Botticelli's Birth of Venus
Venus Conjunction 2004 [part 3]
Rare and Powerful Conjunction with the Sun on June 8, 2004
Malvin Artley concludes his discussion of the 2004 Venus Transit by examining the astrological aspects and meanings in the light of love. New paradigms of human thought have been historically awakened by previous examples of this transit. Many times the hardest things yield the greatest gifts, and as such they can be the blessed release from forces we had set in motion in ages long gone and are better off without. Be prepared both to let go and to receive. But, above all, let us be prepared to see ourselves as we are, not as we wish ourselves to be. Malvin also publishes a regular astrological newsletter, to which you can subscribe by clicking the link at the end of this article.
We learn to love more fully and justly in the human realms by emulating the Soul by staying as close as possible to our highest expression through patience when others try to rush things, through tolerance when others cannot see our point of view, through giving when appropriate with a joyful heart because it is the natural thing to do regardless of how it may be perceived or received, by living exemplary lives and by living well, for then we show the gifts of our own Soul in action and also by seeking always to draw out the best in others rather than focusing upon differences, for then we not only aspire to our own Soul but to theirs as well. All people are noble, accomplished Souls in their higher essence, regardless of how we may view them personally.
This transit of Venus occurs at 6:45 PM AEST on the 8th of June, 2004. I will not go into its significance in terms of the Mayan calendar because there is already a wealth of information available on it. In my own tradition this year marks the start of the New Age and there are many ways of reckoning it, each with their own validity. In Western terms it is said that this particular conjunction only comes around every 120.6 years. But, the 2nd-order cycle of Venus comes around every 8 years and marks a readjustment of thinking in the realm of human relationships at every turn. The 120-year cycle is particularly combust the disc of Venus being smack in the middle of the face of the Sun. As has been stated in other articles, these greater periods mark major advances in the areas of science and particularly human interaction and interconnectedness, as we would expect.
Under its influence in recent history we have seen the Reformation, the birth of the postal service, world circumnavigation and the women's Suffrage movement. All of these have been landmarks in the greater adjusting of human conditions to the call of the higher Life and of movements for a more just expression in the realm of human affairs. People everywhere are sensing the need for equality and justice in all walks of life. People also sense the need for greater ease in communication and for more open, honest sharing with each other. But beyond all this, there is as well a growing sense of dissatisfaction with the economic climate as it is, with the consumer-driven economy that sees people working longer and longer for less and less, and there is a growing recognition that there is a basic need for a simpler life that has more time for Spirit and for quality time with family and community. The Soul moves in a timeless and infinite continuum to our limited view and the fact that we feel we have to run around in such a frenzy in this life seems ludicrous in comparison.
The Sun and Venus conjoin at the 18th degree of Gemini, the symbol for which reads thus:
Two Chinese men converse in their native tongue in an American city
Dane Rudhyar, in his commentary on the Sabian symbols, made the observation that this symbol carried the energy of being in the world, but not of it. I see a bit more to it than that, though. I have thought a lot about relationships throughout my life, being so strongly under the influence of Venus myself, and the thing that speaks to me from this symbol is the need to find common denominators between people in any given circumstance and to be able to go from strength to strength with people to build common ground--rather than going against the tide of things. Whenever two or more people meet together it will invariably be found that they ultimately have things in common that will serve to foster a relationship between them. The two gentlemen in the symbol might very well be able to speak English in their environment, but why go against the tide of their nature? Why not build on the old connection? To me, this symbol is about finding strength or alliances in otherwise strange or out-of-the-ordinary circumstances. It is always possible to find those situations in which connection with another can be made and where differences can be bridged through commonality of past experiences.
New Paradigms of Human Thought
Venus rules Gemini as the esoteric ruler, and through that sign it brings together multitudinous and sometimes opposing factors and thus establishes new paradigms in human thought as a result. Gemini rules commerce and personal interplay as well as brotherhood in orthodox astrology, and it is the first sign wherein cooperative effort is undertaken. The ability to communicate well demands an ability to see all or the most important sides of a question or quandary and a willingness to hear the other sides point of view. What is really going on behind the scenes in the more awakened Geminian is the Venusian factor of the bringing together of various ideas in order to make a workable synthesis from them and to establish a better link between the personas of all parties involved in order that a wider good or purpose may be served. In fact, both rulers of Gemini are in Gemini in this figure, so the Geminian influence is to be of most importance over this greater cycle of Venus. As with the other recent 120-year conjunctions of Venus, communications and interconnectedness will be the order of the day and the cycle, and the whole idea of what we might call global community stands to be very much more put to the fore and accelerated in its development.
The Sun/Venus conjunction is also trine to Neptune in this figure, and with this we find a very powerful idealism and refinement of forces and character. The insights to come from this conjunction will reach far into the future and the future will stand revealed to those who have the eye to see. Neptune is revelatory in its action and when the right relation between the various parts of one's nature are in correct alignment under this influence, the possibilities for union, refinement and the most astounding visions become possible for those who make the needed effort. But, there is a catch with this. The tendency for this sort of configuration is for people to become very ungrounded and off with the fairies when under its influence. The visions and the bliss of spiritual union can be so sublime that the temptation to stay in the spirit worlds can become so great that the needs of the flesh, so-to-speak, often go unattended. The orthodox interpretation for its energies is for a quiet charm and magnetism, strong intuitions, all-pervading optimism, good fellowship, high impressionability, a strong romantic inclination, an extreme idealism and exquisite, lavish taste, along with a genuine appreciation of beauty, poetry and music. The arts should find great enhancement and advancement under this period of influence.
The Ethereal Realms?
For those who would love to get lost in the ethereal realms under the influence of this cycle and never have to return to this little world of seemingly endless woe and worry, I am afraid they will be in for some rude shocks under this cycle, for the Sun/Venus conjunction is opposed to Pluto in this figure. Pluto will ensure that the needs of the lower worlds will be met and that all earthly debts are paid before the heaven worlds will be realized. I have called Pluto The Restorer of Souls before because it removes all obstacles to the higher life and strips away all that clouds the vision and purpose of the higher, thus restoring balance and clarity to the Soul's expression on Earth. It will be as if anyone who wants to dwell only on love's ecstasy and who would see only the rosy side of life during this transit and in the coming cycle will come in for dressing down and receive periodic reality checks, which will be a very good thing for anyone concerned. In short, there will be thorns among the roses to remind us that we are still human and that periodically some blood must flow to remind us of why we are here. Added to this is the fact that Chiron is only aspected by an opposition to Mars in this chart, and the scene is thus set for some powerful, deep and cathartic resolution of old wounds and the danger of new ones if we fail to keep a balanced perspective on our lives. Little as some people may realize it, too much of a focus on the higher side of life can be as damaging to the Soul's purposes as too much attention to the material world. Either one can short-circuit the work of the higher Self for a given life by putting one in too extreme a focus in either direction. Venus should produce balance in life, not hedonism, material or spiritual.
The Altar of Love
So, for all who would lay all they have upon the altar of love in service and sacrifice to one's fellow man or creatures the rewards under this cycle can be grand indeed. But for all who would lay all on love's altar and seek only after love's solace and ecstasy under this transit, be aware that it is just as possible that they would come to know the power of love to devastate as well as to bless. Love, being the prime evolutionary force of this system, destroys as well as unites in order to establish right relations, and an ill-founded idealism and attachment to people and things always carries with it the promise of corrective action at some point along the way. The heart of the true server that is open and thrills to the fullness of love has known all too well the utter emptiness of desolation that comes from a loss of attachment and sentiment, ever the deluder of souls, for is only through such desolation in the past that the server has come to realize the foolishness of attachment to anything temporal. It is through knowing the emptiness following emotional devastation that we come to learn the full value of tenderness and harmlessness in our interactions with people, because we then know first-hand what people feel when they have to go through such experiences and we know better how to help them. There are times, of course, when gentleness will not get the job done, but that only happens when the other party will brook no other path. It is only when the tongue loses the power to wound that the kingdom of heaven is opened to us.
I had mentioned above that the power to wound is heightened under the influence of this transit, as well as the power to heal. Mars and Pluto are both active in this chart, especially in the most intimate areas of life (Venus and Chiron). It is possible for people to become so engrossed in the beauty they see that they lose sight of others and inadvertently wound them. For those who find themselves in such situations, especially if they are the wounding party, I offer the following points. A wound is a wound, no matter how it is received. The knife that stabs deeply causes a wound that bleeds profusely, whether the person wielding the knife was malicious in intent or was completely innocent, to use an analogy. The fact remains that someone has been deeply cut. The reasons why at that moment are entirely unimportant. What is of import is that the wounded party must receive proper attention, and that often means that the offending party must be removed from the wounded one to avoid further wounding until proper healing can take place. There will be a lot to consider on both sides in the intervening time, but eventually the two parties must usually be brought back together to face the situation and to assure that measures are taken so that it does not happen again, either to themselves or to others. Then is the time for the reasons the event happened to be addressed. Analysis in the face of pain only brings aggravation and adds to an already untenable situation in many cases. The wounded party must have the time and space alone to heal and to make due realignment with the higher Self. And, healing can only come from the higher Self, the source of the person's life. It should be noted, too, that healers never actually heal another person. They are only assistants to another's higher Self. As such, healing should never be offered unless specifically requested by the party needing it or in cases of dire need. This is a cardinal occult rule. I simply feel impelled to add this paragraph. The reasons why will no doubt be made clear later.
Venus is in its Hesperus phase in the lead-up to this transit and has been so for some time. The Hesperus phase is the phase of wisdom, where the lessons of Venus are garnered prior to embarking on a new cycle of love's discovery. The Lucifer phase is the phase of out-breathing, wherein the solar purpose is given fresh impetus and new Light is distributed to the world via Venus. Lucifer is the imparting of knowledge and the new dispensation, and that will come when Venus goes past the Sun and heralds the new cycle. Hesperus is the gathering of wisdom from the passing cycle, especially when it turns retrograde, for then the attention of Venus is turned inward, symbolically speaking, and the higher Self is able to more easily assess what is needed in the coming cycle, so long as the persona is willing to cooperate in the process.
There is a T-square in this figure, with Mercury at the apex and with Jupiter and Uranus as the arms. This highlights the need for free and open communication between people, for establishing new avenues of communication and the need for balance and clarity in dialog for the tendency in this configuration is toward trying to take in or add too much, for losing sight of detail, for trying to make things larger than they should be, for wanting to throw caution to the wind and to work outside established avenues of dialog and social intercourse. It can bring a very broad vision and can bring many disparate factions together, but always the aim should be toward balance and for not losing sight of the task at hand. Saturn sextiles Jupiter in the figure, so the effusiveness of Jupiter is made more constructive, serving to tone down some of what has just been mentioned and yielding a more grounded outcome. The urge to explore new vistas and to expand horizons will be very prominent under this transit and many a grand idea will come of it. And, there is a good chance that such ideas can be made to eventually materialize, so long as the intent is pure and the ideas are basically sound, especially since Saturn conjoins Mars in the figure, indicating a good focus of energies and the driving force needed to materialize them. These paragraphs conclude the major planetary considerations I see of major influence in this transit.
Matter and Energy
One final point returns us to the consideration of Venus and its rulership over science. The science of the 20th century finally confirmed what occultists have known all along that there is no real distinction between matter and energy. I will talk about this more in a future letter, but esoterically Venus is intimately connected with the Mental Plane and with science in general. All things can be seen in terms of energy. The material bodies are actually bodies of Light. The Theory of Relativity, the Uncertainty Principle, the Wave-Particle Duality and the world of Quantum Physics have all brought us to the inescapable conclusion that what we once thought of as reality in terms of dense, tangible, material existence has no real basis in fact. All is energy, and when we begin to look at the world and our lives in those terms then we come to realize as well that there is no separation between the higher and lower worlds. The only separations are our own systems of belief and in the crudity of our thinking and feeling. For those people who would say there is a difference between love on the physical plane and love in the realm of Soul, I would simply ask why it is necessarily so? In reality, so long as the alignment between the Soul and persona is true, love flows freely at all levels and all forms of love then become truly spiritual, for the Soul thus infuses them all. I draw no real distinctions between levels in true love. There is no greater driving force (or turn-on) for lovers, or indeed servers to humanity, than when hearts are united in love. Love begets love and the heart afire neither sees nor accepts any barrier to that love whatsoever, so long as alignment to highest Good is true and Purpose is always directed by love.
The Sweetness of Life
As I write these closing words to you the strong perfume of honeysuckle fills the air and I am reminded of the sweetness of life and the need every day to give gratitude for the beautiful life that has been bestowed upon me.
North Carolina Honeysuckle
The woods here in North Carolina are filled with honeysuckle now and being able to commune with nature in my short stay has been most healing and uplifting. My trip so far has been a real lesson in the coming transit. I have met with family and old friends. I have made some new friends (Or is that re-found some old friends?) and I have had some surprising re-connections with people that I had known earlier in life. I have had to let a few dear ones go and some of them I will never see again this life. Such is the rhythm of life. I have moved past many old connections with places and things and have realized where my heart resides now, though I know all-too-well that if the need of the Soul arises even such certainties can pass as quickly as fallen leaves in the wind. And in all this I have been constantly shown many things about my own nature and areas in which I could improve my connection with my higher Self, as well as areas in which I find I do rather well. As my self-realization deepens, so my outer relationships change and many hidden gifts are thus uncovered. I have paid special attention to the play upon my heart this trip and in the time leading up to it and the magic that happens nearly every day never ceases to surprise and bless me. Every thing and circumstance truly bears a gift and the symbolism contained therein explains the world to me and adds verse after verse to the poetry that is my life.
This is a special time of blending heart and mind, my friends, and all we need do is to keep open minds and hearts to all that comes our way through this period. It is a time of ingathering, of looking back over the wisdom that we have accrued in all our relationships from the past years. Some have been wonderful, some difficult, but all of them have something to open for us just as we do for all whom we encounter. Give yourselves time and space to let this period yield up its offerings. Let nothing pass by unnoticed in that regard, whether pleasurable or otherwise. Many times the hardest things yield the greatest gifts, and as such they can be the blessed release from forces we had set in motion in ages long gone and are better off without. Be prepared both to let go and to receive. But, above all, let us be prepared to see ourselves as we are, not as we wish ourselves to be. This is not a time where one can stay attached to expectations or sentiments that no longer suit the needs of one's Soul. Some attachments to people are good and needed, for they help us to balance our lives and to weather the harder times, but even in that whatever we can do for ourselves helps others in their own self-realization and evolution and we receive many blessings in return from that.
And, as we move into the future past the day of the transit, let us hold to our ideals of love and relationship and yet be aware that our ideals are much more about our own lives than about others. We will be shown in due course if we are in error with our thinking and feeling. Many things will be left to fade into mists of the past and yet so much more will be opened to us. I know for myself that as I leave this land I once called home and which yet still holds a place for me in the hearts of those I leave behind, I move forward into a future of fuller Light and service--yet uncertain, but also much more secure in my connection with Self, and in that there is no greater promise. May that same promise be yours as well in the coming days and years and may you all know the fullness that love offers you and that you may render to others. May Venus thus bless you abundantly these days and show you the bliss that is your own highest Essence.
Much love to you all,
19 May 2004
This concludes this article by Malvin Artley.
Return to the start of The Venus Conjunction
Aries, the Ram
Taurus, the Bull
Gemini, the Twins
Cancer, the Crab
Leo, the Lion
Virgo, the Virgin
Libra, the Scales
Scorpio, the Scorpion
Sagittarius, the Archer
Capricorn, the Sea Goat
Aquarius, the Water Bearer
Pisces, the Fishes