This last week of May is also the last week of the year that the planet Venus will be visible in the evening sky, because she’s in her retrograde motion now and quickly falling into the arms of the Sun.
Once Venus disappears in the West, it’ll be a couple of weeks before she emerges in the morning sky, bringing a whole new mood to the season.
In ancient Greek Mythology, Venus was imagined as Aphrodite, who laid a curse upon Eos, the Titan Goddess of the Dawn, that she would have an unbridled desire for handsome young men. Poor Eos then fell in love with Tithonus and petitioned Zeus for him to have immortality. But she neglected to also request eternal youth for him, so that in time, Tithonus became shriveled up by old age and was eventually transformed into a grasshopper.
As morning star, Venus can also be imagined as the brilliant light that disperses the mists of night, a herald of beautiful new beginnings, but not right away. When Venus reappears in the East, the planet will still be moving retrograde, all the way until Solstice, when, just after the Sun stands still, the goddess of love and beauty will also stand still, and then she’ll turn direct into the Summer.
The variability of Venus’ character in this season, from brilliant evening star, to one that fades into the twilight, to a few weeks behind the scenes, to then emerge as morning star, but only gaining direct motion a week or so later, lends itself to the idea that love can be fickle!
Here’s a poem from Rainer Maria Rilke, for Venus, as she goes:
“Perhaps all the dragons in our lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us act, just once, with beauty and courage. Perhaps everything that frightens us is, in its deepest essence, something helpless that wants our love.”