Astrology of Now: The Dance of Love and Resurrection

Monday December 6th 2021
Psyche pays Charon John Roddam Spencer Stanhope

Psyche pays Charon John Roddam Spencer Stanhope

Standing on the edge of a mineshaft that may have revealed itself when the earth moved at the eclipse on 4 December, the taste of brimstone lingers and there’s smoke in the air. Maybe we are hesitant, but is that a twisting stairway into the darkness? Better to descend eyes wide shut than to fall unknowing.

Down in the shadows there may be fear or spiders, but there may also be treasure, truth and things that can only be said when the lights are out.

Of course, some of us may simply walk around this open mouth in the earth, but many will be drawn in.

“Go into the underworld via the Vent of Dis. Take coins with you for the ferryman. Take two cakes for the three-headed dog; one to let you into the underworld, and one to let you out again.” — the tower tells Psyche how to accomplish her fourth task.

And who is that figure in the shadows, waiting to greet us on our way down?

Venus, the planet of laughter, is about to turn retrograde (December 19) making her regular (every 18 months) descent into the underworld, and her companion for part of this journey is none other than the lord of the underworld himself, Pluto.

Venus and Pluto

Close — 4 December — 6 January
    Conjoining 11 December and Christmas Day

Close — 21 February — 6 March
    Conjoining 3 March

Venus Rx 19 December — 29 January

This story unfolds in Capricorn, the sign of the fish-goat, whose hooves reach for the highest peak, but whose scaly tail flicks and flickers in the shadowy depths of cool waters deep beneath the earth. Indeed, the goddess of love, lightness, luxury has been walking in this mountainous regions since 5 November. As she has climbed higher, she has come closer and closer to Pluto, the Lord of the Underworld, whom she will encounter on 11 December — for the first of three rendezvous. But they are already close enough to be in deep conversation (see above).

It’s useful not to become too fixated with gender here. Pluto may be meeting a queen, like the stone-shod queen of the goblins in The Princess and the Goblins, or perhaps Persephone herself, in her guise as Queen of the Underworld. And from the other side, in Aztec mythology, Venus was identified with Quetzalcoatl, “Precious-feathered Serpent”, the god of wind and knowledge. Venus may be the musician Orpheus, seeking his beloved, or even Gilgamesh. So suit your gendering to your own story.

The hero or heroine, who does not do battle with sword or guile but seduces with grace and art, is going to meet an implacable force in the other one’s realm, a creature who wears a helmet of invisibility. What are her defences? What is her strategy? How will they like each other?

This sounds scary — and it is quite scary. It is a drama, the re-enactment of a myth in the skies this winter.

Now Venus is at her greatest brilliancy in the evening sky (December 6 as I write), a glorious shining disc at sunset. But she slides slowly closer and closer to the horizon before completely disappearing around the New Year. She conjoins the Sun on  January 8, re-emerging as the evening star in mid-January. Remember that after the Sun and the Moon, Venus is the brightest object in the night sky. A light is going out.

Somehow this intense Venus transit will effect each of us — more or less. If you are ruled by Venus — that is with Taurus or Libra Sun or Ascendant — then this transit is important. If you have planets in Capricorn or Cancer, they will be strongly affected. If you have any important points at 23-28° Cardinal (Capricorn, Aries, Libra or Cancer), the conjunctions will dig right into your soul. If you have anything at these degrees in the other water or earth signs, you may feel positively empowered. Scorpios will get a long dose of Venus-power while she walks beside your ruler, Pluto.

When Venus goes underground, she changes. She disappears for nearly a fortnight and reappears as Lucifer, the light bringer. This secret journey of hers from evening star to morning star has been much mythologised — as Innana or Persephone. The Aztecs said the new Venus was  Quetzalcoatl’s flaming heart.

“Persephone is having sex in hell.
Unlike the rest of us, she doesn’t know
what winter is,
only that she is what causes it.” — from Persephone the Wanderer by Louise Glück

Alchemy — or just magic — happens in hiding, in the dark, in the crucible.

And this time, she’s not going underground in Scorpio or Libra, Virgo or Leo, Aries or Pisces, the signs where she has retrograded in recent years. This time she’s in Capricorn, just as she was in the winter of 2013/14, and she’s being escorted by the sovereign of the underworld himself. In fact, these two may be working together.

Positively: these Venus and Pluto have a lot in common — specifically sex, seduction and wealth.
Negatively: they have a lot in common — sex, seduction and wealth.

There is the potential when these two put their heads together for deep passion, or for corruption. Which are you dealing with? Or are you dealing with both?

“These mountains were full of hollow places underneath; huge caverns, and winding ways, some with water running through them, and some shining with all colours of the rainbow when a light was taken in. There would not have been much known about them, had there not been mines there, great deep pits, with long galleries and passages running off from them, which had been dug to get at the ore of which the mountains were full.” — from the Princess and the Goblin by George Macdonald

It’s as if Venus has a long talk with Pluto in December, and then goes back to change a few things underground, to re-emerge, empowered in January, first as Lucifer, the morning star and then turning direct on January 29.

This combination of planets is bound to be about power — seductive or financial — and maybe how you use it or how it is used against you. It may be quite clearly about money. In Capricorn this is not unlikely. It could well be about facing a reality, an unpleasant truth connected with these themes. By facing the truth, you’ll come out stronger. The worst thing you can do now is lie.

The retrograde gives us a chance to ponder, reflect, change and re-invent ourselves. It will give some of us a chance to retrieve something lost — maybe as far back as 2013 — maybe a lost love, or a lost investment.

Some of us will dive into the alembic and emerge changed. Both Venus Rx and Pluto are transformative.

Pluto has become established in Capricorn since 2008. In the collective, real structures of power have been revealed, more power has been concentrated in the hands of fewer, corruption is more blatant. At the same time, a deep change is taking place in our understanding of both history and our effect on this planet. All these things, good and bad, useful and disheartening, are connected to Pluto, the transformer, in the sign of earthly power. Pluto can also be merciless in stripping things back to their essentials, including relationships and people. But with Venus here, his actions are softened.

Indeed, Venus is retrograding over the very spot of the Great Capricorn stellium of January 2020, which started this pandemic — a stellium with which she was conspicuously disengaged. She wanders across the field of that conflagration. Venus is the peacemaker too.

Wherever this takes place in your life, remember that love is Venus’ super-power.











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  1. Jem says:

    Fabulous as always Christina, amazing writing and insight. I do love the way you are a master (or mistress) of revealing all the hidden threads and allowing us to find our own way through them, tangling or disentangling along the way. My thoughts on this Venus retrograde conjunct Pluto go straight to the war brewing on the Ukraine border. I am a UK citizen living in north eastern Poland, about 50 miles from Belarus. Ukraine is our neighbour and Russia, the dark enemy of old. It is scary what is happening not least that war is a reality. Putin is a Libran (with a 12th house sun, I believe) so he really is centre stage. The battle lines are drawn between NATO and Russia and there is a lot at stake, (for him personally too.) He took Crimea from Ukraine in 2014, so this is a return to that event. I have lived in Poland for over 25 years, first coming here in 1992 (I have an 8th house capricorn sun, Taurus ascendant (venus) and a 12th house (aries) moon, plus mars in libra at 28 degrees. Worried yes, I am. Years ago I wanted to escape to a remote place to live a normal life but also different life, partly incognito. Fulfilling promises of art, delving into mysteries and growing a garden and absorbing nature. It’s been fab….. but since 2020, old wounds and new dangers threaten to destabilize all. Your post touches hidden parts of our being, awakening dangers but also stoking hope of alchemical transformation. Much love and blessings to you for the Christmas Season ahead and the hope of a new dawn light.

    • Christina says:

      Thank you for this insight. What is happening over there is properly frightening.
      I am imagining you like a character in Olga Tokarczuk’s novel Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead — an astrologer in rural Poland.

      • Jem says:

        Thank you for your response Christina, yes, with the Belarus migrant crisis, just 50 miles away (We see the border guards and army trucks rattling through our town on a daily basis)…but it is so beautiful here, I’ve read Olga Tocarzczuk’s book, “Drive your plow over the bones of the dead”, a wonderful book, great writing. It does also feel like Tolkien’s ‘Lord of the Rings.’ Part one, when the hobbits in the beautiful Shire feel the stirrings of mighty changes ahead, when the Shire no longer feels safe but is still a beautiful haven. The border between Belarus and Poland cuts through Europe’s oldest Primeval forest (one of the many beautiful attractions that keep me here, and where Olga Tocarczuk’s main character ends up living). The border guards and the migrants have been head-to-head in this area and I’m not making any judgements, this is a crisis and people are dying, but it’s been so sad to see the area trampled, trees cut down, rubbish strewn about, destroyed eco systems, scared animals. It will now never be the same as a large perimeter fence will be installed next year along the border to prevent this new illegal migrant ‘trade route’ from being established. I’ve gone on for too long, I just wanted to share this especially as it has reminded me of Tolkien from Oxford, much love and best wishes, xxx

  2. Vesta says:

    My venus and pluto are square. I was thinking I already have this energy, I’ll be fine, but then you mentioned winter 2013/14. That was unforgettable for me. It was the winter of heavy storms and there were floods all over the country, ruining Christmas for many people. Trees came down, the storms were devastating. It was my first Christmas without my Mum who passed away earlier that year. Lifelong friends vanished. I was in breakdown. I think the uranus/pluto squares were ongoing at the time? On my chart angles. I met with bullies and abuse of power every which way I turned. Everything was collapsing around me. Then over Christmas, my Libra (venus) brother completely lost his temper with me, over what, I don’t know! It just came out of the blue. I figured he was grieving and this was just his way, but it drove a wedge between us that’s still healing. 🙁
    My chart angles and the UK’s are the same, more or less. I can’t remember what was in the news that winter, I don’t remember much from that time now. Gamergate wasn’t till summer 2014, which led to feminism 2.0 and people stopped saying “I’m not a feminist but…’, and Ferguson unrest which blossomed as Black Lives Matter. Both themes that began in the 1960s under equal rights. I just googled, Feb 2014 Ebola in Africa, and Ukraine revolution stand out.
    Pluto is going through my 4th house. I’m shaking my head as I write. There aren’t the words. :/
    My natal pluto is in my 12th. It’s like my power is hidden from me and I had to find it. That’s what I’ve been learning since 2008. Nice is all well and good but it means nothing without boundaries. My lesson was to learn to be nice to myself and protect myself better, to take my power back, and to learn to trust my intuition. I had to learn to trust me.
    I’ve let go of my friend who embodied uranus for me, although there’s a bond that will probably always be there, which is fine. Interestingly, venus will conjunct the sun on his birthday. Whether it will affect him or not, who knows. He seems to be able to dodge aspects that affect the rest of us. He’s Capricorn. Imagine dodging Pluto. How is he doing this. 😮
    The eclipses in Sag/Gemini in my house of siblings and communication have been brilliant for healing things with mine. I thought it was the pandemic bringing us back closer together.
    So maybe I’ve completed a cycle that began in 2013? If that’s true for me, maybe it’s true for UK too? I’m not sure what cycle though.
    Thanks, Christina 🙂 xx

    • Christina says:

      Well, I hope it is the end of this slide into absolute corruption!

      • Vesta says:

        I’m thinking it’s a mix of slide into absolute corruption, and also more people realising they were always like this to some degree, they’re just worse now. But it’s one thing to want it to stop, and another to know what you want to replace it with. There’s no agreement on the latter. That’s probably a theme for next year, I’m guessing.

  3. Wonderful article Catherine. Thank you for your knowledge and your brilliant writing.

  4. Iris says:

    Wonderful post Christina, thank you.
    Thrilled to see you post part of that Louise Gluck poem, I adore that series.
    “My soul
    shattered with the strain of trying to belong to earth –
    What will you do
    when it is your turn in the field with the god?”
    A perfect description of Pluto tr. Cap 11h in those first two lines, for me. Much food for thought in your post. 2008 and 2014 were each the start of discernible phases – too tired to parse it more but I’ll be watching with interest.

    • Christina says:

      I would love to know Gluck’s birth time. You can really feel the Taurus-Scorpio axis. She’s a Sun and Mercury in Taurus, of course, with plenty of Gemini and an exact conjunction of Chiron-NN in Leo… Exploring personal pain creatively becomes universal perhaps

      • Iris says:

        Yes, definitely Taurus & Scorpio. “You drift between earth and death, which seem, finally, strangely alike.”
        So mysterious, dreamlike and stark, so many layers.

  5. JLR says:

    What a wonderful post and discussion. I have Sun at 26 Taurus and have been feeling quite frustrated about my location in time and space, though it be safe it does not feel quite right. That is coupled with an absolute craving to make something beautiful every day. Venus and Pluto wrangling, perhaps. My duties vs my desires.

  6. Lu Sadler says:

    And THIS is why I love astrology. My studies of myth is what led me to astrology in the first place.