Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Venus in Gemini is the topic for today’s Lunchtime Astro-Limerick. I discovered a fascinating parallel in mythology to the current Venus-Mars cycle. It re-enacts with surprising detail the story of Atalanta and Hippomenes. The limerick can hardly capture it all!  See select Lunchtime Astro-Limericks here or all of them on my Instagram.

April 5, 2020 Lunchtime Astro-Limerick for Venus in Gemini

Sunday, April 5, 2020 Lunchtime Astro-Limerick

Contesting with Mars in a parallel race

Will Gemini Venus escape or embrace?

If she slows to behold

Cheating apples of gold

She’ll lose like Atalanta, the maid of the chase

Venus in Gemini

Venus moved into Gemini on Friday. The Gemini influence invokes in her a vacillating or fickle manner, love ’em or leave ’em, escape or embrace. Curiously, Venus is applying to a trine with Mars for the entirety of this month! Even though Mars on average is much slower than she is, he stays ahead of her throughout the whole month of April. She never catches up to him to complete the trine aspect. In fact, when the aspect becomes exact on June 2, 2020, it’s not as a trine, which represents ease, rather, it’s a square, conflict.

Atalanta and Hippomenes

Guido Reni (1575–1642), Hippomenes and Atalanta, circa 1620-1629, National Museum of Capodimonte, Naples.

It made me think of a woman running after a man. But I came to understand it as Atalanta, who would marry only the man who beat her in a race. And the ones who lost? She killed anyone who couldn’t keep up with her! Hippomenes guilefully won. He solicited Venus/Aphrodite, who suggested he distract Atalanta with golden apples. If Atalanta pulled ahead, Hippomenes tossed down one of the shiny fruits and she would run after it, giving him the advantage. Back to astrology, Mars pulls further ahead of Venus towards the end of the month because she slows down to turn retrograde. That is to say, a golden orb, the Sun, slows her down.

Further study of the myth revealed that Atalanta and Hippomenes eventually met a dismal fate because they made love in a grove sacred to Zeus. Due to both planets going retrograde this year, Venus and Mars achieve a square aspect for a second time in September. This difficult aspect is further challenged by an opposition to Jupiter (Zeus) (and also Pluto and Saturn) in Capricorn. That is to say that Venus and Mars challenge Jupiter, just like Atalanta and Hippomenes affronted Zeus.

A Leonine End to the Story

But that’s not all. Venus and Mars finally join in a conjunction, their next one, in Leo the Lion in July 2021. The myth says that Zeus turns Atalanta and Hippomenes into lions for disrespecting his temple. The story explains that the gods deny lions the intercourse of love.

The parallels between the astrology and the mythology are startling. How might the general energy of love and relationships play out here in the world in response to this cosmic narrative? If your relationship seems to follow this pattern, let me know in the comments!

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Joy Vernon
Joy Vernon

Joy Vernon is widely recognized as an expert tarot teacher and respected community leader. With over twenty-five years’ experience teaching energetic and esoteric modalities, Joy brings expertise and practiced familiarity to her specialty of esoteric tarot, which layers astrological and qabalistic symbolism onto the traditional tarot structure. Under her leadership, the Denver Tarot Meetup grew into one of the largest and most active tarot-specific meetups in the world. Now Joy runs the Greater Seattle Tarot Meetup. Joy works as a tarot reader, astrologer, and teacher in Burien, Washington. To learn more, please visit

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