Converse Saturn square natal Venus
I can be pretty goddamn dumb sometimes. Like this stargazing thing: It’s harmless when you’re reading the comics page in the newspaper and you get bored enough with the glacially moving storyline of “Mark Trail” to glance over to see what kind of day Aries might be having. It’s another thing to actually solicit the services of a professional astrologer.
Which I did. Actually, it was not long after I’d gotten sober, and I was still haunted by a reading I’d gotten years earlier, in San Francisco circa 1975. I was 20 or so, and still stupidly in love with this girlfriend who’d moved there, still clinging to the increasingly remote possibility that we could stay connected in some way. She’d seen this astrologer and was raving about how amazing the reading she’d received, so I had to go, too, to learn how bright and wonderful my future would be.
My reading was dark. I mean dark: Lots of grim shit about me spending most of my life in prison as the result of violent activities on my part, along with some Uranus-related thing about forget about being any kind of rock star because electrical energy was coursing through me in a really really bad way. Oh, and a bunch of other negative stuff. This astrologer clearly didn’t like me.
Oh, and the capper: She predicted my dad’s death. In September 1980. He died September 29 of that year.
Needless to say, that dark reading fucked me up for years. I guess I’m old enough, and enough of a spectacular failure now, to be able to admit that and not give a shit about what anyone will think. So it wasn’t until after I got sober in September 1992, maybe a year or two later, that I got the courage to pay another astrologer to look at my chart. What that seer came up with was a lot less benign, and really somewhat positive. I’ve got this fixed grand cross, or grand square, in my chart, with a retrograde Scorpio Saturn in the second house squaring Aquarius Venus in the fifth, squaring Taurus Mars in the eight, squaring retrograde Leo Pluto in the eleventh, which squares that Scorpio Saturn in the second. There are some other jinky factors, too, but it wasn’t the death sentence that first astrologer had cursed me with. More like: The unbearable tension posed by the grand cross was about overcoming alcoholism and drug addiction, and the underlying personality problems associated with addictive behaviors. As long as I didn’t start drinking or using again, and kept working on myself, the challenges posed by the stressful aspects in my chart would be resolved somewhat.
Over the passing years since, I came to rely a little too much on something that the relentlessly logical side of my personality rules out as complete bullshit. I tried different expressions of it, too, like Vedic astrology, which uses a siderial (actual position of the stars today) rather than a tropical (position of the stars long ago, anchored to the solstice/equinox points) zodiac, and focuses more on the position of the Moon and the Ascendant, and lunar movements, than the Sun, which is a malefic that “combusts” any planets too close to it. But I have slipped into getting my transits — points in my natal chart that are aspected by the ever-shifting planets in the sky — analyzed by various astrologers.
Backstory: I guess I’m somewhat of a romantic, or at least people tell me I am. Even though at this ripe age, after one failed relationship after another, I’ve finally reached the point of giving up on making any kind of meaningful connection in this life, there’s still part of me that wishes for closeness with another. Maybe it’s that seventh-house Aries sun. I’ve had a few nice and sweet relationships, and I’ve had some major disasters — especially my marriage, which ended when an award-winning (and married) novelist befriended my then-wife and, well, let’s just say his dalliances with her sent her spinning off in a different direction that hastened the demise of our marriage. But, really, my own part in that trainwreck was that I’d already disengaged emotionally, and I really don’t like pointing fingers of blame, so let’s just let sleeping dogs lie.
The past couple of years, though, have been somewhat of a drought. Part of that comes from me pushing other people away, because I’ve gotten to fear slipping into another bad relationship without having the energy to deal with it. Which is ludicrous, really, because I’d had one really sweet relationship, probably the favorite one in my life so far, after my marriage ended, which restored my faith in love and romance, but that one came to a screeching halt around the time the rest of my life went into a serious downhill wipeout in the final months of 2008. My astrologer friends were warning me about her, with her conjunct Gemini Sun-Moon and Aries rising. Also, transiting Neptune was conjuncting my natal Venus and squaring my natal Saturn. I was deluded, they said.
Anyway, here’s my stupid writ large: I kept depending on them for advice. What follows, in italics, is part of a reading that one astrologer, who lives just outside our nation’s capital, gave me last year:
Progressed Venus opposite Neptune 11/2010 through 10/2011. Possible relationship comes into your life for a year. Not sure if it continues longer. Very strong energy for this from 11/20 through December 2010 (con Moon conjunct natal Venus), Christmas very social and upbeat (12/18 to 12/28, with Jupiter to MC and Asc).
Uranus conjunct Sun and square Node begins in March 2011 and goes through mid-January 2012. Big awakenings and big changes that come suddenly. Possibly sudden end to one relationship and sudden beginning of another. Changes unexpected and cause a change in the direction of your life. Especially strong in March 2011 and October through December 2011.
Transiting Pluto semisquare to natal Venus (converse Saturn) felt from 7/1 through 10/17/11, likely to intensify emotions and feelings of love. But somewhat of an emotional roller coaster here, power struggle on emotional level, not fully getting needs met. Relationship may end abruptly when Uranus returns to your Sun in October.
Know that at this point, you are nearing the peak of the many years of converse Saturn square natal Venus, peaking in January 2012. December 2011 brings Saturn conjunct Neptune (12/10 to 12/21/11) which returns in March 2012 (3/13 to 3/28), suggesting some disappointment or at least a more realistic appraisal of things (following the end of progressed Venus opposite Neptune which peaked in October 2011). I think you will begin to feel a decrease in some kind of subliminal or emotional tension as 2012 progresses and moreso after that.
Now, what really happened is that one relationship that appeared to be beginning in early fall of last year suddenly ended. The “Christmas very social and upbeat” was one of the darker points in my recent life; I felt like one of the ragged cripples in the Pamela Colman Smith illustration for the Rider-Waite deck’s Five of Pentacles. No hot toddies and mistletoe kisses for Jackie boy. I did have my current steady job to keep me occupied, and my social circles through AA, but it wasn’t a rosy time. Over the past couple of years I’ve felt like that old Yiddish question/complaint of Borscht Belt comics: “What am I, chopped liver?” For most of the year. I couldn’t feel any kind of the old electric connection with women I’ve felt since, oh, teen years. Aside from a handful of platonic women friends, I still can’t. It’s weird.
The conclusion I’ve come to is that either some Higher Power I’m contacting through prayer and meditation has better things planned for me, and wants to prove to me that He or She or It is more powerful than any astrological reading, so as soon as astrology tells me that life is going to suck and I’m going to be barking alone, I’ll suddenly be the most interesting man in the world. Either that, or else astrology is complete and utter bullshit, and I’m a total maroon for buying into it in the first place. I’m leaning toward the latter lately. But, really, I just don’t know.
Anyway, when I wrote the astrologer who’d sent me the transits above and cashed my check, because I needed to tell her that my love life was more dead in the water than it’s ever been, here’s what she wrote back: It occurs to me that with the converse Saturn nearly exact square to natal Venus, perhaps any activation of Venus actually yields Saturn/Venus until that progression starts to wane. It is the only thing I can think of to explain the “chopped liver” reality. I am sorry to have misled you. Which is sincere, I guess, but a bit of a brushoff.
The punch line is this little tidbit that closed her original reading: Also, moving forward progressed Venus trine Node from 2/2014 to 1/2015 and progressed Venus sextile natal Moon from 5/2016 to 3/2017 suggest some future relationship without all the psychodrama and suffering.
I’ll be geriatric by then. Ah, like I said at the beginning: I am an idiot. —Jackson Griffith