On April 23rd, the Moon meets Venus for the first time since she became the morning star in Aries- beginning the chakra meditation known as Inanna’s descent.
After the inferior solar conjunction (Venus between Earth and Sun), Venus rises in the east as the morning star, and is crossed by the Moon seven times before the superior solar conjunction (Venus behind the Sun), which represents the seven gates Inanna must cross on her journey to the underworld. The seven Moon-Venus conjunctions that occur between the superior solar conjunction, and the next Venus retrograde, represent Inanna’s return through those same gates on her ascent. As Inanna descends through the gates on the way to the Underworld, she removes a garment or piece of jewelry, which is a myth about the psychological preparation needed before facing our shadow. As she ascends, she receives the items back, which tells us the importance of re-integration as the other half of the process.
We can participate in these planetary cycles by associating each of the seven gates with one of the seven chakras- as Inanna descends, we meditate on cleansing each chakra. As she ascends, we meditate on opening each chakra. The descent stage begins with the crescent Moon conjunct Venus high in the sky, corresponding to the Crown chakra. As Venus approaches superior solar conjunction, each successive Moon-Venus conjunction appears lower and lower in the sky, guiding us down through our chakras from Crown to Root.
The Moon-Venus conjunction that occurs three days before the Taurus New Moon involves an aspect pattern involving Vesta, Ceres, Saturn, and Mercury retrograde, giving us insight on how to cleanse our Crown chakras. Ceres sextile Vesta form a blazingly exact yod to Saturn in Sagittarius, who is stationed retrograde in a long-term square to Chiron and Venus stationed direct. The Sun is in a building trine to asteroid Psyche in Virgo.
This is an opportunity for synthesis and actualization. Everything in this configuration points to Saturn, who is at the beginning of his second Sagittarius retrograde, and has less than eight months left in the sign of the archer. It has been a difficult transit, with the planet of limitations grinding through the sign of reaching new frontiers. Featuring long term squares to Neptune and Chiron in Pisces, Saturn in Sagittarius has had a compartmentalizing effect, for better or for worse. Sometimes things have to be isolated in order for it to continue growing, sometimes isolation is a tactic of fear and avoidance. Either way, now is the time to step back and take in the bigger picture of all the small pieces we are dealing with since January (when Saturn first crossed the degree where he will be stationing direct in August). The sextile between Vesta in Cancer and Ceres in Taurus creates a tool that can be used by acknowledging and ritualizing the lifestyle changes that have been required of us to practice the fullness of self-care that is needed to live in harmony with ourselves. Ceres’s conjunction to Sedna, dark underworld goddess, both near fixed star Algol at 26 Taurus, rides the quincunx to Saturn through the difficult terrain of doing the daily work of living with the reality of the trauma that we have survived. Vesta in Cancer is all about stoking the flames of the inner fire, turning the desire to nurture back on oneself. Mercury retrograde in Aries is square Vesta and trine Saturn, opening up a clear mental picture that will allow us to decide what we are ready to re-synthesize and what we are going to leave compartmentalized away. Mercury’s building conjunction, and eventual station direct conjunct Uranus and Eris, guarantees that if we truly open ourselves to self-scrutiny and take an honest look at ourselves, we will be surprised by what we find. The Moon and Venus in Pisces touch all three corners of the yod, allowing us to use this template to tune into and cleanse the crown chakra.
The Crown chakra is our connection to the cosmos, to source. It is the receiver of human consciousness. We use our crown chakras for higher reasoning, for maintenance of our central nervous systems, and for developing compassion through transcendence of the individual self. On April 23rd, as the Moon crosses over Venus for the first time since she has risen as the morning star, we state our intentions to cleanse and clear all blockages in the way of our crown chakra.
On the evening of April 23rd, the Moon enters the sign of Aries, joining asteroid Isis at Zero Aries. Early in the morning of April 24th, around 4:00am to 10:00am, the Moon transits conjunct Athena and trine Lilith in Sagittarius. On the night of the 24th and into the early morning hours of April 25th, the Moon transits opposite Jupiter in Libra and square Pluto in Capricorn, triggering fresh emotional intensity around the power struggles at the root of Jupiter square Pluto. And on April 25th, around 7:00am to 2:00pm, the Moon transits conjunct Eris, Uranus, and Mercury retrograde, giving us the blast of courage we need to take it all in, leap, and self-actualize.
Then, at 5:25pm on April 25th, asteroid Psyche stations direct at 5 Virgo, exact trine the Sun at 5 Taurus.
Psyche entered Virgo on October 3rd, 2016. In November she transited conjunct the north node, and opposite Neptune conjunct the south node, which I explored in this article and this Facebook post. Psyche’s transit through Virgo is about getting your shit together, not to make others happy, but because you need to do it for yourself. It takes remarkable discipline to keep a healthy, integrated awareness of all the facets of the shadow-self, so that we do not project it onto others, but even more importantly so that we do not lose sight of our true self by getting wrapped up in narratives that actually feed our shadows and keep us in an out-of-balance relationship with our wounds. Psyche has been retrograde since January 9th(notice this is the same time period that Saturn entered his retrograde shadow), dragging us backwards through all of the shit we had been working so hard on getting together. Now as Saturn stations retrograde, Psyche stations direct. As Psyche returns to forward motion and finishes her Virgo transit, we can use her momentum to build confidence and carve meaningful structure during Saturn retrograde. In August, when Saturn is stationing direct, Psyche enters Libra.
But in the early morning hours of April 26th, the New Moon occurs at 6 Taurus, meeting asteroid Psyche in trine at this powerful moment of her stationing/awakening. In the myth of Psyche and Eros, their relationship was originally based on fear and avoidance, as Eros would not let Psyche see him. Eventually Psyche realized that she was living a lie and gathers up a knife and a lantern, the tools she needs to reveal the truth of the identity of her lover(her other) and also to defend herself from what may happen when the unknown is revealed. I keep these tools close during the Taurus New Moon trine Psyche station direct, as I reaffirm my intention to cleanse the Crown chakra. The Taurus New Moon gives us a fresh start on building, creating, growing, budding and blooming. It’s a great time to establish commitments, to stockpile, and to see things all the way through, to dig and reap the wholesome benefits of dirt. The plants in a garden are the realm of Taurus, but what happens beneath the dirt is Scorpio, literally the underworld, underground. Seeds ripping themselves apart to release sprouts seeking the light, roots reaching deeper and deeper in search of nourishment and moisture. Shadow work is serious business. Willingness to see the truth isn’t enough. You need to be prepared to engage and integrate with what you find. Like Inanna, who expresses her willingness to descend to the Underworld by passing through the seven gates, but it’s only half a story without her re-integration and return to the Earth realm.