For years – decades even – I have grabbed my red, tattered American Ephemeris to look up planetary movement and see what humankind was up to. My first volume was reduced to a tattered wreck, and now my second volume also looks the worse for wear. But now I suddenly find myself grabbing a slender blue volume which is the American Ephemeris for the first fifty years of the new century. It may be true that the new millennium started last year, but – in Ephemeris time – it starts on January 1st, 2001. For the astrologer, and his or her new ephemeris, that is when the Space Odyssey begins.

The Planetary Waltz
And it begins well. January 2001 is one of those good months… the start of many good months. It is a time when Mars and Venus finally make a trine to each other, after struggling through a disharmonious square, with Mars in detriment in Libra and Venus slogging away in Capricorn in November/December 2000. In January, Mars is well-placed in the sign it traditionally rules – Scorpio – whilst Venus is exalted in Pisces. The trine takes place at 14° Pisces/Scorpio on January 17th, and this is going to make a lot of people happy. Looking at the trine from a sunsign point of view, those signs ruled by Mars and Venus will reap the benefits from this January trine:

With Mars in the solar 8th house, trine Venus in the solar 12th, this is a great combination for the inner life… especially connected with psychology and healing. There will probably be financial benefits through a partner, who is quite willing to sacrifice personal gain to make Aries feel more secure.
With Mars in the solar first house, trine Venus in the solar 5th, this is going to be a great month for creativity, romance and seduction… and also for procreation. Scorpio is going to be powerfully magnetised, and Venus will be unable to resist. Mind you, Venus in Pisces delivers goods which are more spiritual than physical.
With its ruler, Venus, in the solar 11th house, trine Mars in the solar 7th, this is a wonderful time for meeting refined people who nourish the soul. Potential partners can be found a social gatherings, and they will be powerful, dark and deep. There will be an inclination to give things up for the sake of the loved one.
With Venus in the solar 6th house, trine Mars in the 2nd, this should be a great month for the economy and working environment. A combination of luck and effort can mean radical financial improvement. Restructuring at work can result in a favourable new economic situation.

See chart for January 17th 2001

Dignity and Fall

Generally speaking Mars/Venus trines will bring harmony in relationships, and the practising astrologer will find clients coming in this period enjoying happy romances and fulfilling sexual lives. What kind of relationships these are depends on the sign positions of Mars and Venus, but if they are well placed, then it is likely that the people in question will comport themselves with dignity. If Mars were weakly placed, for example in Libra, and then trine a Venus in Gemini, it is far more likely that the relationship would be a looser affair, with naughty Mars enjoying the benefits of Venus dallying with more than one partner. The January 2001 trine has an extremely refined nature, and will be excellent for artistic and spiritual endeavour.

Libra Pluto and Passion

On closer inspection it can be seen that on January 17th when Venus trines Mars, it also squares Pluto… all at 14 degrees. This will affect everyone with planets at this position of any sign. Because of this 3-planet combination, January 17th now becomes a hotspot. When Venus actually squares Pluto, she will be in crisis, so what might happen? One scenario is the situation of an idealised woman who encounters major crisis, abandoning old relationships characterised by sacrifice, whilst embracing a new deeply rewarding bond, which is erotic and emotional. This planetary combination indicates the risk of destruction for the sake of love. There will be people who are prepared to break taboos to enjoy forbidden pleasures. Therefore it is extremely likely that there will be a sexual scandal at this time, with echoes of the Duke of Windsor/Mrs Simpson scandal of 1936.

Pluto and Passion

Another interesting hotspot takes place in February, when Mercury goes direct after going retrograde at 0 Pisces on February 4th. It goes stationary direct at 15° Aquarius, and at this moment, Venus reaches 15° Aries. It is as if Mercury does everything it can to give Venus a helping hand. A sextile between Mercury and Venus is something of a rarity, as both planets are generally very close to the Sun, and therefore close to each other. This sextile shows the optimum harmonisation of aesthetics with ideas. Mercury thrives in the experimental atmosphere of Aquarius, though Venus is in detriment in Aries. What this means is that the natural tendency to harmony and bonding associated with Venus is compromised by the Aries need to be independent and free. What actually happens at Mercury’s station on February 25th as it sextiles Venus, is that it also sextile Pluto at 15° Sagittarius.

See chart for February 2001

What we are likely to see at this time is something in the nature of an intelligent woman finally becoming independent of bonds from the past. The collective scenario will show powerful female icons emerging as independent leaders in some way. There is an element of genius in this influence, particularly because Mercury in Aquarius conjoins Uranus three times. It’s a kind of Hillary Clinton influence. On a general level it a great period for pioneering ventures – especially connected with the Internet.

A Spring of Romance

It is extraordinary to see that as retrograde Mercury slows to pick up Venus, Venus itself slows down, going retrograde at 17° Aries, before turning direct at 1° Aries on April 20th. First this means that the Mercury/Venus sextile lingers from February 25th to early March, and secondly it so happens that Venus goes back to trine Mars again, this time from Aries to Sagittarius. This trine happens at 15° and again activates Pluto, now at 15° Sagittarius, suggesting a follow-up to the romantic, creative, spiritual or sexual events of January. The date for this extraordinary repeat is around March 19th. The Mars/Venus trine in March shows Mars conjoining Pluto, and therefore extremely powerful. Here Mars shakes itself free of all bonds, asserting its right to free speech, and claiming allegiance with independent Venus in Aries. It’s a fiery bond of passion which threatens to burn both planets up. Translated into real life, it”s a kind of breakthrough for Romance and Love, not just on a personal level but permeating all spheres of life: media, film, stars, creativity, children, play.

The Mars/Venus waltz

See graph for Mars and Venus positions

In an extraordinary and magnificent dance, as Venus turns direct in April, Mars wavers and finally goes retrograde in May, so that the trine repeats yet again. The great waltz between Mars and Venus is like this: 1. January 17th , at 14° with Mars in Scorpio and Venus in Pisces.
2. March 19th, at 15° with Mars in Sagittarius and Venus retrograde in Aries.
3. June 2nd, at 26° with Mars now retrograding in Sagittarius trining Venus direct in Aries.
4. October 1st, at 12° with Mars in Capricorn and Venus in Virgo. Normally an Mars/Venus trine can be expected about once a year but in 2001 the trine takes place four times.

This repeat trine of Mars and Venus – from the same signs and within 10 weeks of each other is extremely rare. Four trines in one year almost unheard of. What months of excitement the Spring of 2001 will be! There are going to be incredible stories to be told. Imagine the meetings and separations that will take place. What enormous hopes will quicken the hearts of lovers with the Fire sign trine. With Venus moving retrograde the meeting with Mars will be fast and dramatic, but both parties will be going their separate ways. Later in early June, Mars will return to pick up Venus, but again they will be going in opposite directions. What kinds of bonds can be cemented at this time? Perhaps it will not be before October when the Earth sign trine takes place at a leisurely pace, with both planets moving direct, that concrete results will manifest themselves, and practical achievements attained.

An Erotic Embrace

There are other planetary dramas that take place in 2001 – notably the opposition between Saturn and Pluto (which stretches on into 2002) – but there is little doubt that it is Mars and Venus who steal the centre stage early in the year. These two planets have an enormous appetite for life and love, and desires burn strong. When Mars and Venus meet, they mate. There are rarely very strong moral restraints… the chemistry is simply too strong. Because Pluto plays such a strong role in the first two trines of the year, man and woman will be drawn together like moths to a flame. There will be a fated element to attractions at this time, and desire will overpower will, with little fear of consequences. Whilst the loves of January are secret (Scorpio) and unrequited (Pisces), the fiery romances of the Spring are broadcast to the whole world. Impulses (Aries) will be impossible to resist, and many a love-child will spring forth.

Love and how to Handle it

Quite apart from the personal romantic developments, this will also be a period of high idealism, where brave men and women will cut through the cobwebs of resistance to initiate lasting situation which can have a long term effect on peace, for example in places like Northern Ireland. If you want to make the most of the enormous creative power latent in this dance between Mars and Venus, it is a question of launching yourself into ventures in which you believe, and carrying them through with sheer enthusiasm and self-belief. If the will is strong, and the heart is in the right place, then you can reap the benefits of the magical year of 2001 – and embark on your own Space Odyssey

Adrian Ross Duncan