MONETARY METAPHYSICS, MARCH 2009
by Boots Hart
President Obama was inaugurated under Venus in Pisces. Venus being exalted in Pisces, the mood was one which in allowing the emotional Piscean ideals of connectivity, commonalty and faith to blossom enhanced an entire spectrum of Venusian manifestations. The result? A mass sense of wellbeing, security and relationship which moved beholders deeply, exhibiting Pisces' most optimal dynamic: "Belief which allows spirit-confines to be released, thus transforming life."
As for the Venus part of this equation, it has two thrusts. The first comes through Venus' rulership of Libra. Libra is an air sign—one often misunderstood. Air signs center in theoreticals, making Libra all about the idea of relating or the ideas which go into relating. Thus the Libran Venus ideal is not so much about attraction as thinking about what you are which attracts or repels others…and thinking about what you do and be in a relationship which makes it work or not work. Backing up to get a broader view here we see Libra as the interactive, outbound end of the Aries (inner)/Libra(outer) polarity—a polarity which embodies our most basic acts of being: me/you (recognition of individuality), I give/you give back (cause/effect) and I offer/you counter-offer (negotiations, agreements).
Because this brings Aries into the conversation, we should consider Mars the pro-active initiator too, especially since everybody recognizes the Venus/Mars dynamic as part of love relationships. But it's far more than that—it's about all relationships. It's about everything you do and are in life and the success (or lack thereof) which you earn, or need to earn. Everything Mars initiates goes through a Libran act of presentation. In Libra, we offer who we are through actions, opinions and products, thus generating how we are seen. Here Mars represents causal energy—what we choose to do and be (and how we go about it), with the Libra Venus being the presentation and reception such choices get. If repelled, people go away. If attracted, they come hither.
As for the wellbeing and security felt at Obama's inauguration, that's the other part of Venus—one which we see in its rulership of Taurus, sign of all things tangible which support the comfort of one's soul and spirit, giving rise to those most precious of human commodities, self-worth and inner security. Self-worth and security are the alpha and omega of Taurus; we need them to get anywhere, and we make gains through utilization of their attributes.
As with Libra, much can be understood about Taurus through its opposing sign, which in this case is Scorpio. And though many astrologers now use "modern" sign rulerships, the basis of this polarity is more easily seen using traditional rulers, with Venus ruling Taurus and Mars ruling Scorpio. In again combining this most "creating" pair, now Mars is in the interactive (Libra-Scorpio-Sagittarius) zodiac quadrant and Venus is in the "personal self" quarter (Aries-Taurus-Gemini). So since Venus represents the "me" here, Taurus is what is valuable about me, what I value, and what I need to get (receive or have validated) to feel worthy and secure.
Mars in Scorpio on the other hand is still proactive—Mars is always proactive. But now it's investing those things upon which our security depends—and our self-worth—investing them with others. That makes the critical Mars issue all about what I choose to be involved in, and how I go about being involved, whether the venue is a sexual relationship, a partnership, an investment portfolio or even a fight. Scorpio tests how well we pick situations and partners, and in doing so give us feed back on how well we know ourselves (honesty with self), the state of our self-worth and the nature of our values. When what is invested is in balance with what is being invested in, this polarity works, manifesting as good relationships and emotional/financial/business/cultural stability. When it's out of balance, chaos results.
So Venus is not about money or love or pleasure, per se—it's about the ability to be rewarded and get the right reaction. With this thus in mind, let's go back to President Obama, who in being inaugurated under Venus in Pisces inspired and received all that love and spiritualized hope. Then Venus moved into Aries—on February 3, to be exact. And as that happened, the spirit of unity peeled away and people started complaining. In Washington DC, Congress fell to quarreling. The media started harping, forgetting all about patriotic inspiration. Across America, citizens started joking about whether they had elected President Change—or just President Talk About Change.
The signature of this switch is indeed Venus entering Aries, a sign where Venus' symbolism of receiving is frustrated by the Aries instinct to initiate. How can you be getting when you're only choosing what you want to give and how to give it? That's the point—Venus in Aries is about exactly that: working on the self. But because the transiting planet (in this case, Venus) always does its thing no matter what sign its in (regardless of how incompatible that ends up being) under Venus in Aries we often "receive" critique. Or get nothing. Or get less than we want. Or not what we asked for. With the combination of Venus and desirous Aries (Aries desires to make something happen) we want a lot and yet…nothing seems satisfying. Given this, we can all expect a lot of impatience, disappointment, irritability, demands, and dismissals (particularly of anyone who has the nerve to tell us to work on ourselves!) under Venus in Aries.
So is it any wonder that when Venus rolled into Aries every fractious political faction got annoyed? The new President had no sooner said that everybody needed to stop thinking so much about themselves and more about the nation America is, than Venus left Pisces, entered Aries and the nation began to sulk. Obama reiterated a call for volunteerism and people shrugged. He called on the Congress to stop balkanizing along party lines and Republicans voted against him.
And you think you have problems? Actually, you do. Everybody does—Venus in Aries isn't a fun time. It can be very productive—yes. It can lead to incredible insights, sure. But most of us are saying "oh screw the spiritual thing, will you? I just want some stability, less stress and more fun!"
Unfortunately that's not in the cards for a while yet. The Venus clock struck Aries back on February 3, and thanks to a retrograde, Venus won't move on into a more cuddly Taurus tone until early June. Yes, you did hear me right: June. Meanwhile we're all in for a draining and inflaming time—a fact residents of southern Australia know all too well, what with all fires there. All by itself Venus in Aries can be selfish, destructive, or even self-destructive.
As for Venus retrograde, the colloquial term "sucky" works fine here. But it isn't all bad. Far from it! From the implied unity of Venus in Mars' more physical home sign we get the idea of renewal of Self, and that fits well with retrograde, since all retrogrades are about some process becoming internalized. So with Venus going retrograde on March 6, we're entering a time all about giving (re)birth to ourselves…which not only sounds awkward, but in practice is likely to be awkward. And in the moment, really annoying—no doubt!
We'll want encouragement, but everybody's busy. Or preoccupied. Or overwhelmed. And even when someone does respond, we'll often end up feeling critiqued, threatened, diminished, incapable and generally underwhelmed by their efforts, if not totally put off by their appearing to care more about themselves than us. Much frustration? That we can count on. But try not to take it personally, because if (and to the extent that) you're really willing to dig deep and get honest, if you're willing to clean out some cluttered psychological closets and throw open whatever windows of your soul are shuttered tight, if you're willing to take up the sword of Aries courage…Then ultimately you'll find your way to a delicious Venus reward. But first comes the trial, the deprivation, the work. No, not fun. But productive!
And remember—if you believe things happen when they should, we can all breathe more easily. But…why should we believe that? Because there is only one Existence. The "Now" of being alive, of being present, of being on this Earth is the very essence of Existence. To put it scientifically, we're all the continuation of the Big Bang. To put it religiously, you are the exhalation of God. That's why everything you do is precious, why everything anyone does is a treasure, why nothing about you should be wasted—even for a moment! But that job of being you? That's your job.
Theoretically, that's why most of the personal planets go retrograde. Pretty much four times a year, Mercury (thought, communication, planning) goes retrograde, allowing us to sort ourselves out, tie up loose ends and get stuff off our mental desk. Every couple of years Mars goes retrograde, asking that we get in better touch with the me-versus-them in life, the what we're giving versus what we're taking thing. And like its partner Mars, Venus also goes retrograde every couple of years, asking that we reevaluate. Hear the word: re-e-valuate? This is about values. And between March 6 and April 17, we can either do that or be prompted to do that by what happens in our life. So if a relationship goes rocky, don't accuse them. Look at you. If a business deal or investment goes sour, ask yourself why you got into it and what that says about you. There's always a clue—it's just that some of those clues say things we don't want to hear.
Do yourself a favor—hear them. Yes, we all want love right now. We all need love. So we'll get love—from ourselves. That's where it has to come from first, now…and always. If you get the concept of cause/effect you'll understand why this is, and why psychologists say you can't love anyone if you don't first love yourself. It's because you can't give something you don't have. So the real causal energy of love is loving that you exist—and loving the Existence which lets you exist.
Pretty heady stuff, right? Yes, and its pretty much everywhere in astrology if you have a penchant for looking. Take Aries, sign of the ideal warrior. Not the warrior who fights out of anger or for "glory," but the warrior who takes on the fight (Aries) for a purpose—an ideal (Libra) beyond themselves. The Aries warrior is one who saves the city because the city needs saving—not for the sake of personal ego or revenge. The totem symbol here is the ram, a creature which if challenged will defend itself and its own with great determination, but which doesn't go look for a fight. And even in these Aries basics we see connectivity in the keywords for the sign, which are "I Am." Obviously this has to do with birth and life and Self, all of which are pretty cosmic. This asks who are you? What's your purpose in this world and who are you that you exist at all? What are you as part of Existence? This last is the metaphysical connective, and whether you see the concept of Existence in its most simplified scientific form (E=mc2) or in a biblical moment when God offers the boldly enigmatic name: "I Am," it's plain that we all exist as part of the One, the all: What Is. So whether or not you believe in God, if you believe you are, then you're part of What Is and thus in continuous relationship with everything else.
You are in your own personal polarity with life. You explore it through Aries/Libra, and exercise your efforts to grow and understand your potential through Taurus/Scorpio.
Yet with Venus retrograde in Aries, it's far easier to focus on difficulties instead of possibility. And that's the trap. That's your ego using the Venus/Mars/Aries thing to close you in instead of open you up. This is a curious time and a curious dynamic, for it seeks to symbolically detach us from others so that we can get a better perspective on the greater whole and thus an appreciation for our potential, otherwise known as inspiration, determination and motivation.
And just in case you can't innately get with the idea of how precious the All of you is, let's consider what happens if you don't use all of you. Psychologists call this "projection." How it works is simple: you're 100% of you, but remember, in a universe composed entirely of energy, you're energy. So if you don't use all you are (energy, otherwise known as your Venus-Taurus self-worth + security = ability quotient), that energy hangs in the air until someone else comes close enough for that energy to attach itself to them. Get it? That means that if you play weak, or you refuse to be all you can be, the energy you don't use makes others that much stronger. That's what causes things to go wrong: when out of balance, human nature acts in an unbalanced way.
Having gotten this far, you probably aren't shocked that with Venus in Aries there there's a lot of selfishness going around. And a lot of need. But whether it's you feeling deprived or someone else acting self righteous, try to see the anxiety, the vulnerability behind the bravado. That's important. That's part of the re-balancing process, for in recognizing the human weakness of another, we own our own strength. And no, it's not simple. In your town or on the news, you'll see and hear stories about people in terrible, dire straits. You'll also see stories about how some people fight and get past giant handicaps. Such tales surface every time Venus passes through Aries—and though it's meant to be inspiration, under Venus in Aries such stories can inspire shame or a sense of real loss that you don't (yet) know how to do likewise. Once Venus goes into retrograde, we all can expect to feel even more pressure. And given the problems of the world, who wouldn't? Those who "have" feel self protective and those who don't "have" are feeling desperate. And for those willing to help—how to prioritize? Do you help the most hurt even if you can't fix much, or do you invest your time in easier situations where folks will probably survive, though impaired?
Such hard choices in every walk of life are really painful. And frustrating. And there's nowhere to vent, because this passage is universal. And that's just the key—a key which though painful, is meant to cause us to let go of the isolation; let go of our alone-ness in banding together, in being the bravest, most desperately needy people we can be—but all together. Everyone's not feeling heard. Everyone's feeling displaced, dishonored, discredited, devalued and discarded. From kings and presidents to the most helpless and homeless among us, everyone knows what they need to do, and everyone is also afraid of risk. We all could use some help but nobody's in the mood to be helpful. Nothing seems good enough. Or satisfying. It's all so very not fair.
No, it's not. Fair is about give and take, and right now that mechanism is sluggish, if not totally on hold. But it's a phase. And like all phases, this one has uses. Okay, so maybe not to your liking, but productive, nonetheless.
As Venus goes retrograde at 15 Aries, it's a highly potent moment. You'll either see what is possible (and recognize what you have to do to get there) or feel totally despondent. In letting go of that which seems futile, begin working on what you can do, which is the whole point of Venus retrograde in Aries. A fractious atmosphere scatters thoughts, efforts and decisions until Mars moves into Pisces on March 15—at which point everyone will (most unhelpfully) get all prickly, touchy and sensitive. Some will respond to situations with anger, but it's the pain, angst, fears and fractured hopes which will seem most widespread. Money, morals and emotions—they all will need managing and will all be subject to lack of management and mismanagement.
As Venus retrogrades back into the first decanate (degrees 0 – 10) of Aries come March 28, questions of priority will surface in a variety of matters, confusing the process and irritating the tar out of many of us. If—and to the extent that—you can put your personal ego and needs aside and stay focused on efforts and projects which will yield the greatest and most widespread benefit, you'll miss the worst of this time, but otherwise expect alienation and avoidance galore.
Thus retrograde continues until we get to April 9-11, when (with times variable depending where you are) irritations fade and insight steals into one's soul. Suddenly you'll look up, you'll look around…and you'll see other people seeing you. Clearly. The symbolism here is obvious: Venus will have retrograded back into Pisces (renewing the spiritual connectiveness felt around the time of the inauguration) uniting with Mars (which is also in Pisces) where their power of "creating" will manifest as a willingness to do what is needed, to contribute, to function without fear—or in spite of fear, if necessary. In the world-oriented third decanate of Pisces (degrees 20-29), the typically "I/me" Mars ego orientation gives way, becoming what I can do for others. Getting this far won't be easy, but now the obvious need inspires the obvious solution: to do something other than what is plainly not working. And for those who look beyond their own world, family, life, concerns—for those really willing to function as part of the world, this investment of time and energy is likely to prove not only apt, but rewarding in ways you can't predict at the outset.
On the world scene, expect a curious period of lethargy laced with relief. Some of the retail sectors will level out, but oil, pharmaceuticals and health care will be in substantial flux. And as Venus, having gone direct on the 17th, moves back into Aries in tandem with Mars (on the 22nd-24th, depending on where you are), the pace of life will pick up, making for a frenetic sort of rush as everybody tries to go first. People are on edge, problems are big and everyone's reserve of patience is small. The harder people push, the more others push back, leading to confrontations and accusations. But that's not the best way to go. Remember? Cause, effect. Wouldn't you like to know you're cared about? Then be the person you want others to be to you.
From all this I hope you understand that this is a global transit with global implications. Typically astrologers suggest Venus retrograde as not a great time to initiate large expenditures or make big changes, but if you're fixing a problem identified prior to retrograde's onset, then Venus retrograde becomes a perfect time to make repairs and build anew. But the process won't be fun. And don't expect a ton of support. What you're likely to get is a bunch of complaints and criticisms. Trials and errors are likely; the more you can forgive others their humanity, the more likely they are to forgive and support you too. Through its rulership of Libra, we see Venus as a symbol of our willingness to relate, and though you may have problems with relationships during retrograde (and yes, you may feel ugly, unwanted and ineffective), in the end, allowing yourself to be human is the way to go. So be human. Be vulnerable. Have flaws. Share. Don't accuse, inquire. The more you understand and focus on what you have in common with others, the more you'll realize how vital you and your abilities are. Don't give up, and don't think you have to give in. Learn (yet again!) that appearances count for less than deeds and that in the end it's not how right you are, it's whether you're willing to make the thing work which really counts.
Come May 20, Venus will finally exit the shadow of its retrograde pattern, allowing us to throw off some feeling of being shackled. And come June 6 when Venus enters Taurus, we'll all realize what it means to have learned real lessons about weathering not just storms from without, but those which arise within—which in many ways are the most problematic to confront, and the most profitable to learn to navigate.
Boots Hart is an ISAR-certified astrologer with over 25 years experience. She is a featured columnist for New York Spirit Magazine, long-time contributor to Zodiac Arts and author of a humanistic science-fantasy book series being brought to publication and film production. Boots can be reached at Mentorus@gmail.com for questions or astrological services.