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Venus and the Sun

I’ve been traveling for over a month, working on the road and thinking about TMA’s two most recent blogs — Adam Gainsburg on the Venus synodic cycle and Robert Blaschke on Tiger Woods.

I have been quite taken with Adam’s work, as I have been feeling the overwhelming presence of the outer planets’ steadfast movement towards all the challenging aspects on the horizon. For that reason, I appreciate his return to the deeply personal focus of Venus and the Sun. The article is elegant and complex, with much to absorb and apply. I wanted to start with a simple idea and see what I could see.

I wrote about the inferior conjunction in March 2009, as it was approaching: “Significantly, during the time Venus is invisible, she will conjunct the Sun. This occurs on March 27: Venus retrograde conjuncts the Sun at 7°16’ Aries. This is an important moment in this backtracking process. For all of us, Venus going back to meet the Sun suggests an opportunity to align our desires and our sense of delight with our creative purpose. The Sun symbolizes the drive for realization and fulfillment of purpose in each of us. Venus is in Aries, pioneering her own way, and impetuous and eager for the newest pleasure . . . With the infusion of solar intent on March 27, we may find ourselves hearing a deeper — or subtler — call to what is our true heart’s desire. Whatever comes into our minds or hearts at that time may be showing us a notion of happiness that is truly sustainable.”

Adam brings in the understanding of the synodic cycle of Venus and the Sun that began with that inferior conjunction (Venus retrograde) on March 27, 2009 at 7° Aries. By viewing the entire synodic cycle, we see that the Aries imprint is behind all of her phases and aspects until the next inferior conjunction in October 2010 at 6° Scorpio.

In Adam’s words, the “governing intention” of this Venus cycle is Aries, and, in my mind, President Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech on December 10 can be seen as homage to Venus in Aries. The planet of peace in the sign of war seems to stand behind the paradox, noted by many, that the prize for peace has gone to a leader waging two wars. The President’s eloquence notwithstanding, some commentators have noted that he was, in fact, making the case for endless wars. America, he said, was acting in “enlightened self-interest” and there “will be times when nations — acting individually or in concert — will find the use of force not only necessary but morally justified.” He also spoke to “that spark of the divine that still stirs within each of our souls.” (1)

Mr. Obama accepted the Nobel Peace Prize with transiting Mars at 19° Leo conjunct his Descendant, the point that describes how others perceive him. Mars is moving slowly now, and in the degree of its retrograde station on December 20. Mars will cross the President’s Descendant in its retrograde phase on January 4, and again in May. His natal Mars, of course, is strongly connected to the U.S. chart: at 22° Virgo, it is conjunct the U.S. Neptune at 22° Virgo and square Mars at 21° Gemini. An angular transiting Mars, along with Venus in Aries’ “governing intention,” supported the President as he made what many felt was a philosophically sophisticated justification for war.

On November 30, Venus at 29° Scorpio left visibility in the morning sky and moved into the invisible underworld time. Venus’s disappearance from the sky was famously important to the Mayan astrologers who saw it as her descent into the underworld. She will reappear as the evening star on February 23 at 14° Pisces. In the middle of this time, on January 11, she makes the superior conjunction with the Sun at 21° Capricorn, whereby she is in what Adam calls “Transmutational Underworld Phase.” As he wrote last week: “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.”

A lot has been written about Tiger Woods, including Robert Blaschke’s fine article last week on his connections to the U.S. horoscope. I noticed a few other things about Mr. Woods that I thought interesting: His natal Venus is in detriment at 28°32’ Scorpio, which is directly conjunct the Moon/Uranus midpoint – sudden, explosive changes in his relationships with women, or his own anima. His Jupiter/Pluto midpoint is 13° Cancer, which is also (on the 45° dial) on his natal Venus. That degree of Cancer is, of course, the U.S. Sun.  This suggests another layer of our fascination/obsession with the story.

(Black Moon Lilith watchers may be interested to see that Mr. Wood’s natal BML is at 6°46’ Aries, set off now rather strongly by the Venus-Sun conjunction in March 2009. The Black Moon Lilith is a subtle vortex point in space tied to the Moon’s orbit around the earth. Some have seen the point as connected to a deep and mysteriously unfathomable feminine force, both creative and destructive.)

Mr. Woods’ progressed Ascendant is at 26° Libra, making Venus ruler of the progressed chart. Progressed Venus is at 9°46’ Capricorn, just past the conjunction to the natal Sun at 8°57’, and being enlivened by the Full Moon eclipse on December 31 at 10°31’ Cancer.

As noted above, Venus began the invisible part of her journey on November 30, the day of his Venus return. Mr. Woods has had a Venus return as she descends into the invisible part of her cycle. What an underworld to his natal Venus we have seen, complete with alleged mistresses appearing in full bloom in garish media frenzy.

When I get back to my home office later this week, I will follow Adam’s basic suggestion to watch the synodic degrees in friends and clients charts. The January 11 Sun-Venus conjunction at 21° Capricorn (along with the North Node) is certainly an important one coming up.


(1) Text of Obama’s Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech


  1. Mary-your blog does a terrific job in synthesizing these 2 very significant blogs. I love it when we astrologers get to put a theory to the test with a “real life story”. Tiger’s going underground (resigning from progolf to work on his “becoming a better person”) seems like the perfect example of what Adam was highlighting in the current cycle of Venus. And Robert’s calling our attention to the progressed opposition of Venus and Mars in the USA chart, in their detriments, seems an apt signature for not only the latest example of the weak moral character of one of our “heroes”, but our President’s call to arms for a “justifiable cause” during a time when the “governing intention” of our value system is a Venus in detriment.

  2. Hi Kate, great comment and thanks for your help over the weekend in helping me try to organize my thoughts at 8,300 feet in the wind and snow in Colorado..

  3. Thanks for your insights! My descendant is at 22 degrees Capricorn, so I have the willies right now!

  4. Your blog is fascinating and helps focus the mind on the pertinent issues. And as my natal Saturn is 21 degrees Cancer, I wonder whether a long drive up north planned for January 11 to enjoy hospitality on the basis of past work needs closer attention.

  5. Mary, Not only was Tiger under a Venus return while she was descending into the UnderWorld, but this transit phase echoes the natal phase.

    Tiger was born after Venus’ maximum eastern elongation, thus he was born in the phase where the Queen of Heaven is beginning her descent to the Underworld. In Mythology this is the part of the journey where Inanna/Ishtar passed through the seven gates and her royal worldly attire (her signs of dominion and power) was removed.

  6. How much of an affect does the sun-venus conjunction in capricorn have on a relationship that ended 7 months ago. Do you know? My birthday is 12-04-1985 and his birthday 11-08-81.

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