Venus is descending deeper into the underworld and will enter the Fourth Gate at 7:39 AM EDT, July, 20, 2017.
A Recap of the Myth of Inanna
The Sumerian myth of Innana is probably the oldest account that we have of a passage through an initiation-transformation endeavor. One reason for giving particular attention to Inanna’s myth is hers is one of the oldest, and consequently, possibly more thoroughly embedded in humanity’s collective unconscious since Sumer was the origin of Babylonian, Assyrian, Phoenician and Biblical traditions, and the Judaeo-Christian religions. Click here to read about Sumer as the cradle of civilization.
Inanna’s poem begins:
According to the myth we have been following in the previous articles in this series, Innana, Queen of the Heavens, adorned herself with her robes and jewels and seven divine degrees fastened to her belt, before beginning her journey to the “land of no return” ( Astrologically this ‘replay’ began on March 25, 2017 with a Sun and Venus conjunction.) to attend her sister Ereshkigal’s husband Gugalanna funeral.
As this was a hazardous journey, Innana instructed her minister, Ninshubur, to plead for her with the deities Enil, Sin, Anu, her father and Enki for her physical salvation if she did not return when expected.
Why would she do this knowing before hand the risks? Maybe she admired Ereshkigal’s husband so much that she felt that she had to attend his funeral. This may be an explanation, but the myth does not say this, it simply states that Innana desired to attend the funeral.
Myths, fables and folk tales, invariably present irrational twists and turns that ‘make no sense’ to the rational mind. This is probably a primary reason why we find them so interesting and this decision by Inanna removes the narrative from the plane of ordinary life to another realm: that of myth and folk tale.
Refusal of the Call
There are times in our lives when the path we are on seems to come to a major crossroads. A critical decision must be made as to which way to go. One way may appear to offer the best conditions, it may be wider, better surfaced, etc.. The other way may be less attractive, darker, narrower, but for some reason one may feel strongly that it is the way that should be taken. Which road to take?
In The Hero With a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell writes:
“Often in actual life, and not infrequently in the myths and popular tales, we encounter the dull case of the call unanswered; for it is always possible to turn the ear to other interests. Refusal of the summons converts the adventure into its negative. Walled in by boredom, hard work, or “culture”, the subject loses the power of significant affirmative action and becomes a victim to be saved. His flowering world becomes a wasteland of dry stones and his life feels meaningless – even though, like King Minos, he may through titanic effort succeed in building an empire of renown. Whatever house he builds, it will be a house of death: a labyrinth of cyclopean walls to hide from him from his Minotaur. All he can do is create new problems for himself and await the gradual approach of his disintegration.”
Inanna at the Fourth Gate
The Fourth Gate is described as The Gate of Compassion and is related to the Heart Chakra. At this gate Inanna is commanded to remove her breastplate. This could be interpreted as symbolizing the necessity to release all the emotional wounds and negative feelings that have been weighing on her heart.
This ‘opening up’ of the heart must happen before any healing transformation can begin. The metal breastplate also suggests the ‘armoring’ or hardening of heart that often occurs within any person as they strive to protect themselves and live and thrive in a rough and tumble world.
The Astrological Scene at the Fourth Gate
This is the fourth conjunction of the Moon with Venus since the original on March 25and marks the entry of Inanna at the Fourth Gate of the Underworld.
Referring back to the chart of the conjunction at the beginning of this essay, notice a conjunction occurring at 17 Gemini 16 (the 18th degree of Gemini). The Sabian Symbol for this degree is: two Chinese men talking Chinese. Charubel, a forerunner astrological mystic of Marc Edmund Jones, describes this degree as: The number 6 rules this degree. Denoting a purely Mercurial person, and expert in all such employments.
- At the First Gate we saw Chiron and Neptune rising immediately ahead of the conjunction, that is, ‘oriental’.
- At the Second Gate the Moon,Venus conjunction opposed Jupiter and was trine Saturn, and Chiron and Neptune were still oriental .
- At the Third gate was a yod configuration, a so-called Finger of God, which had Jupiter at the point focus of an isosceles triangle with Neptune, Moon & Venus conjuncting, forming the other two points of the triangle.
- At the Fourth Gate, the conjunction of July 20, the Moon & ,Venus will be opposing Saturn, and squaring Neptune making a T Square pattern with Neptune as point focus) that in turn trines (ninety degrees away) Jupiter.
The Fourth Gate is Compassion
We know that for this Fourth Gate the ‘keynote’ is compassion, hence the challenge during this “Venus Month” is to become awake to how we can become more compassionate and empathetic to others. As Inanna had to give up her breastplate, the armor that protects her heart, likewise before we can be fully and truly compassionate we have to give up our psychological ‘armor’ and allow friends and love to come into our heart. While this armor does protect us, it does so with the price of dulling the quality, and quantity, of our lives.
The conjunction occurs in Gemini a sociable sign, inventive, active, and a communicator. At this point in the journey, we are called on to step out of our comfort zones and connect and communicate with others. and honor our obligations (Neptune) and commitments, by neither over-promising nor extending (Jupiter) ourselves beyond what are our limits.
The influence of Neptune and Jupiter tends toward being overly idealistic and trying to make too much out of situations, hence bursts of enthusiasm that can not sustained will quickly loose energy and collapse into depressed moods and lethargy. We may suddenly feel highly motivated to do something but are stymied by not seeing how to go about it. Mercury is high in the scale of prominence during this period thus the mind must be fully engaged before speaking or acting.
The Fifth gate will be reached on August 19, 2017 with the Moon conjunct Venus at 21 Cancer 40. Two days later is the eclipse.