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For years, we've contended that men and women of the same astrological sign are actually different signs. Most astrology books lump males and females together, while those that do attempt to treat the sexes separately have never fully explored the distinctions between the so-called sex signs or even so much as ventured to explain why it is they are, as is so often the case, markedly unlike each other. We maintain that astrology must factor in the great divide between the sexes, that the energies that comprise the signs filter through the opposite sexes as through prisms, separate and unique from one another.
We believe that the zodiac has been ignored as a real meditative tool for understanding human nature. Even astrologers themselves have had a hand in discrediting its validity, making such a stink about sun-sign astrology, especially horoscopes, being charlatanism while prescribing individual birth-charting. In so doing, the baby went out with the bathwater. Of course, drafting a person's birth chart will outline the potentialities specific to that individual's life. But that shouldn't be used as an argument against a more general sun-sign astrology. Indeed, there is much more to be gained via its exploration than most people realize. Particularly when it comes to sex.
To be fair, we can't completely blame the skeptics. Especially on the subject of sex and astrology, there is nothing cringier than the type of material lining the bookselves on the topic. It's hardly a big epiphany to say, for instance, that Taurus "gal" likes candlelit bubble baths and pink champagne as a prelude to getting laid. We believe that thesubject of sex and astrology is vastly underexplored, and it's our aim in writing this book to show how rich the subject is with potential revelation.
Let's face it, we all like to read about ourselves. Yet, the biggest argument against astrology remains: The whole of the human race can't possibly be divided into twelve (or in this case,twenty-four) categories. Well, guess again: Just because most sun-sign astrology has been so general and gotten such a bad rap doesn't mean it isn't valid. And, for our money, it is most intriguing when investigated via the sexual natures of the signs. In reading Sextrology, we believe people will be pleasantly surprised, and in a certain way excited, to discover that men or women of a particular sex-sign share so much more than a string of hackneyed adjectives. They fall under the same personality archetype, the gist of which, as we'll readily explain, you needn't be a Jungian psychologist to comprehend. But let's back up.
The zodiac itself is a dialogue, and often a bit of a battle, between the sexes. And Sextrology is an exploration of the astrological signs from the perspective of gender, sexual identity, and sexual behavior. The zodiacal wheel is first and foremost divided along gender lines into six masculine (fire, air) and six feminine (earth, water) signs. This reflects universal balance, existence being one big system of yin and yang. The basic premise of Sextrology is that there are twenty-four signs, not just twelve, each sign being divided again into gender polarities.
Men and women of the same sign can actually be very different from one another as they manifest the dynamic of their sign's energy in opposite fashions. Specifically, if a person is aligned with the gender polarity of his or her sign—men in masculine signs, women in feminine signs—he or she embodies the elemental-quality of the sign; whereas men in feminine signs and women in masculine signs will enact this dynamic. First, when we say elemental-quality, we refer to each sign's particular blend of element (fire, earth, air, water) and quality (cardinal, fixed, mutable)—each sign is a unique amalgam of these two zodiacal components that are key to understanding individual character—which, when paired, one category with the other, four times three, gives us the twelve combinations of the traditional signs.
For example, the masculine sign of Aries is the one and only cardinal-fire sign; in simple terms, the cardinal quality suggests initiative and the fire element represents life-spirit. Aries man, aligned with the gender polarity of his sign, thus embodies this dynamic: He is like a spark, or an explosive fireball. Aries woman on the other hand is a rather cool character who is nonetheless the zodiac's little fire-starter, an instigator, inciting others to explosive action while she remains unruffled. To look at Aries man and Aries woman one would say they couldn't be more different in temperament, because, though they are playing with the same astrological recipe as dictated by their sign, they manifest these specific ingredients in an often diametrically opposed manner. This is where personality archetype comes into play.
In the pages that follow, the zodiac will be illustrated as a mandala of human existence and, specifically, human sexuality. Sex, whether referring to gender or "getting some," is the primal key to life. We are our sexual natures. And so, in exploring the various personalities of the twenty-four astrological gender-signs, it's not only more fun to focus on the sexuality of these characters, it's essential to do so. To appeal to a primarily occidental readership, archetypes for each sign have been drawn from classical models—the pantheon of various gods and goddesses—as well as their biblical Judeo-Christian equivalents and the echoings of these characterizations throughout ancient and modern literature.
The zodiac itself, having originated in large part in ancient Greece, is steeped in classical symbolism, and individual personality archetypes from that pantheon organically emerge within the rich catalog of imagery surrounding each sign. For instance, taking the example of Aries again, the sign is ruled by the planet Mars, and indeed, we see much of that planet's namesake god of war (Greek:Ares) in the aggressive fireball of masculinity that is the Ram man. When meditating on Aries woman, it naturally follows that she then draws upon the archetype of the war goddess, Athena, who is quite different in character from her often bellicose brother. In fact, mythology tells us that of all the gods, she most loathed him. Likewise, Aries man and woman aren't the most symbiotic couple on the astrological block.
And so it goes: Each of the twenty-four signs of the zodiac is endowed with a certain prototypical energy to such a degree that we see these all too human gods and goddesses come alive in the pantheon of humanity, as it is, characterized by the dictates of astrological placement. And like the rose that blooms in summer, as opposed to the chrysanthemum of winter, life-forms that spring up at certain times of year manifest the character of that time. It is the same with we humans.
Moreover, each of the signs is associated with a seven-year age span, Aries kicking off the zodiacc with its correspondence to the period of birth through seven years. When taken metaphorically, we not only see, for instance, Aries man's signature sense of feeling himself "born" to do whatever he undertakes, but the metaphor extending further to include comparisons on his nature to the very advent of "big bang" creation on a universal scale. People are that loaded with analogue.
Provided, of course, one accepts the "noble lie" of astrology to begin with, a plethera of truth is to be gleaned from fully analyzing every zodiacal precept and archetype associated with each of the twenty-four characterizations. Particularly when it comes to sexuality, the myths themselves are a steamy enough soap opera that lend great insight into the erotic nature of every individual in whom the particular proclivities of the associative archetypes are eerily encoded.
Each astrological character's chapter is divided into three sections—sign + mind, a psychological profile of the zodiacal personality as dictated by the symbology of the sign: body + soul, physical attributes as well as the individual's mode of expression; and sex + sexuality, detailing sexual attitudes and behavior. Each chapter finishes with a survey of that individual's relationships with every other sign, male and female, gay and straight. These coupling sections are truly just the tip of the iceberg as they entail such a rich complexity of material as to warrant a separate volume unto itself.
It is our hope that Sextrology will be read along the same lines, and in the same spirit, as it was written: We set out to compose a pop exploration of astrology and sexuality, intending it to be amusing, if ever so slightly titillating, without taking itself too seriously. As the project got under way, more esoteric dynamics of the subject became simply impossible to ignore; the archetypes especially called out for inclusion in the material (and sometimes during a sound sleep); the creative agendum then became hinged upon facilitating a marriage between the more high-minded musings and the straightforward juicy bits. Indeed it was a process of letting the connections be made rather than emphatically making them; in time, everything fell into place. The reader should follow suit by getting into the book for some enlightening entertainment, read his or her particular chapter and those of loved ones, allowing them to turn on a few lightbulbs while tickling the funny bone, if not other portions of the anatomy.
If the book does, however, inspire a deeper fascination by way of its more academic surveying of "the astrology of sex and the sexes,"then all the better . . . In that case, one should read Sextrology from beginning to end, getting a sense of the zodiac's arc and how each sign, with its inherent symbols and precepts, builds upon the previous, passing a baton of personal philosophy from one character to the next, ad in finitum. Indeed the astrological "wheel"is a spiraling continuum, rather than a static circle, whereby each of the twenty-four signs has some nuggets of wisdom to offer the rest via his or her individual approach to life, love, and understanding of the libido, without whose precise urgings none of us would be here in the first place. Sextrology. Copyright © by Leslie Starsky and Cox. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.