Tag Archives: venus-pluto

Moving Ahead: Astrology of Dec. 25 – Dec. 31, 2018

The Sun sets on the final week of the Gregorian calendar year by cruising through early Capricorn, advancing one degree per day towards stern Saturn, mysterious Pluto and the eclipsing South Node, who are now all in Capricorn. The Sun in Capricorn (Dec. 21 – Jan. 20) provides a fine energy for plotting the new year ahead, identifying important goals, being realistic about obstacles (so you can find a way through them!) and reflecting on how to offer the gift of your being to this world. Socialite Venus makes a sextile to obsessive Pluto (exact. Dec. 28), adding some extra energy to whatever Venus’ recently completed retrograde brought up in your intimate, social and collegial spheres. Venus is still in Scorpio, which has us probing loyalties and questioning trust. Without a little distance and perspective, we could be reading “the worst case scenario” into events or relationships that really just need more time or more information to reveal the truth of themselves.

With combative Mars conjoining sensitive Chiron (exact Dec. 28), taking steps towards resolving disputes, clearing the air of misunderstanding or negotiating intimacy with others could be hampered by poor boundaries. We may have to go against expectations, assert ourselves with people in ways we never have before, and generally stand up for ourselves when it feels awkward to do so. Any pent-up anger (which may have already evolved into resentment) could come out with a bit of a surprise because the lid just can’t hold it in any more. On the other hand, expressing one’s desires to someone may also be inhibited by ancient past pains that really have nothing to do with the present…though they are very alive as you make the effort to reach out for what you want. Take it slow, breathe deeply and practice patience with yourself. Whatever has waited 100 years to express itself will not be improved by speeding the process up by a few days.

Tall Valley of Firs in the winter sunlight

Impulsive Mars conjoins Chiron on his way to entering the headstrong sign of Aries on Dec. 31. After six weeks of swimming through the deep tides of Pisces, Mars is in his home sign where he functions well. At least until Mars forms a challenging square with authoritarian Saturn in about two weeks, our efforts to initiate projects, take decisions and move ahead with plans will be supported by this influence. It is a good use of Mars’ time with Chiron this week to examine what limiting beliefs you may have around pursuing what you want and what is standing in your way. Then when Mars meets Saturn, you’ll be in a better position to work in your own interests and address obstacles or limitations constructively instead of trying to fight a losing battle—whether with yourself or someone else!

The astrological weather for New Year’s Eve Dec. 31, 2018 looks like an interesting mix of the somber and relatively quiet mood of a Sun-Saturn conjunction plus an appetite for the impulsive. The few days around the Sun-Saturn conjunction (exact Jan. 1) may bring to light some of the mistakes we have recently made or loose ends which need to be suddenly tied up. This may or may not interfere with the mood to celebrate, depending on how much we are responsible for and what all is depending on you. The Moon in Scorpio is a rather spicy placement for social, group activities and on the one hand, slumming it may feel glamorous while on the other hand, ordinarily familiar locations may take on an air of mystery or even danger. The Scorpio Moon also makes an exact sesquisquare to thrill-seeking Mars in the hours leading up to midnight which could mean a sudden change of plans, an encounter with rudeness, an urge to challenge authority and/or some very enthusiastic and fun dancing!

Let’s take care of each other out there and I look forward to seeing you in 2019!

Step into the realms of Soul and enlarge the conversation you are having with the world through an astrological consultation. With Erica as your guide, cross the astrological bridge between heaven and Earth to transform liabilities into assets and cooperate with the energies and forces presently shaping your life. Get in touch at erica at realimaginal dot com!

2019 RETREATS   I am excited to share that astrologer Renn Butler and I will be offering another holotropic breathwork + archetypal astrology + dreamwork retreat in summer 2019!  Watch this space for more details and to save the date!

Grounding Into Changes: Astrology of August 21 – August 27, 2018

These waning days of August means the Sun enters Virgo (Aug. 22) and is almost immediately opposed by the Moon when they both reach 3° Virgo/Pisces, respectively. The entire planet is within a long-term general potential to effect CHANGE and no matter how fixed sign (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius) or Saturnian you may feel in wanting to resist or deny change its rightful and prominent place—cosmic forces are enabling us to make some extraordinary changes to our karmic patterns, both individually and collectively. This particular Full Moon in Pisces on August 26, 2018 at 4:56am US/Pacific points towards grounding into effective means of upending your whole life. Well, maybe not your WHOLE life, but for some of us, it will indeed involve the whole enchilada.

The Pisces Full Moon invites us into divine connection, especially through attention to the body, through which we can summon the courage—and the vulnerability—to conquer the basest survival fears which hold us prisoner. A key to this process is agreeing to commit only to what is ours to do. Locating our true responsibilities to self and to other and seeing the way to let go of all the accumulations of pride or co-dependence or martyrdom or whatever is burdening us with too great a weight to carry. Action-oriented Mars will resume direct motion beginning the next day (Aug. 27) and for this entire week will function more like incendiary Pluto, as it grinds to a halt in the sky before moving forward. For some, a sudden change of heart could materialize, while for others a sudden change of course which has happened some time since June 27 will solidify under the guidance of new directions, new courses you are now free to set. Be vigilant against falling back into old survival patterns that you have outgrown; you are free to choose a different path now, even if it takes time to become accustomed to a brand new pair of legs! Like a baby, it can take time—and some falling down—to learn to walk in new ways.

Pisces Full Moon 2018

The planet of harmony, balance and friendship, Venus squares our dark lord of the underworld, Pluto (exact Aug. 26) during the Full Moon, which could put the finishing touches on a romantic or more platonic strife. Whether it signals a break up or the chance to make up, emotions will be riding extra high with this Full Moon and it is wise to take the space you need in order to make honest connections with others. Hiding your vulnerability with emotionally manipulative or evasive tactics is a waste of this influence, which could instead help us to develop greater empathy for ourselves and for others. Venus’ square to Pluto also supports a continued meditation on the nature of our generosity towards others, which was indicated by the previous New Moon in Leo. In fact, this Full Moon may yield some greater insight into if not some resolutions around that inquiry. Especially for those who tend to offer their most tender, sensitive parts up to those who do not know how to properly care for them, harness the discernment within this Full Moon to your best interests, which includes self-protection.

You might try a lovingkindness meditation this week to help ease pain or any undue fear surrounding transitions. For example, you could sit in a quiet place with your feet on the floor, or in a meditative posture, eyes closed or half closed and allow yourself to concentrate on your breath for a few minutes. This preliminary practice can help generate inner quiet and calm before bringing to mind someone you love or care for, and wishing with your whole heart that they know love, kindness, happiness and joy—wishing with your whole heart that they be free from suffering and the causes of suffering—wishing with your whole heart that they be happy, safe and free. You could then move to picturing those who you find difficult or challenging; or a particular situation which is troubling; or a particular part of you which you find difficult or challenging; or even the entire world of 7.6 billion people. Be specific and concrete, detailed in what you bring forth to offer lovingkindness to, and you may find that your own heart lightens considerably in the process.

Key dates for Mars retrograde:
May 10, 2018 – Mars enters shadow 28° Capricorn
June 26, 2018 – Mars at 9° Aquarius stations retrograde
August 27, 2018 – Mars at 28° Capricorn stations direct
November 12, 2018 – Mars exist shadow at 9° Aquarius


Step into the realms of Soul and enlarge the conversation you are having with the world through an astrological consultation. With Erica as your guide, cross the astrological bridge between heaven and Earth to transform liabilities into assets and cooperate with the energies and forces presently shaping your life. Get in touch at erica at realimaginal dot com!

2019 RETREATS   I am excited to share that astrologer Renn Butler and I will be offering another holotropic breathwork + archetypal astrology + dreamwork retreat in summer 2019!  Watch this space for more details and to save the date!

I will also be appearing Sept. 15 in Portland, Oregon with the Oregon Astrological Association offering a 3-hour workshop on Saturn-Pluto and You: The birth contraction of 2018 – 2021. Then on Sept. 29, I will be giving a Kepler online webinar on An Uncommon Saturn Return: The Capricorn Stellium of 1988-1991 (registration at the link).

Squaring Off with Duality: Astrology of June 5 – June 12, 2018

With apologies for missing last week’s forecast due to travel and illness.

We kick off this week with an incredibly watery, Neptunian sky promising a hazy picture of reality and its possible contents. While Mercury’s superior conjunction to the Sun at 15° Gemini (exact June 5) could ordinarily signify clarity, both the Sun and Mercury are making a square to Neptune in Pisces (exact June 6), which could indicate quite a bit of confusion, miscommunication or misunderstanding. The potential for outright deception is there as well, though it is worth taking a moment to wonder if such deceptions are the product of your own desires or biases. Mercury is at home in Gemini and is less concerned with “truth” than with “information” while in its home sign, so take care to locate your interpretations in a proper context. (Pro tip: Reach out to people and give them a chance to show up as real people, rather than reducing them to bit players in your own self-centered storylines.)

Neptune at its best is the quest for ultimate, spiritual or transcendent truth but it is a cosmic force which absolutely begs for our self-reflection. Leaping to conclusions may prove particularly hurtful as they reveal some of your own inner conflicts or dualities, and with Venus opposing Pluto (exact June 5) we might well expect some double standards to be exposed and/or enforced.

The Moon’s square to the Sun in its Last Quarter phase (exact June 6) also highlights exposure of where you may be of two minds about something or someone. You may even encounter a strong contradiction within you—such as the beliefs “I’m just a casual drinker” versus “I have a problem with alcohol.” But don’t expect clear, rational thinking about such contradictions, at least not at first. You may discover much more by dialoging with your dreams, working with images and metaphor, engaging the emergent reality of the mythic realm—try listening to your experiences as you would a dream, hopefully with great reverence for the autonomy of the image or the other, recognizing that the image’s or the other’s separate, lived reality is very different from your own. What might you learn if you offer your diffuse attention with a respectful curiosity to what may be an otherwise annoying or frustrating experience(s) or perspective(s)? If insight isn’t forthcoming, it may be better to record images and impressions and wait until next week to review or revisit when the Sun moves away from Neptune and Mercury begins to oppose Saturn.

“Dreamscape (where im free)” by Paolo Marco Mañalac

Because the Last Quarter Moon square Sun aspect draws both Mercury and Neptune squarely into our considerations, remember that Mercury-Neptune responds well to what are often referred to as nonordinary states of consciousness. Examples of this kind of consciousness includes dream states, waking reveries, and mystical states of consciousness which reach into domains beyond the so-called normal or ego-based. They can be induced by REM sleep, meditation, repetition of mantra or chant, trance induction, hyperventilation, or with the help of various catalysts from the plant realm (fermented plants, herbal tinctures, certain mushrooms, marijuana, etc). Humans have been altering their consciousness for millennia for the purposes of obtaining initiatory visions, healing, receiving new powers, negotiating with “the deities that be” and many other reasons. These states aren’t useless to us, but they require their own special time and space. Give some appropriate time and space to the exploration of expanded or altered states of consciousness, and aim for healing insight or spiritual knowledge and you will make very good use of this week’s astro-weather.

Sometimes we have to surrender our obsession with goals in order to receive certain gifts along the way which will ultimately aid us. Fighting against any indication that we need to slow down or perhaps pause for some kind of reflection will not only squander an opportunity but just add to the frustration. Why try to write a technical manual when a poem is called for? For those of us who are beset by deadlines, try giving some time over to the playful, open and curious engagement of the mythic or the imaginal, and you may find that honoring those other worlds gives you your concentration back—and may even release you from a previously unrecognized burden.

 

Step into the realms of Soul and enlarge the conversation you are having with the world through an astrological consultation. With Erica as your guide, cross the astrological bridge between heaven and Earth to transform liabilities into assets and cooperate with the energies and forces presently shaping your life. Get in touch at erica at realimaginal dot com!

SATURN RETURN SPECIAL    In honor of the generation born roughly 30 years ago with a Saturn-Uranus-Neptune conjunction in Capricorn, I am offering everyone with natal Saturn placed from 25° Sagittarius to 29° Capricorn ~ roughly those born Jan. 1929 – Nov. 1932; Mar. 1958 – Jan. 1962; and Dec. 1987 – Feb. 1991 ~ a special Saturn return reading at the following reduced rates for a limited time only:

Returning clients
$65 for 60 minutes
$35 for 30 minutes

New clients
$75 for 60 minutes
$40 for 30 minutes

 

Vulnerageous Equinox: Astrology of Mar. 20 – Mar. 26, 2018

Welcome to the equinox! The equinox marks spring in the northern hemisphere and autumn in the southern hemisphere as the Sun enters the tropical sign of Aries on March 20, offering us a month to consider beginnings, motivations and goals, and locating the energy to make a fresh start or three.

Sun square Mars (exact on March 24) and Venus square Pluto (exact on March 23) offers us a meditation on our notion of courage or bravery, and its relationship to vulnerability. For many people, the idea of courage is tangled up with the idea of harming others, or of inflicting one’s will on others. And it seems that we can be most motivated to tell the truth—that is, to be courageous and vulnerable—only if it is accompanied by hurting someone else. The energy of anger (Mars) emerges to pierce social, familial or personal taboos concerning honesty about one’s desires, needs or experience but instead of lending itself to understanding, honesty driven by unmetabolized or unreflective anger tends to lead to warfare, resistance or more confusion. Perhaps this anger and defensiveness tries to provide a cover for vulnerability, to deflect from this and create distractions from unpleasant emotions. If this seems familiar to you, you might ask if honesty employed as an offensive (yet secretly defensive) measure really serves you?

It is worthwhile to reflect on any such tendencies this week for it is actually possible and quite amazing to be courageous in a way that is also vulnerable, that also invites in the experience of the other without having to compromise your own experience. And although an understanding may be achieved, that understanding may still involve parting ways with others, with outdated behavioral patterns, with various elements of the past which impede a better and brighter future. If you are called to honesty or to assert yourself this week, may you be vulnerageous (courageously vulnerable) and not try to cover up your feelings of exposure through acts of meanness or cruelty. It is totally possible to be honest and to be kind at the same time. In fact, you could be doing others the biggest favor in the world by being honest with them—and with yourself!! Even if it may not feel particularly good in the moment.

 

image by Joshua Halpern :: ecocourageous.com

Because beware, dear reader. Mercury conjoined Venus in Pisces on March 4, and instead of speeding past her, due to Mercury’s retrograde they joined once again on March 19, at the degree of Mercury’s station. Being duplicitous and trying to say whatever you think will get you what you want under this Mercury retrograde may indeed backfire. What you get will most likely be something quite different from what you wanted, as your “pretty words” or attempts to be nice rather than be real do not drive home the true depth or gravity of the message you wish to convey. Diplomacy is always a good idea, but not at the expense of integrity. Many of us will be reflecting on what spans the spectrum of kindness to cruelty, diplomacy to deceit during this Mercury retrograde which runs through May 3.

The Sun in Aries can indicate an aggravated kind of energy that is prone to conflict, simply because of its direct and pointed nature. One great way to temper this tendency is to take an approach of advocacy, even advocating for oneself, for example, instead of adopting a defensive or aggressive posture. And even though diplomacy could be complicated during the Mercury retrograde period, it can be helpful to orient towards a goal which serves some higher principles, anchoring your actions in the best of motivations without fooling yourself about what you want and how you go about getting it.

In fact, one interesting potential of this particular Mercury retrograde period is taking time to get in touch with—frankly—the complete jerk inside of you. The one who is aggressive, aggravated as hell and simply aggravating. This process will be different for different people and note that the aggravated one inside of you may be impatient with YOU rather than anything in the outside world! If you are one who regularly acts out the inner jerk, it is a great opportunity to revisit your relationship with that part of you. Are your needs actually being met by that part of you? Is the disruption that it is causing in your life actually wanted? Or are you making yourself (and others) miserable with a combative attitude? For those who suppress the inner jerk, it’s also a fantastic time to re-evaluate that relationship, too. Mars has an important function to fulfill in helping us to achieve our personal goals—and it’s wonderful when those are connected to greater values and a sense of belonging to the community of life. But everyone has needs and desires and a will to create. Whether you suppress this part or inflate this part of you, how might you listen more carefully to what this aggravated part of you is saying? What is the aggravation really pointing to? You just might discover a great ally who can help you determine your energetic limits and what you can actually physically accomplish and do!

Key dates:
Mar. 8 Mercury enters its own shadow at 4° Aries
Mar. 22 Mercury stations retrograde at 16° Aries
Apr. 15 Mercury stations direct at 4° Aries
May 3 Mercury exits its own shadow at 16° Aries

 

 

Step into the realms of Soul and enlarge the conversation you are having with the world through an astrological consultation. With Erica as your guide, cross the astrological bridge between heaven and Earth to transform liabilities into assets and cooperate with the energies and forces presently shaping your life. Get in touch at erica at realimaginal dot com!

SATURN RETURN SPECIAL    In honor of the generation born roughly 30 years ago with a Saturn-Uranus-Neptune conjunction in Capricorn, I am offering everyone with natal Saturn placed from 25° Sagittarius to 29° Capricorn ~ roughly those born Jan. 1929 – Nov. 1932; Mar. 1958 – Jan. 1962; and Dec. 1987 – Feb. 1991 ~ a special Saturn return reading at the following reduced rates for a limited time only:

Returning clients
$65 for 60 minutes
$35 for 30 minutes

New clients
$75 for 60 minutes
$40 for 30 minutes

 

Venus in the Key of Change: Astrology of Jan. 9 – Jan. 15, 2018

This week may find us broody, moody or absorbed in processes which want to penetrate our defenses and give us an opportunity to release ourselves from old stories, old wounds, old ways of maintaining a too-superficial peace. The Sun, Venus and Pluto are in an exact triple conjunction at 19° Capricorn on Jan. 9, and will color the landscape through at least Jan. 13. (See Venus-Pluto: Love’s transformation for an exploration of some of its archetypal potentials.) Since this triple connection coincides with Mercury’s entry into Capricorn on Jan. 10, after Mercury’s incredibly long two-month trip retrograding through Sagittarius—usually only a three-week affair—we might turn this tendency to transform towards tending the seeds of our destiny.

Perhaps you partook in a ritual to harness the reflective potential contained in the Dec. 17 New Moon in Sagittarius (detailed suggestions provided here). Or perhaps you spent some time during the Mercury retrograde (Nov. 14 – Jan. 10) pondering the last couple of years of your life and where your aspirations have carried you—or led you astray. Taking time for reflection to glean the lessons of the last couple of years is a fantastic way to set yourself up for greater success during Saturn’s sojourn through Capricorn. And in light of what you may have gleaned about the last few years, the ingress of Mercury into Capricorn (Jan. 10) could correlate to receiving clarifying information about a new way forward in your relational sphere, specifically in terms of intimate or romantic relations, your economic arrangements, and the way in which you give and receive support. An enhanced capacity to strategize, trim away unrealistic idealism, and even concrete steps may become more clear to you. Decisive action is also supported, as the Mars-Jupiter conjunction in Scorpio makes a supportive, encouraging sextile to the Sun-Venus-Pluto conjunction.

This entry of Mercury into Capricorn has a particular potency, since Saturn and Mercury have not been in Capricorn together since Feb. 1991, 27 years ago. Throughout the month, pay attention to communications which come your way, as they may have much to do with impending adjustments in your life structures, plans and foundations for new growth contained in Saturn’s three-year transit of Capricorn.

image by Joshua Halpern, ecocourageous.com

 

Although it may be more difficult to achieve, some of us may also be in a good position to re-orient to some of our core wounding through this week’s influences. A core wound is one around which our identity forms, and it is likely that an encounter with another person will provide an opportunity to find a different way to negotiate a difficulty. Venus and then the Sun will square Uranus on Jan. 13 and Jan. 14, suggesting a break with a way of relating (or a relationship) which is too small for who you have become—or who you are now demanded to be. Since Venus and the Sun will sextile Chiron at the same time, it may be that your past aches and pains, emotional or otherwise, support your movement towards a more genuine way of being in the world. It will be important to notice if you are hooked into an excessively critical perspective, because the Mercury-Saturn conjunction (exact on Jan. 12) can bring a welcome objectivity, a means of stepping back to assess what is happening. Not what should be happening, but what is happening. The “should” could be just a tired old repetition of a limiting story and a way of remaining stuck in one’s wounding.

Whatever is brewing within you or in your relational sphere this week, five planets in Capricorn are supporting you to move into your greatest integrity, with courage and a depth of vision that can guide you through the upheaval (good and bad!) of this next phase of your life. Some of us may be dealing with smaller scale issues, but others may be receiving an opportunity to clear a space for sorely needed new growth. Growth that will nourish and be nourished by our heart of hearts, and emerge out of the untarnished truth of our Souls.

 

Interested in having your chart read? Click here to learn more.  Step into the realms of Soul and enlarge the conversation you are having with the world through an astrological consultation. With Erica as your guide, cross the astrological bridge between heaven and Earth to transform liabilities into assets and cooperate with the energies and forces presently shaping your life.

 

Venus-Pluto: Love’s transformations

In the Sky: January 9, 2018 features a triple conjunction of Sun-Venus-Pluto. These three will be in intimate conversation from Jan. 6 to Jan. 13. Read on for a discussion of the Venus-Pluto archetype, which will be illuminated by the Sun over this next week.

When the planet of love and attraction, Venus, meets the planet of raw elemental power, Pluto, the notion of peace and harmony can deviate a bit from the norm. In a natal chart, Pluto’s intensity can drive Venus into places she otherwise wouldn’t consider, and expand her capacity for perceiving beauty far beyond what is considered to be “pretty” or “nice.” As a world transit, this brief influence can provide a few days of discomfort, tension or even a catharsis, as low-key or hidden conflict pierces through a veneer of stability or avoidance and seeks resolution.

We will now consider natal placements of Venus-Pluto, which can appear in many different and even contradictory forms. This archetypal complex can correlate to the nature (Pluto) mystic or nature lover (Venus) who venerates the generative powers of life buried beneath surface appearances. It can also indicate someone who explores taboo forms (Pluto) of intimacy (Venus), or on the other hand, someone who deeply fears all intimacy and terrified of its power to transform, shrinks from deep relationship. Or Venus-Pluto can signify the person who believes in the transformative power (Pluto) of love (Venus), among many, many other expressions.

Harmony versus discord

Venus-Pluto can bring an uncommon depth of insight into the nature of peace and harmony. Discord, strife and the intimate dance between death and life can be seen as part of the great mystery of existence, rather than in opposition to our existence. A relationship can be cultivated with instinct, a healthy appreciation of it as a powerful force driving the vitality of life, and not just a dangerous element to be controlled and mitigated.

On the other hand, Pluto can also suppress what it touches, and make one fearful of the power within whatever Pluto aspects. See for example, Sigmund Freud (Venus conjunct Pluto) with his deeply influential book Civilization and Its Discontents, which posits the need for an eternal war—namely, civilization—against the depraved human instincts in order to force harmony upon human societies. According to this philosophy, love and reciprocity are to be found through repression and suppression, as Freud states, “It is impossible to overlook the extent to which civilization is built up upon a renunciation of instinct….” and “is a process in the service of Eros [Venus], whose purpose is to combine single human individuals, and after that families, then races, peoples and nations, into one great unity, the unity of mankind.”

Freud’s expression of Venus-Pluto here highlights issues of vulnerability and fears of being out of control, which are key themes for the Venus-Pluto archetypal complex, particularly regarding one’s social groups and intimate relationships. Jealousy and intense envy can feature prominently. However, one way to turn this tendency into a powerful ally is to make the contemplation of jealous feelings a part of the spiritual path. What is the desire to have something or not have something actually pointing towards? What real insecurity is beneath that desire? How can you meet the needs of that insecurity—if they can be met? Fixating on others’ perceived riches or foibles is a great distraction from one’s own deep insecurities! But turning towards those fears and facing them can be profoundly liberating and free up tremendous resources of life vitality, enjoyment and communion with the Sacred Other in all its forms.

Communion with and deep reverence for the Plutonic

This crop circle appeared during the Venus-Pluto square of May 2009. It looks quite like the glyph for Pluto on top, joined to the glyph for Venus at bottom.

Turning toward another inflection of the Venus-Pluto archetypal complex, one of its more interesting correlations is Venus-Pluto as the nature mystic.

The cosmologist Brian Swimme (Venus conjunct Pluto), with whom I studied for several years, is one who comes to mind. One of his book titles, The Hidden Heart of the Cosmos, expresses his Venus-Pluto well (hidden = Pluto, heart = Venus). While studying with Swimme, I appreciated his deep, deep sentiment for the preciousness of other-than-human organisms and the greater-than-human dimensions of our planet, which he often expressed with an inspirational passion. I remember from one of his lectures a story of wrestling with feeling so deeply for an insect, feeling so sad while watching it thrash about, trapped in some water on the edge of a bathtub. Swimme had wanted to rescue it! (Whereas many if not most people would hardly have a feeling of care (Venus) at all for an insect (Pluto).) But Swimme also wondered if his attempt to help was futile, for the bug would die anyway. A kind of helplessness in love can also be present in the Plutonian Venus, and in his story Swimme offered a reflection on our intimacy with destruction, as a simple fact of life, along with the heartbreaking helplessness one can feel in contemplating the vastness of the cosmos and our tiny place in it. Our love (Venus) for life makes us so vulnerable (Pluto) to life’s immensities and mysteries (Pluto). An open heart must know how to break.

The prophetic farmer and insightful novelist Wendell Berry (Venus conjunct Pluto) is another example of a nature mystic who worships the Earth and its incredible life-giving power.

A quote from his 1969 book The Long-Legged House provides a good example: “The most exemplary nature is that of the topsoil. It is very Christ-like in its passivity and beneficence, and in the penetrating energy that issues out of its peaceableness. It increases by experience, by the passage of seasons over it, growth rising out of it and returning to it, not by ambition or aggressiveness. It is enriched by all things that die and enter into it. It keeps the past, not as history or as memory, but as richness, new possibility. Its fertility is always building up out of death into promise. Death is the bridge or the tunnel by which its past enters its future.”

In this passage, we hear Berry’s deep praise for and adoration (Venus) of the Earth (Pluto), and Pluto’s signature themes of rebirth, the union of the destructive and the creative, as life moves through its transformations. The topsoil as peaceable, as Christ-like in generative power speaks of a feminine (Venus) regard for the source of life. Passive is recognized as active in its own very powerful way.

Finally, this poem by Wendell Berry, The Peace (Venus) of Wild Things (Pluto) is a soothing reminder to all those who find their place in the world, and peace in their heart, within the quiet ease of the greater-than-human world, simply moving in accord with (Venus) its nature, its instinct (Pluto) in the great round of life.

The Peace of Wild Things
When despair grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting for their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.