Thinking about the upcoming square (in a couple days) between Venus in Sagittarius and Neptune in Pisces, the image that came to mind is of spending an evening with an old friend, getting a little bored, finding something to smoke or drink that takes away the ennui and spending the evening in activities you never planned and had never experienced.
That’s the Venus/Sagittarius/Neptune/Pisces portion of the image.
The aspect, the square, comes the next morning when you wake from your time in between worlds and turn over to find your friend has departed.
And you don’t mind.
You know that kind of experience doesn’t happen in the real world. You let it go, knowing that the only way it will ever occur again is if you let it go and keep the doors open in case it ever passes by again.
Post-image, I wondered who had this interesting aspect in his/her chart. Neptune, as you know my good friends, has a rather long cycle – 164 years or so. Finding a person with this aspect means ripping through the veil of time.
I happen to have a copy of “The Circle Book of Charts” lying around. If you know what that book is, you might also have Neptune in Pisces square Venus in your chart . . .
Perusing the book, I simply was looking for the appropriate time period for Neptune when it was last in Pisces. That time was the mid-1850s and, no surprise to the astrologers in the room, I happened upon many an artist or writer – including two of my favorites.
Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin
French painters Vincent van Gogh and Paul Gauguin were born when Neptune was last in Pisces. Neither has Venus in Sagittarius, but Van Gogh had moon and Jupiter in Sagittarius while Gauguin had Venus in Gemini, which is opposite Sagittarius and also makes a square to Neptune.
Van Gogh is more well-known, I think, than Gauguin, famous not only as an artist but for having psychological problems that led him to cut off his own ear (or did he?).
Both Van Gogh and Gauguin tried to live a mid-19th century “normal” life. When Neptune is strong in the horoscope, the prevailing normal is a long hallway that stretches into infinity as you walk through it.
Van Gogh and Gauguin both found their way to Neptune through art but from different motivations.
According to the www.vggallery.com site, Van Gogh studied theology but was not able to earn a place in the religious structure. His true sympathy or empathy or compassion for others led him to give away his possessions to the peasants he painted. Van Gogh’s motivations appear genuine which corresponded to the fragile emotional state that accompanies the Pisces habit of absorbing the feelings of others.
Gauguin, in contrast, was married with five children pursuing a business life. When that life failed him, he ran away to Tahiti.
In 1891, Gauguin, frustrated by lack of recognition at home and financially destitute, sailed to the tropics to escape European civilization and “everything that is artificial and conventional.”
Gauguin’s desire to escape the “artificial and conventional” rings of air-sign sensibility. The contrarian must know what his is opposed to and I find air is actually over-involved in the affairs, activities and affectations of their fellow men. You wear a yellow hat because your roommate swiped yours but to an air sign you’re making a Yellow-Hat Statement.
Air is the space between the energy of the thing and the idea of the thing.
Van Gogh’s Sagittarius/Pisces had thin boundaries, was psychological rice paper. Gauguin’s Gemini/Pisces was making a rational decision to flee into Neptune.
About the ear . . .
Legend has it that Van Gogh, in a fit of madness, cut off his own ear.
Art historians have never been able to leave the ear alone and recent research suggests that Gauguin might have actually cut off Van Gogh’s ear during a fight.
Van Gogh and Gauguin were friends in a volatile relationship. With every mutable sign in the zodiac in their combined charts, that’s to be expected.
Gauguin had a mutable T-square of Venus/sun in Gemini, moon in Virgo and Saturn/Neptune in Pisces.
Van Gogh had sun in cardinal Aries, but moon/Jupiter in mutable Sagittarius and Neptune/Mars/Venus in Pisces. Aries alone is a pistol. Add fiery, mutable Sagittarius into the mix and the temper is extreme. Luckily Van Gogh didn’t live in this time of traffic lights. He’d be the one behind you honking the minute the light turned green.
While Van Gogh is seen as the crazy one, Gauguin’s moon in Virgo can think itself into a ridiculous frenzy with Gemini adding additional details and Pisces contributing some irrational fears. Possibly some of Gauguin’s crazy was projected onto Van Gogh?
What fun it would be, though, to be a fly on the absinthe café wall during a meeting of these two artists, filled to excess with Neptune and Jupiter and Sagittarius and flights of imagination that could be more thrilling than any the 20th century bout of adventure tourism.
So you want to feel like van Gogh?
You’ll have your chance to feel a little “Van Gogh” this Thursday, October 10. Get your brushes and oil paints ready and leave the door open for a passing friend, carrying absinthe, who has an unusual idea for the evening.