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COLUMN: Don't use this to stalk your Valentine's birth chart, you creep



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Beyoncé and Jay-Z's synastry chart shows Beyoncé's birth chart in the inner circle and Jay-Z's on the outside. Astrologers use synastry to evaluate how two people's birth placements interact in a relationship. Kathryn de la Rosa Buy Photos

Bumble recently added a zodiac sign filter, the dating app evolution of “What’s your sign?” 

People volunteer their time, date and place of birth to me, but I avoid asking for birth data because I’m not a dang creep.

I haven’t touched compatibility yet because like sun sign astrology, it’s been oversimplified and commodified into oblivion. If you ever see a “most-to-least compatible” breakdown for your sign, it’ll tell you to date people with sun signs in the same element, like Pisces, Cancer and Scorpio, or something equally lazy.

If you do know sun sign astrology is flawed, you might be tempted to ask someone you just met for their birth data. Don’t do it. I include romantic prospects, new friendships and professional relationships in this.

For one, I see birth charts as private information. Your date and city of birth are also used for federal identification. I’m paranoid enough to believe an astrologer can look at your birth chart and figure out your year and state of birth and guess the first three digits of your social security number. When astrologers call your birth chart your fingerprint, it’s too apt a comparison for my comfort.

A birth chart doesn’t tell the future or reflect the present. It’s drawn at the moment of first breath whether you’re a  Cesarean section baby or not. But we grow and shift as we age. Your chart describes patterns and tendency — not how you will behave in every situation, including relationships.

I also think it’s rude. It’s peeping. It’s invasive on a deeper level than stalking your crush’s Facebook albums from 2009.

You might feel like you have the upper hand, like you unlocked all their secrets. But to me, it seems like avoiding the work of really getting to know someone.

If you’re curious how your birth chart interacts with others’, it’s an entire other side of astrology I can’t speak on with much authority.

Astrologers look at relationships with synastry, which is a method of chart comparison where one chart is superimposed on top of another. This lets them look at aspects formed between planets across both parties’ charts, which mystifies me on visual and technical levels. I also don't know who it helps other than people entering marriage or on the brink of divorce.

I believe in letting people share themselves. Maybe six months into your relationship you can draw up their birth chart. Instead of closing Tinder to Google all their placements in the dead of night, you have a shared history to understand them with, which is more valuable than any birth chart. 

Transits

Mercury enters Pisces, Feb. 10: Mercury rules communication and intellect, while Pisces is a sensitive, indirect sign. This transit lasts through the middle of April, so we’re settling into a period where Mercury is more inward-oriented than the planet likes to be. We might be more open to the spiritual or more given to wallowing in our feelings. But it coincides with getting tongue-tied, being so interior we have trouble reaching out.

Mars conjunct Uranus in Aries, Feb. 12:  Mars and Uranus are both energetic planets. Mars rules our drive, how we fight and get what we want, while Uranus is the planet of advancement. These two hanging out right on top of each other in Aries can lead to impulse decisions and accidents, both physical and personal. While this transit is at its strongest this Tuesday, we can feel its effects all week. Be careful out there.

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