Mercury, Venus, Jupiter and the yods

There have been some interesting patterns in the skies recently, involving Venus, Mercury, Jupiter and Pluto and a number of other players and linking in to particular timings of events such as full and new moons and mercury’s station retrograde. These patterns involve a series of double interlocking yods.

A yod, sometimes called a finger of god, is formed by three bodies, two of which are at 60˚ to one another and so forming a sextile and the other is at 150˚ to each of those two planets, thereby making a long triangle between the three. The involvement of the two 150˚ angles, or inconjunct aspects makes this something of a tense pattern, but its very intensity promises some kind of movement, it has power, sometimes unforeseen or unexpected (that’s the influence of the inconjuncts) and sometimes building on the fertile ground of the sextile which almost serves as a launch pad from which to focus on the planet at the apex, or for the planet at the apex to funnel its energy.

Yods have been described by astrologers in a variety of ways, generally differing in whether the planet at the apex is considered to be receiving the energy of the other two, thereby being the focus of intense energy. Or whether the planet at the apex is considered to funnel intense energy out to the other two. In the first case the planets in sextile concentrate energy on the planet at the apex, thus bringing a powerful impetus for growth, change, transformation. In the second case the energy is almost forced through the apex planet and scattered onto the sextile, thus providing the potential of that sextile with the energy to fulfil itself. Either way, the intensely focused energy that goes to or comes from the apex planet gives the living out of this pattern a certain sense of being beyond our immediate control, of somehow being fated – hence its other name, the ‘finger of god’. Whilst the energies that make up the yod may be difficult to control, whilst they are flowing they are productive, bringing needed change and development to the apex planet and an input of energy to the sextile to enable it to be active and fulfil its potential. However, the very power of the energy being focused through the apex planet can have a different and far less productive manifestation – it can become projected onto the sextile and then bounced back, its impact turned back on itself as a result of its forcefulness. In such cases the energy of the yod becomes inert as the sextile doesn’t get the needed input in order to grow whilst the apex planet becomes locked in an internal cycle of projection and reflection that has no outlet beyond itself. This is where the frustration of the yod becomes most apparent, the energies of the apex planet are continually moving towards external impact which is never achieved whilst the sextile becomes a fairly passive, inert aspect with no ability to generate movement and productivity internally

In terms of the current planetary movements yods were some of the most visible aspect patterns in the chart of the recent full moon and impact in a significant way the relationship between Venus (who is still in her shadow), Mercury (who is shortly to turn retrograde) and Pluto, a key player in virtually all the significant aspects of the moment.

In this chart we see Mercury and Venus are in sextile aspect to one another. The aspect is still forming so the energy here is intensifying – a sextile is a harmonious aspect though so it’s an energy that has a certain light or easy quality about it – or a quality that is easily taken for granted or ignored. With Mercury and Venus the intention is for interactions to be harmonious, light, fun – cultured and articulate too, but nothing too disturbing or deep or controversial. The planet at the apex of the yod involving Mercury and Venus is Pluto – who kind of likes things disturbing, deep and controversial so immediately we can tell that this is one powerful yod. The challenge is to get a flow of energies so that the lighter interactions of the Venus sextile Mercury help to convey the deep challenges of the Pluto energy whilst the Pluto energy brings powerful motivation for change and growth in relationships and values.

At the same time Pluto is in a sextile to Chiron and so is partaking in some pretty radical, potentially hurtful, potentially healing energy with Pluto’s ability to regenerate and Chiron’s compassion borne of deep wounding. The intensity of the energy in this sextile forms a yod with Mercury at the apex – and Mercury as messenger of the gods is both carries their message and carries a message for them. The key here is an open and honest conversation with transformative, healing qualities.

The common planets in both yods are Mercury and Pluto inconjunct one another, so those small planets that sit at the inner and outer limits of our solar system are brought together and asked to work together – but this through an inconjunct aspect, so these two are not finding it easy to see the other’s point of view and work together.

Importantly the other key players in this pattern are also linked as Venus and Chiron are square to one another, which is a tense aspect and demands attention.

So, there we have a very significant aspect pattern in itself, and then we have to add in a couple of additional factors: the full moon was conjunct Pluto, intensifying the focus of energy on that apex planet, but also casting a somewhat eerie light, a light where things are seen, but maybe not in the same way that they would be in the light of the day. The light of the full moon casts odd shadows and shows things in a rather emotional or imaginative light – so Pluto is influenced here by sensations of emotion and imagination. At the same time, the Sun in Cancer would generally be highlighting more homely, nurturing pleasures, but this Sun is sitting between ( and not quite connecting with) the energy between Mercury and Venus and so is not able to shed as much light on this situation, or as much warmth and nurturance as he might like. This has the effect of intensifying the moon’s energy and as the moon is somewhat uncomfortable in Capricorn and doesn’t gel easily with the energy of Pluto this is a somewhat difficult full moon.

The final little piece to add into this jigsaw for now is Lilith – asteroid Lilith is conjunct Chiron whilst Oscillating Lilith is conjunct Venus. Lilith demands something be done, always, and if nothing is done she has a habit of bursting out in unexpected places and often quite uncontrolled. Here Lilith is emphasising the square between Chiron and Venus – the demand is for the wounds caused in the past by Venusian matters (relationships, values, money) to be addressed – or else! If the wounds are addressed the potential is the reintegration into life of aspects that have been denied, a welcoming back to wholeness.

So, that is the situation at the time of the full moon on the 3rd July. It’s a demand to do something about these past hurts, calling on the communicative powers of Mercury and the transformative powers of Pluto.


Whilst the intensity of the full moon highlighting this aspect fairly soon moves away, allowing it to fade into the background for a while. The new moon of 19th July doesn’t have much to do with this aspect, allowing new seeds to be sown in other areas of our lives and with different tones and patterns to them, not that this new moon is especially easy, it’s just not involved in the pattern of double interlocking yods.

Following the new moon, and as Mercury moves into his conjunction with the Sun the intensity picks up again and the days from 24th July to the full moon of  2nd August see a particularly powerful revising of these energies with the Sun joining the Mercury point. Mercury is now retrograde and Jupiter has entered his shadow, whilst Venus is still moving through her shadow for the last time, indicating that this all has to do with issues stirred up by this 2012 set of Mercury ruled retrogrades. The presence of Pluto shows that this is about far more than personal and individual issues, – it is about the global, universal, shared impact on humanity of our individual actions. Jupiter replacing Venus drives home this message – this isn’t just about how we ‘do’ relationships etc, it’s how we make them meaningful within a broader, shared, value system. With the exception of Venus now replaced by Jupiter all the other major players in the aspect pattern remain the same, so this is very much a revisiting of that earlier energy, but this time with bells on – and an increased demand to absorb the lessons of the times into out very understanding of the world, our life view.

Whilst at the full moon of July the Sun was the one sitting between the sextile points of one of the yods, this time it is the Moon, suggesting that the energy of this full moon is slightly less imaginative and emotional, the Sun has more power, and is close to Mercury demanding greater clarity of communication, stronger but more neutral messages whilst Sophia sitting between Mercury and the Sun brings the benefit of wisdom. In fact Sun sextile Jupiter sitting where it was initially Mercury sextile Venus makes the energy a whole lot more hard hitting – almost as if the cosmos is saying ‘for heaven’s sake, will you please get the message!’

So, having seen the overall patterns  and movements of this double interlocking yod, let’s take a quick look at the flow of energies through them and the signs that are being highlighted.

As I’ve already noted, the double interlocking yod of the July full moon had a somewhat emotional overtone with the full moon conjunct Pluto. The Mercury/Venus sextile in Leo and Gemini was fairly light hearted or pleasant, these are more intellectual or active signs rather than emotional, feeling signs and so between them the emphasis in on interesting ideas, things to see, experiences etc. However, sending those experiences and thoughts to the deeply transformative Pluto, especially whilst he is in the company of the very emotional moon reinterprets these messages  and makes what were pleasant observations into a potentially disturbing challenge and demand for transformation or change.

At the same time the Pluto sextile to Chiron/Lilith in Capricorn and Pisces is all about depth, feeling, emotion, sense of security and wider spirituality. These are powerful undercurrents that depending on our level of awareness might sit very deep within our subconscious or fairly close to the surface. Their energy is directed towards Mercury who is trying to turn these undercurrents into conscious and easily accessible messages. Mercury is in Leo so apt to talk before he’s thought things through properly. His message back to Pluto and Chiron/Lilith communicates ideas about how this change could be achieved but these are quick little snippets of information that Pluto and Chiron/Lilith are likely to find somewhat frustrating as they lack the depth they are looking for.

Meanwhile Venus and Chiron are really feeling this somewhat frustrating energy, it’s as if they are the ones struggling to make sense of things, to find some healing but instead they get caught up in a to-ing and fro-ing of energies that simply increases the tension between them.

The overarching sense of this pattern is one of frustration, of things not quite gelling, of the colouring being either too emotional or too intellectual or superficial to achieve the desired ends.

This changes once Jupiter gets in on the act. Jupiter in Gemini increases the depth of thinking and links it into wider philosophical and spiritual ideas in a way the pleasantries of Venus found hard to do. The Sun, at home in Leo, joining forces with (and to an extent overshadowing) Mercury increases the fire power of the communications, makes them more creative, active, confident and so better able to do the job.

Pluto is also in a more confident or demanding position here as he no longer has to deal with the emotional demands of the Moon and is able instead to focus on the task at hand which basically involves persuading Mercury to carry some deep and difficult philosophical or spiritual messages and then somehow making the connections which will help soothe the square that has now formed between Chiron/Lilith and Jupiter. During the full moon of July and the Venus influenced phase of this aspect patters we were far more likely to experience the energies as somehow personal and directed towards us. Now, we are far more likely to see the wider implications of our actions and the impact we have on the world beyond our immediate, conscious experience.

The movement of the August full moon into the pattern shows that we will experience this in an emotional way, but nothing like so personally as we did in July. Both the positioning of the Moon between Pluto and Chiron and also her place in Aquarius indicates that emotions felt are more generalised and directed towards our fellow human beings, not just our immediate, significant others.

There is a broadening out of personal relationships here, where previously we might have been narrowing them down, getting back to the essentials, this full Moon indicates a widening perspective and inclusiveness.

This is the scenario if the energy flows productively between the various players in these patterns. The problems come if the energies close down and become closed systems. This is one of the greatest dangers of the yod aspect and relates to its potential as an aspect indication projection rather than development and extension. The point about projection as regards the yod aspect pattern is that the power or impetus of the energy generated by the planet at the apex displaces itself onto the two planets in sextile, interpreting their energies as if they are expressions of itself. This means that the interplay of energies cannot be achieved because the apex planet is not receptive to the energies of the other two planets whilst the two planets in sextile are forced to absorb the energies of the apex planet but cannot express themselves, so their energies become blocked and the harmonies and potential of that sextile cannot be achieved.

In the case of these yods what is shown in the July full moon chart is the power of Pluto imposing itself onto the energies of Mercury and Venus – suggesting that lighter, more ‘superficial’ communications are interpreted as somehow deeper and more demanding than they actually are. Pluto projected suspects the motives of everything and everyone, imagines more into every situation than there is, imagines people are being far more intense than they actually are. In a similar sort of way the energy of Mercury projects itself on the Pluto/Chiron sextile, firing lots of messages and ‘chat’ at these two in the expectation that all ‘chat’ is what is wanted here. Mercury projected talks but doesn’t listen and is impossible to have a conversation with.

In this way all the various energies are blocked, except the square between Venus and Chiron which then becomes the most dominant aspect, but without the potential for change indicated by the yods. The chart and the energies and the differences become entrenched rather than growing.

With the later interlocking yod the potential for projection from Pluto is still there and this time there is also the potential for projection from the Sun. The Sun in Leo when projected becomes a battle for ego dominance as the Sun imagines everyone is trying to go one better than him. It becomes a fight for attention – it can be imagined as an actor who pays no attention either to his audience or his fellow actors imagining that all are enthralled by his performance. Or a king who imagines he is adored by all and cannot conceive of any kind of rebellion or countering point of view.

The real question with these yod patterns is the extent to which we can enable the flow of energies between the various planets – the more flow the more the potential becomes made manifest. On the other hand, if the flow is blocked by tuning into the projection difficulties inherent in the aspect then the potential is also blocked and a state of inertia is maintained. In this instance it means the request for healing in terms of relationships and valuing ourselves and others seen in the Venus square to Chiron cannot be fully achieved. And the later request to extend those lessons to a broader philosophical and spiritual approach cannot be fully achieved either.

Hmmmm well, thoughts on projection here. I somehow think I’m not going to be popular, but I still think someone needs to say it.


2 thoughts on “Mercury, Venus, Jupiter and the yods

  1. Pingback: A little light relief | Coromell

  2. Pingback: Jupiter stations retrograde – and brings a Midsummer Night’s Dream | Coromell

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