Cycles large & small: Venus & Mercury

The solar system of which we are a part is full of extraordinary mysteries which people throughout history have tried to decipher. The relationship between size, distance and orbit has been the source of fascination for mathematicians and mystics and remains largely ignored or unexplained today. In the many centuries when a geocentric viewpoint prevailed, the retrograde movement of planets revealed a magic geometry which has been discarded of late, because – as we all know – the planets revolve around the sun, not around the Earth.

Venus and the Rose

See image of the Venus cycle

Yet, seen from the place we live, it is legitimate to see the planets, stars and sun revolving around us, and most astrologers take this geocentric view. The heliocentric view is a good explanation for what actually happens, but the geocentric view is what we see, and it is very beautiful. For example Venus draws an astonishing pattern relative to the Earth, which describes a 5-petalled rose, when viewed from the Earth. This completes itself every eight years, which is the equivalent of 13 Venus years. Venus also rotates very slowly on her own axis, and her “day” is mystifyingly two-thirds of the Earth year. Every time Venus and the Earth “kiss” to make a petal of the flower, Venus exactly presents the same face to the Earth. Over the eight Earth years of 5 kisses, Venus will have spun on her axis twelve times in thirteen of her years.

The Mercury/Venus Relationship

See image of the Mercury and Venus mean orbits

The relationship between Mercury and Venus has also an inherent beauty. It’s as simple as this: If Mercury’s mean orbit passes through the centre of three circles, then Venus exactly encloses the figure. In other words whenever you play with three circular objects at home – three glasses for example – you are recreating the circular orbits of Mercury and Venus. There are scores of similar coincidences, which suggest a natural harmony in the solar system and the universe. These planetary harmonies can be seen in the aspect cycles described by the solar system’s planets, and, astrologically, the consequences of their interplay are reflected in the affairs of humans. The most well-known is probably the amazing 20-year Jupiter Saturn cycle which describes a triangle in the zodiac, emphasising the elements of Earth, Air, Fire and Water in periods of approximately every 200 years, ushering in huge shifts in developments on Earth.

The Divine Dance of Mars and Venus

On a smaller scale the planets Mars and Venus made an extraordinary series of four trines to each other in 2001, about which I wrote an earlier article. For some people, this planetary waltz made 2001 a memorable year, evoking a series of relationship developments, which will have been extraordinary in intensity. If the relationship between Venus and Mars is investigated in greater depth over the last two years, it will be seen that the major aspects between Venus and Mars took place in exactly the same degree as Pluto. Those people whose relationships were tuned in to this interplay between Venus and Mars will therefore have undergone transformations in their love life involving extreme forces of upheaval, psychological breakthroughs, jealousy and passion which will have left Mars and Venus quite naked.

The calendar of love is as follows:

See graph of 2001

1. January 16th 2001: Venus in Pisces trines Mars in Scorpio, but squares Pluto in Sagittarius (14 degrees). An infatuated Venus selflessly offers a spiritual love to a dominating and passionate Mars, and suffers self-immolation.
2. March 19th 2001, Venus in Aries turns retrograde to meet Mars in Sagittarius now conjoining Pluto. (15 degrees). An insistent and headstrong Venus changes her mind, and goes to meet a Mars on his travels, and in transformational crisis.
3. June 2nd 2001: Venus now direct in Aries catches up Mars now retrograde in Sagittarius, recreating the March trine, but with reversal of motion. (26 degrees – no aspect to Pluto). Travelling Mars tarries to pick up eager Venus, but they are not going in the same direction.
4. July 17th 2001: Venus in Gemini opposes Pluto at 13 degrees Sagittarius (whilst Mars stations at 15 Sagittarius. Serious trouble! Venus and Mars are in two minds. There are mental disturbances and crises. Separation.

See graph of 2001/2002

5. October 2nd 2001: Venus in Virgo trines Mars in Capricorn, but squares Pluto (13 degrees). Dutiful Venus offers her services to ambitious Mars, but is in crisis. She abandons the past.
6. May 10th 2002: Venus finally conjoins Mars. But it takes place on Saturn in Gemini and exactly opposite Pluto! Venus makes a commitment to Mars to stick things through despite threat of destruction.

Mars and Venus in Pluto’s Crucible

This dance between Venus and Mars will have played itself out the world over, from the passionate blossoming of love in January 2001, to union then the threat of separation in July 2001, until the final bonding under extraordinary difficulty in May 2002 as they conjoined. What made it extraordinary was the presence of Pluto at almost every stage, which could for example have meant that although love might be intact, everything else had to be abandoned. You can’t take anything with you when you die. Pluto also suggests the taboo nature of the bond, and the wake of destruction it left. Mars and Venus continue on their path more peacefully after May, but those ruled by, or sensitive to, these planets will assuredly continue to dance in harmony. Mars and Venus conjoin again this year, as Venus goes retrograde in Scorpio in October. Mars enters Scorpio in anticipation in December 2002 and comes within one degree of Venus as she moves direct again. Curiously he never catches her. Venus picks up speed, though weakened in the sign of her exile, and eludes the grasp of her seducer. All this takes place in square to Neptune… that should make an interesting story!

Saturn/Puto and the Balance of Power

On a far larger scale, the cycle of Saturn and Pluto has played itself out in cataclysmic style as the opposition phase took place from August 2001 to May 2002. September 11th has gone over in history as a day of infamy which changed the power balance and mobilised Western countries in a war against “terror” which has brought its own questionable interpretations and actions. In the opposition between these two planets, we have seen how the principle of Pluto – total transformation wreaked by a minute body – interacted with that of Saturn – the Establishment. The whole cycle of Saturn/Pluto takes place at this time in history over a period of about 35 years (though when Pluto is farthest from the Sun is takes a shorter period). It is often related to terrorism, and objects that inspire terror, such as the atom bomb. Often when these planets are in trine, there is success in limiting destructive effects, such as nuclear treaties for arms reduction. Interestingly, as the final Saturn/Pluto opposition takes place in May, Putin and Bush will sign a treaty drastically reducing their warheads. The problem is that the US has insisted that the warheads are not dismantled, but simply stored. And they have a tacit agreement with Russia that the US may proceed with the destabilising development of the regrettable “Star Wars” project. This may be good for Hollywood, is certainly good for the weapons industry, but is hardly very beneficial for the Earth. So much for the opposition.

Sunsign Influences

As the influence of the Saturn/Pluto opposition wanes, those who are sensitive to the movement of these planets can breathe a sigh of relief. From a “sun sign” point of view, Capricorns and Aquarians can expect areas, which have been subject to exhaustive reform, will enter a period of blossoming, just as the slopes of a volcano become fertile after the passage of red-hot lava. Learning and communication (Saturn in Gemini) has been a major area of sensitivity, and for Aquarians this will have manifested itself in creative fields, and also in connection with children, whilst for Capricorns the upheavals will have taken place in the work environment. Scorpios will have found this opposition deeply affecting their security on both an emotional and financial level.

Now for the Good News

The good news is that Saturn now performs an interesting dance in trine to Uranus forming a pattern of trines at 26 and 25 degrees Gemini/Aquarius, then finally at 2 degrees Cancer/Pisces in August and December 2002, and June 2003. (And they come within two degrees of a trine again in April 2004).

See the transition for Saturn/Pluto to Saturn/Uranus

This sequence of trines is great news for the communication industry. As was easily predictable in 2000 after the Dot Com crash, the Saturn/Pluto opposition was bound to do great damage to the computer industry – particularly telecommunications. Investors in Nokia, for example, have seen their seemingly indestructible share prices dive. Only the most ruthless cost-cutting exercise could possible bring this industry back to health. Debt has ravaged once strong corporations as they acquired companies in 2000, which were later to prove almost worthless. Time Warner and AOL merged, at a cost of $147 billion taking enormous losses as economic crisis developed in Internet fields. Mobile phone companies bought bandwidth at inflated prices and today suffer the consequences. The wise speculator should know, that things will get no worse, and will soon get considerably better – and fast. May, June and July is the time to acquire shares, especially in telecommunications and the Internet, prior to the beginning surge with the first Saturn/Uranus trine.

From Information to Image

The fascinating thing about this set of Saturn/Uranus trines is that they take place as Uranus makes the transition from Aquarius to Pisces. The entry of Uranus into Aquarius in April 1995 heralded the flowering of the Internet era, with the colonisation of cyberspace by individuals and the resultant networking of people with shared interests across borders. There was an astronomical spread of information. When Uranus moves into Pisces, images will reign supreme, and bandwidths will expand to accommodate video, over the Net and especially over the phone. By the time Uranus departs from Pisces, in 2011, no phone call need take place without the option of video. This favourable wind will affect individuals just as it affects corporations. After the upheavals which have brought us all to the edge, in one area or the other of our lives, and forced us to abandoned past structures which had outlived their usefulness, we can now engage in a process of renewal and rebuilding which brings exhilaration and freedom.

Brave New World

The meaning of Saturn/Uranus is the building of new bridges that span from the past and into the future. Keeping what’s best of established structures, innovation and experimentation leads to expansion. The secret of this expansion is communication and reaching across borders. It’s a great time for new political institutions, which are transnational in structure. As this trine has its roots in the conjunction of 1988 on the border of Sagittarius and Capricorn, which was the period of the Reagan/Gorbatchev rapprochement, this trine will most probably coincide with a flowering of relations between the US and Russia. Politically it is more right wing, then left-wing, as it relates far more to the loosening of rules restricting capitalism and the individual, than to socialist levelling. For individuals it is time to loosen the restrictive bonds of habit and duty and welcome ethnic differences and influences from abroad. It favours working in new places, using new communication technology. Those who cannot innovate will not prosper as much as those who embrace experimentation and change. By the summer of 2003, the hard transformations of the previous years will be forgotten, and a braver, newer world will be apparent.

© Adrian Ross Duncan 29th May 2002

Note 1. Much of this information has been gleaned from “The Little Book of Coincidences” by John Martineau (Wooden Books) £4.99 ISBN 1 90241830 1 Nick Kollerstrom and Robin Heath have also done ground-breaking work regarding planets and their cycles.


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