The Erotic as Power: Venus, Mars, and Eris at the Aries New Moon


Here we see Mars (at the very top of the image), Venus (the brightest), Regulus, and Mercury in a western sky at sunset.

Here we see Mars (at the very top of the image), Venus (the brightest), Regulus, and Mercury in a western sky at sunset.

The Aries New Moon at 5:36 a.m. (U.S. EDT) on Wednesday brings the  fieriest seed energy for new beginnings of the entire year.  This is where the energy of our own personal spring is to be found.  Wherever this New Moon falls in our own birth chart is where we can break new ground.

This new moon, drenched in the energy of the beginning, is ruled by Mars.  He’s just two degrees away from the Sun and the Moon–and . just one degree away from Venus and Eris.

Venus is on one side of the Warrior.  Eris, the dwarf planet discovered in 2005, is on the other.  These three carry the energy of what and how we love. As part of a five-planet conjunction in Aries, they’re a signal that this isn’t a surface change.  It’s going all the way to the roots.

The Dwarf Planet Eris and the Discarded Self

The most recently discovered member of the community of the zodiac, Eris represents the discarded self.  She’s that essential and fundamental part of our identity that is at odds with prevailing power relationships, within us and around us.  The status quo doesn’t want her around.  She’s the part of ourselves we  turn away from.  As long as we do, we exist in a fragmented state, feeding the fragmentation of an increasingly imperiled world.

Merging her vibrations with Mars and Venus at this Aries New Moon, Eris gives us the opportunity for  re-do.  She gives us the chance to heal what is fragmented within us–and change our lives.

Mars, Venus, and the Power of the Erotic

Venus and Mars had already been working on this for nearly half a century when Eris was discovered.  Their conjunction in 19 degrees of Aries last week-end was the epicenter of a 100-year period of redefining their relationship.  it’s a redo between men and women, although you don’t have to look long to see that going on.  Even more far-reaching is the re-do that’s happening between Venus and Mars within us. 

When Venus and Mars meet up with just about any other energy, the result is saturated with the erotic. With Mars, erotic passion can easily turn into aggression.  With Venus, it can become acquisition. The core, driving energy can only be described by one word: erotic.


Venus understands the erotic the way that a mid-20th-century philosopher named Norman O. Brown did.  For Brown, the erotic was not limited only to sex. It flowed through everything.   It was a way of being completely alive.

Love’s Body, the book Brown wrote in 1966 about this erotic relationship with life, became a best-seller.  It told us that what we’re touching at every moment—with our minds, our hearts, our eyes, and our skin–is the Universe,  “the body of the cosmic.”

To live this way, of course, would immediately shrink the market for mass-produced substitutes for this state of erotic bliss.  Think about it.  If you know that you can touch the body of the cosmic in every moment, why do you need alcohol, cigarettes, anti-depressants,  sugar in everything you eat, endless choices of non-stop television, bigger and better houses, gadgets, cars …?  You get the picture.  An entire world would have to change.

That’s why the late Caribbean-American poet Audre Lorde wrote about “The Erotic as Power.”  The power she was talking about was our innate cosmic power.  This is not power in the corrupt sense that’s all too familiar, the ability to dominate others.  This is the ability to “acutely and fully” feel all that we do.  It’s the power to fully come alive.  

The 100-Year Relationship Re-Do

Until 1960, the cycles of Venus and Mars had repeated with mechanical precision for over 200 years.  Then, in 1960, the relationship between these two began to display a pattern of aberrations that continues for 100 years.  It was the first sign that something fundamental was changing in the cosmos and the world.

At the heart of the explosion of cultural creativity that we call the Renaissance was a re-definition of the relationship between Venus and Mars.

At the heart of the explosion of cultural creativity that we call the Renaissance was a re-definition of the relationship between Venus and Mars.

As he wrote in a 2010 blog post in The Mountain Astrologer, the late Robert Blaschke believed that in 1960, Mars and Venus began a period of profound transmutation in the relationship between women and men.  History has certainly borne him out.

Venus, Mars, and the Passion Inside You

Mars and Venus, however, do not only exist between us.  They exist within us.  As powerful as the transformation between men and women has been over the last 50 years, it’s been accompanied by another, even more profound. This change is occuring within each one of us, in the relationship between the masculine consciousness represented by Mars and the feminine consciousness represented by Venus.  

You can see it happening in the work that yoginis throughout the world are doing through the Awakening Woman Institute, led by Chameli Ardagh.   You can see it in the contemporary women whose lives are chronicled in Dakini Power: Extraordinary Women Shaping the Transmission of Buddhism in the West, the 2013 book that honors the Tibetan Buddhist tradition of female wisdom messengers. If you look, you can see it in your own life and those of the women (and men) that you love most.

This shift parallels the long-foretold return of the Cosmic Feminine to human consciousness.  Energetically, it is signaled by the entry of the great star Regulus into Virgo, the ancient mystery sign of Isis and Persephone

It’s hot, creative energy, and it’s beginning something profoundly new—not just in  you, but in our world. Tomorrow, on the day of the New Moon, we’ll begin to dream that into being by taking a look at the history of these two and their world-changing passion.