If you’re even a little bit familiar with astrology, then you probably already know that everyone has a unique birth chart — kind of like a cosmic fingerprint that’s essentially a snapshot of the sky at the exact moment they were born. You were probably today years old when you learned that world events, organizations, projects, and nation states can all have birth charts too. Like an individual person’s chart, a country’s chart can reveal values, belief systems, strengths, motivations and weaknesses — except applied more broadly to the culture as a whole. This is especially good intel if you happen to be a Dating Culture Scholar, like we are here at Babbel.
To zero in more closely on the national dating culture for each country below, I looked at the Venus placement for each country, which is where you would look in a person’s chart to understand their values, likes, social tendencies, flirtation style and habits in love. Though Mars is more often relegated to military affairs in mundane astrology (which is the branch of astrology that deals with countries and world events), I also took the Mars placement into consideration as a secondary factor, as Mars has to do with conquests and “going after what you want.”
Note: it’s often rather complicated to determine the “true” chart for a given country, because world borders shift all the time, and most nations have been through a number of different formations (just think of the former USSR). I did my best to choose the charts that reflected the birth of each country as we more or less know it today — the Japan of 660 BC is rather different from the Japan of 1889, which is when Japan drafted a new constitution with an eye on being a modernized, powerful player who could play ball with the West.
Another note: these dating culture profiles are all obviously big generalizations that are based on a collection of anecdotal input. We are, indeed, individuals who defy tidy categorization. But our me-ness only makes sense within the we-ness of the larger cultural context around us.
National Astrologies And International Dating Culture
The United States
According to one of the most widely used charts for the United States, the U.S. has a big, goofy grin of a Sagittarius Rising (truly, we do stand alone for how much we smile at strangers and wear our unrelenting positivity on our sleeves).
But most importantly, America has its Venus in Cancer, which is the ultimate “family values” placement. Despite our increasingly casual approach to dating culture (at least within the urban, Millennial subset), Americans are still by and large a rather traditional bunch when it comes to marriage and kids as the ultimate end goals of a relationship.
You could argue that this is the case just about everywhere, but there’s something altogether unique about the mythologized American Dream version of this ideal: a nuclear family unit with a white picket fence and a dog, surrounded by the cushy comforts of middle-class affluence.
In America’s chart, Venus is conjunct (or “together with”) Jupiter, which is exalted in Cancer — in other words, in its “optimal” state. Jupiter has to do with wealth and largesse, and this combination suggests that the safe harbor of a relationship and a family unit (Cancer is represented by a crab, whose signature feature is its protective shell) goes hand-in-hand with comfort and upward mobility — in theory, at least.
This conjunction is also located in either the 7th or 8th house of the chart, depending on which house system you use. In an individual’s chart, the 7th house would have to do with marriage, and the 8th would have to do with taxes. The United States has encoded institutional benefits for married couples with children (like tax breaks, for instance), so this makes sense here.
In our comprehensive guide to flirting with a Brazilian, we discovered that a romance in Rio thrives on generous PDA, demonstrations of praise and affection, and direct overtures. Without being overly reductive, it’s generally the expectation that straight men approach straight women with as little sidestepping and mystery as possible. If they don’t at least attempt a kiss soon after, it’s often seen as a sign of disinterest.
According to one Babbel insider from Brazil, a Brazilian who wants to impress you will “court you like they’re already in love with you.”
Brazil’s chart has Venus in Leo, a fiery, passionate sign that thrives on compliments. Venus in Leo doesn’t like guessing games — it wants to feel pursued; nay, worshipped. Because of the gendered dynamic that’s often in play in heterosexual contexts in Brazil, we could invoke another signification of Venus often used in mundane astrology, which is that it represents the women (or women’s issues) in that country. Suffice it to say that in Brazil, women tend to take on this “Venus in Leo” role, as the dating culture lends itself to enthusiastic displays of desire and affection. Leo is ruled by the Sun, and it exudes radiance and warmth. Venus in Leo says: if you’re standoffish, you’re off-putting.
Brazil also has its Mars in Scorpio, which is another big indication for passion — except this is more of an active principle that is best summed up as, “where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
In our guide to flirting in Germany, we began by questioning the entire premise of the article. Do Germans even flirt?
Spiegel Online once clarified that “the word ‘flirt’ has two meanings: one for Germans and one for the rest of the world.” That’s because Germans often indicate their interest by barely indicating interest — or rather, staring at you from across the room and then looking away.
If you are able to move to the next stage, you will then proceed to engage in the “intellectual conversation” phase of getting to know one another (which might last for the next consecutive five dates).
The 1871 chart for Germany (when it first became a unified nation-state) has Venus situated in aloof, intellectual Aquarius — which also just so happens to be the opposite sign of Leo. One could argue that Brazil and Germany are about as opposite as they come when it comes to seduction strategies and dating culture.
Aquarius is a bit chilly where Leo is warm, preferring some space and distance. It’s not that Venus in Aquarius doesn’t like being around people — it’s more that it probably prefers not to come on too strong (or exist in a smothering, codependent dynamic). Aquarius is also a highly intellectual air sign, so it makes sense that Germany is a place where you might fall in love with someone’s mind before you fall in love with the rest of them.
Another feature of German dating culture is that it’s fairly egalitarian, with no expectation that men pick up the check or make the first move. This fits with the Aquarian tendency toward progressive, forward-leaning ideals, as well as the trine (or harmonious aspect) between Venus and Mars in Germany’s chart. Germany’s Mars is in Libra, the sign of balance and equality — and also a placement that is not altogether likely to just make a direct beeline for what it wants.
Japan is perhaps best known currently for its lack of a dating culture. For the last several years, birth rates in Japan have been declining as more and more young people opt out of relationships, sex and marriages, preferring online porn and isolation to messy, intimate dynamics.
A 2013 survey by the Japan Family Planning Association (JFPA) found that 45 percent of women between the ages of 16-24 “were not interested in or despised sexual contact,” with more than 25 percent of men concurring.
Of course, this is a fairly recent development that is not necessarily indicative of how Japan’s dating culture has looked for the past 130 years. But a chart can often point to latent potentialities that manifest later under the right conditions, or evolve into a slightly different expression of the same archetypal themes.
In Japan’s chart, we see Venus in Aries in the 12th house. Venus is in detriment in Aries (or not functioning at peak capacity) because Venus and Aries have very different “goals.” Venus wants to attract and connect, but when a planet is in Aries, it generally wants to go it alone and chart its own path. Aries is a very independent sign that says “I can do this myself.” While Venus in Aries can definitely show up as a “coming on too strong” type of dynamic, it also makes sense to see this placed in the 12th house of Japan’s chart, which indicates isolation and seclusion.
Much has been written about what’s driving this epidemic, but a prevailing theory is that men are becoming less career-driven and less confident in their abilities to play the traditional role of breadwinner, thus becoming more ingrained in a fear of rejection that prevents them from putting themselves out there. Conversely, Japanese women are becoming more independent and ambitious.
If we look at Venus and Mars as indications of “women” and “men” in Japan, then we certainly see “independent and ambitious” in this Aries Venus. Meanwhile, Mars is located in Pisces, which is sort of a squishy, lethargic place for the warrior planet to be. Additionally, Mars is clashing with the Moon, which is located in the 2nd house of finances, or more broadly, the economy. In mundane astrology, the Moon represents “the common people,” but in a broad sense, it’s also a representation of what makes us feel comfortable and secure. Men are increasingly being left behind in Japan’s economy, and this neglect is spurring a reorientation of what motivates and drives them (which is what Mars represents).