Monday, February 09, 2009

The Sun/Mercury/Venus Triad

A commenter on one of last week's posts asked me a question about Sun, Mercury and Venus, and their relative positions within a natal chart. The query had me searching my archives, for I felt sure I'd posted on the topic more than once. It seems I must have abandoned potential posts on the topic - probably for want of clarity on my part. I know for sure that I'd intended to write about this!

What I did find, on my WordPad, was a copy of part of an interesting article touching on this subject. It came from what now appears to be a defunct website: Having saved the URL I failed make a note of the author's name, which is very unfortunate. I apologise profusely to him/her for the omission, as I now copy part of their piece.

I have the feeling that enough attention isn't always given to the "triumvirate" of Sun/Mercury/Venus in a natal chart. While it's not as important as that other triad Sun/Moon/Ascendant, I think there's still much significance in the way this secondary Big Three are configured. There is a limited, but still quite varied, number of positions in which these planets can appear in a natal chart.

Because the orbits of Mercury and Venus lie within Earth's orbit, Mercury can never be more than 28 zodiacal degrees from the Sun (either in the same sign as the Sun or one sign before or after it); Venus can never be more than 48 degrees from Sun (in the same sign, or up to two signs before/after).

In my own chart, for instance, the three bodies are found in three different signs - Aquarius/Capricorn/Sagittarius - a configuration categorized in the article below as "Dissonance" - not necessarily a bad thing though, according to the author.

The article follows. If a passing reader is aware of the author's name, or new website address, do, please let me know via comments. Thanks.

"The Sun is the life force of a horoscope, the conceptual furnace that reaches out and draws us into the warmth it projects. It is our purpose in life, supported by the more immediate need of the Moon. The Moon we know well, yet at the Sun we become.
But there are two planets in particular we look to in astrology that aid the Sun more intimately in many ways – Mercury and Venus. All together, the Sun, Mercury and Venus represent a crucially-important triad in the birth chart. In ancient Rome we would call such a triad a ‘triumvirate’ – a ruling council of three men. The first triumvirate ever included Cnaeus Pompey, a top general, Marcus Crassus, a wealthy citizen and Julius Caesar, an ambitious politician. Together, they ruled Rome until individual, personal ambitions emerged to create problems.

In astrology, Mercury and Venus can never be far from the Sun. It is an astronomical reality that Mercury can never stray more than one sign, either side, away from the same sign the Sun is in. Venus can (but rarely does) jump out of this same boundary to inch itself into even one sign beyond. But they are bound by this reality. Let’s think about what this means, astrologically, this tightness of relationship to each other and apply it to lives lived. As we go along, think about your own chart and how this synthesis applies to your own life.

When all three planets are aligned in the same sign, the same archetype is being pressed into consciousness through our ego and core energy, our mind and our social antennae. There is a unified approach to life, a path and purpose that seems sure and right, whether or not this matches up with reality. For instance, consider the sign Pisces. With all three of these bodies in Pisces, there would be a deep-seated focus on things that can help one transcend – intense creativity, for instance. There is no doubt this theme means something to a Pisces. This is because the Pisces Sun is buttressed by Mercury and Venus. All together, they support a defining structure.
Those who have the Sun, Mercury and Venus in the same sign seem to have a strength of purpose – a focus that doesn’t waver as easily as those who have the three bodies in more than one sign. Certainly, this is not a value judgement. Consider that strength of purpose can also easily turn into willful stubbornness and intractability. It is what one does atural ability to stay focussed that counts. Let’s look at an example

To review, ‘harmony’ through the Sun, Mercury and Venus in the same sign simply means the same message, the same energy, is being pumped through the core of an individual. How one chooses to respond to this energy and message is what is at stake on an ongoing basis. When one acts with determination and focus, does he or she still retain the strength of will to change gears when necessary and see other possibilities? This is what will determine successful use of these energies.

Outside of harmony, there is discord. We might consider the astrological imprint of the Sun and Mercury or Venus in one sign but the third planet in a second sign as an example of discord. For instance, Sun and Mercury in Aries but Venus in Pisces. The Sun and Mercury are symbolizing ‘me first’ kind of energies in this example. There is courage and a willingness to engage the world in a fiery kind of way. Venus, though, as the social antennae, splashes some water on this notion and will react and behave differently than the Sun and Mercury. Of course, only one human being is being discussed here in the long run, and that person needs to assimilate energies that are fundamentally different. Consider Caesar with only the support of one partner. In the case above, only the wealthy Crassus supports him without question but Pompey, the general, does not – at least not with additional work.
Of course, let us realize this can be done, this assimilation of energies that are different. People do it every day – millions who go about their business. Some people may or may not be conscious of the subtle and not-so-subtle energies that pull and prod until we make choices and define who we are in the process. We are calling it ‘discord’ to create an image in our minds of two energies that work together while the third, renegade energy has to negotiate with the others every time a decision needs to be made! In the same example, the ego (Sun) is feeling the swell of Aries pride and the mind (Mercury) races on ahead with it, completely ready to wade into a crowd of people and talk about anything. Meanwhile, the social antennae indicator (Venus) is putting on the brakes. "Well, maybe I’ll just float about in the corner and see if anyone notices me instead." Venus won’t win all the time. But the fact is, it’s a constant mini battle to understand oneself and ones motivations.

Three planets in three different signs I refer to as dissonance. Again, this is simply a descriptive word to understand symbols that are fundamentally different, all calling out for different needs to be fulfilled. Instead of one voice acting as the lone renegade, we now have three voices all trying to run the show, with the Sun calling out for most of the attention. It is Caesar trying to lead (one’s Sun) without Crassus or Pompey working alongside– of course it can be done, but it demands adjustment. For the person with this sort of dissonance, the adjustment is a lifelong work-in-progress but should be increasingly easier with growing self-awareness.
To review, let us be clear that the idea of dissonance to describe three different themes of expression is merely a different path to potential success. Just as we learned harmony of thought and intent can be a mixed blessing, dissonance between the Sun, Mercury and Venus is no different. Value judgements must be left at the altar of personal choice.

The Last Say
The politics of ancient Rome was a tricky business. As Caesar's military successes aroused Pompey's jealousy, the death of Crassus on top of this pushed history’s first Triumvirate to an end. Pompey and Caesar then set against each other in a bloody civil war.
The Sun, Mercury and Venus are a lot like the symbols of the ancient triumvirate in Rome, in many ways. But in our own internal ruling council, we have the last say. We get to determine our own fates, to avoid the chaos competing energies can bring. We have the free will to quash an inner civil war, to realize with grace that reaching the warm light of our Sun is the destination all energies must share."

While on the subject of Mercury and Venus - there are two more articles, these by Michael R. Meyer, which might be of interest to readers: "The Four Faces of Mercury" and "Venus, Morning Star, Evening Star" by Michael R. Meyer. The articles discuss the cycles of Mercury and Venus in some detail.


Wisewebwoman said...

I sometimes wonder about the dissonance I have had to deal with and also some of my friends who are bipolar.Very good post, T.
There's an award for you over at my place..

Twilight said...

WWW ~~~ I had a quick look at your chart - Your Mercury and Venus are in the same sign as each other, but different from your Sun, so in the categories listed here that's classed as "Discord".

In your natal chart generally though, I think there's more of a conflict between Sun Moon Ascendant signs - Leo Sun in challenge with two signs with very diffferent traits - but you seem to have blended and kneeded them well together - like a delicious loaf of home-made bread. ;-)

Oh - thank you so much for the Award! - As I've said on your site, I'm a Scribbler for sure, the other part is much less certain! But it is very much appreciated that someone thinks it appropriate :-) It's now on my sidebar.

Poet_Girl said...

This is great, Twilight -- thanks for the post!

I also have 'dissonance,' the 3 planets spanning 3 signs: Pisces Mercury, Aries Sun, Taurus Venus. To make it more interesting, their placement is across the 12th h/ascendant/1st house, and I feel it.

It's the push and pull between Pisces/Neptune energy (that makes me low-key, prone to sometimes withdraw, yielding to others, the urge to merge rather than differentiate) and Aries/Mars/Ascendant energy (self-assertion, ME FIRST!, I'm the best/first/seeking ego recognition, taking action).

I always seem to be vacillating between either acting, or allowing things to happen in a more mystical/spiritual way. Then Venus in Taurus is in there too, where sometimes I prefer to 'seduce' or attract things to me, rather than go out like a warrior and hunt it down.

It can be challenge to keep up with the shifting drives of all these energies....

I will look at the other links as well; thanks again!

Twilight said...

Poet Girl ~~ Glad you found it interesting.

I think this topic would be an interesting one upon which to do some research among friends, relatives, colleagues etc.

I like my dissonant mix, Aquarius and Sagittarius complement each other quite will, and Capricorn and Aquarius have things in common due to their being traditionally both ruled by Saturn - so perhaps it's a better and less dissonant grouping than some others could be.

My husband's mix is similar to yours - Aries/Pisces/Taurus. Pisces and Taurus are fairly compatible, Aries is very different. Yes, I can see how this emerges in his case! :-)

Genesis said...

Just Curious.
Can you predict the features of a person who's Sun, Mercury and Venus all three located on the 1st House.

Twilight said...

Hi Genesis ~~~ I very much doubt it. I'm a bit wary of linking appearance to astrology, generally

I have noticed though that people with lots of Gemini tend to be thin, wiry, while Taurus emphasised in a chart often gives a sturdy body type. Capricorn strong in a chart in males quite often gives an angular long face. Those are the only features I've noticed so far as being fairly common.

So, if a person had Gemini rising with the triad all in 1st house - I'd guess the person might be skinny - Mercurial, always on the move. If Taurus rising with three Taurus planets a stocky build and so on.

Appearance, features in particular, are so much ruled by family and genetics though, that it's really just about impossible to be sure about anything astrological regarding a person's looks, in my opinion. :-)

Anonymous said...

venus mars mercury sun in 11th house presently venis mahadasa is running is this dasa good or bad

Twilight said...

Anonymous ~~ Sorry, I don't know the answer. I haven't studied Vedic astrology.