This article first appeared on Mooncircles. It is reprinted here with permission of the author.

"No one alive today has seen this sight, and it happens only twice this century..." Read more at Sky and Telescope.

Transits of Venus are rare, occurring only four times every 243 years. During the last transit of Venus in 1882, astronomer William Harkness mused on the future one, "when the June flowers are blooming in 2004. What will be the state of science when the next transit season arrives, God only knows. Not even our children's children will live to take part in the astronomy of that day." For Harkness, viewing the Venus transit meant a four-month journey by sea to Tasmania, then another three months of preparation positioning his instruments. On the day of the transit, he was helpless when clouds covered the sun. What a difference 121.5 years makes! In the 21st century, things have indeed changed. Now we all can watch the Venus transit-live online!

Astronomers study planetary positions; astrologers study their resonance on earth. What does this rare view of Venus mean? Venus symbolizes beauty and grace; happiness and worldly pleasures; harmonious relationships and peace. Perhaps like goddesses who flew down to ancient battlefields, ministering to their favorite heroes, Venus appears to us now with a healing intent. Perhaps she knows how dearly we need all of her gifts. Clear a space for Venus-literally, as in creating a small altar, or figuratively, by turning your thoughts in her direction. You will discover for yourself what this transit means!

Eclipses are often turbulent and productive. They pull the covers off our bed and wake us up. Sometimes they shake loose dark truths that can't hide any longer-as when last month's eclipses brought the shocking images at Abu Ghraib. There are collective awakenings and personal ones-eclipses will bring both. Last month, what truths were suddenly revealed in your own life? Perhaps you got a message-whispered or shouted (depending on how sensitive the gods judged your ears). The question this New Moon is: What are you going to do with this new information?

The Taurus new moon is the time to take these seeds into your garden and make sure that something good grows from them. Taurus is the strongest and most fertile sign of the zodiac. It's the best month to stabilize your future harvest. Develop what was initiated during the last two Aries moon cycles. Focus it, give it form, settle in. The sun will shortly move into Gemini-which means for most of this lunar cycle, you will be gathering information and branching out. But let this process begin with your feet planted firmly on the ground. Commit to what most needs to grow.

Ruling Taurus, Venus is particularly powerful this month. She turns retrograde the day before the new moon; she will be opposing Pluto for most of this cycle. When a planet goes retrograde, it's time to go inward. Review and reappraise Venus themes in your life-look at your relationships, creative projects, or financial success. Old relationships may reappear to bring something to completion. Creative projects can also be reworked and finished now. Pluto's influence suggests it's also important to face your shadow. Have you been kidding yourself about something? Have you been preaching peace but practicing the opposite? Have you lost touch with the pleasure of living? Venus rules earthly joys, love, prosperity, and sensuality. If you'd like to call more of these qualities into your life, ritual is a delightful way to let Venus know you want more of her magic.

"The invisible world wants to help us," declares visionary activist and astrologer Caroline Casey, "but spiritual etiquette requires that we ask." One of the best ways I know to ask for Venus blessings is the Santeria Venus ritual (described by Casey in her Making the Gods Work for You.) I make sure I perform this ritual every year during the Taurus cycle. I encourage you to do the same!

1. It's best to perform this ritual on a Friday-which is Venus' day. You'll need a round piece of bread, like a dinner roll. Make a hole in it and put a nickel or five pennies inside (the number five is sacred to Venus).

2. On a small piece of paper, clearly state your desires. Fold this paper and put it into the bread, on top of your nickel. Then pour a little honey on top of that (as Casey always says, "for obvious symbolic reasons!").

3. Finally, place a small candle in the hole (bigger than a birthday candle, but smaller than a taper). Casey suggests a yellow candle, though I've found different colors fun to play with.

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