Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Venus In Transit

Venus                                                                                 Photo: Nancy Shobe

Today, Tuesday, June 5, a rare astronomical event will occur. Venus will be in transit. Venus will pass in front of the sun and viewers on Earth will see Venus' shapely silhouette from 6 p.m. PDT until sunset.

The last time this event was able to be seen in L.A. was 1882. And, when it occurs again in 2117, I think my view will be from front row celestial seats.

I love Venus.

Known as the "Morning Star" or "Evening Star", Venus is the next brightest object in our sky besides the Moon and the Sun. When I arrive home after a day's work, I often look up toward the night sky and search for Venus. I feel especially rewarded on those rare occasions when I see Venus dripping off the Moon, as if the two were consorting all day and just waiting for the darkness to shine their light. It solaces me to see the two together; like best girlfriends.

In Roman mythology, Venus is the goddess of love, beauty, sex, fertility, and prosperity. She and her Greek cohort, Aphrodite, were held in the highest regard--at least they were until Christianity came around. In the Middle Ages, Venus went from "light" to "dark". She became the personification of sinful lust and depravity. It was the Renaissance that brought her to light again, in all her sexual, feminine glory.

Years ago, when I visited the Uffizi Museum in Florence, Italy, I was mesmerized by Sandro Botticelli's painting, The Birth of Venus (c1486). The rest of my family pleaded with me to move on to other paintings, but I was transfixed. I studied the painting, scrutinized it, absorbed it into my memory.

In Botticelli's painting, Venus, in her revered nudity, is stepping ashore from her seashell, blown in by the wind. Her red hair cascades in rivulets along her body. She casts her glance slightly downward and away, as if lost in thought, a goddess resigned to her duty. According to myth, where Venus lingers, roses fall from the sky. The woman greeting Venus and welcoming her to shore wears a waistband of rose vines.

Botticelli, a devout Christian and a renowned painter, unchained the beauty, the purity, and the innocence of women through his great artistic masterpiece, The Birth of Venus.

I love Venus.

Venus is the ruling planet of my astrological sign, Libra. An appreciation for love, beauty, fashion, and the arts are all aspects of what Venus brings to my birth. A true romantic at heart, it is often difficult for me to see the shadow sides of people--to read the chronicles of war, to see the brutality of what we do to one another. I actually walked out of the movie, Schindler's List, not because it was a bad flick but because I couldn't stand the cruelty. A pacifist at heart, I sometimes cannot comprehend how people can inject such meanness on one another or why we choose to misunderstand.

When I turn my head up toward the sky, I look for Venus and the Moon because they make sense to me. They pacify each other, delight in each other's company, and shed over others their beaming glow.

I love Venus.

I am surrounded by Venus energy right now. I have a young puppy, Mango, an English Doodle who is a spirited girl. Nine pullets and two hens trill their high-pitched tunes from my hen house. I spend many evenings visiting my new granddaughter and drinking in her soft coos, sweet face, and luscious baby scent.

The only Mars (Ares) in the household is my cat, Sequoia, a wandering, once-homeless, killer with a lion's instinct for the hunt and a mouse's instinct for the late night nest. He is a Sun living in a world of Venus'. I often wonder how he feels around all of this Yin energy, if he feels alone, empowered, or better than? In a strange way, he reminds me of a friend's father who used to make jokes about living amongst the clutter and female "things" of his wife and four daughters.

We are all new together, this female energy--my granddaughter, my puppy, the hens, and me. There was an exquisite month of births this spring. We are all learning how to honor each other, how to revel in the soft, female energy that each brings, and how to dance in the presence of one another.

We are learning that without the Sun and its harsh, bright light, it would be impossible for us to radiate our lightness and happiness into the world. And, we are learning that by knowing the universe and its myths, we can understand our part--what we each have to offer.

We are all loving each other,
and learning together,
and reveling in the journey we're on


we are Venus's in transit.


Another artist's "take" on Venus in transit:  From Astro Daddy on Flicker.

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