In the seventh part of this series, we will continue to analyze the correlation between the charts of the greatest instants of Venus’s passage over the Sun with how beauty was perceived in the early period of the scientific revolution.1
For the years 1631 and 1639, the two pairs of data of Venus’s passage over the Sun, based on the calculations made by Fred Espenak, NASA / GSFC2 , are:
- December 7, 1631 GMT 05:56 (Series 6)
- December 4, 1639 GMT 18:05 (Series 4)
This pair of transits marking the middle of the Venusian era started in 1518, represents an important moment in Earth’s history for several reasons. For the first time, Venus starts crossing the ecliptic at the beginning of June and respectively, December.3 Moreover, before 1631, even though Venus crossed the ecliptic, she was not between Earth and Sun at that particular time, so we notice that there were no passages of Venus over the Sun in the years 902, 1145 and 1388 as we have expected since we know that the passages take place in pairs at 105 and 121 years, respectively. As it can be seen from the NASA catalogue, from 1631 until 3089, Venus’s passages over the Sun will be held in pairs – the 3-5 series marking the beginning of the Venus era while the 4-6 series, the middle of the 243 years period.
For the year 1631, Johannes Kepler predicted the passage of Venus over the Sun. Unfortunately, he died a year before, unable to confirm his prediction. Although for the transit of 1631 no documents have been found to attest the Venus passage over the Sun, on the 4th of December, 16394, the first scientific observation of Venus passage over the Sun was made by two English astronomers: Jeremiah Horrocks and his friend William Crabtree, the first people to see Venus passage over the Sun who, at the same time, knew its significance – based on Kepler’s planetary motions, the astronomers of those times knew the relative distances between the planets and the Sun. If they could have calculated the absolute distance between two planets then they could have found out the size of the entire solar system, the diameter and the mass for each planet, thus the distance between the Sun and Earth.
Edmond Halley had this ingenious idea as he discovered the method of measuring the distance between two planets and thus the size of the entire solar system, taking into account the observations of Venus’s passages over the Sun, from as many locations on Earth. Unfortunately, he did not live enough to observe the next transit of 1761, but he left an important legacy to all curious astronomers from the future, who will work together to gather data of the Venus passage over the Sun and to lay the foundations for the first international scientific collaboration. But more details in the next episode when I analyze the charts from years 1761 and 1769.
Let us see what the astrological interpretation of the heavenly meeting between Venus and Sun from 1631 is – an unusual encounter that continues the period of the Scientific Revolution and gives birth to Modernism and modern science, as we know it today.
The chart of 1631 has the Ascendant in Scorpio, a feminine, nocturnal and cold zodiacal sign which is part of the water Triplicity. Mars, as the ruler of the Ascendant and of the water Triplicity at night becomes the most important planet of the chart. Mars is in the 10th house, the most prominent house and in conjunction with the fixed star, Regulus, which means that the military and naval power had a special significance for the rulers of those times.
Fixed star, Regulus, in the heart of Lion constellation is one of the four royal stars, the Guardian of the North, since during Persian Empire it marked the summer solstice. This star gives a royal character, a noble mind, sincerity and courage. The importance of this star is emphasized due to its proximity to the Ecliptic. Its effect are similar to Jupiter and Mars, which again underlines Mars’s natural significators: military commanders, wars, weapons, power struggles and governing abilities, shipbuilders, soldiers, mercenaries, and blacksmiths. For Al-Biruni, the great medieval scholar of Islam, travels were also a symbol of Mars because of the dangers you were exposed to while travelling during those turbulent times.
Leaving aside Mars’s bloody aspects, I found out that during mid-17th century, fireworks were intensely used for entertainment purposes at an unprecedented scale in Europe, being popular even in public gardens. What more suitable symbol can one find for fireworks than the position of Mars in the 10th whole sign house, in Leo, a hot and dry sign, the symbol of light, entertainment and extravagance ?
Returning to more serious matters, Mars in Leo makes a T-square with the Ascendant, Mercury and Saturn in Scorpio as well as with the Moon in Taurus, symbolizing that the actions of the leaders have had a devastating effect on the common people, but also on international relations. However, the Moon in Taurus has a strong position, even if she is in the last degree of the sign, she is in Hayz (a nocturnal planet, in a nocturnal chart, in a nocturnal sign over the horizon), which means that people’s preoccupations were about trade and foreign relations. Venus rules the 7th house and is located in the 2nd house, meaning that as long as the exchanges and the commerce were thriving, the people were pleased.
It is not accidental that Saturn in Scorpio is at the same degree as the Ascendant – his influence was intense; in the middle of the 17th century, a minimal solar activity was reached – as the Little Glaciation, which begun in the 13th century, continued. The winter of 1709 was an extraordinarily cold one, the coldest winter in Europe during the past 500 years, known as the “The Great Frost”.
Also, since Saturn is also the symbol for authority, I wasn’t surprised to learn that the 17th century was the period of Absolute monarchies, in which the king was the supreme leader by right of inheritance, and his authority could not be restricted or limited by any other power.
Saturn in Scorpio is making a square to Mars in Leo: in the first part of the century, one of the bloodiest and most destructive wars in human history: “The Thirty Years’ War”, which resulted in over 8 million deaths. Although it started as a war between the Protestant and Catholic states of the former Roman Empire, it gradually developed into a general conflict that involved most of the great European powers. These states have hired mercenary armies, and the war became less religious and more a continuation of Franco-Habsburg rivalry for political power in Europe.
Mars represents also the principle of separation, destruction and crises of power, but also the military power – today’s historians present the period of the 17th century as a period of general crisis of the states all over the world, a period of widespread wars, more than in any other historical period. Many states were breaking apart or even disappearing altogether. In the UK, the entire Stuart monarchy rebelled, shaking the foundations of the British state. Crises have spread far beyond Europe – for example, China’s Ming Dynasty, the world’s most populated state, had collapsed. Thus, the power of Mars is tenfold, thousandfold alongside the fixed star Regulus, underlining the acute public character of Martian influence.
Also, during this century, the reign of Louis XIV, the Sun King began. He ruled France for 72 years, one of the longest reigns in European history which turned out to be the “Golden Age” of France, as it was called. When referring to Sun King’s reign, the great philosopher Voltaire said it was approaching perfection by its contribution to science, arts and literature. It was said that one of Louis XIV’s personal statement was: “I am the state” – which perfectly mirrors Mars’ position in this chart.
In our country, Mihai Viteazul unites the three Romanian territories: Valahia, Moldova and Transylvania after the Şelimbăr Battle, thus becoming the national symbol of the fight for justice and truth.
We notice Mars in Leo making a fire trine with Venus and Sun in Sagittarius, as well as with Jupiter in Aries. Perhaps it is not unusual that traditional astrology associates Aries with France – as this country enjoyed the most of Jupiter’s opportunities during these times.
During the reign of the Sun King, the Painting and Sculpture Academy (1663), the Sciences Academy (1666), the Architecture Academy (1671) and the Music Academy (1672) were set up and the French Academy, created in 1635 by Cardinal Richelieu was transferred under royal control in 1671.
The sign of Leo on the 10th house cusp and its ruler – Sun in Sagittarius in the 2nd house, together with Venus, shows us that the monarchs of those times have financed large expeditions in unknown territories to gather as much wealth as possible, both of a material and of spiritual nature; it was the Age of Discoveries5, which marked the beginning of today’s globalization.
We also see the widespread adoption of colonialism and mercantilism in Europe as a national policy – Venus in the 2nd house, the same as in the previous chart of this Venusian era. Many unknown territories were discovered by Europeans during this period, although most were already inhabited. The struggle for their occupation was sustained by Venus in Sagittarius – Venus reestablished herself as the goddess of war.
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 has Cancer Rising. The struggle for power becomes a symbol of courage as the Moon in Aries in the 10th house and Mars in the 4th of national territory, symbolize invaders.
Traditional astrology associates the sign of Cancer with the Netherlands and the sign of Capricorn with Portugal, as geographic regions. A concrete example of this aspect was the Dutch-Portuguese war involving the Dutch forces (Dutch East India Company and the Dutch West India Company) against the Portuguese Empire, as the Dutch had invaded the Portuguese colonies in America, Africa, India and the Far East. The war can be considered as an extension of the eighty-year war (1568-1648) that took place in Europe between Spain and the Netherlands (since Portugal was in a dynastic union with the Spanish crown). Thus, the Dutch sought to control maritime trade to the detriment of the Portuguese. The English forces helped the Dutch in certain moments of the war (although, in the following decades, England and the Netherlands will become rivals for maritime supremacy).
In the wake of the war, the Portuguese and the Spaniards, who had the dominant position in maritime trade, the largest naval and military power in Europe, were defeated. Holland gains maritime supremacy becoming one of Europe’s greatest powers – the Moon in Aries, as the significator for Netherlands, in the 10th house, has a superior position to Saturn in Aquarius in the 8th house, as a significator of the Portuguese.
The 17th century marks the “Golden Age” for Holland, also. It was the historical period in which trade, sciences, the arts flourished, and the military and political power reached the highest point. Sea merchants and renowned cartographers set up the some of the largest corporations – the Dutch East India Company, the first multinational corporation funded by international interests, which laid the foundations for the first stock exchange in the world. The company dealt exclusively with the import of spices from Asia, a highly profitable activity due to the fabulously large demand. Venus, among other things, signifies the spices, and the 6th house in the Sagittarius may symbolize the ship’s crew and the adventures, some of the most dangerous ones, that those who were traveling by sea had to face.
These commercial routes along which ships carried valuable goods gave birth to pirates. During the years 1650-1720 there was the “Golden Age of the Pirates”. Although, the pirates’ lives remain shrouded in mystery, turned into myth, Venus in Sagittarius may tell us who the real killers were: pirates or bankers who were trading any kind of goods for profit. We could do this exercise in order to elucidate what their inheritance is for today’s people, especially those excluded from society.
In the second chart, Mars in Libra retreats into Exile onto the 4th house territory, meaning that the struggles take on a more nationalist tendency. The first ideologies of the common people from a certain area are starting to emerge. Being in a sign ruled by Venus, Mars in Libra lays the foundations of a new type of society in which the power of the earth, agriculture and craftsmanship-specific to feudal period were losing their importance, so that Venus may continue the Age of Great Geographic Discoveries and the Age of the Scientific Revolution.6
Member of Romanian Astrologers Association
Articolul este disponibil în revista Astrele și în limba română.
- Although the earliest buds of the Scientific Revolution appear during the Early Renaissance (15th century), it reaches its peak in the 17th century and ends in England, with the birth of the industrial revolution, at the end of the 18th century. ↩
- https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/transit/catalog/VenusCatalog.html ↩
- The position of planetary nodes of Venus changes slowly over time. Five thousand years ago, Venus’s passage over the solar disc took place around 21 May and 19 November. In about 1500 years, transits will take place during the Earth’s solstice (June 21 and December 22). ↩
- November 24, according to the Julian calendar valid then in England. ↩
- Although the Age of Discoveries began in the fifteenth century, the colonization of America, including the exploitation of the deposits and the transport of all wealth in Europe, took place in the seventeenth century. ↩
- Until the end of the 17th century, Europeans knew what electricity, the telescope and the microscope were, knew the Newton’s laws of motion, what was air pressure and computing machines, thanks to the work of the first scientists of the Revolution, including Galileo Galilei, Johannes Kepler René Descartes, Pierre Fermat, Blaise Pascal, Robert Boyle, Christiaan Huygens, Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, Robert Hooke, Isaac Newton and Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. Also during this period, Ole Rømer, a Danish astronomer, was the first to try to measure the speed of light – he calculated that the light needed 22 minutes to travel the distance equal to the Earth’s orbit diameter. (Source: Wikipedia). ↩