Posted by: Donna Cunningham | October 4, 2015

Fifth House Romances as Karmic Connections

Karmic Dates and Momentary Mates-Front FinalDonna says, “Jessica Shepherd’s new book, Karmic Dates & Momentary Mates: The Astrology of the Fifth House, is well written, a great read, and full of original insights.  People love information about their romances, but this is the first book to shed light on the ones that got away and why they came into our lives in the first place.

It certainly helped me get a new perspective on that stormy decade when Pluto in Scorpio transited my 5th house and the love of my life was a Scorpio!

The excerpt below is reprinted with her permission. It is copyrighted, so for further reprinting, you must contact her first. Here’s what Jessica writes:”

Having fifth house planets doesn’t doom anyone to a lifetime of dating and short-term love affairs, but it does suggest the necessity of friendships, lovers, playmates, and creative partnerships—for a time. These partnerships may last a month or a decade (time is elastic in the fifth house, and short-term could mean anything less than forever), but they are no less significant for your interpersonal and spiritual development than a partner in marriage. Nowadays, a marriage partner could be a short-term partner, too.

Then there’s the question of hidden karma. Maybe you can easily entertain the idea that all of your significant relationships are not “new news,” that there are people with whom we have made prior life contracts to meet. Of course, we may never be able to prove this factually, but the critical mass of people with regression experiences makes a very strong case for past lives.

Karma is certainly a mysterious force that complicates, informs, and weaves itself, snakelike, through this lifetime (and perhaps the next) for as long as we’re alive and making choices. Some of us have more short-term shared relationship karma than others, and having fifth house planets—with their hunger for heart-opening connections—alerts us to this possibility.

Having planets in the fifth house alerts us to the fact that we may have unfinished business with one or several people who share the nature and behaviors of that planet-sign combination. What if we don’t have a planet here? We can look to the sign on our fifth house cusp, as well as the ruling planet of that sign which also alerts us to the quality of karma we share.

Karma is nothing to feel guilty about. Sharing karma is both a gift and an obligation. The gift is an ability to receive and exchange a teaching, blessing, or learning. The obligation is to learn to recognize when such a relationship has outlived its usefulness, and to let it go with respect to all involved. Just because a relationship is short-term, doesn’t make it any less valuable, precious, or worthy of an honorable ending.

When we are substantially attracted to someone enough to enter into a relationship, we undoubtedly share a level of karma. Clearly, we must share karma with all our important relationships. We share karma with people who, over the course of a lifetime, help us to self-actualize and reach our dreams with love and support. I call these people our soul mates—people who hold us in love for as long as time allows. Karmic mates are “time-of-life partners”; these partnerships are eventually meant to end. Karmic mates may be a form of soul mates, for we certainly share soul contracts with them—but while there is no ending to the love story with soul mates (save death), karmic partners have an expiration date.

Karmic mates wear other guises, too, besides sexual partners. You can recognize them by the joy, buzz, attraction, and excitement they stimulate in you—the initial, heady yeast of relationships. They may be a playmate or a muse, inspiring shared artistry and creativity. They may be someone who shares a hobby or interest that our primary partner doesn’t, but through sharing, we grow stronger and shine brighter. We can share karma with our elementary school teacher, our best friend, our therapist, and maybe even our pet! Through their belief in us, confidence in our talents and abilities, or any positive heart-centered emotion, we just feel good being around them.

The karmic mate is always a catalyst for our growth. By virtue of the conversations and experiences we share over a brief period of time, we end up making a change in our lives. Playmate, muse, catalyst, boss, lover, roommate, friend… while they don’t stick around forever, their impact on our lives can be profound.

Am I in a Karmic Partnership?

All relationships have some element of karma, so how do we know if we’re in a relationship with an expiration date? Initially, it can be hard to tell. Here’s a common sense checklist for identifying whether you are in a karmic romance.

-You experience a compulsive mood or emotion unique to only this relationship, which you don’t normally experience. Around this person, you may feel caretaking, insecure, chatty, irrational, moody, exceptionally beautiful, larger or smaller-than-life. When apart, you are free of this condition.

-You are attached to trying to get something (attention, affection, love, commitment) from them. When you don’t get it, you feel nutty.

-Your partnership elicits irrational behavior in one or both of you. You feel powerless to stop it.

-You know this relationship won’t last, yet you cannot seem to tear yourself away.

-Friends and loved ones say they no longer recognize you, or that you’ve changed (not for the better) since you’ve been with this person.

-You experience compelling magnetism, and even love. But while you are attracted to certain parts of them, you do not fully accept them.

The book is available in paperback and Kindle. Here’s the link to purchase on Amazon:Karmic Dates And Momentary Mates.

About Jessica: Author of A Love Alchemist’s Notebook, Karmic Dates and Momentary Mates, and Venus Signs, Jessica Shepherd has studied astrology since 1992, and has been practicing and writing about astrology since 2003 at She specializes in coaching people through transition, personal growth, and awakening. Jessica holds a bachelor’s degree (B.A.) in art and business and is a certified health coach. Sign up for her newsletter or book a reading at Become a Facebook fan here.

Donna says: ”I hope that reading this brief excerpt from Jessica Shepherd’s Karmic Dates and Momentary Mates has opened up a world of understanding about your own and other people’s puzzling romances. If you’re having light bulb moments about one of your romances, tell us about it in the comment section. (A couple of paragraphs at the most—not a whole romance novel!) The excerpt above is reprinted here with her permission. It is copyrighted, so for further reprinting, or if you are an astrology blogger and would like to request a review copy, contact her at”

(P.S. If you like this post and want to join my email subscribers list, sign up in the box at the top right hand side of the front page. Subscriptions are free and we do not share your information with anyone.)



  1. Thank you for sharing this excerpt! I love love, and I’ve never quite read enough about the 5th house. I have no planets here, but it is in the sign of Taurus. The main quality I’ve picked up from this is that I find it very hard to let go of people I love, who I view as ‘mine’ with great sentimentality.

    The paragraphs on karmic soul mates makes a lot of sense to me and I experience it often with different people. Passion overwhelms me (dominant Aries chart) and I’m a slave to love, but it always seems to come at a price.

  2. I have Pluto and my Venus conjunct my South Node in the 5th house. It took me many years to understand that Karma mates are not soul mates. It brought me some great highs and unique experiences. It brought me much angst and insecurity as well.

    Jessica describes the experience very well,I wish I had this information in my 20’s and 30’s. The feelings were intense and felt so fated (both parties), so when the relationships ended (as they were meant to do),it was so painful, at times like a piece of me physically torn from my body. I often tortured myself thinking what I had done wrong, or what was wrong with me–instead of realizing what this was about. Leo is the house ruler and Pluto is in Leo – for the intense feelings of passion, compulsion. Venus and the South Node is in Virgo- the aftermath of insecurity and self blame/criticism; also the karmic need to resolve these relationships.

    As they say, Wisdom erases Karma– being older and having more information, I can now recognize this dynamic, and use awareness and consciousness to put things in a better perspective. Now there is less drama, and it is easier to put things in perspective and detach.

  3. I agree with all that Madie wrote above, though I have Mars there in Taurus in the 5th, and had assumed (up to now, with the book’s insights), that my comfort with unusual, zesty choices was due more to my Uranus in the 7th in Leo. Guess the two in combo create a dynamic duo, my most enduring. I prefer a karmic heart to any other kind. Years with another, versus a lifetime, seems to help me grow, again and again.

  4. My 5th house begins and ends in Gemini, holds my Jupiter within. My husband was a Gemini, and loved me in spite of myself. The “one that got away” was a Gemini, with his Sun exactly conjunct my Gemini. But it also sextiled my Leo Pluto in my 7th, his Chiron conjuncted my South Node and Uranus in my 7th, and his Saturn/Jupiter sandwiched my Taurus Venus. Old karma, no chance to resolve, despite my efforts. Unforgettable.

  5. Great article! Will try to be brief. I do have a person in my life, I’ve known him for 44 years, we were boyfriend girlfriend in junior high, he dumped me. Dated very briefly in college, I dumped him. He got married many years ago, we initiated a friendship since facebook came about, then we had a bit of a forbidden romance (that HE initiated) last year, then he dumped me.

    It took forever for me to really move on and let go, but when I see his pictures, I feel an intense burning in my gut and I start to tear up. It’s so weird. He says I will always be special to him. I can’t interpret our charts, but I was a mess last year because of it. I joke that he was King Henry VIII and I was Anne Boleyn and we are still doing it in this lifetime.

    I have 5th house gemini with my moon in there too. I felt growing up and into my 40’s a fickleness. Short relationships and usually I ended them. Now that I’m much older, I’m feeling a tenaciousness and I have a hard time letting go of whatever relationship I’m in, and lately it’s me getting kicked in the butt, over the last 6 years. I have sun conjunct venus in 1 degree cancer in 6th, and read recently that we have this magnetism or charm (not feeling it these days lol) but also have many short relationships. Yikes! Am I doomed?

    • Hi Gianna, A bit about Anne Boelyn and Henry VIII: According to (AA chart, so the birth time is solid) he had Uranus and Saturn in his fifth house. Ironically, in tarot, Uranus is the “Tower” card ;). To your question, you’re not doomed.

      Plenty of people with fifth house planets find long-term love. I would suggest you read my book as it’s hard for me to know exactly where you’re stuck… In it I comprehensively address what kind of karma you share, should you share it, and also how to identify what the relationship’s purpose is so you can move on with a free and whole heart. xo, Jessica

  6. Thanks everyone for stopping by to read and comment! I’m happy to take some questions today…I’m stepping out for a few hours, but at my return I will take time to respond so please feel free to post. ~Jessica Shepherd

    • Great, Jessica, glad you stopped by! Donna

      • Thanks, Donna. Happy to be here!

    • Thanks, Jessica! My best karmic buddy this lifetime (we fit into your description about ‘mates in other guises’) is Mars at 29 Taurus like me, though I’m in the 5th and he’s in the 8th. Have you noticed that when one has an exact match like that to the 5th-house planet, though the “mate’s” is in another house, that there are certain traits or dynamics activated karma-wise? …thanks in advance…

      • Hi Mary, In all honesty, I haven’t explored how this plays out in synastry. But I can say that when someone fits your karmic signature, ie, resembles your fifth house sign and/or planet, that’s a sign to be alert to the themes of the shared karma. Clearly, your karmic buddy is a “match” to your fifth house Mars. Shared Mars karma will put you in touch with unresolved issues surrounding will, assertion, anger, expression of conflict and sexual energy.

  7. It’s funny how I was going over the positive and great qualities of my 5th house lovers this very morning with my dearest buddy. I have Saturn and Chiron in Pisces with a 5th house Aquarius cusp. I know this so well. Lol It’s great to see expressions of the 5th house that I am so familiar with. I’ve been writing my stories for years. Beautiful perspective! My Libra ♎️ ascendant can appreciate that. 😀

  8. Reblogged this on Lost Dudeist Astrology.

  9. Well, this certainly struck a chord… I have a 5th house Venus, loosely squaring Neptune who rules my 5th, and opposite Mars. Two years ago, while Uranus was more or less smack in the middle of my 5th, I had the very type of karmic “date” you described; doomed to failure from the start, intense feelings of being more alive than ever… all that jazz. Sure enough, the man was an Aquarius. I’m still sorting some of the lessons from that one.
    Fun fact: my Venus was tightly conjunct his South Node.

  10. Very informative & enlightening! I have Jupiter Retrograde in 4.34 degrees Pisces in 5 & Aquarius on the Cusp of the 5th. My ‘karmic’ partners, if you will, were (and to some extent are) weirdos and oftentimes ‘poor littles’ or others with heavy problems. Once I dealt with my ACOA traits, I stopped drawing so many of those types and lost my fascination with them. Now they mostly just irk me.

    I have a long term partner who started out as a fiery love affair, which he tried to run from. One problem with me: if things don’t work out early on when I am hung up on you, I just lose interest, even if we stay hooked up. I, really, truly, make a much better friend and roomie than I do romantic partner. I have Uranus conjunct the Moon – not the best mark for staying power emotionally speaking and my Pluto/Sun conjunction tends to a ‘my way or the highway’ attitude. Neptune Ascending just makes everyone confused! LOL!

    Interesting about Henry XIII! He is my many times great grandpappy by way of the child of one of his Boleyn mistresses! THAT makes for interesting karma, eh?
    I will go check out the rest of your article and get a copy!

  11. I simply want to say that this item hit a chord with me. I immediately ordered Jessica’s book. I have been looking for an item like this for years. Thank you so much.

  12. I love this book. I received it on my birthday last year. I have the Sun-Venus-Mercury in Pisces in the 5th house so I’m constantly doing research and finding out as much as I can about this house.

  13. I have 5th house moon . 5th house cusp is in Virgo , but I have 2 signs in the 5th . Libra and Virgo . My moon Is in 5th , 0.18 degrees. I am so clueless . My moon trines Venus in the 12th . I have loads of karma . 12th house sun , Venus . 8th house mars and Neptune . Saturn retrograde in 7th in saggitarius . I am never happy 😦

  14. 12 hours before the full Moon in Aquarius in the 5th house is aspected by everything in my chart and is a bucket or sore tooth in the opposing quadrant and below the horizon while everything else is above the horizon. Not only have affairs been important but so are the children in my life and in my youth the gambling factor and recreation. My mother was a strong figure as well as the women in my life. I am an artist/ painter, writer, activist etc

    • Wow Barehand , this is interesting 🙂 I have moon in the 5th house also 🙂

      • if your moon is 0 degrees Virgo its on the cusp with Leo and that conjuncts fixed star Regulus…a star of the first magnitude and trines Venus? You should meet some really interesting men , specially military with honors and status….you could have been this in a past life…..or have such children. Maybe the mother….by the way my Sun is 29 degrees Leo and conjuncts your moon.

      • Hi Barehand 🙂 my moon is exactly 0.18 degrees in Libra , but in the 5th house 🙂 the cusp of the 5th house is Virgo 🙂 Sorry for the misunderstanding 🙂 the other informations are all correct 🙂

      • That’s ok….puts your moon on my 29 virgo Jupite,r 2 libra chiron and 5 libra Neptune area….in my 12th near ascendant so u could be a past life connection!

      • Wow , that I really cool 🙂

  15. Hi! Great article! I wish I had read it months ago. It very much sounds like I have had a karmic relationship with a man just recently. His birthdate is 15 Aug 1971, born in Florida USA. I have Uranus & Pluto conj in Virgo in my fifth house (according to Placidus style. my 5th house is both Virgo and Libra) with Uranus squaring my 6th house Scorpio sun.

    Shortly before I met him, I had written down/prayed for a Leo man, a man with fire, vision and passion. I reasoned that since my IC is in Leo then it would be a good fit. And then he ‘appeared’! It was a combustible connection from the start which I believed meant something or we were fated to meet… He kept calling me his ‘pleasant surprise.”

    We went back and forth a few times and then he broke off all contact. I was devastated. I’m still not completely over him. I felt so alive when I was with him. In fact, I recently had a lucid dream about him saying not to give up, that we’re not completely finished yet..that did give me hope. That may or may not be true but if we are to move forward I think its important that the feeling is mutual and not just one of us (me lol) pining over the other, and asking for reconciliation. I don’t want to want someone who doesn’t want me.

    I’m feeling better now thankfully but I wish I had done a chart for us to evaluate our compatibility. But then again, it was so intense between us I wonder if I would have had the presence of mind to do it even if it had occurred to me.

    The book sounds fascinating and if going forward with him is possible maybe I can find a way to put the knowledge into practice. In the meantime, I’m going on with my life the best way I can and hopefully the pain will ease and dissolve sooner rather than later.

    Thanks again for the insightful post! Namaste

  16. This makes a lot of sense! I like it!
    I’m currently in a relationship that survived a Saturn transit joining my Mercury in Scorpio (5th house) when I was so sure it wouldn’t. Both of us are Scorpions. In fact we were born just a few hours apart and our charts are almost identical. Almost.
    We have noticed ‘freaky coincidences’ in our lives, we also share a strange kind of telepathy that surprises us every now and then, but most of all, we feel like we are two of a kind at opposite ends of the spectrum. This is not for no reason. The major differences come from our ascendents; while mine is in Cancer, his is in Leo. The moon and the sun. Yin and Yang. We have changed so much since we met 2 years ago. My boyfriend just got his big break and I can feel mine around the corner (things tend to be a little more complicated and long winded with me- all that cancerian side-stepping i guess).
    In spite of all this, there is a nagging feeling that all this will come to an end eventually. Of course there were plenty of times I felt we were perfect for each other but there were also moments of calm where I knew we weren’t. I’m sure he has felt the same too. I’m sure there are others out there who felt the whole Universe was backing their relationship up at times when its such an impossible match. Like there are unstoppable forces drawing us to each other.
    Thanks to this article I have the perspective I need to just enjoy our time together until we have to move on. The forces will probably just as compelling when the end is near. I suppose the 5th house is all about being in the moment. Too much worries over the future just screws with it.

    • Thank you for sharing, Sage. It sounds like a once in a lifetime romance, and I hope it works out for you. Donna

  17. This is another article that addresses a long-lasting problem in my life. I have Venus smack on the cusp between fifth and sixth, so it moves back and forth between those houses depending on house system. My Venus is weak in Aries, even despite her multiple trines and sextiles. My last big love that fits the description was a Taurus like me. We had very similar charts and the points that differed were still compatible (her ASC in Cancer, mine in Scorpio; her Moon in Leo, mine in Aries). Falling in love was as if lightning struck. I spend several months in class with this girl-next-door kind of girl and then, all of a sudden, BAM! I’m head over heels. Then I found out she’s taking a yearly break from studying to go to work abroad. Then my life got really sh*tty – I was depressed, I felt like giving up, but I wanted to see her again, so despite all the spartan conditions at home (with no electricity, warm water, light, etc.) I kept studying and I made myself pass exams, stay in school. And I did it. Of course it was doomed to fail, because she had no idea what I felt for her. Because of my shyness I barely even got to talk to her. On her birthday I gave her flowers and a note with birthday wishes, but she figured out what i felt for her. It ended in a traumatic humiliation in front of both her and my classmates (she sent an e-mail saying she doesn’t feel anything for me and this won’t change to an e-mail address I didn’t get to check until days later. Usually I’d just hang around the classroom she entered to exchange “hi”s, but after that not she stopped responding, pretended I’m not there, etc. And everybody saw that, saw the change in her behaviour. As was with my first love, I gave up on any attempts at romance for years to come. My fifth’s cusp is in Pisces, so one of her reasons for rejecting me was her religious upbringing. I did a chart reading for her and she admitted its so scarily accurate, it must be the work of the devil :/ Another reason was monetary concerns: she didn’t believe I could support a family, which – to be honest – is not unfounded. I still stuggle with my financial bad luck and vocational instability. I think that was the lesson of Venus in Aries she was meant to teach me – being assertive, bold, goal-oriented, ambitious (Aries) when it comes to money (Venus) and work (Venus being on the cusp of sixth).

    Curiously enough, my first love ended with basically the same kind of public humiliation this one did. I leave a private note, expressing my feelings – the next day everyone from my former school, including bullies, knows.

  18. When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get three emails with the same comment. Is there any way you can remove me from that service? Appreciate it!

    • I don’t have direct access to the feedburner mailing list, but you can try unsubscribing and after some time, resubscribe if you wish. Donnas

  19. very nice article . I like the main points given in this article .This article also helps in the daily life . Thanks for sharing this article with us ..

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