another:https://www.pandoraastrology.com/blog/venus-retrograde/venus-retrograde-descent-into-loves-darknessWhat Is Venus Retrograde?
When Venus goes retrograde, she takes our hand and pulls us into the darkness of our relationships. A retrograde period of any planet is a retrospective of that planet’s themes. It is like going into the deep, dark cave of oneself in whatever area of life is covered by the planet that is retrograde. It is a time of moving backward, perhaps of going back to pick up pieces lost in the past. It is a retrieval, a turning inward, perhaps a letting-go. Since Venus’ domain is relationships, this turning inward will happen in that domain. Inanna’s Descent To The Underworld
The retrograde journey of Venus is depicted in the Mesopotamian tale of the descent of Inanna. To the people dwelling in the cradle of civilization several thousand years ago, Inanna was as Venus is to us: a goddess of love, a beautiful goddess, a heavenly queen. In the tale, she travels to the underworld to retrieve her dead love. The underworld is ruled by her sister, Ereshkigal. Inanna cannot enter the underworld without dying, but a goddess does not stay dead. A goddess is immortal and so, after her journey, she rises, just as the planet Venus, having completed her retrograde journey, must turn direct and return to the sunlit world.
Inanna prepares for her journey by putting on seven things: a crown on her head, a scepter in her hand, a necklace, gems for her breast, a ring on her finger, a breastplate and royal garments. As she descends, she passes through seven gates. At each gate, the gatekeeper requires her to remove one of these items before allowing her to pass. In passing the seventh gate, she comes before her sister (think of them as two aspects of one goddess, light and dark) entirely naked and vulnerable. There she sickens and dies and her corpse is hung upon a stake. After three days and three nights have passed, she is revived and saved by the intercession of Ninshubur, a Mesopotamian Mercury. Mercury (Hermes to the Greeks), as messenger of the gods, is traditionally one of the few immortals who is able to travel between the under- and over-worlds without having to die to do it. The messenger-god sends two angels to feed Inanna the food and water of life. She is brought back to life and returns to the over-world, bringing a trail of the dead with her. The dead who return with her are not the restless dead, but those who died peacefully. What Does The Story Mean?
Think of Inanna’s descent as a descent into deeper intimacy. She is attempting to bring her lover back from death and to revive her relationship. To do this, she must go into her relationship’s darkness; she must enter into deeper intimacy. This requires a vulnerability that she cannot comprehend at first, but learns to understand by experiencing it.
Inanna armors herself for the descent into the underworld. Her approach to the first gate is tinged with arrogance, but by the time she arrives at Ereshkigal’s throne she is stripped, literally and figuratively. She has no armor left. She is entirely vulnerable.
This tale is a classic one because Inanna’s behavior is so like our own, when faced with the prospect of real intimacy and the fear it brings up. When we go into an “intimate” conversation, don’t we gird ourselves for a fight we are secretly hoping to win? Don’t we decorate ourselves, hoping to charm our partner into agreement, or to entice them? Don’t we cover our breast, our heart, with hard armor in hopes that, while we may deliver a wound, we will escape without receiving one? We wish to make our point and to have an impact on our partner, without having to feel anything or make any change in ourselves.
Inanna shows us that vulnerability is the only approach that works when going into the dark places of love and relationship. If you find yourself in a relationship where you cannot ever be entirely vulnerable or your partner does not feel that they can be entirely vulnerable (at least some of the time), then real intimacy is not happening between you. Both partners must be capable of complete vulnerability and willing to stand emotionally naked before each other, and ready to let go of all armor, in order to reach true intimacy. At the very heart of intimacy is trust, without which a relationship has no foundation. Seven Gates, Seven Sacrifices On The Way To Deeper Intimacy
Inanna must make a sacrifice at each gate on her way to the underworld. Each sacrifice has interesting possible meanings. During 2009’s Venus retrograde period (March 6 through April 17) I’ll be making one short blogpost about each of them. As I do that, I won’t be trying to interpret their meaning to the Mesopotamians who first told this story; I am looking for the meaning these symbols hold for you and me, today.
[url="https://www.pandoraastrology.com/blog/inannas-fourth-gate"]Gems for her Breast[/url]
[url="https://www.pandoraastrology.com/blog/inannas-seventh-gate"]Her Raiment/Royal Garments[/url]
[url="https://www.pandoraastrology.com/blog/relationship-epiphany-day"]Relationship Epiphany Day
During any planet’s retrograde journey there will be a day of epiphany. This day occurs when that planet crosses (conjuncts) the Sun. When Venus conjuncts the Sun, her symbolic proximity to the Sun will “shed light on” Venus’ domain which as we know is relationships. Look for an illuminating moment in your relationship journey on or near this day.