With the Autumn Equinox now behind us we have entered the third quarter of the astrological year. Nights become longer than the days and if we choose to, we can follow natures rhythm as she begins to draw her energy inwards for the approaching Winter Solstice. We have only two more New Moons before the Midwinter Festival when the days begin to draw out again. Such are the cycles, rhythms and patterns of the astrological year. The solar cycle of around 365 days and the lunar cycle of about 28 days are the most commonly observed, but each of the planets has their own cycle and they intersect at regular and predictable points in time. Venus takes around 584 (1.6 years) to complete her synodic cycle. The much slower moving Saturn takes around 28 years to complete his journey through the Zodiac taking roughly 2.5 years in each sign. He entered Virgo in early September. Venus now enters Virgo again on October 8 and catches up with Saturn on October 14 forming a conjunction which happens in Virgo only every 28 years of course. This month it occurs within a few days of the New Moon in Venus ruled Libra creating a strong emphasis on the area of relationships. That’s our relationship with all that we value, not only with each other. Loving Venus has to face up to her responsibilities when she encounters stern Saturn. She can become fearful of commitment or seem cool and distant for a while. In Virgo especially she is aware of the smaller details and wants perfection so she could also seem critical. Give yourself and those around you the opportunity over the next few weeks to re-consider what your relationships are really about. Are we taking responsibility for our choices? Who we spend time with, what we strive for, the money that we earn, how we treat our environment, how we consider our neighbours, what gives us pleasure? These are all Venusian themes. Saturn teaches us what to truly value, sometimes by us having to let go of something for a while and sometimes by making it hard to win, but he always shows us what is actually worth the time and trouble if only we can make the effort. By the time the Moon has become full on October 26, Venus will have just opposed Uranus. This will give us the wake up or shake up we need to break away from any thing we hold dear for the wrong reasons. If you’ve been stuck in a rut or clinging to a habit through greed, fear or laziness then this is the time to move on to something more personally fulfilling and everyone will see the benefits as a result.