by Marie Madeleine Rizzi
translated by Nick Skidmore
The title of this article must be clarified before I begin to explain the types of problems that I examined. The interpretative astrological explanations that we give to such phenomenon, studied both by psychology and by psychoanalysis, is a new way of looking at the subject that we offer not only as alternative therapy but also as an effort at clarification, given that psychoanalysis and psychology have not up to now, in our opinion, provided satisfactory explanations.
Various definitions of sexual fetishes exist, all of which, without exception, talk of a male mindset, while here I intend to speak about the sexual fetishes of both men and women, between which there is a very important, basic distinction: in addition, as will be seen in the examples given, some psychoanalytic propositions may be completely reversed, for example in the case of feet, as we will see later. I did not examine actual clinical cases, that is, I did not examine the problem of fetishism at the pathological level. I limited myself to those cases in which people who could be defined as “normal” showed a preference for or fixation on certain parts of the anatomy and on some items of clothing that represent either an erotic stimulus or a refuge for certain sexual fears.
As an exemplar, I cite the definition given by the Dictionary of Psychology (Amadeo dalla Volta, edition Giunti/Barbera):
FETISHISM: perversion, generally masculine, in which the sexual interest is concentrated in an exclusive and predominant way on certain parts of the body and more commonly on certain clothes. Forms part of the manifestations of mental disorders by nature neurotic or psychotic.
Sometimes it can be linked to objects associated with earliest sexual feelings. These may be evoked on numerous occasions and therefore become established, giving rise to habit.
According to FREUD, a fetish is something that is used as a symbolic substitute for the penis.
This research is confined to the present time and to the culture and social world of the middle classes, that is the people that we meet every day.
Naturally, fetishes have always existed and exist even in African tribes: fetishes can therefore be linked to a certain period, certain fashions and habits, or to the influence of the mass media. The aim of this article, by way of a first exploration, is the fetishism that I would call “natural”, that is, seen as a symbolic substitute of the male or female sex organs.
I examined the charts of the people questioned to see what indication, confirmation, explanation or contradiction I could draw from astrology. The inquiry was much easier with men that with women, primarily because the former respond more naturally and more humorously to this type of question; woman also responded, but after having asked for time to think and reflect. With them, I often had to disguise the question, asking them what they looked at most in men and which detail they considered most important.
Fetishes, as far as I have observed and studied them, can be seen as elements that unleash sexuality, therefore symbols of the imagination. In regard to imagination we must emphasise the importance given to imagery in general, and the means by which it can condition and influence. Among fetishes, cited later, it is notable that greater importance is given to the lower part of the female body, rather than the upper. When we speak of imagery, we speak of imagination; the breasts have been over-exposed and reduced to a level of such banality as to leave little room for imagination; we therefore see this concentration on the lower part, which jeans and other garments can emphasis.
I can already anticipate the first astrological conclusions: in every examination of a fetish concerned with a part of the body or an object, we find the sign corresponding to this part or object, influenced directly (or indirectly) by the sexual planets, and in general, the influence is usually negative. Either Neptune or the Moon appears in these situations, often positively, by transferring a simple or serious sexual problem to the realm of fantasy or imagination. In fact, it was to be expected: our problem was sex, and flights of fantasy the cure, when dealing with balanced subjects, and we were bound therefore to find the involvement of both the sexual planets and Neptune and the Moon, the latter in good positions.
Out of courtesy to the gentle sex, I first give their replies in no particular order, that is, the list does not reflect importance, priority or the percentage of replies, and is completely random:
the beard; moustaches; hairy chests; the tie; the belt; the eyes; the bottom; the hands; the voice; the odour; keys; the seams of certain clothing, such as jeans; the mouth; the cuff; a pipe or cigarette in a man’s mouth; the flies; pornographic photographs.
Being unable to present the charts of all the cases cited, I have left out some that didn’t seem to be particularly interesting, such as the mouth or eyes, or others, for whom I was unable to obtain either the exact time or place of birth.
Examination of women’s charts.
The stimulus of Taurus, on the neck, negative to Pluto, is redeemed by the Moon in 5a with consequent sexual implications, and by Neptune. The subject adores men’s ties, but also often wears them herself as if to carry with her a masculine symbol. In fact, masculine sexual planets are too strong in this chart, both because of their positions in the houses (Pluto in 1a) and in the signs (Pluto and Mars in Leo), and this puts in doubt the sexual orientation of the subject.
To reiterate the initial definition of a fetish as being linked to habit, the tie is probably one of the pieces of clothing men remove first of all before the sex act, which well explains the imagery underlying this symbol.
I would prefer not to repeat the very detailed descriptions of men’s bottoms that were given to me, which would made the reader blush, and pass on instead to the astrological part.
As we know, the buttocks are found in Capricorn (in opposition to the stomach of Cancer); in this chart Venus, afflicted in Capricorn by the sexual planet Mars, puts an erotic block on the buttocks, which the subject recovers through fantasy (beautiful Moon in trigon with Venus).
Uranus, hands, quadrature to 5a (to Venus) and trigon to 6a to Neptune. 6a is also co-significant to Virgo and confirms for us the importance of the hands, to which the subject gives primary regard.
Taurus, where Uranus is found, is also always house 2a that of imagery/sight, and the connection with 5a, even though negative, explains the sexual arousal.
Jupiter, Taurean planet, where we have the voice, is trigon to Mercury (representing the ear, therefore, hearing) in house 2a. The Moon, sexualised by her position in 5a, reinforces, with her trigon to Neptune, the importance of fantasy divorced from reality.
The subject, who I personally know well, gave incredible descriptions of sexy voices, yet she is much less sexually aroused when in contact with the owners, who she often regards as asexual.
Odour and moustache
These days, the importance of odour as a sexual messenger is well noted, widely reported in studies carried out with animals. In this chart, in which the subject replied “odour” and “moustache”, we find the Moon wooed in Taurus (which corresponds to the nose/smell)) in quadrature with Pluto (sexual planet) in 2a, co-significant with Taurus. Neptune redeems Pluto, again putting forward fantasy as the resolving instrument. The subject works in a perfumery, certainly the ideal place to take advantage of a marked sense of smell.
As far as the “moustache” part is concerned, Pluto, who corresponds to the male hormones and to fur (X corresponds to hair), is in quadrature with the Moon and therefore the desire to compensate for a possible lack of sex drive (Moon in 11a) is redeemed by love for the moustache and for fur, thus recovering afflicted Pluto.
We also see here the switching to the face (that is upwards) of fur, which represents a rejection of the odour of the male genitals. (Pluto afflicted in 2a).
The seams of certain articles of clothing
Here I must immediately make an observation: speaking to various people, the replies have concerned either parts of the body or items of clothing. Looking at the various charts, I asked myself what could determine such choices and my theory is as follows: those who reply clothing have house 6a occupied, often with a sexual planet (as we will see, often with men, it is Pluto) (that is the sexual message is channelled through clothing) while parts of the body are chosen by people with 6a empty.
Let’s now look at this chart of a person with a single response: the seams of certain articles of clothing, above all jeans. In fact, as said above, 6a is occupied by Venus afflicted by Saturn and opposed by Pluto (sexual arousal is transmitted through clothing). The sexual problem (Pluto/Venus in opposition) is overcome with the ransom of Neptune. The choice of trousers is clear because it is a primary sexual message, being an article of clothing that is typically masculine, but I can only explain the detail of the “seam” with a mad and nervous Moon, who is trying at all cost to be different from the others.
One possible explanation may come from the positive connection between Uranus (hands) and Neptune (fantasy), representing the opening and closing of an erotic fantasy, for which the seam could stand as an image.
The strong stimulus from the sign of Gemini, on the wrists, therefore on those twins, the cuffs, negative with Mars in Virgo, recalls the importance of the hands and feet. Mars/sexuality is in conjunction with Mercury in Virgo, doubly stimulating Uranus/hands in Gemini, redeemed by the trigon with Neptune, the intervention of the imagination.
Here again a fetish derives from a habit, the two cufflinks are the first objects that a man removes when he begins to undress as a prelude to the sex act
The pipe in a man’s mouth
The subject spoke of one pipe in particular, a Ceylam pipe: I would disregard the identification of the type of pipe, doubtless linked to a first impression or pleasurable sexual sensation that left its imprint, or a precise and well-defined image, and instead look at pipes in general.The affliction of Pluto in opposition to Mars is recovered by the conjunction with Jupiter (mouth): the pipe, which is put in the mouth, is therefore a substitute, as required by Neptune, at sextile to this conjunction, with its symbolism of smoke.
Here too we’re dealing with an object, hence the occupation of 6a.
Beautiful Mars and beautiful Pluto, the latter in opposition to Mercury, recovered by Neptune; the sexuality of the subject seems well managed, even if she seems a little categorical in her choice of partners, which the opposition Pluto/Mercury could make problematic, or at least not always producing satisfying results, judging from the escape that the chart suggests with a fine Neptune in 5a.
Neptune in 5a, in Virgo, too, we find sexual flight, but through an article of clothing, seen as a symbol; the zipper certainly prompts a desire to open it, or to open the doors on all the experimentation and adventure that might be suggested by the strong occupation in the chart of Aquarius and of house 9a. In addition, possible mental elasticity due to the Mercury/Pluto opposition is recovered by the trigon of Mars/Pluto, the sign of rapidity of action, with the help of fantasy (Neptune at trigon with Mercury).
We pass now to the replies of the men, which I cite below, in no particular order: the shoes, high heels; the feet; the breasts; the bottom; the ankle; the hair; the hat; the earlobe or ears in general; underwear, fishnet stockings, suspenders etc; certain items of clothing such as leather pants, etc; skirts split up the side; the shape of the hips, close to the waist; the eyes; the mouth (lips and the upper lip between mouth and nose); the hands; the navel; the thong; the baby’s bottle (?): it would be interesting to study this but the person in question did not want to give me either the time or date of his birth; pornographic photos.
Examination of men’s charts
This is the fetish of a painter who has achieved great success, especially in Beaubourg, with artworks representing mouths, breasts, legs and above all high heel shoes. I procured one of these artworks, which can be seen here.
Sexually, Mars is in conjunction with Venus (already indicating problems) and sextile to the Moon but in quadrature to Neptune, so here imagination will not solve the problem, as in the other cases, but will make it even more difficult. The imagery linked to sex is of great importance in this chart because of the position of Neptune in house 2a of the sight, quadrature to Mars, which is found in 11a, also in opposition to the house of sexuality. Pluto is isolated in 12a and so does not aid in recovery. Here, then, a feminised sexuality of a rather sado-masochistic nature, with the vision of woman as dominatrix. The feet/Moon with high heels becomes a phallic extension (Neptune in Virgo/shoes). This is therefore a vision of a phallic woman, with attributions connected to Mars (Mars is prominent over Venus) and Pluto does not help with the required hormonal boost.
We well know that feet are found in Pisces (where we find a beautiful Jupiter that reiterates IMAGERY/SEX/WOMAN) while Virgo (the opposing sign, where we find Neptune) governs shoes.
This gentleman has a real passion for women’s feet. An over-stimulated, negative Mars, and in 5a, aggravates the sexual problem. But why feet, exactly? We’re dealing here with a problem of balance, above all sexual, and we find ourselves on the line 5a/11a. All the aspects of Jupiter, Mars and Mercury/Venus/Moon bounce off empty Pisces, where we have the feet.
Astrologically, we can allow ourselves a hypothesis that challenges the psychoanalytical argument that feet are seen as a phallic symbol in women. We know that the feet/Pisces correspond to the exaltation of the Moon and therefore, in our opinion, a foot fetish corresponds to an attempt on the part of the man to see the woman in a less dangerous, diminished form, since the feet are always found at the lowest level. The other sexual planet, Pluto, is sextile to the Moon which is in trigon to Neptune. The recovery here is less simple and direct than in other cases but I must add that here we have reached the limit of our study.
During an interesting conversation with the subject, it emerged that he liked to hold the feet in his hand (Mars in Virgo) and while driving a car (always a phallic symbol).
Still on the subject of feet, on the evening of June 25th, when I was working on this article, I heard an interesting item of news on French radio: In America, they had just arrested a man who used to break into women’s houses at night and frighten them. For months, this went unreported, except in the last case, because this gentleman did nothing more serious than lick the feet of the sleeping women, who then woke up.
With Pluto afflicted in 6a (in confirmation of what has been said above) the subject spoke to me about an article of clothing and not a part of the body, due to the occupation of Aries, which was negatively bound to Pluto, and so we must direct our attention to the head, and to an object or article of clothing linked to the head: the hat, a stupendous Moon in Sagittarius but, in 11a, it recovers, through the imagination, a sexuality in need of strong stimulation from fantasy.
There is great stimulation to the degrees of Gemini, where we find Mercury/ear, but the relations with the sexual planets and with Neptune are positive. Here it is important to make clear that we are talking about a person with a very healthy sexuality, so there is no affliction evident in the sexual planets but simply a strong arousal and a fondness for fantasy.
It is interesting to note how the fetish concerns the only afflicted planet in the chart Mercury/ear …. which greatly pleased the subject.
Skirts with side splits, leather pants
Apparently, we do not have a sexual problem here but, in a male chart, a Moon in 5a, afflicted, certainly a predisposition towards and fear of loose women, to avoid a more direct or simple term, or women who present themselves in that way, hence split skirts etc.
As far as clothes like leather pants are concerned, Neptune/fantasy is found in Virgo and is bound in a very positive way to Taurus, where we find leather and other material of this kind.
Another possible explanation on the hypothetical level could be found in the unconscious desire to transform the soft skin of Libra in order to cover the woman in a tougher skin, as suggested by the Moon/Saturn opposition.
In this example, we are dealing with an almost pathological case; the subject’s wife found some underpants in her husband’s drawer (not his, of course) in addition, he wears a type of underwear that, personally, I have not encountered, that is underpants with a hole, presumably ready for use.
Let’s move onto the birth chart: Pluto is greatly afflicted by Venus, Moon and Saturn in 6a (here again we see clothing but also the desire to collect; 6a and Virgo are, in fact, strong) in opposition to Venus in 12a, and all three in quadrature with Pluto.
Mars is afflicted but recovers due to the trigon to Neptune, smack bang in 5a (sexual fantasy); even though 5a is beautiful, the connections between the other planets with Pluto are too ugly, and are in play along a line that can even bring mental disturbances (6a/12a). Also in play are the planets that are vital for balance and sexuality.
I would now like to close this article with a final, interesting case. Psychologists, when one speaks to them of fetishism, also take into account cases of sadism, masochism, etc, which I have disregarded in this article, and also people who use classified ads in newspapers to find companions, bed partners, or for games or simply life partners.
Immediately, the eye is struck by a very strong 5a, both because of the occupation of Mars and Jupiter and because of the stimulation that it receives, very much negative. The conjunction of Neptune and Mars directly recover the affliction of the latter and Pluto is fine in 5a.
As always, then, sex + fantasy, but why the newspapers? Because they are the simplest means available to Pluto in house 3a and because they correspond to the search for women faraway, difficult or unreachable, as demanded by Venus, afflicted by Sagittarius.
I do not wish to annoy the reader with repetition. The laws seem simple and obvious to me, and each one of us can discover, in our own chart and in the charts of others, which fetishes are normal and which are pathological. It will be sufficient to look to find the sexual planets (signs or houses); Taurus favours the mouth or the eyes, Cancer the breasts, Capricorn the bottom etc. The fact that these elements take on greater importance or unleash sexual desire is connected to an affliction of the same planets simultaneously and recovery is through Neptune or the Moon. The relationship with these last is positive in cases of balanced people, who just need a little fantasy to accept, or better appreciate, their own sexuality or that of their partner. Sometime the relationship with Neptune and the Moon is negative, but here we’re dealing with neurotic or pathological cases. In these latter, fantasy still plays its role but it becomes almost more important than reality, which the subject finds hard to accept.
Some might protest that in certain cases of relations between Pluto and Neptune we are dealing with general aspects rather than personal. My theory, in response to this possible objection, is that in our times, where sexuality is apparently experienced much more easily, more frenetically, more freely and more permissively, perhaps the intervention of fantasy was necessary and vital in order to add stimulation to something by now within the reach of all, yet not always satisfying. Once upon a time, the lack of education, the taboos, social conditioning etc were perhaps enough to titillate the sexual drive and so people had less need of fantasy.
I end this article with some advice for everyone. Once the fetish of a partner has been identified, allow yourself to bestow the swish of a skirt or a glimpse of cleavage, hair, high heels (this is for the ladies, I would not allow myself to advise men!) This advice is for those who are interested in taking advantage of a message from the Zodiac. For others, over and above these “little tricks”, try and enjoy the process from afar. A Zodiacal phenomenon, certainly, but also a social and cultural one.