It’s interesting to note that not all ancient astrologers saw this transit as positively as we might imagine. What’s not to like about a Venus/Jupiter trine, right?! Well, the basic idea isn’t hard to follow. When Venus is in the superior position relative to Jupiter, Venus has the upper hand over Jupiter and this could indicate a few particularly difficult themes. Remember that Jupiter was considered the greater benefic and Venus the lesser benefic. If Jupiter is a religious calendar of the year, the coordinating force of an entire process, then Venus is the color of the robes, the smell of the candles, the hymns and music, and the devotional enactment of the liturgy. In this setup, Venus flows forth from Jupiter like the instruments of an orchestra are to the piece of music itself or the conductor. So what happens if that hierarchy is reversed and Venus tries to take the lead over Jupiter? We might get something like all style and no substance. A yoga studio filled with Lulu Lemon fashion statements but no respect for the eight limbs of Patanjali. A Sunday church event that’s more about keeping up with the Jones’ than it is about communion with the higher power. Fashion statements trumping faith statements. A culture of art and music that’s more about good looks than innovative ideas. Instead of a beautiful orchestra, we are constantly inundated by inappropriate overtures, constantly tempted to promote our desires to first fiddle.
The point is that as Venus makes an exact trine to Jupiter we have an especially interesting example of this dynamic. Venus is in her rulership, and Jupiter is in his detriment, though turning direct exactly as Venus makes contact with him. This is a very powerful overture from Venus to Jupiter, and it can’t be dismissed as entirely lacking in substance. As Jupiter is just recovering from his retrograde period, which is often compared to a period of illness or weakness, Venus’ approach signifies an important moment for Jupiter. A powerful temptation may present itself, powerful specifically because it is substantive, beautiful, and solid compared to a Jupiter that finds himself recovering and somewhat out of his element or off his game, uncertain, doubtful, or wavering. On the other hand, Venus could more positively signify a subordinate gently nudging an authority figure back on track.
Looking more carefully at the reception between Jupiter and Venus, we see that Jupiter is in the sign of Venus’ depression. This may also indicate that there is something Venus honestly does not like or is repulsed by about Jupiter. The attempt to get the upper hand over Jupiter, by Venus, based on the feeling that Jupiter’s position somehow demeans or degrades her, is also possible right now. Is this so surprising given the obviously charged “gender” dynamic expressed by this transit? Even though these are all metaphors meant to transcend gender, applicable to all kinds of people and situations, the archetypal combination invokes a kind of sexual power struggle that is tricky to address sensitively. After all, style isn’t merely subordinate to substance,, is it? Style is its own reality, a porthole to the realm of anima, psyche, or soul. Image, color, texture, touch…why shouldn’t these exist in their own chaotic forcefulness? Aren’t they beautiful ends in and of themselves? Why isn’t a yoga studio’s virtue found in the incense and fashion and colorful mats and beautiful bodies, of all shapes and sizes? Why should all of those things be subordinate to the principles of an old male religion?
Yes. These are the questions Venus will most likely approach Jupiter with from her superior trine. And sometimes this is the best of things and sometimes its the worst. Sometimes the priest needs to take more joy in the purple colors of his own robe, so lost is he in the law of liturgy, but then sometimes the colors and the robes and the piles of golden gleaming coins are just one more glittery illusion to be faithfully discarded. Thank you, but no.
Prayer: Bring us back to the place where substance and beauty are married together rather than competing with or degrading each other. Teach us how to live as expressions of your golden ratio.