“The Four Horsemen”: VENUS then MARS SQUARE URANUS

With VENUS just yesterday, and then with next week, MARS squaring URANUS, it’s time to be ultra-mindful of ‘dealbreakers’ that could very well turn out to be heartbreakers. Gottman’s “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” metaphorically represents four destructive behaviours that, when they show up in any relationship can signal trouble:

Criticism, Contempt, Defensiveness, and Stonewalling.

When any of these become prevalent, Gottman reckons the relationship is seriously on the rocks.

He stresses the importance of picking up on these behaviours early, actively working to counteract them with positive communication strategies, such as expressing needs constructively, showing appreciation, actively listening, and, most importantly during Uranus contacts, taking breaks to cool down during heated moments. Whilst the presence of the ‘Four Horsemen’ isn’t necessarily a death sentence for a relationship, they are major red flags which, once spotted, require appropriate action to facilitate healthier communication and try and establish some emotional connection…

1. CRITICISM involves attacking your partner’s character or personality instead of addressing specific behaviours or issues that turn you off. In the context of Venus and Mars in Aquarius squaring Uranus, it’s most likely phrased as a blanket statement like “It feels like we’re on different wavelengths – you’re either way too progressive/woke/liberal-minded, or you’re too conservative, old-fashioned/stuck in the past. How can we sync up better in the here and now?” Watching for nagging or slurs, the tension between Aquarius’s forward-thinking and Taurus’s more grounded nature highlights the need for a middle ground without resorting to personal attacks.

2. CONTEMPT in relationships is a display of superiority that can include sarcasm, cynicism, name-calling, eye-rolling, or sneering. It’s particularly destructive because it conveys disgust and disdain for the other person, severely undermining respect.

In the Aquarius/Taurus dynamic, where Aquarius seeks innovation, and Taurus craves stability, contempt will usually manifest as impatience with each other’s core values. Our forward-thinking Aquarian side might view our stodgy Taurean need for security as stubbornness, while our Taurus side might see the Aquarian desire for change as impractical, erratic or ‘woke’.

Addressing contempt requires working on finding some mutual respect and appreciation for each other’s differences. For example, you might say “I admire your vision for change (Aquarius) or your dedication to our security, or traditional values, etc. (Taurus). Let’s find a way to honour both our needs.” This at least recognises the value of each perspective, urging a more respectful and constructive interaction.

3. DEFENSIVENESS is a common reaction to feeling unjustly accused or criticised, like where one partner makes excuses, plays the victim, or counterattacks to deflect blame. Again, in the context of Aquarius’s desire for independence and more freedom from past restraints, and Taurus’s preference for age-old stability and earthy practicality, defensiveness can arise when either partner feels their preciously held core values are under attack.

An Aquarian might defensively justify their need for autonomy and innovative ideas, feeling misunderstood by Taurus’s more grounded, unbending approach. Conversely, Taurus might become defensive when their desire for consistency and reliability is perceived as being stifled by Aquarius’s radical views and unpredictable changes.

To deal with defensiveness, it’s crucial to practice active listening and validate each other’s feelings without immediately trying to fix the problem or deflect the concern. Using statements like, “I hear that you need more freedom (Aquarius) and I need more stability (Taurus). How can we support each other through this one?” – this encourages openness and mutual support, which helps take the defensiveness out of the situation.

4. STONEWALLING is when one partner completely withdraws from the interaction, shutting down dialogue completely and creating emotional distance. This, what is colloquially known as “ghosting” (disappearing or cutting off communication without explanation) or “giving the cold shoulder” can manifest as ignoring the other person, tuning out, or physically leaving the conversation. In the Uranus-ruled Aquarius/Uranus in Taurus fixed-square interplay, stonewalling might arise when either party feels overwhelmed or unable to connect on common ground. Any impasse can lead to a serious breakdown in communication, as both signs can stubbornly shut down and coldly retreat into their comfort zones.

Our Aquarian side would resort to stonewalling when they feel smothered by Taurus’s need for touch, or closeness or when their seemingly simple or anachronistic ideas are met with resistance. Taurus, on the other hand, might shut down when they perceive Aquarius’s actions as too detached or strange, threatening their sense of stability and connection to the tried and tested.

Addressing stonewalling, especially in this Aquarius/Taurus climate, it’s important to create a safe space for open, non-judgmental communication. This means taking a break to cool off before revisiting the conversation. Always agree to come back after a shutdown, and one reconciliatory approach could be, “Let’s take some time to reflect, look at our options (Aquarius), take a breath and then come back to find a stable, peaceable solution (Taurus), one that respects both our needs for space and comfort/security.” Encouraging a pause for reflection and a commitment to resolving the issue together.

**I’ll have more specific guidance in your upcoming New Moon horoscopes, as well as coverage on all the other key transits, as we discussed in Thursday’s Cosmic Bus, stay cool there, ok?…