This week entails two very interesting celestial events. First, on Tuesday morning, Venus stations retrograde, beginning her 6 week retreat across the sky’s catwalk. Then, on Sunday, we’re treated to an annular solar eclipse in Gemini. Between these two occurrences, we plunge headlong into the next phase of the year, marked by an unusual amount of time in the sign of the Twins.
Normally, the Gemini pattern is about differentiation and multiplication. However, with Venus moving backward through Gemini and a solar eclipse, there is a curbing and reversal of this pattern. Instead of multiplication, there is a withdrawal over extension and a return to the center.
Venus Stations Retrograde
After weeks of growing tension and slowing motion, Venus finally stations retrograde this Tuesday, May 15th. The lead up to the bright planet’s retrograde has involved intermittent social breakdowns, odd mood swings and some interrupted financial transactions. Venus’ actual turn retrograde this week takes us beneath these phenomena, into the Empress’ underworld, which we’ll be exploring for the next 6 weeks.
The central theme of Venus’ retrograde is quite simple. Normally, Venus presides over and encourages connection. We extrude energetic tentacles which grasp what we desire, binding the objects of our passion to us, and us to them. During Venus’ retrograde, we are moved to retract these grasping hands, to reel in our fishing line as well as our bait. Venus’ retrograde is an insistent call to return to the source of desire. What we find, of course, is that desire’s objects are much simpler to identify than its source, which lies somewhere within us, beneath layers of invisible veils.
This retraction of desire to its source is an important end of one cycle and the beginning of another. Really, though, it is the space between, which is of both the past and the future. This indeterminate quality is another one of Venus retrograde’s primary characteristics. Many people experience an intense oscillation between the emotional polarities of attraction and repulsion. With the retrograde before us in Gemini, these emotional extremes are sure to be heightened. As we spiral backwards towards the source of desire, like bathwater down the drain, we’ll feel things from a dizzying 360 degrees before plunging into the quiet clarity of the center.
For more on the qualities of Venus’ retrograde through Gemini this May and June, read “Venus Retrograde in Gemini.”
Annular Solar Eclipse
The Sun enters Gemini on May 20th and is almost immediately eclipsed. The annular solar eclipse will be seen across eastern Asia and the western United states. We’ll jump through this blazing ring like a portal, entering a series of weeks full of strange, accelerated changes. This is the 2nd and last Solar Eclipse in Gemini for about a decade. The next solar eclipse, in November, will take place deep in Scorpio, opening a tunnel into a whole new series of challenges.
This eclipse, like all solar eclipses, is a special variety of New Moon. Normally during a New Moon we recenter our energy and plant an intention for the month. However, with this New Moon being an eclipse on the Tail, our intention should not be to add but to subtract. The Dragon’s Tail lashes, destroying obstructions within. Work with it. Instead of adding more ideas, more words, more desires to your life, try subtracting. Try recognizing that you’ve probably got too many as it is. If you would invite abundance, make room for it. If you would court genius, clear enough space in your mind to allow it freedom.
This is the Taoist logic that eclipses on the Tail operate on- if you would experience fullness, first become empty. Accordingly, eclipses on the Tail are excellent for practicing austerities of all types. The mind, body and heart all benefit from the occasional fast.
raudram raudratmakam ghoram tam ketum pranamamy aham