Wisdom From 1944
In 1944, the astrologer Vera W. Reid published Towards Aquarius with some stunning predictions about the future. The book, put out by Rider & Co. (publishers of the famous Rider Waite Tarot), saw the 20th and 21st century in one sweep.
She saw the internet, for example. “Today, for instance, we have radio, telephone, telegraph, television – tomorrow, telepathy, thought-transference and other more subtle modes of intercommunication.” Twitter trends like #ClimateEmergency operate like waves of ESP across the world, in minutes.
She also saw the new equality. “A world system which includes equality of opportunity for all, security for all from birth to death and equal rights of citizenship to men and women everywhere.”
The astrology software has kept up with this vision! In fact, Solar Fire, created by Stephanie Johnson and her colleagues, has a library of asteroids to choose from which include just as many female symbols, as male. So, the new horoscopes (like your horoscope) show gender equality. How does it work?
Male and Female Symbols in the Chart
Every woman should know her Moon sign as it is the ancient symbol of motherhood. It’s only been since the 1960s and the introduction of The Pill that the Moon sign has fallen in such importance. Still (mother or not) you need to know it.
I was happy to write about this for The Female Social Network recently – article can be found here.
The Asteroids, Dwarf Planets and Other Objects
Femininity is not about blusher, bubble bath and having the door opened for you! Nor is it about womanhood as defined by men. So, your femininity as a female is not about being a man’s wife, or his mother, or ‘mother to the boy.’
Running through your chart now, which you will have if you are a Premium Member, you can see not only the Moon (motherhood), but also Venus (sexuality), Psyche (endurance), Juno (commitment), Fortuna (fortune and fate), Minerva (wisdom), Diana (independence), Vesta (gender politics), Ops (problem-solving), Salacia (alternative realities), Ceres (power sharing) and Proserpina (negotiation).
All these are female/feminine symbols. The zodiac signs they are placed in, and the houses they occupy, show how you channel them. Take a look now.
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Horoscope Wisdom From 1933
The Story of Astrology, published by Manly Palmer Hall in 1933, was written at a time when software like Solar Fire was just a dream – and the new heavenly bodies like Salacia (Neptune’s wife) were decades away from discovery.
My copy of this book comes from The Astrological Lodge, in its early home at 6 Queen Square, Bloomsbury. It’s amazing what you can pick up at a secondhand book sale!
When so few of these old astrology books from the first half of the 20th century are being digitized, it’s important to try to preserve them on the shelves.
Diana and Feminine Freedom
Palmer Hall writes about Diana (an asteroid in your chart) as the ‘Multimammia’ at the heart of the rites of Cancer in Ephesus.
Now, normally we give ‘mama’ and also Cancer to the Moon, but Diana in your chart shows the other side of motherhood. In fact, she is often shown with the Moon as a hair accessory.
Here you can see her in a famous painting.
Diana in a Landscape at the Museo del Prado
Looking at paintings and sculpture of Diana, Jupiter’s daughter, can be a life-changing way into this asteroid in your chart. By sign and house, she shows how you ‘mother’ in an alternative way. By being your own person. By being free. By being independent.
In 1739, the artist Louis-Michel van Loo, who lived in Paris, created this image of Diana, the Roman goddess of the hunt, wearing the crescent moon.
The moon is important as a symbol of a woman’s period. It moves in approximate 28-29 day repetitive cycles, just like menstruation. It waxes (builds in size) and wanes (reduces in size) like the lining of the womb, or a pregnant woman’s stomach.
Here we have a woman who is asleep, just waiting to wake up. It’s a pretty good – naturally psychic – piece of art. It shows women waiting to be woken up to feminism. In 1792, Mary Wollstonecraft would publish the groundbreaking, planet-changing book – A Vindication of the Rights of Women.
So, about 50 years later, Diana sprung to life. In your horoscope now, male or female, this asteroid by sign and house will reveal how you are an ‘alternative parent’ or protector, guide and mentor. In the Second House, for example, in the sign of Taurus, you may find your Diana in Taurus leads you to work as a financial advisor. In the Fourth House, in the sign of Cancer, your Diana may encourage you to play a caring role within the family – but by leading a separate, autonomous, liberated life – remaining outside.
The Secret Zodiac and Psyche
Fred Gettings, the art historian who also had a passion for astrology, published The Secret Zodiac with Arkana/Penguin in 1987, at the peak of the boom in ‘New Age’ thinking, as it was known then.
Again, the sophisticated software we have today from Solar Fire was just a vision in 1987.
Today you can find the position of your Psyche in there (a crucial female asteroid as she was the daughter-in-law of Venus). If you are a Premium Member, of course you will automatically have Psyche shown by zodiac sign and house in your chart now, which will show on this page.
Fred Gettings talks about Psyche in terms of losing love – giving up and giving in – having to ‘relinquish her contact with a great god.’ This is true. Venus hated the fact that Psyche was in love with her son, Cupid, and tried everything she could, to make her prospective daughter-in-law give up.
Psyche in your chart shows struggle. By sign and house, it reveals the struggle which will make you immortal (which will live forever and outlast you, as a testament to your staying power). Psyche in Leo in the Fifth House, for example, can describe your struggle to have a child, or keep a child in your life.
Psyche is often literal. It frequently shows woman against woman. We hear a lot about the sisterhood, but astrology tells us the truth. Women can be bitchy, even vicious, with other women. They can seek to destroy.
Hopefully Psyche in your personal birth chart has not resulted in this toxic kind of battle. Venus was a jealous goddess. She resented Psyche for being beautiful. She loathed her even more, for having the love of her son. Sound familiar?
We still see Psyche stories played out today. She can be a pretty boring symbol in your chart, if played this way. Astrology is all about finding more interesting, thoughtful, creative and productive ways to live out the Psyche story in your chart.
Mapping the Heavens With Female Symbols
I was recently in The British Library researching my next book, when I stumbled across the new edition of Mapping the Heavens by Peter Whitfield (The British Library, 2018).
He talks about Venus and her huge global, cultural impact. Babylonian people lived in an age when omens were taken very seriously, and the sight of Venus in the sky (they called her Ishtar) was faithfully recorded.
By the time of Plato, the Greeks were identifying Venus with Aphrodite, the goddess of desire. “Astral religion, the belief that personal divinities inhabited the planets, spread from Babylon to Persia, India and Egypt and throughout the Graeco-Roman world. It carried astrology with it to the extent that this became an important component in the intellectual life of the entire Christian and Muslim worlds, a system that was half-way between a religion and a science.”
How We See Venus in the Twenties
How we see Venus in the Twenties (2020 to 2029) will reflect a changing female symbol for changing times. The old Venus was a beautiful, jealous, seductive, immoral goddess. She slept with Mars, behind her husband Vulcan’s back. She tried to destroy Psyche, because she was more beautiful – and because her son desired to marry her. It’s interesting to see the way Venus is changing. Jane Fonda’s arrest during a Climate Emergency protest and her ongoing activism on the crisis, reminds us that Venus is a flowing symbol.
It can be really interesting to picture Venus looking into her famous mirror (the mirror became reduced as a symbol, showing a circle on a stick, in your chart) and reflecting!
Paranoia about fading beauty and lost youth and resentment of younger, gorgeous women can be transformed into sisterhood, if Venus works at it. Jane Fonda is now officially on the same planet as Greta Thunberg. She is in her eighties and Greta is in her teens, as I write this in 2019 – and that’s quite a leap.
The HBO series Jane Fonda in Five Acts captures this brilliantly. Did you know Venus has five petals in astronomy? There is a link between the number five and this planet in your chart.
The Pentagram of Venus
You can watch this Pentagram of Venus on YouTube now. Successive inferior conjunctions of Venus against the Zodiac form a natural pentagram, or five petal (five point) shape. I hope you can see how this natural association with witches (crones) and womanhood, ties in with Venus and the famous pentagram symbol. These connections go back centuries.
Venus can be extended by association as the ‘evil’ mother-in-law of fairy stories. The crone or witch. The hag, drawing the pentagram on the floor of her hut, or haunting festivals today with a pentagram necklace or tattoo. Astrology is curious indeed. And Venus has five faces or five sides.
Working With Psyche, Venus and Diana in Your Chart
If you are a man, it is really important to know that your vision of women is described by the zodiac sign of your Psyche, Venus and Diana (to count just a few of the female symbols). Your idea of good women/bad women is drawn by this, according to your horoscope. You project it onto your mother, sister, girlfriend, wife, boss, colleague, friend.
If you are a female, it pays to know you also carry around particular projections of womanhood inside you. How do you feel about your Venus sign and house? How have you lived with your Venus and her five faces, or five ages? Your Venus sign and house clearly shows a lifelong pattern of female-female relating. It may have begun at school. Perhaps it was there with your sister, or a female cousin, or female best friend.
Like all symbols, Venus is there to be fashioned into something new and powerful. This is the alchemy upon which astrology is based. How have you shifted the chemistry?
Understanding your female side in the personal birth chart is a fantastic way to go through the Twenties. Why 2020-2029? We enter the New Age of Aquarius then, as Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto all go through Aquarius for the first and last time in your life. Aquarius is the sign of diversity and equality, within a global community. It’s about sisterhood and brotherhood. It’s time!