Monday, April 9, 2012

Planetary Energies for April 9 to 15, 2012

Astrology Journal
Written by Pam Younghans
Photo: Venus shines brightly as she dances with the Seven Sisters (photo by Fred Espenak, Bifrost Astronomical Observatory)
ALTHOUGH there are other planetary influences that are exact this week and deserve our close attention (such as both Mars and Pluto standing still and having increased effect), I'm feeling drawn to first write about the dance between Venus and the Pleiades this past week -- and how it relates to the upcoming Venus-Sun transit. Perhaps the reasons for this will become clear as the writing unfolds...

I promise to talk about Mars and Pluto, too -- but that means it's likely to be a long Journal today! So be forewarned -- maybe it would be good to get your hot or cool beverage of choice, so that you can sip and relax while you read.

VENUS DANCED with the Pleiades this past week, an event that last happened eight years ago. Venus is very distant from the Sun right now -- 45 degrees away on Tuesday -- which is about as far from the Sun as she ever gets. She is in early degrees of Gemini, and is gathering information and energy as she waltzes with the Seven Sisters.

Venus will soon be slowing her forward motion, and will eventually go retrograde (on May 15) so that she can return to the Sun and share what she has learned. This download will occur around the time of Venus' transit of the Sun on June 5 (just 38 hours after Lunar Eclipse!). The Sun will then carry Venus' energetic download to Earth on light rays and solar winds.

THIS VENUS-SUN ALIGNMENT in June is a rare and special event, called an "occlusion" because as we watch from Earth, we will see Venus physically move across the face of the Sun. This alignment occurs in pairs eight years apart, about every 122 years. The first of our current twosome occurred on June 8, 2004. Before that, the last Venus occlusion of the Sun was in 1882.

Visually, it is dramatic to see Venus as a dark speck against the Sun. Energetically, we benefit from this close interaction of the two planets, as the Sun amplifies the qualities of Venus and broadcasts them directly to us. Here's how writers on Wikipedia describe Venus' transit of the Sun:
"A transit of Venus across the Sun takes place when the planet Venus passes directly between the Sun and Earth, becoming visible against (and hence obscuring a small portion of) the solar disk. During a transit, Venus can be seen from Earth as a small black disk moving across the face of the Sun. The duration of such transits is usually measured in hours (the transit of June 8, 2004 lasted six hours). This Venus transit is similar to a Solar Eclipse by the Moon."

WE KNOW THAT a Solar Eclipse, when the Moon crosses between Earth and the Sun, is a powerful event, marking a time of resolution and new beginnings -- a magnified New Moon. But, Solar Eclipses occur every six months.

These Venus "eclipses" of the Sun are much more rare. The last pair occurred on December 1874 and December 1882, when Venus and the Sun were in Sagittarius. And, we have to go back 243 years to find a comparable event to our current experience, when the Venus transit of the Sun occurred in Gemini (June 1761 and June 1769).

It is interesting to note that back in 1769 (the year that is most related to our current Venus-Sun transit), astronomer Charles Messier included the Pleiades in his now-famous list of nebulae and star clusters. It was a somewhat controversial addition at the time, and astronomers still question why it was included. Perhaps Mr. Messier felt an affinity with the Seven Sisters due to Venus' rendezvous with them and subsequent transit of the Sun in that same year.

SO, A LOT OF FACTS. But, of course, being an astrologer means that I get to take the facts of planetary events and go further. I get to explore what they mean and how they may affect our lives on planet Earth. And, hopefully, I also convey that meaning in ways that are useful and helpful.

But, I am finding my goal of practical interpretation hard to attain as I ponder the meanings of the Venus-Sun alignment, on the heels of Venus' rendezvous with the Pleiades. It all feels very mystical to me, and difficult to capture in words. The best I can do is describe this influence as having an opening effect on our high heart (thymus) chakras, with the potential of helping us more fully integrate the wisdom of the feminine.

HOW WE RESPOND to this energy is -- as always -- unique to us each as individuals. If we are fully comfortable with the qualities of compassion and forgiveness, and we are ready to release fear and replace it with love, working with these energies may feel almost blissful.

And, certainly, we can each experience at least moments of that bliss. On the other hand, if we are holding on to resentment, blame, or unforgiveness, and we still have the need to play victim, martyr, or rescuer, we may find this Venus-Pleiades-Sun energy challenges us.

Perhaps we each remember recent events when our continued resonance with these lower-vibrational patterns became uncomfortably clear. But, perhaps we have also been able to utilize the alignment of Venus and the Pleiades to help us release bits and pieces of those patterns.

This is an influence that will grow in effect over the coming weeks, especially once Venus goes retrograde in mid-May. It is no small thing that this high-heart energy will be emphasized at the same time that Uranus and Pluto are pushing us to make major personal transformations and social changes.
Speaking of which, let's get back to the current week:

PLUTO STATIONS RETROGRADE on Tuesday, beginning his five-month phase of backward motion through the zodiac. When a planet stalls in its orbit and prepares to change direction, its influence is usually heightened. Since Pluto is well-known for his powerful and transformative effects, we may see some events this week that turn the tables on reality as we have known it.

And, once Pluto has started moving backward in Capricorn, he will be heading directly for his first exact square with Uranus (on June 24). This Pluto-Uranus square is a testing point for the values and ideals that were seeded in the social revolutions of the 1960s, when Pluto and Uranus were aligned in Virgo.

THE ISSUES of that decade, as we experienced them here in the United States, included civil rights, earth stewardship, individual freedoms, artistic self-expression, sexual freedom, equal opportunity, and pushing frontiers of all kinds (remember the first manned missions to the Moon, amidst all the antiwar protests and civil rights marches?)... If you were on the planet during the '60s, no doubt you have your own potent memories of that time in your life.

With Pluto's station retrograde, we will have begun the next step in our transformation in earnest -- all the more reason to make sure our energy systems are as clean and clear as possible, so that we can bring a higher vibration to whatever we touch and everywhere we go.

ALSO THIS WEEK, Mars comes to a standstill and completes his retrograde phase on Friday. We have been working with a retrograde Mars since January 23, and may have felt during these long weeks that movement toward our goals has been slow, if not completely stalled. At the same time, our internal restlessness has been on the increase, perhaps expressing itself externally as more anger or irritation than usual.

As with all retrograde phases, the end purposes have been positive, even if the means to getting there have felt less so. During the past 11 weeks, we have been given opportunities to review and change certain energy patterns that have become self-defeating, that needed to be shifted and healed. With Mars in Virgo, the focus has been to show us how we have misused or scattered our energy through criticalness, worry, or overanalyzing.

With Mars finally going direct, over the coming weeks we will find that we are able to also move forward with greater courage and intentionality than before -- especially if we have done the inner work that retrograde Mars was asking us to do.

ONE LAST WORD about this week's planetary alignments, and then we can go out and enjoy this sunny afternoon: We have a Sun-Saturn opposition next weekend, exact on Sunday morning Pacific Time. Like all opposition aspects, this one requires us to find a new balance between polarities.

On the one hand, the Sun in Aries energizes our individuality and initiative, and challenges us to be leaders who pioneer new territory and courageously forge the new path for others to follow. But, Saturn in Libra is just as strong in reminding us of the importance of working in cooperation with others, and consistently tells us that there is no "I" in "teamwork."

One possible manifestation of this energy is a reality check on the status of current relationships. Saturn is the "Dr. Phil" of the solar system, always asking, "How's that working for you?" If we are out of balance on either side of the equation -- too self-centered or too other-centered, or in other ways creating co-dependence instead of interdependence in our important relationships, those imbalances may become very clear with this aspect.

A good time for self-assessment, and a renewal of commitment to making our relationships work -- for REAL.


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