Beliefnet
The Venus eclipse occurs on June 8th (in New York, 7:05-7:25 a.m.; for best viewing time for your city, visit NASA.com (calculated in Universal Time). According to Space.com, the best viewing will be from Europe, but it will also be visible from parts of America and most of Asia and Africa.

On Tuesday, June 8, 2004 as Venus gracefully traipses across the Sun, she will appear no bigger than a tiny beauty mark. But looks are deceiving: The not-so-dainty diva packs a wallop while announcing the dawn of a new day. If history serves, this Venus transit will impact the world artistically, technologically, ethically, politically, and spiritually for years to come. The last set of Venus `eclipses' in 1874 and 1882 gave way to the information/electronic age, automobiles, telephones, and the beginning of the women's movement. Historically, these Venus transits have often seen great advances in civilization, with women taking center stage.

In many ways Venus is quite spiritual, and esoteric astrologers count her among the `Sacred Planets'. Venus' desire knows no bounds, and is she ever willful! On those rare occasions when Venus (a.k.a. `The Jewel in The Sky') transits between the earth and the sun, she makes our desires that much more visible and our world changes. Often great leaders die (Reagan), while others are born (Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Fiorello H. LaGuardia.)

What does this week's "occultation" (a transit where one planet gets in between the Earth and another planet) mean and where will it lead us in the years ahead?

Venus rules art, beauty, love, grace, and desire. But the planet, whose very name evokes images of valentines and Botticelli's Titian-haired goddess emerging from the sea, is much more influential than that. She is central in directing the course of our cultural evolution here on Earth.

As astrological ruler of both Taurus and Libra, Venus is all about sensual love and truth. Venus insists that in order to grow, one must connect, interact, and share. "She links the spiritual to the material", says Robert Cohen Ph.D., a math professor and esoteric scholar. Other esotericists have cited Venus as the planet that is spiritually and vibrationally closest to Earth, suggesting that we have a lot to learn by observing "her". And to the surprise of many, Venus is often prominent in the astrological charts of war. It makes sense: After all, where does unbridled desire lead us?

Since the time of Christ, these Venus occultations have taken place in only two signs: Gemini (where we are now) or Sagittarius, the astrological axis of thought, communication, philosophy, religion, and beliefs. This axis is referred to by astrologers as the lower mind vs. the higher mind. The Gemini/Sagittarius axis is about the polarity of `secular chatter' vs. morality, and ethics: it's the contrast between Jerry Springer and Bill Moyers, Howard Stern and Charlie Rose. One isn't necessarily better than the other. Both play a valid role in society's evolution. The astrological implication of these rare Venus transits occurring in only these two signs is specific: It suggests that for the last 2000 years, civilization has been focused primarily on one major socio-cultural riddle, namely: How do we think, and what do we believe? In other words, at this moment it is imperative to work that much harder at connecting our minds to our hearts.

Further study of past Venus occultations reveals significant turning points in Earth's evolution, and significant steps forward in our cultural, religious, and political history. Often a woman appears to change the course of history (for example, Catherine De Medici, and Marie Antoinette).

The next Venus occultation will occur on June 6, 2012. Mayan prophecies predicted long ago that 2012 will mark the end of the current era which began, according to them, on August 11, 3114 BC. According to those prophesies, life as we know it will change drastically the next time Venus crosses the sun's face. Whether this is true or not, the next eight years will be a time of great tumultuousness, and filled with many opportunities for mankind (and womankind) to choose new paths to better insure survival on this planet.

What will the new era look like? Some astrologers are predicting that the current use of cell phones and the internet to transmit messages and images instantly are only precursors to a time when we will be able to transmit ourselves just as quickly. Others say that intergalactic travel and communion with extraterrestrials and other entities will be as commonplace as email. Still other spiritual writers say, that we are heading towards a different and more liberal form of religion altogether. We could laugh, but who could have fathomed in 1882 that man would fly only 20 years after the last Venus occultation? We are traveling faster and faster. The important thing is to be sure that our spirits and souls remain intact and with us at every part of the journey.

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