As I’ve followed the dance of the planets through the ballroom of the sky, I’ve come to understand how the ancients related to them as gods… not the supreme being, exactly, but the masks that Oneness wears as it descends toward earth. They are essential divine energies, personified, here to teach and relate to us.
This week is all about Venus, goddess of love and beauty, and Mercury, the fast, flexible, genderqueer god of communication and exchange. Both planets are concerned with the connections we make to others and to the world around us- Venus through the heart, and Mercury through the mind. Both are currently in signs of their rulership, meaning they are in prime position to wield influence and achieve their aims.
Venus in her feminine earth sign of Taurus, where she will be until June 9, is at her fertility goddess best, like Inanna, her Mesopotamian predecessor. Inanna or Ishtar is the earliest source for the Venus archetype and was famous for descending into the underworld, having been brought low and stripped of her possessions, and emerging triumphant on the other side, a journey that is represented in Venus’ transition from morning star to evening star and back again. Venus in Taurus longs to make beautiful green things grow, to nourish our bodies and souls with an abundance of blessings. She is here to root and stabilize us in all that is lovely and good.
In many ways, Venus in Taurus brings to mind Hildegard of Bingen, the medieval abbess who is a particular obsession of mine. Hildegard, in an echo of the Inanna story, was sent to a men’s monastery at the age of eight with another young woman to become an anchorite, a kind of nun that was bricked up in a cell nestled into the earth, meant only to pray and never to leave. At some point Hildegard was able to escape this living death to become the leader of her own flourishing community of nuns. She became a prolific writer, composer, and speaker as well as being an accomplished herbalist and healer. She shared trippy mystical visions and prophecies she received from God, visions that almost got her branded a heretic but seem remarkably insightful in our time. She wrote often of Viriditas, what she called “the greening power” of life, that which makes all things grow and flourish, and what we might today recognize as chi. Her deep love of the earth, and belief in its power to nourish and heal the body, heart, and soul comes through in her writing. She praised beauty, allowing the sisters at her abbey to wear their hair down and uncovered, adorned with flowers, in defiance of social norms. Though as a nun, she lived a life of un-venuslike chastity, her attitude toward sexuality was positive and generous for her time, and she likely committed the first description of the female orgasm to writing.
Mercury, the messenger of the gods, is in their masculine air sign of Gemini. The rest of the seven classical planets are organized into day and night sects, meaning they are stronger in a nighttime chart and play better with the moon as leader, or vice versa with the daytime and sun, but Mercury plays for both teams. While we have four masculine planets and two female (ancient Greeks weren’t know for their commitment to gender equity), Mercury can present as male or female depending on the situation.
Mercury in Gemini likes to move. Have you ever seen a statue of a young Greek god with wings on their sandals? That’s Mercury, who was constantly zooming about carrying messages from the Gods to us. Mercury bridges worlds, drawing connections between unfamiliar and disconnected ideas and paradigms, ultimately weaving the matrix that illuminates the whole. Because of this flexibility and connectivity, Mercury rules communication, commerce and business, intellectual pursuits, and in modern times seems to have quite the affinity for technology.
Remember The Matrix? That was quite the mercurial movie, with characters zipping around between worlds, taking on new forms, and mapping the technological connections that held it all together. Like any power exemplified by the planets, connectivity can be used for good or ill. In the story of the Matrix, a web of illusion had been woven that kept humans in bondage. Neo, Morpheus, Trinity, and the rest were building new connections, racing against time to share their message of liberation, to wake people up. Mercury in Gemini is powerful- the question is, what are we using that power for?
Today, both Venus and Mercury begin to engage Neptune in Pisces. Neptune is dreamy, fantastical, visionary...and yet somewhat ephemeral and illusory. Like Hildegard’s mystical visions, Neptune can give us powerful intimations of the future and expand our ideas of what is possible. Like the Matrix, Neptune can trap us in a glittering web of illusion, enchanting us for a time, only to dissolve and fall apart. Venus is moving into a sextile with Neptune, a helpful aspect, and Mercury into a square, a more tense aspect. Both transits perfect, meaning they make exact angles to the degree, on Thursday, and move out on Friday and Saturday.
Venus and Neptune are asking us to expand our vision for what is possible. What does it mean to nourish and nurture and trust in what is good and true and beautiful? Can we extend that vision past the boundaries of our own desires and needs to include others, our fellow humans, the earth itself? Mercury sounds a note of warning, reminding us that what might be a dream to one person can be a nightmare for someone else. Mercury asks us to draw connections between what is seen and unseen, what is real and not yet realized, but at the same time warns us not to get carried away by our fantasies. Mercury wants us to be discerning.
On Friday, Mercury and Venus continue to make moves. Venus perfects a trine to Saturn in his rulership in Capricorn, a transit that begins Wednesday and continues through June 3rd. During this time Saturn and Venus can work together, Venus supplying the love, desire, and hope required to bring something beautiful to fruition, and Saturn supplying the discipline and commitment needed to build something of lasting value. Retrograde Saturn is dragging his feet, though, so don’t expect this to be a particularly productive time- that will come later.
Mercury perfects an opposition to Jupiter, another planet in rulership in the fire sign of Sagittarius, a transit that lasts from Wednesday to Saturday. Jupiter in Sag loves abundance, generosity, and expansion, but is currently retrograde, reviewing some of his choices over the past few months. Jupiter loves to go big or go home, but this opposition with Mercury is reminding us that staying small and nimble can allow for greater flexibility. Jupiter wants all the things and Mercury is reminding us of the creative joy that comes from learning to make do with what is available to us. On the other hand, Mercury wants to move fast, and Jupiter is asking to slow down and find time for integration.
If you know your rising sign, you will probably find that horoscope most relevant, as it will more accurately reflect the house positions in your natal chart. But if not, you should still find some resonance with your sun sign reading.
Aries Sun and Rising
Mercury in your 3rd house wants to increase the scope of your communication and build connection with your neighbors, siblings, and others close to home. This is a great time to write, speak, share your perspective, and get to know the people around you. You’re in a period of spiritual and intellectual growth, and maybe you’ve even had visions of burning down your mundane life to become a monk, or yogi, or to travel the world expanding your mind. Those visions may be more illusion than anything, and while you can certainly create space for some of that in your life, Mercury is here to pull you back to the earthly realm. You may be experiencing a shake up in your career right now, but Venus is helping to bring some growth and stability to how you earn your money.
Taurus Sun and Rising
Mercury in your second house has lots of ideas for expanding your personal wealth, while Jupiter in the eighth want to do the slower and steadier work of expanding material resources for all the people close to you. This may cause some tension- Jupiter says, let’s use this money to pay off debt or invest in a home! Mercury says, why don’t I invest it in something that promises a quick return? Leaning on like-minded friends to offer perspective can help you puncture the veil of illusion and see what’s meant to last and what’s just a flash in the pan. With Venus, your ruling planet, in the first house, you’ve got a sense of joyous ease and growth to your life that’s making all the difficult spiritual lessons you’ve learned in the past year or so worthwhile.
Gemini Sun and Rising
The astrology this week is hitting your major houses of self, relationships, and career. You may find yourself struggling with someone you are close to who wants to slow down and take stock of things while you want to go, go, go. You have big dreams and visions for what you might achieve in this life, but it’s easy to get carried away with them. Only time and discernment will tell which dreams are meant to inspire you and which are drawing you off course. Don’t be afraid to take some alone time to connect with what really feeds you. Time spent appreciating the beauty in life can help you attune to what really matters.
Cancer Sun and Rising
With Mercury in your 12th house, you may find yourself getting distracted by constant activity, ideas, and chatter- though even these times of getting pulled away from our intentions have their purpose. You may feel an opposing impulse to slow down and pay attention to how all this is affecting your body and your health- with Jupiter in your sixth house this year, you have an opportunity for greater physical health and healing, and you don’t want to pass that by. Tapping into your spiritual imagination can help you to find some balance, and working together with partners and friends to ask what creates joy and nourishment for all of you will create stability.
Leo Sun and Rising
With Mercury in your 11th house, you’re excited by the possibility of activity and connection with friends and comrades in arms this week, but there’s a competing pull to slow down and feed the fires of your own creativity. Take a look at what you hope to gain from collaborations with others- are your hopes realistic? Do your collaborations feed your own joy and creativity or suck you dry? You have a tendency to work hard, but Venus and Saturn are asking you to slow down for pleasure, love, and beauty to nourish your career and work life.
Virgo Sun and Rising
That age old tug of war, between work and family, are hitting you hard this week. With Mercury in your 10th house, you may be excited about lots of new ideas and possibilities. But there are days you just want to stay at home, relax, and tend the home fires. Connecting with a close friend or significant other who can offer a different perspective might help you to find the balance between staying rooted and reaching for the stars. Venus and Saturn remind you that spirituality, pleasure, creativity, and work can go hand in hand.
Libra Sun and Rising
With Mercury in your 9th and Jupiter in the 3rd, you may feel a tension between your spiritual and intellectual ideals vs the simple pleasures of family and community. You have so many ideas about the way things ought to be, but the people in your everyday life are asking you to accept things as they are. Integrating ideals with reality takes a lot of hard work, and it’s easy to become disillusioned. Let that disillusionment be the beginning of true vision. Remember that Mercury is the archetype of the Tarot Magician, who brings the power of heaven down to earth. While you’ve experienced some upheaval in your home life and sense of groundedness in recent months, your ruling planet, Venus, is helping to create stability.
Scorpio Sun and Rising
Mercury in the 8th is creating opportunities for you when it comes to shared resources- perhaps bringing new business partnerships or ideas for getting out of debt. You may feel a tension around how much you share versus how much you keep for yourself. Venus in the seventh is bringing a nurturing, growth-oriented perspective to your relationships. Tapping into your joy and creativity can help you strike the right balance between self and other. Ultimately, the growth and expansion you’ve experienced this year with Jupiter in your house of personal finances will help you to create opportunity and abundance for others.
Sagittarius Sun and Rising
This year has been all about expansion and growth for you personally, with Jupiter bringing his fertile, generous, magnanimous energy to your first house of self. Mercury in your 7th house wants to connect and move, and you may be feeling pressure from a partner or close friend to take action or make decisions about relationships, but Jupiter wants to slow down and reflect right now. Looking to your dreams and visions for a home life and connecting to your roots and family may help you find integration. Venus brings a sweet, nourishing ease to your health and work life this week, and this helps to support the work you are doing to build your wealth and resources.
Capricorn Sun and Rising
Mercury in your 6th house of illness and work asks you to take action around healing your body and your relationship to work. Your tendency to focus on the positive can sometimes be your undoing, and this is the time to slow down and focus on what doesn’t feel so good, and what needs to shift. Leaning into the support of your family and community can help you during this time, but be careful you don’t let their ideas and agendas supplant your own. Your sense of self and life’s purpose has been shaken in the last year or so, but Venus in your fifth house of creativity is here to re-awaken your sense of joy and pleasure .
Aquarius Sun and Rising
You are full of joyful energy and creative ideas right now with Mercury and the Sun in your fifth house. This year has been great for meeting friends and comrades who align with your ideals and ambitions for expansion and growth, but you may find yourself out of sync with them at the moment. Remember that true wealth is not just about money- it’s about the people that nourish us and the ability to see new possibilities when things get out of whack. Trust your intuition over your craving. You may have experienced some loneliness or disappointment in the last several months, but Venus is here to nourish and ground you.
Pisces Sun and Rising
Mercury in your fourth house is bringing a restless energy and new ideas to your home and family life. You might be feeling the itch to move, redecorate, or simply shift some of the dynamics in your family relationships. While Jupiter has bought some generous, growth-minded energy to your career and reputation this year, it might not be enough to support the changes you want to make, either financially or time-wise. You are dreamy and intuitive, but it can be easy to get lost in the clouds with Neptune in your first house of self. Take some time to discern between what’s fantasy and what’s real vision, and make sure the moves you want to make support the latter. Venus and Saturn are working to stabilize your network of loving relationships right now.