On June 3-4 1769, Captain James Cook stood on a cape on the island of Tahiti timing the passage of Venus across the face of the Sun. He was one of 76 observers around the globe observing the transit in an attempt to gather enough data to measure the size of the solar system.
On the June 5/6, many of us were able to witness exactly the same phenomenon – a small black disc, the planet Venus, moving in front of the great golden Sun. (Not me – I was in Cornwall on the very tip of England where it was overcast.)
Like us, Captain Cook was watching the second transit of a pair that occur eight years apart in 130 year intervals. The next one is in 2117. The pairs occur alternately in Sagittarius and Gemini. Captain Cook’s and ours are in Gemini. The intervening pair, 1874 and 1882, was in Sagittarius.
Now the Venus transit has taken place, but the effects are certainly still with us – and, while Venus is Rx in Gemini, is the time to ponder what Venus’ transit across the face of the Sun might really mean.
|A 1780 Maria Theresa thaler.|
It is hard to define exactly what it means, partly because the last eight-year period was not in living memory. I’m sure that it is only with hindsight that we will be sure of what our eight years have really been about. However, I can tell you my gut instinct on this.
Venus is the planet of values as well was love. We should all of us be investing in what we value if we are to live a “good” life. But so often we fail to do that. We fail to really put the time or effort or simply cash into the thing that we know is really valuable.
My question for you is: what did you invest in over the past eight years? I don’t mean money (necessarily), I mean a whole-hearted investment. Have you taken anything really seriously? Maybe it was yourself, your work, your children, your health, your education…
And here’s another couple of questions: what do you really value? And how has that changed over the past eight years?
Since this is Venus in Gemini, a mental sign, we are likely talking about ideas that we value. But I think the main areas affected are: children, commerce, factual knowledge. If you have been taking parenting seriously, developing a skill, getting to know a set of nitty-gritty facts, or developing a business, then you have been spending this period well.
On the larger stage, I need hardly tell you what the occultation is about. I think you can guess. Gemini (markets, commerce, talk) and Venus (money). In the past eight years we have really had a shock. Everything seemed to be going along swimmingly. We borrowed and borrowed and borrowed, because the economy would always, always grow. Then half way through the eight-year period (2008) when Pluto entered Capricorn, everything began to unravel.
It turns out that money (Venus) does not work in quite the way the bankers, economists, governments thought it did. Economies do not necessarily just carry on growing; we are not at the end of history. (That’s ironic since, of course, some people thought the Mayans were predicting that this was the end.)
|Baring’s, the Queen’s bank,
was brought down
by a single trader in 1995.
In the 1870s, during the last eight-year period, the West experienced one of its worst recessions, which dribbled into the Long Depression. It took decades to recover, especially here in the UK. Some historians argue that we did not really get out of it until 1896 or thereabouts. To read more about it click here.
That was a Venus in Sag occultation, of course, so not exactly parallel to our current one. Being in Sag, we can only hope that it was likely to have been more exaggerated. What precipitated the whole collapse was the so-called Panic of 1873, which some call the first international crisis. Sound familiar.
I’m not here to completely freak you out with historical parallels, but to put it simply the German Chancellor at the time, Otto von Bismarck, stopped the country minting silver Thalers, which caused the banking system to collapse in Europe and the US.
Umm, we muddled through OK, but it took years and years and years. Britain never regained her dominance of global trade.
Our current economic system is pretty different from that of the 1760s, when the Gemini Transit that Cook observed took place, so it’s hard to find parallels. But the theme of internationalism is clearly there. Venus and Gemini together certainly equal peace treaties (the end of the Seven Years War in 1763) and co-operation. However, something very interesting to do with banking did take place in this period. Barings, the first merchant bank, was founded in the City of London… go figure….
Money connects us all, whether we like it or not.