Transit of Venus across the Sun, June 5/6, 2012

June 6, 2012 by  

Yesterday, Venus moved across the face of the Sun, a conjunction not only in longitude, but also in declination. Venus was visible as a black dot on the Solar disc, moving diagonally across the Sun. The conjunction occurred with Venus in retrograde, and was exact at 15 Gemini.

Venus transiting the sun in pictures

Venus transiting the Sun – image courtesy of NASA

Last night, I had the opportunity to visit the Adler Planetarium here in Chicago, which held an observation event. The transit began at 5:04 pm CDT, and was visible until about 7:45 pm, when the Sun sank behind the skyline. There was also a live NASA feed from Mauna Kea, with commentary by astronomers and physicists. I got a chance to look through the high-tech observatory telescope, which was so clear that it showed the solar flares along with Venus herself, just as she made the mysterious black drop effect. This is the effect occurring when Venus separates from the corona of the Sun, and she looks more like a little drop than a clearly-defined sphere. The black drop effect has not yet been explained.

The viewing was a spectacular and special event, not to be repeated for another century. Even if you missed it, the good news is that Mercury transits the Sun about once a decade. Mercury is considerably smaller, however, so the visual is a little less dramatic, but still rare and beautiful.

I think of this transit as Venus being super-cazimi. Traditional sources say that planets are exceptionally strong when within 16′ of longitude of the Sun, as they are “in the heart of the Sun.” This condition is called “cazimi,” from the Arabic kasmimi. They are in the heart of the King, as it were, and so suitably powerful. Yet – and this will be a separate article on traditional astrological methods – a planet such as Venus is visually only in the heart of the Sun when she makes this super-rare transit. Could it be that cazimi only refers to these planetary transits across the Sun’s face? My few horary charts with cazimi planets indicate this may be the case.¬† Stay tuned.

Planets in Astrology: Mercury and the Sun & Mercury in Libra

October 17, 2007 by  

Planets in Astrology: Mercury and the Sun & Mercury in Libra - illustrated by Love Letter

Mercury gets very close to the sun on October 23, and it will be in the heart of the Sun (or cazimi) precisely at 11:56 p.m. GMT on that day. Cazimi planets are within 17 1/2 degrees of the Sun on either side, and are considered extremely strong due to the powerful infusion of the solar rays. If Mercury is just a little bit farther from the Sun than this, it is considered combust, and is seriously afflicted.

As a result, the short period of Mercury cazimi is highly auspicious for all mercurial undertakings. This includes writing, mailing important documents, buying and selling, etc. This fortunate configuration will happen between roughly 8:40 p.m. GMT on October 23 and 3:40 a.m. GMT on October 24.

Shortly after the cazimi period, Mercury will reenter Libra (it is retrograde, so it’s regressing from Scorpio back into Libra), where it has some strength by night. This is because Mercury rules the night triplicity of all the air signs, including Libra. Mercury has special affinity for the air signs, as it is a planet of communication and intellect, and the air signs resonate very well with this, especially Gemini, which is ruled by Mercury.

All in all, your mercurial projects should improve if you start them between the October 24 and November 11, which is when Mercury reenters Scorpio, for good this time.

To identify the best times for your new project or important event, you may wish to look into an electional astrology reading.