Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Venus and the Eclipse

As many of you will know, there's a solar eclipse on 23rd October at the very beginning of Scorpio – 00o 24'. However, there are a couple of other events around the same time involving Venus. The first takes place about an hour before the eclipse, when the Moon meets Venus while hurrying towards the Sun. Moon and Venus make an exact conjunction on 00o Scorpio 01' – just creeping into Scorpio. The only two feminine planets in the intensely dark and magical sign of Scorpio suggest a tapping into the life force that lies hidden in the depths. Indeed, the three brightest objects in the sky are so close that effectively they're all conjunct at the solar eclipse.

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Two days later, on 25th October, there'll be a Sun-Venus superior conjunction at 01o Scorpio 48' (on the Ascendant in Exeter). When this conjunction takes place Venus is far away from us, on the other side of the Sun. The last time this pair was conjunct was in January. On that occasion Venus was at her closest to Earth, between us and the Sun, and she was retrograde. It was a particularly powerful conjunction, most noted for the fact that little more than an hour beforehand, Israeli politician Ariel Sharon died. He had been in a coma for almost exactly eight years, which was the last time that Sun-Venus had met in Capricorn at inferior conjunction, with Venus retrograde. On that occasion she re-emerged from the Sun's rays a few days later as the Morning Star. This time it'll be several weeks before she reappears and it will be as Evening Star.

I don't think many astrologers differentiate between the two types of Venus but they really are very different. A Morning Star Venus is young, brash, impatient, more of a warrior than a lover – and when she does appear as a lover, well let's say she has an edge to her. The Irish Morrigan or Battle Crow is a more apt description of a Morning Star Venus than the Roman Venus. Goddess of Love, War and Death, the Morrigan finished off at least one Irish hero who spurned her advances after a hard day on the battle field. An Evening Star Venus is closer to the modern astrological Venus – sensuous, sultry, enticing and generally more mature.

The transition from warrior Venus to sultry Venus occurs during her long period of invisibility – roughly 14 weeks – when she is furthest from the Earth, as if she needs to be free of our influence in order to change, or grow up. I am reminded of the numerous folk songs about two sisters – one dark, one fair or one sweet-natured and one cruel. In many ways, Venus is our sister, or even our twin – the two planets are the same size, are close neighbours in the solar system and they engage in a beautiful cosmic dance to a 5:8 rhythm (5 synodic cycles of Venus = 8 Earth years). When she's on the other side of the Sun she can merge with the cosmos rather than with us, and in doing so she transforms herself into the magnificent Goddess of Love. She is then reborn as an Evening Star, the one you're most likely to see with any regularity unless you're an early riser, as you have to get up pretty early to catch Venus as Morning Star.

When Venus disappears from our skies and undergoes her long period of invisibility, it's a chance for us to go deep within ourselves and receive inspiration from a hidden source. And while Venus is undergoing an alchemical process of transmutation on the other side of the Sun, we too may undergo a similar process. I feel that Evening Star Venus is particularly well placed for this in the sign Scorpio, where her magnetic nature can draw individuals into the depths to explore the mysteries of life and death (although there is always the danger of it manifesting in a darker form through the murky world of pornography and the 'dark net'). At the conjunction on the 25th, the trine from Sun-Venus to Neptune in Pisces can only enhance the lure of these mysteries, and the sextile to Mars adds a bit of spice to the mix.

(Click to enlarge)
There's one other thing that makes this conjunction of Sun-Venus special, namely that it's the last time the Evening Star conjunction will occur in Scorpio for 250 years. The next conjunction, in 2022, will take place on the final degree of Libra, because Sun-Venus conjunctions move backwards through the zodiac. There will, however, be two more Scorpio Morning Star conjunctions, with Venus retrograde, in 2018 and 2026 before they too move into Libra in 2034.

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