An Unsealed Letter: Venus at Virgo’s Fiery Edge

Photo by Eric Francis.

Dear Friend and Reader:

Luna slipped into her home sign Cancer overnight and conjoined Mercury, who is now sitting like a beacon in aspect to the Aries Point. By around this time tomorrow the Sun and Moon will meet for the first New Moon after the northern solstice. This lunation is nestled between two inner planet retrograde events: Mercury stationing direct earlier in the week and Venus stationing retrograde toward month end.

When inner planets are retrograde or close to it, we have fast movers slowing down to the speed of Saturn or Pluto, such that we can witness, review and consider their ideas and ambiance frame by frame. We also get to cover the same territory three times. With Mercury we are in phase three of exploring early Cancer; the first echo phase and then the more recent retrograde phase were the first two occasions to traverse this territory.

The metaphor is one of consideration and reconsideration; of laying the foundation in layers; of exploring oneself and one’s feelings in layers, which are sometimes so thin they are transparent.

With Venus we are moving through the degrees of the retrograde for the first time, exploring the edge regions between Leo and Virgo, one of the most fertile places of the zodiac. Venus will station in the third degree of Virgo, come back to Leo, make a conjunction with Saturn, re-enter Virgo and make a last conjunction with Saturn in Virgo. (The days that Venus is at zero degrees and minutes Virgo are July 14 [direct], Aug. 9 [retrograde] and Oct. 8 [direct].) Both Venus and Mercury are working delightfully close to the Chiron discovery degree at 3+ Taurus; the Venus retrograde trines this point (Virgo to Taurus) and Mercury in Cancer is currently sextile (Cancer to Taurus).

We are in a world of feminine energy, which is accumulating and clarifying as the planets move in their courses. We also have Saturn working the Leo-Virgo cusp at the same time Venus is, helping us see, define and redefine the idea of where passion meets mind; where creative power meets the devotion to manifest that creativity; where woman meets cat; where pride meets humility.

Those part imaginary, part real zones where the signs meet are always interesting because the transition between two different energies releases so much potential for originality. The planet adds a third energy, focal object or activating agency, and gives us a protagonist for our story. With Venus we have the story of women, their choices and the ways that men respond to those choices. It is true that many women see themselves as more or less passive victims of circumstance, but with Venus we have emphasized the power of decision, particularly about who to receive as a lover. Those choices at times confound everyone involved; they are at others poetic and seem to move the Earth herself.

With Venus moving in a region of space sometimes called the Sphinx Point, we may witness the painstaking care with which she may move herself. There is a mystery here, of course: the mystery of her origins and of human origins; the mystery of the inherently female nature of creation — how she responds when conditioned by the element fire and the element earth.

Feminine mystery gains much of its strength in being revealed. Venus is currently in the degree with the image, “An unsealed letter.” The suggestion is that even the most carefully guarded secrets, in particular, secrets about one’s most intimate feelings, will be revealed for others to see at some point in the future. We may try to keep our sentiments to ourselves, perhaps to consolidate power or hedge a feeling of insecurity evoked by the strength that feeling inspires. Maybe we’re just scared, maybe we have no context for the truth about us being known; it’s a vulnerable position and there is exquisite delight available in vulnerability. That one receptive space may contain the only true emotional freedom.

Venus in Leo presents a beautiful image of the groomed, proud yet somehow inherently organic beauty of women. She is not necessarily accessible, but wants to be more vividly than anyone looking at her would imagine. Her regal presence is a birthright, like that of all monarchs. She is steady — fixed, as is said in astrology — but yearns for the flexibility and sense of diverse potentials of Virgo, the potentials implied by a universe of ideas.

Photo by Eric Francis.

Venus in Virgo is woman the transmitter or conductor of those ideas. She does not necessarily push them out into the world, but allows the fiery tongue of Leo to lap at her edges and provoke her gradually.

Perhaps for her, one decade is like another for presenting an idea. If she feels the urgency of expression, though, it’s an inevitability she must surrender to like childbirth. Often she is waiting for a contact point for an idea, a place or another mind within which to ground it; the prospect that someone is at least listening.

Not everyone can be so fruitful while maintaining the silence of Emily Dickinson, who seemed always to yearn for contact with the flesh and blood world and a mind to meet that was as strong as her own. To me she always seemed to be speaking to someone she wanted to be right there.

Emily divided her poems in two: the larger stack of what she considered the bad ones, and the smaller stack of what she counted as the good ones. They were found in her dresser drawer after she died.

An earlier version of this week’s letter was going to be directed to men. The theme was “tell her.” I have noticed that men gain much of their seeming power in relations between the sexes by not committing. They are often accused of this, but the physics of it come from both ends of the equation, like every equation. Sometimes commitment feels like a curse that guarantees failure, and the men who learn this often learn to hold something of themselves back all the time and that provides the force behind the atomic bond in a relationship.

Sometimes it gets exhausting being rebuffed, and I suggest that any woman who wants to ease some tension between the genders recognize this fact consciously. Take some of that pressure off and recognize that when you hear no so much more often than you hear yes, you may feel that the world just says no all the time.

My proposed essay, though, took another approach to the adventure of maleness: Tell her you want her, tell her you love her, tell her you want to fuck her, tell her she’s smart, or hot, or beyond sexy; ask her out to lunch, swoon in her presence, sniff her perfume. It’s only a fool who plays it cool by making his world a little colder.

Men generally get the job of coming on first, and they get the shadow blowback: if you come on, you can be accused of coming on, you can be accused of wanting one thing but not the other, and so on — but I suggest that men learn to live with this, or slough off the projection like a few drops of rain, and carry on till you build the confidence to get past the illusion. Remember there are many aspects to this entity we call woman and what she reveals as her outer response may have nothing — absolutely nothing at all whatsoever — to do with what she is really feeling. The power she projects is not necessarily the power she feels. If you think the differential is disconcerting for you, imagine how it feels for her.

I’ll get to this essay another week, but I would like to end this week by proposing the three most important words in the language, particularly for women at this time: yes, no and maybe. I suggest we go out of our way to settle the ambiguity between these words. If you look you may see that their definitions are completely interchangeable. Yes may mean maybe and no may mean yes and maybe may mean no. This is more confusing for you than it is for anyone else. The confusion has a curious way of lifting when you commit to yes, no or maybe.

Yes gives a green light, particularly for you and whomever you choose to show it to. It means you are open to something, now. No stops the show, and that is a commitment because you must live with however someone feels as a result of your taking that prerogative. Maybe is probably the most important of the three because it’s the commitment to having an open mind.

Venus on the fiery cusp of Virgo suggests we do just that.

Yours & truly,
Eric Francis

The deceptively harmless creep of kudzu. Photo courtesy of Bridge the Chasm.




Weekly Horoscope for Friday, July 13, 2007, #671 – By ERIC FRANCIS

Aries (March 20-April 19)
A close partner or loved one is now experiencing a sequence of changes that will impact your life, but probably not in the ways you think. You are both involved in a process of reaching inward for your personal truth, in search of a better life. This, you can have faith in. Inner changes have a way of implying that people are growing apart, but this is not always true. You will just need to hold your breath and dive in, and watch as someone else does the same. Trust that you’re in sync with one another, and moreover that you are repaying an evolutionary debt that you owe yourself. For your own part, be aware that you’re giving up a source of pain that is not rightfully your own. Once you admit that it’s there, I suggest you surrender it willingly.

Taurus (April 19-May 20)
You may wonder how you can change your thinking so quickly, when for so long you have wrestled with the feeling of being stuck. The first clue that comes to mind is that once you know what you’re thinking, you also discover that you have options. In other words, the cost of unconsciousness is a severe narrowing of the possibilities, while the reward of awareness is a radical expansion of your horizons. Then there is the question of depth. Your total honesty about how you feel has suddenly keyed you into how much you have to offer. I admit, this has been a bit strange: what was, one day, a sense of lack and loss has transformed into a sense of abundance and passionate generosity.

Gemini (May 20-June 21)
What a huge difference a little shift of your attention makes. Now that you’ve adjusted something deep within your emotional sphere, the world is opening up in some exceptionally innovative ways. The most recent discovery seems to be that you’ve always had a potentially brilliant plan for your worldly success. You don’t need to come up with a new strategy; rather, you need to review all the plans you had in the past, the ones you thought weren’t quite up to being worth their weight in notebook paper. I suggest you leaf through those notebooks and memos to yourself scattered through your diaries, emails and computer notes, and look for the gems. Moreover, look for the words of inspiration to yourself. They’re all true.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
Keep your current process of self-discovery alive, even though you have so much to do. You are still in a deeply formative phase, and what you learn, discover and create in the coming weeks of your life will set you on a path that can guide you and indeed support you for years to come. What you learned recently is a testament to the impact you can have, and more specifically, the impact your ideas and viewpoint can offer. Yet unlike most ideas in this world, what you are communicating, or surely have the power to relate, is coming from close to your core and your most basic foundational beliefs about life. A simple way to say this in two words is “absolute sincerity,” and let that erase any fears you may have that any other possibility is real.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23)
Just about everyone worries about money, even people who have the most of the stuff. The question in your life is how to create it as effortlessly as possible. This particular devil is in the details. Here is how the scenario plays out: first, you encounter a brilliant idea that you know will work. Then you spend a considerable amount of time checking your theory and your work, and gathering more information. Then you give it a second try and, by all indications, make an unusual success of yourself and whatever service-oriented or creative enterprise you involve yourself with. The time this takes is time well invested. But more accurately, the thought you invest is brainpower well spent.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
This is a charmed moment for collaboration, and for bolstering your professional income. All of this comes back to your reputation as someone who is so devoted to community, it’s as natural as green moss and trees for your community to be in touch with you. Yet beneath the forest are its roots, and yours are in the future. This is what you are bringing into the world right now. Don’t miss the moment — it contains a doorway into the effortless fusion of your spiritual values, your need to participate in the world, and your means of earning income with your most precious talents. When collaborating, start with discussions of strategy. A male-female creative team with whom you’re currently friends can provide excellent guidance.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
You’ve persisted for a long time on faith and the momentum of your dreams. Look now both to the heavens and on Earth for confirmation that you have the right idea about what you want to be doing. No long-term project, however, proceeds along one track. Some of your desires and ambitions are poised to reach fruition before others, and be aware that one set of plans needs an overhaul for reasons that you will soon see. Focus on the details, and give up any hesitation you may have about questioning the theory or intellectual foundation of your concept. Strip it down to bare mathematics if you can. Experiment until the equation balances. Give yourself till your birthday.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
A close partner is about to see the light of day on a key issue that has annoyed them for a long time. It may feel like a big aha or the dawning of a new level of mental understanding that will, at the least, allow a satisfying discussion to occur. Here is a clue: instead of a one-on-one conversation, take it to a group of close friends who you know are on your wavelength. This will diffuse the intensity of the thoughts and feelings involved and allow multiple perspectives to shift your viewpoint. You won’t agree with everyone, but the people you agree with the least have the seed of an idea that you can grow into a tree.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22)
You have, I hoped, figured out that you could count on someone to come through with a promise or a commitment. It may have taken a while, but you now have confirmation that clarity is a beautiful thing. If you want to know why people so often walk around the world starving, consider that simple honesty is what they are starving for, and what we are all hungry for. The thing about the truth is that it often takes its time, and during that time, we’re wise to not leap to conclusions that later turn out to be entirely unfounded. You may have wasted a lot of energy doing just that; remember for next time.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
You’re not typically someone who can live on faith alone. You need reassurance, and you also need evidence. I think you’re about to have more of both, to add to your growing collection. The thing about faith is this, however. It works better without proof. Faith is a level of knowledge, entirely unlike hope. The more you “just know,” the stronger your faith becomes, and the greater its results. One thing you can have faith in is that the people close to you change and grow. Another is that love has practical use. Last is that distance, be it physical or psychic, can indeed be crossed.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
Genuinely encouraging developments are taking shape on the work front as well as on the well-being front, if you happen to have been struggling with any health issues lately. Inner emotional tensions have complicated your perception of both, and there is nothing to help you feel better than simply feeling better. I suggest you focus your energies on who and what matters the most to you right now — make a conscious decision, and I trust that any malaise you may be experiencing will melt back into the cosmic ocean. You’ve grown too accustomed to your efforts getting delayed results, or no results at all, and this has indeed been exhausting. That is not a sign of things to come; rather, it’s a sign of things that are finally gone.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
Your relationship to your own history is taking on vivid overtones. Finally, the past is less of a burden and more of a resource, indeed, a trove of creative treasures that you have collected, built, woven and arranged with devotion and at times great effort. What you express in the coming weeks will be something entirely new, but in many ways it will be based on what you have accomplished previously. There is a parallel story developing in a romantic or erotic situation. You can count on the fact that you know yourself, and that you know what you want. This usually helps. Now you can also depend on your willingness to take a new kind of risk and experiment with something entirely fresh.

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