Dave Muller looks at the transit of Venus and puzzles over the ancients saying "As above so below"

New pattern in the sky

A South News commentary
Wednesday June 9 2004
by Dave Muller

Venus dazzled Australian stargazers Tuesday as it made it first transit across the Sun in more than 100 years. A transit of Venus is a similar event as the Moon eclipsing the Sun but happen less often. Just as a new moon does not result in an eclipse so a conjunction of Venus with the Sun does not result in a transit, with Venus passing either above or below the Sun.

Although less spectacular than a solar or lunar eclipse, the transit of Venus is far more unusual. It also has particular significance for Australians because it led to the first British exploration of the east coast, by Captain James Cook. Prior to this Terra Australis Incognita or the Great Southern continent, a vast area of land which was believed to exist in Europe but had never been found.

Transits of Venus are very rare but astrologers claim are also very powerful. Eclipses are said to often bring unexpected developments which can change expectations and history. The imperial dominance of the Jupiter theologically based societies such as Babylon, Olympus and Rome have all been unexpectedly eclipsed.

Fate or not, the timing of April/May's solar and lunar eclipses have coincided with a worldwide public loss of confidence in US occupation of  Iraq. Astrologers have pointed that the eclipses being on Taurus/Scorpio axis has lead from monopolistic financial scandals involving Haliburton to the sexual prison abuse at Abu Ghraib.

Five transits of Venus have been officially recorded. The last occurred in 1882 and Cook witnessed the phenomenon in 1769. Cook had sailed to the South Pacific to witness the transit and to try secretly to discover the Great South Land (Australia), which he did and claimed it for England dispossesing the local native aboriginal population.

According to one astrology website  "A transit promises everything from romantic breakthroughs to "great shifts in human consciousness". The one in 1519, for example, was followed by the spread of the reformation, circumnavigation of the globe, and the age of female rulers in Europe, including Mary Queen of Scots, Mary I, Elizabeth I and Catherine de Medici.

While Venus transits happen only over a hundred years; they also happen in pairs, 8 years apart. The last pair happened in early December 1874 and 1882, and the ones before that on June 6 1761 and June 3 1769. Tuesday's transit will be repeated 8 years later on June 6 2012

Venus takes around 225 days to orbit the Sun but it takes 584 days for Venus and the Earth to line up with the Sun. This is the time for a morning star or evening star to return. It takes 2922 days for Venus, Earth, Sun and stars to agree or complete one cycle of the zodiac.
The approx maths is 13 x 225 = 8 x 365 = 5 x 584.
Venus traces a five-pointed star pattern around the ecliptic.

Venus passes in front of the Sun in same monthly pattern 5 times every 8 years and thus Venus traces a five-pointed star pattern around the ecliptic. But due to the non exact precision this pentagram slowly rotates backwards over a longer period of time taking a quarter of a century for 72 degrees to coverof the one fifth of the pentagram. From one perspective this corresponds to the Sun-Venus conjunctions returning to the same date and same part of the sky.
pentagram slowly rotates backwards
However  the reason transits of Venus are so uncommon is because Earth and Venus orbit the Sun in slightly different planes. This difference, about 3.4 degrees, means that the two planets exactly align with the Sun only twice (eight years apart) every 121.5 or 105.5 years when the conjunction is near or on the heliocentric node.  This transit is on the south node like the June 1770's transits that led to the mapping of Australia. It contrasts to the last and ruling north Veus transit nodes of December of  1874 and 1882 which some commentators, following the failure of the Paris Commune, have described as the beginning of monopoly capitalism and the exploitation of the third world or global south by a greedy imperialist north. Thus we may be entering a new era where the global south enters a new era of human discovery, ecological prominence and personal freedom - an era which may be free of imperial exploitation.

Venus and the Olympics

Venus traces a five-pointed star pattern around the eclipticHistorically in the last century in every leap year the Sun and Venus meet in June, alternating with Venus passing in front of Sun ( Inferior Conjunction as in a transit) and Venus passing behind the Sun (Superior Conjunction). Thus giving rise to the morning and evening stars.

As the morning and evening stars alternate we have 5 Venus-Sun conjunctions every 4 years with morning and evening stars alternating in the same part of the sky with every cycle. The five venus conjunctions, 3 morning and 2 evening stars and vice versa, form a pattern like the 5 Olympic rings which are brought to prominence every 4 years.

The conjunction of a morning star and evening star with Neptune also forms a pentagram of such points with a periodicity of 144 years or 18 times 8 years. The superior Sun-Venus conjunctions with Neptune of 1814 and 1822 match those of 1958 and 1966.

The most spectacular case of Venus meeting Neptune at a solar eclipse was on November 12 1966 when this conjunction close to the Sun was photographed at high altitude during totality.

A series of recursive and embedded Sun-Venus pentagrams can be thus constructed to form a larger cycle "orbits" pentagram and  Mandelbrot Set.

Mayan calendar

Like the worship of Ishtar in ancient Mesopotamia Venus was also the key to Mayan cosmology and mythology. The ancient Mayans tracked the morning star risings of Venus, which occurs every 584 days, noticed that if Venus emerged in the east as morning star on, the spring equinox then Venus would again emerge close to the spring equinox eight years later. After 520 years the cycle was exact. Thus they created a framework of cycles for predicting the future morning star risings of Venus - for centuries to come.

There are 260 days from the first sighting of the morning star until it reaches the Superior Conjunction when it is on the opposite side of the Sun and becomes dim and dips below the horizon. It reappears some 50 days later as an evening star and is visible in the night sky for some 260 days again before reaching the Inferior Conjunction when it disappears for around 8 days and the cycle recommences. The calendar is based on the sacred cycle of the tzolkin (20 days x 13) or 260 days - a time interval which largely correlates with the human gestation period.

With this system, they could also predict solstice and eclipse dates. This moon cycle was incorporated into the Mayan Venus Calendar, by way of the 9-moon sacred cycle of 260 days.The solar year (20 days x 18 + 5) and the sacred cycle of 260 days synchronise with each other around one Exiligmos eclipse cycle or 3 Saros cycles when an eclipse returns to the same longitude but some 600 miles north or south of its predecessor. But the general relationship is even more straightforward. Eclipses on average occur every 173.33 days. This is known as the eclipse half year. Three times this equals 520 days which is exactly two tzolkins.

the golden proportion of recursion Adding further to pattern the ratio of the sidereal orbits of the Earth to Venus is 1.6222 or a good approximation of Phi - the golden proportion of recursion - which can seen in the spiral geometry of sea shells and fractal geometry. The simplest application of fractals is to plot the cumulative number of objects larger than a specified size against the size. In many cases, fragments, earthquakes, faults, mineral deposits, oil fields, etc.  fractal dependence is found. Hence the pattern of a pentagram of morning stars or evening stars around the zodiac takes on mystical geometry. The occult five pointed star of the Wicca probably has its roots in the discovery of this fact in ancient Egypt under the cult of Isis.

Note: Astrological versus Astronomical position

The precession of the equinoxes has created the astrological signs to be some degrees out of phase with observable astronomical positions.

Yet it is most convenient in examining recurrent pattern to use our "Tropical Calendar" where date and zodiac degree are fixed, that is based upon the notion that the Sun always enters the first degree of the astrological sign of Aries on the Vernal Equinox (March 21). However with the precession of the equinoxes, the astronomical observable vernal equinox moves through all the constellations of the Zodiac over the 26,000 year precession period. Every 72 years we actually move backward 1 degree. Presently the vernal equinox (March 21) is in the constellation Pisces and is slowly approaching Aquarius.

Modern astrology was based on the geocentric model of the universe developed by the Hellenic Egyptian astronomer Claudius Ptolemy in 2nd century AD and outlined in his principal work, the Almagest (al-Magisti -"the great work" in Arabic). Astronomically the alpha star of the constellation Piscis Australis is located at 7 Aquarius. Astrologically today it is located at 3 Pisces. Yet at the time Ptolemy was making his astronomical observations in Alexandria c132 AD the two positions were in agreement. This simple fact is often overlooked by some commentators.

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