On June 5th, retrograde Venus in Gemini passes between the Earth and the Sun, forming an inferior conjunction. This wouldn’t be so rare (a Sun-Venus conjunction happens once every 584 days) were it not for the fact that Venus’ nodes, currently in the signs of Gemini-Sagittarius, are also aligned with the Sun’s path. When this happens, visually -with appropriate viewing aids- we can see the ‘transit of Venus’ as she passes in front of the Sun. The last time this happened was 2004; the next time will be 2117. This is a once-in-a lifetime transit! Collectively and personally we are seeding new connections: ways of connecting to our self and each other, our self-worth & value, art and creativity, and our relationship to the feminine.
Venus, The Rose & The Five Pointed Star
Venus’ orbit traces the path of a pentagram, ticking off points in the star shaped pattern when she meets the Sun every 584 days. Over 8 years, retrograde Venus and the Sun kiss five times in what’s known as an ‘inferior conjunction’ and direct Venus kisses the Sun in a ‘superior conjunction’ – when Venus passes behind the Sun. If you were to place a dot at the astronomical point and time the two bodies met for a hug and kiss over the course of eight years, connecting the dots with straight-line segments would form a five-pointed star. Venus’ graceful loping path, weaving around and back and forward again to these, also creates a rose pattern.
Venus’ Descent into the Underworld
Venus’ meeting with the Sun is quite mythical. As Venus prepares to meet with the Sun she gets lower and lower on the evening horizon line until she ‘disappears’, soon reappearing as the morning star. You can imagine how exciting and disturbing it was for our ancients to see Venus mysteriously disappear for several days as she is obscured by the Sun. The Mayans viewed her disappearance as a time when Venus enters the underworld – a hidden, mysterious and sometimes violent place where Venus issues are re-worked, and hidden matters brought to light. The MesoAmerican Venus was known as Quetzalcoatl, or the Plumed Serpent. As the Evening Star she was the bringer of culture and civilization, and as the Morning Star Venus is impetuous, youthful & bloodthirsty. Something else magical happens when she joins the Sun –- she sets as the Evening Star, behind the Sun, and rises anew as the Morning Star, ahead of the Sun. None of this may seem unusual because Venus makes an inferior conjunction to the Sun, to rise as Morning Star, once every 584 days, but the fact that this won’t happen again until 2117, is.
The Seeding of Venus As anyone who has been in love knows, Venus’ pretty face can be both delightful & deceptive. When any planet meets the Sun, it is a dubious proposition. Traditional astrology has not viewed this meeting as positive – as the light of the Sun overpowers the planet, effectively rendering the planets strength blotto (as when a planet is “cazimi”). Modern astrology tends to take a more psychological and symbolic view, suggesting that any planet conjunct the Sun carries qualities of the Sun, of ego-strength, intention, solar will. As when the Moon joins Sun for our monthly new moon, when Venus is seeded with the ego-strength of solar willpower we are in a time of new Venus beginnings. We are in a ‘New Venus’ time.
The Venus-Sun Conjunction In Your Birth Chart Collectively, we could see many different things, and extreme, sometimes violent behavior from women tends to be more prominent, at least in the media. I’ve already heard one report of a honeymooner husband who has ‘gone missing’. Zell Bodine, of Everything Astro, says astrologers seem to converge on this, and also these probabilities during a Venus-Sun meeting 1) Death of great male leaders (Reagan died during the Venus conjunction of 2004) 2) Rise of prominent women 3) Women taking on roles normally appropriated to men. Steven Forrest suggests since we are looking at a long transit that is a century in development, we might look to grand shifts the classic Venus categories: relationships, art, the feminine. Historically, the period between 1874-1882 saw shifts in these areas.
What will it mean to you personally? Personally, I am framing New Venus as an incredibly special time of endings and new beginnings, some of which may be beyond the scope of our comprehension at this time, and some of which will be obvious and very special in our own lives. In my clients, I see a re-working of Venus issues typical of this retrograde time, but I’m betting on a surge in self-worth and deeply valuing the people we (already) love and deeply care about, whose love & respect for us affords them a very special place in our lives. Venus retrograde has stirred up plenty dust in the area of life she falls, and as this New Venus time comes to pass, we will also feel the fiery, feisty and impetuous aspect of Venus Morning Star. We want what every Venus Morning Star wants: to feel valued, to be creatively & financially satisfied, to be free from the past. This theme of wanting to be free from difficult relationship, body and self-worth issues is especially strong during Sun-Venus, manifesting in a range of extreme behaviors, such as “I’m not going to undervalue myself any longer!” (good) or “I’m going to do something incredibly brash and potentially stupid and/or violent” (not so good). Venus Morning Star is feisty.
On a personal note, I’m feeling the collective aspect, too (I think). As Venus transits my Ninth House (of Philosophy & Higher Mind), my inner feminist, who has seemingly been dormant for years since college, is waking up. I’m noticing how gender dynamics influence my marriage and relationships and how women make progress for periods of time only to experience a backlash as the male power structure reasserts it self. Anyhow, I feel that I may be riding a larger wave here.
Where does 15-16 degrees Gemini fall in your birth chart? Where does Venus fall in your natal chart? These areas of life are being seeded with the mystery, feminine power and creative impetus of New Venus.
-Ask: what relationships, creative acts, acts of self-worth can I initiate during this Venus phase? Astrologer Michael Meyers says, “(this is) a time when the future attempts to free itself from the past.” Am I feeling impatient or dissatisfied? Can I sense a new set of emotional values and sensibilities growing quietly inside?”*
-Ask: to become one with your deepest Self’s desires. Ask your Venus what she most wants.
-Light a candle, with a single rose. Set an intention to bring the new impulses arising within you into: your relationships, creativity and artistic work.
*The ideas in this blog are excerpted from my article, The Ages of Venus. Find it in Well Being Astrology 2012 (Australia).