I never see this subject dealt with adequately, and so I think it might be time to start a forum for astrologers and astrology students to talk about their more controversial relationship issues, including what we have been taught to call “kink-aware” alternative lifestyles.
Until we have that conversation, though, what those who live mainstream lives might want to consider is how many people are not like them, because their lives are very different and much more complicated. Much of the time, there is judgementalism about the nature of those complications, and I want that to change.
We need to be able to feel safe with our astrologer/counselor/therapist, since a lot of the time, astrologers are the only people who seem avant garde and open-minded enough to be willing to listen to someone who is living an alternate lifestyle.
Kink-aware astrology looks at the astrological chart, and in particular, relationship issues, from a somewhat different perspective. We start by looking at different reasons, different places, in the chart, for certain explanations. In the hope that no one who reads charts sees kink as a perversion, we don’t have to look for ‘problems’, but the kinky client nonetheless requires a broader, more inclusive, perspective on love and relationships from his or her astrologer.
So, let’s start by saying we’re not dealing with perversion; we’re talking about extraordinarily sensitive people who have been taught by society to hide out in dark places, so that no one will judge them. If you spend any time at all hanging out in those places, you, like me, might come to the conclusion that the word “kink” is not an entirely useful descriptor. It has all the wrong connotations, and tends to isolate the person further. It might be cool in the kink-aware community to use the word, but my fear is that once you’ve labeled someone, the label tends to put people into boxes, making it harder than ever to be free of outside judgement.
Kink-aware astrology isn’t all about sex; it will, to a great extent, be about relationships, and how the individual navigates them.
The key is that if you’re counseling someone who’s going through questions about their gender, or sexual orientation; is polyamorous, or has three lovers and a husband, what each situation has in common is a fair amount of emotional turmoil, and serious concerns about identity and how one fits into the world.
Complicated lives stem from being willing to, and needing to, take risks with issues others either never doubt, never worry about, or shove under a rug and never look at.
The other thing to keep in mind is that people in complicated relationships and life situations, asking questions of their identity, or sexual orientation, or social roles, are in transition. Many people in the kink community are in the process of becoming something they are not yet, and they’re necessarily scared. They undergo huge changes that mainstream people don’t face: changes to their bodies, their self-identity, their emotions.
If kink astrology is really about the negotiation between self and other, what we learn at home and how we’re perceived by the outside world, I think that you’ll begin to see the theme I’m going for, which is the importance of the angles: Ascendent, Descendent, Medium Coeli, Imum Coeli.
Each of these become the focus for me whenever I’m looking at a chart for someone undergoing profound change. Each angle represents a beginning and an end, from one way of life to another.
What do we look for in the chart, then, when we’re dealing with this much emotional turmoil, and periods of profound transition, from one state to the next?
I’d like to suggest that kink-aware astrologers pay special attention to transits to their client’s angles, as well as planets at the angles in the natal or progressed chart.
In ways that are unique to this community, kinky folk are attuned to identity issues in ways that mainstream people don’t have to be. Further, if anyone feels as though their identity is in flux, or is fundamentally in question, then the Ascendent and the 1st house must be the astrologer’s primary focus. Major transits of the outer planets to the Ascendent, 1st house, or the ruler of the chart, will tell you how your client is feeling about what s/he is going through, and her or his likely response to the desire for change that major planets transiting the 1st often produce.
Concerns about self-identity automatically put relationships with significant others in a troubled place. Issues often revolve around the curiosity, conflicting desires, and confusion the client brings with them to interpersonal relationships. Obviously, the relationship houses are going to be incredibly important, but my attention is first on the individual’s relationship to herself; after that seems stable to him or her, then we can move on to more productive discussions about the relationship with their significant other, which is quite often in turmoil.
The state of the Descendent, natally and by transit, should tell you a lot about how the individual navigates personal relationships, and one planet that comes to mind automatically when dealing with alternative lifestyles is Uranus, especially involved in some way with the 7th house.
Ordinarily, when we see Uranus aspecting the or in the 7th, we have been taught to think conventional thoughts about having a hard time maintaining a personal relationship. For someone who is living an unconventional life, however, the presence of Uranus in or near the 7th house cusp, either natally or by transit, tells a different story. For one thing, any planet transiting into the 7th indicates that the person might have to ‘come out’ in some way to the outside world; that’s true for everyone. It’s just that ‘coming out’ means different things to different people.
A planet transiting at the Descendent, then, challenges someone whose identity is in a state of flux to declare themselves to their partner. But the 7th house is also represented by people in your office, people at school; people at your munch. Coming out to them, admitting what you’re going through, might happen to anyone.
Don’t get the idea that only kinky people or people living a non-mainstream life ever have the occasion to ‘come out’ to someone. When you admit to your lover or partner you don’t want to marry him, if you admit to your significant other that you’re having an affair—whenever you tell someone you’re close to, the real, honest-to-god, truth about yourself, no matter who you are, you’re ‘coming out,’ you’re revealing who you really are.
The 4th and 10th axis, the IC and MC, are also vital to look at in life-altering situations. If you’ve ever known someone struggling with their gender, with their sexuality, with their orientation, you know that a debate rages inside of them between what they were taught during their childhood, and how the outside world labels them. The 4th and 10th houses can tell the astrologer a great deal about what messages the client receives, both from their family of origin (IC) and society (MC).
However, as you know, both of those elements of one’s life are fraught with emotional peril. For the person whose identity and self-definition is shaky, with a fragile sense of self and any sensitivity about how society perceives him or her, a rough transit to the angles can be precarious.
I want to take a moment to point out what not to over-focus on when dealing with someone in an alternative lifestyle: Scorpio or the 8th house.
Scorpio is a sign that gets far too much attention when it comes to matters involving sex and sexuality. Since kink is more about identity than it is about sex for its own sake, I focus less on Scorpio (or any sign, really) and more on factors like, is the sign in question Mutable? Mutable signs are where I’d look for mutable feelings and perceptions about self, particularly if you’re dealing with questions about shifting identities or gender orientation.
This is not to say than the 8th house might not have some potent information in it; just please be aware that the stereotypes and misunderstandings about kink and about the 8th house make it highly likely that if you take one look at the chart and see your personal boogeyman planet in the 8th (whatever that planet is) you’re going to miss the larger picture.
The 8th cannot answer for all the issues we’ve been told it’s responsible for (notably by astrologers who do not actually have a preponderance of planets in the 8th, usually). There’s too much automatic fear about the nature of the 8th already in place. I will say that the 8th is a liminal house, and so it’s appropriate to look there to see how the individual processes change.
But take another look at why the client feels the way they do, and what they’re up against, and take a second and third look at his or her angles.
The angles have a lot to tell you about transitions and change under all circumstances, but are of particular interest when dealing with people whose life issues are potentially dark and complicated—and challenging, if only because we don’t talk about them enough.
- Just Do It! (findingsara.wordpress.com)
- What I discovered while writing “6 Ways Astrology Confirms Why I Can’t Stand Mitt Romney…” (return2thesource.wordpress.com)
- Day 27: Do your non-kink interests ever find their way into your kinky activities? (hispreciouspet.wordpress.com)