October-November 2018: retrograde Venus, the light of Earendil

Light of Earendil

Light of Earendil: remember the White Witch Galadriel, in the Lord of the Ring? How she gave Frodo a crystal phial containing “the light of Earendil our most beloved star. May it be a light to you in dark places when all other lights go out.”? She is another embodiment of Persephone, dubbing in dangerous powers throughout the tale, to finally overcome the Super-Ego’s temptations of the Ring and sail to the West (the Isle of the Blessed).

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A shorter version of this post has been published in the issue 102 of the Uki Village News community paper

The Retrogradation of Venus
(October 6 to November 16)

In Scorpio since September 9, peace loving Venus will continue to explore the depths of this emotional Sign in October, returning to Libra on November 1, and finally back into Scorpio on December 3. Only on January 9 2019 Venus will finally leave Scorpio to enter Sagittarius.

You will be aligned to this Venus ‘event if you happen to have the Sun, Moon or any Planet/ Angle on the first ten, eleven degrees of the Fixed Signs (0-11° of Scorpio-Taurus-Leo-Aquarius), or the last five, six degrees of the Cardinal Signs (25-30° of Libra-Aries-Cancer-Capricorn).*

I know it may sound complicated to beginners but accuracy is the only way to avoid useless generalizations, a common fault with astrological writings. Being born under the Sign of Scorpio, for instance, doesn’t make this retrogradation a personal experience for you, unless, of course, the position of your Sun, Moon, Angle/s, Planet/s at birth align with the transits of Venus during this Retro period.

At the Sun-Venus Conjunction, on October 27, Venus’ orbit will carry her between the Sun and Earth, closer to our planet as she can ever be. This occurs once in every 584 days cycle, marking the end of Venus’s apparition in the evening sky and the beginning of her predawn rising.

It is a common belief that Venus is exclusively the planet of sensuality, love, relationships, art and creativity.  She exerts in fact also great influence on self image, aesthetic tastes, likes and dislikes, finances, assets and all things contributing to comfort and joy in our lives. Venus’ retrogradation can then offer significant insights into all these areas of experience, according to age and circumstances.

Scorpio, Sign traditionally ‘ruled’ by macho Mars and the all powerful masculine Pluto, is a strange dwelling place for feminine Venus, alluring and dangerous at one and the same time. We may be tempted to explore areas of experience and relationships we felt were taboo before but now prove irresistible. This can indeed be true not only of actual relationships but of the way we relate with our creativity and the way we choose to interact in our social life, in a deeper and more honest way, investing more energy and feelings in whatever we do, seeking real intimacy, emotional, physical, intellectual with others, meaningful not superficial experiences.

At this time Venus will also dance a strange dance with Mars in Aquarius: at first an intense tango (the recurring square between Fixed Signs, whose crucial days will be September 10 and October 11/12), then a romantic waltz (the harmonious Air Signs trine, whose crucial day will be November 10). With the emphasis on Venus-Mars and Scorpio-Libra many relationships, romantic, sexual, financial, legal, could take a beating during this period or, positively, find new levels of connection and honesty.

We could dig out some disagreeable truths about ourselves and/or meaningful others, but also realize the potential for transformation and redemption. With Venus moving inward, so to speak, the first relationship in the line of fire will be that with our own selves, our self image, the confidence or lack of confidence defining our social interactions. How comfortable do we really feel about our public persona, our physical appearance, mode of dress, the way others may perceive us? Retro Venus has the power to lay bare lots of submerged unconscious stuff that secretly affect our lives.

Perhaps we may learn the hard way whom we can trust and who will be willing to truly support us emotionally, financially, legally through hard times. We will be putting on the detective goggles when it comes to emotions, discerning things from ours and people actions/words to which we may have been blind before.

Relationships, artistic or financial enterprises beginning at this time will prove challenging at first, but could eventually bloom into something really special. During a Venus Retrograde period people from the past often reconnect with us, allowing forgotten or repressed feelings to flood back into our lives. Negatively we could get obsessed and emotionally stuck about someone or something, experiencing emotional, financial or creative blocks, all generating some difficult and depressing feelings for a while: insightful or disturbing, depending how we look at them. How much are we repressing within and/or hiding from others? How many unresolved issues are still marring our relationships or relationship potential? Venus retrograde could be the ideal time to find out and face the consequences.

At its ideal level of expression Venus retrograde represents feminine empowerment and feminine wisdom, not gender but soul defined, acting as midwife to some profound transformation of consciousness. The time is ripe for some depth psychological work and truth seeking, shining the light of Earendil on our personal and collective psyche.

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A peacemaker to the rescue: Venus in Libra, August 7 to September 9, and beyond

'Le Tre Grazie' (The Three Graces)' by Sandro Botticelli

‘Le Tre Grazie’ (The Three Graces)’ by Sandro Botticelli

Venus is entering Libra on August 7, transiting this Cardinal Air Sign until September 9, a transit that could help us deal with the intensity, possible frustration and stress of the ongoing Mars-Uranus-Eclipses-Multiple Retrogrades’ mix.

Together with the upcoming harmonious Trine (120°) between Jupiter in Scorpio and Neptune in Pisces (exact August 19, but already active and extending its influence to early September) this transit of Venus could show us peaceful ways of facing the difficulties obstructing our path.

Hopefully Venus in Libra will play the role of peacemaker, restoring some of the harmony and cooperation that many conflicting transits are threatening at present. Traditionally the Sign of Libra is the home of Venus, meaning that in this Sign the Goddess is able to express the more pure and unbiased traits of the Sign, its ability to see two sides of any stories, two facets to every opinion etc.
The more poetical aspects of life come into focus under this transit, enhancing the beauty and love all around us. Attuning ourselves to this new vibration doesn’t mean just putting a pink veneer on a dark and stark reality, but actually becoming more aware of the essential beauty and perfection in everything, the potentially happy outcome of every situation, the silver lining in the storm clouds that have gathered on the world.  Ideals of Love and Beauty may shine more brightly in our consciousness, finding expression into a more loving and cooperative attitude toward others, as well as a keener sensitivity to loving feelings and beauty in art and all forms of creativity.

Here is a timeline of the major transits formed by Venus in Libra, in August and early September 2018.

Venus in Libra Timeline

  • August 7 to September 9: Venus in Libra.
  • August 9 (active from August 8 to 10): Venus in Libra opposes Chiron Retro in Aries.
    These few days would be ideal for gentle healing sessions: Venus, with her feminine empathy and grace, can now be put to the service of healing, working as a gentle balm on old physical and psychological wounds. Because the aspect is an opposition we are given the chance to see two sides of any issue, providing greater objectivity on the situation or symptoms we need to address. Being gentle is the key here; acknowledging your emotional needs before you tackle your physical problems; not rushing into anything.
  • August 10 (active from August 9 to 11): Venus in Libra square Saturn in Capricorn.
    Graceful acceptance of duties and responsibilities would be the key to put this potentially challenging transit to good use. We could enjoy being productive and work a bit harder if we give ourselves a chance. Trying to avoid stuff we need to do would instead cause more frustration and unhappiness. Emotionally this could be an isolating transiting leading to few depressing days, of feeling unloved or just over-burdened by family and work expectations. Our close relationships may suffer, competing with business or professional duties. Financial difficulties could bother us more than usual because of a generally negative take on things. Concentrating on the practical the best thing.
  • August 23 (active from August 22 to 24): Venus in Libra In-conjunct Neptune in Pisces and Semi-Sextile Jupiter in Scorpio.
    Here Venus becomes entangled with both Jupiter and Neptune, at the moment in harmonious aspect to each other, a chance to open our psyche to a more inclusive view of life and love, stepping out of our ego needs and desires to feel a more unconditional and non judgemental type of love. Ideal would be to enjoy close connection with nature especially near water where this configuration of aspect could help us to release tension, in body, mind, soul. Going with the flow.
  • August 27 (active from August 26 to 28): Venus in Libra Square Pluto in Capricorn.
    With the previous angle to Saturn in Capricorn (exact August 10) this is the most difficult aspect for Venus this month. Also, potentially, the most fruitful. Pluto has often to do with the unveiling of hidden stuff. When Venus is involved with Pluto relationships go through a reality check when honesty the only way to restore trust and real intimacy. Negatively we may feel like we have done or said enough and all we want now is to cut hurtful ties. Dumping our own darkness onto others could be easy now, blaming them for our unhappiness. Let’s not forget that these are just passing moods unless some other significant transit points in the same direction for you.
  • September 9 (active from September 8 to 10): as Venus hits the last degree of Libra she will be at 90 degrees angle to Mars on the last degree of Capricorn, an aspect that will repeat on October 11, due to Venus’ upcoming Retrogradation.
    Here the feminine and masculine find themselves at odd with each other. The desire to cooperate (Venus) is stuck against the desire to do one own thing irrespective of other people’s wishes. Are we going to yield a bit in order to include other people in our lives, or are we going to put ourselves first and resent all forms of compromise?

 A look at Venus beyond September 2018

In October Venus will slow her pace considerably, preparing for her cyclical Retro period, beginning on October 6, Scorpio 10°50′, and ending on November 16, Libra 25°14′. Due to this, Venus will re-enter and transit Libra again between November 1 and December 3 2018 (only Libra’s last five degrees).

Like all Retrogradation this event will serve the purpose of reviewing our attitude and re-living past experiences, not only of love and relationships, but also in the area of finance, affecting our feelings of comfort, pleasure, security, creativity. It could manifest as a rediscovering or rekindling of past relationships or unraveling old patterns in new relationships, when perhaps we will be given the chance to finish unfinished business or begin again with greater awareness and less unrealistic expectations.

From the time of the Scorpio Sun-Venus Inferior Conjunction, on October 27, this Retro period of Venus will mark the end of her evening appearances and the beginning of her Morning Star incarnation, the start of a whole new Venus-Sun’ 584 days long synodic cycle.

Venus on the eventful cusp Pisces/Aries, the end and the beginning, the old and the new

'Mastering the art of waiting'

‘Mastering the art of waiting’

Note: a shorter version of this post was published in issue 93 of the Uki Village News, April/May 2017

Venus on the eventful cusp Pisces/Aries, the end and the beginning, the old and the new

Venus is spending a long time in Aries this year, from February 4 to June 6 (excluding most of April, when she re-entered Pisces in retro motion); three whole months, triple the time she usually spends in one Sign.

The long stay of Venus in the fieriest of the Fire Signs can be either exciting or troublesome, depending how we handle it and our personal circumstances. It can be a real struggle for Venus to play the role of the Love/Harmony Planet in the combative, competitive Sign of Mars. We risk losing sight of the softer, loving side of Venus. The inner journey of retrogradation (March 3 to April 16) and the brief return into Pisces (April 2 to 29) should have created greater awareness of this risk.

Let’s consider the timeline/ highlights of this transit and others, from February to early June:

  • In February Venus was in Aries with Mars, ideal time to initiate new things, to be bolder and more independent in all areas, particularly in personal relationships. The prominence of this Fire Sign provided us with the vision and courage to pursue new goals with energy and embrace changes with confidence. Wanting our own way we might have ignored or disregarded other people feelings, in an attitude of confrontation rather than cooperation. We may have succeeded to eliminate stuff/people/circumstances from our lives that seemed to impede our progress, but our feeling of success may have proven premature.
  • Within the first ten days of March Venus turned retrograde (March 3 to April 15), while Mars entered Taurus (March 10 to April 21), this Earth Sign tending to slow down rather than stir up Mars’ fiery energy. These events ushered a period when our recent initiatives/actions and assertive/self-centred Aries moods have been put to the test. The retrogradation suggests in fact a time for returning over issues we have already explored in the recent past, a frustrating thing if you remain determined to push ahead with earlier plans and decisions, without making any changes.
  • On March 25 Venus aligned with the Sun thus turning from Evening to Morning Star for the rest of the year, the bolder and more forceful aspect of Venus; this aspect becoming more active however only at the end of April.
  • Between April 2 and 29 Venus return to Pisces, compounding the softening effect of retrogradation with the passive tendencies of Pisces. This suggests the need for a more pliable, compassionate and sensitive approach, even in the midst of changes and even while trying to be more honest and assertive in the way we relate to others. A challenging transit Venus-Saturn, also active throughout April, will accentuate the need for a more practical outlook on our relationships, general values and the way we go about satisfying our desires. This is a sobering, limiting transit.
  • To add more spice to this complex picture Mercury became Stationary Retrograde, on the 4th degree of Taurus, on April 10. Our Little Brother re-enters Aries on April 21 (same day Mars enters Gemini), and will turn Stationary Direct on May 4, on the 24th of Aries. Mercury will re-enter Taurus for good only on May 16.
    So we will not be out of the wood with the slowing and often confusing, if not downright bewildering effect of retrogradation, particularly tangible when the Inner Planets move backward (Mercury and Venus). The retrogradation of Mercury’s effects can range from missed appointments, delayed phone calls or travel arrangements, wrongly deleted emails etc., to more serious misunderstandings in the areas of communication and learning, but hopefully also with a more penetrating insight into the same matters.
  • The landscape will change again in late April and throughout May. On April 21 Mars enters Gemini, a mentally/physically active Sign, while, by April 29 (until June 6) Venus will be again in Aries and moving in direct motion. This change will return to us the level of energy and drive we experienced earlier this year and hopefully the wisdom a Retro Venus can bring in the areas of experience indicated by her relative position in our Birth Charts. On May 20 an opposition Venus-Jupiter could bring opportunities for romance, travel, special celebrations, enthusiasm and creativity. A challenging angle Venus-Pluto, on May 26, could be intense, even dramatic. A conjunction Venus-Uranus in Aries, on June 3, just before Venus’ change of Sign, could prove very exciting, but also highly unpredictable: a joy ride of emotions which may involve taking unusual risk A Mars opposition Saturn, active around the same time, could make it harder to obtain our heart desires as speedily as we wish.

All the best with all these Transits; cheers

October 12, 2015: Latest Astrological News

Maya Animation 10 pictures c♦ On October 9 check out the alignment of the waning Moon to Venus in the early morning easterly sky, both these feminine celestial bodies entering Virgo on the same day. This will not be just any round of the mill conjunction but an occultation, meaning that the Moon will appear to swallow bright Venus. Hopefully the clouds will clear in our region before this special event! Visit the October Star over Wollumbin page for more details.

♦ Transiting Venus is joining Jupiter and Mars in Virgo on October 9, at 4.29 am (Eastern Australia Summer Time). There is a hope that the gentler touch of Venus may curb some of the hard edges of current Mars’ Transits. Mars has in fact made the international situation even more challenging, introducing risk elements that weren’t present before, manifesting in more man-made and natural disasters. If interested please visit may post on the transits of Mars in Virgo HERE. We should not forget however that Venus is in her Morning Phase, more inclined toward confrontations than to embrace peace and dialogue. For the effect of Venus Morning please navigate to my recent post ‘ Welcome Venus Morning Star’, HERE.

I repeat here the dates of Mars and Venus’ major transits while in Virgo:

September 26 = Mars square Saturn

October 7 = Mars in opposition Neptune (Putin’s birthday)

October 16 =Mars trine Pluto

October 18 =Mars conjunct Jupiter

October 23 =Mars in opposition to Chiron

November 13 =Mars conjunct Lunar North Node

Venus follows suit with the same transits on different dates:

October 11 = Venus square Saturn

October 17 = Venus in opposition to Neptune

October 23 = Venus trine Pluto

October 26 = Venus conjunct Jupiter

October 28 = Venus in opposition to Chiron

November 3 = Venus conjunct Mars

 

♦ A ‘Super-Moon’ Total Lunar Eclipse in the Sign of Aries took place on September 28, at 12.50  pm (Australian Eastern Standard Time), but unfortunately it wasn’t visible from anywhere in Australia or Eastern Asia, not even as a partial view.

The United States, Canada and South America had the  front rows for this event, roughly from moon-rise (at sunset) to midnight. Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Western Asia viewed the eclipse in the early hours of the morning instead, before sunrise.

This is a special eclipse because the Moon is at Perigee (closest to Earth for the whole year) and the event is the fourth and last of a series of Lunar Total Eclipses, called a Tetrad, that occurred in autumn and spring between 2014 and 2015. Here are the Signs occupied by the totally eclipsed Moons, with their dates:

♥ April 15 2014, Libra Moon

♥ October 8 2014, Aries Moon

♥ April 4 2015, Libra Moon

♥ September 28 2015, Aries Moon

Stay tuned for my thoughts on this latest Eclipse, whose effects could last well into the next eclipse season, in March-April 2016, and beyond.

Mars in Virgo. Mars entered Earthy Virgo on September 25, and will be transiting Virgo until November 13 when he will move into Airy Libra.
People with Virgo highlighted in their Birth Chart will be feeling more restless and impatient, ready for action but also prone to make mistakes if they rush into things without planning.  Much could be accomplished during this period, with the potential to finally tackle jobs or projects that have been left in the drawer for a while. By all means take advantage of this transit’s abundant energy, but try not to overdue it or your health and peace of mind may be adversely affected. Your keen critical sense may become even sharper, so take care not to become more disparaging and nit-picking that you normally are. Pluck your courage to assert yourself and you could see quick return for your efforts.

Libra Equinox 2015Libra Equinox 2015. Libra Equinox on September 23, 5.20 pm. Here is the Chart for the ingress.

← click to view larger image

♦ On September 17 Mercury began its Retrograde period that will last until October 9 2015, from the middle back to the beginning of Libra. Mercury, now an Evening Star, will conjunct the Sun on October 1 (Inferior Conjunction), and afterword return to the morning sky. Click here for my post on the September-October Retrogradation of Mercury. And here for a recent post on the meaning of Retrogradation, focusing mainly on Mercury.

♦ The September New Moon was also a Partial Solar Eclipse on the 20th degree of Virgo. The Solar Eclipse will be followed by a Total Lunar Eclipse at the next Aries Full Moon (04° 40′), on September 28 2015. If interested please read my recent post on this Virgo Solar Eclipse here. And two tutorials on Eclipses that I’ve also re-posted recently: Eclipses as Doors of Perception – part 1 and Eclipses as Doors of Perception – part 2.

♦ The Sun entered Libra on September 23, 6.20 pm. This is the Spring Equinox in our southern parts and Autumn Equinox in the Northern Hemisphere.

♦ Jupiter entered the Earth Sign of Virgo on August 11 at 9.11 pm local time. Jupiter will transit Virgo until September 9 2016, when he will enter Libra.

Jupiter also reached the opposition to Neptune in Pisces on September 17.

Saturn turned Stationary Direct on August 2, on the 28th degree of Scorpio. Saturn has re-entered Sagittarius, in direct motion, on September 18 2015.

Venus turned Stationary Retrograde on July 24, on the first degree of Virgo. Venus re-entered Leo, in retro motion, on August 1 and was retrograde until September 7, re-entering Virgo, in direct motion, only on October 9, a very lengthy Venus in Leo Transit.

In the pipeline is a post on Saturn in Sagittarius and Jupiter in Virgo, their coming and going square aspect punctuating the next nine months, with the risk of a global economic downturn very present, recession continuing in some countries and even food shortages worsening in less developed countries. A lesson in humility and make do, living within our means in the developed countries so to restore some balance to our lop-sided world. Stay tuned.

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.

Pandora’s slideshow, celebrating the mystery of Venus Retrograde

I post this Pandora slide show in view of the imminent Retrogradation of Venus (May 15 to June 28, 2012).
Here are 185 images of Pandora and her famous ‘box’, showing artists’ unending fascination with this subject. From releasing evils to bestowing hope, Pandora is a symbol of life’s mysterious ambivalence.
The Pandora’s story, or of her equivalents in many cultures, comes in different versions and has many layers of meaning.
As an image is supposedly better than a thousand words, here we have a visual treasure-trove of stories.
I feel Venus Retrograde is just like the beautiful girl who, yielding to an irresistible or divinely inspired temptation, opens the box of tricks, with unforeseen and far reaching consequences.

Venus long transit through Gemini, April 4 to August 7, 2012

Two Sisters by James Christensen

The other day a friend asked me why I had not posted anything about Venus’ transit through Gemini. I actually have, but a while back, when Venus was still transiting Taurus. In fact I posted some Venus in Gemini stuff, as part of the March to June 2012 general forecast, even before the Venus in Taurus article

So I decided to re-post the Venus in Gemini earlier thoughts in case you haven’t read them yet. To see the rest of that article please navigate to the 2012 forecast page (top menu or HERE).

I am also slowly preparing a slideshow of artworks on the fascinating subject of Pandora and her famous box, to honor the coming Retrogradation of Venus, when the Love Goddess’ mysterious and dangerous box of tricks will be opened, revealing the hidden contents of our relationships and love life.

A historical Venus’ Transit

In Gemini since April 4, Venus will be retrograde from May 16 to June 28. This will especially affect people with Gemini-Sagittarius-Virgo-Pisces highlighted in their Birth Charts, and also the Air/Fire Signs Libra-Aquarius-Aries-Leo.

In this phase of her journey around the Sun from Earth’s perspective Venus is edging now closer and closer to the Sun visually, passing in fact between the Earth and the Sun, the closest she can ever be to us and the planet we inhabit. Now that’s something! And that’s retrogradation for you, not just a visual illusion fancifully imbued with meaning! The actual Inferior Planet (either Mercury or Venus, I mean) disappears in the glare of the Sun, but it is actually closer than ever, and therefore somewhat more influential, or better, more penetrating. Venus is no exception.

Venus in Gemini is usually described as light and flirty, seeking independence and variety in relationship, rather than heavy emotional ties and dependency. Retrogradation adds a deeper dimension to this placement. It is time perhaps to trim from our lives those friendships that are superficial and do not satisfy our real needs and longing. During the retro phase of her journey around the Sun Venus is as close to our planet as she can ever be. Thus we are given a chance to penetrate better the nature of love and relationship.

A special event is also connected with this particular retrogradation: Venus’ conjunction to the Sun on June 5/6, depending where you are in the world. This will be the second of a pair of conjunctions, separated by eight years, when the tiny disk of Venus will be visibly moving over the Sun. The first of these conjunctions occurred in June 2004. Try not to miss this event (wearing sun protective glasses, of course) because another one like it will not take place until December 2117!

At the time of a ‘normal’ conjunction Venus is too far North or South of the Sun to be visible. During a conjunction like the June’s one instead Venus is aligned to the Sun. These special conjunctions are sometimes compared to Eclipses, because Venus’ dark body becomes visible on the face of the Sun as the Moon does more dramatically during a Solar Eclipse.

This is conjunction is also the beginning of the 585 days Venus-Sun-Earth cycle, and the end of Venus’ inward journey as the Evening Star. After the conjunction Venus rapidly separates from the Sun and for 260 days will be Lucifer, Light Bringer, rising in the East before the Sun. This is a bolder and even forceful aspect of the Goddess, not at all passive. This Venus is adventurous and impulsive, ready to take risks in relationships but a bit naive and not so aware of emotional undercurrents.

The ancient astrologers from Babylon and the Mayas looked upon the morning appearance of Venus as a perilous phase for the world, portending wars and natural disasters. This is because Venus’ usually Yin energy becomes more Yang, upsetting the balance between feminine and masculine, with an excess of Yang energy. Adding to this, Venus and Mars will square each other twice, on April 8 and again on June 5. Around these periods we can expect some fireworks in our emotional lives, exciting or disruptive. While aspiring to achieve greater clarity in our communications and efficiency in our daily tasks (Gemini-Virgo), we run the risk of becoming overly critical and/or to be subjected to negative criticism.