What placements in astrology can give androgynous looks? ✨✨
Androgyny in Astrology
Why is Gender mentioned in Astrology? ☿⚨♅
an·drog·y·ny | \ an-ˈdrä-jə-nē \
The quality or state of being neither specifically feminine or masculine: the combination of feminine and masculine characteristics: the quality or state of being androgynous — Merriam-Webster
*NOTE: I will not speak upon androgynous appearance - chart indicators in this post. It's quite a complex topic, as it requires much reflection on gender norms of contemporary society and how it contributes to astrological practices/terminology. Therefore, I would like to redirect the conversation; to open up a discourse on gendered astrology and its roots.
Perhaps you've previously heard of the saying... or book, "Men are from ♂ Mars and Women are from ♀ Venus" (1992). Relationship counsellor and lecturer, John Gray had written this book to hypothesize that men and women are inherently, fundamentally opposites. Of course, this goes against and invalidates experiences of non-binary/androgynous identities. But of course again, Gray did not make this concept up out of nowhere— there has been a long standing history of Euro/male centric research surrounding ideologies that oppress and disregard minorities or marginalized groups:
"Astrology guides that heavily emphasize gender came about because of who traditionally had power in astrology, Lanyadoo adds: cis straight white men."
In the polarities of astrology, there is something we describe as the Masculine and Feminine. Perhaps you've heard of ♄ Saturn or the ☉ Sun being described as the 'Father' and the ☽ Moon being the 'Mother.' We often see this implication in gendered language as well (Sol is masculine and Luna is feminine in Spanish). Modern New Age astrologers often make this reference due to the notions of the Sun being an active, domineering planet, whilst the Moon is described as the passive, receptive planet (which relies on the Sun).
But where do these notions come from?
Perhaps it's the ubiquitous Creation Myths of the world that references the Sky/Heaven as a powerhouse— a life force that helps the Moon shine and the Earth thrive... the mother.
Could it have been colonization, essentialization and mistranslations of Hindu/Vedic, Buddhist, Daoist, Indigenous and African beliefs on gender?
We may have opened a can of worms here.
The global spectrum of gender and sexuality has been mystified into binary categories. I am reminded of the Hijras who were well respected and revered, especially prior to British Colonialism:
"In pre-colonial India, gender was incredibly fluid and same-sex relations were not looked down upon. There were multiple gender categories in existence, rather than the binary of man and woman, as presented in the west and as commonly held today (India has become the first country to officially recognize a third gender).
Yet for the British, gender fluidity was a sign of backwardness and those the British identified as men, and who were more androgynous in appearance were seen as weak and unmanly (again in contrast to the masculine, strong Europeans)."
Much of the West dominates the discourse on gender politics, and makes it difficult to discuss "concepts of gender in other forms and cultures," as it would be explored through a pre-conceived Western lens.
This is the case with the ☯ yin and yang... the origin of today's New Age astrology polarities. The Daoist philosophy of dualism speaks upon the light and dark elements, being interconnected— both are needed. Although Western descriptions will fixate on the duality of masculine and feminine energy, as if that's what the yin and yang is all about. We will see this as I explain these polarities within the next part of this post.
I will have to move on from this topic, as it will take me a whole dissertation to discuss the colonial impacts on other religious and cultural concepts of gender.
↓ Please feel free to click the resource links below for more research ↓
Polarities in Astrology
*NOTE: This is where it will get convoluted. The Fire and Air element is categorized as masculine due to the notion that they are initiators, extroverted, and ambitious. Whereas the Earth and Water element is more passive, introverted, and slower to react (re: the Moon and Earth being the Mother).
In the Daoist philosophy, yīn 陰 is the "black side" and yáng 陽 is the "white side"— it does not explicitly translate to "masculine" or "feminine," but rather indicates the entirety of polar opposites in the world that coexists. It does not define an individual's gender, as we all have both elements within us as humans:
Masculine signs and planets (Fire and Air)
Aries, Leo, Sagittarius and Gemini, Libra, Aquarius
Sun, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn
Feminine signs and planets (Earth and Water)
Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn and Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces
Moon, Venus, Neptune, and Pluto
Gender Neutral Planets
**Gemini is deemed as the Masculine, while Virgo is the Feminine manifestation of Mercury. Aquarius is listed as Masculine due to its Air element (although I may argue that it can be non-binary as well).
As the 'Messenger of Gods,' Mercury/Hermes uses their power to communicate between the masculine and feminine energies of the spiritual and physical worlds. The act of crossing boundaries is reflected in the non-binary gender, hence Mercury's ☿ sign and the ⚕ Caduceus have been used to symbolize androgyny. Moreover, the relationship between Hermes and Aphrodite, as well as their child has also played a role in the symbolism of trans and androgynous identities.
German scholar, Karl Heinrich Ulrichs (who is also known as transgender) associated the term 'Uranian' with the 'third sex.' As Uranus governs progressive, innovative and rebellious thinking or movement— it is no doubt that there would be connections to androgyny. The Uranian person is meant to go against the status quo and embrace their authentic Self.
Fun fact: Sailor Uranus is androgynous!
Gender Neutral Signs
***Perhaps you have realized that Saturn is deemed as masculine, while Capricorn is considered as feminine. This confusion may be applied to Libra as it's a masculine sign, with the feminine planet ruler, Venus. In regards to Scorpio and Pisces, these two have traditional rulers (Mars and Jupiter) that are listed as masculine. Although in modern astrology, they are deemed as feminine due to their Water element.
Perhaps you are surprised how this sign made it onto this list, as the Saturnian nature is often described by astrologers as restricting, traditional, and even lacks the progressive thought which Aquarius has. But remember, Aquarius' traditional ruler is Saturn. Capricorn will project a more 'sensitive' approach to practical means due to its Earth element, while Aquarius uses its Airy nature to detach from certain ideologies within their own terms.
As an astrologer myself, I would describe Saturn as an authority figure in general— it does not matter whether they are man or woman... even non-binary. Humans as a whole should have their own autonomy, and narrowing Capricorn/Saturn down to masculinity simply emphasizes society's gender norms of women being subservient to men.
As the only sign in the zodiac that is represented by an inanimate object— scales that represent balance— it essentially embodies the philosophy of yin/yang polarity. The sign itself is described as masculine due to its airy nature of rationalizing their feelings. Although, its Venusian characteristics value socially "feminine" aspects of life, such as love, arts, and beauty.
As we've previously noted how Scorpio's traditional ruler is masculine, and modern ruler is feminine... we can see how the energies are quite blended. The deep, sensitive, and intuitive nature is seen from the Water and Plutonian influence, whereas the Mars manifests into the tough exterior of the Scorpio native. Their fearlessness is moreover seen through the latter energy, especially when it comes to confronting the darker and hidden emotions of others.
It would be difficult to ignore Pisces' elusive nature, and how it could play a role in androgyny. While the sign itself is ruled by the feminine, Water element that Neptune is... it also has Jupiterian influence. The masculine traits of Jupiter refers to a native who seeks to explore and understand the world with passion and exuberance. But of course, the Piscean/Neptunian energy goes further into the depths of subconsciousness— the human psyche that all genders/non-binaries have.
So is astrology gender-biased?
What are your thoughts?
I personally think it isn't (in my own approach)— especially when it's practiced with decolonization in mind, and thoroughly researched/explained. It's such a nuanced topic that needs to be explored as society progresses.
🌐 Resources 🌐
[x] [x] [x] Is Astrology Gender-biased?
[x] [x] [x] Queer Astrology Movement
[x] Gender and Astrology
[x] Masculinity, Femininity, and Transgender Non-binary
[x] Men are from Sun, Women are from Moon (Vedic)
[x] LGBTQ+ in Asia and Polynesia
[x] [x] Androgyny and the Aquarian Age
[x] Libra, Scorpio, and Androgyny
© 2021 Copyright Lenora (Sailor Solar)
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