We’re more than halfway through the Venus retrograde transit, but barely halfway through the series of planetary conjunctions that promise an interesting winter of 2022.
As stated in part one of this series, Venus stationed retrograde while conjunct Pluto in Capricorn on December 19, 2021. Venus retrograde stations do occur in the same sign as Pluto a few times per century. For instance, in the 20th century, it happened in 1986 in Scorpio, in 1967 in Virgo, and then three times in Cancer — 1916, 1924, and 1932. (1) But the exact Venus-Pluto conjunction of this last retrograde station, paired with Venus’ direct station at 13°33’ conjunct Pluto at 12°18’ on January 31, 2014, mark a closeness between the two planets unprecedented in the modern era. In other words, Venus has never made retrograde or direct stations at such close distance to Pluto in the modern era, and between 2014 and 2022 we have had them in succession.
Mercury’s retrograde transit from Aquarius to Capricorn also features three passing conjunctions with Pluto, between late December and February. (2) Meanwhile, Venus and Mars will make not one but two conjunctions between February and March. While Venus stations direct on January 29, it will still be moving slowly enough — in its gradually accelerating speed — that transiting Mars will overtake it in a conjunction at 16°53’ on February 16th, only to have Venus in turn overtake Mars in a conjunction at 0°01’Aquarius on March 6th.
However, the biggest deal in this scenario occurs in the lead-up to this second Venus–Mars conjunction, when both planets make conjunctions with Pluto on March 3–4. This triple conjunction of Venus, Mars, and Pluto bookends the aforementioned Venus-Pluto conjunction from December 19, making it likely that a lot of unfinished business from the holiday season will resurface.
What with the ongoing pandemic, international border standoffs, and other crises seemingly set to unravel civilization as we know it, it’s tempting to presume the worst. I can’t possibly touch on everything we’re dealing with, but let’s talk about a few patterns related to this retrograde cycle that we can identify.
South Africa’s anti-apartheid and human rights activist, Bishop Desmond Tutu, died on December 26, 2021, a week into the Venus retrograde transit. I mention this only to point out that his passing comes almost exactly eight years after the death of Nelson Mandela was announced on December 5, 2013, 17 days prior to the Venus retrograde station in Capricorn.
This type of event resonance is not unusual when it comes to the recurring pattern of Venus retrograde transits. On the opposite end of the humanitarian spectrum, I’m reminded that Joseph Stalin died on March 2, 1953, just as Venus was slowing down to station retrograde in Aries, eight years after Franklin Roosevelt, Benito Mussolini, and Adolf Hitler all died during the same Venus retrograde in Aries cycle in April 1945.
Coming back to South Africa, it bears noting that not only did Mandela die close to the Venus retrograde in Capricorn, but his release from prison on February 11, 1990 occurred just four days after Venus stationed direct in Capricorn.
In my previous post in this series, I explained how the Venus synodic cycle can be broken into ten identifiable phases, five rising and five setting, and that the retrograde transit in Capricorn marks the point in the cycle where Venus transitions from a Setting E phase to a Rising C phase. In other words, Mandela and Tutu both died during the Setting E phase, because their deaths occurred prior to the Sun–Venus interior / inferior conjunction. Mandela’s release from prison occurred during a Rising C phase, because it occurred following the same conjunction.
If we take a step back and look at the Setting E and Rising C phases in greater South African history, there are a few interesting things to point out. First, Mandela was also born during a Rising C phase (July 18, 1918), and was released from the dreadful prison conditions of Robben Island to a more comfortable prison cell at Pollsmoor prison in suburban Cape Town at the beginning of April 1982, during a Rising C phase.
Mandela is not the only former head of the South African government to be born during a Rising C phase. In fact, of the 14 men who have served as the political leader of South Africa since the first Union was founded on May 31, 1910 (during a Rising C phase), no less than five were born during the Rising C phase. (3) These include Louis Botha and Jan Smuts, the first two presidents of the old white-dominated regime, and, along with Mandela, Thabo Mbeki, and Jacob Zuma, of the post-apartheid regime (founded April 27, 1994 during a Setting C phase, the “mirror” phase to the Rising C).
Russia is another region where we can link a lot of the history to the Setting E to Rising C phases, where Venus makes its retrograde transit through Capricorn. On February 27, 2014, 26 days after Venus stationed direct within a degree of conjunction to Pluto, masked Russian troops invaded and annexed the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine. The Crimea had been restored to Ukrainian control on February 19, 1954, during a Setting C phase, and now nearly 60 years to the day later, it was taken back by Russia during a Rising C phase. (4)
As I write this, the world stands ready for an expected invasion of Ukraine by Russian troops, who have been positioned at the border since October last year, and it is believed that a military clash between the two countries is all but inevitable.
The United States
Finally, I want to discuss something I also touched on in my previous blog, the matter of Bill Clinton. (5) I mentioned that Gennifer Flowers (January 24, 1950), Monica Lewinsky (July 23, 1973), and Linda Tripp (November 24, 1949) were all born during the Setting E phase. (6) Speaking of Lewinsky and Tripp, the great scandal involving them and the former president became public on January 21, 1998, while transiting Venus was retrograde in Capricorn during a Rising C phase. (7) The Rising C phase was still in effect when Clinton finally admitted his guilt in the affair on August 17, 1998.
Clinton’s timeline includes a few other important events that occurred during Rising C phases. His birth father, William Jefferson Blythe Jr., whom he never met, was born on February 27, 1918, during a Rising C phase. He also died in a car accident three months before Clinton’s birth on May 17, 1946, during a Rising C phase. Clinton’s mother, Virginia Cassidy, married her second husband, Roger Clinton, on June 19, 1950, during a Rising C phase.
Given the recent conclusion of the Ghislaine Maxwell trial, whereby Clinton associate Jeffrey Epstein’s former business partner was found guilty of sex trafficking minors on his behalf, all eyes are now focusing on possible trials and convictions for many of the rich and powerful men rumoured to have engaged in Epstein-Maxwell’s criminal endeavour, including Clinton himself. While he is by no means the only notable figure — or even the only ex-president to be named as a possible future defendant for prosecution in this affair (Donald Trump has also been named) — it seems likely, given the pattern that has already been established linking crisis in Clinton’s life with the Rising C phase, that he stands to be the most probable candidate to face scandal and disgrace in the coming year.
Venus in astrology represents the social consensus, and the retrograde transit intervals tend to coincide with times when there is a shift in public opinion and social attitudes. As this retrograde interval coincides with the two-year milestone of the global pandemic, the human hive mind is turning in new directions.
(1) Pluto’s eccentric orbit gives it the shortest period in Scorpio, and the longest in Taurus, which is why there were three instances in Cancer and only one in Virgo and Scorpio each.
(2) Mercury and Pluto were conjunct on December 30, 2021; Mercury retrograde will conjoin Pluto on January 28-29, 2022, and Mercury will be direct and conjunct Pluto on February 11, 2022.
(3) The head of the South African government was titled a Prime Minister between 1910 and 1984, and the President from then onward.
(4) Nikita Khrushchev, who made the decision to restore the region to Ukraine, was born on April 15, 1894 during a Rising C phase. Viktor Yanukovych, the deposed President of Ukraine of 2014, was born on July 9, 1950, during a Rising C phase.
(5) Clinton himself was born during the Setting C phase, which as I stated earlier, is the “mirror” phase to the Rising C. Clinton’s presidential staff and cabinet was in fact full of people born during the Setting C phase, including Chiefs of Staff Mack McLarty (June 14, 1946) and Leon Panetta (June 28, 1938); Attorney General Janet Reno (July 21, 1938); Secretary of Defense Les Aspin (also July 21, 1938); Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin (August 29, 1938); Secretary of the Interior Bruce Babbitt (June 27, 1938, one day before Panetta); and Secretary of Labor Robert Reich (June 24, 1946). Clinton adversaries Ross Perot (June 27, 1930); Pat Buchanan (November 2, 1938); and Ken Starr (July 21, 1946) were also born during Setting C phases.
(6) Paula Jones, another woman who accused Clinton of sexual assault, was born on September 17, 1966, during a Rising C phase.
(7) Mike Drudge, the journalist responsible for making the story public online, was born on October 27, 1966, during a Rising C phase.
Bio: Nick Dagan Best was converted to astrology while on the road to Damascus on January 17, 1995. He trained with a variety of astrology teachers in the NYC NCGR program between 1997-2000. In the summer of 1999, he was introduced to Hellenistic astrology at a series of Project Hindsight conclaves. Inspired, he soon began focusing his studies on planetary synodic cycles. An avid researcher, Nick has amassed a Solar Fire database of event and natal charts totalling over 40,000 entries. He is available for consultations at nickdaganbestastrologer.com