Highlights for Feb. 25-March 3, 2019
Special electrified Venus editionDates and times are given for U.S. Pacific Time zone. Click them to see the date and time where you are.
I’m declaring March 1, 2019, Venus/Uranus/Aquarius day. As it leaves Capricorn, Venus makes a square to Uranus in late Aries (March 1, 4:31 am), and later that day it enters Aquarius (8:45 am). And because it’s otherwise a relatively quiet week, astrologically, and because I found I had more to say about this combination than I expected, I’m turning the whole of this week’s column over to them.
Wherever we encounter Aquarius or Uranus, we find nonconformity, genius, and usually a touch of chaos. None of this is a natural fit for the relationship side of Venus, where the planet favors peace and harmony; it’s particularly challenging for relationships that are expected to follow a conventional societal script. Aquarius is ruled by Saturn, but tends to reflect our need to rebel against Saturn’s rules. And that makes it an incredibly exciting Venus sign for artists.
Iconic photographer Ansel Adams was born with Venus in Aquarius and in aspect to Uranus. A passionate environmentalist, he’s best known for capturing the natural world; but my favorite of his images features his friend Georgia O’Keefe and Ghost Ranch guide Orville Cox.
I was reminded of this image, which used to hang in my living room as a framed poster, by the Sabian Symbol for Venus’s degree at the square to Uranus: 30 Capricorn, A secret business conference. That has a sinister ring to it; but for me, it immediately brought to mind Adams’ photograph of acquaintances caught in sly, secretive smiles.
Aquarius is not a particularly romantic sign, but it has a mischievous, flirtatious, affectionate quality that this photograph captures perfectly. This is a moment of mutual delight between people who are probably not intimate; it’s a purely Aquarian, Uranian picture of impersonal affection, the sort of human warmth that’s fanned by the oxygen that comes with distance, and some breathing room.
“To the complaint, ‘There are no people in these photographs,’ I respond, There are always two people: the photographer and the viewer.” ― Ansel Adams
Aquarius, traditionally ruled by Saturn, has its black-and-white side, which Adams—born with Saturn in Capricorn—used as masterfully as any painter’s diverse palette. Saturn is the landscape artist of Dorothy’s Kansas, a beautifully filmed, flat, almost sepia-tinged, depression era backdrop for boredom, despair, and longing emerge in bold relief. But Aquarius also has a modern, Uranian side, the technicolor weirdness of Oz, and—importantly—the traumatic forces that brought Dorothy there.
“If you know only four or five notes, play those notes with conviction….You will fall in love with yourself.” – Peter Tork
Adams captured the world in rich, startling black and white, rarely fixing his lens on humans; Tork’s world was painted in saturated technicolor, brimming with humanity. When skeptics decry astrology, this is the sort of thing they point to—two men with these bits of astrology in common, yet so different. But of course, there were enormous differences between them, astrologically. I’m picking out just a couple of small points of commonality.
But for me, the chief point of commonality is how different they were – not just from each other, but from anybody else. The spark of genius that makes Aquarius so compelling, and its inherent contradictions, are fascinating because they reflect humanity in its purest form. Each of us has our own spark, and we all contain multitudes. We want to be completely ourselves and unlike anyone else, but sometimes we need a tour guide to show us how it’s done.
Those who are aligned with Venus, the goddess of art, in Aquarius may wear the stark black of Georgia O’Keefe’s wide-brimmed hat against a majestic New Mexico sky, or they may, like Peter Tork, favor love beads and a colorful Nehru jacket. But whether their palette is black and white or rainbow hued, they show us what is to be utterly original—and to love being human.
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