The Descendant is the point where you join forces with other people – more specifically, one special other person. The Descendant point marks our integration into our social world. We learn to do this through our relationships with people who begin as strangers to us, as they belong outside of the networks we regard as family. We need external relationships to integrate ourselves into the world, as it’s through those relationships that we become ‘socialised’. Human beings are social animals, but we only become so by engaging with an ‘other’. The sign on the Descendant shows how this process manifests in our lives – and our partners will often have the characteristics of the descending sign.
Partnerships are about more than romance; relationships of all kinds are shown by the Descendant and that includes business and professional associations – and even those that are incorporated by law, such a legally bound partnerships and contractual obligations. Legal entities constitute a ‘person’ in the same way as you do, and the descendant sign often describes the nature of the partnership in some way – such as the focus of its primary concerns – and it may describe how you collaborate and work together.
In this way, the partnership is an exteriorisation of the qualities that you may find hard to access or achieve on your own. In personal relationships, that exteriorisation is often found through projection; we project onto others that which we find hard to deal with in our own psyche, and we are attracted to those qualities because, subliminally, we recognise them as the complement to the self-image we have created through our Ascendant. A partner may embody the qualities of the Descendant, but the most effective way of working with the Descendant is to recognise its qualities need to be expressed by the relationship.
You may find it hard to assert yourself or own the more aggressive parts of your temperament. We all have a tendency to project the parts of ourselves that we find difficult to access, so an Aries or Aries type partner – someone who embodies the brave, bold, self-centred or self-interested aspects of your personality that you find hard to locate, will be attractive to you. It’s a way of importing a certain dynamism into your life – especially if you have a habit of ‘playing safe’.
Your partner may be someone who takes the initiative; they may have even initiated the relationship – and you are likely to have been flattered at being pursued in such a direct and forceful manner. It’s also possible that an Aries descendant signifies a relationship that develops quickly, or one that began when both you were relatively young. The hot passions that typify ‘first love’ are often found with Aries here -and though the relationship may have been born in youth, it’s likely to last for a long time. Aries is a surprisingly devoted and loyal sign – to the right person.
When analysing the Descendant, it’s the relationship that matters. In Aries, that relationship may be fast moving, loyal and long lasting, but to be successful, it needs a sense of direction and purpose – perhaps more than any other zodiac sign. Keeping active, having a clear sense of direction – together – and always having something to aim for, are the hallmarks of a relationship influences by an Aries descendant. There is a lot of passion and energy in this descending sign – and it needs to be harnessed by both of you.
With Taurus here, you’re going to project your need for stability onto your significant other. You may find it hard to own or acknowledge all of those qualities we most associate with this sign – dependability, hard work, practicality and being realistic about the material world. Taurus is earthed and patient; it’s a descending sign that suggests you need to import some anchorage into your life as a counterpoint to your deeply emotional persona. You often feel threatened by life and you hide your vulnerability from everyone – including yourself.
So, your partner provides the security and stability that you find so hard to access on your own. This may be in a literal sense; you partner may provide emotional and/or financial stability – or encourage you to develop those parts of you life in more secure and productive ways. Taurus is a care-giving and nurturing sign, so your choice of partner may reflect those Taurus qualities; they may have this sign emphasised in their natal chart or their hobbies or career choice may be related to this sign – an accountant who loves gardening, or a builder who loves cooking or is a passionate environmentalist would fit the bill.
They are a few light hearted examples, but I suspect you get the point – the relationship you build together will be most successful when it follows the principles laid down by this sign; don’t rush into things; keep yourselves emotionally grounded; take care of your physical and material needs as a matter of importance; take care of each other and work hard at making the relationship work. You know it will be worth it in the end. Sharing values – and realising the value of the partnership are important with a Taurus Descendant.
With Gemini here, owning your need for a light touch is something you find hard to do. The ability to avoid being dragged into situations where you are unable ‘to see the wood for the trees’. You may have spent your life chasing one belief system after another – only to discover that nothing rings true. You may envy those who manage to avoid the intellectual elephant traps that seem to surround you on all sides. Sometimes we need someone to point out the existence of alternatives, or to divert us down a more distracting – yet ultimately mire rewarding – route. That person is Gemini, your ideal partner.
Your partner may be a person is happy to give you the freedom to pursue your interests – because they also appreciate the need for space. Your partner is likely to be someone who is mentally and socially ‘busy’ with a lot of interests. Gemini maybe a sign that is emphasised in their natal chart – or they may ‘live’ Gemini in a literal sense; they may have two jobs, be an avid reader, have a Gemini influenced career – or even be a twin. There is a cerebral, airy cast to your partner that intrigues you you may feel you never know quite what you’re going to get.
A Gemini-style relationship needs to be intellectually or socially stimulating – and preferably both of those at the same time. The most successful relationships incorporate Gemini characteristics into the relationship itself; so being versatile and communicative are more important to you than they are to many couples. You need to talk, read, discuss, debate, explore, tell jokes, laugh – and not take things too seriously. Best of all is a recognition that, as individuals, you both bring something to the party. That’s the way to keep the relationship ‘interesting’ – and that is the most essential ingredient of all.
With a Cancer Descendant, it can be hard for you to admit how emotional and sensitive you are.You project yourself as the ‘strong and silent’ type, or the sensible hard-working type, so a more emotionally available (and emotionally intelligent partner) provides the balance that you need – particularly in your most private moments. In this way, you often appear to be the ‘rock’ that supports someone else – but the truth is more nuanced than that. You need the emotional support that a Cancer-type partner gives you – perhaps even more than you would ever care to admit.
You need a partner who is sensitive to your needs, certainly, but you also need to be reminded that being taken care of is not the same thing as taking care of yourself. You can learn a lot from a partner who is likely to be demonstrably Cancer-like in some form; this may be reflected in their personality, career choice – or even their ability in the kitchen. Your partner may be someone who ‘takes care of things’ – in a whole variety of ways – or they may have a strong family base, or a keen sense of belonging to a particular tribe or place.
With a Cancer descendant, the best outcome is that your relationships reflect the best qualities of that sign. So, a mutually nurturing, emotionally aware partnership that prioritises emotional security and provides a safe, private space for both of you is the relational space where you will feel most at home. There is always a family orientation with Cancer; creating a familial bond is important to you – even if your notions of family are non-traditional in form. Food, homes, gardens, self-care and connecting with the past will be important to you both.
Leo is an exuberant, attention seeking sign, but it’s precisely the qualities that get you noticed, that you find so difficult to handle when you have this sign here. You’re a strong individual, but you like to be so on your own terms – and that means you need someone else to handle the unwanted attention that sometimes comes your way. Enter Leo, the sign for which no amount of attention is enough, and no drama is too small.
Your Leo partner soaks up the heat so you don’t have to, though I think you may enjoy the reflected glory rather more than you admit. Your partner adds warmth to your relationship, by their presence alone. You crave the companionship of someone who is naturally generous, ebullient, charismatic and bright in all senses of that word. They may be have Leo emphasised in their chart – or simply have the kind of courageous, expressive character that cannot be ignored as Leo is persistent and often refuses to take no for an answer.
Your best relational outcome has the fixity and certainty that come with this sign. Leo is deeply loyal and hates change, so the courage to commit – and stay that way – is the challenge you must accept with Leo at the descendant. It’s also likely to be a partnership with high standards, so the two of you together may be regarded as the exemplar of what a good relationship can be. Entertainment – and entertaining – are likely to be associated with those relationships influenced by a Leo descendant.
With a Virgo as your descending sign, you simply can’t admit that you need your life to be rather more organised than it is. It may be tempting for you to drift through life with no discernible boundaries or responsibilities, but – deep down – you know that’s not going to end well, so you look for a personal organiser in the form of the person who loves you most – your partner. Things need to be taken care of – and that includes you.
So, you need someone who is dependable, reliable and grounded – and those are Virgo superpowers bar none. It would be a mistake, however, to characterise your partner as simply the person who clears up your mess, or reminds you of your dental appointments. Your partner may be well organised and sensible, but they are also likely to be skilled at managing life. What they do, is give form to your more inchoate persona – and that makes you feel as real and earthed as it’s possible for you to be.
The best relationship for you is one that contains you in this way; you need to avoid the trap of dependency issues more than most, but you also need a relationship that is both nurturing and well-ordered. Virgo is one of the nurturing signs; good health, wellness, diet, exercise, may feature as themes in your partnerships – or partnership choices. It’s also a cerebral sign, so the partnership may have an educational underpinning; it may be a relationship that enables you to learn a great deal about life.
You’re going to be attracted to those who embody some version of your Libra ideal – charming, sociable polite and refined. You may feel that they have a civilising influence on you, perhaps they rub off those sharp corners or offer gentle restraint when you’re being headstrong. And they are likely to be more relaxed than you. Your ideal other will also have to be aesthetically appealing; That may sound superficial, but appearances matter to you – particularly in a partner as it is a reflection of how you see yourself.
Good looks in a partner will be important to you; as you may recall, that fairy-tale prince (or princess) is always handsome or beautiful – and not just in your eyes but in the eyes of the world. And they are also likely to be more relaxed than you. The Libra signature may appear in their career choices or personal interests, so look for jobs connected to money and business management (Libra is money and business oriented) or design of all kinds (think of everything from a hairdresser to an architect) or the arts in general.
The Libra influence also extends to jobs that involve negotiating or have anything to do with relationships (such as PR or Human Resource Management) or managing ‘teams’ of any kind. You may even be in a business partnership that has a ‘Libra signature’. Whatever the nature of the relationship, it will always provide the balance to your forthright personality – and bring balance into your life in a very real sense.
When you have a Scorpio Descendant, trust is your touchstone. So, you look for a partner who knows, intuitively, how important the relationship is to you. You need permanence. Trust. Fidelity. Emotional security. These are huge issues when you have Scorpio here, largely because you know how easily such things can be broken. However, acknowledging that can be a big issue with Scorpio here. You may not be the most demonstrative of souls, but you and your partner may have an unspoken bond; it goes beyond words.
You cannot admit it to yourself, but you have a great fear of losing ‘ownership’ of anything – and anyone – so your Scorpio Descendant projects that not only by seeking those traits in your ‘other half’, but by seeking to exercise control over those relationships too. You need to connect at a deep emotional level, but without those emotions being used in a power-play against you. This instinctive and intense awareness of how fragile human relationships can be, combined with your need for ownership, can make you overly possessive in relationships.
It’s a classic Scorpio trait – and it’s a destructive one if it becomes the dominant factor. Learning to understand your deeper relationship needs – rather than projecting them – will be the challenge you need to meet. You need a strong partner who enhances your personal power and who is intuitively aware of your relationship needs – emotional, sexual and material – without any of those matters being a subject of debate.
In real life, it often works like this. Sagittarius-type partners attract you – and it’s mutual. There’s often a great meeting of minds, it’s fun, it’s easygoing, it’s undemanding and you’re having a good time – until the day you’re not. One of you becomes bored with the relationship. Or one of you may want something deeper, like an emotional commitment. That’s difficult, because resolving the ‘freedom-closeness’ dilemma is not easy when you’re so used to functioning at the surface level. The mutable nature of both signs also may not be doing you a favour.
If your character is such that you can live with this scenario, this may be less of an issue. If, however, you have need something rather more supportive and solid, this could be a painful experience One way to resolve the ‘freedom-closeness’ dilemma is to recognise that it’s not so binary after all. Rather than projecting your own need for freedom and adventure onto your partner, the relationship itself needs to embody the best of this sign and allow you both the space you crave to be free – together. So how do you achieve that?
The relationship needs to make space for you as an individual. It needs to be a place where you can follow your own interests and be regarded as an equal by your partner – intellectually and otherwise. Those are your relationship essentials. Maintaining your interests – together and apart – and thereby creating a space where you can develop a deeper understanding of each other is, perhaps, the key to resolving the challenge facing those of you with a Sagittarius Descendant.
Capricorn takes a mature and pragmatic approach to all kinds of relationships – and it’s likely that you learned this at an early age. As a child you may have been equally pernickety about choosing a ‘best friend’. Childhood best friends are the relational ‘trial runs’ that prepare us for relating in our adult life. In your early years, you may have sensed that a bad choice would cause you deep emotional hurt; it was not a risk that you were prepared to take. So, you learned the valuable lesson of choosing well.
However, there is another side to this. Capricorn is associated with being solitary and it may indicate a preference for solitude or remaining single. Your standards are so high that, when it comes to choosing a partner, few people make the grade. Having high standards is not, in itself, a problem – in fact it’s an admirable thing – but, given the defensive and cool nature of the Cancer-Capricorn axis, it’s not unusual for those with this Descendant to partner up later in life.
For business relationships, however, it’s an excellent combination. However, what a Capricorn Descendant is really asking you to do, is to develop your own strengths within your relationships – and that may include you being the strong and supportive one partner – particularly in personal relationships. The relationship itself may help yoo to realise your own ambitions as it may provide you with a supportive and secure framework for your own personal development.
Aquarius descending does not mean that you’re destined to date mad scientists or political extremists; you may date scientists or social scientists, but what is going on here is that Aquarius is an intellectual sign, so you look for significant amounts of intelligence in your partner. At the very least, you may admire those with a certain independence of spirit. You may simply need a partner to be ‘different’ from the ‘norm’ in some way – and ‘difference’ is the Aquarius descendant super-power bar none.
So, initially, you may pair up with people you appear to have little in common with. If that sounds far-fetched, then consider this. What you are projecting onto your partner is your own need for your relationship space to be special in some way. When as you’re naturally sociable as those with Aquarius here, it can be easy to lose yourself in your own self-image – especially when you perform it so well.
You love an audience, but you need to be reminded of what it’s like to really be yourself – and that comes to you, ironically, through your relationships. So, choosing those who stand apart, or who are independent, or who have a need for their own space – enables you to develop your own sense of autonomy and a more secure sense of self. Through relationship, you learn that you don’t have to please everyone to gain the attention you need.
With Pisces descending, your partner gives you the key to unlock a magical world of fantasy and imagination. When your first response to everything is so grounded and practical, it may take another, more vulnerable or less worldly human being to remind you that it takes all kinds of people – and all kinds of experiences – to make the world go round. It also takes a Pisces-type partner to remind you that not everything can be fixed.
Sometimes you simply have to accept life as it is – broken bits and all. According to your Pisces partner, having something out of place doesn’t matter because it allows to to open yourself up to the unexpected event or the serendipitous meeting. It enables you to find time for relaxation and reflection. Such apparent indulgences are often the first casualties when you live life according to your wall-planner.
However, you need to remember this; spontaneity cannot be scheduled. So, when that person with a lot of Pisces in their chart, a packed twelfth house or Neptune in all the right places, asks you to drop everything and go with the flow? Do it. You know you want to. Stop projecting that empathetic, tender and gentle part of yourself onto your partner and begin to own your dreams.
© Sara Shipman 2023