What’s a Retrograde?: Analyzing My Relationships Via the Planets


To be honest, I knew 2016 was going to be a terrible year before it even started. I knew because astrology told me so.

In Chinese astrology, 2016 is the year of the Monkey. As a Tiger, that didn’t bode well because the two signs aren’t compatible. Added to that was the fact I turned 30 this year, so I was totally ready for this year to be shit.

I’ll admit that I could have manifested a shitty year because of my anxiety over a negative horoscope and turning that age. But this year has definitely been a year of loss; specifically, friendships that didn’t work out the way I expected.

Sometimes things just don’t work out. People get older, people move on, and sometimes they have changing priorities. But this year wasn’t like that. This was a year of ugly confrontations, hurt feelings, awkward moments, incompatibility, passive-aggressive posts, and falling out with more than one person.

Something’s not right and I’m not really one to let things go. No, I need to obsess over every single detail to figure out where I went wrong. Friendships that fell out this year made me remember all the other friendships that didn’t work out over the years. When you have to start from scratch and rebuild friendships or look for new friends, it’s hard not to wonder if you’re the one with the problem. Maybe it’s a delayed quarter life crisis or maybe I just need some new energy, but I’ve been combing through my life lately asking the eternal question: what’s wrong with me?

I’m not proud to have the amount of fallings out with people that I do, honestly. Personality conflicts aside, I figured there had to be more to it. I was picking the wrong people to be friends with, clearly. But if that was the case, where was I supposed to look for people that I would be compatible with?

When in doubt, look to the stars.

I’m the type of person that asks people what their sign is if I’m starting to dig their vibe. I also ask when I’m not, just to make sure my first impression is correct (“Oh, you’re a Scorpio? I knew it”). Before starting this post, I had a rudimentary understanding of astrology. As a Gemini, I always thought the best signs for me to build a relationship on were Aries, Aquarius, Leo, and Libra. Except that can’t be right because some of my nastiest fallings out were with all of those signs.

I thought about those that I’m closest to now: Aries, Taurus, Pisces, Capricorn, Cancer. No daily astrology blip has ever mentioned those last 4 signs as my compatible signs. So what gives? What does this mean? I reached out astrologer Annabel Gat to help me understand.

“There’s no validity to sun sign compatibility”, she told me right off the bat. “You have to look a the whole chart to see how people will work together and even then, scoring how ‘compatible’ people are is silly – everyone can choose to be their best or worst self!”

Fair point. But Annabel also mentioned that if I really wanted to look into friendship compatibility, I had to look for people who had personal planets in the air houses in my birth chart – that is, the 3rd, 7th, and 11th house. She told me that, in general, having the same Venus and Moon aspects were great for friendship.

The 3rd house represents how we communicate. I have Leo in my 3rd house, which apparently means that I have a versatile personality; a dramatic, storytelling way of speaking; can be stubborn; an ego that can pull me down; and that I am also easily wounded by words. Accurate.

The 7th house covers partnerships and marriage. Capricorn is in my 7th house, which apparently means I take relationships seriously and can be hard on myself and others – also true.

The 11th house rules aspirations, personal goals, and groups. Aries is in my 11th house which means that I have a very active social life, but tend to break relationships often (scarily accurate!).

I immediately emailed my friends asking them when and where they were born, so I could start mapping this shit out. Hopefully, I would find something to avoid any intense confrontations between us in the future. Being the amazing friends that they are, they humoured me. Here’s what I found:

My Pisces friend who I’ve known since university has Venus in Aries. Apparently, this means that she’s also direct, open, honest, and can appreciate playfulness. It doesn’t matter how sarcastic I can be she gets it, so I’ll call this reading correct.

Another friend from university, a Capricorn, has Venus in Capricorn as well. Generally speaking, this means that she’s witty, savvy, controlled, steady, and sure-footed. I’ve relied on her more than once for advice and she always comes through. Another point for accuracy.

My friend who is a Cancer has her Moon in Leo and Venus in Gemini, making her a great conversationalist and it’s true – I always have a great time talking with her.

My oldest childhood friend is also a Cancer with her Venus and Mars in Leo, making her warm, generous, and loyal with high expectations. She’s always had my back. Her and I have also had numerous conversations about our standards and we always agree on every level.

My two newest friends, an Aries and a Taurus, have basically the same birth chart and they both have Mercury in Aries. This means that I can count on them to be straight with me, direct, candid, and even crude, which is fine by me because I often get in trouble for being (ahem) a little too forthcoming.

So according to my research, the friends I have now are solid. Annabel also dropped this helpful piece of information when I was talking with her:

“Anyone can get along with any combination, truly – it depends on the lessons you need to learn and the healing you need […]Compatibility is a case by case issue. There isn’t a one-size fits all answer. Not only do you have to look at the whole chart, but you also need to speak to the person who has the chart and talk to them about their life, their needs, etcetera.”

Truly, this is a humbling piece of advice. I can map things out as much as I want (and trust me, I did), but in order to be friends with someone I need to be able to respond to their wants, needs, and their life. As Audrina so wisely stated on The Hills when she and Heidi were fighting: “to have a friend you need to be a friend and she’s not being a very good friend right now.”

Maybe instead of having my head in the stars and the sky, I need to be a little more grounded.

Sources: Café Astrology, The Dark Pixie Astrology, Annabel Gat

Featured image source: Lindajules.com

PS: If you want to learn more about astrology, check out the Astrology for Days channel with Annabel Gat and Jessica Lanyadoo. They always make it easy to understand and relevant!

Published by


Freelance writer and screenwriter based in Toronto. Some of my favourite things include film, astrology, Lana Del Rey, David Lynch, and existentialism.

One thought on “What’s a Retrograde?: Analyzing My Relationships Via the Planets”

Comments are closed.