by Tony Howard
Since Venus stations retrograde later this month, I planned to write about it in this newsletter, but I can’t resist talking about the memorable events of last week instead. For some interesting Venus retrograde insights, check out Nick Dagan Best’s excellent video download. Venus is still on my agenda though – via the current Venus-Jupiter conjunction that is gracing us with positive vibes and opportunities for growth. What makes this cycle so special though, is that Venus and Jupiter are also parallel by declination, making this the strongest kind of conjunction. To top it off, they are both in shiny, solar Leo while in a fire trine with Uranus in Aries. This combination holds the potential for sudden liberation, genius creative innovation, breaking free of constraints, unleashing creativity and growth, and unblocking restrictions to fairness, justice and equality. And that’s just for starters.
Reflecting the high potential of this transit, the Supreme Court announcement on the morning of June 26 legalizing gay marriage came at a time when we really needed some good news. Just a week before, a tragic shooting took the lives of several innocent people in a Charleston church on the evening of June 17, at 9:05pm. The shooting occurred with Mars out of bounds and the Moon in Cancer opposite Pluto in Capricorn, a few days before Venus moved closely into the conjunction with Jupiter. In that moment, Pluto gave us a view into the dark undercurrent of racial hatred in our country, hitting “home” with an event that echoed back to 1963 and the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing – and the reminder that we still have more work to do on this issue. Our prayers go out to all of the families hurt by that horrible event.
The trine between Jupiter and Uranus in the chart for the shooting reminds us that we’re all capable of expressing the shadow potential of any transit, even under so-called “positive” aspects. A trine can feel like a green light to take action, whether good or bad. This trine between Uranus in Aries and Jupiter in Leo was expressed in the outlaw hubris of the shooter, whose disturbing image posing with the Confederate flag quickly circulated around the internet. Thankfully, that photo could end up doing a lot of good in the end, for it brought long-standing grievances about the Confederate flag into public discourse, with South Carolina governor Nikki Haley calling for its removal from the State House building.
I doubt anyone reading this needs to be convinced that removing this flagrant symbol of racism is a great idea. Symbols are powerful, and talk of the flag’s removal from public locations marks a positive sea-change in collective thought in the South.
Speaking of sea-changes, just a week later, Venus moved into the conjunction with Jupiter, and just hours after the Supreme Court announcement on June 26, Facebook turned into a sea of rainbows. I absolutely loved this expression of Venus and Jupiter in Leo. The Washington Post reported that “more than 26 million people changed their profile pictures to a rainbow flag.”
It’s true that, as Steven says, Leo isn’t always the attention-grabbing sign it is made out to be and often exudes “quiet dignity” instead. But not this time! With Venus-Jupiter in Leo trine Uranus in Aries, the celebration of this momentous event was colorful, joyous, and exuberant. Creativity abounded on Facebook as many inventive memes went viral. One of my favorites was a cartoon showing the Confederate flag being lowered and the rainbow flag being raised. The hashtag #lovewins is a beautiful expression of the transit, with Venus the love, and Jupiter plus the fire signs as the win.
Perhaps the most dramatic images that began circulating were those of the many landmarks lit up in rainbows as the day came to a close. Even the White House was lit in beautiful rainbow colors – a sight that was breathtaking and healing for the collective. But the Uranian element of speed and surprise with which everything transpired also made it seem hard to believe.
Like the Berlin wall falling, this event, symbolizing freedom and equality for all, united us, bringing us closer together, even though not everyone was celebrating. A friend of mine living in the Middle East commented that from her perspective, the news and images circulating the world about the ruling are a beacon of hope to places where homosexuality is still a crime, punishable with prison or worse.
On a more personal note – on Saturday morning, the day after the ruling, my partner Michael and I woke up to find a bouquet of flowers on our doorstep. The note inside read, “Just wanted to let you know, we’re celebrating alongside you today. With love, Your neighbors Annie & Jake.” Tears came to my eyes as I realized I had met Annie only twice, sharing a quick neighborly “Hello” at most. So the gift packed an even stronger emotional whallop than if it had come from someone I knew well. Moments like this remind us that love does win. Liberation is contagious. And the trajectory of history leans towards ever-greater freedom.
So take this opportunity to make the most of these positive, life-enhancing energies. As this email arrived in your inbox, the moon had moved into a grand trine with Uranus and Venus-Jupiter. By July 9, Venus will begin to separate from Jupiter. But they will continue to dance together a couple more times this year – around August 1, and again in late October, after the Venus retrograde cycle. So ride this wave for all it’s worth. Give your creativity room to breathe. Dream big. And let your heart run the show.
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New Release! Uranus and Eris: Two Lords of Chaos
Steven presents a special new download on Uranus and Eris. This is his first detailed presentation on Eris, and includes a full day of teaching on the subject.
When life plays its wild cards, for good or for ill, the planet Uranus is generally in the spotlight. The "lord of earthquakes and lightning bolts" usually lives up to his name. But lately there is a newcomer.
First hailed as the "10th planet," Eris – or "Discordia," as the Romans called her – brought chaos into the astronomical world and triggered the debacle of Pluto being downgraded to a dwarf planet. Being a newbie, Eris is not widely employed or understood by modern astrologers, but it should be. It is 27% more massive than Pluto and it has been one of the astrological puzzle’s missing pieces from the beginning right up until our lifetimes.
It falls to us as the inheritors of our craft to begin to open our consciousness to this edgy new wild card in our system. Eris’ energy and action are different from those of Uranus, but Eris can be equally explosive. And over the next few years, the two bodies will be conjuncting in Aries, which promises a wild ride for one and all.
Join Steven in exploring the action of these two Lords of Chaos, one familiar and the other new, powerful, strange and unsettling. We’ll strive to understand their function in the birth chart, and how they respond to stimulus via transits or progressions. Approx. 8 hrs.