Welcome Venus Morning Star…

One of my Mandalas

One of my Mandalas

One of August-September’s astrological highlights is the mysterious shift of Venus from evening to morning sky appearance. This will be compounded by six weeks of retrogradation (apparent backward motion), from the very first degree of Virgo to 14/15° of Leo, beginning on July 24.

In this visual phase of her journey Venus will be dipping toward the setting Sun, a little bit more every evening. She has already passed in fact between the Earth and the Sun, the nearest she can ever be to our planet. The alignment or conjunction Sun-Venus took place on August 16, when the shift between west and east also happened. Venus however will re-emerge in the pre-dawn sky only at the end of August, remaining invisible for about eight days (immerse in the light of the Sun) around the time of the alignment.

There are two aspects to this event: in the short term there is Venus’ retrogradation in Leo between July 24 and September 7; and, in the long term, the eight months (260 days) from August 16 2015 to June 7 2016, during which Venus will rise in the east before the Sun.

RETROGRADATION in LEO

Between direct and retro motion Venus will transit Leo for about four months: having entered Leo on June 6, re-entering in retrogradation on August 1, becoming direct again on September 7 and still in Leo until October 9. This is then, first of all, a very important transit for anyone who happens to have Leo highlighted in their Birth Charts (Sun-Moon-Ascendant-etc.). It could also be significant for the other Fire Signs (Aries-Sagittarius), and, to a lesser degree, the Air Signs (Aquarius-Gemini-Libra) and the other Fixed Signs (Taurus-Scorpio). To feel the ‘effect’ of this transit you don’t need to be born under any of those Sun Signs, but perhaps have your Moon or Mars or Ascendant, etc., there.

The retrogradation of Venus may incline you to become more thoughtful about the way you relate to others and they relate to you, especially in one to one situations. This is a time for depth and insight, when you might challenge some of yours and your partner/friends’ habitual attitudes, seeing them in a new, more revealing light. For a time this could cause difficulties and even separations, but, at the end of this tunnel, you may discover things about yourselves and your loved ones that could help immensely in healing rifts or deciding the fate of shaky or unsatisfactory relationships. The past could come back into focus, through the rekindling of long lost relationships or a revaluation of past events.

Venus retrograde period could also drive us to re-consider or re-value what we usually deem important and desirable, not just in the relationships’ area.

To add to the Leo’s emphasis Mars will also transit this Sign from August 9 to September 25. Mars will also turn into a Morning Star around the middle of August, becoming visible again at the end of the month.

In early July Venus and Jupiter presented a dazzling display to sky watchers, becoming very closely aligned in the west after sunset. Another evening alignment of these two will occur around the beginning of August, this time closer to the western horizon, while the last alignment, this time in the east and in the morning, will be on October 26, the Sign of Virgo.

VENUS LUCIFER: the MORNING PHASE of our SISTER PLANET

Both the ancient Babylonian and Mayan sky watchers associated the eight months of Venus’ Heliacal Rising (Morning Star period) with the escalation of conflicts, with lack of cooperation, triggering manmade as well as natural upheavals. They believed that the Morning Venus manifested the bold and forceful aspect of the Goddess/Planet.

This is a time to be more adventurous and impulsive, daring to take risks in relationships and other areas. The desire for conquest and independence will be more powerful than the desire for unity and diplomacy: not a time we may collectively feel like offering the other cheek, but when we would rather fight for what we feel is right for us, no matter if it foments disunity and conflicts. We are more at risk then to lose sight of the softer side of Venus, the more self-reflective and sensitive facet of her personality.

This Venus could help some to get un-stuck from dysfunctional relationships, to take a leading role in the running of their life, tackling unsatisfactory situations with greater confidence, becoming socially more connected while maintaining a sense of personal independence. It could in fact manifest as a more outgoing trend for everyone.

OTHER NEWS

More astrological news: Jupiter entered Virgo on August 11, a one year long transit that could help improve the circumstances of many people with Virgo or Earth emphasis in their Birth Charts. And Saturn will re-enter Sagittarius on September 18, for a two and half year period, until December 2017. Time for Sagittarius and the other Mutable Signs (Gemini-Virgo-Pisces) to cultivate the practical side of life, through hard work and the shouldering of greater responsibilities.

Venus in Aries, War and Peace transits, April 21 to May 16, 2011

Click to enlarge

Venus emerges today from the ocean of Pisces, a vast realm of magic and mystery, to enter the fiery home of Mars, a place for initiative and challenges, where the feminine principle embodied by Venus is clad in armor and ready for a fight. Here we experience the feisty aspect of Venus, the more independent, masculine Goddess, for whom love is conquest and adventure, or otherwise boring and expendable.

One aspect that is not often emphasized when talking about this placement of Venus is her highly idealistic nature, passionate and aspiring, therefore also easily disappointed by the realities of love, commitment and the humdrum of everyday relationships. Love inspired by higher visions of freedom, equality and justice, unrealistic perhaps but worth fighting for.

We should also remember that Venus is in her Morning Star phase, rising before the Sun, a time, in her 584 synodical cycle with planet Earth, when she manifests her more outgoing and adventurous side. This phase, in combination with the Sign Aries, promises more honest, direct and independent relationships in the making, and the strong desire for being self-sufficient, producing sometimes an allergic reaction toward co-dependent and close knit relationships.

Living the positive side of this transit could mean a boost of loving and creative energy for the Fire and Cardinal Signs (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn), with more opportunities for socializing, dating, perhaps beginning new relationships on the spur of the moment. Instant attraction can come easy when Venus transits Aries, because we respond readily to external stimuli, we are less inhibited and more open to new possibilities, daring to take some emotional risks in order to reach out.

A sense of adventure could lead us into relationships that may prove not so suitable after the first enthusiasm and novelty wear off. Hasty commitments are better avoided at this time, or soon we may find ourselves looking elsewhere to meet our emotional needs.

For well established relationships the transits of Venus in Aries could mean an increase in discussions and arguments, headstrong attitudes stopping us from hearing what the other person is saying. Forcing our opinions on each other could only make matters worse at this time, because Venus in Aries doesn’t leave much room for compromise.

Apart from relating Venus has also a lot to do with creativity and aesthetic feelings, as well as with our value system and material finances. Because Aries is a Sign of action Venus here may prompt many to act out their creative ideas and imagery, making things, or starting something that we didn’t have the initiative and confidence to tackle before. Like with all the Fire Signs the need for self-expression is very strong in Aries. On the financial front there may be a tendency, augmented by the number of planets transiting Aries, to spend freely or on things that take our fancy in the moment. A conscious effort to avoid extremes of all kinds is a must with so many celestial bodies transiting Aries.

I find interesting that, as Venus enters Aries and joins the other planets already transiting this Sign, in Australia and other places around the world, we are now celebrating the resurrection of Jesus, the archetypal Peace Hero, while we also remember the War Heroes of Anzac Day. This is a strange mix of celebrations, that seems to reflect the dual role of Venus as Goddess  of love and peacemaker, transiting the war-prone Sign of Aries.

At the moment it could be too easy to glorify war, with so many ‘just’ wars and bloody grassroots rebellions being fought around the globe. One thing is to remember the men and women who fought and were killed in war, fodder for all wars’ voracious appetite for blood; another thing is to glamorize their role and the role of conflict, as one of the highest manifestations of human culture, as we have been doing since the conquering wars of the Iron Age have shaped our world vision. Too often we forget to remember also the thousands upon thousands of ordinary people who weren’t fighting, but were maimed, killed or for ever displaced from their home land because of the madness and cruelty of war.

When life is felt to be a strife between good and evil, and one is not aware of how extensive the blurred area between these two principles really is, we naturally take a stance for what we have been conditioned to believe in, and in doing so we justify the horrors of war or of escalating personal conflicts, seeing no other way to solve our differences. This is the weak spot of Aries, when its physical and moral courage becomes the servant of conflicts, and men grow to be insensitive to the pains they inflict on their fellow men.

During the transit through Aries, until May16, Venus will come in contact with many different planetary energies that are now moving through Cardinal Signs: Uranus, Mercury and Jupiter in Aries, Pluto in Capricorn and Saturn in Libra. I will provide specific observations on these in the regular Weekly Astrological Highlights feature.

The people more likely to respond to Venus in Aries’ influence will be Aries, of course, but also Libra (by opposition), Cancer and Capricorn (by square aspect) and the other two Fire Signs, Leo and Sagittarius (by trine aspects).

Venus enters Pisces: lighting a candle to save the world, and dancing at a village ball

Venus enters Pisces on Sunday, March 27, transiting this Mutable Water Sign until April 21.

I have chosen this painting by Thomas Wilmer Dewing (1851-1938), titled ‘The Lute’, for Venus in Pisces because the female figures here seem to be immersed in water or vapor; or perhaps bathed in the light of green foliage along a calm river; or at the edge of a misty lake. It is not clear, they could as well be in another world.

The picture is mysterious and ambivalent, just like Venus in Pisces.

The ball in the Hall of Arts in Uki village will take place on Saturday, March 26, in time to welcome this new incarnation of Venus. Great evening for music, dancing, friendly get-together, falling in love in the moon light (it would have to be pretty late for that!).

To make the evening more romantic Earth Hour is on, the one time in the year when we are all encouraged to switch off electric lights and light a candle, a symbolical gesture to become more aware of the plight of our Earth and the need to reduce carbon pollution. The entrance of Venus in Pisces is appropriate for this too, because Pisces is one of the Signs closest to nature and also the most sensitive to pollutants.

This placement of Venus is in general considered very positive, bringing out the best this planet can offer, fine emotions, empathy, compassion, aesthetic feelings, creativity, imagination. People born under this influence are great lovers of nature and creatures, the kind of selfless affection unlikely to end in disillusionment for them. The late environmentalist and adventurer Steve Irwin (Pisces Sun, Virgo Moon) is a great example of this Venus in Pisces trait.

There is also a negative side though. Pisces has often the effect of glamorizing situations and people, things appearing in their best finery or in their worst, never as they really are. Like when we try to look at something through a body of water. We can be easily deceived by appearances during this transit, misinterpreting situations in accordance with our fleeting moods.

Venus in Pisces’ sensitivity is not the personal sort, as with Venus in Cancer or Scorpio, the two other Water Signs. Pisces’ sensitivity is diffuse and undirected, lending itself more easily to purely creative purposes, in art as well as humanitarian work. Music, dance, acting and all performing arts the best means to express their sensitivity and ability to interpret the gamut of human emotions.

Individuals born with this placement are somewhat susceptible to instant attractions. The allure of love and fear of loneliness proves sometimes irresistible but often also disappointing.

Many feel that if they could only find real love, they would then be completely fulfilled and happy. True love will rescue them and shelter them from a reality they find harsh and difficult. Idealizing love this way they often find themselves victimized by those they love because their whole attitude toward relationships is naive, undiscriminating, too impressionable and passive. They fail to keep necessary  boundaries between themselves and others, getting thus mixed up in all sorts of emotional entanglements.

Psychic impressions are strong and rather common for these Venus types, often compelling them to make certain choices or to take important decisions, without much logical thought or discrimination involved. So while their natural psychic sensitivity may often guide them well, a conscious habit of discrimination will help them to weed out wrong impressions from real insights.

Venus in the Sign of the Archer, January 7 to February 4 2011

Venus has entered the Fire Sign of Sagittarius on January 7, an important shift considering the long time Venus spent in Watery Scorpio because of retrogradation (from September 9 to November 8 2010 and again from November 30  ’til now). Venus will transit Sagittarius until February 4.

Having ended her period of retrogradation also means that Venus is now a Morning Star (Lucifer or Light Bringer), a more outgoing and social phase for Venus, when our sister planet waxes toward her Full Venus climax. The combination of the Fire Element and the Waxing Phase makes for a complete new look for the Love Goddess.

Sagittarius is in fact the most forward looking, optimistic and visionary of all Signs. Under this influence Venus will seek relationships (her function in the psyche) with renewed optimism and passion, unfettered by the emotional trappings that are so characteristic of the Water Signs, and of Scorpio in particular. A call to adventure in the area of relating, creativity and finance will sound for all the Fire Signs, Sagittarius, Leo and Aries, and also for Gemini (by opposition aspect), and Virgo-Pisces (by square aspect).

Sagittarius is about living in the moment, without too many plans or obligations. If we respond to this energy, we may also become attracted (Venus) by the fleeting moment, the ideal, the vision, the potential in every situation, perhaps also becoming disenchanted by the factual, what or who is really there. We may seek partners in adventure now rather than emotional security. This placement will encourage instant attractions, toward new people or activities, while it may not be the best suited for long term commitments.

Travel may be in the cards for many or thought of travel, because to Sagittarius the grass seems always a little bit greener on the other side of the fence, especially in the open fields!

This could be a rewarding time to take up a fitness program, to enjoy sports and games, the outdoor life, camping, campfires and visiting wild and unexplored places, physically and with our mind, through reading, speculations, philosophical discussions; the sort of activities that foster a sense of individual freedom and enthusiasm.

During these very arrowing times for Australia this super bright Venus in Sagittarius, announcing the coming of the Sun every morning, is helping to boost our confidence and to keep faith in better things to come.

Here are some famous people born with Venus in Sagittarius:

Politicians like British Margaret Tatcher and Winston Churchill; Australian ex Prime Ministers Bob Hawke and Paul Keating.

Male actors like Cary Grant, Billy Connolly, Kevin Costner,Gerard Depardieu, Alan Alda.

Actresses like Sally Field, Jane Fonda, Farrah Fawcett, Whoopy Goldberg.

Musicians like David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, Tina Turner, Donna Summer, Delta Goodrem, Michael Hutchence, Christina Auguilera.

Poets like Emily Dickson, Dylan Thomas.

Writer like Robert Louis Stevenson, Lewis Carroll,Mark Twain.

Activists like Germaine Greer, Joan Baez.

Venus in Libra

Some of the regular readers of my posts would have perhaps noticed that I didn’t write anything about the transit of  Venus through Virgo. In fact I didn’t write anything about much in the month of July. The reason is that, in good Saturn in Virgo fashion (my Birth Chart), while both Mars and Venus were also transiting this Earthy Sign, I found myself too busy with too many little but pressing  things: commitments I conveniently forgot I’ve made, long overdue cleaning up (of bookshop, house and computer) and many other menial and non menial tasks that, all of a sudden, couldn’t wait any longer!

If you too have found yourself lately frantically cleaning the garage or attic, or scrubbing your email box from all of last five years good wishes and cute slide shows, now you know why this was so for a while. The good news is that Venus left Virgo for Libra on August 7, while Mars also entered Libra on July 30. We could now find more time for such ‘frivolous’ things as writing and being creative, even perhaps to enjoy ourselves a little.

There is a catch, there is always a catch: entering Libra, the Air Sign traditionally associated with Venus, and with all that is pleasant, beautiful, harmonious and loving in life, Venus also enters the field of battle already occupied by the great destiny makers of the Zodiac.

The first is Uranus in Aries (Venus opposes Uranus on August 7 ): ‘love me but let me be’.

Then is Saturn in Libra’s turn (Venus meets Saturn on August 9): ‘love as commitment and duty, or loneliness and emotional isolation in relationships’.

On August 10 Venus squares Pluto in Capricorn: ‘love/hate’, a not so uncommon situation, or very intense and memorable love encounters, spiced by desire and jealousy.

On the same day Venus also opposes Jupiter: ‘I want more from love’.

On August 21 Venus will finally meet Mars in Libra, just in time for the Australian Federal Elections, a fit symbol for a ‘man versus woman’ public event.

All these powerful transits will prove challenging for peace-maker Venus. She will have to confront head on issues she usually prefer to gloss over or politely ignore. Only love and friendship that can withstand the tough scrutiny of these unlikely fellow travelers will cope well with this special transit of Venus in Libra, particularly in the first week or so of her passage.

Venus in Gemini, April 25 to May 20 2010

Transiting into the Air Sign of Gemini, on April 25, Venus has entered the realm of Mercury, the androgynous God. His many stories tell of how he couldn’t be trusted because he liked to play pranks on the other Gods, but also that he was entrusted by his father Jupiter to be the guide of the souls of the dead into the afterlife, an important and delicate mission.

In myth Mercury always displays two aspects or personas. In antiquity there existed the wide-spread belief that the planet itself was actually two planets, an Evening and a Morning Star, each with its distinct characteristics and fields of influence.

Like the liquid metal that bears his name, Mercury or Quick Silver, this Messenger of the Gods was said to be swift and unpredictable. He was the patron of both merchants and thieves (!), of roads and travel. Originally he represented the breath of life, the divine pneuma that manifest as wind and breath. Mobility and adaptability were his attributes.

The Sign of Gemini, traditional field of Mercury, embodies these Mercurial qualities. The Twins, one divine the other mortal, provide the ideal image for this God’s dual nature.

The Sun, Moon and Planets, when transiting through Gemini, take on the colour of Mercury, his shifty and fascinating personality. Venus is no exception.

What a difference from the sensual, intense energy of Venus in Earthy and Fixed Taurus! Gemini is made of Air and is not ‘fixed’ in any way. It is what astrologers call a Mutable Sign, changeable and inconstant, full of fun and sometimes mischief, often erratic and unreliable.

We now enter a period during which the Goddess of Love and Pleasure is better celebrated in words, poetry, intelligent and eclectic conversations, art works, symbols. The realm of Mercury is rather abstract and Venus here cannot be entirely fulfilled by the satisfaction of sensual desires and a sense of physical well-being. Ideas and forms are one to Venus in Gemini: a beautiful form devoid of intelligence can attract this Venus for a little while, but she will move on to new attractions if her intellect is not sufficiently stimulated.

People born with this placement are friendly, flirtatious, but not overly sexual and very rarely sexist, usually popular because of their ability to show interest in all sort of subjects and their readiness to make new friends. Sisterly and brotherly feelings are strong with these types, and can extend to embrace many people. They may not be the best equipped to understand the difference between friendship and love, commitment and freedom. If other planetary placements bring them to make early commitments, like marriage, career or financial commitments, they may regret those later on, because, especially when still young, they need to experience a variety of relationships and occupations. Too regular and predictable routines and relationships soon become boring and the desire to move on can then prove irresistible.

More steady types may think Venus in Gemini people to be too unreliable and emotionally immature to make real commitments. This is not necessarily the case. However freedom and independence will be indispensable ingredients for a fulfilling and lasting relationship, while jealousy and possessiveness could prove very detrimental.

Often the Venus in Gemini person will become better able to settle down when their Venus progresses into Cancer, the home maker of the Zodiac. The timing of this progression depends on the natal degree of Venus. This Planet moves an average of one degree per year (by Secondary Progression), therefore she will enter Cancer within the first thirty years of life, unless she is destined to turn retrograde before that, remaining in Gemini for life or even going back into Taurus.

May this light and breezy Venus help us to be more genuinely friendly with each other and tolerant of differences, if not fascinated by them. A busier and more varied social life is in store for us; but also a period when we could all learn to become more detached and dispassionate.