by Kari Noren-Hoshal
This article originally appeared in Issue #32 Leo New Moon 2008 of Major Sky, an online astrology magazine published by Maurice Fernandez
This summer 2008 we are at the halfway mark between this century's Venus occultations of June 8th, 2004 and June 6th, 2012. With all of the recent interest surrounding the end of the Mayan Calendar in December of 2012, I found it interesting to do a bit of research into the significance of Venus passages from the Mayan point of view.
Summer and winter solstices are viewed as being the most important "portal" days in the ancient Mayan Calendar and they remain so to this day. In 1996, with accords that ended the Guatemalan civil war, the Mayan people were given the right to worship in their ancient sites as they wished. Today, ancient ruins such as Tikal and Copan with their cities of pyramids, periodically come alive with native Guatemalan worshipers who keep a foot in both camps, Catholicism and ancient Mayan shamanism. Studies of their shamanic rituals show that solstice days are peak periods for worship, along with days that are significant to the passage of Venus.
The Mayan civilization, along with those of the Aztecs and Incas, places tremendous importance on Venus cycles. The Mayans regard the cycles of the rising and setting of Venus near the sun (heliacal cycle) as a key timing trigger in world events. Venus transits indeed seem to occur during great shifts in human consciousness in Western culture as well. Approximately every 121 years, Venus moves between the sun and our line of vision causing an occultation. Occultations of Venus occur in pairs of two, the second one being 8 years after the first. In this century we witnessed a Venus occultation on June 8th, 2004. The second will occur on June 6th, 2012.
In one of the best preserved of early Mayan books , the Dresden Codex, the beginning of the cycle which we know as the Mayan Calendar, began in August 3114 BC. This date was known to the Maya as "The Birth of Venus" because a Venus occulation occured then. Other surviving Mayan manuscripts refer to Venus as "Sister of Planet Earth." The Mayans knew there was a link between the time Venus takes to revolve on its axis, the revolution of the earth around the sun and the number of years between Venus occultations. With two Venus occultations (121 years between each) there are 243 years. During this period, the earth revolves around the sun 243 times, while Venus (with its shorter year) revolves around the sun 365 times-- an exact earth year.
The relationship between the Sun and Venus is very important to the Maya on a symbolic level. The sun represents Yang masculine energy, the life force of the solar system and the leadership and drive of the individual. For the Maya, Venus represents the Yin energy of the solar system. It represents beauty, art, harmony and cooperation. When Venus aligns with the Sun, the principle life force is united with love, female energy and harmony. Major changes were expected in the Maya world at the time of the occultation. Witness the arrival of the Spanish to Mexico in 1519 just following the occultation of 1518. The long-awaited arrival of "Quetzalcoatl" the plumed serpent messiah, was literally enacted by the arrival of Spanish explorer Hernan Cortes in 1519. Arriving on his horse with plumed metal helmet and full body armour, he was worshipped as the spitting image of the messiah the Maya had expected. Because they were unwilling to fight against him, the Indians were conquered and enslaved.
The eight years that elapse between each occultation are known to be extremely fertile processing moments for the ideas that are seeded at the first occultation. New scientific ideas, new methods of communication and a shift in consciousness regarding the role of women in the world are consistent creative and feminist themes that arise. If we look back at recent occultations of past centuries (1518/26, 1631/39, 1761/69 and 1874/82) we can deduct patterns along these lines. Ferdinand Magellan set off on the first circumnavigation of the world in 1519 thus eventually showing that the world was a globe. During this period the Reformation began in Western Europe and the age of female rulers came to Europe. Mary Queen of Scots; Queen Elizabeth I and Catherine de Medici all ruled in the 1550's following that occultation. The next occultation of 1631/39 coincided with the first European mail services and the rise of Newton's rationalist science. The occultations of 1761/69 were the first to be scientifically observed in an international effort by scientists in 70 locations around the world. The conflicts which led to the American revolution also began during this period. The occultations of 1874/82 coincided with the foundation of the World Postal Union and the completion of the Atlantic telegraph cable. Women's suffrage also rose during this period, eventually leading to women being given the right to vote in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand.
Mayan prophecy handed down over the ages states that "the renewed world of new consciousness" will be born at the time of the Venus passage across the sun of June 6, 2012, six months before the Mayan Calendar's end. This occultation also takes place just 11 days before the cardinal grand cross of June 27, 2012 featuring the square between Uranus at 8 degrees Aries, Pluto at 8 degrees Capricorn, the Moon at 6 degrees Libra and the Sun at 6 degrees Cancer. On the same date, Neptune at 3 degrees Pisces will form a mutable t-square with Jupiter at 3 degrees Gemini and the Nodal Axis at 5 degrees Sagittarius/Gemini. This combination of mutable (ending) and cardinal (beginning) crosses, coinciding with a second Venus occultation, indicates that a new era is certainly in the first stages of birth. This could be the beginning of a new Mayan Calendar and a Maya version of the Aquarian Age.
During the period between the first occultation of June of 2004 and the midpoint of June of 2008, we have seen the creation of hundred dollar computers for the Third World and widespread use of the wireless internet. These have put the internet into the hands of the masses worldwide. In 2008, we have witnessed the pregnancy of Thomas Beatie, the first "man" to have a baby (Susan Juliette, born June 29th.) In 2008 we have also seen the supreme court of California strike down the state's ban on same sex marriage. The close political race between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama is very Aquarian in that it represents two strong minority groups vying for that traditional white, male role: President of the United States. There is strong speculation that Obama will name Hillary as his vice presidential running mate during the Democratic Convention August 25th-28th. We shall soon find out in the time period surrounding the Aquarius Lunar Eclipse (August 16th).
Kari Noren-Hoshal is a practicing astrologer in Baltimore, Maryland. She became interested in sacred traditions of world cultures at an early age living in Panama, Colombia, Nicaragua and Egypt between the ages of 7 and 21. She teaches an internship program in astrology and publishes a monthly column in the Baltimore HealthQuest Magazine which can be viewed through her website: www.karmaspace.com. She is a student of Evolutionary Astrology with the Jeffrey Wolf Green School of Evolutionary Astrology and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, 410-662-4676.
Kari first presented the information included in this article at NORWAC, 2007.
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