The Marquis de Sade: The Perversions of Venus

The Hidden Octave
Published in
14 min readOct 14, 2021


It is very important to preface that placements can manifest in a variety of different ways. One cannot take significations for granted and must develop an interpretive mind. One position alone can have many negatives and positives simultaneously, and even then, there remains the matter of freewill.

Let us reflect on his life, but primarily his most controversial of works, the infamous 120 Days of Sodom. A book considered by some, the most vile and revolting work ever known to literature.

It tells the story of four wealthy male libertines who resolve to experience the ultimate sexual gratification in orgies. To do this, they seal themselves away for four months in an inaccessible castle in the heart of the Black Forest, with a harem of 36 victims, mostly male and female teenagers, and engage four female brothel keepers to tell the stories of their lives and adventures. The crimes and tortures in the women’s narratives inspire the libertines to similarly abuse and torture their victims, which gradually grows in intensity and ends in their slaughter.

Now, from his personality, the foundation for his extreme perversion is rather obvious.

Considering first and foremost his moon nakshatra of Purva Phalguni. Naturally, the most basic signification here is pleasure, not its blind pursuit, but its study. It is pleasure as a legitimate discipline. In the Marquis de Sade we see this as a desire to philosophize his desires and practices, an endeavor aided, of course, by his 8th house Jupiter in Rohini. He devoted his life to the exploration of his vices, which were mostly sexual.

His most famous work, the book 120 Days of Sodom, is not just a book of BDSM, the 18th centuries’ 50 Shades of Gray, a lost blueprint of our modern works of sexual freedom. Besides the fact that is … simply unreadable for your average mortal, as much of what is related in the novel is stomach-turning at best and traumatic at worse, it is not just incest, in the form of fathers having sex with their own daughters or pedophilia, in the form of the kidnapping of tens of small boys and girls, and their subsequent impaling, not just with male genitals but with other foreign objects. It is also an exploration of the more uncommon, or rather, shameful human passions.

Purva Phalguni is fundamentally contemplative. It is not just eating for the sake of eating or love making for biological satisfaction. It is understanding the real nature of pleasure and pleasurable activities, why we pursue what we do and how to best gratify these in a way that heightens the experience. Being a brahmin nakshatra, it is fundamentally very scholarly, even if the average native of this nakshatra may not be well versed in the scores of philosophical literatures produced over the millennia, they too carry a pondering nature, even if lacking the degree of sensitivity and communicative ability to express the same.

The Marquis’ intent is to help us to really inquire as to the nature of our own passions and sexuality. Don’t treat horniness only as an itch to be scratched, masturbating at every available moment. No. Really explore the emotion. Feel the tingling that pricks you from the loins travelling upwards. Look at your lover. Really look at her and let her own skin burn under the flaming scrutiny of your hungry eyes, hungry for her flesh. It is common for readers of his book to be both appalled and yet sexually stirred by his writings, though this gets more into Rohini’s influence in his chart, being of course the nakshatra of provocation. He divides his books into sections: the simple passions, the complex passions, the criminal passions and the murderous passions. He further describes each and offers a list of acts for each category.

The simple passions are so called because they do not include actual penetration. The items in this list include older men enjoying masturbating in the faces of very young girls as well as the eating of excrements.

The complex passions involve actual intercourse in the form of rape, pedophilia and incest. These also include more religiously offensive or sacrilegious acts such as men having sex with nuns with the backdrop of singing and worshipping Catholics performing mass. The Marquis, it must be remembered, hated religions and its followers, and so could not pass any opportunity to spit in the faces of the pious and desecrating their figures.

The criminal passions include men who sodomise girls as young as three, men who prostitute their own daughters to other perverts and watch the proceedings and others who mutilate women by tearing off their fingers or burning them with red-hot pokers. During the month, the four libertines begin having anal sex with the sixteen male and female children who, along with the other victims, are treated more brutally as time goes on, with regular beatings and whippings.

The murderous passions, the final 150 anecdotes are those involving murder. They include perverts who skin children alive, disembowel pregnant women, burn entire families alive and kill newborn babies in front of their mothers. The final tale is the only one since the simple passions of November written in detail. It features the ‘Hell Libertine’ who masturbates while watching 15 teenage girls being simultaneously tortured to death. During this month, the libertines brutally kill three of the four daughters they have between them, along with four of the female children and two of the male ones. The murder of one of the girls, 15-year-old Augustine, is described in great detail, with the tortures she is subjected to including having her flesh stripped from her limbs, her vagina being mutilated and her intestines being pulled out of her sliced-open belly and burned.

Purva Phalguni is personally fascinated with the theory and practice of desire, sexuality and sexual excitement. Really, what excites people and how to administer this excitement. Depending on the placements, some of their natives may dedicate themselves to learning the sexual arts, understanding how and why this provokes people and learning how to perform to provoke the most amount of excitement themselves. Even outside of sex and looking at art, this can also translate as artists with a fascination for shock value — creations that may not have any greater purpose than to elicit a strong response from its audience, often one of disgust, anger, fear, shock or other negative emotions.

This nakshatra, depending on how it is supported, can wish to explore the utter vastness of human passions, from the most innocent, delicate and refined to the ugliest and most gruesome. Doing good can be enjoyable, but just as much pleasure is derived from causing others pain. Pain is a legitimate form of pleasure.

Some degree of sadism is present in the common man. You can consider, for instance, teasing. It is common practice for us to make fun of our friends for their ideas and behaviors and watch as they wince ever so slightly from humiliation. Consider also our love for televised violence and cruelty — snakes and tigers tearing each other limb from limb, their teeth drenched in blood and the ground shaking from cries for mercy, action movie heroes with elaborate techniques striking down their opponents with single blows. Even when considering how many behave on social media, giving themselves leave to completely antagonize total strangers with the pretext of their having crossed some ephemeral, ethical line but really the distance and anonymity provided us serve as a cloak against retaliation, the sort that would naturally arise in real life if one were to be presumptuous enough to insert oneself in matters not concerning oneself and dare react poorly and rudely and violently when such a response is wholly unnecessary.

The human body produces this poison, this lust for blood. But polite society does not allow for its total release, and understandably so, for fear that civilization may quickly devolve into savagery. Instead we get our kicks from video games or sports or rough housing, and, if one is especially unlucky, the more acceptable channels may be denied them and they may resort to violence through such channels as social media or even worse. Men, of course, have always had their allowed receptacles for this quote unquote “poison”, but women, referred to as the “fairer sex” were made to deny their innate aggression as this would be at variance with the perception of their passivity and gentleness, forcing them to look for more underhanded outlets, and these, by their very nature, being unregulated, allow for vile and catastrophic expressions of female aggression.

His Rohini influence comes in strongly in his total disregard for laws and morality, a total abandon into all things sensually gratifying as this is not a nakshatra of discrimination, rules or any of the programming that holds man back from giving himself over to his lust. Fundamentally, Rohini is the pursuit of pleasure for its own sake. Have a crush? Who cares if he’s a convict felon or your middle school teacher or married? Go after it. Though the study of pleasure is for the likes of Purva Phalguni, its stirring and uninhibited pursuit is the domain of Rohini nakshatra, the ‘ red woman’ who is willing even to rob away the moon itself for its own total and selfish gratification, to the dismay of everyone else that, likewise, craves its nourishing light, but are just, fair and self-controlled enough to be willing to share it.

It is interesting to observe these Rohini themes even as early as childhood. In Sade’s youth, his father abandoned the family; his mother joined a convent. He was raised by servants who indulged “his every whim,” which led to his becoming “known as a rebellious and spoiled child with an ever-growing temper.”

The Marquis has his moon in Purva Phalguni and his sun in Rohini, so the basis for his moon is also Rohini. The Marquis also has his Jupiter in Mrigashira, and this being the planet that forms the framework with which we interact with reality, also explains his general fascination with all that is perverse and quote-unquote “wrong”. He would have had a particular understanding of the ‘lines that are not to be crossed’ in life. Such a Jupiter in his chart is not very well positioned for it sits in a chart ruled by Venus, given as his Libra ascendant, and Jupiter itself sits in a sign ruled by Venus, given by its position in Taurus.

The Marquis is highly Venusian and so such a chart suggests an antagonism towards Jupiterian ideas and practices, considering the enmity between the planets of Venus and Jupiter. Of course, in his life this is shown in many ways from his incredible contempt for religion and priests to his purposeful transgressions against culture and society. He was known for being very blasphemous and often depicting the clergy as secret pedophiles and sodomites.

Considering only his D1 lagna chart, his Jupiter is then badly placed suggesting a difficulty in really looking beyond himself, valuing more so his own individual desires. Jupiter, at its core, is a receptive planet as it takes in everything from its surroundings and considers their true implications, pondering not only their future, terrestrial impact but also the unseen, spiritual realities at play. Such a Jupiter would not only be limited to consider matters terrestrially but, any of its ideas would also be disregarded. The Marquis was not an unintelligent man, he knew what he was doing when he tortured and hurt people. He was also empathetic as empathy is the ability to experience someone else’s emotions through observing them and considering how they feel or would feel. In order to be sadistic, to derive pleasure from another’s pain, one must be empathetic to share in this experience that is technically foreign to one’s own body and being.

Jupiter is the counselor, the one who contemplates deeply our reality and incarnation, this having been digested, Jupiter, our personal teacher, guru and guide, presents it to the King and Queen, the native’s moon and sun, so that they may make studied decisions based upon this understanding of the world. Mrigashira, of course, is fundamentally the path to fulfillment, the search for meaning. So Jupiter, sitting on the top of a mountain, looks far
and wide and presents to us the many paths we can take that will lead to our personal fulfillment, showing us where the holes into which we may fall lie and teaching us of the dangers of faltering and succumb to our vices, what we know to be wrong, which are the themes of Mrigashira.

His King and Queen and body, his Purva Phalguni moon, Rohini sun and Libra ascendant, desire pleasure and with the guide of Jupiter, they choose the path that will lead to the greatest degree of pleasure. In this case, the path provided by Jupiter that will lead to the greatest degree of pleasure is that of crossing the lines of good and evil, playing with temptation and outright committing evil.

His ascendant is rather tricky. Occurring at the bridge between Swati and Vishaka nakshatra, with different systems suggesting one or the other. There are arguments for both.

Let us shortly consider the possibility of his being a Swati ascendant. Escapism is one way of summing up the main themes of this asterism. It is signified by individuation, a separation from one’s surroundings. He was a man so removed from his surroundings, and actually, totally indifferent to the lives of the lesser creatures around him. Swati is a butcher nakshatra, and so is related to division, the natives themselves can act politely uninterested in the world about them, in the extremes, this can mean existing in a sort of bubble reality, away from the ugliness, harshness and utter boredom of common life. The Marquis was of course a man of high rank, a position he embraced in all of its elitist connotations.

He cared little for how the outside world perceived him and shamelessly pursued his vices, living in his own little reality, happily separated from the common man and his issues. A Swati ascendant, further exacerbated by an ascendant lord conjunct Saturn, could serve as a great incubator for the pursuit of ideas and practices that are totally foreign to the reality about one. Such an ascendant can facilitate eccentricities and idiosyncrasies of all sorts allowing the individual to follow paths that can be wholly unconventional without much fear of public perception, though Swati itself is not one of the more sexual of nakshatras.

Now, let us briefly consider Vishaka as a possible ascendant. This nakshatra is originally demonic, not just by temperament when considering the 3 categories for nakshatras: human, godly and demonic but demonic as it relates to the origins of its deity, Indragni, who was originally daughter to demons. Though the journey of this nakshatra leads to the throne of heaven, it does struggle with a lot of chaotic tempers, being so energetically abundant, there is a side of it that wishes to remain savage and untamed.

The wilder among the natives can be erratic and totally hard to control, with habits that can seem repulsive to more common sensibilities. Their behavior can be extreme and over the top, which falls in line with the subject of this essay, the Marquis himself partaking in activities that are totally vile and completely against the propriety of any modern time. Vishaka can be a purposeful rule breaker, feeling itself incapable and unwilling to limit itself, its urges, its desires and pursuing each no matter how horrid. Of course, the tiger, relating to Vishaka’s instinctual side, is a sexually dominant and lustful animal, which would further explain the Marquis’ very strong sexual urges. This signification is made worse by his Venus being conjunct Saturn.

In a different context, his Vishaka energy would be manifesting as a desire to have the utmost control over his own self and to forge itself into an idealized figure, but here, with the general conditions of his chart, and again, the Venus-Saturn conjunction, we find one who remains into the jungle, so to speak. Saturn, though related to the slow progression of mankind, starts from the bottom and so would not only delay the wider themes of Venus, those of compassion and empathy, but would force his exploration of all of her significations in their most carnal sense.

So we have his Rohini influence, incessantly exploding with ever newer desires, no matter how licentious, his Vishaka influence, giving him a bent for the wilder and more obscene expressions of these desires and his Purva Phalguni moon who is adamant about exploring each and every one of these desires, both intellectually and, of course, sensually. One can trade the Vishaka ascendant for a Swati ascendant, in which case, this ascendant would allow for his unbothered exploration of these desires, and provide for him a space, removed from everyday society and its morals and ideas, to explore these desires further.

We must move on to the specific points in his charts that result in his desires and tendencies.

Venus representing women conjunct Saturn, the planet of restrictions, punishment and even humiliation, can explain his particularly violent actions towards women. Again, in his book 120 Days of Sodom, he speaks of regular events the main characters, 4 men of high social class and very wealthy, would throw. Four supper parties were held every week. At first, it was an event of men.

They would gather up about 16 men from ages of 20 to 30, selected for the large size of their members — specifically, their standard was for it to be so large, no ordinary woman would have been able to ‘receive’ it. The 4 main characters would then dress as women and perform, as he himself would call, ‘sodomy’. Some versions of the book even added that, on regular occasions, songs were sung praising the male genitals of this young men.

But, the second evening was particularly vile. It was called ‘The Eve of Humiliation’ and it was composed of girls. But specifically, upper class women, the most desired breed. The 4 main characters, all men, had them not to gratify sexual urges but really to inflict pain about them or ‘teach them some manners’ as some versions put it. The 4 men would punch them, kick them, knock their heads together and do just about everything to bring them down from their pedestal. They were ‘hoity toity bitches’ that needed to have their ears pulled.

Yes, his Venus is in Pushya which in a different context can translate very positively, suggesting of course, its highest development. But, the lotus of Pushya nakshatra starts from the muds of chaos, and so planets here can reach their highest potential but can also be stuck in severe underdevelopment, even less developed than other placements. Saturn being conjunct Rahu and also conjunct Venus, and Saturn itself relating to the lowest caste and even ignorance. Saturn in Pushya conjunct Rahu and Venus can severely and negatively impact Venus, taking her into her lowest, crudest form. Rahu, of course, exaggerating Saturn’s tendencies for severe punishment, and with Venus, giving him a love for torture.

Venus, of course, relates to our most instinctual side. She is, after all, daughter to the asuras, a race often referred to as demons and that reside in the underworld. When strongly influenced by Jupiter, a planet enemy to the demons, being priest of the gods, Venus is forced to disconnect herself from her quote-unquote lower and more carnal side and instead partake of activities that are less animalistic. Jupiter forces Venus to look upwards and not downwards. She contemplates, through all her senses — those of touch, taste, smell, sight, hearing and the mental senses of the imagination and intuition — subjects that are more divine.

Melodies that are dreamy, airy and spatial, not beats that gyrate the loins. Films that inspire depth of reflection, drawing the emotions on matters far off from one’s immediate experience, like those of wars even if the individual himself has never lived through such a conflict or the trials of a distant, middle aged village woman, though the individual has never gone far from the bounds of his own city or experienced life in a forest. As a counterpart to movies that grip the eyes, send waves of heat over the chest and serve no greater purpose than intense stimulation of the lower centers.

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