Long before the coming of Zeus, before the advent of time and planetary formation, Ouranos reigned over that vastitude called heaven. He overbrooded its untroubled depths until his emanated son, Kronos, rose up against him and cut away that part of his ethereal body which carried the seeds of potential generation. Severed from his limitlessness, the mutilated member fell into the hitherto barren sea, only to burst forth as Venus-Aphrodite, Beauty's bright goddess, born of the unfolding wave. In Hesiod's poetic lines, the beginnings of time and form are thus told, placing the goddess at the very threshold of manifestation and identifying her with the heavenly love that Plato called Uranian and invested with male attributes. Her birthplace was not the earthly foam spawned by Zeus but the spiralling swell of cosmic energy bursting forth upon a new stage of being. It was as the goddess of procreative love and reproductive powers that Aphrodite was immortalized by Homer. He extolled her dazzling beauty, describing how it aroused irresistible desires in humans. Nor were other creatures immune to her spell. Seeing animals, she "rejoiced in her heart and sent desire into their breasts; and they lay down two by two in shadowy dells". In this more earthly guise, amongst the scattered peoples of the ancient world she was worshipped under many names by those seeking fertility and celebrating love. Often becoming the focus of ribald rituals, she was the inspiration for nautch girls and temple prostitutes. To the Assyro-Babylonians she was Venus-Ishtar, fallen to become Kilili, bringer of distractions and distress to men. In their cities she sat as a statue in the recesses of walls "to entice men to their perdition". To exorcise her spell, a eunuch sang a lament to her, whereas the afflicted prayed to her higher aspect as Ishtar for their release. Similarly, the old Norse showed a shrewd recognition of her higher and her fallen natures in the complex blend of characteristics belonging to their goddesses Frigg and Freya, and also gave the latter's name to Friday, the day assigned to Venus.
In her loftier aspect, Venus-Aphrodite can be likened to the Hindu Lakshmi, the lotus floating at creation during the churning of the Sea of Milk. From these waves she springs forth as the emanation of the objective out of the subjective. As the mother of Eros, she brings into being the fiery action of divine will and the fervent desire to manifest through creation. As the personification of the sea, she signifies the waves of its unfolding lotus petals; she is the Mother Virgin of the Great Deep who becomes, only at the grossest level, the froth upon the wave. In this sense, Venus is all that is female in the universe. She is lunar, like the Babylonian Ishtar who was shut up in the ark and who sent forth a dove in search of dry land. She is the female Noah, the ark, the ever receptive yoni floating upon the timeless waters. Symbolizing divine love, her beauty unfolds as a revelation of the creative principle in the macrocosm and the microcosm. Through her arise will, imagination and all the other powers by which the universe evolves. Hers is the germ of divinity which rests in the human heart and enables it to illuminate the mind. Working together with Mercury, she bears light from heaven and returns it laden with sacrificial offerings.
Thus, there is a heavenly and an earthly Venus, two goddesses of love who share mixed attributes which may be designated as masculine and feminine. Though called by a feminine name, Venus is closely linked to masculine traits. Plato spoke of the higher goddess of love in these terms and ascribed feminine characteristics to the fallen goddess. This mutability is further complicated by the fact that, in some cultures, Venus has been identified as entirely masculine. The Eskimo name for the planet is 'He who stands and listens', whilst the early Egyptians called it Nuter Dua, 'the rising god'. Among the ancient Semites the name Ishtar seems to have come originally from Athtar, a male god of the southern Arabians. The name evolved into its female form only after the Semites came into contact with the Sumerians, who worshipped Inini as the mother-goddess associated with Venus. Interestingly, while Athtar became Ashdar and Ishtar, it also branched off to become Astarte, identified ultimately with the earthly Aphrodite.
As the morning and evening star, Venus was perceived in Baltic lore as two sons of their most high god. Being lovers of the daughters of the Sun, the two built a bridal chamber for them in the middle of the sea and thus enticed them to bring down to earth their solar dowry. This myth blends several significant elements involving the transference of solar light to the world, and it places Venus in the dual role of bringing down light and also husbanding it. Among other ancient peoples, the morning star was sometimes recognized as male and the evening star as female or androgyne. Venus, appearing as bearded god or bewitching temptress, hermaphrodite or queen, blended in many guises masculine and feminine traits, thus aligning her with both solar and lunar forces operating through the various levels of her being. The consequences of this are intriguing when one associates the fertility of Venus with divine kingship and traces the distinction that developed so fully in the early Fifth Race between solar and lunar worship and diverging lineages, such as the Suryavansas and the Indovansas of the Mahabharatan War in the Hindu tradition.
In the Great War in Heaven described in the Vedas, Venus (as Shukra) fought alongside Soma against Brihaspati. Affirming a masculine aspect, Shukra aligned himself with the mystical generation of Budha (Mercury) and took his stand in opposition to the forces struggling to sustain an exoteric order. For this transgression he was degraded to the station of an asura, a demon amongst a vast and very mixed host of beings which included low-level trouble-makers, monsters of great evil and pious sages. After some time Shukra left the asuras and went to the realm of the gods, where he undertook to obtain boons from Lord Shiva which would make him more powerful than Brihaspati. In return, Shiva imposed on him the terrible tapas of hanging head downward for a thousand years over a fire of chaff. While he was thus engaged, the gods waged war on the asuras, causing Shukra's mother to try to protect them by rendering Indra powerless. Indra sought the help of Vishnu, who, tackling the problem faced by his ally, cut off the mother's head. When Shukra learnt of this, he cursed Vishnu to be born seven times on earth for the good of the world, a twist of the story related to the seven Races of mankind rather than to the Divine Avatars of the Logos. Many details in this myth are pregnant with symbolic meaning, but generally speaking, the tale outlines the struggle of the 'fallen gods' to assist in the emergence of humanity against the opposition of the gods who were content with blind, unconscious manifestation.
As a deposed god, Shukra lends a masculine aspect to a fallen Venus which has a different quality from the denigration associated with Aphrodite. He is similar to Lucifer, another fallen god whose name has been defamed. Lucifer, the Dawn-Bearer, is the descending angel whose radiant torch sheds the light of truth upon the earth. To the ancients of the Mediterranean world he was the morning and evening star, Phosphoros and Hesperus, one with both Venus the spirit as well as the planet. In borrowing many of the characteristics of Christ from the pagan Lucifer, the early church fathers felt obliged to eliminate him as a competing figure by inverting his role and casting him as the dark angel who sinned against God and was thrown out of heaven. Once exiled, he became Satan, the devil, whose evil reposes in the sulphurous glow and foul smell of brimstone. With this shameful manipulation of ideas, even the sign of Venus-Lucifer became confused with evil. In fact, it represents a progression of cosmological stages beginning with the circle, advancing to the circle with a central point, the circle divided by a horizontal line and then by a vertical line, forming a cross within the circle. The cross dropping below the circle symbolizes the manifesting Logos macrocosmically, and in the microcosm it signifies the Third Root Race at the point where it is ready to 'fall'.
In The Secret Doctrine, H.P. Blavatsky referred to this sign in terms of pure pantheism, not to be confused with the covert phallicism of the uncircled cross, which became the emblem of Christianity and the gross physical manifestation that has come to have such a dominant influence over human consciousness. These stages can be identified with the various planets in our solar system in many occult ways, if one keeps in mind more than their material representations. The sun is the region of the mightiest gods of our system, Mercury is the domain of the archangels synthesized in the being of Hermes-Budha, and the gods of Venus are called Principalities, through whose combined essence the objective emanates out of the subjective and divine ideation passes into visible form. This emanation is depicted by the springing forth of Venus-Lakshmi, who opens the understanding of the creative Logoi so that they see the archetypal forms they must copy and build upon.
On its way to and from the earth, the human monad, born in the boundless light symbolized by the sun, passes through seven planetary regions, including that of Venus. The rulers of each give of their substance ("out of the tears of their eyes, and the sweat of their torments"), endowing the monads with a spark of divine light. These rulers are the Rebellious Angels, the Seven Gods making up two triads plus the sun, the downward-pointing triad being Mercury, Venus and Mars. Venus and Mercury form the two upper points of this triangle, representing a trinity of Mother and Son, completed by the sun as Father. Venus thus relates to the sun in a manner similar to that of a shakti, a mysterious relation which, when intuitively understood, embraces all the masculine and feminine characteristics assigned to her. She falls in the descending triangle but she also rises out of the wave, out of the darkness of the pre-dawn. The candidate for initiation in ancient Egypt prayed to her as the phoenix arising from the sun of Osiris, hoping "that I may come forth like the Bennu bird, the Star of Morning". This prayer from the Book of the Dead refers to the fact that Osiris represents the bound sun (the divine spark in man) which, though limited on the lower planes, can become a manifesting flame under the nourishing influence of Venus (divine love). It reveals Venus as the mother of the morning sun (Son) but the daughter of the evening sun which slips away into the mystery of darkness.
Venus is the sol alter identified by Pythagoras as the third of the seven places of the sun. She is the most radiant planet in the heavens, who receives twice the heat and light from the sun that the earth does, and gives away one-third of it to our darker globe. Thus, she is earth's alter ego, its occult sister-brother, Venus-Lucifer. The Seven Sons of Light (as regents of the planets) have direct astral and psychic communication with the earth and its Guides and Watchers, morally and physically. But Venus is the earth's immediate spiritual prototype, and when the two planets are on the same side of the sun and closest together, Venus always shows to the earth the same face. In the Vedic myths about Shukra the relationship is affirmed by references to Shukra's car, which is said to be drawn by eight earth-borne horses, and to the changes in Shukra, which are said to be felt and reflected by the earth. It has often been asserted that geological changes affecting Venus-Shukra and the earth take place simultaneously, an idea which inspired St. Augustine to apply changes of configuration, colour and orbital path to Venus that belonged in fact to the earth.
The Vedas tell us further that Shukra was a preceptor of the daityas, giants of the Fourth Race, who once ruled the earth and whom the Greeks called Titans. One myth suggests that Shukra adopted the earth because he had no satellites of his own, but that the earth gave its parent much trouble in return. The regent of Shukra, loving his adopted child, incarnated as Ushanas and gave the earth perfect laws. But these were disregarded and rejected in later ages, bringing about the loss among humans of their conscious connection with their spiritual parent and mentor. This was paralleled by certain dramatic changes affecting the planet Venus itself, symbolized by the great trials undergone by Shukra when he strove to protect the daityas from the fighting gods. His great tapas, wherein he hung with his head downward and imbibed the smoke of chaff, is a striking penance symbolizing the great inclination of the axis of Venus, amounting to fifty degrees, and to its envelopment in eternal clouds.
It would be folly to place all one's hopes for deeper understanding of the cosmos on the visible sun and planets and "thereby compress lofty philosophic concepts of darkness and light into these familiar orbs". It is wise always to keep in mind that "there is an immense and immeasurable gap between the Divine Wisdom of the Mahatmas and the progressive formulations of modern man". Occultism teaches that the visible planets are merely representations on our physical plane of their own septenary global chains. The Dhyanis or regents of the planets overbrood each of the seven Races of our planet, their physical natures coming from the planet of their particular Dhyani. The Third Race was specifically overbrooded by Lohitanga, who is Venus-Shukra. When Shukra cursed Vishnu to be born on earth as the seven races for the good of the world, he was forcing that solar god (who had been an ally of Brihaspati) to bring down, through the planetary regents, his spiritual potential. These complicated influences between the sun, the planets and earth take place on septenary levels involving Races, and are made more complex by the fact that each globe of each planetary chain goes through seven Rounds. Venus is said to be in her last Round even though great philosophers like Plato, associated with the wisdom of Venusians, are called Fifth Rounders. But which of the globes of Venus is one referring to when assigning it its last Round?
Who or what are 'Venusians'? What sort of beings are indicated by this name? The idea of physical humanoid life on the visible Venus is certainly fraught with difficulties. Long before science understood anything about its chemical makeup, observers were aware that the planet was far less adapted for human life than the earth. Its seasons were recognized as far more extreme, its changes of temperature more sudden, and its exposure to the heat and light of the sun much greater. But this does not necessarily mean that no form of life is possible, even on the physical plane. How can we assume that there existed neither plant nor animal in the infinity of space before the protozoic formations here on earth? One must not insist on using the conditions for life that exist here on earth as a standard for the entire solar system and sidereal worlds beyond. The great early scientist Flammarion made a bold assertion which has never been disproved, namely that on several worlds inorganic and organic life had evolved a great variety of beings, constituted according to the physiological state of each inhabited globe. The prerequisites for life, according to modern scientists, are liquid water and an atmosphere in which complex carbon-based chemistry can proceed. They also insist that these conditions must have lasted long enough for a specific degree of complexity to have evolved. Apart from the earth in our solar system, planetary conditions which would permit the development of long-term bodies of liquid water are not specifically known to exist, thus prompting many scientists to question the probability of extra-terrestrial life. But we should ask what is meant by life', and we ought to consider that we may be farther from 'aliens' in evolutionary time than in physical space. Even if another planet started evolving at the same time as ours and possessed the biochemistry necessary for producing creatures like us, such creatures are not likely to be in a phase of evolution similar to ours.
Contemporary science defines life as the most complex state of organization of matter known in the universe. Living systems achieve this state by using energy that they extract from their environment and converting it into forms that are characteristic of themselves. This is what science calls metabolism, a requisite which forms, along with growth and reproduction, the necessary ingredients of life. An exacting application of these criteria actually excludes such remarkable possibilities as the virus or the crystal. If, however, one probes the origin of the physical matter involved in these processes, one arrives at a contemplation of the elements, which are largely the by-products of nuclear reactions in stars and galaxies forming the early universe. All the heavier atoms in our solar system were created inside a generation of stars that evolved and died before the birth of the sun and planets. By embracing a broader and more subtle concept of life, one can readily see that on this physical as well as on more ethereal planes we are truly children of the universe.
Matter, spiralling out from its solar source, differentiated and formed into increasingly complex combinations in an expansion and gradual definition of form. Like the embryo developing in the human womb, it evolved specific physiological organs and members, providing the indwelling intelligence with the subtle and grosser sheaths it would require to express itself. Looked at from this perspective, planets can be seen as specialized arenas or 'organs' functioning as parts of one system which is in reality One Being, One Logoic Intelligence manifesting as a particular expression of the one unchanging Deity. The material utilized for this expression evolves from primordial substance, the direct emanation of daiviprakriti, which finds its gradually concretizing veils worn by entities whose function is to bear Logoic Intelligence forth into full self-conscious manifestation. The philosopher Kant wrote of such a primordial substance when he attempted to explain how primitive impulses were imparted to planets through a universal matrix or cause.
Modern science addresses this question obliquely when it holds that the isotropic nature of the universe can only be understood in terms of a simultaneity of beginning. By analogy, consider two runners who are prepared to run in two separate stadia. One starting gun is used to start them, but they are seen to start simultaneously before they could have possibly heard the report of the pistol. How did the runners know when to start? In like manner, the observed homogeneity of the universe implies that all parts must have commenced expanding in unison, and yet science knows of no physical agency through which different regions could have communicated so as to synchronize their histories. Without knowledge of the intelligence which operates through, fecundates and informs ethereal and gross matter, this mystery will never be solved. Nor will the role of Venus as sol alter and alter ego of the earth be understood.
By carefully observing the orbit of Venus, Galileo noted that the planet was sometimes in front of, sometimes in back of, and sometimes east or west of the sun. He also noticed the phases revealed in these positions, and that when the planet's illuminated crescents were narrowest, Venus seemed seven times larger than when it was fully illuminated, a phenomenon only explainable in terms of the planet's revolution around the sun. Thus Venus played a key role in reawakening the minds of the Middle Ages to the fact of a heliocentric universe. This marked an important reassertion of enlightened knowledge over superstition and opened the way for an increasingly rational study of our solar system. Since then, though much of the occult knowledge of the ancient astronomers and philosophers has remained obscure, a good deal of descriptive information about Venus has been accumulated. We know that it is one-fourth nearer to the sun than the earth, but that it is very similar to the latter in size and mass. Thus it is assumed that there has been a similarity of formation and that Venus has an interior chemistry and structure much like that of the earth. Venus has the slowest rotation of all the planets (243 earth days), which is slower than its revolution (224.7 days), giving it a day which is ten percent longer than its year (i.e., 8 months to 7 1/2 earth months). In addition, the direction of its rotation is retrograde, opposite to its orbital motion, so that the sun rises in the west and sets in the east.
The surface of Venus is marked by broad plains which appear to be old and static and to have few craters. Highlands rising above the plains cover perhaps twenty-four percent of the planet, culminating in great peaks loftier than Mount Everest and abruptly dropping into canyons up to sixteen hundred kilometres long. Surface material gathered by Russian spacecraft suggests a mainly basalt composition, similar to that on our ocean floors, with some granitic material in the plains. Many of the rocks photographed are smooth, showing strong evidence of erosion and corrosion except at sites of recent volcanic activity. The frequent lightning on Venus is believed to accompany this vulcanism and there may be many active magmas under the high peaks. The great rifts suggest a crustal crumpling due to poorly developed plate motions, a condition attributable to the thick lithosphere of Venus, which inhibits plate tectonic disruption of the surface but allows for volcanic eruptions.
There is no liquid water on Venus now and very little in the atmosphere. Long ago it may have had the same amount as the earth, but this was decomposed by solar radiation and heat, the hydrogen escaping into space and the oxygen being absorbed in the surface rocks. Another factor bearing upon this is that Venus may have accreted from hydrocarbon-rich planetesimals having about one-quarter as much water as the earth's planetesimals. The available water would then have simply been consumed in oxidizing the hydrocarbons and, perhaps, the iron minerals. The lighter hydrogen would have escaped into space after these reactions, leaving the carbon dioxide-rich atmosphere behind. On earth, there was water left over after this process, but on Venus there was none. The subsequent dryness of its atmosphere raised the melting-point of the planet's mantle, leading to the development of its thick lithosphere and resulting in a surface which is reminiscent of our globe but not as well developed.
The atmosphere of Venus is dramatically different from that of its adopted planet. The mean temperature near the surface is four hundred and eighty degrees Celsius, increasing to a high of eight hundred and ninety degrees. Early probes which landed on its surface and operated for less than one hour are believed to have been silenced by heat and the overwhelming air pressure which exceeds by ninety times that existing at sea level on earth. The high temperatures create a 'greenhouse effect' comprised of thick clouds which enshroud Venus, forming a deck stretching from thirty-one to sixty-eight kilometres in altitude. At their highest level they are whipped by winds of one thousand kilometres per hour, while an eerie lull prevails beneath them near the planet's surface. Solar radiation which manages to reach through them joins the planet's internal heat and the gases upheaved through vulcanism to produce an atmosphere dominated by carbon dioxide. Near the surface, a carbon dioxide and sulphur compound is formed which, when carried to high altitudes, interacts with traces of water and oxygen in the clouds to form droplets of sulphuric acid. The surface air beneath this is heavy, having a density about fifty times that of earth, and appears something like a very cloudy day on our planet. Powerful lightning strikes through the clouds near the huge volcanic peaks, and creates an environment of oppressive intensity and lethal potentiality, suggesting little that humans would find hospitable. The beauty of Venus seems much more safe and attractive from a distance, where an admirer can observe a curious, unaccounted-for feature which presents itself as a faint glow on the dark side of the planet. This is especially noticeable when the planet's dark side is directed towards the earth, revealing a coppery-coloured effulgence poetically referred to as the 'ashen light'.
On earth the temperature has permitted water to condense as a liquid, but on Venus the strong carbon dioxide greenhouse effect, plus the planet's initially warmer condition, raises the temperature so high that the evolutionary path of water misses the liquid state. Instead, it joins with the elements of carbon dioxide and sulphur to produce an acid that could have deadly effects upon life as we know it. But it is the presence of the sulphuric acid clouds around Venus which is responsible for its reflection of eighty percent of the light that it receives from the sun, a phenomenon which may be viewed as corresponding symbolically to the occult process whereby Venus gives one-third of its light to earth. From this point of view, the element sulphur assumes important significance in the occult as well as the physiological relationship between Venus and its adopted child. We know that sulphur is an oxidizing as well as a reducing agent and that all metals except gold and platinum combine with it to form sulphides. In alchemy, sulphur is associated with the spirit, quicksilver or mercury with the soul, and salt with the body. As spirit, sulphur is the masculine, fiery principle associated with dryness, hardness, unification, rigidity and theoretical knowledge. Also, sulphur fixes the volatile mercury (represented by the planet Mercury) "but requires the interplay between the two generative forces as it remains limited and unfruitful until dissolved by quicksilver into living understanding". Alchemically, sulphur and quicksilver, acting upon each other, were believed to become the volatile spirit, a far cry from the brimstone assigned to the devil by Christianity.
The alchemists taught that sulphur relates to quicksilver, as the male to the female, to form the first principles of metals. In ordinary metals (other than gold and platinum), sulphur has not fully done its work of purifying and refining, and so they combine with it and are acted upon by it. This refining role is demonstrated practically by sulphuric acid, which is used at some stage in the development of almost all industrial products and can act as a refining catalyst, as in the formation of ether from alcohol. Integration and disintegration in the cosmos proceed together with the differentiation and synthesis of consciousness. The role played by sulphur and sulphuric acid in this process is that whereby metals are dissolved and formed in a series of reactions corresponding analogously to the way in which consciousness is broken up, dies and is reborn. They represent, on the physical plane, the instantiation of divine intelligence in matter and its subsequent purification in the rational and intuitive levels of the human mind. From the perspective of great beings living on another globe of the Venus chain, the role of sulphur as a purifier takes on an even more mysterious meaning. It is said that they have been involved in a process which finds an analogy in the conditions prevailing on the visible globe. The remarkable chemical conversion that has taken place in the history of Venus and created its vesture of sulphuric acid clouds can be seen as the manifestation of the residual effect of a process which has taken place on a far more ethereal plane. The sulphuric clouds are thus a vesture left behind as the result of an invisible meta-chemical activity involving beings operating on a less concretized globe of the Venusian chain.
In a vast process of tapas, these Venusians gave up the 'water' which would have enabled the further differentiation of vestures to occur and chose instead the crucible of their own refinement. The intense heat of their efforts, the volcanic explosions of lower nature which they endure, the lightning shafts of self-imposed discipline – all these austerities leave behind a planet which seems undeveloped and hostile to ordinary human consciousness. The visible planet is thus only the effect of an invisible mystery, but not an inconsequential one. The great beings of Venus have not abandoned the manifest Venus any more than they have abandoned the earth. The penance they have undertaken is not for the sake of themselves but on behalf of the whole solar system, and particularly on behalf of humanity. Therefore, they remain involved, hanging like Shukra with their heads enshrouded in the smoke of chaff, the sulphuric clouds, so that they can continue to nurture the earth with a highly refined and awakened light of the sun. They have 'fallen' into this involvement, manifesting the highest form of compassionate love, and they rise through the inspiration and growth of their adopted child.
Joining the brilliant light reflected from its clouds, the coppery glow of the ashen light of Venus casts its soft effect upon the world, transmitting the indigo ray of higher manasic intelligence, which is sharp and pure and penetrating. It has the power to reawaken, as it did Galileo, and to channel its spiritually charged electricity to the minds and hearts of earthlings. As her enormously long days unfold, the retrograde rotation of Venus gathers the centrifugal energy beamed from the sun through Mercury and converts it into the centripetal force of mahat. In this way the buddhi of Mercury is made masculine and active. It blends with the feminine substance of Venus as shakti, rendering her a storehouse of mahat, the very substance of which she beams into the atmosphere of the earth. For mahat too must have its vesture, and Venus, as shakti of the sun, gives it thrust and direction and mass with the fabric of her being. Thus, divine ideation passes into objectivity through her, the understanding of the Builders is opened and creation takes place. Among humans this occurs when the germ of divinity in the heart opens like a lotus to illuminate the mind. From time to time a sprinkling of such beings are born on earth, possessing an extremely refined creativity and abstract intelligence. They represent a foreshadowing of what is yet to come for humanity. Like Plato, they are Fifth Rounders, individuals for whom the showing of love is a sharing of the Good, a universal and unselfish emanation filled with compassion.
We of the Fifth Race should have come to reflect this potential far more than we have. We have not gained sufficient control over the emotions tied up with the lower vestures to realize what has been possible. Only a few poets and thinkers have touched the garment hem of Venus and revealed to the world a glimpse of love manifesting at the highest kriyashaktic level. If one attempts to awaken oneself and subdue the lower vestures of Aphrodite, with all their convoluted patterns of froth and passion, one can begin to bring into action the force of Venus as sol alter and tap the kriyashaktic potential within. Such creativity goes far beyond the personal. It is suffused with compassion and nurtured with complete manasic awareness. It combines fohatic and shaktic power from above and blends together the head and the heart, filling the vestures with a sense of liberated joy and wonder. It is the gift of Venus, one that can be fully accepted when the purification is complete and when one is fit to look upon the face of true universal Beauty. Until then, human beings gaze upon Venus and feel her beauty burgeoning in the vast indigo sea over which she reigns. They feel her presence in the early pre-dawn, throbbing in the electrical currents igniting their minds and awakening their souls, and they worship her with a sense of approaching enlightenment, with a glimpse into a brilliant promise shrouded in a dark, mysterious sky.