Venus in Capricorn: Triumphant Love Meets Tragic Death Part I


This is a true story of love, art and death. It’s told loosely here in paintings created over the course of a Saturn cycle between 1988-2016. Venus rises in Capricorn in my birth chart, out of bounds, at 17 &18 degrees respectively, in tight trine to Uranus & Pluto in the 8th and in sextile to Neptune & Moon in the 10th. The purpose of sharing it here is to provide insight into the depths of this often misunderstood planetary placement.

“Alpha & Omega” Oil on Board by Mango Johnstone ©2016-2022

Part I of III

It’s 1987 and I’m an art student, unhappily attending a school that lacks emphasis on traditional skills. I get a job working part time as an antique restorer in the cold dirty basement of a high end antique shop. One day a co-worker brings a book of his drawings into the shop. I’m so impressed I leave the school to become his student. He teaches me drawing and painting and introduces me to many other subjects as well, including astrology. I’m 21; he’s 35.

“Most Masterful One” Oil on Board by Mango Johnstone ©1988-2022


The lessons take place every Satur(n’s)day for 16 months and during that time we fall deeply in love. With transiting Neptune conjoining my natal Mars in the 12th, I’m not entirely conscious of what I’m walking into. When he expresses his growing affection I put him off pointing out that he lives with a woman already. He explains he’s not committed and says he wants to move out and marry me.

“Bringing My Heart” Oil on Board by Mango Johnstone ©1989-2022


The final project for the course of study is a solo exhibition which he arranges. Being of a private nature I do not wish to display my paintings publicly. I protest, but he says I have to do it or I will flunk his school. I title the show “Death & the Maiden” for reasons I’m not yet aware of.  Schubert’s composition of the same name is on the playlist at the reception.

postcard from first exhibition ©1989-2022 Drawing by Mango


 In the months following the exhibit he becomes distant. I think it’s because of the other woman and I leave the city for life on a remote island in the Atlantic ocean. Once there I retreat into my heartache, knowing I will love him forever. Every night I climb the hill to the small cemetery to view the stars and take comfort in knowing we live under the same sky.

“From My True Love Gone Away” oil on board by Mango Johnstone ©1989-2022


Several moons later I return to the city and learn he has leukemia. Saturn is in a transiting conjunction to my Venus and ascendant while opposing his Sun. He says he is dying and tells me to get on with my life but I can not give up on him. I visit university medical libraries and learn all I can about his diagnosis. The specter of death takes its seat, becoming the Plutonian triangle in our relationship for years to come.

   “Cancer” oil on board by Mango Johnstone ©2015-2022


End of Part I of a 3 part Series…Part 2 coming on 2/16/22 

data for charts used in this story: Cap-Venus 11.22.1965 10:25AM Boston, MA, Magnus Johnstone 7.14.1952 2:51 PM CDT Chicago, IL, Wedding 9.29.1994 10 AM Boston, MA, Death of Magnus Johnstone 2/22/2013 5:54 PM Hancock, ME


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Mango Johnstone is an astrologer and visual artist living in Maine, U.S.A.