A little weekly schedule:
- Venus sextile Mars all week, but they don't "kiss" yet (1º orb)
- Sun opposing Neptune (though it's separating already by the 20th)
- Sun trine Pluto on Thursday the 21st
- Sun enters Libra on Saturday the 23rd (ponder the first decan of libra)
- Mars opposes Chiron on Sunday the 24th
- Mercury trine Jupiter (again) on Monday the 25th
It's well known that Venus and Mars are totally in love with each other. I think this planetary love affair is why "opposites attract" is such a common sentiment, but even so, these two have a hard time catching up to each other. Mars takes about 6 weeks to travel through a sign and spends about 4 months retrograde every two years while Venus takes about 4 weeks to travel through a sign spending around 40 days retrograde every 18 months. They have different schedules! Constantly advancing on each other, dancing in the sky, chasing and running away, but every now and then they meet up together in a conjunction that astrologers fondly call a "kiss"
I want to be clear in saying, this isn't always the most romantic aspect, it really just depends on where it is in your chart and what the surrounding sky weather is like. Still! It's Mars and Venus, it's too cute and synchronous not to make it amorous.
Venus and Mars are not kissing this week. Or soon. At all. But they have been teasing us this year. Back in July, Venus and Mars were both co-present in Leo, but before Venus could reach Mars, she had to visit the underworld via retrograde motion. This week, Venus in Leo and Mars in Libra are in a close sextile that never perfects (Venus is moving too quickly). This is less like kissing and more like a phone call full of foreplay. The last Venus-Mars conjunction was in Capricorn on February 16th 2022 on the Full Moon in Leo (this one was rough for many people). The next one is on February 22nd 2024 in Aquarius. Whatever happens this week might actually foreshadow what happens in the upcoming February, it's like they're making plans, "Babe, I miiiisss you, when am I going to see you again?" lol.
2023 is a year of "almosts" when it comes to these matters, the Venus-Mars conjunctions are about the alignment of value and will, they align to get on the same page before going back to work on their own separate projects. I think the conjunction in 2022 was so difficult because it was in Capricorn! All that could not stand the test of time had to go, it's the sign of either separation or longevity.
Right now, Venus is stepping out with a brand new identity that she worked hard to forge this summer. Meanwhile, Mars is working for her domain being in the sign Libra and therefore answering to Venus. The entire week and through the end of the month, Venus and Mars are just 1º away from each other before Venus advances and moves ahead into Virgo in October.
The conjunction in February 2024 is in the sign Aquarius which opposes Leo, the sign that Venus and Mars were fooling around in back in July 2023 and the sign that Venus still reports to now. Whatever your Venus retrograde story was, it will be very important to the events in early 2024 as it will trigger the opposite end of the Leo-Aquarius axis. Pluto will be back in Aquarius by this time and close to this conjunction (only a 5º orb). This is the beginning of deep transformation that will propel us into the next 20 years.
All of that being said, pay attention to what comes up this month, it's likely that some adjustments are needed. Each of us have a new identity in our Leo houses that is being challenged and tested by Mars in Libra. Can you show up in the way you want to? Is the superficial still holding you back? Are there people or things in your life that are blocking authentic expression? Standing in your authenticity and making adjustments within the identity that you've created is important for what you are going to build next year within the Aquarian house in your personal chart.
So, "identity building" has been the theme this summer, but now that we've relatively picked out who we want to be, getting used to the new identity without falling into old patterns is now the beast to defeat. We see this challenge strongly this week with the Sun opposing Neptune, the Sun trine Pluto, the Sun moving into Libra, and Mars opposing Chiron. The Sun is very active this week and with most of the outer planets retrograde and two of our fastest planets just coming out of retrogrades? The Sun is especially important to pay attention to.
When a planet goes retrograde, the Sun is the defining luminary dictating not only the planet's rebirth (morning and evening stars are a result of the superior and inferior conjunctions to the Sun) but also the illusion of backwards "retrograde" movement is created by the speeds at which planets orbit the Sun. The Sun colors our experience, so any other planets need to be considered in relation to the Sun.
Something that really helped this click in my mind was in thinking about how the Sun is one of the main signifiers of the Father in astrology. We often look to our father for identity– kids raised without a father are the ones who feel this the most. They want to know who they are, where they come from, it's a huge ego blow to feel like you weren't important enough to your father. These are all very solar issues. Mother wounds are different, and mind you– I am definitely generalizing here, but usually we would look to the Moon, the emotional reactions, the ability or inability to be vulnerable, wounds that are hidden under the surface. People who have father wounds often look for their identity in other people (relationships) or they might become very hyper independent as a result of wanting to be seen as an individual. The Mother wound is more about a difficulty in expressing emotions and it roots less from not being "seen" and more from not being cared for. When we don't feel seen, we struggle to respect and see ourselves correctly. When we don't feel cared for, it's hard to care for ourselves adequately. I think these two things can be synonymous, but not always.
Anyway, when looking at the planets, the Sun is the father that the others are looking to for guidance, clarity, identity, and parentage. The Sun guides the energy towards a general direction.
The Sun is making some harsh aspects this week which may show us the nature of the path we're traveling. With the Sun opposing Neptune, we get that sensation of not seeing ourselves or the situations around us clearly. The Sun is being clouded by Neptune, projection may be our only sense of clarity, especially in the beginning of the week. It's more of that trickster energy we saw at the Virgo New Moon and it can leave us feeling confused about the direction we're heading in. With the Sun trine Pluto on the 21st, we want power and autonomy, but this is an aspect that can highlight the things that are holding us back from exercising these new identities. An even bigger shift? The Sun is changing signs on the 23rd moving from Virgo into Libra.
The Sun falls in Libra, I think "downfall" is a good word to understand what this means symbolically. Our personal, autonomous identity is at risk when the Sun is in the sign Libra, a sign geared towards The Other. Relationships can help us understand ourselves, acting as mirrors, but they can also blur the lines between co-existence and codependence. Now, that being said, something that is supporting us for the first half of Libra season this year is good ole mutual reception! Venus is in Leo and the Sun is in Libra meaning that they are mutually receiving one another as they are ruling each other. These new identities can actually find support when we meet and engage with new people. It's our older, more established relationships that either have to "fall" away or adapt to the person we are each becoming. This is when it really counts, will you continue to relate to others and the world around you in the way you did pre-retrograde (before July 22nd 2023) or can you apply the lessons you've learned?
Venusian transformation can change our entire lives. Venus rules self worth– if we think better of ourselves, we often receive better. It rules relationships, just one person can change you for better or for worse. Venus is self care, self esteem, value, money, love... by changing the way you express and care for yourself, you change and elevate your whole life. Venus in Leo has ultimately been about trust. The ability to trust that you're being lead in the right direction instead of falling into fear, the ability to trust yourself and your creative vision, the ability to trust the process. This is where trust is being tested. If you've put your trust in the wrong things (i.e. anything but yourself), you've already lost. A fall from grace will always come if we're trusting outside noise, material items, what looks good on the surface. It is our gut that will best serve us this season and this week.
Mars opposing Chiron will highlight independence wounds. How can you incorporate this self love, self trust, self confidence and still allow others to help you? The point isn't to become so self reliant that you crack under the pressure, but instead, to rely on your inner voice to lead you to the correct partnerships. Balance is the challenge.
I hope that something said here hit the spot for you. Hang in there! The sky weather has been foggy lately, I imagine that clarity will start to come through as we approach October, one I am calling "The Month of Change"
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Your friendly neighborhood astrologer,