We are just on the edge of Venus turning retrograde on Saturday afternoon.
Here are some things to think about:
* As Venus turns retrograde we will be moving into the dark Moon phase, suggesting that something is ready to be released or that decomposition is reaching its final and deepest stages. You may notice that you are feeling out of synch, or that someone or something has lost its glitter or attractiveness. It's possible that any remaining hope we have that something can or should change will need to be let go of. While this may sound bleak, it's also possible that we are ready to take the wisdom gathered from a long process or cycle, which is now coming to its conclusion. Those things we've "known all along," we are now ready to act on or embody, as denial is no longer a possibility.
* With all of this may come a new commitment to the future, and an eagerness to put the lessons we've been learning to use. This we are likely to see as soon as October 8th, when the New Moon in Libra (ruled by Venus retrograde), begins a new cycle of activity reflecting the changes Venus is asking us to make.
* Along with all of the above, Venus in Scorpio will ask for a more profound, if not confrontational, level of honesty from us. It may be a relief to say, "This is what I want," or "this isn't at all what I desire." Or, "this is what I find attractive," or "I really do not find any value or beauty in this."
* Just after Venus turns retrograde, and just after the New Moon, on October 10th Venus will square Mars. The last time it did so was around September 10th, which means a time of creative, sexual, or relational tension (for better or worse) will be returning quickly into Venus' retrograde cycle.
* The square between Venus and Mars will also be taking place just as the New Moon is first appearing in the sky, in its fall, in Scorpio. The conflict and tension between the masculine and the feminine is going to be a very powerful part of the cycle ahead, both collectively and personally, both inside of us and within our relationships. While Venus is in the superior square to Mars, exerting power over Mars, she is also in her exile, weakened to some extent, in Mars' home sign. This should make for quite a tangly situation. In traditional terms, Venus is going to be struck by a ray from Mars but will then "overcome" Mars. It's likely that conflicts of interest, taste, value, and desire in relationships are going to be on the table, up for review, heated, and with both planets in fixed signs, "unyielding," and yet it is from exactly these kinds of standoffs that creativity, innovation, healing, understanding, and transformation may take place. Compromise is a necessary part of life, and for as principled as we may be, or for as much pride as we may take in our principles, compromise isn't always about the absence of a principle but rather it is a principle of its own. We should consider the radical position of compromise in the weeks ahead, imagining a rare alchemy is at hand, and see what happens when we get curious about that which is opposing us.
* It only takes a moment. Zoom out. See that which is opposing or challenging you as bigger than a person, or an idea, and instead see everything opposing you as the apparent instruments of a larger voice, a strange music, a flowing grace, and a mysterious mercy. Open your heart, and you will find that there is more here than meets the eye. Compromise comes from this patient, watchful, discerning and listening space.
Prayer: Make us lovers and listeners of your song.
Venus is slowing down and will turn retrograde in the sign of Scorpio on October 6th. It will then be retrograde for the next 40 days until turning direct again in the middle of November.
Here's what to watch for:
* A change of style, image, or appearance
* Ill-timed or crafted changes of style, image, or appearance
* Value conflicts in relationships
* A change of taste
* Jealousy, betrayal, competition, and underhandedness in relationships
* A loss of mental or emotional stability
* The feminine and the warrior
* Issues or challenges related to sexuality, sexual identity, one's sexual past or relationship history
* The deterioration of a relationship, contract, friendship, or allegiance
* Secrets or unconscious material coming to the surface
* An ounce of truth weighed as though it is a mountain
* A mountain of truth hidden as though it is an ounce
* Secrets and the unconscious within our relationships
* Desire and passion and the healthy or unhealthy role they play in our relationships
* Something "clean" becoming dirty, ugly, tainted, infected, etc.
* Possessiveness, fear, obsession
* Dark art, the importance of the underworld in literature, art, film, religion, etc.
* Reaping what's been sown in relationships
* Making external changes to something that you believe will better reflect the inner substance of something
* Vindictiveness or revenge
* Emotional healing within relationships
* Sensitive or charged issues in friendships
* Insatiable desires or longings that burn
Remember, Venus was traditionally called "phosphorus," or "self-illumined," and although we can relate Venus to may external features of personal or social beauty, the real spiritual symbolism of Venus has to do with the same self-illumined quality of our spirit/soul, which, when are in touch with, brings harmony to the way we live our lives. So the adornments of Venus, the jewels, flowers, and fragrant oils, are the natural overflow of the goddess who is self-illumined.
Similarly, when we are decorating a home altar with flowers and fragrances, we do so in order to connect with the spirit of divinity. Not surprisingly, Venus was traditionally associated with spiritual piety, temple acolytes, and the adornments of altars. Sometimes we go searching for a makeover in some area of our life, thinking that an external change will make all of the difference, but the truth is that changing the flowers on the altar, without any interest in the divine source we are all connected to, is like dressing up a dead body and pretending it's alive again. The real gift of this retrograde period is the opportunity we each have to remember and return to soulfulness, to the reality of the self-illumined one within, and by extension our eternal, loving relationship with the self-illumined source of all beings. When we make this the priority, the makeovers we most need in the physical world, whether it's our relationships, website, or wardrobe, become natural again.
Prayer: Be our most personal makeover. Over and over again.
What a week of astrological transits we have in front of us...
Here's what to watch for:
* Over the next week + the Sun will oppose Jupiter, square Pluto, and conjoin Uranus.
* Over the next week Saturn will station and turn retrograde
* In a little over a week Venus will station and turn direct
* In the next week Venus will exactly square Saturn and then station and slowly turn direct while Saturn is doing the same thing, making for a kind of ongoing standoff between the two planets all month.
* It's first quarter Moon today.
* In the next week Mercury will station and turn retrograde.
* In the next week we'll have a full moon activating the t-square.
WHAAAA! That's a lot to take in. Here are some big themes to watch for...
* As the Sun enters the t-square you may feel inspired, bold, courageous, and determined. Taking actions, entering the fray, and pushing your agenda forward may come naturally. However, whatever the Sun's agenda might represent, it's sure to be met with challenges from people who make the rules, bend the rules, or simply don't like your energy, charisma, or gusto. Challenges to our authority and determination are always a call to reflect a little more before we react, strategize rather than bulldoze our way through, and to check in and understand our own personal motivations.
* In a mundane sense, we are likely to see heads of state, leaders, people in power, or people with the power to judge or decide things entering into a time of turmoil, change, and challenge. It's a time where we might see heroes emerging to challenge the unfairness or corruption of something, as well as the continued attempts by people in power to bully and dominate as a way of advancing their agendas. More on this in the days to come!
* Venus and Saturn stationing and entering into a month long stand-off, alongside of a Mercury retrograde, has the look and feel of a diplomatic or relational standoff. In both our personal lives and the political world, watch as we encounter all manner of obstructions to harmony. But for a more detailed analysis of Venus/Saturn check out yesterday's horoscope here (http://www.nightlightastrology.com/…/a-long-venussaturn-squ…).
* Mercury's upcoming retrograde will also eventually conclude with Mercury stationing to turn direct in a conjunction with Uranus as the morning star. Mercury is about to delve into the underworld only to eventually emerge bright, strong, and with a groundbreaking announcement, piece of information, idea, epiphany, invention, or breakthrough to share with you and with the world. In the meantime, as Mercury stations in the next week we should expect to see the typical Mercury station themes: breakdowns, blips, and Freudian slips, delays, distortions, and misunderstandings, specifically in communication or travel or transit or information, or synchronistic events, conversations, communication, information and ideas. Mercury's station to retrograde also brings the beginning of an inner period of revision, recollection, and transformation, usually in terms of our mind, thoughts, and patterns of communication or organization, etc.
* Today the first quarter Moon points to a moment of tension, creative conflict, and energetic breakthrough. First quarter Moons usually give us a very good sense of what themes and issues, what people and conversations, which themes, struggles, lessons, and joys will be pronounced for the rest of the cycle, or at least through the Full Moon. This is true for us personally as well as in relationship to things happening in the collective.
Prayer: Teach us to feel the weight and wisdom of history, but let us stay as ethereal as the cycles of the planets and their ever-dancing lights.
The Moon is void of course this morning in Gemini, about to enter her rulership in Cancer in a few hours. Meanwhile Venus is stationing and will turn direct tomorrow after a long 40+ days retrograde.
Traditionally Venus turning direct was an auspicious symbol, akin to something like the image of a man or woman rising out of bed for the first time after a fever passed through. Any planet turning direct usually signifies the return of its power, a change of circumstances for the better, or the restoration or return of something lost, delayed, blocked, or set back. For example, in my own birth chart, Venus is in the 4th house in the sign of Leo. This Venus retrograde has thus been taking place for me in the same house and sign Venus was in when I was born. Just as Venus turned retrograde we experienced a month long delay and setback in the process of purchasing our first home. Just as Venus was reaching her station point this past week, ready to turn direct again, my wife and I finally closed on the house and are now finishing our move-in process. The retrograde period, on one level, brought up for me an old struggle with feeling displaced from home...which is now resolving itself as Venus turns direct.
Venus may similar signify periods of revision, going into the past, delays, setbacks, or road blocks with regard to whatever Venus signifies naturally in a person's birth chart...but more generally to what Venus signifies naturally: love, romance, self esteem, valuables, relationships, sex, lifestyle, aesthetics, or personal style or image.
As Venus turns direct, look at your life and see if you can spot anything that has recently taken a turn for the better after a long period of setback, delay, introspection, or revision..dating back to roughly the end of July, but perhaps as early as late June. Also feel free to share your Venus RX experiences in the comment box!
Prayer: Born on the waves, goddess of love, now rising as the morning star, thank you!
The Moon is in Aquarius today, moving toward a sextile of Uranus in Aries and then a square of Saturn in Scorpio by tonight. Meanwhile Mercury conjoins the north node of the Moon in Libra today and tomorrow, and Venus retrograde and Mars are conjoining in Leo.
Something that was lost, delayed, set back, avoided, or prolonged may now be coming to resolution. A deal is made, a bargain struck, an arrangement agreed upon, terms come to, and affection or trust restored.
The Mercury north node conjunction, with ruler Venus conjoining Mars in her retrograde, gives us an image of return or reunion, conclusion or to some extent a happy ending.
Simultaneously we have to be careful of opportunism, using each other, or taking advantage of a situation. Rarely does having an agenda, especially a secret one, turn out well in the end. The seeds of secret manipulation come out in the fruit. We can't plant something and not expect its true nature to eventually be seen and understood.
Similarly in love, things may be coming to the surface right now that have been hidden for some time. The past month or so we may have already seen things sprouting up from secret sources. Secrecy and betrayal often go hand in hand, and so right now it might be a time of good faith efforts, honesty, and trying to restore or repair something that's been hurt by a lack of clarity or integrity.
Remember that it takes a LONG time to repair the hurts and betrayals we wound each other with. Even though we like to think that forgiveness is instant, it's not. Forgiveness and time are similar processes...processes that unfortunately get quickened or overly heated by impatient ideas about detachment, bliss, grace, and lightning strikes of redemption. We don't live in a romantic comedy film where the resolution is a guaranteed part of each 100 minute experience. Similarly, in our everyday conversations the things we say and the words we exchange take on residual meaning and presence...they live beyond our snappy comebacks, quick responses, and brush it off care free attitudes. Our lives are not sitcoms, and sarcasm, cynicism, and witticisms are often the early signs of spiritual dimensia.
Remembering what we've said, how we've treated one another, and the effects of our actions over time...and then creating new actions from the heart that might address, redress, and harmonize what's been lost or broken...this is the work of creation...the word from the beginning that is new again in each moment.
Earlier this week I worked with the I Ching in one of my sessions and hexagram 18 came up: Remedying. The word "Remedy," an English translation of the original Chinese, means something like "counteracting an evil," or "re-doing what went wrong."
The I Ching's text says, "Remedying. Sublimely prosperous and smooth. Favorable to cross great waters. Before the starting point, three days. After the starting point, three days."
What I love about this particular I Ching hexagram is that the picture of trying to repair something is compared to a great undertaking. An epic adventure. A simple, "I'm sorry," doesn't quite do it. Because a flippant I'm sorry isn't about crossing the great waters. Not unless saying those words is that tremendously difficult anyway! Instead the I Ching pictures the process of restoration like a massive home improvement project.
The other piece of advice the I Ching gives us when restoring things is to be patient. Three days before, three days after. As we know from the story of Jesus' death and resurrection, it was three days. Each month the new moon doesn't begin showing itself until approximately three days have passed. Each solstice and equinox, the transition of light at each cardinal moment takes roughly three days. Transitions carry their own requirements, and so does healing something that's been damaged. It is a heroic undertaking to course correct and we can't expect that just because we want to change something, just because we want to heal, or just because we're no longer in denial, that the success will be instant or without serious labors of heart and soul. The desire to heal isn't always the healing itself. Just like a child's impatient desire to be let out of his time out doesn't reflect remorse.
Three days before, three days after.
All summer I've been watching a wound on my foot slowly take its course of healing. The wound has been a sign of many things in my life taking their gentle, slow time of healing right now. Three days before, three days after.
A good lesson for all of us during this Venus retrograde.
Prayer: Remedying. Sublimely prosperous and smooth. Favorable to cross great waters. Before the starting point, three days. After the starting point, three days.
The waxing gibbous moon is nearly full and in the sign of Aquarius today, applying to oppositions of Mars and Venus in Leo by tonight.
Meanwhile, Venus and Mars are coming together right now in the sky by way of Venus' retrograde in Leo. The Sun and Jupiter are just separating from a conjunction, and Mercury is just separating from his sextile to Saturn and will be shortly entering Libra where he will eventually make his next retrograde later next month.
So what does it mean when Venus and Mars are coming together in the sky, but it's by way of one planet moving backward while the other is moving forward. Here are some images to watch for:
* She's going back to him...
* It's happening again...
* She's dating the same guy, just a different face and name
* They keep breaking up and getting back together
* They are back tracking
* Something is being repaired or restored, faith, love, hope
* I've changed my mind about that, bring it back please
* After a long separation, return
* Returning home
* Okay, I'm good, let's go
* He's chasing, she's finally giving in
* She is a he and he is a she
* Identity/gender/sexual confusion, flip flopping, reversals
* They both want it
* Two proud people at odds finally sit down for a mutually beneficial meeting
* Finally, some agreement
* Animals and mating patterns
* A new style, taste, or preference settling in
* Forbidden love, betrayal of the present for something in the past
* Lovers, death, and heartache in the workplace
* Romeo and Juliet tragedies of the heart
* The dramatic or theatrical love story
* Wishing for something no longer here or past its time
* Desire, appetite, and lust creating difficult situations
* Being drawn toward something we know will be our downfall
* Loyalty, oaths, pride, and dignity in relationships
As we reach full Moon over the weekend these themes will be amplified and will play out along with the Virgo/Pisces themes. We'll take a look at those over the weekend. For today, as the Moon approaches an opposition to Mars in Leo, take notice of emotional, familial, ancestral, conflicts. Conflicts of love, romance, lifestyle, taste, and appearance. Conflicts regarding environmental factors or differing ideals. Conflicts between siblings and/or siblings and parents. And the general conflict or battle between opposing wills or egos. Whenever the Moon opposes Mars there is generally a kind of hostility or tension in the air that we have to be very careful with.
Prayer: When love is in the air, beware. Danger and love, hand in hand. Keeping love real, and danger calm.
The Moon is in Capricorn today, about to square Uranus in Aries, and then moving eventually into a trine of Mercury and sextile of Saturn by tonight.
Meanwhile today Mercury's exact sextile to Saturn and the Sun is exactly conjunct Jupiter...
What to watch for:
* Contracts, negotiations, bonds, integrity (Mercury/Saturn)
* Keeping one's word, doubt, and trust (Mercury/Saturn)
* Reliable versus unreliable sources or data (Mercury/Saturn)
* Fear mongering, worried or paranoid thinking (Mercury/Saturn)
* The wisdom of the old, experienced (Mercury/Saturn)
* Commitments, duty, organization, hard work, discipline, mental toughness (Mercury/Saturn)
* Youthful diligence meets old age and life experience (Mercury in Virgo/Saturn in Scorpio)
* Shocking, disturbing, enlightening, or unpredictable news or events related to family, home, living situation, ancestors, grandparents, elders, bosses, authority figures, or the work place (Moon in Capricorn square Uranus in Aries)
* Confidence, wisdom, forward movement, expansion, youthful exuberance (Sun/Jupiter)
* The ruler and his messenger arranging their affairs and setting the world in order (Sun/Jupiter with ruler Mercury in sextile to Saturn)
* The defense or protection against loss through meticulous sorting, faith, and optimism (Jupiter/Sun with Mercury/Saturn)
Turning our eyes now to Venus retrograde for a closing thought. Last night my wife and I watched the documentary film called "Iris," about the life of the legendary fashion icon Iris Apfel. As Venus stationed to turn retrograde in the first degree of Virgo this summer (Iris was a Virgo Sun), the film was released on DVD. One of the reasons I loved it, other than the fact that I love documentaries in general, was that Iris was all for style but in some ways against our normal conceptions "pretty" or "beautiful." She was against plastic surgery, often talked about how she wasn't pretty but stylish, and she was often called "the rare bird" of fashion. If you want a really fun Venus RX study, I would highly recommend you check this one out. Iris' entire MO is very Venus retrograde...and in fact right now Venus retrograde is moving across Iris' natal Mars in Leo!
Prayer: Doing what we do best, consistently, with integrity, is where and when our style is most seen and appreciated by the world
The Moon is in her fall in Scorpio today, applying to square Venus retrograde in Leo by later this afternoon, and leaving the via combusta shortly. Meanwhile the Sun is square to Saturn today.
With Venus having gone through a long square to Saturn, and now the Sun square to Saturn, the subjects of betrayal, oaths, broken promises, secrets, and honesty have all been major issues over the summer months. We unfortunately live in a day and age where the spiritual phrase, "don't have any expectations," too frequently becomes an excuse for oath or promise breaking, betrayal, and damaging secrecy in relationships. We respond to every disappointment by too quickly telling ourselves it's our expectations and idealism that's to blame, rather than allowing ourselves to feel hurt or betrayed by someone breaking their word or commitment to us.
Similarly, we justify all kinds of selfishness in the name of things like individuation or "spiritual growth and development." We convince ourselves that our broken promises and the compromise of our word to others is justified because we imagine that it was angels intervening, rather than our integrity collapsing.
Healthy confrontation and sharing the truth with each other becomes impossible in a day and age when indeterminate free will and individual growth are not only the gold standards but also the unspoken religious dogma.
It's too easy to take someone's failures, or our own, and try to shake silver out of the pant pockets. We reference childhood, we talk about acceptance, we flip perceptions until flaws looks like hip, surrealist paintings that we can't possibly be upset about (it's too ironic or beyond morality!). Or worse, we talk about how this hurt we feel, this betrayal or disappointment, is actually of our own making...we CG Jung our way into seeing how this disappointment is really just "my own stuff talking."
Another popular approach to dealing with disappointments is to talk about the need to do healing work on ourselves. We heal our relationships, we really work to let things go (that's what we say), we heal our ancestral lines, and then we talk about all of our healing accomplishments for several years whenever the basic painful events or stories come up again. "I've already DONE that work," we proudly say, as though we've won some kind of secret martial arts competition that most others simply weren't invited to attend.
In all of this we also frequently say that to experience disappointment with someone else's actions, to be hurt, or to hold each other to agreed upon standards, oaths, promises, or codes of conduct in relationships, is to "judge" each other.
Who is it that's so intensely afraid of judgment, so angry and pent up about this word? Who is the one wanting to forever curse and ban judgement from our experiences of each other? Who is it that wants to destroy all categories and structures of morality or social conduct? And what's the difference between this kind of destruction and any other form?
When we want to be whoever we want to be, all the time, 24/7, without any limits, we are missing out on so much. The limitations of our bonds, oaths, and commitments are part of what gives us essence, dignity, place, time, and orientation. Being in right relationship with one another, looking for the fine print within our sacred contracts, and within ourselves, puts us in right relationship with everything else. As the I Ching says, "When people obtain their proper places, they fulfill the great norm of Heaven and Earth."
To think that this order is of our own making, remaking, and destroying, 24/7, is hubris. Our commitments to each other, to our calling, to our work and study, to ourselves and family, and to our spiritual or religious practices are built upon the idea that our actions matter to more than just ourselves. And when the integrity of these commitments erode, it's not enough to simply talk about acceptance or letting go of ideals. Of course acceptance, forgiveness, and trust in the process are essential when faced with any trials or tribulations in our relationships, but these qualities are necessary specifically because a violation of conduct, order, and sacred contract has been broken or abandoned. The laws of the universe aren't going away just because we accept or forgive or love the idea of unbounded freedom. Grace isn't grace and freedom isn't freedom without law also being law. The concepts relate fluidly...and in their relating we find a mirror image of our own relationships at play. Grace and freedom are cheapened without a respect for oath, promise, bond, commitment, limitation, and law. The most radically free and graceful idea is also that we are not completely free to be whoever we wish and we are not completely unlimited in our potential.
Difficult Venus retrograde square Saturn lessons...and many more beyond today's thoughts.
Prayer: help us to be who we say we are and to hold sacred our vows and commitments to ourselves and others
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.