Dark Sky Park: The "Dance" of Venus, Mercury And Jupiter

May 30, 2013

IPR: Today we bring the month May to its close. It's evident from the blossoming flowers and the "busy bees" that this is a peak season of fertility. What stories are there in the starry world about this season?

Mary: Take the story of Demeter and her daughter Persephone from the Eleusinian Mysteries. Persephone is abducted, with Zeus' consent, by his brother Hades/Pluto. Against her will she is taken into Hades' underworld kingdom to be his consort and Queen. Her mother Demeter is the goddess of agriculture, and she refuses to let anything grow on the Earth until she is reunited with Persephone.

In the myth, Zeus pleads in vain with Demeter to let the Earth blossom again, because the humans are starving and they no longer have anything with which to make sacrifices to the gods. It isn't until Zeus sends his fleet-footed messenger Mercury into the underworld that some resolve comes. Mercury convinces Hades to let Persephone rise to the upper world kingdom, but first, Hades offers her the pomegranate to eat. It is later determined that because Perspehone ate of the fruit of the underworld, she would have to spend 1/3 or every year there.

This is a classic agricultural tale, celebrating the season of Spring fertility as the time when Persephone is reunited with her mother. The mystery of it is, though, that despite Persephone spending 2/3 of every year in the upper world, there are no tales of her time there. The Greeks, and the Romans, left this story/idea of the 'sacred feminine' for a later humanity to tell. This is what's known as a 'myth of preparation', where there is a descent and a return, but no story about what happens after the return.

IPR: Can we find this story in the stars?

Mary: Yes, we can. If you look to the western horizon about 45 minutes after sunset these evenings, you will see Jupiter, Venus, and Mercury, positioned in the foot region of the Gemini twins. Jupiter is the Roman name for the Greek god Zeus, king of the Olympians ~ the one who gives the go-ahead for Persephone's abduction. His messenger is Mercury. If we regard Venus (the brightest of the three) as the sacred feminine, which in the tale bears the name 'Persephone', than we can see the drama of this mythology unfolding.

The fact that these three appear among the foot region of the twins suggests that there are two paths before us: one is to continue along the ancient path of descent with no real relationship to what comes after; or, two, begin to tell the tale ourselves regarding this emergent 'sacred feminine'.

Jupiter is setting to the left of Venus. As Zeus, he condemns her to Hades against her will.  Mercury will stay in the evening sky with Venus/Persephone until mid-June. Mercury offers an 'exit strategy", you could say. The 'what comes next' is up to us…

After Jupiter and Mercury set, Venus will remain as our solitary evening star until late December 2013, looking into the heart of the human being to see which path we've chosen.