Today I would like to discuss a somewhat more subtle insight of the astrology; one which really questions the tendency to try and break down the experience of interpretation in a clearly Virgoan manner; this as much as anything else creates (for myself) a sense that Mercury cannot approach the astrologer’s craft fully, and certainly in isolation it is not enough to think it. The same can be said for Uranus, which, though subject to sudden inspirations is entirely too scientific. The astrology is a glyph; there is no sense treating it as a collection of aspects and placements any more than you can treat a forest as a collection of trees, if you understand one tree it does not tell you much about the forest really, except that one component of it has this specific quality. By standing on a high mountain though, and viewing the forest in its entirety, you can gain a sense of its place in the wider vista of the landscape: this is the profound grasp of the art, and certainly once you have that, you might wish to venture under those shady boughs and run your hands over the bark and breathe in the scent of those dappled glades. Mmmmm….
Today then I want to consider the halfsum of Venus and Neptune, because it is a profoundly important point in the astrology, and one that is rarely discussed. Halfsums (or midpoints if you prefer) are negelected on the whole, and many of them are (in my view) only incidentally intriguing, but there are a few which have especial significance. Foremost among these are the halfsums of Sun and Moon (marriage), Venus and Mars (passion) and Saturn and Uranus (the impulse to awakening compassion via tension, the Chirotic point). Perhaps more than any of these though, I find the Venus and Neptune halfsum to be profoundly insightful.
When we consider that Neptune is the higher vibration of Venus, then the marriage of the two is always going to be significant and potent in some way, whether by transit, progression or just by natal aspect. The midpoint however defines a third point in the astrology that is not one or the other, but the gateway between the two energies, thus it is the spring from which divine love, transcendent love and thus true spiritual love can flow. It is dreamy, romantic in an ideal, rather than a very personal way and too it is tempered by a certain inevitability toward disappointment, at least until the compassion is activated. Of course I know a great deal about this point because in my own astrology my Sun is placed within 4 minutes of the Venus Neptune halfsum and this is where I wish to begin, by examining specific planetary placements at the halfsum of Venus and Neptune, and importantly only those based upon a 360 degree modulus. Uranian astrologers will have it that a 90 degree, or even a 45 degree modulus is significant – and it is, but with each division the effect is weakened, thus I wish to concentrate on the full circle only.
Traditionally then the conjunction, or mundane blend of Venus with Neptune creates an inclination to mysticism, a romantic ambience and a distinctly artistic outlook; physiologically too it creates a very sensitive nervous system and the harsher realities of life are for these people often the trigger to various psychosomatic and nervous disorders. The midpoint contains all of these qualities, and if you observe transits by conjunction to the halfsum carefully you will see how these key qualities are moderated by the nature of the applied vibration. Thus:
Sun: Captain William Bligh certainly evinced a self-aware (Sun) love (Venus) of the sea (Neptune) but of course his story ended bitterly and in disappointment after the infamous mutiny on the Bounty. Derek Jacobi is an actor who evinces a rather ideal and dreamy quality despite his propensity for forthright roles and certainly Barbara Cartland is well known for exalting the theme of romantic love in her life and work. As for Guy Pearce, who is something of an astrological doppelgänger of mine having been born within a few hours and a few miles of myself) you only need watch Memento to get a real feeling for how this midpoint is expressed in his work. Sun placed here creates a romantic disposition, a difficulty with reality – which is clearly evident in Bligh’s story and which is also clearly the fuel for much of Cartland’s actual work – as well as a peculiar sense of yearning for a very refined state of divine insight. I can attest to all of that. These feelings will be evinced whenever transiting Sun conjuncts this specific point in the astrology.
Moon: One example only of this rather personal experiential point, because it creates a serious tendency to fluctuating emotions, in women it creates a tendency to romantic dissatisfaction, and in a man the tendency to marry such a woman. The great Marc Edmund Jones held this particular configuration, and the formulation of the Sabians is nothing short of a homage to the power of spiritualised love for the art of astrology. The specific placement for Jones was Moon in Leo in the 10th (thus a profession which brings him to the attention of the public), although most intriguingly of all Jones’ halfsum falls at the exact midpoint of Moon and Saturn also (Moon at 15, Ve/Ne at 16, and Saturn at 17 of Leo), thus it is an extremely potent point; Saturn at the halfsum (as we shall see) creates considerable shyness in love and a difficulty in expressing these more refined feelings of love, but of course Jones’ Sabian Symbols are a wonderful example of an attempt to systematise (Saturn) his love of spiritualism, and he developed them in tandem with Elsie Wheeler, who was herself a woman with a physical disability (Moon conjunct Saturn) since she was crippled as a child and confined to a wheelchair for the remainder of her natural life; she was also reckoned to be an extremely powerful psychic; all of these themes, of Venus and Neptune falling onto Moon conjunct Saturn are in evidence. In general, Moon’s transits to the Ve/Ne halfsum will evince a sense of fluctuating feelings, the possibility of being misled by others: especially women although it ought to be a significant point in the astrology for those who are comfortable living from the feminine.
Mercury: Only one example here, and fittingly, it is the author Michael Crichton, who certainly has the ability to reach a large audience with his flights of romantic imagination (and anyone who wants to claim that he doesn’t write romance novels is clearly missing one of the fundamental understandings of literature).
Mars: Here then there is ability to act upon the love nature, it expresses amorousness and also a slight tendency to sexual aberration, because it creates a peculiar yearning (Ve/Ne) for sex (Mars). Rock Hudson, Robert Kennedy, Oliver Stone, the director of Roman Holiday William Wyler and the astrologer Liz Greene all share this particular placement.
Jupiter: Here the transcendent love nature is expanded and given an element of healthy goodness, in keeping with all Jovian influences; it might also make you rich, if you can tune into the big energy on offer. Kylie has this exact configuration, as does Michael J. Fox (which might expand the disintegrative force when considered in tandem with Chiron rising is Pisces), Susan Sarandon, Emmeline Pankhurst (a philosophy of feminine exaltation) and the respected astrological writer Stephen Arroyo.
Saturn: As already considered in the case of Marc Edmund Jones, here the higher love nature is felt to be restricted and cabined; it will still be evident, but here it becomes a burden or a responsibility or it is subjectively felt to be. Kevin Costner and Robin Williams share this placement with Jones.
Uranus: I find no instances of Uranus on the midpoint except in two of my personal clients (both of whom are related as Aunt and Nephew incidentally). My feeling though is that in keeping with Uranian energy and all things Aquarius, it is a position which defies identification. No doubt unusual ideas about divine love, peculiar yearnings and a tendency to sudden upsets in love and a longing for very unique romantic attachments ought all to be in evidence. There may be genius for expressing the joy of divinity in the life also.
Pluto: The composer Erik Satie, Ronald Isley (of the Isley Brothers) Candice Bergen and Omar Sharif all add Plutonic intensity to this very sensitive midpoint and no doubt their love nature is singularly intense and mildly overpowering. Here there is a hint of renunciation (Pluto requires transformation) which will be undoubtedly painful and difficult simply because of the breaking up, breaking apart and the rebirth that is compelled out of Plutonic compulsion. If you find Pluto here by transit then you are likely to find yourself transforming your closest attachments as a result, trying to transcend personal attachments or simply to get shot of them once and for all.
So, what does the midpoint look like?! This has to be intriguing and we can get an idea by finding Ve/Ne=Asc, and I find only one in all of my files: that of Uma Thurman. And if you want to know what it sounds like, then listen to Janis Joplin, who evinces Ve/Ne=MC, while one person who expresses the midpoint most competently is Katharine Hepburn, with Ve/Ne=Pallas.
Help and insight relating to the Venus Neptune halfsum and many other issues in the astrology can be found here.