Venus and Mars, Gender Identity and the Sacred Marriage
Let’s talk Mars and Venus in astrological terms. Why? Well to be honest, I dreamt that I sent out a newsletter about Mars and Venus - that’s good enough reason for me to sit down and make it so. Though, it may be more due to all the 4am visits over the last 7 months to the crest of the hill that I live on, to see Venus’s journey as she rises over the horizon along the ecliptic, then slowly makes her way back down, until, finally, she drops out of sight and “into the underworld”. When she does reappear, it will be as the evening star. This trajectory is repeated every 19 months, and this time around, I’m visiting with her at least once a month to participate in her journey, which is considered to be the inspiration for the Sumerian tale of Inanna and Ereshkegal.
Both Mars and Venus are related to myths of gods and goddesses. In astrological terms, they are considered divine female and male archetypes. Their location in your natal chart gives you your unique emerging archetypes for this lifetime. This is not a cookie-cutter practice, but a way of connecting to the archetypes that you set up as guides/inspirations for yourself in this lifetime, and of deepening your unique connection to that archetype. Venus or Mars in Gemini would be considered a Court Jester or Divine Comedien/ne archetype, while Venus or Mars in Leo is considered a Queen or King archetype. But more importantly, how has being a Court Jester or a Queen played out for you? It will be unique for you. And, what more is there to receive and embody? More support or inspiration? What is there to release about that archetype that no longer supports your core energy?
Understanding more about these archetypes, their location in your chart, transits and aspects can help us to consciously embrace our own emerging archetypes for this lifetime - as well as see what we have projected outwards, onto romantic partners, business partners, family and friends, leading to feelings of incompleteness and insufficiency. Re-claiming these archetypes as our own can be deeply fulfilling, grounding, and can help us to see our partners and friends for who they are, not for who we wish they were.
Historically, for women, Venus embodied the emerging feminine and Mars the often projected masculine, while for men, Mars embodied the emerging masculine and Venus the often projected feminine.
But what about trans or nonbinary gendered people? There’s no hard and fast rule about anything in astrology, and gender identity is still an emerging topic. My take on this is that for everyone, these archetypes are something to play with and explore where there is projection and, where there is embodiment. It might be interesting to look at both Mars and Venus as potentially having been projected out, and both as the emerging gender archetype. Perhaps one felt more resonant in childhood, while another felt more resonant in adulthood. Or if there was a conscious transition of gender identity, did your unique Mars or Venus come more into play at that time?
Ultimately, for people of every embodiment and gender, the goal is to claim both the Venus and Mars archetype, and project neither outwards. Even for cis-gendered women, if the “male side” has been consciously or unconsciously embodied for work roles in our patriarchally dominant culture, or for cultural approval/survival, play with looking at where the female side was projected out or suppressed.
What are your divine masculine and feminine archetypes?
Here is a partial list of archetype names, as each sign has multiple archetype facets. This was taken from astrologer Daniel Giamario's extensive list from his book Shamanic Astrology*:
ARIES: The Virgin Amazon / The Warrior
TAURUS: The Lover
GEMINI: The Divine Comedien/ne or The Court Jester
CANCER: The Great Mother / Father
LEO: The Queen / King
VIRGO: The Priest/ess
LIBRA: The Beloved or The Partner
SCORPIO: The Sorcer/ess
SAGITTARIUS: The Philosopher-Adventurer
CAPRICORN: The Matriarch/Patriarch
AQUARIUS: The Visionary or Revolutionary
PISCES: The Empath
If you have access to your birth chart, you can see which archetypes show up in your natal chart. (You can get a free birth chart here).
For example, a cis or non-trans woman with a Mars in Aries is likely to project the spiritual warrior archetype onto close friends and partners, until she claims, develops and embodies that archetype for herself. If she doesn’t claim that part of herself, she is likely to feel incomplete, and ultimately unfulfilled even by the most spiritual warrior partner.
A cis or non-trans man with a Venus in Pisces may repeatedly seek compassionate, empathic partners, until he embodies that energy for himself. If he doesn’t, he is likely to feel incompletely accepted even by the most compassionate and understanding partner.
The location of Venus and Mars in the birth chart also reveals if we’re set up for a “Sacred Marriage” lifetime, which is usually accompanied by specific challenges. Someone in a Sacred Marriage ultimately needs to be their own best partner, because that affirmation won’t come from outside, and any unconscious expectation of one’s partner to affirm that will likely have resulted in an unusual amount of difficulties, compared with those who do not have this alignment. So, knowing the Venus and Mars placements can be extra freeing and empowering for people in a Sacred Marriage lifetime.
Our Venus and Mars can also be impacted by transits, with particular changes in our self-awareness happening as the outer planets impact our sense of self. (For example, a Saturn transit may correspond with new, higher octaves of our Venus and Mars coming into play, ready to be integrated, and may be accompanied by challenges set up in childhood about our individual archetypes.)
The synodic cycles, too, will impact the octave of embodiment. I’m currently experiencing a Venus return, which happens only every 8 years, and is helping me to journey more deeply into my own Venus archetype (Pisces), releasing false constructs and embodying a truer alignment. Mars’ synodic cycle is 15 years long, and it too, will reveal deeper layers of potential embodiment and the opportunity for realignment.
*Giamario, Daniel. The Shamanic Astrology Handbook, Empower Your Brilliance, 2014.