by Boots Hart, CAP

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Venus in Aries

Afrodite (Aphrodite) 
by Nils Bergslien (1853-1928, Norway)

When I first learned about Venus being astrologically ‘weak’ and often unproductive in Aries, my first reaction was disappointment. It sounded sort of sad to me.

Then I came to better understand the idea of the astrological Venus, which in many ways very, very different from what we think of Venus – or Aphrodite – as the goddess of beauty and allure, she who is adored, ogled and admired by all.

Actually, if you read a lot of mythology, in time you learn that the standing there (or lying there) being gloriously beautiful is just one part of the Venus myth. Venus is not only pretty feisty, but she sets up a lot of challenges for those of us who are mere mortals...which leads to realizing that all of Greek (and Roman) myth is an exercise is describing how and why humans operate as they do.

And once you get there, it all begins to make better astrological sense.

Venus represents our ability to attract, and thus to bring about a new circumstance. Venus is not about luxury per se, Venus is about whatever we do so that we have that moment of luxuriating.

Once I got that far, it slowly dawned on me why Venus is the astrological ruler of Taurus, sign of our personal resources and the self worth and self respect which causes us to put those things to good use. I came to understanding why Venus as ruler of Libra represents not the appearance or the performance which garners all that love, but the (Taurean) resources devoted to that appearance and performance, and that the Libra Venus really only lasts when its not a veneer, but the expression of our truest Taurean being. When it’s not, the Libra-Venus concept becomes beauty is only skin deep.

Aha, I said.

The hardest thing for me to understand was probably why Venus is exalted in Pisces, which seems odd for someone who has Venus natally in Pisces, but that’s one of those karmic ironies: sometimes the ‘what we are’ is the thing we learn last.

Anyway…it finally occurred to me that Venus is exalted in Pisces because Pisces is that deep ocean of emotionality which all humanity originates in, and in the end, lives in. Human beings are always emotional critters…it’s really only to the extent that we understand and can work with and grow into accepting our emotions that we can harness our intellect or life with any sense of ‘sinking in.’ Without that, we skate by. We make do. We rush through the moment, staying busy so we don’t sink in and become immersed in how we really feel about life.

Being willing to feel…being willing to understand that every human being and every creature which has ever existed arises from this same deep well of sentience is the Pisces challenge – and why so many of us have such a hard time with that universal sense of Piscean compassion.

After all, we cannot teach that we do not know. And when that’s applied to Venus, in the universally  emotional sign of Pisces that means we will not receive the compassion we know not how to give.

Compassion, love, care…it’s all part of that equation.

And it was once that I reached that point that I understood why Venus is awkward in Aries. Venus is a connective precept, and in Aries there is only the I-me-my of life.

All planets are weak (or awkward) in the sign (or in this case, signs) which are opposite those which they rule or are exalted in. In this case, Aries is in opposition to Libra, where Venus is the idea which connects – as opposed to Venus in Pisces, which is the feeling which connects…and Venus in Taurus, which is the ability TO connect.

But since every placement – no matter how testing it is – has a positive sign, then the question became how is Venus in Aries a positive?

Aries being the ‘first person personal’ sign, my best answer comes from Aries as a fiery sign which can create the image which motivates us to do something. In Aries, Venus asks us to motivate ourselves. The tough part is there is no cheering section. And during the next three (plus) weeks of Venus in Aries, we can’t expect much in the way of applause.

For some this will feel isolating. Some will enjoy the feeling of independence or the opportunity to experience a little peace and quiet. But for most of us, Venus in Aries - whatever else it is, always includes some sense of feeling like you're on your own. That can be because there isn't anyone around, because no one is available (or able) to help you...or because you've decided to take an independent position or course of action.

And sometimes that's what you need to do. Sometimes it's pure folly - true! But sometimes we drown by surrendering ourselves to the expectations of others. Or some tradition or habit which has outlived its appropriateness, or which doesn't fit your current situation.

Solitude by Frederick Leighton
(c. 1890, oil on canvas, Maryhill Museum of Art, Washington)
Venus enters Aries on March 22nd at 3:16 in the morning UT/+0 time. It will be in Aries until April 15th (which those in the USA will recognize as Income Tax due-day.) For this to be happening while Pluto is hunkered down in 11 Capricorn (the degree it will go retrograde at during April) is a metaphysical image of a challenge we each will feel in our own Venus-in-Aries sort of way. Since Venus will square Pluto at the end of this month (the 30th or 31st, depending what time zone you’re in) and that by then Venus will be running in tandem with the Sun is an indication of focus.

Which for some will be an ‘over-focusing on self’ in all it’s myopic non-glory, yes.

But there are some up sides here. During these days (which, given orbs on transit we can broaden to March 28th through April 2nd, give or take)…during these days the Sun-Venus will be conjunct Uranus. That means things aren't entirely in our control. Leaving ourselves open to new ideas is far (far!) better than trying to hold on here, as Uranus respresents those life forces and moments which change our outlook.

Even our life.

Sun-Venus will also be sextile to Jupiter in Gemini. This represents a moment of recognition, though with Jupiter being in Gemini (not Jupiter’s best sign) and Venus’ position in Aries we may be finding out things we would rather not hear, but need to know and think through.

Since at this point Venus and the Sun will also be in an inconjunct to Saturn in Scorpio retrograde, there is a sense of ‘regrouping’ here. Saturn’s opposing Venus’ most primal sign of rulership (Taurus) while Venus is in a sign of detriment (that’s the astrological term for ‘in opposition to sign of rulership’) is a sign that what we’ve been doing with our life…which probably amounts to priorities and how we’ve been going about doing what we’ve been doing…is going through a general period of personal scrutiny.

And when we won’t do that scrutiny, life will (of course!) prompt us to scrutinize those things either through things which happen to us or relationships with, or reactions from others.

Need I add that May is going to bring a Taurus Solar Eclipse as well?

We’re hearing this whole ‘the cost of life’ and discussions of values and what’s valuable all around us. The Venus lesson tells us that ultimately, we do have to care about what we do to or about others, but that our ability to do so is vitally about us.

And therein lies the rub – particularly the Venus-in-Aries rub. Nobody likes being wrong. Nobody likes not being able to do what they want to do. Nobody likes having to deal with the idea that they can’t have what they want now (deferred gratification) or that they’ve made a bad bet, be that financial or (even ouchier) with your life.

Alas, the handwriting is on the solar systemic wall (wherever that is). Because we have talked about this Venus-Sun conjunction occurring in aspect to Jupiter and Saturn we know (astrologically, at least) that this is about what we are building (or have built) in our life. Jupiter and Saturn are the ‘generational’ planets. Personally and individuality they are about what we do in this world and the world as we experience it or are supported-or-hindered by that world.

That Venus catches up to Mars about the time the whole Sun-Venus-Jupiter-Saturn thing shapes up speaks to our desire to make things work. And for some, this is a sign of (Venus in Aries) disappointments which can (Mars in Aries) really strike to the core.

Then again, this may be just what you need to get off the stick (or sticking point) and do something about your life. In fact, since even once the Sun-Jupiter-Saturn thing lets go Venus and Mars will still be running in tandem, this is a great time to get things done.

It’s also a time which may spark some rather feisty (read: serious) personal conflicts. Though Venus-Mars is known as passion, there’s nothing which says this has to be the passion of love.

Diesen Kuss der Ganzen Welt (Gustav Klimt, 1902)

Trust me, nothing says that – especially here. So while this can be a time for passionate love, there's a decent chance that expressions of love will now be...well, let's say just a touch self-serving. Not that such things don't have their place. It may be a moment when it’s ‘their turn’ to get the family (or relationship) focus. Or when someone needs your help or you need to make some sort of sacrifice. Or even when in your own life you need to shift 'passionate priorities' or not give so much attention to something which is your passion because something else needs your attention.

Just understand: this is likely to be a testy time for bargains, whether with yourself or others. So don’t blame “them,” make peace with yourself. Don't go all bonkers because you need to stop doing what you want to be doing in order to take care of something which in its own right is a real and valid problem. Knowing why you do what you do (preferably before you do it) is essential during these days. This can also be as much a time time for flagrant displays of disrespect as adoration.

Mars and Venus will continue running in tandem for the duration of Venus’ passage through Aries – which by the by, includes the Pluto station, which should be a very intense period which for some will be very trying in an internal sort of way nobody likes to deal with.

Life is asking that we change modes. May ills personal and societal are coming out now and we’re bound to see the worst in some. Efforts to blame others will abound. But in the end, if we can’t play nice with others, if we can’t keep things balanced enough that we recognize that to have a good life we have to care about building and maintaining a healthy world and society…those flaws are ours and they will be driven home.

The universe is not cruel – it’s just not partial. We don’t like that, perhaps. But it is not just a truth, it’s the very sort of truth Venus in Aries is meant to bring into focus so that the whole of our life has more balance...which in whether we know it or not, makes everything we are, everything we do more worthwhile.

You know, more beautiful.

And that's the Venus positive.

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