I’ve been thinking about Venus a lot lately. She has recently been at maximum brightness in the evening sky and stationed retrograde on October 8 at 13º14’ Scorpio. Venus will turn direct on November 18 at 27º39’ Libra. Her retrograde phase is coming to the midway point when she conjoins the Sun (at the inferior conjunction) on October 28 at 5º30’ Scorpio.
Deborah Houlding wrote an amazing article in the Feb./March 2010 issue of TMA, wherein she explains the cycles of Venus in great detail.
One of her many points is that modern astrologers consider her cycle to begin at the inferior conjunction (coming on October 28), but that early sky-watching astrologers would have seen her superior conjunction as beginning the cycle (which would have been January 11, 2010).
At either conjunction, when Venus is within a 17’ arc of the Sun, she is cazimi, which is Arabic for “in the heart of the Sun,” or being favored by the king. (1) I know very few people with this configuration. I spent time recently with someone who has natal Venus cazimi; my completely subjective experience was of being with a deeply open-hearted and generous person.
Oprah was born on a Friday, Venus’s day, and is a very famous example of natal Venus cazimi (more about her later.) (2)
Whether we consider the inferior or superior conjunction of Venus with the Sun as the beginning of the cycle, Venus has a very regular 8-year cycle that creates a pentagram, or 5-pointed star, in the sky. Just click below for a graphic showing the perfect geometry in her orbit around the Sun:
If we could see from above the earth (located at the center of this diagram), the pattern looks like this:
(I believe that Neil Michelsen’s book, Tables of Planetary Phenomena, published by ACS in 1990, was the original source of this – and many other beautiful planetary mandalas.)
There has been a lot of fine work published on planets’ cycles with each other, i.e., synodic cycles, in recent years. Robert P. Blaschke’s work on planetary cycles (delineated in his 2006 book, Holographic Transits) opened a new world to me in understanding cycles. I’ve heard him lecture on the subject several times and have read his book, but it may take me a lifetime to hold it in mind as deeply as Robert does.
In a recent TMA blog Robert writes on long-term cycles of Venus and Mars.
Nick Dagan Best is another astrologer teaching on synodic cycles. He has a lecture posted on You Tube on Venus and Mars Retrograde Cycles.
TMA guest blogger Gary Caton also understands synodic cycles and explains them clearly in his analysis.
And lest it get lost forever in the blog archives, let me also refer you back to Adam Gainsburg’s unique and beautiful take on the Venus (and Mars) synodic cycles. Here are links to his two-part series from December 2009 and January 2010
Along with this broader view of Venus’s cycles around the Sun, there are lots of ways to notice Venus’s activities in our lives — from financial affairs to personal matters of the heart. Aside from her ongoing flirtations, trysts, and dalliances with Mars (Venus and Mars are both in Scorpio now and were conjunct on October 3 at 13º), Venus in Scorpio can be seen as relating to economic conditions that impact our shared financial outlook.
Much has been written about the ongoing U.S. financial woes. Astrological signatures abound. For a few examples of current aspects to the U.S. Sibly horoscope: transiting Pluto (3º05’ Capricorn) opposite natal Venus (3º06’ Cancer), ruler of the 10th house of the national reputation; transiting South Node, now at 5º Cancer conjunct U.S. Jupiter at 5º56’, ruler of the Sagittarius Ascendant; transiting Neptune at 26º02’ Aquarius conjunct the U.S. Moon (27º10’), ruler of the 8th; the upcoming U.S. Saturn (ruler of the 2nd house of the nation’s assets) return, partile three times from December 2010 through August 2011. There was also a total solar eclipse at 25º01’ Capricorn in January 2010, directly on the U.S. (2nd house) Pluto (27º33’) and Mr. Obama’s natal Saturn (25º20’).
Economics professor Robert H. Frank wrote an article yesterday on the ongoing, ever exacerbating unequal distribution of wealth, which clearly ties two Venus-in-Scorpio themes together, i.e., finances and relationships. “Divorce rates are another reliable indicator of financial distress, as marriage counselors report that a high proportion of couples they see are experiencing significant financial problems. The counties with the biggest increases in inequality also reported the largest increases in divorce rates.” (3)
But wait! I just noticed, not only is transiting Neptune on the U.S. Moon, but the U.S. progressed Moon is 26º07’ Virgo, conjunct progressed Neptune at 26º16’ Virgo. (4)
Maybe we really are ready for a new political media star! Here’s where Oprah comes in again: She did join Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart this week in their joint Rally to Restore Sanity/and/or Fear to America. And she looked larger than life as she beamed in from the satellite to give everybody tickets to get to Washington on October 30.
Not only was Oprah born with the rare Venus cazimi, but Neptune is also at the bending in her natal chart, i.e., square the nodal axis.
If her birth time is correct, her progressed Moon at 29º55’ Sag is conjunct the natal Ascendant (29º38’), and her progressed Ascendant (4º43’ Pisces) is conjunct the natal Part of Fortune (4º06’Pisces). (How much more famous can she get?)
Four degrees Pisces is, coincidentally, the degree of Jon Stewart’s natal Jupiter and Stephen Colbert’s natal Saturn. Now that’s a team I could get behind. (5)
(1) “As astrologer John Frawley has explained…. cazimi, being right in the heart of the sun, is like being allowed into the very throne room or private chambers of a great king. This is the fortunate position of being highly favored by the sun, like a king who brings only a select few into his private chambers and bestows wealth and privilege upon them and listens to their deepest concerns with a mindset to help them.”
(2) I was first alerted to Oprah’s Venus cazimi by Edith G. Thayer in her book, Stars Over America (2000).
Data: Oprah Winfrey; January 29, 1954; 4:30 a.m.; Kosciusko, Mississippi (32ºN53′, 89ºW35’)
For years astrologers used 2:30 a.m. (or 7:50 p.m.) for Oprah’s birth time, but according to AstroDataBank, this time of 4:30 a.m. was verified by astrologer Robert Marks when he appeared on her show in 1988.
“In October 2006, Bob Marks wrote in the NCGR e-newsletter (October 8, 2006, vol 32): ‘I was on Oprah’s show in May 1988. Oprah’s producer, Diane Hudson, gave me the birth data. Oprah was born at 4:30 a.m., not 2:30. I confirmed this birth time with Oprah herself after the show. Oprah said that nobody knows for sure, but this time is what she was always told.’ ”
(4) For a darker look at the implications of the U.S. public fixation with the media, check out Chris Hedges’s column Retribution for a World Lost in Screens.