Astrology is, in essence, a science based on the structure of time. In a universe of motion, timing is everything for its poor players. The mystery of our respective characters is illuminated by the drama of our entrances, whether it is announced with a portentous fanfare like Alexander or veiled in the penumbra of its apparent humility.
The influence of a life is resonant with the chords sounded at its beginning. Within sound is proportion, within proportion number, and within number archetype. The wheel of an astrological chart is weighted by the forces it turns against and where they meet is the pronouncement of our names, each of which carries with it the momentum of a secret progression.
A strikingly unusual birth chart bespeaks the arrival of an unusual person, if for no other reason than it is theirs to preserve the rhythm of a rare event, a significant coincidence of the elements within a cycle. Cezanne, a difficult man, once attempted to justify his intractable behavior by saying, "It is difficult to be SOMEONE." With the conciseness occasionally blessing the inarticulate, here are words we all may affirm before asking, "Specifically, why?" White light diverges from a prism into the colors of the rainbow and only a second prism can reunite the colors. Some charts approximate this re-convergence and while their subjects may find the experience as disorienting as the diverging majority, their perspective doubtlessly has the potential to help clarify the conundrums of individuality for legions of "someones".
The chart herein considered has seven planets within thirty degrees and all in one house. A stellium is defined as a cluster of planets in close angular proximity. This is a somewhat arbitrary definition, since it assigns no particular number to a cluster or no particular degree to the angles, but this chart fits the definition for sure.
I received email from the owner of this chart in November of 1996. Yojana is an Indian astrology student. He writes, "The problem with my horoscope is most of the planets are in the Fifth House. There are three pairs [of conjunctions] so I can't judge the power of the individual planets." He goes on to say that if a general reading would be too nebulous, he would like to "know about my spouse and married life", which is the area I will address.
While space does not permit an in depth analysis of Yojana's chart, I will refer to it in considering the most common problem of applied astrology for beginner and expert alike. That is, how do we distinguish the various planetary influences within ourselves as they are happening to us in our daily lives? While most of us may feel a periodic urge to bring our lives together, with three conjunctions and seven planets all in the same house, Yojana is more likely to wish he could pry his affairs apart. Environment, career, partnership, home, communication, self worth, finance, persona and creativity are all packed into the fifth House sardine can. Without some understanding, every step might cause him to feel hobbled together with an unruly crowd like the lead man on a chain gang. The astrologer has to find a way to describe a life that is both concentrated in one direction and diverse in the various energies that are brought into focus.
Yojana's Pluto-Venus conjunction will serve as an example. Pluto, the ruler of the Seventh House, is in the Fifth House stellium. In regard to the marriage partner, then, he needs first to experience the energy of Pluto separate from all the other Fifth House energies. What then, is the energy of Pluto and how is it experienced? Or perhaps more generally, how can any planet's archetypal energy be anthropomorphized so as to be as easily recognized as a dour dinner guest or pessimistic business partner? After all, part of acting on our intelligences is knowing their source.
Yojana stated his problem clearly when he said he can't judge the individual power of the planets. This is a problem with conjunctions in general, and stellia in particular. One method of making each influence distinct is to study astrology until you are able identify certain objects in your environment that exemplify the individual planets. For each person this will be somewhat different. With Pluto is conjunct Venus, he has the added problem of experiencing Pluto separate from Venus. A second option is to imagine a story or scene in which representatives of the two planetary energies are interacting, and then identify with the actors individually.
Astrology is not the only science in which the denial of archetypal images keeps people from relating to the energies directly. If the energy can be perceived within one's self, then the relationships between or among the energies can be experienced. So here are some metaphors in which Pluto and Venus reveal themselves together, but as separate energies.
- These energies can be like people. So you see a guy standing next to you and he has his hat pulled down over his eyes. Sometimes he seems really wicked, like he is going to kidnap you and drag you into a dark alley. Other times he seems like a big sister who stands beside you when you need her. Pluto and Venus can have many such faces.
- Scientists and artist see moving entities, not final formulae or works of art. Suppose you are working on your algebra and what you see is playing cards marching around like band performances at football games. Some of the cards are clubs and some are hearts. They shuffle themselves together, and then they march around and suddenly all the black ones are in one row and the red ones are in another. Then you realize you know the answer to the algebra problem: Pluto + Venus = . Or you are in art class and you get the same image. But what you paint is interlaced forms that repeat themselves in graphically interesting ways, without looking like the clubs and hearts at all.
The archetypes of every science seem to the outsider both arcane and inaccessible. The chemical symbols are not for the chemist synonymous with the elements, nor does the physicist imagine the atom to be numbers. The prerequisite of advancement via discovery by anyone in any discipline is the rediscovery of its governing archetypes. The planetary archetypes are the qualities of the universal self which allow for the comprehension of the individual experience within divine unity. Planetary archetypes can be like the people, or like the tasks mentioned here. They mix together and then can be perceived separately. They come together through conjunctions or other aspects, bringing their individual energies into a blending.
The Venus Pluto combination can lead to compulsive behavior, especially in one's love life, if it is not understood and managed consciously. I would encourage Yojana to consider the esoteric meanings of Venus and Pluto to find understanding of this combination. Venus deals with concrete knowledge and Pluto deals with power and will. The combination of these forces can be used for good or ill, depending on one's consciousness. Yojana's task is to understand concrete knowledge as being somewhat separate from or different from power and will. In other words, Knowledge is not Power and Will is not Knowledge. Just because you know some facts, that doesn't, in itself, make you powerful. And just because you feel the strong direction of your will, that doesn't make your opinion a concrete fact. On a more mundane level, this combination has the power of creativity pushing to express itself. Once we see that creativity reaches beyond the sexual expression, we find that it pervades our lives in every way. Yojana has a magnetic persona that will attract people to him so he has the potential to be very successful in his career. The trick is to experience the balance and harmony of Venus as distinct from the force and will of Pluto.
Esoterically Pluto is power and will and Venus is concrete knowledge. Therefore the task of the conjunction is to distinguish what is known from the direction of one's will. Caesar and John Kennedy were both warned that their lives would be in danger if they didn't change their plans. They both had the information, but chose to exercise their wills anyway. We know results were not good.
To look at Yojana's question about his marriage, suppose a person with this Venus - Pluto conjunction comes to believe that he controls (Pluto) the beauty and magnetism (Venus) he perceives in his wife. He may become intensely possessive and jealous of her, not wanting to share her with others because he feels the loss of control too keenly. Concrete knowledge for him concerns her attractiveness and magnetism. His will is involved in that he tries to force his will onto her - he tries to keep her from sharing her qualities with others. While this is an extreme statement of the problem, it is certainly not unheard of. He could just as well choose to encourage her to share her qualities with as many people as possible, and this choice could be based in concrete knowledge of her faithfulness to him.
Therefore, knowledge (Venus) provides numerous options and will (Pluto) provides the force of focus. These are neither positive or negative in themselves.
How is such a decision made? It is made from a balanced position within the conjunction itself. There is a synthesis of two energies. Something similar happens with other aspects, but the desire behind them is different. The desire of the conjunction is to glue the two energies together so that neither is lost. Even though there may be a fear that one of the energies may be lost if the conjunction is dissolved, it is important to experience the two energies as themselves, in order to get the true value of the two energies working together. Fear of loss is the problem. Examination of the energies is essential.
Venus rules things like apricots, song birds, bouquets, cameos, candy, copper, coral, deer, doves, emeralds, ferns, roses, songs, spices, sugar, vines, wine, yams, social sphere, and love. Pluto rules reptiles, ants, death, decay, executions, inner planes, lava, plagues, procreation, transformation, underworld, and waste. Of the three planetary pairs in this chart, this may be the most difficult to sort out, as Venus is the energy of love that we find in relationships, while Pluto is the procreative urge that drives us emotionally sometimes. Ideal relationships have some of each. Venus rules vines and wine, while Pluto rules the dissipation that occurs with over use. Venus is the active social principal while Pluto deals with the action on the inner plane.
I find that separating the energies of a conjunction in this objective way is helpful because I then can apply what I know of the planets more clearly when working with other people's charts. If I could not separate them, I would not be much help to people who do not share the conjunctions I have. I also find it is helpful to allow the two energies to merge again, as that is how I personally am able to work with them. This process extends itself from the conjunction to include the remaining planets in the stellium.
Copyright: Stephanie Clement