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  by Rick Levine

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In October of 1992, a raging fire swept through the hills of Oakland, California, wiping out innumerable beautiful homes and causing millions of dollars in damages. One victim of the fire was Joni, a lawyer who returned from work to find her home in ruins. Joni’s loss was devastating. Though she was heavily insured, her family heirlooms and photo albums, along with a valuable collection of first editions, were gone forever.

On the same block lived Henry, a single man who had also lost everything. While before they had only been casual acquaintances, the tragedy brought them closer together. They assisted each other in dealing with insurance adjusters, contractors and furniture dealers. Often they would spend long evenings together, talking for hours, helping each other come to terms with their losses. Before long they became lovers.

According to the rules of astrology, it was natural that Joni, who had Venus in Scorpio, would be attracted to Henry, who had a Scorpio Moon. Venus is associated with love, while the Moon affects the emotions. Therefore, the blend of lunar and Venusian energies between the natal charts of a couple can create a powerful romantic attraction, particularly when placed in passionate Scorpio. However, when Joni and Henry had finished rebuilding their houses, and their lives once more assumed a semblance of normalcy, Joni was shocked to find Henry cooling toward her. She didn’t see him for several weeks, and when she did, he introduced her to his girlfriend!

The two fire victims had experienced a crisis bond—the type of romance glorified in Robert Ludlum thrillers. A man and a woman meet under life-threatening circumstances and are driven together by their mutual fight for survival. In real life, once the situation is resolved, the romance often disappears along with the crisis.

How Strong is a Crisis Bond?

This type of relationship is more common than you would think, although the circumstances are rarely as calamitous as the Oakland fire. More often, the crisis involves coworkers undergoing vast upheavals at the workplace, or neighbors who have both experienced nasty divorces. When Joni met Henry’s new girlfriend, she immediately rang me up. “We have so much in common,” she sobbed, “and now he’s left me!”

However, when I studied their two natal charts, I learned that Joni and Henry really didn’t have much in common at all. Like many couples that form crisis bonds, a tumultuous event had thrown them together. Such an incident can make it seem as if the two have a lot in common, but in reality, the crisis is all they have.

The Crisis Bond and Compatibility

When contemplating the future of a love relationship, astrologers consider the Moon and Venus, as we did above. Also, they study the placements of Mars, Uranus and Pluto, which are all strong factors affecting sex, attraction and passion. However, Mars is also associated with injuries or losses. Uranus can bring about upsets and accidents; Pluto sometimes foreshadows violence.

Astrologers determine compatibility by studying the way the planets in one person’s natal chart relate to the planets in the second person’s natal chart. This process is called synastry, or chart comparison. In crisis bonds, I often find that the Venus of one chart is connected in a stressful manner with Mars, Uranus, and/or Pluto in the second chart. For Joni and Henry, Uranus in Henry’s natal chart influenced their Moon-Venus connection in a less than desirable way. The day of the fire, transiting Pluto in Scorpio joined that Moon-Venus configuration.

Since Mars, Uranus and Pluto are all explosive planets, this type of combination hardly guarantees compatibility. Couples with stressful Mars, Uranus and Pluto connections between their charts may have great sex, particularly under pressure. However, they also tend to be habitually fighting. In astrology, Mercury is associated with communication. Therefore, if the Mercurys in the two charts aren’t connected harmoniously, the two won’t have much to say to each other. The link between the two Mercurys in the charts of Joni and Henry did not bode well for open, honest and amicable interaction.

Are All Crisis Bonds Doomed?

Not all crisis bonds crash like that of Joni and Henry. If the Mercurys of the two charts are in a harmonious aspect, the individuals probably have interests in common. They can therefore communicate with each other in a congenial way. Since Saturn rules stability, if there are strong Saturn aspects between the natal charts, the relationship could indeed last. However, most likely a crisis bond will always be a stormy one: hardly the recipe for “happily ever after.”

Authors of novels of romantic suspense end their books with the resolution of the crisis and the thrill of victory experienced by hero and heroine. However, they rarely reveal what happened to the relationship afterward!




Mary Devlin is a certified professional member of the American Federation of Astrologers, and was trained by Marcia Moore in karmic astrology and past-life regression. Mary's many published works include books such as I am Mary Shelley, Astrology and Past Lives, Astrology and Relationships and Your Future Lives.

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Other StarIQ articles by Mary Devlin:

  • Deepak Chopra: The Healing Abilities of Pisces   11/9/2013
  • Your Partner: Obsession or Friend?   8/3/2013

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