Fur and feathers

A Rooster and a Tiger hit the lotto of love, but are they about to squander their jackpot?

Published March 8, 2002 8:00PM (EST)

When somebody explains that a relationship has tanked due to lack of fighting, it takes a special subtlety to unravel what actually may have transpired. This week Amanda writes in to ponder the "Girl-Girl gray zone" that exists between her and Jasmine, and to ask if the stars will cooperate in nudging them back into the hot zone. For four years, she and Jasmine had the perfect relationship, she writes, marred only by "too little fighting" and some of the "Dharma and Greg" effect. "Full of laughing and loving, our relationship served as a touchstone for both of us. It almost seemed like we hit the lotto in finding each other."

And yet, she wavers, "We never quite jumped in with both feet, and though we're compatible in many, many respects, I'm still a little bit of a wild child with self-destructive tendencies, and Jasmine plays grown-up too much and sinks into bouts of passive-aggressiveness." They both want to date others, but don't want the affair to end -- a proposition known as having your cake and eating it, too. "Should we gently put our relationship in the over-and-done-with stack," Amanda asks, or "should we get into a counselor's office now so as not to risk losing a lifelong love to the cauterizing barriers we will build without each other?"

Amanda: Dec. 29, 1969, noon hour. Capricorn Earth Rooster, hour of the Horse.

Jasmine: May 15, 1974, 9:02 a.m. Taurus Air Tiger, hour of the Snake.

If Jasmine, a well-rounded Taurus Tiger, knew how analytically and soberly Amanda, a conscientious Cap Rooster, regards their breakup, she would be mystified. The Rooster and the Tiger are not exactly compatible, not exactly incompatible; they both see the world through different windows. The Tiger looks out, takes in the whole terrain, assumes its hers for the taking, and wonders how she can best enjoy and use it; the Rooster looks out, notices the potholes, the fallen trees, the things that need fixing, and the troubling intruders and worries about how best to bring everything and everyone on the property into line. If the Tiger jumps into the landscape, the Rooster will think the Tiger also needs to be brought into line, but the Tiger will resist curtailments of its freedom. In short, the Rooster has control issues, the Tiger has "being controlled" issues.

As an Earth Rooster, Amanda does not shy away from difficult truths. She wants to get to the bottom of everything, and she never does a job halfway. If she is Rooster-like, she will tell people what she thinks needs fixing; if she is Hen-like, she will be much more tactful and quiet, but will know how to make her approval or disapproval felt. Her Capricorn Western sign reinforces her tendency toward duty, order and the success and public esteem that come from consistent hard work. Luckily, Amanda has been splashed with Horse by her birth hour, which puts some Technicolor in Kansas. Her strong, pragmatic character will be punctuated by bursts of intuition, caprice and emotionality. Nonetheless, the Earth Rooster-Cap blend produces a little more reality than the average pleasure-loving, praise-seeking Air Tiger can really bear; and the vivacious Horse hour, in addition to rounding out Amanda's character, also gives her the wit to make really astute, painful criticisms. Here, it's worth adding, Air Tiger's self-serving nature can wound the Rooster; and if Amanda has lashed out at Jasmine verbally, she has probably had reason. Since Amanda says the couple has not fought much, it may be that Amanda has bottled up her anger, not wishing to estrange her captivating Tiger. Tigers can be sadistic, and Roosters need to make sure that in humoring their Tigers, they're not mistaking masochism for patience -- and letting themselves get plucked.

It is probably Jasmine's Taurus sun sign that fuels this couple's attraction. The reliable Taurus is an earth sign (like Capricorn) and helps ground Jasmine's volatile Air Tiger moon sign. The Tiger year gives great charm, humor, popularity, intellect, strength and ability, but it does not give a firm work ethic, or a very solid notion of honor and commitment. Air Tigers can work hard, as other Tigers do, but they prefer to be more opportunistic -- to get results from working not so very hard -- and their moral choices tend to be based on expedience and personal benefit. Calling them on this will make them angry; to remain friends with a Tiger, you must continue admiring the Tiger. Tigers will not stay long with a nonfan. Also, Tigers ultimately like to be the boss in their relationship, which is hard for Roosters, who are equally prideful, to swallow. However, the blending of the conservative, traditional, fair-minded, dutiful Taurus with Tiger creates a nicely balanced personality. The Tiger charm will be wedded to the Bull's greater sense of honor and mission. The Taurus deliberateness and rigidity will be lightened and broadened by the Tiger joie de vivre and creativity. In a couple of years, Jasmine's Snake hour birth will assert itself more, calming her Tiger agitation and putting her more in tune with Amanda's outlook. But can they ride out the wait?

Amanda and Jasmine's Taurus and Capricorn earth signs attract them to each other, but their Moon signs bedevil them with Big Picture conflicts. Taurus Tiger likes to live in the moment and not over-analyze that moment; Capricorn Rooster likes to think long-term and evaluate the moment ad infinitum. Oxen (1973) and Snakes (1965 or 1977) warm to the Rooster approach, Tigers don't, quite. Tigers tend to prefer the more impetuous signs, such as Dogs (1970) and Horses (1978).

Because both Amanda and Jasmine have very self-sufficient melds, they are each so complete in themselves that it may be hard for them to hook up with others; they are like two marbles, not like two puzzle pieces, they are non-interlocking players. If they choose to draw others into the game, they might try seeking partners who also have well-rounded melds but who have a birth year that is more compatible with theirs (as described above). Still, there's no reason for Amanda and Jasmine to shoot each other out of the circle while they wait for the other marbles to turn up -- as long as they can play nice.

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How to write to Love Collision

By Lucie Chevalier

Lucie Chevalier is a writer in New York.

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