Editor’s note: The recent sexual orientation and gender poll indicates that approximately 1 in 4 readers of this blog are queer (i.e., not heterosexual). And for a definition-expanding discussion of queerness, read Eric Francis’ recent post at Planet Waves Daily.
Human sexuality is a fascinating thing. It’s almost impossible to imagine life without our species-wide fixation on sex — we’d have very few popular magazines, even fewer novels and movies, and daytime television would consist entirely of Bob Ross reruns and dog shows. Marketing and modeling firms would all go bankrupt; thousands of pouty, half-naked post-adolescents would wander the streets, attractively grubby, yes, but jobless.
Luckily enough, our obsession with sex is firmly established; there’s nothing more interesting to people than what other people are doing in their bedrooms. Whenever a new person (especially an attractive single) enters the scene, one of the first things we want to know is: gay or straight?
Astrologers are people too, and share the collective obsession. We’ve searched for hundreds of years for factors in the natal chart that might indicate a person’s sexual tendencies, all with questionable success. Well-respected astrologers have offered a whole slew of natal factors as indicators of homosexuality, bisexuality, and gender variance. The more commonly cited include:
- A strong emphasis on mutable signs or Aquarius
- Squares, oppositions, or inconjuncts between Mars or Venus and Uranus
- Strong aspects between Mars or Venus and the Moon
- For women: stressful aspects between the “feminine” planets and Saturn
- For men: stressful aspects between the “masculine” planets and Saturn
- Strong Neptune aspects with any of the personal planets
- and others involving Pluto, the 8th House, the 12th House, etc.
As you might guess, even these few factors leave plenty of room for error and misinterpretation. So far, none of the statistical research has provided a clear-cut astrological answer to the gay or straight question.
Perhaps that’s because there is no definitive answer. Researcher Alfred Kinsey (one of my personal heroes) studied human sexuality more thoroughly than anyone else had ever dreamed possible; his conclusions on the hetero/homo issue can be summed up as follows:
Males [and females, he later proved] do not represent two discrete populations, heterosexual and homosexual. The world is not to be divided into sheep and goats… The living world is a continuum in each and every one of its aspects.
In other words, there’s no such thing as gay or straight, not as an either/or proposition. Individual sexual preference ranges up and down an almost infinite spectrum, and tends to shift several times during a lifetime. Kinsey’s scale of human sexual behavior has seven categories, not two, and his research convinced him that even a seven-category scale was too limiting.
Since sexuality is so crucial to our core identities, it’s no wonder that we search natal charts for astrological clues. If we look hard enough, can we can find something there that tells us, once and for all, who and what we really are?
For better or worse, the evidence points to “No.” Decades of inconclusive astrological studies support Kinsey’s assertions that placing people and their traits into static categories is fairly useless. People are funny that way. Maybe what we really are is more complex than we can count or predict.
We may have a Venus square Saturn that tends to sharpen our awareness of all things feminine. We may have a Sagittarius Mars/Venus conjunction in the 5th that tends to increase our desire for novel experiences and sexual adventures. We may have a ton of planets in Pisces, which is just downright confusing all around.
Some of these aspects may wind up describing same-sex relationships, or then again, they may not. Our Venus/Saturn square subject may become a women’s rights advocate, while remaining happily married with three kids. Our Sagittarius Mars/Venus subject may do all her adventuring with members of the opposite sex (maybe every member of the opposite sex within a hundred-mile radius, if she’s really diligent.) Our befuddled Pisces subject may decide it’s all too much and hie herself to a nunnery, where, bad porn plots aside, she remains celibate for the rest of her life.
If astrology teaches us anything at all, it’s that our charts describe the organic process of becoming a unique individual. Even if we do identify a few indicators of LGBT tendencies — statistically or within our own charts — they’re still merely representations of real life’s dynamic, fluid interactions, a process that consistently flips the bird at categorization.
Gay, straight, bi, queer, trans, whatever … regardless of what our path looks like, the experiences reflected in our chart ultimately lead to a sexual identity that grows deeper, clearer, and ever more ours as we mature. And as we more fully experience our unique sexual identity with all its variations and permutations, we more fully experience ourselves.
Is it any wonder we’re so fascinated?
For more info on Kinsey’s Heterosexual/Homosexual Rating Scale, visit the Kinsey Institute (the above quote’s source can be found there as well). And for more information on astrological research into LGBT indicators, the article Astrology and Homophobia by Peter Clamp cites several well-known studies, and is a good place to start.
About the Author
Laura F. Walton is a writer, artist, and arts instructor based in Texas. She has been a practicing astrologer for nearly ten years; she specializes in areas of sexuality, individuality, and creative self-discovery. She has contributed forecasts for print media, and currently provides monthlies on her blog Astro What?