We’re now in the home stretch of Mercury Retrograde. Mercury stations direct early in the morning of August 8.
There plenty of levity to appreciate in today’s Aquarius full moon energy, which is much needed after last month’s challenging Mars aspects. Just as the moon is full, it will trine Jupiter, which will in turn form a sextile to the sun. The Sun and Mercury will trine Uranus, and even Saturn is feeling friendly with a sweet trine to Venus. If you’re reading this, make the most of these positive energies while they’re at hand.
Steven caught just enough of a breather between teaching events to write a wonderful bit about Venus in Cancer below. He’s just now beginning his annual AP program in Australia. Then he heads home for a short break before the next program which starts September 28 in Calistoga, CA. He’ll be sharing the very special program topic “Creating the Actual Nodal Story.” We’ve been asked if this is a repeat of the workshops taught in conjunction with Yesterday’s Sky. The official word is that this is not a repeat, and that he’ll be taking students down a deeper road of exploration into working with the nodes, as he teaches us how to create a nodal story that is both resonant and transformative. If you’re not enrolled in the Calistoga retreat, you’ll have another chance to hear this material in November at Blue Sky Ranch.
As always, I leave you with good wishes for your well-being and happiness,
Venus in Cancer
by Steven Forrest
Venus enters Cancer on the 7th of August and remains there until September 6th. In a way, that is no big deal. Venus moves fast and has already passed through every sign of the zodiac many times in your life. But to a great extent our journeys are actually composed of a lot of “no big deal” events all strung together. Let’s put this one under the evolutionary microscope and see what potentials it affords us for opening our hearts.
In my work with clients, I am primarily concerned with trying to illuminate the big thematic patterns of development in their lives. That means I spend most of my time looking at progressions, solar arcs, and the mighty transits of the slow-moving planets, starting with Jupiter and moving outward to Pluto. A casualty of this approach is that I tend to not pay much attention to the quick transits of Venus (not to mention the Sun, Mercury, and Mars.) There just is not enough time to deal with all their aspects and other developments in the kind of work I do, which generally spans at least a couple of years of life. But Venus is, famously, the goddess of love. We all know that anything connected with the ability to give and receive love is going to loom large in our evolutionary journeys. This month, all of us are invited to stretch our hearts in some new ways. And the laws of synchronicity will press certain kind of events upon us, events which we can turn into gold if we understand the formula.
Cancer, as the Cardinal Water sign, epitomizes sensitivity. And sensitivity implies vulnerability. And vulnerability must defend itself skillfully in this world – and the word “skillfully” is the crux of the matter. There are cruel, exploitive, predatory realities and people out there, and being foolishly vulnerable to them means instant destruction or at least terrible suffering. On the other hand, what is life without love? And to receive love, we must be open to it. We must be vulnerable. And that is always risky. This is the heart of the Crab’s dilemma. It must learn skillfully to distinguish between situations in which it is relatively safe and those situations in which it would be fatal. And it must further avoid the cheap trick of “solving the problem” by simply shutting out all possibility of love across the board. That’s like getting past our fear of flunking geometry by dropping the course.
Going further, the quintessence of a Cancerian Venus is the bond between a sane mother and her baby. Can there be any greater vulnerability or level of commitment? The bond between mother and child endures, at least archetypally, for life. This is absolute love, with no parachute. We can expand that idea and realize that Venus in Cancer refers to all human relationships that are characterized by life-long commitment. We might think simply of the bond between the adult child and his or her parents, or the bond between siblings. Marriage “unto the grave” comes to mind. And that unsung human masterpiece: deep, long-term friendship.
As Venus passes through Cancer this month, all humanity needs to huddle a little closer to that warm fire. We all need a booster shot of the reassurance of familiar faces taking time with us. We need the kind of love that is based on who we are rather than what we can do or offer. We all need to hear “I love you” a few more times. And that means we need to chance saying it a few more times too!
There is a level at which astrology simply works mechanically, like gravity. At that level, we can predict a little pulse in these small acts of connection and kindness during this transit. There will be a little spike in marriage proposals. Flower shops will sell out. Stevie Wonder’s “I Just Called To Say I Love You” will get 3.8% more air play. None of it will make the news headlines, but the pattern will be there if you look for it.
You will also feel some shyness, even with people you love. That is Venus-in-Cancer too. Really dropping our defenses and surrendering to love makes us all nervous. We humans are ambivalent about being that vulnerable. Like the Crab, we might prefer to remain safely inside our shell, withdrawn a bit from the world. The shell might be composed of reason, or humor, or cynicism, or stoic self-sufficiency. Whatever the armor, it works. Remember the cheap trick of “solving the vulnerability problem” by simply shutting out all possibility of love across the board. We all do that to some extent. It is time to do it less.
This brings us to the heart of the matter from the evolutionary perspective. While Venus passes through Cancer, you are invited to use your developing discrimination to update your heart’s defensive plans. It would be bliss-ninny naivete to suggest simply dropping all your defenses. That is too simple-minded. You need your defenses! But you probably are overdoing them in some of your relationships. So swallow those butterflies and look a friend in the eye and say, “I am so glad you are in my life.” Tell a parent or a kid how much you value them. Let a teacher or a counselor know how much you appreciate them. Pat your cat. Truly make love.
It will not be as easy as it sounds. It takes a lot of courage to risk vulnerability. But what you are building is that classic Venus-in-Cancer foundation: the kinds of bonds that are strong enough to survive the trauma of death and rebirth. They are forged in vulnerability – vulnerability carefully aimed, but then accepted with “no exit.”
By the way, these opportunities, tensions, and challenges will come to a boil for most of us toward the middle of August. That’s when Venus comes to the opposition aspect to Pluto, and everything subterranean inside of you that is choking your heart with fear will be most ripe for resolution and healing.
*Mother and child photo and White Flower photo courtesy of Manu Jobst of Kunstfabrik. Please enjoy and support her art here.
Take a journey with Steven through the houses according to Venus. This talk is great for anyone wanting to learn a little more about the sign placement of their natal Venus. Also great for students who would like an introduction to the way Venus might express through each of the 12 zodiac signs.