Gender & Astrology: Male, Female, Positive, Negative, Yin, Yang

When you meet someone for the first time, what is the thing you notice about that person immediately? Most people identify gender. Are they male? Female? It is a typical response, and one of the ways we start to categorize each other. Most of our languages assign some kind of a gender to pronouns. Some languages assign gender to nouns. Many of our creation myths involve one gender created before the other, one better or dominant over the other.

And we use so many things to define our gender roles: hairstyles, clothing, patterns of thinking, types of permitted emotional expressions, typical careers, group activities, leisure choices, and even colors like pink & blue. And when some of us bend these rules, society is quick to assign us to subcategories. “He’s a sissy ” and “She’s a tomboy” are two of the gentler descriptions.

When you strip astrology all the way down, past signs, planets, houses, elements & modalities, we are at the starting point with dualities: male/female, positive/negative, yin/yang. The earth & water signs of the zodiac are considered female & negative, and the fire & air signs are male & positive. As a Westerner, I tend to gravitate towards the terms yin & yang from Asian culture, because in a Taoist use, they seem less judgmental. For me, less baggage is attached to them. One is not better than the other. Yin and yang signify cold & hot, dark & light, female & male, respectively. And in the simplest terms, Taoism states they cannot exist without each other, and that each allegedly opposing trait needs to be considered as part of a balance, as part of a singular whole. Opposite signs in astrology are regarded the same way.

In the type of astrology usage I call “old fashioned,” gender roles are reinforced. Examining a woman’s chart, an astrologer looked to her Mars placement to see what type of a male she would find attractive and compatible, because she expressed her “male” or aggressive attributes through her male partner. With men, you looked to their Moon placement to see his ideal female mate, as he would seek to express his “feminine” or emotional qualities through her. And “old fashioned” astrology could not function very well when examining homosexual relationships.

But for me, if you take the long view, astrology actually makes a different case. When I first pick up a client’s birth chart, there is nothing in the chart that indicates the client’s gender. A man’s chart looks exactly the same as a woman’s chart. What do I make of this? Astrology is telling us men & women are the same. And really, except for some biological differences, we are. Most of our assigned gender characteristics are societal & cultural.

To address some creaky old stereotypes, men are perfectly capable of being compassionate & nurturing & empathetic. Women are certainly able to be tough & strong & logical. As the world and culture evolves and opens up, these old roles are starting to cripple us. Cultural historian and author Riane Eisler, in her book The Chalice & The Blade, asserts we had equal-gender societies in the distant past, before we became patriarchal. And I feel we are moving in an equal-gender direction again.

Guess what? I’m a guy and I couldn’t care less about sports. My wife, however, rolls her eyes every time I ask, “Who is this A-Rod guy again?” It’s March Madness (whatever that means) and she follows it avidly. Me, I am under the impression it’s something about basketball.

Be who you are. Don’t let gender stereotypes imprison your self-expression.


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    1. it is a free web blog page from Word Press… I used one of their templates but added the cloud pix myself

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  3. nice post. thanks.

  4. Susie says:

    Thank you, Tony. I look forward to Cosmic Tuesday and always feel enlightened .

  5. Robin says:

    “A man’s chart looks exactly the same as a woman’s chart. What do I make of this? Astrology is telling us men & women are the same.”

    And what other conclusions might we make from the charts looking the same?
    1) Astrology cannot predict, the most fundamental things, sex, occupation, marriage, children.
    2)Men and women are not the same, biologically they are not, and we now have to include the inbetween gender the females with the XY chromosome, but astrology cannot diferentiate.
    3) Astrology can give us hundreds of possibilities of how planets might manifest in an actual life, see Dionne Quintuplets, born close together, but did not have the same diseases, time of death, marriage situtations.
    I have concluded that astrology offers more guidance in what kinds of questions to ask clients or oneself and has very few absolutes about anything. Only in reflection and hindsight of the actual life can we get accurate about what the chart reflects. Prediction is not helpful with astrology.
    The question is, if astrology can’t answer the basic questions that are on peoples minds, my best relationship, my best career, what is it good for?

    1. Astrology can answer “What are my best career choices with the talents I have?”
      Astrology can answer “What type of a relationship will suit me best?”

      …but free will is involved. People are not locked in stone. Astrology can help you understand where your natural strengths are, and where you need to keep an eye on things, but each person has to make their own choices.

    2. well… ok… you use astrology for that… you ought to do some research on twins separated at birth… the similarities are stunning…

  6. “Be who you are. Don’t let gender stereotypes imprison your self-expression.”

    My Mars roars approvingly. And my Venus says to say, “Thank you very much for this thoughful post.”

    1. Thank you. My Moon blushes.

      1. Hmmm. My Mars exactly conjuncts that Moon of yours.

          1. Moo! 😀


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