The Love Asteroids: Cupido, Amor, Eros and Psyche

By C. Marguerite Hafeman

So much more information and insight on romantic issues can be found by looking at the natal positions of those asteroids most commonly associated with the pursuit of love. Let's take a cruise on down past Venus and Mars, check out how Cupido, Amor, Eros and Psyche can make the dance of love that much more piquant and complex.

Asteroid Cupido: In Greek myth, Cupid is the son of Venus; his job was to "wound" the unwary with his arrows of love; awaken a consuming affection directed towards a particular object of desire. In one well-known tale, Cupid becomes entangled with Psyche, a beautiful king's daughter who has roused the jealousy of Venus; the tale is actually an allegory about how the soul obtains a true understanding of love by undergoing much suffering and hard experience.

In astrology, the asteroid Cupido by itself would perhaps be associated with the trials of love associated with the initial enthrallment and acts of seduction performed in order to obtain the love object, not the sexual act itself. Examples of an overactive Cupido can include crushes, cultivating romance for the sake of the game or putting the object of desire up on a pedestal. In the dark sense, romantic enthrallment can originate out of a love for the chase, only to abandon the prey once it is caught. Asteroid Cupido is not to be confused with Alfred Witt's Uranian body Cupido, which is associated more with family, marriage, tantra and art.

The natal sign and house Cupido is in would indicate the style, tone and preferred arena of action for an individual's romantic powers; aspects made to Cupido would pertain to the circumstances, positive or negative, under which one would be drawn into a dance of courtship with the object of love. Hard planetary aspects made to Cupido can relate either to that quality which particularly excites us in generating attraction or the barriers and obstacles we erect between ourselves and the object of desire. The latter could include actual physical obligations, hang-ups, fears, perfectionism, and a need for control or becoming enthralled with someone who is patently unobtainable. Or we may be essentially unobtainable ourselves, wrapped in a narcissic contemplation of the self. A strong Cupido in positive aspect to any of the planets would make one highly desirable to others in the ways expressed by the planet being aspected. For example, a native with a sixth house Cupido conjunct Venus in Capricorn and both in trine to a second house Saturn in Virgo could present as seductively overwhelming to someone turned on by financially stable, enterprising and fatherly authority figures.

Cupido unaspected or retrograde could relate to a tendency to repress and/or disown one's own real needs in the exchange of love, instead sublimating these qualities to a set of conditions put forth by the desired object, or sublimation in favor of an unrealistic set of conditions that are then projected onto the desired object. The common pattern would be to fall in love with surface qualities first such as beautiful face and figure, a sweet demeanor, and a kind voice; then discover what the person is really like later. Often the proposed love object has no interest in fulfilling the others own personal needs for love and affection. Painful rejection happens because the Cupido person did not allow an honest appraisal of their own real needs in the first place, nor clearly perceived the needs and nature of the person being pursued. One has fallen for an image and a presentation, rather than the real person.

Natal sign position has an influence on Cupido's style and tone. In Aries one is inclined to go directly and aggressively after the object of desire, however may not stay around once having "scored". Placed in Gemini, Cupido can be a mark of the silver-tongued devil, the two-faced fella. A Cupido placed in Virgo could attract with clean, earthly sensuality or a penchant for organization. Going by the house, a first house Cupido for example represents someone whose personal image and presentation is calculated to magnetize infatuation in others. A fourth house placement may seduce through home cooking; in the ninth, perhaps wow dates with cultural events. A twelfth house Cupido might be prone to seduction via pornography or fantasy; can be fascinated with alternative forms of lovemaking or can become an object of compulsive desire, romance or erotic pleasuring for the collective. An example of a strongly placed Cupido who seduced the masses is Rudolph Valentino, premiere professional lover of the silver screen. He had Cupido in the twelfth house at 28° Virgo 43' conjunct his Ascendant at 00°Libra 54'.

Asteroid Amor: Amor is the Roman god of love; the asteroid represents compassion, empathy and loving kindness. As astrologer Demetra George notes, Amor represents a state of loving rather than falling in love. Amor can represent love of anything dear to the heart; George suggests that the archetype functions as the intermediary between the sensual love of Venus and the higher, platonic love of Neptune. Astrologer Zane B. Stein relates Amor to idealized love and related feelings. This would be warmth and love as one believes it should be; a person with a strongly placed Amor believes in the notion of "true love" and searches for the "soul mate". Martha Lang-Wescott notes that the sign, house and aspect pattern associated with Amor demonstrates conditions that are put on "unconditional giving and loving"; therefore the natal placement can show what keeps us from living up to our own ideals and expectations of what love really is. It can also symbolize what we substitute for love, what were our role models for love and our experience and examples of true, perfect and ideal love.

The natal house Amor occupies is where the person believes they will be able to express this highest form of love. Since the asteroid represents an ideal, if it is afflicted the person can feel incapable of achieving his ideal love or unworthy of being given love. One may even do self-sabotage in order to avoid experiencing love up close and real, since unconditional love does not easily exist within a framework of control and predictability. Zane suggests that planet in square or opposition to Amor can represent something else desirable that is preferred to love. One person's Amor conjunct a planet in another's chart brings feeling of love, however if that person also has a natal planet in hard aspect to Amor, it conflicts with the other person's chart and the result is a volatile state of love/hate.

Amor in opposition to planets or other love asteroids can indicate a situation where opposites attract; the loved one functions as a devil's advocate or as an expression of one's own shadow. Hard aspects in general tends to link the native up with people whose concept of love and sharing is very different from their own, resulting in various distortions of the impulse to love such as withholding, manipulating, caretaking, domination-submission scenarios etc.

Amor retrograde could intensify perfectionist conditions placed on the attainment of love. Correspondingly, the individual can be overly idealistic, controlling or attach a list of entitlements to their definition of love; conversely they may be judgmental of humanity at large, or feel so intrinsically unlovable that they never reach out to anyone in love. They might again attract those who cannot and will not return their affections in a normal way. To the degree that the concept of love has been distorted (e.g. associated essentially with a certain standard of perfection, pain or sexual dysfunction,) will be the degree to which one attracts those who are unsuitable and even damaging to them.

The sign and house Amor is found in can indicate the nature of issues that can block or interferes with the exchange of or participation in earthly, obtainable love. For example, Amor in Taurus and the second house can be very materialistic, putting money before love; or they require a lover who will cater to all sensual demands, in and out of bed. Placed in Cancer and the sixth house Amor might represent a compulsive caretaker of those selected for appearing weak in some way or it could represent someone who makes excessive, child-like demands for nurturing on others. In Pisces one can attract experiences of victimization and exploitation in connection with love; placed in the third house they may haunt the local strip joints to find it. Asteroid Amor in Leo might require constant adulation and assurances for being the wonderful lover they think they are; placed in the tenth house, they may be adored as powerful authority figures. Rock musician Jimi Hendrix was born with asteroid Amor in his tenth house of career and public life, in square to Pluto and the Vertex of Fate in the eighth house of sex, death, power and occult influences. Jimi's music certainly had an enchanting effect; the same combination points to the circumstances surrounding his untimely death from complications related to taking drugs.

Asteroid Eros: Demetra George states that Eros was "a primal, phallic god born out of Chaos (the Void) at the beginning of time." He was later known as the son of Mars and Venus and was considered ruler of sexual desire. Ideally Eros is supposed to represent the tantric path of transforming instinctual sexual drive into skilled erotic love as a way to enlightenment. Beyond that, Eros is that which "turns us on", an emotional force that drives the desire for physical, sexual consummation.

In a chart Eros would symbolize our passion, that which sexually attracts us, our sexual preference and the primal font of desire-energy. A person with a strong Eros would be moved to periodically re-create the experience of finding and being in love A well-represented Eros seeks regular physical contact with others, especially involving sex. Add charisma and the ability to charm anyone, especially if Eros is conjunct the Ascendant, Venus or Mars. Eros conjunct Sun, Moon, Venus or Mars can be quite liberal with their favors when circumstances permit. According to astrologer Zane Stein, if one person's Eros makes an aspect to another person's planet, then the Eros person is smitten with the planet person and planet person often returns the feeling, even if his Eros makes no reciprocal aspect.

Eros shows our longing for completeness and along with Amor provides clues for finding a "soul mate". By aspect to another's planets or points, it can also symbolize the force of love which can change that person's life. Transiting Eros can be a harbinger of the new love affair or signal the appearance of sudden attractions, erotic feelings, thoughts and dreams. Astrologer Kim Falconers's delineations of Eros by house, sign and aspect are recommended as a valuable resource for interpretation.

Martha Lang-Wescott mentions Eros retrograde as denoting a state where the sexual interests and compulsions of other people to which one is sexually attracted, create difficulty as in when a partner seeks satisfaction through internet porn instead of with an actual person. There can also be repression of the sex drive on occasion, sexual dysfunction, premature sexual experiences or a tendency to seek outlets for unconventional sexual fulfillment. Eros in quincunx aspect can represent guilt and over-reaction towards the sexual experience; a waning quincunx can show that others make you feel that you should do more to please the partner sexually. Actress Elizabeth Taylor, known for her sensual and seductive roles in cinema, has Eros at 4° Pisces 38', right between her natal Mars at 1°Pisces 33' and Sun-Mercury at 7° Pisces; all located in her third house of basic communications. This combination is given public focus by an opposition to dreamy and cinematic Neptune and asteroid Psyche, both retrograde at 6° Virgo in Elizabeth's tenth house of career and public life.

What About Asteroid Psyche? Psyche is a connotation for the soul; astrologers exhibit some disagreement in the meaning of Psyche in the natal chart, and how its position should be interpreted. Much has been made of the story about Psyche and Cupid, with associated connotations about finding the "soul mate." But so often in real life, the soul mate is not the one who sweeps us off our feet, carrying us to eternal co-habitation in mutual bliss; rather they turn out to be the one who teaches the difficult lessons in life, delivering some pain along the way. Under the ides of Psyche one may be brought into confrontation with their own karmic issues regarding relationship, the conditions placed on love and one's own unique expression of love.

Martha Lang-Wescott suggests that Psyche's position "represents a point of damage...a psychological wound or trauma from which one does not really recover." A transit to Psyche can trigger a re-enactment of the pain or an old situation that got the best of one. The intrinsic concept of Psyche is "being purified by suffering." Wescott also notes that a natal Psyche retrograde can indicate someone who projects their problems onto others, live in denial through suppression of certain feelings and truths and/or being willfully blind to the damage they can inflict on others.

Demetra George has a much more positive take on Psyche, suggesting that the asteroid represents "the principle of being psychically attuned and bonded to another human being." Here Psyche is supposed to be a higher octave of Venus, love and psychic attunement to another at its most refined state. George maintains that softer aspects made with other planets and points can facilitate empathetic connection to others, while harder aspects indicate a lack of sensitivity. She suggests that Psyche power can express as mental telepathy, empathy, the ability to channel and direct energy fields or the ability to create material product; depending on the elemental designation of the sign the asteroid occupies.

Perhaps Psyche can be regarded as a facilitator for the power of love-and other archetypal instinctual forces- as channeled or not, on the physical plane. Therefore, for the purposes of this discussion, the asteroid is not included specifically as a love indicator. But its position and the aspects it makes should be considered in an examination of a natal chart, since it represents a most powerful pivot for better or worse, in the conduct of human affairs as pertains to the pursuit of love and being loved. Star tennis player Venus Williams has asteroid Psyche at 16°Taurus in conjunction to asteroid Chiron at the same degree, both in the eighth house of sex, death, control and power issues; these are in trine to her Mars at 17° Virgo 56' in the twelfth house of mastery. Her formidable athletic ability could be said to have its roots in deep and mysterious places of the soul, nurtured by a conduit into primal collective energy.

Below are a few observations made by the writer, on the love asteroids in hard aspect with each other and in association with major chart points and planets. Note that the magnetically attracting aspect of conjunction doesn't necessarily translate into a "nicer" person or one who has an easier time with love relationships. For example, sociopath Charles Manson has a conjunction of Eros exact on his Jupiter in Scorpio, located in his seventh house of partners and right on the Descendant; this placement serves as a symbol for distorted projection of the sex drive, rather than as an overwhelming desire to sexually please the partner.

Square or opposition between Eros and Amor: Sex is considered as separate from love. One may keep a mistress for great sex and a wife for serving the ideal of "pure" love in a committed relationship. Or this could be someone who loves being social, however keeps the love object at home. A softer contact between these two asteroids could symbolize a tantric union between erotic desire and platonic concepts of love and friendship.

Square or opposition between Eros and Cupido: This aspect can indicate excitement and erotic stimulation generated by playing the seductive love games you enjoy, in the company of someone who physically turns you on and who can play games too. In a square the exercise may degenerate into competition; in an opposition that which initially attracts you may be the very traits in another you seek to bring into line later.

Square or opposition between Cupido and Amor: Can indicates one who plays seductive love games in order to feel sexy or desirable, but who reserves their highest form of love for someone or something else in another setting altogether. Or the preliminary games of love constitute a test to see how much and in what manner the other is prepared to give.

Square or Opposition between Psyche and a Love Asteroid: Introduces a wounding element into the mix, wherein the individual may initially attempt to split off emotional and love needs from the necessary challenges and disillusioning experiences that must come with earthly life. Conversely, there may be a pattern of struggle and frustration around trying to get various love objects to cooperate with the individual's expectations of sacred union, perfect romance, endless attraction, utopia of twin-soul compatibility, etc.

Any of the Love Asteroids in Strong Aspect to the Moon's Nodes, Midheaven or Ascendant: Indicates that personal concepts of love are influenced by collective myths, taboos or longings; or can indicate a love affair with the public at large or the production of a product that arouses a sense of passion in the public. For example, Pyotr Tchaikovsky was a 19th century composer who produced music that is still widely played today; his Eros is in conjunction with the North Node at 2° Pisces; while his Amor at 5° Taurus is in sextile or trine with the Moon's Nodes at about 3° Virgo-Pisces, Chiron at 6° Cancer and the Ascendant-Descendant angles of the birth chart at 9° Cancer.

A Love Asteroid Unaspected or Weakly Aspected in a Natal Chart: Can actually represent a sizeable problem for the native, in that the energy represented by the placement then tends to express in an unconscious and unrestrained manner. This state of being matters because the expression of love and attainment of it in interaction with others constitutes a vital aspect of human existence. In this circumstance, aspects made with another person's planets or points can trigger all sorts of surprising phenomenon good or bad, until the individual comes to a conscious realization of the psychological dynamics insinuated by the natal sign and house placement of the asteroid.

Love Asteroids in Aspect to Planets:

Sun: The Sun represents essential identity, the true center of one's reason for being. Sun located close to a love asteroid would take the native's love act nation-wide; a love asteroid in hard aspect to the Sun could have the effect of blocking either one's own ability to love others or conversely can direct libido energy onto other external targets. Issues around parity in giving and receiving would concern aspects made to either Sun or Moon. Witness asteroid Eros in conjunction to the Sun, both in square to Venus; in a client's chart this indicated conscious suppression of her own formidable female sexual nature by becoming overweight instead.

Moon: The Moon represents security needs and the nurturing function; but in aspect to love asteroids the expression of this principle can go in weird directions. For example, a Moon in Aquarius person would likely require a certain amount of novelty, detachment and independence; they can therefore be drawn to the eccentric, unearthly, unavailable or fascist personality, depending on personal preference. It's another issue entirely, as to whether such traits in a potential loved one are actually healthy for a long-term or intimate relationship. Parental murderer Eric Menendez has Cupido and Amor in Pisces closely trine natal Moon in Scorpio and Neptune in Sagittarius; the two planets are straddling the foundation of the chart, pointing to unconscious mother, nurturing and security issues.

Mercury: With Mercury involved, communication is employed as a seductive turn-on. In return, the object of desire should be able to equally entertain the other with witty repartee, new information, interesting gossip, intellectual dialogue, etc. Talk show host Merv Griffin had Amor in Taurus and the eleventh house of community affairs, tightly in square to Mercury in Leo located in his second house of income. If natal Mercury is in a water sign and in aspect to a love asteroid, one could be skilled at making amorous contact with another via natural bioelectric resonance, psychic ability or astral visions.

Venus: A love asteroid teamed with the Goddess of Love should be a slam-dunk, but actually the combination can often translate into excessive behavior around matters of romance. A narcissist with Venus contacts can present as an object of desire or one who can command desire in others; alternatively there can be a lack of discrimination and a disregard for boundaries, one's own or other peoples'. This is an over-the-top "charisma ray" that can easily be re-directed towards pleasurable overindulgence of all kinds, from food to drugs to sex. As a candidate for a sex object that conquered the masses, Marilyn Monroe had Eros in Capricorn trine Venus in Aries. Functioning at a darker level of interaction, serial murderer Ted Bundy had Cupido in Capricorn sextile Venus in Scorpio; he had no difficulty seducing his female victims into "taking a ride."

Mars: There is no denying that Mars up close to a love asteroid can endow the native with incredible sex appeal. Actor Antonio Banderas has Eros almost exactly conjunct Mars in Gemini, in square to Pluto and Venus in Virgo, sigh; while sex kitten Bridgett Bardot has Cupido conjunct her Mars in Leo. The Martian drive in hard aspect to love asteroids can show up strongly in the charts of prominent athletes and those who traffic in violence. For example, martial artist and film star Jean-Claude Van Damme has Cupido at 15 ° Aries 27' retrograde in his sixth house of work, in square to Mars in Cancer elevated in the ninth house of higher mind.

Film director Oliver Stone, famous for presenting violence as cinematic art has Eros at 21 ° Cancer 17' and the ninth house of philosophy in tight square to a Mars-Chiron conjunction in social sign Libra and the twelfth house of appeal to the masses. We must also include O.J. Simpson, as both a superior athlete and possible performer in a heinous crime of passion. He has asteroids Amor and Cupido in conjunction on either side of his natal Mars at 6° Gemini, these also stand in opposition to asteroid Eros at 3° Sagittarius retrograde.

Jupiter: Jupiter traffics in belief systems; indicating attraction to someone or something which aligns or not, with one's own standards for approved social behavior, or conversely will judge or be judged for beliefs or mannerisms, with holding or granting approval accordingly. The native might also be drawn to those who will encourage them to go over the top in romantic and sensual indulgence, travel, sports, or religious proclivities. Evangelist Billy Graham had asteroid Amor in social sign Libra and his seventh house of partners, in square to Jupiter (organized religious beliefs) in Cancer and his fourth house of root psyche and home base appeal.

Saturn: In the positive sense Saturn with love asteroids can bestow security, stability, and a consistent environment within which to gain trust and to make strides in acquiring wisdom or producing a creative product. Negatively, it can express as power struggles for control, frustration, with holding, withdrawal, sex as a weapon and the inhibition of creative or independent activities in others. Media magnate Rupurt Murdoch has fifth house asteroid Amor (entertainment and speculation) in Aries square his first house Saturn in Capricorn. His life has been marked by a series of ruthless business skirmishes involving both competitors and his sons.

Neptune: Neptune's involvement can indicate an intimate association with one's own creative muse, or a liaison with someone who is an addict, misfit or ill in some way. Or we may be moved to project artistic or other bohemian tendencies we do not wish to personally own onto the beloved. Neptune can also bring visions of the loved one as not being of this earth or attuned to higher vibrations. In hard aspects one may habitually employ the rose-colored glasses to their detriment, in determining the suitability of others. Flamboyant entertainer Liberace had asteroid Eros in Aquarius and his second house of income, in opposition to an eighth house (occult contacts, other people's money) Neptune in Leo. The aspect makes a statement both about his creative muse and the ability to use his talents to generate a fortune over a lifetime.

Uranus: In the New Age sense contact with Uranus would indicate a requirement for surprises, enjoyment of unpredictability, futuristic orientation, even alternative preferences in sexuality. In the reactionary sense one could be excited by control freaks, rules, restrictions and a strong authoritative style. Both types of Uranus contact tend to get off on crisis, drama and disruption until maturity brings about certain realizations. Rock singer Jim Morrison had asteroids Amor and Cupido in Pisces and the first house of basic persona, in square to a Uranus-Mars conjunction (lightening-bolt drive and inspiration) in Gemini in the fourth house of root psyche, besides having asteroid Eros conjunct his Sun (center of identity) in the tenth house of career and public life.

Pluto: Here the contact must result in a transformative experience; close relationships that will consume and reconstruct the native are favored. Attraction must give way to deep emotional catharsis, penetration of the soul, perhaps a visit to the burning ground; nothing else will do. At a slightly less intensive level one might prefer to express their love through chronic power struggles involving sex, money, authority or some other symbol of Leviathan. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis had asteroid Cupido in life-and-death Scorpio in conjunction to her natal Ascendant of persona and both in trine to Pluto in Cancer located in the eighth house of sex, death and other people's money. These eighth-house issues played out in her life with both husbands Robert Kennedy Jr. and Aristotle Onassis, as classic tragedies presented on a global stage.

Author's Note: Any reader interested in locating their own natal positions for the love asteroids under discussion, can do so at the interactive website .


(1) Asteroid Goddesses, by Demetra George and Douglas Bloch, Ibis Press, Berwick, Maine, 2003.

(2) "Eros by Sign, by House, by Aspect and by Transit and Progression," by Kim Falconer,; 2000-06. Excerpts taken from her book, Asteroid 433 Eros: The Astrology of Love

(3) "Amor," by Zane B. Stein, 2004-06.

(4) "Eros," by Zane B. Stein, 2004-06.

(5) The Mechanics of Free Will, by Martha Lang-Wescott, Treehouse Mountain, Conway, Mass. 1987.

(6) Birth information for Pyotr Tchaikovsky obtained from; Astrotheme Corporation, 36 rue Scheffer, 75116 Paris, France. All other births are listed in the Clifford Data Compendium v.2(2000) compiled by Frank C. Clifford, Solar Fire 6 astrology software by Esoteric Technologies and Astrolabe, Inc. 2005.


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