Eros as an energy that carries one away on a wave of passion outside the individual’s judgment and control is an idea I keep seeing put forward, and I feel compelled to poke some holes in such a Self-serving definition–it brings to mind those who say, when confronted with their highly un-loving choices, “But we’re in love!” Disloyalty, betrayal, or lacking respect for existing relationships is not a foundation of love, but of Self-indulgence, and it seems that these same people are the ones who want to point the finger and say, “Eros made me do it!” Well, all I can say is, that excuse doesn’t fly. (And in case you’re wondering, my vehemence doesn’t come from my own experience, as, even with a Venus/ Pluto natal square, it’s never happened to me; it comes from watching others feel that they are good, honest people who wouldn’t ever do anything to harm another, justifying causing others hurt in the name of love–and not seeing that what they are doing can’t be love when it’s perpetrated before extrication from existing relationships, causing pain based in duplicity.)

I thought a good way to show this is to illustrate an Eros that is being sold (literally!) as a combination of lust fulfillment, objectification, and the ‘appropriate’ expression of sexuality, defined as within a heterosexual Universe where the male is the aggressor and the female is a two-dimensional supplicant. You may recall from previous articles that in my view Eros is more of a projection than anything else, an eroticization of someone or something; as such, you choose the object; keep that in mind as we look at the chart of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner (9 April 1926, 4:20 PM, Chicago IL USA). Eros is involved in what could be considered a definitive complex for this man, with Eros at 18 Capricorn in the 4th, conjunct the South Node–already we have an indication that his concept of the erotic is at the least drawn from a past era or experience, as this was as true upon the founding of his magazine in the ’50s as it is today–already upon his publication’s inception the objectification of women as passive sexual objects was on the way out as an acceptable idea within the Collective. Here’s the real heart of things, though: his Venus sits at 3 Pisces in the 6th (“Women are my job!” is perhaps the perception?) at the midpoint of Eros/ Sun. We can say that his Soul intent and his erotic nature meet in his ‘ideal woman,’ who, ruled by Neptune, is either malleable, illusory, or whatever his imagination says she is! His Eros is also opposed Pluto, putting an almost mythic spin on things–he may strongly feel that he is in actuality defeating thanatos by expressing his idea of eroticism, and he may feel it was imperative this express materially (sextile to Saturn)–certainly his lifestyle choices, unchanged through the decades, supports this.

Venus is sesquiquadrate Earth and semi-square Sun and Eros–this suggests that he felt compelled to deal with his Venus issues (and to make money from it, as they’re intertwined here), in order to succeed in both material and Soul purposes–and yet the aspects themselves say that the challenge was in doing this in a positive way–I think the Collective jury’s out on whether what he’s done has any worth beyond the exploitative. Venus also trines a Vesta/ Pallas conjunction, adding points for truly admiring women as wise and a part of the sacred–but a Jupiter/ Juno conjunction in the 5th implies he thinks women have far too much power, in romance and likely through the ability to bear children (wow, that’s an ancient concept–and we’re idea-wise back to the South Node/ Eros conjunction).

How does he see himself? His Mars is in Aquarius, so his idealized Self is likely an intellectual–this has certainly always been one of the most grating of the Playboy pretensions–and it is quincunx Pluto (see thanatos, above), semi-sextile the Moon in Pisces in the 6th (remember, the 6th is also the House of those who serve us, and his Venus is there, too–I’ll let you parse that out on your own!), and lastly, his Mars opposes Ceres, perhaps implying that he sees Mother Nature and the inherent authority of the female as ‘against’ him somehow. What little we’ve talked about draws a relatively unflattering portrait of a man who in many ways created his empire more out of fear than a true ‘philosophy’–but is this really surprising? More on Eros is available in my book, THE ASTROLOGY OF INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP, at Dog and Sunflower Press (links at right) and if you’d like to look up your Eros