By Mary Plumb | March 18, 2013
Venus disappeared from the morning sky (Venus Lucifer, “the light bearer” to the Greeks) on February 16. She will reappear in the evening sky on May 16, when she will be low and faint in the sky after sunset. This begins her reign as Venus Hesperus, i.e., “setting in the West.”
Venus is invisible now; she is rising with the Sun. (The Maya astrologers and many other traditions understood her disappearance to be her descent into the underworld.) On March 28, still invisible to us, she will make her superior conjunction with the Sun. She is on the other side of the Sun, farthest from the earth, at the superior conjunction, as she aligns with the Sun at 8º Aries.
Here’s a graphic that Robert Blaschke designed, from an earlier TMA blog (the superior conjunction is #6): (1)
Most modern astrologers think of the inferior conjunction (retrograde) as the beginning of the synodic cycle. The current cycle began on June 5, 2012 with the Venus transit, that rare (every 120-year) eclipse of Venus crossing the face of the Sun. This inferior conjunction of Venus with the Sun was at 15º44’ Gemini.
I was able to see Venus crossing the sun here in Ashland; I had the special glasses and the afternoon sky was clear. I had my own solo experience, although there were many gatherings and rituals worldwide for the event, and astronomers were delighted at the data they could collect. That rare and potent moment was the beginning of this synodic cycle. Venus is now at the midway point in her 584-day cycle around the Sun — another peak time for her symbolism to be noted and her inspiration to be felt. I can readily remember and conjure anew what I felt at the occultation. Maybe you can, too?
I love the perspective from traditional philosophy and earlier astrologers who understood the superior conjunction (from Latin: superus, “higher”) as being related to the planet’s most elevated position from the earth, and therefore closer to the refined energy from the heavenly spheres. Deborah Houlding wrote in The Beauty of the Venus Cycle (TMA Feb/Mar 2010): “As the planets culminate within their own spheres, they rise towards the purer, rarified regions of heaven and become spiritual and soul-like in quality and effect.” (2)
Another image to contemplate is Venus cazimi. At both the inferior and superior conjunctions, Venus is cazimi, in the heart of the Sun. In Lilly’s time, a planet in cazimi was seen as trusted advisor to the king, was taken into his deepest confidence and inner circle. We all have an inner king, a place of radiance and connection to the source of life. What are we holding there in closest confidence?
On March 28 Venus is in the heart of the Sun and at her farthest distance from earth. We can have a re-enchanted and renewed perspective on all that we cherish. This is a time for infusing beauty, harmony, and contentment into our very cells.
Venus is cohesive and magnetic. Love — from amorous to universal — keeps us in relationship to all that is holding the world together. (3)
We may find that attraction, desire, and beauty come alive under the magnificent presence and immeasurable power of the Sun. Our personal aspirations and creative visions of the world are magnified. Cooperation is unlimited.
Remember Venus’s perfect and enduring symmetry, whereby she moves across the skies and creates a five-pointed star pattern every eight years. (4) No matter where one considers the start of the Venus cycle (i.e., at heliacal rise, at the inferior conjunction, or the superior conjunction), Venus will always make the five-pointed star in her eight-year journey with the Sun and the earth. On March 28, we are at one of the five points on a star.
Here’s a graphic showing the geometry of her orbit around the Sun:
Uranus was at 8º Aries at the Venus occultation that so auspiciously began this synodic cycle in June 2012. Uranus is back at 8º with the Sun and Venus for the superior conjunction.
Unexpected meetings and encounters carry an extraordinary promise; insights into the puzzles of our passions and loves fall into place; a different appreciation of solitude and companionship dawns upon us; the uninvited, the unprecedented, the perplexing, and the astonishing walk right into our intimate experience. Our appreciation for the maddening, terrifying, and gorgeous artistry of our lives is unbounded.
What is over the edge and just out of view has great magnetism now. The way forward toward greater love and cooperation carries Uranus’s radicalism. We are at the end of convention in some significant way inside of ourselves. (Look to the house with Aries on the cusp for the greatest punch.)
Onward, friends, into heightened sensitivities for all that is good in this world.
(2) Deborah Houlding’s article, The Beauty of the Venus Cycle in TMA Feb/Mar 2010, considers the start of the Venus cycle to be the superior conjunction.
(3) I do well know her other possible expressions, i.e., jealousy, envy, greed, but for now, I’m staying in the heavenly spheres.
(4) Venus: Enduring Symmetry
(1) For an extensive description of the Venus synodic cycle and the rose pattern she forms as viewed from above the earth, see Nick Kollerstrom’s article Venus, the Rose and the Heart
(2) Here is my review of Anne Massey’s book, Venus: Her Cycles, Symbols & Myths.