Though there are many reasons for seeking relationship, it’s probably our sense of the erotic, the passionate core of our desire to connect with others, that is the true driving force behind dating and mating. When we inspect the natal chart for ‘passion indicators,’ we see various facets of passion, desire, and sexuality:
- Venus tells us the nature of our loves, our values, our idea of what relationship is like, and for a woman shows her ‘ideal Self.’
- Neptune points to the character of our life ideals, our spiritual ideals, and our fantasies.
- Uranus hints at our concept of Utopia.
- The Sun describes our Soul needs (which may or may not involve relationship).
- The Moon sings of our emotional needs, Mercury of our communication requirements (and our possible fraternal or sororal ones) and Jupiter of our social ones.
- Saturn suggests what we need to feel secure.
- Mars and Pluto focus on our need to assert ourselves, to express our life energy in the world (including via the urge to reproduce), with Mars describing a man’s ‘ideal Self’ and Pluto suggesting our darker nature, which may have sexual overtones.
Using the natal horoscope, we can cobble together a colorful and relatively full picture of the individual as a passionate Being, but we may miss out on some very important points, namely those indicated by the placement and aspects of the asteroid Eros.
Named for the child of Zeus/Jupiter and Aphrodite/Venus — who was the forerunner to our modern day idea of Cupid — Eros is no diaper-clad, arrow-slinging cherub, but a full grown winged god. Eros symbolizes passion, and all the things that can go wrong with it; his own story illustrates many of the points brought forward by the asteroid. Eros was given a quiver of magic arrows by Venus in order to make Psyche — a mortal whom Venus had heard rivaled her in beauty — fall in love with a beast, which Venus believed would cause Psyche to be rejected by humanity. But Eros accidentally cut himself, fell for Psyche, then whisked her away to a hidden lair where he would come to her as her husband at night. Psyche was forbidden to look upon him; if she had, she would’ve known it was a god to whom she was married. The secrecy of their arrangement was to keep Venus from knowing. Venus kept her son Eros close to her, and her refusal to allow him to form bonds with other living Beings brings us to the nature of Eros itself: Eros (and the erotic) are expressions of the sexualizing of someone or something.
Previous to meeting Psyche, poor Eros had fixed his sexual energies on objects, when his mother thwarted his natural inclinations; thus Eros can also indicate fetishism. This introduces a further, important component of Eros — we must choose the erotic object, and that is a mental process, not simply a response to existing passion. Though Eros fixed on Psyche ‘accidentally,’ we must recognize that — though we pretend to have no part in forming erotic attachments — the choices are ours alone. In short, Eros in our charts describes what and whom we choose to have a sexually-charged passion for.
Eros contacts in the natal chart
Eros contacts between partner charts can pinpoint the most exciting parts of the interaction, but Eros’ aspects to other bodies in the individual chart illuminate what we may focus our erotic enthusiasm upon; these are our ‘E’ spots, or, to use an antique phrase, ‘what turns us on.’ Whether the aspect is ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ between Eros and other placements may lend a more positive or negative cast to the manifestation, but what’s really important is that contact is made, especially between Eros and the personal planets.
- When Eros touches the Sun, we have someone whose very identity is erotic in nature — he or she may have many passionate attachments expressive of the Soul, or may feel ‘blended’ with and identify themselves as an embodiment of eroticism and passion. (Power, or persons who stand out, who ‘shine’ in some way, are the turn on.)
- With the Moon, Eros imbues the emotions with a high degree of passionate intensity, as well as a strong desire to have one’s emotional way. (Remember, Eros married Psyche despite his mother’s objections to her very existence — in this, Eros showed both a healthy desire to break away from parental control, and a dysfunctional and immature insistence on doing what he wanted without the courage to do it openly.) Here, emotions are the turn on.
- Teamed with Mercury, we may see communication that inherently carries a sexual charge (or that carries sexual content or implication, deliberately or not; all exchanges may be the turn on).
- With Venus, we find Eros welcomed, as the love and erotic nature merge, but Eros may be overwhelmed by the requirements of Venus — thus the chosen erotic target may have to have Venusian standards attached and these will be the turn ons, such as great beauty, money, identical erotic preferences, or compatible values.
- With Mars, Eros may bring the erotic into the competitive sphere, or every Self assertion may be tinged with an aura of sexual conquest — even relationships that are platonic. Ego, aggression, even selfishness may be turn ons.
There are many other possibilities; an awareness of the inclinations of the erotic within ourselves can only expand our Self-understanding, and open our nature to new, suitable expressions of passion.
About the Author
Julie Demboski has been an astrologer for 20+ years and currently resides in Eugene, Oregon. View her services, her blog, and her books, Chiron in the Natal Chartand The Astrology of Intimate Relationshipavailable at Amazon.com or through Dog & Sunflower Press. Contact Julie at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Find Eros in your birthchart: View the Eros ephemeris at astro.com.