When summer comes to the Northern Europe, holidaymakers flock to countries where the sun is guaranteed to shine, and cross-cultural encounters take place that can be both puzzling and disturbing. If you are young, blond – and male – you can forget it, if you are thinking of seducing a Greek, Spanish or Italian female. It could be more than your life is worth, even in the unlikely case that you succeeded. But if you are young, blond – and female – there is nothing like a visit to a Mediterranean beach if you want to learn about the local men. Take Sicily for example. Women from the north, with cool blood running through theirs veins, are fair game to young Italian studs who are fully convinced that they can offer an experience in romance and passion that cannot be match by their pale rivals in the north. There will be no escape from the relentless pursuit of these persistent Romeos. Advice: Find a boyfriend from a Mafia family, and the harassment will stop.If you travel even further afield, then far stranger things can happen. Hitching to India with my girlfriend at the tender age of 19, we came aboard a long-distance lorry bound for Teheran. When we stopped for the night, the driver made a little love nest in his cabin. I prepared to defend the honor of my girlfriend, but it turned out the driver wanted me to join him. Only when I declined the flattering offer did he then make a (vain) attempt at luring my girlfriend. Travelling east I found again and again that it was the young man who was the object of desire.

Although it cannot be quantified scientifically, national stereotypes, which arise for the deepest cultural roots of a particular land, are widely seen as being more or less accurate. To some extent these gender stereotypes can be clearly seen in the country’s horoscope, and Italy is a classic case. A country can be represented by a series of horoscopes for political events, and these charts can both show an evolution in gender roles, as well as confirm historical roles that persist through history. The most recent chart is likely to show the current cultural trends, which both sexes will respond to.

See chart for Republic of Italy10 Jun 1946 18.00 Rome

The 1946 chart for Italy has Scorpio rising with Mars in Leo in the 9th conjoining the Midheaven. This Mars, which configures (rather weakly) with a Jupiter/Uranus trine, clearly indicates a man confidant of his own worth and sexuality. The blond Swede sunbathing near Palermo is going to have her work cut out fighting off this Mars. Mars in Leo can scarcely imagine anyone truly wanting the rebuff his advances. This is complicated by the controlled and moralistic Venus/Saturn conjunction on the 9th house cusp squaring Jupiter in Libra. The Italian woman is bent on marriage and a relationship for life. Mars can hardly believe his luck when he sees the blonde on the beach. Resistance is only to be expected – he gets it every day from Italian women. Actually Mars in Leo is probably just having a bit of fun… the sextiles to Jupiter and Uranus just want to talk. (Unlike French men, who really mean business). Let the Italian man celebrate his freedom while he has it. As soon as he is married, he will be bound into the controlling web of the family.

Looking at two other significant, but older, charts for Italy in 1861 and 1871, the first chart (Note 1) shows Mars sandwiched between Moon and Pluto in Taurus. This Mars in exile is square Jupiter in Leo, so it is probably a very naughty Mars, eager for sexual satiation, but it is firmly under the sway of Mother. Even here Venus is in trouble, exalted in Pisces but opposing Saturn – the woman as self-denying saint. The later chart (Note 2), which is also a very significant horoscope for Italy has Venus at 24 Leo (square Pluto trine Neptune ) exactly where Mars is in the 1946 chart. So there should also be room for the Venus in Leo woman in Italy – proud, sexy and imperious. This Venus sextiles Mercury in Gemini, which brings to mind an attractive woman on her motor scooter. In this later chart, Mars is weak (but amorous) in exile in Libra.

If our northern blonde wants to sunbathe undisturbed (though this may not be her goal) then the place to go to is Spain . Statistics show that 27% of Spanish males visit a prostitute in their lives (Note 3) – the highest proportion in Europe . They are more reserved, and more frustrated. In the 1975 chart for the establishment of democracy in Spain , Mars is as weak as it can be.

See chart for Inauguration of King Juan Carlos22nd Nov 1975 12.45 Madrid

In fall in Cancer and retrograde, Mars is retreating from a trine to Uranus in Scorpio (those prostitutes?). Perhaps Mars still has memories of the bloody civil war during the 1930s. Mars is under the sway of the Moon in Cancer, and indeed it has been shown that it is Spanish men who stay longest in the home, often living under their mother’s wing into the 30’s, if a suitable partner has not been found.

Spanish women on the other hand appear deeply aware of their femininity and sexuality. Slim, poised and bejeweled you will see them walking proudly on the streets… obviously quite a handful for that weak Mars in Cancer. The Venus/Pluto conjunction in the 8th house seems to speak of the fatal allure of Carmen and the passionate flamenco dancers with their swishing red and black skirts. The sexual power of Spanish women is one thing, but the exact square to the Moon in Cancer is another. Once the flamboyance of youth has faded, then motherhood rules supreme. Talking to a womanizing Dutchman who had been resident in Spain for over a decade, he complained bitterly of how Spanish women tended to let themselves go once a relationship had become stable. Apparently, as he ruefully explained, they even stopped shaving their legs.

Whilst the women of Spain are blessed by a dignified Venus and Moon, the women of Greece have the misfortune of having the reverse placement. The chart for the establishment of democracy in Greece , after the overthrow of the military government in 1974, shows Venus conjoining Mercury and Saturn in the chart’s 12th house, and in close square to a Moon/Pluto conjunction in the 4th. That’s a very heavy combination. It reminds of the circumstances of the widow who has an affair in the iconic film Zorba the Greek , who is ritually murdered by a jealous mob of older women in black. You can forget about falling in love again in old Greece if your husband dies.

See chart for Greek Democracy24 Jul 1974 4.00 Athens

Other significant horoscopes for Greece were created when they gained independence from Turkey in 1822, (Note 4) and the subsequent kingdom in 1830. Both charts show Venus in Pisces in either square or opposition to Mars, which seems to suggest that men and women are at odds with each other and lead separate lives. In Ancient Greece, o nce a woman was married her husband controlled all her property including any she might have inherited. Any respectable woman would not be seen in public. Without political rights women were controlled by men at all stages of their lives, but they in turn ruled a plentiful supply of female slaves. It is said that even in modern Greece , women have very little power and influence, though they rule the home and the sexual favors they give with an iron hand. Certainly the Venus/Saturn in Cancer in the 12th square Moon/Pluto in Libra in the 4th show them as the power in a shadowy home, with sex and love released in controlled doses to achieve an agenda.

Still, with Mars in Leo sextile Uranus, why should the men care? Men socialize with men and women with women, even in modern Greece , so they can always go and sip ouzo in a cafe and eye the foreign talent. Women on the other hand are virtually imprisoned in the home, and get together in each other’s houses so share their secret world, or go to church.

If there are any French readers of this article, they are probably trying hard to contain their impatience. We all know who the world’s greatest lovers are, don’t we? Looking at the many charts for France , one has to agree that French women at least have certain charms. The most recent chart for France is the 5th Republic, which was established by Charles de Gaulle in 1958.

See chart for France 5th Republic 5 Oct 1958 0.00 Paris

Here we can see Venus at home in Libra, and in harmonious trine to Mars, suggesting an uncomplicated mutual attraction between the sexes. With Venus, Mercury the Sun and Node in Libra, we have a glimpse of France as the fashion capital of the world. A trip to Paris confirms the image of French women as stylish and fashion-conscious. The French are really proud of their culture and taste. They look with horror at the dumpy English with their stodgy food. Quel horreur! The Mars/Venus trine does suggest a nation of lovers, and it is politically correct for polticians to have affairs. Mitterand certainly had his extra-marital escapades, even fathering children outside his marriage. The finest precedent was set by President Félix Faure who died in a mistress’s bed in 1899. In earlier charts from France – for example the famous establishment of a new government in Day One of Year one (Note 6) Venus was also in Libra.

However there may be grounds to be skeptical about French men. Not their virility of course, that can’t be in doubt, but their male chauvinism. In the 1958 chart Mars in Gemini is square Pluto, in the 4th Republic chart from 1946 Mars is in Scorpio loosely square Pluto, in Day 1, Year 1, Mars is in Scorpio square Pluto (and Uranus) … so these are some complicated men – powerful, secretive and somewhat obsessed with virility. French men may not be the world’s greatest lovers, but they are probably the most fixated. Adverts in France often reflect the fetishist quality of male fantasies, and the depiction of their female counterparts in very sexually explicit situations. The 1958 Mars in Gemini square Pluto also suggests an obsessive secretiveness… perhaps it is the ambition of the average French male to have both wife and mistress. After all, that’s what the President has.

Of course, as an Englishman (Welsh actually – it is said we favor sheep) it can be very comfortable sitting back and writing about other Europeans. But what about the British? Sex amongst the British is hardly something I can bring up in polite company, but perhaps in another article…

Adrian Ross Duncan


1. Kingdom of Italy 17th March 1861 , 0 hrs LMT AS 3.58 SG

2. Italy : King Victor Emmanuel enters Rome : 2 Jul 1871 12.30 Rome AS 13.46 LI

3. Information from The Guardian

4. Declaration of Independence : Jan 13 1822 Noon (Time Unknown) Athens

Kingdom of Greece : 3 Feb 1830 Noon (Time Unknown), Athens

5. France, Day 1 Year 1: 21 Sep 1792 15.20 LMT Paris, AS 25.33 CP

6. France, 4th Republic 28 Oct 1946 0.00 Paris , AS 11.31 LE