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.