Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to spot a romantic deceiver? There is, if you can have a look at their birth chart. Read on for some astrological red flags of the guy or gal who is so good at drawing you in, then letting you down. Some of these aspects will be obvious, some not. One caveat: although these aspects can be associated with manipulation or deceit, every person with these sign/planet combinations is not guaranteed to manifest their negative expressions. Everyone has a choice about how they use the energies in their chart. So if you have one of the aspects listed here, and you’re an upstanding partner — great! Speak up in the comments section with examples of how you use your powers for good.
The Dark Mother/Child: Pluto Squaring or Opposing Moon in Cancer
Moon in Cancer tops the list of planet/sign combinations that need security and nurturing. Cancer is the archetype of the Mother and the Child. Add a tough aspect from natal Pluto, and these needs can become twisted. Pluto intensifies, while adding an instinct for ferreting out vulnerabilities in others.
Vij’s Moon in Cancer squares Pluto, and he is a bottomless pit of need. He attracts, then grabs onto, a partner whom he senses can provide the comfort that was missing in his childhood. He’s the wounded animal, waiting to be healed. He appears deliciously vulnerable, and he’s usually in the middle of an emotional crisis. You just want to take him home. But his childhood featured some trauma (symbolized by the hard Pluto aspect) so he has become a master of emotional defensiveness. It’s all about feeling safe for him, and that means keeping you on edge (because an insecure partner is easily controlled). He insinuates himself into your life, so you feel like you cannot function without him. But the moment he feels threatened, he abruptly withdraws. Intensely loving, vulnerable Vij becomes cold and unfeeling. You’re left confused, hurt and desperate to experience that magnetic current of emotion that he offers (when it suits him). This is the dark, devouring Mother/Child archetype. The truth is, no one will be able to provide the security that Vij craves. He needs to find that sustenance within himself, rather than sucking it from his partners.
The Sparkling Distractor: Mercury Square or Opposite Uranus
[ad]You’d think this aspect would lead to honest, upfront communication. Isn’t Uranian energy all about clarity? It is, but it’s also the energy of disruption and detachment. In hard aspect to the planet of intellect and communication, it can indicate someone who lives in their head, and is uncomfortable with intimacy.
Su-Jin is a sparkler when you first talk with her. She’s flirtatious, unconventional, and seems to take an interest in every word you say. But if you look at bit closer, you’ll see her eyes darting around the room, searching for something more interesting. Notice how she interrupts you, or shifts the conversation on a dime? This is Uranus’ energy, stepping in when things get uncomfortable. She’ll talk about random things, or say something shocking, in an attempt to distract you from whatever topic she’d rather not confront (it will usually involve feelings, or something about her past). Making plans with her can be next to impossible, because she hates being tied down. Years of this communication style has alienated others from Sun-Jin, but her mind is so active that she’s created whacked-out stories about why this is so. She hangs onto these ideas (Uranus’ energy can create fanaticism), so having a rational discussion with her is challenging. But she is capable of deep feelings. She’s just out of practice, and needs to engage with people in a way that doesn’t hold them at arm’s length.
The Illusionist: Personal planets (in Gemini or Sagittarius) Square, Opposite or Conjunct Neptune
This is not a Gemini/Sag bashing article. Lots of folks with the above mentioned configurations are simply imaginative partners with a lovely romantic streak. But for some, Neptune’s dreamy energy — combined with Gemini’s ability to tell stories, or Sag’s ability to up-sell — can create a partner who weaves beautiful dreams with no basis in reality. Often, there’s no malicious intent behind these big (but empty) promises. They simply find it easier to express themselves in broad brushstrokes; the details are ignored.
Chris has a Venus/Mercury conjunction in Gemini (opposite Neptune) and has difficulty deciding what he wants in a relationship. He is continually aware of other options, so he’ll make pretty (but vague) statements to you. If he can’t be held accountable, there’s always an exit. Bill’s Mars in Sag (square Neptune) is focused on the thrill of what lies over the horizon. He would love nothing more than to have you join him on his next great adventure, and you get caught up with his evangelical fervor. The problem is, his actions (Mars) are undermined by illusion (Neptune). He gives up, overwhelmed by a sense of futility and disappointment (and lets you down in the process). The issue with any planet in Gemini/Sagittarius (that’s muddled by a hard Neptune aspect) is bringing the vision down to earth, and getting specific.
The Evolutionary Seducer: Pluto in 1st House Libra
Libra rising is appealing, sociable and flirtatious. Add magnetic Pluto (especially when it falls within a few degrees of the Ascendent) and you have a potent recipe for attraction. These individuals have something that draws people to them. But Pluto is the planet of evolution, and wherever it falls in the chart is where transformation must occur. The 1st House represents identity, so these people are driven to transform themselves through the relationships they experience. This can lead to many, many compulsive encounters, all with the goal of enlightening the Pluto person.
Arun attracts men and women, and while not all these encounters involve sex, the other person feels that they are being seduced. She hasn’t been without a partner since she was sixteen (she’s 32 now). Arun claims that she does not go looking for people, and she’s being honest; Pluto’s energy is instinctive, and she doesn’t have much control over who she draws in. She just senses that associating with a certain person will teach her something new about herself. She doesn’t seem like a “player,” because Pluto’s intensity, and her very real quest for self-knowledge, gives her depth. She wants to know everything about you. It’s thrilling (and unnerving) to have this beautiful woman fixated on every detail of your life. Being with Arun can feel like sudden, total immersion in a capital “R” Relationship, with no breathing room. She has to be with you all the time, on her terms. Until one day, she tells you that she’s met someone else, and she’s leaving. What’s happened is she’s learned all she can from you (about herself) and that’s it. This revolving door of relationships will continue indefinitely, until Arun learns her true (paradoxical) evolutionary lesson: that a balanced relationship involves two people, and she doesn’t need to be in one to learn about herself.
This is not an exhaustive list. But it does describe some of the more prominent aspects that could indicate a troublesome romantic partner. If you’re involved with one of these people, know that you can’t change them. Awareness of what’s happening is helpful, but in the end, it’s their call.