Question: “Is Venus/Mars the only indicator of sexual attraction?”
No, absolutely not. Mars can touch a lot of things and get excited by them. The Venus/Mars pairing is relatively tame compared to some other combos. Mars/Venus is really about sexual give and take, sexual compatibility, not only attraction. Venus, for both sexes, is the way we express our love. Mars is how we express ourselves sexually. It’s nice when the two go hand in hand, but if we’re talking about sexual excitement between two people, there are other indicators. Moon/Mars contacts can be very hot, sometimes too hot, because the Mars person’s sexuality penetrates (um…no other word I can use here) the other person’s psyche. The Moon rules the soma, the physical body as it relates to the psyche, so when Mars is interacting with the Moon, there are both physical and psychological stirrings that can be very intense. Mars is being turned on by the Moon person’s entire being. There can be an almost ferocious bonding, and issues surrounding nurturing can come up for both people. Anger, too. Sometimes Mars cuts deep, and the sexual relationship can make the Moon person aware of unconscious issues from the past. The Moon can feel uncomfortable because it feels too exposed. Mars will sense the withdrawal, and either retreat or pursue. This contact is intense, but not easy to live with unless there are other, calming factors between them.
Mars to angles and angle rulers can also be highly sexual. The angles are like antennae, when something hits them, they really feel it. If your Mars hits my angle, I feel your Mars in a very real way all the time I’m with you. I may feel your Mars over and above anything else in your chart, because it’s so easily accessible to me. Now, if the rest of my chart doesn’t jive with your Mars, I’m not going to like it (or maybe you) much, but if there are aspects to your Mars, I will find you exciting and want to be near you, because your Mars is giving my planets and angles a buzz. In turn, Mars feels this and gets turned on by it.
No one talks about Pluto and sex much, but Pluto is the higher octave of Mars and Pluto contacts with relationship planets can be very sexual in and of themselves, and very complicated. Between charts, it can behave very much like Mars, only driven to the nth degree. Where Mars has drive, Pluto has compulsion. Where Mars can dazzle, Pluto can hypnotize. Where Mars is aggressive and forthcoming, Pluto can overpower. Like all the outer planets, Pluto has a mystique that fascinates. Pluto’s mystique is the risk of danger. We know Pluto can take us to the edge, and we both fear it and want it. Whereas Mars desires are very personal and real, Plutonian compulsion veils a truth we know we must discover, and both parties in the relationship will be drawn to this hidden truth, almost against their will. When Pluto is involved in sexual attraction, there is always a tug between empowerment and powerlessness. We try to purge ourselves through sex, to get to the absolute core of our psyches in order to be reborn. When Pluto is involved with a relationship planet, either natally or between charts, there is a need to burn through to the very essence of that planet and see what survives.
There are other sexual indicators that are too complicated to go into here. Heavy contacts with the eighth house and its ruler, eighth house ruler aspecting relationship planets, Taurus and Scorpio node contacts. Any outer planet contacting a relationship planet can have a sexual vibe. Wherever there is a deep desire for transformation, the human psyche seems to be geared to translate that desire in sexual terms. It’s fascinating.
Question: “You mentioned the fifth house as a relationship house. I’ve always thought it was the seventh. What’s the difference?”
Jeff, New Jersey
This is actually quite a complex question, and I’m going to be doing an article on it in the near future. We need to re-think the roles that the fifth and seventh houses play in synastry.
I think it was Liz Greene who once said that a relationship is only represented by the seventh house if the people involved discuss who is taking out the trash that night. We all rush to look at the seventh house to define relationship, but often we’re premature. The Asc/Desc angle describes attraction, (see “The Roving “I”) but when it comes to defining the relationship itself, they are often fifth house things. Marriages, yes, seventh house. Living together, yes, seventh house. Long term dating? Exclusive dating? Those are tougher to define.
The fifth house is where we express ourselves, both creatively and pro-creatively. The fifth house rules children, but it’s also about how they get there in the first place. People with packed fifth houses often love interacting in relationship–so much so that they may never settle down with one for long. The intense one to one that the seventh house demands may not be their cup of tea. The fifth house is where our fun is, and also our joy. It’s the Sun’s natural house, and it describes the way we need to shine. Fifth house relationships teach us to spread our light. The fifth house also rules gambling. What’s more of a gamble than interacting with another human being?
The fifth house is where we are first learning to act with and for others. It’s a kind of rehearsal room for the seventh house. Some of us need a lot of rehearsing, others not so much. If we have a lot of planets there, or important planets, it indicates that we need to test the way we relate to others, to learn our style of relating, to develop our tastes. And we should try and have fun doing it.
I always check the fifth house in synastry, and the state of its ruler. Conflicts and problems between the fifth and the seventh often expose internal conflicts about commitment.