Venus is a glimmering diamond in our skies and her beautiful, cyclical dance with the Sun, as seen from our perspective on Earth, inspired ancient people to dub her with such lovely titles as Queen of Heaven. The ancients watched Venus alternate between her visible and invisible phases, when she regally shines in the night sky, she is Hesperos, when she dares to grace the morning skies before the Sun, she is Lucifer (bringer of light), and when her glimmer is absent from our skies, she visits her dark sister, Ereshkigal, in the Underworld.
Unlike the erratic and less predictable cycle of her cosmic lover Mars, Venus’ dance with the Sun creates a 584-day cycle as measured from one conjunction -when Venus is aligned with the Sun - to the next. During her inferior conjunctions, Venus is directly in between the Earth and the Sun and during her superior conjunctions, Venus is directly behind the Sun from Earth’s vantage point. She alternates between being invisible - when she’s in front of (60 days) or behind the Sun (7-8 days) because the Sun’s glare blots out her sparkle - and visibly shining in the night skies (260 days) or morning skies (260 days).