Astro blogging is beginning to assert its persistent pull on me again. My communicative Gemini Moon in the public-oriented 10th house, must be nourished and fed! Sharing my writing with the world is one way that I have consistently fulfilled that inner drive.
My other medicines for this season of life have included: lots of reading (with a heavy dose of Pema Chodron), reflecting on the complex meanings of “spiritual surrender”, making art, revisiting some wonderful reassuring chapters on 12th house progressed moon passages through Leo (my current predicament – or opportunity – of cloistered, creative, and confused wandering)… and, early morning pre-dawn walks, communing with Venus.
We are currently traversing what Adam Gainsburg calls the “Fullness Phase” of the current 19-month Venus cycle, which commenced with its rebirth (an interior retrograde conjunction with the Sun) on October 26th, at 3 degrees Scorpio.
Gainsburg suggests that this Fullness Phase (beginning with Venus’ direct station on November 15th until early January 2019) “initiates our internal readiness for the journey ahead.” During the Fullness phase, Venus appears in the morning sky reaching maximum brightness (~Dec. 1st) and maximum morning elongation (its furthest distance from the Sun on January 6th, 2019), before it begins to descend in the sky once more.
At this point in her cycle, Venus’ new purpose and mission is beginning to mature, gain greater clarity, and inhabit shape and form for each us, personally and collectively.
What might this be for you… in the realm of relationships, love, self-worth, pleasure, art, and finances or resources?
The last time I posted here on Lilith Rebellion was around October 26th, during Venus’ interior conjunction with the Sun (at its mid-retrograde point), which symbolizes a moment of simultaneous ending and beginning.
Tomorrow, December 17th, Venus will clear her retrograde shadow as she passes 10 degrees Scorpio – the point in the zodiac where her retrograde first began on October 5th, 2018.
I’m not really an early morning riser, typically – although I sure do feel much better about my life when I am awake and standing ready at the brink of a large untouched expanse of fresh morning hours!
And yet, beginning in early November, knowing that Venus would have gained enough distance from the Sun to be visible in the pre-dawn hours, I began yanking myself out of bed before sunrise every single morning, throwing on my parka, mitts, scarf and boots, grabbing a mug of coffee, and walking bleary-eyed down to the harbour-front to see if I could see her.
Unlike my early morning walks to the ocean that I experienced during a summer vacation, these cold city walks were much less picturesque and required significantly more motivation.
However, for the first few weeks in November I couldn’t see her anywhere! It was so frustrating. Was there always so much cloud cover first thing in the morning during winter? Was Venus hiding behind buildings? Was my view of the Eastern horizon too crowded? Was I waking up too late to catch her before the sky began to brighten?
I persevered, despite the dreary weather, and managed at least to catch a few good sunrises amidst the clouds.
And then FINALLY, on December 3rd, I glimpsed Venus as a morning star for the first time this cycle, dancing with the waning moon!
I saw her only for a minute or so, before she disappeared behind a nebulous mass of shifting fog and clouds, but following this first sighting, the skies have cleared and I have seen her rising in the east nearly every morning since.
Now every morning is me, my coffee, my visible puffs of breath, the ocean, and Venus.
(the first image for this post is someone else’s magical capture of the waning moon together with Venus – you can find more of those @ Earth Sky. The dance between the crescent moon and Venus is a beautiful, mystical one that has been hinted at in various mythic stories)
Throughout history, when Venus is visible, she is called either a morning star or an evening star, despite the fact that she is actually planet. Her “star” nickname refers to how brightly she shines! Even if you are living in the city, you likely will be able to see her.
It’s really a wonderful thing to be able to integrate what you are seeing in an astrological chart, with the actual sky. You can use any app that gives you a real-time depiction of the current sky (i.e. a chart with a flexible ascendant sign set for your location) in order to see what planets might be visible, and when.
For example, I use Astro Gold, but the popular Time Passages app also has a ‘current chart’ option. Ideally, for learning purposes or for convenience, your app or program would allow you to easily advance or backtrack the chart by the minute or hour.
Before you begin using the current astrological chart as your guide to the sky, I think it’s important to get clear on some basics that I wish someone had clearly explained to me when I started learning astrology – primary and secondary motion. It’s such a simple and straightforward fundamental foundation piece, but it isn’t usually directly addressed in astrology tutorials.
In my early astro days I was always baffled how astrologers were able to figure out whether a planet could be seen in the morning or the evening… based on the chart? Or were they using mainstream astronomical or weather sites for this info??
Understanding the difference between primary and secondary motion, and remembering that the ascendant-descendant line is the horizon line, will enable you to easily use the chart as your guide to sky-watching.
If you’d like to increase your understanding of how astrology works with some clear visuals, you can progress the planets through the signs in secondary motion @ theplanetstoday.com, or you can watch the short video below, which demonstrates the planets moving through the signs (on fast forward) over 12 months, from January – December, 2019.
The Sun is labeled ‘Sol’ in the video, and the fast moving moon whizzing through the zodiac is labeled ‘Luna’. When the planets have a pink circle around them in the video, it means they are retrograde – swept up in primary motion.
The degrees of the zodiac wheel, from 1 degree to 360 degrees, are organized in a counterclockwise fashion from Aries to Pisces (30 degrees for each sign).
Now that the technicalities are clarified, we can step back again to look at the big picture…
Most of us are already so disconnected from the natural world in so many ways (i.e. we usually don’t know the fields and farms our food comes from, we spend more time on screens than we do in nature, a bombardment of artificial light interrupts our natural daily cycles, etc.).
When astrology becomes merely a bunch of symbols arranged in a chart on our computer screens, neglectful of the depth of reflection the sky provides, I think the practice of astrology can begin to feel a little disembodied. It is at risk of becoming something else that takes us away from its natural source, as it pulls us deeper into our astro apps and horoscope paragraphs.
I’m speaking from experience here, as someone who can lean toward the extreme of the linear, language and time-oriented, rational left-brain mode, while dismissing the more intuitive, spatial, timeless, imaginative states of the right-brain.
Astrology can get really technical, really fast, and I’ve recognized in myself, how easy it is to forget that the charts I study, are actually depictions of the wildly enormous and magical universe we float around in.
At its best, astrology reconnects us with the living cosmos, and the unique role we each have within its web.
It’s an incredible, mind-blowing tool… and when its symbology, its archetypes, all of its technical precision, is married to the moving sky? Beautiful awe-inspiring magic!
So look up! The sun rises late in the morning in the north right now, as we approach the longest night of the year (the winter solstice). If you are also in the northern hemisphere, you likely do not need to get up ridiculously early to catch Venus shimmering bright in the morning sky. In the coming months, she will disappear beneath the horizon once more, to eventually re-appear again as an evening star.
Jupiter and Mercury too, have begun their pre-dawn climb, so you may be able to spot these planets as well!
p.s. I’m not sure of the future of my weekly weather reports at the moment, but I’ll be back with more writing when I feel inspired to share. Thanks for sticking around. xo
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