The Astrology Podcast
Transcript of Episode 247, titled:
With Chris Brennan, Leisa Schaim, and guest Arielle Guttman
Episode originally released on March 22, 2020
Note: This is a transcript of a spoken word podcast. If possible, we encourage you to listen to the audio or video version, since they include inflections that may not translate well when written out. Our transcripts are created by human transcribers, and the text may contain errors and differences from the spoken audio. If you find any errors then please send them to us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Transcribed by Andrea Johnson
Transcription released August 6, 2021
Copyright © 2021 TheAstrologyPodcast.com
CHRIS BRENNAN: Hi, my name is Chris Brennan, and you’re listening to The Astrology Podcast. Today is Sunday, March 15, 2020, starting at 3:22 PM, in Denver Colorado, and I think this should be the 247th or so episode of the show. In this episode, I’m going to be talking with astrologers Arielle Guttman and Leisa Schaim, and we’re going to be talking about a variety of different things surrounding Arielle’s work on the Venus retrograde cycle and Venus Star Points, as well as her work on mythic astrology. So hey, Arielle, welcome to Denver.
ARIELLE GUTTMAN: Thank you so much Chris and Leisa. I’m so happy to be here. I love your podcasts. I love the work you’re doing broadcasting to the world really high quality information to astrologers and all the archives you have. So happy to be here.
CB: Yeah. So you reached out to me early last month about doing some sort of talk and then we decided to have you out to give a lecture. And we agreed early last month to have you out to give a talk for our local astrology group, for the Denver Astrology Group, and then to record a podcast the next day. And then, luckily, over the course of the last week or so, the coronavirus broke out and suddenly shut down–there was a state of emergency declared in Denver, and in Colorado in general, and they were urging people not to get together for large gatherings in order to avoid spreading the virus.
You still ended up coming into town, but we ended up presenting the local astrology meeting through a webinar format, and you presented that yesterday on the Venus Star Point. So thanks for your flexibility in terms of that yesterday. That was a first for us.
AG: A first for me too.
CB: Okay. First time presenting an astrology lecture during an epidemic?
AG: A pandemic.
CB: Yeah. Although, now that I think about it, in history, probably not the first astrology lecture that’s been presented during an epidemic, but that probably has a longer history going back.
LEISA SCHAIM: Curse of our lifetime.
CB: Yeah. But that was a really good talk on Venus Star Points, and so I want to get into some of that today. I want to also talk about some of your work on mythic astrology. We have both of your books here. So you’re the author of the book, Venus Star Rising: A New Cosmology for the Twenty-First Century, and you’re also the author of a couple of books titled, Mythic Astrology: Internalizing the Planetary Powers, which you co-authored with Kenneth Johnson.
So I want to talk about all of these today, but let’s start off with some biographical information just for the people that may not be familiar with your work. When did you get into astrology, and how long have you been studying it?
AG: 1974 was my first formal class in astrology. It had been introduced to me a year or so before actually in Europe. I was backpacking through Europe in 1973, and of all places I’m standing on the steps of the Acropolis in Athens, and my traveling partner at that time was a Greek mythology major and started talking to me about Athena and the Greek myths and all of that.
And just that morning, I had been in a bookstore and picked up a postcard of Athena, but instead of a statue of Athena, it was a kind of a modern woman sitting at her desk in her office, and she was wearing glasses and she looked like a real bookworm; she had all these books around her and studious and all that. And I pulled it out of my pack, I said, “Oh, you mean her?” And he said, “Yeah.”
Well, anyway, that was 1973. And I’ve been going back to Greece; this will be my 19th trip this year back to Athens. And I have a special affinity for Greece and Greek mythology, but on that same trip, we started talking about astrology, and I hadn’t connected the two yet. I mean, they were like two different areas.
And when I got home from that trip, I had taken a break in my studies, wondering what I was going to study. I was focused on writing, maybe literature, maybe psychology, and languages–those were all areas of interest for me. And then two or three friends at home came to me and started talking about astrology, and I thought, “All right.” So I went to a bookstore, picked up a little book–it was a paperback–it was by Joseph Goodavage, and it was called, Write Your Own Horoscope. Have you ever heard of that?
AG: Okay. So it actually was a pretty good book. It told you how to calculate based on what latitude you lived in and what time you were born, a basic wheel. And so, I calculated my chart from that book and read the interpretations, and from then on I said, “This is pretty good,” and from that book I calculated myself to be Taurus rising. But when I got to the class, the first formal class, she had calculated my chart and put it up on the board that night, and she said, “You’re actually Aries rising because it was daylight savings time when you were born.” And I was so already identified with being Taurus rising that I thought, “Oh, Aries rising. What’s that?” But that’s the start of this story.
CB: Okay. And nowadays, you split your time between Santa Fe, New Mexico and Greece in terms of where you live. And you’ve written, how many books? You’ve written several books at this point, right? So we have the three in front of us: Venus Star Rising and then Mythic Astrology and Mythic Astrology Applied, which is the sequel. But you also co-authored a book on relocation astrology.
AG: Yes, with Jim Lewis. That came before the Mythic Astrology series. We did that in the late ‘80s; we worked on that together. I was very fortunate to be working with Jim Lewis. At the time, none of us knew that he was going to pass so early, but he was one of our brilliant minds in astrology. I learned quite a bit from him.
CB: Right. He was one of the major astrologers or leading astrologers who passed away during the AIDS epidemic.
AG: Actually a little bit further along. Actually the story was that it was from a brain tumor, and it was in the early ‘90s–or the mid-90s even. By then, I don’t know if the AIDS epidemic was still a big threat.
AG: I mean, it was somewhat. I mean, he was a San Francisco resident. He did frequent the bathhouses. He did have multiple partners. I mean, this stuff is known about him, so it’s possible. But actually what has come out since or at that time was that it was a brain tumor.
CB: Okay. Sorry. My apologies.
LS: How did you end up originally meeting Jim Lewis or starting to work with him?
AG: Southern California had a lot. Where I was living at the time, San Diego, actually is where I cut my teeth on astrology, and there were some fabulous people in San Diego at the time. He would come and lecture. We had a yearly conference called SWAC, Southwest Astrology Conference, and also the first UAC ever was held in San Diego.
AG: And so, I was at all of those. But I think I met him at one of the SWAC conferences, and after his lecture, he was at a table selling astrocartography maps–this very interesting type of map that he had originated and was in the process of copyrighting. And it took a special computer and program. It was one of these fold-out, double pages that you’d open up, this big map of the world, and you would see where all your planets were.
After the first lecture that I went to with him, I said, “This is brilliant. I really want to work with this. What else can I do? How can I study with you?” etc., etc., so we continued to be in contact. And when he presented his first ever certification program–he and Jeff Jawer, who now also has passed–they gave a program in San Francisco, and I was at that first seminar.
And he put out a test and a certification course, and it was a pretty rigorous test. I actually to this day don’t know how I passed that but I did. And after I passed it and we talked some more, he said, “Well, you are one of the few people in the world that know as much about this system as I do at this point. And there’s a handful of others, but everybody’s been asking me to write a book.” And so, he asked me if I was interested in helping him with that.
He had three planets in Gemini, and he was constantly juggling so many things–lecture tours and maps sales promotion, this, that, whatever, I don’t know–and he just couldn’t find a place to sit down. You have to really carve out time to write a book. These books are not easy. I mean, I’m sure you know that from having authored a book.
CB: I mean, mine only took me like 10 years to write.
AG: Only 10. Okay, that’s pretty good. And it’s got, what, over a thousand years of history in it.
CB: I mean, I cover two-to-three-thousand years of history, but yeah, whatever, as one does. So he asked you to write that with him. And he really came up with that. Anybody that uses astrocartography, that has the different planetary lines that go through the world, that show you when different planets hit angles in your chart–like the Midheaven or the Descendant or whatever–that was something he pioneered and came up with.
AG: And he trademarked that name, Astro*Carto*Graphy.
CB: Yeah, with the asterisks.
AG: Yeah, in the middle. And he was in a couple of legal battles about that because other computer programmers were trying to use it without permission and all sorts of things. He was involved in some very heavy legal battles with that.
CB: I have to say, not a fan of writing the asterisks, even though I understand the point of that for copyright purposes.
AG: Right, right.
AG: Well, it’s interesting. Now that you mentioned it, I trademarked the Venus Star Point, and they wouldn’t let me. I kept sending in the symbol for Venus; it’s very tedious to get a patent with the US Patent Office. And I kept sending things in over and over, and they kept refusing them, and I sent them again, and refusing, refusing. And I’m like, “What do you want?” And finally, I had to hire an attorney, a specialist in copyright and trademark and intellectual property law to do it for me, and the first time he sent it in, it went through like that, so I guess he knew what to do. But I’ve also seen the Venus Star Point all over the internet. All I asked for was just acknowledge the book or that it’s a copyright of Sophia Venus, but most people don’t do that.
AG: But Jim, I learned from Jim. I hope that I’m not spending my life in any kind of legal battles with people using it improperly or whatever.
CB: So when was that book published?
CB: Okay. So that would have been one of, if not the first book on astrocartography?
CB: Okay. So you were involved in the popularization of that as a technique, which has since become a really popular technique, especially since you can use it on Astro.com. And I think a lot of people have their first exposure to it there–I forget what it’s called–but their relocational astrology section is based on that.
LS: Yeah. And it’s so interesting to think or hear about the inception of all of that, because after a few decades then it just becomes part of like this has always been around, so it’s interesting to hear when it wasn’t.
AG: When he started it, I mean, there were other people who had written about locational astrology or relocation astrology, the idea of taking the chart of where you were born and relocating it to another city.
AG: But for the most part, they were just reading that chart, the twelve houses, how the planets were. I think the brilliance of what he introduced–well, a couple of things–one was angularity. He studied with some sidereal astrologers that were very big on angularity, and I forgot their names right now, but they’re pretty well known.
CB: I’m trying to think. There’s like Cyril Fagan. There’s, I don’t know, Brigadier Firebrace and other random–but those are more towards the middle of the 20th century.
AG: No, there were some people still writing in the later 20th century, but I forgot who they are now, but he was kind of combining that idea of angularity. And of course, he always said, “I’ve moved 19 times in 20 years,” or something. And he realized that each time he would be in a different location–again, he’s a Gemini with all this Gemini–that he felt different parts of himself, and so the theory of angularity was really strong. And then, secondly, his idea of ‘parans’. It’s a longer word that none of us can pronounce. Maybe you can. Paranatellonta or something.
CB: Yeah, it’s something like that. That’s pretty close.
AG: And so, what that is, is that there are certain longitudes and latitudes of the world where when you have one particular sign in degree at the Midheaven, you’ll have something else on the Ascendant/Descendant axis.
AG: And so, those don’t easily change. They’re kind of fixed in a lot of places. So if you happen to have planets that aren’t necessarily square, but you have these angles, and you have a planet on each–one on the IC/MC axis and one on the AC/DC axis–even though they may not have any astrological aspect relationship with one another, they are considered a very strong paran, and they’re both highly operative in that location. And they bring two things in your chart that may or may not be together already.
CB: Right. And one of the main things, like you were saying, that he really innovated was not just relocating a chart but plotting the lines of where planets would be angular on the entire globe in that visual format.
CB: Have you had much experience with relocational yourself in terms of relocating or going to different places and seeing how that has worked out in your own life?
AG: I mean, I basically came to this area, the Rocky Mountain zone, because my Mercury line–what he would call the Mercury line–was here.
AG: Actually I wanted a place to go and do some writing. And so, I came to Santa Fe. One summer, I think it was 1988, I was really debating between do I want to live in Santa Fe or do I want to live in Boulder. And I spent some time in Boulder, quite a bit of time, and I loved it there, but Santa Fe eventually won over. But yet, they’re still down the same line of longitude, practically straight up and down I-25, and that’s where my Mercury line is on the IC.
Now his interpretation of Mercury on the IC is that people would be delving very much into family genealogy and roots and things like that and maybe writing about them. I didn’t do that, but what happened immediately when I got to Santa Fe was I started writing and exploring Greek mythology, writing about that. So it must be an ancient family roots thing.
LS: Right. And I’m curious too, with all of your connections to Greece since your first trip there, do you also have interesting lines there?
AG: Oh, yeah. There’s another technique though. The thing about Jim was he was very fixed on just using the 10 planets. He didn’t put in the Nodes. He didn’t use Chiron or the asteroids, which I do. And then there’s another technique, I think it was begun by Michael Erlewine, called local space astrology. And from local space, what that looks like, it’s a different projection of the planets. It centers over your birthplace and then the planets all fan out across the world like spokes of a wheel into whatever direction they happen to be pointing.
And you have to be within a 50-mile radius of that local space line, once it gets way out there, further away, because at your birthplace, they’re altogether. You could walk around in a circle, and they’d all be there, right?
AG: But the further you get, the more distinctive they become. And from my birthplace, the place that I’m going to be living in Greece soon, and one of the places I’ve always loved, my Moon goes like somebody shot a bow and arrow and, boom, it landed in that town.
LS: Wow, that’s interesting.
AG: So the Moon is one of them there. Also, I have Athena rising over Athens, Pallas Athene, the asteroid, in the relocation chart. I have Pluto in mundo rising there. And I have on the geodetic map–which I also use and I look at all of these–I have my nodal axis right over Athens, so that’s been a place I’ve gotten quite a bit to.
CB: Okay. So you incorporate asteroids into your relocational work?
AG: Oh, yeah.
CB: And asteroids is one of the things that you also were an early adopter of as well to some extent. So last month, I did the first asteroids episode with Demetra George, and she said that her entryway into asteroids was through Eleanor Bach publishing the first asteroid ephemeris. And you had some connection with Eleanor Bach’s work as well, right?
AG: Yeah, I had that little book. The little, little book, little hardback book–I think I still have it in my library–on the four asteroids, the four main ones. And I didn’t know Eleanor at the time. I think the person that I learned the most from, besides Eleanor’s book, was Zipporah Dobyns in LA. I was going to some of her classes, and she had a research week that she sponsored at her home in the early-to-mid-’80s. Actually it was an ISAR research week that I attended.
And she had a really good take on weaving the asteroids into the chart, and she had a really good interpretation model called the ‘12-letter alphabet’, where she would take Mars/Aries in the 1st house and say these are all ‘Letter 1’ and do this evaluation of charts like, “How much of Letter 1 do you have? How much of Letter 5? How much of Letter 10?” etc.
CB: Yeah. And because the origins of that go back much earlier and started being popularized by Alan Leo and people like that, it’s often said to be earlier. But Zip Dobyns was really the main or one of the main promoters of the 12-letter alphabet, and she named it that. But that was really the turning point where that started to be like a major interpretive technique in Western astrology through her work and through her systemization of that.
AG: Mm-hmm. And I can tell you over the years–it’s been 46 years now that I’ve been in astrology–sometimes I think that people are confusing the sign, the house, and the planetary ruler. Sometimes I’ll say they’re interpreting Scorpio, but that sounds too much like Pluto or the 8th house.
CB: Well, I mean, that’s usually though then attributed to–I guess one question I have then is sometimes I hear that when Zip Dobyns taught that system of the ‘12-letter alphabet’ that it was supposed to be a teaching tool for beginners, but that you were still supposed to understand that there was a differentiation between planets, signs, and houses. But then when that model took over that distinction kind of got lost that this was just a teaching tool.
AG: Right, right.
CB: Is that true, or do you think that’s an accurate statement?
AG: I mean, I don’t know because I didn’t keep up. I had already had my basics in astrology before I met with Zip, but I hadn’t been using that technique, and I just thought it was an interesting way to look at charts. But Ken and I, we didn’t originate this analogy, we wrote it in the book, Mythic Astrology, a few years later. But we were talking about how people outside astrology always want to know about the signs, but we, the people inside astrology, actually look at the planets first as the primary because we look at the planets as the actors. If you were to imagine a theatrical production, the planets and asteroids are the actors, right?
AG: They’re the stars. And the signs are the costumes and the houses are the setting, the stage setting. And so, if you can keep it in that context and think about that–I don’t know who originated that idea–but we definitely agreed with it and thought this is how we see it.
CB: Sure. Okay, so that might be a good segue then into that work. So in the 1990s, you partnered up with Kenneth Johnson, who’s actually been on the podcast in some of the early episodes. He hasn’t been done for a while, but he’s one of my favorite astrologers, especially due to his background and versatility with both Indian astrology and Western astrology.
CB: But you guys got together and wrote two books on mythic astrology, and I was hoping we could talk about that a little bit today because that was kind of a new thing. Even though there was some basis in using myth as an interpretive principle in some ancient traditions, when we go back and read some ancient texts, it’s not quite as clear or quite as consistent that they were using it as we thought. But it seems like this became a really common interpretive principle in the 20th century, especially coming out of the works of Carl Jung and Liz Greene and other people like that. But maybe we could talk a little bit about how myth is used as an interpretive principle in astrology and what that approach is about.
AG: I think for me it began with the idea that–going back to Eleanor Bach’s book–that to introduce the four goddesses to the world, into the astrological world as asteroids, the first four asteroids that were discovered, it was really delving into their mythology. And I realized I had my own questions when I began my first astrology class: Why is Saturn interpreted like this? Why is Jupiter way over here like that? Who decided that? Why? All these ‘why, why, why’ questions.
So the idea that we haven’t really looked inside of all the planets and their myths and their mythology. I mean, some people would see them, but mostly signs and planets tend to be keywords. Most of the astrological–what do you call it–cookbooks available around that time had a lot of keywords, and I wanted to really tell their stories, like how did the planet or the sign get that attribute, what was the story behind the story and all that, so we did that.
But I think the other thing, Ken and I were crossing paths before we met without even knowing it. We both lived in San Diego. We both lived in Santa Fe. And I was going to Santa Fe about the time he went to San Diego, and he settled in the same area of San Diego and got a lot of clients that had previously had their charts read by me. And they would say, “Well, what are these little symbols on the chart?” like Ceres, Pallas, Juno, Vesta. And he said to me at that time when we met, he said, “Well, I had to go study them to answer these clients’ questions.” But Ken was a Greek mythology major. He had already had a degree in that from one of the University of California state systems, so he already knew quite a bit about myths.
And when we finally got together, myth was swirling around. Joseph Campbell. Liz Greene was writing beautifully about the myths of the planets, and Joseph Campbell’s series was out. And just in the astrological, Carl Jung’s stuff–everything was exploding in myths around this time, mid-to-late-’80s, early ‘90s. And I had picked up Edith Hamilton’s book on mythology, again, and one of the first lines in the book said something like, “In the beginning, there were 12 Olympians,” and then suddenly that had a new ring to me. “Oh, well we have 12 signs. There has to be some kind of connection here.” And so, I wanted to set out and see how we could bring the 12 Olympians and the 12 signs together. And I told Ken about this, and so we kind of went back and forth with it. We didn’t have email then. We did have computers, clunky computers that we wrote on, but it was kind of that ‘dot-dot’.
AG: You know, little ‘dot-dot’ things.
CB: Carrier pigeons and stuff.
AG: But the beauty of the book is that he would write his section, let’s say, on Jupiter, and I would write mine, and then we’d put them together and we’d take out all the things that we had both said. And then he was a good editor too. He wove them together into a pretty seamless chapter then, that sometime afterwards, when the book was published many years later, I would go back and I would forget, “Now who wrote that? Was it him or me?” But our ideas were so similar, we didn’t disagree on anything.
AG: Yeah, so that’s how Mythic Astrology came up. And actually one of the ancient writings that he had come up with at the time–and this was before Project Hindsight and all the translations that were going on–he found a text by Manilius that talked about the gods. Manilius wrote more about the gods than the planets. He did write some astrology, but it was more about the gods. And so, he was giving rulership of the 12 signs to the 12 Olympians: Artemis and Apollo and Hermes and Zeus.
CB: Right. So the premise of Mythic Astrology then–I mean there was already a lot swirling around through the works of people–like you said, through Joseph Campbell and Carl Jung–that myth and the myths that different cultures used could be an access point for understanding broader archetypal or psychological dynamics that permeate our culture or that manifest in different people’s lives in different ways, and that was already a pre-existing sort of notion in it of itself.
But then what you guys started doing was applying mythology to the planets as an access point for understanding the archetype of the planet better, by investigating the myths associated with the things that the celestial bodies were named after. And that was already the primary access point for how people were trying to understand the asteroids, like Ceres and Vesta and Juno and so on and so forth. But you started applying that to the other areas, like what is the myth of Kronos or Saturn or what have you, right?
AG: So we delved into a lot of the stories about that. And Ken, as you said, was involved very much in Vedic astrology at the time too, so a lot of stories from Vedic astrology–also Hindu mythology–are also in there. And we have some things from other cultures where we’d pick up something about Egypt, or obviously, Babylonia or other places, and even talk about the gods who were named after the Roman gods. They had their own gods before Greece, but they pretty much incorporated the Greek gods and myths and the Greek pantheon into their system when Greece was kind of sliding down and Rome was kind of rising to power and all of that, so we talked about that too.
But for the most part, it goes back to Jung’s archetypes, and that’s how the first book was named, Mythic Astrology: Archetypes in the Horoscope, or something like that. The name has been changed in subsequent printings, the subtitle has been changed, but it really is Archetypes in the Horoscope.
LS: And I’m curious–were you already starting to work with clients around these types of things, discussing these mythic stories?
AG: Oh, sure.
AG: I never write anything that I’m gonna publish until I’ve tested it.
AG: Myself, family members, friends, clients, whatever.
CB: What is the approach? So part of the approach in sitting down delineating a chart is if you see a certain planet or a celestial body that’s prominent then you might talk to them about or explain part of the mythology of that planet and the mythological story, and that sometimes in telling that story to the person, it’s going to resonate with them a certain way if they have that planet and it was prominent in their chart.
AG: A popular one for women is the Ceres–the Demeter-Persephone myth of the mother and the daughter–if they have Ceres, the asteroid Ceres, the planet Pluto, the sign Virgo, the sign Scorpio–the Moon–and Ceres is in any of those signs, in any kind of combination thereof. I don’t know. The chart is kind of like a soup, and you have to kind of extract certain kinds of ingredients out of it. Anyway, when I would see that theme, I would start the story of Demeter and Persephone, and most of the time, almost all the time, I would get the response, “Oh, my. Yes.”
I mean, just even the other day, I had a Sun conjunct Ceres person come in that had somehow–oh, it was square Saturn, exactly square Saturn in the chart. And right away, we started talking about the mother and the influence, and yeah, she said, “Oh, don’t even start with my mother,” it was kind of like that.
CB: Really quickly, what is the myth of Ceres and Persephone, or what’s the short version of the myth?
AG: The short version is that Demeter, the goddess of earth and the goddess of the grain and harvest had a daughter, Persephone. And Persephone was out in the fields picking flowers one day, and suddenly, the earth opened up and out shot Pluto-Hades–his dark horses and his chariot–and he grabbed her and he took her to the underworld and she came screaming all the way there. And Demeter didn’t see the act but she knew immediately something had happened and her daughter was missing, and she went into this very long grief process where she refused the earth to grow anymore. The earth could not produce any more crops because she was mourning for her lost daughter.
And finally, Zeus had to intercede and find out. And they knew all along that it was Hades that had come and taken the daughter, and so they sent Hermes down to the underworld. Hermes was one of the few figures in mythology that could enter and leave the underworld unscathed, and he went down to try to bargain and all that. And the idea was that if Persephone hadn’t eaten any of the fruit of the underworld she could come back to her mother, but she had eaten some fruit of the underworld, the pomegranate seeds. And the pomegranate is a fruit that is associated with her. And so, they struck a bargain–six months you can be with your mother in the upper world and six months in the underworld with Pluto
Now Persephone evolved and grew, that transformation in the underworld; she became queen of the underworld. And many people feel that–I mean, this is all through Greek mythology and even our stories–that there was a world of deities in place that had been more female-centered, mother goddesses and female goddesses that were in charge of all these different departments of life. And when Greek mythology came in, you’ll see repeated stories of rape, abduction, capturing, overtaking, and it’s usually the god overtaking the goddess in some way and then claiming that territory as his.
For instance, Zeus procreated with many different goddesses but also many mortal women to produce offspring everywhere. That may have been one way of saying that now all the offspring were going to be related to him, and it was going to come through the patriarchal line rather than the matriarchal line. So a lot of that was the culture changing at that time, but a lot of these stories are involved with that.
So back to the idea of the story Ceres-Persephone-Pluto, whatever combination of figures you have or signs with that, some inkling of that story has probably played out in your life in an important way. And that’s why I was trying to get enough information and feedback from people at the time to say, “Yes, this is true.” I mean, Athena gives you a different story. She’s the father’s daughter. Persephone is the mother’s daughter and there’s just different ways that you interpret them.
Juno-Hera was the partnership, she was the wife of Zeus. And so, if you have a strong Juno, you have a strong urge to partnering. And a deeper story with that is about Juno giving up her own power to marry power, so that often shows up in charts as well. But yeah, once you just start looking and walking through the archetypal landscape of the chart, the stories kind of emerge.
LS: Yeah. What is really interesting to me, looking through your books, one of the things was that you are talking about not only looking at the stories of the planets that were prominent in the chart, but potentially counterbalancing things that were either too weak or too strong in your life, so it’s not just that something would have to be prominent in your chart for it to be an important story for you to pay attention to.
AG: Right, right. Yeah, exactly. In the second volume, Mythic Astrology Applied, we tried to work with that–it’s called ‘Healing with the Planets’. So what if you have this planet overstated in your chart and you want to tone it down a little bit? Or what if you don’t have it at all and you want to bring it in?
AG: So we were looking at more magical kinds of things: invocation and dream work and gemstones and healing things. That could be how to set up an altar for this particular planet or archetype to bring it into your life.
CB: Right. I’m thinking of another scenario where somebody doesn’t have a certain celestial body or a certain myth prominent in their birth chart, but then they go through, let’s say, a transit, like a Pluto transit, and then suddenly that archetype is manifesting in their life, and if you were to tell that story or tell a myth related to that, they would perhaps really resonate it with it at that point in their life versus at other times when they might not.
AG: Mm-hmm. And that idea that you’re saying has reminded me, over and over again, I’ve seen this–a transit, for instance, of Pluto to Ceres. And Pluto’s a long-term transit. It takes a couple of years to complete. Really if you’re going to use even a tiny orb, 1- or 2-degree orb, it takes a while. And that has come down to really clearly mean this is a custody battle, and I’ve seen that in a lot of people who are getting divorced and the fight is over the children or the child.
LS: That’s very interesting.
AG: Yeah, and sometimes even the dog.
LS: Oh, wow.
CB: Okay. So yeah, I’m trying to think of other mythology. So you also said at one point, when we were talking about this last night, that obviously that was the access point, the primary access point that astrologers were using very early on for understanding the asteroids and understanding their meaning, but you started applying that to the traditional planets as well; so for example, Mercury or Hermes and some of the myths associated with Hermes; since Hermes was like the messenger of the gods and that being relevant in understanding the astrological role that Hermes plays as well–or that Mercury plays as well.
AG: Mm-hmm. Well, my favorite story to this day of Hermes is that he’s this clever little baby. He’s born and right away he knows everything. And Zeus was actually quite proud of how smart he was, such a youngster and so smart and clever and all that. But one of the things he did–he was the brother of Apollo, the younger brother of Apollo–he stole Apollo’s golden cattle, sacred cattle. They were really protected, but Hermes was able to sneak in, open the gate, and let all the cattle out. And so as not to get caught, Hermes decided to walk backwards, so that the footprints look like they were going a different way; so it took a while for them to figure out who was the thief here.
And then when they finally figured out it was Hermes, they marched him up to Mount Olympus, and Zeus said, “Oh, you’re such a clever child.” So he didn’t give him any punishment, but they had to make a bargain. Apollo and Hermes obviously had to make up, and they exchanged sacred totems at the time. Hermes had carried the lyre–remember, the musical instrument. The moment of his birth, he happened upon a tortoise, and he said, “Oh, there’s a tortoise shell. I’m gonna make a lyre out of it,” and so he had that, and Apollo had the healing rod, the caduceus.
So they exchanged at that time, and then Apollo became the god of music with the lyre, and Hermes carried the double-serpent caduceus. Asclepius carries the single-serpent rod, but Hermes carried the double. But what I like about that story is that I think of it every time Mercury goes retrograde, that Hermes walked backwards to fool everybody into thinking it wasn’t him that took the cattle, and he is that little trickster when he’s retrograde.
CB: Right. So right there that brings in the mischievousness. It doesn’t as often come up in modern, but in ancient astrology, this mischievousness, as well as the inventiveness of Mercury as astrological significations that can manifest in a person’s life.
LS: And I’m curious–when you work with people with these mythic stories, is the biggest idea for people to recognize that part of their life is a piece of something bigger, or is it to change something by knowing that story?
AG: Ideally, both. But just recognizing sometimes that it’s a universal story can take the sting, the personal sting out of it for you; like not thinking you’re the only one that’s had to endure something like that or go through that. And it’s also gotten people interested so much in reading those myths and learning their chart more deeply. I mean, I’m sure all of us astrologers have heard this, “You saw all that in my chart?”
AG: Very personal things in their life. But I think you tell the story from the mythic point of view before approaching it, like, “Oh, this is what happened to you,” or “Did this happen to you?” without going right in there, but just saying, “Well, when I look at your chart there’s a story that I want to tell you, and it’s about this. How do you relate to that?” And the answer is the story of my life.
CB: Right. Because one of the issues that astrologers run into is, like you were saying, most astrology books just have a list of significations of possible manifestations of the planet, but the reason they have that is because you can’t describe it. It’s difficult. It’s not possible to describe the archetype because the archetype of the planet is something, by definition as an archetype, that’s transcendental or is like sort of hovering above or behind reality, and then we see manifestations of it in these manifold, different significations of individual, specific things.
CB: But myth is a useful tool then because it’s probably like one level up as an intermediary that’s getting closer to trying to describe the archetype, by describing some of the stories and some of the themes in broad, mythical or legendary sort of terms.
AG: Yeah. And these archetypes with the planets–because you’re fleshing out their character, they have a full, rich character. They’re actually a living, breathing kind of person almost rather than, like you said, the keywords. Because which keywords? There’s a hundred keywords for this sign or planet. Which ones apply?
CB: Yeah, especially Mercury. That’s an interesting point though because then it’s almost treating the planets as ‘intelligences’, or that there’s some principle out there that’s like alive and existing, which does bring you back more to almost the magical sort of approach to astrology as well.
AG: Right. And I mean archetypes are simply like imprints of an image. I think I used to describe it probably not as a verb; it would be a noun. It would be a thing or a person or an image of something tangible, not an action. But think about the archetypes. So what’s a banker? A Wall Street banker, what archetype comes up in astrology for you on that?
LS: To some degree, Saturn maybe, or Capricorn in terms of like big structures that underpin societies. That’s not the only one that comes to mind, but that’s the first one.
AG: Okay. Yeah, so you would look for that. Or the traveling salesman, what would that be?
CB: I mean, that’s like Hermes or Mercury, isn’t it?
AG: Yes, exactly. Or the woman that’s spending all this time, or man, in their garden harvesting their crops and doing all this and paying close attention to the seasons. By the way, that Greek myth on Demeter and Persephone really was a way to define the seasons. We have winter. When for Persephone’s in the underworld, we have winter; and basically, we do have winter. And unless you’re in the tropical zones, you have summer in winter, and so you have the two extremes.
AG: And so, it was to illustrate that, but it was also to illustrate the cycles of a person’s life. And one of the conclusions I came to with a heavy type of Persephone-Demeter kind of thing was, are you a person that feels like you can really work hard and really get the job done, but then you need to take some time off and really go into retreat for a few months or whatever? And these people would often say, yes. Or if they didn’t do it, but felt the need to do it, I would illustrate the myth as just saying maybe it’s a good idea for you to carve that into your schedule, that taking care of yourself, because I think that’s another important element that we can take from that story.
But I do find now that I’ve been living in Europe part time, I do find that Americans tend to be very overworked and always thinking about work and always going, going, going and always wanting the graph to go up. And they don’t do well with the internal, interior, like going back down. I use the Moon cycle, graphs of the Moon, for when you’re the most extroverted in your life, when you’re more introverted, and when you need a little more private time.
CB: It seems like another theme that came up in the Demeter story was grief and themes of grief.
AG: Very much so, yeah.
CB: All right, so let’s see. A sort of transition point for that might be Venus and some of the mythology surrounding Venus, because eventually that was a transition point into something you got into in the following decade or two with your work on Venus, and especially the distinction between whether Venus is a ‘Morning Star’ or an ‘Evening Star’. And I think there were some other ancient, maybe Mesopotamian myths that were kind of connected with that. I don’t know if that’s something that you brought in.
AG: Well, there’s always been a couple of stories of Venus’ births, mainly the agreed-upon birthplace–an island that claims her is Cyprus–and that Aphrodite first came from Cyprus. She did come from the Near East; she came from the older cultures. Because Cyprus back then was part of the Greek Empire, the Greek world, she was named Aphrodite, ‘She of the Seafoam’.
And the story is that she came floating from Cyprus. Greece took her from Cyprus and claimed her as their love goddess. But even today in Greece, you don’t find temples honoring Aphrodite, you really don’t–not like Apollo and Athena and Zeus and some of the others. You really have to go to Cyprus to find a country steeped in the Aphrodite mythology.
So she was said to have been born there from the–okay, backstory. Kronos and Uranus, the castration of Uranus by Kronos to prevent any more regeneration, because he was terribly mistreating his children. Kronus stood up with the sickle and said, “Here,” and the genitals fell into the sea mixed with the foam of the sea, and first arose the three Furies and then came Venus.
So in an act like that of course you’re gonna have the Furies arise, then came Venus. Well, Venus has two sides. She has two sides to her; she has a dual energy. She’s not just all light and love and grace and beauty and all the things that she is, but there’s a darker side of Venus too. And so, you can find that in some of the Furies, the mistreated feminine, or the raging feminine parts that haven’t been given voice or expression or whatever.
AG: So that’s her main story of birth: she comes from Cyprus; she is called Aphrodite; that’s the island in the far, far east of the Greek world at that time. But there’s also an island in the west that’s called Kythira, and they claim her birth also. There’s another myth where Zeus mated with Dione, an earth goddess. And the earth goddess is more sensual, more earthly, so this goddess Aphrodite was called Aphrodite Pandemos. And she was more like the Taurean, interested in fertility and growing things and producing children and that kind of thing, whereas the celestial goddess Aphrodite from Cyprus, because it came from Uranus’ severed genitals, its Urania. She’s goddess Urania; Aphrodite Urania, the celestial goddess.
So there’s a bit of difference really in the interpretation–we were talking about this yesterday the Morning Star versus the Evening Star, the night Venus/the day Venus. And we have a slide here from the Cyprus Museum. I don’t know if you were able to get that.
CB: Oh, I don’t think I have that up. You mean of the two statues?
AG: Yeah, yeah. That’s a pretty rare depiction of the two Aphrodites that I haven’t really seen. I mean, the world is used to seeing Venus de Milo or the Botticelli Venus, right?
AG: But there’s a couple of other depictions, like one of her as a warrior goddess, actually holding a bow and arrow, almost like an Amazon-looking Aphrodite. And then there’s one of her–that’s the one right there on the right with the two goddesses.
CB: Yeah, let me see if I can pull it up.
AG: There she is.
AG: So that’s from the Cyprus Museum in Nicosia. And the one on the left, I don’t know if you can make it out, but she’s wearing a darker cloak. The one on the right is wearing a white cloak–she’s more the Demeter, earth goddess: the marriage, children, family, the Pandemos goddess–whereas the one on the left is wearing a darker cloak. And the cloak–actually if you can zoom in–it’s got stars on it, so it’s like the celestial, the night sky Venus; the one that’s we were talking about that’s the Evening Star.
AG: So she’s in charge of the starry parts of the world, whereas the earth goddess Venus is in charge of the earthly parts of the world.
CB: Okay. So that’s a good transition point then into what you got into in the 2000s, really researching and getting into the astrology of Venus and finding that there was much more complexity there. And there was a lot more going on where Venus was a much more complicated and detailed astrological significator and had much greater power in some ways than astrologers would normally attribute to that as a significator in astrology, right?
AG: Yeah. I was actually a little bit fed up with interpretations of Venus. It was so superficial, I felt like she’s more than this. She alone in the astrological pantheon makes us connect and feel, and really she’s so much more than what we’re making her out to be; and not just about relationship, but about what’s inside of you and all of that.
But it was quite by accident. Just like astrology kind of found me by accident at that time, the Venus star material came to me, I wasn’t looking. I had just come out with the second Mythic Astrology book, and I think from being an author yourself that you’re married to a book when you’re working on it, and you don’t have any other life; you’re just so immersed in it. And that second Mythic Astrology book had just come out, and I thought, “Oh, I can have a life again. I can come up for air. I can do things. I can go to the movies. I can go out. I can just not have my head in this book the whole time.”
CB: Yeah, I will never write another book again, I think was my immediate…
AG: Right. Exactly. And then suddenly comes Venus in while I’m researching just a little bit of her retrograde cycle back in 2004, and the whole star thing drops into me. And like, oh, no, you can’t really say no to Venus, can you? But I did search a lot of astrological literature at the time and combed the bookstores. We still had bookstores back then.
CB: You’re gonna have to explain to our younger viewers what a bookstore is, I’m afraid.
AG: Yeah. Well, we had this great one in Santa Fe. Oh, we have a really wonderful one in Santa Fe that’s a local–a couple of locals that are still there. The Ark was very metaphysically and spiritually involved, and that’s where we’d get all our astrology books and things and calendars. But there was a big box store, what they call a big box store called Borders, and they were all around the country really.
CB: Oh, yeah
LS: We had a Borders.
CB: We had a Borders in Boulder until it closed.
AG: So Borders. I don’t know if it was just Santa Fe or if this was the rest of the Borders too, but they had a gigantic section in our store, in Santa Fe, on metaphysical books and spiritual and alien theories and everything you can imagine because there’s an audience, big audience there for that.
CB: One of the best pictures I ever took was at a Borders. We took a picture of Leisa standing in front of an entire bookshelf of 2012 books in 2010 or 2011.
LS: 2008, I think.
CB: Oh, okay.
LS: Yeah, it was back then.
CB: Okay, when that whole thing was ramping up, which was pretty funny.
AG: Yeah, and I think I bought all of those at Borders before then just to see what the experts were saying. And a few years ago, when I was cleaning out my bookshelves, I saw these books on 2012 and I thought, “Hmm, what do I do with this?”
CB: Yeah, that was a whole thing. I’ll have to do an episode on that at some point. Ironically, that ties into our topic, because the 2012 thing, supposedly deriving from Mayan astrology, was partially based on the Venus retrograde cycle and the Venus transit, where it went across the face of the Sun in 2012, and that was one of the last ones they recorded in their calendar for whatever reason.
AG: Right. And who knows why that was the last one because they do happen every 125 years or so, in pairs of eight years separated by eight years. But I was thinking maybe it was because that was the last one of the millennium, but it was actually the first one of the new millennium. But as I said yesterday, I don’t quite agree totally on the date of our calendar numbers, 2012; I don’t know where that started from. Although when the Mayan wrote that they were already on the same calendar I believe that we’re using today so.
AG: Not sure why they chose that one, because there have been Venus transits alternating between Gemini and Sagittarius for over a thousand years and in other signs before that.
CB: Sure. Not to get too far off track, but part of your access point for this was the distinction between Venus as a Morning Star and Venus as an Evening Star, right?
CB: So maybe we could define that first, like what that looks like in a chart or what that looks like in astronomical terms.
AG: Okay, so in a chart, if you have Venus ahead of your Sun, in a zodiacal position ahead of the Sun, it’s an Evening Star. Like the chart for today, we know it’s an Evening Star right now; we’re seeing it at night shining very brightly.
AG: So if you look at today’s chart…
CB: It’s here in Denver, so it’s a little bit before sunset. Let’s move it to about sunset.
CB: So here the Sun is at 25 degrees of Pisces today. So we’ll move the Descendant to 25 Pisces, so that’s right at sunset. Whenever the Sun hits the Descendant that’s when the Sun sets underneath the Earth and it becomes night.
AG: And so, you can see above that is Venus in the night sky shining pretty brightly.
AG: And if we could see Uranus with the naked eye, you would see that the two of them have been pretty close.
CB: Okay, so people just need to know that when the Sun sets, when it hits the Descendant and it moves underneath the western horizon, at that point it goes from daytime–when it’s all bright out–then it goes to nighttime. And as soon as it becomes nighttime, the stars come out, and you start to be able to see the stars in the night sky again. And one of the things that you can see at this time, currently, is Venus will appear as a bright sort of white, twinkling star up there at 11 degrees of Taurus, before eventually it sets at the Descendant just a few hours later. Because Venus becomes visible at that point shortly after sunset, we call it an Evening Star. We say that it’s currently in its ‘Evening Star’ phase because it comes out basically in the evening, after sunset.
AG: And the ancients called it that. They didn’t call it a planet, they called it a star. I mean, she technically is not a star, but now that I’ve done all this research on the Venus star, you could call her a star because she does kind of have that orbital pattern with her where she makes that beautiful pentagram.
CB: Sure, and we’ll get into that later. So the opposite though is that later this year, after she goes retrograde, she will switch sides and become a Morning Star, right?
AG: Yeah. If you want to do a chart for June–well, June 3 is actually the cazimi, the star point date. But if you do a chart for, let’s say, June 10…
CB: Okay, so what I’m doing is I’m moving the chart forward. We’re into May now, and what happens is that Venus is going to slow down, and it’s going to station retrograde around May 12-May 13 at 21 Gemini.
CB: And then it’s gonna start moving backwards in the signs of the zodiac and the degrees of the zodiac, until eventually the Sun catches up with Venus and the two conjoin each other at 13 degrees of Gemini around June 3.
CB: So that’s important because, for you, a critical point in the Venus retrograde cycle is the conjunction with the Sun.
CB: And that’s what you call the Venus cazimi…
AG: Star point or cazimi. Because that’s the moment she switches from being a Morning Star to an Evening Star or an Evening Star to a Morning Star, the minute she kisses the Sun. She’s moving on the other side of the Sun now.
CB: Okay. So in this instance, when she’s retrograde, she’s going from being an Evening Star to being a Morning Star.
CB: Okay. So then after that point, if we keep moving forward, Venus is still retrograde and stays retrograde for longer until eventually it slows down again, and it stations direct at about 5 degrees of Gemini around June 24-June 25.
CB: So at this point, if we, again, take it to sunset, Venus will not…
AG: Not be visible. She’s under the horizon.
AG: But if you take it to sunrise that’s where you’ll see her in the sky.
CB: Okay, so here’s sunset around June 25, around 8:00 PM, here in Denver. The Sun sets when the Descendant hits about 4 degrees. When the Descendant hits 4 degrees of Cancer, the Sun moves under the horizon. We see that Venus is already in the 6th house, so it’s already below the horizon at sunset. But if we advance the chart forward several hours into the next morning, just before sunrise, we see, for example, at 4:24 AM, on June 26, 2020, the Ascendant will be at 17 degrees of Gemini, and the Sun will be at 5 Cancer.
So the Sun is still below the horizon, so it’s still nighttime out. It’s like an hour or something before sunrise, but Venus is at 5 degrees of Gemini, and it rises up over the Ascendant and over the horizon. So in the early morning hours just before sunrise, you’ll be able to see Venus as this bright, white, twinkling star that rises up over the Ascendant in the early morning hours. And this is why it’s called a ‘Morning Star’ because it can be seen or rises in the morning.
AG: In the morning sky, yeah.
CB: Got it.
AG: And dazzlingly bright. Venus is the brightest object in the night sky after the Moon. And so, I think the ancients, in naming her the Morning Star and the Evening Star, I think they knew it was the same planet. I mean, there were different cultures–the Mayan were fascinated by Venus; they had entire books written just for Venus. Now most of their literature was burned when the Spanish came over and invaded, but there are some existing texts, mainly the one from Dresden, the Dresden Codex, which talks about pages and pages of Venus sightings and the watching of risings and settings.
And actually, they called it, the Mayan called it ‘the five seasonal risings of Venus’. And even though they weren’t consecutive risings, there would be a rise and then a set, and then a rise and then a set, the way the pentagram works, but they identified it. The Greeks knew it was the same planet, one in the morning, one in the evening, but the same planet. So most of the cultures that had any literature or information about it wrote about that.
But I was getting back to that Borders book story because the thing is I was combing every astrological text I could find to see has anybody written about the pentagram. I actually was trying a little bit to get out of writing the Venus book because the whole idea of the pentagram was so overwhelming to me but so interesting at the same time, and I felt like I didn’t know what it meant. I knew there was a pentagram of Venus, but I really didn’t know what it meant, but if anybody’s written anything about this using those interpretations and star points and things like that, I don’t have to really write this. But I couldn’t find any astrological literature about it. I found it in the metaphysical literature that was mainly very popular at that time.
There was a whole surge of literature that came out following the publication of The Da Vinci Code that had to do with the Knights Templar and these ancient bloodlines and things like that, and Masons and Masonry, and all that. And evidently, the Masons–which go back to the Founding Fathers of our country and even before that, but they all were–they march or process some kind of formation of a pentagram. They knew about Venus and they honored Venus in their secret teachings or whatever it was; these secret societies all had this.
So a lot of the literature I found at Borders were these authors who were talking about Venus and the Venus pentagram from that point of view, so I got a lot of interesting literature about that. And I even found some controversial things, but possibly true, the rosary beads, and I have that in the book. The rosary beads from Catholicism, the beads have so many beads, and the larger beads represent the Moon going around, and then the smaller one at the bottom represents the Venus cycles. It was all broken down to show that it actually had to do with that.
But the other thing about the Morning Star is that when she’s that earth goddess Morning Star closest to the Earth, you’ll find that–well, I think it’s her proximity to the Earth mainly–she’s closest to the Earth at that conjunction; whereas she’s apogee or farthest from the Earth at her Evening Star conjunction.
CB: Sure. So maybe we should touch on, first, the distinction between Morning Star and Evening Star and some of the keywords or some of the concepts associated with that, and then we can get further into the other points in the cycle with respect to the conjunction and the pentagram.
CB: So you have a slide that sort of talks about the Morning Star versus Evening Star phases in Venus. And these actually being distinct phases that have different meanings depending on what side of the Sun Venus is on, right?
CB: So what are some of those meanings?
AG: Well, okay, those were different names, like the first line is Venus Phosphorus Lucifer. Lucifer actually means the ‘bringer of light’. So as a Morning Star, she’s announcing the Sun is gonna rise, here comes the light. The Evening Star Venus was called Venus Hesperus. And you’ve heard of evening vespers.
AG: Okay, so that’s the other thing; that term comes from the evening Venus. So there were two different terms for her. It’s one goddess, Aphrodite, but in the concept of looking at Venus as the star, they were actually seeing it as two different beings, having a dual role basically. And then I can’t read all that, but Aphrodite Pandemos is the earth goddess, Pandemos, and Aphrodite Urania is the celestial goddess. She’s part of Uranus, from the sea, from the seafoam. I think that the Morning Star has a little bit more yang energy and the Evening Star Venus has a little more yin.
AG: I do say also that you have to look at where in the cycle they were born, because if they’re born very close to the changeover and it’s something new to them, they might still be from the prenatal, the whole nine months, which is where most of the star points come from in there. But I was going to read that passage from Abraham Ibn…
CB & LS: Ibn Ezra?
AG: Ezra. Ibn Ezra, right. I think it was page 45. Okay, so he was a 12th century Hebrew astrologer. He explained how, “The combination of being light and body and movement and at the height of its circle above the earth makes the planet’s influence more subtle and soul-related. It has a less notable effect upon earthly events.” [We’re talking about the Evening Star Venus.] “And in the consideration of temperament and physical description, it describes the body as sensitive and lacking strength. However, there is a greater level of spiritual purity and the mind is more receptive to inspiration and higher wisdom. As she pulls away from the Sun and descends from apogee to draw close to the Earth, the strength of her influence upon all mundane matters increases.”
So that’s how he described the difference between her being at the height of the heavenly summit and then as close as possible to the Earth. And Robert Hand has said this–that the Morning Star Venus is more like Athena, who was very involved in affairs of state and decisions of state: politics and law and governance and all that business; strategies; advising warriors. The Venus Urania is not concerned normally with things like that. If they’re political, maybe they can be certainly, but that’s maybe not their strength.
CB: Okay. And I think Ptolemy says that Morning Star Venus is ‘masculinized’, the terminology he uses in Greek, and then Evening Star Venus is ‘feminized’. But you use the terminology of more ‘yin’ vs. ‘yang’.
CB: Okay. What does that mean?
AG: Well, yang I think is more active, the active principle. You know yin/yang in the Chinese, in the circle where you have the yin and the yang. They’re always alive, they’re always within each other, everything is made up of a certain amount of yin and a certain amount of yang. But I would consider yin more related to the feminine principles of receptivity and the yang as more action-oriented. So I see the Morning Star Venus as being a little more Mars-like–Athena-like, Mars-like, more action-oriented–and the Evening Star Venus as being a little more receptive and Libra-like.
CB: Okay. Yeah, so that’s a major distinction that’s used in traditional astrology that’s really important that you’re trying to bring back through this work. And then that in it of itself is like a transition point into looking at the broader retrograde cycle with Venus, and especially the conjunction, which you put a lot of emphasis on, which is what degree and what sign does the Sun-Venus cazimi take place in or the Sun-Venus conjunction take place in, and that’s what you call the Venus Star Point.
AG: Yeah, and that is because it’s also related to a bigger star pattern. There’s five of them in any given time in history, and so we might have one star point we were born under. But the way this book came through, and as I kept working with it, the ideas and the way it evolved was–I’m trying to find a picture of that star map.
CB: Why don’t we show the Venus star, the pentagram, just to introduce the concept of Venus.
AG: Mm-hmm. There it is, yeah.
CB: It’ll go retrograde and will trace a sort of pentagram in the zodiac.
AG: So there you’ve got the heart and the star of Venus and there’s the five retrogrades. And it happens in an eight-year period, those five retrogrades, which is from one retrograde to the next. I call the retrograde or the cazimi with the Sun the beginning of the 584-day Venus synodic cycle. So we’re coming to an end now, until June 3, of the last one that began in late October of 2018. That was a Scorpio retrograde. And if we go back here, this is a good one, the last retrograde was Scorpio, and this one is going to be Gemini. See how the arrow moves from Scorpio to Gemini?
AG: And then the next retrograde, in 584 days, will be in Capricorn in January of 2022. And then 584 days later, it will be in Leo, as a Morning Star retrograde, and then it will feed over to Aries by 2023-4 and then back to Scorpio again. So that’s how you trace inside the interior part of the circle. And these signs actually have relationship energy. I have a whole section of the book on the relationships of the Venus Star, and I have the three kinds.
There’s the ‘twin star’ where you’re both the same sign, Venus star sign, and then I have the ‘creative star’, which is one arm to the next arm on the outside of the circles, like the arms of the other star, and then we have the ‘karmic relationship’ which is the legs, the two legs, because that relationship goes through the interior of the circle, and it goes through the heart of it, and it’s from the head to the legs.
It was actually more evolutionary–the name that came was the ‘evolutionary relationship’, but there was already so much evolutionary astrology out there, and I actually didn’t want it to be confused with that. So I kind of didn’t know what to call it, and then eventually it was like, okay, as I started looking at certain charts, especially political charts, there were a lot of presidents and their wives or important political people over time that had the karmic relationship on the star to one another. And what I felt like with most of them was that they almost had some kind of a contract to come in and do this together. Like the president and the first lady, this was a team. It wasn’t just, “Oh, let’s get married, and maybe one day you’ll become president,” kind of thing.
And I felt like also that in researching personal cases that the ‘karmic stars’ are kind of there with each other, pretty much committed for life. Even if they do separate, they have a hard time separating from one another. They usually have something that kind of keeps them together. But the creative stars, they can come and go and separate; they’re pretty good with one another. We were talking about Harry and Meghan yesterday, and they’re on the ‘creative star’ relationship. She’s an Aries Star Point and Harry is a Gemini Star Point, and so they have that kind of creative relationship where they’re supporting each other.
But at the last UAC, I gave a talk on relationships on the Venus Star and I used the royals as examples. And one of the interesting things about that was that both Kate Middleton, Prince William’s wife, and Meghan Markle, Harry’s wife, are Aries Star Points, as was Princess Diana. So both boys in a sense married something of their mother. And this shows up a lot in families. When you do family groupings on the Venus Star, it’s very interesting to plot the different points of the family and see where they fall.
LS: Hmm, interesting.
CB: Yeah. And we didn’t know this until yesterday when you did your talk, but it turns out that Leisa and I were born under the same Venus Star Point, which is our prenatal Venus retrograde was in Gemini, because we were born eight years apart–eight years roughly before me.
CB: And then we also figured out that I started The Astrology Podcast under another similar Venus retrograde in Gemini in 2012, eight years ago.
CB: So that was an interesting one. And then we also started the Denver Astrology Group very close to Venus going over the same one in…
AG: Yeah, so that’s a pretty good example of how it works for people.
CB: So let’s define that. So you have one diagram here, and this shows the different Venus retrogrades, and it shows what degree Venus stations retrograde in and then what degree it stations direct in, because then it goes retrograde. What’s the span in terms of how many degrees Venus covers when it goes retrograde? It’s like 17-20 degrees, maybe?
CB: Something like that. So for example, the one that’s coming up in Gemini is gonna station around 21 and then it’s gonna retrograde back to like 5.
LS: To 5, yeah.
CB: Yeah, so that gives you an idea of the range of retrograde station to direct station, but what you really focus on is the halfway point between that where it conjoins the Sun and whatever degree that is. So for example, the upcoming one is going to be at 13 degrees Gemini–that’s what you call the Venus Star Point.
CB: And what you look at specifically in natal charts is you look at what was the Venus retrograde prior to your birth and what was that exact degree that the Sun and Venus conjoined prior to your birth, and whatever that is, that’s your Venus Star Point.
AG: And sometimes it will be the last retrograde before birth, but other times it wasn’t retrograde because, remember, when Venus and the Sun conjunct one another, there’s another conjunction in between the two retrogrades; that produces the Evening Star.
CB: So that’s the direct…
AG: Where it’s going direct.
AG: Yeah, and the Evening Star comes out of the direct conjunction. And what I found really interesting about this–besides what I found written in the books from some of the ancient literature–was that if you just visualize it, Venus is retrograde when it meets the Sun in the interior conjunction, and what comes out of that is the Morning Star. So they’re both coming towards each other with great anticipation, but they meet for just that one moment, and then they’re gone again; they’re going in different directions. The Sun keeps moving this way, but Venus eventually is going to turn station and come back up. But it doesn’t reach the exact conjunction with the Sun until the Sun is all the way around on the other side where Venus then becomes the cazimi Evening Star.
AG: But then they’re both moving in the same direction, but they’re moving slowly together for a really long time. So this is one of those slow love affairs that can just stretch out forever. They’re only kissing maybe on that one day, but they’re still so close to each other; they’re tracking each other really. Whereas the Morning Star conjunction, they’re just meeting in the middle of the night, doing that thing, and then they’re moving on.
CB: Sure. So part of that, with the two different conjunctions, there’s a conjunction between Venus and the Sun when Venus is retrograde. When Venus is retrograding and conjoins the Sun, it actually passes over the face of the Sun or is actually closer to the Earth at that point when it’s retrograde and conjoins the Sun; whereas when Venus is direct and conjoins the Sun, Venus is on the other side of the Sun, so it’s actually further away from the Earth blocked by the Sun at that point.
AG: Right. And the only time you’re really going to see Venus passing over the face of the Sun is like 2004 and 2012, when we had the actual Venus transit. In this case, they’re lined up by longitude, but they’re not necessarily lined up at the same latitude where you can actually see it moving across. So those are the special ones and those are the ones that only happen like once a century.
CB: So what was so important about 2012 is that Venus actually passed across the face of the Sun?
AG: Yeah, and we won’t have the next one until 2117, just to put it in context for people.
CB: The next one, where Venus passes across the face of the Sun.
AG: And that will be in Sagittarius–again, twin transits, two of them separated by eight years. And the last one before the 2012 and 2004 one was in the late 1800s–that was also in Sagittarius.
CB: Okay. So in terms of this, you would recommend that everybody should figure out what the conjunction was between the Sun and Venus that took place prior to their birth and what degree that was, and then that degree becomes a special degree or a sensitive degree for you in your chart.
AG: Right, it does. And I’ll say this for the Evening Star people. Even though we’re Evening Star–I think all of us here are Evening Stars, right?
AG: I still think because the start of the Venus cycle is at the Morning Star, and it begins the 584-day cycle, I think it’s still important for people like us that are the Evening Star to not only look at our own star point, the one prior to our birth, but where did that cycle begin–where did the 584-day synodic cycle of Venus begin. So where was the last retrograde actually?
And I think those two points in the chart are pretty sensitive and interesting, and I think it’s the same thing for the Morning Star people. They may have had the retrograde before their birth, and so they know that. But what are they coming to in terms of the Full Moon Venus? What’s the Evening Star for them going to be, and what’s that relationship about? And I’ve kind of started putting both those points in the person’s chart to see, okay, where are they coming from, where are they going to, almost like an evolutionary flow.
CB: Okay. So in terms of the upcoming one, the upcoming one, as we’ve said, is going to be at 13 degrees of Gemini.
CB: And then there will be one after that that’s at 18 Capricorn, like, what, a couple of years later?
CB: And then it’ll jump to…
AG: That’ll be January of ‘22.
CB: Okay, January of ‘22. So it jumps every year-and-a-half or a couple of years.
AG: In between that there will be an Aries Evening Star in March of ‘21.
CB: Okay. And what happens that’s interesting that you pointed out is that these degrees, it only moves by a degree or two every time it comes back, every eight years.
CB: Okay. So that’s really important because then it means it stays in these signs for really long extended periods of time.
AG: Mm-hmm. It stays in a sign for a hundred years, but it might stay on your planet for 8 years to 12 years because it’s so slow moving.
LS: Right. So you were talking yesterday at one point about if it does do that in your birth chart–like over a significant placement or a personal planet–that that can be significant with regard to what you’re doing during those eight years.
AG: Yeah. And I would say it really lights up that part of your chart, your life, that planetary archetype–going back to archetypes again. A lot of times, I’ve seen where it’s going over the person’s Mercury, and they’re getting all their degrees, their post-graduate degrees and really the bulk of their studies are happening then, or when they actually figure out what they really want to do.
AG: And I’ve seen it go over the Moon for people. I think when Julia Roberts, for instance, had it pass over her Moon, she had gave birth to her twins then.
CB: Okay. Yeah, so pay attention to that as a sensitive degree. And then sometimes, what you were saying earlier, it can connect together people, if you meet somebody that has the same prenatal Venus Star Point sign or degrees.
AG: If you’re born four years apart from one another or eight years apart from one another, you’re most likely going to have the same star point, because it returns to the same sign every four years. It returns to the same sign and phase every eight years.
CB: Okay, so Venus goes retrograde in the same sign and roughly the same degrees every eight years. But then in between that eight-year cycle, like four years after the first one, it’ll do the same thing through the same sign, but it’ll be direct.
AG: Yeah, but it’ll also be in very close proximity to that degree, that same degree.
CB: Okay. Yeah, so Venus is just activating–because this is such a tight cycle, it’s activating the same degrees in relatively regular succession of eight and four years.
CB: So that’s interesting because usually we think about Venus and all the inner planets as being such quick transits that are just really brief. Especially if Venus is direct and moving average or moving fast, it’ll go for a degree in a day or two and then that’s it. So for transit-studying astrologers, as a timing technique, we’re not used to paying too much attention to Mercury and Venus because they move so fast and their transits are so brief. But this really shows us that there’s much longer term cycles that are involved in Venus that can activate parts of the chart for much longer periods of time than you would think.
AG: Yes, exactly. Like I was saying earlier about mythic astrology, how you’re actually fleshing out characters rather than just keywords, this gives Venus a much fuller, richer presence in our life, operating behind the planets as a backdrop with this star clock. For instance, I wanted to do the last few degrees of the Venus cazimi in the last few years. So let’s go back to 2004 when they made their first transit; that was at 17 Gemini 54 minutes retrograde.
Four years later, in 2008, it was 18 Gemini 42 minutes direct, and four years later, in 2012, it was 15 Gemini 45. In 2016, it was 16 Gemini 35, and now, here in 2020, it will be 13 Gemini 35, and four years from now, in 2024, it will be 14 Gemini 29. So that 14’29” Gemini in ‘24 compared to the 15 degree Gemini in 2012, that’s a whole 12-year period. If you have something 14 or 15 degrees–really of any sign, but especially the mutables, and especially Gemini or Sag–that’s like a 12-year period of really hot Venus action, Venus Star action on your planet.
CB: Yeah. I have Venus at 15’15” Sagittarius.
AG: Oh, okay.
CB: It’s been hot Venus action.
AG: Venus action, I love it.
CB: Yeah, but that’s also not far after the sign of my Midheaven at 5 Sag. So it’s in my Placidus or quadrant 10th house, so things involving career, as well as groups, organizing, or starting the Denver Astrology Group under one of those in 2008, and then starting The Astrology Podcast in 2012 under another one of those as it keeps going over those degrees.
AG: Yeah. And I was just mentioning to Leisa yesterday, but the studio was done a year earlier. I mean, if you had waited till 2020 to move in here, you would have been right in sync with that cycle again.
CB: That’s true. Well, we’ll see what happens this year. So we got the Venus retrograde coming up later this spring /summer, so that should be interesting and should be important.
CB: Yeah, we’ll see what happens. Do you have any other instances? You used an analogy that I thought was really interesting. It wasn’t necessarily closely tied in with the astrology but those instances where sometimes the partner can eclipse the, let’s say, more prominent partner. So for example, there was Prince Charles, but then when he got married to Diana, like most of the attention was on Diana, or more recently…
AG: All of it.
AG: I mean, Charles was so eclipsed by her.
CB: Sure, or more recently with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. It was funny, in the media I remember reading a story and they referred to Harry as like ‘Megan Markle’s husband’ or something like that instead of Harry’s the royal and she’s the new addition to the family. But you were sort of making an analogy between that and Venus where sometimes those conjunctions with Venus, especially when it’s retrograde, are those rare times when Venus suddenly gets in the spotlight because it is closer to us, and it is in the way of fully viewing the Sun. And as it passes over, especially during those close conjunctions, the face of the Sun in some ways takes greater prominence in some ways.
AG: Mm-hmm. I think we were talking about the idea that there’s combust, a planet moving within 10 degrees of the Sun being combust, so you don’t really see it at all. You can’t see it, so what’s its effect? Is it strong? Is the Sun’s rays burning it out? And then there’s cazimi, which is right up close. And in this case, Charles brought Diana right up close to him. Nobody was paying attention to anyone in the court or anyone around Charles. Before that it was Charles, right?
CB & LS: Mm-hmm.
AG: And then here comes Diana, and now suddenly, she’s the Venus and she’s eclipsing the Sun. And the same obviously has been happening with Harry and Meghan.
CB: Sure. Yeah, so I like that. That’s a really good analogy. And so, you use this not just for people to identify what their phase of Venus is, whether it’s a Morning Star or Evening Star in their birth chart, as well as not just what their Venus Star Point is, but also, because this is a slow-moving cycle as it goes through different signs of the zodiac and it stays in them for so long, you also sometimes apply it to mundane astrology to see what signs are going to be activated for several decades at a time in human history.
AG: Yeah. For instance, I’ll give you a simple one right now, the Venus Star. So there’s a star on the front of this book, I don’t know if you can see it. Okay, you can see it. For this, what I would call the head of the star, to rotate clockwise this way to this arm of the star, and for each point to move to the next point, that’s 250 years it takes for that to happen.
AG: So then for that head of the star to move all the way around to come back to itself that’s 1250 years, so there’s greater cycles within this Venus Star. And the 250-year cycle obviously matches the Pluto cycle. So I do think it’s an evolutionary kind of cycle like Pluto and how people interpret Pluto, especially in evolutionary astrology. But I think Pluto has often been given the phrase ‘death and rebirth’ with Pluto, right?
AG: So I actually think because it’s synced with the Venus Star cycle that the Venus Star is the rebirth, that’s the new life. I don’t know that Pluto is actually associated with creating new life as much as it is ending old life, and that’s its job.
AG: Now the United States is coming up to its Pluto return. It’s coming up to its 250th anniversary in 2026. Well, guess what? In 2026, the Venus Star Point returns to the same degree star point of the US birth chart, which was 1 degree Scorpio.
LS: Huh, that’s a really interesting coinciding of those two things.
AG: Yeah, so both are happening at the same time. And so, when I wrote this book, I was saying we’re kind of in this place now in history when the Boston Tea Party happened and when they decided to throw all the tea into the sea and decide that they were gonna overthrow the overlords that were taxing, taxing, taxing them. Americans have had this fierce reaction to taxation ever since that event that created our country, and every politician in every election, it’s about taxes. Are we gonna raise taxes? Are we gonna lower taxes? It’s all about taxes. It’s a Scorpio Star Point, the country is.
You think about Scorpio and its association with wealth and other people’s money and who’s getting the money and all of this, I think that’s an important feature. But I’ve also been saying that I really feel like our country, partly because of the Pluto return but also the Venus Star return, is ready for a whole new constitution, a whole new set of circumstances. It’s crumbling. That system that was created 250 years ago, it’s not serving us exactly correctly in the present-day and it’s time for something new.
LS: Yeah. And I think a lot of people are anticipating some needed, deep-seated renovations coming up with the Pluto return, and then I guess the return after that because the Constitution wasn’t written or finalized until about a decade later or so. So it’s this sort of ongoing process over the next decade or so.
AG: Yeah. And I think that when the Constitution was written that was the last of the Scorpio Star Points, and then we’re ending the Scorpio Star Point period now and going into Libra. And when our Constitution was actually written was when we had two Air signs then on the star, Gemini and Libra. So I think we had a lot about equality and all of that, right?
LS: Yeah, at least in name.
AG: In name, right.
LS: Yeah, an ideal.
CB: So here’s one of the other diagrams that you have that just shows this shift of those Sun-Venus conjunctions from a period between 2018 and 2026, and just shows how they go in a counterclockwise direction in that slow, gradual shift of like a degree or two over the course of that almost decade-long period.
CB: And then over a much longer span of time, on the left, we have the shift over a 40-year period versus how long it takes or how far it goes, about a sign over a hundred-year period.
AG: Yeah. And that’s kind of interesting when you plot that on your chart. If you draw all these connecting stars on an overlay over your actual chart, you can actually see how, sequentially, every four years, the drumbeat or the heartbeat is activating that particular house or sign in your chart or our planet, or even stellium. People that have stelliums, especially stelliums in Scorpio or Leo or Aries, any of these signs that the star is currently in, it’s gonna go over all of them in your lifetime.
CB: Right. Yeah, that’s a really good point. And people can see when at some point in the future those conjunctions are going to go over sensitive points in their chart, which might even be 10 or 20 or 30 or 40 years in the future.
CB: So it’s sort of interesting as a predictive technique in that sense because it is a long-term, slow-moving thing that will just happen once in a lifetime. It’s not something that will repeat necessarily.
AG: Mm-hmm. Not the conjunction, not that actual aspect.
AG: Different star points will either trine or sextile or square or oppose your planets, but that same star point wouldn’t. In fact, when you look at this star, you’ll never see an opposition, two signs in opposition on it together. The pentagram, really, this is based on the fifth harmonic of astrology, the circle divided by five. And so, what you get with these star points are closer to the quintile, the biquintile, and a couple of the signs move in a transiting quincunx or inconjunct to one another. Now I know the ancient astrologers actually didn’t consider the inconjunct or any of those–the quintile, the biquintile–what you would call ‘legitimate’ aspects. I don’t know what you would call them, legitimate or illegitimate, but that’s what’s working on the Venus Star, those aspects.
CB: Okay, because it’s jumping between inconjunct signs.
AG: Yeah, the Leo-Capricorn are moving at about the same degrees, but they’re moving sequentially together. They were born together and they will terminate together. Aries and Scorpio, the same. They came in together, they will terminate together.
AG: So there’s certain partners on the star sign. And it’s made me rethink relationships too. When people say, “I’m a Gemini,” or let’s say, I’m an Aries married to a Scorpio, they’ll jokingly say, “Well, none of the astrology books or columns think that’s such a good match,” but actually it is. It’s the ‘karmic star’ match on the Venus Star, so it goes beyond whether you’re compatible or not. There’s kind of a soul relationship there that needs to be examined and experienced.
CB: So through something like this, it could be activating those two signs with the Venus retrogrades even though those are signs that are not making a major aspect to each other.
CB: Okay. All right, I’m trying to think about other points that we meant to mention during the course of this, but we’ve actually covered quite a bit today, I think. Were there any other…
AG: We really have.
CB: …stray points about the Venus Star Point or Venus retrograde cycles that we should have mentioned? Of course, we have this one coming up. We’ve identified the degrees, which are 21 Gemini to 5 Gemini, and then the Venus Star Point or the conjunction or cazimi is going to be at 13 Gemini. So I guess part of what you would say is that if you have anything around 13 Gemini that’s going to be really important, if you have a personal planet located at that degree. And you might even look back in four-year increments about what happened four years or eight years earlier because there may be some connection between events that were happening back then and what comes up during this upcoming Venus retrograde.
AG: Exactly. But the other thing that we haven’t really spoken to is what does Venus retrograde mean?
AG: So many people think it’s like Mercury retrograde, and it’s not. It’s nothing even similar.
CB: So your computer won’t go on the fritz during the Venus retrograde?
AG: Well, this time it’s in Gemini, so I can’t make any promises.
CB: How do you conceptualize Venus retrogrades?
AG: I think the Venus Star Point is such an engaging heart energy. It’s such a deep, heartfelt energy, heart-and-soul kind of energy that I think it’s times when Venus goes retrograde, especially if it’s going across one of your close planetary points, that you’re really examining and rethinking something about your value system. I hear a lot of people say, “I’m not getting what I want out of this job. Even though the pay is good and I’ve been staying here forever because the pay is good, but it’s not my ‘heart’ work, and I don’t know if I can stay another day.” That is often something that will come up during a Venus retrograde–re-evaluating a certain relationship or even a contract you have with somebody, like an agreement, a partnership that’s business-related, or a lease agreement, or some kind of signed agreement that involves the exchange of money or goods or something like that.
AG: So often partnerships can come under question at that time, who you’re connected to and partnered with. And I also hear really good stories about it where people will say, “We decided to recommit and redo our vows,” and it so happens that it’s in a Venus retrograde period and it’s hitting one or both of their charts pretty strongly at that time. So it’s renegotiating agreements. “I know we said this when we made this agreement eight years ago, but could I add this clause in there now because this is what I’m feeling is maybe what’s missing from it or what we can add to it.”
So I think it’s really a time when we examine our personal feelings, our values, our net worth. The 2nd house and the Taurean aspect of Venus, people say it’s ‘self-worth’. But so much of that, I feel like they’ve confused and they’ve made it into ‘net worth’ instead of ‘self-worth’. They don’t feel as worthy if they don’t have a certain amount of net worth because, again, in our culture, people are very eager to know, “What do you do?” And that automatically puts people in categories of “Well, this is valuable,” or “This is more valuable than that.”
AG: I come home to Mom and say, “I just met a guy I fell in love with.” “What does he do?” “Oh, he’s a janitor at our school.” And she’s like, “Oh, my god!” If you say, “Oh, he’s studying to be a lawyer,” “Oh, great,” it’s just that automatic response, but it has nothing to do with the character of the person or what he’s all about or she is all about.
LS: Yeah. And you had also mentioned the sort of archetypal, 40-day, giving up things voluntarily as a sort of Venus retrograde kind of parallel.
AG: Yeah, think of Venus retrograde as your 40 days of Lent, ‘astrological’ Lent.
CB: So giving up indulgences.
LS: Yeah. I mean, that just kind of reminded me of how we often talk about Venus retrograde in terms of maybe while you’re doing that reevaluation process, you’re temporarily pulling back and not doing the usual, enjoying the usual whatever it is.
AG: Mm-hmm, exactly. Yeah, and I mean, it’s not a have-to thing but in that research, when I was researching the Venus cycle and all those writings from the Knights Templar and the Masons and this and that, they talked about all these practices that were 40 days. And the Old Testament has it. The New Testament has it. Buddhism has it. In the Greek Orthodox Church, they have several things that come after the person dies; there’s a 40-day ceremony, and on and on.
I know we could keep researching. There’s lots of 40-day practices in religions, but where did that come from? And I’m thinking, even though the Venus isn’t always exactly 40 days, it’s around 40 days. I think if you eliminate the two stationary days–because it’s often 41 or 42, the whole cycle–I think you would get that 40-day where it’s actually moving backwards but not stationary.
LS: Right. Yeah, that makes sense.
CB: Okay, so 40 days and 40 nights of Venus retrograde are coming up here.
AG: Build a boat.
CB: Build a boat? Okay.
AG: And don’t let other people on it.
CB: Yeah, ‘Social Distancing in Your Ark’, that’ll be the next episode of The Astrology Podcast. All right, well, thanks a lot for joining us for this today. I really appreciate it. It’s been fun having you out to Denver, and you’ll have to come back again sometime when we’re not having an epidemic/pandemic.
AG: Yeah, because I missed meeting all those people yesterday at the Mercury Cafe. I’m glad you are here in cyberspace anyway.
CB: Yeah, and it was fun. I meant to mention earlier we took the lead of the Washington state astrologers group, which also switched their meeting at the last minute to an online webinar, and we did ours with the same audience, but just with them at home and that worked out really well. And I think I’ll release the recording of that as an episode of the Casual Astrology Podcast, and then put this as the main episode of The Astrology Podcast. People can find out more information if they’re intrigued about this from your book, right, which is titled, Venus Star Rising?
AG: Yeah, the one we’ve been referring to, this one.
CB: There it is. Okay, I’m gonna put an image of that up on the screen. People can also figure out their Venus Star Point. I meant to mention that because you have a handout on your website. So either they can find out what their Venus Star Point is by pulling up the ephemeris, which we joked that we may have to explain what that is to some people.
AG: Like what’s a bookstore, what’s an ephemeris.
CB: Yeah, yeah. What’s an ephemeris? That’s even more complicated because it’s a book.
CB: Anyway, you can look it up in an ephemeris just by seeing what the conjunction between the Sun and Venus was prior to your birth. Otherwise, you can look it up in your book, Venus Star Rising. On pages 83-81, you have a table that shows all of the different ones. Or you can go to your website, which here it says it’s Venus Star Rising, but it’s actually now changed to…
AG: Yeah, we migrated that to SophiaVenus.com.
CB: Okay, so go to SophiaVenus.com, and then click the Venus Star Point link, I think. And then there’s a little link at the top that says, ‘How do I find my Venus Star Point?’ and it gives you a PDF that shows you a list of all of them.
AG: Yeah, and you’re usually gonna go to the closest one before your birth rather than the one after your birth. Even if you were only born three weeks later, you would probably go to the one before your birth. But I have certain exceptions to that, like if it’s in a day or two or just a few days of the next one. Especially if Venus is already retrograde in that sign and the Sun is already in that sign, and they’re gonna meet in a few days, but they’re already in that new sign, I would say that gives a lot more weight to that star point coming. But for most people, it’s the one previous.
CB: So it’s kind of like the prenatal lunation in that sense, which is the prenatal Sun and Moon conjunction. This is the prenatal Sun-Venus conjunction.
AG: Yeah, and that’s the other question a lot of people have. What if you were born a week before the next eclipse or lunation? For lunation, you could make it two days before or something. But for the eclipse, you could say a week before, do we still go back to the prenatal one? What do you do with that?
CB: Yeah, I mean, I think you still use the prenatal one, that’s how they did it. Here’s the PDF from your website.
CB: So that just shows you how to find your Venus Star Point, and then you just look up what the closest one is to your birth, and then look right before that basically. So if we scroll down…
AG: Yeah, if you just pick a date, a random date, there.
CB: I was born November 1 of 1984. So I go here and I see April 3 of 1985 was one, so I gotta go before that and we see June 15 of ‘84. There was a conjunction at 24 degrees of Gemini so that would make that my Venus Star Point.
CB: It looks like it was direct at that point.
AG: Yeah, so you’re an Evening Star.
CB: Okay. So direct is always going to be Evening Star and retrograde. If it’s retrograde here in the prenatal then that’s always going to be the opposite.
AG: The Morning Star.
CB: Morning Star, okay.
CB: That’s pretty quick and pretty easy to figure out.
AG: Yeah, it is, right. And that’s really the beauty of this. If you start working with it, if you start putting it in your chart or the charts of other people, you’ll start seeing its connections immediately and how it works for you and how important events in your life have been synced to it.
CB: Okay, cool. And yeah, I was just looking through past dates, and it’s just really weird because I started The Astrology Podcast later in June of 2012, and then it looks like we’ve got one right there June 5 of 2012 at 15 Gemini.
AG: There it is. It’s coming back to you.
CB: Right under the Venus.
AG: And so, this year, I don’t know, another form of communication. When did you publish your book?
CB: That was in February of 2017, I believe.
LS: Yeah, I think that’s right. Is that right?
CB: That sounds right.
AG: But 2016, before that was the last star point.
CB: Oh, let me take a look at that.
CB: Let’s see. So 2017.
AG: Yeah, because it didn’t change to Aries until late March.
CB: So you’re right. So June 6, 2016 would be the prenatal Venus Star Point at 16 degrees of Gemini.
AG: So there is another mark on your Gemini Star.
CB: Oh, man, this is working pretty well. I’m a little unsettled.
AG: It’s working too well.
CB: Yeah, I prefer my astrology not to work that well. Let it be a little bit more ambiguous than that.
AG: Well, you moved into the studio on an off-year.
CB: Yeah, we’ll see what happens. People will come back to this episode later, when whatever happens.
AG: Right, right. Make sure you let me know what’s gonna happen on this Venus Star cycle between now and next March.
CB: All right. Well, if it’s bad though then I’m gonna have to blame you and shake my fist.
AG: No, don’t blame me.
LS: Blame Venus.
AG: Don’t blame Venus either. Venus doesn’t like to be blamed.
CB: All right, so people can find out more information about you on your website, which is SophiaVenus.com, right?
CB: And then you do sign copies of your book, right?
CB: So people can get a signed copy by going to your website, and they can order it through there.
AG: Yeah. If they order it from Amazon, it won’t be signed, but if they order it from my website, it will be. I can mail it out to them.
CB: And you also do a shorter PDF version of the book as well.
AG: Yeah, but that doesn’t have all the astronomical graphs, and all the mythology, and all the charts, and all the diagrams of how the mechanics of the star work. Because I felt like in Venus Star Rising it was very important to astrologers for me to lay down the astronomy of it. I didn’t want people thinking, “Did you make this up?”
AG: I mean, I’ve had some people ask me, “Did you make this up? Did you invent this?” No. I just took what was already happening and kind of brought it down and put it into some kind of context of how can we work with it, and that’s really how, those examples you just showed. “Okay, I’m Gemini Star Point. It’s been going over my Venus, and I’ve had love in my life for this 12-year period. And I did this, I published my book. I started my podcast.”
So those are not uncommon situations. When I start talking to people about it, they can start looking at it and going, “Oh, yeah,” because I did that for me. I have a different star point, but some of the most critical things that happened in my life, highs and lows, were on that star point return, or that sign return.
LS: And you go through this with people in consultations as well, right?
AG: Yeah, if they sign up for the Venus Star Point reading, we can map your whole life, your whole lifetime through the Venus Star, and what it’s gonna affect and when and things like that.
CB: Cool. So people can get that from you or from just Amazon to get the Venus Star Rising book. You also recently republished the Mythic Astrology books with new covers, right?
CB: That’s great, that’s exciting.
AG: Yeah, they’re back in print again. They had been out of print for quite a while.
CB: Okay, and that was just in the past year.
AG: Yeah, all three books came back into print, second printing. For Mythic Astrology, it was about the seventh printing. That book did really well when it first came out. It went through two editions and six printings.
CB: Oh, wow. So do you think that was influential then on the community in terms of the adoption of the practice of mythic astrology?
AG: I think so because whenever I would go to conferences, I would run into people from all over that would say, “I love that book. I’ve had that book since it came out, and I loved it, and thank you for writing it,” so that was always nice.
CB: Cool. Well, people can find that on Amazon. And yeah, I guess that’s it for this episode, so thanks a lot for joining us.
LS: Yeah, thank you for being here.
AG: Thank you for having me. It’s been great. And we did turn lemons into lemonade with the sudden cancellations of everything, so thank you.
LS: Yeah, definitely.
AG: We’ve all been flexible about this, and we all have to be flexible now with our lives and our plans over the coming months. And let’s hope everything will be settled down by the time I’m back in Denver, which should be for the ISAR conference in September, and that travel is back on board and everything is good again, and we can gather. Because how many people are gonna be there? Like a thousand people.
LS: Yeah, possibly.
CB: Yeah, a lot. Cool. All right, well, thanks for joining me today. Thanks, Leisa, for co-hosting.
AG: Thank you, Leisa.
LS: Of course, thanks for being here.
AG: Chris, it’s been a pleasure being with you in person, having watched so many of your podcasts from my home, from my computer.
CB: Awesome. All right, well, thanks everybody for listening to this episode of The Astrology Podcast. Thanks to the patrons who supported the production of this episode through our page on Patreon.com, and for all the people from the Denver Astrology Group that attended the webinar yesterday. So that’s it for this episode, and we’ll see you again next time.
AG: Thank you. Bye.
CB: Thanks to the patrons who helped to support the production of this episode of The Astrology Podcast through our page on Patreon.com. In particular, a shoutout to patrons Christine Stone, Nate Craddock, and Maren Altman, as well as the Astro Gold Astrology App available at AstroGold.io, the Portland School of Astrology at PortlandAstrology.org, and the Honeycomb Collective Personal Astrological Almanacs available at Honeycomb.co.
The production of this episode of the podcast is also supported by the International Society for Astrological Research, which is hosting a major astrology conference in Denver, Colorado, September 10-14, 2020. More information about that at ISAR2020.org. And finally, also, Solar Fire Astrology Software, which is available at Alabe.com, and you can use the promo code ‘AP15’ for a 15% discount on that software.
For more information about how to become a patron of The Astrology Podcast and help support the production of future episodes while getting access to subscriber benefits, like early access to new episodes or other bonus content, go to Patreon.com/AstrologyPodcast.