Will It Last? Venus Retro and Relationships

It’s on a lot of minds: if a romantic relationship begins during a Venus Retrograde period, will it last? It’s a good question, since our tastes and behaviors can be markedly different during the time Venus is in apparent backward motion in the sky. Every 18 months we go through an approximately six week retrograde of the symbol for love, relationship, money, and values, and it only stands to reason that an intimate relationship begun during might not have the staying power of one begun under a more characteristic influence.

This particular retrograde Venus occurred in the Cardinal Fire sign of Aries, with a single degree dip back into Watery, Mutable Pisces, where it stays for an unusually long time as it stations and goes Direct. In what sign and modality a planet has its retrograde will tell us something about the effects we can expect from the process. In this case, the majority of the retrograde occurred in an assertive, even aggressive, Self-focused energy that is physical action (Cardinal) oriented, and this is overall a way of expressing that Venus is likely uncomfortable with; and yet, she can find her way to express by playing on the less flattering sides of her own inclinations. For instance, desire can become envy, greed, or lust, while receptivity can become passive-aggression, and any Venus area, including beauty, love, or money can become an arena for competition and one-upsmanship.

So, the most important thing to keep in mind when trying to determine if a relationship begun under the retrograde has staying power is: does it have a facet of the competitive, aggressive, or a focus on Self-satisfaction? This doesn’t automatically say it won’t be sustainable past Venus’ Direction, but it does say that when Venus turns around what may have been a compelling and somewhat distorted form of Venusian energy will be withdrawn, and the consequences faced.

Those most likely to enjoy a survival of their love will probably have a natal advantage: Venus in Aries or another Fire 220px-birth_of_venus_detail sign, or in a Cardinal sign, Venus in the 1st, or Venus natally retrograde, and Sun, Ascendant, or Moon in Aries might also have a good shot at carrying the energy through direction. With those for whom Venus has had an uncharacteristic influence, the direction is likely to simply delineate very clearly what about the relationship is truly acceptable, and what really does need to fall by the wayside.

And what of Venus’ final sojourn in that last degree of Pisces? I think this brings a (perhaps desperate) attempt to paint the recent retrograde energy in a more acceptable light for the individual, prompted by the pressure of the stationary period. We may coat the relationship in fantasy, delusion, deception (even when presenting it to ourselves), or idealize things–these measures may or may not be contrary to reality, especially if we have deliberately set out during the retrograde to try something new. At the least Venus in the final degree of Pisces for direction says that we have in some way done the best we could under the circumstances, modeling our Venus experience on our ideals, and that once Venus is direct and moves back into Aries (just after midnight PDT on the 24th) we will be shed of anything that isn’t true and sustainable within our retrograde experience.

Alpha and the Omega

Hi Julie,

I have been following your articles on Sasstrology and I am also following the constant reference of your work from other astrology sites. I know how highly capable you are in answering these questions I have.

My marriage, now on its 13th year, is being tested by an affair my husband got into middle of 2008. I learned of this only at the start of this year.

It’s been a roller coaster three months since I found out. I’m not so sure where we are now. Our relationship is in limbo. And I am feeling so negative, I feel it’s going to end.

I’ve gone from passive (showing so much love and understanding) to aggressive (anger and resentment) in trying to deal with it.

My husband has gone from loving me back (because I showed love and understanding) to lately displeased with me as my anger and impatience has over taken my emotions (there is a lot to handle in three months!).

In all of this, my husband has chosen to remain in our home. Whether that’s out of love or whether it’s because he is *such* a Taurus, the fact of the matter is — he still hasn’t stopped his affair. Right now, there’s three of us in the marriage.

While he plans to move out this month….which he says is only temporary and he is doing this to “find himself, find the answers”…. I do not believe that this will ultimately be a fruitful one for the marriage. In my heart, I think I’ve come to accept defeat, believing the truth that my husband is already gone. Yet, there are things he does even to this day that tells me I could be wrong. We have tried talking about this but somehow we both end up getting more confused. I communicate in black and white, while my husband is rather in the gray area, keeping me guessing and hoping (to which he’d say he does not intend to do).

I try to read his chart but I am basically a newbie with all of this. I do know his got such a terrible Pluto transit ongoing and it is really messing him all up.

My saner self believes there is no way I should tolerate this affair and that I should begin getting out of the triangle, let him go, move on with my life without him if I don’t want to get hurt any further…. he will soon realize what he lost.

But the other part of me believes that in saving the marriage and showing what my husband is eventually going to lose, I will have to shower him with patience, even more love and understanding no matter how much it hurts….he should eventually “come around”.

What do you think works best in this case?

Thank you for looking into my problem.


Dear Alpha,

Thank you for your confidence in me–I’m going to test it now in two ways: one, by speaking to your own feelings about your marriage, and two, by talking in large terms about the astrological interaction–I’ll cite a minimum of astrological contacts, just because this is a sticky web that would take far too long to delineate completely–and I don’t mean to imply that this is a more profound contact than is usual, it’s that the details won’t illuminate the condition, but distract from it.

After examining each chart alone, then looking at the interaction between you, I have to agree with what you term your “saner self”–you should not tolerate this unloving treatment by your husband. You seem to have an unrealistic idea of duty (Pisces on the 6th) that carries an expectation of and acceptance of wounding (Chiron in 6th); further, his Vesta/ Mercury/ Moon makes out of sign conjunction to your 7th House Mars–and with the correct mix of projection and reception, this may make you feel that his emotional happiness is sacred, that he fits your image of the ‘ideal man/ mate,’ and that it is your sacred duty (these are the two key words concerning your feelings about this man) to put up with his Self-absorbed and Self-indulgent macho nonsense.

You aren’t still wondering what I think of his behavior, are you? You are a faithful, kind, loving, and overly accepting woman, very much dedicated to living your ideals, who has not committed to this man lightly–and I honor your willingness to do what it takes to preserve your marriage–but  I believe that when one person treats another as he has treated you (and continues to manipulate and use you on a daily basis), that there is no marriage still existing to save. He has already disgarded his vows and disrespected you, quite openly–and by doing so has nullified your spiritual bond and announced that he no longer regards you as his partner–now you must see, believe, and accept this, as you must respect and care for yourself enough not to pretend that whether the relationship exists or not is his decision to be made in his own time.

One reason he chose you is an easy ability to project onto you the idea that you restrict him as a man, and perhaps limiting his desires and even suppressing love (your Saturn conjunct his Venus/ Mars)–you do not in reality appear to do this, instead offering support and requiring him to live up to his own idea of himself as a man–and this is vital to his success, with his Mars at 29 degrees of Gemini; without your influence his likely outlet becomes a stance of ‘all talk, no action,’ and perhaps would manifest as him connecting all Venusian facets of life to an exaggerated action/ manliness factor–and with his Aries Moon conjunct Vesta ruling his 7th, the idea that he allows himself a great deal of changeability in response to an attitude toward the mate (meaning, he may feel entitled to behave as he likes in the moment), and the Cancer ruler/ emotions deemed sacred by the Vesta conjunction, he may see no reason to accomodate anyone else’s emotional needs, or to recognize his own obligations, duty, or to honor vows made or the spousal relationship at all–as far as he’s concerned, you (and any mate he has at any time) exist to support him (and his indulgences)–your needs just aren’t ‘real’ to him.

Your marriage was an opportunity for him to live up to his own Self-image, and a challenge for him to be his best Self, that you were uniquely suited to assist him with–tough transits have brought this forward, and instead of rising to the challenges and responsibilities he has chosen to maintain a fantasy of himself and his effectiveness as a man–and his lack of concern and love for you limits, no, negates any positives that might arise from you being together–the relationship doesn’t serve you any longer, and your challenge is to recognize this and treat yourself with the love and respect your partner has chosen not to supply.

So, Alpha, your Omega, your end here, is very clear: time to love yourself, and move forward. You need a partner who shares your high ideals, integrity, and willingness to love and commit to marriage. Best wishes, and much good luck,


Get my books on relationship delineation, and on Chiron, here http://dogandsunflower.wordpress.comnow available in both hard copy, and pdf at a greatly reduced price! Also catch my series on Juno at http://sasstrology.com Thanks!

Men, men everywhere . . .

Hi Julie and thank you so much for this great new site!
I still wonder what my barrier is since sharing with a man has always meant so much to me and yet I have, so far, always been disappointed. With ruler Mercury conjunct Sun in 6, opposed Pluto in 12, square Mars in 9 and Jupiter/Ceres in 3, I guess things won’t be easy with, on top of that, Venus in 7 Pisces square Moon. But Venus rules my Libra North Node and I have always hoped to share with a man, working hard on being more open and at the same time less prone to disillusion. Is that mission impossible? I haven’t had a relationship for a few years and I thought something would turn up with transiting Uranus on my DS/Venus but nothing seems to be happening!


Dear k,

You’re welcome, and thank you!

Love and partnership really are everything to you, aren’t they? With Venus in Pisces in 7th at the Descendant, and linked to the second (Self-worth, assets) and 9th (almost a religion!) through rulership, ‘ideal love’ seems as if it would be a real goal. Let’s look at Venus’ condition, as this should tell us how well the ideal love relates to the real world, and to real men.

As you note, Venus is square the Moon in Gemini, suggesting that the way you see yourself as a woman conflicts in some way with the emotional picture–this is often the case when we are given the emotional message when young that our ‘ideal Self’ as a woman is somehow inappropriate–in this case, that your idealism and openness to others may have been impractical and left you open to gossip or damage to the reputation (Gemini). Venus also sesquiquadrates Neptune, saying that your life ideals may need constant readjustment to your aesthetic ones, your relationships, and your values, and a trine of Venus to Ceres says your are strongly elemental in character, in tune with nature and able to negotiate for what you want. A square to the Midheaven plus the Neptune contact, though, says that it’s difficult for others to see your Venusian Self–and with Venus placed in the 7th, you may be prone to project the beauty and love that are rightfully yours. Further, since Venus doesn’t aspect any animus related energies in the chart, you may not really know how to connect to men in general–that can be taken care of by embracing your own Sun (in Aquarius) and seeking companionship through intellectual or avant garde channels, through the creative and the educated. And then you can tackle bringing Venus forward.

I think this might be a lifelong case of poor advertising, k–you must work at showing your Venus, at presenting this to those with whom you interact. The emotional dissonance between Moon and Venus , and between Venus and her ruler, Neptune, says that you must make your desires and values conscious, and your emotional awareness will help serve to resolve the conflict–as it is you likely come across to others as having some emotional Self-dislike, and a lack of sureness about who you are as a woman and what you want. With Venus ruling your North Node (Libra), partnership should be present, once Venus has been elevated in the life, and once you’ve accepted and donned your most authentic ‘Venus Self.’

Best of luck, k! 

Hi Julie,

I was seeing this guy M  and for the first few weeks all was great and we were happy although not everything was blissful. I was willing to give it time but in between just getting closer and planning the next few weeks together there were job cuts at his work and he became very cold and distant with me. Two weeks later he said that he wasn’t in the right frame of mind for a relationship. During our last two weeks he seemed angry and very distant, with a real lack of communication. Our communication hadn’t been great to begin with but I was hoping that it would improve.

My question is about whether he was one more step in my pattern of commitment-phobic choices of men, or if he was a potential partner. He messaged me last night and I haven’t been able to get over him yet so I thought I would ask in case there is any help out there.

many thanks, J

Hello J,

You wear your heart on your sleeve, in a way, by thinking yourself in a relationship long before one really exists (Aquarius Moon in 1st). You are a strong woman, more than many men can handle (Venus/ Pallas exact conjunct in Scorpio). Your best bet is to get to know someone in a casual setting, pre-dating and its pressures, and make a point of exchanging ideas to see if you get along in the first place (Gemini ideal shown by opposition to your Sag Juno). Sounds like you’ve been leaping a little too quickly for Leonine types (your Mars in Leo) but that presents its own problems, as it’s hard to get someone with a strong Mars/ Leo orientation (and this can be anyone with ego/ Sun/ Self issues prominent) to look away from the mirror long enough to look at you! Your taste for trophy-types may make you grab for the prize before you know what’s really in the package. Temper your interactions with time, don’t jump in so quickly, and like yourself enough to demand he show a little more regard for you right off the bat–you need to give him time to discover your depths, and you need to take time in order to discover whether you want to spend your time on him at all!

As to M, there’s strong sexual interest (like you need me to tell you that!) and long-term possibilities, but take it very slow–there are also suggestions of volatility and financial/ material vulnerability on your part–don’t, under any circumstances, lend him money!

Good luck, J!

Culture Clash

I first published this letter using erroneous data; my sincere apologies to Ms A!  If some of the analysis is familiar, it’s because a portion, specifically concerning potentials in Mr X’s chart, stayed the same, as the data I used for him was correct. 


I love your site and your writing. Thank you so much for making them so easily available.

Mr X and I have been together 2 years, and have lived together the last year of it (still do).

Here’re the things about being with him that are hard for me: he’s an active alcoholic (he admits this); he’s undocumented (was deported for a DUI a few years ago but came right back); and his culture encourages his alcoholism, as well as general unaccountability to me. I actually ask for very little in that way, just that he let me know if he’s going to be out all night drinking or on a job. For some reason he can’t seem to do this consistently, and it scares me.

Here’re the things about him that I appreciate: I feel in my bones he’s faithful to me sexually; he seems to aspire to be a model father (we’re pregnant with our first child, due at the end of August); he works for himself doing construction and handyman-type stuff, perfectionistically and with exceptional integrity, has no trouble getting / keeping clients, and making a livable living; he’s cute, energetic, funloving and charming; he’s a frighteningly charismatic dancer and brilliant actor (the acting seems to give him access to all levels of society); though uneducated he’s extremely smart; his anger is easily roused, inky, and slow to leave, but he has great control of it physically; he seems to love me…what else…well, he seems, so far, like an all around generally good guy, really, besides the addiction and cultural/citizenship stuff. I know two years isn’t a terribly long time to be with someone, but that’s what I see so far.

His drinking and culture do both scare me a lot, though, especially when I think about our having this child together (we’ve been told it’s a boy). We recently moved to the countryside, away from a lot of other undocumented Hispanics, but for the past year or so lived in his apartment complex, which houses nearly 100% undocumented Hispanic families. I moved in with him ignorant about the culture but with an open mind, sort of as you might imagine a proper white American liberal would. Having heard so much about Mexican Family Tradition, I was surprised to see so many “families,” with an apparent husband and wife, which functioned like single-mom households, the husband filling a role something like a financially contributing, but unaccountable and chemically addicted, teenage son.

This sickened me. I couldn’t bear the idea of raising a child with these examples for adulthood (the women’s tolerance bothered me as much as the men’s immaturity). I reached a point where I had to move, and we did. We now rent a gorgeous cottage close to nature (in a canyon) rather than the cockroach-infested, crumbling, cracker box housing he’s used to. I moved us largely for my own sanity, but also hoping that the peace and dignity of this place would eventually impress upon him that he deserves better than what he’s used to.

We’re physically distant from that environment, but my boyfriend’s current jobs and friends are still mired in it (and his social life is very important to him). We both work, and will both probably need to continue to after our baby is born (we are not rich). I came into this relationship thinking of myself as a writer and generally creative type but have transformed into this unbearable (at least to me) Church Lady Teacher type, and have not written, not really, since before we met.

This is getting really long…I’m sorry. I guess, essentially, I do find him fascinating and love him, and am hoping for the best in this thing. Any insights you might have into how we will work together as parents and as lovers; how we will/won’t fulfill our own person destinies in the context of being together (if you can even see such stuff in the charts); and what will become of my partner’s addiction, would be appreciated.

Thank you so much.


Dear Ms A,

Thank you, and you’re welcome!

And you’ve done an excellent job laying out your dilemma. The question really becomes, what can you live with?

Your chart ruler, Venus, is in the 7th at 29 Scorpio, signalling that Venusian subjects will be a focus of this lifetime–and that love and relationships will have an urgency behind them, particularly in terms of how sexuality relates to love. You need to get it all worked out. Mr X has his Neptune at 00 Sagittarius cross-chart conjunct your Venus–you can’t see who he is (the obscuring quality of Neptune) even as you are easily aware of the value of his personal assets and talents (Pisces rules his 2nd). His Neptune says that he is likely to project a fantasy of who you are, and what your needs are–and with the placement at 00, Mr X is just learning to deal with Neptune in a Sagittarian form–one that may convince him that the freewheeling, man-in-charge, macho cultural stereotype is completely an appropriate way to behave, and this is in part due to the nature of Sag, which sees a ‘bachelor’-style freedom as a right, not an option.

Your Chiron/ Ceres/ Moon conjunction in Pisces is conjunct his Chiron in Aries, and the wounds and potential for healing are seen in each other; but, what each needs is markedly different, due to the differing signs. Mr X’s wounds are Self-assertion, ego, and image related, likely stemming from not feeling totally supported or adequate as a man (Mars, ruler of Aries, as symbol of a man’s ‘ideal Self’). For you, A, the wound is likely received from the Collective, and as it relates to this relationship, your awareness of being an outsider, with vastly different standards and priorities, is likely a manifestation of this. The culture clash hurts, emotionally (Moon) and brings forward the desire to negotiate circumstances–and this may feel maternal to him–but at the same time, since the cultural standard from which he comes puts women in a kind of maternal role toward all men and the spouse in particular, once the courtship phase is over . . . then in his eyes, likely no harm, no foul, you may actually come across to him like the women with whom he grew up.

And you don’t come across like a “Church Lady Teacher type”–that feeling within you is seated directly in the culture clash you’re experiencing, and in that stimulation of the Moon/ Chiron/ Ceres, which sits in your 12th and permeates your expression, unbidden. This isn’t a bad thing; it’s his Arian Chiron in proximity trine his Neptune in Sag that brings it to active awareness and convinces you you’re appearing that way, though that isn’t typical for you. But, with this gathering in Pisces, you may be prone to accept his projections (Sag is a teacher vibe) and with Moon ruling your 4th of deepest Self, you may be seeing, judging, and disliking these energies, convinced that that’s really what you are deep inside. churchlady02

Your Uranus/ Pluto conjunction is exactly quincunx his Sun; he is drawn to the intensity of your uniqueness, and sees both your free-thinking and your intelligence as having potential to transform his Soul. He is aware, though, that these qualities in your require him to adjust; as well, you feel you must moderate these aspects of your personality in order to honor his Soul’s essence–a tough, and ongoing, bargain that may keep you both just slightly off-balance.

His Earth/ Vesta is opposed his Moon; his material needs are sacred to him, and he may either embrace these as ‘what a woman needs as a proper environment’ (projected, Moon involvement–which it sounds like he has done) or he may (perhaps at a later date) find the importance of sex, the home, and those things he finds sacred as creating too much of an emotional drain on him. The Moon in a man’s chart stands for his emotional state, his mother, and the way he sees women in general whom he doesn’t regard as sexual objects–and it’s an important energy to understand in relationship, as even the hottest pairing cools, and the man steps back to regard his partner, at least to some extent, in the same light he sees all women, so this aspect set is indicative of one of the attitudes he brings to the table.

Mr X has an exact Moon/ Venus/ Juno conjunction, which is also conjunct his Sun, that falls in his 1st House. I don’t think you have ever really seen the exact nature of Mr X, and what he truly thinks of women, as the entire time you’ve known him this complex has been under a Neptune transit, obscuring your perceptions of him and his perceptions of himself. We have some clues, though, in the perfection of the Moon/ Venus/ Juno, all in Aquarius, which implies that he wants and admires an intelligent, strong, nurturing, and Self-empowered woman–you fit the bill nicely.

Your South Node is conjunct his Neptune, and your Saturn is exactly conjunct his North Node, both of which signal involvement and ‘pull’ that is almost subconscious in nature. Your Sun is conjunct his Uranus, ruler of his intercepted 1st, and we have a hint that you express things for and about him that he finds difficult to express himself, specifically ideas about the modern world and roles, independence, and the place of higher thought in everyday life.

I can say this with some certainty: Mr X will not change who he is; he is very invested in continuing to conduct himself as he wishes, which will unfortunately continue to be behavior that shows little regard for your fears and priorities; all his wishes for change, or admiration for your independent and modern nature, are passive. I’m not saying he’s a bad guy, by any means; I am saying that with him, what you see is what you get, and he has no conscious or active desire to change–that transformation he hopes will come through you is one that he hopes for in a very abstract way, and as well assumes nothing in his own life or psyche would actually alter one iota!

Mr X will remain very much the same over time, barring some major incident, the most likely of which would be Pluto’s eventual conjunction to natal Mercury (approx 2017)–this transit shows the potential of major change to his behavior that affects the partner and child(ren) (Mercury rules his 5th and 8th, with the conjunction happening in the 12th, and possibly indicates an affair or creating a child with another–by then he’ll be 47, and this would be a reaction in line with the aging, machismo-oriented mentality).

The prominence of Neptune in the cross-chart contacts points up both the way the relationship is in some ways the fulfillment of an ideal, and how alcohol and illusion (the kind that keeps him believing you’ll be happy within his culture eventually, and you believing he’ll change, perhaps leaving his culture, or at least its values, eventually) are definitely a permanent feature between you–and this is only pointed up by the long-term Neptune transit mentioned previously. His Sun falls in your 11th, suggesting he is, in some way, a dream come true, and seen very much as a friend; your Sun falls in his 9th, emphasizing for him your ‘foreignness’ and the knowledgeable/ teacher part of you–see, you really are receiving his projection!

Though it sounds like in many ways you are happy for now in this relationship, it really boils down to how long you and your child will live with someone who does drink regularly to the point of dangerous irresponsibility (DUI) and who does not, in the end, see you as a true partner. Cultural influences can give us many assumptions we never question, and upon which we base our lives; you are not like that, being open to the new and always thoughtfully observing, but Mr X is precisely like that, and I’m afraid it becomes a matter of how long you will accept, by virture of major cultural difference, not being seen and treated as a full partner in life, which I’m convinced at some point you will both want and need.

My very best wishes to you and to Mr X–as you say, he has many good qualities–and congratulations on your pregnancy! I hope you’ll consider coming back here and sharing a little about your new little one when he arrives. I encourage you to write–not only will this help you to work through those things you may not be totally conscious of, but I suspect you have much to share that others will find illuminating.

Photo from http://www.danacarvey.net

It’s All About You

Hi, just found your website. I am a Leo – not entirely new to astrology – but still very much a beginner (family took up most of my life – that includes the parents !! Now parents have passed I want to spend my time back on understanding astrology)

At 52 years old I have never (even though married with two challenging children – 3 if you count hubby for over 30 years!!) told a man I love him. I have now actually met a man I really connect to at work, P, a Scorpio.

1) he’s younger than me, 2) he has connected with me – but seems scared to come forward.

There is a definite energy field that connects when we are in each others immediate aura – but I think it’s frightening him off. We have had several conversations on astrology and energy – so I know he has some interest. I have been trying to work out our charts, but being still so new to all of this, I am getting quite dismayed over the lack of contact with him. This is not about sex – but I read that when the base chakra of a man in particular opens up quickly – especially in the vicinity of someone like me who does feel others’ energy it can confuse the man with the arousal thinking along the line of sexual intentions (if you know what I mean !!!) rather than the possibility of a deeper meaningful relationship. Any suggestions !!

Best wishes, C

Hello C,

I don’t think this has anything to do with P, and everything to do with you, a handful of natal placements, previous circumstances, and current transits. With no time or place of birth provided, I can’t know what each planet rules, but we almost don’t need it; your natal Sun/ Pluto conjunction in Leo, opposed Earth/ Pallas in Aquarius, makes a T-square with the Scorpio Moon (without a time I used noon; this may not be valid though would still pertain many hours either side of this time, but the Moon placement certainly fits what’s happening now). You’ve spent many years in your Moon role, nurturing, mothering, helping your family grow, nursing your parents–all admirable, but not very nurturing to the Self. And you have a lot of oppositions, that in themselves signal the possibility that you may tend to develop one side or the other: Chiron/ Uranus, Venus/ Juno, Ceres/ Neptune. All these pit a major energy against an asteroid that, in one way or another, holds the key to some facet of empowerment–and the assumption I’m making is that you leaned to one side of the equation or the other, and thus left some energies not as thoroughly examined as you might have otherwise–but circumstances are drawing your attention to the undeveloped side currently.

Now you are out and about, and you meet P, and you speak of energy fields and imply that he may think it’s sexual–and frankly, so do I, on your part–I think you aren’t acknowledging your own response–I think you’re feeling a new sense of freedom, after years of caring for others, and you’re out looking for life to be exciting (again). The Juno/ Venus opposition is right now receiving contact, with transiting Pluto currently opposed Venus, and moving toward conjunction with Juno. That spells out the siren call of a sexualized Venus (you!) who is on the road to facing her own empowerment (natal Juno)–but to see that empowerment coming from the outside, from contact to a man or through a new role, is to misunderstand personal power, and very likely to misunderstand the activation of these energies within the Self.

T Saturn has just moved past conjunction to natal Mercury, which suggests you are feeling a fresh impetus to speak out, to express the Self, and this is part of it, too. You talk about meaningful relationship, and not having told a man you love him–so I have to ask, what do you call your relationship with your husband? Raising a family together, no matter what the state of your personal interaction now, sounds pretty meaningful to me. For many years you have invested your life in your family (and I’m not saying that your marriage is great–I don’t know–I’m saying you’ve devoted a huge amount of time and energy to it and the circumstances it created) says much about your choices in the past, but nothing about what’s before you now, simply because you’re using the same ‘you’ to choose.

You say P is connected but is afraid to come forward–but how do you know what he’s thinking? It sounds as if he could be thinking any number of things–and I think it’s dangerous to make assumptions about what he’s going through based on what you (a vested party who’s attracted to him, even if that attraction is not of a sexual nature) are feeling, as your position is not an objective one.

Having spent so much time devoted to others, I can understand how exciting it is to be venturing into territory where new interactions are possible and flirtations are bound to occur. Chiron first moved within orb of its Return in May of ’08 then back out later in the year, and will relatively soon move back to fulfill the conjunction. The Chiron Return can be especially tumultuous when we haven’t developed a strong role or skill through which to express the Self–and clearly the role you’ve had for years is not fitting you anymore. That Chiron energy typically looks around for some way to come out–and you have a natal Chiron/ Uranus opposition, suggesting that the likely outlet is either development of a unique ability/ skill, and/ or rebellion from what is (and implicit in this latter is that the urge to rebel doesn’t really take into account what is–the important part just becomes kicking over the traces!) So, my advice to you would be to concentrate on Self-development, enjoying and exploring yourself; know who you are in the now before you push for or jump into new circumstances that are based in a feeling of excitement and a personal desire to connect–I don’t think you’re quite ready yet. You need to sort out who you are at this time, after all you’ve done and been through, and what among those things that already exist in your life, is important to you, first, so that you don’t lose them along the way.


For the Ladies: Let ‘Em In

Now ladies, I’d like to point something out, said so eloquently by Dr. Phil the other day (and paraphrased here): “Guys really do look for a way to ride in on their white horse and impress you.” My younger Self would’ve cringed at this, and argued strenuously: women and men should be equals, and themselves, I would’ve said. No one should have to put on a show to get someone’s attention, nor should a female look to a male for aid or rescue. But since then I’ve learned a thing or two.

Modern women are typically raised to be Self-sufficient and Self-reliant, and we can, by virtue of our own sense of responsibility and competence, push men away. Now, I’m not advocating behaving artificially, becoming a swooning flower the second you’re within proximity of a male; instead I’m saying that some of those things we’ve developed to help us cope with the world at large don’t necessarily serve us in allowing a relationship to develop. If we become conscious of these barriers, we’ll be able to apply them when they’re needed, and bring them down to allow intimacy.

Men (or anyone animus oriented) is programmed to pursue: the wooly  mammoth, the great job, the girl.  Part of this pursuit mentality is a need to be ‘the acter,’ rather than ‘the acted upon.’ That means that a man must continue this pursuit energy even after he’s made contact, and gotten your attention. It’s this energy that prompts a man, when you are simply sharing your worries, thoughts, or concerns, to immediately want to jump up and ‘fix’ the problem–you’re venting, and he’s heading directly for a solution that lets everyone sit back and relax, upset solved. Along with the need to act comes the need to feel effective in that action–and what makes a man feel more effective than when he can do something for the woman he loves, and be appreciated for it?

I don’t say this lightly, as I’ve actually seen men turn away from women who loved them completely but who were unable to show the kind of interdependence and vulnerability that those men needed to have in the relationship; and who did they turn to? Uniformly, they turned to women who knew that the greatest compliment is to be needed. Of course, we’re not talking about the relationship equivalent of babysitting, but an openness to and appreciation of what the man has to offer.

Astrologically we likely find these barriers as energies related to the 1st, 2nd, 5th, 7th, or 10th; if they’re in the 12th, they may be in the way, but will be much harder to deal with, and may permeate the life in ways we’re unaware of. 12th House energies will be so much part-and-parcel of who we (unwittingly) show others that a man who’s attracted will already be aware of these, so we’ll leave them out of the discussion.

First let’s look at the energies that can create problems. Saturn can have us building walls and putting up barriers 100_0155without reason, while Neptune may cause us to hide in a fog of confusion, dishonesty, or behind an illusion of who we are, and Pluto can make us compulsively destroy another’s ego or the relationship itself, while Uranus makes us rebel the moment something gets going. Of course, these must be configured in particular ways to act as described, most often when contacting a personal energy, and aspect type and signs will have a great deal to do with actual manifestation.

The 1st is probably the most crucial and most dynamic position for any of these; if one of them rules the Ascendant your ‘first meeting’ face may present a hard to delve behind persona to a potential mate. An energy placed here makes a statement, “I am ‘x'”–and unless we have ‘x’ under conscious control, we can keep even the most interested guy from approaching. In the 2nd the energy becomes about Self-image and Self-worth; we may be down on ourselves, or present this energy as a deep flaw that defines the sense of who we are. With the 5th we may see this a component of romance, and not realize that everyone else doesn’t see things that way, while with the 7th we may project the energy onto the mate, believing we don’t have that–and look at how I attract bad boys! we then marvel. Related to the 10th the barriers may be status or role/ profession related, or they may be part of the reputation, whether truly present in a one-on-one relationship or not.

If we become conscious of these energies, we can learn to make our responses fit our desires. For example, I have Uranus ruling my Ascendant, with Uranus in the 6th conjunct the Descendant; if I wasn’t leaving the guy, then he was leaving me. Once I finally realized that my tendency to behave as if my freedom was being stolen the second I entered into a relationship was sabotaging my happiness, I was able to rein it in, with the added bonus of letting my uniqueness shine without fear–when I learned to say, ‘I am what I am’ and love it, I attracted men who truly liked me, and I no longer felt the need to bolt once things became solid between us.

So, tell me, ladies, what’s your barrier? And how do you cope with it?

Love Hurts

Hi Julie, I met this guy D, last year March, when we met, there was an instant connection, we clicked and everything I said I wanted from a relationship, he said he wanted the same things as well.We dated for seven months and it’s been five months and I can’t get over him. This was my first BDSM type relationship, we’re both switches. We dated for seven months, during that time we broke up with each other four times. We would talk everyday, and at first we got along fine, until he told me there was someone else he was talking to, and he feels a stronger connection with me, that’s why he told me about her. This person was married and lived in Australia. So there were many obstacles. I told him I needed a break after he told me that and I didn’t talk to him for a while. When we started talking again, he told he had stopped talking to her and he was happy I decided to talk to him again. I really liked him and I think I fell for him from our first conversation. We broke up after only talking for one month and a half. His reason, we had no common ground, our conversation seemed strained and he’s Atheist and I’m Christian. To me this was complete bs, except for the communication, after he told me about the other person, I had put my guard up, so maybe that’s why, but everything else was really weird to me. This happened two days after he told me he wanted to take things to the next level.

We didn’t talk for a month, and if I saw him I would ignore him. Then one night he messaged me and told me he missed me, that same night he did something that upset me even more though, while we were talking he left me, for like an hour to talk with some other woman. I left, and wrote him an email, telling him that I no longer belonged to him so he could no longer control me, and maybe we should just not talk to each other ever again.. Maybe he was trying to make me jealous, I don’t know.. We spoke after that and tried being friends, but our connection is extremely strong and we ended up dating again. He said that he was scared, that’s why he ended things with me. Everything was going good and then he started acting weird again, detaching and being distant, and I asked him what was wrong and he said he needed space, so I backed off, again we broke up, because he said our communication feels strained and he doesn’t think we have anything in common, when to me we had a lot of things in common, yes the communication was strained because I felt like I wasn’t smart enough or was worried I would offend him in someway and I feared losing him, We did have debates and a lot of good conversations and I did try to open up to him, but it didn’t seem like he was making the same effort.

We got back together, we always do. This time after a very intense argument, and he opened up to me and told me exactly what he felt and I was shocked because I had no idea he cared that much, he told me that his freedom means a lot and that he felt like it was being threatened, he also told me I scared him, because to him I represented commitment. He did show me a lot of different sides of him that most people never get to see and he always would say that he wants to know me on every level and that he felt safe with me. I was worth trying for. He didn’t feel like he was worthy of me, he felt like he was wasting my time and I told him all the time he wasn’t. We talked about everything and yes there were times when our communication was off and it seemed like we would just be sexual instead. water-heart

That’s not what we wanted, we didn’t want it to be just about sex, but it seemed like that was what it was becoming or maybe that’s all it was. I broke up with him this time, because I started doubting that he cared at all about me, it seemed like he wouldn’t even try to open up and I felt emotionally drained. We talked and then we decided to try at it, because to him I was worth it, and he was worth it to me too, I felt like he was my soul mate and I love with every fiber of my being. This time he started saying he wanted no commitment, at all. He would always talk about his freedom, and I know commitment scared him, but I thought that after being together and going through the things we did, it would make us stronger, but instead it broke us apart. He cheated on me, then he told me that it was only him and I for now, as he could not promise monogamy, that we didn’t have enough to commit. Then he said he doesn’t want to be together, he changed his mind. All of this in one conversation. That was it, he told me that we had nothing and we never would. and apologized for using me. We didn’t talk for almost three months. We’ve been broken up now for five months and I can’t seem to get over him, we are trying to be friends, we started talking again late December. I love him, completely. but he will probably never love me at all. He’s dating someone else that gives him all the freedom he wants, because she’s poly. I am happy for him, not jealous or anything. I just wish I understood why I can’t get over him and how he went from wanting to commit when we first met, to fearing commitment and then not wanting commitment at all. Also how he can be so possessive and say he doesn’t believe in sharing his mate, to being with someone that sleeps with other people.

There are thingsI left out, some personal stuff. Sorry for the long message.


Dear lil’ k,

First, lil’ k (I hope you don’t mind me calling you that!) no need to apologize for a long message, or for leaving things out–one is needed, because relationships feel complex, and the other’s okay because everyone needs their privacy.

In comparing your charts, I see the components for attraction, and the way your sexual tastes are very compatible–and that can be so attractive, can’t it? There are some clashing, crashing elemental combinations here: your Juno conj his Uranus (uniquely empowering for you, threatening to him), your Jupiter conj his Ceres (the king of Mt Olympus meets Mother Nature–and note you carry the masculine side of the equation, which is so in other connections and explains some of the problem), your Pallas conj his Vesta (the sexual warriors in the flesh!) and your Ceres conj his ASC (you as Mother Nature, or even ‘Mom,’ controls how he meets the world–a big turn-off for him).

There are also some hurtful connections and mixed messages, as well, and these act as compelling contacts, which can be either positive or negative, and often both at once for you two: your Chiron conj his MC (do you hurt or heal his rep, from his point of view?) Your Saturn/ Juno conj his Uranus (you are strong, and it may feel to him like you’re asking him to repress his most individual attributes, and to give up his freedom) your Pluto/ South Node conj his Saturn (he may want to hold back your power at all costs) your Sun/ Venus conj his Pallas (your dazzle challenges his skills) These and other interactions all together suggest that you are perceived by him as intensely strong, aggressive/ assertive, and powerful on an elemental level–and though he has a taste for it, he really can’t handle it for long. His admission that he feels his freedom threatened is his fight-or-flight response to you–and it’s an underlying perception that he’ll never let go of.

It doesn’t help that with his Sun falling in your 7th, and your Sun falling in his 5th, you two definitely see each other as mate material; but, Saturn contact, necessary for relationship longevity and the will to stick it out through problems, isn’t really there, and as you say yourself, communication here is the pits, and actually brings out the worst in both of you–this back and forth is junior high stuff, not worthy of either of you–lack of contact between the personal energies is what makes this so hard.

There are a couple of clinchers here, that are probably both key to why this doesn’t ultimately work, and to why you are having trouble letting him go: your Neptune conjuncts his Moon–for you this means you may be filling in the emotional blanks for him, unable to clearly see how he feels, and he absolutely can’t get a grip on how he feels about you, which is certainly clear from all the mixed messages–and do you really want to be with someone who changes what he says he feels from moment to moment? There’s no future in that, at least not one where you can count on your partner. There’s also your Moon square his Arian Juno, and trine his Mars; your emotional reality challenges him in a way he finds very tough to handle. You report he says, at various points, that he feels both safe and scared in his relationship to you, and that he wants no commitment–and the chart interaction clearly says that he’ll never nail down his feelings, nor will he stick with things over the long-haul.

Now a challenge for you, k: you say you love him completely, at a Soul-deep level, but is your ideal guy one who changes up his emotional stance toward you like most people change underwear (I mean daily!) and is your ideal guy one who cheats on you, telling you there isn’t enough between you to make a commitment? I hope not–you need to think better of yourself, because you deserve someone as vibrant, fiercely sexual, exciting, and interesting as you are.


Photo from www.photobucket.com

Are You Too Clingy?

We all have insecurities; often they are very very particular to who we are and what we’ve experienced. We can see those vulnerable areas in the natal chart, the general psychic spots that we may try to protect, or that may make us flinch when they’re touched. Sometimes we armor them, keep them hidden, even try to put them forward as strengths; other times we may try to deal by wearing these vulnerabilities like a badge that says, “Have mercy! I’m wounded here–never ever ever touch, or you’re a bad person!” An understandable manipulation, when we feel we have no alternative. We may even use them to bond with others; “Look, I’m trusting you, baring the soft underbelly of my emotional Self” and again the message may be, if you injure that sensitive spot, you are in the wrong. It can make relationships a minefield of tender and forbidden areas that only make us even more sensitive than we might otherwise be. romeo-and-juliet-4

So where does clinginess come in? As a reaction (one of many possible) to our fears of inadequacy or potential hurt. That links clinginess firmly to Saturn, which may be unexpected; we tend to see Saturn as making rigid boundaries, putting things in a box, wherever it goes, but Saturn represents both our fears and ambitions–and what better sums up an intimate relationship than as an amalgam of potentials of hurt and togetherness (the kind of togetherness that can change our reality, our lifestyle or even our status, all expressions of Saturn).

Clinginess is essentially a persistent demand, very Saturnian: I must be reassured things are the way I want them to be, expect them to be; not a healthy attitude, which in this case we can define as someone feeling the strength and confidence to interact with others in a way that supports autonomy for all. This can be very subtle, though, and can spring almost without our realizing it from the bonding process itself; as soon as there’s a ‘we,’ there’s potential to lose our boundaries. When we do, it’s an unspoken statement of distrust, of our mate, our relationship, and ourselves.

We can also look for information in the state of our Mars (how straighforward am I?), our Venus (what do I expect from relationships in general, and love in particular?), our Neptune (how closely am I aligned with my ideals, with fantasy, with deception or delusion?) and Chiron (under particular circumstances that link the primal hurt to others).

Association with certain Houses also brings more of a chance that relationships will be affected by a placement or rulership, with the 5th (romance), 7th (mate, partner, all others), 8th (other people’s resources), and 10th (what others see, who don’t know us personally, our reputation), though we can’t forget the peripheral influence available with the 3rd (communication), 2nd (Self-worth), 11th (friendship), and 12th (subconscious influence). For instance, Saturn in the 5th is far more likely to figure in the romance scenario than Saturn in the 9th.

Do we all have a bit of clingy possibility in our charts? Yes. How do we prevent it? Chiefly by not placing fear at the center of our relationships. Once fear has a toehold, many many unflattering Saturnian behaviors can spring from it. Factors that combat it can include a strong Sun (firm sense of Self and identity), a well-supported Venus (Love!), and a Moon that expresses in the positive (good emotional outlook–goes a long way toward squelching fears).

Next up: a ‘Clinginess Quiz’ to ferret out the ways we might be wrapping ourselves, vine-like, around our sweethearts! 

Try my books, including THE ASTROLOGY OF INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP available in pdf by email!  http://dogandsunflower.wordpress.com and my astrology blog here http://juliedemboski.wordpress.com

Romance Roulette + Purple Haze


Hi Julie

Great to see the first post up on your new relationship blog. I’m sure it will be a lot of fun. With plenty of 7th house transits… which brings me to mine. I have Saturn blasting away through my 7th at the moment and at times, it really does my head in.

Seven months after my husband got tired of being married, I met Mr C quite unexpected just before Saturn moved into Virgo in September 07. By Xmas time I was in love with him and although afraid, I confessed my feelings. Even though we are very different, we had a lot of fun together, talked a lot, beautiful sex, really all very lovely. Except he was as scared as me, bearing deep scars from his previous marriage. Another difficulty was that we lived two hours apart and he worked 3-weeks-on/3-weeks-off on a gas rig while I work regular hours. When he was home, his daughter stayed with him on weekends which is when I’d visit. Maybe we were doomed because we expected to be doomed. I believe (know?) that he loved me but he never voluntarily, directly said so and that was a problem for me.

Anyway, the August 08 eclipses roll around and after a lovely day out (17 Aug), I started the conversation that we’d had before but this time it inevitably culminated in a ‘break’ where I gave Mr C time and space to think (during which time my divorce was finalised) – as opposed to the ‘break up’ which happened mid-Oct just after Uranus went retrograde. Since then we’ve been in semi-regular (often drunk and emotional) contact with a couple of rendevous. My feelings for Mr C are still unresolved.

So then, New Year’s Eve, and Saturn goes retrograde. I meet this fabulous bloke, possibly an actual real-live fully grown man. (Sorry that was bitter. My ex-husband had issues with his mother and wanted to be a child rather than have them. Wish he’d told me that before we married…) All through January, Mr L takes me out, calls and texts. I’m impressed by his relaxed confidence and and flattered by his nervousness (a wonderful contradiction). Then the January eclipse. He bails on me two-hours before a play (thankfully a friend had agreed to be on ‘stand by’ for me because I had a feeling…), stops calling and frequency of texts drops dramatically. Mitigating factors: his interstate daughter is visiting and he works in finance which I hear is kind of crazy at the moment. So I think ‘Oh well, maybe he’s just not that into me’ and back right off. But every few days, he texts me. This has been going on all through February. Via text, I’ve asked him if I’ll actually see him again in the flesh (with a joking tone). He says, as emphatically as one can in a text message, that he does want to see me again but he never asks me out. I’ve never come across this before and find it strange and somewhat amusing.

I’ve noted Mr C has Venus opposite Uranus in his natal chart, and Mr L has these same planets conjunct. And there are some superficial similarities: both men have daughters from previous relationships; Mc C financial trainwreck but Mr L financially savvy; both love their cars… Am I playing out Uranus transiting my first house by dallying with men who value freedom in relationships because I have no desire to commit to anyone but myself? And yet, despite this desire for freedom, even to the point of acknowledging that I have little to offer in a relationship at this time, I am persistently stalked by a deep fear of being alone. I don’t have the strength or desire to banish these men from my life because they provide light-hearted relief from the persistent soul-mining that I am powerless to stop.

Sorry, Julie, I’m not even sure what question I’m asking. Maybe I’ve answered my own incoherent question? Or maybe you’ll be able to type some sense into me? Birth details below. I’ve even throw in the ex-husband… and just noted that his ascendant is nearly the same as Mr L’s… and that his Venus and Uranus are quincunx. So maybe that’s my question, what is it with me and these blokes with Venus-Uranus contacts? I’ve got a wide square between these planets… Is that the problem?

I think as far as this situation goes, a little bit of astrological knowledge is a dangerous thing. Thanks for sharing your time and wisdom.
Ms K

Hello Ms K,

Thank you for your kind words–and, looking at the charts of Mr. C and Mr. L in comparison to your own, I see how confusing this must be for you.

I think your perception that your reactions are linked to Uranus’ transit of your 1st is right on, and to a very Uranian fear of loneliness/ freedom dilemma, though I don’t think it’s the whole answer to your interaction with these two men. For you, the combo of Venus / Uranus unites the 3rd, 8th, and 12th, equalling a recipe for subconsious material to be funneled into communications/ thoughts and into your assessment of what a potential partner has to offer–so at least in part, you’re looking at subconscious material when you’re responding to the Venus/ Uranus in others or in yourself. Within your own chart you cite them as having a wide square, but I would follow the closer aspects that unite the energies via contact to your Sun/ Juno conjunction (semi-square to Venus, trine to Uranus)–this suggests that you are responding at least in part to a feeling that following these urges will lead to empowerment. And, with Venus trine your Neptune, ruler of your ASC, you are probably aware that generally you may have a perceptual ‘blind spot’ in love.

With Mr. C there are contacts between your charts that exaggerate attraction, but that are not really harmonious, such as his Juno, Venus, Chiron conjunct your Mars, Jupiter, Chiron–these fall in your 2nd of Self-worth and Self-image, and you may be responding to a sense that this could be a healing and empowering relationship–but with him holding the Venus card, and you holding the Mars card, we see a basic conflict in ‘flipped’ energies, plus Chiron obviously can bring forward the deep hurt. Further, and most important, His Sun/ Jupter conjunction squares your Sun/ Juno conjunction–and could we ask for anymore feeling that this is the mate? No, and we also couldn’t see a more convincing mix for eventual unhappiness, once the honeymoon is over (see my material on Juno at http://juliedemboski.wordpress.com for an explanation about the relationship between Juno and Jupiter/ Zeus).

With Mr. L your Neptune conjuncts his Mercury, so that it’s likely that you don’t really see what he’s communicating (or are inspired by it, or it plays to all your fantasies of what you’d like to hear!) But the most important thing may be your Pluto conjunct his Moon; he may be strongly attracted to you because he perceives you as mysterious, dangerous, and off limits! Which brings me to his behavior–if I were to write a description of how a man would behave if he were married and trying to keep someone on the side, that would be it. You said yourself you “had a feeling” you couldn’t count on him–and you are right.


Hello Julie,

I’m curious about some neptune aspects in a relationship with a new partner.
A few brief things that might clarify my confusion/curiosity
and thank you in advance for considering my question. I appreciate it very much.

1. met him only 2 1/2 months ago. i moved into a community home. he is my roommate.

2. strong attraction. sexual chemistry huge. we only began seeing one another a month on the new moon ago. we’re very deep already (8th house stuff?)

3. it feels confusing. strong resonance on a lot of levels. open communication. too much processing. difficult things coming up for us both. mostly relating to trust. he has pot usage in his life, i don’t want to date pot. i really like him and feel almost addicted to him. it’s frustrating.

question: intuition/feelings tell me to stop now. also, my perception feels hazy and i feel maybe to try it longer. is this related to neptune stuff and should i be careful or trust also what feels transformative? it’s really confusing.

signed, S

Hello S,

I think this feels like Neptune to you for good reason, only part of which is astrological. Since your Neptunes are conjunct, that tells us two things: we must look to the aspects that are not same energy conjunctions for meaning, and that everything each of the Neptunes aspects in its own chart the other person’s Neptune aspects as well. The aspect that stands out most is that his Jupiter sextiles both Neptunes–so exaggeration of your Neptune qualities and his is a given.

His Nodal axis to your Nodal axis and your Sun/ Earth axis suggests a feeling of destiny in the contact–but that is more of a choice-shaping energy, rather than a cue to stay together. His Venus conjuncts your Chiron in Aries–you may feel he offers pure love that can heal, he may feel you offer healing to his love nature–but of course, deep wounding is a potential as well. And your Mars/ Juno/ Venus meets his Ceres and offers an elemental attraction–all these are instinctive draws toward contact.

But, his Saturn/ Vesta opposed your Venus says he may tend to ‘plant a flag’ wherever he lives, just as a matter of course–and your Venus was wide open to this, though the implication is that if not you, he would find someone else in close proximity–it’s just his MO. So, the compelling and special feelings that draw you are based more on instinctive, almost animal responses, rather than on the formation of a true interaction.

There’s one other point, as well: you don’t know him, you only know him plus pot–very very Neptunian, and never likely to be moved beyond, with its contact to Jupiter in his chart–the society he seeks out will always support this manifestation of the Neptune energy, very likely. And since you (very wisely) don’t want to date pot . . .

As long as you’re not looking for something that will actually become a well-rounded relationship, this can serve, but I’m convinced that you’ll be disappointed in the end, as his chart indicates that, if the ship you’re on goes down, and he has to choose between saving you and saving his stash, well, you know where I’m going with this.

Good luck, S–I would say that your intuition is spot on in its prompt to back away from this involvement–it’s not easy with this chart interaction, but make your decisions with as much clarity, and care for yourself, as you can.


PS S, I hope you don’t mind, but I’d like to gather some opinions here–it might benefit you to see how others might weigh out your situation.