Astrology of Eros conjunct Psyche in Libra—November 3, 2022

Asteroid Eros 433 is currently applying to a conjunction with asteroid Psyche 16. The conjunction reaches perfection on November 3, 2022 at 25° tropical Libra (sidereal 1° Libra using Lahiri ayanamsa), a mere four degrees from the initiatory Venus cazimi at 29° Libra (sidereal 5° Libra) which happened on October 22, 2022.

Both conjunctions occur in the sidereal nakshatra of Chitra, which exalts the ability to craft valuable new paradigms by using one’s own projected inner qualities. Fitting with this theme, asteroid Psyche invites us to explore the depths of our own spiritual essence and how it reacts to collision with Eros, the erotic desires of the external world, the realm outside of our own control.

I am still newer to the study of asteroids and their impacts on our lives, but here I will offer my interpretation of what this conjunction might mean through the lens of etymology, biology, mythology, and tarot.

Psyche etymologically derives from Greek ψυχή/psukhḗ, meaning “soul”, which in turn is from the verb form ψῡ́χω/psū́khō, meaning “I blow.” Encapsulated in this word origin is the notion of the soul as a gust of divinity which “blows” life force into a material body. As the root of the modern word “psychology,” we can also conceptualize the soul as a sort of deeper animating drive behind seemingly arbitrary human whims and behaviors.

Psyche is also the Ancient Greek word for “butterfly.” In the journey of its transformation from caterpillar to butterfly, the form of the insect must dissolve inside a protective container, the chrysalis, expending huge amounts of energy and time to entirely reshape its body and emerge as a completely different type of being, capable of doing things which would have been impossible in its previous form (namely, flying).

Eros, then, can be thought of as desire in the form of the external pressures which compel the Psyche/soul to undergo metamorphosis and transformation, from the caterpillar of birth to the butterfly of the person we craft ourselves into, so that we might be capable of attaining the things we long for.

Living beings are sensually predisposed to desire tangible things which are conducive to the continuation of life— at the most simple level, this consists of air, sunlight, food, water, shelter, rest, sleep, sex, and companionship. The soul, however, has needs which are not so straightforwardly met in the physical world. It searches for meaning, fulfillment, satisfaction, but what forms these ideals take will vary for each soul. In the search for meaning, the human variety of living beings may even restrict or reject the desire for those things listed above, using restraint itself as a proxy for the attainment of some desire.

Asteroid Eros will meet with Psyche in Libra and the proceed to separate from her, just as in the myth, Eros flees from Psyche after she gives in to her immense curiosity and peeks at Eros in the darkness, despite being forbidden from viewing his physical form. In doing so, she drops a bit of oil on his shoulder and alerts him. When deep rooted desires surface, they leave a mark, and you cannot turn back from what has been brought to light (unless you’re having some heavy Neptune transits, perhaps).

I suspect that the meeting of Eros with Psyche in Libra will bring to the lamplight hidden relational desires that the soul has attempted to run from, along with the compulsion to change the self so that we might be more capable of either honestly releasing these desires or going through the intense process of changing our inner qualities so that we might be able to make our disembodied desires become corporeal in the material world (just as Chitra’s symbol is a jewel—think of a diamond formed under great pressures).

Libra is a cardinal air sign ruled by Venus, and its nature supports the initiation of desired relationships just as well as it supports the termination of unsuitable ones. The tarot minor arcana cards associated with Libra’s decans are the II, III, and IV of Swords. In the Smith-Rider-Waite version of the II of Swords, a figure sits blindfolded against the backdrop of still waters, drinking in the stillness as it ponders the benefits and detriments of a choice to be made. In the III of Swords, a choice has been made, and it is a choice emblematic of Saturn’s exaltation in Libra—something has been severed. That which is no longer desired is rejected, and though the separation creates grief and pain in the immediate future, its longer term purpose is to create space for new ideas to be entertained and nourished.

This conjunction of Eros and Psyche (and the October 2022 Venus cazimi) will occur in the decan associated with the IV of Swords. After the sharp, stabbing revelation-ary experiences of choice-making in the III of Swords, the IV of Swords demands time to process that decision. We see a figure lying on a coffin—not dead, but resting upon it in solitude, hands folded up in prayer. In the rejection of our outgrown desires, we have achieved a sharp relief with which to view the ones that remain—but only if we can take the time to compost the concurrent emotions of grief and despair into clarity and understanding.

I offer these questions to meditate upon during this transit:

  • How does encountering your own relationship desires feel to you? Do you accept the things that you feel you need, or are you predisposed to minimize or downplay the less “socially acceptable” feeling & desires that you have?
  • What is your relationship to the erotic like? How much of it is mediated through the inner self? How much does your experience of eroticism filter through the lenses, opinions, and viewpoints of other people, such as friends, partners, family members, religious institutions, or the state?
  • How do you change yourself in order to feel more “worthy” of the things you desire? Do these changes usually feel life-sustaining to you, or do they usually involve some level of self-abnegation?
  • Do you feel entitled to acquiring the things that you desire? Do you feel that others should change themselves in order to be accommodating to your desires?
  • When conflicting desires come up between you and the other people in your life, whose desires are prioritized? Does compromise occur that respects the desires of both parties? Or is one person’s desire given precedence over the other’s?
  • Where do you find yourself clinging to desires that you have outgrown? What needs, identities, or past experiences are these desires rooted in? How does it make you feel to imagine letting go of these desires?

Thank you for reading. Observe how this transit manifests from you, and let me know your thoughts either in the comments section here, or on my twitter.

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