Venus Retrograde: “You’re Like A Bad Penny…”

You’re like a bad penny; you keep turning up!” Such an apt phrase for Venus Retrograde, as Venus rules copper and the retrograde period is a time when ex-partners and ex-friends tend to resurface.  While verdigris patina can hold a “shabby chic” charm for some, in my eyes I see the deterioration – it’s still corrosion, even if the age and wear do give it a certain je ne sais quoi.  Rest assured that when I’ve stopped taking a shine to someone, it’s for good reason – I do not just allow my love to rust.

I find the phrase “pennies from heaven” especially apropos with Venus currently in Pisces, denoting there may be an element of Divine Intervention for reasons we may not fully comprehend. But it is important to remember that pennies are essentially worthless currency; it’s not necessarily a “gift” just because there is a spiritual or karmic reason for a (temporary) Re-union. With Venus also now sitting in a square to Saturn as it stations Direct, this may actually refer to there being a “lesson” involved; a sort of cosmic “What have we learned here?” about our faults and foibles in relationships and the ways in which we’ve learned how *not* to shoot ourselves in the foot anymore.

Maybe we’ve grown up & matured.  Perhaps we’ve gotten “too old for this”. It’s possible we’re tired of hurting ourselves – Venus will halt movement very near wounded Chiron, so the pain is there but the ability for healing with compassion is as well. It can be simple forgiveness for the pain someone has caused us as we (re?)release them with strength; certain in our heart they’re no good for us.  It can be self-compassion for the ways in which we now have the benefit of experience to understand that we’ve grown wiser and don’t have to perpetuate any lather-rinse-repeat cycles of pain/suffering/self-undoing when it comes to partnering.  We can love someone unconditionally without being a martyr to an ideal – sometimes this entails good boundaries and/or loving from afar, à la ”Surrender, surrender, but don’t give yourself away…”

So is it worth the time and effort to try and put a polish on a relationship that we know in our heart already had its day during Venus Retrograde?  Particularly if/when we know the other party is still up to their old tricks?  I see the prospect of such a would-be reunion – of that “(bad) penny from heaven” turning up at this moment – as naught but a validation from The Universe that we indeed made the right (but difficult) choice…even though it may still hurt a bit.  Sometimes we have to be willing to say “no” despite the history and there being “no love lost” (in the most antiquated sense of the phrase) between the parties involved.  Way back when I was a teen, a friend of a friend had left a suicide note with those exact words, telling all of his crew how much he loved them and how sorry he was that he just couldn’t take it anymore.  My friend then had that haunting line tattooed across his shoulders as a massive memorial back piece to his fallen companion, with Christ on the cross set amidst a field of boulders in the pouring rain below – I wept when I heard the story. I’m welling up now, as a matter of fact.  But my point in retelling the tale is twofold; that sometimes time changes context (both literally AND as a metaphor for past relationships) and that sometimes pain and sadness are just a part of the experience of truly loving someone – it wouldn’t hurt if it wasn’t real.  ❤



Venus & Jupiter In Leo Square Saturn In Scorpio

What an astrological clash we have going these next few days! On one hand we have this fun & fiery, creatively expanding, heart-opening, confidence-boosting, life-affirming, growth-oriented relationship potential that seems to carry a surplus of abundance and joy – Venus and Jupiter are the Lesser & Greater Benefics, respectively, and when they join with one another our blessings tend overflow on an astrological level. But this duo squares an intensely “all business” Saturn in Scorpio, threatening to dampen the festivities.

There are two big keynotes that tend to stand out to me regarding Saturn in Scorpio; these are the concepts of “psychological blockages” and also “obstacles to intimacy”. There seems to be some kind of hesitation in going deeper….could we perhaps be protecting ourselves with some kind of mask or cloaking device; harboring a growth-limiting fear of being physically, emotionally, or psychologically “naked” in relationships? Saturn in Scorpio can be a definite fear of exposure, one that may stem from the experience of an old and possibly unresolved trauma similar to the saying “once bitten, twice shy”. But something does seem to be getting in the way in relationships; perhaps a psychological obstacle where we may need to get a handle on some internal demons. I sense a huge potential self-love issue here with Venus currently retrograding in Leo next to Jupiter, and Venus/Saturn squares do tend to point to possible issues regarding self-worth. The impetus for this post actually arose because I awoke the other morning with this song inexplicably in my mind, and if you’re familiar with the lyrics at all you’ll definitely see how it parallels the astro in some ways:

Many a time have I seen a Venus/Saturn individual settle for meager crumbs in a relationship because on some deep and internalized level they felt like that was all they were worth. Often this stems from some kind of lack, as the parental model may have been inclined to be one where affection was scarce. And since we *are* currently dealing with Saturn in Scorpio, I think it behooves us to examine the attitudes or beliefs about love we may have inherited from our parents, because they may be quite outdated and getting in the way of all this Venus/Jupiter bounty. See, the Venus/Saturn inclination may be to believe this opportunity standing right in front of its eyes is too good, so it approaches with caution and suspicion; insisting such love is only the kind found in childrens’ storybooks and can’t be real. How wrong Venus/Saturn would be, though, in that assessment – the goods *are* there; abundantly so. In true Jupiter square Saturn fashion, it may be our perspective that’s all wrong, where we are limited by the darkness instead of looking to the light. So what is the internal subtext getting in the way here, and what are we wiling to work on and through so that we might claim the blessings Venus & Jupiter have to offer that we are indeed so deserving of?

“Oh, so just let me try
And I will be good to you
Just let me try
And I will be there for you
I’ll show you why
You’re so much more than good enough…”

Lastly, it’s worth mentioning – with a trine between Mars in Cancer and Saturn in Scorpio also going at the same time – this is not the time to hold our feelings in and it absolutely IS a time to confront the effects of the past upon the present. I see this as potentially being an emotional clot-buster of an influence, especially when we take into account the Moon also hitting Aries during the height of this square (August 4th & 5th) and thus amping up Mars via mutual reception. Mars is in its fall in Cancer, and there can be a strong predisposition to have all these competing feelings eddying around within and vying for dominance as our desires wax and wane. But the internal conflict that can surface during this square may just be enough to get us to act on our feelings and push us through any psychological walls that have prevented intimacy. So confront those feelings head-on, because facing our fears and/or inhibitions pays off with Mars/Saturn contacts. Take a calculated risk in being forward about how you feel, even…because emotional bravery may well be rewarded.


Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone: Venus In Leo Squares Saturn In Scorpio

Originally written and performed by incomparable Bill Withers, this cover is a personal favorite due the addition of crescendoing violins – a lovely touch!  Upon hearing it today, I was struck by how it seems to epitomize the current square between Venus in Leo and Saturn in Scorpio – a vibe that will more or less pervade during the next 3 weeks courtesy of Venus’ slowed motion and subsequent (impending) retrograde. Venus square Saturn can indeed be a time of hardship or testing in relationships…the shields may seem to be up and it may be a lot more challenging to access some lovin’. Since we have Saturn in Scorpio involved, there may be a psychological, sexual, or other energetic barrier involved – remember what I said in an earlier post about the possible tendency to put ourselves on lockdown. It could be self-protective, and there may even be an element of fear involved when real intimacy is on the line.

Typically, Venus in Leo would rather play, but this is serious business and she’s less able to be footloose and fancy-free than she would otherwise be when unbound by Saturn’s constraints.  It would appear she has some commitments she may be duty-bound to honor and simply might not have the time to invest in her relationships the way that she might like.  Demands and responsibilities seem to be cramping her style – especially due work – and she may well have to take her sunshine away and TCOB for the time being.  But it won’t be this way forever, nor for comparatively very long, so freak not if things seem to be stalling for you on the partnership front.  Venus clears her second square with Saturn after August 5th, her next point-of-contact being liberating Uranus on August 19th – that is the ideal time to really jailbreak and remove any hardware restrictions!


Saturn Has A Theme Song….

….And this is what it sounds like:

Much as I love the original, I must say I’m quite taken with this cover.


Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day
You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way

Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run; you missed the starting gun

And you run and you run to catch up with the sun but it’s sinking
Racing around to come up behind you again
The sun is the same in a relative way, but you’re older
Shorter of breath and one day closer to death

Every year is getting shorter, never seem to find the time
Plans that either come to naught or half a page of scribbled lines
Hanging on quiet desperation is the English way
The time is gone, the song is over, thought I’d something more to say…

A frightfully apt song with Saturn passing back into Scorpio – especially when we take into account the broader astrological context that it will eventually creep toward a square with Jupiter/Venus in Leo during early August! If ever an advertising slogan fit a particular transit, I’d say the old Reebok tagline “Life is short; play hard” seems pretty damn apt for this upcoming square. Jupiter + Venus in Leo is hedonism to the nines, ostensibly spurred by Saturn’s realization that it could all end at any moment and that nothing in life is guaranteed except death and taxes.

I think that if you’re grimly hanging onto anything that you shouldn’t be at this point in life and thinking you still have time to make up for it, the tension of this square could be quite the wakeup call. Entrenchment in defunct situations because we are locked in and too afraid to let go (perhaps due the prospect of loss) could be preventing something wonderful and life-affirming from entering our lives – things like happiness, abundance, joy, and love, for example. When Venus and Jupiter are in league, our cups may runneth over…but with Saturn and Pluto back in mutual reception once again, there may be a contrasting psychological barrier where we’re putting ourselves on lockdown for some reason. Perhaps in true Saturn/Pluto fashion, we find ourselves making an effort to delay the inevitable and may fear the potentially life-changing ramifications of opening ourselves up to whatever opportunities Venus & Jupiter present. Saturn squaring Venus especially calls to mind possible issues regarding self-worth that inhibit pleasure because on some level we might not feel deserving of this bounty. While we can’t take it all in one bite and forgo paying the piper entirely with this square, we can certainly work on any psychological complexes that stand to limit personal growth and fulfillment.

Ergo, during this square I say to hell with the concept of “hanging on in quiet desperation”- in a case like this, I think it’s important we know when to quit and then steel ourselves to take that hit, because the alternative may mean staying stuck in a dysfunctional scenario that does indeed have severely limited growth potential. Jupiter & Venus in Leo are all about opening and expanding the Heart Center; especially as it relates to self-love. Remember they are the Greater and Lesser Benefics, respectively – are you sure you want to shut the door on them if they come knocking?


Riffing On Venus In Capricorn, Part 2

So we’ve already discussed some of the financial implications of Venus in Capricorn in a previous post.  But now we’re going to talk about the relationship angle of this placement since Venus symbolizes love as well as money – think of it as some parting words for Venus in Capricorn as she prepares to leave for Aquarius in just a few day’s time.  Now while I do not personally have Venus in Capricorn in my own chart, I do have another form of this energy in the guise of some Venus/Saturn action, so we could say I’m pretty familiar with the dynamics.  To illustrate, here’s an anecdote about a neat little parlor trick this energy sometimes pulls on me: When I’m typing too fast, sometimes the word “relationship” turns into “realtionship”, which is quite amusing as Saturn/Capricorn energy combining with Venus is all about REALNESS in relationships!  This is a good starting point for understanding how Venus in Capricorn functions in love: this grounded, pragmatic energy inherently understand that fairy tales involving handsome princes and beautiful maidens are only for children. It would rather direct its efforts toward a relationship that’s real, attainable, and decidedly more concrete than waste time dreaming about some illusory Prince Charming or Fair Maiden that may never manifest.

There is also a seriousness to this energy that tends to favor commitment in relationships – Venus in Capricorn generally prefers partnerships that will stand the test of time and that incline toward the traditional, and while this can sometimes incline them to be a bit old-fashioned, it does also confer a degree of maturity because this energy naturally understands that all unions take work and require regular maintenance! It may take time for a Cappy Venus to warm up to somebody because they do tend to be innately cautious regarding love, but once they feel safe they’re generally inclined to stick in it for the long haul…sometimes even to their detriment.  And this is certainly worth noting, because if we remember the “scarcity consciousness” touched upon in the previous post, we can understand that – in some respects – this energetic pairing (under the wrong conditions) can sometimes be inclined out of all to “settle for crumbs” from a partner or in a relationship when self-worth is an issue.  And this is not necessarily an uncommon phenomenon, because Venus is symbolic of our sense of self-worth – the value we place in ourselves – and one of Capricorn’s many titles is The Lord of Lack and of the the Have Nots.  In cases such as this, we should look in particular at parental modeling – not only because Capricorn is very much a sign associated with parents, authority figures, and role models – but also to look at what love they gave (or didn’t give) to the Venus in Capricorn individual that may have provided the framework – the basic nuts and bolts – of how partnerships are viewed.

Now it should be noted that none of these tendencies by any means dooms an individual to an unhappy love life – it just means that if any of the above are issues it’s likely going to take time, maturity, wisdom, and effort to bring this energy into a more healthy expression.  It may entail stumbling and cutting our knees more than a few times and learning from our mistakes in relationships.  It may require working with a professional.  It could be that we need to seek more positive role models and strive to emulate those who have relationships we respect.  Perhaps learning how to take personal responsibility for challenges we encounter in our love life (and ONLY our piece in them!) so that we can take them as lessons learned WITHOUT punishing ourselves for this is what’s called for.  It could also be that perhaps we’ll come to see the necessity for better boundaries, for higher standards, and to develop the ability to say “no” to persons and relationships that aren’t in alignment with our priorities, expectations, values, ethics, etc. rather than try to cobble something halfway workable together out of poor raw material.  Capricorn is the Master Builder of the zodiac, and whenever a planet is found here we do well to take a good look at the bricks and mortar that we’re trying to build with.  Remember, this energy is about REALNESS, and if we’re not real with ourselves about what (or who) we’re working with on a very basic level, somewhere on down the line this is likely to impact the overall structural soundness of a union.

If on some level we feel as if we deserve less, then the de facto result is we’re then inclined to settle for less from others.  But balanced expression of Venus in Capricorn isn’t about swinging to the other extreme and having nosebleed-high expectations in relationships – it’s not about deciding we’re only going to marry a doctor, a lawyer, or someone else who could artificially prop up our (evidently flimsy) sense of self worth with “status” of some kind.   Although Venus in Capricorn is predisposed towards being impressed by people who generally have goals, who are working toward a career of some kind as opposed to just punching a clock, and who (for all intents and purposes) have their shit together, it’s not about the artificial attainment of some kind of “title” via a union in order to bolster social position/reputation nor is it about only holding out only for someone that would be considered “Best of Breed”.  It IS, however, about working on any of the barriers and impediments that make union with a decent, worthwhile, reliable, respectable, trustworthy, salt-of-the-earth type of person possible.  And about overcoming any obstacle(s)  that prevents a lasting and enduring love from entering our life.



Riffing On Venus In Capricorn

Now that we’re into Venus in Capricorn season once again, I think it’s an appropriate time we talk about some of the qualities and traits (both Hi & Lo) associated with this placement – specifically, from a financial standpoint since our gal Venus is such a “material girl”. Often when I contemplate astrology, phrases or songs come floating through my mind, and sometimes this combines in funny (but true) ways. Upon noticing that Venus was entering Capricorn, a little scene from the movie “The Birdcage” came to mind, which was instantly followed up by a South Park parody of the same tune – the song in question was:



Now random amusing pop culture references aside, there is a strong grain of truth in saying that Venus in Capricorn is apt to “work hard for the money”. Capricorn is the sign of hard work; Venus the planet of money, material possessions, and values. A Hi-Fi Venus in Capricorn individual isn’t generally predisposed to simply expect things to be handed to them, no – they’re usually more than willing to earn every cent they get. They tend to value financial self-sufficiency as well as income stability, so they can be inclined to be smart with their cash and into making budgets/financial plans. This placement can epitomize the saying “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without” as there can be an inherent frugality to this vibe that prefers making purchases based purely on necessity. More likely to be a cautious spender, Venus in Capricorn will take the time to do the math & make sure they’re not overpaying for something, to make sure they’re getting a quality product for their hard-earned dollars (regardless of however much or little they decide to spend) , and is usually into looking at long-term financial goals – whether that’s a house, retirement, or whathaveyou. Seldom found is the Venus in Cap who doesn’t have a 401(k) or IRA set aside for old age, LOL!

But this is just one (financial) facet of Venus in Capricorn  – like all astro-energies, it carries a full spectrum of potential expressions and how it operates is usually in direct relation to the consciousness of the individual wielding it. There’s also a side of Venus in Capricorn that can be very status-conscious – it has to have name-brand EVERYTHING because it finds off-brands or knockoffs to be very low-rent, and if it’s one thing Venus in Cap tends to have hangups about, it’s appearing “poor”. Venus in Cap can also be a financial climber, with a Rolex watch, a closet full of designer clothes, a Bentley parked in the driveway, and a 10,000 square foot mansion to complete the picture. Nothing says “success” and “You’ve arrived” quite your possessions do, afterall, and oftentimes Venus in Capricorn is willing to work long and hard in pursuit of financial “pinnacles” that enable them to have high-end items….even if/when it means they pinch pennies elsewhere.

I think it important to note the underpinning of this sort of thing may relate to scarcity consciousness. There is something about Venus in Capricorn that can – on occasion – seem to fear lack on a material level like no other placement. Whether they came from poverty and worked hard to rise above it (Dolly Parton being a prime example of a Capricorn Venus in action), or their material values were strongly shaped by the influence of a parent or parent(s) who maybe didn’t show love any other way than to buy them things, there can be – in certain circumstances – an experience intrinsically tied to their value system that does seem to indicate there being a noted lack of something or other at one time. Perhaps as a direct result, this is why the Lo-Fi expression of Venus in Capricorn can also veer outrageously cheap, watching where every penny goes, nickel-and-diming people to death, and generally being what most would consider a stingy skinflint. Under the wrong circumstances, Lo-Fi Venus in Capricorn can indeed be quite miserly; crying broke at every turn yet all the while locking money away in the bank vault for safekeeping. Forever protecting resources “just in case” and needing to have that financial “safety net” at all times, this can occasionally even lead to scenarios where fear gets in the way of love (the prenupt, for example).

On a more esoteric level, we might say any imbalance to our monetary values directly correlates to our sense of self-worth, as this is also Venus’ domain. Whether we feel “good enough”; whether we only value ourselves insofar as our relative financial “usefulness” to others (i.e. being the “breadwinner”); whether we’re inclined to “settle for meager crumbs” regarding how others treat us; or whether we learn from experience to have higher relationship standards (while also keeping in mind this shouldn’t be nosebleed-high where we consider ourselves “too good” for others and shut perfectly decent & worthwhile people out)….these are all Venus in Capricorn lessons.  More on the relationship angle of this placement at a later date…..




An Image To Meditate Upon…

….For the remainder of Venus in Capricorn:


I chose the Venus De Milo as an archetypal representation for this energy as classical art is quintessential Venus in Capricorn – especially a true masterwork such as this sculptured out of pure, rock-solid, Capricorn-approved marble that provides an enduring symbol of beauty through the ages.  It might be worth investigating our visceral response to this image in the wake of its repeated conjunctions to Pluto…Does the resultant “wear and tear” of surviving through thousands of years – minus two broken arms – detract from her appearance and value?  Or is she a symbol of loveliness in her current state nonetheless – the hardship, time, and scars only transforming her beauty into something supernatural?  The slow state of deterioration adding a certain je ne sais quoi that cannot be replicated……

One might ponder if it is the act of restoring such a masterpiece that profanes and defiles.  This brings to mind the concept of wabi-sabi….

I wonder if perhaps we find it easier to accept her as-is because we have not known her any other way.   Having no firsthand knowledge of her “before” state, we have nothing to subjectively compare her to. This is where Venus in Capricorn excels – by setting a standard for beauty rather than caving to crumbling self-esteem and the fear that her realness isn’t “good enough”……