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Venus rises tomorrow in remarkable circumstances. Visible less than a fingerwidth above the horizon, even in the glow of dawn, she affirms everything which is wondrous in the feminine. The chart should speak for itself, but note the star in the Hero’s side, Adam’s Rib, splitting the attenuated masculinity of retrograde Mars and Saturn. I do wish more men would listen when I talk about the stars.Venus Conjunct Uranus Apr23Spontaneous Venus is not only in tight conjunction with the hidden daring of Uranus, but the two are invisibly in the line of stars which in the Southern Hemisphere constitute the horizontal fish of Pisces.

The asterisms we associate with corporate functions, football grand finals and racing carnivals, those we see in the Spring night sky, are not just horse (Pegasus), jockey (Pisces) and catering steward (Aquarius), as SHA depicts them, although the affinity many young women have with horses is worthy of mention.

They look a lot different by day. The vast sweep of sky between the winter splendour of the heart of the galaxy and the summer spectacle of the Orion Arm provides a number of obstacles to the progress of the Sun by day.

Once she crosses the plain of Capricorn, battling the northerly crosswinds of February, she must negotiate the confluence of rivers that is Aquarius, and then there is the trudge up into the foothills of Pisces, and over its two ridges.

Uranus has been mysteriously camped on the slopes of the first one for two years, where Venus joins it for a giggle in the morning, but no holiday whim is it for the Sun. She is oblivious to the mystery of that ridge: where it leads, what lies at its end. Surely not Venus.

The feint circle of five stars known in astronomy as the Circlet of Pisces is a mysterious clearing on an escarpment at the western end of the ridge, in an ancient forest choked with bracken and creepers and fallen leaves. The beaten path is some distance off, and the silence of sensuous presence prevails, but a ghostly commotion whispers to any traveller who stumbles here.

This was the site of a great castle for centuries. Here it was that the Knights of the Round Table committed to the quest for the Holy Grail, where Sleeping Beauty pricked her finger and slept for a hundred years. Before that it was a hill fort of the Iron Age, and some say that once it was Valhalla, and before that Mt Olympus. More recently, it was Netherfield Park and Les Sablonnières.

I seem to remember a scene in which the astonished Meaulnes witnesses the carriages arrive by torchlight at the stately home, the opulence which surrounds him and beckons him to the life-achievement which will elevate him to this noble company. Remember the magical countenance in your own experience of one in such company entranced by you!

It was here that the romantics of yesteryear met and instantly fell in love with their dream, transforming themselves and each other into ‘the One’. The Circlet was their crown. What haunts this place is romance, and the voices you can’t quite make out are the embodiment of projected love-images clamouring for release from desire.

In 2011, the Moon found his holy grail in the stately home which stood here then. The intervening years have persuaded him that the love of his life does not exist outside a dream, and now steers wide of it, and of faith in the possibility that it might be love for a woman which gives meaning to his existence. This place is his wound, the impetus of the dilettante.

The nineteen-year cycle of the lunar nodes is the mechanism of the Moon’s relationship with the Circlet. It passed visibly through it (though seen loitering in the vicinity at first or last light on numerous other occasions of the period) at:

  • 05:00 06/09/09
  • 05:00 06/06/10
  • 04:00 27/8/10
  • 01:00 17/11/10
  • midnight 16-17/8/11
  • 21:00 06/11/11
  • 04:00 12/06/12

and nineteen years previously….

Do any of those dates resonate with grand memories of your romantic youth? Perhaps one of these was your wedding day.

The Moon returns to the Circlet’s haunt:

  • 02:00 30/10/28
  • 01:00 30/07/29
  • Midnight 19-20/10/29
  • 06:00 26/05/30
  • 23:00 19/07/30
  • 03:00 10/10/30
  • 02:00 10/07/31
  • 23:00 02/09/31
  • Midnight 23-24/11/31.

Perhaps he will enter a new mansion, perhaps he will find a mirage. Either way, it will be no delusion. May circumstance rescue you from the disease of living to heal a wound.

Venus also knows the clearing well. She did her retrograde loop nearby in 2009, and will double back to thoroughly investigate its mythical qualities this time next year, and again in 2025. I hope romance outlives us all!