Monday, April 27, 2015

Venus-Uranus Aspects: The Avant Garde

Dress designed by the late Alexander McQueen
If your Venus sign is conjunct, square, opposite, sextile, or trine Uranus, you’re the avant garde. The reason why is that Venus is basically the planet of taste. It’s what pleases our senses and rules the things that we value in life. Now, Uranus is a certifiably kooky planet that embraces change and innovation and all things that are sort of weird. So, with Venus in aspect to Uranus, you definitely value (Venus) the unusual things (Uranus) of life. You also value unusual people, as well. Venus-Uranus people are apt to be drawn to all sorts of relationships, saying to hell with convention in romances and friendships. But, your relationships might be plain chaotic, as well, if you let this quirky way of relating to people become flat-out bizarre or emotionally distant.

However, your strangeness is a big part of your appeal, as well. I think our Venus sign, house placement, and aspects really start taking over once we hit puberty. This is when we suddenly become aware of the power of our attractiveness. It’s our initiation into becoming sexual beings. I think Venus is just as sexual of a planet as Mars. But, it’s in more of a sensual, come-hither expression of sexuality. It’s about how we draw others near. The funny thing, then, about having a Venus-Uranus aspect is that, starting from adolescence, you don’t care all that much about drawing others to you; at least, not in a flirtatious manner. Even if Venus is in flirty signs like Gemini or Libra or in seductive Scorpio, it’s rarely your intent to flirt and cajole and drive your preferred sex crazy.

Well, you do enjoy driving them crazy but more so in a mental way. Venus-Uranus people learn, as adolescents, that being offbeat and original can be highly appealing. So, this is the way in which you’ve learned to attract others: by shaking things up. You find pleasure in being the one who dares to be different, going against the “sheeple” in order to be an individualist. And you just trust that you’ll draw other individualistic people your way. But, the aim is more about friendship than romance. Many Venus-Uranus people are quite detached from the yearnings for romance from early on. Venus is our value system and with this planet in aspect to free, independent Uranus, you might value your independence above all else. Yet, this is something that can easily break hearts, as you can remain cool and unfazed by others’ attempts to forge a romantic connection right off the bat.

The thing is that you’d probably prefer to be friends first! People always associate Venus with romance but often forget that it defines how make friends, as well. And friendships are what those with their Venus in aspect to Uranus truly value. Friends don’t make you feel as chained down as romantic partners potentially can. So, your friends are what keep you feeling free, which is what brings you a great deal of pleasure in life. This is often why you prefer for those who you end up with romantically to start off as your friend and insist that you maintain that kind of buddy-buddy camaraderie throughout the relationship.

Therefore, the interesting thing is that being friends with someone (Uranus) is often what makes you fall in love with them the most (Venus). When a relationship goes from zero to sixty, in the romance department, it’s the kind of thing that can freak a person with a Venus-Uranus aspect out. Having one of these aspects can also make you frequently attracted to those who you’ve been friends with for a long time. Therefore, the challenge of moving things out of the friend-zone can be experienced very regularly for you. However, it all depends on how you handle these romantic feelings. If Venus is in a Water sign or in Taurus, you’re more likely to surrender to these yearnings. If not, you can end up lashing out in a defiant attempt to resist sentiment and maintain your cool.

Those with the square and the opposition can have a particularly tough time dealing with the feelings that come with starting a love affair. The conjunction can often go either way, as they might become oddly defensive and distant or they might behave more like the people with the sextile and the trine. These people tend to have a healthy grip on what it means to still be independent while maintaining some sense of closeness or connectedness in the relationship. And this might not just be an issue with lovers but also with friends. You may find yourself keeping buddies at an arm’s length when you think they’re getting too close. Sometimes, it may seem like you would just prefer to be in an exclusive relationship with yourself. 

"Walking Alone" by Peter Schoen

With Venus-Uranus aspects, there is usually a love of alone time that needs to be respected without making you cut off from others, either. Venus is where we can be too self-indulgent. And those with a Venus-Uranus placement can indulge themselves with too much solitary time, which eventually turns into loneliness and isolation. This can be a particular way of dealing with relationships for you if you’ve been hurt significantly. You might find yourself becoming less and less emotionally accessible, not willing to become that attached again. Generally speaking, your lack of over-attachment can be a very healthy thing. It makes you independent. Just remember that we all need people, after all. We are social beings and nobody can go at it alone for too long.

But, the paradox of Uranus’ influence is that it is so social, in spite of also potentially being so detached. And you truly enjoy the process of getting to know lots of different people. For Venus-Uranus, the more different they are from the norm, the better. This is what makes you the avant garde. The more something or someone is considered odd or unpopular, the more you’re going to be attracted to that thing or person. Venus isn’t just how we draw others to us. It’s also how we are drawn to other things and people. And the outcasts, the rebels, and the provocateurs just always have a magnetic pull over you. You’re fascinated by the people who shock and awe.

People are also fascinated by your ability to shock and awe. You draw like-minded nonconformists and oddballs your way. Your relationships are often established through a mutual sense of breaking the rules together and being a dynamic duo of craziness wherever you go. Now, your Venus might get off on this just a little too much. So, you might find yourself behaving in indulgently rebellious or provocative ways. Going overboard with our Venus is like eating too much candy. We just end up with a stomachache. Therefore, Venus-Uranus individuals can end up feeling the unappealing consequences of just doing things only to cause anarchy.

However, this anarchy can often be for a good reason. Since Venus represents our value system, you really value treating other people in egalitarian, fair-minded ways, which is what Uranus symbolizes. You see everyone as your brother and sister, not wanting to discriminate against others for the labels that society slaps on them. Therefore, what you’re often rebelling against is the narrow-minded thinking of others. In fact, facing discrimination is something that really displeases you. While Mars-Uranus people would aggressively or assertively respond to ignorance by saying “screw you”, you are more passive and refined in how you give some prejudiced idiot the bird. You’re more likely to just distance yourself from them, peacefully go on about your own way. Yet, I wouldn’t put it past you, either, to eventually flip them the finger or tell them off, if they persist.

Those with Uranus aspects who are considered minorities – basically, those who aren’t straight white men – can awesomely go against the grain of society’s prejudices and fears. Venus is the planet of beauty and how we appreciate our own beauty (whether we’re male or female); and not just physical beauty but our attractiveness as a whole. So, as a Venus-Uranus person, you can find the beauty in being someone who doesn’t fit the societal mold. You can detach from society’s standards of attractiveness or worth and come to fully appreciate the differentness of your race, gender, and sexual orientation. Even if you’re a straight white man, you can still be affected by these ideals of attractiveness, as well. And you can find joy in truly not caring about them.

Going against the mainstream can affect your personal tastes and preferences in many different ways. Many Venus-Uranus folks can be your typical hipster types, only listening to alternative music that not many people have heard of and hating what’s playing on the radio now. In fact, you might be that person who loves something until it’s popular. Then, it might turn you off. You may also be the same way about movies and books, capable of telling people about things you just watched or read that they might not have even known about otherwise. The underground or indie scene is often what appeals most to Venus-Uranus, particularly the ones who are Millennials. But, you might be easily accused of trying to be “too cool for school” at the same time.

Maybe it’s true. You may be trying to just make some defiant statement. For those with one of the harder aspects, this can be particularly transparent, at times. But, for those with the easier aspects, it’s often just an expression of the fact that you just prefer what’s different. Because of this, Venus-Uranus people aren’t usually the types taking style tips from GQ or Vogue. Uranus does not like to be told what to do or think. With Venus in the mix, this extends toward fashion, which is something that I think Venus definitely influences. Therefore, you’re apt to not care at all about what some fashion editor tells you is acceptable or not. You think independently when it comes to style and are prone to experimentation, mixing and matching, trying out lots of different options.

Venus-Uranus people can sometimes dress to shock, decking themselves out weirdly. But, much of the time, you just dress in a way that doesn’t care what others think, often breaking fashion rules. You’ll wear brown shoes and a black belt if you want, even if you leave someone else shaking their head. You probably also don’t care much for formal wear, unless you absolutely have to wear a suit or a dress. Uranus is highly casual so you’d much rather keep it casual when it comes to your dress code. However, this extends to other areas, as well. Even if there are more passionate or emotionally complex influences in your chart, this Venus-Uranus aspect keeps them in check when it comes to romance. Being somewhat aloof yet very friendly can be highly attractive to others.

When it comes to dating, you’re up for anything and the other person must be as well. This love of experimenting extends to sex, as well. The thing that’s sexiest about you is that you can be electrifying and fully enjoy trying whatever sexually. Uranus is a planet full of surprises and you might be quite surprised by what turns you on, as sexual feelings involving kinkiness, fetishes, bisexuality, three-ways, and all other sorts of experimental inclinations can suddenly pop up. Everyone must be accepting of their sexual preferences and tastes, as long as they’re harmless, without judgment. But, with this aspect, you must be especially. If it feels good, try it. You could end up unexpectedly loving something that you didn’t think you would.

Venus conjunct Uranus: The conjunction gives you the strongest love of madness as well as the strongest ability to charm others with your madness. But, you might expect to slide by too much on this quirky appeal by making too much trouble and wanting to always get away with it. Just focus on being a free-spirit in more pleasing ways, liberating others right along with you.

Venus square or opposite Uranus: The issues of personal space and independence can be overwhelming for you, with the square or opposition. It can become a push-pull game, not wanting people to get too intimate but still wanting to be good friends. You must allow people to truly get close to you. Then, you can be an even more wonderful buddy to others than you already are.

Venus sextile or trine Uranus: Your eccentricities don’t typically create too much chaos, since you have the sextile or the trine. They are usually just endearing and likable. But, even you are prone to walking alone so much that you become out of touch with others. Disconnect when you need to but remember how valuable your friendliness and your open-minded acceptance is to others.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Moon-Saturn Aspects: The Grandparent

Your Moon being conjunct, square, opposite, sextile, or trine Saturn makes you the grandparent. This is more so figuratively speaking. Whether you’re teenaged, twenty-something, or middle-aged, having a Moon-Saturn aspect means that there’s a senior citizen inside of you, who’s lived a long, hard life and has the ailments to prove it. Saturn can be a tough planet to handle and when this planet aspects the Moon, which is the deepest, most instinctive part of you, it’s very natural for you to be in touch with the difficulties of life. It’s this intuitive awareness that can make living an exhausting, melancholy, even depressing existence but also make you very wise and resilient.

If you listen to a person describe what they were like as kids, you’ll hear them describe their Moon sign, house, and aspects. With a Moon-Saturn aspect, it’s typical to hear someone say that they were never truly “little” and had the mentality of an adult almost from the time they were toddlers. A part of this is just nature. Saturn is the ancient elder of astrology and when he aspects the Moon, which represents our intuition, you get someone who sort of skips over the whole innocent child routine while growing up. You naturally understood things beyond your experience but in a way that you couldn’t fully explain because it was so deeply felt. These are the kids who can get all the subtexts of an adult conversation and happily watch television shows or films aimed at adults. If you have a Water Moon in aspect to Saturn, then you absolutely started out as an old soul. 

But, part of this premature adultness was an issue of nurture, as well. I won’t spout off the conventional outlook that having a Moon-Saturn placement automatically means that you had a rotten mother figure (which is what the Moon represents). It can be the case with the square or the opposition. Yet, Saturn doesn’t have to suck as much as we’ve been taught! Saturn is dutiful and responsible. So, with the Moon in aspect to Saturn, you could’ve had a mother figure who really taught you about responsibility and self-sufficiency. This doesn’t mean this nurturing parent deprived or neglected you or was a cold person. It just means that they took care of you in ways that made sure that you could take care of yourself. In healthy ways, you weren’t coddled.

Yet, others with Moon-Saturn aspects can also experience the cold or emotionally distant nurturing figure. Often times, this parent can be (or, sometimes, appear to be) too busy with work or other responsibilities to pay a lot of attention to their child. So, you were left to your own devices and learned to do a lot of things yourself. These are often the classic latch-key kids, running the household while the nurturing parent is out. But, this might not just be busyness but emotional neglect, as well. And such neglect doesn’t always have to manifest through a parent who’s always taking care of business. It’s often quite common for those with their Moon sign in aspect to Saturn to have a very immature mother figure who they have to care for. You might’ve learned emotional self-sufficiency via a childish, irresponsible parent who you treated as if they were your child.

If that’s the case, it’s no wonder that you’re the grandparent! You’ve been having to parent your parent, which can lead to a common Moon-Saturn problem, even amongst the ones with the easier aspects (the sextile and trine, as well as the conjunction, in some cases), of feeling too responsible for others. If you also have the Moon in aspect to Neptune, that’s a combination for big-time guilt. Yet, in a way, you do need responsibility. We feel emotionally starved and insecure when we’re not satisfying our Moon. Since Saturn is all about duty, it’s natural that being a Moon-Saturn person means that you’re quite comfortable with carrying a sizable load on your back.

As a result, you are probably one of the most reliable, trustworthy people that your loved ones know. And I’m not just talking about when it comes to money and being on time and things like that. That’s more of a Mars-Saturn person’s domain. Since the Moon is about emotions, you’re very reliable in an emotionally supportive way. Moon-Saturn people instinctively fall into being the rock for other people and letting others know that they can always count on them when they need someone. More than you realize, you naturally feel more self-sufficient and capable than those around you. After all, the Moon represents how we take care of others. So, you do so by aiding people with your guidance and your wisdom, centering and straightening them out.

But, you can also end up carrying too much of a heavy load. Memories (Moon) of family hardship (Saturn) can haunt many people with this influence. Financial struggle is very common in the families of those with these placements. And because of that, you were the child who worked as soon as you possibly could to help your parent(s) out. Even if your family was relatively comfortable or even well-off, money and bills and career were still constant topics of discussion at home. So, it was instilled within you that you needed to be busting your butt. Little was just handed to you. However, this same conditioning could’ve made you very status-conscious or job-conscious.

One of the best things about Saturn is the success that it can bring us. And as a Moon-Saturn person, success is what makes you feel emotionally secure. But, on the flip side, failure is something that can bring out a deep well of insecurity, fear, and sadness inside of you. Falling short or being painfully reminded of how short you’ve fallen can be very devastating to you, much more so than the next person. Those with the conjunction, square, and the opposition can be the hardest on themselves, in this sense. But, even people who have the sextile or the trine can sometimes beat themselves up over perceived failures. And such an attitude can send you under. 

Quote by poet/novelist Charles Bukowski

Depression is very linked to Moon-Saturn (though not always the case, of course), as the planet of emotion combines with the planet of limitations to potentially make the individual feel as if they’re always hitting a wall. This can be experienced in many different areas, depending on the house positions of the Moon and Saturn. But, with this placement, struggle can be seen as such an unavoidable aspect of life that one can’t help but be sad. In extreme cases, a certain hopelessness or emptiness can sink in. This is why some Moon-Saturn people can seem to fit the stereotypically cold description. They might not be cold at all but just too wrapped up in their sadness yet also too unable to give in to it. The ones with the harsher aspects can seem cold while those with the easier aspects seem to just have a stiff-upper-lip stoicism. In any case, they can be unconscious (Moon) of how austere (Saturn) they seem.

There is also usually a noticeable dislike of pity. Empathy? Yes, as someone with a Moon-Saturn aspect, you’re certainly capable of empathy. You intuitively know that life often sucks and can empathize with that. But, you most likely do not like when people do nothing but feel sorry for themselves and that includes yourself. You probably recoil when people have too much of an “aw, poor you” tone to their voice when you tell them about your troubles, which is why you often don’t tell them. You aren’t into self-pity and instinctively respond from a resourceful, resilient place that tries to figure out what you can do about the situation.

Just don’t let yourself harden in the process! Those with a Moon-Saturn aspect can sometimes be so intent on being capable and in control to the point of cutting themselves off from others’ support altogether, especially if the Moon is in Aries, Virgo, Scorpio, or Capricorn. Remember that you can receive some sort of help or assistance from others (whether it’s emotional or financial) and still be your efficient self. It’s all about a balance. If not, you’re going to stress yourself out to the point of no return. This can help to eliminate that deep sadness you can struggle with, as well as bring an awareness that a lot of your focus on struggling is creating a lot of the struggling. Don’t be a pessimist. Just focus on being realistic enough to accomplish your goals.

And you have quite an intuitive skill for accomplishment and achievement. Moon-Saturn can allow your gut to lead you to success, especially in authoritative positions. You would make a naturally good manager, as you have sound instincts when it comes to structuring things and making sure that the ship is running smoothly. As a result, you don’t really like anything to mess up this functioning machine and can take it quite personally when things don’t go as planned with employees or co-workers. You certainly don’t like working alongside those who are sloppy or who fool around. The fact that you’re not one to be fooled with can certainly make you popular with your superiors. Moon-Saturn people can easily gain promotions or recognition because of their natural work ethic, especially if the Moon and/or Saturn is in the 10th or aspects the Midheaven.

You bring as much structure to your private life, as well. This might be because you’re a workaholic, as many people with these aspects are, and can’t help but bring your work home. But, it can also be because you feel comfortable with a controlled, structured life, particularly if you’re the one doing the structuring. Our Moon can represent our habits and with Moon-Saturn, your habits can be like an old person’s, even while still very young. You could be in your mid-twenties and decline a night out with your friends because you’d rather stay in and read or just turn in while watching the news. But, you actually gain a deep sense of security from this fussy little lifestyle, feeling at ease by tucking in early and going through your morning routine and doing all of the household chores.

Because of this, Moon-Saturn people tend to have a special relationship with one (or more) of their grandparents. This bond often starts from childhood. As I said before, there was just something different about you as a kid; something very adult-like that made other adults enjoy your company. With your grandmother or grandfather, in particular, there is an almost kindred-spirit feeling between the two of you. They might sense that you’re very open to the wisdom that they have to give you but they might also sense that you have many wise, salt-of-the-earth things to say to them. It’s quite funny to watch a person with Moon-Saturn sit around, drinking coffee and swapping stories with their grandparent. It often feels as if the two of them are the same age.

Saturn represents time and there is this deeply pressing sense of time with most Moon-Saturn folks. You are constantly driven by this unconscious awareness of time, purposefully wanting to get as much done as you can. Saturn is about purpose, after all. And with Moon-Saturn, you definitely need a strong sense of purpose to your life. Both the Moon and Saturn represent fear, in different ways. The Moon’s fear is irrational and protective while Saturn’s fear is ever-cautious. So, in spite of the controlled calm you might give off, there can be tremendous anxiety or doubt hidden within  your nature. What you fear most is living a life that was wasteful and meaningless, getting nothing accomplished in all of your time here. Therefore, you have a deep need (Moon) to keep pushing (Saturn) yourself toward whatever goal you want to reach. You desperately want to do something important with your life. But, take solace in the fact that most Moon-Saturn individuals do.

Moon conjunct Saturn: You have the most ingrained sense of responsibility out of the bunch, since you have the conjunction. But, your dutifulness can end up becoming a handicap if you take on too much or are too hard on yourself. Still, you never want to relax too much, as you are a deeply driven, ambitious person. Your managerial instincts can end up taking you far.

Moon square or opposite Saturn: Life can be most crushing for those with the square or the opposition because the rug always seems to get pulled from underneath the good times. So, you can spend too much time being pessimistic and waiting for the other shoe to drop. The good thing is that you’re amazingly resilient and can push through difficulties that would stop someone else cold.

Moon sextile or trine Saturn: With the sextile and the trine, ambition and realism are usually expressed in relatively mild, moderate ways. You can be very dedicated and hardworking without working yourself into the ground. However, you’re still familiar with the blues and can let sadness consume you a little too often. Remember to find ways to work through it.

Pluto People: Developing Healthy Ruthlessness

There is a reason why Pluto is so feared in many astrology circles: it can do a lot of damage. And having one or more prominent Pluto aspects – meaning having the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, or Mars in major aspect to Pluto (conjunction, square, opposite, sextile, trine) – means that you can potentially do a lot of damage. There is an innate destructiveness to Pluto’s energy. This is where a big part of its tremendous power comes from. When it sets its sight on something, absolutely nothing can stand in its way. With Pluto square my Sun and conjunct my Moon, I should know!

Although I do advise Plutonians to see the light and rise above the lower octave of this energy – the potential obsession with control, manipulation, vindictiveness, paranoia, etc. – I don’t think that this darkness should be discarded altogether. In fact, Pluto’s intense appetite for destruction can be used for good. Negative, toxic, and limiting things can be destroyed as much as things that are lovely and innocent and pure can be destroyed. But, to do both, a certain ruthlessness is needed.

But, I would venture to call the former act an example of “healthy ruthlessness.” The more Pluto affects your chart, the more you’re going to have to come to terms with this idea. Plutonians do not achieve real growth by acting as if they’re totally innocent and harmless, free of any dark impulses. This can be an extreme measure that’s taken, since Pluto can be so all-or-nothing, believing that it’s the only way to overcome the darkness. However, this only causes the Pluto person to become even darker and more destructive. There can be something oddly malevolent about a Plutonian who’s always smiling sweetly and behaving in an absolutely cheerful way all the time. In their attempt to make people less scared of them, they can end up subtly expressing a vibe that’s even scarier, like the serial killer who is singing show tunes as they poison your breakfast cereal.

Now, of course, I’m not saying that Plutonians can’t be happy, positive people. But, this needs to be balanced with some sort of venting of that darkness that they’re so aware of and that they carry around. And this is where the healthy ruthlessness comes in. Pluto people need something to kill, in a way. They need something to annihilate in a positive way, which can usually be achieved through the pursuit of some sort of higher ideal. I say higher ideal because it cannot be for personal glory and ego-fueling power. This is when the Plutonian veers into unhealthy ruthlessness, destroying and harming actual people, as well as boundaries and laws, in order to get what they want.

The higher ideal can be something very spiritual, creative, or interpersonal. Maybe, with Sun-Pluto, your higher ideal is total authenticity and an unapologetic identity. With Moon-Pluto, your higher ideal might be the artistic expression of your emotional depth. Venus-Pluto might have higher ideals when it comes to relating to others and building enriching relationships. Whatever it is, you must be willing to destroy whatever stands in the way of it: the ignorance, fear, denial, hatred, or negative behavioral patterns (of yourself and/or others) that prevent you from reaching this standard.

And whatever Pluto wants to annihilate, it will.

Plutonians are like modern-day versions of Shiva, the Hinduist god who embodies an intertwining of creative and destructive forces. Maybe this is why they can inspire so much intimidation in some people; they know how to break things down, including people. But, the Universe will only support you, dear Pluto person, if you are breaking down in order to build something better. If you’re just destroying for controlling or vengeful pleasure, then what’s the point?

So, tap into your healthy ruthlessness. Use it to serve a higher cause or in ways that will empower or awaken those around you. And don’t waver, flinch, or stop until it’s achieved.