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.