Polyamory and Infidelity: The Ethical Slut Versus the Cheater

 

On the surface, it might seem that polyamory (open relationships) looks the same as infidelity in the natal chart. After all, they’re both about having more than one partner. But there is a crucial difference between the two. The key word in open relationships is “open.” Both partners have agreed to the arrangement. In the case of infidelity, one partner may or may not be aware of the other’s extracurricular activities, but they are not in agreement with their lover going outside the relationship. This difference shows up in the natal charts of polyamorists versus the charts of those who have cheated on their partners.

Ethics and Deception

I’ve written a post about the charts of people in open relationships, so I won’t go into detail here. Some prevalent configurations:

  • Natal Juno in Sagittarius
  • Juno in Gemini and Pisces
  • Gemini and Sagittarius on the Ascendant or Descendant
  • The Moon, Venus, Mars in the above signs
  • The Moon in Aquarius
  • Aspects from Uranus to the Moon, Venus or Mars
  • Natal Sun/Venus conjunctions

The overall theme is a need for freedom, along with expansion (more to give, and the desire to receive more) in committed relationships. One lover is not enough, and traditional relationship rules don’t work.

The above factors are present (in various combinations) across a range charts of those who have been unfaithful. The Gemini/Sag energy of more than one option is emphasized in some charts. Aspects from Uranus create impatience with rules, in other charts. Sun/Venus conjunctions pump the sense of entitlement for some. But the key difference is this: the cheaters all have hard aspects (square, opposition or inconjunct but not conjunction) from natal Neptune to their personal planets, Juno, or Sun/Moon midpoint. Although hard Neptune aspects may exist in the charts of polyamorists, I didn’t see any in my selection (admittedly, I did not examine hundreds of charts). To a lesser extent, I also noticed 12th House personal planets (especially Venus, Mars or the Moon) in the charts of cheaters, and these planets often received hard Neptune aspects. Again, this didn’t come up in the charts of polyamorists (although I didn’t have birth times for all of them).

It boils down to openness versus deception. It’s a fact that not everyone with hard Neptune aspects, or 12th House planets, is going to cheat. But these aspects, combined with other factors that encourage a desire for more than one partner, can lead to deception in relationships. Neptune dissolves boundaries and accountability. In some cases, Neptune can make deception attractive; in the clear light of honesty, infidelity looses its appeal. 12th House planets are “hidden” so the cheater may deceive him or herself about what they’re doing. Or, they just enjoy keeping secrets. Conjunctions to Neptune (which I did find in the charts of some polyamorists) indicate fusion, making it easier to integrate Neptune’s energy. In other words, openly owning the transcendence of limits, rather than having one foot in and one foot outside a relationship.

As a side note, I didn’t notice any Sagittarius Junos in the charts of the unfaithful. Sagittarius is the sign of beliefs, and Juno in Sag people need to have a partner who shares their relationship belief system. Obviously, if someone is deceiving their partner, there’s a lack of agreement on how to be in a relationship.

An interesting subtheme in many (but not all) of the charts of polyamorists and adulterers were hard Saturn aspects (square, opposition, conjunction) to personal planets. These aspects would increase the sense of duty and restriction. You might think this would result in the native restricting him or herself to one partner. But in these cases, it seems that the approaches to relationships are a reaction to Saturn’s limits. For someone who’s in a poly relationship, it’s an open rejection of tradition. But it should be noted that polyamorists have their own rules: honesty and respect for boundaries are huge. For a cheater, there’s resentment of commitment and the desire to escape. But he or she feels trapped. The mix of hard Neptune and Saturn aspects (even if they don’t hit the same planet) results in a feeling of helplessness. The affair was beyond their control. It “just happened.”

Note that the title of this article refers to “The Ethical Slut: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships and Other Adventures”

Related: Astrology Truth or Myth: You Can Spot a Cheater by Looking at Their Chart

About Nadia Gilchrist

Nadia Gilchrist offers over 19 years of experience in astrology. Her writings and personal consultations focus on applying practical astrological analysis to the real world. Nadia blogs regularly at Ruby Slipper Astrology.
 

Comments

  1. magiczara says:

    Nice to get this information. And I agree, the key difference is honesty/openness vs. deception.

  2. Nadia,

    There are some countries where divorce is either not allowed or made near impossible by law even if there is clear cruelty from one party to the other.
    For example say a man or woman has left his spouse and has filed a divorce on very reasonable grounds. The spouse resists the divorce. And the law deems that the plaintiff’s grounds for divorce are not valid and therefore keeps the plaintiff legally enslaved in the marriage for years and years against his/her wish (by way of prolonged court/legal procedures). Then in such a situation if s/he (the plaintiff) seeks out another partner what does that amount to? Polyamory or Cheating or something else? What are the astrological pointers?

  3. Catherine Reeves says:

    Hi Nadia,

    Another great article -thanks for sharing.

    I personally am not into cheating as it shows a lack of respect to the other person. I have entertained the idea of polygamy but have never followed through with this. I do however have a number of your adulterer signs (12th house Venus ((ruler of the 7th)) square 9th house Uranus/Neptune/Juno conjunction. Juno etc sextile Pisces sun/merc in the 11th as well. ) I have quite a prominent Saturn and strong Mars so I think that could do a lot to ‘harden my resolve’ so to speak of what I believe in (9th ) does that sound about right to you?

    Cat

  4. Hi Nadia,

    Thanks for this article.

    I have heard some say that Venus in 8 can also indicate an (hidden) affair. What do you think about this placement?

    Nanea

  5. @magiczara
    just that one energetic shift can make all the difference.

  6. @Essie
    it doesn’t sound like polyamory to me. Regardless of the external circumstances, both parties must be in agreement if it’s going to be a truly poly relationship. I would suspect the astrological pointers would involve a lot of hard Saturn aspects, but I can’t say for sure without having an actual chart in front of me.

  7. @Catherine Reeves
    thanks for presenting an example of a chart with 12th House Venus that’s used in a responsible way. I was hoping to get a response like this, if only to prove what I’ve always said…it’s your choice how you manifest your natal energies. I can’t say if it sounds right or not without seeing your chart, but it sounds like you’ve got a handle on what can be a very difficult aspect.

  8. @Nanea
    I suppose it could, but that’s not the first thing I associate 8th House Venus with. This is more about the desire for all consuming intensity in love, or (depending on other aspects) secrets based in the past which block the full expression of intimacy..

  9. The Gemini-Sag axis is very predictable for multiple partners’ pattern, and that goes if they manage to get the partner’s acceptance and call it whatever they like or choose to go underwater. But I am surprised by the Leo thing. I saw a lot of people with Leo planets, especially Venus or Mars, flirting like hell, more or less for need of attention and validation. But without personal planets, again Venus or Mars, in Gemini or the other Mutable signs, they don’t seem to go further. Take Paul McCartney, all Gemini, so much stabilised by his Leo Moon. Not just for the sake of stability, but because the one, if it’s the good one, seems to be stronger than the multiplicity, it has value and sense. Attention and validation from multiple sources are just shallow rewards compared to what every Leo secretly and ultimately aspires to, which would be eternal love and endless attention from the most remarkable of human beings :)). About planets in Gemini, of course there is a lot of data about their general attention deficiency, along with their need for variety. But I was wondering: Gemini and Virgo, the two mercurial signs, are also the ones most “criticized”, astrologically speaking, in love (the other two Mutable signs, the jupiterians, come next). Basically, the cliché says that Virgo is cold and Gemini is unfaithful and shallow. But these are the mercurial signs and Mercury’s nature is bisexual. Even the equal marriage was obtained in most of the countries under Jupiter conjunct BML transit of Gemini. Maybe they are all that shallow or cold if culturally more or less persuaded into straight relationships that are not natural to them and that coldness and shallowness would simply be the unconscious sign of their profound disinterest in that kind of relationship. Now, to make myself the devil’s advocate, I saw planets in Gemini in gay relationships, still being superficial, lacking intensity and substance, but excelling in multiplicity. That is annoying:), I liked to think of it in cultural terms. Maybe a Gemini Mars would just like to talk while, you know. Or to conquer with words. And a Virgo Mars would be so perfectionist that it would never get to enjoy the scenery. Or both of them would just be a gay barometer, with no other interpretation needed. That’s where your experience with lots and lots of clients comes. The Gauquelins should reincarnate somewhere:)

  10. I have Sun and Juno in Sag in 7th House, Ascendant and Moon in Gemini, Saturn in Opposition to Mars and Neptune conjunct my DC.

    My playful, curious and generous nature has often been exploited by schemers and so now I feel threatened by such experiments and adventures. I hope to recover someday…

  11. Composite 10H Sun conj Merc Venus in Gemini all opposite 4H Neptune Ceres conj in Saggi Taurus MC..there’s poly and cheating in this combination.Between this couple, th male would like a poly arrangement but th female isn’t willing.Both are secretly bi-sexual which is obvious to evryone.Both have hard natal Venus/Pluto aspects and love the idea of more than one partner.Both are androgenous in appearance too.Saturn in Gemini fm th composite H11 trines H3 Uranus in Libra trines Aquarius H7 where Moon and Jup both sit..they share 2 sons.H5 Saggi houses Juno conj BML..I guess this is th token aspect of cheating, especially in th 5th house too.

  12. I am an example of the Gemini Sag axis. Two marriages already and a number of attractions on the side. However I have many Saturn hard aspects that make me want to not have more than one partner. My breakups come from the other person. I always want to cling on to security and familiar.

  13. Did anyone notice Saturn just entered Sag and we’re already doing Gemini bashing? After all, they’re just mentally and verbally more active, maybe more inclined towards factual accumulation than to attributing signification to those facts, but that doesn’t mean anything (I’ll say that in really Gemini style). Like any sign, Gemini must find some solutions to its problems in its opposite sign. So if we attribute multiple parallel relationships and infidelity to the Gemini signature, than the solution lies in Sag: fully admitting the significance of what we’re doing, even when we equally admit that it is part of our destiny and therefore we must do it. The Sagittarian virtue is truth and its greater sin would be a lie or a “false prophecy”. Imagining that if we obtain the partner’s consent to cheating him, that means he must be happy about it (?)), or that what we’re doing is part of a cool lifestyle or that all those multiple relationships would have the same intensity as the one who really engages our heart, all that looks more like rationalisations and denial . Admitting that what we’re doing is not nice, that we are not always nice and that there is no optimum solution or optimum lifestyle that would be equitable for everyone: that would be a beginning (of course, the one causing suffering just to entertain silly relationships would be a fool). Humans tried everything, from arranged marriages to hippy communities, from romantic marriage to officially establishing the position of the mistress, and still didn’t get rid of emotional suffering. There’s no system that really works, and that’s the whole idea: we have to suffer and to continue turning the wheel. A disequilibrium or dissatisfaction or injustice must always linger, otherwise we wouldn’t be here, and restoring the equilibrium or repairing that injustice is probably the very fuel of our existence: the mouse wheel we’re in, or the bigger wheel we’re tied to, the one called the Zodiac. So I would say “I admit that I’m doing something wrong, I believe I must do it and I assume my debt to you. To repay this debt I will probably come again to meet you” (or “Put it on my bill, Joe”). Gemini must “borrow” the solution to its problems from its opposite sign: give up for a moment the sterile agitation meant to fool himself, look into the eye of the truth and give up the niceness myth (maybe that’s more Scorpio like).

  14. sag ascendant
    venus in pisces
    mars inconjunct uranus

    other mutable influences i have on my chart

    sun conjunct jupiter in aries 5th
    sun square neptune 5/2
    mercury in pisces conjunct ic
    jupiter square neptune
    mc/ic axis virgo pisces
    chiron in gemini (exactly trine juno in aquarius)

    i’ve always been open to a polyamorous relationship but i’ve never been in one. my personal utopia would be a world where sex was more of an activity and less of a basis of a relationship but that’s probably because i’m gay and babies don’t typically just come into the mix. but really though, my chart is very mutable and i have unrealistic expectations of love and what life should be and happily seek my life as an ethical slut.

    luckily i can manage to be a good person with the help of my moon in taurus and unaspected saturn in sag in my first house. i am very practical and mature when it comes to emotions, myself and others 🙂 lol

  15. sailor.mercury says:

    I love the Juno is Sagittarius dilemma. It is tru of both BAE and I that we automatically knew that we shared the same perception of the world. Stranye stranoye, they call it in Russian. It made for great love-making and passionate retaliation to anyone…
    The Neptune and Saturn conjunct the Venus and Mons in me, for my other BAE, and we love to roleplay everything! 🙂 Also, Gemeni steals my heart as she is a reflection of my own soul.
    🙂

  16. No, it’s Leon and Gemini with many planets in cancer, Leon get to turn on to see his wife with other men, wife swipe, and swinger clubs …. 🙂

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