Monday, November 22, 2021

Perspectives on December's earthy Venus-Pluto dance

Stories have been popping up here and there regarding the momentous Venusian moment we will all witness before the end of this year: mid-morning on December 10th, Venus will begin her dignified, seductively close "tango" with Pluto at their shared degree in the earthy sign of Capricorn. 

As dancers do, these two will draw progressively closer, first cohabiting the same degree on the 10th and then, approximately one full day later, the same minute of that degree. By the 14th they will take a breather, as Venus pulls away into the 26th degree and keeps going, but very gradually over the next five days (14th-19th), she slows down to a complete stop, as if remembering some treasure left behind. 

On December 19th, at the 29th minute of the 26th degree of Capricorn, she turns back to her still near-enough "partner" and begins retracing her path back to him. We might imagine that some primal instinct and memory for the "dance" of Creation has overtaken her in this earthy sign, and we might be correct. Perhaps some memory of a primal Paradise that existed before, as cultural historian Annette Kolodny puts it, the ravages of New World colonization "laid waste the fields of plenty."1 Or,  perhaps Venus is compelled to revisit and redefine relationships that implicate her in this destruction?

Between relishing the bounty of Nature and respecting the demands of a sustainable economy? Between the "blessings" of consumerism (Venus) and its often destructive use of the world's resources? Between human desires and the Faustian bargains we negotiate to satisfy them? Between life-affirming values and greedy compulsions? Between states of relative harmony and balance and the relentless "quicksand" of entropy? Despite the questions, I'm convinced that all of this and perhaps the re-awakening of Feminine power and voice is at stake in this Venus-Pluto "dance." No, we can't possibly come to grips with all this in one Venus retrograde passage, but any progress is good progress!

Artist Audrey Flack, as featured in recent documentary Queen of Hearts.
For instance, at the age of 90, artist Audrey Flack--long ignored and sidelined by the Art world patriarchy--is finally making her entrance into the "official" art history books, an entrance that will perhaps ease the way for generations of powerful women artists. More women in powerful places will hopefully have a knock-on impact on other areas of concern, and so it goes. 

If that weren't enough, perhaps this tango also needs to revisit the lowest, most-heinous expression of any Venus-Pluto relationship: the rape of Nature (and certainly of indigenous rights) that continues to this day across the globe. When the first enslaved Africans reached the shores of what is now Hampton, Virginia (USA) in 1619 (Chart 1 below), Venus conjoined Uranus in late Cancer, with both disposed by a Scorpio Moon opposed to Pluto in Taurus. For its part, Neptune set the stage for rationalizing it all as just "the way things are" with its t-square to the Capricorn-Cancer Nodal axis from early Libra. In other words, both Pluto and Neptune were disposed by that powerful Venus in Cancer, which was then sitting almost exactly opposite the degree where Venus will begin her current-day retrograde "dance" with Pluto in business-oriented Capricorn. 

Perhaps those who try to dismiss the importance of that fateful moment in 1619 for U.S. history  are missing an opportunity to help heal this "original Sin" of our nation, which has scarred us all: Nature and Peoples were both disrupted and tragically exploited by that turn of events, which helped create a western political economy and system (both in the U.S. and across Europe) that continues to build incredible wealth on the backs of non-sustainable resources and workers stuck at the bottom of an often insurmountable, race-based hierarchy.  Let's hope that Venus's station retrograde conjunct Pluto in 2021 will help us at least acknowledge, if not heal this affront to Life itself. 


Chart 1. Enslaved Africans first brought to American continent, August 15, 1619, 12:00 p.m. LMT (noon chart, no exact time known), Hampton, VA. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node. All charts cast on Kepler 8.0 and courtesy of Cosmic Patterns Software. 

Once the slave-base for economic relations on this continent was established, the assault on the Commons took off in earnest, making our present global climate change dilemma tragically inevitable. An amazing collection of esssays entitled The Wealth of the Commons: A World Beyond Market & State describes the dilemma we find ourselves as a consequence very well:

"The normal workings of The Economy require constant if not expanding appropriations of resources that morally or legally belong to everyone. The Economy requires that all resources be transmuted into tradeable commodities. Enclosure ["the commodification and privatization of shared resources"] is a sublimely insidious process. Somehow an act of dispossession and plunder must be reframed as a lawful, common-sense initiative to advance human progress. For example, the World Trade Organization, which purports to advance human development through free trade, is essentially a system for seizing non-market resources from communities, dispossessing people and exploiting fragile ecosystems with the full sanction of international and domestic law....This process has been critical in the drive to privatize lifeforms, supplant biodiverse lands with crop monocultures, censor and control Internet content, seize groundwater supplies to create proprietary bottled water, appropriate indigenous knowledge and culture, and convert self-reproducing agricultural crops into sterile, proprietary seeds that must be bought again and again."2

Being able to distinguish between resources and the Commons is key here, of course; thankfully, mundane astrology can lend insight. Venus is thought to rule the commodities into which natural resources are transformed, not to mention the ownership and possession of such commodities and the boon to one's wealth, value and status that results. 

As for the natural resources underlying these Venusian results, they are the raw materials derived from the chthonic realm ruled by Neptune and Pluto--water, natural gas, coal, oil, minerals and so on. -- also the resources that have traditionally been ascribed to the Commons. Not so by the corporate world, of course, which does it best to lay claim to (or to "enclose," as ecologists put it) these resources for its own use and profit. 

Interestingly, environmentalist Jacques Paysan points out the active potential of the Commons, or what he calls "commoning." To illustrate, he uses the example of rock climbing:

"There are no property rights or patents. On the contrary: The most accomplished climbers are constantly inventing new routes and inviting everybody to test their skills on them. An important rule in the process is: 'Don’t leave footsteps! Allow future climbers to discover the route in the same condition in which you  discovered it'...the commons is the social relationship: the sport of rock climbing! Not the resource itself, the rock. No climbing, no commons. There is no commons without commoning!"3

Ideally, the big meet-up looming between Venus and Pluto would also help us revisit and reimagine the Beauty and Art of the Commons, the cultural "wealth" nations hold in common in their public museums and other institutions. Perhaps then museums could rise to the challenge of returning the treasures (at times even including human remains) in their collections that were never freely given to them.  Thankfully, some museums have started this important process of repatriation, but there's still a long way to go. 

Last, but certainly not least, perhaps Venus and Pluto in earthy Capricorn can help us to finally settle upon  more sane, life-affirming VALUES in society, especially those values we hold in regards to our commonly held resources. How is it that bottled water companies can get by with paying pennies for billions of gallons of precious water so they can sell it back to us encased in toxic plastic for hundreds of times their cost?

At this point it makes sense to examine the actual chart for the momentous December Venus-Pluto event we've been discussing above, set for Washington, D.C.. See Chart 2 below.

Chart 2. Venus stations Rx, December 19, 2021, 5:35:56 a.m. ST, Washington, D.C. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node. All charts cast on Kepler 8.0 and courtesy of Cosmic Patterns Software.

We've spoken at length already about the potential issues raised by the Venus Rx-Pluto conjunction (Capricorn) here; clearly, the 2nd house placement of these two speaks to the need for a renewed value system, although it's also true that old habits and viewpoints die hard, especially those that support entrenched wealth and power. Note, however, that Saturn (Aquarius) disposes this Capricorn conjunction from the 3rd house, square 6th house Uranus Rx (Taurus)--change is upon us, and it could be controversial. Whatever the case, it's easy to see how the current flurry of legislation, activity and change in regards to the nation's infrastructure will be reflected in all this. Change is likely to be concentrated in transportation and labor markets; I suspect our current supply chain issues (heavily dependent on 3rd and 6th house concerns) are likely to continue being difficult for awhile.

 The probability of change is also reinforced by Jupiter ruling this chart from late Aquarius, widely square Mars, the Nodal axis and the chart's early Sagittarius-Gemini horizon. Jupiter is still retracing its steps after its own retrograde turn this past June at 2+Pisces, so it's technically in a post-retrograde shadow period that guarantees growth and expansion will come at a cost - quite possibly related to the inflationary pressures we're all experiencing in the market place right now. 

If I'm correct in this (today's inflation is undoubtedly being caused by more than one thing), we might start to feel some relief in January when Jupiter reaches that 2+ Pisces point again and emerges from its shadow. I'm not overly confident that a Pisces Jupiter, especially one headed into a cycle conjunction with Neptune come April, will cure all our inflation woes, but the fixed Saturn-Uranus square (co-ruling Aquarius) does suggest that  pragmatic, systemic measures can be taken to stabilize the situation, as well. The more these measures work to "shockproof" the economy, the better. 

Image shot during tragic Waukesha Xmas parade on 11/21.
Mars' aspects and position in all this suggests a "full steam ahead" energy at work that will try to forge through any obstacles, even if the action seems reckless or ill-advised. Horrendously, we've been reminded of similar energy by this past Sunday's news: a driver in a red SUV plowed through a crowd of people celebrating their community Christmas parade in Waukesha, Wisconsin, killing at least 5 and injuring scores of people, including at least 15 children.

The news reported the first person being hit at 4:39 p.m., and as Chart 2 below shows, Mars (Scorpio) opposed Uranus (Taurus). This axis fell widely t-square Jupiter (Scorpio-Aquarius) and more tightly square the Saturn/Jupiter (midpoint, Aquarius). The SUV driver reportedly crashed through barricades to get where the he wanted to go, which was apparently straight through the crowd. I suspect this killer's motives will be difficult to pin down (Mars trines Neptune in Pisces), although there's some talk about another crime in that local area may have been part of the story. Thankfully, authorities do not, at this writing, suspect a connection with terrorism (foreign or domestic) or the Kyle Rittenhouse verdict.

Even so, as much as I would like to say otherwise, it's difficult to imagine this Mars (likely to be even more reckless once it gets to Sagittarius) serving the higher possibilities of a Venus-Pluto convergence; more likely, it will influence the tone and conditions on the ground within which those two play out their dance. We saw how this works earlier this week, with Mars at approximately 13 Scorpio square Uranus Rx at 12+ Taurus on November 19, the day on which the Scorpio lunar eclipse (discussed towards the end of this November 11th post)  delivered the "not guilty" verdict freeing Kyle Rittenhouse from all charges against him. This was (IMHO) a reckless, potentially provocative moment, for a variety of reasons: when Venus and Pluto converge in December, the square to and disposing of Mars by Jupiter in Chart 2--not to mention Mars's snug relationship with the ASC and So. Node--could prolong and create a 'trend" out of what now feels to many like a threat. 

Unfortunately, the tactics (brandish weapon of choice in a crowded place; provoke an incident; kill and claim to be the victim) and cause of current U.S. right-wing domestic terrorism (toxic, misguided macho "patriotism?") may have received a real boost in that Wisconsin court room, and it's easy to imagine that the Venus-Pluto dance at stake come December can also be exploited to magnetize more resources to that dark project. 

The use and abuse of "dark money" to undermine justice in America is nothing new, but clearly, this problem has been manifesting in more shocking ways lately: which deep pockets, for instance, funded Tucker Carlson's latest provocative attempt to rewrite the facts of the January 6th insurrection and make martyrs out of the insurrectionists? 

And who keeps funding Steve Bannon's campaign to defy and destroy the American election system and rule of law? Time will tell, but we can be assured that the gun industry, as always, will profit mightily from the fear- and panic-mongering. 


In the midst of it all...Pluto returns to Sibly Pluto

I've written at length elsewhere about the OTHER imminent Pluto passage that will make the coming months (and hence this upcoming Venus-Pluto convergence) all the more significant, but it bears repeating here that on February 20, 2022, transiting Pluto will complete its return to U.S. Sibly (radix) Pluto (Capricorn). Issues of national sovereignty, the big "E" Economy (in so far as the FED and Treasury dept. have a say in it) and Wall Street are likely to be prominent during this time, as are the nation's deeply karmic wounds as a slave state, discussed earlier. 

In fact, in the chart for that return, Venus conjoins Mars at 19+Capricorn (Biwheel 1 below) and both widely conjoin Pluto & Sibly Pluto. This will happen during Venus's post-retrograde shadow period, suggesting that there will be renewed interest in our national values by that time, but we've seen how even the key principle of "freedom" can be twisted and manipulated to whatever the goals of power players are. Hopefully this transit can inspire a more sincere period of national Soul searching.

To say this combination of transits is about restoring the Soul of our nation is NOT, I believe, an overstatement. The political divide in this nation has always been about conflicting views of the role of Government, and those views have always heavily concerned the roles of mundane Venus and Pluto: should they be limited to supporting/empowering the corporate sector above all, staying out of its way and providing for the common Defense on one side, or should they help assure that the blessings of our so-called capitalist democracy are realized more equally by all?  It's beyond the scope of this article to get into this any deeper for now, but we will revisit this passage in the near future. 


Biwheel 1. (Inner wheel) U.S. (Sibly) chart, July 4, 1776, 5:10 p.m. LMT, Philadelphia, PA; (Outer wheel) Sibly Pluto return, February 20, 2022, 5:25 a.m. ST, Washington, DC. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node. All charts cast on Kepler 8.0 and courtesy of Cosmic Patterns Software. 


Dates to remember and final thoughts

November 17, 2021 (already passed). Venus enters its pre-retrograde shadow at 11 deg. 05' Capricorn (the earliest degree it will traverse going retrograde come December 19th).

December 19, 2021. Venus stations retrograde at 26 deg. 29' Capricorn.

January 29, 2022. Venus stations direct at 11 deg. 05' Capricorn and enters post-retrograde shadow period. 

February 20, 2022. Transiting Pluto returns to Sibly Pluto position at 27 deg. 33' Capricorn. 

March 6, 2022. Venus leaves Capricorn and ingresses Aquarius.

This timeline maps out a critical period of time during which the issues discussed above are likely to play out--perhaps with a bit more drama and intensity than usual. We can already guess that the power struggle surrounding the January 6 House Committee's investigation will peak in some way; indeed, there could be revelations about who actually financed the insurrection. There's a critical deadline associated with that committee's work in January, so Bannon's efforts to drag things out will probably also become an issue.  

Aside from that, any bill in Congress that even breathes the words "tax the rich" will probably receive the same treatment--they merited an 8.5 hour rant on the part of Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy already; we can expect more of that sort of grandstanding. Taxing the rich  equates with the bugaboo of socialism for the GOP (really?!), but Venus and Pluto may just surprise us by supporting long-term investments in child care and education that would add greater value to the Economy over time. How can we compete in tomorrow's geopolitical climate if our education system is widely deficient and higher education is turned into an expensive luxury for the few? It's all woven neatly into this Venus-Pluto tango that will demand our attention over the coming months, so it'll be worth staying tuned in!
Meanwhile I will leave you with the exquisite words of naturalist Andreas Weber, from his so-very timely study, Enlivenment:

"The forms and beings of nature amount to ingenious improvisations for maintaining delicate balances in a complex system. The beauty of living things stems from the fact that they are embodied solutions of individual-existence-in-connection. They are gradients expressive of the perennial paradox between total autonomy and complete fusion that needs to be held in suspense by every living being...As such, the experience of beauty is a necessary ingredient of a commoning process. It explains why most humans experience feelings of belonging and connection with other living beings."4

Raye Robertson is a practicing astrologer, writer and former educator. A graduate of the Faculty of Astrological Studies (U.K.), Raye focuses on mundane, collective-oriented astrology, with a particular interest in current affairs, U.S. history, culture and media, the astrology of generations, and public concerns such as education and health. She’s published articles on these topics in several key astrology journals over the years, including most recently, the TMA blog. For information about individual chart readings, contact:

© Raye Robertson 2021. All rights reserved.

1 Annette Kolodny, The Lay of the Land: Metaphor as Experience and History in American Life and Letters, University of No. Carolina Press. Kindle Edition, p. 26.
2David Bollier and Silke Helfrich, eds. The Wealth of the Commons: A World Beyond Market and State. Levellers Press. Kindle Edition. Location 361/11127.
3 Bollier and Helfrich, Ibid, chapter by Jacques Paysan, entitled "My Rocky Road to the Commons."
4  Weber, Andreas. Enlivenment (Untimely Meditations) (pp. 77-78). MIT Press. Kindle Edition.