Now that it is September, I am guessing that a number of you out there are waking and possibly leaving the house in the dark…partly because your schedule has changed and partly because the sun is rising later and later each day.
If you’re observant, you’ve noticed Venus shining brightly in the eastern sky. If you’re like me, you’ve looked for her. And maybe you’ve even tried to catch a glimpse of Mars.
Mars currently rises with Venus. They are at the same height. If you hold out your hand at arms length, Mars can be found about a palm’s width to the left of Venus. These past two mornings, I have been able to find Mars with little effort.
Mars and Venus are going to hover near each other for a while longer. Venus’ retrograde time comes to an end in three days. After she stations direct, she’ll creep forward slowly…eventually catching back up to Mars. After that, Mars will continue to climb in the morning sky (viewed one day to the next) while Venus will more or less hold steady.
In my last post, I talked about the Virgo-Pisces opposition. We are not done with the likes of that…not even close. Next up is the exact opposition between Jupiter and Neptune (on September 16th).
Jupiter is the classic ruler of Pisces; Neptune is the modern ruler. As astronomical orbs, they are both massive gas giants.
From our perspective, earth is a big place. The ocean reminds us of this. Have you ever waded in the sea with your eyes just above sea level? Looking out, you see nothing but water and waves to the seeming end of the earth.
Taking this experience further, consider being out in the middle of the sea, where no coastlines are visible. Now the earth not only looks vast, but eerily quiet as well. Given our propensity to take cruises, I’m sure many of you have had the opportunity to witness this.
Bodies of water easily induce daydreaming. That’s partly why we seek them out, yes?
For one year, Jupiter will crawl through Virgo. Neptune is not due to swim out of Pisces for another decade. So the opposition between these giants is exact soon, but not likely to completely fade for a while.
Interestingly, life has given me an experience I can relate to this. Back in January, I was involved in an accident. I finally got my truck in for repairs. Just this week, I picked up a rental car. Yesterday, as I drove downtown, I found myself contemplating a parallel life. Not a literal one, but an imaginary one: a life where I drive a car (instead of a truck) and one where I work downtown.
The very different physical vehicle (Jupiter in Virgo) allowed this fantasy (Neptune in Pisces) to feel more real.
Soon, I’ll likely get used to the car and it will stop feeling so different, but for now, it is fun to go along with the sensation. “What would that life be like?” “How would it cause me to see things differently?”
Virgo is the last month of summer, but like all mutable signs, it begins the transition into the next season. It already feels like fall despite the summer temperatures. That’s the gift of mutability: to assist, inspire, and facilitate change.
By the end of September, three of our four largest planets will be in mutable signs: Jupiter in Virgo, Saturn in Sagittarius, and Neptune in Pisces. Uranus, the last of them, and Pluto, the last of the outer planets, both sit in cardinal signs, which don’t simply inspire change, but ignite it.
And get this: on October 9th, when Venus ingresses Virgo, not a single planet will sit in a fixed sign:
This hasn’t happened in a while…maybe even in a long while. [I believe the last time this happened was June 2012, before Saturn entered Scorpio and when Venus was retrograde in Gemini.] Are big changes in the offing? Who knows! I guess we’ll find out soon enough, eh?
I, for one, am looking forward to some practical (Virgo) and beneficial (Jupiter) changes (mutable signs) that are both real (Saturn) and closer to my dreams (Neptune)…
By the way, on 8/18 in my post entitled Design and Implementation I wrote this:
Sagittarius is known for its excess. Whether it’s preaching or partying, it’s all in. Saturn will temper that tendency. If you preach holier than thou, but your own nose is not clean, Saturn’s going to send you home to wipe your face.
It didn’t take long for examples of that to show up in the news, eh?
In yesterday’s post (Venus and Mars; Dogs and Cats), I discussed the Venus-Mars conjunction. A conjunction occurs when two (or more) planets appear next to each other in the sky from our vantage. They needn’t be anywhere near each other in reality. For example, Venus is still quite close to earth. She just overtook us on 8/15 and passed between us and the sun (the inferior conjunction between Venus and the sun).
We recently had a sun-Mars conjunction as well on June 14th. In that case, Mars was furthest from earth on the far side of the sun. So while Venus and Mars appear close in the sky, they are quite distant.
A conjunction represents proximity in apparent location in space. Proximity in time is equally as significant. About 90 minutes before Venus and Mars conjunct, the sun and Neptune oppose.
A few minutes ago, I reread my post from yesterday. I typically read a post a day or two later to better evaluate it as a reader (rather than as a writer). It occurred to me that it was a very Neptunian (Piscean) post. It was descriptive, a bit dreamy, and fluttered and floated about. It wasn’t at all Mercurial. It didn’t make a strong point; it wasn’t based on logic. It was more about feeling and desire.
The Pisces full moon was just the other day. [It was amazing to see!]
If you consider a number of things occurring near in time and space, we have/had the following:
- Venus conjunct Mars in Leo
- Sun conjunct Jupiter in Virgo opposite Moon conjunct Neptune in Pisces.
Oppositions and conjunctions have similarities, especially when the orbs aspecting are so different to each other: Venus & Mars, sun & Neptune as examples. In either case, the energies are blending, but like waves that encounter each other, they can constructively or destructively interfere.
Virgo-Pisces is a particularly contrasting opposition. Gemini and Sagittarius, by comparison, are rather similar. Virgo lives firmly on the earth, while Pisces prefers to be as far from terra firma as it can get.
Much of the data I shared in yesterday’s post could just as easily be attributed to the sun-Neptune opposition as the Venus-Mars conjunction. The point of the discussion is different though.
Caring for a dog (this dog anyway) requires lots of planning. The dog eats on a schedule, for example, and needs to be walked right afterward.
Having the dog required me to be responsible and organized (sun in Virgo), while at the same time had me dreaming of what my life could be (moon and Neptune in Pisces). In yesterday’s post, I compared my experience as a cat owner with that of a dog owner, but I simultaneously fantasized about being an owner of some other, unknown, kind of animal.
More contrast for you to consider this week is what your life is (sun in Virgo) with what your life could be (Neptune/Pisces)—the dream and the fantasy, in other words.
Venus and Mars represents very different wants and needs that we each have. Virgo covers living life as a physical being on a rock hard planet while Pisces tethers us to our soul—to the higher self, which lives out there somewhere (as well as in here somewhere).
In my opinion, Astrology is most fun when you notice what is happening…the thoughts and feelings, the interactions and the experiences. That’s when Astrology becomes something a bit more tangible…or at least something you can relate to.
On another note: I want to share a recent review I received. It covers both books!
If (when) you read my books, you will notice that some parts are very Mercurial, while others are quite Neptunian…a little for everyone!
Tuesday is the first day of September. At 12:04 am CDT, Venus will conjunct Mars to simultaneously kick off the day and the month. Six hours later, one with a clear view of the eastern horizon will be able to watch them rise side-by-side ahead of the sun. I’ve been observing Venus before sunrise, but unfortunately there’s too much light pollution around here for me to see Mars.
Venus conjunct Mars is sort of like caring for a dog and a cat at the same time.
The dog wants constant attention. She follows you around…and gets under your feet. If you sit, she wants to be in your lap. If you walk, she pulls at the leash, either ahead of you or behind. The dog is always happy, and seems to always want to play…even if she was sound asleep the moment before.
The cat wants no part of the dog. Play? Only on her terms. She’ll happily go outside, but not on a leash. More than likely, she’ll want to be on the other side of any closed door, regardless which side you’re on. She’ll tolerate affection, for a minute or two. If you happen to pet her a few seconds too long, you just might get some teeth or claws to set you straight.
You may have guessed: I’ve been dog sitting. I’m used to craving affection from my aloof cat, but I’m NOT used to the constant attention I’m getting from the dog. Being woken in the middle of the night is one thing, but then having to go outside at that hour is another.
The walks around the property have been nice…even if they are a pain to start. You see, I’m on the sixth floor. It’s a long walk and a lot of stairs to get to grass around here. And, since I’m caring for a very small dog, I have to carry her up and down the stairs.
Yes, there is an elevator; but it’s in the wrong direction…better for the ride up than the ride down. And this is a very big building. There is just no simple way to take the dog out for a quick pee.
My cat is a quiet companion…even if she’s typically under the bed or some other furniture. The dog is sometimes quiet, but abruptly loud when something catches her attention.
The one thing they each have in common? Neither does well with other animals! Ha ha!
Now I am not going to equate one with Mars and the other with Venus. That just wouldn’t work.
However, having both a cat and a dog—for the weekend—has me thinking. It has me craving an animal for a pet, which doesn’t exist. One that is quiet, like the cat, but portable, like the dog; one that can use a litter box, yet is happy to walk on a leash; one that will sit in your lap when you want the company (and warmth), but is also happy to sit on the other end of the sofa when you want your space (and no…more…heat; it’s August in Austin for Pete’s sake!) One you can go out with (a walk, a ride, a trip), and one you can stay home with.
Mars and Venus are very different archetypes…yet we each have both in our natal charts. One might be stronger, and more influential, but they are both there. In my birth chart, they are in adjacent signs, which means they are even more different than normal.
For a moment, imagine being perfectly bisexual: equally attracted to men and women—physically, sexually, emotionally, socially, etc. How hard it would be to pick just one mate, wouldn’t you think?
Venus and Mars are personal planets. They tend to affect us in personal ways. Uranus aspecting Pluto, by contrast, seems to be the bringer of the kind of events that affect large numbers of people all at once, as we’ve seen these past few years.
So Venus and Mars soon unite, blending their energies for a few days. They sit in Leo…and touch that part of each chart. For me, they are deep into my 12th house…just a few degrees above my ascendant. It’s not so much who I am…but something much deeper inside. The contrast I feel is with my wants and desires.
For the next few days, notice how you feel about contrast. You’ll probably see pros and cons simultaneously. You’ll see the advantages of this, and the advantages of that. And you just might ask, as I have been: “Why can’t I have it both ways? Why can’t I have it all? Why can’t I have just the things I want…without the tradeoffs?”
A house can give you this…but an apartment can give you that. A cat is good at these times…and a dog is better at those times. There’s everything the city gives you, and then those things we need the country for. Being single has its advantages, but it would be nice to NOT be single ALL of the time.
Liking dogs versus cats is not better or worse. Liking men versus women is not better or worse.
Some of us are heavy on the Mars…others overwhelmingly Venus. In reality, each of us is affected by both. Sometimes you want a spoon, but sometimes you need a fork.
My dog sitting days are just about up…and I have enjoyed the contrast this weekend has brought. I’m not thinking I’ll be a dog owner any time soon…at least not while living in a big apartment building by myself. But I like to imagine having it all—not merely having a dog and a cat, but having (a) companion(s) that can be all the things I want…even if I want different things at different times.
In thirty days—on September 17, 2015 at 9:49 pm CDT—Saturn will ingress the sign of Sagittarius, where it will remain until December 19, 2017. Less than nine hours before that happens, Mercury will station retrograde at 15 Libra 55.
Noticing this synchronicity, I decided to explore the Gemini and Virgo perspectives of this event. That’s when information started flooding in.
For brevity, I will simply list the related aspects (transits) and dates, then discuss the big picture:
- 8/2/15 – Jupiter squared Saturn
- 8/10/15 – Jupiter ingressed Virgo
- 8/23/15 – Sun ingresses Virgo
- 9/17/15 – Mercury (ruler of Virgo and Gemini) stations retrograde
- 9/17/15 – Saturn ingresses Sagittarius
Notice that all of the above links four orbs (sun, Mercury, Jupiter, & Saturn) with three signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius). Also notice that all three signs are mutable and ruled by either Mercury or Jupiter.
Clearly, there is a theme building.
Jupiter ingressing Virgo and Saturn ingressing Sagittarius mean each enters a mutable sign and thus crosses an angle (ASC, MC, DSC, IC) in the mutable charts (Gemini, Virgo, Sadge, or Pisces). They will square two more times in 2016: 3/23 and 5/26.
Mutable signs are flexible…adaptable…pliable. It is no surprise that our three dual signs (Gemini, Sadge, and Pisces) are all mutable.
Mercury, the only planet that has more than one retrograde in a year, has a dualistic nature (what it’s like moving forward and what it’s like moving backward). In classic Astrology, most planets ruled two signs, but these days, only Mercury and Venus still do…at least by themselves. We still say that Jupiter rules Pisces, but we also say that Neptune rules Pisces, for example.
When I think of Gemini versus Virgo, I tend to think of Mercury’s forward motion and backward motion. Gemini is more about design, while Virgo is more about implementation.
For fun, here are two pictures illustrating one of my recent projects. It shows the design and ultimate implementation of a woodshed. I, with the help of SketchUp, designed the shed…and I built it, with the help of others.
Gemini likes to think (it’s an air sign). It can be satisfied with thought alone. In fact, Gemini can have a hard time enduring the time it takes to actually build or construct.
Virgo, as an earth sign, is far more patient. It is not intimidated by the details. Notice that my design above did not contain all the details of the final product. Once I knew what needed to be done, I stopped designing and saved the details to the implementation.
You probably question why I bring this up, but it is pertinent…to all influenced by mutable signs (everyone!).
Saturn entering a sign is the start of a 2 to 2-1/2 year cycle. Saturn crossing an angle is the start of a 7-year cycle (one quarter of a full Saturn orbit).
When I compared the archetype of Gemini to that of Virgo, the difference between them could be thought of as Saturn. Gemini plus Saturn equals Virgo. Saturn adds the earthy influence. There can be all sorts of flaws in a design, which don’t much matter…until the design is turned into matter (material), then those details matter a great deal!
Saturn asks us to pay attention to our responsibilities. It urges us to cross our ‘t’s and dot our ‘i’s. It’s not just because they look better that way, but because they function better that way.
Virgo’s gift is a knack for improving what is. To improve what is, you must see what is! Saturn reveals the cold hard facts: the good, the bad, and the ugly.
In order to expand (Jupiter), we have to make sure we’re on sure footing (4th house). We all know that you cannot build a tower on sand; it will fall over. Jupiter now sits in the 4th house in the Gemini chart…enabling design to become implementation.
When I cast a chart for Saturn ingress Sagittarius, I noticed that the sign of Virgo was intercepted in the 5th house (house of creativity). That means that the Virgo vibe is hidden, unexpressed, or at least stifled.
For a year, Jupiter is going to turn up the Virgo vibe. It is going to expand that area in our individual charts.
Generally speaking, Virgo is practical. Leo wanted it to look good, but after a month (sun) and year (Jupiter) of that, Virgo comes along and says, “But it needs to work well, or the beauty is lost.”
Sagittarius is known for its excess. Whether it’s preaching or partying, it’s all in. Saturn will temper that tendency. If you preach holier than thou, but your own nose is not clean, Saturn’s going to send you home to wipe your face. If you’re skipping out of work to party a few too many times, Saturn is going to demote you.
It is interesting that the traditional back-to-school time-period is Virgo. There is a time and a place for everything. If you want it to be better, you have to make it so.
When I troll Facebook, I too often see posts about this travesty and that one. A lot of people are crying out: “It should not be this way!” I don’t disagree. It shouldn’t be this way; it shouldn’t be this difficult; it shouldn’t hurt this much. But then I am reminded of this (short) post from March 2012 about building (creating/manifesting) our dreams. Check it out; it’s a good one!
It is time to move past merely seeing and stating the flaws. It is now time to start fixing them. And to fix problems, we have to stop focusing (obsessing) on the problem and start focusing on the solution. Even if we don’t know what the solution is, we can align with the idea of solution and its vibration…
When you look up at the sun today, keep in mind that Venus is hovering right next to it, though you cannot see her. At 2:21 pm CDT, she will make her closest pass as that is the moment of peak conjunction. The moon, also invisible at this time, hovers near by and is not even 24 hours past new (as I am writing this).
The new moon marks the beginning of a cycle, namely the lunar month. However, we are halfway through the month of August and more than halfway through the sign of Leo. Given the Venus-sun conjunction, we are also halfway through Venus Retrograde.
Today’s conjunction marks the start of Venus’ 10 months as a morning star. The next time she passes by the sun (on the back side) will be June 6, 2016, and she’ll begin her reign as an evening star after that.
It takes two to three days after the new moon before we can see the waxing crescent. It will take maybe a week or two before we’ll start seeing Venus rise up before the sun. I have a great view of the eastern horizon, so I’ll keep a look out for her and let you know.
Surely you remember the beautiful Venus-Jupiter conjunction in the evening sky a couple of months ago. Well, we’ll get another conjunction between these two in the morning sky on October 25th. This time, Mars will be joining the party just a few degrees up from the others.
Invisible to us, Venus and Jupiter met last week as well, the 2nd conjunction of the three. This occurred only 4 degrees from the sun and almost exactly square to Saturn.
I could go on an on describing the planetary dance right now, because the details are numerous. Taking a step back, we have basically been having half of the planets do-si-doing around the sun: Mercury, Venus, Mars & Jupiter. This motion makes me think of a dishwasher or washing machine. The energy is mixing and churning. Little by little, the dirt gets rubbed off.
Taking another big step back, let’s consider the two closest gas giants. Jupiter and Saturn just recently squared (on August 2nd). Each is fixing to change signs. So the inner-planet dance is churning, but also ramping up the shift in the background. Generally speaking, Jupiter changes signs once every 12 months, and Saturn takes about 2-½ to 3 years to do the same—not an infrequent shift, but not an everyday thing either.
All of this has been hitting my chart very significantly. I’ve been too busy living it to write about it.
I’m sure I’ve said this before, but I’m seeing it even more now: Astrology is not something that happens to us. It is a mysterious tool that somehow describes what is happening. It doesn’t change our choices; it simply gives context and shines light (like the individual planets and luminaries) showing us the truth at a deeper level.
More and more, I find myself going with the Astrology, and it has been oh so interesting.
As I mentioned, we are halfway through Venus Retrograde. The last time Venus’ motions was apparently backward was in January 2014. Then, I took a road trip to San Diego, the city I lived in for 8 years before moving to Austin. I spent 10 days there. It was a vacation. I also sprinkled my cat Notte’s ashes into the Pacific.
It was the first time I drove back to CA after leaving.
Venus Retrograde is about reevaluating our relationship to…life. It is nostalgic. It reminds us who we spent time with…sometimes bringing someone back into our life (for a visit if nothing more).
In 2014, I revisited the previous phase of my life. This Venus Retro, I went further back. I decided to do something I have not done before: I drove from Texas to my childhood hometown in Connecticut. Round trip, I traversed 4400 miles.
Essentially, it was a working vacation. [Venus Retro squared Saturn, after all.] I built a wood shed for my sister, and did some house maintenance for my parents. And I did some readings here and there. But I also met with family and friends I had not seen in decades: two or three.
The insights and symbolism were many. For example, when I lived in Danbury, I drove a small car. Any time I visited, I drove either a family car, or a rental, but always a car. Here in Austin, I own a truck. Let me tell you, driving my truck down those streets of my youth felt entirely different. The roads felt narrow. The view—a good 18 inches higher—was noticeably different. I was literally seeing my hometown from a different perspective. Isn’t that what Venus Retrograde is all about?
The day Venus changed direction, I extended my journey northward, from my parents’ house to my sister’s…a two hour journey. I found myself switching Pandora to play songs from the 80s, when I used to live there. En route, I drove through Springfield, MA, the city where I spent my first two years of college. [A week later to the day, I met up with my best friend from college, who I hadn’t seen in 23 years.]
Because I drove to New England, I was not only in my Texas truck, I also brought my tools, most of which I acquired here. And I brought my carpentry skills, which I mostly developed here. My sister’s woodshed is a bit of Texas in New England as it was inspired by Texas architecture.
Venus is currently transiting my first house. She will back up over my Ascendant in about a week. In fact, all of the inner planet dancing has trounced my Ascendant, the cusp between unseen influence and personal identity.
2014 was the first time I went into Venus Retrograde consciously. This time, it is all about my relationship to me…reevaluating who I have been in order to decide who I am now. Because it’s Venus (and not Mercury), it’s not simply thinking about it. Remember, Venus rules Taurus and Libra. Taurus represents values, but also possessions. It is tactile and physical. Libra brings in the relational aspects. Venus wants us to connect with people and life around us. Thoughts conjure up feelings, but not nearly as profoundly as life does.
Most of Venus Retro will have been in my first house, which is a conspicuous part of our chart. During this first half, I have been very aware of the influence. But now that I’m back in my not-yet-familiar-new home, I wonder what the next half will be like. Surely there’s more to do. I feel very different; I see evidence around me showing me how I’m different; yet the day-to-day here is more or less back to the same as it was before. The day-to-day is something I want to change…and have for some time.
Road trips like the one I just took are profound. I now have a visual path connecting my childhood hometown to my current home. Last year, I drove to San Diego (a few times) AND San Francisco (one of the three trips). I thus connected my prior two homes to Texas then…and now I have the full coast-to-coast journey completed. In my mind, I can travel from each of my homes to the any other. I can remember how the terrain and sensation shifts as one travels.
“So now what?”
Yes, that is still the question burning a hole in my gray matter. I still need to decide where to go from here.
Saturn is finishing up with Scorpio—it enters Sagittarius on September 17th. It will not cross out of my 4th house (home life and foundation) until next year. It will then retrograde back into for a bit.
In my sun sign chart, it will cross my descendant into my 7th house (Sagittarius).
The changes I seek are pretty much all focused on the descendant: work and relationship. The current dance is all around my ascendant. It makes sense that in order to change what’s on that end, I need to change what’s on this end.
Limited thinking is hard to overcome. We drag our past experiences along with us…and they have weight. Even when current life shows us something different, we sometimes give more credence to the past than the present.
At one point last weekend, there was a discussion about letting go of a past experience (and getting over it). I found myself reminding them of this: even if you let go of (forgive) what happened, you might find yourself looking out for it when something similar approaches. If you got hit a few times in the past, you’ll surely duck a lot faster now.
In other recent conversations (readings) I have found myself saying to others: “the first thing to do is decide you want something to change and in a specific way.” I think that message is very clearly for me as well.
By the end of 2013, I very clearly and intently wanted things to change. Since, many things have been very different. However, I was not sure where I wanted to go or what I wanted to do…and some of that is still yet to be decided…
Tarot readings can be somewhat predictive. It’s not rare to see a bit of what’s coming…even if it’s hard to say when.
Astrology readings, however, seem best as a tool for digging into the big picture shifts happening right now. Even though I can look at a future chart, it doesn’t seem to speak to me until it is present.
By the way – Scribe to the Pantheon of Rome received its first review…a rave review! Check it out: