Mars and Venus on a hot Solar date


Venus and the Sun conjuncted a few days ago.  Now, as Venus edges out a bit to the east of Sol, she meets Mars, who’s moving into one of his rare-ish solar conjunctions.

For now – April 6 and 7, 2013 – Venus and Mars are conjunct just east of the Sun, as loosely depicted above by Titian, c. 1530*.  The amorously conjoined planets are too close to the Sun to be visible to the naked (and unprotected eye): less than 1 degree from each other, and less than 3 degrees from the Sun.

Sun-Mars conjunctions are kind of a big deal, since the Sun gets together with Mars less often than any of the other planets, even big slow-moving Saturn or Jupiter.  Mars only conjuncts the Sun every 25-to-26 months.

Even Johannes Kepler, modern master of comprehending planetary motion, struggled to formulate a theory to express the movement of Mars… Like a wayward friend on the day you need help moving, Mars shows up when he feels like it.

Mars-Diego Velazquez    A

Especially in contrast to the elegantly predictable eight-year cycle of Venus, Mars is more like the guy your parents don’t trust to bring you home on time.  This is part of what fuels Mars’ reputation as  war-like and rebellious.  And his depictions in art?  Think Renaissance-era Sexy Fireman calendars.  That Bad-Boy mystique has some serious mileage on it.

Mars and Venus don’t meet often either.  After this encounter, they go their separate ways until late February 2015, but then separate again.  They have a near-miss in early February 2017, but Venus retrogrades away at 5 degrees.  They finally reunite in early October 2017, this times in the predawn sky and far enough ahead of the Sun (23 degrees) for splendid viewing.

But right now, Sun, Venus and Mars are clustered together.  The grouping will separate over the coming week, but for now I’ll be opening my awareness to how this might feel – my desire for harmony and beauty and love (Venus) mingling with my various passions and life-force exuberance (Mars), and my ability to conjoin and embody these qualities, and then step it all forth as my presence in the world (Sun).

Mars also has a less martial, more verdant, identity.  One astrologer friend views Mars as the Green Man.  Another astrologer friend quotes Dylan Thomas

…the force that through the green fuse drives the flower…

May Mars in his ancient aspect of wildwood Mars Silvanus carry His instigating spark into this arriving Spring.


*Titian’s “Mars, Venus und Amor,” plus a sky-shot via Starry Night astronomical software, and a vintage Sun.  PS: Mars and Venus were conjunct the Sun in 1530, too.  Did Titian know?  Or care?

“Descanso de Marte,” Diego Velázquez, 1640.

Some phrases lifted directly from the Night Sky book, © 2011.


Sun Conjunct Venus, Now!


March 29, 2013 – Venus is conjunct the Sun!  Whee!  Gorgeous Evening-Star action will be coming soon!

Last year, on June 6, 2012, Venus quit her Evening Star status, passed across the face of the Sun (RARE!) and moved into her Morning Star position, rising ahead of the Sun each day.  Now – after 9.5 months as a Morning Star – Venus’ orbit has taken her around behind the Sun (as shown above, in a view not visible to the naked eye).  Now, from our Earthly perspective, the two are in line.  Conjunct.

Over the coming weeks, Venus continues in her orbit, moving onward, right-to-left, counterclockwise behind the Sun, getting further to the left/east of the Sun, as seen by us Earthlings.  That means Venus comes back into view as an Evening Star.  She’ll be visible again in mid-May.  Here’s some up-coming 2013 Venus-coolness:

  • Mid-May: Evening Star Venus becomes visible.  Not a specific date, so just watch… this will be Venus’ heliacal setting* reappearance.
  • May 26: Venus, Mercury and Jupiter form a tight triangle of mutual conjunctions, (hopefully) visible in the western sky just after sunset.
  • June 10: Mercury, Venus and a very slim New Crescent Moon, low in the WNW at sunset.
  • June 20: Summer Solstice, AND Sun conjunct Jupiter, AND Venus and Mercury conjunct near Gemini’s Castor and Pollux.

– from Renna Shesso


* The heliacal setting is when a celestial object first becomes visible just after sunset in the western sky.

Inanna at 9 AM


This was the weekend for PantheaCon, out in San Jose, CA.  A first-time attendee, I decided to dive in at the deep end, so submitted a workshop proposal, based on my Night Sky book, and – surprise to new-be me – it was accepted.

My workshop, “Re-enchanting the Night Sky: Planets, Stars and Spirit” was on 9 AM on the final day, and turned into sort of Dance of the Planets. Why act out the Chaldean order with apples and oranges when there are obliging and friendly pagans to take these celestial roles?

It felt like a lot of juicy info got covered, and those who came seemed engaged and attentive.  As lovely Ms. Literata Facebooked today:

Another great Pcon moment: Renna Shesso saying “I’ve said ‘vulva’ enough, now let’s move on to Mars.”

Glorious Inanna AKA Venus does have a way of waking people up.