The Astrology of Homophobia

As a gay man I have always been interested in whether or not homosexuality can be detected in the astrological natal chart. A number of astrologers have claimed that they can. I have always been sceptical. So as part of my initial research I decided to discover if there was any common thread in what they said. The results of this research provoked me into changing the last word of the title of this dissertation from “Homosexuality” to “Homophobia”. Homophobia is commonly defined as hatred or fear of homosexuals. I think the following paragraphs will fully justify this change. I define homosexuality generically as the inherent state of being primarily sexually attracted to one’s own sex. Of course homosexuals are far more than just their sexual orientation but this is what makes people like me openly different from the majority of the population. Indeed our reductive Virgoan society demands that individuals sexually polarise and identify themselves as either homosexual or heterosexual instead of being somewhere in between. One could get involved in clever and abstruse arguments about whether people who secretly fantasise about it but do not act it out are homosexuals or people who spend most of their time with friends of the same sex are psychologically homosexual. The limited definition I have used in my view is straightforward.

When I started to look for any material on this subject I encountered a number of problems. I was struck by the dearth of material available in astrology on same sex relationships or indeed on any aspect of homosexuality in astrological literature. What material that has been available, has been superficial, moralistic, highly negative in tone, frequently flippant and often plain inaccurate. The earliest study of homosexuality in the astrological chart to my knowledge was completed by Karl Heimsoth in Germany in 1928. He assumed, as many astrologers and most of the general public still do, that homosexuality was a neurosis and astrologically linked it with Uranus hard aspects to the inner planets. Unfortunately as J Lee Lehman has pointed out the case studies he used were not homosexuals![1] Heimsoth selected people he suspected of being so on the flimsiest of evidence such as they way they looked or walked. One person he selected was Edward the 8th later Duke of Windsor! The more serious statistical research that has been done has used too small samples for astrologers to draw any meaningful conclusions from them. For example, Phyllis Dee Harrison found that the signs of Pisces, Aquarius and Virgo stood out.[2]

I would like to know what her chart looks like, as from my consultative experience, astrologers tend to attract clients who reflect their own charts in some way. If one accepts the premise that there is a homosexual signature or signatures in the natal chart, which in my view is extremely debatable, much larger samples are required anyway based on proven statistical methods used by the Gauquelins. To my knowledge there appears to have been very little meaningful research on the subject. J Lee Lehman has statistically tested various astrological theories concerning homosexual signatures and discovered that none of them were valid.[3] I know one can prove or disprove anything with statistics. Astrologers however cannot have it both ways, deriding or even ignoring the use of statistics whilst simultaneously making vague, highly questionable and subjective statements like Venus in hard aspect to Uranus being often associated with sexual deviation.

What little astrologers have written to date about homosexuality merely underlines the still widely held prejudice amongst the astrological community and indeed the general community that homosexuality is a neurosis, a departure from the “norm” and hence can be detected in the astrological chart. But none of them have ever backed this up with sound empirical evidence. The following quotes from current astrological texts that are currently widely available I believe will support my view:

Derek and Julia Parker state that aspects between the Sun/Moon and Uranus “…are often present in the charts of homosexuals of both sexes.” They suggest however “…that students do their own research; the situation is usually not so clear cut”.[4]

The reader may be as confused as I am by these contradictory statements. The first statement is fatuous as, believe it or not, aspects between the Sun/Moon and Uranus are “often” present in the charts of heterosexuals as well! Moreover, if aspects between Uranus and Sun/Moon are often present in the charts of homosexuals, then the situation I would suggest is clear-cut. I suspect that the Parkers do not really know and are hedging their bets. Narrowing something as complex as sexual orientation to a single aspect in a chart is dangerous anyway especially with a holistic discipline like astrology, if one believes the truism that a person’s sexuality is reflected in the whole chart and is an expression of the whole personality. And how often is “often”?

Francis Sakoian and Louis S Acker in The Astrologers Handbook, a very popular paperback published by Penguin Books since 1974 associate the hard aspects of Venus/Neptune and Mars/Neptune with homosexual expression. Regarding Venus square Neptune they state quite seriously that:

“…in extreme cases there are secret sexual debaucheries. Natives may be homosexuals.” [5] The reader will notice the proximity of the words “debaucheries” and “homosexuals”, a clear implication that homosexuality is a definite moral negative. So much for the non-judgmental astrologer! With Venus opposition Neptune the situation is worse: “There is danger of practicing or being the victim of subtle sexual seduction. This can in some cases manifest itself in homosexual tendencies.” [6]

This implies that people with this aspect may be lured into sex against their will. Moreover linking “subtle sexual seduction” with “homosexual” reinforces subliminally, the totally unfounded prejudice that homosexuals are sexual predators preying on the innocent. Mars square Neptune elicits the following statement: “This aspect like Venus square Uranus or Neptune could indicate sexual deviation.” [7]

But the authors caution that this is only if other factors in the chart confirm this such as 5th House involvement. I would have thought this caveat would also apply to Venus/Uranus and Venus/Neptune aspects. Perhaps one day these authors will enlighten us and tell us what these confirmatory factors are. I suspect like Derek and Julia Parker that they do not really know. Seemingly it is always the hard aspects that are associated with non-mainstream sex as if God is voicing moral disapproval through the hard aspects in the chart. This is symptomatic of an ultra-simplistic and utterly naive view of the astrological chart, where numerous “easy” aspects means you are “good’ and numerous “hard” aspects means you are “bad”. Most astrologers know that a grand trine can be a binding curse as well as a blessing whilst a difficult T square can be the spur to great achievement. One could equally argue that so called “easy” aspects such as Venus trine Uranus and Mars trine Uranus indicates someone who is at ease with unconventional sex and has no problem with it. In some respects easy aspects can be as troublesome as hard ones as they lack the tension required for accomplishment and/or resolution.

In their book on synastry, The Astrology of Human Relationships, Sakoian and Acker make themselves look even more foolish when they comment on the sexual proclivities of the comparative Venus/Uranus hard aspects. They state that in synastry, when A’s Venus squares B’s Uranus:

“…this comparative combination leads to sudden, exciting, but unstable and non-enduring romantic infatuations. It is often found in homosexual relationships or unlikely or unsuitable romantic attachments.”[8]

The writers are merely perpetuating the myths that homosexual relationships are inherently unstable, short-lived and just not “suitable” whatever that is supposed to mean. Recent research has indicated that given a reasonable level of acceptance in the community, lesbian and gay relationships have the same longevity (and brevity!) as heterosexual ones.

It is clear that we cannot expect too much in the way of progressive or enlightened thinking from these reactionary authors. Carolyn Williams has talked about sexism in astrology and quite rightly berated these same writers for supporting the idea that men should be dominant over women in relationships! [9] They state that in synastry when the Sun conjuncts the Moon in another’s chart, it can indicate a strong sexual attraction, especially if the conjunction is made by the man’s Sun to the woman’s Moon.

“If the situation is reversed, the woman may psychologically dominate the man and threaten his masculine self-image.” [10] We cannot have that! (I am being sarcastic here). It is hard therefore to take Sakoian and Acker seriously when they talk about heterosexual relationships let alone any departure from the so-called norm. Unfortunately their patriarchal, heterosexist attitudes are fairly typical of most current astrological texts whether they are written by men or women.

In the same article, Carolyn Williams also takes Stephen Arroyo to task for sex role stereotyping in his book, Astrology, Karma and Transformation. [11] Similarly, I must comment on highly questionable statements he makes about natal aspects in relation to homosexuality, in particular hard Venus/Uranus, Venus/Neptune and Venus/Pluto aspects plus hard Mars/Neptune aspects. (In fact he suggests a strong link between Mars/Uranus aspects and homosexuality as well in a later book to further confuse the issue!) When Arroyo writes about Venus/Uranus aspects, he states that traditional books explain Venus/Uranus aspects poorly especially the hard aspects and “…have often been correlated with sexual promiscuity and perversion” He continues, “there is of course some truth to the connection of such aspects with these types of experience.”[12]. He quotes Charles Carter to support his case but Carter in fact says virtually the opposite. In his book Astrological Aspects written in 1930, Carter states that inharmonious Venus Uranus aspects “…do not incline to promiscuity or vulgar vice and its connection with sexual perversion has been probably extremely exaggerated.” [13]

I suggest Arroyo makes up his mind once and for all whether or not he thinks there is a connection between hard Venus/Uranus aspects and sexual perversion, which I imagine for him writing in the late 1970’s included homosexuality. He has in fact confused the situation even more regarding interpretation of Venus/Uranus aspects with regard to so called sexual deviation. He goes on to emphasise the sign in which Venus is placed “…along with other factors in the chart” to ascertain whether a person’s sexuality is involved. What these mysterious “other factors” are he fails to explain – again as with Sakoian and Acker and Derek and Julia Parker I wish he would let us all in on the secret! Sexual experimentation for Arroyo is more likely if Venus is in a sensual/erotic sign like Scorpio or Taurus, which may need physical expression more intensely than in other signs. Why not add the house Venus is in and the aspects it makes to the rest of the chart. Then there’s Mars and the other planets…….In fact I suggest why not bring in the whole chart?

For me, Arroyo further loses credibility on this subject when he speaks of the harmonious Venus/Uranus aspects as being “gently unconventional”, all long flowing hair, beads, poetry in the park, Woodstock and kaftans no doubt. In most cases he readily assures us people with these aspects will have a strong interest in the opposite sex. So fear not! Even if you have a Venus/Uranus aspect, rest assured you are probably straight! He’s right about that but for completely the wrong reasons.

In Arroyo’s next book, Relationships and Life Cycles, the situation with regard to Venus/Uranus aspects does not improve:

“There’s often a certain coldness (about Venus/Uranus aspects), Uranus is always somewhat impersonal, and that, hitting Venus, gives a kind of impersonal tinge to their attitude toward emotional and sexual behaviour. You’re apt to find this manifestation of this interchange quite often, especially in women who go through lots of partners or who have gotten into homosexuality, although, again, the vast majority with Venus/Uranus aspects are not practicing homosexuals.” [14]

Here Arroyo, like some other psychological astrologers, links coldness, impersonality and promiscuity with being homosexual with not a shred of evidence for this connection, reinforcing the hoary, unsubstantiated old cliches and myths about gay and lesbian people, and pandering to the homophobic collective shadow. He needs to take his own advice and stick to the key meaning of planetary aspects. In its widest sense, any major aspect between Venus and Uranus in my view signifies an unconventional attitude to relationships and relating in general; the need for personal freedom and personal space (Uranus) has to be blended somehow with the desire to unite and share with another (Venus). This key issue prevails in all kinds of relationships, same sex or otherwise. The astrologer needs to focus on the freedom/closeness dilemma, which is at the core of Venus/Uranus aspects and discussing this with the client if it is causing significant problems in her or his relationships. I believe it is the quality of our client’s relationships that is the really important issue for astrologers; their mode of physical expression is irrelevant.

Arroyo also manages to link hard Venus/Pluto aspects with “sexual problems”. He states that: “Homosexual or bisexual inclinations are not uncommon; and even in those who don’t act out all their urges, there is often an intense emotional resentment towards either the person’s own sex or towards those of the opposite sex.” [15]

He does add that this resentment is also found in those whose sexual behaviour is exclusively heterosexual. But again as with Venus/Uranus aspects he is subtly demonising gay and lesbian people; the impression is being given that homosexuality is inherently unhealthy. The core issue regarding Venus/Pluto aspects in my view is that the need to relate is connected with the need to survive; there is a great fear of abandonment and loneliness. The consequent feelings of extreme vulnerability produce a compensatory desire to control every aspect of relating. Inevitably the object of control gets free eventually and the fearful expectations are realised. This scenario is repeated until the individual gets wise to the situation. The person eventually has to stand alone and must start the often painful process of forming a relationship with herself or himself whilst learning to let go of the “other”. This very familiar scenario transcends gender and sexual orientation and there is no justification, apart from perhaps a covert need to reinforce an intolerant, heterosexist position and one’s own fragile sense of normalcy, to bring in homosexuality.

When Stephen Arroyo comments about hard Mars/Uranus aspects in the chart he further demonises homosexuality. He associates Mars/Uranus hard aspects with psychological and physical violence both personal and public towards women and he throws in homosexuality in the same sentence for no logical reason whatsoever; “…the violent thing does often come out – sometimes homosexuality or bisexuality comes out too.” [16]

I dare to suggest that psychological and physical violence towards women is overwhelmingly a heterosexual male problem and to link this with homosexuality is misleading, mischievous and unfounded. Homosexuals are more often the victims rather than the perpetrators of violence; recently I had a friend collapse on my doorstep after being bashed to within an inch of his life for being gay. In Australia, the Sydney Morning Herald reported on November 6th1999 that homosexual men and women are four times more likely to be assaulted and twice as likely to be murdered. This is not surprising when the homosexual advance defence is still entrenched in Australian law and still supported by extreme Christian fundamentalists everywhere. The recent bombing of a Gay Bar in London plus the gruesome torture and murder of Matthew Shephard in the USA speaks volumes about the chilling consequences of collective homophobia and astrologers in their supposed roles as healers should be fighting it not subtly reinforcing it.

Arroyo does add that: “… not all gay people have Mars/Uranus aspects motivating them. There are other factors too.” [17] Thank you, once more, Stephen for the all important “other factors” qualifier.

I randomly selected 16 accurately timed charts of gay men from my files; two had Mars/Uranus conjunctions, one had a Mars/Uranus square, one a Mars/Uranus trine and three Mars/Uranus sextiles. The rest had no major aspect between Mars and Uranus. Even my small sample fails to support Arroyo’s thesis at all; in fact Mars/Uranus hard aspects are distinguished by their absence.

Regarding Mars/Neptune aspects, especially the challenging ones, Arroyo correlates these with sexual confusion and inner conflict over sexual identity. But curiously he has not found these aspects particularly common amongst homosexuals. Perhaps homosexuals are not so confused about their sexual identity after all! Rather he claims these aspects are common amongst people who have an absolute abhorrence for the homosexual lifestyle. (This may be a commentary on homophobic clients that Arroyo attracts.) Again my files show no Mars/Neptune emphasis in 16 gay male charts; the only Mars/Neptune square I found was my own! However, both my brothers have hard Mars/Neptune aspects as well; our father was away at sea for a great deal of the time when we were young and they definitely like women. There were two very wide Mars/Neptune conjunctions (10 degree orb!), one Mars/Neptune trine and a Mars/Neptune sesquisquare. Mars/Pluto aspects showed similar results, two wide conjunctions, one semi-square, two trines, two quincunxes and one square.

F Richard Nolle in Horoscope magazine, 1979, stated that “statistically evaluated astrological research with large scale samples of horoscopes belonging to homosexuals shows that sign/house pairings are utterly worthless as a way of predicting whether an individual or group of individuals is homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual or what-have-you.” [18]

John Townley has looked at the traditional associations of Uranus with sexual perversion and like Charles Carter has yet to find any real link between sexual perversion and the natal aspects of Uranus or indeed of any other planet.[19] In his review of Townley’s book, F. Richard Nolle suggested that astrologers should “…revise their opinions of the importance of natal Uranus in sexual deviation, or perhaps society may be overdue for a reevaluation of what really constitutes abnormal sexual experience.” [20] Unfortunately in many astrological and analytical circles we are still waiting.

Wim van Dam’s book Astrology and Homosexuality [21] draws similar conclusions to both John Townley and Richard Nolle. H e was unable to find in his research any significant correlation between any planetary aspect such as Venus/Uranus and homosexuality. He found that all existing theories on the astrological indicators of homosexuality fail to fit all or even the majority of cases. In frustration it seems he resorted to the Hindu “namvamsa” chart, which seems to be based on the 9th Harmonic (40 degree aspects) and claims to have discovered some significant results. With gay men, van Dam found difficult aspects between the Moon and Saturn either in the natal or namvamsa chart to be very common, in fact he claims in ¾ of cases. He also uses conjunctions between the 9th harmonic chart and the natal 12th harmonic chart with regard to the Moon, Saturn and the “debilitating”: house cusps 6 and 12. But the number of charts he uses is only 10, too small to be taken seriously in the statistical sense. 2 of these charts are ruled out of court; in chart 5 the orb between the 9th harmonic Saturn and natal Moon is too wide even for a generous man like me, whilst in chart 12, natal Moon and natal Saturn are sextile, which hardly constitutes an afflicted Moon. Richard Nolle rightly comments that difficult Moon/Saturn aspects may be found equally regularly in heterosexual charts. Even Van Dam admits that no one signature will ever fit all cases. My feeling is that if there is a homosexual astrological signature, it should be apparent in the conventional 12th harmonic natal chart. Linking the 9th harmonic chart with the 12th harmonic natal chart admits of too much special pleading for me as well as doubling the chances that hard Moon/Saturn aspects can occur. Additionally, if there is a homosexual signature in the chart, it has to follow that there must also be a heterosexual signature against which it can be compared.

Betty Lundsted, in her book, Astrological Insights Into Personality, has little doubt that homosexuality can be diagnosed from the chart. And she seems to have little doubt that homosexuality is neurotic too. She associates the hard aspects between the Moon and Venus with female homosexuality but presents no real evidence to back her assertion.

With the Moon/Venus conjunction, she states: “…if the rest of the chart agrees, this aspect may indicate a homosexual female. Often the lady she falls in love with is fifteen to twenty years older than she, since she may be looking for a mother substitute. She has difficulty considering the idea that she may be tied to Mother in some kind of incestuous manner.” She continues thus: “If a woman is homosexual and the rest of the chart doesn’t look like she has reason to be, this aspect is one that will help to find the key to why she is the way she is.”[22]

There are a number of misconceptions put forward here. Betty Lunsted clearly belongs to the “nurture” school where homosexuals are supposedly “made” by their environment. I have already argued to the contrary. She seems to be referring to some kind of homosexual Oedipal Complex; this idea has been widely accepted in analytical circles, though there has never been any real evidence for it. It merely accorded with the accepted prejudices of the times and therefore no one has really questioned it until recently. When she talks about the Moon square Venus aspect the stereotyping becomes quite farcical.

“…she may function on a homosexual level; everyone is so busy diagnosing her ‘homosexual problem’ that they never look into the underlying cause – a fear of motherhood, a rejection of the biological role.”[23] This idea is just hearsay and without foundation. There is this mythical quite prejudicial perception that not only do homosexual men and women lead a freer and less onerous lifestyle compared with married people, they are deliberately avoiding having children by being gay or lesbian. However the number of lesbian women and gay men who are having children or want to have children is steadily increasing in the more “liberal” countries of the world. Moreover the reason why they have not had children before is obvious; it is because of numerous social prohibitions such as discriminative legislation, negative moralising from established religions, physical intimidation and social ostracism. So much for the freer less onerous lifestyle. After all this Betty Lunsted does add a face-saving footnote which really only makes matters worse:

“Not all homosexual women are avoiding motherhood. Determining homosexual behavior is at least as complicated as determining heterosexual behavior. The subject is too vast to be discussed with any clarity here.” [24]

Having just stated that the underlying reason why women become homosexual is the avoidance of motherhood, Lundsted now says this is not always true. I would add this is rarely the case. Some heterosexual women do not want to have children but they are not stigmatised and pathologised purely because of their sexual orientation! Female and male homosexuals just “are”. I feel astrologers and psychologists should stop trying to treat them as people who are “imbalanced” and ipso facto can be “balanced” through chart analysis. They are little better than those who try to “cure” lesbians and gays through some form of reparative therapy. The only “choice” homosexual people have had in practice is whether to come out in a hostile world half of whom would still like to see you dead or hide behind a heterosexual front.

The view that homosexuality is a “problem” is the result of very narrow political, social and cultural ideas about sex; the Christian religions view sex as purely procreative denying its wholesome perfectly natural recreative component. And people still like to think it is a choice despite mounting scientific evidence to the contrary to maintain their persecutory and judgmental stance and avoid confronting their own sexual shadow. Rather than own the devil within they collectively project the devil without. People who have a problem with homosexuality from my experience have a problem with sex in general and the whole Plutonian side of life, but rather than openly acknowledge it, prefer to take the easy option and project their repressed instinctual “shadows” on to lesbian and gay people. Homophobia is symptomatic of the general community’s fear and pathologisation of sex itself, a fear which is conveniently projected on to a scapegoated sexual minority.

Moreover, if homosexuality is as vast and as complex as Betty Lunsted suggests (and she’s right about that) I really question her authority in including any references to it in her book. And if determining homosexual behaviour is as complicated as determining heterosexual behaviour I find it hard to understand why she can still maintain that she can ascertain homosexuality from the astrological chart. This of course presupposes that heterosexuality too can be ascertained from the chart, which the majority of readers would regard as completely nonsensical. One can therefore imagine how lesbian and gay people feel about the whole patronising business. Betty Lundsted’s book is still in print. She may have changed her position in the meantime. But I wish she and other psychological astrologers would come out and say so. Since the early 1980s there has been a deafening silence from astrologers on this whole issue and I suspect it may be the silence of indifference, ignorance or embarrassment.

Thus far we have had the following planetary aspects (hard ones of course!) linked with homosexuality by the following noted astrologers:

Sun/Uranus – Derek and Julia Parker
Moon/Venus – Betty Lunsted
Moon/Uranus – Derek and Julia Parker
Venus/Mars – Betty Lunsted
Venus/Saturn – Liz Greene
Venus/Uranus – Frances Sakoian & Louis Acker, Stephen Arroyo: maybe, maybe not
Venus/Neptune – Francis Sakoian & Louis Acker
Venus/Pluto – Stephen Arroyo
Mars/Uranus – Stephen Arroyo
Mars/Neptune – Stephen Arroyo, Francis Sakoian & Louis Acker
Mars/Pluto – Stephen Arroyo

It is quite evident that astrologers do not agree at all as to what planetary aspect or aspects are associated with homosexuality. In my 30 year acquaintanceship with astrology, I have heard nearly every zodiac sign linked to homosexuality bar Leo. (What is so special about Leo?). I think it is time astrologers stopped theorising about homosexual signatures in the natal chart because it is quite clear from their own highly conflicting unfounded and muddled evidence, there are none. Writers like Stephen Arroyo have hinted at other factors in the chart which need to be looked at in relation to homosexuality but neither he nor anyone else has ever spelt them out to my knowledge. The reason is that either they do not know or they are just not that interested.

J Lee Lehman is one of the very few astrologers who have statistically tested existing theories on homosexual signatures. She found that none of the theories were valid [25]. Moreover she thinks that the main reason why none of these theories stood up was the invalid premise on which these theories were based, that homosexuality is pathological and abnormal. This makes a lot of sense to me. Looking for astrological signatures presupposes that homosexuality is abnormal and it is significant after thousands of years that no astrological consensus has ever been reached on what chart signature or signatures can be linked with it. I suggest astrologers give up this futile and demeaning research and start treating their lesbian and gay clients like everyone else, which is the underlying message of this whole article.

I would have to agree with the position Marion March and Joan McEvers adopt in their book, The Only Way To Learn About Tomorrow. They express great scepticism about homosexual signatures in the chart. They quote recent estimates that 1/6 of the population is bisexual or homosexual and logically conclude that they cannot all have the same astrological signature anymore than the heterosexual majority[26]. Astrologers seem to be in accord with the view that neither race, religion, nor gender can be detected from the astrological chart and I firmly believe sexual orientation should be added to the list.

March and McEvers, like most astrologers, continue to view homosexuality as behavioural, as psychologically problematic caused by poor parenting. They do however commendably “correct” themselves in their following book on relationships, The Only Way To Learn About Relationships. Here they refer to recent scientific studies that strongly suggest that homosexuality is rooted in biology [27]. Indeed the scientists involved in the research have stated unequivocally that they would not be spending all their time and money researching the “gay” gene unless it was implicitly understood that homosexuals are born not made [28].

Liz Greene in her book Relating stated way back in 1978 that the topic has been “exhaustively explored” [29]. Contrary to Liz Greene, I find that the subject of “Homosexuality” has been exhaustively ignored by astrologers and Jungian analysts who seem to treat it as irrelevant, a minor aberration of human behaviour not worth worrying about. In fact we have had to wait until 1989 for the 1st serious monograph on homosexuality to be written from a Jungian perspective and even then other Jungian analysts questioned the need for it [30]. “While amongst Freudian and Adlerian psychoanalysts, homophobia most frequently takes the form of pathologisation and condemnation, amongst Jungians, it typically takes the form of neglect.” [31]. It is only in the last 10 years that some Jungian analysts have started to take it seriously in their considerations of the human psyche after pressure from feminists, lesbians and gays sympathetic to Jung’s work.

Carl Jung himself rarely mentions homosexuality in his Collected Works and his followers seemed to have unquestioningly followed suit. When they do deign to comment on homosexuality, they tend to emphasise what they perceive as the negative rather than the positive aspects. Liz Greene’s use of the word “exhaustive” in 1978 is significant in that it implies that for her, everything has already been said on the subject, which is hardly the case even in the more enlightened open 1990s. The first ever collection of essays on same-sex love from a Jungian perspective only came out in 1993, which hardly constitutes an exhaustive flood [32]. Liz Greene comments that astrology has “…its arsenal of preconceptions and misconceptions about sexuality” [33]. It is unfortunate that in my view like other psychological astrologers she has added to them herself with regard to homosexuality.

I bear in mind that books like Liz Greene’s Relating were written over 20 years ago when gay liberation and gay affirmative psychotherapy was in its infancy. She is one of the very few intrepid astrologers who have attempted to write at any length about the astrology of homosexuality, which is why I will be commenting on what she has written at some length. She initially tries hard to adopt a non-judgmental, tolerant stance, questioning the whole concept of sexual normality. Tolerance however is very different from acceptance. Tolerance to me implies a superior/inferior position and whilst she strives hard to be fair in an intellectual sense, I detect a distinct unease about the subject in Chapter 6 of her book, Relating, entitled
“The Sex Life of the Psyche”. She rightly states that nobody can judge whether different forms of sexual expression are normal or abnormal. Additionally, like Marion March and Joan McEvers, she thinks there is no clear way of telling whether one is homosexual from the natal chart. The tone initially is seemingly tolerant, fair and balanced, the appearance liberal and non-homophobic.

But after this, I believe she shows a darker side and her writing reveals far more about her own relationship to homosexuality than about homosexuality and its relationship to astrology in general. After cloaking herself with the language of tolerance and saying that homosexuality is not a sickness, she appears to contradict herself. She states that homosexuality often (there’s that precise word “often” again) involves a complete repression of unconscious figures, a state of mind that does not sound too healthy to me; in fact it sounds downright pathological. Her discomfort with the subject I feel is further exposed when she comments on Freud’s concept of latent homosexuality.

“…it is also a pity that Freud’s concept of ‘latent homosexuality’ should still be an old bogeyman for many individuals who feel that expressing the transsexual side of their natures will somehow make them homosexual. If anything, the opposite is likely to be true; for what we call homosexuality is often the result of a complete repression of unconscious figures which – like any other component of the unconscious – will become antagonistic and overwhelm consciousness if they are treated with arrogance or contempt by the ego.” (My emphasis) [34]

Ironically, Freud himself unlike most of his followers was in some ways fairly relaxed in his attitude towards same-sex relationships and this may be reflected in his concept of latent homosexuality. But Liz Greene seems to be unsettled by the very idea that “heterosexual” people may also have occasional sexual feelings towards people of the same sex, ignoring Kinsey’s concept of a sexual continuum between homosexuality and heterosexuality. She dismisses Freud’s view and labels homosexuals in the process as walking hotbeds of unconscious repression to reinforce her argument and maintain heterosexual normalcy. What unconscious figures are being repressed she does not say; I assume she is referring to the Soul Image, the animus/anima concept, the unconscious masculine/feminine images which are supposed to be present in all of us.

A heterosexual male, according to orthodox Jungian psychology, has an unconscious feminine image or anima, the external projection of which can theoretically only be realised in a relationship with a member of the opposite sex. Presumably a homosexual male cannot do this because he is in theory “anima possessed” and therefore attracted to men. Liz Greene is implying quite clearly to me that homosexuals cannot achieve wholeness and proper individuation and it seems that homosexuals are from the Jungian psycho-analytical viewpoint inherently inferior to heterosexuals. Their psychological development has been “arrested” in some way, which is very close to the orthodox Freudian position! She reinforces her heterosexist argument by quoting from Jung’s Aion:

“… the integration of the shadow, or the realisation of the personal unconscious, marks the 1st stage of the analytical process, and…without it a recognition of anima and animus is impossible. The shadow can be realised only through a relation to a partner, and anima and animus only through a relation to a partner of the opposite sex, because only in such a relationship do their projections become operative.” ( My emphasis) [35]

Father Jung has spoken and clearly brooks no argument from his disciples. Yet I have the temerity to disagree with Holy Writ. Orthodox Jungians seem to be so hung up on the masculine/feminine polarity that they fail to see what lies in between. They fall into the trap of conflating masculinity and femininity with gender. It seems that if you are a man, the masculine side is conscious and the contra-sexual image, the feminine side is unconscious. With women, the animus, the male side is unconscious. This model of the human psyche to me is too simplistic, too heterosexually oriented as well as non-inclusive. I feel you cannot ignore 5-10% of the population because they do not comply with this model and then pathologise and ignore them. It is just plain irrational and unscientific but that is exactly what psychoanalysts and their astrological disciples have been doing. They take the road well travelled by still regarding homosexuality as a problem, a symptom of some basic psychological imbalance to preserve the heterosexual purity of the Jungian model. Homosexual clients are not the “problem”, psychoanalysts and some psychological astrologers are. I feel they need to have a much broader, more inclusive concept of the human psyche instead of unconsciously or consciously assuming homosexuals are fundamentally inadequate and inherently inferior to heterosexuals. This is just an insidious and pernicious form of homophobia.

Jung himself was far from wholly negative about the homosexual experience. In talking about male homosexuality he found ” a distinct resistance to identify with the role of a one-sided sexual being. Such a disposition should not be adjudged negative in all circumstances, in so far as it preserves the archetype of the Original Man, which a one-sided sexual being has, up to a point, lost.” [36]. Agreed, this is hardly a ringing endorsement for being lesbian or gay but at least Jung, unlike most of his adherents, is willing to see positives and purpose in the homosexual experience. In the context of the times in which it was written, he maintained a very radical position compared to Alfred Adler, the founder of Individual Psychology who unequivocally condemned homosexuality.

I suggest, as others have already done, that in a homosexual man, the animus or male side could have unconscious components as well as the feminine side. These unconscious “male” components are then “projected” on to other men. Some of the nature of this projection may be seen by the sign, house and aspects of the Sun and Mars in the astrological natal chart. In a lesbian relationship I would suggest the Moon and Venus are operative. But I would heavily qualify this by stating that any planetary energy can be projected on to someone else. In other words both the anima and animus can be unconscious (or conscious) in any individual regardless of their sex; with this model it follows that homosexuals, bisexuals or anyone else are as potentially capable of psychological integration as heterosexuals. The only difference is their sexual orientation.

Some Jungian analysts and astrologers influenced by Jung however seem to feel very threatened by this allegedly hermaphroditic view of the psyche. Anthony Stevens, in his book On Jung [37], is typical in his inflexibility. He states that he cannot accept the newly emergent androgynous view of the human psyche that we all possess an anima and animus, the unconscious feminine and unconscious masculine, within us; he thinks it is inherently static eschewing the traditional masculine/feminine, logos/eros polarity. Then he does a metaphorical back flip and goes on to say that the androgynous view is quite possible! He admits that no man has fully integrated his masculine side into ego-consciousness and that even this has an unconscious component.; it is the same situation with women. But he objects to these terms being used to support the androgynous view as he claims it makes “…an already difficult area of study almost Byzantine in its complexity.” [38].

Jungian psychology and its proponents, who seem to be predominantly if inevitably heterosexual, appear to have all the flexibility and inclusiveness of Roman Catholic Theology with the mantle of papal infallibility worn by its founder. In some ways I believe it is having a deleterious affect on astrology with its heterosexist emphasis i.e. women “project” their Mars on to men, and men “project” their Venus on to women ignoring same sex relationships of all kinds. The rise of a more androgynous perspective in analytical psychology and astrology is in my view a necessary and long overdue corrective. I find Stevens’ argument quite confusing and contradictory. He thinks that only the contrasexual image can be unconsciously projected on to another human being. Then he does a U – turn and admits that the same sex image can be unconsciously projected on to someone else as well.

Stevens seems unable or unwilling to conceive that the same dynamic masculine/feminine, logos/eros, yin/yang, call it what you will polarity can occur on an inner psychic level in a same sex relationship as in a heterosexual relationship, in fact in any relationship. Agreed, polarity is the very essence of relationships, of astrology, of computers, of the whole Universe but it should not necessarily be solely aligned in human terms with physical men and women. For example a woman can just as easily symbolise the qualities of another woman’s father; her female boss may be treating her at work just like her father did. The symbolic father or mother can be male or female; they are interchangeable. Astrologically, a woman can “project” her Sun and Mars on to a woman just as easily as a man, which is solid ammunition for a more androgynous view of the human psyche. Traditional astrology has viewed the various planetary energies as belonging to all of us regardless of gender and perhaps we should more fully embrace or re-embrace that view [39].

The Sun and Mars in a woman’s chart may be significators of the men in her life but it can just as easily signify other women who have the characteristics of the Sun and Mars in her chart. It can also more importantly symbolise the woman’s ability to direct and take charge of her life; the sign and house positions of these planets together with their aspects to the rest of the chart can show the best way she can use these energies. In fact both planets can symbolise a great many things to do with being centered, individuated, focussed and assertive, qualities which are beyond the narrow, culturally defined, stifling categories of gender. Both Liz Greene and Anthony Stevens seem to be confusing physical women and men with the words “masculine” and “feminine”. The male/female balance varies from individual to individual, regardless of physical gender and this is shown very clearly in the astrological chart when one discusses the balance of the 4 elements. For example I have the Sun and Moon, Mercury, Mars and the Mid Heaven in earth signs with the Ascendant, Chiron, Venus and Jupiter in Scorpio, a strong so-called “feminine” sign emphasis. Despite this strangely enough I have never had the desire to put on a dress or paint my toenails red. Perhaps I am repressing something. My former partner of 19 years had the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Mars and the Ascendant in fire signs with only Venus in water and the Mid Heaven in earth signs. He’s not into cross-dressing either. Astrologically it was a classic fire/earth, Leo/Capricorn relationship and as we both had a majority of fixed planets in our respective charts we doggedly stayed in the relationship. The fact that we were “gay” is really irrelevant; the fundamental dynamic astrological polarities are the same.

Erin Sullivan in her insightful book Dynasty – The Astrology of Family Dynamics hammers home the point that “astrology is not gender-biased”, that ” masculine and feminine do not necessarily always refer to men and women.” [40]. Astrology itself unlike the various psychologies has no problem with homosexuality; whether one is in a straight or same-sex relationship the same planetary and sign dynamics apply. The astrological chart does not discriminate, only astrologers do.

I suggest that Jungians are challenged to enlarge their concept of anima/animus to include the homosexual, transsexual and bisexual experiences of life instead of rigidly adhering to a restrictive, non-inclusive, heterosexist model. Again astrology shows the way. The energies represented by the planets go beyond gender, beyond masculinity and femininity and are dynamic in their own right. I cannot see anything particularly dynamic about a stereotypical union between an uncommunicative knuckle dragging man who spends all his time down at the pub with his mates (perhaps he is “animus” possessed!) and his neglected wife who stays at home all the time. But this scenario is stereotypical and cliched just as mincing queens with vanity-ridden animas lisping their way around the gay bars is. The human psyche is in my experience “…Byzantine in its complexity” and we should try to grapple with this complexity and explore it instead of abrogating our responsibility and saying it is all too difficult. Homosexuality, far from “neutering” the fundamental masculine/ feminine, eros/logos polarity actually broadens and enriches it and frees all of us from bondage to narrow and inhibiting stereotypes.

Homophobia is in reality a form of self-hatred, a conscious or unconscious hatred of one’s primeval instincts masquerading in a projected form of hatred for a sexual minority. Coming to terms with our own homophobia means we are all free to be ourselves with our unique blends of feminine/masculine and it is astrology, above Jungian Psychology, above all other psychological systems that clarifies this through the natal chart.

Partly through Jung’s influence, Liz Greene seems to be perpetuating homosexual stereotyping and adding to rather than detracting from astrological misconceptions about sexuality. The closer I look at Chapter 6 “The Sex Life of the Psyche” from her book Relating the more concerned I get as it seems to portray such a hackneyed, distorted view and indeed out-moded view of the supposed homosexual psyche and experience and the astrological aspects that she associates with it. She quotes random opinions on homosexuality to show confusion about the subject. They would be forgivable if they were at least witty; instead she merely trots out jokes such as “all interior decorators are homosexual” that were worn out even in the 1970s.[41]

On the one hand, Greene suggests that homosexuality is “chosen”. Then in the next paragraph she admits that homosexuals perhaps “…are truly ‘born’ with their propensity.” [42] The 1978 Concise Oxford Dictionary definition of homosexuality as a propensity for the same sex, I would suggest, is incomplete. From my experience, being gay is far more than just a propensity, an inclination, something you can put on and take off like a shirt; it is an integral part of one’s very being. One does not choose a lifestyle that runs counter to the mainstream, risking real social ostracism, endemic queer bashing, exploding bombs, soul murder by some psychoanalysts and potential familial estrangement unless this is so. The only choice homosexuals have had up to now was whether to hide their sexual orientation, openly live it braving the inevitable hostility or self-destruct. Many do in fact self-destruct in adolescence, which is one of the major causes of the high youth suicide rate. The coming out of young homosexuals is often traumatic as families infected by collective homophobia are frequently hostile.

If homosexuality is chosen, then logically heterosexuality is chosen too, as according to Liz Greene we have a choice in the matter (see below). I cannot think of any heterosexual person of my acquaintance who has consciously chosen to be so, for them it is just instinctive and ingrained; they don’t even think about it. I make the radical suggestion that the same could also apply to homosexuals. And recent scientific evidence increasingly supports the biological view.[43] If one is confused as Liz Greene appears to be as to whether homosexuality is genetic, behavioural or an indeterminate mixture of both, then I fail to understand how she can attempt to speak about the subject with any clarity or conviction particularly in its relationship to astrology.

Greene appears to have a particular problem with male homosexuality as to her it implies a rejection of women: “Sometimes a real psychological problem seems to lie behind the homosexual’s rejection of the opposite sex; the elements of fear, hatred and compulsion dictate his behaviour, rather than freedom of choice.” [44]

Greene makes what I think are two erroneous assumptions. I do not believe that homosexual men “reject” women; they simply prefer men. One can equally argue that heterosexual men do not “reject” other men, they just like women. In my view it is not just a question of rejection, rather a question of what turns people on. I have not seen any evidence scientific or hearsay that homosexual men “hate” women more than straight men; one could equally argue the reverse just by reading endless newspaper articles about domestic violence. Liz Greene may state that she only referred to some not all homosexual men. But no matter whether she says “some” or “all”, the negative impression has already been made on her readership, existing prejudices towards homosexuals are subliminally reinforced and the damage done. The myth of freedom of choice regarding sexual orientation I have already commented upon.

Another assumption she seems to make is that if some people become homosexual through fear of the opposite sex then theoretically this process can be reversed if they can get to the root cause of these fears through psychotherapy. The problem is I know of no valid documented cases where homosexuals have been turned into heterosexuals through analysis and psychotherapy despite the claims of some extreme right wing religious fundamentalists in the USA. Their claimed successes appear to be people who were bisexual already. Moreover the last thing a gay or lesbian client, in the throes of a major life crisis wants, is to encounter an astrologer, analyst or indeed any counsellor who has significant unexamined conscious or unconscious homophobic bias in their make-up and there are far too many of them about even now.

Greene’s choice of “Victor” as the case study to somehow reinforce what she has said about homosexuality is to my mind highly contentious[45]. Victor apparently is a stereotypical New York mincing queen with the archetypal Jewish mother, just the kind of person to confirm the popular prejudices that homosexuals are waspishly effeminate, hate women through domination by their mothers, cannot wait to avenge themselves on the opposite sex by putting on a dress, wear far too much makeup, run around with permanently broken wrists and avoid any lasting relationships. Having had a 19 year relationship with another man and watching all my heterosexual friends bar one getting divorced in the meantime, I would find this image risible if it were not so false. One look at the heterosexual divorce rate will show clearly who in society is wearing the collective shadow for relationship instability, infidelity and promiscuity. The majority of cross dressers are heterosexual anyway. And the vast majority of men who dress as women from my experience do it out of admiration for women rather than contempt and scorn. Most gay icons are female, which is hardly the stuff of misogyny. A close friend of mine, Peter Portelli when asked if he thinks gay men hate women. He replied very tongue-in-cheek “We adore women, we just hate men!” Work that one out!

Liz Greene, through “Victor”, parades the various negative stereotypes of homosexuals and homosexual relationships many of which have been proved untrue by research and personal experience; that homosexuals cannot maintain long-term, committed relationships (ignoring the heterosexual divorce rate), they are promiscuous and obsessed with sex (hardly the monopoly of gays and lesbians witness countless heterosexual advertisements), male homosexuals are effeminate and want to be women (most cross dressers are heterosexual) [46].

I agree with her that Victor’s chart is not that of a homosexual. But I cannot agree with her implication, that he could have “chosen” a path other than being homosexual. His all-consuming relationship with his mother and distant relationship with the father on the one hand and his sexual orientation on the other I maintain are two different matters. If one accepts that sexual orientation is biological and therefore “fated” like gender and race, we are simply dealing with an individual who has problems accessing his deepest feelings and indeed a problem with the archetypal Feminine. He just happens to be homosexual.

This theory that homosexuality is a form of arrested sexual development arising out of a problem with the Feminine is just that – an unproven untested theory. And most of Jung’s disciples seem to have latched on to this to the exclusion of any other point of view. Victor’s chart shows no planets in water, therefore his feeling nature may be primitive and childlike. He does however have Cancer rising which from my experience can indicate a strong almost overwhelming if unconscious tie to the mother and a reluctance to separate from her. Yet I know of 2 heterosexual men with Cancer rising, who are in exactly the same situation, still living with their mothers in middle age. They too could be considered to have a problem with the Feminine principle, they too could be regarded as “anima possessed” as they continue to be dependent on their mothers and are not forming any worthwhile long-term relationships with other women. But I would hardly link it with their predilection for heterosexuality! Additionally a heterosexual man may get married to a woman who is a replica of his mother and who treats him exactly like his mother did. But because he is heterosexual and therefore by society’s standards “normal”, no one would consider this situation as a case of “arrested development”. Norman Bates in Alfred Hitchcock’s infamous film “Psycho” is most decidedly “anima possessed”. But there is no suggestion he is gay, quite the contrary. As someone has rightly said, behind the chart stands the individual. And she or he may be straight or gay, dog or cat or a newly completed building. I do not believe that astrology is just an adjunct to Jungian psychology, using the horoscope as a structure upon which one can hang Jungian theory. As Jung himself has said: ” Obviously astrology has much to offer psychology, but what the latter can offer its elder sister is less evident” [47]

Liz Greene has done a great deal in broadening and deepening astrological chart interpretation through her extensive experience as a Jungian analyst. But any psychological system is inevitably circumscribed by the peculiar characteristics of their originators and Jungian psychology is no exception. Carl Jung was a heterosexual man whose model of the human psyche is understandably heterosexually based and biased. He wrote very little about homosexuality to the extent where in comparison with his total output, he virtually ignored it. This is not necessarily a criticism of Jung; unlike some of his followers he quite correctly seemed reluctant to discourse on something he had little personal experience of. And so I get concerned when psychological astrologers like Liz Greene use the Jungian model of the human psyche in conjunction with astrology to deny homosexuals the right to be treated as psychologically equal to the rest of the population.

To illustrate my argument I will examine what Greene says about Venus/Saturn aspects in her book Relating. When she talks about hard Venus/Saturn aspects in men’s charts she reveals to me quite clearly that she regards homosexuality as pathological. She says that with difficult Venus/Saturn aspects in a male chart: “All kinds of by-products may ensue, ranging from coldness, lack of feeling and withdrawal to eventual homosexuality.” (My emphasis) [48]

The clear message here is that coldness, lack of feeling and withdrawal is associated with the homosexual state; male homosexuality for her seems to be about repression of feelings especially towards women. My perspective on Venus/Saturn aspects is that deep feelings are definitely there but there is a lid on them. There is a fear about openly expressing them, about showing love and affection and a caution about emotional commitment in all relationships, opposite sex or otherwise. This caution is underpinned by a need for certainty, definition and security. To drag in homosexuality into this equation and imply that it is the ultimate result of denial of feelings is to completely misunderstand and misrepresent homosexuality.

Greene is doing exactly what Stephen Arroyo has done; comment on something negative such as violence and repressed emotion and then drag in homosexuality in the same sentence for no sound reason at all. I have found hard Venus/Saturn aspects affect all relationships not just those of the opposite sex variety. This is a classic example of the dangers in assigning different planetary energies to one or other gender and making sexist assumptions based on that. If one regards the Venusian energy as the ability to relate, unite, join and harmonise, this ability is inhibited and restricted when combined in a hard aspect with Saturn. There is caution, fear and vulnerability around the whole relating business and a man or a woman with this aspect would have problems freely relating to anyone regardless of gender. But to conclude that this fear of relating in a man’s chart leads to eventual homosexuality is to my mind a ludicrous argument.

Liz Greene’s commentary on Venus/Saturn aspects is a classic example of how some analysts and astrologers can continue to wittingly or unwittingly pathologise homosexuality in covert and subtle ways whilst still publicly waving their liberal banners. Clearly for Liz Greene homosexuality is still very much a ” problem” because it is based on the repression of feelings and the alleged inability to relate to the opposite sex. Of course it depends what you mean by relating to the opposite sex. I contend that men do not have to sex with women the whole time or any of the time in order to “relate” to them and vice versa. In my experience, many gay men generally relate to women very positively; they feel comfortable with them talking about feelings and emotions. And from my experience our most important relationship experiences are just as often asexual.

In short, Liz Greene has done little in her book Relating to correct the negative image that homosexuality has in astrology, and in fact has continued to perpetuate negative homosexual myths and stereotypes. Whilst she warns against being judgmental, she simultaneously denies homosexuals the right to be treated equally with heterosexuals in a psychological sense. Jungian psychology reflects the personality of its originator; it is heterosexually biased and fails to recognise and incorporate the reality and the validity of the homosexual experience.

The current fierce resistance to the androgynous view of the psyche amongst the majority of its followers is testimony to that. Liz Greene’s book “Relating” psychologically discriminates against homosexuals and from my point of view has done more harm than good in raising people’s levels of acceptance towards sexual minorities. I find it hard to conceive that she would write this chapter on “The Sex Life of the Psyche” in exactly the same manner now as she did in 1978. She may or may not have modified or altered her position in the meantime but I have not heard or seen anything to that effect. I presume she stands by what she has written.

But the fact is that Relating is still in print, still very popular, yet still disseminating what I believe are grave misconceptions about homosexuality. The only comment she appears to have made on homosexuality in the chart since 1979 has been in The Inner Planets – Seminars In Psychological Astrology Volume 4 [49]. And it is significant that she only comments on it when prompted by a member of her seminar audience. When she discusses Venus/Moon aspects, she states that the same psycho-astrological dynamics apply to homosexual as well as heterosexual relationships. One planetary energy is consciously “owned” whilst the other is projected on to the partner in the relationship. The theme is the same for everyone, balancing the need for security with the desire for erotic fulfilment.

Greene appears to have shifted to a more androgynous view of the human psyche than before, implicitly accepting that homosexual relationships operate on the same fundamental logos/eros polarity as heterosexual ones which is quite a different position to that which she adopted in Relating. Yet Relating continues to be printed unaltered, and in my opinion, continues to badly misinform readers about homosexuality and its relationship to astrology. Above all, it subliminally reinforces the widely held view that homosexuality is inherently inferior to heterosexuality and continues to help to create a climate where gay and lesbian people are treated as second class citizens.

No wonder “Victor” resisted analysis. In fact many gay and lesbian people including me have resisted analysis until recently because of the entrenched homophobia in analytical circles I was astonished to read that as of 1998 there were still no “out” gay psychoanalysts in the UK! And a struggle is apparently currently going on against the block on gay men and lesbians in analytic training organisations in that country.[50]

People may well ask why it has taken so long for someone like me to question what has been written by astrologers in the last 20 years. The answer is partly “internalised homophobia”. When one has been bombarded throughout life with highly destructive remarks from the collective about one’s sexual identity, there is a tendency to unconsciously take some of it on board. I have worked hard on my own internalised homophobia and now see things very, very differently.

What Liz Greene wrote on homosexuality in Relating during the 1970s was, believe it or not, a considerable advance on anything written before that by astrologers. But in the context of the nineties it is no longer tenable and has become objectionable because of its heterosexist bias and unconscious homophobia. The same comment can also be made about the very questionable comments on homosexuality and its supposed astrological significators by Stephen Arroyo, Betty Lundsted and others.

In conclusion, I would suggest that searching for a homosexual signature in the natal chart is a complete waste of time and quite irrelevant. This search in itself is implicitly homophobic. There is absolutely no consensus of opinion amongst astrologers about it. The multitude of astrological signatures that have been suggested are just hearsay and are not backed up by any serious empirical evidence. There is no evidence that the hard aspects (square, opposition and sometimes conjunction ) between Mars/Venus and the outer planets are more likely to be linked to homosexuality than heterosexuality. The fact that astrologers have suggested this link in the past speaks volumes about the prevalent ill-informed prejudices against gay and lesbian people.

Moreover, the search for an astrological signature for homosexuality presupposes that it is abnormal in some way. The fact that this search has been spectacularly unsuccessful speaks for itself. Sexual orientation like race, religion and gender cannot be detected in the chart; the chart does not judge whether a person is normal or abnormal and neither should we. The same dynamics exist in homosexual relationships as well as heterosexual ones. The planetary energies are ultimately beyond gender and belong to us all.

Psychological astrologers to date have had a very poor track record when dealing with homosexuality. Far from clarifying the situation with regard to homosexuality, they have confused it even more, especially with reference to Jungian psychology, and need to have a real good look at their own unconscious issues in this matter.

 – by Peter Clamp



[1] Lehman, J Lee, “Delineating Sexuality” from Sexuality in the Horoscope, (1994) edited by Noel Tyl, Llewellyn Publications, St Paul, Minnesota USA, p. 223. This is by far the best astrological treatise to have been written on homosexuality to date especially from the female perspective.
[2] Harrison, Phyllis Dee, “Astro-Analysis of 168 Homosexuals”, Horoscope Magazine, August 1979.
[3] Lehman, J Lee, op. cit. p.122.
[4] Parker, Derek and Julia, The New Compleat Astrologer, (1985 edition), Guild Publishing, London, p. 183.
[5] Sakoian, Frances and Acker, Louis S, The Astrologer’s Handbook, (1974), Penguin Books, p. 368.
[6] Sakoian, Frances and Acker, Louis S, op. cit., p. 429.
[7] Sakoian, Frances and Acker, Louis S, op. cit., p. 372.
[8] Sakoian, Frances and Acker, Louis S, The Astrology of Human Relationships, (1976), Harper and Row, p. 214.
[9] Williams, Carolyn, “Sexism in Astrology”, Federation of Australian Astrologers Journal, June 1985, p. 34.
[10] Sakoian, Frances, and Acker, Louis S, The Astrology of Human Relationships, (1976), Harper and Row. p. 79.
[11] Arroyo, Stephen, Astrology, Karma and Transformation, (1978), CRCS Publications, Reno, Nevada, USA, pp. 121-140.
[12] Arroyo, Stephen, op. cit., p. 122.
[13] Carter, Charles E O, The Astrological Aspects, (1930), L N Fowler UK, p. 115.
[14] Arroyo, Stephen, Relationships and Life Cycles, (1979), CRCS Publications, Reno, Nevada, USA, p. 122. This author claims it is hard to deduce homosexuality from the natal chart. Yet he is not afraid to still link it with certain individual planetary aspects such as Mars/Uranus, Venus/Uranus or Mars/Neptune confusing the issue still further.
[15] Arroyo, Stephen, Astrology, Karma and Transformation, op. cit., p. 140.
[16] Arroyo, Stephen, Relationships and Life Cycles, op. cit., p. 122.[17] Arroyo, Stephen, Relationships and Life Cycles, op. cit., p. 122.
[18] Nolle, F Richard, Horoscope, August 1979.
[19] Townley, John, Uranus, (1978), Weiser, New York, USA, p. 74.
[20] Nolle, F Richard, “Review of Uranus” by John Townley, Horoscope Magazine, July 1979.
[21] Dam, Wim van, Astrology and Homosexuality, 1979, Samuel Weiser Inc., York Beach, Maine, USA
[22] Lundsted, Betty, Astrological Insights Into Personality, (1980), Astro Computing Services, San Diego, California, USA, p. 156.
[23] Lundsted, Betty, op. cit., p. 158.
[24] Lundsted, Betty, op. cit., p. 158.
[25] Lehman, J Lee, op. cit., p. 223.
[26] March, Marion and McEvers, Joan, The Only Way To Learn About Tomorrow, (1988), Astro Computing Services, San Diego, California USA, p. 43.
[27] March, Marion and McEvers, Joan, The Only Way To learn About Relationships, (1992), Astro Computing Services, San Diego, California, USA, p. 135: “Homosexuality in Synastry”. Marion March and Joan Mc Evers are two rare astrologers who seem to take their homosexual clients seriously. Most astrological textbooks on relationships completely ignore their existence.
[28] Burr, Chandler, A Separate Creation – How Biology Makes Us Gay, (1996), Bantam Press, UK, in particular p. 279. This well written book describes the search for the so called “gay” gene up to 1996. Molecular scientist, Dean Hamer is quoted thus: “I think all scientists that have studied sexual orientation already agree that there is very little element of choice in being gay or heterosexual.” Hamer’s study was based on the assumption that homosexuality ran in the female line – that men with gay uncles on their mother’s side tended to be gay. A recent report dated 24th April 1999 quotes a new study of gay Canadian men, which failed to replicate Hamer’s findings. Significantly the head of the Canadian team stated that it does not mean that genes do not influence homosexuality – just that scientists should look elsewhere. He feels it is highly likely there is another gay gene. Hamer has criticised the methodology of the Canadian study, which he claims studied families with homosexuality mostly on the father’s side instead. Not surprisingly fundamentalist religious groups and homophobic psychoanalysts in the USA and elsewhere have used this as “proof” that being homosexual is not genetic and that they can continue to persecute gay and lesbian people with impunity through reparative therapy.
[29] Greene, Liz, Relating – Astrological Guide to Living With Others on a Small Planet (1978), Samuel Weiser Inc., York Beach, Maine, USA, p. 162.
[30] Hopcke, Robert H, “Homophobia and Analytical Psychology”, p. 74, from Same Sex Love and the Path to Wholeness, edited by Robert H Hopcke, Karin Loftus Carrington and Scott Wirth – perspectives on gay and lesbian psychological development.
[31] Ibid
[32] Ibid
[33] Greene Liz, Relating, op. cit., p. 162.
[34] Greene Liz, Relating, op. cit., p. 115.
[35] Greene Liz, Relating, op. cit., p. 118.
[36] Jung, C.G., The Collected Works of C.G.Jung Vol 9/1, Princeton: Princeton University Press, (1968), p. 71.
[37] Stevens Anthony, On Jung, (1990), Penguin Psychology/Penguin Books, p. 218.
[38] Stevens Anthony, On Jung, op. cit., p. 218.
[39] Lehman, J Lee, op. cit., p. 226.
[40] Sullivan, Erin, Dynasty – the Astrology of Family Dynamics, Penguin Arkana, London, 1996,
p. 79. Erin speaks very positively in this book about gay families, where children have same sex parents. She comments on how they have become “admirable young people”. It is good to see an astrologer who views being gay or lesbian as a positive experience and does not patronise.
[41] Greene, Liz, Relating, op. cit., p. 164.
[42] Burr, Chandler, A Separate Creation – How Biology Makes Us Gay, op. cit., p. 279.
[43] Greene, Liz, Relating, op. cit., p. 164.
[44] Greene, Liz, Relating, op. cit., p. 181.
[45] McWhirter, David P, and Mattison, Andrew, The Male Couple – How Relationships Develop, (1984), Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J. USA.
[46] Greene, Liz, Relating, op. cit., p. 177.
[47] Greene, Liz, The Inner Planets – Seminars in Psychological Astrology Volume 4, (1993), Weiser, York Beach, Maine, USA.
[48] Ratigan, Bernard, “Psychoanalysis and Male Homosexuality” – Chapter 7, from Contemporary Perspectives on Psychotherapy and Homosexualities – edited by Christopher Shelley, Free Association Books, London, 1998, p. 83. The editor of this book was apparently unable to get a British psychoanalyst to write the chapter on “Psychoanalysis and Male Homosexuality” as “…there do not appear to be any ‘out’ gay British male psychotherapists”. (1998)!