Setting The Record Straight About Mutual Receptions

With the May 2014 mutual reception between Mars and Venus having just reached a fever pitch on Sunday, I thought this would be a really good time to clear up a prevailing misconception regarding how these astrological events are interpreted.  The recent article I did seems to be getting quite a bit of traffic, and I’ve also had this topic come up in consultation, so it seems this is a topic people are pretty interested in.  Here is the issue we have at hand:

I have to say that I scratch my head whenever hear of blanket statements being issued within the astrological community somewhere along the lines of “mutual receptions are always a good thing”.  This seems to be a fairly pervasive notion, but one I would like to challenge because I don’t think one can (or should) ever issue such a hard-and-fast pronouncement regarding this topic.  My point of view is that each mutual reception must be examined on a case-by-case basis purely on its own merits, because if astrology teaches us one thing, it’s that every astrological energy has a potential dark side.  It’s why there are no “good” or “bad” signs; each is fully capable of a wide range of expression ranging anywhere from Hi-Fi to Lo-Fi.  In my opinion (and experience) neglecting the reality that every astro-energy – including a mutual reception – has a potential shadow only makes it much more likely that it will turn around and bite us in the butt, because then we are not paying attention!  Awareness is our ally; ignorance our enemy – looking at ALL possible manifestations of an energy helps us figure out ways to avoid potholes while actively seeking out ways to create or capitalize on opportunity.  I don’t think this is something, we – as astrologers – should be turning a blind eye to, because it does our clients (and our profession) a disservice.  Mutual receptions should not be handed an automatic pass where they’re exempt from the same kind of scrutiny we give to any other energy in the chart, because to do so would be rather Pollyanna of us.

So let’s talk turkey, shall we?  When we have two planets exchanging energy in a mutual reception, we know this creates a strong resonant interplay between two planets’ energy – they start vibrating at the same frequency, we could say.  And as this vibration increases, it gets LOUDER.  It becomes amplified, almost as if it were one singular sound.  The solo becomes a duet, and as these voices join together they get harder to ignore because the decibel level is cranked up.  If the planets involved in this mutual reception also happen to aspect one another, we could even consider the volume kicked up ANOTHER notch as this third voice is added to make it a trio!  From an interpretation standpoint, it becomes much easier to see the intermingling of these planetary energies when they work cahoots like this because they are making themselves pretty obvious.  Now loud is neither bad nor good; it just is.  Whether or not this sound manifests as harmonious or dissonant to our ears will depend upon who the singers are and whether or not they have a case of laryngitis at show time….and we can determine this by looking at the planets involved to note if they are dignified or debilitated.  Planets that are dignified are like a Frank Sinatra & Dean Martin paring – there’s a significantly higher likelihood that we’re going to like the sound they produce. But debilitated planets? That’s more like an Axl Rose/Cydi Lauper travesty – eeeesh! Oh you’ll get a sound, alright, but it’s gonna take a little work for it to hit the Top 10!

As based upon the work of astrologer Isabel Hickey.
As based upon the work of astrologer Isabel Hickey.

We also have to consider if the energies of the planets in question tend to work well together, or if they’re naturally wired to contradict one another.  Using the Mars-Venus mutual reception that’s in effect during May 2014, Mars and Venus are opposite energies.  They *can* work well together as complimentary opposites and help take some of the edge off one another, but in this case, they’re also BOTH DEBILITATED in the signs they occupy!  Mars is in its detriment in Libra, same with Venus in Aries.  Girly-girl Venus all in pink with her hair & nails done, hanging in Mars The Barbarian’s man-cave while he’s not at home?  Trying to make herself comfortable in such a setting while simultaneously turning her nose up at the stockpile of ramen noodles, the sink full of unwashed dishes, and toilet seat that’s always left up?  She’s definitely a little annoyed about all of this!  And think of Mars (or maybe I should say Conan?) residing in her Palace of Pink, trying desperately not to break all her delicate fine china and having to civilize himself by raising his pinky in the air as he sips tea!  By natural default, I think it’s going to be a challenge for either of these energies to take something positive/beneficial away from this experience, don’t you?  It can be done, but it’s likely to take some work as both energies are *really* out of their element!  In such scenarios, correctly identifying ahead of time the ways in which the combination of these energies can discordantly manifest helps us avoid playing into their shadows while looking for opportunities to manifest the facets of this energy that are going to work best for our specific needs.  The energy is there for us to pull from – ALL sides of it!  The question then becomes “How we will use it?”  We are the co-creators of our own destiny – The Universe may hand us some basic parameters to work within, but knowing what these are leaves us completely free to play the hand we are dealt to maximum advantage!

My hope is those who read what I’ve written above will question the notion that “a mutual reception is always a good thing” – do test that astro-theory out before adopting it as your own to see if it holds water and is actually true in practice.  Because after over 15 years of observing the effects of various mutual receptions in action, I can say with certainty that I’ve seen dark sides to every single one of them, so I urge both novice and pro alike to reconsider their stance on this topic for the sake of increasing the accuracy of our interpretations.  I love this field, and my sole intention in challenging this particular paradigm is to encourage critical thinking & empirical research in a way that will only help to elevate astrology’s credibility within mainstream culture!



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