We just passed the First Quarter Moon Phase and we find the Moon in Pisces today near Chiron. In mythology, Chiron was a Centaur (half horse/half man) who through healing his own wounds was able to assist in the healing of others. Lately the energies have been quite intense and while at first glimpse we might anticipate this from a Sun and Mercury in Scorpio, known for psychological intensity, it seems there is something more than that going on. We also recently had Venus and Mars move out of Virgo and into Libra. The sign of Libra, isn’t that all about getting along, peace, harmony and love? The Ruler of Libra is Venus, don’t we all love her as she brings beauty and love to the world? Well, perhaps, but as every “front has a back” and “what goes up must fall down”, we may want to contemplate the dark side of Venus. Just as in love, we want to see the good, the virtuous, and the possibility of love forevermore. But as we have all experienced, sometimes love breaks hearts and wreaks havoc on our psyche. The Mayans did not view Venus as the ‘harbinger of love’ but rather violence. Sometimes Venus rises before the Sun which is known as Venus Lucifer “Light Bringer” and at other times after the Sun which would be Venus Hesperus. Currently we are in Venus Lucifer phase. Venus relates to desire whether it be love, money, power, material possessions, strength or anything else captured by desire. If we look at the dark side of desire, we may experience lust, materialism, manipulation, and superficial presentation for “all that glitters may not be gold”. We see examples of a Venusian crisis as women and men seek to alter their natural born image to fit with what is deemed most desirable and beautiful in our culture, leading to eating disorders, issues with self-esteem and potentially sexual violence arising out of the need to possess and have power over another. We don’t like to look at these realities stemming from a Planet that we often want to glamorize and deem positive, but it is not hard to find evidence or personal experiences that correlate to the tragedies of love. There can be a fine line between love and madness. This is not to indicate that pure healthy love does not exist, however, we need to look at the dark and the light in order to find balance. Currently, the Lord of the Underworld, Pluto is interacting with Venus. Pluto relates the deep psychological shadow material, the unconscious. We need only spend some time in a psychologist’s office to know that this is not easy terrain. It often brings up our wounds, parts of us that have powerless, and scars that need a healthy dose of healing to make one feel whole again. As Pluto moves slowly through the sign of Capricorn, we are focusing on structures and the framework of our soul and the structures of society at large. It addresses our responsibility, our commitments, our integrity, logic and reason. Like a butterfly, Pluto denotes transformation. In the process of transforming, we may have to first address the ugly, the dark shadows to arise from the ashes renewed. Venus is also nearing an opposition with Uranus, the rule-breaker and the god of thunderbolts and lightning and it can have the effect of unexpected changes or alternative realities that seek to foster authentic expression by shattering the “norm”. Mercury has just shifted from Scorpio into Sagittarius as I am writing this. As Mercury is the “Messenger of the Gods”, we may have recently come into contact with our own psychological material which may have stirred some things inside us to be released. Now as Mercury moves into Sagittarius, we may be have our minds seeking adventure and the higher meaning of things. As times may be challenging and shifting at this time, remember that nothing is more certain than change and “this too shall pass”.