An undeniable hustle and bustle underscores the regular routines of daily life this week. We’ve been gaining forward momentum in the non-retro zone long enough (it’s been approximately three weeks) to gather steam and the enterprising among us are happy to be back on track. Unfortunately, our respite from retrogrades doesn’t last much longer: on October 5, Venus Retrograde begins, which means by the end of the weekend, those regular routines are likely to slow down again, but only slightly. Venus Retrograde isn’t Mercury Retrograde—the goddess of love doesn’t spend her currency on communication and travel snags and snafus. Venus signifies the feminine—she is the embodiment of love and beauty, and because what we love and find beautiful represents our values, Venus represents what we value most. Anticipate the coming weeks to be a rich, textured tableau of what we care about and how the feminine expresses those concerns.
Venus Retrograde begins on October 5 and ends on November 16. (The next Mercury Retrograde begins on November 16, something to keep in mind as we enter the autumnal retro zone.) From a practical point of view, Venus’ association with values translates into money as a measure of value, which means that during Venus Retrograde, financial matters tend to dominate all other concerns, with the exception of romance. One possible manifestation of this retrograde phase is a review of your personal finances, especially with an eye toward creating greater order and stability—something not easily accomplished unless you’re fortunate enough to not have to think about what somethings cost. From a romantic perspective, anticipate the potential return of previous lovers. In the absence of actual contact, you might find yourself reviewing previous relationships, not necessarily in a sentimental way but with an eye toward understanding your desires and intentions. What’s more, this Venusian focus might also include a creative projects-and-partnerships retrospective.
Venus begins her retrograde journey almost exactly a year after the eruption of the #MeToo movement, which coincided with Jupiter’s entry into Scorpio on October 10, 2017—an astral event that many astrologers speculated would lend momentum to women finally being heard. Scorpio is the Sign most associated with sex as well as power. Jupiter represents expansion, excess, and, oddly, justice. Jupiter’s transit through Scorpio this past year has supported women, in massively large numbers, no longer staying silent about abuse.
Mr. Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court and the response to it by women (and men, of course) can be seen as a powerful aggregation of feminist power—as I wrote a couple of weeks ago, those pussy hats aren’t going away anytime soon. Whether or not the #MeToo movement will have gathered enough voices to insist that Kavanaugh’s nomination to the Supreme Court be withdrawn remains to be seen (at least at the time of this writing—although I awoke this morning to new allegations about his sexual abuses as a teenager). But here’s the thing: Venus, still retrograde on November 6 (mid-term election day in America) squares Pluto in the chart for the United States. One way to understand that square is to realize that women are doing battle (once again) with the foundational structure of America.
But that’s not all. Also on November 6, Uranus moves back into Aries and as it does, it forms an opposition to Venus. While this opposition is not exact, it is close enough to be strongly felt (2° for those who are counting) and it is significant, first because it signifies the independent woman able and willing to take a stand for personal freedom. The second reason this opposition is important stretches back to 2017, when we experienced the seesaw effect of three Jupiter/Uranus oppositions, all of which were symbolic of the political and cultural chaos occurring in the first year of Mr. Trump’s presidency. The third opposition in that series occurred on September 28 (a month after the Great American Eclipse and its ongoing revelations about America’s leader). That third opposition happened at 27° Libra, which is exactly the position Venus occupies on November 6, when it squares Pluto in the United States chart.
I can hear you thinking, “So what does that mean?” We are living its meaning. The chaos that has become daily life is the dissolution of the status quo, a process that began in 2001 and was intensified in 2008 and then again in 2012, each planetary pattern intensifying what was already too intense. We are at the turning point—and it is going to last for several more years. Last week someone wrote in to say, “Ralfee you are in 2020 and we are in 2018.” That’s the point. We think we are in 2018 but everything that’s happening is the prelude to what is about to occur—and that timeframe to 2022. For the last couple of years, the planets keep aligning with and pointing to the same degrees in the same Signs, and that continuous repetition should get our attention, particularly the emphasis on Capricorn, which signifies governments, corporations, and structures—all structures, from the personal to the collective to the political to the financial. Pluto is currently transiting Capricorn, where it is soon to be joined by Saturn and eventually Jupiter in 2020. (See the last two columns for more information on those alignments.)
Which brings us to the United States Pluto Return on February 20, 2022. Actually, there are three exact returns during 2022; the other two fall on July 11 and December 28. It’s not really clear how each of these returns will manifest, but for now the specifics are not as important as the understanding that we are currently in the midst of a monumental catharsis that reaches a crescendo in approximately three years. The core of this catharsis is revolution. The United States is fundamentally a country of ideals—ideals we have failed to live up to time and time again. From the original genocide of and ongoing violence against Native Americans to the most recent violence towards immigrants who we no longer seem to respect to the institutionalization of slavery and the continuing practice of black oppression and every other form of bigotry to religious freedom which we no longer honor to the exploitation of the Earth and her resources, very little has changed; very little has shifted since the essential conceit that all men—let alone women—are created equal.
Pluto signifies change at the core—it is the process of death and rebirth, and the alchemical principle of creativity and transformation. It always, always, always demands authenticity and tends to violently strip away all that is not true or genuine. And so we find ourselves in our current dilemma: facing the reality of political, social, and economic hypocrisy, with all of those who have been excluded from the ideal of democracy demanding equality, and with many more waking up to the idea of deserving equality. It’s wearying to demand equality when the status quo deems you invisible and your efforts are ignored time and again. Fortunately the status quo has been blown to pieces—and we may have Mr. Trump, his Gang of Hungry Ghosts, and his army of deplorables to thank for lifting that cloak of invisibility and making egregious societal undercurrents undeniable. Unfortunately we are still in the midst of that explosion, and it’s almost unbearable to tolerate the toxicity that has been so blatantly revealed. Nevertheless, that poison must be transmuted as we move forward. The United States Pluto Return is the test of our combined alchemical power—and we are already in it.
Here’s the good news: Each of us is the antidote to the toxicity because each of us leads the revolution through our thoughts, words, and deeds. It’s a big responsibility to live every moment, every choice, and every action as a reflection of your commitment to effectuating change. And yet one of the lessons we are learning is that to shift the balance of power we must use power with conscious intention. It does no good to hate your enemy—hate doesn’t shift anything. Consciously choosing your revolutionary stance, contributing your heart and spirit to envision a true egalitarian democracy, might be the most powerful way to handle the turmoil of this Pluto Return, especially when you remember that the combination of love and revolution creates evolution.