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Pivotal Venus Retrograde Dates
26th march 2021
This was the last exterior/superior conjunction of Venus with the Sun, when they meet in the sky. A few weeks after the Sun and Venus meet in superior conjunction, Venus emerges on the other side of the Sun, appearing in the sky as the Evening Star. In the myth, this is Inanna’s union with her consort Dumuzi. This occurred in the sign of Aries, the Ram, a fitting symbol for the fact that Inanna’s beloved was a shepherd. The inner development of this current cycle includes the recognition of the warrior energy, and how it is directed in our lives: how do we handle our own vitality and energy and the aggression that might arise.
4th May 2021
From this date, Venus has been visible as the Evening Star and she stays visible for around 7 months or 7 New Moons.
29th October 2021
Inanna-Venus reaches her highest position in the sky gradually descending to the horizon until she disappears on 3rd January 2022. There are approximately 7 weeks from her highest point in the sky to when she turns retrograde on 19th December. This mirrors with Inanna entering the underworld through the 7 gates or chakras. She is visible for approximately 7 months or 7 New Moons.
7th December 2021
She reaches her maximum brilliance – Inanna in her prime, in her authority and power.
9th November 2021 – 3rd March 2022
These two dates represent the portion of the zodiac over which Venus transits, back and forth, as she turns goes retrograde and then direct, before moving on. This portion is 3 degrees Capricorn to 27 degrees Capricorn. So as you can see, she will spend a long time in Capricorn. If you planets on these degrees, or making aspects to these degrees, especially around 25-29 degrees Capricorn, you will be more personally impacted. The important aspects will be conjunctions, squares, oppositions, and of a lesser influence, trines and lesser still, sextiles. The latter two have a more positive influence. But always with Venus retrograde, even with flowing aspects, there is challenge and growth required. The influence of the sign of Capricorn in your chart, through house placement and what Venus rules in your chart (Libra and Taurus houses), all of which you will need a time of birth for, tells you the area of life most impacted. If you do not have a time of birth, you can use your Sun sign, to determine influence. If you do have a time of birth, you can look at your Ascendant (rising sign – determined by time of birth) also as well as your Sun sign. Here’s the sign by sign explanation – in the free online community.
19th December 2021
This date symbolises the meeting with Erishkigel, where in the depths, she is put on a peg to hang. The beginning of the retrograde cycle. Here we encounter that which obscures our inner light. Our old, repressed suffering surface – whatever has been denied, forbidden or shamed. Erishkigel’s ‘Eye of Death’ helps us to see with a new clarity what is true and real. The penetrating focus is unrelenting and purifying. We see this holographic repeat of the importance of the number 7, when from 19th December there are 21 days (3×7) until the retrograde conjunction with the Sun on 9th January 2022.
9th Jan 2022
Venus is now new in the sky, she is in between Sun and Earth, with the interior/inferior conjunction of Venus and Sun. The days after this conjunction are precious, as Inanna hangs on the peg and Erishkigel’s grief is empathically witnessed by the two mourners – the galla. This is the time to stay with what’s uncomfortable and sense the movements within our own soul, engaging as little as possible with external relationships. Here, we bear witness to our own soul until Venus reappears as the morning star a few days later.
14th January 2022
Venus reappears in the sky as the Morning Star, after her interior/inferior conjunction.
29th January 2022
Venus retrograde officially ends at 11 degrees Capricorn.
Inanna’s Descent Summarised
One of the oldest stories about the Underworld is that of Inanna, the Sumerian Queen of Heaven. In her story, she wanted to visit her sister, Ereshkigal, who was the Queen of the Dead and had recently lost her husband. However, Ereshkigal didn’t seem to be pleased when she learned that her sister was at the gates. She instructed the gatekeeper, Neti, to bolt all seven gates of the Underworld against her Inanna. Ereshkigal stated that Inanna may enter each gate one at a time, but only if she removed one piece of her royal garments at each gate (symbolising the chakras).
Through the seven gates, Inanna shed her crown, breastplate, beads, ring, and even her clothing to arrive at her sister’s throne “naked and bowed low.” Ereshkigal “fastened on Inanna the eye of death,” and the Queen of Heaven was killed and hung on a peg to rot.
After Inanna’s servant Ninshubur realised that something was terribly wrong, Ninshubur went to Inanna’s father, the god Enki, for help. He gave her two “galla,” androgynous demons who can retrieve Inanna from the Underworld. When the galla entered the throne room, they found Ereshkigal in labour, and the galla empathised with her pain. As thanks, she offered them any gift they might want. They asked for the body of Inanna, which was hung on the wall in Ereshkigal’s chamber, and then revived her with the water and food of life. But again, we see the challenge of the Underworld: it’s not easy to leave it once you’ve been there.
The demons of the Underworld tried to claim Ninshubur, Inanna’s sons, and her ladies’ maid Cara, to take the place of Inanna so she could return – a soul for a soul – but all of them were dressed humbly and were mourning her death. So Inanna stopped the demons from taking them. But when she saw her beloved Dumuzi dressed in his finest garments, unconcerned about her suffering, she told the demons to take him in her place. Dumuzi was carried off to the Underworld, but not before his sister, Geshtinanna, volunteered to go instead. While some of the details about the arrangement aren’t clear, the siblings are said to each spend half of the year in the Underworld. Inanna mourned her beloved being taken in her place and forgave him for his indifference to her suffering.