The current Venus retrograde cycle in Capricorn will see Venus thrice conjunct Pluto, which is a pretty rare astrological event. When Venus last retrograded in Capricorn in 2013, Venus stationed direct tantalizingly close to Pluto, just a degree separated them – but they did not quite ‘hook up’. This means that for an exact repeat of this particular triple Venus/Pluto/Capricorn conjunction we have to look back to Pluto’s previous transit through the sign, from 8 Jan 1762 – 4 April 1777*. Again, during this transit, while Venus did retrograde twice, only one of those retrograde periods involved a triple Venus/Pluto conjunction (these conjunctions were on: 19 December 1770, 12 January 1771 and finally 19 February 1771 in 19 degrees + Capricorn) during which time Beethoven was born. While Venus turns retrograde every 18 months, she will only make a long stay in a handful of signs and these longer retrograde stays recur at 8 year intervals. We will have to wait until Pluto enters Pisces for the next triple Venus/Pluto conjunction, a series which fall between 20/1/2057 and 16/4/2057 in 17-19 degrees Pisces. Just let that sink in a minute. That’s 35 years away, so we have a long wait.
Venus/Pluto conjunction in Capricorn
Venus rules what our hearts hold dear, our treasure in the broadest sense of the world. She also rules passion and love, pleasure and enjoyment. Venus is seductive, she rules the scented flower that draws in the bee and the nectar, the sweet honey, which are the fruits of nature’s relationship with itself. Venus has the ability to create something from nothing, to see in her beloved that true image of love that moves the soul. With a kiss, Venus can turn a frog into a Prince. She is the magic of falling in love. When coupled with Capricorn, a deep winter sign ruling the time of year when nature in the Northern Hemisphere turns its back on itself and lies dormant, Venus becomes pensive, apprehensive and a little cool and mysteriously aloof. Venus in Capricorn is watchful as life in winter is watchful, yes she can wait for the thaw, for the melt to come. Venus in Capricorn – a sign renowned for its introversion and focus and its concentrated inner power – makes a meal of love. She needs time to digest love, slowly. Test its worth. Try it on for size before paying. Is this relationship worth the trouble, worth the investment she asks ?
Venus entered Capricorn on November 5th. On December 11th she first contacted Pluto before turning retrograde on December 19th in 26 degrees 29 Capricorn. Venus met up with Pluto again on December 25th, which just might make this a Christmas to remember. ‘Sex, Lies and Videotapes’ on the tele ? I feel something smouldering here. Venus continues her retrograde journey until January 29th, when she goes direct in 11 degrees 04 Capricorn. Enter Mars in Capricorn – who moving faster than Venus at this stage – passes her by on 16th February 2022 in 16 degs 24 Capricorn. By the time Venus conjuncts Pluto again on March 3rd, Venus is chasing Mars and Venus and Mars will conjunct again (yes that is two Venus/Mars conjunctions in less than three weeks) in zero degrees Aquarius on Sunday March 6th – an act which will revitalize the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction in zero Aquarius in December 2020. Wow. We have some powerful alchemy going on here. Anger, passion, ambition, secrets, revelations, power, downfall, scandal , love, hate, war, peace.. ? This uniting of opposites over the head of head of Pluto is guaranteed to bring about change and shifts.
The first Venus/Pluto conjunction was on December 11th in 25 degs 18 Capricorn (and it fell bang on my Sun). When Venus retrograded on Sunday December 19th, Chiron also stationed direct in 8 degrees 26 Aries. The evening before, I watched the final of an insanely popular UK dance contest ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ a program whereby a professional dancer is coupled with a celebrity and viewers’ votes decide who stays in the contest. The finalists this year were a deaf contestant Rose Ayling-Ellis, and John Whaite who was dancing as part of the first ever all-male duo. Rose -the first deaf contestant on the show – came to each dance from a silent place, her inability to hear not so much a handicap on the dance floor, rather more an opportunity for the rest of us to experience dance in a fresh way. Rose (Venus ruled flower !) moved and interacted with musical vibration as opposed to sound, which allowed her to dance so sensitively, one of the judges cried. Ludwig von Beethoven born during the 1770/1771 series of Venus/Pluto/Capricorn conjunctions, started to go deaf when in his progressed horoscope, Venus and Pluto finally became conjunct. I imagine deafness as a quiet, still, tranquil place – yet not without its dangers. With regard to the male couple, it felt to me that ‘the love that dare not speak its name’– was dancing its way fully out of the closet. Two men dancing the rumba with 11 million watching and voting. AMAZING. What a long way attitudes in society have come. A whole lot of healing – which has been under the surface – has risen to the top.
But I digress…. Pluto is an uncomfortable bed fellow in part because he makes the rules he commands others to abide by. Pluto is not so much death, but what comes after it: the great unknown. Still as deep space is still. I am mindful of the snatch and rape of Persephone and Pluto’s willingness to violently transgress, in order to obtain the object of his desire. Hidden motives, secrets and lies, the use and abuse of power particularly in relationships, are in focus now. Here I touch on the ‘dark side’ of Pluto (and he really does have a dark side) as I write, the jury in the trial of the wealthy socialite Ghislaine Maxwell (a Capricorn with Saturn late in sign) – who has been accused of procuring young underage women for sex with the late Jeffrey Epstein – is deliberating her guilt or innocence. Astrologers always sigh a huge sigh of relief when a Pluto transit to the Sun or other personal planets is over. I include myself here – even though I confess, I am in awe of the current Venus transit – coming together with Pluto in the final stage of the transit of Pluto over my Sun. Venus can take the edge off Pluto. Lighten his dark. Remind us that true love heals all wounds. There is beauty in the beast.
This Venus/Pluto transit to my natal Sun, will end what I refer to as my Capricorn epoch, which began on Jan 19th 1980 a few days after my birthday, with the Jupiter/Neptune conjunction in zero degrees Capricorn. This was the year I left the UK never to return. Since then all the outers have trundled through my birth chart, sometimes meeting up there as Uranus/Neptune did in 1988, or Saturn/Neptune in 1989, but always hitting first my Jupiter (1+ Libra), then Venus, then Mercury (in 4+ and 13+ Capricorn respectively), then Mars (22+ Aries), next the Moon (23+Cancer) and always as last stop, the Sun (25+ Capricorn), leaving only Saturn out of the fray. Most of my adult life I have been hosting an outer planet, will I feel abandoned I wonder when Pluto finally closes the door on me ?
At the moment, I find myself in clean-up mode, literally. I am de-littering and de-cluttering my flat, while at the same time seriously re-organizing all my astrology research. My son moved out earlier in the year and there is no time like the present. My nest is truly empty. At the root of my being, I find myself in a questioning mood – and often ask myself ‘is this true?’ Is this idea I have about myself and others valid? Stripping back to the bone is such a Capricorn task. Vivid memories – long forgotten – surface like beguiling creatures from some strange deep. A tune emerges, a childhood nursery rhyme, I sing it aloud while walking the dog. Laughing at an image of myself in the mirror – while remembering a childhood conviction that if you stared into your own reflection long enough, you could be transported to another world. Assessing past loves, and recognizing my own role in their demise. Falling in love with my self – and learning to appreciate me. I can allow nature to strike a chord in me too. I do not need a mountain top, or some remote rural place. Contemplation stumbles upon me. I find total absorption in the colour of the sky, the sunrise, sunset red, the way the brightness of the colour catches the outline of bare trees on the horizon, coots squabbling among themselves on the murky water of a canal, the deep earthy smell of rotting leaves on rain soaked, or now frost dusted earth, an inquisitive toddler in a pushchair stretching to watch me and my dog go by. Then transported through time I recall the winter of 1966 and a memory of frozen fingers and a snowman that stood in the garden it seemed – forever. The sharp taste of a mandarin, the feel of bed linen, the touch of my dog’s coat, the look in his eyes when he knows we are about to go out. A vivid sensuous landscape, which feels entirely new and wondrous. On an inner level the time is ripe for me to open the box of delights, ripe for me to own the treasure trove of this beguiling transit of Venus/Pluto to my natal Sun.
Meanwhile, back at the office (party?), here on planet earth, the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is having to talk his way out of a tricky situation involving parties held in Downing Street last Christmas, when lockdown rules were in place. Venus in Capricorn – particularly with Pluto in the picture – is definitely about past sins and how they have a sure fire way of finding you out. With regard to BJ and the parties, I think this is a story that will be around for a while, possibly until Venus is done with Pluto – which won’t be until next year in March ! What a joy it is to live, and to live in such interesting times.
To you and yours… Let’s toast life ****
Liz Hathway Astrologer