Getting Used to Venus in Capricorn


Venus moved into Capricorn yesterday (Tue Nov 5), a development which ordinarily, in itself, wouldn't be a major astrological headline.

Because Venus is one of the faster-moving planets, she typically spends only about three to four weeks in a given zodiac-sign… just enough time to sprinkle a few happy blessings and some attractiveness-boosting powder over that sign's tribespeople, and then on to the next sector.

This occasion, however, is special: Venus will be in Capricorn for four full months, not heading out for greener (or at least more Aquarian) pastures until the first week of March 2014. Those of you who have been around the astrological block a time or two can probably identity the big 'why' behind this extra-lengthy visit. Yes, a couple months from now, Venus will take a six-week retrograde (from Dec 21 13 through Jan 31 14, to be exact)… during which time she's liable to provoke a smidge of interpersonal and/or financial mischief by posing circumstances that compel us to reconsider who and what we find most value in.

But let's not get ahead of ourselves just yet; you know I'll be saying more about this later. In the meantime, it's enough to simply reacquaint ourselves with the Venus-in-Capricorn vibe, seeing as we'll be under its influence for some time to come.

Venus symbolizes that which we feel affection for, how we draw it to us and how we join together in a union with it, and our general affinities and predilections. As such, in more practical terms, Venus is often seen as the planet of love and money (two of the main reasons why people consult with astrologers, incidentally), as well as an indicator of our aesthetic style. If we wish to attract people and experiences into our lives, and to assimilate these outside influences in a relational manner that enriches all parties' understandings of each other, then Venus is the gal we want to keep on our good side so she may ease our convergings.

Venus in Capricorn, just so we're clear, is not one of these hyper-romantic, touchy-feely Venuses. She is perhaps the last Venus who'd idealistically suggest that 'all you need is love', whether in pursuit of interpersonal relationships or material wealth. While loving someone or something is undoubtedly an important facet to why we'd want to unite ourselves with them/it, Venus in Capricorn doesn't naively believe that this single reason is enough to bank a commitment on. She is a long-view strategist in this regard… a goal-oriented earth-sign Venus who seeks not only to foster good relational feelings, but also to produce concrete real-world results as a deliberate effect of any such affiliations.

In other words, Venus in Capricorn wants her relationships to support her already established lifestyle goals, rather than causing her to drop her own ambitions (like a good partner should?) in order to prioritize a relationship above all else.

Though my account of Venus in Capricorn may seem to describe a perfectly reasonable means for assessing our interpersonal participations, the truth of our contemporary romantic-comedy-damaged culture is that we're supposed to find such pragmatic calculations in the relationship realm somewhat distasteful, smacking of the business-transactional tone we typically associate with the arranged-marriage mindset we unashamedly judge as bad and wrong. That's why I see the Venus-in-Capricorn archetype as a victim of our societal biases. In my book, there's nothing 'wrong' with choosing to enter into relationships (not just romantic, of course, but any kind) according to how they fit our desired purpose—to create an economically solid unit (with a mutually-agreed-upon division of labor), to bear and raise a family with a competent co-parent, to live together with a best-friend-type partner (and perhaps consensually seek sexual gratification elsewhere), to operate as a largely independent entity who comes together with someone who complements (rather than completes) their life, and so on, into a near-infinite number of possible permutations. A successful relationship can be anything the two (or more) involved parties agree upon… and it's nobody else's business to label it right or wrong.

These four months of Venus in Capricorn, then, motivate us to examine our relational dealings through this no-nonsense utilitarian lens. Are we falling behind on our quest to satisfy certain cherished ambitions, due to lollygagging around with somebody we enjoy but who we're not 'going anywhere' with? Are we willing to change up the type of people we go out on dates with (from, say, 'bad boy' to 'good guy'), possibly sacrificing a few bells-and-whistles of upfront chemistry in order to explore a potential future with this 'suitable match' material? Might we even proactively hunt down an individual with particular characteristics (e.g., a specific type of job, a certain religious or cultural background, an interest in travel or food or the performing arts) so the pairing would reinforce our evolutionary development in that particular direction?

What does it mean, anyway, to explicitly use a relationship as a vehicle to carry us somewhere? Though we scoff at the insinuation we might be 'using' another person, the reality—which Venus in Capricorn merely brings to the forefront of our awareness—is that all relationships qualify as instances of us 'using' each other for one reason or another, whether it's for companionship or emotional connection, if not a more specific tangible function. If all parties are on board with the terms, what's the problem? And if we're not getting what we want from a given relationship, what is its use to us?

Because Venus is also a symbol of money, her passage through Capricorn encourages us to be deliberate and long-term-oriented in terms of both our earning and spending strategies. Yes, I said 'strategies' again. If you don't have a financial strategy, Venus in Capricorn would like you to formulate one. That means, for example, being willing to accept certain on-the-job conditions (such as putting in extra effort on an important project or working an additional side-gig) which may require a temporary denial of immediate gratification, if it will yield you a heftier wad of dough further down the road. On the expenditure end, Venus in Capricorn can inspire us to shrewdly prioritize all our various expenses over time, so we make sure to have enough for the really important and/or most desired purchases (rather than blowing our cash on a bunch of stupid shit we won't remember a year from now). We might even forge speculative contacts with unproven professional allies in the short-term; though they may never become our best friends (or maybe they will?), they could serve as key networking links, opening up lucrative opportunities we wouldn't have discovered without 'em.

And if we look to Venus in Capricorn for her impact on our creative life, she'll inspire us to reframe our artistic productions into a coherent body of work, demonstrating both stylistic evolution and cumulative achievement. This is a Venus who enjoys helping engineer grand-plan structures rather than mere one-off whims that'll never 'add up' to much.

Also worth mentioning: Next week, Venus will form her latest tangle with the still-in-square duo of Uranus and Pluto, first squaring the former (Nov 14) and then conjoining the latter (Nov 15). Because of the conjunction, Pluto is the more potent influence on Venus this time around… intensifying desire for a particular objective from our relationships, escalating any interpersonal power-struggles with the hopeful promise of a satisfying catharsis, and/or intensifying the psychological depth with which we might connect one-on-one with individuals who mean something to us. Uranus in Aries, meanwhile, adds an erratic or unpredictable quality, with the potential to spur impulsive individuating moves that could threaten the longer-view tactics preferred by Venus in Capricorn. Next week's Venus-Uranus-Pluto snarl, therefore, may bring some relational turbulence—though, if it helps shake us free from the grips of involvements which impede us from pursuing our bigger aims and aspirations, we mustn't dread the disturbance. (For more on these themes, check out my article on 'Venusian unrest' from the last time she met up with Uranus and Pluto back in August; much of what I wrote then will again apply.)