December 05th, 2013

Women And Astrology: But Where are the Guys? (I Know Where the Gays Are)

Not much changes in the world of astrology — when it comes to gender. (Mind you, my observations are subjective and based on what I’ve observed in the United States, so there’s my disclaimer right out of the gate.)

Women comprise the largest group of attendees for classes and seminars and conventions. And also, women hold professional positions more than men, meaning they teach astrology and work full time as astrologers.

The majority of my clients are women. In fact, it is so rare to receive a call from a man that whenever I do it feels like I’ve slipped into an alternate non-astrology reality.

When I commenced with my brilliant career, as a student, the majority — over 80 percent — of the folks in our astrology class were women. And both of my initial teachers were women.

Men, back then — which is to say during the heyday of astrology’s revival in the early 70s, were usually gay. And I’d say that almost every man I interacted with, that was even slightly interested in astrology, was gay.

Oddly, the majority of men I met that were heterosexual were intensely involved with sidereal astrology. It seems too cliched to be true, but the more literal approach of sidereal astrology appealed to the traditional masculine mindset: Rational, scientific and, again, literal.  (Please do not write comments below about this post being sexist, I’m simply opening up an inquiry here with different sets of impressions).

Speaking of impressions, I’m forever grateful to the colorful tribe of students I studied with in the early days — women and men. A madcap array of eccentrics, many of whom I can still picture as if I’d just seen them walking down the street yesterday.

The men in our group were often decked out in caftans (right) or black turtlenecks and many of them sported huge gold medallions declaring their birth sign. The women were in saris and muumuus or psychedelic shifts and capris, tinkling and clattering with dangling charms and trinkets. It was a genuine jamboree of sincere seekers (and oddities) that coincided with a moment in astrology — as a pop cultural phenomenon that extended way beyond the confines of our classroom and into the public square and mindset of the dawning Aquarian age — that I’m proud to say I was a part of. Thank you Linda Goodman!

And so, yet again, propelled by women.

Years later, when I worked a stint as a telephone psychic for one of those annoying networks that dominated the late night TV world with non-stop promises from Dionne Warwick for fortune and eternal love, I kept logs of all of the calls I fielded. And again, it was always the women dialing for the dollars — or the romance — usually the later which, as a topic for a ‘reading’ (god, I loathe that word) occurred ninety percent of the time. “But if he’s moved in with another women does that still mean he doesn’t love me? What does my chart say?”

I’ve theories as to why there are not more men in astrology, and I’d suppose that, too, over the years, the percentages have shifted a great deal from my historical memories. Meaning, the contemporary astrology conventions I’ve attended have more men in attendance — and yes, even more heterosexual men — not that people are walking around with placards announcing their sexual preferences, but possessing a natural eye for “peers” (i.e., gaydar), I can usually tell. (Well, there was that one mistake that time with Kenneth — but never mind).

So, anyway, rather than me babbling on with my theories as to why women dominate the astrological world, I’d like to hear your ideas. Please share them below.

And as soon as I’ve changed from my caftan to my new turtleneck, I’ll sit down at the keyboard and join in the discussion.

Illustration by the incomparable Virgil Finlay, date unknown.

12 Responses to 'Women And Astrology: But Where are the Guys? (I Know Where the Gays Are)'
Filed Under: Astrology and Zeitgeist
  1. Ashok Prajapati remarks:

    I think at the most time, much women go to astrologer than men. They have faith in astrology

    December 5th, 2013 at 11:10 pm
  2. Candy remarks:

    Bitches rule!

    December 6th, 2013 at 10:43 am
  3. frederick_a_woodruff remarks:

    Uhm, OK, Candy, thank you for that burst of support for the female denizens of the world!

    Yes, faith could be a stronger component Ashok. I agree.

    December 6th, 2013 at 11:52 am
  4. Bonnie remarks:

    I have found that women are generally, or at least in greater numbers, open to most of the alternative spirituality fields of life and studies such astrology,feng shui, reincarnation. health and mind work, on and on, perhaps with one exception that I had noticed, and it may not be so everywhere, that exception was meditation and Buddhism (as an example)

    December 6th, 2013 at 2:49 pm
  5. Bonnie remarks:

    You studied with Ivey Goldstein Jacobson, wow, lived her books for years. Still love the old typewriter pages of her books.

    December 6th, 2013 at 2:51 pm
  6. frederick_a_woodruff remarks:

    I did Bonnie, yes, Ivy was my first teacher. A true blue Aries she wanted to not only write and edit her own books but type them out too, and then photo-set the typed pages, print the books and assemble them too. Leaving nothing to chance 🙂

    Yes, women do seem more ‘open’ as you say. But I wonder why, what is it about the feminine mindset that predisposes them to alternative takes on reality?

    And as Wonder Bright asked, over on this FB thread: Why are there more male authors and lecturers in astrology and in the astrology conventions and seminars world?

    December 6th, 2013 at 3:18 pm
  7. Billy Lady remarks:

    I agree that it make sense the sideral astrology more appeal to the men in ‘what specifically is going to happen’ and in ‘how to get ahead in life’, whereas the western astrology is functioning as the map of emotional work and psychodynamics. I guess the fact that there is more women in the field as they are genrally more emotionally attuned while men shut emotionally down. I would say with or without using astrology women can talk for hours analyzing other people behaviours and their motives. So, they are drawn to astro as it gives a clear map of social and relationship dynamics. Though sometimes female astrologers end up getting into all the psycho mess without giving any kick of what is at the end of it. I love Liz Greene work f.ex., but its full of these ‘of you poor little thing’ kind of compassion.
    So, politics on the side, I would say I preffer male interpretation of astrology as it usually gives a solution and reason for all the stellar mess. Male perhaps play more the ‘priest, guru, advisor’, while women try more to show compassion and understanding.

    December 8th, 2013 at 1:46 pm
  8. third house remarks:

    When I studied astrology it was in the mid 70s and it was with half a dozen men and two dozen women. Of course, we studied not to be astrologers as a vocation but under the heading of “Man, know thyself” in the greater context of the esoteric life. East coast (shirts and jeans) and both genders living together was so helpful. It took six months before I would divulge my birth time to anyone, but don’t tell me Scorpios can be secretive. I didn’t notice gender being a factor for astrology as much as the inclinations in someone’s chart for astrology and such. I would attribute our smaller population of males in the group to a stronger egotism that fought against anything that would challenge preconceptions and especially as a hindrance to that relation to ones teacher, which is essential. The sraddha, the gemut, or whatever you might call it, seemed to flow more easily through the females.
    What nostalgia! Thanks for the mental romp through the good old days.

    December 9th, 2013 at 5:58 pm
  9. frederick_a_woodruff remarks:

    Thanks Billy and third house, some good additions to the inquiry.

    Billy, I don’t experience Liz Greene being filled with the sort of muddle-stroking ‘compassion’ that you mention. But I do think you’re on to something with men being much more interested in giving pragmatic, know-how advice, rather than becoming deeply involved in process.

    third house, your comment made me smile. I love hearing about different generations of astrological students, because I get that you’re describing more of a late 70s space/place mode. That late 60s, early 70s phase was replete with ALL things tribal, hippy, and pagan — the mutation of late 50s beatniks and bohemians. A fascinating juncture. Men and ego? Well, yes, though women can be as assertive and resistant when it comes commitment and a spiritual path — though men seem to have more latitude, culturally speaking, to express that resistance.

    December 9th, 2013 at 10:58 pm
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