This week’s question comes from Jezi in Princeton, N.J.:
Taurus is my Sun sign, and I have Venus in Gemini, so I’m trying to understand what both Venus and Mercury entering Taurus this week means for me and I confess to getting a bit confused trying to sort it out!
This is a great question, Jezi, as it allows me to explain a bit about Sun sign astrology and why it can be useful in some applications but limited in others.
When you say you’re a Taurus, that means the Sun was moving through the sign of Taurus when you were born. This occurs roughly from April 20 to May 20, but the exact dates can change from one year to the next. For those who are born near the date change, or “cusp,” it’s important to get an accurate birth chart, which you can do online (more info below) or with a professional astrologer.
The horoscopes you read in the newspaper and online are written with Sun signs in mind. This technique of forecasting is called Sun sign astrology. There are a few astrologers who do it well, and more and more astrologers are adding the caveat that you also should read for your Rising sign, or Ascendant. In many ways, the Ascendant provides more information about you than your Sun sign, and it’s critically important in forecasting, as it determines the layout of your chart. To know your Rising sign, you have to have an accurate birth time. You also need to know the place of birth.
The birth time you gave me, Jezi, makes you a Rising Cancer. You may find that you get a more accurate horoscope online if you read for Cancer. At the end of this post, I’ll give you some URLs for my favorite Sun sign forecasts.
Back to your original question, when Venus and Mercury enter Taurus, you won’t necessarily notice any effects until they actually align with your Sun. In the case of Venus, you may experience a day or two of good feelings, affection, and creativity, and you may feel like having a party or celebrating with friends. Flowers and beautiful objects will appeal to you even more than usual. Mercury on your Sun generally brings lots of communications.
Because Venus and Mercury move quickly relative to the Earth, these effects will be fleeting. However, when we look at where Venus and Mercury are moving through your chart, we can predict some longer-term trends. This is especially important right now, since Mercury is about to go retrograde in Taurus. Where you have Taurus in your chart tells us what area of your life is likely to be disrupted by Mercury’s retrograde effects.
In your case, Jezi, that’s the eleventh house, which rules friends, involvement with groups, humanitarian causes, and your hopes and wishes for the future. I’ve had some terrible misunderstandings with friends during periods when Mercury was retrograde in my eleventh house. Once or twice, the arguments were severe enough to end the friendship. You also may have an urge to examine your aspirations for the future and revise where necessary.
Venus transits to the eleventh house typically are very pleasant times when your friends assume more importance in your life. Getting together is tons of fun right now, especially if it involves good food and other indulgences, which Taurus is known for.
I hope that doesn’t confuse you more, Jezi! But there is really no way to simplify it. Astrology is a complex art and science, and attempts to make it simpler can strip it of its accuracy and power.
For a free copy of your birth chart, I highly recommend Astrodienst, the Swiss astrology site. Once you get more proficient in astrology, there are all kinds of ways you can manipulate charts for personal information. Still, be advised that this is never a substitute for a reading with a professional astrologer.
Sun sign astrology on the Web:
Soulgarden.tv. Daily horoscopes delivered in fabulous high-tech format by Christopher Witecki, an inspired and inspiring astrologer in Los Angeles.
AstrologyZone. Detailed monthly horoscopes by Susan Miller, one of the best-loved astrologers on the Web. She can be frighteningly accurate, provided that you read the best sign for you.
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