This is the second installment of a multi-part article on the planet Venus with emphasis on its role in myth and shamanic astrology. The first part “Venus as Inanna & The Cosmic Pentagram” is here. I highly recommend reading and/or re-reading it now.
Venus has an orbital pattern that is adaptable to the symbolism of rituals, ceremonials and calendars. The myths related to the Sumerian sky goddess Inanna have been in whole transferred to Venus, and her descent into the Underworld has inspired shamanic astrologers.
It is this myth, that provides the basic outline for this study. I call this a study because Venus and her relation to the Inanna myth is little-explored area in astrology; while not new to me, it is my first attempt to study it in detail & see how it works in “real life”. This then, will be an “on-the-job’ learning experience for me and I hope you as well, as we share insights.
The Four Phases of Venus
Venus’s cycle and the shamanic astrological and mythological associations with it are complex with numerous variations, but, this should not deter us from understanding it enough to gain some practical benefit and expand our understanding of this fragment of an awesome Cosmos.
First, the Venus synodic cycle is 584 days for a complete cycle. That means that it takes about a year and half for it to return to the same or approximately the same position relative to the Sun as seen by an observer on the Earth. If we break that down that period into the four major phases that Venus goes through, we see this:
- Seven-eight days when it disappears in the evening sky at the inferior conjunction with the Sun.
- 260-280 days for the Morning Star period.
- Sixty days when Venus disappears from the morning sky and reaches an exterior conjunction with the Sun.
- This period is described in myth as “Inanna’s journey through the Underworld.”
- A second 260-280 day period starts when Venus reappears from her Underworld Journey and re-emerges from the Sun’s rays as the Evening Star.
- Venus makes an Inferior Conjunction and the series starts again
The Venus synodic cycle is finished when Venus disappears in the evening sky in an inferior conjunction: Venus is now aligned between the earth and the sun. This event marks the end of one Venus synodic cycle and the start of the next.
Welcome to The First Gate
Venus-Inanna reaches the First gate on April 23, 2017 at the 29th degree of Pisces. The chart below is set for the or Capitol Hill, which is the seat of the United States Congress, in Washington D.C.:
Going to Erishkegal’s
According to the Sumerian myth, Inanna desires to visit her sister Erishkegal, the goddess of Irkalla the land of the dead.
To do this she must pass through seven gates before getting there and each Gate is marked by a Moon Venus conjunction, and at each Gate Inanna will be required to give up something important.
At the first Gate she has to give up her crown, which spiritually represents her connection to Heaven. From a cosmic perspective the Morning Star phase represents the involutionary/incarnational period of the natural life cycle because of its depiction of the transition from life in the womb to the transition into the physical world. There is also inherent sacrificial aspect to this transition as it requires sacrificing purity for existence in the material world.
The Evening Star is the converse of this, and represents the evolutionary/resurrectional phase of the natural life cycle. While the Morning Star descends from Spirit into incarnation, the Evening Star phase reverses this into an ascent and a return to Heaven.
The intimacy of the Moon-Venus connection
The Moon and Venus are more intimately connected with human life than any of the other planets. Tthe Moon and Sun are not planets of course but astrologically they have been considered such for so long, that it has become a self-referential short-hand for discussing them. The orbits of the two planets are also closest to the earth.
The Moon is the feminine archetype (not gender) hence it relates to self-nurturing and the nurturing of others. She represents our ability to respond to the environment and in relationships.
The Moon connects the personal world of the self with the larger world of others – it does this because as the Moon’s orbit carries it around the Earth it passes between the Sun and Earth, and then outside the Earth’s orbit between the Earth and the other planets.
The Moon then is symbolically the prime “connector” in the horoscope between the “inner world” and the “outer world.”
It can be compared with the hands of a clock — the minute hand of the clock is the Moon while the hour is the Sun.
We need the minutes of the clock to measure our stride, or existence, against the vastness of Time itself.
Gateway to the Stars
The Earth’s orbit places it between that of Venus, on the inside, and Mars on the outside. This fact inspired the great astrologer Dane Rudhyar to write that it is a positive behavior determining factor in human emotional life.
“Mars is the gateway to outer space; Venus the gateway to the Sun. … in Venus, are focused man’s attempts at reaching center, i.e., the Sun…efforts toward realization of the meaning and value of that source of life and light which integrates all human beings…”
With Venus in two roles,Morning Star and Evening Star, it exhibits dual archetypes – an oriental phase ( rising ahead of the Sun) and an occidental ( setting after the Sun ); hence it has been described as the planet of “love and war”. Some ancient people did not recognize that Venus was the same planet but worshipped her as separate entities.
Venus as Lucifer
Rudhyar, did extensive research on this and called the Morning Star “Lucifer” the bringer of Light from the Latin – light bearer. It was also called Phosphorus, or Eosphorus from the Greek Hesperos; in Roman myth he was Vesper. As the latter, the Romans considered him the son of Eos (the Dawn) and the Titan Astraeus. Astronomers would realize that this was the planet Venus.
Lucifer-Vesper-Hesperus is variously described as the father of the Hesperides (the guardians of the golden apples that caused the Trojan War. Read this for the Judgement of Paris & that background) or of their mother, Hesperis. Whatever you call it, Rudhyar writes that it calls for a “new quality of will and purpose,” characterized by a spontaneous, impulsive emotional nature: people react first and reflect later; When these feelings are used to guide decisions, a person feels he must act, regardless of consequences, because they are not thinking that far ahead.
Venus as Hesperus
Rudhyar writers that the Hesperus phase, is a period when people may not show their emotions but experience them more intensely because they are internalized and are allowed no outlet. People ruled by Hesperus feel after the fact, so they anguish over their loss or linger on a disappointment for years reminiscent of Coleridge’s epic poem, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, read a synopsis here.
What’s your Crown?
As I said at the beginning, my intent is to understand if the myth correlates astrologically to anything relevant. In other words, “does it work?’ And if it does, how do we interpret it?
Our approach will not deviate from conventional astrological procedure:
- first we identify what house the Moon Venus conjunction is located.
- then we note what Sign rules the House/conjunction.
- then we check out the ruler of these.
- and finally evaluate its condition by dignity and aspect.
It is a good also to note what other planets are located in the house of the Moon Venus conjunction. After assembling all that information, then we will search for the closest aspects and finally, we see what the Sabian Symbol for the degrees in that conjunction. That makes for a lot of moving parts to work with, we do not need to deviate and invent more.
Inanna at the First gate must sacrifice her Crown, called the Shugurra, the Crown of the Steppe, — her connection to both her Godhood & Heaven. What is the significance of this act? Why does Inanna lose her Crown first?
As a god, what could hurt us, what possession could be taken from us that we could not reclaim when we chose? A god is impervious to harm or loss, or is it? But without her Crown is Elizabeth II still Queen? There is also an obvious correlation to be seen here with the seven Chakras, but the Crown Chakra is the seventh and last; here it is the first being shed and so unravelling all of this takes time and thought, but mostly a lot of time.
The First Gate and the Crown of Leadership
So, let’s look at a chart. What better one to check out than our President, DJT’s in a biwheel :
In DJT’s chart at the first gate, we see that the conjunction falls at the cusp of his Eighth House in Pisces – the house of loss, death, rebirth, other people’s money, etc. – not a very auspicious indication. Jupiter, the ruler of Pisces which I use as it is the traditional ruler, is located his natal Second House and would you believe it! Jupiter is also by transit in the Second in conjunction with natal Jupiter! Wow!
The Second House is our Money House, of course. One way you could interpret this is that “other people will lose money and DJT gains it”. Isn’t that wonderful, it is the story of his life isn’t it? DJT always wins.
But, hold on! There is a larger dynamic afoot here I believe. This myth is about personal/spiritual transformation, if it is about anything, so it calls us to dig a little deeper than what we usually do.
Note that this Moon Venus conjunction forms a T-Square with DJT’s Sun and Moon opposition, a primary configuration in his chart. This keys us into recognizing that this First Gate Passage should be very significant for him, according to the astrology.
He has always been making money, this is nothing new for him, so it may bring him additional cash but there is probably much more to the story, for him. What could it be? We can only speculate. If his Crown is not knocked off, it will probably get some severe dings on it during this First Gate Lunar Month.
DJT as the “surrogate for the nation”, is similarly impacted. Perhaps there will an international incident of some kind that the U.S. is implicated in that is embarrassing, and causes some “loss of face” and prestige, i.e. a “rite of passage” for the nation.
The USA Sibly chart shows the Moon Venus Conjunction with that aspect falling in the Fourth House, forming a Grand Cross with the natal Neptune, Mars and transiting Saturn – a strong configuration activating the angular houses of the First, Fourth, Seventh and Tenth — the Executive Branch.
The Seventh is our neighbors, partners — other countries. : the 4th, the homeland and the First of course is the “face of the nation”. That natal Neptune is square an activated Mars is suggests that the prospect of military action
As a footnote here I believe that the Moon Venus Conjunctions will have more relevance to individual charts than world events. I expect to see little evidence, but nonetheless I am observing.
The Prism of Venus
Lastly, this essay has gotten rather long, but before we go we should take note that the Moon Venus conjunction is in Pisces, at the 29th degree. Pisces is the archetype of sacrifice. It is the last sign of the Zodiac, thus, everything in the end comes to rest in the sign of The Fish and as the Rev. Jeremiah Wright so poignantly said, the chickens come home to roost — the skeletons in the closet are exposed.
The Sabian Symbol for the 29th degree is: a prism. Hmmm….Pure light broken into its individual parts. Diana Roche in her book The Sabian Symbols, A Screen of Prophecy, writes:
” This symbol speaks to the delicate interplay between the parts and the whole of a thing, and alludes to the fact that changing or altering a part can affect the ability of the whole to function effectively and maintain its stability.
The image of a prism suggests looking at things and events from different angles, and illustrates the process of analysis, or an attempt to understand how things work and what they do.
The implication is that any whole can be interpreted through its parts, or any part can be used as a tool to accurately measure the potential of the whole…”
Mrs. Roche’s interpretation of this degree symbol is stellar. It recommends we look and study our ventures first, not after the fact. Do not jump to conclusions but delineate the interconnections of the relevant parts and visualize the whole, so you can see the ramifications of your actions.
Finally, Saturn is in a 1 degree orb in a square to the Moon Venus conjunction. Expect formidable obstacles and delays doing during this period as your determination and capacity for persistence will be tried.
Prelude to the Second Gate
How long do demands of this Gate persist? I suppose until the next Gate, the Second Gate, is reached on May 22nd, 2017 at 16 Aries 26. It has has the Sabian Symbol of “Two prim sisters, ” with a keyword of Divorcement.
If you observe anything that seems relevant to what we have discussed, please share it with us. We appreciate all feedback in our continuing astrological studies. Thanks.