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Thursday, December 6, 2012

In the Stars: Transiting Venus square Natal Pluto

Tomorrow, transiting Venus (in Scorpio) squares my natal Pluto (in Leo).

Quick Primer/Refresher
  • Venus is the planet of love, beauty, relationships, values, and art.
  • Scorpio is a Fixed Water sign, the sign of desire, transformation, and power, known for being imaginative, passionate, and intense; ruled by Mars and Pluto.
  • Venus is in its detriment (ill dignified) in Scorpio.
  • Pluto is the planet* of regenerative forces, destruction, and transformation.
  • Leo is a Fixed Fire sign, a sign of creativity, exuberance, generosity, pride, and charisma; ruled by the Sun.
  • The square aspect occurs when two planets or luminaries are at a 90 degree angle to each other. This is considered a difficult aspect. I usually remember that by thinking of the expression "square off against."

* Yes, I am aware that in 2006 a group of astronomers re-classified Pluto as a "dwarf planet" (as opposed to a "regular" planet). My view of this is the same as that of _Astrodienst_: "The understanding which astrologers have gained about the astrological effect of Pluto since its discovery in 1930 is not changed by the new astronomical definition. The meaning of Pluto in the horoscope remains the same."

In Tarot terms (using my attributions, based primarily on those of the Golden Dawn) this transit gives us The Empress under the influence of Death in conflict with Judgment under the influence of The Sun.

The Rider Tarot Deck (U.S. Games Systems)

Venus is in its detriment in Scorpio, which in Tarot terms means that The Empress is not comfortable under the influence of Death. It's easy for me to see why a card that typically represents birth and creation might not be entirely happy under the influence of a card that typically represents death and destruction (even though that death and destruction can lead to transformation). All you have to do is look at the two cards to observe the stark contrast in mood and tone.

So we have Venus (The Empress) in its detriment in Scorpio (Death), a sign ruled by Pluto AND on December 7 in my chart, transiting Venus (The Empress) is square (in conflict with) Pluto itself (Judgment). Both Pluto and Judgment point to endings as part of a cycle of birth, death, and resurrection. The Judgment card lets us know that we have an opportunity to make a wise decision about something that needs to be allowed to "die" to make way for a second chance or fresh start.

What we have in this particular Venus-Pluto square is an uncomfortable situation all around. There is a sense of energies chafing or grating or bumping up against each other in an unfriendly manner -- a sort of shoving match or "this town ain't big enough for both of us" attitude. As mentioned above, Pluto is in Leo in my birth chart. Pluto's influence is generational rather than personal -- it can stay in one sign for years -- but we have to take into account that the combination of Pluto's power with Leo's pride and self-interest creates a picture that is often far from pretty.

In his book Planets in Transit (Whitford Press), astrologer Robert Hand describes Venus-square-Pluto energy as follows: "At its best this transit can signify intense emotional experiences within a relationship." He adds: "You may become aware of changes occurring in a relationship to which you will be forced to accommodate. They cannot be ignored, because a real breakdown in your relationship would result." In other words, trying to cling to the status quo is just not going to work, and may have the opposite effect from what I desire.

Here's what this might sound like:

The Empress (Venus): "I'm so happy and comfortable sitting here in my idyllic garden surrounded by beautiful plants and sunny skies. I don't want to change a thing."

Judgment (Pluto): "Wake up and smell the coffee, lady. Whose house do you think you're in? Scorpio is my sign. Death is my domain. I couldn't care less about your comfort level. You need to get up off that throne and make some changes."

The Empress: "But it's such a lovely, sunny day, and I just want to stay right here..."

Judgment: "Not gonna happen, babe. Mr. Sun over here is tired of shining down on your lazy, complacent self. Are you gonna initiate transformation on your own, or do I have to give you a push?"

Venus: "Why, you're just a big, mean old bully!"

Judgment: "What's your point?"

And so it goes. It will be interesting to see how this energy expresses itself in my life!

I may need some assistance. I asked my Rider-Waite-Smith deck: "What will help me deal with this difficult transit?" The answer: SEVEN OF PENTACLES (Saturn in Taurus / The World, The Hierophant).

Okay. I'll keep both feet on the ground, assess the situation carefully, and acknowledge that much has been accomplished thusfar. (I have to love that Taurus is ruled by Venus...) A traditional, grounded approach is my best bet.


  1. Great post. Venus in Scorpio/Empress & Death is an interesting/uncomfortable set indeed :0

    1. Thanks, Bonkers! It just occurred to me that the two signs involved in this square -- Scorpio and Leo -- are both FIXED signs (translation: stubborn). Makes it all the more "fun"!


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