This is the best rendezvous of Venus and Jupiter in years. You’ll need clear westerly views. Due to their magnitude the two brightest Planets are already visible when the light of the Sun still lingers. They have been moving toward each others for a while now. The conjunction will be exact on March 15, but the two will remain visually close for the whole month of March. It would be worth your while to look them up every evening for the next week or so. It should be easy to recognize Venus because she is the brightest amongst the two (approx. magnitude -4.18 versus magnitude -1.96).
Astrologically this is considered a fortunate conjunction, Venus and Jupiter being known as the two most fortunate planets, one fostering cooperation, love and artistic creativity (Venus), the other optimism, expansion and improvement at all levels (Jupiter). This is a positive aspect for relationships, travel, business, artistic expression, fun, financial gain and all sorts of opportunities. In direct line with this transit are Pisces born between the 12 and 16 of March, Taurus born between April 28 and May 2, and all those born with the Sun, Moon, any Planet, Lunar Node, or Angle between the 8th and 12th degrees of Taurus, Pisces, Virgo, Capricorn and Cancer. Scorpio, Leo and Aquarius are also aligned to this transit , but, being connected with it via opposition and squares respectively, they could experience some difficulties in enjoying its full benefits.
I have to apologize for an error in an earlier version of this post (now corrected), if you happen to have read it before this editing, where I stated that Jupiter was Retrograded at this time. He is not, while Mars and Mercury are. A Retro Mercury’s trick?
For more on this transit and others active in March 2012 please check my recent Venus in Taurus post, HERE.
Below is a sky-scape of this event, taken on March 15, around 7.40 pm, looking North-West, low on the horizon (in mid-latitude in the Southern Hemisphere). Note Aldebaran, alpha star of Taurus, and the Pleiades, Seven Sisters, above, and beautiful Capella, alpha star of Auriga, the Charioteer, parallel and north of the conjunction, and finally Hamal, alpha of Aries, the Ram, below the conjunction. Looking up you will also see the great sky Hunter, Orion, and west of it the two main stars of Gemini, Castor and Pollux.
March is in fact a great month for naked eye observation of the planets, with Mars at his brightest after his opposition to the Sun, on March 5, and Saturn visible east of Mars, still close to Spica, the brightest star of Virgo.
April 1, 2012 at 9:55 am
Hi, I found your site, and thought it very interesting, since you talk about the actual stars and also refer to the sky; this is what I want to learn more about. But then I get totally confused.
Don’t you find it confusing talking about Venus and Jupiter in Taurus, and at the same time refering to a starmap where one can see they are clearly in Aries?
April 2, 2012 at 10:39 am
Hi Lilith, thank you for contacting me. Very interesting indeed!
I don’t have any problems with the apparent inconsistency. You see, as a follower of traditional Geo-centric (or better Topo-centric, locality centered) Western Astrology I use the so called Tropical Zodiac to plot the positions of Sun, Moon and Planets in the Horoscope. The Tropical Zodiac is a seasonal circle, which has no direct bearing to the Constellations. Once upon a time those were used as sign posts of the seasons, but, due to the Precession of the Equinoxes, their positions do not correspond anymore with the season, and it has been that way for a very very long time. Due to the polar wobble of the Earth the stars are in fact receding along the Zodiac at the rate of about one degree every 72 years or so.
To me and many western astrologers the Constellations were always just sign posts of the season and the seasonal months (the Signs of the Zodiac) and not the other way around. The seasons, since the time Astrology was organized in the form we know it today, has not changed. The Aries Equinox brings the Sun perpendicular on the Equator around March 21 every year and the same happens when the Sun reaches the Tropics in June and December, and the other Equinox in September, no matter which of the far away stars groups happen to glitter alongside the Sun at that time.
As you can see from the Chart format I use throughout my site I also consider the Stars and Constellations, but only to match them with the celestial bodies in the Tropical Zodiac (Fixed Stars Aspects on the left, conjunctions, oppositions and Parallels only).
Each Sign of the Tropical Zodiac is of the same length (30 degrees), but the same cannot be said of the Constellations which vary enormously in size. For me using the Zodiac of the Stars makes sense only if we consider individual stars’ placements rather than the whole constellations.
The Constellations shifting shows us the place of the Earth as a Living Planet in the grand, universal scheme of things (see the onset of the Age of Aquarius, due to that very shift).
The Tropical Zodiac shows us instead the intimate relationship between the Earth and the Sun. The truth of these ever changing relationship can be found in the Signs’ characteristics, the way they colour each Planet in the individual Birth Chart. In that respect I feel that Western Astrology and the Tropical Zodiac of the seasons work a lot better at describing character traits and experiences than do the placements of the same in the Sidereal Zodiac.
It is of vital importance, for the student of Western Astrology, to learn which Zodiac we are using, why we are using it and in which way it differs from the Sidereal Zodiac the Vedic use , for instance; otherwise a lot of confusion may arise.
If in doubt, I suggest to you to look into both Zodiacs, calculating the same Charts with reference to the two Zodiacs and see which may work better for you. Vedic astrologers would not switch to the western system, and their system obviously works well for them.
For more information please check my Tutorial Page on the ‘Two Zodiacs’.
Ciao for now, Paola Emma
April 3, 2012 at 2:59 am
Thank you for your thorough explanation! (You are quite good at makes things understandable. 😉
I can grip that the zodiac signs would be more fitting for birth charts, since it deals with what time of year we are born, and that would have a strong impact.
So, may I ask, do you find no correlation between “the effect” of stars in a constellation and the effect of that zodiac sign? I know nothing about the stars, but I would imagine they would carry some of the same energy as the zodiac sign?
And I hope you can bear with me, because I keep coming back to this:
I do find it so confusing when said (especially by you since you do talk about the stars and the constellations) that the full moon vill be in leo. What leo? The sign or the constellation?
The moon is the celestial body most clearly visible against the stars, so it clearly relates to the stars. Also it does nog follow the sun year, but has it’s own pace – so is it really of value to correlate it’s movement (full moon/new moon) to the zodiac signs? Just out of imagination I would say the moon is more open to “the world outside” our little bubble? Also since this is not birth data, but actually more prediction type data? What happens if you use sideral signs for the moon, have you tried?
April 5, 2012 at 8:40 pm
Hi Lilith, I am sorry for the delay in answering. Life has been a bit hectic.
You have some genuine questions here and some daring suggestions. I will have to leave a proper answer to another time, but I can say for now that, in my personal experience and that of many other astrological practitioners, an individual born under the Tropical Sign of Aries in the southern hemisphere is not any less an Aries than another born in Aries in the Northern hemisphere. The Signs then seem to have more to them than simple seasonal association. Aries begins the zodiacal circle and Pisces ends it. Their intrinsic symbology seems to remain the same, irrespective of hemisphere. Opposite Signs are complementary, one containing within the germ of the other, like in the Yin/Yang symbol. I always suggest beginners to study the nature of the Signs in pairs of opposites, because each Sign is made whole by its opposite. The middle, equinoctial seasons remain middle seasons no matter if the weather is becoming cooler or warmer, and the same can be said of the extreme, solstice seasons.
No time for more tonight. I’ll do my best to come back to this discussion, that, by the way, is open to anyone who would like to make a contribution.
Cheers, Paola Emma
April 6, 2012 at 7:51 am
I hope you find this interesting, because I do! 🙂
I read somewhere someone saying that she took on more of her opposing sign when in the southern hemisphere, so there should be at least *some* validity in it?
I imagine it as overhead films: zodiac sign/season + sideral sign/stars + hemisphere, and we have simply clumped them all together in one big lump we label zodiac signs. And it would really take someone living in the southern hemisphere to try to sort out this mess… 😉
The one thing I have a hard time grasping is how someone could have traits labeled as a tropical sign that would not in reality belong to seasonal traits or sideral sign/star constellations…? How could that be, as there is no such thing?
April 12, 2012 at 1:16 pm
Greetings, Lilith, sorry for the delay in answering.
It seems to me that you are challenging here some of the most basic tenets of Western Astrology. Not everything can be explained logically and rationally as you are attempting to do, I’m afraid.
Yes, we do use the Tropical Zodiac but that does not mean that the character of each Tropical Sign should literally correspond to the character of the season they were born in! It is obvious to me that there are other reasons that distinguish one Sign from the other. Otherwise one could also ask why Capricorn should be a Earth Sign or Aries a Fire Sign; why a square angle should be considered challenging and a trine auspicious? There are no neat answers to these questions. But yet Astrology works. The proof, as the saying goes, is in the pudding.
Astrology is first and foremost an empirical science/psychology, based on real life assessments of events and people. I was born in the Northern Hemisphere but I have been living and practicing Astrology in the Southern Hemisphere for nearly thirty years. I haven’t found any difference in the Signs for people born North or South of the Equator. Certainly though I have found that my own life experiences have changed while living here. If you friend or acquaintance who feels more like the opposite Sign while in a different hemisphere should be looking perhaps at relocating her Birth Chart (same date and time, but different locality) because the new Chart (new orientation to the local horizon) will most probably reveal why she feels that way. I use relocated Charts a lot now, after experimenting with mine and my partner some years ago. They really work and could explain a lot.
Hope this will lift some of your many doubts. Perhaps you are at heart a skeptic and no amount of ‘explanations’ would suffice to eliminate your misgivings on the subject. Astrology is not an exact science, and this is good, because life is not an ‘exact’ life, but complex and mysterious. Astrology reflects that complexity better than any other disciplines that I know of.
Ciao for now, sincerely, Paola Emma