Venusian Unrest


Without a doubt, Venus is happier than usual when she's moving through Libra (one of her ruling signs), as she has been since last Friday (Aug 16).

In Libra, the sign of the always-striving-to-balance-itself scales, Venus is a skilled diplomat… a virtual magician when it comes to finessing social situations so that the proverbial 'other person' remains perpetually content and unflustered, all while the bearer of Venus's charms gets their relational needs beautifully met in the process.

On this current trip through Libra, alas, Venus must jockey for her relational harmony while contending with pressure from all sides: She forms the faster-moving fourth point in a grand cardinal cross (four planets at perpendicular angles to one another) with Pluto, Uranus and Jupiter, a dramatic configuration beginning to take effect now and stretching into mid-next-week.

For a good couple years already, this Uranus-Pluto square has strong-armed us toward revolutionary evolution—and, in the process, caused a significant degree of suffering for those refusing to accept, and work with, the chaos. (Umpteenth reminder: This is the defining astrology of our decade.) And just in the past month or so, Jupiter's move into Cancer has magnified these dynamics, while adding emotional caring as a third consideration in the Uranus-Pluto dialogue between radical self-liberation (Uranus in Aries) and transformative reconsolidation of structural power-dynamics (Pluto in Capricorn).

Now, during the week ahead, Venus in Libra triggers this clash-of-considerations into even more dramatic expression, asking us to interactively integrate the different threads of our individual metamorphoses into the fabric of our relationships—even if, in the short term, this act of negotiating with friends, colleagues, or loved-ones about the powerful life-changes we're each undergoing is highly likely to first throw the scales way off. Rather than squelch the potential disruption beneath hollow niceties that deny these changes-in-progress, Venus's job is to support us in openly continuing the negotiations … each new development or disclosure presenting another ripe chance to address the rapidly-shifting balance in how we behave with, and towards, one another.

From this context, the 'unrest' mentioned in this article's title is not as undesirable a state-of-affairs as we've been conditioned to understand it, especially insofar as personal relationships are concerned. We too often fall under the spell of cultural narratives that suggest relationship success is a result of falling in love with a soulmate, then permanently pair-bonding with them in a settled-and-stable arrangement which endures until one or the other passes, end of story, pass the remote control and the Fritos… even while most of us know this scenario is just one of many relational possibilities (maybe even a pretty rare one these days) and certainly not the only path to a happy and satisfying relationship life. Those addictive romance-stories also often leave out the nuts-and-bolts challenges of making a coupling work over time, as if repeating the 'love is all that matters' mantra is enough to miraculously resolve all matters of divergent life-goals and everyday lifestyle choices, as well as any number of other places where we're apt to differ, in opinion or preference, from someone we love.

Relational unrest, then, provides a beautiful opportunity to reaffirm our desire to continue investing in a certain relationship, despite being knocked around by the growing-pain bumps—or to decide, after having given it our most earnest effort, the relationship no longer fits our evolving self. So many pairings reach their breaking-point when one and/or the other partner grows into new areas of self-exploration (and, resultantly, away from the limited version of who they were when the pairing first began), only to discover their newly-emerging self cannot be contained within this outdated arrangement. Either they must reconfigure the relationship to make room for the growing selves, or they'll become increasingly dissatisfied… until, eventually, something blows. This, of course, applies not just to our romantic pairings but to any one-on-one relationship, including a professional partnership, intimate friendship, housemate situation, etc.

For those of us unintimidated by change, this disruptive arising of Venusian unrest is a perfect opening for addressing whatever unexpressed tension has been building up between ourselves and someone else.

And for those less enthusiastic about welcoming such disruptions? Well, better get on board real quick. Though you may be wishing away this pressure to deal with what's not being dealt with, it's highly likely the other person will soon surprise you, somehow or another, with an unsettling interjection which must be worked out together if the relationship is to move healthily forward. Uncomfortable or even shocking, perhaps, but right on time and just as it should be.

Venus first squares Pluto (Sat Aug 24), an aspect that pushes our relational circumstances into areas that may feel threatening or dangerous, forcing us to dig deeper into whatever traces of shame, jealousy, fear or peculiarly intense resistance have sprung up in response. Such disconcerting responses suggest the existence of some underexplored issue in our psyche that, dare we courageously engage in untangling it through those 'scary' conversations with that certain someone, promises greater interpersonal intimacy based on how we really and truly feel. One and/or the other of us may need to stretch into a new posture, awkward or painful though it might be, in order to meet the call for mutual compromise. Like any new pose, it feels hard or weird the first few times; then, we start to get used to it.

Venus next opposes Uranus (Mon Aug 26), inciting those who've been subsuming their individuality to finally strike out in some independence-declaring manner, as an expression of renewed commitment to their own unique desires. In practical terms, a Venus-Uranus opposition sometimes indicates sudden unpredictable behaviors in another person, which obviously impact our ability to stay the relational course exactly as we have been. The more space we've allowed within our relationships for each participant to freely pursue what they need to be satisfied, the less upsetting such an aspect can prove to be. In dialogue with whatever psychological provocations Venus's square to Pluto has summoned, the opposition to Uranus can assist us in forging the structural innovations required for keeping our couplings fresh, vital and supportive of all parties' evolution. Healthy relationships demand a continuing—and ever-shifting—balance between (1) togetherness thinking and (2) unfiltered assertion of liberating selfhood.

Finally, Venus squares Jupiter (Tue Aug 27), a caution against trying to hastily ameliorate the relational discomfort by 'smoothing things over' with sweet words or overly accommodating gestures that weaken the transformative potential within this fruitful unrest. Once we witness the reactive agitation, anxiety or upset of someone we care for—a direct result, perhaps, of our having been relentlessly honest and/or unapologetically individualistic—we might attempt to backtrack from what we said, or quietly decide not to do something so crazy-risky ever again, with the sincere intent of comforting that person's feelings. But how 'comforting' do we end up being (to another person or ourselves) if we withhold relevant truths because they might momentarily sting somebody else… or if we restrain our cherished independent-streaks merely to coddle somebody else's insecurities? Though it may be emotionally arduous to stay present in the difficult moment of sharing a loved one's hurt (especially if our actions or admissions played some part in causing it), that is arguably the most caring behavior we can adopt in our relationships. On the other hand, pretending everything's all peaches-and-cream when it's decidedly not, supposedly for somebody else's benefit (when it's really because we ourselves are afraid to meet their authentic emotional response to this fuller snapshot of relational reality), falls short as a 'caring' gesture.