By Mary Plumb | May 5, 2014
On May 11 Venus and Mars will be in opposition at 9°30’ Aries/ Libra. If the skies are clear, both will be visible — Venus, the morning star in the east rising ahead of the Sun, and Mars visible all night.
Venus and Mars are conjunct about every two years. The most recent conjunction, on April 6, 2013, was at 19°57’ Aries. Venus always travels close to the Sun and Mars is always direct at his conjunction with Venus.
But, Mars is always retrograde (or near his station) at his opposition to Venus. (Again, just visualize that Venus is always near the Sun while Mars goes retrograde when nearing opposition to the Sun.)
We know that Mars is completing his retrograde phase on May 19 at 9° Libra. A planet moves slowly at its station and the degree has staying power. Mars is at 9° Libra from May 7 to June 1: Take note as upcoming transits visit that degree.
At the opposition, planets are 180° apart, as far apart as they can be; their contours, functions, qualities, assets, and essence are directly recognizing and mirroring each other.
Although the 180° aspect highlights polarity and the outer world is enticing or demanding, or certainly interesting, polarities exist within our own natures as well. In many traditions, the awareness of opposites is a powerful portal for growth.
This Venus-Mars opposition is especially curious since the planets are in one another’s signs — Venus in Mars-ruled Aries and Mars in Venus-ruled Libra.
In a well-known mythological tale of Venus and Mars, Venus, although married to Vulcan, is enamored with Mars. Vulcan, the god of blacksmiths in Roman lore (his Greek counterpart is Hephaestus), manipulates fire and forges metal. He makes an invisible net to catch the lovers; in some renderings, this is for the amusement of the gods.
Another layer of interpretation, preferred by the alchemist Paracelsus and his followers, describes the net as being of a particular substance that was thought to be an important step in the path of the Great Work. They spoke of the melding of opposites as an important process in one’s inner life.
Iron (Mars) and Copper (Venus) are known as the King and Queen of the metals. Copper is eager to combine with other metals, while Iron is hard, rigid, and capable of great resistance. “On average, women have about 20% higher copper serum than men and for iron it is the other way round, with men having a one-third higher iron level than women in their blood.” (1)
“Iron, or Mars, is the minor malefic, furnishing man with energy, courage, resistance, aggressiveness, and forcefulness. …But iron has the distinction of itself, either permanently or temporarily, becoming magnetic. It thus exhibits an independence and force not possessed by other metals.” (2)
“Copper is a metal of reddish color — soft, pliable, yielding, and a good conductor of heat and electricity. It is an even better conductor of electric force than iron, but is incapable of retaining that force and itself becoming energetic. Iron is a harsh, forceful metal, but copper is mild and gentle….It is truly the metal of union, for it is always more contented when alloyed with another. It thus entirely lacks that independence of character that distinguishes iron, and must ever have a stronger companion upon which to lean.” (3)
Copper, like Venus, has the power of attraction; it combines with other elements to form alloys and transforms other substances into complex salts; because of this versatility in transforming and combining, “the alchemists called copper meretrix metallorum, the harlot of the metals.” (4)
The opposition is a moment of perfect equipoise. If we attend to it, we may be gifted with maximum awareness of the energy at hand. With Venus and Mars surrounding the earth on either side, the opposition can be a time of enormous self-awareness, observation and balance. We know from the law of correspondences that a seemingly simple adjustment (i.e., do I need a little more – or less – chocolate or berries – Venus? or garlic or ginger – Mars?) can impact the intricate and subtle functions of the endocrine glands and their hormones.
Here is an essay by homeopath Peter Morrell on The Healing Power of Metals. It introduces the qualities of the metals with simple suggestions on how to notice their harmony or imbalance in our own bodies and psyches. Remember, both Venus and Mars are needed; they work together, always uniquely calibrated for maximum accomplishment.
(1) Quote from an extract from Nick Kollerstrom’s book, The Metal-Planet Relationship. Skyscript
(2) Brotherhood of Light
(4) Borderland Research
Quote from: The Secrets of Metals, Wilhelm Pelikan, Anthroposophic Press, N.Y., 1973.