearly if you work with secondary progressions, in which the role of the angles becomes crystal clear.) When something touches our angles, it touches the deepest part of our experience as human beings. Angles open up the floodgate of meaningful experience. This is why transits to angles are often more potent than transits to planets.

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Angles are as sensitive as antennae, as raw as nerves, and as responsive as fuel to a flame. Angles are calculated by a measurement of time and space. Time and space create our material reality. In a natal chart, this cross of matter intersects the eternal spirit (the circle). Ultimately, they represent how we negotiate our time on this earth. The natal chart is a diagram of the way our eternal spirit connects and evolves through our earthly experience. Without angles, we have no compass. We have no North to guide us.

One of the reasons astrology places so much emphasis on the angles in synastry, is that when angle meets planet there is constant stimulation. If a person’s planet is on our angles, and they excite or attract us in some way, they are likely to always do so. It isn’t the same with planetary pairings, who often learn their lessons and move on. The immediate attraction with angles often remains stimulating long after that Venus-Mars trine between the charts has become ho hum. Couples who are still holding hands after long decades together often have lots of angle contact, or angles emphasized in the composite chart. They still feel the initial ‘buzz.’ (Of course, this can go both ways. If there is someone irritating you with a difficult planet, or if your angle is hitting something uncomfortable in the other chart, you’ll feel that, too.)

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Inner Planets to Angles

On the whole, inner planets to angles are a positive thing, unless the planet is very troubled in the other chart. We get to know that planet intimately through another being. The planet person feels that planet enhanced and made stronger and louder through the contact. All aspects matter, but mainly we should be paying attention to the conjunction (and, by natural course, the opposition) and the square. These connections get even juicier if the planet involved is also an angle ruler, particularly of the Ascendant or Descendant.

Here’s a quick overview of the inner planets to angles:

  • The Sun on any angle brings feelings of acceptance, warmth and a kind of creative liberation (I celebrate myself).
  • The Moon falling on an angle brings a powerful intimacy, and a sense of feeling known and understood.
  • Mercury on an angle stimulates the desire and ability to connect and share, and will mitigate any communication issues there may be between the charts.
  • Venus stimulates pleasure, appreciation and often a sense of beauty in the other and in ourselves.
  • Mars brings fire and desire to any angle it touches. It makes us feel alive. Aside from the sexual component, it provides a great stimulus to get things going.

Aspects to the IC/MC

We’re used to using the Ascendant/Descendant as the compass for relationship, but aspects to the IC/MC can be just as profound. When the IC is contacted, the other person feels like home to us. I’ve known him/her forever; words are not necessary (unless you have Gemini on the IC). Like the Descendant, the IC carries a bit of shadow to it. It isn’t the most open of houses. We take refuge in our IC; we keep our secrets there. It’s where we feel safe. We may welcome someone’s Sun or Moon or Jupiter there, but feel less sure whether we want to let Mars in, when he comes knocking. The IC symbolizes our seat of power, the place we are most deeply ourselves, and we can feel vulnerable, if that is exposed. Contacts to our IC from another person’s planet can either inspire a deep sense of belonging, or cause us to feel endangered and at risk.

Back in the days when social status was destiny (particularly for women), it is easy to see how the MC played a part in marriage and relationships. The MC represented your status in the community. A good marriage gave you status, and a partner whose Sun fell on your MC would fit the bill nicely. We like to think that that kind of thing doesn’t occur anymore, but we all know it does. Status can play a huge part in our choice of mate. When the MC is stimulated by another person’s planet we can feel newly awakened, ambitious and alive. This person’s perception of me is just what I wished my idea of myself could be. The MC plays a huge part in whether or not we achieve our potential. Synastry contacts there assure that our partner is our support and/or stimulus to our dreams. The MC is also emphasized when material security is an issue. This is particularly true if a woman is not in touch with her own masculine energy (Sun, Mars, Saturn). If she has problems ‘owning’ these planets, the quick fix is to marry them, and often there are contacts from the masculine planets to the MC when this occurs.

Angles in Action

Now, imagine that we’re walking around the earth with our angles sticking out, hungry for experience and life’s encounters. We meet someone whose Venus conjuncts our Descendant. This person seems to be perfection personified, the embodiment of everything we’ve ever valued or desired—everything lovely, in fact, that isn’t us. Now, if Mars is there instead of Venus, it’s more directly sexual. The shiver of attraction could be palpable. We may love the way this person does things—how he or she moves, walks, breathes. We feel the steam, no matter what sign, no matter what other aspects it may make. The person feels to us, deep down, as if s/he is our natural mate, and we can’t wait to get to him or her.

Of course, angles tend to exaggerate whatever touches them, so if our supposed ‘ideal’ of Venus/Descendant above also has Pluto opposite that Venus, and falling on our Ascendant, the power struggles inherent in the person’s Venus-Pluto tussle will profoundly affect my sense of myself, and my relationships. We will still feel the Venus, but it will be deeper and darker and slightly threatening, though we will feel no less attracted. We may be put through the wringer, but later will realize that the relationship taught us a great deal about our own inner strength, and the values that we attach to partnership.

I know of one couple where her Descendant ruler, Mars, is conjunct his Descendant, and his Descendant ruler, Uranus, is conjunct her Ascendant. These two have one of the most incompatible synastries I’ve ever seen, in terms of inter-aspects between charts, but the relationship has been running for some time on the fire of this attraction, backed with a couple of positive progressions. It’s also a powerful magnet if the Ascendant or Descendant rulers conjunct in any way. It makes us feel as if the other person plays a major part in our becoming whole.

Our angles can convey the very essence of what we need for fulfillment, and can reach out to connect to the essence of another. If you want to be a true student of synastry, closer analysis of your angles will give you greater insight into your attractions and teach you valuable lessons about sustaining relationships.

What do you see when you look at your angles and angle rulers? Let us know in comments below.

About Dawn Bodrogi

Dawn Bodrogi has studied astrology since the age of twelve, and has been a practicing astrologer for over twenty years with a special emphasis on synastry. Her studies in Jungian psychology, alchemy, and Buddhist philosophy inform her work. Her upcoming book, The Inner Wheel, takes a new look at interpreting secondary progressions. You can see more of Dawn’s work at her blog, The Inner Wheel: Living with Astrology.


  1. Excellent article, Dawn.
    My husband and I share tons of personal planet/angle contacts but the biggie is his Saturn bang on my Cancer AC. Stabilizing.
    Now, Saturn does not rule any of his angles but it does rule my DC so I’m thinking he brings that reliability/authority (that I admire so much) right up front.

  2. I have experienced this not once but THREE TIMES in great depth. All three were disappointing experiences though very very very very very very very very long lasting connections. I can honestly say that right now, I hate this cosmic aspect of synastry. Absolutely HATE it. I’m open to being vunerable, but just would like for it to at least one time be a gratifying experience. It always seems like I end up being the trademark person or the pattern woman for them…someone who they use to compare others to and I guess I could appreciate that if I were an ego maniac, but that’s not the case…I’m far from it, so that doesn’t do anything at all for me as far as gaining any sense of gratification from it.

    Angle contacts for me suck! lol I think that it has to do with the energy brought to those angle contacts and how they don’t do well with my sun or moon in Pi. Leo is on my IC…and men with heavy Leo placements are drawn to me in bunches, and while I admire the leadership qualities…they’re too agressive, self centered, and haughty for me. Taurus on my IC and Scorp on my DC. Again, highly aggro men who are either super possessive (both of them) or manipulative/secretive (Scorpio). Aquarius on my DC…lol So you know what happens there…detachment. *sighs*. Though all of these connections have been very passionate, in the end, they aren’t healthy for me personally…so far that is.

    Nadia…what you’ve pointed out is a GREAT synastry for stability. Kudos for drawing that energy to you.

    Any suggestions? I’ve really been asking myself lately…is it me afterall?

  3. @Dawn Bodrogi
    This has been a most useful and clarifying article. You make note that the conjunction, opposition, and square are especially significant regarding the angles. Why these more so than the trines and sextiles?

  4. NovLady:

    Hard aspects are mobilizing forces. They stimulate us, get us going. They’re hard to ignore. Soft aspects can be real sleepers. They’re nice to have between charts, but they aren’t going to give us the wake up call that a hard aspect will. We need challenges and growth in relationships, and the hard aspects provide that. A soft aspect from a planet to an angle is a good experience, but often so gentle that the impact fades away after the initial bloom of romance. We may get so used to it that we take it for granted.

  5. MsTeeq1974:

    I sympathize with you, having Sun and Moon in Pisces and fixed signs on angles. Just as you described, you would find the fixity very harsh to deal with, especially as the angles describe our experience of the most important and influential areas of our lives. The best way to deal with this is to find the highest expression of these fixed signs in yourself: the creativity of Leo, the strength of Taurus, the drive of Scorpio and the forward vision of Aquarius. If you live out your angles, you may draw a gentler and more highly developed native of the sign to yourself.

  6. @Dawn Bodrogi
    I like how you suggest owning the qualities of these angles.

    When dealing with a conjunction to someone else’s angles, how do you interpret since the conjunction blends and is so powerful? Do you look at both person’s aspects of the planet affecting or are there other ways to decipher the affect of your influence (sine these are dynamic aspects).

    For instance, how does Venus Conjunct DSC versus Oppose affect chemistry?

  7. I am noticing that I share a moon Conjunct DSC for someone, venus Conjunct ASC for someone else, and a pot Saturn Conjunct ASC for another. Does this mean that as the planet person I am stimulating much of the effects?

  8. NovLady:

    Well, as far as conjunctions are concerned with the angles, there will always be an opposition: if a planet is conjunct one end of an angle it will be opposite the other end. The opposition is implied in the interpretation–for example, that Venus conjunct Desc willl emphasize ‘other’ at the possible negation of “Self” at the Asc. In other words, it will be all about the Venus person, and one of the lessons of the opposition factor will be to learn to appreciate the Self as well as appreciate Other. Squares are very pronounced and may be irritating, but they will stimulate both ends of the angle equally, forcing a balance which may not come so easily to conjunction/opposition.

    If you are the planet person, you will feel that planet magnified in the angle person’s orbit. The angle person will be stimulated by your planet to complete the work of that angle. It can be very compelling.

  9. @ Dawn….that is EXCELLENT advice. I have the strength, drive, and visionary forward movement that you are speaking of. I always have and it’s what people most admire about me. I feel these urges on a primal level and never have I been stuck in a rut so to speak in life in general. I’ve always had the vision along with the strength and drive to set myself up for success and then ACHIEVE it…always in hot pursuit of progression. I’m stuck in a relationship rut in that I seem to keep meeting the same man, different face, vibe, personality, etc. However, the relationship pattern keeps repeating itself. To be fair, I’ve just started to give my love life the much needed attention it deserves in the past couple of years, so I’m a novice in that as well. The strong drive to move forward has always lead me away from romance as romance is driven by the desire for partnership and needs a more patient, slower paced, emotive, and adaptable attitude to flourish. I get that now.

    Thank you for pointing this out, because what IS undernourished is the creativity. I’m often times so fixed on forward movement/progression that I don’t take the time to fully enjoy/fulfill my creative pursuits. For instance, Last month I took a day trip to a nearby city and have FABULOUS pictures of my journey. That was my purpose…to tour, drink coffee (It’s Seattle and that’s what you do when you visit there lol), have lunch, take pics, and enjoy the sunset. I have yet to offload those pics from my camera. This is a PERFECT example. lol So…again, THANKS!!!

    I do have one question though…if you don’t mind. In my lack of understanding, I can’t see how nourishing my creative pursuits would enhance my love life. It just seems to me that it would create a tighter bubble of self fulfillment that would actually alienate a potential partner as the strength, drive, and forward movement seems to have done so.

    That is always the primary underlying complaint of potential partners. I don’t have that yielding…I need you vibe…totally self contained and this is why I’m asking. I have been told by SEVERAL female friends that I would make a great boyfriend. LMBO!!! How will fulfilled creativity open doors to romance and partnership?

    I know this post is a long one so please forgive me. I’m just trying to figure some things out in light of what I’ve learned through astrology. This is a major problem (when it comes to partnership), but I know there’s a viable solution that I haven’t tapped into.

  10. Hi Dawn.

    I had a great reading from you few years back. I am so happy that you have your own website and column now. I have always been a fan of your astrological writings and readings.

    Regarding this topic, two of my ex boyfriends with whom I had long relationships had their Venus, Pluto, Uranus conjunct my ascendent. Both are born within a couple of days of each other, in the same month and year. And my own Sun, Venus, Mercury and Moon conjunct one’s IC, and the other’s MC. I am still good friends with both. It seems like we have an unbreakable bond.

    Looking forward to reading more from you.


  11. Oops…meant Taurus on my AC, Leo on my IC, Scorpio on my DC, and Aqua on my MC. I never paid attention to the fact that collectively there are all fixed signs on my angles. You’re right…anyone who touches these points will definitely BE a fixed person. Maybe I have been dealing with moderately evolved fixed people. lol Hmmm….I wonder where the highly evolved fixed men are. LMBO!!!

    Thanks again, because this is something that I’ve been studying on my own and you just helped boost my studies forward a heapful.

    To be continued….

  12. Ms Teeq:

    Regarding the question of creativity and self-development–the purpose of relationships (or one of them, from a spiritual point of view) is to awaken us to what is already inside us, but lying dormant or hidden to us. Often, this knowledge comes to us in a negative way, pointing towards what we are lacking and making us feel inadequate. If you embrace your own creativity, you will avoid the type of relationship where your partner is doing all the ‘self-expression’ and you are doing all of the coping with it. Creativity expresses itself in a lot of ways, not just artistically, and it is thoroughly tied in with you expressing who you are in relationship in a genuine manner. If this doesn’t happen, you will feel oppressed and put upon. This is why embracing the strengths of the fixed signs is so important to your relationship issues.

  13. Farah–

    Thank you for your kind words, and for sharing your experience on this topic. (I remember our reading very well. I’ve only had one client with Farah spelled with a single r.) Hope you continue to enjoy the articles both here and on The Inner Wheel.

  14. Thanks for another wonderfully interesting article. It’s always fantastic to be directed to something that I’ve never noticed before – our Pluto Uranus conjunction are ascendant rulers.

    I would say that our inner planet synastry is not overly positive, but there are many angle aspects. I have moon opp mercury square my MC. He has neptune opp moon conjunct MC/IC. My moon is conjunct his neptune hence many links. With contacts like that could we be beneficial to eath other’s MC square, or just too many emotions and confusion?

    We both have Saturn conjunct DC in our synastry – a relationship from the first meeting!

  15. amedeverseau says:

    my sun, my venus AND my mars are in his 7th house. would that make his attraction to me pretty intense? also, my mars is in leo, but his 7th house is in cancer. but this astrology report, still put my mars in his 7th house, and i guess i just find it weird that the planet can be a different sign than the house its in…does that change things?

  16. Isabella Cates says:

    Hi Dawn – what about having Asc. conjunct Dsc with someone? I imagine it wouldn’t be as powerful but sort of a natural kinship, maybe?

  17. Hi Dawn,

    This article is excellent and so informative. My Saturn/Mars opposition conjuncts my son’s ascendant/descendent and his Pluto (my asc ruler) conjucts my asc. I’ve been worried over the years that he would feel crushed by all of that Saturn, but it seems that I’ve managed to impart a sense of responsibility without damaging his sense of adventure (My Saturn and his asc are in Sag). Of course motherhood would transform one’s life, but the transformations in my life because of him are more profound than I care to share on an open
    I do have a question though. If a man’s 12th house Venus/Lilith conjunction conjuncts a woman’s descendent does her project all of that on her? His Venus configuration is 11 degrees from his asc and his sun is between them. He considers himself to be a nut magnet, and became a little (more than a little) agitated when I suggested that it was his own energy that he wasn’t owning and that’s why he kept encountering it in relationship after relationship.

  18. Amelia Susce says:

    What if my ASC conjuncts his ASC & my MC conjuncts his MC?Im a little confussed if this is a good indication or if it would be better my ASC conjunct his MC? which would be considered all the angles conjunct?

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