Gemini 2012—Venus Retrograde and the Solar Eclipse

by Boots Hart, CAP on May 1, 2012

Eclipse astrology

Long considered simply a symbol of luxury, love, money, beauty and opulence, Venus is far more than that. Yes, Venus is often associated with the delicious, the lovely and the delectable. But the astrological Venus can also be associated with rejection, the breaking of bonds and the feeling entirely unworthy and unrewarded. Why is that?

If you read a lot of Greek myths, one of the things you realize is that in embodying archetypes, Olympian gods were as apt to take away as give. Think of the oh-so-very Venusian story of King Midas and his touch-of-gold. Basically, he wants wealth and gets wealth. But that ability to create wealth which he wanted to be unlimited, in being unlimited becomes something he can literally choke on.

Archetypes exist because they are part of the variable polarities of life. So Venus can’t just be all the goodies of life. Nor should abundance evidently be unlimited.

More to the point here, the astrological Venus is about “making concrete” or “bringing into being.” What you “make real” in your life may be good, bad, challenging, iffy or anything else. In a cause/effect universe, Venus is where cause becomes effect. It’s the epitome of “be careful what you ask for, you just might get it.” In that, the “reward” (the “effect”) shows us—in part—how well we have or haven’t done anything. It also tells us how well we choose what we wanted to do—or who we choose to do it with.

Venus rules two zodiac signs, Taurus and Libra. Taurus is all about our self-worth, self-esteem and that satisfaction with ourselves which comes from using our abilities to get what we want from life. Everything which drives our Venusian acts and efforts is Taurean.

How we go about doing them is Libran. Libra is about interactions—it’s the “I/thou” point of the zodiac. It’s where we negotiate. It’s where we exchange ideas and achieve piece, or create enmity. It’s about what we put out there and the response (the “effect”) we get—plus or minus—depending on what kind of quality we’ve brought to the table.

Saturn (symbol of time, effort, responsibility, achievement) is exalted (strong) in Libra, underscoring these Libra Venusian themes by tying them into the idea of earning (Saturn) rewards (Venus). This is why together, Saturn-Venus are astrologically seen as signatures of stability, slow growth and solid progress.

Saturn is at this moment retrograding back through Libra, heading towards a magnificently (horribly?) complicated configuration next month. That, we’ll cover in the June 2012 edition of Daykeeper Journal—with the thing to remember being how everything we will talk about now will have long-term effects. (Calling them repercussions or consequences might be very apt.) Events and situational push-and-pull you encounter now are not just “of the moment.”

As of April 11, Venus entered the “shadow” of its May-June retrograde (the shadow being that span of degrees Venus will, from our Earth-bound perspective, move back-and-forth across). Said shadow began at 7 Gemini, telling us that issues we are facing (and will face) require thought. They’re about what we think, and why we think it. Since Gemini always implies choice and priorities, add that to the mix.

Oh yes, and there is the fact that royal fixed star Aldebaran (integrity) stands at 9 Gemini.

Venus Retrograde 2012
Venus retrograde 2012.

Put in simplest form, 7 Gemini plus Venus plus Aldebaran ask whether what you’re doing (or not doing) upholds your own best standards of integrity. This isn’t about someone else—this is about YOU. (Let them worry about them, you worry about you!)

For Venus to have entered its retrograde shadow at 7 Gemini means that’s the degree it’s going to retrograde back to in late June. So that what you think, why you think it and integrity thing—that’s the point of everything you will be encountering.

But this retrograde starts on May 15 at 23 Gemini. Twenty-three degrees of any sign is going to reflect how that sign “expresses” in your life through others. They may be starting something, they may be reacting or responding to something you’ve done. And yes, you may think the issue is about “them.” But it isn’t. Even if the point is for you to learn through what they’re doing, that’s the point—and let’s remember, at the crux of all is thinking things through, the quality of our choices and the integrity of our positions, actions and efforts.

Currently, 23 Gemini is influenced by fixed stars Phact and Bellatrix. Phact at 22 Gemini is a good feeling willingness to get along. Yet just a degree away (at 21 Gemini) stands Bellatrix, a fixed star which bespeaks the difficulty in getting your point across. Together, these two poise several questions: can you get your point across by just being nice about it? Is being nice the solution to every problem or hard moment in life? Are you “going along to get along” and (oh by the way) compromising your integrity in doing so?

As if that isn’t enough, Phact is another fixed star which “moves” (ever so slowly) in opposition to an across-the-zodiac partner. Said “partner” in this case is Ras Alhague, a star known to represent difficulties in harnessing energies which may either “harm” or “heal.” Obviously some of us—surgeons, for instance—have useful outlets for Ras Alhague. But most of us don’t. So to have the difficulties posed by Ras Alhague being emphasized by Venus taking station conjunct Bellatrix and Phact tells us that come mid-May, such matters will be very much in play.

And they’re not just “in play.” Let’s remember: Venus is doing a “turnabout” at 23 Gemini. So this mixes Venusian “results” with 23 Gemini’s known potential for a patient-if-critical balance between the ability to be hopeful and the capacity to fall into despair. With 23 Gemini, there’s a theme of “lack of skill,” problems which mostly arise from some lack of understanding or other missing pieces of (Gemini) information which are now causing your (Gemini) choices and (Saturn) efforts to go all awry or even fail.

Even successes of the moment are likely to have flaws. They seem to “lack” something. They’re not the “real solution” you thought they were. They don’t “scratch that itch,” in other words. You thought they’d make you feel better and they don’t. They just don’t!

Yet this isn’t any sort of “end.” Life hasn’t gone and collapsed. Venus retrograde—like all planetary cycles—is a process. Yes, we are now being required to stop trying to solve everything by external means. And while Venus is in retrograde (from May 15 through June 27) we will do well to be internally observant about what works and doesn’t work…and why we tend to choose to think and act as we do.

The thing to understand here is that no amount of money, sex, love, company, solitude…none of that will “fix” anything. Only understanding why we are as we are and why we have—in essence—chosen to use some parts of our abilities and not others will bring our answers to mental (Gemini) light. People do all sorts of things in life which seem terrible. Yes, we humans do gripe and sulk and carry on like we were born to be professional pouters!

But when we keep doing something, if we stay in some situation…? Then we have to accept that we’re doing that for a reason. At some level it’s satisfying us. And transits such as this Gemini Venus retrograde of 2012 are moments when we gain insight about how that satisfaction (placation?) works.

Here’s one (of a million) examples: many people who aren’t comfortable with emotional intimacy get involved in relationships which are just non-functional enough to relieve them of any need to get past their own issues…if just functional enough to not make it entirely necessary to go through the pain of breaking up. This is the down side of Venus as Libra’s ruler and Saturn’s strength in Libra exaltation. Saturn can be the structure we build on. Then again, it can be the wall we hide behind—even from ourselves. Venus can be the reward or just be the compensation for putting up with whatever we put up with.

With Saturn now retrograde in Libra and Venus about to go retrograde in Gemini, there’s a whole lot of pondering going around: why have I chosen as I have…and what price do I pay for that choice? When our rewards outstrip our costs, all is good. But when not…

May (and June) are all about sorting that out. Nearly all of us are coming into this time with something which could benefit by being changed, revamped, sorted out, or better utilized. This is a prime (and primal) time all about the difference between that famous “going along to get along” and living a life which fits us to our soul.

And yes, many of us are reluctant to rock the boat. Or maybe for you it’s the idea of “looking bad” which gets your toes to curling. This external/internal thing is very much on the front burner now, and wherever you’re temporizing or compromising or “making do” because this is “good enough,” the next celestial act is going to cause you (yes, YOU) to reconsider. And what would that next cosmic neon sign possibly be?

On May 20, 2012, Earth will experience an annular solar eclipse at 11:48pm (UT/+0). That would be the sign—and said solar eclipse will be occurring at 0 Gemini.

What’s an “annular” solar eclipse? Well, let’s start with how any solar eclipse is a version of a New Moon. Astronomically, a New Moon is just a lineup of the Sun, Moon and Earth with the Moon in the middle, positioned to “block” the light of the Sun so all we get is a “hint” of the Moon’s presence—that “dark orb” in Earth’s sky.

A solar eclipse happens when that New Moon occurs within 15 degrees of Earth’s lunar nodes.

What’s a lunar node, you ask? Well, the lunar nodes (there are two of them) are where Earth’s path around the Sun (known as the ecliptic) intersects the path of the Moon orbiting around planet Earth.

Lunar Nodes, 2012
Lunar Nodes, 2012

The basic astrological concept of the Lunar Nodes is easy to understand if you think of the Moon’s cycle around Earth as…say, riding a bike around our lovely watery planet. On one side the Moon has to ride “up” the big “hill” of Earth…and on the other, it’s all coasting downhill.

Riding the bike up the hill is the Ascending or North Node. And yes, it requires tons of effort! (Hardly anybody likes this part.) But one the other side…? Hey, it’s a fun ride! And that “fun ride” is known as the Descending or South Node of the Moon.

Not surprisingly, not only does hardly a soul like the North Node stuff, but most people say “I’m not up to that”…or, “I can’t do that!” But everybody likes the South Node stuff. So easy! So simple! Look ma, no hands! But here’s the rub: the astrological rule here is that you can’t do your coasting (have your South Node fun) until you’ve done the North Node work to get to where the coasting makes sense in your life.

And wouldn’t you know…everybody indulges themselves in South Node stuff. But most of us learn…well, how shall we put it?…how it won’t get them anywhere—fast! Yes, you may have some short-term success if you “indulge” in your South Node stuff, but sooner or later you pay the price. And since Nodes are involved in the celestial creating of eclipses, eclipses tend to be where our Nodal truancy comes home to haunt us.

And how are the Nodes involved in an eclipse? When a New Moon occurs within 15 degrees of either Lunar Node, we get a solar eclipse. When either “side” of a Full Moon occurs within fifteen degrees of a Lunar Node, we get a lunar eclipse. These conditions happen (generally) twice a year—thought there are years here and there when we get more.

And yes, it does matter whether a solar eclipse is at the North or South Node end of the affair. This May’s eclipse is at the South Node end of the celestial teeter-totter, so those who have “overloaded” their South Node “I just like doing what I like to do” basket—providing the eclipse hits a planet, axis or node in their chart—they’re in for a giant cosmic thwacking.

There’s another thing always to remember about the Nodes. Because they’re a point about an intersection of Earth-around-Sun orbit and Moon-around-Earth orbit, they manifest as where our life (the Sun) intersects our experience of life (the Moon). Those two things come together in many ways, but they tend to manifest through our relationship to other people, social values, societal entities…and so on.

So we’re going to have an eclipse. An annular eclipse. Annular eclipses occur when the Moon is too far from Earth to actually “cover” the disk of the Sun—which sounds funny until you remember that orbits aren’t perfectly round. Sometimes the Moon is closer to Earth than at other times. And that affects our perspective on a New Moon, Full Moon, or eclipse.

Visibly, here’s an eclipse as we’re used to thinking of them

Albert Einstein, Solar Eclipse Photo, 1919
Albert Einstein, Solar Eclipse Photo, 1919

And here’s a photo of an annular eclipse.

Annular Eclipse, photo by Sancho Panza, October 2005
Annular Eclipse, photo by Sancho Panza, October 2005

The metaphysical metaphor (try saying that ten times quickly!) here is all about that one word: perspective. When the entire face of the Sun is covered by the disc of the Moon (as in a total eclipse) all we see is the Sun’s corona. Those strands are emblematic “threads of brilliance” we don’t normally see because we’re “blinded” by the “bright glare” of everyday life.

As opposed to that, an annular eclipse leaves visible the “outer ring” of our consciousness. The implication here is that we’re taking a step away from the core of our life—maybe in our mind, maybe otherwise—because something “core” has gone awry. Or maybe because we realize we need to get a new perspective on life. And getting that…? That requires taking a “step away.”

So now that we understand the lay of the celestial landscape, let’s look at the eclipse itself…

Annular Solar Eclipse, May 20, 2012
Annular Solar Eclipse Chart, May 20, 2012

All solar eclipses tend to be preceded by a “breakdown” period. During this time, affairs and issues pertaining to the eclipse’s general zodiacal position (and where that falls in your personal chart) become problematic. Starting some six to eight weeks prior to the eclipse itself, we begin realizing that something’s up. Given the date of this eclipse (May 20), that means that you may well have known as far back as March 20 (give or take) that something was off kilter. Becoming unstable or uncertain.

Whether this awareness is a passing fancy or something you have to face dealing with has to do with where the eclipse falls, vis-à-vis your personal chart…and whether it strikes a planet, axis or nodal point in that natal chart of yours. And we’ll get to that. But first (not to sound like a commercial here…), a few more basics.

With this solar eclipse occurring at 0 Gemini we know the subject is mental. All three air signs (Gemini, Libra and Aquarius) speak to the theoretical. The idea of the thing. Being the first of the three, Gemini is our theoretical capacity—which is our personal mentality: how we think, what we think and what we do (or don’t do) as a result of that thinking process.

With this eclipse occurring at zero degrees, we’re talking about something basic. Or something new. Or something which is “going back to zero.” We often talk about dividing signs into three, with the first ten degrees (degrees zero through nine) being personal, physical and about what we do or don’t do. In accordance with that, zero degrees (of any sign) also implies some sort of “naïveté.”

In mental, thought-oriented, priority-and-choice-shaping Gemini, this may be deciding to “do” something. Or to NOT do something. It may be all about realizing why something doesn’t work. But do you let go of it or not?

Then we add in the fact that this eclipse is near the South Node. If you’re on the wrong track and that wrong track as to do with taking the easy way out (I’m talking particularly to those whose charts are being directly “hit” by this eclipse), life is likely to deny you that choice. And yes, probably wipe the smile off your face in the process.

The Sabian Symbol for 0 Gemini is “A glass-bottomed boat revealing undersea wonders.” Yes, it is a truly lovely thought. Or at least it would be, if solar eclipses weren’t—basically—about pushing us through the “glass walls of our mind” so that we live closer to our personal truths. If a solar eclipse hits your chart with any acuity you’ll know it. And because the image pictured here is water and the idea of being exposed to water, like as not the subject involves emotion, memory, women and/or money. But remember: the purpose of an eclipse is not to harm. Holding to the metaphysical precept that unbeknownst to us, the universe is unfolding as it should, the purpose of any solar eclipse cycle is to get us to stop “making do” or “pretending.” So think about who you really are at your deepest personal core.

Are you beginning to see any meanings which connect Venus retrograde to the Solar Eclipse?

Oh—a mundane note needs interjecting here: there is a level at which Venus denotes business transactions. Under Venus retrograde, finances (business and personal) tend to be quirky and unpredictable. Things get sticky for the strangest reasons. There is also some tendency, particularly for those who like to think “everything will turn out fine” (at this time or habitually) to believe someone who shouldn’t be believed. So be careful.

Why would any of this happen if the universe is unfolding as it should? The answer—as unpleasant as it may be—is that our universe is not the universe. This is where fate-versus-free will comes into play. We humans are willful creatures with a tendency to forget we’re part of a greater world (as opposed to that world revolving around us). Sometimes life has to deliver the hard blow so we learn better. So that we start paying attention to something other than our ego—even our family or bank account.

With this eclipse poised in opposition to Juno at 29 Scorpio, difficult choices made (now or prior to this time) which involve (part one) ownership/use of personal power and (part two) the balance between your true individuality against your tendency to be led by others are also likely to be tested. Whether we know it or not…whether we like it or not…whether it’s easy or not, this is a time to own your own psyche. If you’re out of balance, bringing yourself back into balance—no matter what that takes—is the most productive forward path. Those who have misused power (or merely serviced their own wants) are likely to get outed.

This eclipse is all about confronting our own inner shadows. It’s about repercussions of our shortsightedness. It’s about cleaning up our mental act.

And let’s not forget…Pluto is still in the process of doing its yearlong conjunction with nebula (fixed star) Facies. This keeps getting mentioned because it IS such an important backdrop to everything which occurs during 2012. There’s a ton of victim/aggressor energy around. Even basically nice people are acting aggressively and injuring others. And because of that, there’s a strong whiff of “retribution” in the air. Given royal star Regulus’ November 2011 shift into Virgo (there to remain for the next 2,000 years or so) it’s easy to blame and not so easy to grasp (or own) our responsibility when it comes to current problems.

And yes, this eclipse at 0 Gemini is squaring Regulus. It’s also squaring royal star Fomalhaut at 4 Pisces. It’s also in conjunction with fixed star Algol at 26 Taurus (with Algol not-so-helpfully conjunct transiting Sedna).

May 2012 Solar Eclipse—Fixed Stars and Planets
May 2012 Solar Eclipse—T-Square with Fixed Stars and Planets

Regulus and Fomalhaut are both Royal Stars. As such, they promise success only IF we avoid a particular human attribute. With Regulus, the thing to avoid is vengeance. Now positioned in Virgo, the aim is functionality and the ability to advance towards your goal. But in doing so, you can’t destroy others who get in your way or otherwise compete with you.

Fomalhaut is the other end of the Regulus polarity. With Fomalhaut, the dream thing is the thing. And that dream is possible so long as it isn’t corrupt, corrupted or corrupting. The oppositional polarity between these two concepts tells us that it is the person who “disrupts” our dream who tempts us most to enact vengeance.

Into all this comes the solar eclipse. Positioned at the mid-point (give or take) between these two polarized stars, the construct is a t-square. The (Gemini) idea which has generated the (Gemini) choice to do something or not do something or to act the way that we’ve been acting, if that’s wrong, it’s going to “blow” sky-high…and produce something of a mental (conceptual) wipe-out. Important also is that in this figure, Regulus is in the “goal” position. All t-squares “start” somewhere. And in this case that “somewhere” is Fomalhaut. The challenge to our (Fomalhaut) dream is thus the “t” in the t-square: this Gemini eclipse conjunct Algol. That’s what we need to “get over” in ourselves if we’re going to reach functionality and—in time—our goals.

So what about this eclipse/Algol thing? Algol symbolizes intense situational dynamics. Linked in lore to the severed head of Medusa, the challenge here is to not “lose our head” (yes, I said that), and to not overreact/react purely from the perspective of what we want. But then we need to add in Sedna. Why? Because Sedna is in conjunction to Algol—but not to the solar eclipse. So Sedna is a “descriptor” of Algol in this image. And that means there’s a substantial chance that “lack of maturity” and the desire to have things your own way is part of the mix here…and what gets voted up-or-down as the eclipse rolls through.

And let’s not forget the Venus retrograde and Saturn part of it all. We already know Venus retrograde in Gemini is causing us to rethink our priorities and choices. Saturn’s adding a sense that there’s “history” to events of this time.

Plus—(trust me on this one)—June is going to be an exceedingly “Saturn” (reality-oriented) month. You’re either working to do it right during June or your wrongs are biting you in the…whatever. And yes, with Pluto/Facies in progress, we’re all feeling aggrieved, victimized, threatened, used or bedeviled—and we’re all more likely than ever to act overly aggressive.

This is us, this is who we work for, this is our national rulers, this is our family, this is in friendships and the business world. It’s just not a pretty time. And for those whose charts are directly aspected (“hit”) by this eclipse, things are seriously difficult. Individuals, companies, municipalities, marriages, nations—no one is immune.

To have this eclipse conjunct Algol (and by association, Sedna) exposes us to where we have lost our head. To where we have been immature and selfish—ultimately to our own discredit. Lies will now be exposed and a lot of those exposed truths are going to be painful to face. Feelings of emotional guilt or unwitting complicity are likely to run rampant.

That’s how a t-square actually works: we either “get over” the central (the “t”) hurdle (that part’s about us) or we get knocked back…in this case into the prickly remains of our broken dreams. It’s no wonder t-squares get a bad rap, right?

But here’s the good news—and yes, there is good news here! Because the “t” in the t-square is a thing about us (generally our ego, but in the case of Gemini, perhaps our mind) we have the ability to use our Self and our mind to get over ourselves and let go of the old and reconstruct anew. So some of us will come to mid-May and despite all, emerge on a definite “plus” side. Yes, challenges will still lie ahead. But IF you have not broken any Regulus-Fomalhaut rules (or if you surrender where you have broken them and pay the price) you can move on with dignity relatively intact.

So saying, let’s discuss the very briefest and most general of concepts having to do with this eclipse. If serious matters are afoot, do not assume this is all you need to know even just on a metaphysical basis. For legal issues, see a lawyer. For medical issues, see a doctor. And for metaphysical challenges, consult a qualified astrologer.

If your natal chart focuses in any way on 25 Taurus through 5 Gemini, you’ll feel the eclipse/Algol effects very personally. If your Sun or Moon is in this arena, life is probably already changing at an essential level and you should expect this process to continue. No matter what you think, you do not yet know what this eclipse is really “about” except that there is a focus of difficulty. The ultimate metaphysical “purpose” is about replacing whatever is now giving you trouble with something which allows you to live a far more genuine life.

If your natal chart focuses in any way on 25 Leo through 5 Virgo, you’re likely to encounter challenges to efforts which aim at “getting ahead.” This eclipse—especially if it hits your Sun, Mercury, Ascendant or Saturn, is likely to represent an over-focus…or the fact you have over-focused on one thing to the detriment of overall functionality, morality or progress. This time may feel particularly threatening—your willingness to be ethical and constructive rather than anything which reflects a Regulus downfall (blaming others, seeking revenge, etc.) is essential.

If your natal chart focuses in any way on 25 Aquarius through 5 Pisces, this eclipse will test your ability to balance your internal proclivities, your time and priorities and your willingness to deal with people based on the facts and demonstrated actions or choices. To a great degree this is a test. So can you maintain a focus on reality and the facts, or are you likely to go off into the theory of “how it should be” (on the Aquarian side) or “how you wish it would be” (on the Pisces side).

If your natal chart focuses in any way on 25 Scorpio through 5 Sagittarius, your chart is “filling in” the “open side” of the eclipse configuration, turning a t-square into a grand square. This will tend to produce one of two pronounced effects. Either you’ll feel pulled in all directions, or the eclipse will “wipe” something off your list, rather drastically simplifying your options and choices. Whichever way the solar wind blows, there’s a call here to do what you do with attention to its functionality and reaching the right effect (or person) before moving on.

If your natal chart focuses in any way on 27 Pisces through 3 Aries (and/or) 27 Cancer through 3 Leo, you have an opportunity to develop new opportunities for growth. Through that, you may achieve good things IF you focus on the “doing” and not on what your reward may eventually be. Those on the Pisces/Aries side of this equation need to develop new relationships or new ways of relating more effectively to those you deal with. Those on the Cancer/Leo side of this energetic are challenged to go beyond the “norm” and your personal comfort zones.

If your natal chart focuses in any way on 28 Aries through 2 Taurus (and/or) 28 Gemini through 2 Cancer, chances are things are uncomfortable. Those on the Aries/Taurus side of this aspect need to accept the emotionalism of the situation and yet deal pragmatically. Do the necessary and move on. Those on the Gemini/Cancer side of this aspect may feel “blindsided,” but the reality is you haven’t been wanting to deal with something. The situation is now being thrust upon you but separate from that, it’s important to know why you were into so much avoidance. Those who learn the underlying cause won’t face this lesson again. Those who don’t take time to figure that out now will come back to this lesson time and time again.

Whoever you are, and even if this eclipse configuration doesn’t aspect your chart with any acuity, Venus is still retrograde in Gemini. And since early June will see Jupiter moving into Gemini (obviously conjuncting the just-eclipsed degree of 0 Gemini first thing) there is to be an expected “doubling-down” urge as May nears its end. The challenge here is not to overdo, overstate or go overboard. That Jupiter makes this shift just as a “Saturn reality play” takes center stage asks us who we really are at a whole other level, point out that beliefs, things—and even people—come and go. But who we are, we are—and that we can build on for a lifetime.

Taking all into account, the question may now be “do I dare?” It may just be that moment to say what you need to say. Or when you should allow yourself that unusual thought or the courage to “step out of the group.” Or color outside the lines. Eclipses represent a natural process, a cyclic peeling away of masks, calluses and limitations so we’ll get a new look—new perspective—on our world and our Selves through more experienced eyes. That this time we’re getting a Venus retrograde along with the Gemini eclipse asks what we value…and why we value it, repercussions, costs, et al.

This 0 Gemini eclipse will free some and silence others. Considering how Gemini embraces the idea, the priority and the choice, this is a natural time for testing. Some of that testing will create instability—which isn’t always a bad thing. Sometimes instability is just what we need in order to make the necessary changes.

Solar eclipses are a form of celestial transit which takes three full years to play out. The big “problems” and challenges which appear now will tend to “settle out” over the next six to eight months. But there’s nearly always a secondary effect—an “aha moment”—which happens rather close to the end of the 36-month period. That’s when we begin to really understand why we needed to go through “all that.”

Anyone who has ever seen an eclipse—whether in person, in photos or through the media—agrees it’s an entirely awesome spectacle. Somehow the witnessing of celestial mechanics has the power to invoke in us a recognition that life is bigger than we are, and that there’s a value in participating in the universal process (and our world).

No, we don’t actually have to try to bend everything to our will. If we make the correct effort and keep at it, we will receive our celestial reward. Our “just desserts,” call it!

Susan May 17, 2012 at 6:26 pm

Wow, great discussion, everybody! Unfortunately we’re experiencing some technical issues with comments on this page causing the article text not to display for some folks. I’m sorry to say I’m temporarily turning off comments at this point until I can figure out what’s causing the problem.

Boots May 16, 2012 at 5:10 pm

@SM….I’ve been told I work differently than other astrologers. But honestly, I wouldn’t feel right walking away from questions, whether they’re about an article or a consultation I’ve written for a private client. We all learn together, right?

Boots May 16, 2012 at 5:05 pm

My goodness, Victoria…your Sun is at 0 Gemini AND your Moon conjuncts the lunar eclipse? I’m thinking it’s more than just Venus kicking your derriere! Last November’s solar eclipse (at 2 Sagittarius) would have opposed your Sun and the December 2011 lunar eclipse (at 18 Gemini) would have opposed your Moon!

This is not a ‘solitary’ event, my dear Victoria! (Been there, slogged through that myself. It’s no fun and it seems interminable, doesn’t it?)

I’m sorry about the difficulties with the job and romance stuff, but since both (particularly in a woman’s or gay male’s chart) can be conflicts hitting the Sun, I suspect the universe is asking you to take a good look at who you are and what you’re doing, which is what Venus retrograde is simply excellent for! Partners ‘happen’ when we’re not hunting for them and when we’ve ‘become’ the person we know (on the inside) that we should be. THAT’s a Venusian thought about making ALL your Sun aspects more “attractive” (in the magnetic sense).

Hang in there, work on you. Two eclipses to the Sun is Life itself telling you that you’ve temporized and gotten off track. Be more You!

Boots May 16, 2012 at 4:57 pm

@SM – Conversing in text is very natural to me, and though I’ve been told I work differently than other astrologers, I wouldn’t feel comfortable NOT answering questions, whether they’re about an article or on material I write for private clients! We all learn together, right?

Victoria May 16, 2012 at 5:50 am

This article is great – I am sure eclipse this will affect me greatly – it conjuncts my 10th house 0 Gemini Sun. Then for good measure the lunar eclipse in June conjuncts my 5th house 16 Sagittarius Moon. This Venus retrograde has been kicking my butt. I haven’t been able to find work for the past 9 months. Let’s not even talk about romance….lol

SM May 15, 2012 at 11:40 pm

Thank you for this insight, it is appreciated – few would respond to individual queries at such length!

Boots May 15, 2012 at 1:39 pm

I wouldn’t say necessarily ‘romance,’ SM – rather where you intersect with the world in general. Remember, the 7th house cusp isn’t just about marriage, it’s about ALL one-to-one, even one-to-many relationships such as the actor and their audience, the client with the lawyer, the dentist with their patient…All those are also 7th house dynamics. Alliance, agreement, negotiation, open enmity, rejection – all are 7th house/Descendant dynamics.

If your 7th house cusp is Taurus and the eclipse is 0 Gemini, this may well indicate a whole new way of thinking of the world and others, or a whole new way of relating to people as a group, or individuals, one by one. Look for changing ‘themes’ in your interactions with others.

When a solar eclipse hits a planet (that being something which has tangible ‘mass’) the effects are readily felt. When a solar eclipse hits a node, Black Moon Lilith or a cusp point, the effect is a lot more subtle, though in the long run, real. For many in this situation, solar eclipses are easier to see in the world around them than in their own lives – the changes in the world may now require or inspire you to make changes to what you’re doing with your life.

In the end, solar eclipses are seldom fully ‘understood’ by us until nearly the end of their 36-month transiting ‘effect pattern.’ What happens now LEADS to there – and at that point we tend to look up and say ‘….ohhhhh, now I get it! I get why that had to happen…!’

Delighted to be a source of illuminating concepts, SM – any time!

SM May 15, 2012 at 6:34 am

What a fascinating and comprehensive article. Thank you! With my ascendant at Scorpio 29 (where Juno is going to be), this eclipse is going to fall on my descendant. My natal Venus is also in Gemini. I guess all signs point to the eclipse having an effect on me, probably in the relationships/romance arena. On the one hand, I’m looking forward to momentum, on the other I’m wondering whether no news is good news!

Boots May 14, 2012 at 7:38 pm

Thanks for the FB post, Abhi! They’re always saying how people vote with their pocketbook for what goods they do and don’t like – I guess the online version of this is voting with a link to your favorite social networking platform!

Algol / Black Moon Lilith is a really interesting combination. In Taurus, I can see where it might have some real pluses and minuses depending on how the rest of your chart lays out. Algol can be positive, it just asks that we be more considered of all and less willfully self-indulgent of our feelings. Add in Lilith, which is ‘societal denial’ (society ignoring you or your ignoring society) this could manifest as great frustrations or extraordinary personal courage (or bravado, depending).

I will hope you’re handling it all to the best, Abhi. Also, thanks for letting me know that I’m making these giant swaths of data usable for you. That’s absolutely my aim!

Be well!

Abhi May 14, 2012 at 5:26 pm

WOW! I had to read and re-read it, post and re-post it on FB!
So much to absorb…I came across your article while doing research on Algol. Last month I discovered that my Black Moon Lilith is in Taruse and last week I discovered that I have Black Moon Lilith exactly conjuncts Algol…
Still trying to ‘digest’ and ‘absorb’ it all, and what it means in my daily life and now Existence is arranging the stars to show me some more ‘angles’ …
Oh! Boy!
Love the way you write, bold like with explanation, which makes it easy to take it in bite by bite, and frankly I could not swallow it all at once anyway!

Thank YOU!

Boots May 14, 2012 at 2:05 pm

An informational tidbit to all concerned: next month my feature article is going to be on Saturn/Eris – a very important configuration we all need to be aware of (especially with Venus retrograde in the works!).

That article will NOT be discussing the June 4th lunar eclipse, but there will be an in-depth examination of said lunar eclipse in my article-on-the-month column, so I hope you’re all subscribers!

Boots May 14, 2012 at 1:59 pm


Grazi many times, Anna. May the blessings you send be showered back upon you and yours a thousand-fold times!


Boots May 14, 2012 at 1:58 pm

The appreciation is much appreciated, Sky!

Seriously, it’s really wonderful to know when you offer something others find useful. So thanks you for the feedback and letting me know this was helpful to you – that’s helpful to me! Thanks!

Boots May 14, 2012 at 1:56 pm

@Myriam…(wink-wink) back atcha! (…laughs…) Thanks for that!

Now…to your questions: do I think that Venus going retrograde in Gemini affects the various ways the solar eclipse (which is semisquare your MC) is going to affect your life? I’d vote yes, and here’s why…Venus going retrograde in Gemini gives us a natural ‘coloration’ on the eclipse which contributes to its affect in semisquaring your MC. Without knowing the rest of your chart this is a vastly imperfect call, but I’d expect some sort of ‘rethinking’ of the direction(s) you’re going in life and/or situations to prompt you TO rethink your directions in life. Considering we’re talking about Venus, the nature of the thinkery is likely to be “is it worth it to me?” or “do I respect what I’m doing here?” or some way, shape or form of dealing with your self-image/self-worth through what’s going on in your (MC) public-outer-worldly life.

As to your question about ‘activating’ the eclipse, I wouldn’t look to Mars personally…I’d look to planets crossing zero Gemini. Mercury enters Gemini on May 24th, Jupiter enters Gemini on June 11th and the South Node hits the eclipse mark during the latter part of August (2012).

This last part (the South Node concept) is particularly important, since the Nodes always indicate where our lives intersect those of others around us (or the world). So its likely to be August before the ‘deflection’ or ‘avoidance’ of today catches up with folks as those who do rethink and who do honor the need to ‘rebalance’ their lives come to a blossoming of their efforts – or at least some calmer water.

The one exception here would be those whose charts are going to be affected by the June lunar eclipse. Lunar eclipse effects tend to take about 3 months to fade away, so that would be September, not August.

Great questions!

Boots May 14, 2012 at 1:39 pm

Hi, Susy! Glad you enjoyed the column – thanks for letting me know it ‘hit the eclipse spot’ for you!

anna May 14, 2012 at 3:49 am

hi boots ,
as usual ,just brilliant.
love & light

Sky May 13, 2012 at 9:41 pm

Wow! This is a KEEPER – outstanding! In these big, critical junctures, this kind of analysis and help is just what we all need! Thanks a million!

Myriam May 13, 2012 at 10:07 am

Amazing article thank you! I love how you break down everything in manageable chunks so Gemini eclipse preparation wink wink!

This eclipse falls in my 7th and semisquare MC with other work transits/prgressions and solar cars, looks like a new job is coming after all these interviews. Venus doesn’t rule MC yet I wonder if it could also change the nature of the role as you explained above.

One thing I wonder according to you, t Mars has passed 0 Virgo to square the eclipse after so what next Mars aspect/date do you consider will activate the eclipse and we need to look out for?

susy May 12, 2012 at 9:59 am

Thank you i enjoyed reading every word!

Boots May 12, 2012 at 3:37 am

I’m honored that you’re sharing my work with your friends, Sydney. That’s a huge compliment – I hope it brings them some insight and understanding in these days ahead!


Boots May 12, 2012 at 3:35 am

Hi, Julia!
Why thank you…that’s entirely kind of you to say. I think we can all use all the stability we can get for the next while!

All my best to you and yours, Julia!

Boots May 12, 2012 at 3:33 am

Hi, Deborah,
I’m not really sure I understand your question. If your North Node is at 23 Gemini, your South Node is at 23 Sagittarius – Venus isn’t transiting your South Node – it’s going stationary/retrograde atop your North Node,. But guessing that’s the question, in broadest of brush strokes this would be some sort of reconsidering of what you need to do – or if you really need to do something you’re doing. Is it of value to you? How much value is it to you?

Sydney Griffin May 11, 2012 at 8:41 pm

thorough and nuanced explanation- thank you, and I’m sharing this with friends- blessings on all of our journeys.

julia May 11, 2012 at 7:29 pm

Boots, brilliant as always. Thank you so much for the thorough analysis, the instruction (both astrological and spiritual) and the suggestions for how to best swim contructively with this challenging energy. I have a little more inflation and stability in my water wings after reading. Bless you.

deborah May 11, 2012 at 6:09 pm

I have my north node at 23 degrees in gemini. Curious what to look for considering venus is transiting the south node in the sky?

Boots May 11, 2012 at 5:24 pm


I love hearing you grasp the broader perspective! And to your question of what it all would be about otherwise (fear?) …the truth is that if fear is a stopping point in your life and not a motivation (yes, fear motivates many a person) then yes, Venus retrograde would be a good time to work on learning to appreciate yourself more.

Retrogrades are so very much a ‘turn lemons into lemonade’ sort of thing!


Boots May 11, 2012 at 5:20 pm


The idea you’ve put forth – that you’re talking to a prospective employer and are concerned they may offer you a job under Venus retrograde – is a perfect example of something which comes up all the time. Whenever we’re talking about any planet approaching a stationary/retrograde point there does tend to be some degree of anxiety specific to that planet’s areas of concern. In this case you’re talking about earning money (Venus) and it’s a conversation (Gemini) you’re having with this new firm.

The feeling nervous, concerned, anxious, uneasy, tired, depressed, unwanted …they’re all in keeping with Venus being about to go retrograde. Lisa – you mentioned being scared and being ‘sick of living in fear’ and that’s a natural sort of response too. You want something better (Venus) for yourself – and the retrograde cycle is all about ‘looking within’ so as to find a way to achieve what you want.

Lisa, you’re saying you want to feel secure and more at peace – very Venusian, that. Elizabeth, you’re concerned about getting a job and earning a living. The ‘being approved’ part is very Libra/Venus, the ‘earning’ part is very Taurus/Venus.

If they offer you a job you like under Venus retrograde, the ‘rules of retrograde’ suggest that said position won’t be the one you’ll actually end up in. Example: I have a relative who ONLY seems to get jobs under retrogrades – usually Mercury retrograde. And every time he gets a job, the firm he’s working for ends up saying ‘y’know…now that you’re here and we see how you work, we think you’re more suited to this OTHER position.’ So he ends up staying with the firm, but not that particular position.

All retrogrades – in one form or another – say ‘you don’t have all the facts yet.’ In your case, Elizabeth, it might be the job itself – then again, it might be the position.

Also: an ancillary point – any process which has been begun PRIOR to the start of retrograde ‘folds’ the retrograde into its process. So you’re not STARTING this process of finding a job, Elizabeth – you’re continuing to pursue where it leads you.

Remember – retrogrades (and the difficulties or frustrations or denials or holdups we experience under a retrograde) are meant to give us time to work on ourselves. They’re SUPPOSED to be a plus! That we have such a problem with most of them says more about us than anything. But that we can change too!

lisa May 11, 2012 at 12:22 am

Im a little sacred now geez but it was a great piece thanks…sick of living in fear

Elizabeth May 10, 2012 at 8:51 am

I have jupiter at 1 degree Sagittarius (10th house cusp) and have been unemployed a while – am talking to a new firm now but I’m worried about coming to an agreement while venus is in retrograde… (job is for much less money than I have made before).

Helpful thoughts? I am a pisce (12 degrees) with Capricorn rising (29 degrees)

thisisit May 10, 2012 at 3:33 am

Really comprehensive thorough stuff -excellent!

I like the spiritual perspective on it -otherwise what’s the point -fear?

Thank you for this!

Boots May 9, 2012 at 5:52 pm

@Nancy and Jem – Thanks ever so!

jem May 9, 2012 at 6:17 am

Great article :)

Nancy Schorr May 9, 2012 at 1:31 am

Awesome article! Will pass your link to our students, thanks! -Nancy

Boots May 5, 2012 at 12:55 pm

You’re entirely welcome! Always happy to share – thank you for letting me know you enjoyed the article!

julie May 4, 2012 at 4:29 pm

An absolutely brilliant insight into the complex transitions about to occur. Thank you i enjoyed reading every word!

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