Venus, the third of the retrogrades to start, was the first one to station direct just after midnight on Thursday, June 25th.
Venus went retrograde on May 13th, after Pluto on April 25th, and Saturn on May 11th. (Read my May 15th article on Venus retrograde here.) Those won't be stationing direct until September/October. Since Venus stationed retrograde, Jupiter, Mercury, and Neptune have all also begun retracing their steps.
When planets are in retrograde, their energy becomes directed inward, and we are given the opportunity to review our relationship to this energy (through the energetic prism of whatever sign the planet happens to be retrograding in) in our lives.
Venus is known as the planet of love and money, but everything Venus represents in our lives shares a common root: self-value. How we express love, how we show up in relationships, the types of people we attract into our lives that we enter into relationships with - all of this hinges on our value of ourselves. How we attract what we desire in our lives, how we put ourselves out in the world for work, our ability to receive, our capacity for abundance - again, this is rooted in our self-worth and self-esteem, how we value ourselves, and how that translates into our broader value system.
Venus begins its retrograde journey every eighteen months as the evening star, the goddess of love. At the midpoint of the retrograde, the planet disappears beneath the rays of the sun. This point in the retrograde is referred to as cazimi, or combust, when the planet is "in the heart of the sun." At this point, Venus is said to, "sit in the throne room with the King." The sun, as the light of consciousness, now imparts some new wisdom to the goddess. When Venus emerges from this special audience with the the sun, it does so rising before the sun, now a morning star, which is Venus as a goddess of war. (In natal charts we can look to see if a person has Venus as a morning star or evening star - a morning star Venus is feistier.)
To the ancient Sumerians, the planet we know as Venus, the Roman version of Aphrodite, was the goddess Inanna. The Sumerian myth of Inanna's Descent is the myth associated with Venus retrograde.
When Venus meets with the sun, this is the part of the myth of Inanna's Descent, where Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth, meets her sister, Queen of the Underworld (her shadow self) and dies, and then after three days is brought back to life with the help of her hand servant (her higher self) and Enki, God of Wisdom.
Because Inanna has met her shadow and died to the old consciousness, when she is reborn, she is reborn to new consciousness. This is Venus disappearing from sight when she meets up with the sun, light of consciousness, as the evening star, and then reemerging as a morning star.
Venus, as the divine feminine within us and our value of ourselves, extends into how we attract what we desire into our lives, or what we don't desire, depending on how consciously we are working with the principle of attraction, and how aligned we are, as that is ultimately what Venus is about. From our self-worth extends our larger value system - how we value others, resources, and how we relate to others and the world at large. Venus in retrograde helps us to review these things, primarily through our relationship with love and money in our lives. Venus also rules art and aesthetics. Typically, astrology says that Venus retrograde is a time to stay away from any big spending on luxury items or big aesthetic or fashion decisions, from hairstyles to remodels to tattoos, as our judgement will be clouded. Also, we may experience in some way our past, as far as love and relationships, coming back, whether in physical form or just emotional patterns, for review.
Venus retrograde in Gemini means that we are reviewing all things Venus through the energetic prism of Gemini - the twins - mutable air. Gemini is ruled by Mercury, and Mercury rules the mind, thoughts, words, messages, and communication.
With Venus retrograde in Gemini, we have the opportunity to review how our values and our value of ourselves directly affects our beliefs, thoughts, emotions, and behavior - how we relate to the world outside of ourselves.
So now, with Venus having gone on this retrograde journey, this descent into the underworld to meet the shadow, and after having disappeared under the rays of the sun, we have arrived here at the point where Venus stations direct.
In the Sumerian myth of Inanna's Descent, when Inanna first comes back to life, she is still a little bit, well...she has been dead. Her corpse has been hanging on meat hooks in the Underworld for three days, while her shadow wailed and moaned, overwhelmed with pain. She has been through a lot.
The rules of the Underworld say that Inanna can leave, but her soul must be replaced with another's. So Inanna must choose someone to take her place in the Underworld. But she does not want to. Who would she choose? So she ascends and begins her journey home, quite literally straight from hell. And because she has refused to choose someone to take her place in the Underworld, she is still harassed by her demons even though she has been reborn to a new consciousness and allowed to return home.
Inanna finally arrives home to find her consort, Dumuzi, ruling from the throne she gave him, as if it was his kingdom, not seeming to give a care at all that she had not only been gone, but dead for three days. On top of this, the demons are still harassing her. Inanna, in a moment of rage, ends up damning her beloved to hell, where he will have to face his own shadow (as well as hers, again).
Inanna has been reborn to this new consciousness and new power, but because she is still tied to the old, has not fully stepped into it yet.
Inanna has just been through a huge transformational experience.
She may have the higher wisdom, but she remains in-between. She has not fulfilled the requirements of the Underworld and so is still tormented by her demons and her shadow. The shadow still has not been fully acknowledged and satisfied. Inanna is still, in essence, running from her shadow at this point in the myth. She tries to ignore it and move on, but her shadow is wailing and wants her attention, even reparation, so it sends those nasty little demons after her, and they wait until some moment of weakness and then all fly out at once. This in turn aggravates her beloved's demons and his shadow. In this way, the Underworld's requirement has been fulfilled - a soul for a soul.
Inanna did not want to choose another soul to take her place. So she simply didn't do it. But this broke a rule of the Underworld, and the Underworld's rules must be satisfied - there is no cheating the Underworld. So she was in her new power and new consciousness but still had not satisfied the shadow and because of that her demons still gave chase. Inanna faced her shadow, but then as soon as she regained life, she tried to go back to her life without integrating the shadow. But isn't this the issue with our shadows to begin with?
After Inanna's consort, Dumuzi, is carried off to the Underworld, she realizes she truly loves him. As Inanna realizes her true, unconditional love for Dumuzi, she steps into her full power. She has finally made peace with the shadow and triumphed over those old demons, and so can fully embody her new consciousness.
Because she is now "whole unto herself," meaning ruler of both shadow and light, she is able to make a deal with the Underworld for Dumuzi to spend half of each year there and the other half with her. Inanna has been able to integrate her shadow and therefore gain its cooperation. Now she reclaims her rightful sovereignty and throne, ruling over both light and darkness, over both worlds, as Queen of Heaven and Earth.
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