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Ring That Bell

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Composite image of Venus transiting the Sun June 5, 2012, taken in an extreme wavelength of UV light. - NASA
  • NASA
  • Composite image of Venus transiting the Sun June 5, 2012, taken in an extreme wavelength of UV light.

This weekend is the midpoint (or halfway done point) of Venus retrograde. Venus passes exactly between the Earth and the Sun, forming what is called the interior (formerly known as 'inferior') conjunction. In an astrological chart, Venus and the Sun align to the degree and minute. This happens Saturday, Jan. 11 at 7:24 am EST. Venus will station direct on Jan. 31, so we have about three weeks to go.

For those who are following this interesting and fairly rare transit (Venus is retrograde least of all the planets, just a shade over 7 percent of the time), this may be a moment of revelation. Venus retrograde is a kind of review phase. In Capricorn, you can think of it as a review of your relationship to tradition and traditional values.

They deserves to be questioned. Sometimes the ways of the past are wise and enrich our lives (such as eating actual food, having conversations and reading books). Sometimes they make no sense at all (treating people as possessions, taking advice about sex from priests, smothering ourselves in self-deception). Sun conjunct Venus in Capricorn sets the agenda of asking yourself whether you do things the way they were done in the past, especially if that's your only reason for doing so, and what the impact of this is on your life.

Venus conjunct the Sun is a moment of revelation; it's as if some light comes in in a dark place, suddenly allowing you to see where you are and what's around you. It's an original thought within a maze of pre-programmed thinking.

The interesting thing about this conjunction of the Venus and the Sun is that it aspects many, many other planets around the solar system. The conjunction is sextile Saturn. It's loosely opposite Jupiter. It's making aspects to many minor planets—Vesta, Ceres, Eris and Tantalus. It rings the bell of the entire sky. And that bell is a wake-up call.

This combination of factors, particularly Vesta, Tantalus, Eris and Ceres, speak to our traditions around "yes" and "no." For example, there is a tradition to think of yes and no in moral terms—doing the right thing. Yet in reality they are more negotiated in business terms: is the price right? The tradition of covering over a business motive with a moral motive is one that would benefit from being questioned.

The chart illustrates a situation where, if you ask one question, you will inevitably ask another. It shows how certain issues you think are unrelated actually reach into all aspects of your life. That's the nature of asking real questions, and part of why I think they are so unpopular. Yet at a certain point they start to ask themselves.

This can come in the form of a crisis on the approximate theme, "How did I get where I am today?" and "How can I change this thing that's been the same forever?" Or, "Do I have the guts to tell the truth?"

Not telling the truth is a temporary expedient that, unfortunately, becomes a permanent non-solution. That is smothering. Open your inner ears and listen -- to whether you're rationalizing something, denying a basic need, or doing something merely because it's how you did it in the past.

And if your reason for that is, "It's the traditional thing to do," I suggest you put that under the microscope and see what it's made of.

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