I was thinking about the Venus cazimi that occurs on 22 October 2022 (i.e., today, when I started writing this article), and I remembered something from Earthsky.org, the Petals of Venus animation by Gary Ottewell.
Over any eight year period, the Sun and Venus will dance together in such a way that (when seen from Earth) their conjunctions will form a 5-petal flower in the sky.
Now… in the 20th century, one of those petals landed in Scorpio with surprising frequency — nineteen times between 1901 and 2000. Nearly all of those conjunctions occurred between 1926 and 2000. When one petal lands in Scorpio, the natural geometry of pentagrams or five-pointed stars means that the other four points have to land pretty reliably in signs that are at specific angles, too: Aries, Aquarius, Gemini, and Virgo — two Mercury-ruled signs, two Mars-ruled signs, and a Saturn-ruled sign. It’s… well. It’s a pretty sausage-heavy arrangement, favoring the masculine, the old, and the thin.
But today’s Libra conjunction is the beginning of a significant shift. There are only six Sun-Venus conjunctions in Scorpio in the 21st century — and the last one is in October 2026. And they don’t really start appearing again until late in the 22nd century, when there are six starting in November 2177. We’ve got roughly 151 years, one month, of a lack of conjunctions in Scorpio.
So… what’s taking over? If Libra is one of the new keystones of the Venus-Sun conjunction pattern, what are the other four? The answer is Aries, Gemini, Capricorn and Leo — a combination that includes a Venus-ruled sign, a Mars-ruled sign, a Mercury-ruled sign, a Saturn-ruled sign, and the Sun-ruled sign.
In this scheme, Taurus (and its companion petals in Pisces, Libra, Sagittarius, and Leo) doesn’t make an appearance until 2080.
If we make a table of how frequently each sign hosts a conjunction of Venus and the Sun in a four-century period, 1801-2199, maybe we get a sense of how much the strength of each planet rises or falls in the coming eight decades.
|Sign||19th Century||20th century||21st century||22nd Century|
|Aries||0||17 (first in 1929)||10 (last in 2037)||5 (first in 2180)|
|Taurus||19 (first in 1825)||8 (last in 1933)||7 (first in 2076)||20 (last in 2184)|
|Gemini||6 (last in 1821)||10 (first in 1964)||18 (last in 2072)||0|
|Cancer||13 (first in 1852)||15 (last in 1960)||0||25|
|Leo||12 (last in 1848)||4 (first in 1987)||25||0|
|Virgo||6 (first in 1875)||21 (last in 1983)||0||18 (first in 2126)|
|Libra||19 (last in 1879)||0||19 (first in 2022)||7 (last in 2130)|
|Scorpio||0||19 (first in 1926)||6 (last in 2026)||6 (first in 2177)|
|Sagittarius||18 (first in 1830)||6 (last in 1922)||5 (first in 2081)||19 (last in 2173)|
|Capricorn||7 (last in 1826)||4 (first in 1986)||20 (last in 2077)||0|
|Aquarius||3 (first in 1890)||21 (last in 1982)||0||16 (first in 2137)|
|Pisces||22 (last in 1886)||0||15 (first in 2041)||9 (last in 2133)|
I made use of Richard Nolle‘s tables on the Sun-Venus conjunction to do this research.
It looks like it’s not uncommon for a sign to host somewhere between 20 and 30 conjunctions, and then drop away to nothing for about 140-160 years.
So what does it mean? I wish I knew for sure — but it occurs to me in a “hot take” sort of way that the 20th century was dominated by the “male gaze”, and by the intersection of pleasure and pain in the growth of BDSM as an industry, as a valid form of sexual expression, and as an expression of sexual identity. It also was an era in which women’s critiques of sexuality were subject to a great deal of mockery and denigration: women were largely protesting the framework of sexual desire and noting the ways that their own sexual needs went un-met in romantic and sexual relationships. And I sort of see some of that “pleasure intermingled with pain” attitude toward sexuality as coming to an end in the near future.
And maybe the Venus-Sun conjunctions point to a symbolic reason why that might be so — sexuality, love and romance were being seen largely through a masculinized astrological framework dominated by Mars, Saturn, and Mercury — pain, restriction, and expertise ran the conversation to the exclusion of other voices. Women were expected to be seen, but not necessarily heard, in the discussion about romance, sex, and relationships. And this has tumbled down fractally through our whole social framework, in the form of every conversation about romance, love, and relationships. On a somewhat more positive note, it’s worth attending to the fact that Mercury, representing queer voices, has had a place at the table since 1960… (but it sort of unnerves me that the Mercurial voice gets cut off so abruptly from 2072 until 2126 [and shifts from Gemini to Virgo].)
The next couple of decades, though, look to be a turn away from the Martial energy, toward a more balanced approach, with Venus-ruled Libra, Sun-ruled Leo, Mars-ruled Aries, Mercury-ruled Gemini, and Saturn-ruled Capricorn holding the five points of the Venusian flower. It’s still going to be a conversation led by masculine, diurnal signs — but it’s also a far more airy and fiery conversation, and one in which youth, queer, masculine, feminine, and aged voices all have a part to play.