For thousands of years, beauty has been one of the most controversial and discussed philosophical themes. People have tried to understand the experience of beauty from an emotional, intellectual, philosophical and psychological point of view. Beauty is a very complicated topic because the things we call beautiful are so different and diverse. When we think of beauty, we may remember a beautiful woman or the face of a baby or perhaps a landscape or a work of art, why not … a football match or a good film. How can we explain this universality? Of course, many believe that we already know the answer to this question: beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, it is everything that moves us at a personal level, something which makes us vibrate to a higher level. But is this a comprehensive answer? …
The ark of human civilization often drifted away but human consciousness has always woken up to save it by calling in reason and by doing good deeds. All this time, people have not abandoned. The reason is simple and so clearly represented by the wisdom of universal myths: the power of good has always prevailed. Beauty has always been correlated with the traditional values such as goodness, truth and justice. It was a major theme in Ancient Greece’s philosophy, in Medieval and Renaissance philosophy, until the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. From the twentieth century it declined as a philosophical concern. However, starting with 2000s, there has been a revival of the concept of beauty from several points of view: philosophical, artistic, and even astrological.
Accompanied by Janus, the Roman God, the keeper of the gates of time, always pictured with two diametrically opposed faces, one to the past and one to the future, we will dive into the waves of former times to rediscover the meaning of beauty over the centuries: Antiquity, Middle Ages, Renaissance, Enlightenment, Romanticism and Modernism.
The earliest Western theory of beauty can be found in the works of pre-Socratic Greek philosophers, such as Pythagoras. The Pythagorean School observed a strong link between math and beauty. In particular, they noticed that objects proportioned according to the golden ratio seemed more attractive. From this point of view, old Greek architecture is based on symmetry and proportion.
During the Age of Reason, the period that linked the Renaissance to the Age of Enlightenment, there was an increasing interest in beauty as a philosophical subject. For example, Scottish philosopher Francis Hutcheson argues that beauty is “unity in diversity and diversity in unity.” Then romantic poets were extremely preoccupied with the nature of beauty, with John Keats arguing that: “Beauty is truth, the truth is beauty. That is all.”
The 20th century brought a growing rejection of the concept of beauty by artists and philosophers alike, culminating with the Postmodernism Anti-aesthetics, although one of the most important postmodernists, Friedrich Nietzsche, claimed that the will of power was the will of beauty. For him, the most intimate essence of existence was the will of power.
Following the rejection of postmodernism ideas, the philosophers returned to beauty as an important value, in order to regain its well-deserved place in the pantheon of human virtues.
We know, so far, that civilization began at Sumer, that there was an evolution, a transformation over the ages, which always lead to something superior, more complex and more beautiful.
But isn’t this the symbolism of Venus in astrology? From an astrological point of view, in her highest form of manifestation, Venus symbolizes love and beauty, emotions that unite people without force or manipulation. The effects of Venus rarely associate with action. This is an energy that attracts things, people to us. She attracts and then, through the synergy effect, creates a new form, superior and more complex than the one that existed before.
But what could be the connection between Venus and the cultural, social revolutions that mankind experienced at the beginning of each of the above mentioned periods?
Could we link these revolutions to the relationship created by Earth, Venus and Sun?
The transit of Venus is the timeframe in which the planet Venus interposes herself between the Earth and the Sun, seizing a small part of the solar disk. The transit of Venus is one of the rarest predictable phenomena; it is repeated in cycles of approximately 243 years, each cycle comprising of four transits, grouped into two pairs. There are eight years between the two transits of any pair. In turn, the pairs are alternatively separated from each other by 105.5 or 121.5 years. This periodicity reflects the fact that the orbital periods of Terra and Venus are in resonance with values of 8:13 and 243: 395.
The transits of Venus took place in pairs between the years:
- 546 and 554 – the beginning of the Middle Ages
- 789 and 797 – the Carolingian Renaissance
- 1032 and 1040 – the decline of the Byzantine Empire and the Great Schism (1054)
- 1275 and 1283 – the time of the last crusades in the Holy Land
- 1518 and 1526 – Copernicus’ heliocentric theory1
- 1631 and 1639 – the first scientific observation of Venus’s transit over the Sun after the invention of the telescope – the Scientific Revolution
- 1761 and 1769 – Enlightenment
- 1874 and 1882 – Romanticism
- 2004 and 2012 – Modernism
In the last century there was no Venus’s transit. In the 21st century, the first transit of the first pair took place on 8thJune 2004, and the second one on 6th June 2012. After 2012, the next pair of transits will be in December 2117 and December 2125.
We are now after the second transit of a pair … When the last transit took place, the world was awakened from sleep by the wonderful scientific activity that led to all of our advanced knowledge today – it was just the beginning. What will be the state of mankind when the next transit arrives only God knows. Even the children of our children will not live to take part in the moments of those days.
So is beauty in the eyes of the beholder? No, it is deeply rooted in our minds. It is a gift from the rich emotional life of our forefathers from ancient times. Our strong reaction to images, the expression of emotions through art, the beauty of music, the beauty of the night sky will be with us and our descendants as long as the human race will exist.
In the second part, I will comment the astrological charts of the transits of Venus over the Sun, based on calculations made by Fred Espenak from NASA / GSFC.
To be continued…
Member of Romanian Astrologers Association
Articolul este disponibil în revista Astrele și în limba română.
- The Gregorian calendar was used for all dates starting with 15th October 1582; before that date, the Julian calendar was used. Due to the reform of the Gregorian calendar, the day after 4th October 1582 (Julian calendar) is 15th October 1582 (Gregorian calendar). Britain did not adopt the Gregorian calendar until 1752. ↩