Mars, Venus, Androgyny and Same-Sex Relationships

I’ve lived in lesbian zones throughout my adulthood, from Ithaca NY and San Francisco to Brooklyn, where I recently moved from Dyke Slope to Windsor Terrace.

In light of my recent posts on Venus and Mars, I’ve been wondering about queer couples, and androgyny in general. (Not that they are necessarily related.) Although it is a stereotype to say that lesbians take on masculine characteristics and that gay men take on feminine characteristics, many gays and lesbians genderbend or crossover into opposite-gender mannerisms. Yet there are also lipstick lesbians and bears. I once had a lesbian psychotherapy client who was so ultra-feminine (Venus in Leo, by the way) that my experience with her totally shifted my perceptions about queerness.

And then there are straight people. According to my poll results, Mars in Virgo in a woman’s chart won the most votes for attraction to a “feminine” heterosexual man. (Virgo is an earth sign with a feminine/negative/yin polarity, frequently associated with prissiness.) Many straights don’t feel comfortable with the rigid behavioral scripts associated with their own gender. Some people have assumed I’m gay because I have some feminine mannerisms. My wife rarely ever wears skirts or dresses, and she’s a better fixer-upper than I am. My daughter feels uncomfortable with the “girly girls” in fourth grade.

There is a fluidity to gender, and we ought not judge people based on how they “act out” their Venus and Mars. A butch dyke may feel more comfortable asserting her Mars and finding Venus in a feminine girlfriend. A straight “metrosexual” man may embrace his Venus while still feeling comfortable using his Mars to make the first move with women. (Or not.) A lipstick lesbian may identify as much with Venus as a straight “girly girl,” yet project her Mars onto a woman instead of a man. A man who has sex with men may shun his Venus, while a gay man may embrace his inner queen.

We all have Venus and Mars in our charts. Just as the horoscope does not tell whether we’re male or female, it may not indicate the degree to which we identify with either or both of these archetypes, or how much we project these archetypes onto others. Personally, I’m all for “owning” both Venus and Mars in one’s chart. To the degree that you don’t consciously express a planetary archetype, you will seek its expression in the environment — especially via an attraction to people who embody that planet for you.

Looking at Jung’s formulation of anima and animus, it would appear that a man who has not integrated his anima will be attracted to a hyper-feminine woman (SuperVenus!). Similarly, a woman who has not integrated her animus will be attracted to super-alpha-Rambo-men. Although there is nothing wrong with attraction to someone who displays exaggerated characteristics of Venus or Mars (as they are defined in one’s culture), this attraction may suggest that one is not sufficiently in touch with his or her own opposite-gender planet (male/Venus, female/Mars) and hence needs to find its expression through a partner to feel whole or complete.

I’m not saying that if you truly “own” both Venus and Mars, you won’t be attracted to anyone anymore. Simply that — through study of your natal chart — you can find ways to consciously express your opposite-gender planet to develop into a fuller human being.

First photo by skrufi, second photo by bobster1985 under CC license.

About Jeffrey Kishner

Jeffrey Kishner is founder and publisher of Sasstrology. He is a licensed mental health counselor and has been doing astrological counseling since 2001. Jeffrey has been published in print magazines including The Mountain Astrologer and Dell Horoscope, and has written online for sites including AOL, Tarot.com and StarIQ. Jeffrey has also been heavily involved in the astrology blogger community. Read his personal blog at JeffreyKishner.com.

Comments

  1. Sagilarious says:

    Hey I know this isn’t the right place post this, but I wanted to say farewell to all my friends here…..I have decided that I don’t believe in astrology anymore, so I am not gonna do it anymore.

    Yeah, weird. Sorry.

    I will miss you all, and I know that by posting first on a new post, some of my dearest friends will see my goodbye. Victoria, I’ll miss ya. Jeffrey, you kick all kinds of ass!

    I deleted my ning profile too.

    I quit.

    byes

  2. Life happens.

    I’m so glad you found your special honey though Amber, it sounds like the real thing this time. I still want what you’re having . . .

    Gotta get me some 😉

  3. Jeffrey Kishner says:

    Bye, Sagilarious. I’m sorry to see you go, and a little sad and confused. How does one decide they no longer believe in astrology?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Interesting little column today. It feels pretty complicated when I try to apply the comments to my own life and preferences. At different times in my life I have seen myself as either lesbian or straight (all or nothing for me-no in between lol), and in both identities, I was attracted to the seemingly masculine. An overwhelming stellium in Cancer is the main feature of my chart, with an androgynous Mars. I don’t relly understand the Jungian comment, so could you extrapolate or develop that a bit? Thanks.

  5. Jeffrey Kishner says:

    Anima is a man’s inner “image” of a woman. Animus is a woman’s inner image of a man. They are archetypes of the collective unconscious. For example, if a man has a dream about a woman, it can be seen as his inner feminine sending him a message.

  6. i dont believe in not believing in things, personally. one thing i do believe in – like and dislike are completely legitimate ‘reasons why’

    hmm anyway, sorry it has taken me a while to reply this is one of those things that is annoying for me to try explain. so much for gemini and communication, for me anything that isnt idle chatter is complete block !

    alasss.. i am not a lesbian in fact but i somehow identify as fitting in there. number one i always felt idiosyncratic, in a nonradical way being apart from the traditional world – trying to make this sound like not cheap and simplistic (“different from society” wtf lol) – and in most circles being homosexual is a greencard to being seen as having that basically somewhat different way.

    then moreover i think those few closest to me have considered me being lesbian. in a very different way than in looking butch or being marsy- rather it is that the more people get to know me and i dont share any more info about relationships i guess they question if i am in the closet(?). for me relationships even fleeting and casual fall in the core sphere of privacy the one that is shared only by me..barely even bythe other person lol. i am a lunatic in this sense, completely fastidious, i am even closed off to guys when i go out with close friends bc having them around turns me off, all of this plus my greater appreciation for feminine than masculine beauty leaves them at the v least being unsure.

    even my parents are not sure of my sexual orientation, i think they think bi is a possibility. i like to keep it this way. unless i suddenly marry a man one day then, eventually id let them in on it but still they will never be certain of the other half.

    i guess..this has NOTHING to do w/venus and mars lol. i guess it shows however, other ways beyond venus and mars to be a toughie to pin down. the long neurotic way about it.

  7. another war and peace there. u know one thing, one of my favorite tv shows is the L Word. the girls are all traditionally gorgeous (there are canons of beauty and of course it applies to everyone not just straights after all ,and its LA). i was drawn into the first season by the character Jenny. again though it was that there was something about her not fitting in 100% or being different, even into the lesbian world at that time. even this(5th) season she will call herself pariah.

  8. SummerCusp says:

    I’ve thought about sexuality for a very long time. I think defining it seems weird to me. I don’t claim to be heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual etc. That may seem strange, I just don’t understand categorizing myself. I’m sexual. I’ve studied ancient cultures and their sexual belief systems. I think the ancient Greeks had the most interesting sexual society. There were no terms for homosexuality or heterosexuality either. I just think its another way to classify yourself to fit and mold into a certain societal class.

  9. ‘i believe in it though’ lol. seriously tho. i think biologically each person does have an urge one way or both(maybe) to a sexual orientation. its like a term from the very l word, for a straight person who has dabbled in lesbian life, the ‘hasbean’. being open minded or somehow attracted (whether it is out of curiousity, u like the person individually, aesthetically, platonically, whatever) to people of the same sex or opposite when u are straight, gay respectively isnt really the same as being fundamentally biologically driven to them.

  10. Sagilarious says:

    Jeffrey I just don’t know where it came from and what its properties are. What I mean is, there is nothing substantial backing it up as a science, and I have yet to see a test that makes any sense as a way to confirm it. I have been extensively reading work in Quantum Theory lately because I am so frustrated with not knowing how it all works. I want answers, not ideas. Something tangible that can be explained in a way that doesn’t contradict everything else. E=mc2 is a nice one. Where is the astrological version of that?

    I’d say maybe we are influenced by the planets whirling around. But I am also influenced by my gender, loved-ones dying, wars, and anything else going on around me. There are a plethora of stimuli contributing to the nature of my existence, so I cannot see why this deserves special merit. It could be a planet appears to be moving backwards in the sky which effects my day…or the fact that I didn’t get much sleep the night before because the stupid naval base is running some loud tests and now I have to drink caffeine for the first time in months.

    I also became extremely pissed off when I read Kurt Cobain’s suicide note the other day, in which he attributed part of his problems with being a Pisces! I love a man who is Pisces. If this f**ked up science is going to have a beautiful and wonderful human being thinking he is a wacked-out maniac on the verge of self-destruction just for being born, then I will go to war with the science itself for trying to kill him. How dare it! If he is a jacked-up Pisces, then I am Santa Claus. Kurt only wrote one long paragraph, about to blow his head off, and he thought the word Pisces belonged there.

  11. An old cowboy sat down at the bar and ordered a drink. As he sat sipping his drink, a young woman sat down next to him. She turned to the cowboy and asked, Are you a real cowboy?

    He replied, Well, I’ve spent my whole life, breaking colts, working cows, going to rodeos, fixing fences, pulling calves, bailing hay, doctoring calves, cleaning my barn, fixing flats, working on tractors, and feeding my dogs, so I guess I am a cowboy.

    She said, I’m a lesbian. I spend my whole day thinking about women. As soon as I get up in the morning, I think about women. When I shower, I think about women. When I watch TV, I think about women. I even think about women when I eat. It seems that everything makes me think of women.

    The two sat sipping in silence.
    A little while later, a man sat down on the other side of the old cowboy and asked, Are you a real cowboy?

    He replied, I always thought I was, but I just found out I’m a lesbian.

  12. LOL– re: the cowboy.that was a good one!love it

    proserpine

  13. Sagilarious, I’m glad you found the right one too.
    But re: your recents explnation- what has a suicidal depressed young man (who was also burnt out on drugs) got to do with the veracity (or not) of astrolgy?
    He might’ve also said he was a Catholic or a Buddhist and then we could argue that to Catholics suicide is absoutely wrong–but he still killed himself even if he was Jewish or an atheist.
    So, he *thought* being a Piseces had to do with it?
    He was depressed and all mixed up emtionally–*that* had to do with it!
    You can not believe in astrology–that’s your right, of course!
    But, then again–why believe in anything?
    Since I believe in an afterlife–why am I sad when my mother died, or my good friend was killed suddenly?
    And –you know death is part of natural life–so why be effected?
    Because there’s more to it than logic can explain!
    I think you know this, but you’re pulling our leg(s).

  14. Jeffrey–I am very very glad you mentioned what you did about how some people have not integrated their anima or animus and therefore are attracted to the extreme steroetype in the opposite sex.
    I agree–completely, and I see it all the time.
    Actually, just for information, some gay men and women are similarly extreme about who they find attractive, as well.

  15. Summercusp–I agree to a point, but in ancient Greece there were terms used.
    I wish that our society *would be* more accepting withoutn making a big deal of it either.
    In long -ago Greece, there was more acceptance of same sex lovers but actually,some men just had sex wiht men because they felt women were too dim minded to be worthy of them.
    Not my favorite attitude.

  16. “a woman who has not integrated her animus will be attracted to super-alpha-Rambo-men . . this attraction may suggest that one is not sufficiently in touch with his or her own opposite-gender planet (male/Venus, female/Mars) and hence needs to find its expression through a partner to feel whole or complete”

    Hmmm, I wouldn’t know about that. Or maybe I would.

    Considering I dress like a woman, think like a man, work like a horse and laugh like a hyena 😉

    In all seriousness, although I appear to be in all manner of speaking an extremely feminine woman– my bedroom is a pink Pollyanna paradise and I always wear makeup and heels and cater to men’s whims– there is a highly strong, aggressive and independent masculine side to my nature, and people tell me all the time I think like a man.

    Still, masculine as my thought process and opinions may be, I remain incredibly attracted to Alpha-Type male chauvinist pigs who strut their stuff in the good old-fashioned James Bond way, 1950s style. I firmly believe men should be men and women should be women. Dogs should be dogs and cats should be cats, and so on and so forth.

    As Terri brilliantly put it, “If I want a dog, I get a dog, not teach my cat to bark.”

    Let every seed bring forth after its own kind. You cross a horse and a donkey and you get a mule. Mules can’t reproduce, and they ain’t too bright either. Word has it they’re very stubborn too.

    Ta da.

  17. Anonymous says:

    I know a lesbian (very athletic) who sleeps with a particular “Rambo-man” (very athletic) once in a while. She refuses to talk about it, so I have nothing substantial to contribute – but I find it fascinating and just wanted to mention it!
    All I know is that this “Rambo-type” is a very sensitive man (stelliums in Leo and Scorpio w/Neeptune); one gets the impression he wears his body like an armor…

  18. The Daily Dream Decoder from Astrology.com says:

    Anima / Animus

    These are terms that Jung created to describe the opposite-gender self that lives within each of us.

    The anima is the feminine component dwelling inside a male’s unconscious mind. The animus is the masculine component dwelling inside a female’s unconscious mind.

    In dreams, this opposite-gender self can be a helper or an antagonist. These dream figures can appear as translations of persons we meet with whom we have a tremendous sense of romantic love or platonic camaraderie. One of Jung’s interpreters held that the anima/animus character was only understandable to those who have known true love.

    However, our opposite-gender selves may reveal to us negativity in ourselves or negativity we perceive in dealings with the opposite sex. It is important to note that sometimes, when you dream about a person of the opposite sex, they may be representing your own inner self. Carefully consider all persons of the opposite sex in your dreams as a possible appearance of your own anima / animus.

    What do these strangers teach you about how you view the opposite sex-do you fear, lust for, or despise these strangers for any apparent reason?

  19. Thanks for this. Great article.

    Whenever I see “In a woman’s chart” or “in a mans chart” I switch off as I believe male/female are archetypes, and we all possess both energies within ourselves.. It is a pet peeve I have always had with some astrological interpretations. As a side note , hormonal levels might explain it, but human sexuality is too fluid to bog down into neat categories.

    Another is the theory that gays and lesbians have Venus-Uranus aspects natally. As though a single natal chart could predict exactly how an individual would turn out – what about those folks with venus-Uranus aspects who are NOT gay.

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