You’d figure anyone who checks their horoscope on a daily, weekly or even monthly basis (which I’d estimate is at least 50% of the world’s female population) would consult an astrologer before choosing a wedding date. I figure, those who are fascinated with or at least entertained by the science either a) don’t know an astrologer or b) haven’t observed its powerful effects in their life. Then again, I’m biased. I’m an astrologer and when I was a bride I wanted everything to be perfect. Go figure.
You say it sounds wacky or random? Many couples choose the big day around a beloved relative’s Birthday, vacation/work schedules, financial predictors, whether we want a warm or hot weather wedding, or an intuitive hit etc…Talk about random. I’m sure everyone’s method is right for them. And I really do hope Pamela Anderson’s wedding really goes off without a hitch this time around, but I wonder…
The technique of electing a date to begin anything – a wedding, business or trip – is called Electional Astrology. The moment a wedding, business, or trip commences it receives the celestial energy imprint of the stars. When we can use our awareness of heavenly movements to favorably influence a contract, why not?
History is powerful testimony. Ronald Reagan’s astrologer Joan Quigley used this technique during his presidency, to fabulous effect. The media poked fun at his superstitious ways but the Teflon president used astrology in the same way Kings and Queens used to. Queen Elizabeth’s astrologer was on hand, to discuss wars, battles, her love life — and it was her astrologer, as depicted in the movie Elizabeth: the Golden Age nearby during her biggest victory: the Spanish Armada.
There’s also a philosophical question worth considering when playing with the universal dice, aren’t playing with fate? Anytime we consult the stars to choose a wedding date, we are trying to influence an outcome. You could say that anyone who uses astrology to make a life decision (or for that matter anyone who has ever made a decision) is changing their karma. Yes, when using electional astrology, we are attempting to win favor of those Gods and Goddesses from whom we’ve seen magic and favors bestowed so choosing a date is a form of magic. And doing so responsibly, to the best of our ability, is what we do.
As with hedging your bets for the success of anything in life, the self-awareness of the individual in question is paramount. It is this astrologer’s belief that the soul lessons, the spiritual and psychological readiness of the individual will always trump the wedding chart – no matter how “good” the wedding day is. For example, if Pamela Anderson needs to be single for evolutionary soul growth purposes, getting married on a great date probably only postpones the inevitable you-know-what.
Then there’s the compatibility of two people involved. Hoping an elected wedding date will make you more compatible than you actually are falls under the category of magical thinking (not magic), kind of like believing that having a baby together will “fix” a distancing marriage. Electional astrology has nothing to say about how you two fit together, or your psychological motives. It’s more like a well-wishing but invisible guest, an encouraging and supportive presence for a couple, inspiring helpful blessings. At its best it makes life easier.
Electing a kinder, gentler date doesn’t change the soul journey each individual, now deciding to get married will “grow through.” It can however get the marriage started on the right foot. I know that all couples face inherent challenges when they get hitched, and if we can do something magical and intentional to encourage the relationship to thrive, why not? Frankly, when it comes to making a marriage work, we need all the help we can get.
Enough convincing, I have celebrity examples!
Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban married on June 24, 2006, which was a particularly memorable day for me because a) it was my birthday and b) it was the mysterious dark of the Moon. The Moon was so close to joining the Sun, so it was almost a New Moon. A New Moon welcomes hopeful new beginnings and in Cancer, a great time for creating a family of two (or more!). As a Moon ruled Cancerian, I consider myself a sort of astrological barometer for the Moon and that day felt eerily dark. It was of course, the dark before the dawn, a time to release the past, to let go habits of self-sabotage; it was the end of a cycle. Not exactly hopeful, is it? At the time of this writing Nicole and Keith are still married and expecting a child, thanks to the powerfully fertile Cancer Moon, yet shortly after their wedding day, Keith entered rehab to end his drug problem. In almost every photo op during that first honeymoon year of marriage, Nicole was snapped looking gorgeous and husbandless as Keith took some time away to kick an old drug habit and heal (dark of the Moon). *Note traditional astrology advises against starting anything new during the waning Moon cycle (from Full to New Moon) because diminishing light diminishes growth, luck and fortune.
The planetary energies of your wedding date always show up in real-time during the ceremony, as happened with actress Kate Walsh. On September 1, 2007 Kate (of Grey’s Anatomy) married her very own McDreamy, Alex Young, in Ojai California. In the astrological forecast, Mars was squaring Uranus, a notoriously unpredictable, electric and even violent aspect while Saturn moved into Virgo. As far as a wedding goes, it was probably one of my least favorite weekends last year, the astrology was strangely dreary. So how did it play out? In the meteorological and psychological weather: Ojai, CA experienced a sudden and unpredicted heat wave, which resulted in a power outage during the reception dinner! Kate later told gossip magazines that she experienced anxiety attacks leading up to the ceremony and she was overheated, dehydrated during the ceremony (Saturn in Virgo). The last thing you want your wedding date to be is volatile, unpredictable and changeable, as described by the mutable Mars/Uranus square and Saturn’s entry into a new sign.
So how is it done?
According to the law of averages, you’d think the universe would send you a 50/50 chance for a good wedding day, but of course you want everything to be perfect, so we need a wide net of dates to choose from – at the very least six months, sometimes a year or more. This recently evoked a shriek from my Sagittarian bride-to-be, anxious to get hitched. I reassured her to take the same long haul outlook for her wedding date as she did on finding her love. When it comes to picking a date, cherry picking takes patience and it’s always worth it. Here’s a bird’s eye view into a real life example.
My Friend’s Wedding
I’ve known Justine for almost 10 years. With Sagittarius Sun and Jupiter in Scorpio on her ascendant she is one of the most adventuresome, plucky women I’ve ever known. When she called me out of the blue to say she was (about to be) engaged and wanted to know when to get married, and please, please would I say December? I was shocked but not surprised; it was just like her to choose a wedding date before the proposal. Despite the fact that she wanted to get married yesterday, we eventually decided on a sunset wedding in San Francisco, CA on May 18, 2008, 7 PM with the caveat that they may need to get married within the next few months (for financial reasons). Here’s why:
Venus is in Taurus is setting on the 7th house cusp of love and marriage, joined with the Sun. Venus is the Goddess of Love, presiding over love and marriage, and I consider her an MVP, a most valuable player in the wedding Electional chart. I like her to be at home, either in the 7th house of marriage or in her own sign. Injecting a well placed Venus into the 7th is like injecting your marriage with a fragrant perfume of equality, negotiation and compromise with top notes of appreciable beauty, harmony and peaceable companionship.
I also appreciate as many well-aspected or dignified planets as possible in the 7th house of marriage, because life-giving planets energize the marriage. In this chart, the Sun joins Venus by conjunction in Taurus in the 7th house. Their relationship values (Venus) revolve around their shared identity (Sun) and their ability to treat one another as equals, peaceably compromise and see eye-to-eye (7th house). Because she’s in her home sign and dignified, Venus is made unquestionably strong by the Sun.
Venus, the goddess of love and marriage, is in her home sign of Taurus. Venus loves being in fertile and abundant Taurus and these two lovebirds will appreciate shared pleasures of the body and senses. Together, they enjoy a good meal, a comfortable and relaxing home, even a garden with flowers or bouquets next to the bed. When they’re on opposite sides of the fence, making love (or a home cooked meal) is a therapist in a box.
A “lucky in love” Venus/Jupiter sextile or trine is absolutely one of the most coveted aspects in the sky, and its one aspect I always look for in a wedding chart. Venus in Taurus is trine Jupiter in Capricorn. Generosity in love is a keynote here, while the earth signs bring financial prosperity and material abundance to the relationship. Venus is also sextile Uranus in Pisces, adding spontaneity, experimentation and freshness to the relationship. Here I should note that both Justine and her fiancé, Luis are artists, fittingly for Taurus, the sign of the artist. They also live in San Francisco, where you throw a stone and hit an experimental artist. Artsy friends and occasional artistic chaos with brushes and paint flying everywhere (Uranus) suit this couple.
A Full Moon wedding is dramatic and magical, especially in Scorpio. Justine asked for a Full Moon wedding, because, well she’s a wild child at heart. While Full Moons can be tense, they’re also dynamically relationship oriented: the Moon opposes the Sun as yin opposes the yang. Just like a cosmic husband and wife taking one another in totally exposed in full view, there’s no hiding under the psychological covers for anyone in this relationship; Scorpio Moon strips everything bare. They’ll need to be brutally honest with each other at times, and yet learn to respect one another’s emotional and psychological limits.
The last aspect before the Moon leaves her sign suggests how the relationship will end up. Steven Forrest says the last aspect the Moon makes suggests how things will turn out for the couple. The last aspect is the Full Moon, continuing the tentative balance of other-awareness surrounding deep material. Astrologer Myrna Lofthus advises Full Moon folks to pace their emotional energies with their rational energies, so perhaps this couple will need to keep pace with each other, habitually checking in on what’s up. With that Full Moon energy, there’s bound to be a lot “up”. Ideally, their union will be a strong cauldron for safely examining the intense emotions, attachments and insecurities that inevitably come up in marriage. *Also relevant according to the principles of horary astrology, is the aspect applying to the Moon during the time of the event.
Finally, a wedding chart should be true to the person’s experience. By transit, Taurus energies work for Justine specifically because her 7th house marriage cusp is Taurus and the Sun and Venus will be transiting her 7th. She’s been a high flying up-for-anything single Sag for so long, but her Taurus partnership house is looking for steady, reliable and comfortable companionship. Among the most noteworthy aspects on the elected date, Jupiter and Uranus sparkle on Justine’s natal partnership axis, hinting at the exciting changes taking place. Saturn, planet of commitment has been hanging around the Midheaven of her chart for several months (due to retrograde) and duly notes her change in public status from single gal to married. Also, Justine is a few degrees away from her nodal return during this time period, indicating a major life crossroads switch up. In the charts of clients, and my own, I’ve noticed the prominence of a nodal return or square during huge life transitions -like marriage.
Ideally, I would have liked to harmoniously “hook up” the ruler of the 1st house with the ruler of the 7th, in this case Mars (co-ruler of Scorpio) and Venus (ruling Taurus) symbolizing “I and Thou” unity, but we couldn’t find a date. It was funny that the dates we most seriously considered, we ran into a Mars-Venus conflict. So I asked, did this desire to do her own thing ever clash with of making a unified decision, together? It did a lot, she said, and just recently when her desire to attend a racy erotic art event triggered conflict. Even when you’re looking for the best date, it’s always the couple who drives the chart – and has the last word!
Author’s note: Well, you guessed it the eager-beaver Jupiter ascending Sagittarius had a civil ceremony on December 11, 2007 at 1:19 PM in San Francisco, CA. Venus in Scorpio was in the 7th house, trine Mars and sextile Saturn. Yes, her astrologer helped her choose that date. She will hold her public ceremony on May 18, 2008.
- Steven Forrest, Electional Astrology, The Fine Art of Seizing the Moment: The Mountain Astrologer, April-May 2001.
- Myrna Lofthus, A Spiritual Approach to Astrology: Reno, Nevada CRCS Publications, 1983.