by Boots Hart, CAP

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Venus Retrograde Conjunct Pluto: January 18 - 31

by William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1876)

It's standard astrological theory how during the week before a retrograde begins (or ends) we all tend to feel a bit pressured. Maybe even frustrated. Or confused.

Then the object goes retrograde, marking a time of shifting perspectives, when whatever the attribute we associate with its energetics becomes the general ‘focus,’ prompting force or ‘framework’ for thinking things over.

Venus went retrograde on December 21 (2013) in the sign of Capricorn, sign of structure, leadership and commerce. Associated with everything ‘outside of who we (physically) are,’ Capricorn has a dualistic quality in that through all things Capricorn – our career, our social standing, our achievements, our reputation or whatever we are known ‘for’ or ‘as’ through everything and anything external we get measured by others (or society).

Then as we reflect on that, we measure ourselves.

Under Venus retrograde (as a general concept) we’re likely to be not in an approving mood. Or maybe we’re not (as they say) “feeling the love” from others. Venus’ movements through the zodiac indicate the ‘directions’ from which we should expect to receive input and reward and right now the normal give and take between people (or in situations) feels forced. Or lacking. It’s like things aren’t working and we don’t know why.

Normally we would see Venus in Capricorn and think of the implied Venus/Saturn connection as a sign of stability, pragmatism and good business sense (corporate or the ‘business of life’). But with Venus in retrograde, finding a path through our lives has felt difficult and muddled. We have all tried to rely on who we are and the skills we understand ourselves having – and of late (since December 21st) – things haven’t been going that well. They’ve been sluggish. Or maybe people have been unresponsive.

Is it them? Is it who we are? Are we on the right track? Have we built the right life for ourselves so that we care not just about the ‘outer’ person and ‘outer’ life but the person we are ‘inside’ our personal world or individual life?

Businesses and efforts (personal or public) which have been or which are aimed at achieving some goal have been moving along slowly, if at all. A lot of us – and many a company or organization founded during the last ten days of December in any year – they’ve met up with setbacks and ‘support problems.’

Our Venusian feelings of being appreciated, fully responded to and properly reward is being exposed to a harder course – a ‘bigger world’ or tougher set of rules than we thought we’d have to face.

Or…is it that we’re just not capable? Personally and professionally, a lot of people have been asking themselves just that question.

And now Venus is moving towards its station-direct point at 13 Capricorn on January 31st – a date which we know (because Mercury is entering Pisces on the 31st) is going to cause us to feel something.

Something. What you feel is read through Mercury’s natal position (replete with aspects et al) plus where 0 Pisces is in your chart. (Check your solar chart as well.)

Plus 13 Capricorn of course – that being where Venus is going direct.

Normally the thing to do would be to think through was ‘Venusian results’ mean when we bring that ‘I cause the effect I receive’ Venus vibe to 13 Capricorn, a degree which is all about the ambition which when combined with standards of integrity presents us with tough choices and difficult situations which need negotiating. And learning from.

The durability and determination which we feel we have to use now we will also experience in others. The funny thing is though…in them the energetic looks like arrogance. It feels dismissive. And in our own lives this Venus at 13 Capricorn retrograde can feel like a rejection.

And the truth here is this: if we fail now it’s because we have refused to try or (given the Sun’s presence in individuality-oriented Aquarius) be present as our own ‘presentation’ of Self in this world. Plus the bottom line here is this: all of this is likely to be highly intense and productive…or destructive based not on who or what we face, but how we face it.

And that is about how well we deal with two other ideas: desire and reality – specifically, our emotional ability (or willingness) to deal with reality, or to deal with others in a manner which is realistic, given the situation.

The intensity of this period is likely to be very much ‘in our faces’ and/or virtually subliminal, depending on how we tend to deal with ‘the dream’ as a motivation and something totally apart from daily life. Both can exist, but only if we don’t try to…or even need to live in some sort of ‘dream.’

Some of our dreams are simple lacks of realism.

Some are reflections of that we are unable to deal with.

Knowing one from the other is vital now…and as we move forward into February (Mercury retrograde), March (Mars and Saturn retrograding on March 1st and 2nd) and the sluice of events which is likely to accompany the April 2014’s Libra-Taurus eclipse pair.

Venus going retrograde last December began a radical altering of our relationship(s) to others. This is what is now intensifying as Venus 'backs into' the Plutonic position. This is a transformative dynamic - and a highly intense one at that.

But will it evolve as something inside of us that we choose to do or be? Or will this be a time when external forces leave us no option but to change - or maybe just do something new?

As we pour over inner indecision, this is a time when we may be tempted - if for no other reason than to feel tempted...though by what is individual, and strangely enough, at this time the why we would be tempted becomes at least as strong as the temptation itself.

If Venus represents that which comes from us, which can be evoked by us or through us...and Venus is now functioning so that we can better understand ourselves and our lives and our potentials and what matters...that's the issue we are instinctively reacting to as something with deep and meaningful potential.

Is that a potential for good? It well may be, though with Venus-Pluto connections, best bets always consider the allure of the intense and those internal desires which, whether they're erotic or not, inspire cravings.

There is a power exuded during Venus-Pluto periods which feels pervasive. Mysteriously so. With Sun in Aquarius/Mars in Libra, much now has to do with our relationship to our world and thus this Venus-Pluto connector is likely to function as part of whatever we are going through right now which has to do with our ability to value ourselves...and whether we're doing that in such a way as to enhance our lives - or maybe just make things incredibly toxic.

Toxins - real or emotional, physical, financial or situational - are a large matter to deal with now. There is a need to protect or inure ourselves to effects even as we need to improve situations.

And still Venus is in retrograde. As this process evolves, as Venus edges ever closer to Pluto's zodiacal position impacts will increase. The evidence of what things 'cost' (or cost us) will become more manifest - most of all in our regard for ourselves, in the distance or dichotomy between what is and is going on and what we could be. Or could do. Or could become.

Or could perhaps learn, once and for all.

There are emotional outpourings yet to occur in April which will trace their origins back to now (mid-late January) and December – say, from the 21st until just prior to Christmas.

As for this next period ahead, January 18-31 is likely to be anything but dull. Even if you’re not doing anything out of the ordinary, something is brewing. It may feel like it is ‘about’ others but it isn’t – this time is about how we react to others based more or less on external interactions and ‘hidden factors’ which we are as fascinated by as wary of.

Why we are fascinated…and why are we so skeptical or perhaps even defensive? That’s the real question, and that’s all about us.

And if something affects us, we’ve been touched.

Eos (Dawn)
by William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905)

How we deal with that is likely to be part of a greater step in our personal, hugely human evolution. It’s a theme we’re all living through and being subjected to – most of all by ourselves.

If we can bear in mind that things happen – good or bad – and people come into, and leave our lives for reasons which can be totally positive and entirely painful at the same time…then we stand to get a lot out of this time. That which feels most stable may in the end prove worthwhile (if less productive) than that which is undertaken with a willingness to take reasonable risks in the cause of overall growth.

Quality and quantity are not the issue here: we are. We can do all the worldly things the way the world says they should be done and end up hollow if we have not yet grown into the person we are inside.

Life will prompt us – as it is doing now – telling us to grow, to change, to liberate ourselves through connecting with whatever our strengths are, difficult or otherwise, within. To love ourselves as a generative force which can give is positive. To love ourselves as and for our own ends is to undermine our own ultimate goals. Some of the reasons why this last point will prove out over the next several months (probably about six months) are not evident from here and are hidden - in particular – whenever or wherever our passions are given too wide a berth or rein. Creative or not, well intended or not, the heat of any fire ignited now can be dangerously disappointing (at the very least) if not harnessed and utilized with a light if firm touch and a clarity of human – and humanistic – purpose.


  1. Thanks for this post. This is an incredibly intense period for me (divorce and father dying within two weeks of one another) and desire for small business growth along with resolving a hot, difficult, personal relationship at this time (Natal Pluto 11 degrees (w Saturn st 4 degrees) both in Leo on my 12 degree Leo Ascendent). And some Goddess and Centaur stuff going on in Capricorn. Deep breath. Whoever/whateverr survives, wins, it looks like, for me.Choices are ahead. Clarity of who this Self is and being true to her are the goal and will be the prize. Worthy, but not a given, conclusion.

    1. "...a hot, difficult personal relationship" is a very apt way to put much of which lies at the heart of this time, though getting to why and how our 'difficulties' are either being generated within our Self or through situational dynamics which are endeavoring to reveal us to our selves is hugely challenging. In some whatever way...we are each and all being told that the 'easy way' (or perhaps that mythical "the way I thought things were going to work") don't work that way.

      We have another step or two to take in this Venus process before we reach the 31st, so you can look for at least one more substantially long post on this subject next week.

      In the meantime, I'm sorry you're having such trying times and I'm honored to be of assistance even in a small way.


  2. Thanks for another 'much to chew over' post, Boots. So much of it resonated with me.
    I think I've decided not to pursue entering the short film comp., and not just because I'm struggling with the editing process. Some days I think the steep technological learning curve is just an excuse for me to give up ..,but it keeps occurring to me that to speak my truth in a short film that could potentially be shortlisted, and therefore shown publicly (though that i know is highly doubtful) seems like throwing myself into a big pot of trouble that will cause much grief come April, when the aspects are harsh. And I ask myself, "why do I want to out myself publicly, when I'm not even out in all my social circles?? Seems a stupid thing to do, given I'm not ready to do it personally!

    1. What you're ready to do or not is entirely understandable, and from the sounds of it you're learning one of the key rules most of us in the creative arts have encountered: it takes longer than you suspect to master your tools and even longer than that to figure out what you want to do with them. (Ask me how I know.)

      I used to teach new assistants how to use production accounting software and my standard statement to them was that they'd figure it all out right after they got to the point when they were sure they were going to just throw that computer right out the window...against which I can also say that though it sounds a bit odd, I've never known anyone in the arts who didn't ultimately benefit from their periodic doses of frustration, complete with the temptation to 'just quit.' So you may be on your way to winning an award or two (or three or four).

      As for April, though it's eclipse time, let's remember that all of us have been through eclipse seasons which barely touched us for all they might have scathed our neighbors (you know, the 'it hit your chart but not mine' thing). You may not want to 'out' yourself now...but maybe by then you'll think something else. Besides, let's remember that eclipse effects are not about 'them' (the public) in your life - they're about you in your life. So maybe the question is why it would be so uncomfortable for you to feel others know about your budding efforts in the area of film...?