Venus is the planet that attracts us to the material world. Her ability to bond and unify informs what we value, and that which we value most is what we love, whether that be paintings we strongly admire or people we share our lives with. To that with which we are bonded. Every year and a half Venus’ progression in the ecliptic slows down to a stop and reverses direction, moving backward, in retrograde motion, causing us to review what we love, what we consider beautiful, what adhesives bond us to the people and places we inhabit, and how we view reality aesthetically. Some desires extinguish as new lusts ignite. Venus returns to the same point in relation to the Earth and the sun every 584 days, and it does this five times every eight years touching points on the ecliptic that draw a five pointed star, a remarkable symmetrical bloom, displaying in her motions why she rules over aesthetics. 584 x 5 = 365 x 8 = 2920. i.e. there are exactly 5 Venus cycles in every 8 years, meaning the retrograde motion she will begin early this March occurred eight years ago at exactly the same time of year, covering the exact same degrees of the zodiac. A rhythm in the universe, five beats for every eight years, as we come to the end of the bar- art, love, lust, and desire reorient. This last occurred in March/April 2009, and before that 2001.
Currently, and eight and sixteen years ago respectively at this time Venus recently exited Pisces, her sign of exaltation, where she was able to freely dissolve boundaries of what separates us from beauty and beauty from everything, where edges melted as the beautiful became an amorphous nebula, rendering a whispered word or even an empty breath able to carry as much aesthetic weight as a masterpiece, entering into Aries, her sign of detriment, where she heats up and bursts into flames, beauty is an urgent thing, something to be raced at and throttled from the ether; the most passionate, the expression with the most intensity and exhibiting the most rage seems to shine with the greatest luster. Venus gains on Mars, as they come conjunct by orb of five degrees and lessening, bringing the dynamic of male and female, the balance/imbalance and spectrum itself into the glow of the blaze. “Beauty is a state of war, a frigid, blank zone under siege.” Mars demands action, so this is not merely the appreciation of beauty but the NEED to act it out, and to battle for it. Beauty storms onto the scene with its own torches and catapults, the fountains flow with proverbial blood (or otherwise) while the war dance dominates the floor. Mars and Venus step to either side of Uranus. From the pandrogynous/androgynous limit point between yin and yang surges electric current into the collective mind, catalyst for newly attempted neural connections, releasing until yet untasted brain chemicals. Meanwhile, the Sun and Mercury straddle Neptune in Pisces. As the hot new colloidal chains cascade into consciousness, long established centers of translation between intellect and communication dissolve into the ambient primordial waters, diffusing into amorphous brain grey, which lights up like a pool illuminated from the depths, becoming nothing more than raw possibility. Venus begins to slowly walk backwards, gradually picking up inertia, until she plunges into these waters and disappears from the sky. Mars continues onward, heading toward her homeland where he will pause, his weapons magnetized to the earth, which he begins to plow, by late April he reaches the end of the share and lifts into the sky, seeming to split into two as he reaches heights in Gemini, mimicking Venus’ dual nature as Evening Star and Morning Star, hark soon after Venus regains her course, bursting from the water once more into the fire, having mutated considerably while submerged, appearing then in the East before sunrise rather than the West just after sunset.
Venus taking the role of psychopomp and heading into the Underworld is not the story of Hermes but of Sumerian Inanna (ca.400-3100 B.C.), who was widely worshipped by the asexual and hermaphroditic. Her symbol was the rosette, or eight pointed star, suggesting Venus’ eight year cycle, for Inanna means roughly Lady of Heaven, as well as the solar year itself split into eight points (solstice, crossquarter, equinox etc), for she also ruled over fertility, agrarian and otherwise. Being dual she has a dark side and a light side, and when she descends into the Underworld to see her sister she communes with this opposite and is destroyed by it as if she has seen her own doppleganger. Her ascent takes her through seven gates, at each one she must remove an article of clothing or jewelry that represent the fundamental elements of knowledge that bind civilization, meeting her sister naked, and is sentenced to death, hung on a hook as a corpse. The gods create two androgynous figures to retrieve her from her sister in the Underworld, which they do by healing her of the horrible birth pangs she suffers from, although, nothing can be taken from the Underworld that is not replaced, and it is Dumizi, Inanna’s male consort that takes her place so she may be revived in the fecund sublunar realm and in heaven.
You cannot enter the underworld without stripping yourself of all earthly knowledge and attachment, and once there you must meet your dark opposite and be destroyed, when you are to be returned from your ordeal, you cannot instal the change you have accomplished without giving up something else, i.e. you will achieve nothing by quitting drinking to drink less, but you might drink less if you take on a dharmic path that requires you to study more, necessitating a sober mind to meet your goals. Negation begets no fecundity, but fecundity does require sacrifice.
Inanna appears across her myths to take on all the roles of the Mahavidyas; she is Kali when she retorts in furious temper and terrible radiance destroying Kur, she is Durga when she slays the primordial dragon of Zargos, Saraswati when she brings humanity Mes (civilized knowledge), Parvati as the Goddess whom presides at the threshold of fertility, Dhumavati when she brings plagues to Uruk, and Kamala when she inspires with her radiant beauty. Importantly today, and another direct illusion to Venus’ transition from Evening Star to Morning Star, we have the myth in which she is raped by Shukaletuda and then enacts her revenge, crossing from cardinal mountain range to cardinal mountain range as a rainbow and destroying her rapist, who is a mostly blind gardener who is very poor in his duties. In a world that suffers at the hands of those who seem to have lost their senses and persist to defile beauty and throw toxic shit at egalitarian ideals by raping the Earth, we’ve never needed an intervention by a stunningly terrible and radiantly destructive goddess more, one that is worshipped widely by those free of hard gender divisions, and whose very emergence into the spotlights of the world’s stage heralds her return from the Underworld via over arc of rainbow as her flag; she comes and reaches into our hearts, (ruled by Leo, whose eclipse cycle we have entered for the next 18 months, Inanna having Lions as vehicles) our souls and also as the ancients believed, the seat of our minds, not neglecting the organ itself, which moves our blood, and with a resolved flick of the wrist, twists it into a new shape