Heart, Hospitality, and Generosity
Venus enters Leo this week (June 5, 2023, 6:46 am PDT) for an unusually long stay, including a retrograde period between July 22 and Sep. 3.
Venus transits let us examine what we value. What in the physical world brings us pleasure? Who are the people we treasure, and what makes a relationship successful in our eyes? When Venus is in Leo, the litmus test is whether something – or someone – makes us feel valuable, attractive, and respected. We will adorn ourselves in clothing that makes us feel this way, go out with romantic partners we’re proud to be seen with, party ’til dawn, and demand royal treatment.
While Venus is in Leo, we’re called to share our heart, hospitality, and generosity, usually through big gestures. Venus in Leo wants to pick up her closest friends in a limo and treat them to dinner at a fancy restaurant, complete with champagne.
It’s a sunny, life-affirming position for Venus – but first, we have to get by its opposition with Pluto in Aquarius (June 5, 2023, 9:04 am). It’s a short transit, but it gets this Venus period off to a bumpy start, with Pluto’s side eye at luxury transportation, ostentatiousness, and extravagant gestures. But don’t let it throw you off your Venus in Leo game – when Pluto pushes you today, push right back with a roar.
Practicality, Common Sense, and Security
Venus, the planet of pleasure and plenty, makes a square to the Lunar Nodes (June 8, 2023, 1:37 pm PDT) this week. Planets square the nodal axis are said to be “at the bendings,” an important position that catalyzes movement from one node to the other – between the default setting of the South Node, currently in Scorpio, and the evolutionary path of the North Node, now in Taurus.
The tension between the Scorpio South Node and the Taurus North Node is about the conscious choices we make between fear and confidence. I’m saying nothing against Scorpio whatsoever, but the South Node amplifies the darker qualities of any sign it passes through, and it’s our job to consciously transcend them. Venus at the North Bending point inclines toward the growth-oriented North Node in Taurus, and our communal hunger for practicality, common sense, and security.
At this square, we’d do well in Venus-related matters such as relationships and financial security to turn our backs on feelings that draw us toward the South Node and its fears of what might never come to pass – and instead, embrace and take confidence from what we’ve learned through practical experience.
Nostalgia, Evening Meals, and Psychic Nutrients
I‘m not sure I can explain why, but sometimes I find myself awash in nostalgia for some of the least wonderful moments of my life. Not the truly tragic ones, mind you. Just snapshots from an unhappy relationship or a vexing job, perhaps, or from a financially strained youth.
I find this weird wistfulness a pretty good analogy for the Pisces Last Quarter Moon (June 10, 2023, 12:31 pm PDT). Each month, the Moon’s Last Quarter phase directs our gaze backward, and the Pisces Last Quarter heart remembers every hurt and failure as well as each moment of triumph and ecstasy. Over time, when past pain dominates the story we tell about ourselves, it prevents us moving forward.
The Sun in Gemini rules with the head, but the Moon in Pisces rules with the heart. It’s the sign of letting go, of faith and forgiveness. Maybe nostalgia for the past is just a final step in processing – of assimilating all the psychic nutrients from an experience before saying goodbye for good.
This Last Quarter Moon at 19º40′ Pisces marks the final action point in a Lunar Phase Family cycle that began at the March 13, 2021 Pisces New Moon. The Sabian symbol for 20 Pisces is A table set for an evening meal; think of the coziness of that image, the promise of loved ones gathering together for conversation and good food. Do you long for evenings like this? Do you treasure such gatherings in your memory?
It’s not too late to find more togetherness and to make warmer, happier memories. Take a final look at those snapshots from a sad past, then let them go.
The Genie, the Bottle, and the Future
As Pluto made its first epic shift into Aquarius (March 23), my social media and podcast feeds exploded with breathless headlines about artificial intelligence, ruled by Aquarius. “Is this how it all finally ends?” was the general tone; would we all lose our jobs? Would robots finally destroy civilization?
There are many good conversations to be had about how to manage this huge leap forward in technology. AI is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg. But one thing I think we’ve seen in the past couple of months is that while there’s no stuffing the genie back into the bottle, there’s more that can be done to prepare for the new paradigm. Our best hope is for human consciousness to make at least as great a leap forward as the one we’re seeing in technology.
Pluto retrogrades back into Capricorn this week (June 11, 2023, 2:35 am PDT). It returns to Aquarius for a longer stay on Jan. 20, 2024. In the meantime, it sits between 27º53′-29º59 Capricorn, asking some practical, pointed questions about the genie, the bottle, and the future. What groundwork can be laid, and protections put in place, to make the most of this new Pluto in Aquarius era?
Labels, Names, and Stories
Mercury’s trine aspect to Pluto (June 11, 2023, 3:26 am PDT) opens a portal for reinvention. It’s like a young person going away to college and recognizing the opportunity to adopt a new nickname (or drop an odious one), and drop their “slacker” reputation for a spot on the Dean’s list.
Names and titles matter. They’re Mercury’s way of telling the world what to think of us. Mercury in aspect to Pluto calls attention to the power of names, words, and definitions to influence how we’re perceived. Usually, that begins with how we think and talk about ourselves. This week, take notice if you find yourself using self-deprecating jokes or putting yourself down. Note how often you apologize reflexively, when no apology is required, apologizing for simply existing. When Mercury connects with Pluto, it’s time to take control over our labels, names, and stories. They matter. So do we.
Piles, Cobwebs, and the Clean-up Crew
Just look at this mess – one of several towering stacks of paper, calendars, books, and tarot hobby detritus in my office. While Mercury has made its long journey through Taurus since April 3, including a retrograde period, I’ve done well to empty the wastebasket in my office every week or two. The rest has just been scooped up into piles.
This week, finally, Mercury enters Gemini (June 11, 2023, 3:26 am, through June 26). This lightning-fast transit of Mercury in its home sign lasts only two weeks, but it offers a chance to blaze through your inbox, catch up on correspondence and filing, and generally blow the cobwebs away. You’ll be amazed at what you’ll be able to get done in just a couple of weeks, with Mercury in speedy Gemini on your cleaning crew!
Pleasure, A Little Bit Extra, and the Test of Time
How much do we actually need in order to be happy? It varies from person to person, of course. But happiness studies have shown that beyond what is needed for necessary expenses, plus a little bit extra, more money doesn’t really bring more happiness. It can provide more pleasure and comfort, but that’s not really the same thing. Many people on their death bed would give everything they own for a bit more time.
As Venus in glamorous Leo makes the first of three squares to Jupiter in Taurus (June 11, 2023, 8:39 am PDT – the others are on Aug. 22 and Sep. 16), take some time to consider how many hours of your life – the most precious commodity of all – are exchanged for things that don’t bring you much happiness. Let your desire for the newest, shiniest baubles be tempered by Jupiter in Taurus’ penchant for objects that are well-made enough to stand the test of time. And pay attention to what makes you happy that doesn’t cost a penny.
Writing and images © 2017-23 by April Elliott Kent
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