The Thrill of the Chase


The thrill of the chase… and at last he's caught.

Venus finally got her man, meeting up with Mars after several months in hot pursuit. This past Sunday, Venus and Mars conjoined in Scorpio, uniting their yin and yang after coming so close to doing so back in late March and early April.

The relatively uncomplicated forward-moving zeal with which this year began gave way, by springtime, to a few unanticipated forks in the road. We might have imagined fruition, resolution and conclusion to be right around the corner, back in those salad days of spring. But we soon discovered more than we bargained for, discoveries that have taken until now to play out… and are still in the process of being processed. With the end of the year in sight, the place in which we find ourselves is distinctively different—more complex, more emotional, less easily encapsulated within chirpy sound-bytes—than we would have assumed, based on how we set out in '04.

When Venus and Mars come together, the projective and receptive currents of energy in our lives combine in unified motion. The internal disconnect we habitually expect—between the urge to actively grab what we want from the world and the grace to politely wait for it to gravitate toward us, between the 'me-first' drive for differentiation and the relationship-centered appreciation for compromise—is temporarily shrunk. For a passing moment, a basic equilibrium is attained. Attentions are less divided, so that we are both gifted with heightened focus and potentially blind-sighted by its potency.

We say, in passing clarity, pointing here and there: 'This is what we want. This is what we can do to try to grasp it, and this is where we must surrender to the desired actions of others. This is what we get, as a simple factor of the two. This is the reality of the situation, and we must unflinchingly accept it or stay dizzyingly trapped in the hall of mirrors until we do.'

Venus and Mars first threatened to join up in Mar-Apr '04 in Gemini, coming within five degrees of exact conjunction before their hopes for a meeting were dashed. Venus generally moves at a speedier rate than Mars… yet, just as she was preparing to overtake her partner-in-crime, she hit the retrograde speed bump and headed back the other direction for much of May and June. It's taken her this long to make up the lost ground and reunite with her long-lost lover. But let's be honest—this current communion in Scorpio isn't quite what it would have been in Gemini.

Interestingly, the last time Venus and Mars conjoined was in May '02 in that same sign of Gemini, setting forth a new cycle of action and reaction marked by mental agility and curiosity, perfect for excitedly skimming the surface of multiple areas of potential experience. With Venus and Mars conjunct in Gemini, social activity levels accelerate, while the emotional engagement in any single (i.e., 'limiting') situation gets tempered and capped to avoid 'unnecessary' extremity. This has been the energy imprint on the Venus-Mars cycle since then: dabble, describe, debate and rationalize.

Venus and Mars dared to come within one degree of a second conjunction in '02 in (of all signs) Scorpio, shortly following Venus's retrograde from Oct 10-Nov 20, 2002, but never fully consummated an embrace. That 'almost-but-not-quite' quality makes a poignant parallel to this year's Venus-Mars predicament, in which the latest Venus retrograde (May 17-Jun 29, 2004) brought us to the brink of a conjunction with Mars before teasingly refusing to merge. This time, however, the 'almost' conjunction happened in Gemini, while the real one has finally come through in Scorpio—a reversal in zodiac sign from the 2002 situation.

These two planets are emphatically emphasizing the distinction from a prior Gemini-influenced cycle to the newly initiated Scorpionic one, following a course through two interim near-meetings—in these same two signs—along the way. They obviously wanted us to take note (in case we could forget) how Gemini and Scorpio are about as different as they come. Scorpio is completely dissatisfied with the casual cerebral inquiries that entertain Gemini, craving something with more depth to quench her soul's stirrings for substance. Scorpio, unlike Gemini, doesn't cater to social niceties to lure everyone into liking her. And Scorpio will willingly sting or be stung, suffer punishing hurts or inflict them, if it means she'll come out the other end a transformed being.

It's that Scorpio do-or-die intensity which marks our current perspective on the immediate personal realities of our lives, and it colors the modality of our forthcoming energy expenditures for the next chunk of time. (The next Venus-Mars conjunction, in October 2006, is also in Scorpio.) Where we've recently flirted with messy psychological complexity but opted instead for intellectual titillation or other externalized distractions, now we must prepare for the real digging. Viewed along with current placements of Saturn in Cancer and Uranus in Pisces, Venus and Mars in Scorpio paint a watery tint across the planetary picture, forefronting irrational and sometimes unmanageable feeling over crisp thought, pragmatic stability or swift motion. The new imprint, sponsored by Passion (with a capital 'p'): puncture, probe, purge and progress past the past.

This week's astrology matches the Venus-Mars conjunction with a couple features to kick-start this new cycle of more meaningful, deep and intricately interpersonally entangled actions and reactions, straight from the pit of our shadow-selves. Saturday's New Moon in Sagittarius falls in close conjunction to Pluto, Scorpio's cosmic keeper, perfectly marking the beginning of end-of-year closet-cleaning. Don't let 2004's garbage gather in front of the doorway to '05, blocking your path to newness with a bunch of outdated crap.

Meanwhile, Mercury continues its retrograde streak through Sag, making its second of three conjunctions to Pluto en route. Of course Mercury retrograde comes with its fair share of snafus, particularly with the Sagittarian influence of thinking too quickly and speaking too bluntly. When it comes to the mining of long-unexplored psychological chasms, however, the unintentional Merc-retro-in-Sag blurting of Plutonian truths could be not only ugly and shameful, but also an ultra-quick blessing in disguise—like a band-aid ripped off quickly and ouchfully, but without the slow millimeter-at-a-time torture. If you find yourself in either uncomfortable role of blurter or blurtee, just remember: It only stings for a second..