Venus squares, a Full Moon and the 2012 retrograde relay

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Pussy willows at dawn, the morning of the Aries New Moon. Today's Libra Full Moon is its counterpoint in this lunar cycle: a culmination, a possible turning point, and a marker for projects and processes begun two weeks ago. What intentions, goals or steps did you set in motion then? Photo by Amanda Painter, Portland, Maine.

Today is the Full Moon in Libra just after 3:18 pm EDT. In addition to extreme tides and the possibility of equally extreme emotions and reactions (teachers and hospital workers can testify to this) as a result of this lunation, the mutable cross we’ve discussed this week is still a factor. And this weekend, Venus aligns exactly with two other planets in that configuration: Neptune in Pisces and retrograde Mars in Virgo.

In the case of Venus square Neptune, we’ve mainly considered the configuration in terms of its potential for self-deception. The sky is teeming with messages about the secrets we keep from ourselves, triggering and rooting out old pain, and making decisions toward a clear, healthier goal. Interestingly, Venus square Neptune is an aspect that often shows up in the natal charts of spiritual students, according to Isabel Hickey. The objective, apparently, is to be able to transform personal affection into universal love – to let go of the desire for love and instead be love. But that is no easy thing for most of us, conditioned as we are to get attached to our attachments. Is that where you are? Is you attachment to your desire for love getting in the way of giving, receiving and being love? If it is, and you know it, part of today’s challenge is clear – even if it isn’t easy.

Bkoehler, in a comment yesterday noted of this aspect (and the Full Moon’s role in it), “You might need greater discipline and sensitivity as well as discernment and organization at this time [with regard to self-expression]. But just remember, this might be a blessing in disguise when we are talking about a full, Full Moon in Libra, the sign of relationships, at the same time that Neptune squares Venus. … Yes, something will probably have to be ‘let go’, but in the long run it will likely be a good thing.” Ah, the long run! It always sounds so great in theory, doesn’t it? But so often so hard to appreciate in the moment.

And it’s perhaps even more challenging as Venus squares retrograde Mars in Virgo, exact Saturday, though we’ve been feeling it already. Hickey describes this aspect as, “Conflict between passion and love,” with the passions and emotions needing a firm, guiding hand. Sounds great if you happen to be (or visit) a professional dominatrix. In lieu of that, take heart in the fact that this square is taking place in mutable signs. That offers a little more flexibility than some Venus-Mars squares give. And remember that with Venus in Gemini, we’re experiencing our passions on a more cerebral level – so we may be able to apply that guiding hand yet, with some sensitivity and discernment even.

In fact, both Venus and Mars are in signs ruled by Mercury, and now that it’s direct, the channels of communication (even within ourselves, which is where we feel a square’s tension) should be clearer. Note that Mars is preparing to station direct one week from today, and Venus will station retrograde in just over a month. Try thinking of this square as a passing of the baton in your relay for self-understanding; see if you can hear what Mars is whispering to Venus in between the shouts. You may end up being able to cover that much more inner ground during Venus’ leg of the 2012 retrograde relay.

These two planets will square each other again from the middle of these same signs in early June. In fact, that happens the day before retrograde Venus makes its rare transit of the Sun. Whatever step you take now in response to the tension you feel between your active desire and your receptive love this weekend will have a counterpart in just under two months. Regardless what that may mean in the long run, it will be worth it to be as fully present as possible for this leg.

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26 Responses to Venus squares, a Full Moon and the 2012 retrograde relay

  1. susyc says:

    Thanks for the tip liminali! I will definitely bookmark that website immediately. Thank you also for sharing your experience with your beloved. Bless you also.

  2. bkoehler says:

    Good morning and Happy Easter everybody :)

    Thanks for the new info re: dream and might I say this is an excellent example of leaping to conclusions before all the facts are in. I’m sorry to say I was unaware of your earlier comments regarding your assault when I first spoke about the dinosaur suit and train dream. I realize you weren’t actually asking for interpretation either, so I apologize if I have ripped the lid off a can of worms and caused any further grief.

    Your additional info and taking into consideration the overlooked (by me) info, your dream (Unconscious to Getcalm speaking, do you read me?) has become less confusing to me now. Chances are you too are aware of what the symbolism means but if not, my guess is that the dream was telling you to re-prioritize your values. In the dream, you chose the house (material value) over your own safety. Granted, you were naive and vulnerable (didn’t expect force and being “inside” the house), but afterwords you were “forced” (by what you felt about yourself, and/or what “others” thought about you) to hide your real self. By choosing the look of something grotesque and repulsive (as well as dead and gone) you probably wanted, in part, to keep others away. But the main reason I’m guessing is that you didn’t love yourself so much, or had de-valued yourself. Now finally after a long train ride where, apparently, you were not approached by the “normals”, you’ve unzipped, stepped out and now the lack of warmth makes you consider going back inside the suit but. . too late. . you can’t get back in. Most fortunate for us who love you, your next dream about a train ride will probably include companionship and a fuzzy sweater or two and pleanty to eat. I wish you great joy and serenity on your Peace Train Ride journey my friend.

  3. liminali liminali says:


    When you first spoke of your husband’s diagnosis, I remembered having very similar feelings when my husband was first diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2008. He had to wait almost 4 months to see the neurologist who is now his PD doctor. We thought his initial symptoms were the result of a work related back injury, but no, they increased to the point where his right arm was having spasms and/or shaking 24/7. I was laid off a month before his “official” diagnosis, so there was that concurrent (un)employment thing to deal with, too.

    Illness or injury can happen to family members without warning (and usually does). Things change when one partner has or will become a caregiver for the other partner. In 2009, I found a website/forum called you may want to check out. It is support for spousal caregivers. Their forum is very welcoming and maintains supportive, safe space for its members. There’s all kinds of folks there, with very open discussions of conventionally taboo subjects. I’ve seen lots of peeps learn how to be their own advocates in various areas of their lives, and receive communal support for their efforts.

    I so get the “it’s his diagnosis, not mine”; it’s simple, but it ain’t easy. Be well, susyc.

  4. Getcalm says:

    Be, ah so much more to the dream, but I only gave a glimpse in my two snippets. No one else in dino costumes, everyone else on the train was “normal”. I had been hidden inside the dino costume by robbers who took me from my home and were transporting me to somewhere else by train. But I had been inside the costume so long I no longer knew what I would look like when I emerged. and so I wondered if they could tell I was out either. Other curious details of the dream were that I had let the robbers into my house to keep them from damaging the entry door, thinking I could pacify them with “cooperation” and minimize the damage and loss. Never expecting that the “prize” they were after was actually my body and not my stuff!

    W/o a doubt, my psyche is working overtime processing as it was my very cooperation in not resisting and subsequently in keeping the secret of my rapist all these years which has kept me imprisoned inside the extinct shell from which I am finally escaping. 32 years ago , I tried to cooperate so he wouldn’t kill me, as he threatened repeatedly, and I am sorting out the losses now from what was only meant to be a damage control strategy so long ago.

    Even tho I know he can’t yet know I am awake and beginning to tell, the brainwashing that accompanied an 8 mo long torture series has me dreaming of the need to whisper and wonder “does he know I am getting out [of the concealment]”?

  5. susyc says:

    Thank you Judith for your kind response. I am not sure as usual how much of my feeling is about him or about me just being out of sorts. I woke up this morning late, with a jumble of dreams bouncing around in my head, noticing feeling immediately guilty for sleeping in so long while my sweetiepie had been up and about doing his Saturday chores. Naturally, the negative self-talk starts up, but I have learned to turn away from those voices as soon as I notice them. We are both trying to adjust to his new diagnosis, but it’s hard because we haven’t even gotten in to see the neurologist yet, and he is not getting any treatment since the apparent onset in November/December 2011. Naturally, I want to push for results–let’s go to the Mayo Clinic in AZ, let’s do this, let’s do that, but he is contented to wait as his name inches up the doctor’s list, and I know it’s his diagnosis, not mine, and his right to deal with it as he sees fit. There is also the dynamic of my unemployment playing in and a tendency on my part to project my stress and guilt about that onto him as well. So my instinct right now, is to feel the feelings without labeling myself as good, bad, or ugly. Just to sit with those feelings and imagine Love on my left and Wisdom on my right with their arms around me in perfect love and acceptance. Bless all my PlanetWaves friends as the skies open up and the loving universe gently seeps in to all our nooks and crannies.

  6. MandyM MandyM says:

    bkoehler says: “on June 4, 2012 in the USA, the Sun will be at 14+ Gemini”

    The Moon will be at 14+ Sagittarius – a Full Moon Partial Lunar Eclipse.

    Goodness bk, I’ve been looking at my inukshuk all week that winds toppled the top off of and thinking “I really have to get my head back on….”. You almost had me jumping out of my chair to go do it immediately!
    Please let me know if I am dead wrong about this as I am a newbie to astrology, and have been practicing a lot of synchronized swimming moves with Neptune lately~~~

  7. Judith Gayle Judith Gayle says:

    I absolutely share your passion, Susyc, and I understand how ‘singular’ it feels not to have your mate in support of what means so much to you but your mention of his newly discovered myasthenia gravis might give a clue to his disposition at the moment. My mom was diagnosed with mg, this was decades ago when it was harder to figure out, and it was really traumatic for her — both the body experience as well as the diagnostic procedure. The mg itself creates a situation where you can’t trust your bodies involuntary muscle response — she had huge difficulties swallowing, drooping eyelids, etc. — and it changed her from an outgoing person (and performance artist) to something of a hermit. She still managed her life, but without any of the “good stuff” I think of as the fun part. It was a matter of trusting what her body was capable of, and she avoided being “out there” where she didn’t feel it was manageable for her. Perhaps your husband is experiencing some of this, and with a new diagnosis, wondering how his life might be further limited. Just a thought …

  8. bkoehler says:


    Well now, I was unaware that in the dream you were using the dinosaur outfit to “hide” which I assume meant that you wanted to blend in with others so as not to be noticed or identified. This would mean that the others also appeared to be dinosaurs, right? So this sounds like the message is that everybody is more or less extinct in terms of outward appearance or maybe consciously. You didn’t mention any other passengers on the train so now wonder if you did see other dinosaurs that looked like your costume.

    aword, I asked about the last thing remembered in the dream only because that is often the only thing I will remember myself. I was glad to learn from Getcalm that Yung placed value on that segment of the dream. . . he probably had trouble remembering the whole thing too!

  9. bkoehler says:


    I’m unaware of any set of symbols for specific days but on June 4, 2012 in the USA, the Sun will be at 14+ Gemini. The Sabian Symbol for that degree is “Two Dutch Children Talking To Each Other, Exchanging Their Knowledge”

    Keynote: The need to clarify one’s experiences through actual contacts with like-minded individuals. Dane Rudhyar believes they are Dutch children due to the association with neatness and an openness to discussion that was prevalent in Holland. He says the need for OBJECTIVITY has to be met.

    Hope this helps!

  10. susyc says:

    “Hickey describes this aspect as, “Conflict between passion and love,” with the passions and emotions needing a firm, guiding hand. Sounds great if you happen to be (or visit) a professional dominatrix. In lieu of that, take heart in the fact that this square is taking place in mutable signs. That offers a little more flexibility than some Venus-Mars squares give. And remember that with Venus in Gemini, we’re experiencing our passions on a more cerebral level–so we may be able to apply that guiding hand yet, with some sensitivity and discernment even.”

    Ha ha. Love that you ended the last sentence in this series with the word ‘even,’ like a child or the Lion in The Wizard of Oz. And I love pretending to be a dominatrix. I just know I could be soooo strict!!

    I am having a “conflict between passion and love,” of a different sort. I am drawn to be passionate causes where the personal for me is political as Eric so often talks about. I attended a book signing event by Mikey Weinstein, quite a passionate person himself, who just recently published his book called No Snowflake an Avalanche. For those of you who don’t know, Mikey Weinstein is an Air Force Academy graduate and has an impressive list of accomplishments I won’t go into here. I will include a link for you to explore if you are interested. He became an activist on behalf of his son who was experiencing abuse by Dominionist Christians in the academy because of his Jewish faith. I have donated to his foundation in the past and have been very invested in our shared cause: to “restore the obliterated wall separating church and state in the most technologically lethal organization ever created by humankind: the United States armed forces.” I don’t want to go into his history in great depth here. But I am the mother of a soldier, and I believe in the separation of church and state, and I think religious extremism is a huge national security risk. I struggle a bit with not being able to interest my husband in this cause. I wish as my son’s father that he would be more interested. But I don’t seem to be able to interest him in many of my passions. It’s painful and I feel lonely. So here is the conflict I feel between my passions, political, artistic, whatever, and my love for him. I want to judge him for not being interested. I won’t go into my thoughts; I am sure you can imagine them. I do love him so much, but I wonder if I would love him more if he would enter a bit more into my passions. He seems to hold so much of himself in reserve these days maybe for very good reasons. But then again this has been a long-term pattern in our relationship. I make excuses for him. He’s older, he’s worked so hard all these years to take care of me and our children, he’s had cancer, and now he is dealing with a new diagnosis of myasthenia gravis and is struggling with his vision…I don’t expect him to engage in all my interests and passions but it would be nice if he would make an effort with a few…

    I guess I should talk to him about it. Just to express my feelings with no investment in an outcome. It’s hard to look at a loved one objectively. He’s made himself master of the middle of the road, routines, and understatement, maybe because I’ve been the mistress of extremes, side paths, and superlatives all this time. We’ve come together in so many other ways, and maybe these are just differences of temperament. Anyway here’s the link to Mikey’s website for those of you who might be interested:

  11. MandyM MandyM says:

    What is the Sabian symbol for June 4th? anyone know?

    Lunar eclipse 14 Sagittarius: according to astrologer Lynda Hill is, “A vast panorama of sand and time is unfolding; the pyramids and sphinx in their glory rise before the eye.”

    Sounds good to me! Neptune will be conjunct Fomalhaut (3 Pisces) which will conjunct my natal Jupiter. The Venus transit is conjunct my 5/11 house axis, with Jupiter conjunct my IC and Moon (I’m ignoring Algol). I’m expecting to feel Blessed and Blissed.

  12. Getcalm says:

    Be, good question, i watch for the ending points of dreams too since Jung thought it was the end which is most indicative of direction. Lately the dreams merge one into another. The last official piece of the dino-train dream before it morphed into another story line was me wondering if the captors (from whom I was hiding in my dino costume) could see that I had gotten out Then it merged into a dream about packing up my house for a move. One that the dream me wasn’t so keen on but my dream spouse was pushing.

    Huffy, Today I am realizing that the “nourishment” it seems to want is my own attention and sense of embodiment. Presence can flesh out a body like nothing else!

    I liked the reference to “extinct” too. This old me is long ago expired and has held the starving me inside.

    What is the Sabian symbol for June 4th? anyone know?

  13. awordedgewise awordedgewise says:

    PS Be, “places everyone” always makes me think of Mary Poppins – when the mother and hired help take positions to catch and to hold household items in place several times a day as the retired admiral next door lights his cannon to mark the time. Feels like that tableau is somehow appropriate to the moment!

    Also, you caught my curiosity by asking GetCalm what the last thing was in the dream before waking. What is your importance of that “last thing”? Thanx – always interested to expand my dream-knowledge basis.

  14. aprilius52 says:

    and right now my chart is lit up like a Christmas tree. Thanks for the play by play, it really helps.

  15. aprilius52 says:

    wow Maeve, your post really spoke to me, I really liked the part about going out to talk to Venus, I’ll try that tonight.

  16. Maeve Maeve says:

    Carrie – right there with you.

    PW – I’m so glad these posts come up just as I’m off to sleepy land (10p last night). I like to read them in bed, so that even if I don’t grok everything immediately, it can sit in my head as I sleep.

    Night before last, I woke screaming from a nightmare, which I haven’t done in quite some time (they used to be much more frequent). People with plastic emotions/expressions controlling me, making me do things I didn’t want to. I finally escaped by killing someone (or that particular expression, ’cause he came back, looking different), ran outside and couldn’t figure out which way to go, ’cause the houses were all too far away. Sometime before or after that (same location, but can’t recall timing), there were spaceships crashing into the earth, very like the end of Men in Black. I remembered to run to the side of the ship-path, instead of in front like everyone does in movies (pet peeve of mine).

    I can’t remember dreams from last night. They’re fuzzy and there, but I can’t get at them.

    Last night, I went outside and stargazed for some time. The moon was bright, but Venus was the first thing I saw outside. It was lovely and we spoke for a while. Among many other things, I am reminded to use my senses and intuition. Even if I doubt them, I find I’m rarely wrong (my intuition, not my doubting).

    It seems like my relationships work and secrets and whatnot have to do still with the healing I’ve discovered a need for regarding my sexual past (too many semi-traumatic/not good things… a few is surmountable, but as many as I apparently have is too much for my brain). Once I get with the healing of that, I will be able to rebuild my relationship with my husband. We’re still strong and good, but when one’s sex life falters, it does put a strain on things.

    I sometimes still feel like I’m missing something when I read these posts. When I don’t have an experience that lines up with a “ooh, thing, with planets, and energy, and stuff!”, it feels like I’m failing to notice something. I do my best to take solace in my belief that you are always where you need to be, doing exactly what you need to do, else you wouldn’t be there doing it.

  17. Amanda Painter Amanda Painter says:

    hmm… well, maybe it’s something about your relationship to yourself? since we all have these planets in our charts — as aspects to ourselves?

    just thinking out loud. myself, i think i can see both internal and external applications in my life. just not entirely sure i’m actually making decisions and taking steps — though maybe i am, but without noticing just how much…

  18. Carrie says:

    I feel this too but am not as clear where I am going. And whenever I read the word “relationship” I think of mine with my husband but I am beginning to suspect that’s not the one that is being put under construction right now. That relationship (mine with Dave) is a strong, supportive foundation and not in any turmoil at all. So it must be another relationship but that is what I am not sure of.

    I am working on finding out though with the help of someone I deeply respect and admire.

  19. awordedgewise awordedgewise says:

    Oh my Be, well I’ve Neptune square Venus in natal chart too – your today explains a thing or two. Transiting Neptune is on natal sun so of course natal sun is squaring transiting Venus as well today.

    Eye of the storm. Eye of the storm.

    Thanks for sharing GetCalm. My dreams have been strong but illusive to consciousness due to restless sleep. Glad you are honing in on yours.

    xo to All.

  20. bkoehler says:


    What a great connection you have between your consciousness and your unconsciousness. Not being an expert on dreams but getting into the feel of what you have described, the train ride to who-knows-where emphasizes your sense of a lack of control of your destiny (you aren’t the driver) but that you most likely are sharing the experience/ride with others. The scaly dinosaur suit is not only stifling but extinct and you’ve been in there too long. But you have come out, bless your heart! It is normal, I’m sure you are aware, to feel over-exposed when leaving captivity, even from a prison. What was the last thing you remember happening in your dream?

    PW Daily, I’m so glad you noted that Venus and Mars will repeat their square in June at the time of the Venus occult Sun aspect. I would like to re-assure anyone below the age of 60 that a full recovery from love’s disappointments is more than just possible, it’s almost guaranteed. And, unlike when in your teens through 50 or so, you will find love much more pleasant and rewarding and all it’s cracked up to be in time. Once you get past the drives of a social and hormonal nature, is when you can learn what it is that you truly love, and to trust it. Nature and society often force us into roles that don’t really “suit” us and make us look like a dinosaur and sweat like a hog.

    My natal chart includes a square between Neptune and Venus and I’ve had enough heartbreaks for 4 or 5 lifetimes. . probably a lot of karma to work through on my part. I remember that coming out of my dinosaur suit felt cold and scary too, but now, even that is almost funny to recall. Not that I don’t take it all seriously, but being more aligned with the Neptune side of the square now, and having escaped the social and hormonal prisons years ago, I can honestly say I appreciate the learning experiences but would not go back and re-do them for all the tea in China. Or all the gold in Ft. Knox. Or the Multi-Million Dollar Lottery. Maybe a couple of puppies might give me pause, but only that.

    As for the full-moon emotional flood, I watched a couple of hours of Dogs 101, Must Love Cats and Too-Cute Puppies and Kittens on Animal Planet this morning and am totally drained from the experience. It reminds me of the three types of Love; Eros, the one we are most familiar with and gives us the most grief, Philos, where the puppies fit in, and Agape, the love we give and receive when there’s nothing to gain beyond the love itself. When reaching the Philos level I was surprised by the energy and freedom that came with it which led to discovering more about who the real person I was under the scales. We all have relationships that probably fit into all 3 catagories but the urgings coming from under the dinosaur suit are always striving toward the Agape.

    As noted here at PW, this Full Moon takes place in cardinal signs Libra and Aries. But with so much emphasis on the mutable signs makes me believe it is only a partial exposure to the starting-and-doing activity of life, and the transitioning nature of Gemini, Pisces, Sagittarius and Virgo are guiding and easing the change in a less hurried pace than would be expected with so much emphasis on Aries. Mothers and Dads (Ceres opposite Saturn) might be tiring of so much moving forward and long for the blessings of being fixed again. The Galactic Center in Sagittarius will help them move to the next stage at their own pace and everyone else will deal with the snags so often prevelant in new beginnings. But Venus conjunct the south node of the past and Juno conjunct the north node of the future and the opposition of Neptune-Chiron in Pisces to Mars in Virgo caught ‘at-the-bendings’ speak symbolically to us that a time of releasing what has served it’s purpose and is no longer needed has come. Say your goodbyes and expect to embrace a transition to a wider participation in your world. As the real you sans the ancient scales of a bygone era you will feel the warmth and be better prepared to move forward.

    When June 5th comes around and Mars again squares Venus and the Sun and all those gathered ’round the Great Attractor, he will be direct and conscious of his role in the cosmos. The Sabian symbol where he will reside at the time of the Venus occult Sun is “A Volcanic Eruption”, Keynote ~ The explosive energy of long-repressed contents of the subconscious.

    Places everyone. . . Action!

  21. Lizzy Huffy says:

    What an amazing dream Getcalm! You’re starting to put flesh onto that ’emaciated’ form and give it some sunlight and air.

  22. Getcalm says:

    Woke from a dream where I was riding a train and realized I had been wearing a scaly dinosaur costume. As I begin to unzip and peel it off, I see that I am really sweaty and SO emaciated underneath, but still alive as I step out of it. But the air feels too cool and I want the protection of the scaly dinosaur I have been concealed in, only I can’t get it back on now and am exposed on the train going somewhere I don’t know the destination.

    I found today’s reading useful, too, as the trip I am making to the site of the abuse will be on the day these two planets square each other again. Timing has been set for a while, but it is clear there is some grace at work behind the scenes for me so I am interested in flowing with the movement over these next two months as things unfold.

  23. Hugging Scorpio says:

    Its a tricky thing to resolve this tension/square during a Full Moon esp. The FM can create some difficulties in seeing how the results of one’s actions can unfold. So how does one resolve the tension esp if you feel you need to act? I sent an email to a friend, calling her on some very mixed messages. I typed it yesterday and had some time to think more on it before the send button was clicked. I realized this morning that if I ignored it, I would again set a precedent for not choosing to be vocal in how I honestly felt I was being treated. I would ignore it because I feared being ostracized by our mutual friends? So I knew I had to send it out of a need to be really truthful with those around me on how I wish to be treated. It wasn’t nasty or reactive. Having friends, I’m learning, is an organic experience. And those that are strong and positive for me are strengthened, growing by my efforts to be honest with them.
    I’m a Scorp who prefers to hug rather than sting. But sometimes there needs to be something in between.

  24. Sarah Taylor Sarah Taylor says:

    Things are coming to a head here too. Good. About time.

  25. KathyC KathyC says:

    it’s been a challenging one already.
    Thank you for giving me armore'(not a typo…)
    it’s my word for “amore’ armor”.

  26. Lizzy Huffy says:

    Thank you for another wonderful blog. And thank you dear Amanda for your gorgeous photo, which I’ve put on my desktop to celebrate the Spring. Happy Easter, Happy Pesach to one and all, lots of love xxx

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