Early on Friday morning the planet Venus was hidden from view as it entered its favorite sign of Pisces, where it gains strength and will expand its gift of creativity throughout the month while still in its loving Evening star position. This energetic shift to Pisces has inspired me to put down my homework for the weekend and pick up my visionary pen to illuminate its upcoming transits for the year. As we shall see, Venus is the planet to watch for the most significant astronomical and astrological events of 2012: the Venus Transit.
Venus in Pisces
Pisces is one of the most auspicious signs of the zodiac and is symbolized by two fish swimming in opposite directions. One fish swims toward Aquarius, the stars associated with humanitarian and spiritual principles, while the other swims towards Aries with stars associated with the self and manifestation. These fish are connected by a fine silver line where both the material and spiritual polarity meet.
The astrological glyph depicts this polarization with two arcs of a circle bending in opposite directions, joined together by a horizontal line through the middle. In effect it represents a birth canal through which the soul passes with each incarnation. Thus when Venus is transiting the sign of Pisces, it is a great time to birth new creative projects, resolve conflicts between our material and spiritual goals, and dive deep into the sea of devotion, or bhakti.
Between February 27-28, 2012 Venus reaches its height of exaltation at 28 degrees Pisces in the final nakshatra Revati. This asterism contains 32 faint stars in the southern tail of the fish. Under the light of these stars, the planet of love, relationships, creativity, desire and connection is bathed in kshiradyapani shakti, the power of nourishment symbolized by milk. As Prash Trivedi describes in his book The 27 Celestial Portals:
"This imagery emphasizes the nourishing and sustaining aspect of Revati. However, if one pays attention to the fact that Vishnu, the sustainer amongst the holy trinity, sits atop the celestial ocean known as kshirasagar, a whole new interpretation opens up. Revati then relates to the shakti which sustains the celestial oceans in which all the fourteen lokas play the game of life."
The word Kshirasagar comes from the Sanskrit kshir meaning "milk" and sagar meaning "ocean" which is a metaphor for the Milky Way. In Hindu mythology, the creation myth of the Kshirsaga manthan, the conflict between the gods and asuras, or spirit and material impulses, was resolved in the joint effort of churning the sea of milk which released many gifts including the nectar of immortality. In the Hindu tradition, cow's milk is considered sacred and used ceremonially as an offering to the gods. Like the spoils of the Kshirasagar manthan, it represents overflowing goodness, happiness, and wealth. In a similar way the celestial ocean of the Milky Way is overflowing with cosmic nourishment that can feed and sustain all life in the galaxy. And as Venus passes through the starlight of Revati, it receives and transmits this cosmic nutrition to the Earth. So this exalted Venus may disseminate cosmic milk that will soothe strained relationships (perhaps due to last month's Mar-Venus opposition), and bring a relaxation of boundaries, optimism, and romance as it is no longer constrained by the influence of its recent mutual exchange with Saturn. Thus the sign of Pisces brings out the best qualities of Venus. And its exaltation in the last sign and final nakshatra of the zodiac suggests that universal love is the ultimate goal of the evolutionary process through the signs.
March 1-28, 2012 Venus enters sign of Aries
In March Venus leaves the stars of Pisces and joins Jupiter in Aries. According to Bernadette Brady Venus "spends March riding with him through the most difficult part of the sky, the Stare of Cetus." The Stare of Cetus (the sea monster) lays just below the ecliptic under the Ram symbolically waiting for the Hero to fall into its jaws.
In her newsletter Brady writes:
"This will be an intriguing time. Historically such an event occurred in April 1905 when a bright Venus Evening Star conjuncted Jupiter and protected him as he slide through the Stare of Cetus. In that month there were letters to the London newspaper, The Times, reporting on the positive effects of draining swamps in order to defeat the devastating infection of malaria affecting the imperial British forces in the tropics. It was reported with great joy, for now the British forces in the topics could be safe. What is it now that threatens our 'noble heroes' of the western world? Finances, warring forces, disease? This will be one to watch."
In the Vedic astrological tradition, Venus and Jupiter will conjoin in the stars of the nakshatra Bharani, which means "she who bears." Its symbol is the yoni, or vagina, 'bearing' does not necessarily mean 'bearing' children, but rather the capacity to receive, hold, nurture, and destroy.
The yoni also represents a doorway through which a soul enters the physical plane. The deity connected to this nakshatra is Yama, one of the eight gate-keepers and god of death. Yama guides souls back to the astral plane where it realizes the results of its karma from the present life, and prepares for the next. In February Venus entered the birth canal represented by Pisces, and during March it is poised to pass through the gate of life of Aries on its way to its own sign of Taurus. Venus and Jupiter will continue to travel together through the constellation of Taurus throughout most of the summer.
March 28-August 1, 2012 Venus enters sign of Taurus
Venus Retrograde March 15 - June 27, 2012
Venus Transit June5-6, 2012
The planet Venus has been referred to as the Morning Star or Evening Star for thousands of years. As its orbit is closer to the Sun than the Earth's, it can never stray very far from its source of luminosity. Its twinkling presence may grace either the eastern horizon in the pre-dawn sky, or the western horizon just after sunset; and is never seen during the night. At most it is visible for a few hours before disappearing into the radiance of the day or evening twilight. A Venus Cycle describes its retrograde patterns that bring the planet into what's called combustion with the Sun. During this time Venus disappears from view on the earth for approximately 40 days.
As I have discussed in many previous posts (click here and here), ancient sky-watching cultures interpreted the periods of darkness when Venus disappears from view on the earth as a time when the "star" traveled to the the underworld. Mesoamericans linked the Morning phase of Venus with Quetzalcoatl and the Evening Star with his twin brother Xolotl. The Greeks called the morning star phase Phosphoros meaning "Bringer of Light," or Eosphoros, "Bringer of Dawn,” and the evening star phase was called Hesperos meaning "setting in the West." The ancient Babylonians called Venus the double-phased Ishtar -- the Morning Star of War and the Evening Star of Love. As Morning Star Venus was often represented as a bearded warrior bearing weapons. However, as an Evening Star the archetype shifts and becomes softer, more attuned to reconciliation, treaties, bringing communication and cooperation to whatever it is uniting.
Some of the earliest references to Venus are found on clay tablets dating as early as 3000 BC from Uruk, an important early Sumerian city in southern Iraq. In ancient Sumer the goddess Inanna was associated with the planet Venus and the Uruk tablets specify her celestial identity as Venus with the symbol of an eight-pointed star.
There are hymns dedicated to Inanna that describe as her astral manifestation of the planet Venus. It is also believed that the myths about Inanna correspond with the movements of the planet Venus in the sky. Inanna's Decent to the Underworld (click here) explains how Inanna is able to descend into the netherworld, pass through a series of tests, and return to the earth by ascending to the heavens. The planet Venus appears to make a similar descent, setting in the West and then rising again in the East. And during her journey to the underworld, the goddess Inanna passes through seven gates removing an article of clothing at each gate until she is completely naked exposing her bright beauty to the darkest realms.
As my partner Joseph poignantly reminded me: The clothing represents the constructs of our ego and aspects of our false self. It only feels like Hell if we are attached to our egos. By removing her clothes Innana strips down to her bare essence and is given the opportunity to connects to her true self. In order to exit the underworld, Inanna was required to select someone to leave behind in her place. Could this be her shadow? When Innana returned to her kingdom, she finds that her husband Dammuzi had showed no concern for her during her absence. Thus she sent her "unconscious" male aspect, or animus, down to the underworld in her place where he is beaten and gashed with axes. Could the two faces of the Sumerian Venus and cycles of Venus represent the shamanic process of dissolving the ego, anima, and animus to release the divine enlightened self?
This year Venus makes this journey through the heart of the Sun in full view to the Earth during a rare Venus Transit in June. We will be able to symbolically witness the goddess remove 7 layers of clothing until she stands before us naked. Because Venus is powerful in the sign of Taurus, this revelation of her true nature should prove to be astonishing. However, because we are also in the middle of a solar maximum there may be plenty of shadows, such as sunspots, in her path. Should one of those sunspots emit a solar flare it would be possible for the coronal mass ejection (CME) from the Sun to brush past Venus and hit the Earth. In my opinion, this possible phenomenon could bring an increase threat for a world wide influenza (click here for more). Thus we should all keep a close eye on this event.
Venus Transit and 2012 Themes
2012 is perhaps one of the most highly anticipated years of the modern era due to wild apocalyptic speculations concerning the end date of both the Mayan calendar and Terrence McKenna's Timewave Zero: the Winter Solstice on December 21, 2012. Most Mayan scholars dismiss the idea of cataclysmic events as depicted in the highly entertaining, but inaccurate movie called 2012, and a few like John Major Jenkins point to the astronomical alignment of the Winter Solstice with the Galactic Center suggesting that intergalactic waves of energy or information may bath the Earth and transform consciousness (for more see my previous post Understanding the End Dates of the Mayan Calendar). Moreover, there are no predictions of catastrophe in any extant Mayan texts. Timewave Zero, or Novelty, is a mathematical formula developed by psychonaut Terrence McKenna, who theorized that the universe has an evolutionary process of increasing interconnectedness that reaches a singularity of infinite complexity when everything will occur simultaneously. Based on his calculations using the King Wen I Ching, he believed that 2012 would be an "eschaton" in which a collapse of time would usher in a new time. It is very easy to see how these two concepts became "interconnected" over the years.
What these two systems do share is the measurement of the fractal nature of time and mathematics related to the harmonic numbers of Venus cycles: 5, 8, and 13. In a previous post I described how Venus cycles relate to Phi and Fibonnaci sequences which are also found in the Mayan calendars. Venus orbits the Sun 13 times during the period in which the Earth orbits the Sun 8 times. As Venus orbits the Sun 13 times, while the Earth orbits the Sun 8 times, then Venus must pass the Earth 5 times during those 8 years completing 5 synodic periods in 8 years, or 5 complete morning star/eveningstar cycles that inscribe its mystical pentagram across the heavens.
In Mayan cosmology and mythology Venus was the focus of the timing of ritual. The ancient Maya tracked the Morningstar phases of Venus that occur every 584 days, with great accuracy. Within one of the few surviving Mayan books called the Dresden Codex, are six pages of Venus Tables that describe a Venus Round and the Sacred Day of Venus. 1 Ahau was the sacred Day of Venus for the Maya. Ahau means "lord," "light" or "Sun" suggesting that a Venus cycle maybe connected with an inferior conjunction of Venus with the Sun, or even a rare Venus Transit of the Sun. I find the glyph of Ahau to be intriguing as it seems to represent the Sun emitting or being caught by a beam of light surrounded on either side with two dots, perhaps indicating the inner planets Mercury and Venus. Or these two dots could they represent the two phases of Venus that figure so prominently in Mayan lore.
It may be a surprise to some, but not those who understand the concept of synchronicity, that Terrence McKenna was born on November 18, 1946 (7:30 am, Hotchkiss, CO), a day before an inferior conjunction of Venus in Scorpio/Vishaka ,which was in a configuration much like the upcoming inferior conjunction and Transit of Venus of June 2012, involving the south node, Ketu. I have no doubt that McKenna's natal line up of Sun, Venus Rx, Mercury Rx, Mars, and Ketu in Scorpio predisposed him to transcend ordinary consciousness through hallucinogens and navigate realities and consciousness that seem to be connected with Venus Cycles and Galactic and Universal Timewaves. On December 21, 2012 transiting Venus will rejoin his natal Venus in Scorpio in a beautiful chance coincidence of time.
Venus Transit: June 5-6, 2012
Thus during 2012 the planet Venus is the certainly one to watch for the most significant astronomical and astrological events of the year: the Venus Transit. On June 5-6, 2012 Venus will make its astronomically rare transit across the face of the Sun appearing as a distinct black spot that is 1/32 of the diameter of the Sun. It will be large enough to see without the aid of a telescope. This phenomenon occurs in a pattern that repeats every 243 years, with pairs of transits eight years apart separated by long gaps of 121.5 years and 105.5 years. The periodicity is a reflection of the fact that the orbital periods of Earth and Venus are close to 8:13 and 243:395 resonances.
The 2012 transit of Venus will begin a day after a partial Rahu lunar eclipse of a debilitated Moon in Scorpio/Jyestha with Ketu in Taurus/Rohini also "transiting" the Sun 11 degrees behind Venus. In addition Jupiter and Mercury will also be transiting the sign of Taurus, but will be hidden behind the rays of the Sun and unable to touch Venus with their direct glance. With so many planets connected with "consciousness" lined up and in combustion with the Sun, Venus is left alone to receive the Sun and Earth's full attention.
As Venus passes between the Sun and the Earth during a Venus transit, it is in essence very similar to a lunar eclipse. So this time around we will be getting a double whammy of lunar and Venus eclipse. The involvement of the nodes, which are markers for incarnation into the material field, with this Venus Transit suggests that this astronomical moment in time will be quite significant. Because the south node, Ketu, will manifest its shadow the day before, it is the only planet that will have an effect on Venus. Its energy of dissolution may release old karmic patterns and materialistic bonds during the lunar eclipse which may then be transformed the next day by the conjunction of Venus in the heart of the Sun, called Cazimi. When the Sun engulfs the energies of a planet in Cazimi, (Venus), it is said to imbue the planet with the intensely positive and life-giving energy and power of the Sun, who draws its energy from the shakti of the nakshatras that it transits: Rohini.
The previous Venus transit of 2004 also occurred in Taurus, but in the nakshatra of Mrigrashira which has a very different flavor than Rohini. The fixed star associated with Rohini is the great Persian royal star Aldebaran, the "watcher of the east," and its residing deity of Rohini is Prajapati, the Creator who grants our deepest desires. Aldebaran is located in the eye of the Bull and is thus associated with sight, illumination and vision. Brady believes that "this radiation of the Cosmic Bull implies that something will be destroyed or ruined, but then re-cosmogised, reborn, or remade afresh" which sounds very Mithraic to me. She predicts that there may be another European or global currency/market crisis representing a harvest being destroyed. "This is a time when the heavenly patterns are indicating cosmogising -- destroying to remake afresh."
In the Vedic tradition, the power associated with this nakshatra is rohana shakti, growth -- as might be expressed in the Fibonacci sequence, phi, and the sacred geometry of the pentagram that Venus draws in the heavens over the course of 8 years. Rohini is also called the "star of ascent" that gives an increase in status in society, and perhaps to our souls. Thus this Venus Transit may instead herald a provocative shift in energy at that time in which we may be able to call upon the Creator and Universal forces for the star's gift of "ascension," be it material or spiritual, to be made manifest through Venus' shamanic transformation to Morning Star. Venus will remain in the Morning Star position through the end of the year, and travels to nearly the exact opposite side of the zodiac for the morning of the Winter Solstice, and completion of the Mayan Calendar in the nakshatra of Anuradha, whose symbols are the lotus and triumphal doorway. Where will our brave Venus lead us? That remains to be seen, but one this is for sure, Venus, the bringer of light, promises a beautiful dawn. Namaste!