Venus and 2020 vision - reassessing our values
First published May 9th 2020.
For those of you who are A Course in Miracles students, I have been focusing on Lesson 129, 'Beyond this world is a world I want' (L: 129). Some weeks ago I saw the SBS message from the SBS presenters, thanking everyone, especially those who never get acknowledged, saying things such as, "You're doing a great job", "We appreciate you", "We hope you get treated with dignity and respect" and "Thank you, we love you". Wow! I was overjoyed, saying to myself, "This is a world I want to live in!"
I see the signs of transformation, that Pluto offers, everywhere. The beautiful posts on social media, offering compassion; offering an expanded perspective; offering a helping hand to anyone vulnerable; saying how wonderful it is to spend more time with their children; posting sayings of encouragement and quotes from the wise; cooking large amounts of meals to deliver to those who are vulnerable; communal online choirs (Pub Choir is great!) and orchestras; communities coming together and taking care of each other, and tonight the story of Australians opening their homes to international students who are homeless and without money.
I read somewhere 'There is something profound and beautiful about a collective struggle' and I believe it's because it's so emotional. A collective struggle takes us painfully into our breaking hearts on a large scale, connecting us to ourselves and each other more deeply. Then in that dark place, from the mud, the lotus emerges, and we see so many acts of love and kindness.
Knowing that 'we're all in this together' - a common phrase at the moment - is something so unifying. And if you remember some of the 'Saturn-Pluto events' from my previous blogs on the history of this cycle, you will likely know that we are in for a long haul. Despite a tentative easing of restrictions (a very Saturnian word) around the world, the effects of Saturn-Pluto always plays out for some time. That's because Pluto moves so slowly, and even today is only two and a half degrees from where he had met Saturn in January. In looking back to our recent history of the last cycle to the opposition of these two planets, and September 11; the effects were deep, profound and long-lasting. That was a story of 'opposing', of attack and "us against them". This time it is a merging of the symbolism of the two planets.
Great conjunctions of outer planets shift our paradigm.
If you have been reading these blogs, I was pondering again on the rising of the feminine (see 'An Archetypal Perspective' and 'The Rising of the Feminine Pt 2'). While I have been watching what has been unfolding around the world, I have often been quite struck by the very yang and Mars-like words being used; a need to 'fight', 'overcome' and 'beat' this virus. Leaders have said "We are at war with an invisible enemy", and I've heard it repeated by others, including a WWII veteran with VE Day yesterday. We see people 'champing at the bit' to come out of isolation and get back to work. We hear words, demonstrations and see placards of anger and frustration.
As the feminine rises within all of us, there is certainly pushback and resistance, whether conscious or not. As I'd written last year, masculine energy is logic with linear thinking, analytical, and about acting and doing. Of course we like to know what is happening and to make sense of things; of course we are geared to act and 'do' in a world based on achieving.
"Did you have a good day?" "Oh yes, I got so much done!"
The feminine is 'being' rather than 'doing' and while we've been invited into simply 'being', most of us are very challenged on this. All it would take to rebalance masculine and feminine in the world would be to rebalance them within ourselves. The timing of this world-wide (Pluto) isolation (Saturn) offers us a chance to see how we respond to not being able to rush around like ants on this Earth. We address the balance of masculine and feminine within ourself by seeing how we feel about merely 'being' for a while.
The challenge of this for many around the world is clear, however if we look within, what do we see? I tend to think of myself as being quite balanced between my masculine and feminine, consciously focussing on them when Venus or Mars is activated in my chart. I also love, as many a Cancerian, being in my home. Yet I observed my need to use this time to 'get things done'. I saw my fear of re-emerging and not having gone all through my travelling photos, nor buried my head in books, nor cleaned out cupboards! I wanted to 'do' even while I went within. We can recognise different responses to lockdown through the lens of the masculine-feminine polarity. These next two months are timely to dive deeply into the feminine. Venus will be quite 'activated' in this time, inviting us to work with her.
There are a LOT of significant things happening in the heavens this month.
May sees 4 planets retrograde, including Venus and Jupiter, plus both the dark gods currently in our lives so potently, Saturn and Pluto. Pluto has already been retrograde since April 26, denoting a re-turn to darkness and any matters that transform on a large scale.
We also have a shift in the Lunar Nodal Axis from Capricorn-Cancer to Gemini-Sagittarius, and the Venus' retrograde period marks an important time in the Venus Cycle with the Venus Star Point. There is a huge amount of 'As above, so below' to explore, however in keeping with the theme of the feminine, I will focus on Venus for this newsletter and write about the rest in a separate one.
The Venus retrograde is a major retrograde, occurring every 19 months. In the dance between Venus and Earth, as we both go around the Sun, she creates a perfect 5-petalled flower over an 8-year period and speaks of the natural flowering in our lives.
The picture above shows this astronomical journey - astoundingly beautiful and divinely perfect. Regular, repeating, an eternal pattern created by the planet of Love.
Secondly, through the relationship between Venus and the Sun, she also creates a five-pointed star, the pentagon, a very ancient and powerful symbol of the feminine, of creation and manifestation.
The star points are conjunctions (joining) of Venus and the Sun in our skies. When a planet is within 0 degrees and 17 minutes of the Sun, we call that planet 'cazimi' (from the Arabian astrologers of the 7th - 12th centuries) meaning 'in the heart of the Sun'. The symbolism is that of the Sun 'absorbing' that planet's significations to then radiate them out. In effect that planet's expression is exemplified in all its meanings. For Venus, everything she signifies, beauty; harmony; grace; peace; relationships; values and desire are highlighted. They will meet on the 3rd/4th of June (depending on where in the world you are) at 13 degrees of Gemini, during her retrograde journey. This first half of June is a beautiful time to ask,
Do I truly love and value myself?
(Do I say yes, however, demonstrate not?)
Are my relationships a reflection of my authentic self?
Am I in harmony and balance?
Can I be at peace with everything that is happening?
What am I creating?
In re-assessing (retrograde) our values (Venus) humanity has the capacity to make some big shifts in re-turning us to what we re-gard as truly important in our lives. We have been living in a world that has been out of control, stressed and at breaking-point. With the world stopping for a while (it's not really about the virus), and within the context of Saturn-Pluto transforming time/structures/fear/authority, we will enter a period of re-flecting on what is truly important to each of us,
What are my values?
What situations in my life am I no longer aligned with?
What really matters?
This retrograde period also brings in the fact that Venus will be squared by Neptune, the planet of transcendence and divine connection. It is the planet of intuition that works so beautifully when we come into our hearts with Venus. However, it is a square aspect, one of tension. It is also the planet of illusion, deception and dishonesty. Do we really know what is going on? Are we being deceived? Am I deceiving myself?
Neptune is also a planet that denotes illness and weakness and is symbolic of grief. Interesting then in 'The Time of Covid', that metaphysically the lungs hold grief.
In a re-assessment of our values, could we become conscious of the pain of humanity's grief in living so disconnected from Love?
Venus will 'station' (stop) on Tuesday 12th May for 48 hours, concentrating her powerful symbolism at 21 degrees Gemini. Then she will be retrograde from the14th May until she stations again on the 24th of June at5 degrees of Gemini for another 48 hours, going direct in her motion on the26th June. We have already entered the 'shadow period' of the degrees Venus will travel back to, and already I hear people making statements about how this incredible world process has made them re-think (Venus in Gemini) their values.
Interestingly, 'values work' has been highlighted in my non-astrological client-work in the last couple of weeks.
There is so much to write about regarding Venus; the symbolism inherent in her glyph of a circle atop a cross; that she is an exquisite evening star at present (quite a different 'flavour' to Venus as a morning star); that her mythology in ancient Greece had two expressions of her, one as earthly and as heavenly; and that her retrograde cycle of 40 days and 40 nights is given great meaning in many religions, often symbolic of a period of finding clarity, purpose and transformation.
I find it utterly fascinating that in relation to Venus' cycle creating a flower, that in Islam, it is said the Prophet Ibrahim spent 40 days and 40 nights in a fire and lived because 'Allah made the fire like flowers'.
It rained for 40 days and 40 nights in the Great Flood.
Buddha meditated for 40 days and 40 nights under the Bodhi tree.
Moses spent 40 days and 40 nights on Mt Sinai to receive the Ten Commandments.
The Jews wandered for 40 days and 40 nights in the desert.
Jesus spent 40 days and 40 nights in the wilderness fasting and meeting Satan.
There are many more examples of 40 days and 40 nights being a sacred period of time, so it is evident from the parables of religion that 40 days and 40 nights are symbolic of going within for a purpose.
In her book, '40 Days and 40 Nights, Taking Time Out for Self-Discovery', Ilene Segalove writes, "I realised how my behaviour used to be driven from the outside in and how much more satisfying it felt to be fed from the inside out." about her first period of going within.
In a sense, we can take our own 40 days and 40 nights of 'wandering in the wilderness', extricate from any drama, dive deep into the dark feminine of unknowing to reassess whether we are living according to Love and to take time out for self-discovery. And just like Moses, sit and listen and wait for the answers to the questions you may pose to yourself.
When we are so used to being distracted by so many things in our external world, this activation of Venus in her retrograde and the Venus Star Point supports us to look at our heartfelt values and ensure we are aligned with them in our choices and in our living, especially as we step into a new world.
If you have a chance, go and look at Venus just after sunset.
She is goddess. She connects us to our divinity.
The gift of astrology helps us understand the deeper meaning of what is happening, helping us to navigate these times in a conscious way.
Amongst all the machinations of humanity's paradigm shift, we have an opportunity to connect to Venus' significations in these next two months.
This is a time to focus on Love.