October 5th 2018: Venus stations retrograde in Scorpio conjunct asteroid Persephone, with Sun conjunct Ceres in Libra. We begin forty days and forty nights of riveting drama, like the myth of ascended master christ wandering through the desert facing every imaginable temptation, which only sharpened his commitment to his values and made him stronger, because he never lost sight that there is so much more to this life than whatever it is that appears to be happening.
In popular astrology Venus is said to be in the Underworld whenever she is obscured by the glare of the Sun- both superior and inferior solar conjuctions- but after many years of following several Venus cycles this does not resonate with me. Venus is in the underworld during the superior solar conjunction, after Inanna’s descent: Venus begins her cycle stationing direct as the morning star, and gradually drops down into the sun’s glare, behind the Sun from Earth’s point of view. When she rises as the evening star she starts out low on the horizon, and rises up higher and higher, representing Inanna’s ascent from root to crown, before stationing retrograde once again. Venus forms the inferior solar conjunction (between the Sun and the Earth) during Venus retrograde, and this isn’t Venus in the Underworld to me. This is the end of the Venus cycle, when Inanna has been made whole again, and the Sun comes into alignment with Venus to combine energies and upgrade the life force with the activations gained since the beginning of the cycle.
To make this just a little more complicated, asteroid Persephone is in Scorpio, which is her sign of initiation into the Underworld experience. Persephone in Scorpio, Ceres in Libra, and Hekate in Virgo all interact with each other and with Pluto in Capricorn in a truly thrilling Underworld drama during this Venus retrograde. While Venus herself is at her most powerful, radiating, awakened.
At the moment Venus Retrograde officially begins, I have Psyche rising at Zero Sagittarius. Psyche has been in Scorpio for almost 11 months and begins her new journey opposite Juno at Zero Gemini, conjunct the Pleiades star cluster. Juno is joined by Sedna conjunct fixed star Algol, and asteroid Eros conjunct fixed star Aldebaran. Crowding around the descendant on this chart, I am blown away by this symbolism.
Juno conjunct the Pleiades: Juno is stationing retrograde at Zero Gemini and hangs motionless in alignment with the Pleiades. Traditionally the Pleiades are considered the gate through which all souls must pass before incarnating into the Earth system, an entryway into this plane of existence. Filtered these star codes through Juno (the arbiter of boundaries) met in opposition by Psyche (the soul’s journey driven by longing for the light) in a shamanic trance of soul retrieval.
Sedna conjunct Algol: the minor planet representing rage and finding one’s true power in the aftermath of betrayal or mutilation, is in a long term alignment for several years with the star representing the severed head of Medusa. This has assisted survivors of violent, disfiguring trauma in re-writing the narrative of being victimized and broken, with an understanding that our survival is proof that we are more powerful than whatever it was that tried to kill us, and finding even more power in the transformation of recovery. (At the moment of Venus station retrograde, The Moon is 27° Leo, which is the degree of the Great American solar eclipse of August 21st 2017, revealing how that eclipse is continuing to echo across time, especially in regards to Moon square Sedna and the transcendent queen experience of righteous fury.)
Eros conjunct Aldebaran: Asteroid Eros represents our longing for sacred union, and the obstacles within ourselves we must face to become actually ready to merge with a soulmate. He is aligned with Aldebaran, the star of Archangel Michael, sword bearer and leader of the heavenly army. Mars in Aquarius forms a trine to Eros, and their trine stays intact as Mars transits out of his retrograde shadow, and Eros enters the shadow of his upcoming retrograde. I have chills all over as I write this. Aldebaran and Mars are initiating Eros for his Gemini retrograde where he will meet Psyche in their 2nd of three oppositions. This is a huge moment for latent divine masculine to awaken.
Venus stationing retrograde forms her closest aspect to a cluster of asteroid goddesses in Virgo- a sextile to Hekate and Sekhmet, and nearby Athena transits opposite Neptune. Occasionally I get the criticism that I use too many asteroids and they say it loses meaning when there’s always some asteroid forming some aspect to something. But to me that’s kind of the point. At the core of my belief system, I know that each day, each night, every moment, 24/7, there are always goddesses stirring the ether, and if you listen and tune in you can get to know them. Hekate is the Oracle and guide who mediates the issues of Ceres and Persephone when they are separated. Sekhmet is a destroyer of obstacles and a protector of children.
Three days later, Venus is still motionless at 10° Scorpio. Persephone has crossed over Venus, and Apophis has crossed over them both. The Sun has crossed over Ceres. Athena in Virgo has advanced out of her opposition to Neptune and is collaborating with Pluto in a trine, with Hekate not far behind. The stage is set for the drama of Venus Retrograde, and the Libra New Moon arrives on the evening of October 8th- with Mars on the Midheaven, and Eros Rising. (Mars and Eros are on the angles for my new moon chart set for my location on the west coast, but no matter where you are there will be some point on October 8th when Mars and Eros cross the angles for your location too.)
Mars on the Midheaven is a golden arrow of decisive action, or perhaps more accurately in this case, still in proximity to Black Moon Lilith and the south node, golden nails with which we can permanently close any coffins that have had trouble staying shut. Mars square motionless Venus, Persephone, and Apophis gives me a strong vibe of Where The Wild Things Are- an innocent, honest, open-hearted acceptance and claiming ownership of the monsters dancing in the shadow. The live-action movie based on the book was a marvelous exploration of the freedom and maturity that comes from letting go, of things we can’t let go of until we make the effort to love and understand these monsters.
Following asteroid Persephone the way I have, has shown me beyond a shadow of a doubt that She Is Always In Control Of Herself. She is not Pluto’s helpless kidnapping/rape victim and I think there is still a lot of work to be done to debunk popular misogynistic interpretations of our most important archetypes.
Persephone joining Venus station retrograde in Scorpio is pure divine feminine power: fertile, vulnerable, sensetive, psychic, unbreakable. And the Libra New Moon conjunct her mother Ceres, is an opportunity for intentions to heal issues of grief around mothering. The loss and disconnection experienced by those who were raised by mothers that were violating and/or deficient in their nurturing can take on infinite fractal forms, but the end result is usually that even after many years of serious healing work, we still struggle to love ourselves. This moment is the beginning of a dramatic transformation.
Over the next few weeks, Ceres will form a square to Pluto. This is a harsh aspect and I should know, I have it natally, and I am living proof of their classic afflictions: eating disorders, and child custody battles. This transit will be a difficult confrontation of our conflict between trust and risk management, how do we react when we are forced to address things about our selves and out lives that we perceive as unacceptable. And the message I’m personally getting right now is that I am expending too much energy trying to change a situation that I need to accept. I’m realizing that, because of my trauma, because of my mother wound, I’m trying to protect myself from something that I need to surrender to. Trying to cover up and avoid Pluto at all costs, is overprotective smothering mother energy and it clips wings, so during the Libra New Moon conjunct Ceres I’m setting intentions for proud supportive mother energy throughout Venus Retrograde so I can fully embody this fierce and limitless Persephone Queen of Hell and come into closer alignment with my higher self. Ascending Inanna. King Max.
This Venus cycle reaches its grand finale on October 23rd with the Taurus Full Moon conjunct Uranus, opposite Sun and Venus in Scorpio, in a fixed grand square with the Moon’s lunar nodes. We are going to see a massive amount of change in a very short period of time.
On October 26th, the New Venus cycle begins with the inferior solar conjunction of Venus at 3° Scorpio. Persephone sextile Pluto. Hekate sextile Persephone and trine Pluto.
Venus rises as the morning star on October 31st, and on November 5th the Moon joins Venus and Ceres in Libra for the first gate of Inanna’s descent, representing the cleansing of the crown chakra.
On November 16th, Venus stations direct at 25° Libra.
The Sun transits conjunct asteroid Persephone in Scorpio on November 20th.
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