Tag Archives: Venus

Venus, Uranus, and the Inner Journey of Libra, Part II

White Buffalo Calf Woman, original artwork by Seattle artist Karen MacKenzie. See end of article for more info.

To make progress on our spiritual path, we need a degree of stability in our ordinary life. If we have a chaotic life where we are constantly in turmoil meeting our daily needs, we will have no inclination to pursue a spiritual path.

The action of Venus in Libra plays a vital role in balancing and stabilizing our mundane “ordinary” lives, ensuring we live simply, in alignment with natural law, so that our energy is free for transformation, and our being is open and receptive to our spiritual development. The action of Venus in Libra harmonizes, balances, and stabilizes our personality, and thereby our mundane world. When the light in Libra has “come to rest,” we are then open to receiving the subtle energy of Uranus, which transforms consciousness.

Uranus is the energy of rebellion. Not rebellion for the sake of trouble-making, but rebellion because it is necessary to evolve and align with Divine Law. In Greek mythology, Uranus is the sky, vastness, space. The primordial being from which all other beings arise. He is the father of the gods who begat all the gods on Mount Olympus and their rivals, the Titans. Primordial consciousness. Uranus is a planet of transformation who has the power to transform consciousness in particular. When we have been touched by Uranus our lives are never the same. There is no going back.

He who has penetrated to the limits of thought, dares to take the leap into the Great Emptiness,
the primordial ground of his own boundless being.
~ Lama Anagarika Govinda

Sometimes in mundane astrology, Uranus is referred to as a revolutionary, but it is important to make a distinction between a rebel and a revolutionary, if we are to fully understand the spiritual purpose of this rebellious energy of Uranus and his ability to transform consciousness. A succinct explanation of this distinction comes from the Indian mystic OSHO, who says:

The rebel … brings into the world a change of consciousness – and if the consciousness changes, then the structure of the society is bound to follow it … No revolution has yet succeeded in changing man; but it seems man is not aware of the fact. He still goes on thinking in terms of revolution, of changing society, of changing the government, of changing the bureaucracy, of changing laws, political systems. Feudalism, capitalism, communism, socialism, fascism – they are all in their own way revolutionary. They all have failed, and failed utterly, because man has remained the same … The rebel is a spiritual phenomenon. His approach is absolutely individual. His vision is that if we want to change the society, we have to change the individual.”

The revolutionary has the same consciousness as the society in which he arose. He may overthrow a dictator and then himself become the new dictator. He is just the other side of the same coin. There has been a change in name, but not a change of consciousness. The energy of Uranus is not revolutionary, it is rebellion. It transforms consciousness. The rebel brings inner change, a change of consciousness within the individual. The rebellion is not “against” anything but, like a flower blossoming, is a natural unfoldment into the next stage of evolution. Where Uranus is concerned, it can be a complete quantum leap that bears no resemblance to what has gone before.

Once Venus has done her job of opening the heart, then the individual is open to receive the touch of Uranus – to allow inspiration to move them and break free from the limitations of the lower mind. Venus initially brings desire, attraction, animal magnetism. Through the experiences of Venus, the individual experiences the beginnings of love, but this lower consciousness love has a price: it comes with conditions. There is a possessiveness to it. Once Venus has softened the heart, Uranus is able to bring in expansiveness. The expansiveness of space, of being, and the individual is never the same again. They are made anew. Passion can now make a quantum leap into higher love and then further again, into limitless compassion.

Love is Higher Thought about someone.” ~ Anya Sophia Mann, Visionary Intuitive

We are evolving from instinct, through intellect, to intuition. In this process, Venus initially opens our hearts and minds, opening us up to shift from instinct to intellect. Then Uranus catapults us from intellect to intuition. Uranus brings inspiration, clarity, intuition and vast, clear space. Boundless sky untouched by clouds. Initiating, catalyzing the evolution from intellect to intuition. Unexpected, because how can we know what to expect from a level of consciousness which we have not yet experienced? Under the influence of Uranus, without the limitation of intellect, Libra is capable of leaping through “octaves” of higher mind to higher love.

Reason, the highest property of the intellect, is what guides purposive thought. Purposes, however, are limited; and therefore reason can operate only in what is limited.

Wisdom alone can accept and intuitively realize the unlimited, the timeless and the infinite, by renouncing explanations and by recognizing the mystery, which can only be felt, experienced, and finally realized in life – and which can never be defined. ~ Lama Anagarika Govinda

If you have Sun, Moon and especially Rising Sign in Libra, you are here to go beyond your own limitations and become an expression of higher love in the world. You will do this through right relationship between yourself and other. When you lean too far toward the Aries end of the spectrum, there is too much emphasis on self; when you lean too far toward the Libra end of the spectrum, there is too much emphasis on others. When you come to rest at the center, the balance-point, you are in perfect harmony, and this creates the window through which the energy of Uranus can enter to transform consciousness.



Ruth Hadikin, Soul Astrologer

Ruth Hadikin – Soul Astrologer

To get your personal Soul Sign/Life Purpose Report (FREE with a consultation), contact Ruth via her website. You can also request a FREE mp3 download, “The Energetics of Soul Astrology.”


About the artist: This oil painting, the seventh in the Empowered Feminine Zodiac series by Seattle artist Karen MacKenzie, envisions Libra as White Buffalo Calf Woman, who brought a message of peace to the Lakota people two centuries ago. For more information about the symbolism in this print and to view other works in her ongoing series, check out her website, Karen MacKenzie Art (her prints are very affordable).

Mercury, Venus, and the Inner Journey of Gemini, Part I

Gemini (Iris & Arke Goddesses of the Rainbow), original artwork by Seattle artist Karen MacKenzie. See end of article for more info.

Gemini Season is here again bringing with it the interplay of light through form.

The Soul, which began its journey in Aries as a “point of light in the mind of God,” became a beam of light in Taurus and now divides into multiple beams of light in Gemini. Think of the quality of sunshine playing through the leaves or the dancing sparkles of light on water, and you have the light, playful, fairy-like quality of Gemini. The one becomes many, and the Divine dance has begun.

Don’t misunderstand the playfulness of light; indeed, a sense of play is in the nature of light and is inherent in the whole of creation. The apparent superficial quality of Gemini belies his deepest mysteries: the mystery of life and the mysteries of our divine purpose as a spiritually awakened humanity. Gemini is associated with the breath, and indeed the divine use of the breath, through words and sound, is a clue to the deepest mysteries of Gemini.

Gemini has three planetary “rulers,” each of which is important in understanding these deeper mysteries of Gemini. The personality ruler of Gemini is Mercury, the Soul ruler of Gemini is Venus, and the Hierarchical ruler of Gemini is the Earth herself. (Esoterically, Venus and Earth are said to be sister planets.) It is through Gemini that humanity fulfills its divine purpose as custodian for Earth and the elemental kingdoms. Gemini connects us to the etheric and the elemental at one and the same time. This apparent sign of duality is actually a sign of multiplicity, connection, and communion. Through Gemini we realize our interconnectedness with one another, Earth and her creatures, and all sentient beings.

At the personality level Gemini is ruled by Mercury, the winged messenger of the gods. Esoterically Mercury is responsible for the Rainbow Bridge, or Antakharana, connecting lower and higher mind. It is through Mercury that we learn to connect and commune with our higher selves and hear our spiritual calling. It is ultimately through the activity of Mercury, conditioning, expanding and awakening our perception, that we attune to higher consciousness and perceive our divine purpose. It is through Mercury that we realize our interconnectedness to one another, that the brotherhood (or sisterhood) of humanity becomes the body of humanity as we transcend separatism and realize the divine task of humanity as custodian of the Earth and her creatures.

At Soul level, Gemini is ruled by Venus. Once the activity of Mercury has expanded our perception, we are open to the activity of Venus through the heart center. This brings a spiritual awakening in the form of a deep sense of communion and connectedness with all sentient beings. There is an awareness of love, not as an idea, but as a living energy which permeates and radiates throughout all life. This shift in perception brings us to the realization of our interrelatedness with one another and all living things.

Mercury opens portals of communion between lower and higher self, so we connect with our inner “guru,” coach, or our own, wise self. However, there is still a perceived duality, a separation, as experienced from the side of the personality. In last month’s article, we looked at the harmonizing aspect of Venus as experienced through physical matter in Taurus. Venus achieves harmony through the law of right relationship. What makes the difference between music and a collection of disharmonious sounds? It is the relationship between each note. When each note sounds in right relationship to the others, the human ear (and indeed all of existence) recieves it as music: in other words, sounds that are played in harmony with one another.

As Venus begins her work, Gemini moves from the lower octave to the higher octave and begins harmonizing all perceived duality. It is the conditioning effect of Venus and the law of right relationship that allow Gemini’s higher octave to resolve all duality. Gemini has a unique role in the zodiac and, esoterically, it is the only sign that is connected with each of the other eleven zodiac signs. This is because, according to the Tibetan,* Gemini will play a vital role in the future astrology, be resolving all duality and polarities so that eventually we have six zodiac energies rather than the currently perceived twelve as Aries-Libra, Taurus-Scorpio, and so forth, synthesize into one energy. This synthesizing effect of Gemini is due to the unique relationship between Mercury and Venus, opening a pathway to higher love.

As this Mercury-Venus connection grows, clarifying and strengthening the Rainbow Bridge, the Soul presents ever more clearly and strongly to the individual. Hence the Soul keynote for Gemini:

I recognize my other self and in the waning of that self I grow and glow.

This speaks to the individual process of Soul recognition and identification, whereby eventually the Soul experience is so strong, the connection is such that the individual realizes, “This is who I am.” At that point, the grip of the personality is loosened and the individual lives freely as a fully Soul-centered being.

Next: Gemini’s role in awakening humanity to the power of love.


* Esoteric Astrology, the wisdom of The Tibetan (Master DK) as channelled through Alice Bailey.

About the illustration: Karen MacKenzie has been working on a series of astrology inspired paintings using goddesses from different cultures. For more information about the symbolism in this print and to other works in her ongoing series, check out her website, Karen MacKenzie Art. Her prints are very affordable!


Ruth Hadikin, Soul Astrologer

Ruth Hadikin – Soul Astrologer

To get your personal Soul Sign/Life Purpose Report (FREE with a consultation), contact Ruth via her website. You can also request a FREE mp3 download, “The Energetics of Soul Astrology.”

Venus, Vulcan, and The Inner Journey of Taurus, Part II

Vulcan Presenting Venus with Arms for Aeneas, by Francois Boucher, 1757.

Desire is the force of the form in nature; will is the energy of the soul expressing itself as direction, progress, and conformity to the [Divine] Plan.
~ The Tibetan1

In Patanjali’s description of the five energy bodies2 we can see that the bliss body is the closest to our ultimate spiritual goal of “universal mind” and so is considered a very powerful (and dangerous) path to enlightenment. Tantric practice is based on the transformation of blissful energy into the path. But this path is fraught with danger, in the form of being “seduced” from our path and getting lost in the realm of sensory pleasures. It is for this very reason that sense pleasures are considered sinful in so many spiritual traditions (the origin of the word sin means “to miss the mark”3). Without cast-iron will and discipline, forged in the furnaces of Vulcan (and under the guidance of a qualified spiritual teacher), they are more likely to cause us to miss the mark, miss our spiritual purpose, and miss the point of our life altogether. If we don’t have such will, we are better to steer well clear of this path.

When correctly focused and disciplined the path of bliss can lead to the higher octave of Taurus which brings spiritual illumination and the knowledge that bliss arises from within. It is not “caused” by external objects but is part of our very own inner nature. Once Taurus has mastered the lower desire nature through meditation, patient effort and discipline, she is open to receive the transformative energies of Vulcan. Whereas Venus brings the energy of desire and sensuality, Vulcan is more aligned with will – divine will in particular.

Once Venus has done her job of opening our senses to the presence of blissful energy within our physical form, it is Vulcan’s job to guide us in the correct use of that energy. The dangers of addiction and being “lost” in the bliss would arrest our spiritual development and bring our journey to a premature end. The path is one of transcending all five energy bodies to arrive at our true nature and Universal Mind.4 The energy of Vulcan brings the gift of steadfast willpower that allows us to continue our spiritual path blow by blow, like Vulcan’s hammer, forging the personality into something that is useful for our soul’s purpose and driving us forward on the spiritual path, although there is always the danger that we could go either way. While the ruling planets may provide the conditions, how we react or respond to them is up to us.

The path of Taurus involves strong will and strong choices, for desire has the habit of leading our attention outward toward worldly concerns. It is part of the soul’s journey through Taurus to learn to focus this energy inward toward the spiritual path.

One reaction produces the onward rush of the materialistic systems of life, thought and desire, dashing blindly forward in the force of their own momentum and producing a stage of powerful expression and active movement; the other demonstrates in a far vision of possibility and a steady movement forward in spite of the immediate dangers and difficulties…The question is: Will the Bull of desire or the Bull of illumined expression succeed?”  ~ The Tibetan5

Vulcan is known as the blacksmith of the gods. His job is to shape and fashion substance, to forge physical matter from light in the heat of his furnace. Once the illumination in Taurus has been realized, it is also Vulcan’s job to then shape that energy into some tangible, practical shape in physical form to fulfil divine will, or spiritual purpose.

One thing that happens to metal, once it is melted down in the blacksmith’s forge, is that it can also be purified. In a liquid state anything that is not gold, for example, can be removed so that pure gold can be poured out and fashioned into shape. This alchemical function of Vulcan gives a clue to one of the deepest mysteries of Taurus: the opening of the third eye. There are many references in esoteric writing to the Eye of Light and the Eye of the Bull. Even the consciousness of Buddha has been referred to as the “Diamond Eye.” 6In nature, natural diamonds form in conditions of high pressure and high temperature, deep within the earth. So we have the energy of Vulcan at work, transforming ordinary rock through fire and pressure into something pure, clear, and revealing that illuminates by showing us the nature of light.7 These higher octave properties of illumination and revelation are hinted at in the esoteric keynote for Taurus:

I see and when the Eye is opened, all is light.  ~ The Tibetan8

Venus brings us the power of love and the potential for higher love, but if the love of Venus is not to be degraded into worldly desire, we also need to pass through the fiery forges of Vulcan. This purification process transforms primordial love and desire, through divine will and revelation, into higher love, compassion and illumination.

As we discipline ourselves to eliminate the undesirable aspects of our lower ego-personality, we become aware of and aligned with our soul. The soul begins to take shape and becomes the true vehicle for the fulfillment of our spiritual purpose. We begin to realize, and know ourselves to be, a soul, to recognize that our physical body is only one part of our soul and that all physical forms are manifestations of One Great Spirit.




1. Esoteric Astrology, the wisdom of The Tibetan (Master DK) as channelled by Alice Bailey.
2. See the bliss body and Patanjali’s “five bodies” in my previous article, “Mars, Mercury and the Inner Journey of Aries.”
3. The English word “sin” is a translation of the Greek word hamartia, which literally means to “miss the mark.” This phrase in itself is interesting in terms of the path of Taurus, because in archery, to miss the mark means to miss the bulls eye or the Eye of the Bull.
4. Five, seven or twelve energy bodies, depending upon your school, tradition, and/or level of study. The anatomy of the human energy field has been described through many different schools, too numerous to mention here. In the Tibetan tradition, five major chakras are commonly identified, and in the Vedic tradition, there are seven. The differences in emphasis are due to different spiritual paths and taking account of our varying levels of understanding and awareness. For example to a 5-year old, you might describe your hand as having a palm, four fingers and a thumb; but to a medical student you would probably include skin, bone, muscle, ligaments, fascia, plus hormonal, endocrine, lymphatic, immune, nervous and circulatory systems, and then you would explain how they all relate to one another to create a functional whole.
5. See Footnote 1.
6. Esoteric Psychology, Vol. I, The wisdom of The Tibetan (Master DK) as channelled through Alice Bailey.
7. A diamond can show us the nature of light by revealing its many rainbow colors.
8. See Footnote 1.


Ruth Hadikin, Soul Astrologer

Ruth Hadikin – Soul Astrologer

To get your personal Soul Sign/Life Purpose Report (FREE with a consultation), contact Ruth via her website. You can also request a FREE mp3 download, “The Energetics of Soul Astrology.”

Venus, Vulcan, and the Inner Journey of Taurus, Part I

Vulcan Presenting Venus with Arms for Aeneas, by Francois Boucher, 1757.

Taurus season is upon us once again, bringing with it the energy of desire as it works through form.

After the initial pulse of life in Aries, desire in Taurus becomes the driving force in shaping what form life will take. Will we forge ahead driven by our egoic desires and wishes? Or will we align with divine will and shape our primordial life-force energy into spiritual path and purpose?

Taurus, the sign of the bull, is associated with steadfastness, material possessions, beauty (especially in physical forms), art, stubbornness, security and even enlightenment. It is said that the Buddha himself had six planets and Chiron in Taurus and that the Buddha was born, passed and entered parinirvana all during the time of this auspicious sign.1 Esoterically, Taurus is associated with illumination and the opening of the third eye.

It is under the sign of Taurus that humanity is learning the deeper spiritual lessons of desire and the transformation of the energy of desire. It is through desire that we take a physical incarnation, and it is desire that also keeps us trapped in Samsara, the cycle of death and rebirth. Taurus teaches us about the nature of desire and what needs to happen so we can release our personal attachments and transform the energy of desire into spiritual realizations.

Humanity … is beginning to come under the influence of Taurus.
The great question is – Will this influence … produce the floodlight of illumination of which Taurus is the custodian, or will it simply foment desire, increase selfishness and bring humanity to the ‘fiery heights of self-interest’ instead of to the mountain of vision and initiation?
~ The Tibetan2

Taurus has two planetary rulers: Venus and Vulcan.3 Venus is the personality ruler, and Vulcan is both the soul ruler and the hierarchical ruler. According to Esoteric Astrology, both Venus and Vulcan are sacred planets, while Vulcan is a “hidden” planet. 4 Esoteric Astrology tells us that there are hidden planets that we are unaware of because we do not yet have the consciousness to perceive them or to be receptive to their energy. Once we have expanded our consciousness to the degree that we are more receptive and aware of these subtler energies, we will become aware of these planets. The fact that both ruling planets are sacred (and one is hidden) hints that the inner journey of Taurus is deeply hidden, mysterious, highly significant, and sacred.

The Soul is our individual link to the essential substance of the Creative Source … Astrology is a system that seeks to interpret the nature of the Universal Life Force as It moves, shapes, and creates human life and all events. The planets, signs, and houses, are not the causal elements of manifestation. They are, rather, the reflections of a transcendental synchronicity manifesting through the rhythms and timing of a cosmic clock. ~ Alan Oken5

When considering planetary influences from a Soul Astrology perspective, it is more appropriate to think of the planets as lenses or focalizers of divine energy rather than as causative agents. In Esoteric Astrology, the basic energies of creation are referred to in terms of Seven Rays. I will say more about these in future articles, but for our purposes here it is enough to know that there are Seven Great Rays, within which our universe aligns with just one, and then within our universe, there are seven sub-rays. Just as the sunlight contributes to the optimum conditions for life on earth to thrive, so divine energy, in the form of these Seven Rays working through planetary lenses, is contributing to the optimum conditions for the flowering of human consciousness.

Venus is the goddess of love, the powerful energy of desire, which translates as romantic love, when filtered through a human mind! She rules both Libra and Taurus. In Libra, she endows her subjects with a harmonizing aspect that manifests through the mind, in terms of conceptualizing or idealizing ideas of ethics, beauty, attractiveness and justice. Her work in Libra is more closely linked to harmony in the mental body.6 In Taurus the loving energy of Venus has a more sensuous, earthy, influence. She works initially through the physical senses to eventually bring awareness of the bliss body.7

As Venus works through desire in Taurus, she seeks to awaken the senses. She awakens our sense perception through the physical senses of sight, sound, taste, touch and smell. This has the potential to open us to an experience of bliss and awareness of the bliss body.8 Herein lies the danger of the Taurean path. If the individual is still centered in the ego-personality, the tendency can be towards grasping at more external objects to feed the bliss experience: clinging to possessions of beauty, beautiful people, music, a beautiful body, and losing sight of the spiritual journey. This is a symptom of the lower mind externalizing the bliss experience and projecting it onto outer worldly objects.

The ego-mind uses logic in the extreme. If one chocolate made me feel good, then ten chocolates will make me feel ten times as good, right? Yet we all know this is not so. Too much of a good thing leads to lethargy, dullness, weight gain and that uncomfortable (even painful) feeling of being over-full. Then we have the addiction effect; we begin to believe we need something outside of ourselves – the chocolate, new shoes or whatever our craved substance, possession, or person may be – to feel good. We begin clamouring for more of the object that we believe will lead to more pleasure (bliss). This leads us to pursue “worldly concerns” (objects outside of ourselves), and the sad part is that while doing so we are neglecting our inner spiritual path, which is the true path to inner peace, bliss, and beyond.

Next: How Vulcan takes over from Venus in guiding Taurus along the true path.




1. Buddhist Astrology, by Jhampa Shaneman.
2. Esoteric Astrology, the wisdom of The Tibetan (Master DK) as channelled by Alice Bailey.
3. The term “rulership” is not intended in the commonly held sense of exerting force or power over another. In this context, the meaning is closer to nurturing-custodianship, in the sense of providing those conditioning factors necessary for divine seeds to ripen, grow and flourish.
4. See Footnote 2.
5. Soul Centered Astrology: A Key To Your Expanding Self, by Alan Oken.
6. Ibid.
7. See the bliss body and Patanjali’s “five bodies” in my previous article, “Mars, Mercury and the Inner Journey of Aries.”
 8. Ibid.


Ruth Hadikin, Soul Astrologer

Ruth Hadikin – Soul Astrologer

To get your personal Soul Sign/Life Purpose Report (FREE with a consultation), contact Ruth via her website. You can also request a FREE mp3 download, “The Energetics of Soul Astrology.”

Weekly Forecast February 16: Mars conjunct Jupiter, Sun enters Pisces

Jupiter and Juno, by CarracciDoes anyone else feel like the past week contained several weeks compressed into one? Eclipses will do that. I’m still reeling from this latest pair.

Although the dust still hasn’t settled, it does feel like we’re getting a better idea of where events are headed. We still don’t know why or to what ultimate ends, and this could remain a mystery for some time to come. That said, we should get some clues this week, with Mercury back in Aquarius and out of the post-retrograde shadow as of Saturday. But I’m getting ahead of myself — typical Aquarius!

An energetic three-way aspect between Venus, Mars, and Jupiter begins on Monday, with a sextile from Venus in Aries to Jupiter in Aquarius. Mars and Jupiter conjoin on Tuesday, and then Venus forms an exact sextile to Mars on Wednesday. Rather than taking these aspects individually, I’m looking at them as a whole, and I’m going to stick my neck out here and throw the asteroid Juno into the picture, too.

Juno is one of the bodies in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter. Many astrologers use the asteroids in individual chart readings, especially for women. The only one I routinely use is Ceres, who is no longer classified as an asteroid but is in the new category of dwarf planet, along with Pluto. I’m going to make an exception this week, though, because Juno is just a degree from Jupiter (the exact conjunction was last Wednesday, with the lunar North Node at the exact degree and minute as well), and she’ll be crossed by Mars this Friday.

It’s hard enough to make predictions anymore based on one aspect alone, but when you’ve got three or four planets involved, it gets even trickier. In order to make some guesses about how these energies might interact, I decided to go back to the mythology and examine the relationships between these two couples. You have to give the ancients credit for making up stories about gods and goddesses. In our ignorance, we say they were superstitious, but anthropomorphizing hidden energies and then creating stories to describe their interactions was a quite ingenious way of helping us understand how they play out in our lives.

In classical mythology, Mars was the son of Jupiter and Juno, and he had an adulterous affair with Venus. It’s interesting to note that in the Greek version, Ares was hated by his parents because of his blood-thirsty temperament, but his reputation in Roman mythology was much better, probably because the Romans expanded their vast empire through bloody conquest.

So we might imagine Jupiter and Mars as swaggering father and son, off to conquer a neighboring territory. Or maybe they’ve decided to have a little boys’ night out of drinking and philandering. They’re full of themselves and expect that they are invincible, women will swoon at the very sight of them, and they will get anything and anyone they want.

That, in a nutshell, describes the exuberance and exaggerated self-confidence of a Mars-Jupiter conjunction. If you are faced with a seemingly impossible task, this energy is just the extra boost you need. Depending on where this aspect is hitting your chart, it may give your self-confidence a much-needed lift, and that in turn could translate into achieving a goal. The potential downfall in this mix is hubris and a sense of entitlement.

That is where the ladies come in. I expect this testosterone-laden pair to be tempered by the close presence of Venus and Juno. After their little escapade, Mars is going to have to face his mother, and heaven forbid he should be implicated in any of dad’s shenanigans. If, on the other hand, their hunt or conquest was with their women in mind, mom will be mightily pleased. The moral of the story, then, is to contemplate your purpose as you sail on these strong and swift currents. There is no higher calling than love, be it love for a romantic partner, friend, or family member, or for generic love of one’s fellow humans (the collective, a keyword for Aquarius). Remember, too, that there is a difference between selfishness and enlightened self-interest.

After that big bang of Aquarius energy, the Sun enters Pisces on Wednesday, leading up to a new lunar cycle and interaction with Uranus and Saturn. Don’t be surprised if you suddenly feel more emotional or intuitive, maybe both. In the watery realm of Pisces, a lot of things don’t make sense on an intellectual level, and it’s better not to even try. That won’t prevent me from making up stories about our new cast of characters, though!

Speaking of which, newcomer Comet Lulin is still out there and about to make an appearance, probably next week. I’m working on that article, honest, and will post as soon as I can.

Much love to all…
Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

P.S. You might have noticed that my personal blog is down. It may be off-line for several weeks, but I’ll posting here regularly.

Image: Jupiter and Juno, by Annibale Carracci, part of a massive fresco in the Palazzo Farnese in Rome, completed in 1608. Not surprisingly, images of his philandering were much easier to find than this rare depiction of him with his wife.

Weekly Forecast February 2: Saturn-Uranus Opposition, Part II

Mountain Sounds by Ellen HillHappy Groundhog’s Day! The days are getting noticeably longer in the Northern Hemisphere, and spring is right around the corner.

The groundhog ritual dates back to pagan cultures, which rejoiced at the increasing light. The ancient Celts marked this day as Imbolc, one of the cross-quarter days halfway between the solstices and equinoxes. According to some scholars, the feast day was so named because the longer days triggered lactation in ewes, an important milestone in the year of an agrarian people. The Christian Church adopted the occasion as Candlemas. In modern-day France, a Catholic country with wonderfully pagan Celtic roots, they eat crèpes. Trust the French to find an excuse to eat. Works for me!

Many of you know that this is also my birthday. I’ve been hibernating due to a back injury, but today I’m going to go out and look for my shadow.

Speaking of shadow, Mercury returned direct on Sunday but will remain in the post-retrograde shadow period until February 21. Still, I anticipate a big week, as activities that have been stalled since mid-January begin moving again. Events may move in fits and starts, and there may be a lot of confusion. But there will be movement.

The Messenger was in Aquarius when he went into reverse on January 11 but moved back into Capricorn. This will temporarily favor maintaining the status quo or bowing to authorities, but not for long. Once he re-enters Aquarius on February 14 and even more so when he leaves the shadow phase, it’s going to be a brand new day. Those of you who have asked for news of a better job, take heart. Aquarius is the sign of individual freedom and creative bursts. Liberation is at hand.

Of course the biggest news this week is Thursday’s opposition between Saturn in Virgo and Uranus in Pisces. This is the second peak in an unusually long, two-year transit that we’ve been feeling for several months already and that we’ll continue to grapple with until the middle of next year. It’s not likely that you will get slammed by an event out of the blue, since the energy of long-term transits such as this typically don’t release all at once. That’s the good news. The bad news is that many of us are in the middle of serious situations, and there could be developments this week that require our immediate attention and tough decisions.

Venus and Mars change signs this week, and both have special significance. On Monday, Venus enters Aries, where she’ll stay for nearly four months, as she’ll be retrograde from March 6 to April 17. I have to tell you that I’m not very optimistic about this passage. Venus is in her detriment in me-first Aries, and she can behave very badly when she’s retrograde. The Mayans were wary of retrograde Venus, which a Mayan enthusiast friend of mine calls “Venus with fangs.” It’s OK to be assertive in relationships, but do make an effort to be considerate of others. 

On Wednesday, Mars enters Aquarius, where he’ll join the Sun, Jupiter, Chiron, and Neptune, all just in time for the lunar eclipse on February 9. There’s going to be a lot of rebelliousness in the air, and we can expect global hotspots of rebellion to get even more active. Mars is going to give a big boost to going against the grain, and Mars in Aquarius is ready to put up a fight for the exploited and oppressed.

Venus squares Pluto on Thursday, increasing the risk of sexual power struggles. Venus in Aries will not hesitate to use her sexuality as a weapon or as bait to get what she wants, while Pluto in Capricorn will overpower by any means, some of which can be ruthless. You don’t need to be an astrologer to predict the outcome of that scenario. Conscious awareness and knowing yourself are the best antidotes. Know what you want and need, and make no apologies. But leave it up to the other person to give in a way that feels right to him or her.

The Moon enters Leo late Saturday (Sunday in the Eastern Hemisphere), and we’ll be within the gravitational pull of Monday’s lunar eclipse. Eclipses are wildcards, and on top of that we’ve got a comet zinging around backwards that is about to conjoin Saturn just as it reaches its closest point to Earth. I’ll have more on Comet Lulin in a few days. Meanwhile, there is simply no way to predict what’s going to happen as a result of these erratic energies (which is why I chose this abstract painting by Ellen Hill to illustrate this week’s forecast. So much of what we’re experiencing these days defies rational analysis).

Much love and courage to all!
Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

Image: Mountain Sounds, by Ellen Hill, whom many of you know as Tseka. To see more of Ellen’s phenomenal work, including her new line of talisman jewelry, visit her site, Tseka – One Dance.

Ask Real Astrologers: A Second Look at Pluto on Venus

Last week, Tarja from Finland posed a question about Pluto approaching her natal Venus, and we answered based on a chart with Libra Rising. Well, we used the wrong chart, so we’re going to take her question again this week, using the right chart. Happy Mercury retrograde!

Here is Tarja’s original question. Our revised answers are below:

I have been reading a lot about meeting someone and that when it usually happens both have the same sort of planet situation. So if my Pluto is conjunct Venus will his be as well, or what does it mean? And can one see that in one’s own chart?Also everywhere the Pluto on Venus is said to be very strong (like a big bang, unavoidable) but usually nothing happens to me, so how sure it is that anything will happen at all?Libra ponders . . .

Neith’s response:

First I would like to apologize, Tarja, for not getting your chart right before . . . classic example of Mercury Rx overload. You do indeed have Scorpio Rising and Libra on the Midheaven, making Mars your chart ruler along with Pluto. Your natal Mars is in Pisces and with Neptune conjunct the Ascendant in Scorpio, learning to effectively assert yourself is very important, because Neptune’s influence can create confusion and a lack of clarity about how you take action.

I have been thinking about the effects of Pluto’s transit to your Venus, too. It is easy to lose sight of the fact Pluto provides a much needed service – that of clearing away the dead and dying parts of ourselves to make way for positive change. A Pluto-Venus transit can teach us to value ourselves, increasing our self-esteem and the capacity to love both ourselves and others. That Pluto is currently transiting your second house just underlines the need to reconsider what is truly of value to you.

Your Sun and Moon are both in the detached, air sign of Aquarius – very different from your intense water sign Scorpio Rising. If you wish people to see who you feel you truly are, you will need to make an extra effort to present your authentic self to the world. Find someone you feel comfortable with and trust to help you learn how others see you and how to modify your outward behavior to reflect your true self.

Take advantage of Jupiter in Aquarius transiting your Aquarius planets to initiate positive change in your life and how you see yourself. In fact, you have Jupiter and the North Node conjunct your Sun in your Solar Return chart for this coming year, a perfect combination for realizing your gifts and talents. Best of luck and many blessings to you, Tarja! [Note: Neith and Pat both do Solar Return charts.]

Aquarius expounds . . .

Pat’s response:

Hi again, Tarja!

The general information I gave you last week about astrological markers for first meetings remains true, as does what I told you about the Pluto-Venus transits and the timing of it for you.

That you are a Rising Scorpio and not a Rising Libra does change things somewhat, though. As a Rising Libra, you have Venus as your chart ruler, whereas Rising Scorpio gives you more intensity, and this definitely is at odds with your Aquarius Sun and Moon, which are much cooler-headed and prefer to stay more detached. This also may explain why you don’t feel the full effects of certain transits.

When two major components of a natal chart are so opposed, we often have difficulty integrating these two sides of ourselves. I can say this from personal experience, as I have an Aquarius Sun and Ascendant, with a Pisces Moon. It took me many years to own that poor Pisces Moon, and when I finally did, it took roughly three years to figure out what to do with her! Perhaps you are experiencing something similar with your competing Aquarius and Scorpio energies. If so, a Pluto-Venus transit that helped you claim your sexuality would greatly contribute to your personal growth, and I think this would be more important than meeting a particular someone.

That said, we typically learn these lessons through relationships, so you may well meet someone who will trigger an intense and obsessive reaction in you, and this may cause a secondary reaction of guilt and shame. It’s’ easier said than done, but try not to judge yourself. Rather, use the experience to understand yourself better, and you will be very surprised by the results.

Thanks again for your great question. Your solar return is coming right up here, too, so happy birthday!

Got a quick question? Click here to contact Ask Real Astrologers. Reminder: Please tell us where you’re currently located!

Ask Real Astrologers: Will Pluto on Venus Improve My Love Life?

Our question this week comes from Tarja in Finland:

I have been reading a lot about meeting someone and that when it usually happens both have the same sort of planet situation. So if my Pluto is conjunct Venus will his be as well, or what does it mean? And can one see that in one’s own chart?Also everywhere the Pluto on Venus is said to be very strong (like a big bang, unavoidable) but usually nothing happens to me, so how sure it is that anything will happen at all?

Libra ponders . . .

Neith’s response:

Tarja, with Libra rising in your chart, gentle Venus plays a larger role than she usually does. You have Venus in Capricorn natally square to Capricorn’s ruler, Saturn, inclining you to be cautious and somewhat conventional about love. At the same time, your Venus forms an out-of-sign square with very unconventional Uranus creating the potential for an inner conflict between desiring a committed relationship and needing your freedom of movement.

Pluto-Venus synastry aspects do create the potential for a deep, powerful connection, but with your Sun and Moon in Aquarius and Libra rising, an all-consuming love affair may not be for you. Moon in Aquarius in particular is often detached and quirky when it comes to love. Yes, Libra rising does incline a person to enjoy having a partner, but here again, the sharing is less about emotions and more intellectual in nature.

Pluto will be conjoining your Venus by transit starting the first week of March, lasting all of April and into the second week of May, so you will have plenty of time to get acquainted with the effects. If you meet someone during this time, you could end up obsessing about them endlessly! Another effect is learning what has lasting value to you and a willingness to discard what does not. This may be a case of being careful what you wish for!

Best of luck to you and remember to always be as honest with yourself as possible!

Aquarius expounds . . .

Pat’s response:

This is a great question, Tarja!

There are almost always astrological markers for the first meeting between two people who eventually become involved in a meaningful relationship, whether that union lasts for one night or a whole lifetime. These markers have a wide range and generally indicate the type of relationship as well. For example, a Venus-Uranus transit in one person’s chart might indicate a head-over-heels reaction that burns out just as quickly. The indicators are not always present in both people’s charts. Powerful indicators in one chart alone are enough to trigger a meeting. That said, it often happens that the meeting takes place or the two people “click” when a transiting planet crosses a shared degree in their charts, either a key planet or a chart point, including the Vertex.

Pluto-Venus transits are usually about sex. If a relationship does come into your life at this time, physical love likely will be the focus, and as Neith writes above, it likely will have an obsessive quality to it. Intense passion can be extremely uncomfortable for many people, and I agree with Neith that it may throw you initially. It likely will be a learning experience for you more than anything else.

Note, however, that Pluto will not be in exact conjunction with your natal Venus until next year. He gets very close this March but then turns retrograde and backs off. In 2010, you’ll have three passes of Pluto on your natal Venus between January and November. Perhaps events in your love life this spring will reflect this “almost,” and that could be a learning experience, too. I couldn’t agree more with Neith that looking into your heart and being honest about what you really want and need would be enormously helpful to you at this time.

Many blessings to you on your search for love, and thanks again for writing!

Got a quick question? Click here to contact Ask Real Astrologers. Reminder: Please tell us where you’re currently located!

Summer Solstice June 20, 2008

mid-summer evening light

The summer solstice is the moment when the Sun enters Cancer. It’s the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere; the longest night in the Southern Hemisphere.

A chart cast for this moment gives us a sense of the tone for the next six months. Because Cancer is ruled by the Moon, the aspects to the Moon in the solstice chart are important. Here, we find the Moon in late Capricorn widely conjunct Jupiter. The Moon is also part of a Yod with Mars in Leo at the apex. Uranus in Pisces is sextile the Moon and is the other planet forming the base of the Yod. The base planets combine to give us innovation and optimism, somewhat at odds with the energetic element in flamboyant Leo. Pursuing creative projects is encouraged, but at the same time, waiting for definitive results before going public is also recommended.

Mars also opposes Neptune, and this aspect underlines the possibility that we will be less than clear about our goals and desires. Neptune can be very high-minded while at the same time being a little weak in the facts department. With Pluto back in Sagittarius and widely trine Mars, the urge to push ahead will be great. Be very careful to double-check all pertinent information before moving ahead with plans.

On the positive side, we have a lovely sextile between Venus, Ceres, and the Sun in Cancer and Saturn in Virgo. Healing, nurturing, and promoting healthy lifestyle changes are all favored and well worth putting energy behind now. Thankfully that rascal Mercury is direct in Gemini, giving mental clarity a boost.

Overall, the path most likely to bring good fortune is to stay with a modest approach rather then trumpeting one’s virtues to all and sundry. There is support for thoughtful, creative ventures benefiting the group as a whole rather than the individual. Being kind is always a good practice and usually generates goodwill. Remember to take time to nurture yourself, too.

Libra loves beautyposted by Neith . . .

Our poll will appear next week . . .

Weekly Forecast June 9: Pluto Back in Sagittarius, Friday the 13th

Twin Geminis Ashley and Mary-Kate OlsenI’m feeling all jumbled up, and I’m getting reports that others are, too. It’s hard to maintain our balance when planetary energies are this chaotic.

The week starts out well enough, with Venus conjunct the Sun in Gemini. We feel the love and want to express it, but with Mercury retrograde, our attempts may be clumsy at best. At worst, they backfire, and the person on the receiving end may hear something quite different from what we intended.

The Moon in nitpicky Virgo won’t help. “You could stand to lose a few pounds, but I love you anyway” and similar backhanded compliments obviously aren’t going to go over very well. Resist the urge to be critical, and instead channel that Virgo attention to detail into getting your work week off to an organized start. You’ll be glad you did, especially if you’re on an emotional roller coaster.

Mercury just passed the halfway point through his retrograde cycle and, as Jeff Kishner noted on Astro-Twitter, it’s getting “suckier” by the day. Speaking of which, Twitter appears to have fixed everything but the flash badge, and we can’t get Astro-Twitter back up without it. I can still see your twitters, though, so go ahead and post. Ironically, Neith and I figured out that Twitter was launched during Mercury retrograde. No wonder they’re experiencing so many technical difficulties.

The Chiron/North Node/Neptune conjunction remains active, and this week it will be triggered by planets in Gemini. Self-image and ego both get a boost on Tuesday and Wednesday, when Venus and then the Sun trine Chiron. On Friday and Saturday, Venus and the Sun trine Neptune. Merging with a romantic partner is a powerful experience, and it will be even more positive if we go in with a good sense of who we are.

Friday is the 13th, of course, which is a little eerie, but only because we’re programmed that way. Friday is named for Venus – Freya in the Norse mythology for which our days of the week are named, and the number 13 was sacred in ancient Earth religions. Somehow, we’ve got to retrain ourselves to think of this day as exceptionally lucky!

Also on Friday, Pluto returns to Sagittarius, where he’ll stay until November 26. This is the biggest news of the week. Most people won’t feel this transit individually, but we’ll see the effects on a social and political level. Pluto’s entry into Capricorn in January brought some bad news, especially in global financial markets, and so we should get a brief reprieve, just in time for summer in the Northern Hemisphere. Neith and I both will be writing more about this on our blogs, Neith.net and The Pisces Chronicles.

Sunday is Father’s Day, and there is an intense buildup of energy as Mars conjoins the lunar South Node, exactly opposite Chiron and Neptune on the North Node. Mars rules cutting implements and surgery, and he also represents the universal masculine. Individually and collectively, it’s time to open up old wounds that are deeply embedded in our psyches and to allow toxic energy to drain out. Healing “father issues” could be a common theme.

I’ll have an in-depth post about this on PiChron in a few days for anyone who’s interested. Meanwhile, remember to breathe, and give yourself all the space you need to heal. If you need extra rest, take it and don’t agonize over what’s not getting done. It’ll still be there next week.

Love and blessings,
Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

Remember, if you need help sorting through challenging life events, Neith and I are here to help. Check out our exclusive forecasts and synastry readings

Image: Happy birthday to Gemini twins Ashley and Mary-Kate Olsen, who celebrate their 22nd birthday this Friday.