venus transit

Venus-Sun Transit, collage by Emily

“The patriarchy is over, they no longer hold the field. It’s safe to step into our power.” – Lucia René

In the ongoing story of the reemergence of the Goddess, today marks a significant shift — a turning point in our personal and collective experience. Venus will make a rare alignment with the Sun, called the Transit of Venus, an event that will not be repeated until 2117.

When Venus travels close to the Sun (from our earthly perspective), she is invisible. This is the phase of her cycle when she is “in the Underworld,” regenerating her power by consorting with the Sun.

Today, as Venus conjoins with the Sun, she will appear as a dark disc tracing a path across the light. The light of consciousness infused with the feminine, the feminine empowered by the light. The false separation between body and spirit that is the foundational lie of the patriarchy is exposed, and a new perception — the light-infused body, spirit-infused Earth — awakens in the mind of the collective.

The hyper-yang, more-bigger-faster, invade-and-dominate paradigm has played itself out. On an energetic level, the patriarchy is over. To make the transition into a new paradigm of wholeness, our work is to reconfigure, rebalance and reintegrate masculine and feminine energies.

The Transit of Venus represents a significant acceleration of this process, reawakening the Solar Feminine — the feminine principles of love, compassion, beauty and cooperation illuminated by the fires of passion, creativity, courage and assertion. An expression of the feminine that has been off-limits to women under the patriarchy:

“When the Earth Grid was manipulated to exclude the Solar Feminine, humans forgot that women could be Powerful Creators. Their creative functions were limited to childbirth, and the Lunar Goddesses became the ‘mothers’ and the keepers of the Feminine Energy on Earth. As a result, … humans were conditioned to define the masculine and the feminine as oppositional, and to assign solar energy to the male and lunar energy to the female.” (Celia Fenn, Welcoming the Solar Feminine to Earth)

The reemergence of the Solar Feminine inspires increased creativity and freedom for both women and men, liberation from old dualistic prisons of perception. The Venus-Sun union occurs in Gemini the Twins, the sign of duality, and this transit is about healing the apparent polarities that have divided and conquered us for thousands of years — body and spirit, dark and light, feminine and masculine.

venus sun transit


Venus Transits occur in pairs, separated by 8 years. The previous one, on June 8, 2004, was an initiation into a phase of growth of feminine consciousness that’s now coming to completion. My sense is that the past 8 years have seen a huge upswing in women (and some men, but especially women), doing the important work of dismantling our inner patriarchy.

The feminine light that we’ve accessed and strengthened through therapy, workshops, teleclasses, self-help books, women’s groups, etc. wants to, and is ready to, break out into the culture in a much bigger and perhaps entirely new way. What is your unique expression of the feminine that you’ve been cultivating for the past 8 years? Do you have the courage to radiate your brilliance into a world desperately longing for your light?

– Emily Trinkaus

P.S. The ever-fabulous Eric Francis of Planet Waves has compiled a collection of articles on the Transit of Venus here, and Adam Gainsburg has an excellent and thorough essay on the Transit here.

venus retrograde

Venus Retro in Gemini, collage by Emily

Love, eroticism, money, values, pleasure and worth are up for reevaluation and renegotiation. Venus turns Retrograde today, until June 27, and though we’ve been “in the shadow” since April 11 (see Reawakening the Goddess), now it’s time to dive in and deepen the process of healing and regenerating the feminine.

Venus stations — appears to stand still and change directions — at 23 degrees Gemini, almost exactly on my Ascendant, and I’ve been feeling her reversal very personally.

When a planet turns Retrograde, its function turns inward, and outer circumstances conspire to help us really get the message that we are the source of our own suffering, and our own healing. Venus Retro reveals ways that we look outside ourselves for love, validation and worth — which typically happen in the Venus-ruled arenas of relationship and money.

Venus Retro symptoms include feelings of being unworthy, unattractive and unlovable. Ouch. We can tap into the productive potential of this pain by being willing to withdraw our projections — i.e., stop blaming the people and circumstances around us — and go directly into the feelings.

The other night, in the throes of an acute Venus Retro attack, I fell into a deep well of pain (totally out of proportion to present events). I asked myself how old I was in that moment, and the answer was two — I had dropped into the age I was when my parents split up, and my relationship with my father had essentially ended. I accessed the physical pain of that separation, how it felt to that little being’s body to be suddenly separated from the nurturing touch of the first man in my life (hello, abandonment issues).

Venus Retro takes us back into the past, for the purpose of healing and resolution, so we can move forward more easily. This reminds me of the shamanic process of Soul Retrieval — a part of ourselves that was traumatized and left behind now wants to be reclaimed and brought into present time.

Gemini the Twins signifies duality, and Venus Retro in Gemini reveals the places where we lost a felt sense of oneness — both within ourselves and in relation to all beings — and split off into separation. In traditional astrology Gemini is ruled by Mercury, but I was pleased to learn that, at an esoteric level, Gemini is thought to be ruled by Venuswhose primary purpose is to unite all opposites in bonds of harmonious matrimony” (see Alan Oken’s Gemini – Sign of Duality and Path to Unity).

To get more insight into what this Venus Retro means for YOU, find the house or houses in your birth chart that contain 7 to 23 degrees of Gemini. The areas of life signified by that house (or houses) are where you are invited to:  revisit, resolve and heal old wounds of separation; rethink and realign with your values; strengthen self-love and self-worth; reawaken and restore beauty, pleasure, art and love.

– Emily Trinkaus

venusToday Venus enters the “shadow” of her upcoming Retrograde — although Venus doesn’t actually reverse directions until May 15, we’re now under the influence. While Venus is Retrograde, until June 27, the Goddess in each of us and in the collective memosphere is up for reevaluation, reawakening and reconnection.

And, this Friday — the much maligned Friday the 13th — is actually a day for honoring and celebrating the Divine Feminine. Friday is Venus’s day (after Freya, the Norse incarnation of Venus), and the number 13 is sacred to the Goddess (because there are 13 lunar cycles in a year). In the pagan tradition, as I learned from Caroline Casey, Friday the 13th was devoted to making love all day. Other ways to honor Venus include making art, making beauty and making peace.

So this seems like an auspicious moment, after months of neglect, to re-launch my beloved Venus blog. Hi.

While Venus is Retrograde, all “RE-” words — reawaken, review, renew, revise, revisit, reclaim, reconnect… — apply to the Venus-ruled realms of love, beauty, art, pleasure, relationship, money, values and worth.  To get a feel for what we’re getting into here, you could look back at the previous Venus Retrograde — October 8 to November 18, 2010.

Venus Retrograde is typically a time for: reassessing and renegotiating relationships; resolving old issues with a current or former partner; and reconnecting with friends and lovers from the past. Venus teaches us about projection — she is the mirror that reflects your self back to yourself in the form of your partner, friend, enemy, boss, etc.

Ultimately, Venus is about self-love and self-worth, and Venus Retro will tend to reveal these unhealed parts of ourselves.

geminiAmplifying this theme, Venus is currently conjunct the South Node in Gemini, and squaring both Mars in Virgo and Neptune and Chiron in Pisces. The Venus-South Node conjunction supports healing and releasing old, self-sabotaging Venusian patterns that may include:  undervaluing yourself and your work; compromising your truth in order to please others and fit in; and sacrificing your integrity to earn money or others’ approval.

Venus’s square to Neptune and Chiron triggers the early childhood and/or past-life wounds that created these unconscious (until now!) patterns in the first place. The square to Mars can stir up anger about how we’ve felt victimized by these patterns in the past — and, ideally, inspire one small step we can take to reclaim our power in the present. We are advised to feel, express, and move through the feelings — particularly the grief (Neptune/Pisces) and anger (Mars) — but not to get stuck in self-pity, blame or despair.

The North Node in Sagittarius points to the best way forward — hold the vision for the future you want to create, stand in and speak your truth, and take the risk of moving toward happiness and freedom, trusting your instincts to guide you.

The highlight of this Venus Retrograde will be her rare eclipse of the Sun on June 5, signifying the reawakening of the Divine Feminine in the collective consciousness. I find the timing of this event intriguing, leading up to the first exact square between Uranus and Pluto on June 24, the planetary headline of 2012.

Venus Retro and the Venus-Sun transit remind us that it is essential to source ourselves in the feminine during these tumultuous, transformative times. If we pull off the miracle of rebirthing a sane new world as the old patriarchal order self-destructs, it will be through love, pleasure, beauty, art, compassion and connection.

– Emily Trinkaus

Portlandia friends – Please join me this Saturday, April 14, 6:30-8:30pm, at New Renaissance for my Venus Retro workshop Restoring Love and Pleasure. We’ll explore the above themes and much much more, including how Venus Retro will influence your personal birth chart. And – friends everywhere – I’ll be a guest on Human Spirit Radio on Friday, April 20, 2:00-3:00pm PDT, talking about Venus Retro, the Uranus-Pluto square and all sorts of exciting cosmic events. Please tune in!

Venus in Capricorn

Venus in Capricorn, collage by Emily

Venus in Capricorn — the sign of authority and worldly power — asks, What does feminine power look like?

Capricorn is typically associated with the Patriarch/Father, and gets assigned power-abusing patriarchal qualities — controlling, authoritarian, ruthless. But as an Earth sign, Capricorn is actually feminine. Astrologer David Pond points out, “we don’t know what Capricorn looks like in a non-patriarchal culture.”

The original symbol for Capricorn is the Sea Goat, signifying connection with the waters of consciousness and the waters of emotion. A watery, feminine Capricorn — which is also Capricorn integrated with its opposite sign, Cancer (Water) — is power wedded with the awareness of our inherent relatedness, power wedded with compassion.

I once heard that in an astrological study of the great mystics, Capricorn was the most common sign (pure anecdote, but feels right-on). This is the high expression of Capricorn — mastery. Not in the sense of being “The Master” and lording over the world, but mastering the physical dimension by working with the invisible, inner world of consciousness.

Patriarchy Unplugged

I’ve been revisiting Unplugging the Patriarchy, Lucia René’s fictionalized account of her real-life work to energetically dismantle the systems and structures that have oppressed the planet for thousands of years. I have no idea what Rene’s personal astrology is, but the book is high-vibration Capricorn.

René defines mysticism as “the study of power.” Because power has become conflated with the abuse of power (distorted, patriarchal Capricorn), “the word power has a negative connotation… Power is neither good nor bad; it is simply energy.

After researching how the systems of patriarchy operate on the physical plane, René and her sister mystics got busy identifying how these forces were operating energetically, and undoing their work. On an energetic level, according to René, the patriarchy is now over. This is why the World Management Team is escalating attacks on humanity: The global elite is like a cornered animal at this point — flailing about, lashing out at anything, hoping beyond hope that something will turn the tide in its direction.” (René’s March 2011 newsletter)

Our work is to dismantle our “inner patriarchy,” by doing the emotional processing to free ourselves from old programming. And at the root of patriarchal conditioning is FEAR. René ultimately finds — and unplugs — a giant “fear generator” beneath the city of London.

Fear is ruled by Capricorn, and fear is what determines whether the expression of Capricorn is high-vibration, conscious feminine power, or low-vibration, unconscious patriarchal power. Fear is both the mechanism for controlling people, and what motivates the urge to control in the first place.

On a personal level, when I’m feeling fearful and insecure, my behavior becomes controlling. I try to control my environment, including the people around me, until (hopefully) I notice what I’m up to, and turn inward to directly address the feeling itself. The Capricorn part of all of us is learning to master our inner realm rather than trying to make the outer world conform to our ideas of how we think it “should” be. And, we’re learning to surrender to forces beyond our control, to a “higher order” that may appear, to our limited perception, to be totally disordered and out of control.

It is this chaotic nature of feminine power that, René writes, men fear in women and therefore want to control. “To understand male dominance, we must first understand chaos. In the view of the masculine, the feminine is chaotic…. When men encounter female chaos, their immediate response is to bring it under control, but this implies a misunderstanding of chaos. Chaos is actually the ability to surrender and let the Divine rule. Implicit in chaos is Divine Order.

Council of Grandmothers

The Crone is particularly threatening to the patriarchy because elders are closer to the unpredictable and chaotic Other World. In a culture characterized by control and disconnected from natural processes, aging is feared and reviled, and death is dreaded as The End, instead of understood as a sacred transition into a new life. This is another distortion of Capricorn, which is the sign of elders, old age, maturity and longevity.

Shamanic astrologer Daniel Giamario posits that the original meaning of Capricorn is the Council of 13 Grandmothers, who guide the culture with their wisdom and experience, and determine what’s best for the next several generations, what’s best for the Earth.

While writing this post, I was thrilled to be alerted to an article featuring high-vibration Grandmas exemplifying Capricorn feminine power. Mary Clear, age 56 and grandmother of 10, is one of the founders of “Incredible Edible,” an initiative to make her British town the first in the country that’s self-sufficient in food: “Our thinking was: there’s so much blame in the world — blame local government, blame politicians, blame bankers, blame technology — we thought, let’s just do something positive instead…. It’s a very ambitious aim. But if you don’t aim high, you might as well stay in bed, mightn’t you?” (see Carrots in the Car Park…)

As Pluto the transformer plows through Capricorn (2008-2024), the unsustainable systems are crumbling and “big daddy” is very clearly not taking care of us. The potential of this transit is to burn away in Pluto’s cauldron the patriarchal, dominator model of power (shadow Capricorn) and rebirth a new/ancient model of feminine power. Women are the leaders in this process, and the world needs all of us stepping into our power and moving forward with creating the world we want to live in.

– Emily Trinkaus

Note to Portlandia friends: Join me and my amazing high priestess friend Katie Todd for Activating Feminine Power, a workshop for women starting in January. Check out all the details here.


venus in capricorn

Venus in Capricorn, collage by Emily

“If we can’t make the world more beautiful, it will become more terrifying.”
– Michael Meade, Holding the Thread of Life

On Saturday Venus shifted from fiery, expansive Sagittarius to earthy, pragmatic Capricorn. Venus in Capricorn, until December 20, asks: What in your life is worth committing to, with your time, energy and effort? What do you love and value enough to want to last? What are the relationships worth working for and working on?

Venus is in “mutual reception” with Saturn in Libra — each planet occupies a sign that the other rules (i.e., Saturn rules Capricorn, Venus rules Libra). Venus and Saturn are therefore energizing, supporting and strengthening each other’s influence, urging us to clarify our values and priorities, do the work to improve our significant relationships, and create practical systems and structures for bringing forth more beauty, pleasure and peace.

While in the early degrees of Capricorn, Venus joins the Grand Trine of Pluto, Jupiter and Mars. This alignment of planets in the Earth signs — the master manifestors of the zodiac — activates the focus, persistence, patience and determination to bring our desires into material form. Venus’s participation in the Trine for the next week reminds us of the importance of beauty, receptivity, support, pleasure, love and feminine wisdom as we work to transform the systems and structures of our lives and make lasting changes.

Venus’s trine to Jupiter in Taurus, exact on Sunday, helps to focus abundantly fertile energy towards what we want to create in the long term. Venus’s conjunction with Pluto, exact on December 1, puts our relationships and values through the crucible, purging what is stagnant, inauthentic and unsustainable. Venus-Pluto in Capricorn wants us to let go of what we don’t truly love, whatever is not both beautiful and practical. Venus trine Mars in Virgo, exact on December 5, facilitates cooperation between the feminine and masculine, supporting us in taking action to protect, support and defend what we love and value.

All this earthy Venusian goodness is happening in the midst of an intense Eclipse Season, as the energy builds toward the Gemini Lunar Eclipse on December 10. Getting lost in the swirl of fast-moving change, emotional drama and mental anxiety is a widely available trajectory. Intentionally slowing down the pace, unplugging from electronics and media, spending time in nature, and appreciating sensual pleasures are ways to tap into the power of the Earth Grand Trine and reconnect with the body’s wisdom.

– Emily Trinkaus

Venus conjunct the Great Attractor

Venus and the Great Attractor, collage by Emily

Venus and Mercury have been keeping close company for the past few weeks, and both moved into fiery Sagittarius on November 2. The Mercury-Venus conjunction wants to explore, expand and give voice to the feminine — the truth of our bodies, our feelings, our relationships.

As of Saturday, Mercury entered the “shadow” of his upcoming Retrograde — November 24 to December 13 — presenting clues as to what wants to be reviewed, reconsidered and reworked. Mercury-Venus points to relationships as key arenas for re-vision. In Sagittarius — the sign that rules faith, religion and belief systems — we’re ultimately reconciling our relationship with the goddess, our own inner divinity.

Venus and Mercury are now approaching the North Node, which signifies the evolutionary purpose of this time, offering guidance as to the best way to move forward. The North Node in Sagittarius supports trusting and acting on our intuition, aligning with our inner guidance, and opening to a higher vision and greater sense of possibility.

Exact on Sunday, Venus’s meet-up with the North Node is especially significant because it occurs at the degree of the Great Attractor (14 degrees Sagittarius). What is the Great Attractor? According to NASA, “The Great Attractor is a diffuse mass concentration fully 250 million light-years away, but so large it pulls our own Milky Way Galaxy and millions of others galaxies towards it.

great attractor

The Great Attractor

The Great Attractor takes the Venusian principle of attraction to a mind-bending extreme. It seems appropriate that the Great Attractor lives in Sagittarius — the purpose of this sign is to broaden our perspective, to take us outside our comfort zone of what’s known and familiar and into a much bigger world. Trying to contemplate the Great Attractor (my brain can barely wrap around the idea of a galaxy) is a very Sag kind of exercise.

Philip Sedgwick, who has done much work on the astrology of deep space, writes about the Great Attractor:

Symbolically we encounter irresistible drawing power, energetic inclusiveness that leaves no frequency left behind and the ability to see behind an object, presumably rendering full disclosure. Here we have cosmic transparency, irresistible insight and knowledge, and the exclusion of nothing. Finally, there is no longer any validity to the ‘only way’ or ‘one way’ proclamations. Within ingenuity, insight and energetic alertness, option-oriented reality prevails.” (No More One Way)

Shadow Sagittarius looks like getting overly attached to one (i.e., our own) version of the Truth. At the extreme, it’s bigotry and fundamentalism, seeing the world in indelible, irreconcilable polarities — black/white, good/evil, etc. Perhaps this alignment of planets with the Great Attractor opens the potential for our perception to expand beyond duality, to a place where we can stand in our truth without rejecting or denying the validity of other truths.

Sedgwick’s take on the North Node’s conjunction with the Great Attractor is that it “refreshes life mission statements” (Stellar Insights) — which seems like a useful assignment for now (especially since “re-fresh” fits into the Mercury Retro “re-” theme). If we can trust our instincts and take a leap of faith, the “irresistible drawing power” of the GA pulls each of us toward our soul’s mission, our evolutionary potential.

As Venus approaches the North Node and Great Attractor, are we irresistibly drawn to expressing and expanding feminine consciousness? Are women increasingly speaking and standing in our truth? Are we freeing ourselves from old patriarchal perceptions, belief systems and stories that no longer serve us? Can we move into our soul’s mission from a place of love, receptivity and support, allowing ourselves to be pulled forward without needing to push, control, or manipulate?

– Emily Trinkaus

Venus in Sagittarius

Venus in Sagittarius, collage by Emily

On Wednesday, Venus moved from Scorpio to Sagittarius — emerging from the depths of the Underworld, the Goddess now seeks adventure, freedom and expansion. Sagittarius the Archer wants to push boundaries and cross borders, take the leap of faith required to break into unfamiliar territory.

Venus in Sagittarius, until November 26, is especially potent because Jupiter, ruler of Sagittarius, is now in Venus-ruled Taurus. The “mutual reception” between Venus and Jupiter strengthens both planets and is reflected in the rising wave of feminine energy in the culture. Goddess Rising, The Art of Love, Beyond Mysticism… — lately my inbox has been inundated with enticing offers to explore and expand my Venusian consciousness.

Even the Occupy movement seems like less of a “protest” (which has its etymological roots in the masculine “testis“), and more about enacting the feminine principles of relatedness, collaboration, caring for and feeding one another. In a recent article on AlterNet Naomi Wolf writes:

“What is most profound about these protest movements is not their demands, but rather the nascent infrastructure of a common humanity…. People emerge, encounter one another face-to-face, and, in re-learning the habits of freedom, build new institutions, relationships and organizations. (We May Be Witnessing…)

Sagittarius/Jupiter rules speaking and standing in your truth — one of the exciting features of the Occupy movement as people access and assert their power and one of the great lessons for women during this time. Barbara Hand Clow writes: “Opening the throat chakra is a very tricky process. Patriarchal authority conspires to keep it blocked, since people with open throat chakras cannot be controlled.” (Liquid Light of Sex) While Venus is in Sagittarius, empowered by Jupiter in Taurus, we can expect many more women to take the risk of opening their throat chakras and stepping into their power.

Jupiter and Sagittarius rule belief systems, philosophy, religion — the story we tell ourselves about how the world works and what it all means. Pluto in Sagittarius (1995-2008) effectively killed the old stories, and the dominant religions — from which the Goddess was ruthlessly purged — continue to lose credibility and relevance. Venus in Sagittarius and Jupiter in Taurus ignite a new, more expansive story of the Multiverse, one that includes and celebrates the feminine.

One of the most effective ways of controlling people is by limiting their imagination of what’s possible and shrinking their consciousness, disconnecting them from the truth of their own inner knowing. Jupiter has been Retrograde in Taurus since August 30 (until December 25), inviting us to reconnect with the truth of our senses, our bodies, our values, and the natural world. Venus in Sagittarius, traveling close together with Mercury — planet of connection and communication — now wants to expand and extend our capacity for bringing the wisdom of the feminine into the dominant culture.

– Emily Trinkaus

venus square neptune

Venus Sq. Neptune, collage by Emily

“If we have not got time to hear the soul, to listen to its values, to allow it to touch in to the divine feminine that knows us before we were born, and to live that reality, despair sets in. And when despair sets in, there is an undermining of the culture. People turn to addictions in order to try not to live at all.” – Marion Woodman, Conscious Femininity

Venus is moving into a square with Neptune, god/goddess of the ocean. Exact on Monday, the Venus-Neptune square evokes a longing to connect with Source, higher consciousness, the divine. Venus is in Scorpio, and sexuality, intimacy, and emotional deep-diving are potential paths to experiencing Neptunian nirvana — and/or Neptunian delusion, disappointment and despair.

Venus and Neptune have an astro-mythological affinity. In one version of her creation myth, Venus/Aphrodite was born from the ocean, specifically, from sea foam — “aphros” in Greek. In traditional astrology, Venus is considered exalted — reaching her highest expression — in Pisces the Fish, the sign associated with Neptune. Neptune is also said to be the “higher octave” of Venus. Venus rules love and pleasure, Neptune rules unconditional love, oneness and bliss.

These links between Venus and Neptune suggest that Neptune is key to understanding, accessing, and bringing out the highest expression of the feminine. Although the Roman Neptune and his predecessor, the Greek Poseidon, are masculine, the earliest deities associated with water were feminine, as Liz Greene points out in The Astrological Neptune.

Neptune is strong in the sky right now, currently stationing — appearing to stand still — before turning from Retrograde to Direct on November 9. This will be Neptune’s final station in Aquarius before moving into Pisces on February 3, for the next 14 years. Amplifying the Neptunian vibe, in addition to the Venus square, Mercury will square Neptune on November 1, and Mars will oppose Neptune on November 7.

Meaning — right now we’re swimming in the magical, mysterious, potentially confusing, overwhelming, depression-inducing and addiction-inspiring waters of Neptune and getting major lessons in our relationship with Source and the sacred feminine.

To launch Reviving Venus, I went to the ocean and called in Venus and Neptune, wanting to apprentice myself to these goddesses, inviting them to work through me. I left behind cats, friends, partner, clients, and spent three weeks in a house by myself on the Oregon coast. I wrote down my dreams, practiced yoga, meditated, walked on the beach, read books (books!), made art, and fell into my own rhythm around work and creative process.

My intention was not just about carving out time and space for a new writing project, but to immerse myself in the feminine. How you do it is what you get — I wanted this Venus project to be birthed from and grow up out of this fertile, sacred sanctuary of self-care, love for my own body and for the Earth, the softness and openness I feel when I’m in the presence of the ocean, attention to the dreamworld, attunement to my own natural rhythms, freedom from clock time.

Venus, Neptune and I all got along beautifully during my retreat. Back in Portland, attempting to continue my Venus project while keeping up with my 40 (or so) prior work commitments plus attending to the responsibilities of everyday existence, the alliance has been a bit rough.

As I’ve learned from experience, when you intentionally invite an archetype into your life, watch out. I called in the sacred feminine, and then expected that she would quietly sit on the sidelines, waiting for a convenient opening in my schedule during which she could pop in for a quick visit, gift me with her inspiration and grace, and then move right along so I could efficiently proceed to the next item on my to-do list.

That hasn’t worked out so well. As a consequence of neglecting the feminine, my reentry into Portland over the past two weeks has been characterized by shadow Neptune — low-grade illness, mold and toxic fumes in my home, victimization and overwhelm, avoidance and procrastination… In the swirl of busyness, I tell myself I don’t have time to do yoga, make art, walk in the woods, meditate — the very things that would take me out of my existential crisis and open up new possibilities for moving forward.

After trying the will-it-into-being kind of approach in writing this post (not effective), I finally surrendered to the process and did what I actually wanted to do — I made a collage. I realized that for my initial two posts, art had come before writing — I had prioritized the more feminine, subconscious, intuitive process of visual art over the more analytical, left-brain process of writing. (For my third post, I sacrificed the art altogether — “not enough time.”) Yesterday I finally walked in the woods, and this morning I did yoga (Your Only Good Addiction).

Having realigned with the feminine, recovered a sense of connection with my own inner world, go figure, I’m feeling energized, excited to move forward. But I’m left with this question of how do we make time and space for slowing down, for just BEING, for attending to our bodies and feelings and souls in the context of a culture that tells us that achievement and profit and faster and more and bigger are what matter most?

– Emily Trinkaus

mars“We have to be visible before we can be seen. We have to be available before our hearts can be affected. And we have to be present before we can be intimate.” – Jett Psaris & Marlena S. Lyons, Undefended Love

Venus is moving into a square with Mars, a significant phase in the dynamic dance between the feminine and masculine — and a potentially feisty, erotic combination. Venus is in Scorpio, the sign of sexual and emotional intimacy, and Mars is in Leo, which rules romantic love, and sex as “performance.”

As the tension of the Venus-Mars square builds — culminating at the Scorpio New Moon next Wednesday — Mars acts as a catalyst for the themes animated by Venus in Scorpio, October 6 to November 2.

Venus in Scorpio wants to dig into the less tidy or comfortable aspects of relating, the emotional crap that’s been festering beneath the surface. She brings us into the deepest layers of feeling, and has a special affinity with the dark side of love — jealousy, envy, control, suspicion, betrayal and abandonment. Venus in Scorpio takes us on this Underworld tour with the purpose of transmuting those aspects of self that are holding us back from the love, intimacy and pleasure we desire.

When confronted with these unpleasant parts of ourselves — the ones we store in the basement of the subconscious and hope no one will ever see — fear and defensiveness are not uncommon reactions. Then we act out the less evolved version of Scorpio, the Scorpion, stinging whoever dared get too close to our pain.

Working with Scorpio power and taking it to a higher level requires vulnerability and the willingness to surrender control — control over our own feelings, and the attempt to control other people. Since most of us in this culture learned from the get-go that vulnerability means weakness and surrendering control leads to certain death, this is no easy task. (The above-referenced Undefended Love has been a helpful ally for me.)

Ideally, the Venus-Mars square helps bring out the potential gifts of Venus in Scorpio — deepened authenticity and intimacy, renewed passion and vitality, and an increased capacity to experience pleasure and ecstasy.

Mars in Leo — whose ruling planet is the Sun — wants to shine some light into Scorpio’s shadowy, mysterious, hidden realms. Mars in Leo can inspire the confidence, courage and open-heartedness that we need to navigate the depths.

There are, of course, some less productive possibilities… Pushing too far too fast to compensate for hidden fears and insecurities — Leo can be willful, while Scorpio can “skip steps” and dive head-first into intensity. Leo loves drama, and Scorpio has a fondness for crisis. You get the picture.

At the other extreme, the Fixed quality of both Leo and Scorpio can resist change and get attached to the same-old, same-old, even when they know it’s not working for them. Venus in Scorpio gets more deeply entrenched in destructive emotional patterns, while Mars in Leo defends them out of pride and willfulness.

The current cycle between Venus and Mars started on May 23, 2011, when the two planets united in Taurus (9 degrees). The conjunction signified new beginnings in relationship, creativity and the feminine-masculine dynamic within ourselves. If you have a copy of your birth chart and want to get astro-technical, you could find the house that was activated by the conjunction and get further insight into its meaning for you personally.

Now, the Venus-Mars square challenges us to take the next big step forward. This is the opening square of the cycle, which typically has a “leaving home” quality — having to step outside of our comfort zone and into unfamiliar territory.

What did you set into motion last May that now wants to be taken to the next level? What is the old, underlying conditioning that might be holding you back? How can you readjust your inner Venus/feminine and Mars/masculine in order to move forward more effectively?

– Emily Trinkaus

venus in scorpio

Venus in Scorpio, collage by Emily

“Wherever there is an absence of power, spirit, or joy in a woman’s life, she has lost touch with her wild self. Each feminine loss is registered in the root of the female body, and to the body a woman must return in order to retrieve the full expression of her own wild feminine.” – Tami Kent, Wild Feminine

Venus in Scorpio: October 6 – November 2
Venus opposite Jupiter: October 14, 4:53pm PDT

Venus is now in Scorpio, the sign that rules both sexuality and power. Scorpio, associated with the realm of the Underworld, rules what’s taboo, hidden, mysterious, dark and sacred. Venus in Scorpio is the goddess empowered by the darkness and the mystery — the Sorceress, the Witch, the Dark Goddess and Crone. In traditional astrology — or what Caroline Casey calls “old-fogey astrology” — Venus is in her “detriment” in Scorpio, i.e., not in her happy place.

The Scorpio brand of power is not the “will it into being” kind of power — that would be Aries, the other sign ruled by Mars. Scorpio, a Water sign, is the feminine expression of Mars, and her power is the kind that comes through us when we relax our egos and surrender control — whether surrendering to a partner while making love or surrendering to invisible forces while making magic.

Surrender is not a terribly popular sport in Western culture. As Marion Woodman says, “The patriarchal world we’re living in is based on control” (Sitting by the Well). Surrender requires trust and vulnerability, and, to surrender consciously, to work with Scorpio energy in a positive and healing way, we need to honor and integrate the opposite sign, Taurus.

Today, Venus in Scorpio opposes Jupiter in Taurus, highlighting the Taurus-Scorpio polarity — grounding in the realm of tangible, physical matter, and surrendering to what’s invisible, hidden and mysterious; defining the boundaries of one’s own body and environment, and merging with another human or with invisible forces; creating comfort and stability, and letting it all go in order to generate passion and vitality; relying on one’s own resources, and merging resources with another to create something greater.

Taurus, an Earth sign, is one of the signs ruled by Venus (the other is Libra). Archetypally, matter — from the Latin “mater,” mother — is feminine, and this is Taurus — the energy of Gaia, the Earth Mother. Taurus rules values and worth, and the role of the feminine is to define what “matters,” while the role of the masculine is to protect and defend those values. (I’m talking here about the feminine and masculine within each of us, not about women and men.)

One of the big lessons of Taurus is self-worth — valuing your self — and how you take care of your body as a reflection of your self-worth. Collectively, how we take care of the Earth reflects how we value our home planet (not so much, apparently). In its higher expression, Taurus is the Earth Steward, and in its lower expression she’s the hyper-consumer and insatiable “land eater.” Derrick Jensen quotes Chiksika, a Native Shawnee, who said, “The whole white race is a monster who is always hungry and what it eats is land,” which pretty much sums up Western civilization (and shadow Taurus).

A lack of grounding, not feeling connected with and a part of the Earth, makes it easy to trash the wilderness. Plants and animals are no longer kin to humans — as in the indigenous phrase “all my relations” — but “resources” to be consumed and exploited.

The parts of the body ruled by Scorpio are the reproductive system and genitals. In my BodyTalk training, I learned that the genitals hold the consciousness of grounding, connection to the Earth (Taurus). One teacher told the story of a young boy who was in the habit of grabbing at other kids’ genitals. Understandably, his parents were concerned, worried that their son might be a budding pervert. As it turned out, what came up in the BodyTalk session, is that the boy was disconnected from the Earth element — he was grabbing onto other kids’ genitals in an attempt to ground himself.

Many if not most people in Western culture are not occupying their bodies, are not rooted to the planet. How many of them are energetically or physically grabbing at (or otherwise assaulting) other people’s genitals in an attempt to ground themselves, to reconnect with matter/mater/mother?

If we are not grounded in our own bodies and to the Earth, if we are lacking boundaries and a sense of self-worth, if we are not clear about our own values and priorities, if we are not taking care of our physical needs, then we are susceptible to these kinds of assaults and invasions. If we try to engage with Scorpionic forces — whether through sex or magic or sexual magic — without having a strong Taurus grounding, we open ourselves to the shadow expression of Scorpio — mistreatment, sexual abuse and other forms of sexual trauma, and energetic occupation by dark entities.

One of the most efficient ways to cut people off from their power is to sever them from their bodies, and especially from their sexuality. Most males in this culture, within a few days of entering the world, suffer sexual trauma in the form of circumcision, often without anesthesia. This practice always seemed to me, on an intuitive level, fucked-up, but I didn’t really get what was going on until I read about it in Dr. Christiane Northrup’s Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom. Yes, it’s a book about women’s health, but, in her discussion of women’s sexuality, she has this enlightening section on circumcision. She writes:

Routine male infant circumcision… is a form of massive, societal approved sexual abuse that removes a very important erotic tissue in men…. [C]ircumcision was introduced in English-speaking countries in the late 1800s to control or prevent masturbation, similar to the way that female circumcision was promoted and continues to be advocated in some Muslim and African countries to control women’s sexuality.”

How different would the world be if men weren’t welcomed to the planet by having the most sensitive and vulnerable part of their body cut away, effectively severing their grounding and feeling of safety on Earth? Of course I’m not arguing that circumcision is the only reason for sexual violence and the devastation of the planet, but how can it not be a contributing factor?

This is Venus in Scorpio territory, digging deep to get to the core of presenting symptoms, breaking taboos, and questioning the status quo — especially when it comes to sexuality. Willow of Willow’s Web, in an excellent post on Venus in Scorpio, writes: “With Venus in Scorpio… we have an access point where we can burn through artificial, socially conditioned ideas of what relationship is, what love is, what beauty is, what value is, what a healthy sexual relationship is” (Venus Enters Scorpio).

Jupiter is the principle of expansion, and Jupiter in Taurus amplifies our connection with sensory perception, with the wisdom of nature and our own bodies. Jupiter is now Retrograde (August 30 – December 25), a time to reconnect with our bodies and with the natural world, to reconsider how we care for our selves and our planet, to restore right relationship with the material world, with the feminine mater/matter.

As Venus opposes Jupiter, we have the potential for seeing more clearly how the Taurus/Scorpio dynamic plays out in our own lives, and for healing our sexuality and regenerating our vitality by entering more fully into our bodies and engaging with the natural world. What can you do to feel more rooted, to honor your body’s needs, to care for the plants and animals around you, to feel and take in the love that the Earth is offering to you in every moment?

– Emily Trinkaus