by Boots Hart, CAP

Friday, February 4, 2011

Venus in Capricorn: Beauty in Pragmatism or Rebellion Against Realities?

 Painting "Venus and Mercury" by Bartholomaus Spranger (1585)

Given that Venus enters Capricorn on February 4 at 5:58am (UT/+0) and thus not much over a day after the New Moon, this influence becomes part of the amalgamated Aquarian lunar cycle image.

Beyond that, it also has an absolute nature of its own.

So what is Venus in Capricorn? Venus is all about what we do (or present) in order to achieve desired reactions. It’s the essence, the thing we are - or put out into this world – in order to make something happen, or come into being. A lot of people think of Venus simply as ‘beauty’ – thinking the Aphrodite gorgeousness is simply the sweetness, the honey which attracts all the admiration, adulation and adoration.

But let’s be real about how much work it takes to be that ‘beautiful creature’ which gets ogled at and swooned over. Women – are you with me? Isn’t it some fable that she rolls over in bed with makeup perfectly in place, hair just so, eyes glistening, and never a groggy blink to those eyelashes?

It’s pure movie mythos. Real beauty takes work. If you’re an artist, you labor to create it. If you’re a flesh and blood female over the age of 14 (and often, even under 14!) you choose the right clothes, you make sure your hair looks just so …and let’s not forget what it takes to find that right shampoo!

(Men know nothing about the search for the perfect mascara. Or maybe wish they didn’t!)

Anyway…Venus is that magical effort/non-effort – the old ‘oh, I just threw this together, no biggie…!’ sort of allure. It’s the ability to bring something into being and then be gracious and devoid of angst about it.

As for Capricorn, it’s a sign of leadership. Of social status. Of pragmatic choice – and sometimes doing the hard thing today to build that better tomorrow. It’s a sign about achievement, personal and public. Capricorn represents our place in the world, what we want our place to be, and the kind of world we want to be being in.

Ruled by Saturn (time, dedication, reponsibility, commitment) wherever in a chart we see Capricorn, we know that’s something we reach for and have to  earn.
So while there is an odd sort of compadre-ness between Capricorn and Venus (they both aim at valued aims), Venus is all about ‘effortless mastery’ where Capricorn is doughy, weathered and deserving.

Simple synthesis of these two gives us working to get where you want to go…or maybe getting rewarded for what you’ve already earned. 

Yet there’s a stingier side to this combination which at many levels may be more likely than not – and what we may see especially from those who aren’t used to ‘doing without.’ While it may make sense for them to relinquish something immediate for a better tomorrow, it’s unlikely they will want to do so with any amount of grace.

And thus comes the struggle. Being that Capricorn is the natural ruler of the ‘top’ (10th) house of the horoscope, Capricorn has a whole striving quality to it. Capricorn seeks to ‘be on top’ – which is why we see it as leadership, government, social standing, career and achievement.

Thinking about Saturn applies here too. First of all, it’s ruler of Capricorn, so we properly should give it a nod. But how to you think planet Saturn got all those rings? Those rings are particles – mostly ice, some rock – and they are both “ground down'” and “held in place” by Saturn’s enormous planetary mass.

Saturn's rings - photo credit: NASA/JPL

Here and there in astrology we discuss Sagittarius (and Jupiter) as being all about ‘justice.’ But don’t be fooled: the law – the rules of life, are Capricorn. Sagittarius is a fire sign. Fire signs are all about the theoretical. Capricorn is an earth sign. Earth signs are about the tangible. The fact of the thing. So while you can debate whether something is fair or not (which is why Sagittarius rules trials) once the verdict is in, once the debate on what should be a law is over, the Capricorn actuality of the law (as a rule, a limit, a regulation, a structural facet of society and life) comes into being.

And when a law gets broken, the discussion of who is guilty of the infraction is again Sagittarius. But the punishment? That’s a fact. That’s Capricorn.

All of which suggests that Venus in Capricorn is not just working for what you want…but also what you have coming to you. That can be legal, that can be karma, that can be the reward for what you have earned. So there’s a whole range of pluses and minuses which go along with Venus’ just-shy-of-a-month transit of Capricorn.

Venus enters Capricorn February 4th (February 3rd if you’re in the Americas of Pacific Basin arena). Venus exits Capricorn on March 2nd. Or 1st, again depending on where you are.

During this time we should all be mindful of a couple of things. One is that the Saturn which rules the Capricorn Venus is in is in Libra – a sign Venus rules. This back-and-forth rulership circuit is something astrology calls a ‘mutual reception’…in practice, it’s either the rock/hard place ‘better of the devils I dislike’ sort of choice….or a sort of internalized conviction on what works, what can work, what people should recognize as good and quality.

And sometimes – yes – both things apply.

Saturn being perfectly conjunct in Drakonia at the moment of this transit suggests there’s some ‘play’ in the mix. It could be something which needs to 'play out’ or a bit of allowance which needs to be ‘played out.’ It could be playing others, or others playing you. It could even be the fact that you or others (or everyone involved) could be so involved in some sort of ‘game’ being played that who the heck can bother being realistic!

That Saturn is opposition Eris as part of a several year-long cycle suggests we are all in a bit of a pickle internal and external as well. A couple of years ago Saturn did a little dance with Uranus, symbol of change. Now it’s doing one with Eris, a ‘use it well or lose it all’ sort of vibe which here would seem to be asking us to stop ‘playing around’ in every sense of the word.

The problem is that with Saturn – the personal end of this aspect (Saturn being a planet ever you and me of the world can touch and Eris being one of those ‘no one controls it’ life qualities) – with Saturn in Libra, we’re all likely to be ‘playing’ ourselves by thinking ‘it’s them, not me!’ who needs to change.

The reality? We all probably need to change.

If you aren’t familiar with Eris, this would be a good time to read up on Goddess Discord. (LINK to article) And as you’re reading up on her remember – in metaphysics, nothing is predetermined to be good or bad. Discord in the metaphysical sense is the shaking up of a status quo. But that can lead to good things. If slavery is the status quo, shaking that loose so that people can live free – isn’t that a good thing?

The Judgement of Paris

And yes, there are those who live to shake things up. They can do good. If Eris is at your Ascendant or Descendant, we would hope you go around shaking things up for the good. Of course, Eris in either position could also be someone who goes around getting shaken up – or who accuses everyone else of their own discordant attitudes or activities.

That’s the two-way door which astrology always is. One of my favorite metaphysical sayings comes from a really great astrologer (and nice guy) named Robert Hand, who famously (in my world, anyway…) once said use the energy wisely, lest it use YOU unwisely! 

We all face Venus in Capricorn for the next few weeks – almost a month. We all will also embody Venus in Capricorn for the next few weeks – almost a month. And we will all also see what we have wrought, as Venus in Capricorn shows us what we have (or haven’t) earned. Good and bad, yes.

During this time, the North Node will be finishing its transit of Capricorn. We all hate North Node stuff – you know it as the ‘should do’ of life. Blech, right? Yes, well….we all like South Node, we all hate North Node. And yet we have to do it anyway. If/when we don’t, we pay a big price.

The South Node has been in Cancer for the past couple of years. This has not only been about family and home life and culture and personal history, but also about acting a bit like children in the spouting off as we had wanted to because we wanted to!

There’s a whole method of using planets as life timetables in astrology known as ‘Profection.’ Using this as regards human maturation, Cancer corresponds to age 7 1/2 to 10.

Know any quiet, well mannered, responsible citizens of this age? Of course you don’t – kids don’t know that life has real consequences yet!

Capricorn, on the other hand, is older. Corresponding to 21 1/2 to about age 24, Capricorn is all about that point in early adulthood where we get the clue that what we are and what we know/don’t know has some real and actual cause/effect in our world.

The personal world and the worldly world, that is!

Venus conjuncts the North Node on February 5th, calling out the whole 'should/don't want to!' dynamic. Or maybe the 'I can't do that - don't tell me to do what I can't do!' dynamic. Adding to this...we will have the North Node moves through zero Capricorn from February 19th through March 3rd.

This all becomes prime territory for all the Venus/Capricorn +/– Saturn/Drakonia (Eris) energy to surface in our lives...and in life all around us.

Bottom line, there’s likely to be a whole bunch of reasons you would rather not ‘have to’ deal with something. Or some things.

But maybe you should. We all pay the piper sooner or later…and do we all want to go down a pipe or pipe up and not only stand up for what we know is right, but be the person we know we should be in standing for something we believe in?

The oldest known image of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, taken
from the Market Church of Hamelin, Germany (c. 1300-1633)
painting by Augustin von Moersperg (1592)

Juno/Uranus being perfectly opposed in this picture with everybody’s most rejecting, least liked fixed star Scheat on the Uranus side says it’s easy to reject. It’s easy to be self indulgent and to not give a darn about anyone but ourselves.

But should we?

Augh! So much to think about!
And speaking of thinking....maybe you noticed that as a basis for this ingress I used a paining of Venus and Mercury? You remember Mercury - the Greek god of missives, thinking, cleverness, trickery, and all-around general note-taking and keeping details straight?

Well, there is a reason for my citing same in the image. And here's the astrological clue:

Venus enters Capricorn if you're not into reading charts, maybe that's a bit oblique. But the point is that this is a chart of the ingress, showing Mercury (in green) at zero Aquarius.

That's an exact semi-sextile to Venus...the very essence of good news/bad news. The good news is that we can learn what we need to do in order to make our world and the world work better. The bad news is that it's likely to come through a little ego bruising.

The thing to understand here is that this ego-bruising isn't about 'them' - it's about our having expected for things to go all our way. Remember? Saturn/Drakonia? Saturn/Eris? Saturn in Libra is incredibly strong. If you use it (or to the degree that you are able to use it) to communicate or relate without bias - by just presenting bare facts without any 'this is good, this is bad, this works, this doesn't work'...then Saturn in Libra is your very best friend and tool for getting things done.
It can also be a bludgeon. We can expect many to use this next year or so to bang others over the head.

And yes, sadly, in it.

So...what do we want to do? Are we willing to entertain there might be a better way? That we might be wrong? That maybe cause/effect includes us - that we can't be exempt from the ultimate rule of reality?

Looking ahead, as astrologer I would re-coin Rob Hand’s phrase roughly: Change your outlook or have changes force a change of outlook upon you. 

It’s a great moment to be heroic, when stopping all the theoretical talk and dealing with the reality of life makes sense.

Even better than that – for the next month or so, doing just that can have some excellent short term results.

So! Do you want to choose your own payoff – or keep playing the odds?

Apparently it’s up to us. And considering this is an Aquarian lunar cycle, the ramifications of what we do and what we don't do are greater than usual. We are not casting pebbles into a pond, we are the pond and the pebbles are stones we have thrown out...or maybe cast out...which are now returning to us by another means.

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