In the first part of this article, I have described the concept of beauty from a philosophical point of view and I have made the connection between beauty, harmony, proportions and the planet Venus, and then, between Venus passage across the Sun’s disk and the most important ages of mankind, since the Middle Ages until Enlightenment, Romanticism and Modernism in our days.
In the second part, I will analyze the correlation between the charts casted for the instant when the planet Venus passes closest to the center of the Sun as seen from Earth and the way in which beauty was perceived during that period of human evolution.
When we perceive the beauty and the harmony of the Universe, our lives change and resonate at a higher frequency because we strive to discover the hidden harmony of all that is and gain access to the profound concepts of order and universal cycles.
Previous to the actual analysis of the charts, let’s see what Venus and Sun represent in astrology, in general, and then what they signify when they are together.
In astrology, the Sun represents the masculine energy, the yang and the life-giving force in our solar system. He is at the center of the solar system, he commands all the planets and represents the vital energy, the ability to give and receive, generosity and leadership skills.
Venus is a terrestrial planet formed of rocks and metals. By interpreting this astrologically, we can say that what she offers (or takes out) is acknowledged in some tangible way. Venus is looking for contentment, pleasure and fulfillment. It offers success in war or in love because her purpose is to reveal. Venus understands the beauty of form, the possessions and the materialization. Venus is useful in everyday life for protection, power and support. She boosts ambition, success and achievements.
As the initial Yin energy of our system, she brings harmony, beauty, love, sociability, cooperation, yet also vanity, indulgence, and laziness, as her positive or respectively, on the contrary, her negative manifestation. So, when Venus aligns with the Sun (from Earth’s perspective) the life force is united with love, harmony and form.
Let’s see what these principles represent in the two charts casted for the Venus’s passage closest to the center of the Sun during the Early Middle Age in Europe.
The dates for the two pairs of transits are based on the calculations made by Fred Espenak, NASA/GSFC1:
May 24 546 GMT 11:23
May 22 554 GMT 03:592
The mutable or common signs at the angles of the two charts signify mixed, variable and volatile vibrations. Since a fluctuating phase was indicated, the time period (243 years) received the characteristics of previous periods, as well as a noticeable adaptability, constant changes and plentiful actions with various influences and instability.
Venus, the goddess of beauty is in the sign of Gemini in both charts. Gemini is a masculine, air sign in which the essential nature of Venus – feminine and nocturnal – cannot be easily expressed. Moreover, Venus and Sun are in conjunction with the fixed star Alnilam. According to Vivian Robson, Alnilam together with the Sun, gives a military character, having a preference to gain, and together with Venus, it confers scandals and love problems. On the other hand, the moderately hot and dry nature of the Sun is diffused in the moist and hot sign of Gemini, as the natural solar essence becomes weak in this sign. We can also get the same indications if we further study the positions of the planets.
In the first chart, the one from the year 546 CE, we can see how the instability, mentioned above, is aggravated. Of all the seven visible planets, only Mars is in a fixed sign – the power struggles were long and lasting, continuous, with powerful effects. The rest of the planets are in mutable signs which signifies a lot of inconstancy and instability. As we know, as a consequence of the Western Roman Empire collapse at the end of the 5th century, Europe was fractured in many small kingdoms (Virgo, the sign of the Ascendant, means, among other things, something small) who fought each other for land and riches – Mars in Taurus.
Up to a certain point, the Early Middle Age period was described by historians as the Dark Age, in contrast to the enlightened age of Antiquity. However, recent research, especially from the 20th century, reveals that things have not been so. As it can be seen in the first chart, Mercury, the ruler of the Ascendant, is in its own Domicile, in the 10th house, an extremely strong position, although he receives an opposition from Saturn in Sagittarius, located in the 4th house. Mercury is also the Almuten of the 1st house and the 10th house, which means that at that time, both common people and the governing class, authorities, were well-educated.
Taking into account this social and political background, characterized by power struggles, on the one hand, and by scholarship, on the other hand, people were left with little time for beauty and love. Beauty standards are certainly not accidental because they reflect the structure of power in a society. As most of the planets are in earth or air signs, we can easily understand that plain beauty was admired, and the main activity was to ensure the daily living and the compliance with the law – Mars in the 9th house.
One of the meanings of Mars in Taurus in the 9th house may have been found in people’s motivation to live according to the philosophy and morality imposed by the religious institutions, to pursue the pragmatic and functional values of society. Among the most important events of the period are the Second Council of Constantinople in 553 CE, when, following the initiative of Emperor Justinian and Pope Vigilius, the concepts of pre-existence of souls and reincarnation were abolished, being condemned as heresies.
Venus, in the mutable sign of Gemini, may also signify that most of the aesthetics and beauty issues have been inherited from the previous period, that of the Classical Antiquity. The people of this period respected the rooted concepts they saw as a depository of truth and wisdom – Saturn in Sagittarius, in the 4th house. However, the rapid spread of Christianity altered the original character of beauty, as the ancient Greeks saw it. For the Early Middle Age people, beauty meant respecting morality, but seeing them as Puritans, in the sense of rejecting sensuality, I think it shows a misunderstanding of their true nature. For the society of that period, beauty was represented, first of all, by clear and unequivocal thinking. Thus, we can understand why the Aristotelian conception of the universe has dominated this world.
The eight years that pass between the two moments are fertile periods of processing the new ideas and changes, in which there is a progress of consciousness regarding the nature of the world.
The second chart is an extension of the influences described in the first, further emphasizing the sign of Gemini, with Venus, Sun, Jupiter and Mercury in this sign in the 1st house.
The limitations and regulations of the authorities are even more emphasized – Saturn in Aries in the 11th house, and the ideals of the society begin to take on a completely different form, oriented more towards aggression, and in a positive sense, courage and material gain. At that time, people had to survive from day to day – see Moon and Mars in the 2nd house – which means that food and all the resources needed for a thriving economy were vital to existence. The family – the 2nd house in the sign of Cancer – was the most valuable concept of society, and the emphasis was on purity and cleanliness – the 4th house of Virgo.
The drama of ascetic discipline, so visible in those times, represents a tension between the call for pleasure (earth signs emphasis) and the attempt to discover the supernatural, the life mysticism (the air signs emphasis). Asceticism and medieval mysticism give us many examples of these two psychological states, as well as some extremely interesting documents about the aesthetic sensibility of time, rich in symbolism and the allegory of good and evil, between light and darkness.
To be continued…
Member of Romanian Astrologers Association
Articolul este disponibil în revista Astrele și în limba română.
- https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/transit/catalog/VenusCatalog.html ↩
- Venus’s passage to the center of the Sun occurs only if the planet is in inferior conjunction with the Sun (between Earth and Sun) and is also crossing the Ecliptic. I have adjusted the hours calculated by Fred Espenak to get the exact conjunction of the two bodies in the tropical zodiac. I considered the greatest instant of the passage, when the planet was closest to the center of the Sun, as seen from the center of the Earth. ↩