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Over the next six months, both primary relationship planets - Venus and Mars - will retrograde (appear to move backward in the zodiac) in cardinal signs. Cardinal signs indicate initiation, new direction, leadership, and decision-making. Retrogrades indicate a period of re-visiting and review during which we are completing one cycle while initiating a new one.
The retrogrades of the relationship planets through cardinal signs indicate that the close of 2013 and the first half of 2014 is a dynamic period of change, movement, decisions, commitments, and initiations in relationships of all kinds.
What's clear is this: we're not standing still in relationship in 2014. We're not hunkering down in the way things have always been. We're plotting and planning and strategizing for long-term mutual success through some very trying and unstable years on the planet. And the universe is moving Heaven and Earth for us (via cardinal Grand Cross) as we make our moves.
Dwarf planet Ceres and asteroid Vesta will also retrograde through Libra, in conjunction aspect, during the first half of 2014, making almost simultaneous retrograde and direct stations. The retrogrades of these feminine bodies through Libra place further emphasis on the importance of maintaining the social fabric on this planet through tumultuous and trying times.
Asteroid Pallas Athene will transit Libra during the second half of 2014, stirring social justice issues.
And the transiting North Node of the Moon will enter Libra February 18, 2014 until November 11, 2015, indicating that our successful, soul-driven path forward involves keeping our balance while mastering social relations.
Suffice it to say, relationships are pretty epic in 2014.
There are some pivotal and potentially life-altering moments coming down the pipe. There are some fairly major structural shifts coming. There is re-direction coming. Decisions will be made. We're striking a new work-relationship balance. And there is new leadership required as we position ourselves and our cherished relationships for long-term success in this new astrological era.
Venus, the planet associated with love, relationships, money, values, beauty, and femininity, will retrograde in the sign of the businessperson, Capricorn, from December 21, 2013 to January 31, 2014.
Mars, the planet associated with desire, sex drive, will, goals, personal direction, aggression, war, anger, and masculinity will retrograde in the sign of relationship, balance, and justice, Libra, from March 1, 2014 to May 19, 2014.
Both relationship planets will rub up against the Uranus-Pluto square during these transits. This indicates that the changes, decisions, and movements coming about in our interpersonal relationships are intricately connected to the broader, sociological changes and pressures currently underway.
The lay of the relational land is changing in unexpected and often refreshing ways, and this is tied to unfolding global events.
All this shifting and changing and re-positioning culminates in an exact cardinal Grand Cross April 21 - 24, 2014, when transiting Mars Rx in Libra backs into an opposition to Uranus in Aries, a square to Jupiter in Cancer, and a square to Pluto in Capricorn, all at 13 degrees of the cardinal signs.
All four metaphorical seasons are changing at once in the spring of 2014. This is invigorating, exciting, thrilling - but also potentially stressful, frightening, and pressure-filled. We are being challenged, and our relationships are being challenged.
At the time of the exact cardinal Grand Cross next April, there can be no doubt that we have entered a whole new set-up, a whole new landscape, and this includes the ways in which we love and relate as human beings.
- Venus retrograde: December 21, 2013 to January 31, 2014 from 28 degrees to 13 degrees Capricorn
During a Venus retrograde, we are discharging one eight-year cycle involving relationships, money, and values, and we are entering a new eight-year cycle involving the same things.
As Venus appears to go backward through the zodiac, meeting with the Sun in interior conjunction January 11, we can expect a revisiting of previous relationships and relationship dynamics. Again, we are resolving one eight-year relationship cycle and preparing for a new one, and this involves a "going over" of relationships past and present.
Venus retrogrades often involve:
- taking stock in relationships of all kinds
- taking stock financially
- making major decisions in relationships
- clearing residual emotions, debts, and karmic ties from previous relationships with an eye on moving forward
- making amends
- determining whether what we valued in the past (particularly in relationship) is what we value now
- setting new directions and goals in relationships
- setting new directions and goals financially
- re-committing ourselves to relationships that will sustain us moving forward
- breaking up relationships that have come to a point of completion and will not sustain us moving forward
- old flames or old friends coming back into our lives either to fully resolve things or to rekindle old connections
Capricorn is a cardinal, earth sign concerned with advancement, progress, and concrete achievement. It is a sign related to prestige, power, climbing the ladder, control, business, being the boss, and working just that little bit harder to outpace the competition.
This Venus transit of and retrograde through Capricorn is a bit of a dry stretch for the love and relationship planet, however. It can even be official "dry spell" territory. The standard scene of working late at the office only to come home to an empty house.
If we want a solid, long-term relationship that will be mutually successful (and yes, with Mars about to spend eight months in Libra, that's exactly what we want), we have to work to put that framework in place. And with Venus in Saturn-ruled Capricorn, unfortunately, this means enduring any loneliness we have to endure in order to get the job done.
This Venus retrograde is about strategically positioning ourselves and our relationships for long-term success. It's decision-making time about how to proceed in relationships from here.
This Venus retrograde through Capricorn raises the bar in relationships of all kinds. Some relationships will gladly meet the challenge. Others will fall apart.
Capricorn isn't the most romantic, gushy, or lovey-dovey placement for Venus. But it sure gets the job done on the love front, creating firm commitments and setting a structural framework that will sustain us and our relationships over the long-term.
Venus retrogrades right back into a conjunction to Pluto in Capricorn and an opposition to Jupiter in Cancer, where it will station direct at 13 degrees Capricorn on January 31, 2014. This direct station at the end of January and beginning of February is very potent for structural change and for personal and professional advancement done the right way - morally, fairly, transparently, without stepping on anyone else to get there. That's what Venus likes.
The fact that this Venus retrograde draws in the energy of the Uranus-Pluto square indicates that everyone has some work to do as far as the way their relationships are running. It could be a little shifting around the edges, or it could be a major structural overhaul. It may involve major decisions and committing to new shared directions, or it may involve the end of long-standing relationships that have simply run their course.
- Mars retrograde: March 1 to May 19, 2014 from 27 to 9 degrees Libra
The influence of Mars can be inflammatory and irritating, so during the eight-month transit of Mars through Libra, our relationships, our social scenes, and our interactions all have the possibility of flaring. There will be social grease fires - you'd better believe it. So we all need to keep a big box of baking soda handy.
Most people are going to want (Mars) a relationship (Libra) over the next eight months. This desire will be acute and even overpowering, at times.
But let's be stark-reality honest here. There are a whole lot of people on this planet that don't know which way is up right now. They don't know which way is up in their own lives, let alone when they bring another person in.
Libra, especially young/immature Libra, is known for its indecisiveness.
Mars as a planet, on the other hand, generally knows exactly what it wants and will go right for it.
Or does it?
In Libra, the sign of its detriment, Mars' confidence in what it wants is not so strong. What it wants one day may seem completely foreign and baffling once the scales tip and it is pointed in an entirely new direction.
With Mars transiting Libra for eight months, we aren’t simply driving ahead according to our own instincts and desires. We’re taking our cues from others. We’re gauging social cues before making our moves. This makes the function of Mars more complicated.
Under the cardinal Grand Crosses, we are struggling with a huge amount of change, shifting, and upheaval on a grand, global scale. There is a lot of chaos - much of it orchestrated - and this affects personal relationships.
Under pressure, transiting Mars in Libra can be destructive (Mars) to relationships (Libra). As potentially giving-to-a-fault as this placement can be, Mars in Libra can also decide relationships are just not worth the bother, adopting a selfish, "me first" attitude that erodes relations.
Mars in Libra is a placement that fights socially, via its social scene, and this can be underhanded. The classic "won't fight its own battles" placement. It is a placement associated with passive aggressiveness, so it battles with its social graces, with its popularity level, and with a sort of disingenuous "niceness."
What we all need to understand during transiting Mars in Libra:
"Nice" is not necessarily kind.
"Nice" is not necessarily real.
"Nice" does not necessarily get the job done.
"Nice" is not necessarily what is being asked of you.
On the other side of the scale, we have a placement that will valiantly fight for relationships and for social harmony. We have a placement that desires a fair and equitable social scene. Mars in Libra wants everyone to get along, everyone to be happy, and it will put forth great effort to maintain its social standards. Mars in Libra is a placement that will risk its own neck for the happiness of others. Often, it will risk its own neck for social justice.
On a societal level, human relations have taken a distinct nosedive. Social justice seems but a dream. In many cases, we just aren't treating each other very well. Manners, consideration, social graces, and concern for the well-being of others have all been eroded on a collective level.
With transiting Mars in Libra for eight months, we’re going to have to fight (Mars) for the social fabric (Libra) that is slowly being eaten away. We're going to have to fight (Mars) for civility, for reciprocity, for kindness, for sociability, for mutual support, for cooperation, for consideration, for social strength and harmony (Libra).
We're going to have to fight to stay together.
We're going to have to fight for love.
And we’re going to have to put effort forth to maintain a healthy and sophisticated adult society. No, this social scene is not run by and for children, as is often the case these days. Libra is focused primarily on relationships and sociability with peers, leaving most of the parent-child relations to Cancer.
This year, we have to fight to maintain real human relations and interactions, right human relations, as the social fabric continues to break down under the constant pressure and stress of a world gone mad.
- Ceres, Vesta, and Pallas Athene, Along with the North Node of the Moon, Transit Libra in 2014
During 2014, we will experience dwarf planet Ceres and asteroid Vesta traveling in conjunction in Libra. They will also form conjunctions to the North Node of the Moon, newly in Libra.
Ceres and Vesta will complete almost simultaneous retrogrades through Libra while conjunct.
In Libra, again, it is our relationships, our kindness and concern for others, our social scenes, and our quests for justice that need focused tending. We have a long history of cooperation on this planet, of helping each other and caring about each other through tough times, and of achieving shared goals together. This has helped us survive and succeed as a species, and we cannot let that history break down now under our watch.
It's when we work together for a common goal and a common vision – benefiting all involved - that we make real progress.
Both Vesta and Ceres will be traveling conjunct the North Node of the Moon, newly in Libra as of February 18, 2014.
Asteroid Pallas Athene makes its own transit of Libra - no retrograde period - from August 10 to October 19, 2014. This transit of the female warrior asteroid through the sign of justice and relationship indicates that we strategically continue the Mars in Libra fight for civility, for kindness, for fairness, for justice, for reciprocity, for cooperation, and for our planet’s social fabric into the fall of 2014.
This is a great year to practice kindness toward your fellow living beings, working and struggling though these times on the planet right alongside you. This is a more detached kindness than the Piscean-era variety, yes, with a firm handle on healthy boundaries, but it still involves extending your humanity and your loving heart to another person or people.
We’re heading into epic relationship territory and epic social territory this year, as humanity fights to pull itself back from the brink. We can’t do it alone.