Musings on Venus in the New Year

On December 4, 2021, the Sun was totally eclipsed, at which time the planets nearest the Sun, Venus and Mercury, become visible in the sky. I have always imagined such an event as an unveiling of Venus, a sacred moment referenced in initiation texts such as “The Chymical Wedding of Christian Rosenkreutz.” In my musing, it seems that Venus remains unveiled until it catches up with the Sun again, which it did yesterday, January 8, 2022.

When Venus met the Sun on January 8, it was in the same degree of the zodiac where the once-every-170-years meeting of Uranus with Neptune occurred, in 1993. The January 8 Venus/Sun meeting is one Saturn cycle (29 years) later. So here I ask myself the question: What was going on in my life in 1993 that lives as a foundation in my heart now?

The 1993 meeting of Uranus and Neptune came 70 years after Rudolf Steiner convened the Christmas Conference of the General Anthroposphical Society in Dornach, Switzerland, 1923-24. Seventy years is about the amount of time it takes for our coming into direct relationship with the star that shone over the “birth” that occurred at that earlier time.

At the time that Rudolf Steiner first spoke the Foundation Stone Meditation (at 10 am on December 25, 1923), Venus was rising in the East, goddess of love and beauty, summoned, as though, to witness this deed, which is often referred to as the laying the Foundation Stone of Love into the hearts of those who align themselves to an anthroposophical path. Venus continues to seek how this seminal deed lives in our hearts, the “proper soil” into which the Foundation Stone was laid.

“The truth is that human beings on Earth can do nothing in the secrecy of their souls without it being reflected back again by Venus. Venus gazes deeply into the hearts of human beings, for that is what interests her, that is what she will allow to approach her. Thus the most intimate experiences of earthly life are reflected again from Venus, in a mysterious and wonderful way.” ~Rudolf Steiner, 27 July, 1923

What else is Venus doing?
Following the December 4 “unveiling,” Venus came to its first of three meetings with Pluto, which called to mind,  in the imagery of star lore, the Homeric Hymn to Demeter and its rendering of the abduction of Persephone.

She [Persephone] was filled with a sense of wonder, and she reached out with both hands

            to take hold of the pretty plaything [narcissus]. And the earth, full of roads leading every which way, opened up under her.

            It happened on the Plain of Nysa. There it was that the Lord who receives many guests made his lunge.

            He was riding on a chariot drawn by immortal horses. The son of Kronos. The one known by many names.

            He seized her against her will, put her on his golden chariot,

     And drove away as she wept.

The Abduction of Persephone by Jan Peter van Baurscheit

On December 19, Venus began a retrograde motion, which brought it back into conjunction with Pluto (2nd meeting) on Christmas Day, December 25, 2021. The retrograde meeting can be imagined as a “revisiting,” or even a “restoration,” and in this case, Fra Angelico’s beautiful painting of the Annunciation comes to mind. Here we see Adam and Eve to the left of the panel, with Eve looking toward Mary, and toward the deed that will redeem the “fall.” In the context of the Homeric Hymn, Mary’s accepting this annunciation is like the planting of a seed for the restoration of  “lost virginity,” that paradisal state from which humanity “fell” in order to develop self-directing forces.

At the end of December, and still as our evening star, Venus came to conjunction with Mercury, escort of souls across the threshold. Together the two of them bridged the great divide between the years, until now, when Venus has sunk into the warmth and light of the Sun.

In the ancient Greek imagery, this meeting of Venus with the Sun can be likened to Persephone’s audience with Zeus, after Mercury/Hermes escorted her from the underworld to meet the king of the gods and to there receive her sentence, that she must spend 1/3 of every year in the underworld kingdom of the dark lord.

In the Christian imagery, I imagine this meeting of Venus with the Sun as akin to Mary’s taking the Christ Child to the temple, at which time Simeon prophecies over the child and says to Mary: Yea, a sword shall pierce thy soul also, that the thoughts in the hearts of many shall be revealedLuke 2:35 (note that in the biblical narrative, this event takes place 40 days after the birth of the Christ Child, at the February 1st cross quarter time).

Venus will emerge from the light of the Sun in about a week, at which time she becomes our morning star for the remainder the year, boldly leading the way into the new. When Venus becomes visible in the East 40 minutes before dawn next week, she joins the fiery red planet Mars, long considered her true beloved, where he is moving through the stars that mark the tail of the Scorpion, domain of the underworld. By the time these two come exactly conjunct on February 16, 2022, they will have left the underworld behind, and will be moving through the region of Sagittarius stars, where we find the great center of our Milky Way Galaxy.  Note that Venus is still in retrograde when she first becomes visible in the morning sky, and resumes direct motion on Saturday, January 29, 2022.

When Mars meets Venus, he is as Joseph, leading Mary to safety beyond the reach of Herod, or as the writer of the John Gospel, who leads the now Virgin Sophia to Patmos and Ephesus after the Mystery of Golgotha.

Two weeks later, Venus and Mars come conjunct with Pluto, on March 3, 2022, which will be Venus’ third and final encounter with the planet of transformation in this particular cycle. What can be realized at such a moment? And can mighty cultural images such as those shared here, when joined to the gesture of the heavens, enhance our ability to find the same harmony of the cosmos in our own lives? We can but watch the encounters, look into world events, look into our own biographies, and see, bearing in mind the wisdom of Emily Dickinson, who said, What are stars, but asterisks to point a human life.
Wishing you good health in the New Year, and rich experience as you follow your good star,