Venus and Mars are all right tonight: this week on the Storyteller's Night Sky

Jan 13, 2020

Botticelli's 15th century painting of Venus and Mars shows the goddess guarding over her beloved, just as she stands as guardian over the gateway of the gods in Capricorn during this season, while Mars slips into the underworld region of Scorpio.

In ancient astrological wisdom, the influence of Venus and Mars on lovers was considered strongest when they were square to or opposite one another in the sky, and this month they’re setting up for just such a configuration.

Venus is brilliant as evening star in the region of Capricorn right now, while Mars is in the morning sky, almost due north of Antares, the star that marks the heart of the Scorpion. Long before the now-dwarf planet Pluto was discovered and assigned dominion over Scorpio by contemporary astrologers, this constellation was where the red planets Mars had regency. Accordingly, this red star was named in reference to Mars, in his Greek persona as Ares, god of war. The star name Antares can mean “similar to”, “rival of” or even “equivalent of” Mars, because it shows a similar color to the planet, or because its constellation was Mars’ region.

Several thousand years ago, Scorpio marked the part of the sky where the Sun was seen to slip into the southern hemisphere, so the constellation was associated with the gateway to the underworld.

Capricorn, on the other hand, where Venus is now, was always known as the gateway of the gods. Venus in this position was believed to bring a civilizing and stabilizing influence to humanity, so with Mars at the gateway of the underworld, and Venus at the gateway of the gods, the two seem poised as guardians, to help us see through the immediate challenges of the times, to let old wounds slip away, and to make our way into the New Year with love.

A poem from the early 20th century American poet HD:

We are voyagers, discoverersOf the not-known;The unrecorded;We have no map;Possibly we can reach haven,Heaven.