The idea for this study began when I became curious about how the astrological signs are broken up into the masculine and feminine energies. When I looked I up I was disappointed to find that in traditional western astrology they are divided along elemental lines, with the fire and air signs being masculine and the water and earth signs being feminine. This seemed not only like it was a quick easy division without any ought, but often didn't make any sense at all. For instance, how could Taurus, a sign symbolized by the bull and characterized by its building skills and structural understanding be considered feminine? And how could Gemini, the sign of communication and vivacity be considered masculine? On top of that, I personally feel (and I think many would agree with me) that gender is a more fluid idea that lies along a spectrum and is not dualistic in nature. Therefore I decided to go back over each sign and determine whether or not they were more masculine, feminine, or a third category, neutral.
Below is my understandings of the natures of each sign and my determinations of whether or not they are masculine, feminine, or neutral, in list format:
Aries (cardinal, fire) - Traditionally the first sign in astrology, symbolized by the ram, it marks the beginning of spring and is the sign of the seed of spring, and of leaders and motivators. Based on this I determined Aries to be a masculine sign.
Taurus ️ (fixed, earth) - Taurus is the sign of the stock of the plant or trunk of the tree, symbolized by the bull. It is the sign of grounding and practicality, and of material or physical pleasure. Based on this I determined Taurus to be a masculine sign.
Gemini ️ (mutable, air) - Gemini is the sign of the two within one, symbolized by the twins. It is the sign of communication, brilliance, gregariousness, and vivacity. Based on this I determined Gemini to be a feminine sign.
Cancer ️ (cardinal, water) - Cancer is the sign of emotions, symbolized by the crab, and it marks the beginning of summer. It is the sign of intuition, sensitivity, family, and home. Based on this I determined cancer to be a feminine sign.
Leo ️ (fixed, fire) - Leo is the sign of admiration, symbolized by the lion. It is the sign of performance, decoration, warmth, regality, and anything that will get it attention. Based on this I determined Leo to be a feminine sign.
Virgo ️ (mutable, earth) - Virgo is the sign of attention to detail, symbolized by the virgin. It is the sign humanism, of tenderness, and care. Based on this I determined Virgo to be a feminine sign.
Libra ️ (cardinal, air) - Libra is the sign of balance, symbolized by the scales of justice, and it marks the beginning of autumn. It is the sign of harmony, peace, order, and pleasing others. Based on this I determined Libra to be a neutral sign.
Scorpio ️ (fixed, water) - Scorpio is the sign of mystery symbolized by the scorpion. It is the sign of poisons and medicines, of charm and danger. Based on this I determined Scorpio to be a neutral sign.
Sagittarius ️ (mutable, fire) - Sagittarius is the sign of travel symbolized by the centaur and the arrow of time. It is the sign of philosophy, adventure, and change. Based on this I determined Sagittarius to be a neutral sign.
Capricorn ️ (cardinal, earth) - Capricorn is the sign of a strong foundation, symbolized by the goat, and it marks the beginning of winter. It is the sign of determination, practicality and ambition. Based on this I determined Capricorn to be a neutral sign.
Aquarius ️ (fixed, air) - Aquarius is the sign of rationale, symbolized by the water bearer. It is the sign of reason, truth, and selfless contribution to the group. Based on this I determined Aquarius to be a masculine sign.
Pisces ️ (mutable, water) - Pisces is the sign of the hidden realms, symbolized by the fish. It is the sign of spirituality, diversity, and friendship. Based on this I determined Pisces to be a masculine sign.
At this point I felt pretty good about this because each of the three energies now had one of each element within them, which countered my original grievance with the traditional approach to the masculine and feminine energies in astrology. However I still wasn't totally satisfied with what I had done because I felt that in some instances there was still a prevalence of feminine energy in a sign I had determined to be masculine, a prevalence of masculine energy in a sign I had determined to be feminine, or a prevalence of masculine or feminine energy in signs I had determined to be neutral. That's when i noticed the division of the aspects (cardinal, fixed, or mutable) within the energies. The neutral signs had two cardinal signs, one fixed and one mutable. The masculine signs had two fixed signs, one cardinal, and one mutable. And the feminine signs had two mutable signs, one cardinal and one fixed. It seemed to me then that the cardinal aspect was neutral, the fixed aspect masculine, and the mutable aspect feminine. This made sense as well because the cardinal signs are the leaders of their elements, and a leader should be neutral. The fixed signs are the workers and supporters of their elements, and a laborer should draw on their masculine side. And the mutable signs are the idea generators of their elements and feminine energy is the source of ideas and creativity.
Now when I went back and looked at my divisions they seemed to make even more sense overall. Based on their aspects I assigned them a sub-energy. This is how they looked now:
Aries ️ (cardinal, fire) - Main energy is masculine, sub-energy is neutral. Being the sign of the seed with the potential to become a male or a female it should have some neutral energy, and being a fire sign (fire traditionally being considered masculine) it should have something stopping it from going over the top with its masculinity.
Taurus ️ (fixed, earth) - Main energy is masculine, sub-energy is masculine. Being the sign of the builder it should be more masculine, and the extra masculine energy helps balance the earth energy traditionally viewed as feminine.
Gemini ️ (mutable, air) - Main energy is feminine, sub-energy is feminine. Being the sign of communication it should be more feminine, and the extra feminine energy helps balance the air energy traditionally viewed as masculine.
Cancer ️ (cardinal, water) - Main energy is feminine, sub-energy is neutral. Being the sign of home and family it should be neutral, and the neutral energy helps prevent the traditionally viewed feminine water energy from sending it over the top with its femininity.
Leo ️ (fixed, fire) - Main energy is feminine, sub-energy is masculine. Being the sign of outward expression it should be more masculine, and the combination of the traditionally viewed masculine fire energy makes it the most masculine of the feminine signs.
Virgo ️ (mutable, earth) - Main energy is feminine, sub-energy is feminine. Being the sign of detail and tenderness, it should be the most feminine sign, and the combination of the fixed aspect and the traditionally viewed feminine earth energy make it solidly feminine.
Libra ️ (cardinal, air) - Main energy is neutral, sub-energy is neutral. Being the sign of balance it should be extra neutral, and the traditionally viewed masculine air energy helps with the view of Libra as a patron of justice.
Scorpio ️ (fixed, water) - Main energy is neutral, sub-energy is masculine. Being the sign of mystery it should have all three energies mixed to add to the mystery, and it's fixed aspect and traditionally viewed feminine water energy provide this.
Sagittarius ️ (mutable, fire) - Main energy is neutral, sub-energy is feminine. Being the sign of the traveler it should have all three energies mixed to support the diversity that traveling exposes the traveler to, and it's mutable aspect and traditionally viewed masculine fire energy provide this.
Capricorn ️ (cardinal, earth) - Main energy is neutral, sub-energy is neutral. being the sign of foundations it should be mostly neutral, but with some feminine energy to understand the earth it is building its foundation in so that the shifting earth doesn't upset the foundation too much, and it's cardinal aspect and traditionally viewed feminine earth energy provide this.
Aquarius ️ (fixed, air) - Main energy is masculine, sub-energy is masculine. Being thing of reason and rationale, it should be the most masculine sign, and the combination of the fixed aspect and he traditionally viewed masculine air energy make it solidly masculine.
Pisces ️ (mutable, water) -Main energy is masculine, sub-energy is feminine. Being the sign of spirituality and hidden realms, it should be more feminine, and the combination of the mutable aspect and the traditionally viewed feminine water energy provide this.
Now I felt much better about my divisions of the signs. It created a much more balanced view of astrology to me. I decided to take this idea to individual charts and break them down into their percentages of masculine, feminine, and neutral energy. I devised a method for this based on a concept introduced to be by fellow astrologer I met in Portugal (I would like to reference him by name because it is his idea but I don't have his permission to do so). The idea is this: A human is like a play, and a birth chart is like a program given to the audience before the curtains open. The most important people putting on this play are the Producer, the Director, and the Writer, or the Sun, Rising, and Moon (SRM) respectively. Then next most important people are the main actors, or the visible planets (VP) Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn. The next most important people are the extras, or the invisible planets (IP) Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. And finally the last most important people are the crew building sets, making costumes, etc. or the rest (R) of the bodies and points on the chart.* Based on this I assigned each group a number of points and began to do tallies of individual’s charts. With the SRM getting four points each, the VP getting three points each, the IP getting two points each, and the R getting one point each, they end up looking like this:
22nd of July, 1991, 07:00, Stinson Lake, NH, USA
SRM - 8F, 4N, 0M
VP - 12F, 0N, 3M
IP - 0F, 6N, 0M
R - 2F, 2N, 2M
Totals - 22F, 12N, 5M - (these three numbers put together should always equal 39)
Percentages - 56%F, 31%N, 13%M
When I discovered that my percentages came out to be just how I thought of myself before doing this, I decided to start guessing what the percentages would be for each person I knew before looking at their chart and figuring it out, and I found that almost every time I was spot on, or really close! I also began to notice a trend with Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, the planets I identify as the generational planets. A generation will be defined by Pluto which spends 11-32 years in each sign, and that generation will be further subdivided by where Uranus and Neptune are. If we look at where these three planets lie for people of my generation, all three are in neutral planets, meaning people of my generation will all get an automatic 6N points. This seems to correlate with the rise of the gender neutrality and non-conformity movement of the past decade as the individuals of my generation enter into university and the workforce. I decided to go back and look at the last time all three of those planets were in masculine signs (when people born would get an automatic 6M points), and the last time all three were in feminine signs (when people born would get an automatic 6F points) to see if I could notice any correlations with historical movements and events. The last time all three planets were in masculine signs was the 13th of March, 1859 at around 17:04 (I chose Hawaii as the birthplace for my test person when figuring this out because it seemed like the most physically removed place from the rest of the world, and it's close to the equator so the houses won't be as skewed as those born in the farther reaches of the Northern or Southern Hemispheres). People born before and around this time were the ones responsible for the creation of the industrial revolution and for starting the First World War. The last time all three planets were in feminine signs was the 3rd of October, 1942 at around 07:12. People born before and around this time were the ones responsible for the civil rights, anti-war, and counterculture movements.
Another important observation I made was that people with the same or very close to the same percentages of feminine, neutral, and masculine energies seem to have very similar personality types. Is is why I need as many charts as possible, because I believe there might be a key to connecting astrology with things like the Jungian archetypes, or the Myers-Briggs personality types.
However my data here is slightly skewed because most of the people I know are my age. I'm missing a large sample of people much older or younger than me to provide more insight into the generational differences and how they will play out with these ideas.
If you like what you read here please send me your chart! I'm very eager to continue this study, and I'm also very eager for any criticism from other astrologers or anyone in general, even those that deny astrology, I've made this a big part of my life’s work for the past three years and I feel like I have a very rational and logical explanation for how astrology applies to everyone.
Also I am not sure whether to look at how the planets and houses are divided into feminine, neutral, and masculine. I attempted this once with the planets, and was disappointed, maybe only because 3 is not a factor of 10, but I also felt like I was doing too much guesswork and the results were unsatisfying. Perhaps if my Portuguese astrologer friend’s analogy is very accurate, then maybe they shouldn't be broken down further because actors and the stages they act on don't need to be gendered, only the parts they play. Again I invite ideas or criticisms from other astrologers and anyone who believes they have a valid opinion.
*To go more in depth, the signs are then seen as the roles these people take on throughout the play, and the houses are seen as the blocking, or places on stage that people act out their parts on. This is a great method for chart interpretation and makes it easy for amateurs!
I think you did a great job of testing your hypothesis and using your own criteria, so props from me! However, I do disagree with a certain aspect of your own perception of what is masculine and femenine. Masculine and femenine, according to what I understand about astrology, are not meant to be indicators of how signs may be perceived as manly or girly. Rather, they are strict definitions that entail the energy of the sign. The fallacy here is to interpret masculine as the way people perceive masculinity in society, and femenine to the way in which people are perceived as girly.
I found this excerpt from a website called Skyscript, which may clarify what I'm trying to say here:
In many ways, the polarities of masculinity and femininity are similar to those of sect (diurnal/nocturnal); masculinity representing the active, solar principle, and femininity representing the passive (or receptive) lunar principle. But diurnal/nocturnal definitions seem to be more dependent upon the generation of heat (diurnal) or lack of it (nocturnal), whilst the masculine/feminine definitions are more dependent upon dryness (masculinity) or moisture (femininity). It may be that both divisions arose as alternate ways to describe the same essential polarisation that modern astrologers prefer to label 'positive or negative'.
Masculine and femenine in astrology represent a duality between that which is active, positive, hot, dry, dexter, superior, solar and that which is described through the terms passive, cold, wet, sinister, inferior, etc.
So the predominance of any of the two types of signs and energies isn't meant to be an indicator of general masculinity and/or femininity, but rather of more simple terms. Chart predominance is indicated by the placement of planets and aspects which describe specific aspects of an individual, whether they're expressed outwardly or not. I, for example, have a 9th house Sun in Aries which isn't particularly shown right away to others; instead, it describes mental activity that's expressed in a masculine way, internally.