Today, the Sun moves into the fertile sign of Taurus. The air smells sweet and wildlife is beginning to return to silent cities.
Venus-ruled Taurus brings us back to the earth, to the potency of the virile bull and the gentle passive cow. During this time of enforced curfew and cocooning, we may have glimpsed some of the virtues of Taurus—patience, acceptance of those things we can no longer control, those things we can no longer change.
This week’s Taurus New Moon (April 23rd) is a harbinger of slow and painful progress and economic recession. She unites with unpredictable Uranus and makes a frustrating square to responsible Saturn in Aquarius, symbolising the tension that further restrictions and limitations will bring as a second wave of this crowned virus exposes the hubris of our leaders, honours the courage of front line workers, reshapes our lives.
Outside our windows, Venus glitters against marmalade sunset while Jupiter, Saturn and Mars rise over the horizon at dawn.
As the Sun moves through Taurus, the energy of four Retrograde planets will be emphasised. Pluto goes Retrograde on April 25th (24º Capricorn), Saturn on May 11th (1º Aquarius), Jupiter on May 14th (27º Capricorn.) Venus is moving through Gemini now and will turn Retrograde on May 13th at 21º Gemini and go direct on June 24th at 5º Gemini, a notional period of 40 days and 40 nights. Transiting Venus apparently moves backwards in her dance across the skies once every nineteen months. These important Venus Retrograde periods distil the essence of what it is that we hold very dear to our hearts.
The ancients tracked the passage of Venus in a perfect pentagram across the skies, ascribing her disappearance in the skies to her descent into the Underworld. Innana (Venus) is stripped of all her valued regalia and exquisite clothing and enters the Underworld vulnerable and exposed. In modern times, the Underworld is a symbol of our own unconscious where we may encounter a truth that reverberates viscerally. The trial of these 40 days and 40 nights are a cosmic reminder for us to dissolve, discard out-worn values and beliefs. To re-organise, re-examine, re-prioritise those things we value around a more truthful, authentic place that rests at the hearth of our heart.
As Venus turns Retrograde in Gemini we may be facing unemployment, or the unexpected gift of emerging from our chrysalis, starting over, lighter, more appreciative of the little things that bring texture and quality to our lives. We may have reached a relationship crossroad where we wonder, as author, Elizabeth Gilbert once did, “do we want our belly pressed against this person’s belly forever—or not?” We may be relishing our solitude, if we’re home alone. We may be dating at a distance, enjoying a slower, more sensual rhythm, a new way of being. We may be falling back into love. Grateful, blessed, to be with the one we’re with.
An invisible virus is still among us, and those leaders who become complacent or who try to hurry back to the way things were, may encounter setbacks or a resurgence in the pandemic as Mars moves into nebulous Pisces on May 13th, moving impatiently into the heat of Aries on June 28th, to rendezvous with Chiron, emphasising our pain, our grief, our woundedness.
“You cannot rip away caterpillarness. The whole trip occurs in an unfolding process of which we have no control,” Ram Dass once said.
In myth, Venus was also a goddess of war. The pre-Colombian Mayans believed that when kingdoms were unstable, and regimes might topple, her emergence signified an auspicious time to begin a war. Venus Retrograde in Gemini may bring to a climax a festering conflict in our relationship, or the return of a mangy old grievance. As our politicians use military-style language, and direct their impotence towards another country or each other, we may resolve to act in ways that don’t ignite conflict, or deplete our own immune systems.
As this pandemic becomes endemic, we speculate about what life might be like after COVID-19. The astrology speaks of years, not weeks or months, of metamorphosis, the kind of heat and stress that changes limestone into marble, that transforms golden calves into sacred cows.
The combustible 2020 Pluto/Jupiter/Saturn conjunction square Eris (goddess of discord, strife, and consequence) is the capstone for the end of an epoch. Pluto and Jupiter united on April 4th and will meet again on June 30th (both Retrograde) and finally on November 12th, just after the US presidential election.
Unprecedented change, disruption, and upheaval will be the hallmark of the waning square of the Saturn/Uranus cycle as it builds between 2020 and 2023. There will be three exact, uncomfortable Saturn/Uranus squares from February to December 2021, and a close encounter in October 2022, but this energy can be felt already, as the old order breaks down.
Saturn/Uranus alignments coincide with periods of civil unrest, economic collapse, revolution, radicalisation, and the collapse of systems that no longer serve their purpose. If we look back in history, the Saturn/Uranus square of 1928/1933 heralded the Wall Street Crash, the Great Depression, and the establishment of The Third Reich. It is likely that there will be record levels of unemployment that will again precede enormous social change. Like the interwoven spirals and coils of Celtic knot-work, the astrology of our times is threaded with the amalgam of the past.
This is a long-term encounter with destiny that will highlight the jagged edges in our relationships, crack open fault lines in our societies. As we steady ourselves for more sacrifices, as we anticipate more uncertainty, Teresa of Ávila who lived during a Saturn/Pluto conjunction in Capricorn at the time of the Spanish Inquisition, reminds us to have courage for whatever comes in life—everything lies in that.
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