Venusian Tangles


During the coming week, Venus, now in Cancer, will amble straight into the line of engagement with Pluto and Uranus.

As we now know all too well, symbolic expressions of Uranus-and-Pluto's radically destabilizing square come more starkly into view whenever another faster-moving planet enters their sphere-of-influence by hard aspect.

For those who believe, just because we marked the Uranus-Pluto square's seventh-and-final exact peak back in March, its life-redefining effects have all already come and gone, this week ahead could prove rather illuminating.

Venus's transiting circumstances often describe the dynamics of how we're currently relating to one another. In Cancer, Venus is innately attuned to the ways we might demonstrate our emotional investment, concern, or support for somebody else. Cancer is the sign of the prototypical mothering instinct, both in its intuitive knowledge about what's going on with people we care about and its desire to tend to providing them whatever comforts they might need at that moment. Cancer does the bulk of its communications non-verbally, first feeling into the tone of a situation, then responding with whatever caretaking action might quell circumstantial discomforts and/or satisfy another person's needs. Venus in Cancer loves to take care of.

While the nurturing and pacifying benefits of Venus in Cancer are pretty obvious (for who doesn't like a tender hug, a hot breakfast, and their every need dotingly met by someone they're emotionally connected with?), there can be shadowier expressions of its relational methods. Venus in Cancer doesn't carry out its heroic feats of caring for purely selfless reasons (despite what it may tell itself). Venus in Cancer meets its own needs by taking care of others.

Venus in Cancer needs to be needed… and, if not kept in check, may impose its 'caring' on those who may not want to 'be cared for' in such a presumptuous manner, and/or lapse into a clinginess likelier to foster aversion rather than endearment. At its worst, Venus in Cancer will even behave in somewhat shady ways, though often with the best intentions, concealing facts or manipulating situations in order to spare their loved ones the emotional upset. That's 'caretaking' taken to a rather dubious extreme.

These more questionable shades of Venus's conduct while in Cancer are particularly relevant now, as Venus moves into opposition with Pluto (exact on Thu May 21)… an aspect which brings the psychological undercurrents, submerged passions, unconscious tensions, and unresolved power-struggles into more pronounced animation. This Venus-Pluto opposition pits our moment-to-moment caring (or 'caring') instincts against the underlying reality of whatever strategic goals we may be simultaneously working towards, aggravating any divergence or friction between the two.

Such aggravation has the potential to manifest into dark or troublesome interpersonal consequences, whenever our relational connectedness is dependent on one party complying with the other's unrelenting demands—or, likewise, it can powerfully heighten the attractive allure which a relationship with some forbidden quality ('I know we shouldn't be doing this, but…') holds over us.

Under this Venus-opposing-Pluto influence, we'll want to be unflinchingly aware of the complicated, difficult, and/or potentially dangerous consequences of any relational tangle we may be 'giving ourselves over to'… especially those in which we must willfully ignore certain vexing realities, in order to justify our continuing involvement. We must guard against our own interpersonally manipulative tendencies—even when they're motivated by true-hearted love and/or the other person's 'best interests'—or else risk unpleasant pushback from those put off by our controlling moves. And we must protect ourselves from those who might seek to overpower us, who take advantage of our support and care to further their own agenda, stringing us along all the while with enough captivating attention to keep us hooked.

When we factor in Venus's coinciding square to Uranus soon after (exact on Mon May 25), any ensuing responses to whatever complications or snags are provoked by the Pluto opposition could end up surprisingly volatile or disruptive. Venus-Uranus contacts are known for shaking up standard relational expectations, stirring the impulse for greater freedom or independence, introducing unorthodox or individualistic streaks, and busting through stifling patterns. This can be done productively, for sincere self-liberating purposes—or more destructively, just to be reactionary or contrarian.

Venus in Cancer may face pressure from Uranus to disrupt our seamless interflow of emotional connectedness, to upset the 'blissful' relational sensations, as the only means for looking out for our own individuality. I put 'blissful' in quotes to highlight the suspect quality of such judgments, in light of simultaneously considering what personal costs (such as one's self-empowerment, psychological health, or psychic calm) we perhaps must pay to perpetuate this 'bliss'. Our relationships may have a commanding hold over us… and though we may have once willingly signed ourselves up for such subjugation, we also know our ultimate autonomy depends on breaking its hold (and/or breaking out altogether), despite any likely feelings of loss.

Though Venus in Cancer might try to convince us that a certain emotional chemistry and sincere caring are all we need for a successful relationship, Pluto and Uranus reject that simplistic formula, doing what they can to show us why such an understanding falls regrettably short. What if our relational success relies too precariously on our submitting to someone else's disempowering dominance… and/or on our own need to be needed by them? What if we betray our true individuality or agree to confining circumstances, in a desperate effort to keep the relationship going? What else matters to our overall satisfaction and happiness? Impending developments will likely unlock more insight in this area, albeit in a potentially unsettling or bumpy fashion.