On Monday, June 5, Venus appeared as a tiny black dot moving across the face of the Sun. This is a rare event that occurs twice within an eight year period and doesn't happen again for more than 100 years. While the news reports this as an astronomical occurrence of purely scientific interest astrologers recognize that what happens in the sky affects us here on Earth.
Amorous Venus turned retrograde in Gemini on May 15 and will continue moving backward until June 27. This reversal marks a period of re-evaluating relationships, personal values and self-worth. Venus' solar transit, however, makes this an especially powerful time for changing the course of love. The Sun represents individual identity, so the best place to begin this process is within ourselves.
Virtually all humans have desirable and undesirable traits. While we may all be perfect on a spiritual level, earthbound life is a mix of emotional, mental and physical qualities, some of which fall short of our highest ideals. Healthy people naturally try to overcome their faults, but rejecting our flaws tends to drive them underground, where they hide in the unconscious to re-emerge in other unhealthy forms. Suppressing "bad behavior" can also short-cut personal growth and limit our creative potential by tying up psychic resources.
Loving our less-than-perfect qualities is the way to healing. Acknowledging these weaknesses without rejecting them does not encourage us to continue them but dilutes their power. Embracing our dark parts joins them with our higher qualities, integrating them into our personalities instead of making them pariahs. This process is not about approving negative traits, but including them in the complexity of who we are so that we can integrate them in constructive ways. For example, if we attempt to expel anger, we may lose the positive aspects of passion of which it is a part. If we try to overcome timidity, we may limit our access to sensitivity and compassion.
Venus in dualistic Gemini is a reminder to embrace both the light and dark sides of ourselves, and in this way to become whole. Dividing ourselves into "good" and "bad" reinforces separation within and promotes polarization with others. Saturn, the planet of responsibility, is in Libra, another dualistic sign where we learn that there are two sides of every coin. When we split ourselves in two it becomes easier to make judgments about others, separating ourselves from them with a sense of moral or intellectual superiority.
The competitive nature of business, politics and education is celebrated as a way to ensure that the best of human nature rises while the worst falls away. Yet it is this struggle to defeat the other and to overcome our lesser selves that fans the fires of conflict. Comparison, though, is a good counterpoint to competitiveness because it allows us to discern the value of people and things without dividing the world into winners and losers. When we love ourselves, all of ourselves, energy flows more easily and we grow as individuals and as contributors to the entire human family.