The Transits of Venus and Mars, June/July 1954
In this article, Fagan continues his look at transiting planets. Here, he looks at the transits of Venus and Mars alone, and in combination with other planets, especially in the lunar return. He also discuses the meaning of these planets in the birthchart and in synastry.
When Venus is configured by the Moon at birth, especially from the foreground, the amorous propensities of the nature are betrayed by smiles, coyness, gesture, inflection of voice and an irresistible desire to fondle and caress. Should Mercury be configured with Venus instead of the Moon, the native will be popular with the young and noted for his felicity of speech and taste for poetic utterances and the arts generally. A marked streak of narcissism is often noticeable should the Sun be in conjunction with Venus from the foreground, especially if both bodies aspect the Moon; love, beauty and poetry are to the native life itself and without his friends and companions life has no meaning for him. Vehemently passionate and uncontrollable are the vital urges, should Mars inflame Venus by its configurations, especially from the foreground, but these are more concealed should the configurations occur from the background. But these urges are more noble, lofty and aspiring should Venus be configured with Jupiter instead of Mars. Configurations between Jupiter and Venus are a token of much happiness in love and marriage and the native attracts ladies (or men, according to the sex) of gentle birth, and his wedding is likely to be an outstanding social event.
When Venus is configured with Saturn, the latter being in the foreground, the native is often woman-shy, if not completely averse to the opposite sex. In the presence of beautiful women of distinction he may feel abashed, awkward and overawed and he will not be apt to declare his love lest he be mocked or made to look ridiculous. In his timidity he frequently turns to women in the lower walks of life, or to the very young and unsophisticated, but when the latter blossom into full womanhood, he loses interest and neglects them for others. Fundamentally Saturn is the significator of fear and psychological blockages and when it configures Venus the native may feel that he is unattractive and despised by the opposite sex. If Venus is configured with Jupiter from the foreground the native will be immensely popular and surrounded by boon companions and brilliant women; but should Venus be in the background afflicted by both Saturn and Mars the native may be devoid of natural affection and go through life lonely and forlorn.
Deviation is often pronounced when Uranus aspects Venus; the native is likely to be a philanderer, who falls often for a new, pretty face, and swears that the last is his "only true love." When Neptune configures the natal Venus the native may tend to become the slave of his own fantasies, pouring out all his devotion on the creatures of his imagination. As his loves are largely fictional and theatrical he is seldom in touch with the real world but when he is, his attachments are usually negative and inconstant. Incidentally, those who have this configuration prominent take delight in wearing theatrical costumes and frequently like to don the clothes of the opposite sex. In several cases of hyper-excitability and neurosis, Venus has been found configured with Pluto.
Venus will usually be found in the background, unconnected with the luminaries and Jupiter, but afflicted by Saturn in the horoscopes of those who are psychologically immature or who are slow to develop.
When the birth Venus appears in the foreground of the lunar return, the native will be in an affectionate mood, sensitive to the promptings of love and friendly to all with whom he comes in contact. He will be serene, placid, calm, and so free from the worries of everyday life that he will be in a condition to relax and surrender himself to music, pleasure and the delights of the senses, provided that Venus is free of malefic transits at this time. It is an appropriate occasion to take a holiday, entertain, make love or otherwise satisfy the aesthetic cravings.
A Good Marriage Time
The native may anticipate a delightful month when the transiting Venus shines with undimmed glory in the foreground of the lunar return, for this denotes that another will be attracted towards the native and will seek the pleasure of his (or her) society. Indeed the attraction may blossom into a love affair. How the native will respond to these overtures will depend upon the nature of the radical planet should it be aspected by the transiting Venus.
Marriage frequently occurs when the transiting Venus is close to the cusp of the 7th house of the lunar return. If Venus configures Jupiter and the Sun, the wedding will be a brilliant social function, but if Venus is configured by the malefic, it may be unpopular and the ceremony take place in a registry office or the like. An astrologer, desirous of ascertaining the month of marriage of engaged couples, has only to compute the lunar returns for some twelve or more months ahead and he may, with every confidence, predict marriage for the month in which Venus is close to the cusp of the 7th house of the lunar return, especially if one or both luminaries are also in the same house. Sometimes but much less frequently the wedding may occur when Venus is on the midheaven of the return.
When Venus transits the Moon on the date of the lunar return the native will be in a pleasant mood and will feel carefree and at ease. He is likely to pay more attention than usual to his toilet and personal appearance, and may renew his wardrobe. Invitations to parties, dances and weddings are not unlikely. He may be the object of affection and may succumb to its enticements. Parents may beget children should Venus be on the cusp of the 5th house, in conjunction, square or opposition to the Moon.
When Venus transits the natal Sun from the foreground, the native may be the honored guest at some function, social event, tea party or similar entertainment, which he will find gratifying to his ego. He may find that the young are particularly charming to him and he will be deeply affected by their attentions.
The native should find that talking, writing and composing comes with delightful facility when Venus transits the radical Mercury from the foreground. He may be surprised at the fluency of his speech and the musicality of his own voice. Business will proceed smoothly, losing its irksomeness and friends may be made through lecturing, teaching and correspondence. Poets, artists and musicians should find this transit excellent for creative work and businessmen will find that commercial deals and conferences will proceed with a minimum amount of friction. This transit is especially opportune for those seeking auditions and interviews.
Few transits can be more felicitous than the Venus transit of its own birthplace, when it occurs in the foreground of the lunar return. Falling in love is more often than not a unilateral affair, but under this transit love and friendship are mutual, that is completely bilateral. Indeed, one of the best tokens of a happy married life is when Venus in the horoscope of one of the partners is in conjunction or in opposition to Venus in the horoscope of the other partner. In the lunar return of a middle-aged man who, to his surprise was complimented on his wife and himself being the best dancing partners at a society ball (although he had not danced for 17 years), Venus and the Sun by transit were exactly on the cusp of the 1st house of the lunar return and in conjunction with his natal Venus. Note the significance here of the transit of the Sun and Venus. The Sun betokened recognition and praise from a superior; while Venus denoted the event itself - the ball.
The native is likely to need all his self-restraint should Venus transit his radical Mars from the foreground of the lunar return, for the radical Mars signifies the appetites and their craving for gratification. So when it appears in the foreground the smoldering fires of desire are only too easily kindled into flame. As the seductive and unresisting Venus is disinclined to refuse her favors under this aspect, the need for circumspection is great. Alas, many happy homes have been broken up in consequence of this transit.
Money, jewelry, ornaments, flowers and other tokens of affection are likely to be showered on the native when Venus transits the natal Jupiter from the foreground, the more especially if she is stationary or turning retrograde at the time of the transit. Under this benign configuration lovers give fur coats to their sweethearts and Santa Claus fills the children's stockings. (Fortunate is the bride when Jupiter is in opposition or conjunction with the groom's Venus.) In all respects this practical world would deem this the most felicitous of transits.
One may feel anguish when Venus in transit (especially when stationary or retrograde) configures the birth Saturn from the foreground, for this may on occasion betoken tears, grief and laments. Under this transit husbands have mourned the loss of their wives, parents of their children, and children of their parents. Cupid may knock at the door but only to cause the native marked discomfiture.
Cupid may board the night express with the native should Venus aspect the natal Uranus from the foreground. Generally it denotes romance on a journey, in uncommon situations or in unexpected places. Those born with Venus configured with Uranus are usually addicted to motoring or cruising in search of romance.
When in the foreground, transits of Venus across the natal Neptune often cause the greatest emotional and physical excitement, if not frenzy, the more especially should Venus be simultaneously in conjunction or opposition to the transiting Mars. Experiences at this time are rarely forgotten, and are often enacted in fantasy for many years after. The young should be protected under this configuration, as there is danger of seduction at such times.
When Venus transits in configuration to the radical Pluto from the foreground, the native may wake up with a shock to discover that somebody whom he would never suspect, wishes to become unduly intimate with him. The transit is not unpleasant, however, unless Venus is otherwise afflicted.
Transits of Mars
Students of astrology are familiar with the ancient tradition which states that Mars "rules" the constellation Scorpio, which in the zodiac holds dominion over the reproductive organs, and that it is exalted in the constellation of the "Horned-Goat" (Capricorn); moreover, they are aware that the common symbol for Mars represents a phallus. Just as Venus symbolizes the unsullied bond of friendship between comrades, so Mars signifies those biological urges that are responsible for procreation. It is only when these impetuous urges are blocked or frustrated that Mars takes on the character of the god of war. A happily married man, or a contented wife, are rarely aggressive. As the god of desire, the Greeks represented Mars as the winged naked boy Eros (Cupid), armed with a bow and arrow. One has only to compare the horoscopes of lovers or married couples to discover the extraordinary frequency with which Mars in the chart of one person is in opposition or conjunction with the Sun in that of the other, Mars always being the active and the Sun the passive lover. Indeed, by merely knowing Mars' radical longitude, the birthdates of those who will be emotionally attractive to the native can be determined immediately.
For example, suppose Mars in a lady's horoscope was in 15 degrees of the constellation Leo. Consciously or unconsciously, this lady would seek to conquer the hearts (Sun) of men who have their birth Suns in or near that degree, or the opposite degree of the zodiac, that is on or about September 2nd or February 28th of any year. Similarly a man having Mars in 8 degrees of Taurus would court women born about May 23rd or November 24th of any year. The attraction will even extend, although to a lesser extent, to women born within ten days or so on either side of these dates. In the relatively small number of cases of lovers where no interchanges between the Sun and Mars exist, it will probably be found that Mars in the chart of one of the couples is close to one of the angles of the chart of the other, or else configured with the other's Venus.
Even the mutual configuration of the two Mars attracts those of the opposite sex, but causes enmity between those of the same sex. But such attractions are not necessarily reciprocal, for the person having the Sun in opposition or conjunction with the other's Mars may, at first, through pride or other causes, resent the advances of the Mars person; but generally speaking Mars eventually wins. But the course of such love rarely runs smoothly, nor is it to be expected that it will be free from contention and conflict.
Mars, in the horoscope of both sexes, exercises its maximum vigor when in the constellation of its exaltation (Capricorn) or in one of its own dignities (Aries and Scorpio), and is free from the corrupting influences of Saturn, Neptune and Pluto and otherwise not weakened by being in the background of the natal figure. It is at its best when configured with Jupiter, a robust aspect commonly found in the celestial themes of successful sportsmen and sportswomen. Men who have such configurations are attractive to women because of their manliness; while women also blessed with such configurations are attractive because of their ardent dispositions.
On the other hand, those who have Mars at birth in its fall (Cancer) or in one of Venus' dignities (Taurus or Libra) are more timid of the opposite sex, and if they do not shun them altogether, they confine their attentions to the young. The biological urges may tend to become fierce and uncontrollable should Mars be in opposition or in conjunction with the Sun, especially from the foreground. Somewhat similar effects are often noticeable should Mars be in the constellation Leo. Saturn's configurations to Mars tend to chill the blood; men who have such aspects are frequently lacking in courage or even in manliness, while women often appear frigid and disinterested in men. Such people may be prone to resort to violence for stimulation, especially should Venus, the significator of tenderness and sympathy, be weak and afflicted by Saturn. Configurations between the Sun, Saturn and Pluto are apt to harden the heart, often making it impervious to pity; and in this respect Pluto can be more chilling and remote than Saturn. Disciplinarians, dreaded for their inexorable sternness, have been born with Mars and Pluto in conjunction or opposition from the foreground. Masochistic tendencies, or marked hysteria, may be in evidence should Neptune be in the foreground configured with Mars or the luminaries; or should the Sun or Mars be in conjunction or in opposition to Algol.
(1 degree 26 minutes of sidereal Taurus.*)
Just as the rising of the Moon causes a ripple of movement to surge through an otherwise tranquil gathering of people, forcing them to change their positions, so the rising, meridian transit or setting of Mars provokes the young, and the not so young, to spontaneously indulge in horseplay or more questionable conduct among themselves. If the zealous student of astrology betakes himself to some public park, seaside resort or similar locality frequented by the young, and with watch in hand awaits the rising, culmination or setting of Mars, whichever is convenient (and which can be computed beforehand from the ephemeris or, better still, from the Nautical Almanac for the place of observation), he will notice, if he is at all observant, here and there among the crowd, suggestive movements that will leave no doubts whatever as to the nature of Mars' influence
Radical Mars to Foreground
When the radical Mars comes into the immediate foreground of the lunar return, the biological urges become of prime importance, especially in primitive types, and these may largely dictate the native's conduct during the ensuing month. The native may become restive, incontinent, not easily subdued, impetuous, foolhardy, involved in escapades and tempted to molest or tease others. These effects will be all the more in evidence should the Sun or one or other of the planets transit the radical Mars by conjunction, opposition or square aspect at this time. Otherwise the native will be in his best fighting mood and he will be surprised at his own pluck and audacity. The object of his attack depends on the nature of the planet (if any) that transits Mars.
For example, should the radical Mars be transited by Jupiter when both are near the midheaven of the lunar return, the native may strive to obtain more money. This configuration affords an excellent opportunity to press the boss for an increase of salary; but success will not be achieved without a tussle. It is also an auspicious occasion to press for the repayment of loans. It presages success on the field of battle, in the ring, on the racetrack and in all sporting contests.
But defeat on the battlefield or in all sporting ventures is apt to confront the native should Saturn be the transiting planet. The frustration caused by the impact of this transit has been responsible for many cowardly acts, such as the maltreatment of defenseless women and the beating of children. Should Venus be the transiting planet, the native will be tempted to indulge in pleasure and pursue the lady of his admiration with zeal, or until he wins her.
It is important to remember that Mars is at all times the aggressor. The native, himself, usually assumes this role when his radical Mars is activated, but he may become the object of attack when (a) the transiting Mars come into the foreground of his lunar return or (b) when the natal Mars of another falls in the foreground of his nativity or powerfully configures the positions of the luminaries or planets at his birth. But such "attacks" are not necessarily baneful nor malicious. Between the sexes they are a condition sine qua non for successful marriage, but unfortunately they are seldom enduring, and the ardor of yesterday only too soon turns to repulsion, if not cruelty. Interchanges between the luminaries and Venus alone ensure enduring friendship and understanding between husband and wife, for love, in the noblest sense of the term, is the only integrating power in the world.
When Mars as a transiting planet afflicts the lunar return from the foreground the native may be assailed from one of many sources. He may, for example, be attacked by human beings, as in political disturbances, strikes or in war. Footpads or other undesirables may waylay him on the highroads, or he, himself, may be apprehended by law-enforcement officers. Thieves may break into his house, or those who nurture a personal grievance may assault him. Or he may be stricken by the elements, e.g., the lightning or hurricane; or he may fall a victim of some such epidemic as diphtheria or influenza. His life may be endangered by wild beasts should he live in their vicinity; or he may be injured by chemicals, explosives or machinery; or he may meet with an accident in traveling whether in the air, on the sea or on the land. Everything depends on his place of residence, his environment, the nature of his work, his own character and so forth.
Manifestly it is impossible to treat in detail all the Mars possibilities as so many variables are involved (e.g. the native's own horoscope, the constellation position of the transiting Mars, and the position of the transiting planets that configure it). Whatever the possible source of attack, the native should be more than ordinarily circumspect during the operation of this lunar return, and be extra careful to see that all fires are extinguished or under control. My records show several cases of houses catching fire when Mars was angular in the current lunar return. The native should watch his health should Mars and Saturn be in conjunction or in opposition across the horizon or meridian of the return; and keep his family off the roads should Mars, Venus and Neptune be in the foreground of their returns. Surgical operations are not improbable should Mars and Uranus or Mars and Pluto be in the angles, and mutually configured. Generally speaking, the native may experience a harassing time when the transiting Mars is in the foreground of the lunar return and he may have to run the gauntlet of trouble, disputes, quarrels and inculpation. Should Mars be in the meridian he may be in danger of slander, and if it should be in conjunction with the transiting Sun, he may be accused by his boss, and even be in danger of dismissal should both bodies be configured with Pluto.
The native's conduct may be severely criticized and attempts made to curb or discipline him when Mars transits the Moon from the foreground of the lunar return. Naturally resenting this interference in his personal affairs, he is likely to flare-up into a temper, and in the heat of the moment act precipitously or say things that were best left unsaid. Should Mars be configured with Mercury in transit, his conduct may be much publicized and it may involve his occupation or relate to things said or written by him. Should Mars configure the transiting Venus, his morals may be attacked, more especially should Neptune also be included in the configuration.
Should Mars be configured with the transiting Jupiter, the, native's recklessness with money or with the property of others may occasion trouble. Should Mars be aspected by the transiting Saturn, his liberty may be curtailed and his popularity jeopardized, and resentment could give place to deep despondency. Should Mars be configured with the transiting Uranus, the native may suddenly be attacked from a most unexpected quarter and be considerably shaken in consequence. Should Mars be in conjunction or opposition to the transiting Neptune, he may be so overwrought or hysterical as to have no control over his violent reactions and in consequence find himself in serious trouble.
Wives have left their husbands and children have run away from home when Mars was configured with the transiting Pluto. When Mars transits the Moon on the date of the lunar return, the native should guard his temper and try not to react to criticism or petty annoyances. Above all he should avoid driving his car while under the influence of alcoholic beverages and the like. Tranquility and rest at this time are the best prophylactics against ill health and psychic disturbances.
Luminary and Martian Transits
While the transits of Mars to the natal Moon presage an assault upon the native's egotism, tending to wound his self-esteem and upset his composure, those of Mars to the natal Sun happening on the date of the lunar return are much more serious, as these are directed against the native's person and the greatest care should be exercised to insure safety, especially should the transit occur in the foreground. Should Mars be stationary, or turning retrograde, danger from infections such as influenza are threatened. He should avoid hostile crowds, disturbed areas, war zones and the like and, if possible, eschew traveling and steer clear of traffic and machinery during the ensuing month. Risky undertakings should be postponed for a more auspicious lunar return.
Naturally, the dangers will be intensified should the malefics in transit configure Mars, and the nature of the peril will depend largely on the influences of the aspecting malefics. The effects of Mars' transit of the Sun may range from a mere passing indisposition to a fatality, but it is foolish to take unnecessary risks. Strange to relate, the Sun reacts to Mars' transits by heating the blood and inflaming desire, frequently in consequence of something that happens in the native's immediate vicinity.
The transit of Mars to the natal Mercury may expose the native's work or his theories to adverse criticism. Composition, writing, or the marshaling of one's thoughts can only be achieved with a struggle, and ideas do not flow easily or agreeably at this time. Torn between conflicting opinions, much that has been typed is flung into the wastepaper basket. Business may be beset with pitfalls and correspondence may get out of hand. Should Saturn join issue with Mars, the native may find the whole structure of his philosophy inexorably destroyed. If wisdom is to prevail, the native should take things easy and be discreet with his tongue and pen, for what is published cannot be eradicated.
One's solicitude is apt to be rudely brushed aside and one's attempts at friendship thwarted when Mars transits the radical Venus from the foreground of the lunar return. Loved ones prove indifferent, quarrel or seem callous. Should Saturn simultaneously afflict Venus, friendships may grow cold or turn to bitterness and attachments may be broken. The illness or misconduct of children may bring tears to their parents' eyes. It is not a favorable time to consort with companions, or to take a vacation; and to attend social gatherings is to risk a snub. Articles of apparel and the like are liable to be damaged.
Serious inroads on the native's purse may occur should Mars from the foreground configure the natal Jupiter in the lunar return. Money vanishes at an alarming rate in paying bills, honoring loans and other commitments. Should both Mars and Saturn together configure the radical Jupiter, the native is in danger of becoming the victim of thieves, pick-pockets, confidence men, blackmailers, and the like. These are not good transits for those who sit in the seats of the mighty as their position and prestige are threatened, and these transits may even precipitate fall from power.
For sheer acute suffering, few transits can compare with Mars' transit to the radical Saturn in the foreground of the lunar return. Every vulnerable spot in the native's psychological armor may seem to ache with pain at this time. He often feels aged, cold, despondent, lonely, miserable, lost, physically tired and ill. Should Saturn, Neptune or Pluto in transit also afflict the radical Saturn, the native may even be assailed, dishonored and reviled.
The possibility of explosion, accidents, fires, shipwreck and the like are threatened when Mars transits the natal Uranus from the foreground. It is a dangerous time to begin any new undertaking, start any venture, operate machinery or go on a journey. Care should be taken to guard against fumes, fires, electricity and drowning.
There can be no more violently devastating transits than that of Mars from the foreground to the radical Neptune. It causes seething internal rages and excitement. Many criminals have been trapped or arrested under this transit; and it is frequently in evidence at the time of chastisement, tortures, executions and the like.
When the transiting Mars comes to the conjunction or opposition of the radical Pluto from the foreground of the lunar return, the native may receive such a shock that he may instantly take to flight. Under the stress of this transit separations have been enacted and divorces granted, and in extreme cases the native has been known to resort to murder to effect detachment.
*Algol is the beta star in Perseus the Hero. It has almost twenty-two and a half degrees of north celestial latitude. That is, it is far north of the ecliptic and should not be treated as an ecliptic body. Stars that are not on the ecliptic are best described in terms of their right ascensions. The RA of Algol in 2014 (its mean place) according to the Astronomical Almanac is 3h 09m 07s. The Sun has this RA on May 10th and is opposite Algol on November 12th. Sometimes non-ecliptic stars are described in terms of ecliptic longitude; but the farther such bodies are removed from the ecliptic, the more the angle between the equator and the ecliptic is emphasized. They are not in the same plane. The difference is so great that a body with as much north latitude as Algol becomes angular when 24 Aries is in the midheaven, thus its position is much more accurately described in equatorial coordinates.
We would like to thank Derek Kinsolving for scanning the original article from his collection of American Astrology magazines.