Saturn, in its final retrograde in Libra, is currently backing into conjunctions to the highly fortunate fixed stars Arcturus (24 Libra) and Spica (23 Libra) and will be conjunct Spica at the time of the Sun-Venus conjunction and Venus Transit in Gemini June 5/6.
This is good news, as Saturn is transiting an area of the zodiac called the Via Combusta, known to involve great karmic challenge and difficulty, particularly in relationships. Saturn first entered this area of the zodiac in December 2010 and will exit it November 2013.
From a previous post:
"- Willow's Web Astrology on the Via Combusta -
The Via Combusta is an area of the zodiac between 15 degrees Libra and 15 degrees Scorpio (except for 23 and 24 degrees Libra) known as the burning path or combustible way. Traditionally, it is associated with "unfortunate and ineffectual events."
My interpretation of the Via Combusta is humanized and comes from the point-of-view of a person experiencing life with key natal placements in this area.
When the Via Combusta is strongly highlighted, there is a feeling of running the gauntlet through sometimes seemingly insurmountable odds, collective karma, booby traps, and friction, very often related to relationship dynamics, which are Libra and Scorpio territory.
There's a fire in the Via Combusta and within people with a strong Via Combusta signature that keeps them burning, burning, burning a path through life as you would imagine a shooting star burning an accelerated path through the night's sky. There's a feeling here that one has to keep going, no matter what, through the wreckage of old, crystallized layers that would keep us stultified, constricted, and unsatisfied with old wounds perpetually reopened by a revolving cast of characters.
The basic goal of the Via Combusta is to reach escape velocity. In space travel, this is the point a space shuttle reaches when its speed and momentum allow it to escape the effects of gravity pulling it back down to Earth. In the case of the Via Combusta, it's about reaching the points of awareness and pure momentum where we escape the gravity of the sticky, tricky wreckage trying to draw us back into old territory, especially involving old constructs and dynamics of relating.
But with Saturn in the Via Combusta, we have to earn the right to pass. We have to prove that we're mature enough, serious enough, and that we've taken full responsibility for moving on completely, resolving the bits of dramatic charge and the last karmic tendrils that would catch us, tempt us, and drag us back. This is escape velocity for the long-term, under the weight of Saturn."
The 23rd and 24th degrees of Libra are considered the two safe haven degrees of the Via Combusta where its effects are greatly mitigated due to the presence of Spica and Arcturus. Saturn Rx makes its way to the 24th degree of Libra May 1 and will remain in this zone, safe from the heat of the burning path, until June 7, just after the Venus Transit in Gemini.
Saturn Rx will then dip just slightly out of this safe haven zone (June 7 to July 12), though still within range of some of its benefits, stationing retrograde at 22 degrees Libra opposite discordant dwarf planet Eris in Aries on June 25.
The influence of Eris in Aries attempts to upset the apple cart as far as the hard-won relationship progress and standard-setting achieved so far during Saturn's transit of Libra. Don't get too cosy or complacent. Eris knows things aren't solid until they're solid, the show isn't over until it's over, and we can't count on current relational positions holding if Eris can find an in and kick anything up. Keep a stiff upper lip, diligently maintaining relational boundaries and standards, throughout the potentially discordant Saturn direct station.
Saturn re-enters fixed star safe haven territory in its final pass direct July 12 until August 17, when it moves off the 24th degree of Libra and beyond the conjunction to Arcturus.
There should be some lingering beneficial effects from the fixed star conjunctions into late August, when the North Node moves into Scorpio for a 1.5-year stay.
If we've been courageously battling our way head-on through the Saturnine Via Combusta gauntlet, we can experience a fixed star reprieve from the harshest heat of the battle here, a resting point.
- Venus Retrograde and Venus Transit in Gemini 2012: One Pentagram Completes As Another Is Begun -
As Venus in Gemini is the current dispositor of Saturn in Libra, its movement and activity greatly influence the successful meeting of Saturnine challenges over the next four months. The Venus in Gemini influence involves both a retrograde (May 15 - June 27) and a powerhouse astronomical/astrological event (June 5/6), so Venusian themes of love, relationship, values, money, art, and beauty are sufficiently humming.
Venus retrogrades occur every 18 months and involve, in part, a review and stock-taking of relationships, both past and present. This can involve relationships with anyone or anything.
During a Venus retrograde, prior relationships and/or relationship themes are completed and discharged (if we've done the work), and we enter a new relationship cycle. Decisions are often made during this time about the sustainability and desirability of our relationships - whether they have what it takes to move successfully into a new cycle or whether they should draw to a close along with the prior relationship cycle.
As the upcoming Venus retrograde through Gemini involves a Venus Transit - a fairly rare partial eclipse of the Sun by Venus - the relationship cycles ending and beginning are broad, powerful, and potentially all-encompassing.
Venus retrogrades cyclically in the same five areas of the zodiac in 8-year cycles, generally corresponding to the same five signs (Aries, Scorpio, Gemini, Capricorn, Leo), and traces a five-pointed star or pentagram in the sky with its movement. With this Venus retrograde and Venus Transit in Gemini, we form the fifth and final point in the pentagram that was begun in June 2004. We also simultaneously begin a new pentagram that will be completed in 2020.
We pick up the themes begun around June 2004 and reach a very magical point of integration and completion with the last Venus Transit most of us will experience in our lifetimes. Love floods the planet as Venus moves across the face of the Sun at perigee, the closest point in its orbit to Earth. Our hearts are recharged as we return to love, sweet love through the heat of the battles.
In immediate terms, we enter a new 18-month Gemini-flavoured relationship cycle that is discharged with the next Venus retrograde December 2013/January 2014 in Capricorn. Cycles within cycles - this is astrology.
To illustrate the Venus cycles, here are the patterns of retrograde:
March 1993 - Venus Rx in Aries
October 1994 - Venus Rx in Scorpio
May 1996 - Venus Rx in Gemini
December 1997 - Venus Rx in Aquarius/Capricorn
July 1999 - Venus Rx in Virgo/Leo
March 2001 - Venus Rx in Aries
October 2002 - Venus Rx in Scorpio
May 2004 - Venus Rx in Gemini
December 2005 - Venus Rx in Capricorn (from 1 degree Aquarius)
July 2007 - Venus Rx in Leo
March 2009 - Venus Rx in Aries
October 2010 - Venus Rx in Scorpio
May 2012 - Venus Rx in Gemini ** current relationship cycle **
December 2013 - Venus Rx in Capricorn
July 2015 - Venus Rx in Leo (from 0 degrees Virgo)
March 2017 - Venus Rx in Aries
October 2018 - Venus Rx in Scorpio
May 2020 - Venus Rx in Gemini
December 2021 - Venus Rx in Capricorn
July 2023 - Venus Rx in Leo
The scales have also now been tipped to a stronger astrological Aquarian overlay, and in effect, this is the first Venus retrograde of the astrological Aquarian era, bringing many changes and much reorientation in relationship.
The position of Saturn at this time indicates that the movement and structural changes required during the Venus retrograde through Gemini will be blessed with a cosmic go-ahead and a certain ease, made less difficult by the influence of the highly fortunate fixed stars.
The third and final Grand Earth Trine involving Mars in Virgo and Pluto in Capricorn is also formed mid-May with the transit of Mercury - the new dispositor of Venus in Gemini - in Taurus. This Grand Earth Trine forming as Venus stations retrograde is another indicator that the changes and re-direction, particularly in relationship and money matters, are green-lighted and eased greatly by the aspects, so long as they're on the mark.
All this indicates a lighter 18-month relationship cycle than ones we have recently been through.
However, any matters left unresolved or unfinished in relationship will be drawn strongly to the forefront from mid-June through early July as Saturn in Libra slows, stations direct, and permeates the astro atmosphere with its themes. This particularly pertains to Neptunian illusions, delusions, mirages, karmic loops, and blind spots in love and relationship. Here, we get a flavour for any work remaining to truly cement relationship progress and new relational positions during the final leg of the Saturn transit through Libra.
Both Venus and Saturn station direct at the end of June within two days of each other as we move full speed ahead into the new relationship cycles.
As of October 5, 2012, Saturn completes the transit of the sign of its exaltation, Libra, and enters Via Combusta Scorpio, the sign of sex, death, regenerative healing, X-Ray vision, hardcore soul drive, and heavy, energy-processing metamorphosis. The Saturn transit of Via Combusta Scorpio culminates in a powerful Saturn-Venus-North Node conjunction at 8 degrees Scorpio September 2013. Saturn leaves the Via Combusta zone in November 2013, and it exits the sign of Scorpio completely September 2015.
More on the Via Combusta.
More on the previous Venus retrograde in Scorpio, now discharging.
More on the upcoming Venus Transit and Venus retrograde in Gemini.
More on Saturn retrograde in Libra.