Venus, the descent of Inanna and the 7 Gates
Venus, the Descent of Inanna and the 7 Gates
to the Underworld, or is it Upperworld?
Agent 12 Julija Simas
SEE Previous article Venus the Morning Star
After her maximum elongation from the Sun, post retrograde, as a morning star , Venus begins the next stage of her evolutionary cycle. From the emergent phase of youth, and the stability of her maximum elongation, shining bright as the morning Star, Venus is full of growing confidence and drive and has a mission ahead that seeks accomplishment, fulfillment and the next Venusian experience.
Whists studying the Venus cycle, I was always perplexed as to the story of Innana’s descent into the underworld and her journey there through the 7 gates. It was generally understood by astrologers that Venus would be in the underworld when retrograde. Yet when retrograde Venus is only not visible in our skies for about 16-20 days as she moves between Earth and form our perspective in front of the Sun. I always wondered where were the 7 gates and how does this work, as the retrograde was and still is, often referred to as the Descent of Inanna into the underworld, yet something didn’t quite fit. How could this relate to a 7 gated journey? It seemed like there wasn’t enough time, with the whole retrograde being 40 days and 40 nights, yet the disappearance from our skies only 16-20 days.. Further into my searching, I noticed that there is a period of time that Venus disappears from our skies for much longer, on her way to the outer conjunction with the Sun. This is when she is moving very fast and keeping pace with the Sun, therefore travelling with it’s light and invisible to us for more that 60 days. It seemed this could be a far greater journey than the one she takes when nearing the Earth and retrograde.
It was not long after that I came across in a book Astrology a New Generation, where astrologer Cary Caton(see link below), retells the story of the Inanna’s descent into the underworld, reflecting the cycle of Venus and her journey through the 7 gates before she gets there. Gary writes that the journey to the underworld begins with the first waning Moon conjunction with Venus after her max elongation as the morning star, taking seven months. It is a truly beautiful connection and one that helps us to connect further to the planet, Venus and connecting ourselves with her cycle throughout our lives.
The story of Innana’s descent into the underworld is a very old tale stemming from ancient Sumeria, a deep and powerful myth that is reflected by the journey of Venus toward her outer conjunction with the Sun. The whole synodic cycle of Venus can be seen as a complete journey of 19 months and looked at in stages as the diagram below depicts. The pink lines denoting her conjunctions with the Sun and maximum elongation points. The shaded areas are when she is invisible to us. The black area is where she is heading now.
The story of the descent into the underworld goes a bit like this, although there a a few different yet similar versions. Innana is sent to a funeral in the underworld. In order to enter the underworld she must prepare by giving up one piece of her clothing or jewellery at each
of the 7 gates she passes. She enters the underworld stripped bare, completely exposed, is then killed by her dark
counterpart and sister Erishkigal (an analogy to our shadow selves) she is then hung upside-down on a hook for 3 days and is resurrected by magical
beings who sprinkle the bread and water of life 60 times to give her,
her life back.
In order to ascend, back out of the underworld, she must also sacrifice something, in this case she chooses her husband who has taken the throne in her absence. She ascends again and at each 7 gates is given back the equivalent piece of clothing or jewels where she is then restored back to full brightness as the Evening Star after 7 Moon, months and 7 gates, climaxing at her maximum elongation as the evening star.
The story reflects the cycle of Venus as she begins her descent into the underworld, after the max elongation as morning star approx 72 days after her retrograde conjunction with Sun. The next 7 months of Venus Moon (waning Moon) conjunctions begin the descent of the Goddess into the underworld. The 7 subsequent Venus Moon conjunctions denote the 7 gates of preparation for the underworld, where at each gate she removes an item of clothing or jewellery. Entering the underworld when approx 10 degrees way from the superior conjunction which takes another month . Here she is then completely exposed, it is the only stage of her cycle when Venus is in full bloom, so to speak, like the full Moon, as at all other times we she her as a gibbous shape or a crescent shape, and we never see her full this is her time away with the Gods, where only they see her in true light, giving us more depth into the meaning of her cycle.. Another waning Moon conjunction occurs around the same time or very close to the superior conjunction, with her already in the underworld, invisible in our skies.
To be retold as a story we can more easily relate to descent as reflecting our own journey toward a more authentic self. Contemplate yourself a each gate, what would you take off symbolically to reflect and accentuate your own journey. Perhaps something that you may wear as a shield, a mask, something that you feel maybe preventing you from being your true self , perhaps your make up, your clothes, your jewelry, a partner, any of those things/relationships, entanglements that Venus represents that add to our sense of self worth , self love and self value. The whole experience is about helping you define what is truly important and authentic. Remember that the journey is also an inner one, private, it is being witnessed by the God’s and your shadow side, no one else. Although no doubt it will be reflected in your outer world as well.
At each gate visualize the journey with your own symbols. What armour do you need to take off, to reveal the most authentic you! What mask ? The right relationship? What goal are you moving toward a goal, what mission, something that needs to be fulfilled and delivered by June 6th 2015. At the each Moon Venus conjunction let go of something one at a time as you move toward wholeness and necessary and regular transformation.
Pick 7 symbols, your crown, your earrings, your necklace, your breastplate, your measuring rod, your loin cloth
Gate 7 – Her crown her godhood, her connection to heaven, the crown chakra.
Gate 6 – The small lapis beads earrings her sense of magic and ability to manifest, third eye.
Gate 5- Double strand of beads necklace, her rapture of illumination, her throat chakra.
Gate 4 – Breastplate called “Come, man, come” her emotional heart, her heart chakra.
Gate 3 – Golden hip girdle, her ego, her solar plexus.
Gate 2 – Lapis measuring rod in her hand, her will, at the level of her genitals.
Gate 1 – Garment of ladyship, breechcloth, her sex role, her root chakra.
The dates for the current descent 2015, and her conjunctions with the waning moon as morning star are:
Note with each subsequent conjunction with the Moon she is getting further away form Earth, lower in the morning skies and dimmer, as she travels closer toward the Sun for the Superior conjunction – June 6 – 16° Gemini, 9.5 months since her retrograde conjunction with the Sun back on August 23rd in Leo.
7) 9 oct 2016 – 0 Virgo-
6) 7 Nov – 28 Virgo
5) 8 Dec – 2 SC
4) 7 Jan 2017 – 9 SAG
3) 6 Feb – 16 CA
2) 7 Mar – 23 AQ
1) 6 April 2017 – 00 AR
With the next Moon conjunction Venus is already in the Underworld, which occurs on 6th May underworld – 7 TA.
Take the time to reflect on your journey forward and make time and space at every Venus Moon conjunction over the next 7 months as her mission gets more serious and you are invited to take the journey with her. The question is though is this a journey to the underworld, or to an upperworld as Venus when furthest away form the earth was also seen as a heavenly goddess and often called Aphrodite Urania, as discussed here. for this is where she is heading!
It is important to recreate this story to adapt to your life and current experience. It could be a journey that’s more confronting for some than others, but either way it is a journey that must be taken. What would you like to deliver to the Gods, by June 6 2016. What needs to be let go of, that will completely transform your world . You have some time and 7 gates to contemplate!
Astrology: The New Generation, can be found at this link,
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Venus Retrograde – 25th July 2015 – 6th September 2015
The Solar Feminine – Venus Retrograde
25th July 2015 – 6th September 2015
A question for you!
Can you recognise the common link between these biblical stories?
- Noah floating upon the sea in his Arc
- Moses labouring on a mountain transcribing the Commandments
- Elijah fasting on Mount Horeb
- The people of the City of Nineveh repenting their ways
- Yeshua fasting in the wilderness
- Yeshua appearing to humanity after the crucifixion
Answer – the magical number 40!!
Many spiritual traditions speak of a set of common themes interwoven into the notion of ‘40’ – ritualistic cleansing, purification, prayer, inner reflection, stillness in preparation for a renewal of spirit and ultimately a re-birthing of the light within. The internalised conflict and soul testing that takes place within each of those stories ends in a common result – an orb of light bathes the protagonist in a glorious radiance of light, having emerged from a cave, mountain top or desert illuminated, enlightened and at peace!
All traditions appear to agree that the time it takes for your spirit to be renewed and filled with a sense of unconditional love is 40 days! But why 40?
Our stories are ultimately cosmic ones. Our predecessors believed that our humanity is embedded within a vast field of intelligence, interlinking the above with the below. Their stories (our myths) retained the knowledge of our stellar origins encoded in the lives of those who have inspired our spiritual traditions. This 40 day purification ritual is none other than the story of the Light Bearer, Venus.
You cannot have but noticed that brilliant bright blue/ white light reigning high in our evening skies since Christmas 2014. That has been Venus. Also known as the Queen of Heaven and Earth, or in less romantic terms, the Evening Star, as July wanes, soon to yield to August, Venus enters the final stages of her overall life process.
If you have watched her celestial movement over the past few months, you will have noticed that she has been dancing with another bright light in the sky, that of Jupiter. They enjoyed a brief smooch back on the 1st July before she abruptly left his bed so as to continue her journey. Maybe she was feeling conscious about her age, as she has been rapidly aging of late. Maybe pleasures of the flesh no longer interest her as she transmutes into the Wizened Elder on the 25th July. But they will meet again, on a higher plane of consciousness, on the 4th August, to review and rekindle what they briefly started a month earlier!
If you continue to watch the evening skies over the days ahead, you will notice that Venus’ light will dim and her height above the horizon shrinks. This aptly mirrors the ageing process as she moves silently through the last few weeks of her life. As she disappears from sight, she accelerates towards our local star, the Sun on the 15th August, when she will be infused with his stellar consciousness, will be cleansed and revitalised, will be reborn and will start her life cycle all over again!
This is a process that takes place every 18-20 months. Her reversal prior to her meeting with the Sun is called Venus Retrograde. It is a curious phenomenon that sees Venus appear to reverse her motion in our evening skies and return to cover the ground that she recently walk. This means that she will remain longer in a particular region of the zodiac than she normally would. This cycle allows her to transmute light thereby facilitating a renewal of the archetypal associated with the sign (s) of her reversal. IN 2015, the signs of Virgo and Leo are the ones graced by her longer presence.
Figure 1 – Summary of Venus Retrograde Jul 25th – Sept 6th 2015
The Re-birth of the Solar Feminine
Just as the skies above reflect the earth below, the rekindling of Venus with the Sun’s Light, also known as the Solar Feminine, on the 15th August marks the midpoint of this inner journey during which you are prompted to travel alone within your Dark so that you can face yourself and humbly strip yourself of your feminine ego; to seek atonement and ultimately raising the consciousness of your femininity to a level that better enables you to fully embrace your feminine Light.
 Your Feminine Light is not about being more womanly or female. It refers to one side of the Primal Pair – a Yin, or the In-Breadth, and Yang, the Out Breath. As such the Feminine Light refers to the active development of your inner value system; it concerns itself with the flow of love and light; the ability to attract people and things towards you; your sense of peace, value, community and communion; and your experience of intimacy (personal and platonic).
As Venus initially descends into the beams of the Sun, disappearing from our evening skies, as she seeks to obliterate her sense of self and merge with something much vaster than herself, she starts to become engulfed with a luminous hue. This gentle light is something that you will notice with those you know who have managed to shed their desires and attachments.
As Venus approaches the Sun on the 15th August she becomes completely surrounded by Light. Engulfed by the Sun’s rays she will no longer reflect her own light as she is suffused with the Light of Spirit. This alignment symbolically depicts the process of shedding all earthly attachments and desires as the light of consciousness cleanses and en-light-ens the Spirit, generating an aura, or halo, of pure blue-white light in the process. The conjoining of these two celestial bodies is the origin of the Angelic Halo that surrounds those Beings whose have reached a stage of growth that embodies pure love AND pure consciousness.
 Astrologically speaking, Venus reflects those desires and attachments we seek to materially fulfil our lives whilst the Sun symbolises the Light of consciousness
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The Venus Files – Venus cycle
Current Updates go to 5!
1 – The Queen of the heavens. The Guardian of the night- Venus in her evening apparition!
Since December 2014, Venus the evening star has climbed higher and higher in our evening skies. Currently, May 2015 she is also traveling Out of Bounds, meaning her declination is beyond the 23° bounds of the ecliptic, where the Sun travels, therefore she is deemed as quite unruly and a goddess doing her own thing. Planets do this when in the signs of greatest northern and southern declination Cancer and Capricorn, quite opposite in meaning to the signs that harbour the most responsibility and care. Perhaps this shows to us all, how important it is to clarify clearly what we most care about, what is the most important thing on our agenda? Not surprisingly big decisions are made at these times. Everything else becomes insignificant as we get on with our lives, leaving all the distractions behind, they only get in the way to complicate it all anyway.
Venus returns from OOBounds as she leaves Cancer for Leo, where the realisation on what’s most important in life is blessed by making the most out of life, love and living.
A few other significant markers are made as part of her 19 month cycle.
2 -Venus reaches maximum elongation – June 6th
– here she knows what she stands for and what she wants and symbolically prepares for her dive back down to earth. Here she embraces the trials and tribulations, the ups and downs of the last cycle, works toward letting go of the past cycle, to begin a fresh and work on manifesting what’s needed in the one to come. This stage of her synodic cycle can be likened to Aquarius, from the fixed stance of max elongation phase, to Pisces, the last stage of her cycle, where one sacrifices self, surrenders to what comes next, to encourage the seeding of the new cycle to come.
3 -Entering shadow phase – 22nd June at 14° Leo
As the next retrograde shadow begins also near Jupiter, this is a transit to believe in. Set your best intentions for what the coming retrograde will mean to you. Look for 14° Leo – 0° Virgo in you chart. What planets are there, what aspects will be made? Look back 8 years ago, when Venus made her retrograde in this part of your chart. For some of us 4 years ago may have been more significant, as Venus traveled in this area of your chart making the outer/superior conjunction with the Sun in August 2011 also at 23° Leo. These outer conjunctions of Venus with the Sun, confirm the 5 star points of Venus making a constant pentacle around your chart 288° apart, approximately every 288 days . See articles below, for further info of Venus’ synodic cycle.
A retrograde Star point indicates a new cycle beginning and an old one ending, whereas an outer star point is mid cycle, a peak as such and can often indicate a phase of life where we become exposed somehow, put on show, find a need to act in a truer, more authentic manner, showing our strengths, fighting for something, standing up for something important to us and growing in confidence.
So at this stage, the earthy phase, Venus asks you to, it’s the “fix up my life” stage, so a fresh new cycle can begin.
4 -Her brightest apparition as evening star conjunct Jupiter – From early July and peaking about July 7th, Venus shows us her greatest brilliancy, brightest star phase as she moves closer to the earth. Venus is brightest in her cycle when approx 36-40° away form the Sun. After max elongation as evening star and before max elongation as morning star. This time , as evening star she will also be conjunct Jupiter with an exact conjunction at 21°Leo on July 1st . This conjunction is extra special not only will it be a great evening spectacle to behold, Venus and Jupiter are in the same part of the sky by declination and therefor parallel in the sly, making the conjunction very close visually, not just by zodiacal longitude, which is how we measure planets along the ecliptic.
Here shining her brightest is akin to giving it her most, showing her full potential and glory, before diving down again into the Sun’s beams, down closer to Earth for her 40 day and 40 night retrograde. This is not her journey to the underworld, as during the retrograde she only disappears from sight and under the Sun’s beams for about 16-20 days. The underworld journey is actually attributed to her longer disappearance as she travels on the far side of the Sun, keeping abreast with the moving Sun, doubling in speed and therefore longer gone from our view, about 60 days. This is the ancient myth of the descent of Innana, which begins after her maximum elongation as a morning star, and with each consecutive conjunction of a waning Moon, enters the underworld, after passing seven gates over 7 months.
So now is not the big trial, now is the getting ready for the readjustment, the retreat, the retrograde, to re-d0 and rebalance a few things in life, before the start of the next journey.
It is at this phase, we consider what’s to come, before diving down into the next cycle, your strength and belief in the coming phase has all to to with it’s success, so as Venus does, strengthen your light! Believe in your heart in what comes next and it will surely work out better. This is definitely the ultimate “Wish upon a planet or two” as the two benefics join in Leo . The last time Jupiter and Venus were conjunct was at 7° Leo in August 2014 as morning stars and the next time will be, on August 5th at 28 Leo, with Venus rx, and again at 15° Virgo in Late October 2015 as morning stars.
Squares to Saturn
One before Venus’ next retrograde, 1 during and one after rx, strengthen the mission coming up:
14th July 28° Leo,
4th August retrograde and again conjunct Jupiter 28° Leo
11th October when direct at 1° Virgo with Saturn in Sagittarius.
The process involves a strengthening of our desires, a test of our capabilities and strengths, a mastering of what we can confidently say yay or nay to and because Saturn is involved by square, a strong need to work with what works best for us. With Venus we can learn to be accepting, strive for harmonious and amicable outcomes with whomever may need to be involved in our process, loved ones, family, friends, colleagues may not be the problem, the issue the cause of what stops you from getting closer to what you want. This retrograde and beyond will make you find a solution. A renewal of our personal vows and a perfecting of our personal mission comes with this next retrograde.
5 – Her retrograde begins at zero Virgo – July 25th – 14° Leo September 6th ( a full length article on Venus retrograde here)
Venus retrogrades this time for approx 44 days and 44 nights. This is a time of retreat, doing something significant to change and adapt oneself to a new rhythm, one that conforms to the you that has blossomed over the last 19 months. As one cycle ends and another begins and we prepare to shed our skin, to revive and adjust according to our renewed values. A letting go of what is no longer necessary frees us up to enjoy further the next phase.
6 -Venus disappears into the Sun’s beams – 8th August
As Venus will no longer be visible, we await her return as the morning star in about 2 weeks, this period heralds a time, like a dark moon phase, but longer, where we make plans, sit with our own desires and work on how we can manifest them as Venus comes to light again as part of her next cycle. As Venus approaches Earth the Sun overtakes her from our perspective and the signal, is to get down to earth with all Venusian issues. Let go of what may not have worked or succeeded, what has maybe failed, what no longer suits you, like draining close relationships, it’s no longer time to just wish for the best or wish things to be better, but face the reality of what is. As mentioned above, at this last phase of the current Venus cycle before her next beginning on the 15th August Venus retrograde, reviews, re-treats to re-evaluate all. It’s the last dive as she disappears into the Sun’s beams. This is the Piscean(last sign of the zodiac) balsamic phase(equivalent to the last phase of the Moon) of her cycle where she dives down, to let go and has faith in the re-surfacing, coming back re-freshed and ready to go again. During this phase of disappearance she is truly re-infused with the sun’s light. Get re-infused, with what you may need for the next 19months around the Sun.
7 – Venus Makes her next rx star point at 23° Leo – 15th August – UT
All points made with the Sun are significant, as the Sun embraces Venus into his heart. The coming together is the merging of our purpose and our desires. A potent seed of potentiality is reborn and it’s best to clarify what that is. What is the next creative and fertile cycle of Venus about? In 9.5 months Venus joins the Sun again in it’s outer conjunction, at 14° Gemini, what needs to be delivered , or be manifest by then?
Dates for the next Venus Phases
07/25/2015 00 Vi 46 S Stationary Retrograde
08/08/2015 27 Le 11R Heliacal Setting
Begins new cycle
1 -08/16/2015 22 Le 32 R Inferior Conjunction
2 -08/22/2015 18 Le 57 R Heliacal Rising
3 -09/06/2015 14 Le 23 D Stationary Direct
4 -Brightest phase approx 36 days after interior conjunction in
5 -10/27/2015 03Sc15 16 Vi 48 Greatest Elongation East approx 72 days after conjunction (Venus begins her descent into underworld)
6 – 04/27/2016 07Ta10 26 Ar 16 Heliacal Setting
7 -06/07/2016 16Ge41 16 Ge 42 Superior Conjunction
Evening phase begins again
Venus Morning Star apparition coming soon!
Keep your eye on Venus over the next few months, her steps are more significant than you may think.
Join me as I cover the next stage of the Venus cycle as she becomes the morning star again and reaches maximum elongation and then begins her steps into the underworld, where she disappears for much longer than during her retrograde phase, on a mission indeed!
If you would like to know more about the Venus cycle and adapt it to your astrology charts, my Webinar on the Next Venus retrograde coming up and the next 19 month cycle of Venus now is now available for download purchase here
JULY 17th – 10:30am, AEST – ONLINE
JULY 16th – 8:30pm EDT, 5:30pm PDT
THE RHYTHM DIVINE –
THE NEXT VENUS CYCLE AND RETROGRADE STAR POINT AT 23° LEO
With the next Venus retrograde comes the next opportunity to begin our next symbolic journey with Venus as she travels around the Sun. Retrograde and conjunct the Sun, Venus begins a new synodic cycle. Taking 584 days to complete, the halfway point of the cycle occurs 288 days, 9.5 months later as she makes another star point at 14 Gemini, 288°(approx) along in the zodiac. This full cycle then completes as she makes her next star point at 6 Aries another 288° along in the zodiac, 9.5 months later. The creation of this ongoing pentagram around your astrology chart, is one well worth following.
In the webinar Julija will explain the full synodic cycle of Venus and all of it’s major steps, that we can use as a symbolic guide in our own lives. We will also explore the part of this rhythmic cycle attributed to the “descent of Innana” into the underworld. By deciphering and understanding the Venus cycle and the makings of the magical Venus Star, we get ourselves in tune to her divine rhythm, helping to fine tune our lives to the one we want to live.
Join Julija as we get to the Heart of the Matter of this next significant Venus point and prepare ourselves for the rhythm of her next cycle.
CONTINURED NEXT PAGE The Return of the Goddess
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