by Nan DeGrove

Venus-Jupiter Conjunction—July 1, 2015
Full moon in Capricorn—July 1, 2015—8:19 p.m. MDT

The beauty of Venus and Jupiter that graces the evening sky this month is shared by people all over the world. The planets illuminate the evening skies over Washington as well as the refugee camps of South Sudan and Syria: night lights for a scary world. Their brilliance is there for all to see, and perhaps experience on a more subtle level, through dreams, visions, romantic longing or creative inspiration. With darkness and hatred stalking through the land, it’s easy to fall into numbness and despair, but the conjunction of these planets, coming in concert with the full moon, call us to a higher purpose: to shelter a flame of kindness and compassion in these dark times. The hearts of stone were turned to gold in Charleston, South Carolina, recently, with the testimonies of the families of those slain in the Mother Emanuel Church. Hearts opened in the midst of grief: a passion play for the world community, a catharsis out of the deepest tragedy.

Nan poppies

The Heart’s Call

Leo is the sign of the heart: the physical as well as the emotional and spiritual heart. This full moon, though it falls in stony Capricorn, and illuminates the dark Plutonian recesses of the soul (full moon is conjunct Pluto), is all about the heart, and the values of empathy, mercy, courage, tenderness and beauty. Humanity is experiencing a crisis of the missing heart. Our times are dominated by a cold rationality; we are told that our brains are computers and robots can out think us anyway. Ancient wisdom teaches that the heart is the seat of judgement. Venus and Jupiter — the Beautiful and the Good — will remain within ten degrees of each other through mid-August, and make two more exact conjunctions ( August 4th at 29 Leo, and October 25th at 16 Virgo).

In addition, Venus turns retrograde at the first degree of Virgo on July 25th, re-enters Leo on August 1st, and turns direct in Leo, September 6th. So we are on a pilgrimage over the months ahead — a pilgrimage to find the sacred heart, and to build, where and how we may, little altars to light the way for others.

Eastern Orthodox icon of the Sacred  Heart of Jesus

Eastern Orthodox icon of the Sacred Heart of Jesus

“The heart is an organ of fire…” Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient

Venus and Jupiter are bright and easily visible in the western sky after dark.

I will continue to write about this over the next few months.

Nan De Grove is a gardener, painter and astrologer. She writes the monthly full-moon column for The Lore of the Garden, as well as other occasional contributions. She can be reached at