Category: Astrology Basics Hits: 2107
by UK astrologer and author Alison Chester-Lambert
What does it mean when Venus passes across the face of the Sun on June 5th and 6th? Spiritual and Technological Revolution actually.....
On the 5th and 6th June 2012 the planet Venus will pass across the face of the Sun and this is called a Venus Transit.
It is among that rarest of planetary alignments and only 7 of them have happened since the invention of the telescope. They happen in pairs with 8 years in between them. The dates of previous ones have been 1631 and 1639, then 1761 and 1769, followed by 1874 and 1882 and then finally 2004 which was the opener to a pair which will see the second event in 2012.
Venus and the Sun do cross over regularly, but ordinarily Venus passes our star high or low instead of moving across the Sun’s face. This event actually has more impact in terms of meaning because of this. We have to understand that a Venus Transit is like an eclipse. Electromagnetic force lines and plasma flux ropes will cross over.
Imagine a piece of string going from Earth to the Sun and one from Earth to the Venus too. It's as if the strings will cross each other and vibrations pass down the string.
So what is the meaning of this in astrology? To find that out we have to explore the meaning of Venus and then look at the events around the last 3 pairs of Venus Transits and see if there are any similarities in world events. For what happened then will happen again now, taking into account cultural differences.
The Meaning of Venus
If you do not know any astrology, that's no problem, you can read this, for I will be describing things in layman's terms.
Venus is an Earth or Earthy planet. This much must be understood at the beginning. So what she delivers (or takes away) is manifestly and concretely felt. You can hold it, celebrate it and use it. Venus seeks gratification, pleasure and fulfilment. She will give affirmation and success in war or love because her aim is to manifest it .......to make it happen - whatever that is. Venus understands the beauty of form, possession and manifestation.
She is useful in practical and everyday living for protection, power and support. She supports aspiration, success and achievement in LIFE. To the Egyptians, her symbol, the ankh, was known as the Giver of Life.
The Meaning of the Sun
This is the energy storehouse of our existence. The Sun's immense nuclear and spiritual power fuels our lives from within and without. Many ancient and not-so-ancient cultures believed that the Sun was the source of all Spirit. It is the heart and ruler of our Solar System and it controls all life with the heat that warms and the energy (calories) that emanate from it both invisibly and visibly. So the Sun gives light and invisible power.
What do They Mean Together?
On the surface of it, together they mean something very successful and powerful, but on this occasion they might just SAVE THE PLANET! Sort of a cosmic Superman and Superwoman actually. For if you haven't noticed, Earth is in trouble and we need a miracle. We are heavily over-populated and we are indulging in massive over-consumerism. Debt has fuelled over-inflation and the over-consumption of our planets raw materials. In short, we have been asleep in the wheelhouse of the Titanic for the last two decades and now we need a miracle! So hopefully, this Venus Transit can deliver one......
How? Let's look at what happened before.....
From 1631 to 1639
A new world view was emerging, beginning with Galileo’s insistence that the Earth was not the centre of the Universe, the Sun was. Another influence was Rene Descartes who brought order to thought and something of a revolution in the intellectual life of Western man. The Catholic Church remained powerful, but was challenged.
A new generation of communicating European scientists were making nonsense of theories that had been rock solid for generations with microscopes and other inventions. They sought answers to motion and dynamics; things that had been unquestioned because they were holy and under God’s control. Authority and power was shifting.….and chocolate had arrived. (yyesss!!)
From 1761 to 1769
After a spectacular year of military successes in 1759, Britain signed peace treaties with France and Spain in 1763. Britain was now the dominant power in North America. However, the American Revolution started brewing at this time and the Anglican Church was ousted in 1761. Exploration for the achievement of scientific knowledge began with Captain Cook’s mission to Tahiti. (Vanilla to go with the chocolate?) He makes an unprecedented contribution to the knowledge of the Pacific. An industrial revolution occurred in Britain and the first of the mills, factories and canals were opened.
From 1874 to 1882
There were huge leaps in technology, electricity for public use and the telephone, light bulb and recording equipment were all invented. The Theosophical Society and the Christian Science movement were both founded in 1875.
So, what did these three periods have in common?
A common feature is exploration and the seeking of scientific knowledge, which is interesting, since it is very apparent that we are in the middle of huge advancements in scientific exploration now. Captain Cook’s expeditions, with their painstaking recording of information on species marked a leap forward in the history of human inquisitiveness and acquisition of knowledge.
The most common theme is revolution. In the 17th century it was about scientific revolution which the Catholic Church could no longer contain. In the 18th century it was about an industrial revolution in Britain (a dominant world super-power) and the preludes to a government revolution in America (to get rid of the afore-mentioned dominant world super-power.) In the 19th century a technological or electrical revolution began.
Venus transits always occur in Gemini and Sagittarius alternately - an axis that is all about exploration and the gathering of knowledge for books in an effort to gain gnosis and superior understanding. Religion and spiritual questioning is associated with the sign of Sagittarius and each of the eras has some notable milestones concerning issues of faith. We are heading for a Spiritual Revolution by the looks of it. |(Yay!)
Vive La Revolution!
`Live the Revolution` and the revolution theme is most welcome when we think about it. For right now, what we need most of all is revolution!
We need breakthroughs in science and technology that will revolutionise our ability to get power from thin air. If we could draw limitless, non-polluting power from the invisible energy that exists all around us we could de-salinate sea water and grow crops on the Moon. The particle science being explored by the teams at the Large Hadron Collider could take us into the realms of harnessing power out of dark energy and this could solve oh-so-many problems.
Or perhaps a better way would be to revolutionise many areas of the way we conduct ourselves on this planet.
We are heavily over-populated and the only reason we don't provide free and effective birth control pills to the poor women in Africa is because the MEN of the Catholic Church forbid it. Why not give a woman the right to choose whether or not she gets pregnant? Western women have been choosing for decades. Venus represents women and particularly the priestesses of the temple who were there to initiate men. In Africa I hear the men `initiate` themselves whether or not the woman wants it. We can't stop that happening, but we can give these women the protection (protection is a key Venusian theme) that they can choose to take to limit the consequences can't we? Hopefully, Venus will bring all these taboo questions into mainstream media.
Western lifestyles and social care were funded by credit which threatens to bankrupt the western world and over-consumerism has nearly depleted natural resources and raw materials. Venus represents all of these things, let's hope that her move IN FRONT of the Sun shows her intention to improve our attitude in these areas.
Is it a Coincidence that 2,012 Beacons of Fire will be Lit Across the British Empire on June 4th?
It is something of a mystery that 2012 is also the year that London hosts the Olympics and it happens to be the Queen's Diamond Jubilee - she has reigned for 60 years. In celebration of this, there is a co-ordinated project to light 2,012 beacons of fire on all the high places of the UK on the 4th June 2012. Just TWO days before the passage of Venus across the face of the Sun! The ancient races understood Venus' power and the importance of this event. They too, would have celebrated it in this way. It is simply astonishing that these events should coincide in this way.
We live in an amazing Cosmos!
Some More Complcated Stuff on Venus for the Geeks.......
Don't go any further unless you have nothing better to do.....
According to scientist Takeshi Imamura "Venus's atmosphere is in perpetual motion, as if a living thing,"(1)
The planet has high speed winds of sulphuric acid that whip around the planet 60 times faster than the planet itself moves, producing a dynamic, churning maelstrom.The Venusian surface is bone dry and hot enough to melt lead, with a thick atmosphere that is 96% carbon dioxide and a corrosive mist of sulphuric acid. (Sexy huh?) But somehow Venus produces lightening, when according to physics as we know it - that is impossible.
The Japanese scientist says "In so many ways, Venus is similar to Earth. It has about the same mass, is approximately the same distance from the sun, and is made of the same basic materials. Yet the two worlds ended up so different. We want to know why."(2) Did it suffer from a case of global warming run amok – or something else?
Modern pop astrology has tended to reduce Venus’ ancient meanings to those of a loved-up Barbie doll, but there is a surprising amount to contemplate when one investigates more deeply. Interestingly, Venus has phases, depending on which angle we view her from and how the Sun’s light is striking her. So, like the Moon, Venus can also look like a crescent or be `full` as in the full Moon.
And then there is the difference between her appearing in the dusky morning or the fading twilight of the evening. Because Venus is closer to the Sun than the Earth, she can therefore never be more than about 48 degrees away from the Sun as seen by us. So when she’s orbiting round the Sun’s right side, she looks like she’s in front of our star and rises before him in the morning. And when she’s coming back up his left side, she looks like she’s behind him and sets after the Sun in the evening.
Many ancient races attributed different meaning to Venus according to her being the Morning star or the Evening star. Fascinating ethnoastronomical research presented in 1983, analysed the meaning of Venus in 93 different ancient cultural religions/mythologies from predominantly the Middle East and the Americas, and listed the similar meanings.(3)
In the majority of those cultures and as the Morning star, Venus was understood to be masculine by gender with associations to light, fire, power, war, animals and their guardianship, lightening, spiritual guidance and mediation, civilised leadership and day.
As the Evening star she was linked with Femininity, fertility, old age, death and the Netherworld. Out of interest, the ancient Mesopotamians believed the right of the body was masculine and the left side was feminine.(4) Obviously humans are generally stronger on the right, but how come Venus appears stronger there? Um… give up!
It is interesting to consider that astrologically, when Venus is as far away from the Sun as she can get and therefore really distinct in the early or late darkness then she is in a different zodiac sign and therefore competing. The Sun is pouring forth one element and Venus is subscribing to another, describing a natural conflict. However, that doesn’t explain how all those cultures arrived at such similar views of morning and evening positions.
Venus as a Collective or Transiting Energy
We can get a sense of Venus’s rich and diverse history when we see that she has been associated with not just Isis, but also angel Lucifer the light bearer and the Virgin Mary.(5) It is difficult to compare the last character with Venus as representative of a vital reproductive force that stimulates virility and success in war, but there we go. The very ancient races did not have natal astrology with personal horoscopes, so for them, Venus represented a universal energy that could be called on to give protection, power and support.
In transiting astrology (without reference to natal charts) today, she still has these valuable gifts, along with affirmation, success, security, aspiration, achievement and support with earthly acquisition. Venus is an Earth planet and as such, she is a magnetic and attractive force, but this also puts her in a class with Saturn who can then be seen as her higher Earth partner. (Saturn’s Latin roots lie in abundance and prosperity, even though he tends to represent LACK of these things now.)
Venus, Juno and Self Esteem
If you are using Juno in your charts, you won’t need me to tell you what an incredibly accurate planet she is for `marriage` and similar relating issues. Juno seems to pick up the Libran energy and represents the balance of power and exchange of relating in a very literal way; she symbolises the extreme relating emotions and tensions of her mythological character, Hera.
Venus has a broader and wider responsibility as we have seen already, and brings issues of value, self worth and gratification into the game. Still the same need for affirmation and success but with a more desirable, pleasure and fulfilment orientation, for after all, Venus is an Earth planet and Juno is Airy. Venus understands the beauty of form, possessiveness, attraction and manifestation.
Essentially, Venus is much more involved with personal tastes, esteem, values and self-worth than Juno. Perhaps just check your chart for Juno activity on the day you married….. she will then speak for herself. All the planets symbolise keywords and energies that they provide or remove. So just as Venus represents a healthy sense of self-esteem in her positive guise, in her emanation as Apostrophia, she represents loss of self-esteem.
In this way, rejection, either by parents as a child, or rejection in love in later life, results in loss of self-esteem which Venus can easily represent. (Students are always horrified to discover that Venus activity can mean loss of relationship or loosing `possession` of love, just as easily as the acquisition of it!)
A Dazzling Paradox of Complexity
It is not just our scientists who are aware of the complexity of planet Venus, in ancient Mesopotamia, where the sparkling star was known as Inanna and Ishtar, her meaning was a dazzling paradox of duality and complexity. She was known as both god and goddess of love and war, who could be wild and savage with violent or erotic behaviour, or grieving and regretful, as she was when the human race was reduced to clay by the world flood.(8)
When rejected she is described as lusty, aggressive, vindictive and vengeful.(9) Her sexuality is occasionally innocent and often exotic, but it is her involvement with everyday issues that tells of her fundamental importance. We are told she calms, pacifies or prepares, but on the other hand she confuses or destroys. She is there in winning, loosing and money accounting and also when one is lying or being truthful.
Inanna was a warrior and prostitute with an ability to turn men into women and women into men by combining masculine aggression with an instinctive understanding of what makes humankind tick. There is a simple reality or realistic manifestation to Inanna’s energy which existed in practical, day to day living. She bridged the separateness between human or animal and divine. And although capricious or frightening, she offered understandable dialogue and practical support in realistic pursuits.
Inanna could make what shouldn’t have been made, or destroy what shouldn’t have been destroyed, thereby demonstrating her importance in life as she torments and throws outcomes into disarray. The extremes within the concept of Inanna can be compared to those that the actual planet experiences in terms of violence and hostility.
This image is also useful when considering her ambiguous and indefinable gender, where Inanna is both male and female, straddling both potentials or occurring as an energy in both and thereby defying or exceeding the usual rules; as wild and strong willed or beguiling as nature or the divine itself.
Science now seeks to understand the churning maelstrom of the Venusian atmosphere with its searingly hot temperatures, (hot temper-atures get it? Ha!) violent lightening and un-explainable high speed winds. However, when pondering the ancient Mesopotamian thoughts on Venus, although the planets tempestuous atmosphere was only discovered in the last century, it seems the Mesopotamians were already briefed!
copyright Alison Chester-Lambert 2011
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- Dauna Coulter, (2010) Japanese Spacecraft Approaches Venus, NASA Science. [hereafter, Coulter] http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2010/16aug_vco/Coulter
- Stanislaw Iwaniszewski, “Venus in the East and West”, in Songs From the Sky, ed. Von Del Chamberlain, John B. Carlson and M. Jane Young. [Hereafter, Iwaniszewski] (U.K. Ocarina Books, 2005) 151-162
- Rivkah Harris, (1991) Inanna-Ishtar as Paradox and a Coincidence of Opposites. History of Religions, Vol. 30 No 3 Feb 1991 [hereafter Harris] p270.
- James Pritchard, ed., Ancient Near Eastern Texts Relating to the Old Testament, (New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1955), p 94
- Harris, p. 264