Meetings With the Dark Goddess: Ishtar.

akkadian-goddess-ishtar-on-a-seal-2350-to-2150-bc-tom-hill

Our journey begins on the eve of the Sun’s astronomical entry in the constellation of Leo on Aug 10, 2021.

This is no coincidence; our exploration begins with a meeting with the Akkadian goddess Ishtar who is often depicted with a Lion.

 Ishtar is associated with sexual love, war, justice, and political power. In Sumer she is known as Inanna, and her West Semitic counterpart is Astarte. Ishtar is also an astral deity associated with the planet Venus.

Ishtar/Inanna’s descent to and resurrection from the underworld is among Her best-known stories.

Ishtar is one of a number of Goddesses associated with the Lion- Depictions of lions adorned the walls of the ‘Processional Way’, a half mile brick road connecting the outer city of Babylon to the Temple of Marduk. At the entrance was the Gate of Ishtar, adorned with ornate lions. The gate is also bordered with the rosettes to symbolise Ishtar’s role as a fertility goddess.

What is the connection between the Ishtar, the solar mysteries, the rose, the constellation Leo, individuation, and heart centred consciousness… and how can this rich symbolism and mythology offer guidance to contemporary women during a time of unprecedented change?

Meetings with the Dark Goddess- a humble enquiry into the paths of initiation for modern women.

If you are interested in joining the group which runs every Monday evening via Zoom between 9th August and 20th September, please PM me, or join here-

https://www.meetup.com/meetings-with-the-dark-goddess-the-seeds-of-renewal/photos/31529952/497541088/

 

 
 
 

Freedom for Choice & the Powers of Reclamation.

Image by Jake Baddeley (by permission).

“My Body My Choice” this slogan was seen on many banners at the “Freedom for Choice” demonstration in London yesterday- 24th April. There was very little media coverage of the event and the scant reporting that was available attest to numbers of demonstrators at around several thousand whereas other sources report tens of thousands. For such a major event to go relatively unreported with no mention from the BBC or the Guardian newspaper speaks volumes and is conspicuous by absence at best or is indeed very suspicious.
People are waking up now en-mass, the collective “No” is gaining strength and getting more definite by the day. This unfolding is clearly no longer a case of conspiracy theory, irrationality, or paranoia, but the revealing of a deep truth emerging from within the human spirit to reclaim the things that matter and make a stand for liberation.
“My Body My Choice”, the people say – No to vaccination… No to a vaccination passport.
The chart for the demonstration shows a grand trine in earth between Vesta, Pholus, and the Sun. Vesta stands for self-sovereignty like no other, and Centaur Pholus is where the “lid comes off”, both these asteroids are being powerfully activated by the Sun in Taurus.
Earth is about our bodies, how we take care of them and what we need in order to be healthy on the material plane. A powerful trine in earth involving Vesta and Pholus is pointing toward sovereignty on the physical level… this is where we fully occupy our body as our “kingdom” or “temple” and clearly, and intentionally state that it’s not available to any other person without our full consent and full volition. It is where we say a firm no to any agenda or violations that would undermine our most essential selves.

Chart for the “Freedom for Choice”, anti vaccination demonstration held in London on 24th April 2021.

As Venus inches closer to an exact conjunction with black moon Lilith culminating on Tuesday’s Scorpio supermoon, a deep principle of value is being reinstated (Venus) with a divine power that knows how to “utter the ineffable name of God”- Black moon Lilith. Exiled, repressed, and maligned for thousands of years Lilith knows how to light the cosmic fire in our bodies burning away the dross of low vibrational frequencies.
On the day of the Scorpio supermoon, Pluto turns retrograde facilitating this process by aiding elimination and purification.

Venus conjunct Regulus: Power of the majestic feminine.

La forza (“the force”) by Boris Indrikov

Every 8 years Venus meets with the royal star Regulus- heart of the lion.

If you get up just before sunrise on October 2 & 3, you may be able to see Regulus shining in the morning sky next to Venus (Venus is the brighter of the two).
 
While this event happens every 8 Earth years, during that time Venus has circled the Sun 13 times.
 
The union of Venus and Regulus announces the fierce feminine, the one who will not be tamed, silenced, or subdued beneath false authority. It is an energy that is resonant with the mighty Egyptian goddess Sekhmet whose name means ‘one who is powerful’ and who is also given many epithets such as ‘one before whom evil trembles’.
 
This is an opportunity to remember and reaffirm sacred patterns of feminine wisdom and strength as a force that will not tolerate oppression, corruption, or evil.
 
She is the one who rises again and again to defend the sacredness of life, freedom, sovereignty, and truth.
 
Perhaps you feel called to honour this force in yourself, align with ancient feminine power and shine your light through the murkiness, confusions, and illusions of this time… if you’re feeling particularly inspired or focused you might want to rise before the Sun to meet these celestial beauties within and without.
 
The exact conjunction happens on October 3 at 00:00 UTC.
 
Hymn of Sekhmet
 
Mine is a heart of carnelian, crimson as murder on a holy day.
Mine is a heart of corneal, the gnarled roots of a dogwood and the bursting of flowers.
I am the broken wax seal on my lover’s letters.
I am the phoenix, the fiery sun, consuming and resuming myself.
I pace the halls of the Duat.
I knock on the doors of death.
I wander into the fields to stare at the sun and lie in the grass, ripe as a fig.
The souls of the gods are with me.
They hum like flies in my ears.
I will what I will.
Mine is a heart of carnelian, blood red as the crest of a phoenix.
 

The Gift of Venus Retrograde.

The Dance of Venus

Today the planet Venus goes retrograde beginning her transformation from evening star to morning star. This shift occurs about once every 1.6 years and, like the moon, reflects the shifting tides of consciousness and the cosmos. The dance of Venus forms an exquisite five petalled rose pattern around the earth every eight years, and although the distance between the five points she touches is slightly irregular, the pattern created is beautifully harmonizing.

In the human psyche, the influence of Venus can likewise point the way toward harmonizing our experiences- both inner and outer- creating a world where our soul may flourish and thrive. Venus can bring order out of Chaos, and mythologically she is the only one who can temper Mars.

Venus orbits the Sun every 224.7 Earth days showing herself in different phases like the moon. When she makes her inferior conjunction to the Sun during her retrograde phase (3rd June 2020) she is closest to the earth- we could consider this a new phase of Venus, much like the new moon phase.

The phases of Venus and evolution of its apparent diameter

When Venus is retrograde we have a chance to review, revise, and revaluate aspects of our life that relate to our inner Venus. As astrologer Darby Costello poetically says, Venus retrograde is a time to do some interior decorating on the self. Venus themes to consider include relationships- how are we relating to others, what changes do we need to make, what shadow aspects do we need to face, and what is our deepest longing for connection, union, or communion?

Venus relationships are not only romantic or sexual but include friendships, working partnerships, our relationship with money, with the environment, food, nature… Venus rules all kinds of partnerships including and most essentially the relationship with ourselves.

The dance of Venus is mythologised in the Sumerian story of Inanna Queen of Heaven and Earth. Inanna makes a descent to the ‘great below’ to attend the funeral of her sister’s husband. Upon entering the underworld she is devested of her regal attire… symbols of her heavenly status, until finally she is hung naked on a hook for three days. This is the stripping of the ego that happens when we enter the underworld- the unconscious- to face our shadow- in the case of Inanna her confrontation is with her dark sister Ereshkigal, who in reality is the unacknowledged and rejected parts of Inanna herself.

Inanna is finally saved by her father the God of water, Enki who sends two creatures- the kurgarra and the galatur, beings neither male nor female formed from the dirt beneath his fingernail and who “enter the underworld like flies”. The tiny creatures witness the pain of the dark queen Ereshkigal empathising with her every cry and suffering, a compassionate act that breaks the curse. Through the empathy offered by the creatures, Ereshkigal is touched, grateful for having been witnessed in her anguish and offers the kurgarra and the galatur a gift of their choosing- which of course is the corpse of Inanna revived and released from the underworld.

There are many layers of symbolism encoded in this myth of renewal and transformation and Venus retrograde is an excellent time to explore these themes in our own lives.

Inanna in the great below- artist unknown

What darkness is waiting to be illuminated by the light of heaven- our conscious mind? What aspects of our exiled and disenfranchised self is ready to be integrated? In terms of relationship, are we ready to accept our own failings and sabotaging behaviours- or will we continue to project them onto others?

Venus is retrograde in the same sign every 8 years thus providing a thread- a golden thread- to follow our life’s narrative and soul’s unfolding- like the Venus rose. Perhaps an old story or theme from the past is reactivated during this Venus retrograde- old lovers or friends from the last Venus in Gemini phase (May/June 2012) may suddenly reappear.

What relationships have we not ended properly? Are we still haunted by the ghost of relationships past? Are lessons still to be learned from emotional baggage hung on a hook in our psyche? It could be that an aspect of a story or theme is ending and a new cycle is beginning. Perhaps we need a deeper understanding of what has gone before we can truly move on. This is a time to reflect.

The last time Venus was retrograde in Gemini was 15th May – 27th June 2012 -this was an extra special event as Venus also transited the Sun during the inferior conjuntion on 5th June, 2012. What was going on for you at that time? I recall exactly what I was doing that evening: I was dancing with a group of people in a studio in Ecuador and as I danced I became mesmerised by the sacred mountain Mandango the “sleeping giant” or “sleeping warrior”.  It was a magical connection which was highly symbolic of an aspect of myself that was awakening.

Taking it further back in the Venus retrograde in Gemini cycle- 8 years before that it occured on May 17th – June 29th, 2004- and then 20th May- 1st July, 1996… and so on. Can you find a connecting thread that runs through these time-lines in your life? Hopefully with each cycle we get to see our issues and patterns more clearly- get to shine more light into the dusty dark caverns of our unconscious. Like in the dance of Venus we may see that events we thought were random or spurious were in fact important parts of our beautiful design… or steps in our dance.

Remember to be gentle- and let ourselves off the hook- in most cases we did the best we could at the time with the knowledge we had. Like the little creatures in the myth of Inanna, it is finally compassionate connection that breaks the spell of fragmentation. To invite the lost parts of ourselves home we must first accept them without judgement- and also not fear them.

Venus in Gemini is about integrating the light and the dark. It is also about merging the faculties of the mind with a deeper embodied wisdom of the heart-centre and soul. If we have been struggling to filter some of our traumatic or buried experiences through the mental faculties, or articulate what happened- tell our story- Venus retrograde in Gemini may provide an opportunity to finally put some flesh on the bones.

As well as the goddess of love, Venus is also the goddess of war in her morning star persona. During our time in the underworld we reclaim and integrate our disenfranchised parts which can then ignite our sacred warrior and we are renewed as the light bearer.

This is Venus’ transformation from evening star to morning star – the Heliacal Rise- and happens on June 10th at 09 degrees 44′ Gemini.

Venus is also about money- what is our relationship with money? Do we know how to manifest abundance, can we receive it, are we comfortable asking for what we need… what we want…what we like? Are we eclipsed in the shadow of poverty consciousness… do we feel undeserving of the finer things in life?

Venus is connected to creativity and style- is what we present on the outside an accurate reflection of how we feel on the inside… does this strike you as superficial… is it time for a reinvention?

Do we have a creative outlet- can we show the world our creative spark without shame or fear of rejection? Can we create purely for the pleasure and the joy of it, just for ourselves?

Venus is our values- what do we truly value?

And finally Venus is our connection with the natural world- can we take pleasure in the scent of a rose, the feel of the air kissing our skin on a summer day, or the sensual joy of cool water bathing… can we connect with tiny creatures and stop to marvel at the wonder of an eagle soaring overhead? Or do we rush through life with our senses and feelings shut down living only in our head?

Venus retrograde offers rich pickings in reviewing these aspects of our life.

For the time of the Venus retrograde- from now until 25th June- I am offering special priced astrology consultations focusing on the Venus aspects in your chart.

 

 

 

Venus & Vesta: The Language of Love

Illustration by Carlos Schwabe from la reve by emil zola

In yesterday’s full moon in Libra, Venus-the natural ruler of Libra-was at 3 degrees Gemini conjunct asteroid Vesta at 6 degrees Gemini. In the chart the moon lodge women were working with (London), Venus and Vesta were in the 4th house conjunct the IC at 27 degrees Taurus- also ruled by Venus.

An appropriate theme to explore then was Venus & Vesta & the language of love.

Tuning in from our respective homes each woman shared something about the home she currently found herself in for lock-down. For some not much had changed, for others the changes ranged from subtle to significant…I myself moved home just at the beginning of lock-down and so while the home I find myself in is lovely, it is unfamiliar.

Almost all of us had something to say about home. And for me personally with the Libra full moon exactly on my natal moon, I woke up yesterday with a peaceful feeling of being ‘homed’ in myself –  a good reminder that home is an inner experience as well as outer.

Venus as an archetype is deeply invested in home and environment- she loves beautiful surroundings, harmonious relationships, good friends, sensuality, and the pleasing things of life. A Venusian type person is thrilled when he or she is among the comforts of the body, the imagination, and the soul. But these pleasures are different for everyone, so we wondered… what is our language of love: what is home to us – who is home to us – and what do we need in order to feel loved, nourished and cared for? Also, how do we love… what is our love style?

This opens up the question of what was home like as a child? Was our budding Venus appreciated and encouraged by those around us or was it offensive and offended? And if she was not able to spread out in her full sensuous glory, can we do it differently now? Are we honouring our Venus?

With Venus in the 4th house issues of home, not only for ourselves, but for others are highlighted. What role are we taking during this unusually intense time at home? Is it more-or-less the same, or have we been asked to step up and care for an elderly parent, a sick partner, or- in the case of many mothers- is our mothering capacity near to breaking point?

Try to honour your Venusian needs- whatever they be- in whatever small ways you can.

Turning to Vesta- the keeper of the hearth and the eternal flame- she raises questions around what our sacred purpose is and what we need to be well enough to see it through. For me right now Vesta is about taking care of my body as well as I can and purifying myself of toxic influences. I’m sure I’m not alone in confessing to spending too much time on-line … even while I try to be mindful and limit it. With an 8th house Vesta placement I am also using this time to do some deep diving into the emotional reality of my relationships.

A daily practice I currently have is to cleanse my physical and subtle body using visualization techniques. None of us really know the effects of electromagnetic pollution and how it impacts the human body. One of the major concerns- and understandably so- at this time is the implementation of 5G, a controversial hot potato that as yet has no agreed upon consensus. It has been speculated (maybe proven) that EMF’s affect the water structure of the human system and other life forms, so good quality water and plenty of it along with visualizations to realign the integrity of our body’s structure is beneficial. As is being in nature as often as possible to discharge EMF pollution.

Above all Vesta is the sacred container through which spirit is expressed, she is the chalice that is able to receive, hold, and distribute spiritual light.

Together with Venus who ultimately embodies and expresses qualities such as grace, receptivity, and sensuality, this feminine duo in Gemini this lunar cycle is engaging our intellect to establish what we need to nurture ourselves and others over the next couple of weeks, and how to implement it. Venus and Vesta in Gemini connects mind-body-spirit.

If you feel drawn to explore how Venus & Vesta move in your life, I am available for on-line astrology consultations.