Epiphany,Venus, & The Feminine Christ

Beginning on December 26, Holy days are Twelve (sometimes Thirteen) in number up to and including January 6th which in the Christian calendar is Epiphany. Epiphany means ‘great light’ or ‘illumination’ and refers to the manifestation of Christ on Earth. The Twelve Holy days are observed within the Christian mysteries, as well as the ancient mysteries, the Arcane School, and the ‘Ageless Wisdom’.

Epiphany is connected to the Star of Bethlehem which rose in the east guiding the three magi (or Astrologers) to the place of Jesus’ birth. Modern astrologers speculate that the Star of Bethlehem may have been a Venus/Jupiter conjunction, a comet, or a supernova.

The Twelve Holy days are believed to be of profound spiritual significance and are said to be under the influence of the Twelve Zodiacal Hierarchies which during the period leading up to Epiphany imprint their archetypal vibration onto the earth in order to create a harmonic resonance that completes at the end of the solar year. (You can read more about this by refering to the work of Rosicrucian author Corinne Heline).

Holy days are also believed to initiate the redemption of the Earth and involves the 9th Degree of the Lesser Mysteries. The process refers to the role and status of Earth as it relates to cosmic alchemy. This is found in the teaching of Alice Bailey.

The light building through the Twelve Holy days culminates and is released on Epiphany when the manifestation of divine light is anchored on Earth. This is represented by the embodiment of Christ.

In some church traditions only full days are counted, so that 5 January is counted as the Eleventh Day, 6 January as the Twelfth Day, and the evening of 6 January is counted as the Twelfth Night. In these traditions, Twelfth Night is the same as Epiphany and is also known as the “Thirteenth Day” (Van Wagenberg-Ter Hoeven, Anke A. (1993).

The number thirteen is symbolic of feminine power, creative life force, and wisdom. While in modern culture the number thirteen is considered an omen of bad luck and ill fortune, in previous times and in many other cultures it was considered auspicious. The number 13 is connected to the Goddess, the sacred feminine, Venus and Mary Magdalene.

Perhaps the Star of Bethlehem was in fact Venus as the Morning Star for in the last chapter of the Bible, Jesus called Himself “the bright morning star” (Revelation 22:16).

Lucifer or ‘Light Bringer’ is also a name for Venus as the Morning Star.

On planet earth, humans are activating, or reactivating, and anchoring the light of the divine feminine, a light which has been seriously obscured in the last few thousand years.

But while the birth of Christ is the physical incarnation of the divine on the planet- matter infused with the Christos – many teachings show that it is through the feminine that Christ consciousness is birthed… Mother Mary with the infant Jesus on her lap, mirroring the image of Isis with Horus… both solar deities birthed from the Mother.

Are these times heralding the manifestation, or realisation, of the feminine Christ?

Are we awakening to the necessity of a wholly acknowledged and fully realised feminine vibration toward the facilitation of human ascension? Is this what the questers after the Grail sought? Is it the heretical wisdom of the Knights Templars and other mysterious Brotherhoods? And could it be the gnosis behind the ‘Court of Love’ initiated by Eleanor of Aquitaine in Poitiers?

Is this the true mystery of the dance of Venus-The harmonic that will awaken humankind when the seat of human, now divine, consciousness awakens in the spiritual heart?

Like in the castle surrounded by thorns where Beauty (the Rose) sleeps, the true feminine has laid unconscious and absent from human activities for millennium.

And who was it that put a curse on Beauty?  It was the 13th fairy.

But this myth may be read in a different way: Rather than scapegoating the dark feminine, or the witch, it points to the rejection of Her by a fear-of-the-feminine based consciousness that both lives in terror of feminine power, and fails to anticipate the destruction that results in its absence.

People are coming to appreciate the imbalance and discord that has been created through the uprooting of feminine power. Women and men are becoming conscious of how this principle lives within themselves and the collective and are experiencing the consequences of its suppression. The past few decades have witnessed a feminine revival and renaissance – though not always wholesome and often subject to manipulation and distortion – the time has nevertheless come for the Princess to awaken and claim her seat of power so that the castle, or the Waste Land may once again flourish.

In the fairy tale, it is a brave knight, perhaps the Grail quester, who awakens the sleeping beauty. Here is a symbol of the masculine kissing awake his own anima (often represented by Venus), and at the same time, embedded in this myth is the awakening animus (inner man) of the feminine. It is the hieros gamos of the gnostic texts.

Herein lies a key to the return of feminine power. In activating and making union with her animus, a woman cannot simply adopt masculine symbols of power such as those that are held in regard by the patriarchy. In that instance, nothing would change, and the imbalance would continue. Instead, the feminine needs to refine her masculinity through her heart centre. Similarly, the masculine cannot merge with his anima in a wholly feminine manner less he becomes emasculated. He must contact his feminine through his masculine energy.

The much-maligned power of the 13th fairy is nothing less that the principles of renewal, regeneration, and transformation. It is not only the acceptance of death and an adherence to the laws of nature that the dark feminine symbolises, it is also the link to cosmic consciousness and the non- dualism that is required to merge with universal and planetary energies. It is a circular rather than linear way of human-beingness within the wider cosmic influence.

What is most feared about the integration of this consciousness is the ability to experience beyond limitations of time and space and imbibe the merging with God. This is an alchemical process which in true Grail fashion cannot be mediated or gained by proxy. It must be got through direct experience… and the Grail is different for everyone. What is clear however is that it is unobtainable without the feminine.

As I see it, the Grail is no less than the awakening and manifestation of human/divine feminine consciousness and living according to those principles. What’s more, the time of year from Christmas to Epiphany -these days little more than a faint idea in most modern minds – is in fact a time when the door to anchoring divine light within human beings and earth is wide open. That Venus as the Light Bringer heralds this opening points to the profound energies currently available for ‘cording- in’ the divine feminine.

From Olympus to Westminster- The cost to women in power.

At the centre of Conservative party rule is a tiered structure rooted in the English private school system, and the misogynistic mindset of 19th century rationalism. With only 29% of female MPs represented in the House of Commons, and a mere 24% female representation in the House of Lords, British politics still has some way to go in fairly representing women.

I am aware as I write this that being a biological woman does not automatically announce the embodiment of feminine values. I would be curious to know how many women in seats of power are freely expressing their feminine nature, and how many repress it in order to be accepted in their field.

In an article in the Guardian on 25 July 2019, it was revealed that two-thirds of Boris Johnson’s cabinet went to private schools, compared to only 7 % of the general population.

Nick Duffel, a psychotherapist for boarding school survivors says the political implications of this syndrome are huge – because it’s the children inside the men running the country who are effectively in charge.

From the description of Duffel’s book, ‘Wounded Leaders: British Elitism and the Entitlement Illusion’ –

“This specific culture of elitism, protected by financial interests and the “It never did me any harm” syndrome, means that Britain is unlikely to foster the kind of leadership necessary in our world of increasing complexity, which needs a communal mindset and cooperative global solutions. But worse, new scientific evidence shows that this hyper-rational training leaves its devotees trapped within the confines of an inflexible mind, beset with functional defects, presented here as the Entitled Brain.”

Boys who go through this system are separated form their families at the tender age of 7, ensuring no, or little, feminine influence and are instead indoctrinated into a culture of ‘It didn’t do me any harm’, designed to close the heart and give primacy to the overly rational, emotionally detached and uncaring mentality evident in Conservative values.

In a system where the so-called enlightened mind of rationalism calls the shots, everyone is forced to endorse the prevailing paradigm. Women, children and any ‘Other’ comes under the sway of the agenda being either appropriated, corrected, or rejected.

These dynamics are nothing new and can be traced back to Greek mythology which show that in changing from matrilineal and lunar-based consciousness to the reign of the solar hero, women were acceptable only if they renounced their femininity and came under male rule. The priestesses were ousted form the temples and replaced with male priest who proclaimed themselves divinely appointed agents of the one true god.

Here is the Faustian bargain imposed upon Athena, goddess of wisdom: in order to claim her place among the Olympians she became detached from her original essence, and even punished expressions of instinctual or other apparently female identified qualities in other women. This dynamic is seen in the myth of Medusa where, as a punishment for a sexual tryst with the sea god Poseidon, Medusa is turned, by Athena, into a monstrous Gorgon with a hissing head of serpents, capable of turning men to stone with one glance.

It is not only men who sanction and impose misogynists’ values, it is the women who are embedded in this system who uphold them too…and herein lies the double betrayal of the feminine- a wound that surfaces in many of the women whom I work with.

Of course, at the heart of many of these myths as well as current socio-political and cultural structures is the fear of the feminine.

What will it take for a genuinely female-based consciousness to find its place in the halls of power? When the elites ruling the country are forced to separate from and belittle feminine values from a tender age, how can mature adult, social, political and intimate relationships based on equality of the sexes be possible?

These are old issues going way back into the vaults of time… to believe that the darkness at the core of androcentric institutions such as medicine, politics, education, military, and finance has been exposed and healed is misguided.
While it may be comforting to believe that in our post feminist world, the ‘old boy network’ no longer holds the power it used to, there is clearly much work still to be done.
I have huge admiration for anyone- man or woman- who is stepping forward as agents of change in whatever way they are called.

12:12 Full Moon, the UK election, and the goddess of love.

Image- Mars and Venus Surprised by Vulcan by Alexandre Charles Guillemot (1827)

Image- Mars and Venus Surprised by Vulcan by Alexandre Charles Guillemot (1827)

Venus the eternal goddess of love is somewhat challenged today (astrologically speaking). Slotted between mighty Pluto and Saturn, she is having difficulty breathing.

Pluto/Venus and Saturn/Venus placements in natal and relationship charts can be tricky and in the case of Pluto/Venus may suggest a tendency for intense, obsessive and even abusive relationships.

As well as being placed in the zodiacal sign of Capricorn, which is ruled by Saturn, Venus is conjunct Saturn by 1 degree. Saturn/Venus contacts may show a rather authoritarian or aloof relationships, or a feeling of being unloved.

I write this on the train and only a few moments ago a uniformed guard sternly tried to remove a young woman from the train, not by physical force but with a very earnest and authoritative manner. The woman was being accused of inciting political sentiment inappropriately on public transport (I doubt she was rooting for Boris Johnson), and was told on no uncertain terms to leave the train. An interesting scenario given that I was at that very moment contemplating the Venus/Saturn relationship, and the relationship of the masculine to the feminine generally.

In tonight’s Sun & Moon Lodge we will be exploring through shamanic journeying and astro drama, the relationship between the masculine and feminine. Using the mythology of Venus, her husband the blacksmith Hephaestus and her lover Mars, as well as her imposition between Pluto and Saturn, the intention is to get a glimpse of the current collective climate, as well as our own personal dynamics in this regard.

With Mars also on the ascendant of the full moon chart, can the goddess of love temper all this strong masculine energy?

Hephaestus- known as Vulcan to the Romans- is depicted as the jealous husband who, furious by his wife’s infidelities, weaves a fine net to trap the lovers and present them before the gods of Olympus. This story however may say more about the nature of Venus rather than her scorned partner… though Venus has many relationships with both mortals and gods, and although to some extent she is not whole unto herself without a consort, she is also a goddess who cannot be possessed- even although I am sure the dark lord of the underworld, Pluto might like to try.

The relationship with Hephaestus and the feminine is an interesting one for he is also the god who created the first woman, Pandora, as a punishment for men for whom Prometheus stole the fire of the gods. Imbued with femininity from Aphrodite (Venus), and the skill of crafts form Athena, Pandora is described as being ‘beautifully evil’.

What is the relationship between your own inner masculine and feminine like, both in its balanced state and shadow state? To explore this, you can journey to the inner spaces using images or journeying, dream work and any other resources able to facilitate an opening to the imaginal realm- or simply look at your astrology chart!

For myself, when my inner masculine and feminine are balanced it is a beautiful relationship in which the masculine is in service to the feminine, however with fiery Mars in Aries conjunct Chiron (the wound) at the top of the chart, in its shadow aspect this relationship has a tendency toward Mars being a bit of a bully, rushing the softer more intuitive aspects of my feminine self which needs space and the gift of unfolding in her own good time.

On a collective note, I hope that the over masculinised influences of today’s full moon chart don’t influence voting too much.

Here’s to the deep need we have to integrate, anchor and weave feminine and soulful values into our public and political spheres. Here’s to Venus the goddess of love in her many aspects.

Image- Mars and Venus Surprised by Vulcan by Alexandre Charles Guillemot (1827)