Venus is moving right into a square with Mars.
Here's what to watch for:
* In Hellenistic astrology, we say that Mars is in the superior position within this square. Mars is said to be "overcoming" Venus.
* However, even as Mars overcomes Venus right now, Venus is exalted, and casts her rays backward in the order of signs to Mars, who is struck by these benefic rays.
* When Mars overtakes Venus it is a bit like a man making an aggressive attempt to pick up a woman in a public place. Let's say the guy is a jerk and the woman is a class act. In the situation depicted by the planets right now, he might succeed at dominating, intimidating, bullying, or making the woman feel bad somehow, but in the process, he may also be improved as a person because he happened to have done all of this to a very lovely, compassionate, and genuine person who not only puts him in his place but does so in a way that truly elevates him or helps him grow up a little.
* Let's look at it from another angle. There is a peaceful protest taking place (Venus exalted in Pisces square to Mars). A section of protestors (Mars) wants to make the demonstration about something aggressive, maybe even violent. Perhaps they succeed in destroying some property, but overall the encounter they have with the rest of the crowd is transformative.
* Here's another one. Venus wants to do something good, something beautiful, something peaceful, something friendly...but let's say that Mars detects some aura of vanity, superficiality, or arrogance...Mars can't help but point it out right now...but maybe due to his diligence, something unexpectedly good, maybe even peaceful comes out of it. Shocked, Mars has won, but thanks in large part to the goodness and concessions of Venus...oh Mars and Venus, you're always locking legs under the evening table, even when it appears like you're in a slap fight in the public square.
* More. Mars is grinding on and making a scene about his mission. He's maybe attacking something sacred, holy, and revered...but right as he's in the middle of making his attack, the very holy thing he's attacking starts spitting out gold coins, straight into his pockets. He's not sure if he should keep the attack up..."Will it stop raining gold coins if I stop attacking?"
* So there is some sexual, creative, and diplomatic tension between these two. They are both in Jupiter's sign so they both "believe" what they're doing and why they're tangling right now.
* Venus is also helped by Mercury, who is in its fall and detriment simultaneously right now. How can you be mad at, or continue fighting logically with someone who is literally making things up as they go? How can you argue someone out of a position, using reason, when they didn't use reason themselves to get into the position in the first place? For example, if I try to use "reason" to get my two-year-old to take her nap, she literally invents her own logic, stories, and reality that is almost impossible to respond to using logic or reason. It's brilliant and charming and impossible to fight against. :) Can we entertain the idea that so much of our adult fighting also boils down to irrational battles of will, and not a whole lot else?
* So anyway, watch for Mars and Venus. Mars has the upper hand, but he's also getting smacked around by the beneficence of Venus, in the process!
Prayer: Show us the unexpected good fortune in the midst of our fights. Then remind us that this....this is happening all the time.
The fiery Moon in Sagittarius is making a trine to Uranus today and a simultaneous antiscia with Saturn. Then, this evening, Venus enters the sign of her exaltation, in Pisces.
* The Moon trine to Uranus creates an aura of excitability and charisma today. The Moon in the Jupiter ruled sign of Sagittarius is faithful, ambitious, competitive, and optimistic, and Uranus in Aries is daring, forward-thinking, inventive, fast, and rebellious. When the two get together by a trine they mutually stimulate one another to create a combustive and creative environment today.
* However, just as the Moon is making its trine to Uranus it is also moving into a subtle or secretive conjunction (called an antiscia) with Saturn. Whatever we are trying to move forward with today we should watch for even the subtlest hints of dogma, pride, zealousness, forcefulness, or rigidity.
* The Moon and Saturn bring a heavier and more serious mood to the Moon/Uranus trine. Because the Moon is in a disseminating or waning sextile with the Sun right now, there is an opportunity to put wisdom gained into useful action. Think about a combination of greater maturity and hard-earned wisdom meeting inventive new ways of putting this wisdom into practice.
* If we are proposing or thinking of something brand new right now and it has any secret hints of a self-serving agenda, we should be careful and hold back from acting impulsively. Let things take their own course. Remember, we have a very powerful solar eclipse coming next week that will likely continue to clarify the best path forward!
* Finally, this evening Venus enters her exaltation in Pisces. Look at the Pisces-ruled house of your birth chart by whole sign houses to see what house topics are going to become important in the weeks ahead.
* Venus entering her exaltation indicates that all of the Venusian themes will become very strong in the weeks to come, especially as Venus is making her first appearance as the evening star in the coming weeks. Think: beauty, love, romance, friendship, gifts, blessings, allies, sensuality, desire, and artfulness on the rise.
* Venus in Pisces will also be connecting with Jupiter during the weeks to come, by a trine, which means we are entering a period overall when the benefic planets are on the rise. This means growth, confirmation, support, faith, and harmony are on the way. However, these exact same qualities can easily play into our most fantastic delusions. We should continually come back to the question, "Why do I want or need this, really?" As well as, "Are their greater costs associated with the temporary satisfaction of this desire?"
* Don't be surprised to see Venus related things appearing very strongly over the weekend, as any time a planet enters a new sign/house it usually makes a noticeable splash right away! It's a great time to train your astrological senses!
Prayer: Make our sense of progress the same as your sense of love. Make our passion so big that it also becomes small and steady. Teach us to be attracted to only those things that draw us closer to your peace and love.
The Moon is in Gemini today, void of course until late tonight. Meanwhile, Venus in Pisces is square to Saturn in Sagittarius. Let’s take a closer look at this aspect and see how it might be reflected in our lives right now.
While Venus in Pisces represents a kind of unbounded beauty, Saturn in Sagittarius represents the wisdom of mortality, age, and limitations. The result might be that we’re learning how to harness, control, or set limits to various forms of indulgence that we tend to participate in without appropriate boundaries. Drinking, eating, spending, love making, daydreaming…are we forgetting that our bodies won’t last forever? Are we forgetting that the choices we make will determine the way we die?
The demands of Saturn in Sagittarius often revolve around the implementation of a more rigorous belief system or spiritual practice, and yet with Venus in Pisces we have to ask ourselves how the experience of beauty, art, imagination, poetry, and mystery or paradox will be part of the regiment.
Right now we might be trying to discover a way to let the dream river continue carrying us along while simultaneously building something like a boat and a paddle to help us stay dry and maintain a little more control and focus along the way.
The Venus/Saturn combination can also reflect in some of the following images:
* Ageing wine
* The holy book, alongside the glowing mystery
* A guru wearing iridescent sneakers, gives a talk on fashion
* A drunken rant unintentionally becomes an eloquent treatise
* The disciple is drawn away from his duties, finds the bliss of guilt
Saturn/Venus can also help us to fall in love with a future image of ourselves…the image of what time, dedication, hard work, and study might do for us if we keep with something. Like a young piano student seeing a master play and then setting out with renewed inspiration to become her own master. On the other hand, we might envision a classical musician walking along the street in some urban environment only to stumble into a jazz club…the freedom, the smoke, the improvisation, the dark saturation of soul and colors and depth…the smoke and mirrors, the hip tease and alleyway sidetracks….Venus may inspire a new style within the classical musician just as fluidly as the two fish moving in their circles. Or what about the math professor who breaks his own unbreakable code… accidentally finds god at the bottom of the wine bottle and under the sheets with some pagan priestess from the English department. Wakes up interested in quantum mechanics and dildos.
All fun things to consider.
Also worth mentioning…any new ideas or commitments to being ourselves at all costs and against the grain are especially strong today as Mercury is cazimi (at the heart of the Sun) in the sign of Aquarius. Where are we being called to be more of a rebel?Where are we being asked to care less about what others think of us? Listen up because with Mercury at the heart of the Sun we’ll likely find a few empowering messages coming through the wires.
Prayer: Beauty and Mastery…bliss and discipline…I’ll drink to that
Image by courtesy of Doug J Schulte, at creative commons image licensing
The Moon is void of course in Taurus for the first half of the day and will move into Gemini by this evening. Meanwhile Venus has moved into her exaltation in the sign of Pisces. Let’s take a closer look at the meaning of this placement, as well as what we might expect from Venus in the upcoming weeks.
Let’s start with the constellation image of the two fish. One is pointed upward and eastward, the other downward and westward. One toward matter, body, soul, earth, depth, and death, and the other toward spirit, mind, heaven, ascension, and transcendence. Like the yin and the yang symbols of Taoism, the two fish bring to mind the mystery of the opposites and their eternal movements…”the way that can be named is not the way.”
The Piscean mythos also brings to mind the great mother and her heroic son. In this myth the great mother is thought to represent the primordial home of the soul, the womb, matter, death, and all the chaotic forces of nature and the instinctual body. The great mother is both “mother earth” and also “Kali” or the natural forces of destruction and chaos. From these mother images (and others) the hero son is born, and his task becomes the overcoming, transcending, or separating of himself from the clutches of matter, mother, and death. Sometimes this is imaged as the spiritual aspirant whose devotional practices aim toward liberation from rebirth on the material plane, and other times its about the fast burning star who temporarily blesses humanity with his light and life. Sometimes its the tragic son who exists in a perpetual state of torment because of the possession of his psyche by the irrational forces of the mother…he is the rock star, addict, moody genius, and suicidal temperament..face toward the heavens while being pulled down into the sea. He is the anguished poet, lucid dreamer, mystic, and saint. But wherever he goes, however noble his drive to transcendence, he remains “fish tail tied to the other” (as Liz Greene might say). The saint attracts the brutality of his martyrdom. The sinner attracts the holy light…the numinous crack in the clouds of his despair. The ascetic tortures the body to achieve bliss. The bliss feeds on the bones and washes life out to sea again.
The extent to which this Piscean mythos dominates our imagination is profound. Perhaps it’s because we are supposedly coming out of the Christian-centric, “age of Pisces,” or perhaps it’s because of the impact of the Axial age’s great fishy thinkers (Socrates, the Buddha, Lao Tzu, Heraclitus, etc), but look around and you will see people equating the very definition of what it means to be either spiritual, mystical, OR religious with this Piscean myth and all its drama.
What are the consequences of viewing spirituality through this exclusive lens? The first and most obvious is that it pits the heroism of transcendence, evolution, salvation, or redemption against the instinctual body, the lower self, the ego, or whatever other words we end up using to describe the other fish. Even within our talk about the need to transcend the opposites, marry them together, etc, we’ve already conceived of “the opposites” as both a fundamental “reality,” or a problem to be solved, a synthesis or union to be achieved (which means we’re already in the grip of one of the two fish). Even if we say it’s already here you just have to learn how to see it…we are still in the grip of the Piscean mythos. A fish with its tailed tied to the other…round and round…
Heraclitus (a contemporary of Lao Tzu) once wrote, “Gods live past our meager death. We die past their ceaseless living.” He also wrote, “The soul is undiscovered, though explored forever to a depth beyond report.” The fragmented poetry of the Tao Te Ching, along with zen koans, riddles, and haikus are also wonderful examples of the Piscean paradox. But so too, and perhaps even more powerfully, the past 2,000 years of romantic art, poetry, film, fiction, and fantasy. The more concretely we take the Piscean reality of the opposites and its need for a solution as a religious or metaphysical baseline, the more narrowly we imagine what it means to be either spiritual, mystical, or religious. Not every god cares for or is nearly as obsessed by the all encompassing perception of opposites (nor the resulting ‘way of the tao’) because not every god appears in the image of a fish with its tail bound to the other!
The all consuming nature of the Piscean mythos, in other words, is part of the illusory effect of Pisces. It’s part of the intoxication. Part of the haze and fog. As long as we entertain it we will be drawn into the realms of poetry and paradox or the striving for transcendence from a vicious cycle. Meanwhile the other gods simply see two fish swimming in their mysterious circle, caught in the lights of their circular pool…sometimes its really not more complicated than that: an entire spiritual paradigm, an entire history of several thousand years, like a group of people gathered around a wishing pool, hypnotized by two strange fishing chasing each other’s tails…
I don’t mean to demystify Pisces…as long as we stay near the Piscean wishing pool, everything I’ve just said can swim right back into the circle…and maybe this is why Venus love Pisces so much. Maybe this is why Venus is exalted in Pisces? Because what can be ugly about something that flows ceaselessly beyond itself? What is more alluring than the beauty of the two fish and their wishing pool watchers? Venus here is in the land of mystery and dark beauty. She is awash in the revel and pain of life alike…the allure of the ten thousand things. Of course Aphrodite loves the two fish and the wishing pool. Of course she does. She is the veiled goddess who was born of the sea. The secret lover of malefic Mars, and the iridescent mother of Eros; who became the lover of Psyche (another name for soul).
Many astrologers over time have commented that exaltation can also be a signature of excess, pride, or even idolatry. Though the placement of a planet in the sign of its exaltation is generally thought to greatly enhance the planets ability to “act,” exaltation can also run the risk of inflation. All this being said, here are a few things to watch for over the coming weeks with Venus in Pisces. In the next few days we’ll also look at some important aspects from Venus in Pisces to the other planets (first among them a square to Saturn!).
* An ease or grace in style, expression, communication, and relationship..an other worldly feeling of bliss and mystery
* An appreciation for fragmented poetry or wisdom
* A desire to transcend some cycle, habit, or pattern
* A fugue state…entering into a mediumistic flow
* A divine discontent
* An opening of the heart and emotional body to feel all things caught in their loops…to suffer along with…the desire to heal or help
* Victims and redeemers…
* Intoxication and altered states
These are just a few to get the imagination turning in circles, like the fish themselves…
Prayer: gathered near the wishing pool, watching the two fish swim their circles…help us to be here without getting lost here.
Image by courtesy of pinehurst, at creative commons image licensing
The void of course Moon in Aries will change over to exalted Taurus in the next few hours, where it will then make its first quarter aspect by tonight. Meanwhile Mercury retrograde will be making a sextile to Uranus in Aries this week, and Venus will change positions into Pisces (the sign of its exaltation). We’ll explore these subjects as the week progresses, but for today let’s look at the first quarter Moon.
With the Sun in Aquarius we’re currently experiencing all the qualities of the outsider and the revolutionizer. The Sun in Aquarius is about those unique experiences that individuate us while at the same time dissociate us from the status-quo. It’s about that awkward but magical process of becoming more uniquely ourselves while at the same time suffering the stigmas of differentiation from the pack. What is it about ourselves that is currently changing or demanding creative revision or revolution? In what areas of our lives are we suddenly feeling like a stranger..suddenly feeling like we’re on the edges or periphery…out in the cold even? It’s critical that we each learn how to step away from the warmth of the places where we fit in, where we have our place and people know our name. Sometimes this happens in small ways…like going to a movie with friends and walking away deeply disturbed or touched by new ideas..something churning inside, while your friends are saying things like, “What should we eat..man that was just a weird movie.” Other times it happens in gigantic ways…some major twist or turn of events in your life has you suddenly feeling like a stranger..hovering 20 feet above every interaction you find yourself in…changed to the core but not yet grounded.
Now, as the Moon’s light has been waxing since the New Moon, gaining power and momentum, a specific theme has been building in relationship to this “outsider” motif. Our clue as to what this theme entails and what’s at stake is constellated by the image of the Bull, Taurus. In what ways are we trying to make important changes while some element of our lives or relationships or personalities are clinging to something overly simple, or something stubbornly beautiful? Where is there a heavy footed bull within us saying, “That’s too much work right now. That’s not very peaceful, or easy.” Somewhere in our lives a rebel is trying to convince the cows to get off their asses but the cows are stubbornly chewing their cud, convinced life is no more complex than apple pie, cowboys, and antique furniture shops. There might even be a storm brewing, but the rebel looks a little strange, not so easy or peaceful, not so stable or simple, and so the cows’ distrust wins out, “We’re not going anywhere, you weirdo. Let’s keep this nice and easy.” Soon the cow will get rained on of course, but even then it’s more likely that the cow will keep the explanation simple, rather than turning to the rebel to say, “Sorry I should have taken you seriously.”
On the other hand, we can reverse the flow in the opposite direction. Where is there a rebel within us who needs to sit down and smell the roses? An angsty outsider who needs a week on the farm? A punk rocker who needs to clean off the glitzy makeup in the river and get back to the simple truths: naked body and skin, nowhere to go and nothing to prove, a dog following you home. Sometimes the rebel within us needs to reconcile with the fact that no amount of individuating will get a person back to the paradise garden. In fact, the garden is always all around us, once we stop making things so complicated…just root down, shut up, and settle in son.
There are always people who will then ask the question, “So how do we achieve a balance between these two signs?” But this question favors one of the two signs, secretly. The issue of balance, for example, in the case of Taurus and Aquarius is probably closer to Taurus than it is to Aquarius. Taurus is a Venus ruled sign, and Taurus likes harmony, ease, and grace. Taurus finds a sense of control and power in these things, and so even though the question of balance seems neutral, it favors Taurus more than Aquarius, whose ruling planets (Uranus and Saturn) are more about the dynamism between structures and their sudden breakdowns or revolutions. We just have to imagine for a few moments that balance isn’t objective. Some people think of balance as a kind of universal equalizer…a fairness that all beings and all things should naturally crave or that everything inherently desires…but the truth is that balance and fairness aren’t necessarily fair, nor are they always desirable. Sometimes calling for balance is like an ultra conservative group strategically requesting that a group of protesters work things out over tea and crumpets rather than marching and demonstrating on the streets.
So let’s forget about balance between the two signs for now, and instead lets change the question a little. “How do we negotiate these very different forces?” Well, there you go again. Negotiation is so Venusian, isn’t it? What is it within us that needs everything to get along all the time? The voice asking these questions and the voice responding to these questions are a lot like Aquarius and Taurus right now. The point isn’t to solve anything as much as it is to simply be aware of what the nature of these archetypes are about right now.
Sometimes its not about the harmonizing or balancing, and it’s not necessarily about the conflict or who wins, either. There is a “betweenness,” the both/and of the twilight tiger. With awareness of these dynamics, their eternal faces, their irreconcilable animal stand offs, their secret strategies and complaints about each other, we might come to see that each situation we face requires our careful attention and most particular participation. To what side of the conflict are we called right now? To what end? Is harmony a possibility or just the fearful pacification of a divine fight? What is the choice of the moment, regardless of whether or not it comes out equal for both sides?
“Situational hermeneutics,” is the phrase James Hillman liked to use, and it requires that we stop seeing opposites as abstract problems that need solving or balancing from the get-go. To think of the opposites as problems that need solving we are already expressing a form of bias…namely the bias of seeing opposites as problems. Like the Bull who tends to see anything uncomfortable as a problem to be pacified or denied…or like the divine rebel who sees anything pacifying as inherently controlling…we can’t change the gods, nor can we change the nature of their relationships with each other. Instead, we can learn how to relate to the gods and we can learn the secret locations of their individual temples and their preferred sacrifices. We can learn which temple of which god is the correct temple of the moment, considering who we are, and what is moving in our souls. This so that bulls and water-bearers alike might become real psychic presences in our lives, rather than just the abstract representations of our most unimaginative problems.
Prayer: help us to find the secret temples and make the appropriate offerings
Image by courtesy of Stuart Anthony, at creative commons image licensing
ENJOY READING THESE DAILY FORECASTS?
Adam Elenbaas is a professional astrologer and the founder of the Nightlight Astrology School. Adam holds an MA and MFA in English and Creative Writing and is one of the founding writers at RealitySandwich. To learn more about Adam, click here.