MAY, 2004


Mythic Prelude:


 The Mirror of Venus


   The main themes this month are not astrological -- though the Full Moon of May 4 is auspicious and complex -- but come from the realm of primary myth as we focus this time on Venus and the Spring of 2004, and two ceremonial events, exactly a month apart, that define a moment when humanity is awakening, and assisting the healing of the earth.

As all mythmakers and hearers know, mid-spring Taurus month (April 21 - May 20) belongs to Venus the Lover, and manifests her generosity in profusions of flowers and fresh green leaves, lovers who are outdoors again, and all the rest of the Taurean energy that carries in joyous stamina all the green and pulsing vitality of the Earth. While endorphins are not specifically a Taurean phenomenon, they may as well be, as they kick in for those who commit breath and heart to the surge of the body toward love in action.

  This year, Venus can be said to rule the whole spring, as planet energies continue to build and converge, know it or not, to the Grand Venus Event of the year, one of two that will mark like bookends the time of transition from 2004 to 2012.

  The Venus Passages of June 8, 2004 and June 6, 2012 are equal in importance to recent events such as the Harmonic Convergence of August 1987, the Grand Cross alignments of August 1999, the Grand Stellium of May 2000 and Harmonic Concordance of November 2003, and represent one of our best opportunities to clear, lighten and arrange ourselves and our waiting planet for the coming time of transformation. The two Venus Passages this Spring and in 2012 are in fact much rarer and more auspicious than some of the other astral events cited here.

Grand crosses occur all the time, and really require only two pairs of planets in opposition to each other, at an angle of 90°. Star of David alignments like last November's come a couple of times in a decade, a dozen times or more in a person's life. But sets of Venus Passages, which always come in pairs about eight years apart, can take two lifetimes to recur. Since the first Venus Passage was observed in 1639, they have come at intervals of 130 years (1631/39 to 1761/69), 113 years (1761/69 -- 1874/82) and now 130 years again (1874/82 -- 2004/12). That's as much as we know by direct observation in the modern scientific era, though it is, as usual, fascinating to speculate on the periods when earlier Venus Passages might and should have come -- for example, the momentous years of exploration and reformation from 1518 to 1526.

  We have neither the space nor the urge to look at earlier Venus Passages here. Those who have interest in these things can explore this month's Prelude Supplement, which has brief summaries of the periods listed above. You can also find links and leads to useful writing about the Venus Passage of June 8.

 A Venus Passage, also called a Venus Occultation, simply means that on one of those rare occasions when the orbital plane of Venus intersects the ecliptic, the apparent orbit of the Sun through the zodiac, Venus crosses the face of the Sun as seen from Earth's point of view, and for a Passage of some seven hours is said to "occultate" the Sun. Venus doesn't actually hide the Sun, of course, as the Moon does during a total solar eclipse, but totality is not the point.

 One of the two main ideas is that for scientists everywhere, a Venus Passage is a priceless opportunity to learn more about both the Sun and Venus; Calleman notes that the Venus Passage of 1761 was observed by 151 astronomers in 77 different locations, all focused on gaining, among other things, a more accurate estimate of the distance between the Earth and the Sun. For Edmund Halley, the famous Astronomer Royal for whom the most celebrated of all comets is named, "The sight of Venus on the Sun is by far the noblest that astronomy can afford" -- even though Halley (1656 - 1742) never got to see it himself.

  The other idea, that considers Venus mythically and spiritually, is that during a Venus Passage the Goddess is so gloriously in the ascendant that her beauty, her loving nature and her power of attraction outshine, symbolically at least, the blinding male force of the Sun himself. One way to picture this is to see Venus at front center stage, with the Sun at upstage center, and the other planets arranged like a chorus line on the flanks. In a Venus Passage heart and desire outweigh intellect, structure and organization, and the emphasis is on the sharing of love and the creation of beauty in ways that are radiant and brilliant. A Venus Passage is a time when we are not blinded by the light, but caressed and awakened by it.

   Each pair of Venus Passages is an eight-year span of new technological breakthroughs, mathematical models and scientific discoveries, new philosophical clarity and emphasis on the values of reason, and new popular movements aimed at taking power away from hierarchies and spreading it over wider constituencies and communities. In the arts, as one expects from years ruled by the most luminous and beautiful of all planets, painter and composers find new ways of rendering light, whether in the paintings of Rembrandt and Hals, the musical textures of Rameau, Haydn and Mozart, or the creative explosion of photography, magic lanterns and early prototypes of motion pictures.  This time around, new discoveries in the science and art of light are likely to be more dazzling than they have ever been. The Harmonic Concordance of November 2003 was a field of sound. The Venus Passages of 2004 and 2012 will be fields of light.

  Here are the major ceremonial moments of the Spring:

  May 1 - 3: The annual Mid-Spring Festival, celebrating the annual renewal of the Earth.

  May 4 - 5: Full Moon in Taurus month, and the Buddhist Wesak Festival. This Full Moon is intense and widely felt, as the Moon's North Node (Dragon's Head) and South Node (Dragon's Tail) conjoin Sun in Taurus and Moon in Scorpio, while Neptune in Aquarius is the middle leg of a T-cross that strongly, even relentlessly, poses questions of how dynamics between Sun and Moon, male and female, intellect and intuition, will be harmonized in ways that are spiritually enriching and unifying.

  May 8 (Sat): The Medicine Wheel Ceremony at Turquoise Mountain: Mount Taylor near Grants, NM will be the site of an extraordinary spiritual gathering on May 8, guided by the traditional Native American keepers of Turquoise Mountain. The gathering will welcome people of all colors and spiritual traditions, and be part of a massive Medicine Wheel Ceremony that will span the Western U.S. to place respectful attention on the well-being of the Earth we all share. Contact: Friends of Indigenous Elders, 14 Davis Loop, Placitas, NM, 87403. Phone: 505-867-8087, E-mail:

  June 8: The Venus Passage of 2004. Whether we view this moment of opportunity through Mayan myth, in which Venus is associated with the plumed serpent Quetzalcoatl, Lord of Light; or in relation to Western astrology and symbolism, the play of light is the common element. When she first lived in the Mediterranean, Aphrodite, later Venus, never had a modern mirror of silvered glass like the one shown here. All she had was polished metal.

But the idea of the mirror was far more important than the thing itself, for a mirror brings awareness of oneself from another's point of view; new challenges in deciding what is truth, fantasy, desire, denial and deceit; and above all the premise that relationships work by all kinds of attraction.

   At a time when the people of our planet seem to have grown increasingly addicted to hatred, aversion and attack, so the stick of belief and passion seems stuck in repulsion, and in the pain and dread of those who see themselves endlessly aligned against others, this year's Venus passage can clear both the eye and the heart, and remind us that relationships with others are far happier and more healing. June 8 is the time to see, and help others see, that for those who live in fear, everyone is a threat, but to those who live in love, everyone is a blessing.

   Bless us all. Keep holding that frequency.

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Copyright 2004 Dan Furst



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