Dear Friend and Reader:
“As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.”
— Sulamitis, from the Song of Solomon
On June 5 (June 6 in some time zones) Venus and the Sun form a precise conjunction, called a transit of Venus. Venus and the Sun align about once a year — though this one is different due to the fact that Venus will not pass above or below the Sun but rather directly cross its path. This is called a transit of Venus. Considered one of the most rare predictable astronomical events, transits of Venus arrive in pairs separated by eight years; the pairs themselves are divided by more than a century.
Events in astrology gain influence by being unusual — though this one will also be spectacular. If you can see the Sun during the event and use a special viewing filter, you will be able to watch Venus cross the disk of the Sun. (Beginning at 6:04 pm EDT, viewers in New York can watch until sunset.) We most recently experienced a transit of Venus in 2004. The June 5 event may be related to something that you experienced or a phase of your life that began eight years ago.
The world will not experience another transit of Venus until 2117, 105 years from now. It’s a bit ominous that, barring some life-extending genetic therapy, nobody who sees this one will be alive to see the next one.
Speaking of omens, this kind of rare event indicates a check-in point with the state of humanity. It’s the single most distinct astrology element of 2012, a year that may break the record for how much prophecy has hung on its back. Yet we do stand in a moment when one logical use of celestial divination would be trying to figure out what’s going to happen to civilization on our planet. By any objective measure, we are in trouble. It’s not that our national and global problems don’t have solutions. It’s not that there are insufficient resources. The crisis involves lack of leadership and ethics. Anyone trying for a solution must outsmart what amounts to a cabal of heavily armed thieves who are holding the planet hostage.
We face numerous hotly polarized situations of ‘us and them’, many of which come from a prevailing condition of inner division that has a grip on the human psyche. Which brings me to why it’s so excellent that this event is happening in Gemini. I believe that the political mess we face is a reflection of the deeper elements of our consciousness. Many of these are based on what I will broadly term gender issues.
In recent years, the political machinery has been using gender and sexual orientation — and sex in general — as some of its most effective wedges. Yet with the atmosphere heating up, with fracking consuming the United States and headed to Europe, with the economy in an extremely fragile state and our genetic code under assault from supertoxins-for-profit, worrying about who has the right to marry seems like a distraction.
Trying to blast reproductive rights back to the 1950s (as evidenced by the movement to repeal not just Roe v. Wade, which preserves the right to abortion, and also Griswold v. Connecticut, which preserves the right to contraception) is often described as throwing red meat to the conservative base. It’s typically analyzed as a political ploy that skews the discussion away from real problems and also preserves the jobs of politicians.
We all know there’s a severe imbalance on the planet, and there are many spiritual theories going around as to why that might be. Instead of treating the sex and gender issue as a symptom, I would propose that it might be a lot closer to the cause. People in political leadership are not known for their powers of deep introspection or their sexual integrity. Often they are in conflict and project that conflict outward as attack, attempted control and manipulation of people’s private sexual lives. People not in positions of public trust drive one another insane with this stuff as well.
This inner turmoil manifests many other ways, including lack of sensitivity for the Earth (the consequence of which is often accurately described as rape). Nearly all of the most potent toxins of industry attack the female reproductive system first, though we’re all soaking in an ocean of hormone-disruptive chemicals and all feeling the effects to some degree.
The transit of Venus presents us with a compelling metaphor and also a palpable moment of transition. It’s a junction (literally, a conjunction) where we can make a conscious choice. Think of this as starting within, where most (some would say all) of our conflict originates. Think of it as an inner reunion between the masculine and feminine elements of ourselves, appropriately happening in the sign of the interplay of opposites — Gemini.
Venus is a feminine symbol and the Sun a masculine one. When Venus intersects with the disk of the Sun, it’s a little like the Sun is being penetrated by potent feminine energy. Both will change in the process. My astrology colleague Adam Gainsburg (Soulsign.com) has been describing this as the emergence of what he calls the solar feminine.
“Despite the dominance of solar gods at the root of western civilization, the metaphor of light is actually more akin to the feminine principle than to the masculine. Light shines, radiates, illuminates. But from our viewpoint on Earth, the Sun also sets and takes the light with it each evening. This ebb and flow of light is precisely what the feminine is: the flow, the dance, the ever-changing pattern of light into dark and back again.”
With the transit of Venus, he said, “What becomes illuminated is how your feminine aspect self-radiates into the world — what you uniquely have to give to the improvement of our planet.” He adds, “The solar feminine is, literally, our ‘light body’. She’s the one inside each of us who leaves nothing uncovered, nothing unfelt. We experience the full range of our actual feelings as her body.” Yet the Sun is expressive, so this is about being moved to take creative action.
“The Solar feminine is a confrontational idea for many religions because her very existence fundamentally challenges the fragmentary, long-held assumption of masculine spiritual superiority. By re-acknowledging her, we begin to re-empower her. The solar feminine shines not just through the success and expression of women, but through the power of a man’s emotions received in his heart.”
I think what Adam may be describing is a process of men becoming more receptive and women becoming more expressive. That would help balance things out — and at least it gives us a clear idea of what to reach for. While there’s been plenty of ways in which our culture has slipped backwards in gender relations (especially when you factor in politicians), I believe there is a gradual balancing out of masculine and feminine energies within many individuals and in many relationships. With this eclipse-like event, we have an opportunity to deepen and accelerate that process.
The story of transits of Venus over the past few centuries gives us another metaphor to work with. Last year a book was published, called Transit of Venus: 1631 to the Present, by Nick Lomb (The Experiment, paperback, $24.95). Lomb describes the progression of how each successive event was seen by human eyes — and some of the implications. The following history is drawn from Lomb’s research.
No one is known to have seen the 1631 Venus transit — it was night in Europe. Johannes Kepler, who figured out the 1631 event, missed that there would be a second transit of Venus eight years later. Two people are known to have seen the 1639 transit: Jeremiah Horrocks and his friend William Crabtree, viewing separately from England. Amazingly, Horrocks figured out there would likely be a second Venus transit that century only about one month before it occurred. He began observing the day before his prediction indicated, just in case he had made an error in his calculations.
Edmond Halley (of Halley’s Comet fame) expected a Venus transit in 1761. He urged astronomers who would be alive at the time to observe the event. His calculations were off, but other astronomers worked out the correct timing. This was the first global scientific event, with 176 astronomers watching from 117 far-flung locations.
Eight years later, in 1769, there was another transit — the second of that pair. Up to 400 different calculations were presented to the Royal Society in London and similar elite European scholarly societies for the 1769 transit. The desirability of observing the transit in the South Pacific led to the founding of New South Wales, in what is now Australia; the British crown saw the need for calculations from the South Pacific as the perfect political cover story for its mission of seeking islands to expand to. In other words, modern Australia owes its existence to a celestial event. This adds the geopolitical expansion to the process.
More people observed the 1874 transit than any other previous one, reflecting the expansion of technology, science, education, industry, trade and population. It was also the first one documented in photographs.
The corresponding transit eight years later in 1882 was widely observed and better documented in photos. The U.S. sent out eight teams, including to South Africa and San Antonio, TX. They made 1,380 measurable photographic plates (four times as many as in 1874).
The 1882 transit was visible throughout the U.S. for almost the whole event. Amateur astronomers set up telescopes in parks and on sidewalks of New York City, collecting dimes from those who wished to look. In Meriden, Conn., a fire alarm bell was rung when it started, and people went to a local man’s house where he’d set up seven telescopes so people could look. Some 6,000 people observed the transit form that yard.
That takes us up to the 2004 transit, the most recent one. For the first time, we were able to observe the transit from space, with much vaster knowledge of Venus and the solar system. Not only could the general public observe, but hundreds of amateur astronomers could produce their own stunning photographs (three from the 2004 transit, taken by Anthony Ayiomamitis, appear at the top of this article).
For the 2012 event, many more people will be aware of what is happening, and due to that knowledge, and the availability of inexpensive viewing equipment and the proliferation of information on the Internet, this will be the most-viewed Venus transit of the Sun in history. Nearly everyone in the world will be able to see live video or photos minutes after it happens.
There is something in this rare event that’s about the exponential expansion of awareness. If (at least from an astrological viewpoint) we understand that awareness to involve the balancing of male and female energies, we can cooperate by spreading that energy in an exponential way.
There is one other beautiful message from this event that I picked up while researching the chart for the Venus transit. I cast the cart with 1,000 asteroids and newly discovered bodies, and noticed there is a minor planet precisely conjunct both Venus and the Sun when the transit happens. It won’t be visible — but it will be there. The planet, really an asteroid, is called Sulamitis. It’s a fast-mover (less than four-year orbit) so its presence is something to take note of.
I did a little research and discovered that Sulamitis is the female character in the Song of Solomon, a book from the Bible that stands out in that it’s not about laying down the law or describing the anguish of some tribe. Rather, it’s a passionate love poem presented as a dialog between a man and a woman.
The story has many twists and turns, but ultimately its theme is devotion and what it means to be in love, with a comment on how authentic balance between male and female energy feels. With this event happening in Gemini, the first place to seek and find that balance is inside ourselves. I could not think of a more beautiful visitor to stand guard over this rare event, at this vital opportunity for rebalancing our hearts, souls and our relationship to the Earth.
Monthly Horoscope for June 2012 | Eric’s Zodiac Sign Descriptions
Aries (March 20-April 19) — Within the context of the rare, beautiful astrological events of this month, your job is to devote yourself to the quality of your work. You may feel a drive to innovation, leadership, invention or otherwise stirring the pot — though what your chart suggests is that you work calmly and steadily on specific, focused projects. Said another way, ground yourself in your goals, processes and methods. Focus on the details. You will have the occasion to work through certain blockages or obstacles, which may seem to be in your environment. I recognize that I’m not describing a glorious role, despite the fact that all eyes will be on the Sun, an object closely related to your sign. Your influence will come from your awareness and your ability to remain calm and go deep. That is the kind of leadership that you’re being called to. It’s the kind that involves intelligence, persistence, tenacity and foresight. There is a measure of self-direction that you’re being called to initiate, and you may be the one who gets to solve a problem that is too annoying or seemingly intractable for anyone else to work out. You’re doing this all the better if you feel invisible through the experience. The point is that this is not about you. You have a role, and by all indications it’s an integral one. Yet you can only accomplish this properly if you drop back and work with the full presence of your mind with no interference from your ego.
Taurus (April 19-May 20) — Has there ever been a time when the human psyche was more fragmented? Have we ever been pulled in more directions, injected with competing self-images or struggled with conflicting values systems? These conflicts and struggles used to be called neurosis (a term now abandoned by modern psychology) — including confusion, compromised sense of self-worth, obsession, perfectionism, habitual fantasizing and many other seemingly small problems that eat human bandwidth. Meanwhile, many external factors are competing for your attention — be they advertising, social opportunities or the demands of work. You’re aware of this situation, both within you and around you. You may be waking up to the desire to bring your whole consciousness together and to focus your mind. Events this month offer a special opportunity for healing, which is likely to arrive as unusual clarity around what your priorities are, and an opportunity to focus on a clear agenda. Consider how much of your past struggle has involved deciding what you ‘should’ be doing versus what you really love, and how to balance this out. Your astrology suggests you may get a taste of what life is like without this tension. Yet if that feeling vanishes, you may not recognize it as the presence of something else. Indeed, you could overlook it just because you feel good. Therefore, pay attention. Feel the inner alignment that allows you to make the decisions based on what works for you. Once you open that space, you will be able to return dependably — as long as you remember that it exists.
Gemini (May 20-June 21) — The whole is not only greater than the sum of the parts — it’s a lot more fun, and useful, and interesting. Yet there’s another level to this — what you actually do with all this potential. A car is greater than a garage full of parts, but then — where do you go? This month’s precise Sun-Venus conjunction in your sign is a clear demarcation point between the past and the future. Wherever you are going, it’s somewhere other than you’ve been, and I reckon, other than where you expected to go. This will require you to summon flexibility that’s unusual even for you, and to facilitate that you are about to release many old tendencies that have kept you stuck in certain patterns and at a certain depth within yourself. Or rather, your relationship to yourself. It’s true that you relate to yourself in a way that many people you know do not — consciously, aware of your ‘inner other’. Over the next few weeks, it looks as if you discover that your inner other is actually your soulmate. You don’t need anyone else to play this role for you; your friends, lovers and companions have different roles to play. Your experience of them, and of anything seemingly outside yourself, is rooted in your experience with yourself — and your relationship to yourself. If the planets in their courses say anything about you right now, it’s that you are recognizing that your relationship to yourself is something to honor and treasure every day.
Cancer (June 21-July 22) — This month’s transit of Venus is about healing seeming divisions and splits within the psyche. For you, there is a special theme — resolving something you’ve been unable to observe closely or give a name to, perhaps until recently. You’ve lived with the effects all of your life, which may have manifested in what I call the ‘hemisphere effect’ — the potential to experience yourself, or anything, two entirely different ways. They may have nothing in common and one point of view may be entirely exclusive of the other. I would consider this as a potential source of misgivings about yourself, as well as an ambivalence that has followed you through some of your most important relationships. Consider that at some of the most challenging points in your life, you’ve been experiencing the effects of something inside you projected outward. It’s difficult to see the actual process because you’ve only been seeing the outer manifestation — like studying the projection on a screen rather than considering the film or the projector. The coming weeks contain a moment of profound alchemy, wherein the mirage of an inner split resolves itself seemingly spontaneously — and then you notice a corresponding change in your relationships. You will not be able to predict what happens; challenges or unresolved situations you’re currently involved with may work themselves out any number of ways. From the strength and integrity of the current astrology, you can trust that what develops will serve your growth and your longterm happiness beautifully.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — I suggest you take a bold step beyond considering your image or your appearance and fully immerse yourself into your relationship with the world. By that, I mean the world as you think of it: the constellation of everyone and everything in your life. You may be familiar with the Lakota prayer Mitakuye Oyasin, which translates loosely to “all are related.” It is an expression of the idea that all people and all things are interconnected. They may be related by being part of our sphere of consciousness, or looking a bit deeper, by the truth that we are part of something larger than ourselves. This of course violates Western concepts of separateness, division and privacy, ideas that lead to quite a bit of chaos and conflict — which are all based on a violation of natural law. The extraordinary astrology that is now unfolding is a reminder that you are part of holistic existence. Everything you do, and everything you think, influences the totality of your environment. This isn’t a theory but rather a property of existence that may boldly reveal itself to you during the next few weeks. Such an experience would shift how you experience yourself in the midst of your reality. Imagine if you could live that interconnectedness all the time. What would change? What would come into your life? What conflict would disappear into the deeper truth that you are related to everything from earth to sky to all members of the human family? Imagine.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — During your long search for a purpose, a mission, a calling, have you noticed how many others are on a similar quest? This search for meaning and purpose influences far more people than those who seem to have not accomplished much. Many brilliantly successful people are seeking contact with this feeling, having not found it in the midst of all of their achievement. You seem to face another kind of issue. It’s sometimes framed itself as the question, which of your two greatest talents is the one to pursue as your true path? What about how they seem to compete with one another, for time, attention and resources? Here is the message from your astrology: First, your purpose goes beyond any specific activity, job or role. Each face of what you do is an expression of something deeper, and this is one moment in your life when you make contact with that inherent quality. When you feel this, you’ll know because the sensation will shift your perspective. Second, your diversity of skills, and your choice to develop multiple gifts, has only strengthened you, widened your vision and given you the opportunity to cross-reference from several fields of knowledge. Finally, I suggest you cultivate a special reverence for language, and the language skills you possess. They will always serve you, the more so for investing in them and using them regularly. This is called being an integrated human being. You have always been well on the way — you’re about to go to a whole new level.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — Balancing fear with love does not work. It only turns love into a defense, which reinforces fear. It may work to bring some light into the darkness, though for true healing to happen, all that is dark, existing beneath the surface or cloaked by denial must be brought to the light. If you work with these basic principles, you will be able not only to solve any problem, you will unfold a new vision for your life. The Venus transit of the Sun involves the planet associated with your sign and this takes place in one of the most visionary houses — the 9th. This rare event culminates with an opening for you to let go of an outdated vision of yourself. You would be amazed how such things can block new energy and ideas from entering your life. You will soon reach the point where the past is, in fact and in your experience, over. Many ideas you’ve had about the future up until this point will melt away. What is approaching is more exciting and beautiful than nearly anything you’ve conceived of before. You may need to go back over the things you were thinking in childhood to find certain sticking points, romantic ideals, and most of all, concepts about God that were inflicted on you. Consider these things carefully, and without sentimental attachment. Be willing to let go of everything you were told, or that you believed, was wrong, and in doing so open up space for the truth about yourself.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Every story in your life right now seems to be about commitment. And, despite being associated with attachment and bonding, one of the places you seem to hold the most self-doubt involves commitment to others. That is where to draw the line: it’s easy for you to confuse your investment in a relationship with an investment in your own life. Yes, there is a fine line, though the people who care about you the most understand that they provide a forum for you to self-actualize. Look carefully at the relationships in your life and make sure that you know which ones fit this description; that you understand who exists in your world for the purpose of consciously (as in willingly) holding space for you to get to know yourself. I recognize that this may seem ‘one sided’, though I would offer the idea that when your deepest relationships have this as their primary element, you are more available to others, not less. So, far from being self-centered for its own sake, I am talking about being self-aware and fully involved with your own growth, so that you are able to participate with greater depth and involvement in your relationships. You only run into trouble when you make some kind of significant compromise of your personal truth, which means you can only be half-present — and that’s as useful as not being present at all. Forget the fact that some people insist that’s what you do. There are others who want you uncompromised and at full strength.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — It’s not a relationship that’s changing — it’s your whole orientation on relationships. You’re enough of a philosopher to know what I mean when I say that everything is a relationship. In truth, what is coming to life is a new contact point with existence. You might glimpse something that hints to you that something is possible — remember that you’re seeing what’s possible all the time. Experiences you never dreamed could happen are right within your reach. All you have to do is take that step and go toward people you like rather than having them come to you. This is a significant shift in orientation for you, though it’s long overdue. Your independence will not be compromised; part of your reorientation is understanding how to share space with others in a way that leaves space for you. In doing this, you’re on the leading edge of a revolution that many people are eagerly awaiting, and you get to be there mainly because of your courage. As this unfolds, notice who you are attracted to and who is attracted to you. Be sensitive to the energy you share. For sure, your existing relationships are going through a transformation of some kind, and you may get the feeling that this is outside of your control. That’s true, to a point. You have the option to notice what is actually working and what is not. You have the option to suspend any efforts to fix things — and then size up what is so, and respond appropriately.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — Pay attention to the speed and grace with which thoughts progress into concept and then into full manifestation. Though there are many steps to the process, the most significant is the one where you change and embrace the new pattern of your life. That feels like yielding to a force more powerful than yourself, though it usually has a pleasant sensation of release and embrace rather than the sensation of being pushed. In truth that force is within you, and it’s been building for a long time. You know that you’ve consciously initiated many deep changes the past few years of your life, and you’ve been wondering when some of them are finally going to bear fruit in the form of actual progress. That time has arrived. One of the key lessons in all of this is that of confidence. The world is a profoundly different place for those who proceed with confidence, which means with faith in themselves, and those who are ruled by their insecurities. You have no time to waste on such folly, and you’ve experienced many moments recently when you know you’ve found your true center. Yet you’re also being challenged to be certain of who you are in a time when that has never seemed to change faster. Consider yourself a being in motion, a work in progress, and define your sense of ‘self’ based on that sense of movement and development. Invest your trust there and you will have handsome rewards.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — What is the difference between a creative person and an ‘uncreative’ one? There definitely seems to be a distinction — and by early adulthood most of us have typecast ourselves as one or the other. It may not be possible to teach creativity, but what interferes with the process can be identified and moved out of the way. What would that be? I can name two things offhand: rigid patterns and fear. Those things that move creative energy can be encouraged, such as curiosity and the spirit that the whole world, and everyone in it, is there to feed your process. I would say the distinction that a ‘creative’ person has is guts — they are willing to dare. That alone does not bestow talent, but it sure can help you get there. By daring I don’t mean the bungee-jumping or gamble-a-lot-of-money kind of daring; I mean the willingness of a child to experiment with what turns you on, coupled with the adult commitment to follow through once you get the energy going. For you, the risk factor includes exploring the very ideas you think are the most dangerous, taboo or unacceptable. It means daring to speak the message that you know is true but that you’re afraid others will find to be somehow offensive. This is the spot where nearly all good ideas either fizzle out before they go anywhere, or the spot where they go past and emerge into consciousness as something fun and maybe beautiful.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — I am sure you’ve read lots of those annoying little statements in self-help books and ‘sacred’ texts that inform you that when you change yourself from within, the world around you responds. That’s exactly what’s happening to you right now. Your psychic, psychological and emotional innards (all part of the same spectrum) are coming into alignment. It’s as if you’re settling into yourself, and as you do, the world is becoming a different place. If you’re feeling any inner divisions, that will soon yield to the palpable sensation of those fissures closing and healing. Much of what has troubled you in the past goes back a long way; in a sense it was built into your childhood, and it has roots into your genetic lineage. That’s one reason why it’s been so persistent. Another reason is because it’s often difficult to accurately perceive our relationship to our environment — and we’re taught that manipulating the outer world works better than working to nourish and strengthen ourselves in the spirit of healing. What happens over the next few weeks will help you finish the repairs to your foundation that you have likely already begun. What seemed like irreversible damage from the past will reveal itself as being subject to healing and growth. You are not the only one who will benefit; the repairs will extend back through the generations. Observe the changes in your perspective as you experience being united with yourself and your environment. There is a word for this — integrity.