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April 9, 2021, at 11:34 am EDT, the Sun enters Aries III — what Austin Coppock called The Burning Rose. This is the place where Venus stands secure in her power — the creative fire in the head and the fire in the bosom and in the belly that brings forth new life, whether it be a new piece of art or performance, or a happy new baby. I often liken Venus in Aries to a competent woman in a job that many think of as being “a man’s job” — she not only has to do her own job, but fend off second-guessing and outright attacks from those less competent and less fortunate below her. Yet here, in the last ten degrees of Aries, she has a power all her own. And here, she keeps company with the Sun as a slowly emerging evening star: she may still be under the beams of his powerful light, but she is also coming into her own here.
In contrast to some of our recent charts, all the planets are above the horizon here, signaling that ‘politics’ and ‘the public sphere’ have more of a hold on our lives right now than the ‘private sphere’ or the home environment. The planets are nicely balanced between the Oriental (eastern) and Occidental (western) sides of the chart, with a mix of outer and inner planets in both quadrants above the horizon. The Midheaven stands in the ninth house, inviting us to begin the learning processes which will help us achieve our next public success. The North Node – South Node axis pulls resources out of our daily work and invites us to find more solo time and more reflection on the ways that we can better find our fortunes; while the Imum Coeli, the bottom of the sky, is in the third house — the right teacher can make all the difference, and there’s value in learning our relationships to our neighbors, and learning to share in the wealth of the others around us (and to share our own when we can).
Venus is the administrator of the third Decan of Aries, a role that she performs admirably here. Although she is under the beams of the Sun, she’s nonetheless somewhat more free of the influence of Mars himself since she’s in ‘her own office’ here. The big boss might be in the same room with her and she may be cowed by that, but Mars is unlikely to interrupt her or try to boss her around. As a result, there’s huge benefit in pursuing creative projects, getting your garden planted, or letting your passions out to play. But there’s relatively little of the passivity that we sometimes associate with Venus here — this is not Venus-in-Taurus, lounging on pillows and eating bonbons or preparing for her four-hour beauty regimen. This is Venus-in-Aries III, the woman of great competence who has cowed all the men who dared question her leadership or vision, and has put them all to work. This is the Venus who puts in forty hours a week to have the best garden in town (and finally overtake her rival, Petunia, who lives over on Maple lane, that bitch). This Venus is not the Karen who calls the Homeowner’s Association anonymously about your non-regulation arborvitae; this is Venus as the Debbie who brings her own chainsaw, and will helpfully stack its trunk and branches to dry for your next outdoor get-together around a fire.
An ancient text, the Thirty-six Airs of the Zodiac, gave this decan to the rulership of the deity Eros or “Desire” — the uncontrollable longing for some thing or some one. We know the Roman version story, of course: that Eros under the name Cupid was a winged youthful-looking god, the son of Venus, who married Psyche a mortal against his mother’s wishes. He imposed a condition upon his new bride, that she should never see him, but that they should always meet in darkness. While talking with her sisters, who assumed that Psyche had married a hideous monster rather than a god, Psyche hit upon the idea of waking while he slept, and lighting a candle to observe him. Astonished at his beauty, she let the candle slip, and a drop of wax landed on his perfect skin. Outraged that she had broken her promise to him, he immediately fled from her presence. Venus saw her opportunity, and snatched Psyche off to face terrible torments and trials until Eros realized that he still loved his wife, and intervened to end his mother’s agonizing tortures.
More recently and historically, a friend of mine observed a child obsessing over a toy in a store, a flimsy plastic thing. The boy’s mother was embarrassed by the irrational screaming, and infuriated that her child had been taken in so completely by a stupid thing that would entertain the kid for only a few minutes before breaking or being abandoned. She tried to drag her child away, who was having none of it. My friend heard the mother ask in exasperation, “why do you want that??” To which the child responded, in a voice that echoed off the roof of the store, a scream that stole all the air from the lungs for every single word, the sort of breathless panting that only an inconsolable child can deliver, “I … wants …. what… I…. wants… because… I … wants … it!”
This is the desire of Aries III — the irrational hunger, the longing for something, that cannot and will not be quenched except through achievement of aim or purpose. It has no meaning, and it’s not governed by reason. You can’t explain it in words, except maybe through Hozier lyrics, I fall in love just a little ol’ little more every day with someone new, and it’s not rooted in some obvious place in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Eros could only have Psyche on his own terms at first, and barely recognized her personhood; the moment that she shattered the experience by expressing her own desire to see him, his own illusion of what love can and should be was broken. It took time (and a most unkind mother-in-law) for him to mend his heart and get his soul and head aligned with his desires. Aries III is not the mature version of this experience — it’s more like the get hitched quick attitude of a Las Vegas chapel and a Elvis-preacher doing the “will you love, honor and obey each other as long as you both shall live?” gig. Whatever you want, it has to be in your pocket right away, until the heat of that desire burns a hole right through and it falls out your pants leg.
The four dodecamatoria (I usually call them duodecimas, but I was re-reading and realized I’d misremembered the word) of Aries III are Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces. These 2° 30′ slices of time and space speak to this Venus’s four underlings or subordinate managers — a jovial ally who will cheerfully assist in all her machinations; a stern and practical older fellow full of practicality and deep inner wisdom; and another friendly face who just goes with the flow. The Sun’s steady passage flows something like a DIY project in a basement or backyard toolshed: an article or blog post or book inspires action; the project manager carts themselves off to the hardware store for materials and tools; the project gets half-assed in some fashion, partly finished but perhaps not completed; and then the project either gets finished eventually or the energy dissipates in the next flurry of inspiration and energy. It’s no accident that the next sign is Taurus — where the headstrong ferocity of Cardinal Fire dissipates into a stubborn, slow-moving relaxation of Fixed Earth. If this Venus teaches us anything, it is to finish our projects.
The Ascendant of this chart is Cancer, making the Moon something like the prime minister of the next ten days — Mars may be the sovereign, given his role as the ruler of the Sun’s current residence, but it’s the Luminary of Night who acts as his chief administrator, vizier and executive. She can be found just past the Midheaven in Pisces, promoting learning and travel in close companionship with Neptune, who provides a certain number of delusions and illusions about the current safety of educational institutions or travel-hubs in our thought processes. This doesn’t mean, “don’t travel” by the way; it does suggest that you shouldn’t be prepared to relax your guard in bus stations or airports, though, either. The Moon, among other things, rules both the body and the capacities of the memory and imagination to hold reality or invent scenery to fit present circumstances. This suggests that you should be cautious about how you view your own immunity or safety, regardless of your vaccinated status.
Interestingly enough, all the planets are above the horizon, and only the Imum Coeli (IC) and South Node are below. This indicates that the most significant drivers of events in the next ten days will come from the public sphere rather than the private. Yet the IC is in Virgo’s third decan, The Sarcophagus, in the third house — the time is coming when people will be turning from grief about the “lost year” of 2020 to the more practical concerns of “what have we inherited from the deceased.” The attentions of neighbors and the extended family will turn to the division of estates and property, and what can be brought back to life. However, the South Node always indicates Less — and in Sagittarius’s second decan The Bridle, this indication points to lessened daily duties and lessened sickness over the next ten days; actual work may be hard to come by, even as you’re expected to show up at your job, but life-threatening illnesses may be less of a concern too.
We turn to the planets in their houses, beginning with Pluto just above the western horizon, square to Venus, in Capricorn’s third decan The Throne. If the Crown (Aries’ first decan) is the point-and-command placement, this is the executive layer which hears-and-obeys, and accumulates a series of small and relatively insignificant actions. Here, a series of relatively small contributions leads toward the potential for difficult conversations with spouses, business partners, and close allies — and possible confrontations with outright foes, or breaks with allies. These matters can be worked through and solutions worked out; remember that the challenges of the next ten days are rooted in deeds not people. But that doesn’t mean that people aren’t responsible for their deeds, and this may cause some friction.
Saturn in Aquarius’s second decan Heaven and Earth, and Jupiter in the third The Knot, present their usual dance of difficulties between contraction and decline on the one hand, and opportunities for expansion and generosity on the other. Aquarius is seen as “fixed air”, which can be understood as the stoppage of the lungs that was one of COVID-19’s initial symptoms; but it can also be understood as narrowly-defined intellectual pursuits, or overly-rigid political viewpoints. Saturn in Heaven and Earth indicates that divine realities necessitate certain practical actions on the ground level; but Jupiter prefers loosening various strictures and combing out the tangles that keep us meshed in dire straits — expansion comes from that process of picking apart the knots. Saturn then, acts as the bubble of our balloon, giving structure to the containers of air that allow us to ascend; Jupiter is the marlinspike that loosens the cord holding us to the ground. Given that Aquarius indicates the realm of both shared obligations and joint finances these next ten days, it would be worth maintaining your quarantine bubble a while longer — even as you disentangle yourselves from contracts and duties that hold you back.
The ninth house of travel, higher education, occultism, magic, and religion (as well as writing things like this column!) holds the Midheaven, Neptune, and The Moon — and Pisces, the swampy and marshy world of the tidal flats and sudden shifts of water and earth, holds all three in the third decan The Cup of Blood administered by Mars under the rulership of Jupiter. Rumor mixes with true news, broad instruction mingles with misdirection, as the dominant themes and compelling imagery are all of a medical nature in the next ten days. The US is expecting to hit a target of four million vaccinations a day, perhaps 4.5 … or somewhere between forty and forty-five million people over the next ten days. Nobody really knows if these will be effective for six months, more than six months, or for the rest of your life, or for the next six years — and the rumor mill is happily grinding away. The tidal shift is likely to occur in the next thirty days, as the US goes from 40 million adults vaccinated to 120 million… but that’s possible only if the story’s framed in the right way.
These themes of the ninth house get imported into the tenth house of public reputation and significant career shifts, where Mercury in the first decan the Crown, and The Sun and Venus here in The Burning Rose offer gifts of clear and expert medical advice (tinged with a bit of that Neptunian delusion from conjunction with the midheaven), along with a sunny optimism and creative coherence toward a shared and desired goal — reunion with friends and families, the breakdown of the imaginary barriers that have socially distanced us. Mercury’s tendency is to command and declare what ought to be; their expertise ought to be unquestioned. But they are also under the beams of the Sun, and thus less able to issue orders or demands than even Venus — Mars’s rulership makes Mercury more peremptory and arrogant than usual, and probably more annoying as well. This is the strong message that the public sphere is sending out, but it must be admitted that the Neptunian tendency toward illusion and misdirection is also present. It’s not clear to me if this is because the message won’t be received, or if it will be received but not believed, or if the message will not reach important segments of the audience. I don’t think it’s the case that the message is not true, frankly — Neptune’s position suggests more of a whispering campaign against the vaccination program than its failure for medical reasons.
Uranus in Taurus in the eleventh house holds the first decan The Plow, where he plants seeds of long-term disruption that will likely be harvested later this year — and also in about twenty years, and sixty years, when the results of current circumstances become almost-forgotten history. I’m reminded of the ways in which my grandparents were affected by their adult experiences in the Great Depression, and handed this on to their children, who handed on elements of that to me (as well as bits of their childhood experiences in World War II). Uranus promises long-lasting disruptions to friend-and-alliance networks, and to formal social organizations, over the next several generations as a result of this past year; my own involvement in Toastmasters suggests that this is true.
Mars, The Lot of Fortune, and The North Node are all in Gemini in the twelfth house, where they promise a bifurcation of the issues of loneliness and solitude (where loneliness is the sense of being apart even when in others’ company, and solitude is the contentment we find in separation). Ironically, the pandemic has put a great many of us into situations where even genuine alone-time is difficult to find: many of us share a house or apartment with others, and long stretches of being on our own may have been rare. Alternately, we may have wished for closer contact in the last twelve months, but were unable to find it due to distancing requirements. Finding some genuine down time when you can put your solo plans into operation are likely to yield good fortune in the next ten days; however, there’s also a need to hybridize your solo adventures: can you be on your own, together? can you find solitude even in a crowded house?
Horoscopes by Rising Sign
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I use iPhemeris for my charting software, and screenshot it to make charts. I want to thank the team that develops iPhemeris for the addition of Terms and Decans to their charts, appearing here for the first time! I use Hugh Tran‘s Physis typeface to craft logos for this blog, as well.
I use Christopher Warnock‘s The Mansions of the Moon as the basis of my Moon placement delineations, and Austin Coppock‘s 36 Faces as the basis of much of my planetary delineations. Neither gentleman endorses me. My own book, A Full Volume of Splendour and Starlight, is now available as PDF download from my Etsy website, as is my Almanac for 2021. Any errors in these columns are my own.
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If you want to read some of my other astrologically-oriented poetry, To the Mansions of the Moon is a collection of hymns to the angels of the Mansions mentioned in these columns. For the Behenian Stars is a collection of hymns to the first/brightest sixteen stars. The Sun’s Paces are hymns to the thirty-six Hellenistic-era deities and ascended souls of the Greco-Egyptian Decans-calendar. While not astrological, Festae contains hymns to some of the older Roman gods and spirits from the calendar created by Numa Pompilius, the second ancient King of Rome.