Vénus Noire ~ April 29th-May 5th, 2019

The Balcony by Charles Baudelaire

Mother of memories, mistress of mistresses,

you who are all my pleasures and all my duties,

you will remember the beauty of our caresses,

the sweetness of the hearth, the charm of the evenings…

When the Sun is in Taurus, the patience and fecundity of the earth becomes your greatest teacher. In Taurus season, spirit is seduced into matter. With senses awakened to an abundance of beauty, you will be drawn to explore new levels of embodied pleasure.

Like wild sparks settling into slow burning embers, this week will move at a languid pace. 

For why would I seek your languid beauties anywhere

except in your dear body and your oh-so-gentle heart?

On Monday, Saturn’s station retrograde in Capricorn starts the week with a sense of inertia. There may be a noticeable intensity surrounding your sense of duty, obligation and responsibility.

Under the influence of the station, you will just have to submit to Saturn’s gravity, urging you to take your time, linger and contemplate. Any hurried attempts to create, celebrate, or climax too soon will lead you into failure.

The night would thicken like a wall around us.

Though you may feel weighed down by indecision or frustration, the meaning and purpose of Taurus season is to allow idle moments to become leisurely. If your mind is troubled, take a moment to immerse yourself in beauty.

The first five days of the week will be influenced by the waning Moon, an energy akin to exhale and release. Finally on Saturday afternoon, the New Moon in Taurus will commence a fresh cycle of creative and emotional energies!

The Moon is exalted in the fertile sign of Taurus, evoking deep memories of pleasure and dreams of paradise. For those who are magically inclined, this New Moon is a perfect moment to enchant for increased prosperity, fertility, and luxury.

Enchant your life with magic for the New Moon in Taurus!

HARVEST: The Magic of the Moon is on sale now! 

Traditionally, the Venusian splendor of Taurus season can be felt in classic love songs and poems. In less tense conditions, charming verses about the Merry Month of May might qualify as an appropriate seasonal evocation. But this week, with Pluto and Saturn retrograde in Capricorn, only a selection from Baudelaire’s Flowers of Evil can really capture the mood.

On evenings lit by the glowing coal-fire

and evenings on the balcony, veiled with pink mist…

The great French poet, Charles Baudelaire, is considered to be one of the most influential writers of the 19th century. His most important collection of poems, Flowers of Evil, was published in 1857. At the time, this book was largely viewed as being obscene, due to its frequent moments erotic darkness and intensity.

In honor of the New Moon in Taurus, Baudelaire’s The Balcony offers a delicious and melting accompaniment to this week’s planetary influences.  

The Balcony was written as an ode to Baudelaire’s muse and mistress of twenty years, Jeanne Duval whom he called “Vénus Noire”. In this poem, he beautifully conjures the spirit and soul of romantic love and eroticism with sense memory.The Balcony is exquisite, warm-blooded and aroused from beginning to end. In the first line, the poet asks his mistress, “mother of memories,” to remember the sweetness of caresses in the warmth of dim evenings. The poem is achingly intimate, echoing the image of sunset where darkness envelops the light as the lovers envelop one another.

The night would thicken like a wall around us…

The pulse of Baudelaire’s lover can almost be felt, as every one of the senses is aroused. She is remembered for her softness…

how soft your breast was…

…the sound of her voice…

we said imperishable things…

… the scent of her blood…

I thought I was breathing the fragrance of your blood…

…her eyes in the dark…

and in the dark my eyes would make out yours…

…the taste of her breath…

and I would drink your breath, oh sweetness, oh poison!

Baudelaire’s long nights with Vénus Noire were like fragrant flowers, bloomed and perished. But the ecstasies they contained were never lost, retaining great life and power through memory. In the conclusion of the poem, Baudelaire declares that with the power of memory…

I know how to evoke the moments of happiness!

And like the fair youth of Shakespeare’s sonnets, Baudelaire’s Vénus Noire will live forever in poetry.

Will those sweet words, those perfumes, those infinite kisses

be reborn from a chasm deeper than we may fathom

like suns that rise rejuvenated into the sky

after cleansing themselves in the oceans’ depths?

Monday/Tuesday: All My Pleasures and All My Duties

On Monday, Saturn stations retrograde in Capricorn which will remain in effect until September 18th. Though there is always something heavy and grim about Saturnian influence, the truth is that this five-month retrograde period happens every year. There is nothing to be afraid of.

The function of Saturn retrograde periods are to test the integrity of the foundations your life is built upon. It is often said that Saturn Retrogrades are periods for karmic payback.

This kind of language tends to evoke fears about retribution for one’s inadequacies or shortcomings. Rather than thinking of this as cosmic discipline and punishment, consider Saturn retrogrades as being a deep meditation on the consequences of your actions, choices, and habits. Whatever you have been doing successfully will be greatly rewarded. And as you reflect upon your weak points, you can adjust your priorities.

On Tuesday, Mercury in the quick bright placement of Aries will be halted by a square with retrograde Saturn. This may arrive as difficult news that seems to stop things in their tracks. This square will also require that you focus upon the consequences of what you say. With close examination, carefully observe how your words affect others.

Wednesday/Thursday: The Night Would Thicken Like a Wall

On Wednesday, Mercury will square Pluto in Capricorn and trine Jupiter in Sagittarius. Your mind has already become more serious from Saturn’s influence. But with tension from Pluto, your thoughts will become penetrating and intuitive. You will feel an instinct for truth, seeing through deception and following invisible trails all the way back to the answers you seek. Under this influence, secrets and mysteries tend to bubble to the surface.

And with the trine from Jupiter, you will feel guided by a light at the end of the tunnel. A largely optimistic sense of destiny will rescue you from despair and you may receive a message that reminds you that you are on the right path.

Friday/Saturday/Sunday: Moments of Happiness!

On Saturday, the Sun and Moon will conjoin, ushering in an especially fertile cycle of creative and emotional energies. The New Moon is exalted in Taurus, suffusing your dreams with an especially radiant glow. For as much as the Moon has an affinity with shape-shifting water, (its natural element) it is within solid earth and definite form (Taurus) that the Moon finds her most ecstatic pleasures.

In Taurus, the wavering light calms, the shifting sand solidifies, and the Moon receives the vision of form within dimension, eternally flooded by sensate intelligence. This New Moon in Taurus will breathe new life into the Earth, relishing the touch, taste and feeling everything.

The New Moon in Taurus will sextile Neptune in Pisces, opening you up to mystical experience and communion with the Muse. This will summon the power of imagination to vivify and beautify the external world. On a New Moon such as this, you might find that long dormant aspects of the psyche suddenly come to life, giving you visions of possibility, paradox, and Paradise.

The Moon in Taurus is the most potent time of the year for Moon magic! To learn how to make the most of this moment, check out my super popular mini-class HARVEST: The Magic of the Moon!

Over the weekend, Mars in Gemini will also be opposed to Jupiter in Sagittarius. This is a stimulating energy that will start to germinate whatever seeds of intention were planted at the New Moon.

When Mars and Jupiter aspect each other, a rushing wave of confidence and optimism is stirred. Acknowledge that no matter what how the planets are entangled, the background hum of Taurus season is supremely luscious and beautiful.

Even amidst the tension, don’t forget to luxuriate in the gifts of the season. The Venusian realm of Taurus is the time for…

“…sweet words, oh perfumes, oh infinite kisses!”


all paintings by Édouard Manet