Twins have always been a bit of a thorny issue for astrology. Skeptics say twins are proof that astrology doesn't work. Students of astrology want to understand how natal astrology works when two people have nearly identical birth charts. For astrologers and developmental psychologists, twins are living laboratories that give clues to differences in human behavior.
Are Twins Born With Identical Birth Charts?
Unless the birth is cesarean, twins are not likely to have absolutely identical birth charts. The chart of each depends on the amount of time that passes between the first and second birth. The sky does not stop moving the moment the first is twin is born, and some astrological placements move rather quickly.
A Few Minutes Can Make a Big Difference
The rising sign moves about one degree every four minutes, and there's an entirely new sign on the Ascendant about every two hours.
- Twins are likely to have different degrees of the sign on their Ascendant.
- A shift of only a few degrees can make planets more or less angular, which would increase or decrease a planet's importance.
- There's also the possibility they could have different signs rising, as well as on the other angles and house cusps, which would change the ruling planet of each.
- The planets could also occupy different astrological houses.
- Even their Moons could be in different signs.
An applying aspect would be a little tighter in the second-born twin's chart. As an example, if twins had the Moon in an applying Quincunx aspect to Uranus in their charts, which implies an erratic emotional life, the second-born twin would be a bit more excitable and experience things more intensely than the firstborn.
The Structure of the Birth Chart
Just a few minutes difference in birth time can change the entire structure of a birth chart. As an example, one twin could have their Sun in the second house on the cusp of the third house, and the other could have their Sun in the third just past the cusp. This is a minimal distance, but can completely change the focus of each twin's life. For instance, the second house twin could be very focused on making money (a second house matter), and the third house twin could be an education junkie and take every class that comes along (a third house matter).
The Same but Different
Twins always share a special bond, but they're individuals and will carve out their own niche. There's a natural instinct to differentiate one's self that unconsciously motivates each to choose a different expression of a planetary sign placement than their twin. Each of the 12 signs has a range of expression, so exact same sign placements can manifest differently. Twins are prone to each use their shared planets in signs placements in their own unique way. For instance: Twins with fifth house Pisces Suns are both creative individuals, but one might dedicate their life to music, while the other dedicates theirs to saving children.
The Same Transits but Different Experiences
Astrological transits can also manifest differently. As an example, suppose twins had the Lunar South Node at 7° Aquarius and transiting Mercury stationed retrograde on that degree. One twin might attend a meditation retreat during the retrograde and have a major mental breakthrough, while the other might have a mental breakdown and wind up in the psych ward. Same energy, but obviously different results.
Dominate Aspect Configurations
Scientific studies of twins reveal the twins who are raised apart are more alike than those that are raised together. Why? Because when twins are raised together, the need for individuation results in the dominant aspect configurations (representing the psychological issues and conflicts in each) being split between the two twins. This splitting can be seen in the lives of celebrity twins Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, who were born two minutes apart.
Ashley and Mary Kate Olsen's Birth Chart
Ashley was born on June 23, 1986, in Los Angeles California at 9:43 am. Mary Kate was born on June 23, 1986, in Los Angeles California at 9:45 am.
Identical Birth Charts
Born only two minutes apart, for all intents and purposes, Ashley and Mary Kate share the same birth chart. Both have the Sun in Gemini (☉♊︎) opposite Uranus in Sagittarius (♅♐︎), but also the Moon in Virgo (☽♍︎) square Saturn in Sagittarius (♄♐︎). In childhood, these aspects combine to suggests a child who had to grow up prematurely and assume adult-like responsibilities, as well as handle an unusual amount of freedom and behave in unconventional ways.
In Mary Kate and Ashley's twinship, these two significant aspects of their personalities were split. Mary Kate assumed the role of the more outgoing, rebellious, quirky and bohemian (Sun/Uranus) twin, while Ashley assumed the part of the shyer, more serious, emotional, and conservative (Moon/Saturn) twin.
The Importance of Experience
Mary Kate and Ashley shared the role of Michelle in the sitcom Full House. The first episode of Full House aired in September 1987; the final episode aired in May 1995. Mary Kate and Ashley were acting on the set of Full House from about the ages of one - seven. When it comes to child development, it's been said by some that the most critical milestones in a child's life occur by the age of seven.
First Saturn Square
In the language of astrology, age seven is a child's first Saturn square (a child's first Saturn square is a time of awareness of the independent self.) The twin's experience on the set of Full House was a formative (Saturn) experience that reinforced the split. Why? Producers noticed this split and Mary Kate was given Michelle's funnier scenes, while Ashley was given Michelle's more serious moments. Even today Mary Kate has a more controversial style (Uranus opposite Sun), while Ashley is more conservative (Moon square Saturn.)
Science Confirms Astrology
In 2005 mainstream genetics research found that identical twins differ in how their genes "express themselves." Then, in 2008-2009, geneticists discovered that identical twins, despite having very similar DNA, inevitably respond differently to the same environmental stimuli. All of this really just confirms what astrologers have always known; no one, not even those with identical birth charts, lives out their charts in precisely the same way.