In the night sky in June many of you will have noticed two bright lights, dazzling in their brilliance, slowly coming closer together. These are the planets Venus and Jupiter, known collectively in traditional astrology as the benefics as they signify that which is fruitful, bountiful, powerful, beautiful and inspiring. They are visible in the west-northwest shortly after nightfall.
As Venus moves faster than Jupiter, she will pass Jupiter and on the nights of 30th June and 1st July and will form the closest Venus-Jupiter conjunction for a while. We will not see one again until 27th August 2016. Both Venus and Jupiter are the third and fourth brightest celestial bodies after the Sun and the Moon and so they put on a magnificent show on their own but especially as a celestial pair. This pairing happens every 12-14months. What is special about the pairing this year is that it happens three times: 1st July, 4th August and 25th October. Also, the pairing happens in the tropical and sidereal sign of Leo, with the third hit in the middle degrees of tropical Virgo and Venus, once she passes the Sun, moves towards the fixed star, Regulus.
Regulus, the Watcher of the North, is one of the Royal stars of Persia, and can be seen above Jupiter as darkness descends. The conjunction occurs in the constellation of Leo and Regulus is the alpha star of this constellation. A few thousand years ago Leo was the constellation that marked the summer solstice in the northern hemisphere around 3000 BCE but with precession, the solstice has slipped into Cancer. Regulus is the only 1st magnitude star to sit almost squarely on the ecliptic. The name, Regulus derives from the Latin Rex which means ‘king’. Regulus is also known as the “heart of the lion” sitting as it does in the bosom of the constellation. The name literally means “the star of kings,” and has been associated over millennia with royalty and power, esteemed prominence, commanding presence, independence, outspokenness, and leadership.
The Venus-Jupiter conjunction has also been linked to the Star of Bethlehemas a similar triple conjunction in 2BCE also occurred in the same sign however Venus-Jupiter conjunctions do occur with frequent regularity, but triple conjunctions in the sign of Leo are reasonably rare. Over the last two thousand years the conjunction occurring between 22-29 Leo has only occurred nine times. The importance of the degree is that 29 Leo is its zodiacal longitude of Regulus but it has only recently ingressed into Virgo in 2012 having been in the tropical sign of Leo since 156 BCE.
With Regulus’s association with power, prominence and majesty, it is no wonder that the conjunction of Venus-Jupiter in Leo, together with Regulus has been associated with the birth of Christ, one of whose titles in Christendom is “king of kings”.
What does this portend in our world? The previous triple Venus-Jupiter conjunction was in 1991 but it occurred in the earlier degrees of Leo, and therefore a fair way from Regulus. To find the most recent Jupiter-Venus conjunction in later degrees, we need to go back to 1860 when the triple Jupiter-Venus conjunction occurred between 24 Cancer - 19 Leo. This period saw the rise to prominence of two men: Abraham Lincoln and Giuseppi Garibaldi . Lincoln was elected the 16th US President in 1860 and he saw the USA through one of its most divisive periods, the American Civil War.
Garibaldi was Italy’s revolutionary hero, playing an important role in the formation of a unified Italy. Both men have planets or angles at 22-24 Leo - Aquarius with Garibaldi having Venus at 24 Leo and Lincoln a Sun and Ascendant at 22-23 Aquarius. Both men lived out the Regulus promise of power, prominence and leadership. What is interesting in any triple conjunction of planets is that often then first ‘hit’ serves as the announcement, the second highlights the impact and the third ‘hit’ describes the effect. But what is the nature of the effect? Cancer is the exaltation of Jupiter and Venus is in her triplicity suggesting that the arrival of these two men in the public eye was cause for celebration or they came to prominence from obscurity. The next two hits in Leo, where Venus is in neutral dignity and Jupiter in triplicity suggests that they then are touched by the nature of Regulus which although it promises prominence and power through right action and uprightness, its nemesis is revenge; a warning that power has its temptations and there is always a price to pay. Regulus with Jupiter promises great success or a great struggle to avoid revenge.
Garibaldi although a successful soldier and acclaimed general, struggled to achieve an Italian republic not subject to the yoke of the Catholic Church. He suffered exile and incarceration but was eventually lauded as a hero of a unified Italy. Although betrayed at various times by the Italain Givernment he continued to fight for univerasal emancipation and Italian independence.
Lincoln’s election caused terrible divisions in the USA with southern states seceeeding from teh Union and triggering the American Civil War. Lincoln struggled to maintain the Union as he confronted Radical Republicans, who demanded harsher treatment of the South, War Democrats, who called for more compromise, anti-war Democrats, who despised him, and irreconcilable secessionists, who plotted his assassination. Politically, Lincoln fought back by pitting his opponents against each other, by carefully planned political patronage, and by appealing to the American people with his powers of oratory. His Gettysburg Address became an iconic endorsement of the principles of nationalism, republicanism, equal rights, liberty, and democracy.
It is interesting that Lincoln and Garibaldi were tied together by their idealism: at the outbreak of Civil War hostilities in 1861, Garibaldi volunteered his services to Lincoln and was offered a Major General's commission in the US Army. Garibaldi was ready to accept Lincoln's offer but on one condition: that the war's objective be declared as the abolition of slavery. At that stage Lincoln was unwilling to make such a statement lest he worsen an agricultural crisis. A year later on 6 August 1863, after the Emancipation Proclamation had been issued, Garibaldi wrote to Lincoln: "Posterity will call you the great emancipator, a more enviable title than any crown could be, and greater than any merely mundane treasure."
The current triple conjunction occurs at 21 and 28 Leo and 15 Virgo. In Leo, Jupiter is in its triplicity and Venus is neutral by dignity but in Virgo they turn from promise to negation as Virgo is the detriment of Jupiter and the fall of Venus. There are four world leaders who are drawn into this: the first is Queen Elizabeth II who has Neptune at 22 Leo opposing Mars-Jupiter at 20-22 Aquarius respectively, squaring Saturn at 24 Scorpio. The Venus-Jupiter pairing will trigger this T-square as it conjuncts the Neptune in the 8th house of crisis and change with consequences manifesting in her public life especially in her role as the senior member of the Royal family. Realistically, something may happen to Prince Phillip which places the Queen in a position where she may be forced to withdraw from public life on a temporary basis to begin with but which eventually becomes permanent. The detriment and fall are realised via the Saturn, the apex planet of the T square, posited in the 10th house of status.
Barrack Obama has the North Node and Uranus at 25-27 Leo in the 7th house suggesting that the conjunction highlights alliances, relationships and conflicts. This is Obama’s last year as US President and he has taken on congressional opponents in order to push through legislations such as universal medical care reforms, renewable energy and carbon reduction and trade agreements. It will be interesting to see how Hilary Clinton fares in her tilt for the White House as her Saturn at 21 Leo in the 3rd house is the prism through which the conjunction will be expressed in her life. Both will experience the outcome of their actions as detriments and falls with perhaps Obama taking on a non-conservative approach which sidesteps opponents and Hilary Clinton achieving some level of success but perhaps not quite her bid for the US Presidency.
David Cameron, the UK Prime Minister will experience the conjunction via his Mars in the 11th and he will definitely be a much harder and tougher leader after winning office in his own right and no longer having to pander to coalition partners. Additionally, the conjunction will hit the UK chart’s Saturn at 23 Leo, also in the nations’s 11th house, hinting at some changes to the Parliament and elected representatives or the rise to prominence of a new movement. Again, the outcomes may not be as promising especially if Cameron uses his position to gain leverage on opponents or the Parliament. There is always a price to pay for power.
In Australia, the conjunction will sit in the 2nd house of the Sydney Cove landing chart, opposing the nation’s Saturn in Aquarius in the 8th house. This is not a political chart but rather reflects the social mores and trends of the nation. There is a real question of priorities and values as expressed by the collective and how this translates into, and affects national wealth. The outcome will certainly be unexpected and perhaps divisive as they will be unpalatable to those who hold on to orthodox or conservative perspectives.
 Sky & Telescope Contributing Editor Fred Schaaf: This current trio of Venus-Jupiter conjunctions closely resembles a similar series in 3-2 BC that has been suggested as the Star of Bethlehem. "As has been the case in 2014–15," he explains, "the first two conjunctions back then were extremely close, the last one separated by about 1°, all three occurred not far from Regulus, and all were similarly high up in the sky." http://www.skyandtelescope.com/astronomy-news/observing-news/venus-and-jupiter-a-dazzling-duo-062520154/#sthash.hOU6jvLS.dpuf
 Abraham Lincoln data: 12 February 1809, Hodgekenville, KY, USA, 6:54am
 Giuseppe Garibaldi data: 4 July 1807, Nice, France, 12:00pm
 Jupiter rules Pisces which is opposite Virgo and a planet in the sign opposite its rulership is in detriment while Venus is exalted in Pisces and a planet in the sign opposite its exaltation, is in its fall.
 Queen Elizabeth II data: 21 April 1926, London, England, 2:40am.
 Barack Obama data: 4 August 1961, Honolulu, HW, USA, 7:24pm
 Hilary Clinton data: 26 October 1947, Chicago, IL, USA, 8:00pm.
 David Cameron data: 9 October 1966, London, 6:00am.
 United Kingdom chart: 1 January 1801, London, England, 12:00am.
 Sydney Cove Landing 26 January 1788, Sydney, 5:30pm. Source: Ship’s documents.