Over this summer we’ve experienced a journey into the heart of relating with two retrograde planets, Goddess of Love Venus in passionate Leo and Messenger Mercury in relationship-orientated Libra. Both planets are making significant shifts over this week. Mercury stations direct on 9th October, moving from retrograde to forward motion; Venus reaches 0* Virgo on 8th October, the place she began her retrograde journey on July 25th. These movements alone would indicate a shift in our human relationship field but, as we shall see, both planets also make deeply meaningful connections as they move.
Let’s take a look at these two personal planets to see what potentials may be opening. Mercury the Messenger is the planet ruling our left-brain conscious processes of thought and communication. In many ways Mercury energy is an organiser and director of ideas that naturally structure our lives and lead us along future pathways. He navigates. This is the simple picture, for as we know, life direction does not happen through us simply making a decision and following it. Mercury’s deeper symbolism may also be seen through his carrying of the caduceus, in his left hand. It is a short staff entwined by two serpents, sometimes surmounted by wings, said to wake the sleeping and send the awake to sleep; to bestow a gentle death to the dying and a return to life for the dead. Here also we connect to Venus, our desires, what we want, both consciously and unconsciously. Venus is the attractor, the magnetic feminine force. In many ways Venus and Mercury could be said to be working together in our psyche, bringing about the many little steps we take that make up life direction on a human scale. As we know, we may decide on a certain path rationally, even from a place of insight, but if we don’t truly desire that path, our navigation won’t flow (hence the one step forward, two back of growth).
Just as the swing between thought and desire permeates our lives, Venus and Mercury travel closely through our universe, never more than 76* apart. If we come back to their relationship journey over this season, we may see this dynamic between desire and rationale both within ourselves and in relating. It’s the seesaw swing of head and heart, of different parts of our selves wanting different things. Most of us know we can’t think our way through relationship. Without Venus’s magnetic connection and magic, in other words, the mystery of love, relating is dry. Yet Mercury has his place too, not just in clearly communicating our way through the everyday difficulties of relating but also in expressing our love and desire for another. The retrograde journeys of these two planets: Venus through Leo and Mercury through Libra have been revealing where the balance of this dynamic lies within our selves and our relationships: desire and tactics, passion and detachment, giving/receiving or demanding/compromising, plus the synergy of my heart’s desire/our relationship.
Looking at the mythology of these two archetypes in the human psyche provides an intriguing analogy for modern relating and its potential evolution. Venus was the only Goddess in whom Mercury had a passionate sexual interest and he mapped out an elaborate and successful strategy to win her. Yet clearly all that planning wasn’t necessary, all she needed to know was that he desired her
Venus conceived many children with both Gods and men. She is the Goddess of Love after all. One of her daughters is Harmonia, Goddess of marital and civic harmony. Venus’s union with Mercury produced two children; Hermaphroditos (a unified male/female being) and (according to some myths) Eros (aka Cupid) the winged boy God of erotic love. Eros is known for his golden arrows of love that enflamed desire in both Gods and men. Perhaps lesser known are his arrows of lead producing indifference? And some would say it’s indifference not hate that’s the opposite of love. A plethora of potentials from this Venus/Mercury journey nonetheless: harmony, unified being, desire, love and indifference.
Mercury and Venus are now signifying shifts in relationship beyond our current knowing. For as Mercury stations direct at 0* Libra he conjuncts a point of destiny, the Moon’s North Node. It’s an arrow revealing the evolution of our relationship dances to their next phase. And Venus meets with Fixed Star Regulus, revealing exactly what greater good our desires (and relating) serve. Over the next few weeks we’ll be realising the significance of the last three months relationship interactions. As Mercury and Venus join in a positive semi-sextile tomorrow potentials of where that’s taking us may open. It’s not until 25th October when Mercury passes his retrograde shadow and the Mars/Venus/Jupiter conjunction in Virgo that we may begin to know the potential harvest.
Art: Mercury, Venus and Cupid by Nicolas Chaperon