Venus Retrograde in Scorpio: AKA Swedish Metal Aid

November 10th, 1985.

In a sea of hairspray, shoulder pads and spandex, the lights dim in a dark Scandinavian studio. A few shimmering notes spill out of the grand synth piano and a landmark moment in hair metal history is born. This my friends is Swedish Metal Aid: 

As the lovely lady Venus takes her turn in Mars' nocturnal temple in anticipation of her Oct. 5th retrograde cycle, we are reminded of that glorious moment in 1985, when, ironically enough, she was also paying a visit to Scorpio's passionate abode. That particular year, rock n' roll decided it was going to rise up from the white lines on their collective hotel room coffee table mirrors and “save the world”.

Famine was running rampant in Ethiopia, and the success of American humanitarian efforts such as “We Are The World” and “Don't They Know It's Christmas” inspired young Europe frontman Joey Tempest to don his black tights and cowl and like the Dark Knight, become “The Hero that Ethiopia deserved, but not the one it needed right now...” Suffice it to say, his effort fell flat. With each aqua-net maned lead singer trying to outdo the other in a cat-strangled scream-off, the album sold a mere 50,000 copies, leaving it well short of the 63 million dollar contribution that Bob Gelding and Friends had produced earlier in the year.

What lessons can be learned from our Delorian-inspired travel through time? Let’s begin with a little background about the “Phosphorus one” as Adam Elenbaas recently appointed the sea-foam goddess in his treatment of the upcoming Venus retrograde cycle. Aphrodite it was said, emerged from the sea like a bio-luminescent jellyfish. Glowing so bright with her internal radiance, she was immediately adorned with flowing garments and rococo pearls to both honor the goddess and fashion her for the consumption of human eyes. In the image below, we see the goddess aloof, allowing herself to be attended to, but not fixing in her gaze upon the accouterments bestowed upon her.

Triumph of the Marine Venus
Herein lies the rub; Venus in Scorpio is playing by Mars' rules. In Scorpio, Venus is said to be in her detriment or exile. Where cooperation was expected, competition ensues. Where patience and receptivity would have reigned supreme, pugnacious pursuit takes over. Mars in its nocturnal home is a silent defender, an aggressive, yet covert separatist that will defend what it desires to its dying breath. When come-hither Venus makes her trek through this sign, she becomes hungry. Austin Coppock in his book, 36 Faces, talks about the first decan of Scorpio (or the first 10 degrees) as the jawbone. The image we see is of a skinless, eyeless skull-like mouth that invariably consumes whatever is in its path. Desire has overtaken Venus in this decan, and she will try to get what she wants in perhaps a back-alley passive-aggressive way, instead of patiently letting things come to her as she might if she was in her home temple of Taurus.

Five of Cups
In the Tarot, this decan of Scorpio was associated with the Five of Cups. In the image on this card we see a cloaked figure looking down forlornly at three spilled cups, seemingly taking no notice of the two cups still filled behind him. Here we see the discontentment that can be associated with Venus in this sign. We focus on our failures, perhaps coveting something that has outlived its purpose or becoming envious of what we don't have. If only the figure in the picture would turn around, he might find gratitude for what was still available to him. Venus retrograde asks us literally, to turn around. During this cycle we may come face to face with our own “spilled cups” of life, a disappointing relationship, an outdated wardrobe, a dissatisfaction with whatever adornments we have been allotted with. The key is not to become fixated on the outer, but on cultivating our inner resplendent glow. Take time to take stock of what you truly value. Think twice before heading to the mall and trying to buy your way past the disappointment of a failed marriage. Take a deep deep breath before heading to the salon and asking your local hair dresser to make you feel sexy again after years of self-neglect. Turn your gaze towards what it is you truly value before a neighbor's new ride inspires you to fall prey to your local used car salesman.

As the story of Venus tells us, to become like the goddess we must learn to glow from the inside out. Lasting happiness will never be found in the outer world of temporary forms. Seek value in the eternal, express gratitude. Learn to have a relationship with your animating spirit; be like Aphrodite, allow it to come to you.

(Venus goes retrograde on Oct 5th & turns direct on Nov. 16th)

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