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Aberrations in the Venus-Mars Cycle

Mutations in 77-Month Recurrence Pattern since 1960

Over the next nine months, because of a six-week retrogression of Venus in October and November, there will be three Venus-Mars conjunctions between now and May 2011. These three alignments will fall in the signs of Libra, Scorpio and Taurus, and are part of a recurring 77-month cycle. They are also part of a longer 32-year cycle of Venus and Mars. (1)

Venus-Mars 2010

Astrologers of a certain age will be taken back in their memories to the time period from August 1978 until May 1979, when this sequence of triple Venus-Mars conjunctions last recurred in these same three signs of the Zodiac. For those already practicing astrology during that era, 1978 was the year that Cycles of Becoming, the classic treatise on transit cycles by Alexander Ruperti, was first published in America. It was this book, which was a summary of the humanistic approach to astrology first elucidated by Dane Rudhyar, that taught many of the younger astrologers of that period about recurrence patterns in the transiting Mars-Venus cycle, and about patterns in other inter-planetary synodic cycles.

Venus-Mars 1978

What Dane Rudhyar and Alexander Ruperti had researched was that, although Venus and Mars formed conjunctions about every two years, a cycle of five conjunctions was found to recur in which Venus was retrograde in nearly every fifth conjunction between these two planets. The alignments of retrograde Venus and direct Mars recurred approximately every 77 months, and were part of a longer recurrence pattern wherein the conjunctions would form in the same sign every 32 years (within 7-8 degrees of the last conjunction).(2)

Additionally, the alignment of retrograde Venus and Mars would take place as the middle conjunction in a sequence of three lasting about nine months from the first to the last. For example, from the 1920s until 1960, this recurrence pattern played out like clockwork. However, after 1960, an aberration in the Venus-Mars transit cycle began to take place.

These tables were calculated using Solar Fire for Windows, v.5
© 1994-2001 Esoteric Technologies Pty. Ltd.

Ven     Cnj    Mar     Jan 9 1921        03° Pi 40′ D        03° Pi 40′ D
Ven    Cnj   Mar    Apr 7 1921    09° Ta 31′ R    09° Ta 31′ D
Ven     Cnj    Mar     Oct 3 1921        08° Vi 42′ D    08° Vi 42′ D

Ven     Cnj    Mar     Aug 23 1923    24° Le 43′ D    24° Le 43′ D
Ven     Cnj    Mar     Jul 11 1925       09° Le 26′ D    09° Le 26′ D

Ven     Cnj    Mar     Jun 9 1927        02° Le 16′ D    02° Le 16′ D
Ven    Cnj   Mar    Aug 30 1927    22° Vi 51′ R    22° Vi 51′ D
Ven     Cnj    Mar     Feb 13 1928    19° Cp 01′ D    19° Cp 01′ D

Ven     Cnj    Mar     Jan 2 1930        03° Cp 12′ D    03° Cp 12′ D
Ven     Cnj    Mar     Nov 18 1931    14° Sg 17′ D    14° Sg 17′ D

Ven     Cnj    Mar     Oct 13 1933    03° Sg 12′ D    03° Sg 12′ D
Ven    Cnj   Mar    Jan 24 1934    21° Aq 44′ R    21° Aq 44′ D
Ven     Cnj    Mar     Aug 2 1934         11° Cn 53′ D    11° Cn 53′ D

Ven     Cnj    Mar     Jun 19 1936      26° Ge 08′ D    26° Ge 08′ D
Ven     Cnj    Mar     May 7 1938        09° Ge 45′ D    09° Ge 45′ D

Ven     Cnj    Mar     Apr 9 1940        05° Ge 28′ D    05° Ge 28′ D
Ven    Cnj   Mar    Jun 6 1940    13° Cn 12′ R    13° Cn 12′ D
Ven     Cnj    Mar     Dec 2 1940        08° Sc 16′ D    08° Sc 16′ D

Ven     Cnj    Mar    Oct 23 1942    24° Li 01′ D        24° Li 01′ D
Ven     Cnj    Mar    Sep 10 1944    08° Li 00′ D        08° Li 00′ D

Ven    Cnj    Mar     Aug 8 1946      29° Vi 43′ D    29° Vi 43′ D
Ven   Cnj   Mar   Nov 7 1946    00° Sg 23′ R    00° Sg 23′ D
Ven    Cnj    Mar    May 18 1947    27° Ar 51′ D    27° Ar 51′ D

Ven    Cnj    Mar    Apr 2 1949     09° Ar 26′ D    09° Ar 26′ D
Ven    Cnj    Mar    Feb 16 1951    19° Pi 42′ D        19° Pi 42′ D

Ven     Cnj    Mar    Jan 17 1953    13° Pi 51′ D        13° Pi 51′ D
Ven    Cnj   Mar  Mar 21 1953    01° Ta 06′ R    01° Ta 06′ D
Ven     Cnj    Mar    Oct 3 1953        12° Vi 17′ D    12° Vi 17′ D

Ven    Cnj    Mar    Aug 23 1955    27° Le 51′ D    27° Le 51′ D
Ven    Cnj    Mar    Jul 11 1957       12° Le 51′ D    12° Le 51′ D

Ven    Cnj    Mar    Jun 14 1959    08° Le 26′ D    08° Le 26′ D
Ven   Cnj   Mar    Aug 14 1959    15° Vi 45′ R    15° Vi 45′ D
Ven    Cnj    Mar    Feb 16 1960    25° Cp 04′ D    25° Cp 04′ D

Ven    Cnj    Mar    Jan 4 1962       08° Cp 04′ D    08° Cp 04′ D
Ven    Cnj    Mar    Nov 20 1963    19° Sg 09′ D    19° Sg 09′ D
Ven    Cnj    Mar    Jul 17 1964       21° Ge 09′ D    21° Ge 09′ D
Ven    Cnj    Mar    Aug 26 1964    17° Cn 40′ D    17° Cn 40′ D
Ven    Cnj    Mar    Oct 18 1965      10° Sg 36′ D    10° Sg 36′ D
Ven   Cnj   Mar    Jan 8 1966   13° Aq 21′ R    13° Aq 21′ D
Ven    Cnj    Mar    Aug 3 1966        15° Cn 49′ D    15° Cn 49′ D

Studying this table of Venus-Mars conjunctions from 1921 until 1966, one observes:

1. The retrograde Venus alignments recur every fifth conjunction.
2. The retrograde Venus conjunction is in the middle of a sequence of three.
3. This sequence of three conjunctions is spread out over a nine-month period.
4. The retrograde Venus conjunctions recur about every 77 months.
5. Every 32 years, the conjunctions recur in the same sign (i.e. 1921 + 1953).
6. An aberration in the regularity of the cycle began after 1960.
7. Two extra conjunctions took place in the pattern between 1959 and 1966.

The humanistic approach to astrology, as outlined in the books of both Dane Rudhyar and Alexander Ruperti, made recommendations for spiritual growth when consciously working with the Venus-Mars synodic cycle. This nine-month period containing the three conjunctions of Venus and Mars, which recurs only about every 6 1/2 years and into which we are about to enter (between now and May 2011), is ideally, at the middle conjunction, “a significant turning point in one’s emotional life and provides an opportunity to change one’s values and to find a deeper spiritual significance to one’s individual actions”. (3)

If the retrograde Venus conjunction falls in a degree that conjoins a Luminary or an angle in the nativity, then this period would be especially potent for a personal metamorphosis. The upcoming middle conjunction of Venus and Mars in early October is in 12° Scorpio, and the natal house into which it falls will also be activated for the next several years.

In modern times, since 1960 an aberration has occurred in the Venus-Mars transit cycle in which the retrograde Venus conjunction no longer recurs exactly every 77 months as before. In the view of your correspondent, this has contributed to a societal decline in personal reflection taking place within marriage that would have led to an improved self-awareness about one’s personal responsibility for problems in relationship. As a result, without that necessary introspection, society has evolved relational patterns that repeat over and over again in a counter-productive sequence of ongoing serial monogamy. (4)

Since the retrograde Venus conjunction with direct Mars in January of 1966, the cycle’s historical aberration has caused some subsequent conjunctions (recurring every 77 months) to occur when Venus and Mars were both in direct motion, or to be missed altogether. For example, in May 1972, the next expected alignment after January 1966, the conjunction occurred with both planets direct in 02° Cancer 31′. Venus did not station retrograde until 26 May 1972, some 10 days after that conjunction.

Ven  Cnj  Mar  May 16 1972   02° Cn 31′ D    02° Cn 31′ D (Venus SRx 5/26/72)
Ven Cnj  Mar  Oct 21 1978  22° Sc 16′ R    22° Sc 16′ D
Ven  Cnj  Mar    Feb 27 1985  18° Ar 30′ D    18° Ar 30′ D (Venus SRx 3/13/85)
Ven Cnj  Mar  Jul 25 1991  06° Vi 33′ R    06° Vi 33′ D
Ven  Cnj  Mar  Dec 22 1997  03° Aq 20′ D    03° Aq 20′ D (Venus SRx 12/26/97)
Ven  Cnj  Mar Oct 3 2010  12° Sc 36′ D    12° Sc 36′ D (Venus SRx 10/8/10)

Because of this aberration within the Venus-Mars cycle, the seven expected conjunctions of retrograde Venus and direct Mars recurring every 77 months since 1966 have not gone anything like clockwork. There have been only two retrograde conjunctions, in 1978 and 1991, and in 2004, the expected sequence of three conjunctions did not even transpire. The next retrograde Venus conjunction with direct Mars will not take place until 2015. (5)

This year, the middle conjunction of three on October 3rd will have both planets in direct motion, with Venus not stationing retrograde until October 8th. The recurrence pattern was even further disrupted during the last two years, when a sporadic sequence of three conjunctions took place out of schedule between September 2008 and June 2009.

Looking ahead, the cycle of Venus and Mars will not return to “normal” until 2060 when, at that time, every fifth conjunction will regularly recur with a retrograde Venus and will continue in that predictable pattern until the year 2258. Looking backwards, prior to 1960, this recurrence cycle had repeated like clockwork since 1761. What is the astrologer to make of this century-long aberration in the Venus-Mars transit cycle, preceded by and followed by two centuries of regularity? (6)

One may hypothesize that human relationship requires a fluid and dynamic evolution in order to grow and change with the times. After two centuries, the social pattern has become stagnant and thus needs to transmute into a different form. As we have seen since 1960, when the birth control pill and the feminist movement radically altered roles for men and women, it is not unreasonable to expect that the social disruptions brought about by the changes to the relational patterns could take an entire century to stabilize. If this is the case, one can predict that it will take another 50 years for stability to return.

One can carefully study the degrees in which the once-in-77-month conjunctions fall and see if any of these Venus-Mars alignments may have conjoined a natal Luminary or angle. (7) If Venus was retrograde at the conjunction, then necessary self-reflection about one’s spiritual values at that time will have led to a personal metamorphosis. However, if Venus was direct at the time of the middle conjunction, there is the risk of having resisted an important period of reorientation, with the result being a continuation of old patterns.

To share a personal story with you, your correspondent was living in Vermont in 1978 at the age of 24. He received initiation into an Eastern Spiritual Path on August 13th of that year, exactly on the day of the first Venus-Mars conjunction in the sequence of three. It was like enlisting in the spiritual Marine Corps, as the four required vows stipulated 2 1/2 hours of meditation per day, a strict lacto-vegetarian diet, no drugs or alcohol, and no sex outside of lawful marriage. Of course, all four vows were eventually broken over time!

As you can see in the above tri-wheel chart, the middle conjunction in the sequence of three had a retrograde Venus aligning with a direct Mars and formed an exact conjunction with your correspondent’s Sun in 22° Scorpio. Looking back, he would have to say that over the course of his life, that was the year of his greatest personal metamorphosis.

caption from the back of photo:

Initiation, E. Calais, Vermont
August 13, 1978
Mr. Robert Paul Blaschke and Mr. H.F. Weekley

Now, 32 years later as the Venus-Mars recurrence cycle repeats itself in Libra and Scorpio, your correspondent, ailing with cancer and trying to stay alive, will have to face another metamorphosis, one in which he commits to fasting for six weeks twice a year and also transmuting into a raw food diet in order to heal the body. With the middle conjunction of this upcoming sequence of three occurring with Venus in direct motion in 12 Scorpio, exactly conjunct his progressed Ascendant, any resistance to the required reorientation this time will result in death. Sounds like a Scorpio’s fate, eh?

RPB bi-wheel


© 2010 Robert P. Blaschke


1) One observes that these three signs place Venus and Mars in either dignity or detriment.
2) Ruperti observed that 77 and 32 in numerology add up to the number 5; associated with the Venus cycle and its 5-pointed star.
3) Cycles of Becoming, 2nd Edition, Alexander Ruperti, Earthwalk School of Astrology, 2005, pg. 89.
4) The ubiquity of on-line dating has certainly accelerated and enabled this trend!
5) This middle conjunction of retrograde Venus and direct Mars in September 2015 takes place at a rare 59-month interval.
6) 3000 years of Venus-Mars conjunctions can be found at Richard Nolle’s site: www.astropro
7) The secondary progressed Lights and angles should also be taken into consideration.