herbert james draper woman making potpourri painting

As “lucky in love” (Venus trine Jupiter) and “out of the blue windfalls” (Jupiter trine Uranus) aspects alight the planetary skies right now, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement. Whereas astrology has no shortage of excruciating longer transit (read: outer planets) that last years, or next to forever, if I had one gripe to bring up to the Creator it’s that those lovely, expansive transits, usually belonging to Venus, Jupiter, are far too fleeting. But, like a holiday that arrives once a year, we must train our selves to look forward to them. As a health coaching client said to me recently, “half my pleasure (of eating treats) is the anticipation, the build up.”

I’m all for stretching our bandwidth for pleasure with anticipation. Wise lady.

I’ve been reading the intrawebs.  Fortune, love, amazing windfalls and opportunities are predicted. And, according to the astrological laws of probability, yes, some lucky people will arrive at the end of this week wealthier, love-lier and feeling more fortunate, blessed and expanded, spiritually, at least if not materially. Yet there’s an underlying belief circulating out there, an all too common one, that all we have to do is have planets around 15 degrees, then wait: For our prince to arrive, the contract to come in the mail, the VIP to finally recognize just how special our work is, the lottery to call our number. It’s as if we’re continually waiting for a celestial package to arrive in the mail with our name on it. Some people live their lives this way. Those clients, for instance, who book an astrology reading and the information delivered never leaves the consulting room because that would require co-participation, active reflection and entering into a process or dialogue with different self parts and inner conflicts (which is, in my opinion, the real gem of astrology). Instead, waiting for the astrologer to succinctly and precisely “nail it” they miss the real magic- the juice of allowing the information offered to inform their own imagination with new possibilities, and get this: with possibilities that only they, their self, can truly knowIf astrology were all about sitting back, waiting for the astrologer to have all the answers, how ever would we grow?

I had a very nice lady recently write me, after buying my Venus Signs book and reading through her Venus in Virgo description, to kindly tell me that she doesn’t identify with her Venus sign. She was being sincere, and she was very sweet about it: “I know you’re a sensitive Cancer, so I don’t want you to take this the wrong way…but (enter advice here).” Ironically, do you hear Venus in Virgo here, ever-willing to offer up a honey-coated piece of constructive criticism? I didn’t take it the wrong way, and I empathised. Unfortunately, she’s not alone. Many others have wondered: “Could my so-called scintilliating, sexy Venus in (fill in the blank) belong to someone else?” Venus, the Goddess of 50/50, is a planet we need to learn to meet halfway. She is not the Sun in our chart, instantly rising every day without fail. She has cycles; Venus remains part of the year in the underworld (our hidden self). If we want her, in us, to resemble something more than a shadowy cliché from astrology textbooks, we need to teach ourselves to read between the lines, to imagine our self into Her. Venus needs co-participation and cooperation, from our inner life and our imagination.

Which brings me back to the Jupiter-Venus-Uranus trifecta (and let’s not forget Pluto square Venus). We are far better at asking Venus (and Jupiter) to fill our basket with goodies than asking what we can do for them. Venus asks: What have you done for me, lately? Start here: How long have you been putting off pleasure and fun for a rainy day? How many times have you chosen work and caring for others over noodling around with a hobby, taking a play date or having sex with your partner? How long has it been since you rested as a spiritual act- in order to restore your Venus spring? How long has it been since you’ve connected with supportive allies for your art? In your search for love, are you allowing the motives and values of your Venus sign to inform your choice in partners -or are you allowing the chips to fall where they may? This stuff doesn’t happen automatically. Venus needs our commitment. Further, archetypes must be lived, one way or another, and whether you think your Venus is asleep or estranged, trust me, you are still living your Venus. If you’re not living in the conscious light of your Venus, you are living in her shadows (your Venus sign’s shadow traits, behaviors). And that’s just not a fun way to live.

I do believe positive expectancy, intention, timing and magic influence the outcomes of just about everything in life. I once spied Jupiter coming down the pike of my Ascendant, to join the Node and trine transiting Neptune in my fifth house.  For months in advance, I was so excited (anticipation is the better part of pleasure, right?). Convinced I was about to “get lucky” I bought lottery tickets and placed my bets on finding love. I did. I won a trip to Hawaii and found the love of my life. I’m so glad astrology alerted me to this potential opportunity, but no astrologer told me this would happen. This transit could’ve gone many different ways. Only I knew my personal readiness. I had worked hard on my self in those months leading up to August 2005. I had made new choices; I made sacrifices to do spiritual and inner work. I used my imagination in ways I had never used it before. I loved myself up. I dated myself. I nurtured my Venus, my personal well of abundance, imagination, creativity, self-love and healing (my Venus is also in Cancer). I stopped dating injured mama’s boys who didn’t care about me and started looking for kindness and compassion in my men, Venus in Cancer values. And as an afterthought, I leaned into the higher than average astrological probability of a personal renaissance during this time period and imagined my luck to occur in the best possible way.

This is the week to think about the condition of your Venus. Whether you’re looking for love, money, a spicier sex life, or a more embodied Venus, you need to (and I mean this in the most compassionate and loving way) get off the couch.  We may look to Jupiter, the cosmic Santa Claus, to deliver goodies every once in awhile, but it’s us humans who chronically underestimate and overlook what we can do for our Venus -and our chart.

image: Herbert James Draper, Woman Making Potpourri