This is the second installment of a multi part article on the planet Venus and its role in mythology and shamanic astrology. The first part is here.
Venus’s orbital pattern and its rising as a morning and evening star has led to being incorporated into rituals, ceremonies and calendars. The greatest religious association was in Sumeria where Venus was associated with Inanna Queen of the Sumerian Pantheon. The Babylonians knew her as Ishtar with sacred marriage rites performed at the Sumerian New Year.
This myth provides the basic form for this study. I call this a study because Venus as it relates to the Inanna myth is a little explored area in astrology. While the Venus/Inanna story is not new to me, this is my first attempt to study it in detail to see how it works in “real life”. This is an “on-the-job’ learning experience for me and I hope you come along too and share your insights and experience.
Venus the goddess of love
Venus’s cycle is a complex and has numerous variations, but this should not deter us from gaining practical benefit and expanding our understanding of an awesome Cosmos.
A synodic period is the time between first appearance of an object on earth to to nearly the same position. The most famous synodic period is Halley’s comet because Mark Twain was born when it was first seen and he claimed he would go out with its next appearance 75 years later (he did). But in reality, the Sun with its daily rising is the one we are most familiar with though we tend to take it for granted.
Venus’ synodic period takes about 584 days (actually 583.92 days) to complete. In this cycle, Venus “re-appears” every 73 days and creates the 7-pointed septagram that is mythologically related to Inanna’s underworld journey. There is also a second smaller cycle within the greater 584 day one that is about 260-280 days long — a bit less than at the halfway mark at 44% – when Venus disappears in the evening sky when it goes retrograde and is similar to a new moon except that this period lasts 18 months long. This chart from cafeastrology tells you where in this cycle it is now but I am marking it when Venus and the Moon are partile so my dates are approximately a month different (see the chart below).
- Enters 19 Mar 2017 0:03:35 am EDT
- Inferior Conjunction Is Exact 25 Mar 2017 6:17:03 am EDT in Aries
- Leaves 30 Mar 2017 6:19:31 am EDT
- Enters 28 Nov 2017 2:00:33 pm EST
- Superior Conjunction Exact 9 Jan 2018 2:01:37 am EST in Capricorn
- Leaves 11 Feb 2018 11:09:15 am EST
- Enters 20 Oct 2018 2:10:33 am EDT
- Inferior Conjunction Is Exact 26 Oct 2018 10:16:02 am EDT in Scorpio
- Leaves 31 Oct 2018 10:40:17 am EDT
- Enters 8 Jul 2019 5:09:33 pm EDT
- Superior Conjunction Is Exact 14 Aug 2019 2:07:15 am EDT in Leo
- Leaves 12 Sep 2019 9:06:22 am EDT
- Enters 28 May 2020 3:53:51 am EDT
- Inferior Conjunction Is Exact 3 Jun 2020 1:43:29 pm EDT in Gemini
- Leaves 8 Jun 2020 4:07:11 pm EDT
- Enters 13 Feb 2021 2:50:43 pm EST
- Superior Conjunction Is Exact 26 Mar 2021 1:57:34 am EST in Aries
- Leaves 26 Apr 2021 4:40:03 am EST
- Enters 2 Jan 2022 2:21:39 pm EST
- Inferior Conjunction Is Exact 8 Jan 2022 7:47:21 pm EST in Capricorn
- Leaves 13 Jan 2022 6:44:25 pm EST
- Enters 14 Sep 2022 4:20:16 pm EST (new cycle)
- Superior Conjunction Is Exact 22 Oct 2022 4:17:15 pm EST in Libra
Leaves 23 Nov 2022 2:18:31 pm EST
- Superior Conjunction Is Exact 22 Oct 2022 4:17:15 pm EST in Libra
The first Gate is on April 23rd
Venus/Inanna reaches the First gate on April 23 at 3:44 PM at Capitol Hill, Washington D.C. See the chart on top (WordPress’s block are making this cumbersome). Where the two meet is 29 Pisces (a scientist adjusts a prism) with the Ascendant of 22 Libra (balance) or a little child laughing at water. A prism is technically a polyhedron with two polygonal faces lying in parallel planes and with the other faces but in use it is an event or medium that distorts time and space.
The Sumerian Myth
According to the Sumerian myth, Inanna desires to visit her sister Erishkegal in the Underworld. To do this she must pass through seven gates before reaching the Underworld; each Gate will be 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 and the Evening Star phases of Venus represent respectively the involutionary/incarnational, and the evolutionary/resurrectional phases of the natural life cycle. The Morning Star phase because it represents a “descent of Spirit into incarnation” has a sacrificial nature. Sacrificial because it depicts the transition from life in the womb/ the spiritual realms into the physical world, thus a sacrifice of purity and bliss is demanded in exchange for the struggles of existence in the material world. The Evening Star phase is related the mature phase of life, an ascent, a return to Heaven.
Why the Moon and Venus?
The Moon and Venus are more intimately connected with human life than any of the other planets (the Moon and Sun are not planets of course but for astrological short-hand such designation helps) because the orbits of the two are closest to the earth.
The Moon is the feminine archetype ( but not restricted to the feminine gender) hence it relates to self-nurturing and the nurturing of others; our ability to respond to the environment and in relationships. It 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.
Symbolically it is the primary “connector” in the horoscope between the “inner world” and the “outer world” and can be compared by analogy with the hands of a clock – the minute hand of the clock is like the Moon in the horoscope, because it is the indicator of the timing of events.
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 “Mars is the gateway to outer space; Venus the gateway to the Sun.” He goes on to write: “…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…” It is a positive behavior determining factor in human emotional life.
Because Venus is seen in two roles, that of Morning Star and Evening Star, it exhibits dual archetypes – an oriental phase ( rising ahead of the Sun as the morning star) and an occidental ( setting after the Sun ); hence it has been described as the planet of “love and war”.
It seems that some ancient people did not recognize that Venus was the same planet, merely in two roles. Rudhyar, did extensive research on the nature of Venus describing the Morning Star phase of the Venus cycle as Venus “Lucifer” and the Evening Star phase as “Hesperus”. The Lucifer phase is expressed by a feeling of adolescence.
The feelings are primarily depended upon to guide life actions and decisions, thus a person under the influence of Venus Lucifer ( Morning Star), acts as he feels he must act.
How Does This Work in Your Natal Chart?
As I said at the beginning of this essay my intent is to understand if this myth and its astrological correlates have any meaning that I can understand. In other words, “does it seem to work?’ And if it does how do we interpret it?
Our approach to accomplish this won’t deviate from conventional astrological procedure: first identify what house the Moon,Venus conjunction is located; then note what Sign rules the House/conjunction; then check out the ruler of these and evaluate its condition by dignity and aspect; and also note what other planets are located in the house of the Moon,Venus conjunction. We will also check the close aspects and the Sabian Symbol for the degree for the conjunction. There are a lot of moving parts to work with, more than enough.
According to the myth, Inanna at the First gate must sacrifice her Crown, called the Shugurra, the Crown of the Steppe, which symbolized her connection to her Godhood, her connection to Heaven. What is the significance of this act?
Why does Inanna lose her Crown first? We can easily see the point here if we imagine what it would be like if we “knew we were a god”. 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, right? There is also an obvious correlation to be seen here with the 7 Chakras, the Crown Chakra being the one involved here.
So, let’s look at a chart. What better one to check out than our President as it works as a proxy for the country as a whole. Here is his with the Conjunction chart in biwheel form.
At each Gate there is a loss of some precious possession and at the First is the loss of one’s Crown. How might this be manifested? The Crown perhaps symbolizes a person’s innate/instinctive sense of power and authority, a connection with one’s spiritual guide, or something like that.
Okay, what is happening in DJT’s chart?
Well we see that the conjunction falls at the cusp of his 8th House – the house of loss, death, rebirth, other people’s money, etc. – not a very auspicious indication. Jupiter, the ruler of Pisces, is located in his natal 2nd House –would you believe! Jupiter is also by transit in the 2nd, in conjunction with natal Jupiter! Wow! The 2nd 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 as this myth is about personal/spiritual transformation, so it calls us to dig a little deeper.
This Moon Venus conjunction forms a T Square to Trump’s DJT’s Sun Moon opposition, a primary configuration in his chart and keys us into recognizing that this First Gate Passage should be very significant. 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. 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. A “rite of passage” for the nation, in some form.
Here is the USA Sibly chart with the Moon,Venus Conjunction chart. We see the Conjunction falls in the 4th House, forming a Grand Cross with the natal Neptune, Mars and transiting Saturn – a strong configuration. It activates the angular houses also; the 10th, the Executive Branch; the 7th, other countries: the 4th, the homeland and the 1st, the “face of the nation”. The fact the natal Neptune, Mars square is activated suggests that the prospect of military action is highly possible.
As a footnote here I believe that the Moon,Venus Conjunctions have much more relevance to individual charts than to world events. I expect to see very little evidence of the Conjunctions in them.
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. The chickens come home to roost. The skeletons in the closet are exposed.
The Sabian Symbol for the 29th degree is: a prism. Hummm….Pure light broken into its individual parts. Diana Roche in her book The Sabian Symbols, A Screen of Prophecy, writes about this degree symbol: ” 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…”
Roche’s interpretation of this degree symbol is I feel right on and what it calls for seems crystal clear – look closely and study whatever you are dealing with, don’t jump to conclusions, delineate the interconnections of all the relevant parts, try to visualize what it all adds up to and what the ramifications are. Finally, Saturn is in a 1 degree orb in a square to the Moon,Venus conjunction.
Expect formidable obstacles and delays in what you are doing during this period. Your determination and capacity for persistence will be tried.
How long will the demands and effects of this Gate persist? We will see. I suppose until the next Gate, the Second Gate, is reached on May 22 at 16 Aries 26 (17 Aries two spinsters sitting together quietly).
I encourage you to give some attention to what is going on in your life and in the larger events around you during this period and if you observe anything that seems relevant to what has been discussed here share it with us. Thanks.