Venus reached her greatest Western elongation on October 26, 2015 (46.4 degrees from the Sun, to be exact), initiating the last phase of the Sun-Venus cycle. At her greatest elongation, Venus is as far as she can be on the oriental side of the Sun. From here on out, Venus will begin to apply to the Sun with a special zeal for union. The starting gun has been fired. We will see themes of pursuit dominate our consciousness until June 2016, when the roles will reverse and the hunter will become the hunted.

Since late summer, when Venus stationed direct, I have received many queries on situations where one partner was elusive, detached, or insufficiently committed. Often there had been past arguments, coldness, a gradual drawing apart, or outright betrayal, as evidenced by Venus’ retrograde period. Venus was moving slowly while the Sun hastened on: one partner was moving onward while the other hesitated. When Venus enters the oriental half of her cycle, according to the Ptolemaic view, she is more warlike and assertive in pursuing her desires (the Babylonians had the opposite view and they saw Venus occidental as warlike. Go figure.). This certainly fit many situations I observed these last two months. But, now that Venus has reached her greatest Western elongation, she applies her warrior energy in pursuit of the Object of Desire.

As Ishtar, the Assyro-Babylonian goddess of love, war, sex, and fertility, she threatens the guardian of the underworld in her chase:

If thou openest not the gate to let me enter,
I will break the door, I will wrench the lock,
I will smash the door-posts, I will force the doors.
I will bring up the dead to eat the living.
And the dead will outnumber the living.

Venus starts this last part of her journey to the superior conjunction while she is in Virgo. There is a certain modesty to the chase at least, though the manner of her pursuit will change as she passes through the next nine signs. She will complete the cycle with an act of self-abnegation as she enters the Sun’s rays on April 20, 2016, a symbolic death to the world. The superior conjunction of June 6, 2016 will mark the sought-after union that caps the Sun-Venus cycle. The conjunction of the King and the royal consort will be in the airy sign of Gemini. If you are interested in tracking the key points of the synodic Sun-Venus cycle, you can see this calendar for the next few years.