J U N E 2 0 0 4 F E A T U R E A R T I C L E
by Maya del Mar
The transit of Venus over the Sun due on June 8 is not a spectacular event for most of us, not like a comet or an eclipse or even an occultation of a planet or star by the moon. For the astronomers, it is both an exciting spectacle and a learning tool. For example, Venus transits have been useful to establish celestial distances, for learning that Venus has an atmosphere, and that she has no moons.
For the rest of us, this rare transit puts a spotlight on Venus. We are more conscious of the goddess of love and beauty, and transmit more Venus thought forms in regard to the pleasurable things in our lives. We relate Venus to peace and harmony, and thus hope for a better world can rise in our breasts. So just the idea of this transit is beneficial.
Venus and Earth have orbits tilted at slightly different degrees. Only when they are aligned, as their paths cross, can there be a transit of the Sun. Because Venus, closer to the Sun, circles the Sun 13 times in the time that Earth circles the Sun about eight times, their paths will cross again eight years later. (See computer-generated images of Venus orbital mandalas from the May 2004 Daykeeper, and have a look at the relevant book review as well.)
After that, regular 19-month conjunctions slowly move around until they cross again at the opposite sign. This turns out to be 105.5 years. Then there will be a repeat of Venus transit over Sun 8 years later. The cycle is thus 121.5 years, 8 years, 105.5 years, 8 years, 121.5 years, etc.
The last Venus-Sun transit was on December 6 in 1882, and the next one will be June 6, 2012. The current transit will be visible in much of the world, but for the U.S. only fortunate people in the Northeast might see it with the sunrise, if skies are clear. However, the 2012 transit will be visible everywhere in North America. The following Venus-Sun transit will not occur until December 11, 2117.
The transit lasts about six hours. With clear conditions, observers in the eastern U.S. could see the final part of the transit, though less and less, further inland. On the coast, two hours of visibility are theoretically possible.
We harm our eyes if we look at the sun directly, or with regular dark glasses. Instead we can use the filtered glass with which we view eclipses. For instance, use a #14 arc-welders glass or a Mylar or metal-on-glass filter designed for solar viewing.
The simple way of observing eclipses should work also. Make your own pinpoint projector out of cardboard, like we do with eclipses, or simply observe the suns shadow in a focused area, such as observing the ground where there is definite sun and shadow falling between tree leaves, or looking at a floor or wall where there are sharp lattice shadows, with sunlight between.
The Venus-Sun transit can only happen when Venus is retrograde as it conjuncts sun. Then it is between Earth and Sun. This is called an inferior conjunction, and it occurs about every 19 and one-half months. The retrograde period lasts for about six weeks, during which time we re-evaluate and change attitudes towards values, priorities, relationships, and all those things which we hold dear. Because it is so personal, it can be a time of great inner dislocations.
The movements and the meanings of Venus are complex and extremely interesting. Its brilliance in the heavens made it easily observable, and the Babylonians, Greeks, and Mesoamericans created rituals around it. The Venus cycle formed the basis for the Mayan calendar, as well as for many myths worldwide.
Shortly after it stations retrograde, Venus disappears from the night sky. After a couple of weeks out of sight, it reappears as a morning star. This invisible period is considered the time that Venus journeys into the underworld, into the shadows of our desires, into the unconscious with its instinctive urges.
Right now, with the Venus-Sun transit, we are in the middle of that underground period. In another week, Venus will rise as a morning star, regenerated by her journey into the deeps of the human heart. On June 29 she turns direct, and we will see her blazing beauty in the darkened morning sky.
The Mesoamericans appeared to know much about Venus retrograde. They set armies marching when Venus rose in the morning sky. They considered her the Goddess of War.
Every eight years Venus comes very close to repeating her conjunction of eight years ago. Issues are carried from one such conjunction to the next, like a continued story. What was happening for you in June 1996? Important things were happening in my life then, and they are being continued now. For the world, Israel went hard-line with the election of Benjamin Netanyahu as prime minister. Japans economy began to fall apart, Boris Yeltsin consolidated his rule over Russia, and the U.S. saw to it that Bhoutros Bhoutrous-Ghali was replaced by Kofi Annan as Sec. General of the UN.
What does Venus close juxtaposition to Sun mean? On the one hand, it can mean that the brilliance of the sun obscures Venus, preventing its full expression. On the other hand, it can mean that Venus gets a dose of solar vitality, which aids her creative nature. Pay attention now to your inner feelings about those things which are important to you. They are changing.
Venus and Sun join at 18 Gemini. This is a crucial area for both GW Bush and for the United States. The U.S. Mars, and much of Bushs energy is involved. Unpredictable Uranus, the destiny point of North Node, and Bushs progressed Midheavenhis place in the worldare all involved. Furthermore, Pluto in Sagittarius, the inexorable Lord of Evolution, opposes this big collection of Gemini energy. Could Bush be assassinated, re Tecumsehs curse? Yes. On the other hand, he has a great deal of Jupiterian protection.
The Venus-Sun transit itself shows three planets at the same degree, which is the degree of the U.S. Mars and of Bushs planets. Those three planets are powerful, ruthless Pluto, aggressive Mars, and Vesta, the Keeper of the Hearth. Strong defense will be on everyones minds, including in interpersonal relationships.
One process Im observing with this retrograde Venus is that women are standing up for themselves more. Its interesting that both the 2004 and the 1996 Venus retrograde periods were preceded by Million Woman marches. Venus relates particularly to women.
When Venus turns direct on June 29, she is at 10 Gemini, very close to the natal U.S. Uranus at 9 Gemini. Historically, Uranus has been a warlike energy for the U.S. In terms of diplomacy, one of Venus areas, it means independence, not compromise.
This degree also squares (activates) GWs natal Mars and his progressed Sun, which is now conjoining his natal Mars. All in all, its a great deal of energy for him to handle and still maintain any semblance of balance.
In the chart set for Washington DC at Venus direct station, Pluto is rising. Yes, as with the Mayans, armies could march.
This Venus does have fighting spirit. And we can use that spirit to fight for the good.