The Pentagram of Venus
The planet Venus and its cycles were closely observed and honored by many ancient civilizations and shamanic cultures. The Mayans calculated the Venus cycle with remarkable precision, and their Venus calendar is the best known and most studied.
However, there are other artifacts scattered around the globe that reveal a widespread knowledge of the Venus cycles. They have been found in New Grange Ireland, in remains of the Sumerians, the Babylonians and Solomon’s temple and many other places.
The reason that the ancients were attracted to Venus is that of the unusual patterns it creates as it moves through its orbit around the Sun and through the Zodiac. Because of the regularity of the Venus orbit, the ancient peoples s found it useful in structuring their rituals, calendars, and ceremonials.
The pattern traced by Venus has been described as The Cosmic Pentagram ( as seen in the Zodiac diagram at the beginning of this essay). In the picture the Earth is located in the center, the five points of the pentagram that contact the zodiac wheel are dates/degrees when there is a Sun-Venus-Earth alignment.
A complete pentagram is formed in the sky by Venus in 8 years, in other words, from any degree point of contact Venus will return to that point in exactly eight years. That is because Venus orbits the sun approximately every 225 days, but as it is seen from Earth, the planet appears to move back and forth relative to the sun in a cycle that lasts 584 days. Five of these oscillations—2,920 days—are almost exactly as long as eight solar years. You may have noticed this in your Solar Returns that every eighth birthday return Venus will be within a couple of degrees of its natal position.
On Saturday there was a Venus retrograde station at 13 Aries 09. The Sabian Symbol is “a serpent coiling near a man & a woman.” If we fast forward to March 2, 2025 ( almost 8 years hence, less two days) we can see in the ephemeris a Venus Retrograde @ 10 Aries 50 that has the symbol of “A canoe approaching safety through dangerous waters.” The Venus cycles are amazingly regular, but not quite exact; isn’t that life for you.
For a little more astronomy instruction, from any Venus station or conjunction (superior conjunction – an Earth-Sun-Venus alignment or inferior conjunction – Earth -Venus-Sun alignment) 584 days elapse. There will be an inferior Sun/Venus conjunction on March 25, add 584 days and the next inferior conjunction will occur on October 28, 2018. ( an inferior Sun, Venus conjunction is one where Venus is between the Earth and Sun). You can find more information here.
As Venus retrogrades, it moves nearer to the Sun and disappears from view for about 12 to 14 days, when it emerges from the Sun’s rays and is visible again it has what is called a ‘heliacal rising, and as the Morning Star. You can watch for it to appear on April 1. As ancient astrologers did most of their work actually looking at the sky., a heliacal rising of a planet was a big deal, especially Venus’ s.
On January 9, 2018, Venus has a superior conjunction with the Sun at 18 Capricorn 57. That gave us the Sabian symbol of the “Union Jack.” A superior conjunction is when the inner planets — Mercury and Venus also called inferior planets — can be observed from the Earth as physically near each other.
VENUS in Myth
Now that we have covered all the background material, I want to focus primarily on the mythological/ritualistic aspect of the Venus cycle. As mentioned the Maya used the Venus cycle to create a sacred 260-day calendar. It was based that Venus spends about 260 days as a morning star and 260 as an evening star, the two phases separated by a 60 to 70 day period in the ‘underworld,’ i.e. when Venus is invisible. When it emerges from that phase, it is now the evening star.
The Sumerians identified Venus with their central religious figure, Inanna; the Mesopotamians called her Ishtar. They were interested that during the morning and evening star phases of Venus as has 7 or 8 successive conjunctions with the Moon called ‘Gates.’ In the myth, Inanna leaves her home and her role of Queen of Heaven to travel to the Underworld to comfort her grieving sister.
In the myth, Inanna leaves her home and her role of Queen of Heaven to travel to the Underworld to comfort her grieving sister. This correlates with Inanna’s descent into the Underworld.
The descent into the Underworld begins just after the retrograde station of Venus when Venus disappears into the glare of the Sun. This happens near the Vernal Equinox on March 20. On the 25th Venus meets up with the Sun & makes an inferior conjunction @ 4 Aries 57, symbol a “Triangle with Wings,” one borrowed from the Freemasons.
When Inanna, daughter of Sin, goes into Council with the Sun (Venus conjunct the Sun), she disappears from the sky into the Underworld & renews herself in its light. Her backward and inward retrograde motion symbolizes a time for self-examination and meditation on the meaning of this Sacred Time.
After the conjunction with the Sun Inanna will encounter the Moon each month for the seven following months. Each contact with the Moon will represent one Gate of initiation through she must pass through, and at each gate, she must relinquish either a power or a particular possession.
When she finally reaches the 7th Gate, she will be stripped bare. Her experience represents the journey each person must make in the quest for spiritual transformation.
Venus/Inanna’s Helical Rise
On March 31 Venus/Inanna emerges from the Underworld, the heliacal rising, as the Morning Star; the planet Neptune rises a few degrees ahead of her. The meeting with the Sun inaugurated a new mission, a new plan, a new period of activity, which is to be actualized during this cycle and for this cycle will be primarily characterized by the archetype of Neptune.
The central challenge during this time is to learn to maintain a healthy balance between one’s sense of obligation to serve others and adequately taking care ones own personal needs. There may be a tendency to become so idealistic in serving a higher cause that the sense of self is lost. The challenge here is to keep the ‘big picture’ in mind, set long-range goals and avoid getting lost in the minutia of the moment while maintaining mental and emotional balance.
There may be a tendency to become so idealistic in serving a higher cause that the sense of self-hood is lost. The challenge here is to keep the ‘big picture’ in mind, and that requires setting long-range goals, keeping the eyes focused on these and avoiding getting lost in the minutia of the moment.
On April 15th, Venus’ backward (retrograde) motion ends. It will be stationary direct @ 26 Pisces 55, a degree symbolized by ‘a harvest moon suggesting a heightened awareness of a need to cultivate the secular rituals and activities that sustain and unite society.’ The turn from backward motion to forwarding motion symbolizes a sudden coming to awareness of what has been learned from the Council with the Sun and what must be done now.
The turn from backward motion to forwarding motion symbolizes a sudden coming to awareness of what has been learned from the Council with the Sun and what must be done now.
Then on April 23rd, around the beginning of the Sun’s ingress into Taurus, the First Gate is reached & Venus and Moon meet at 28 Pisces 18 that has the symbol of ‘a prism’ which is suggestive of an act separating something into its essential elements, as nothing can be completely known and understood until all its constituent parts are revealed. Thus, at this first Gate, the process of dismantlement of the false personality is initiated so the True Self can emerge.
Thus, at this first Gate, the process of dismantlement of the false personality is initiated so the True Self can emerge.
This gate is related to the Crown Chakra and the connection with Heaven. Venus is stripped of her Queenly crown, her natural authority as ruler, for anyone it means that the egos’ identification with a social role and status must first be eliminated before any process of transformation can begin.
The Second Gate
The Second Gate will be reached on May 22, 2017, at 16 Aries 26 which roughly corresponds to the Sun’s ingress into Gemini. The Sabian Symbol is “Brownies (a fairy) dancing in the sun.”