Posted by: aediculaantinoi | June 5, 2012

Transit of Venus

While the above image, and its re-interpretation, is not the transit of Venus phenomenon that occurred today, nonetheless the high-speed solar wind that escaped from the Horus-shaped coronal hole within the outermost layer around our sun is beginning to reach the earth today through Thursday. So, if you feel a buzzy sensation, or just like there’s an avenging one-eyed Egyptian hawk-headed deity flapping madly in your ears, you’ll know why…!?! ;)

The transit of Venus is an unusual phenomenon, to be certain, and I’m sure that astrologers and others can give you better interpretations of its possible impact or meaning for people than I can. That it is occurring during the Gemini month (which is my natal sign) seems intriguing to me, but I don’t know if it is necessarily more influential on us than on folks of any other sign. No, I have not studied astrology as much as perhaps I should have done…and, I’m sure Hadrian is shaking his head in disapproval at this. :(

However, I can say this. One thing I noticed today, a few hours ago (though it’s fading and gone now), was a strange pain in my lower right lung/ribs, as if there was perhaps something “gone” in there, and it increased as I breathed. I don’t know what caused this, and it’s probably nothing to worry about. I recall having such things on a temporary basis previously, but it has not happened in a long time.

As I got to thinking about this, and about the transit of Venus, I thought of the photos of that phenomenon I’ve seen, like this one, from T. Thorn Coyle’s blog…I’m not sure where she got it from. Strangely enough, the post she gave that photo in also had a poem by her, that mentioned in one line “May some wild truth fill our lungs.” I read that after I noticed the “lung phenomenon” I was experiencing earlier…and it got me thinking…

As modern pagans and polytheists, we strive to be a very fully embodied religion and to have positive valuations of materiality in as much of our spirituality as possible. What this means for a lot of people is getting bodily movement into ritual as much as possible; what it means for others is valuing ourselves, no matter what types of bodies we have–large or small, old or young, healthy or disabled, etc.; and what it still means for others is holding physical pleasure as a very important value and need (as Sannion wrote/showed in a post recently). What it can also mean, however, is paying attention to those things in our lives that cause physical discomfort, and what messages they might have to say.

So, I’m wondering: though it is not my heart nor its region that was suggested by these pains, is there a “Venus-shaped: hole in my heart that is not letting the light of the sun through? Is there, alternatively, a concept not unlike the “black sun” of certain esoteric and alchemical lines of thought, a “black Venus” as well that can stand not for love, or the dark and possibly negative side of love, but also the lack or privation of it–the absence that is acutely felt? And, that kind of absence and lack which longs to be remedied is one notion of how erotic, and Eros-connected, love was understood in some late antique Greek contexts.

I take comfort in the fact, though, that in the last few days, two people I know (one of whom I’ve never met in person) in Europe, in two different museums, stood before statues of Antinous–including the one above in Berlin–and remembered me. (You can see some of the others, from the Louvre, here!) I’m reminded, as that occurs, of a line I got from Antinous while I lived in Ireland, and which is in some of the hymns and prayers I use for him: Vel in limine mundi, Ecce! Ego semper sum coram te!–”Even at the edge of the world, behold! I am in your presence!” Antinous is with me all the time, both figuratively and literally…

And, I recall a dream I had a month or two ago that involved Antinous (I had another one recently as well, but I won’t go into it), and the possibility of having some sort of ritual for him that involved him “taking up residence,” quite literally, in my heart. Well, perhaps now there’s room–maybe not in the heart itself, but next door…

…That area where breath comes in and out. You know, like I was wondering about the other day…

But also, sometimes words–and thus, perhaps the breath from which words come–aren’t enough. Ever since I saw S. J. Tucker in April, I’ve been fascinated with sign language interpreting–though I’ve encountered it before, and seriously pitied those who have had to do it for my presentations at PantheaCon on a few occasions, at S. J.’s show that day, a wonderful woman interpreted the songs, and it was much more like a dance than anything else. One person had given his prayers to Antinous at a PantheaCon ritual in 2010–where S. J. was actually a luperca!–in sign language, and I found it to be quite beautiful and moving as well. So, I’ve wondered, despite the fact that I’ve worked out some hand gestures for various aspects of Antinous, how would one sign “Antinous” besides spelling out his name? And as I wondered this, what should happen but today I saw a link to this post…!

And, the post where I mentioned S. J. Tucker above is mostly about–Aphrodite…whose Roman syncretism is Venus…who I am writing about today because of Venus’ transit…

It’s all connected–at very least, all of the things above are connected, I think. And, they were not connected consciously until I sat down to write this post, and I had no recollection of the Aphrodite connection on the S00j post in particular…

Sometimes, we read omens, we do sortilege with things, and see what comes up. And sometimes, omens do sortilege with us. This is one of those days…and that’s not a bad thing! ;)

I’d be interested in hearing any thoughts on the above at all which anyone might like to offer, and look forward to doing so!


  1. Ugh, I have such a massive ‘Black Venus’ in my life right now. One of the downsides to working in a gay bar–precious little time for a personal social/romantic life.

    • I can imagine that would be a difficult position in which to find oneself, in so many respects. Do you get hit on as often as I would assume you probably would?

      In any case, thanks for reading and commenting! ;)

  2. I’m not sure what thoughts I might have on this subject. But I am glad to see you got the photo. Fox showed it to me last night and I was fanning myself a great deal. (Which seldom happens from classical artwork!)

    • That particular statue is not one of the oldest, and it’s kind of a “Frankenstein” job in certain respects; but still, the end result is pretty striking, in many ways…! ;)

  3. Thank you for mentioning sign language and my post in your blog.

    In regards to your question about how to sign Antinous…generally names are fingerspelled, although in some cases a well-known name might have a sign that represents it. In the Deaf Community, we use “name signs” – signs that are created by a group of Deaf people in a common community to represent one another, so that they don’t have to fingerspell names. For example, to most Deaf people I am known as Virginia or “Gin” for short, and my sign name is a “G” handshape that goes from the chin to the chest. In the Pagan community, I am known as Ocean and my sign name is either the use of the sign Ocean (“O” handshape making waves) or fingerspell “OSH” which is the short nickname version of Ocean that many people call me for short.

    HOWEVER…hearing people should not create their own name signs. Rather, they are given to you by the Deaf Community, sort of our version of a “naming ceremony.” It’s a way of showing our acceptance of you into our community and our language. For a hearing person to invent their own signs isn’t considered “socially acceptable.” I am not saying that you CANNOT do this for Antinous or whatever, but I am saying to be careful that you do not unintentionally offend the Deaf Community in doing so. About the only hearing people who are really get away with creating their own signs within the Deaf Community are interpreters or persons who are involved in the Deaf Community (family members of the Deaf, or professionals working in the field of Deafness).

    I am currently writing a paper about ASL and Pagan vocabulary, which I may put up at Deaf Pagan Crossroads, and which I also hope will be part of a book I am currently writing about my own experiences as a Deaf Pagan – what it means to merge my identity as a Deaf person with my spirituality as a Pagan. It’s a work in progress, but I am hoping to publish it next year.

    Thanks again.

    ~ Ocean
    Deaf Pagan Crossroads

    • Thanks, Ocean, for your work and for your in-depth response!

      I had known that finger-spelling most names was the usual procedure, but wasn’t sure how the linguistics (as it were–perhaps it should be “finguistics”?) worked out for the name-signs, who determined them, etc. As this is not something I know nearly enough about, I was certainly not going to suggest or create a name-sign for anyone or anything; the mudra-like gestures that we’ve determined for the different aspects of Antinous are an entirely other matter, but one that I thought might be vaguely relevant to the overall project of communicating something in a non-vocal manner in a spiritual context.

      Mostly, as someone who is interested in the mechanics of language, I’d be interested to see how a sign for Antinous would be determined in the event that one was needed/desired by people in the Deaf Community. (And, for that matter, a whole variety of other commonly-encountered deities in several cultures!)

      I went to a workshop back when I was an undergraduate that was done by the Little Theatre for the Deaf, and they had done a show of some Shakespeare excerpts, and then later, the three main actors did a kind of interview and discussion of their own experiences. In that, I asked about how some things translate directly between Shakespearean speech and signing, and the actors’ interpreter had this particular phrase worked out in advance which didn’t really illustrate what I was getting at, so I asked the actors just to sign a line from one of the plays and break down what the actual signs were, and that was extremely intriguing. It almost seemed to me, at least in that instance, that signing is a much more verb-emphasizing language than spoken English certainly, and a great many other languages as well…Irish is one of the only languages I know that is verb-initial, but I’m sure there are others, too.

      Best of luck with the book as well–that sounds fantastic and fascinating! :)

  4. [...] Lupus has a column up discussing the virtue of being a good fellow traveler, and at his own blog muses about the recent transit of Venus (T. Thorn Coyle also has a Venus-transit-themed post up as well).The Greek magazine PHENOMENA [...]

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