With the current leveling of our structures and bodies by the transiting Saturn-Pluto square, along with the exposing of both our illusions and further visions a la the Jupiter-Chiron-Neptune stellium, one might wonder if there’s any other sky story worthy of our attention now. In fact, there is, this January.
Since 2003, I’ve actively followed the synodic cycles of Mars-Sun and Venus-Sun, both through extensive sky-watching from many locations and through researching my client and celebrity files. I’ve investigated how ancient sky-watching wisdom from Babylonian, Egyptian, Celtic, and other cultures might be brought to bear on contemporary psychological and consciousness development today. I wish to go further than mundane considerations — but certainly not exclude them — and to meld our ancient and current skills for the purpose of exposing how a more complete vision of our astrological future might be engendered. It seemed to me that our post-postmodern focus on a more complex, yet integrated, emotional, psychological, and spiritual life was asking to be integrated with the ancients’ masterful awareness of direct-sky watching. If viable, such a marriage would further deepen us into what it means to be terrestrial and celestial simultaneously.
This January, the two most transformational events in the synodic lives of Mars and Venus will occur within two weeks of one another — what I have named Transcendence and Transmutation. These phases in the Mars-Sun and Venus-Sun cycles are the templates for our deepest inner and best outer masculine and feminine selves. They are our personal Shiva and Shakti, our own sacred masculine and feminine.
Only through the synodic cycle do we see the larger developmental intention, the natal planetary phase, any relevant star testimonies, and important visual attributes of the birth moment. To understand how synodic and natal delineations work together, first assess the entire natal condition of the planet in question — i.e., sign, house, aspects, dignity, etc. This is the native’s core masculine (Mars) and feminine (Venus) wiring, their personal masculine and feminine ‘story’. Next, frame that multivalent image within the native’s planet-Sun synodic cycle — by phase, and by visual and physical attributes. Similar in concept to lunar phases, synodes are wonderful framing devices for natal and personal transit work. With both being considered, and in proper relationship to one another, a more robust and complete picture of someone’s full nature emerges: not only who someone individually is but what someone collectively contributes to the larger human unfolding. I often describe the natal synodic picture as a personal masculine/feminine dharma.
On January 11, Venus will conjunct the Sun in her superior conjunction, marking what I call her Transmutational Underworld Phase (TMU), at 4:00 pm ET at 21°32′ Capricorn (tropical zodiac). TMU lets us know that Venus is invisible (co-rising with the Sun) and moving at her most rapid direct velocity. What the ancients observed, and what holds true for us today, is the correlation of the superior conjunction to a transmutation of those energies standing in the way of better, more appropriate expressions of Venusian functioning (the planet under synodic consideration).
graphic shows Venus behind the Sun at superior conjunction (Jan 11, 2010)
The visual experience of superior conjunction is of course an invisible Venus. Within us, however, even today, we sense/know that the Sun and Venus alchemize together to act as a doorway into what has been called “the underworld” for millenia. We can further understand the superior conjunction to force the Earth and Venus into a spatial polarity to one another, with the Sun positioned as their archetypal midpoint. The Sun inhabits the vesica region, the intersecting ripple patterns of influence of both planets.
graphic shows Venus-Sun-Earth archetypal ‘displacement’ at superior conjunction
When this is observed on a nativity, in phase progression or in mundane work, an archetypal loss occurs. What is lost here is not the content of the individual psyche — personal fears and contractive patterns — but the blueprint of our otherwise natural relationship with Venus. We (Earth) effectively lose ourselves as our own feminine (socio-physiological) center. We further find that it’s been replaced by the alchemical Venus + Sun being described above. This type of synodic transit event catalyzes a deeper effect on us than a traditionally conceived Venus-Sun conjunction. It’s been my observation that its influence is as strong and lasting for an individual as any hard outer-planet transit, and may have equal impact on the collective level as well.
Venus’ Journey is consistently 19-months in duration. From extensive research with thousands of client and celebrity charts, I’ve come to name Venus’ phases (in order):
1. Self-Conception (Transmigrational Underworld – see graphic #3 for explanation)
2. Gestation (Transmigrational Underworld)
6. Queen’s Descent (Surrender & Discovery)
7. Transmutational Underworld (see graphic #3)
9. Queen’s Ascent (Remembering & Embodiment)
12. Completion (Transmigrational Underworld)
Venus experiences two distinct underworld periods associated with each of her Sun conjunctions. They are entirely different in visual quality/experience and inner meaning, as may be obvious to many. The first phase, Transmigration, sees Venus retrograde at inferior conjunction (thus invisible), effectively shifting the previous cycle to the next. The most recent Transmigration took place on March 27, 2009, when Venus transmigrated out of the former Leo Journey (8-17-07 to 3-26-09) and began the current Aries Journey at 7°15′ Aries. Transmigration is the Omega/Alpha point in humanity’s developing feminine nature. The lessons learned or avoided through our Leo Femininity (prior cycle) are now being worked out through Aries (current cycle). How we’ve embraced ourselves in acceptance and love, how we’ve discovered or avoided ourselves as creators of our world, now is put to the test. This Aries Journey may be about acting from our creative natures, bravely testing new ways to relate, facing our fear of connecting with different kinds of people, and defending what’s important. It’s an active, experimental, and heart-driven Feminine. Keep in mind that the terms ‘femininity’ and ‘masculinity’ do not refer to gender and gender issues, but to core principles inherent in each woman, man, and child.
In contrast, and the subject of this series of articles, Venus’ next Transmutation Phase on January 11 (superior conjunction, invisible, fastest direct motion) immerses Venus in the core transformative process within the current Aries cycle. TMU is the midpoint of any journey and marks Venus’ precise changeover from morning-sky to night-sky (albeit invisibly). The governing intention of this and every other phase, however, remains Aries. To clarify this idea for those new to synodic delineation, we can form the question, How will Aries’ femininity develop/grow/evolve through her transition from morning-sky, to invisibility, to night-sky? Or, how will Aries’ femininity, the sign of the overall journey, radically transform from 29° Scorpio — her first disappearance in the morning sky — through 14° Pisces — her first reappearance in the evening sky? Scorpio through Pisces are the signs Venus inhabits while moving through the Transmutation Phase (TMU).
TMU occurs at the temporal midpoint in each Venus Journey, indicating that its purpose is to shift us from morning to evening Venus, yet still within that Journey’s developmental arc. Venus enters TMU having completed her entire morning-sky period with all the impulsiveness, violence, and entitlement ascribed to early morning Venus for thousands of years. She will exit, though, as Night Star, exhibiting all the benevolent, goddess-like qualities we’ve equally inherited from the past.
The Queen’s Ascent and ReBirth Phases
In her evening-turned-night period, Venus’ movement ascends — growing brighter with each passing night, sending her benefic-ial rays to touch more of the sky (increasing magnitude). While the entire transition occurs within this Aries Journey, she will emerge from TMU stripped of inhibiting assumptions, orientations, and needs, such as impatience, impulsiveness, and anger. Venus’ evening emergence is her ReBirth Phase, which occurs on February 23, 2010 at 14° Pisces, marking her night-sky heliacal rise or EF (“evening first”).
Interestingly, late February through early March will see the meaning of Venus’ ReBirth phase (entirely distinct from her earlier Birth Phase) become wedded to the dialogue between Jupiter and Uranus. Venus will conjunct Jupiter at 6° Pisces on February 16 while still invisible (yet close to reappearing), and Uranus, visibly, on March 3 at 25° Pisces, in the ReBirth phase. This celestial transference of information between Jupiter and Uranus through our feminine functioning will play out a core theme of rebirth. How so? When the Venus arrow moves from Jupiter to Uranus, we are beckoned to surrender our cognitive superiority and dissociation and the rote seeking of hollow, yet seemingly expansive, experiences. Instead we can redirect that energy into inventively crafting our new creations with others. Now, set this delineation into the larger frame of Venus’ ReBirth Phase — collaborating on new plans with others, seeking nurturing and liberating situations, and an earnest yet naïve optimism — and Venus’ ReBirth, as an evolutionary response to her prior Transmutation, can trigger a newfound capacity to boldly create with others where pre-set beliefs and fears reigned before. The real-time results will be profound for many aligned to Venus’ rhythms, either archetypally or activated through natal sensitive degrees to these synode hot spots.
The New Moon at 25° Capricorn on January 15 and the conjunction of the North Node with the Sun-Venus superior conjunction at 21° Capricorn are two additional events playing important roles in Venus’ Transmutational Underworld Phase of 2010. Colleagues are encouraged to add these events into their own investigations into the Venus-Sun synode.
This January, feminine Venus and masculine Mars will align their most transformational phases with one another. On the 11th Venus reaches superior conjunction with the Sun, known herein as her Transmutational Underworld Phase. And on the 29th, Mars enters his retrograde opposition to the Sun, what I call his Transcendence Phase. The Moon meets up with Mars during Transcendence as well, forming that month’s Full Moon. This creates a powerful set of polarities: Sun (masculine) and Venus (feminine), Mars (masculine) and Moon (feminine). This is one of the most potent sacred science formulas for activating seed potential, changing our internal rules about who we are and what our options are, and most importantly, forging a robust and mutual partnership between our inner masculine and feminine selves. With Mars highest, brightest and visibly reddest, and Venus invisible behind the Sun, it’s time to devote to our deepest desires (red Mars) which emanate from our deepest heart (invisible Venus).
Adam Gainsburg has authored three books, including Chiron: The Wisdom of a Deeply Open Heart. Adam is the founder of Soulsign Astrology and an active teacher and lecturer at astrology conferences since 2007. His work emphasizes the Heart’s evolutionary intelligence at the core of all astrological method. His next book, Bridges of Union (2010), will present a comprehensive delineation model of the phases in the Mars and Venus synodic cycles. Adam also records a monthly podcast on the synodic cycles of Venus and Mars and is developing an online tool to merge astronomical advances with astrological wisdom. www.SoulsignAstrology.com