Moon, Venus & Jupiter – oh wow!!

July 15th. This is absolutely worth setting the alarm for. These three lights are spectacular in the pre-dawn sky as they rise together in the East. It took my breath away this morning. This is definitely the time to wish on a star (or planet). Send out your vision for  a safe and nurturing (Moon) expansive (Jupiter) way to connect in love and unity (Venus).

Venus is the 3rd brightest light in the sky, after the Sun and Moon. Jupiter is the 4th. You might see Mars and Saturn in the constellation Virgo in the dark night sky. These planets are much harder to see, but Mars has been pretty visible. It has a reddish glow.

Venus Transit of the Sun June 5/6

Here is some fascinating information about Venus, that beautiful diamond of a planet that Mesopotamia, Egypt, India, China, and ancients America have been watching for millennium in the morning and evening sky. Venus has an amazing sky rhythm that brings her back to the same place in the heavens every 8 years. This pattern was seen by many of the ancient peoples as significant, especially the Maya. This 8 year rhythm synchronized two different, but simultaneous calculations of Venus’ motion around the Sun. Since Venus is closer to the Sun than the Earth, she goes around the Sun 13 times in 8 Earth years. But viewed from the Earth, it appears as if Venus goes around the Sun 5 times in 8 Earth years. These numbers of 5, 8, and 13 relate to the Fibonacci series and the Golden Ratio, a proportion used in Greek temples, leaves of plants, and spirals in shells and galaxies. If you drew out Venus’ pattern it would look like a beautiful five petal flower. Due to this repeating pattern, Venus is in the same place every 8 years, so the position of Venus you see today in 2012 was the same as in 2004.

We are now getting to witness a very rare transit of Venus, its first pairing which occurred 8 years ago in 2004. This rare event occurs about every 124 years and this will be only the eighth occurrence (4th pairing) since the invention of the telescope: 1631/1639; 1761/1769; 1874/1882; 2004/2012 and next time in 2117/2125.

This transit will last about 7 hours total, and will appear as a small dot crossing the surface of the Sun. Be sure you use special solar eclipse glasses to view it, because looking at the sun directly, even for a short while, can cause serious damage to your eyes.  The transit will be seen in its totality (for all 7 hours) in the Pacific Ocean region, including Hawaii.  NASA has a live webcast of the event from Hawaii that can be seen at NASA. The transit will be visible around sunset on June 5 in the US and at sunrise on June 6 in most of Europe, and parts of Africa and Asia. This transit was used to measure the size of the solar system in the past, and this year, scientists will reach even further and will use it to measure the size of the Universe!  For a map of the locations and times to view it, as well as lots of other information go to Transit of Venus.

Humans are meaning-making creatures. We look to the events in our life – big and small- and give meaning to them. Venus has been in the sky every night of 2012 saying: “Look at me!”  She has been doing all she can to get our attention. And now, as she moves from her role as the Evening Star into the Morning Star, she is demanding our attention again. Her last appearance as the Evening Star will be on June 5th, as she sets with the Sun, and her first appearance as the Morning Star will be on June 6th, as she rises with the Sun. She only does this every 124 years, and she is doing it now. Look!! See!!

But see what? What does she want of us? The answer lies in who Venus is and what she represents. Venus is the goddess of relationships. She wants there to be love and connection and sharing of beauty. She thrives on intimacy, on really knowing another. Right now she is expressing the sign of Gemini, which she will be in four times longer than she normally expresses a sign. As just stated, Gemini is about being with people that you see as familiar, as a sister or close friend. Venus in Gemini is about friendship. She is asking us to see ourselves when we look into the eyes of another. She is asking us to see how we are alike one another, rather than how we are different. She is asking us to find ways to relate to each other, and to treat each other like the brothers and sisters that we are. She is saying in her own symbolic way the message of love, unity, and compassion that is at the heart of our many religions. She is saying: “When you look at another, see yourself.”

This image really spoke to me as I pondered Venus transiting the Sun. I see this image as the Goddess Venus, powerful, all-knowing, beautiful, and demanding much. Behind her is radiant orange disc of the Sun, and she is exactly in alignment with it. I think it was Jimi Hendrix who said “When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.” That is what Venus is saying, that is what Venus wants from us.

To Do: This Venus transit is a perfect time to look inside yourself to see the divine within you and to find a way to bring that divinity out into the world in your relationships with others. It is a time to make a choice to live a conscious life, to be the bigger person, to forgive the flaws of others, and to make peace with yourself. Tibetan Buddhism has a meditation practice called Deity Yoga that is very powerful. You can meditate on this image, or any other image, until you melt into her eyes, and then realize that you are in fact, looking at yourself. The violence, ignorance, abuse, and ecological destruction in this world can not be the way that God or the Goddess intended us to live. Venus is asking you not to hold back your love and compassionate action any longer.

Venus and Mars in Libra

Mars, the God of War, and Venus, the Goddess of Love are together in the sky right now, and I hope they are making whoopee!  They have been in the same zodiac sign of Libra the Balancer, since August 8th, getting closer and closer together. Today they are at the exact same point in the sky, they are now One.  Hence my choice of imagery, a wonderful illustration of the God and Goddess completely joined in union. This drawing by Robert Place is part of his lovely Buddha Tarot deck, which I will say more about in the upcoming Moon Letter. This image is sexual in nature. Mars is the yang energy of external power and force; Venus is the yin energy of internal heat and passion. The physical expression of Mars is up and out; Venus is down and in. Venus is found either as the morning star, or as in her current cycle, the evening star, two of the most frequent times to be making love. So, obviously with Mars and Venus conjunct (conjoined), these are wonderful nights to be with your lover. The two planets will be closely united until September 9th, so that should be plenty of time to enjoy the connections with the one you love.

But Mars and Venus represent more than sexual connection. They are also representing the masculine and feminine ways of being in the world. The masculine ways of being are described in terms of external, logical, intellectual, rational, and action that is often power-over. The feminine ways of being are described in terms of internal, intuitive, emotional, related, and empowered means of action. We need both of these forms of action and both of these associated values. We need both yang and yin. Right now it seems as if the masculine is too strong as seen by the greed, competition, and fighting that is going on. We need the balance of the feminine energy of relatedness and compassion so that we can work to heal the wounds so evident in our own lives, our community, and the world.

Watch Mars and Venus set in the western sky about an hour and half after sunset over the next week. Venus will be the bright sparkling diamond who is setting first, and Mars will be a ruddy red following close behind. Saturn will set soon before them, so you might see him as well. A great program that will help you find the stars and planets and constellations is You can program it to your city’s latitude and longitude and find the constellations and planets. And you can move the clock forward to find out when the planets will rise and set on any particular day in your area. Or, you can check out  the on-line Farmer’s Almanac, from which the rising and setting times for Chattanooga are listed below. I just purchased the hard copy of 2011 Farmer’s Almanac and am really enjoying the star lore and zodiac information.

Sun 7:05 A.M. 8:24 P.M.
Moon 6:01 P.M. 3:14 A.M.
Mercury 8:55 A.M. 9:02 P.M.
Venus 10:49 A.M. 10:15 P.M.
Mars 10:47 A.M. 10:23 P.M.
Jupiter 9:53 P.M. 9:58 A.M.
Saturn 9:55 A.M. 10:03 P.M.
Uranus 9:44 P.M. 9:47 A.M.
Neptune 8:17 P.M. 7:11 A.M.
Pluto 4:48 P.M. 3:08 A.M.

Venus, Mars, and Saturn in the Sky

Update August 7th, 2010

We have the triangle of planets setting in the west through August, a New Moon in Leo on Monday August 9th, and the Perseids meteor shower on Thursday August 12th. Venus, the sparkling diamond, is the most beautiful and brightest light in the sky, aside from the Moon. It is no coincidence that the two most beautiful lights in the sky are considered feminine, or yin, energies in astrology. Watching Venus in the night sky is a real pleasure, second only to watching the Moon. To find Venus, look to the west after sunset. In August she is pretty high in the sky. To find her think of the the eastern horizon as 12 on a clock, and the western horizon as 6; then Venus is about at 5 o’clock in the early evening, setting lower in the west a few hours later . She is the brightest light you will see in the sky and she really sparkles. Venus has been in the evening sky since March 2010 and will continue to be visible in the evening light till the end of October, when she passes between the Earth and the Sun. She will reappear as the Morning Star in November.

Venus, Mars, and Saturn are all together in the sky, and will be in the zodiac sign Libra from Sunday, August 8th until September 9th. Depending on how clear the night sky is, you might be able to see them. On Saturday, they make a triangle in the sky, with Venus the lower point, and Mars, an orange color to the upper left, and Saturn, more golden, to the upper right.  These three planets move at different speeds, so their relationship will change as August progresses. On Sunday, the waning crescent Moon will join them. The planets will be below the Moon, and they will all set about 2 hours after the Sun sets. The New Moon is on August 9th, invisible at first, since it is so close to the Sun that it can not be seen. But as the Moon moves further from the Sun you will see the beautiful sliver of the crescent, that I call the High Priestess Moon. So from August 11-13, the waxing crescent Moon will be seen with Venus, Mars, and Saturn, as she moves to join them in the zodiac sign Libra.

So what does it mean, astrologically speaking, to have the two yin energies, Moon and Venus, and two yang energies, Mars and Saturn together? I’ll address that in another post.

July 13th ~ Crescent Moon and Venus

Evening of Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Moon is moving from New to the first stage of crescent. The Moon is spectacular tonight in it’s crescent form. Like a silver sliver in the sky, it graces the evening light. Look to the west and watch it set. You should be able to see the crescent Moon for several nights. Spectacular. There will be the crescent Moon after every new Moon (look on the Moon page for a diagram of the Moon phases). My friend Shayla and I always called this the High Priestess Moon. This is because in the Tarot cards of my favorite deck, the Waite-Rider, the High Priestess has a crescent Moon at her feet. And her crown is made up of three stages of the Moon- waxing crescent, the full, and the waning crescent. These three stages of the Moon are the symbol of the Triple Goddess, the goddess in all her stages, Maiden, Mother, and Crone. So for now, the Moon is a Maiden. She is new, fresh, growing in light and power.  So lovely.

And above and to the left of the crescent Moon look for the bright shining diamond in the sky that is Venus. According to the Current Planets widget, the Moon is in late degrees of Leo, and Venus is in early degrees of Virgo. This means that tomorrow (Wednesday July 14th) the Moon and Venus will even be closer in the sky in the zodiac sign of Virgo, and they become exactly connected (conjunct in astrological language) at 5:14 pm EDT. This really is a week for the goddess. Be sure to watch the sky tomorrow night. But if you can’t, know that the nurturing Mother part of you (the Moon), and the connecting Lover (Venus) are having a talk about how you can bring these two very different parts of yourself into a union.

Your Communication Skills …Communication can become about expressing yourself creativity and style. If you’ve been wanting to find your voice in writing, or try out for theater, this is a good week to begin to experiment with joyfully having your say. Don’t be too concerned if other people  say you are a bit too self-centered in the way your are perceiving the world. This is a good month to think about how YOU need to engage with the world. This is because Mercury moves from  Cancer into the sign of Leo on Friday July 9th

Your Love & Relationships … Your love life may be less focused on play and creative expression (the qualities of Leo) and start to be more practical in nature. Venus might not have as much pure fun in Virgo, but it is a good time to plan for the future, save for a house, or start a new approach to eating and health. All of those things are a necessary part of building a long lasting love relationship. This is because Venus moves from Leo into the sign of Virgo on Saturday July 10th.

Fear and Love

What is the balance between Fear and Love.

At one extreme people right now in our country are afraid. The strong violent reaction to the Heath Care bill really brought that fact to the surface. Bullies are abounding, calling legislatures racial names, and throwing bricks through windows. People are afraid of losing their job, their home, their family, and even their country. There is a huge increase in gun purchases, and legislatures are passing new gun laws to allow people to pack weapons in schools, universities, bars, parks, and even Starbucks! Some people feel a need to have a weapon to protect themselves from what in their eyes is a very dangerous world.

On the other extreme people are full of love, hope, and faith. There are people who believe that some other force is watching this planet and that all the problems of the world will be fixed when this other force brings us the compassionate wisdom and salvation we need. Some people see this as an upcoming apocalypse brought on by Christ, others see it as Beings from another planet or dimension who are sending helpful energies to us through portals, others rely on Archangels as the spiritual force that will shift the vibration of the planet to love.

Both of these perspectives are valid, and have truth. But they also represent the far poles of Aries and Libra, of Fear and Love.  During this Full Moon take the time to find the place of balance between these two polarities. Ask yourself: What do I fear? How does this fear direct my actions? What is the source of this fear? Then ask yourself: What do I love? How does love direct my actions? What is the source of this love?  Once you have the two polarities understood, focus on that line between the Yin and the Yang, focus on the place where fear and love disappear. Where love and fear meld into a more perfect union.

There are so many examples of taking loving action to address something that you fear. For example, if you fear pollution of the Earth, plan to participate in an Earth Day Event on April 22nd. If you fear your child’s school is becoming a dangerous place, organize a parental group to address the issue and seek solutions. One woman, Vikki Hanchin, is finding the balance encouraging other women to become awakened to their power so that together we can begin to make the changes that the world so desperately needs, one person at a time. You can find out about her actions through