In the eighth 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 Age of Enlightenment1.
For the years 1761 and 1769, the two pairs of data of Venus’s passage over the Sun, based on the calculations made by Fred Espenak, NASA / GSFC2, are:
June 6, 1761 GMT 05:40 (Series 3)
June 3, 1769 GMT 22:02 (Series 5)
We found ourselves again at the beginning of a new Venusian era that will give rise to an ideological and cultural movement: the Age of Enlightenment, the historical period in which people begin to gain more confidence in their own reason and gradually free themselves from rigid religious dogmas that did not encourage individual freedom.
Sapere aude! (Immanuel Kant) – “Have the courage to use your own sense of reason!” was the motto of the Enlightenment. The North Node in Gemini in the 12th house speaks about objectivity, the need to open up mentally for the expansion of the collective consciousness. Scientific discoveries of earlier ages have laid the foundation for promoting the rationalism and the education among people in a time when the Church had lost its authority to impose social order. During those times people wanted to rediscover the physical world and the human being, especially, exclusively through reason, without the involvement of religion, mysticism or divinity.
Let’s see how this is highlighted in the first chart, that of 1761. The Ascendant in a cardinal sign indicates events of a dynamic nature, a strong desire for expression and movement, the rapid transformation of ideas into effective actions. With all these desires, which could not easily find their expression, since the sign of Cancer is a water sign thus a defensive sign, it is no wonder that the period had brought instability and sudden changes, just like the Moon, the ruler of Cancer, wanes and waxes in the sky. Of all the planets of the moment, the Moon alone is not found on the Ecliptic’s path, its declination being at least 24 ֯. Normally, the plane of the Ecliptic is inclined towards the Celestial Equator by an angle of approx. 23 ֯. This unprecedented location of the Moon, out-of-bounds is likely to be correlated with the exacerbated desires for evolution at any cost and thus with the birth of modern society as we know it today.
We observe how the Moon as the ruler of the Ascendant is located in the 2nd house, of material resources, in the first degree of the Lion’s sign, Leo.
Contrary to the view of most astrologers today – that there are no evil influences in a chart, but only challenges and opportunities, ancient astrologers considered 2nd, 6th, 8th and 12th houses to be evil, meaning that the planets in these locations are without power producing unwanted effects. Of course, there were some exceptions to the rule, but in general, even with Benefics (Venus and Jupiter) located in the above houses they can indicate unfortunate events for several reasons – the main reason being that these houses did not make Ptolemaic aspects with the Ascendant3. Being in opposition to the eighth house, the house of death, the 2nd house, in the vision of Paulus Alexandrinus, marks the gates of Hades. Although Paulus had an optimistic perspective related to this place, especially when it was populated by the Benefics, we can get a hint about what it might indicate since it is the first place completely immersed under the horizon: darkness, the distancing of the soul from its origins and the need to obtain the resources necessary for survival in the new environment.
But what can happen when darkness is flooded with light – the sign of Leo on the 2nd house cusp? The obstacle (the Moon in Leo) and the reward (the Sun and Venus in Gemini) become one and the same, for we cannot find the treasure before defeating the fire dragon that consumes everything in his path.
From the historical point of view, this position of the Moon in Leo in the 2nd house may refer to the ending of the transition from Feudalism, in which the nobles possessed both the land and the people, for their own interest to Modernism, when men become aware that by the power of their own labor and by the power of reason and education, they can make their own way, they may become their own master independent of the external limitations imposed by the Church.
The 18th century was the period when steam engines were invented, marking the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, first in England and then in the rest of Europe. By comparison, the Moon in Leo in 2nd house can also signify the power of the water (Moon) under the pressure of heat (the sign of Leo) in a closed vessel (2nd house), the result of this combination being the power of steam to feed the new machinery which transformed the industry, and implicitly the life of the people.
But this position of the Moon can also signify capitalism and the beginning of human exploitation by man, where the wealth and social status of the few rose due to the labor of many – the Moon in Leo makes sextiles with all the planets in Gemini in the 12th house.
Both the Moon in Leo, the significator for the common people and Jupiter in Aries, the clergy, the Church are both in the first degrees of two fire signs, meaning that this period was the beginning of a new cycle in terms of philosophy, religion and world conception, in general.
Not accidentally in the 18th century, in France, a new philosophical current, a new revised version of Christianity, called deism, was born. This philosophical conception born in an age of great religious battles, argues that only by reason can the religious controversy end, and as such, one can reach that religious unity which, especially the Illuminati, interpreted it as the only way to unite all human beings into a unique religion4.
It is interesting to note that in this chart, the inferior conjunction between Venus and the Sun takes place for the first time at a higher degree than 15th degree in the face of Mars, meaning that the events were of a highly destructive, combative and violent nature.
We are at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, when England becomes the first world power thanks to the new production systems implemented mainly in the iron and chemical industry. We already know that iron is associated with Mars, and also from John Partridge, a great astrologer who has made enormous work to reform astrology in the 17th century, we learn that Mars is also representing the chemists, the chemistry, in general. Mars rules over the engineers and the raw power of the engines, which has transformed the machines used in the industries and with it brought a new era, the age of capitalism.
With Aries in the 10th whole-sign house, we must not be surprised that England, which is an Aries country, had reached the highest heights of industrialization in this historical period as it was the place where the Industrial Revolution began.
This industrial revolution has led to the rapid rise of cities, and by the end of the 19th century, most people lived in cities and earned their living working in factories or mines.
We see how the 12th house, which is extremely populated by planets, produces its effects: heavy living conditions for most people, except for the extremely rich, have led to an exaggerated gin consumption among the people of England. Many have destroyed their health due to this. Gin was very cheap and was sold everywhere, because it didn’t need a license. Much later, towards the end of the 18th century, the state imposed a tax on gin sales, and thus the situation improved.
Drinking and drunkards were a common feature of everyday life in the society of that time, being considered normal for people in all walks of life. Besides the planets in the 12th house, is the Ascendant in Cancer also having an influence about this? …
The state of confusion, also an attribute of the 12th house, was generalized, as people from different geographical areas now lived in big cities, where street sellers were crying merchandise from place to place, the cities became overpopulated, they were dirty and terrible.
In addition to urban pollution and nasty smelling rivers, wastewater channels were passing through the main streets carrying human waste together with the remains from the butchers, while tons of garbage were left on the streets daily. The roads were dusty during the warm summer months, and in winter they were practically impracticable due to mud and misery. It seems like a sad and macabre image removed from the reality of the 12th house, for sure.
Something that attracted my attention was that the 18th century was the time when horse racing became a professional sports – Mars in Gemini in the 12th house. The Derby began in 1780. William Lilly considers travel trips to a 12th house activity, perhaps due to the fact that large animals are associated with this house, normally.
Let’s see the interpretation of the celestial meeting between Venus and the Sun in 1769, an unusual meeting that continues the period of the Industrial Revolution and which influences us until this day.
This chart, in contrast to the one from 1761, has Capricorn Ascendant, a feminine, nocturnal and cold sign, which is part of Earth’ triplicity. In a nocturnal chart, the triplicity of earth is ruled by the Moon. Again, the Moon, the significator of the common people becomes the most important planet. She is with the Sun and Venus, who are now in the 6th house, opposite the 12th house, on the axis of spirituality. Al-Biruni correlates the 6th house with overwork, over-exertion which then leads to illness.
The working class becomes more and more numerous and begins to claim its rights in an increasingly confusing society, where there is an acute shortage of social and health care systems. Alcohol and escape from the daily, by various means, have not succeeded in reassuring people’s desire for better. It was the revolutionary engine, from which the most important as of long-term effects, was the French Revolution (1788-1799), and a little later, the Romanian Revolution. These revolutions were the beginning of the process of affirmation of national consciousness (Cancer Ascendant).
The ascendant of the chart is together with Pluton in Capricorn, first a symbol of death and then to become a symbol of rebirth and transformation. We see how, in the new era, Venus turns from the goddess of seas and oceans of the previous era into the goddess of cities and workers.
Here is how we came to the period when the kings and queens lost their rights, and the changes and reforms that were put in place have been formulated according to the Enlightenment ideals. The death of King Louis XVI and of Maria Antoaneta of Austria, by guillotine, symbolized the end of monarchies and put in motion other forces which led to the rise to power of Napoleon, the military leader who dominated most of Europe, until the collapse of his empire, in 1815. We note that in this chart the Sun, the significator for monarchs is in a cadent house, together with the South Node, where we also find Venus as ruler of the 10th house. We notice how Mars, although cadent, is in a strong house, the 7th , exactly to the degree opposite the degree of his exaltation, 28° Capricorn.
In his book called “Astronomica”, Manilius noticed an important resemblance between the opposite signs by gender, but then added that obvious differences prevailed:
“… the opposing signs shine by contrast – due to their nature, although at first they are in alliance and mutual sympathy is born between them due to gender – but over this connection, the seasons prevail leaving their mark: Cancer resists Capricorn, though both signs are feminine, you should not to be amazed that these signs fight with one other. “
We see how the two Ascendants, one in Cancer and the other in Capricorn, correlate with the life of this period: a powerful mix between horror and adoration, distress and tranquility, ecstasy and fear, a transition era that opened up unpredictable growth and opportunities for mankind. Perhaps not accidentally, in the second chart, Jupiter is exactly at MC in Scorpio, the symbol of wisdom, and self-destruction, when power is used for meek purposes.
It is at least interesting how the charts of every Venus era spoke so eloquently about the events and human affairs of the period. We still have a little to go until the end of this unique journey that has brought us closer to the beauty of each historical age, closer to the legacy left by our ancestors.
Member of Romanian Astrologers Association
Articolul este disponibil în revista Astrele și în limba română.
- The Age of Enlightenment or Enlightenment was a philosophical and intellectual current that dominated Europe during the 18th and 19th centuries and its purpose was to create a rational society by spreading the true culture among the masses. ↩
- https://eclipse.gsfc.nasa.gov/transit/catalog/VenusCatalog.html ↩
- The ptolematic aspects are: conjunction, sextile, square, trine and opposition. ↩
- Source: Wikipedia ↩