Ah, Venus – the planet known in astrology to bless us with sensuality, pleasure, sex and love. In the past, astrologers and astronomers were one and the same. So, it may help us to look at the astronomy of Venus to understand why our next door “sister” planet would be considered the heavenly body that ushers forth all things romantic and loving.
Venus is the brightest natural object in the night sky after the Moon. It’s most luminous just before sunrise, and shortly following sunset, and thus is called, “the morning star” or the “evening star.” For this reason, many ancient cultures long believed it was two separate heavenly objects, and not just one. Venus is so bright, in fact, that it’s often mistaken for a UFO.
Thanks to the miracle of modern technology, we know much about the surface and atmosphere of Venus. Venus has an atmosphere with 92 times the pressure of the earth’s. Its surface temperatures are incredibly hot – over 460 degrees Celsius (which is also quite scalding in Fahrenheit). Eighty percent of the landscape of Venus is volcanic and made up mostly of two continents.
As a planet, Venus has phases, much like the Moon, which make it appear to go from being a mere crescent, or “new,” to full. But unlike the Moon, it’s brightest when new, because that’s when it’s closest to the earth. By now you may be curious how any of this is like love…
Let’s just say, Venus is super bright, so when you look up on a cloudless, smog-free night (good luck with that, by the way) it captures and holds your attention. And that’s like love because, maybe you’ve noticed, most of us mere mortals spend much (if not all!) of our time and energy focusing on love.
Venus was long believed to be two different objects though it was truly one – and when we’re in love, though we “appear” to be two individual people, we’re “united as one.”
Venus is often mistaken for a UFO – just as love is often not what it seems (and can involve conspiracies, crash landings, cover ups, and visits from the F.B.I.). As for an atmosphere that’s so dense you could cut it with a chain saw – there’s nothing that’ll make you feel pressure like the topic of love. (Are you getting this yet?)
Venus is dangerously hot, volcanic (as in, unpredictable, rocky, and known to erupt without warning), made up of two bodies, and brightest when new – just like love. I think you probably see the parallels by now.
Amazingly, despite having no telescopes, satellites, or space probes, it seems ancient astronomers/astrologers figured a few things out. Clearly they had Mercury, the planet of intelligence and research, blessing their endeavors – but that’s a topic for another day…
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