Sunday, December 21, 2008

Wintry sojourn of Venus

The winter months are normally the coldest months of the year. The season of Winter is calculated astronomically, and is considered to begin with the Winter Solstice around December 20 and end at the Vernal Equinox around March 20. The weather before, during or after the winter months, can be quite variable. To say more about the weather conditions during this season, we need to examine the transits of the Sun and the planets through the signs, notably Venus, the indicator of weather in astrology. At the end, the 8 year cycle of Venus is presented.

Passage through the signs of Saturn
During the winter months on the Northern hemisphere, the Sun, Venus and Mercury move through the signs of Capricorn and Aquarius, which are owned by the cold planet Saturn. The Sun enters Capricorn in the sidereal zodiac on January 15 and exits the sign of Aquarius on March 15th. However, the planet having most influence on weather is Venus, the astrological indicator of comforts, including weather.

The transit of Venus is closely linked to that of the Sun. Being in an inferior orbit (closer to the Sun) to the Earth, Venus always appears to be close to the Sun in transit. Venus can either lead the Sun in transit or follow it. Seen from the Earth, Venus can at maximum be up to 47° from the Sun at any given time (the maximum angular distance). This means that Venus can enter Capricorn some 47 days before or after January 15th. The entry of Venus in Capricorn can thus take place anytime between December 1st and March 3rd.

This winter, Venus has been leading the Sun and it entered Capricorn on December 3. Venus will leave the sign of Aquarius on January 27, 2009. With Venus under the influence of Saturn, we would expect the weather to be cooler, especially when Saturn is weak in old age in transit. The conditions at the present time are quite unusual in this respect. Cold, snowy weather continues in many places. Several planets are linked by being disposited by Saturn in transit. Mars, Sun and Mercury are in Sagittarius, and thus being disposited by Jupiter. As Jupiter is in Caprocorn, its sign of debilitation, its energy it weak. Moreover, due to its placement in Capricorn, a sign owned by Saturn, the influence of Saturn is being transmitted to these planets. Add to this the fact that Venus is also placed in Capricorn, the cold weather should come as little surprise.

Cold December in the USA
In the USA, the weather has been extremely cold and difficult in December 2008. Ice storms have been replaced by lots of snow and arctic air. Transit Venus recently became conjunct transit Rahu and opposite transit Ketu, the lord of extreme and suddent developments, making things quite difficult weather wise. In the SAMVA USA chart, the conditions were made more difficult by natal Saturn closely afflicting transit Saturn, which is in old age at 27° Leo. At the same time, the Sun, Mars and Mercury are additionally weakened by being in a bad house, the 6th house.

Weather likely to improve from February 2009
From February to May 2009, Venus will transit the sign of Pisces, where it is exalted. As the sign Pisces is owned by Jupiter, its condition in transit has a bearing on the weather. Jupiter will continue to transit the sign Capricorn, owned by Saturn during this time and it will be transit afflicted by the Moon's nodes in February. Once Jupiter moves out of this affliction, we could expect the weather conditions to generally become favourable - relative to the time of year.

Angular distance between Sun and Venus
The movement of the celestial bodies is regular. However, observing the regularity from Earth is difficult in terms of the calendar, as it takes the Earth 365.25 days to circle the Sun. As a result, three out of four years have 365 days, while the fourth, is a leap year with 366 days, with February 29th added to those years. Despite this there are some regularities to be seen.

First, let us examine one cycle of the angular distance between the Sun and Venus. The graph shows how Venus is in the same degree as (conjunct) the Sun. As it is seen to move at a slower pace than the Sun's daily 1° per day, Venus appears to fall behind the Sun, and the Sun is ahead by up to a maximum of 47.25 degrees. Venus then is seen to accelerate in movement and 292 days later it has caught up with the Sun and they again become conjunct. Venus then continues at a faster rate of speed and moves ahead of the Sun, to a maximum distance of 47.25 degrees, only to slow down again such that the Sun catches up with it and around 292 days later the two again become conjunct before repating the very same cycle - over and over again. The complete cycle takes around 584 days, or 19 months and 6 days.

An 8 year regularity
We can now examine empirical regularities in this cycle over time. We find that the angular distance between the Sun and Venus is approximately the same on January 1 every 8th year. On this day, we know the Sun is close to the 16th degree of Sagittarius. However, Venus can be either close to the Sun or further afield in the sky either behind or ahead of the Sun. At the same time, regularity of this cycle is subject to shifts, by around half a degree every 8 years. As a result, there is a long time until the distance between the planets is exactly the same as on e.g the first day of a given year, such as January 1, 1901, or 243 years!

What we can infer from this is that in terms of the angular distance of the Sun and Venus only, the conditions on January 1, 2009 could be expected to be similar as on January 1, 2001. While the Sun will be around 17° Sagittarius, Venus will be at 3° Aquarius. Accordingly, the distance will remain around the same throughout the year. That said, all other planets will follow their own cycles and in relation to each other. However, as Venus is important for the understanding of weather, this insight may come in handy to understand what the wintry conditions are likely to be like. They may have some similarity to the winter e.g. eight, sixteen or twenty four years earlier, and more so if one or more of the slow moving planets is similarily placed.

Further information
Angular distance between Venus and Sun
The cycles of Venus

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