At 7:33am PDT this morning, the planet Venus went into retrograde motion. This phenomenon occurs approximately every 18 months for about six weeks at a time, so, in relation to the other planets, which turn retrograde more often and stay that way longer, this is a relatively rare occurrence. By western reckoning, Venus was stationary retrograde at 24 degrees Gemini and will travel back to 7 degrees Gemini by the time it is stationary direct on June 27th. Right now Venus is visible in the western sky about 30 degrees above the setting sun. For the next two weeks it will move closer and closer to the Sun and will eventually disappear from view around May 30th. On June 5th the Sun and Venus will be conjunct, and from some vantage points, Venus will appear as a small black dot moving across the face of the sun for about seven hours. This phenomenon (such a close conjunction of Venus and the Sun) has not occurred since 1882 and will not happen again in our lifetime. Venus will then gradually shift to the other side of the Sun, reappearing on June 13th as the “Morning Star” just above the eastern horizon before sunrise. In the Mayan culture, this transition of Venus from an “Evening Star” to a “Morning Star” symbolizes the rebirth of Venus after spending some time in the underworld.
Venus retrograde is always an interesting time to reflect on our relationships and our values. If our relationships are strong, this will be confirmed during this time. If they are not, then we may be faced with some issues that require resolution. Often, people from our past will resurface at this time and we will have an opportunity to reconnect with them. It’s not considered to be a particularly good time for beginning a new relationship, starting a new business venture, or getting married. Perhaps the single best thing we can do at this time is to reconnect with our Heart. The primary quality associated with Venus is Harmony and this is prime time to delve a little deeper within to rediscover those things that provide a deep sense of resonance, satisfaction, and joy. Under the domain of Venus we find things like sexuality, sensuality, sociability, creativity, artistic expression, the flowering of inner potential, and the desire to bring joy and happiness to others.
The New Moon on Sunday May 20th occurs at 4:47pm PDT in the Nakshatra known as Krittika. Krittika means “the one who cuts”, and is related to the English word “critical”. Krittika has a piercing quality which seeks to get to the root of any situation and which can sometimes come across as perfectionism or fault finding, but is very effective in cutting through the bullshit and getting the job done. One of the rulers of this asterism is Agni, the god of fire. Agni endows Krittika with physical energy and good digestive fire, and bestows mental curiosity and the ability to easily assimilate new knowledge. Agni relates to the purifying principle in nature. It burns away the karma from previous lives and enables one to reconnect to the original creative Source and to dedicate oneself deeply to Divine Service.
This weekend I will be burning away karma in the City of Brotherly Love—Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with my friends Dhyana and John at Dhyana Yoga.