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The Transit of Venus

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The transit of Venus across the disc of the sun in June 2012 is a perfect conjunction (union of planets). Or is it? Perhaps it’s an occultation (where one body hides another). The only complete occultation of the sun is performed by the moon during an eclipse. In the case of Venus it’s a very partial occultation. The path of Venus – the beautiful, five-fold, rose-form path of Venus – for a time crosses in front of the sun in a pre-ordained line or curve. Who eclipses whom? The radiance of the morning or evening star becomes, for a day, totally identified with daytime. But on the other hand the sun’s gaze for that period of time is totally enraptured by the most beautiful being in the universe. Does he take his mind off his task? Of course he does – to the extent of that graceful curve.

Do we need to worry about powerful forces pouring into the earth while this absence of mindfulness or absence of radiance takes place? Yes, no, maybe. Do we see it as an overwhelming union of forces bringing transformation? That depends on our capacity for transforming. But humanity is also pre-ordained to receive these signs in the heavens. In a way – as it seems to me – the universe risks everything by sustaining this dazzling enterprise of stars and fixed paths. It’s like an epic frame with a heart in it which is unstinting in its gift of everything the human heart adheres to. The risk is that we would let it fall apart – that we would stop seeing, stop experiencing, stop feeling. (See also: ‘The Physics of the Heart.’)

Finally, then, I see with my human heart the sun and Venus as one for this time. As my poem below says, ‘I sense the sun’s strong arms lifting her complete/into such folds of gold and green my heart might stop’.

Transiting Venus

The earth is just a little grassy hilltop
from which the birds fly and moods and passions fall –
the beautiful Lady Venus walks this way
with shortened footstep to climb up to the sun.
I sigh with the gentle breath of a dove at peace
to feel the draft from her limbs as she passes –
I sense the sun’s strong arms lifting her complete
into such folds of gold and green my heart might stop.

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About Jay Landar