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John Mayer and the Mars/Venus Split

I had intended for this article to be about the romance that is apparently blossoming between John Mayer and Katy Perry, but then I realized that Mayer was born on a day when Venus changed signs. It is impossible to know his Mars/Venus combination without a time of birth. However, the most probable combination does raise an interesting point.


If John Mayer was born before about 10:30 PM on Oct. 16, 1977, he was born with Venus in Virgo and Mars in Cancer. (Click here to see Mayer’s chart done for noon.) This is one the most difficult examples of what we might call the Mars/Venus splits.


By Mars/Venus split, I mean combinations of Mars and Venus in which there is a significant difference in what each planet wants from a relationship. In this case, Mars in Cancer seeks a complete surrender to the power of love. “Take me I’m yours,” it says. Venus in Virgo backs away from such a surrender. “Do I really need this?” it asks.


The conflict here is obvious. It would be nearly impossible for Mars in Cancer to get the complete surrender it wants without making Venus in Virgo very uncomfortable. Meanwhile, the hesitation and need for emotional space represented by Venus in Virgo would sabotage the desire of Mars in Cancer for emotional catharsis.


There is somewhat of a Mars/Venus split in every combination of these two planets. (Except for people with Mars and Venus in the same sign, and they have their own set of problems.) Some are worse than others. For example, if Mayer was born after 10:30 PM on Oct. 17 he would have Venus in Libra. Even though Libra and Cancer are different in many ways, the strong desire for partnership we find in people with Venus in Libra and their tendency to idealize the object of affection could work well with the desire of Mars in Cancer to love without reservation.


Still, even in combinations that have a basis for cooperation, there is always going to be some degree of conflict. The needs of one or both of these planets are going to have to be compromised. If John Mayer does have Venus in Libra then he is going to have to find a way to balance the intellectual, sometimes playful way Venus in Libra approaches romance with the messy, “serious-as-a-heart-attack” emotionalism of Mars in Cancer.


The bottom line is that, no matter what combination you have, it is highly unlikely that either Mars or Venus is going to get everything it requires. There is always going to be a gap, an area of dissatisfaction, an unmet need. It may be small. It may be buried deep beneath years of devotions and love. But it will be there.


Typically, when astrologers talk about relationships they dwell on the areas of compatibility. However, what really makes a relationship strong is how we handle those issues where there is a lack of compatibility, how we handle this Mars/Venus split. The person who insist on getting everything both Mars and Venus desire is going to be a very lonely person, whereas the person who is willing to accept the fact that no relationship is perfect has a fighting chance for happiness.


So have any of you experienced this Mars/Venus split? How have you handled it? Every compromise, like every relationship is going to be a little bit different. I’d like to hear about yours.

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