PART 1: VENUS OPPOSES PLUTO RETROGRADE; Rediscovering the Hidden Power of Softness, Compassion, Delicacy and Grace

Venus opposes Pluto Retrograde

The next 33 hours are going to be unusually intense as we’re heading towards two powerful oppositions involving personal planets such as The Sun (conscious focus of awareness, vital essences), Venus (relationships, femininity, material connections and value systems) and trans-personal planets such as Saturn (the karmic task master) and Pluto (the Great Transformer, Lord of the Underworld) – both of whom are Retrograde. In this first Part, we discuss the Venus-Pluto opposition. Part 2 will address the Sun-Saturn opposition tomorrow.

The exact Venus (15 Cancer) -Pluto Rx (15 Capricorn) opposition will take place at 9:56 am (GMT + 8) on the 22nd of May, in about 9 hours’ time. The Sun (1 Gemini) -Saturn Rx (1 Sagittarius) opposition takes place at 9:34 am on the 23rd of May, nearly 33 hours from now (and almost a whole day after the 1st opposition).

Venus in Cancer addresses the way in which we relate to our family, home, notions of domesticity, traditions, cultural contexts and a deeper sense of attachment to some sense of ‘origin’. We may also feel more comfortable with and desirous of sensual experiences and expressing/experiencing feminine aspects of the personality within the traditional domain of the home. Be it in cooking, cleaning, ‘making a home’ – however you define it – it would of course depend on which astrological house that falls in for you. There is also a strong sense of connectedness with the Mother archetype anchoring us all to some larger, collective identity.

Cancer is particularly delicate – as it is the Crab – the one whose tough shell protects a soft interior. And together, the Crab and its shell have the power to plumb to the depths of the ocean and retrieve pearls of wisdom that no other sign is able to. A profound combination of strength, vulnerability and the ability to access hidden wisdom. It works well with the more traditionally feminine expressions of Venus.

Pluto in Capricorn, whilst Retrograde, focuses upon the kinds of transformations we can make within our psyches that lead us to evaluate the truth of what we consider our legacies in this material plane. We are asked to get deeper to the truth what we believe we have incarnated into life to eventually leave behind. We are asked to transform outdated ideas of what constitutes: success, achievement, prestige and social status. At a collective level, Pluto in Capricorn has been transforming the way we view power and the legitimacy of institutions that claim to have authority over the populace (governments, corporations, banks, etc.).

When Venus opposes Pluto Retrograde in Capricorn, here we see the opposition between the private and the public sphere, between the energy of femininity and (often brute) authority. There is strength to be found in the Venus in Cancer placement as it brings with it a hidden power, drawing from the depths of the sub-conscious and appealing to (often-forgotten) essence of tradition, forgotten as it becomes ritualized and codified as a social norm. Think of the way an otherwise bitter grandfather might smile at his granddaughter’s attempts to make him a meal. There’s a certain, softer, kind of power that Venus can yield over the mighty Pluto – softening the blow of the otherwise brutal power such an opposition can unleash.

This is of course not the same as saying ‘take what you get’, ‘accept injustice’, ‘be submissive’ or any lark like that. It simply means that there is a position of delicate strength that can lead to to a more balanced outcome in this opposition. Alternate outcomes often see the Pluto placement to be the stronger one, where the force of transformation and crisis wounds the Venus-in-Cancer placement. Whilst the Crab has its shell, it might withstand a full blow from the Lord of the Underworld in the sign of Ultimate Material Authority. Hence, the challenge is to find a different kind of strength in such a tender, vulnerable, beautiful and delicate energy.

Let me clear when I say that not all women are going to play Venus, and not all men are going to play the Pluto role in the upcoming opposition. Femininity and authority go beyond sex and identifications of gender – it is an essence in all beings. You might find the weight of authority wielded by the female member of a unit, whereas the call for tender compassion from the male. The possibilities are endless, and I do not wish for my words to be typecast into gendered stereotypes.

One of the best examples I can think of of a softer, delicate sense of grace interacting a powerful female presence – and transforming the nature of that presence – comes from the Hindu tradition. In it, through his sweetness and devotion for the Goddess, the saint Adi Shankara is said to re-discover the love and compassion in the ferocious aspect of the Goddess. Here’s a beautiful article that describes that dynamic very, very well:

She’s not defeated, and certainly not ‘tamed’ – the relationship between devotee and goddess transforms in a powerful way. For when one loves you so much, and in such a tender way, what place does rage and ferocity have? It’s a very different dynamic from domination-submission, and actually enters a much more sensual, tender, place of devotion.

You can have a look at this song as it expresses that dynamic quite beautifully – 

It can be quite a trying time for intimate relationships, particularly where both parties are polarized – one representing the force of authority and conventional/social expectations, and the other in the more vulnerable, (traditionally understood as) feminine position, situated in the home. Other manifestations of this can result in dealing with the government or other authority figures that seem to have some say in the way you deal with the more private areas of your life. You might also find this with a supervisor, or authority figure at work.

A different way to look at the alignment is as a tension between two levels, or realms of sensual experience: Venus, in her more tender, sensual, private form, and Pluto with his more powerful expression of sexual prowess legitimated by socially sanctioned ideas of authority. One is the more yielding aspect of the sensual feminine, whilst the other is the more active, acquisitive variant (remember Persephone). Whether you yield, or hold your ground is – of course – context dependent.

Some of you may find great lessons in learning to hold to your sensual boundaries, whilst others will go deeper within by lowering them.

Again, it depends on the house placement and any other aspects this opposition makes to your natal chart.

Bear in mind that Pluto is Retrograde, meaning some of the brunt of the opposition may be more salient within your own psyche. You may _interpret_ someone behaving unfairly or in an overbearing manner towards you, even if that may not be the case. Consider the role of your interpretation and perception before responding.

My suggestion would be to maintain openness and to avoid becoming defensive. By all means, resist something which is truly unjust, but the trick is in learning how to carry yourself in a way that exudes grace, strength, and a different sort of power. Much like a Queen holding court in a gentle, yet firm manner.

There’s a space for both energies to coexist without one dominating the other, or dictating its terms in a unilateral manner.

In terms of asteroids, Venus is conjunct Burney (14 Cancer) and Cyllarus (14 Cancer). Burney shows us the way that the inner child can arrive at a brilliant conclusion from within, whereas Cyllarus warns us not to charge headlong into some perceived slight to our identity, culture, tradition, ethnicity, or some larger construct.

Pluto, on the other hand is conjunct Kassandra (15 Capricorn) and Asclepius (14 Capricorn). Kassandra reminds us of the voice of ignored, suppressed women’s wisdom – the great Oracle whose words were ignored. I suspect those re-discovering their soul’s history in this way will be bursting forth from the Pluto-placement – speaking that their words may once again be heard, and accepted. Asclepius indicates the possibility of discovering healing remedies, medicine, or simply ways to heal the wounded super-ego (societal consciousness). I feel that Kassandra’s role in delivering truth is major here, which is why you don’t want to ignore the Capricorn aspect of this alignment 🙂

Those with placements at 8-22 in Libra and/or Aries will experience this as a Grand Cardinal Cross (if both are present) or as a Cardinal T-Square – stronger with placements closer to 15 degrees. Bear in Mind that Uranus at 18 Aries already makes this a T-Square (but nowhere near as strong as it would have been , just months ago).

I hope that gives you a heads up for the challenge coming ahead. Some of you may have faced it already. Remember that I cover the Sun-Saturn opposition in Part 2 – tomorrow.

Many Blessings and Much Love,

Priestess Bairavee Balasubramaniam PhD
Astrology with Priestess Bairavee Balasubramaniam PhD ; ; @theskypriestess

Image: Brooklyn Museum – Goddess Lakshmi with a Rose and a Peacock.jpg – Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons. Housed at the Brooklyn Museum. Artist Unknown.

Text © Bairavee Balasubramaniam, 2015. All rights reserved.

A Guide to the Grand Sextile, 13 September 2014

A Guide to the Grand Sextile

The Grand Sextile, is a Star of David/Shadkona Yantra/Hexagram shaped configuration in the sky surrounded by a hexagon. It is a portal of Manifestation, a Divine Seal of Facilitation. This configuration is ‘completed’ through the motion of the Moon in the sign of Taurus.

Window of Time (19 HOURS, 27 MINUTES):
4:39 am, September 13 2014 – 12:06 am September 14 2014 (GMT + 8)
6:39 am, September 13 2014 – 2:06 am September 14 2014 (Sydney, GMT+ 10)
2:09 am, September 13 2014 – 9:36 pm September 13 2014 (India, GMT + 5:30)
4:39 pm, September 12 2014 – 12:06 pm September 13 2014 (New York, EDT)
1:39 pm September 12 2014 – 9:06 am September 13 2014 (California, PDT)
9:39 pm, September 12 2014 – 3:06 pm September 13 2014 (London, GMT + 1)

[[ The Grand Sextile Portal is now Open ]]


Enjoy 🙂 (And check out the FB event for further information: Calling The Tribes on FB – I’ll see you there — )

For those of you who prefer learning through an oral rather than verbal component (or who simply want to re-inforce what is written here) you can also look at my video explaining the Grand Sextile and the challenges and gifts it brings us.



Here are the components of the Grand Sextile, a planet/body in all Earth/Water elements:

Moon in Taurus – emotional security, subconscious relationship with the flow of abundance (be it wealth or inner resources like self-worth)

Chiron Retrograde in Pisces – the sense of wounding or vulnerability with respect to one’s Path and/or connection with Spirit – healing and wounding tends to take place at a very deeper internal level and involve past life wounds and karmic ties rising to the surface for resolution

Pluto Retrograde in Capricorn – transformative crises (mostly internally generated) to find a new articulation of our relationship with power, status, career, prestige, the legacy we leave behind

Saturn conjunct Vesta in Scorpio – Saturn deals with karmic, the virtues of limitation and structuring of energy – Vesta deals with a path of Spiritual Facilitation, healing, the histories and memories of those who tended the sacred flame, be it within the self, or in ancient temples – in Scorpio , these energies unearth powerful memories of tasks or lessons from the past and ask us engage with our shadow beliefs and attitudes towards these aspects of life. They challenge you to find the gift in the Shadow, essentially.

Sun in Virgo – the focus of one’s essence/vital energies is on the Path of Service, ways to maintain, preserve, and nurture the integrity of the Self and Others in Balanced Harmony. The role of Priest/ess in Spiritual Facilitation and Honoring the Earth-Mother is also highlighted.

Juno in Cancer – The energy of the Divine Feminine moves through us as it seeks to elevate and transform our engagement with Spirit. She pushes us to the boundaries of our understanding of Home/Family/Motherhood/Goddess Love and helps us chart new waters in our engagement with her. Not to be underestimated.

So these are the main players in this alignment – their energies and lessons and challenges come together as one for 19.5 hours – the duration the sextile remains open. Astrologers will note that the Grand Sextile is formed if an 11 degree orb isuse for the Sun-Pluto Trine. Venus trines the Sun weakly, and She’s also 11 degrees away from the Sun as well. Still within the range of influence.

Three other factors intensity the experience of this Grand Sextile:

(1) The Final Grand Cross of 2014 – involving Juno, Pallas Athena (now conjunct Mercury), Pluto Retrograde and Uranus Retrograde. For more information see – this Cross challenges the Rising of the Feminine as She takes her Place on the World’s Stage and the Path of the Priestess, Witch, Goddessian is legitimated once more.

(2) A Triple Yod Configuration – 3 Fingers of Fate interconnect creating Karmic Decision Points which can radically alter the rate, progress and path that you take in your spiritual evolution

– Yod 1: Moon-Mercury/Pallas-Chiron Retrograde
– Yod 2: Chiron Retrograde-Jupiter-Pluto Retrograde
– Yod 3: Jupiter – Chiron Retrograde – Mercury/Pallas

Mercury/Pallas bring an intense analytical/mental/intellectual focus to any issue in your environment which is out energetic balance, particularly focused on your partnerships (due to its placement in Libra) – it even be the partnership within yourself with Spirit. For more information, see

Jupiter in Leo deals with your guidance, sense of adventure, willingness to explore through experience, and a general sense of amplification/blessings on your path. Leo relates to romance, children, creativity, self-expression, the Inner Child Construct and the challenge of remaining authentic through vulnerability.

With the Yods as interconnected as they are … expect powerful shifts through all of the energies / planets / asteroids mentioned here. They can and will surprise you in powerful ways.

(3) Mars shifts into Sagittarius and remains at 29 degree Scorpio throughout the duration of the Grand Sextile’s portal

The 29th degree is the Anaretic Degree. It’s the time and place where the lump sum, or intensity of the energy from a particular sign concentrates, just before it is transcended.

So look back to all of the lessons of Mars in Scorpio. The balanced use of assertive force or power, the desire to know/own/control kept in check, the penetrative emphasis on self-knowing, often through another.

So with that intense focus of assertive energy, penetrating to the depths of your subconscious, shedding light on your Shadow (sometimes seen in others) …

You’re going to feel the -shake-up-wake-up- at this time. Intensity of focus, powerfully deep emotions rising to the surface.

All in preparation for Mars’ entry into Sagittarius which will take place at 5:40 am, September 14th, 2014. Basically 5 hours after the Grand Sextile portal closes.

To Summarize – the Energy of this Portal of Manifestation Births a New Reality. It Anchors the Energies of the Rising Feminine and the Masculine which must now acknowledge and confront the deep emotions buried in its Shadow. the Masculine (energy of assertion, not limited to gender) will then teach the lessons of its emotive sensitivity as it moves through Sagittarius. Plenty of new information coming in the next phase of Mars’ Journey. The Feminine, on the other hand (again, not limited to gender) learns the lessons of the game of power, presence and challenging the patriarchy.

Pallas Athena and her androgynous energies will help us find ways to balance those energies and interpret them in powerfully new ways. 

There is a dance of Balance that these, and other Energies in the Universe will play together at this time And eventually, we will find that Unity.

So as you anchor your intentions for Manifestation, focus upon your Truest Understanding of Divinity Open your Heart and Work with its energies.

Blessings and Love to All,
Priestess Bairavee Balasubramaniam, PhD


Sun-Chiron opposition

Blessings everyone. I know we’ve already been preparing for this Supermoon for a week now – but there’s another peak of intensity that comes one day before it is due – the Sun-Chiron opposition at 15 Vir/Pis ’23. 

Chiron is the Wounded Healer, or the Soul Healer – Its energy represents the deepest wounding within you. When opposed by the Sun, your conscious awareness of the wound is amplified. You may ‘feel it more’ at this time. Chiron Retrograde is in Pisces, signifying that the the issue most likely has something to do with your spiritual path and connection with Spirit. The Sun is in Virgo and is finding practical ways of getting things done and working with matter to keep the rhythm of life in balance.

Many will be feeling the sense of wounding even more so with the energy of the Full Moon, as the Moon will be so close to it. Consider this opposition a prelude, or taster of what is to come. Don’t be worried if you suddenly start crying or remembering past things that hurt you – they’re coming out now so you can become aware of them, and find ways to heal them. Stay centered, grounded – and if you feel overwhelmed – find some sacred/quiet space and simply breathe. That’s a perfectly valid response to the overwhelming energy that this configuration can bring.

It’s a good idea not to wound others, or to place yourself in circumstances where you are likely to get wounded. Being by yourself (only if you can handle it) or in the company of a reliable support group is a good idea at this time.

Now this opposition and upcoming Full Moon aren’t the only exact aspects in the sky – as you can see in the graphic – there’s quite a few of them.

The Sun-Chiron opposition forms the backbone of a Kite formation involving the Juno-Vesta/Saturn-Chiron Retrograde Grand Water Trine (link provided). In this formation, the energy of the Trine gets channeled and bounced back and forth in the opposition. The focal point would tend to be Chiron Retrograde in Pisces, however.

We’ve also got the Final Grand Cardinal Cross of 2014, involving Pallas Athena, Pluto Retrograde, Uranus Retrograde and Juno. At present, Pallas and Pluto – and – Uranus and Juno are squaring one another at an orb of +/- 1 degree. That’s pretty intense. Through Juno, the Grand Cross feeds into the Grand Trine, and therefore into the Sun-Chiron opposition.

We also have a very powerful Yod (Finger of Fate) formed by a sextile between the Sun (focus, awareness) and Vesta (priest/essing, spiritual service, tending the sacred flame, regeneration), both inconjunct/quincunx Uranus Retrograde (awakening, breakthrough, surprise, suddenness, the unexpected). Again Uranus is already engaged in the square with Juno (see above) – so all these configurations are connected and energetically amplifying the pivotal Sun-Chiron opposition.

There’s other things happening in the sky right now, but these are the most important aspects of the lot. I’ve skipped an explanation of what each bring as I’ve covered all the aspects in the links listed below. The one thing I haven’t explained is the Yod – so here goes:

Sun/Virgo sextiles Vesta/Saturn/Scorpio both quincunx Uranus Retrograde in Aries. I see this as a sudden, fairly abrupt issue that may arise from something that seems ‘mundane’, perfectly ‘day to day’. The roots of the issue or event may be more obscure, rooted back in your soul’s biography. The issue will unfold in an almost explosive way – and powerfully challenge your understanding of yourself – and the sacred authority you bear within you – at this time. You have the choice between hubris and humility, so make it wisely. Some may even manifest this as some kind of unexpected physical event or encounter are Aries often relates to the physical body itself. With a Yod, you can never say if it’s ‘bad’ or ‘good’ – only that it’s sudden and will lead you to make decisions that will set you upon some new (or to revisit an old) curriculum of spiritual growth and evolution.

Take care, everyone

Related Links:

Intro to the Supermoon and its challenges –
A 12 house Coping Strategy –
Grand Water Trine/Grand Cross –

Blessings and I hope this is of use. The Coping Strategy offers practical advice to cope with Piscean energies (where Chiron Retrograde is at present).

Priestess Bairavee Balasubramaniam, PhD


Mercury Pluto Rx opposition

At 2:42 pm (GMT + 8:00), 22/7/14 – Mercury in Cancer opposed Pluto Retrograde in Capricorn. This is a very intense alignment, and one that will most certainly involve some element of crisis (real or perceived).

Mercury is all about the way you perceive, think and communicate. Cancer relates to your relationship with your family/home/mother/collective identity. When stressed, Mercury use the sharpened blade of its tongue – communications may be affected. It can also feel unduly stressed/reticent to think, act, perceive or even feel if shying away from the pressure of the Pluto Opposition.

Pluto represents the force of crisis in our lives and can lead us to deep awakenings through an engagement, and eruption of our shadow selves. Browbearing, overbearing, controlling and violent behavior can ensure when Pluto’s energies are harnessed without care. Capricorn, where Pluto is in right now, relates to status, achievement, being in the public eye, social recognition, and the institutions of the ‘status quo’ which have been under so much pressure to reform since the start of the Uranus-Pluto square.

When in a Mercury-Pluto opposition, one may feel the need to kowtow or submit to another who is ‘playing unfairly’ or simply pushing through their agenda with brute force. There is little subtlety when Pluto’s energies are unleashed.

On the other hand, there is a strong possibility (according to Gargatholil) that whomever you are playing out these Capricorn energies will play the opposing role to yours. If you are the ‘powerless victim’ (Mercury under siege), the person representing Pluto will likely appear ruthless and overpowering. Know that these are just perceptions, and that – once the intensity of this aspect ceases to have such an influence – those perceptions may also shift back into non-existence.

As Pluto is in retrograde, the ‘crisis’ element that this planet brings is often felt at an internal level, erupting out of nowhere from within your own consciousness!

The Mercury-Pluto opposition may also highlight an aspect of your mind that remains in (unacknowledged) shadow. It may bring out a part of you which you’d sincerely hoped to leave in a closet someplace. You may also make mental breakthroughs (or for some, breakdowns, as well) today if you are able to handle the energies of this intense opposition. You may develop a different way of perceiving your ‘shadow side’ and assessing its true origins and impact in your life.

I hope this information helps. Blessings to all,
Bairavee Balasubramaniam, PhD