The existence of the universe is based on the constant interplay between the male and female principles. Duality is the hallmark of the creation that is shaped by the forces of action and attraction.

Hindu mythology provides us with a rich foundation for understanding and appreciation of the cosmic interplay of polarities. Classifying principles into male and female allows for an easier and yet deeper interpretation of an astrological chart.

Shakti is the female side of the creation in the Hindu tradition and is matched by Shiva — the male principle of consciousness. Shakti is periphery and malleability. Shiva is centrality and firmness. The Shiva/Shakti dialectic provides a fertile ground for the universe to maintain its continuous unfoldment.

Genders within astrological chart

Recognising the male/female duality in the forces that make up the astrological chart adds an extra dimension to understanding of the astral configuration.

Referring to the excellent classical work Tetrabiblos by Ptolemy, the planets are classified this way:

Planet Gender
Moon, Venus Feminine
Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn Masculine

Mercury is an interesting case, it’s neither masculine nor feminine. Being the messenger of the gods, Mercury is the agent of exchange between the two genders. Mercury energy is ubiquitous, it connects and makes principles communicate.

One can see Mercury as androgynous being that represents both genders at once. Somehow this fits the image of Mercury really well — mostly portrayed as a youthful person with a subtle touch of gender ambiguity. The principle of Hermes/Mercury is at the core of alchemy which squarely aims at transformation. Generally speaking, a lot of human psychological and emotional malaise comes from misunderstanding of being out of touch with the opposite sex, both inwardly and outwardly. Somehow Mercury unites these opposing principles and brings harmony. Something of the future!

Trans-Saturnian planets

Here it gets a bit more complicated. Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and other distant bodies are all relatively recent additions to our knowledge. Those bodies are not visible by the naked eye and therefore can’t be experienced directly through human senses, perhaps for the rest of the 21st century, at least. Those planets are way too far for the current state of space technology.

The trans-Saturnian bodies relate to the hidden side of our psyche. They are often described as a higher octave of certain classical planets:

Planet Higher octave of
Uranus Mercury
Neptune Venus or Jupiter
Pluto Mars

What could this mean? Being very slowly moving planets, trans-Saturnian bodies represent trends at the societal level, changes that germinate totally unseen until finally arrived and manifested.

At the personal level, they are enhancers of the classical planets, they actively transform the dominant hue of the classical planets as well as their gender qualities.

What about the stars?

According to Ptolemy, the fixed stars alternate their gender polarity depending on their position relative to the Sun.

The stars that are above the Earth when the Sun is rising are masculine. The stars that set after the Sun become feminine.

Another way to say that: the stars that precede the Sun are masculine, the ones that follow are of feminine polarity.

Keeping up with the female side

Male is an active principle and generally much more understood. It’s simpler, more predictable in its actions, moves forward and pushes through boundaries.

The female principle is way more mysterious and thus tends to be oversimplified. Female is considered to be a passive principle, where the word passive must be understood as “passively attracting” or “passively active”. The female principle arranges circumstances so that things do happen while the male principle strives to achieve result through direct action.

Using both genders

Harnessing the mystery of sexes is one of the keys to transformation. Identifying and artfully “surfing” the gender polarities that are always present inside of human psyche and manifested through the planetary forces of an astrological chart is what can make a happier and fuller person.