by Michelle Gregg, Counseling Astrologer at www.michellegregg.com
What do you think of when you think of the planet Venus? The morning star? The evening star? (She is both at different times of the year.) Or do you think of her unusual brightness in the sky – so much brighter than all the other planets, paling only in comparison to the Moon to our eyes. Though perhaps you might think of the Roman Goddess of Love or her Greek counterpart, Aphrodite. They were both revered as Goddesses of fruitfulness, beauty and love.
In astrology, Venus’ symbolism comes from these beauties of old, encompassing the depths of love, relationship, beauty, the arts, harmony and partnership. She is the embodiment of eroticism, grace, devotion and longing… wonderful you say, but what does that mean to me?
On Jan. 14, 2012, the lovely, bright planet moved out of the sign of Aquarius and into the sign of Pisces, where she’ll be biding her time for the next 3 weeks, until Feb. 8, 2012 (Venus stays in each sign about 20 days or so in her ceaseless orbit – so mark your calendar). Because Aquarius and Pisces are such different signs with very little in common, the move from one sign to the other can be very distinctively felt, particularly for those of you with the Sun or other planets in the sign of Pisces, not only because Venus is currently occupying your sign, but because as a Pisces influenced Soul you’re so tuned in. And as of this past Saturday, Venus is energizing not only Pisces but the other 3 mutable signs as well: Gemini, Virgo, and Sagittarius. (To find out where your planets are visit www.astro.com and set up free birth chart.)
[Here's a brief lesson in the Mutable signs (meaning they are adaptable and changeable): there are 4 Mutable signs (out of the 12 total Zodiac signs) and they all form a 90 degree angle to each other - meaning they are "squared." This angular relationship is very dynamic, tense and challenging requiring some sort of release - when one of the 4 signs is affected, they all are. (The same is true for the other 2 sets of "4's." The Cardinals are: Aries, Cancer, Libra & Capricorn. The Fixed signs are: Taurus, Leo, Scorpio & Aquarius. We'll have reason to talk about them later.)]
But back to how the movement of Venus into Pisces affects you.
Venus is essentially the value we place on experience at the inner level. And in Pisces where she is exalted, Venus expresses the need to relate, to love, to experience beauty through the lens of either transcending or escaping reality. (The idealism of the first several weeks of a new intimate relationship come to mind with all its excitement, sexual perfection, and the bliss of union – both escapist and transcendent!) If transcendence is our valued path, we align with the archetypes of Jesus, Buddha – all spiritually transcendent teachers. While Venus is in Pisces, those of us sensitive to it, may also experience a heightened sense of romanticism. We may dream of, long for, whatever we value in the depths of our being… whether that is forbidden love, the desire to help the less fortunate, the ecstasy of the way music moves us, delight in the expression of Nature all around us, or the bliss of self-expression through poetry, photography, or other form of art. If we’re not particularly artistic, we may find ourselves drawn to and drawn into art in a way we haven’t been for a long time… or ever.
Venus in Pisces is a gentle, loving and very accepting placement for the Goddess of Love and Romanticism. However, if this combination is in a challenging, not-to-be-ignored aspect to a sensitive part of your chart that doesn’t communicate agreeably, the escapist qualities of this placement may come to the fore. Confusion around relating could manifest, leaving us fragile and uncertain of our worth. We could experience either ego-inflation or ego-deflation – depending on how we’re wired. Either way, the desire to escape reality and prop ourselves up with our favorite escape route isn’t uncommon: too much drinking, too much shopping, too much exercise or couch potato-ing, or just the tendency to day dream our time away… you get the picture.
So the beauty of the Goddess of Love meeting Pisces – the sign ruled by Neptune the God of the Sea, is that of unification – the unfolding into the cosmic bliss of creativity and agape – love as revealed in selflessness, love that is spiritual, being wide open to grace. The not-so-beautiful side of this combination, if it doesn’t sit particularly well with you and the energies you were born with, is that of dis-grace… self-sacrifice, disillusion, victimization and lulling the self with (hopefully legal) self-medicating.
The wonderful thing is that you can choose. Do you want to learn and experience the high road of Universal love, beauty and transcendence, with the desire to either reach out and help your fellow-beings and the possibility to elevate your own spirituality? Or do you want to fall into self-deprecation and escapism, open to the possibility of deception and the willingness to to give up your power to another force. Those are the two extremes and certainly your experience is likely to be somewhere in-between. But when you know the options of the energy at hand, it’s liberating to know what awaits at the extreme end of either fork in the road.
Image credit: Photo is of The Birth of Venus by Alexandre Cabanel (1823-1889) Oil on Canvas – Musee d’Orsay, Paris, France