Venus in Aries, February 8 to March 5, 2012

Brave, bright and cheeky Venus in Aries is here to cheer us up, inspiring confidence and optimism. Especially susceptible to her infectious enthusiasm are the Fire Sign, of course: Aries itself, by conjunction, Leo and Sagittarius, by trine, the other Cardinal Signs, Cancer and Capricorn, by square, and Libra, by opposition, and also Gemini and Aquarius, by sextile aspect. If your Sun is not in any of these Signs, also the Moon, a planet, a Lunar Node or one of the four Angles (Ascendant, Descendant, Mid-Heaven and Lower-Heaven) will suffice to feel this Venus’ effect. It could spice up your love life (if you have one!) and create a mood for conquest and risk taking in the area of relationship. Sudden attractions are more possible and the desire to try new things is strong. This is not however the best Venus’ Sign for serious commitments because tomorrow we may find ourselves indifferent to what seemed very attractive today. The need for novelty and change is strong with Venus in Aries, always ready to move on and explore. Generally speaking we could all be more open and honest in our dealing with others, in fact for some of us it would be advisable to use some caution in order not to sound too sharp or bossy during this period.

In business and work Venus in Aries can provide the impulse to initiate new ventures, especially those that will promote a greater degree of independence. Risk taking is fun for Venus in Aries who is always on the lookout for some form of excitement. While the transit is active you may find yourself also more inclined to inspire others to become more independent and self reliant,  by example and also by a not too gentle push, driven by the desire to show them the myriad possibilities available to get out of stale situations. There is nothing stale about Venus in Aries! If you are so inclined you could use this energy to become more militant and outspoken about issues that are close to your heart.

The major transits formed by Venus in Aries in February/March:

February 10: conjunction to Uranus, exciting but somewhat drastic. Check too impulsive behavior that can alienate you from others.

February 16: square to Pluto in Capricorn, intense and passionate, but also a bit dangerous and dark. Watch the crockery flying!

March 4, just before leaving Aries: opposition to Retrograde Saturn in Libra, feeling frustrated and limited by our circumstances and relationships. Patience will pay off.

I have chosen this young ‘Girl with Braids’ by Amedeo Modigliani (1884-19200) because she has that spark in her eyes that is the hallmark of women and men born with this Venus’ placement.

Few examples of famous men: Eddie Murphy, George Clooney, Jack Nicholson, Bob Marley, Harry Belafonte, Russell Crowe, Michael Chang, Nat King Cole, Morgan Freeman, Peter Brock, Rodney King, Roy Orbison, Tony Blair, Saddam Hussein, Orson Wells, Albert Einstein, Michelangelo, Raphael.

And women: Jennifer Aniston, Sarah Jessica Parker, Mia Farrow, Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Jayne Mansfield, Joan Crawford, Janet Jackson, Liza Minnelli, Audrey Hepburn, Cate Blanchett, Doris Day, Shirley Temple, Queen Victoria.

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Mercury and Venus in conjunction to the Sun, spot the difference

Due to my protracted illness in August (a very bad case of influenza) I missed the opportunity to talk, amongst other things, of the simultaneous conjunctions of Mercury and Venus to the Sun in Leo.

I’m trying to make up for it in this post because these transits are still very relevant.

Mercury became retrograde in the early degrees of Virgo on August 3, and then moved back toward the Sun in Leo. Little Brother met the Sun on August 17, afterwards re-entering the pre-dawn sky as a Morning Star. Only a day earlier, on August 16, Venus also met the Sun in Leo, but hers was a different meeting, and she is now slowly returning to the evening sky, setting after the Sun.

It may be possible to spot Mercury in early September, just before sunrise, in the East, while we’ll have to wait until mid-October to get a better view of Venus as Lady of the evenings. In fact mercury disappears from view only a couple of weeks at the time, while Venus disappears for several weeks.

The difference lays in the fact that Mercury, at Inferior Conjunction, was orbiting between the Earth and the Sun, while Venus, at Superior Conjunction, was passing on the other side of the Sun from Earth’s viewpoint. They appear to do the same thing, from our biased standpoint, but they are in fact doing very different things. Venus was really in opposition to the Sun, from an heliocentric (sun-centered) viewpoint, while Mercury was in fact in ‘regular’ conjunction to the Sun (on the same point of the Ecliptic from Earth)

During those particular phases of their orbits Venus and Mercury remained invisible, ‘combust’ in the Sun’s glow (combustion being the term used by traditional western astrologers to define a planet close enough to the Sun to be absorbed in its light).

A Morning Star planet, visible in the East before sunrise, is said to exert a positive, highly spirited energy, suitable for outward action. Because Mercury’s function is to allow rational thinking, logical connections and communication, these activities will receive a boost from this phase, allowing for more direct and effective communication, greater ease with the spoken and written words, and enhanced logical understanding. Business transactions could benefit from this position.

The Morning phase of either Venus or Mercury, is comparable to a New Moon, fostering initiative and the start of new ventures. As Mercury is concerned, god of merchants, intellectuals, talkers, readers, writers, teachers, students and thieves, we could all try something new during this period.

What Mercury gains in efficiency and logic could perhaps lose in intuitive perception and imagination, qualities better expressed by Mercury Evening Star (next period: end of October to late November 2011).

Venus, on the other hand, is now the Evening Star until June 2012. Her next Inferior Conjunction to the Sun will be in fact on June 6, 2012, while retrograding in Gemini. That conjunction will be a real event, the dark disk of Venus passing visibly upon the disk of the Sun, a sort of Solar Eclipse (phenomenon observable from most localities in Australia). These are rare conjunctions, that come in pair separated by a gap of eight years, the first of the pair having occurred in 2004. Another such pair will occur again only in about 121 years.

Coming back to the present Venus Evening Star, this phase is said to enhance Venus’ more intuitive and self-reflective qualities, helping us to gain greater awareness of the less conscious factors in our relationship. This is a cautious type of Venusian energy, not one likely to risk too much in love, or be blinded by appearances and wishful thinking. New as well as old relationships will be put to the test of this highly discriminating and profound Venus.

The Evening phase of a planet is comparable to a Full Moon, with the subsequent Waning period, a time for realization and illumination, also for sharing our experiences with others and begin a cycle of self-analysis and introspection.

We could emerge from this period with a whole new set of values as far as love and relationships are concerned, more mature, less naive, less plagued by too idealistic expectations of others.

Taking personal responsibility for one’s joy or lack of joy in life can be a gift of the Evening Venus, allowing for more honesty and understanding in relationships, but perhaps for less glamour and superficial romance too.

Venus in Capricorn, February 4 to March 2, 2011

I love the aristocratic 16th century children portrayed by Jacob Cuyp (1594-1650), a Dutch landscape and portrait artist.

Despite their often rigid costumes and contrite poses their childish charm still shine at us from the depth of centuries.

In particular I like this blond little girl, with her determined air and apparent mastery over the creature she is leading. She seems to know what she wants and how to get it.

And I like this goat, a real personality. Together they suggest to me something about the essence of Capricorn Venus, the same I would like to be able to express in words: the softness and the toughness of combining feminine Venus, Goddess of Love and Pleasure, and the hardy mountain goat, used to rough and difficult terrains.

People who are born while Venus transits Capricorn are not too romantic or idealistic  in love. They tend to have a rather matter of fact personality, not easily led by first impressions or infatuations (unless other factors contribute to a more fanciful and imaginative temperament). Like all Venus in Earth Signs this possesses a healthy sensuality, usually more satisfied by steady and committed relationships than temporary liaisons and sudden passions. Capricorn in fact confers a certain seriousness and sense of responsibility to all planetary energies.

Showing what we appreciate more in life and give value to, Venus in Capricorn bestows conservative values, with central importance given to family, home life, security, emotional and financial, career, tradition and social responsibility. These are indeed socially conscious individuals, ready to contribute in practical ways to the greater family which society is.

It is only when the cooperative and loving ray of this Venus is severely thwarted in infancy or childhood that we begin to see the negative side of Venus in Capricorn, manifesting as selfishness, coldness of feeling, a calculating attitude, in emotional as well as financial matters (trait that when rightly used can make them into excellent business people), also strong sensuality without real ability to express love and warmth.

Capricorn Venus individuals need to build trust in other people  (as all the Venus in Earth Signs), also toning down their desire to lead every situation, leaving others more scope for independent decisions.

After disappointing experiences in love and general relating the Venus in Capricorn persons may become cynical and pessimistic, too rigid in their opinions and value system. They need to let go sometimes of their strong emotional bulwark, a defense system they often feel they cannot do without. At the base of this is the hurt of having felt lonely and unloved in their early years (for real or because of their extra sensitivity). Going down that path some Venus in Capricorn people begin to equate love with security, emotional fulfillment with financial well being, ending up creating for themselves the loneliness and lack of loving support of which they were so afraid in the first place. .

The more fulfilling relationships for a Venus in Capricorn person are those made stronger by time and solid commitment, but that can also fulfill their sensual need for closeness, warmth and trust.

This is not an easy Venus to be born with, Capricorn being a Sign of Saturn, the Old man of the Zodiac, burdened by the past and responsible for the future. The wisdom and experience of the ages lay heavy on the shoulder of our beautiful Goddess, with the risk of  becoming emotionally ‘old’ before her time, with all the disillusions that a long life can bring to our ideals of love.

Positively this is truly a ‘no nonsense’ Venus that will value concrete support in loving relationships, a fair give and take, with friends,  partners and lovers. A positively expressed Venus in Capricorn is always ready to lend  a hand and show their love in action, not just through words or empty promises.

For all of us this transit of Venus will be an opportunity to look at our relationships in a realistic ways, avoiding the pitfalls of placing people we love over pedestals and lose objectivity about the situation. Capricorn is in fact a well grounded Sign, capable of cool objectivity.

It could also be a positive period to be more practical and realistic in all area of our lives, embracing those values that can help us to get back on track financially, in our work, studies or career. Suitable period also to make lasting commitments, signing important contracts, buying or selling real estates etc. etc.

The major transits of Venus while transiting Capricorn are: the conjunction to the Lunar North Node, on February 5, the square (90 degrees angle) with Jupiter in Aries on February 6, the conjunction to  Pluto in Capricorn on February 10 and the square with Saturn in Libra on February 19.

Venus in Leo

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“O body swayed by music, o brightening glance,

How can we know the dancer from the dance” (Yeats)

Venus ended her transit through Cancer and began her Leo journey on June 14 2010.

Venus will transit Leo until July 10.

In Leo the Goddess of Love, Art and Pleasure becomes clothed outwardly and inwardly illumined by the Sun’s rays. The sunny disposition often attributed to Leos is most certainly a trait of this Venus.

Leo’s need to shine (and fundamentally to be loved) finds a willing ally in fair Venus, not a shy Goddess or one likely to hide her attractiveness. No matter what the physical appearances of the individual with this placement of Venus at birth, he/she will emanate feelings of warmth, passion, vitality that are naturally attractive.

In love the Venus in Leo person wants to feel special, appreciated and respected. Love is often a remarkable and romantic experience. If is not big and dramatic, it is not worth the effort. Leo Venus tends to be loyal in love and to expect loyalty in return. On the other hand pride and self-importance can be obstacles standing on the way of love.

The Venus in Leo person will naturally encourage other people to believe in themselves and achieve their goals, because there is enough brightness and light in this Solar Sign to be shared around.

This Venus is also big on creativity because it encourages spontaneous self-expression and is often very visual and attracted by bright, happy colours. The Venus in Leo person can be as much in love with their own creations as they are with a lover or a child. Like children they look upon their creations as an expression of spirit.

We can all shine a bit brighter during the passage of Venus through Leo, tapping into the inexhaustible fire energy of the Sun,  source of  joy and creativity. Leo is the Sign of childhood, naturally exuberant and self-centered. Venus in this Sign can help us to enjoy every moment of our lives, the way children can, because they are completely absorbed in what they do. Ideal time to get in touch with the child within, to enjoy fun and games and all activities performed for the joy of it, rather than any utilitarian or practical reason.

The image is Danza (Dance), by Gaetano Previati (1852-1920)

EYE ON THE SOUTHERN SKY, APRIL 2010

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April and May will be great months to observe five close members of our Solar family

Jupiter is visible in the early morning sky, transiting Pisces at top speed and bringing abundant creativity to all the Water Signs, Pisces, Cancer and Scorpio: time for penetrating insights and to reap the fruits of your previous labours, generally enjoying going with the flow of things (see Jupiter in Pisces post).

Venus came back into dim view in March, but only in April this brightest of planets will stay up long enough after sunset (about one and half hour) to be easily observable. This is the evening star incarnation of Venus, Vesper or Hesperus to the ancient star gazers, a self-reflective phase of this planetary intelligence, instilling wisdom in relating because it is considered of past experiences. Venus will transit Taurus from April 1 to 25. All Earth Signs, Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn, will benefit from her wise rays (see Venus post).

A long stay of Mercury in Taurus is on the cards too, entering on April 3 and leaving only on June 10. It will be dimly visible at twilight times (evening in April, morning in May). The child of the Solar System will perform its station and retrogradation in Taurus between April 18 and May 12, affecting in particular Taureans born between April 21 and May 3. These few weeks could be the ideal time for a break from routine and duties. If you slow down the pace of your life you are less likely to experience frustration. This will be a test of your mental flexibility and ability to adapt, not usually your forte.

Mars (still in Leo but now direct in motion) will be also visible on top of the sky toward the north from sunset, setting out of view just past midnight. The light of the red planet is dimming. Collectively these are better times to be enterprising and to use our energy with more purpose and less wastage. The Twin Stars of Castor and Pollux in the constellation of Gemini can be observed nor far from Mars.

Saturn will be visible throughout the night, setting just before sunrise. The ringed planet was at its most brilliant just the day of the Autumn Equinox (March 21), its rays very powerful and in full retrogradation, during its opposition to the Sun. Saturn will transit Virgo in retrogradation from April 8, re-entering Libra only in July. This last pass into Virgo could bring back some of the restrictions we have experienced in 2008 and 2009. To go along with this energy we need to be a little bit more careful, more humble and also readier to help others. Our collective return may seem scarce for the present time, but the passage into Libra should be some relief and a fairer go for everyone.

For an indepth reading of the major transits for the present and near future, please visit 2010 Forecast page.

The Earth Signs are definitely at the receiving end of many transits in April.

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