Right now Venus is out of sight, obscured by the light of the Sun in what is known as her inferior conjunction. The ancient Sumerian myth of Inanna- our oldest written myth- tells the story of the descent and rebirth of the goddess as a symbolic representation of the movement of the planet Venus as she moves between the Earth and the sun- and then the other side of the sun.
For Inanna, the underworld journey is a process of healing the split between herself and her dark sister, the lost or unconscious parts of herself that have experienced loss, betrayal, rejection, and trauma. It is a profound experience of awakening, reclamation, reintegration, and sovereignty.
For the ancient world -and still many today- it is believed that Venus is guiding and showing us how to move through the process of death and rebirth as an initiatory journey into the sacred nature of our being. She is showing us how to integrate the shadow and the light parts of ourselves.
This feels more important than ever as the dark unacknowledged aspects of the collective unconscious are becoming painfully visible and destructive.
In Mesopotamia, Venus in her underworld phase was represented by the deity known as Ishhara or Ishkhara- who was symbolised by the Scorpion. She takes her place among the other Scorpion goddesses seen in cultures from Hindu, Aztec, and Egyptian.
Ishhara is the goddess of healing, magic, and sexuality. A vow made to Ishhara was taken very seriously… vows made in the underworld are for real, as is eating the food of the underworld as seen in the myth of Persephone.
Perhaps we are realising that many Faustian pacts have unwittingly been made and that it is time to free ourselves from the bondage of corrupt systems which have led to the desacralization of our humanity.
Times of underworld descent are an opportunity to right wrongs and free ourselves from unconscious patterns and behaviours by making them conscious. This works individually and collectively – as we become conscious of the ‘great below’, below the veil of illusion, or behind the curtain of OZ, the impulse is to rise up and refuse further complicity with that which is in misalignment with or offensive to our essence.
As Venus continues her journey in the underworld, the moon is undergoing her own death and rebirth as she is partially eclipsed on Friday 5th June in her full moon phase, positioned at the feet of the constellation Ophiuchus- ‘the Great Healer’ and close to the royal star Antares in the constellation of Scorpio. Antares symbolises death and rebirth, power and profound transformation.
Venus emerges on June 12th just above the fixed star Aldebaran in the constellation of Taurus -the ‘Eye of Illumination’- another royal star which symbolises movement into the new and remembrance of the sacredness of life.
This Venus retrograde cycle closes on June 24 shortly after the solar eclipse/Solstice on 21 June.
Venus then journeys direct in her Morning Star aspect-or Lucifer the Light Bearer- for 9 months before making her superior conjunction on the other side of the sun. She then returns as the evening star- Venus as lover- for 9 months.
What powerful times we are living through as we, part of the cosmic matrix, also undertake these journeys filled with the possibility of renewal, repair, and remembrance of our sacredness.
Credit to Psychologist Heather Ensworth, and to Babylonian Astrologer Rumen Kolev for their research and presentations on this topic.