Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Venus Retrograde

Venus Retrograde October 8 - November 18, 2010

During the wee hours of Friday, October 8, 2010, the spectacular evening star, Venus, began her shamanic journey towards the Sun where she undergoes a process that transmutes her energies from love to war goddess. Venus retrograde cycles illuminate this dance which takes eight years to complete. During this time she undergoes five retrogrades forming a path that appears from our perspective on the Earth as a five-pointed star or pentagram. Thus this ancient symbol of alchemy and the divine femine originated from astronomical observation of this phenomenon.

The planet Venus has been referred to as the Morning Star or Evening Star for thousands of years. Because it is closer to the Sun than the Earth is, it can never appear very far from the Sun in our twilight skies. In other words, when the Sun sets Venus may be rising in the west as the Evening Star; or it may appear in the pre-dawn sky before sunrise as the Morning Star. A Venus cycle describes a set of retrograde patterns that bring the planet Venus into what's called combustion with the Sun. During this time Venus disappears from view on the earth for approximately 2 days. Many ancient sky-watching cultures interpreted its disappearance as a shamanic journey to the underworld.

Historically this phenomenon was observed by ancient sky-watchers and mystics, and became the basis of many myths involving death and resurrection. Christians, Mayans, and Hindus all describe the return of the Morning Star as symbolic of the return of their teachers. The Babylonians called Venus the double-phased Ishtar -- the Morning Star of war and the Evening Star of love. Greek astrologers called the morning phase of Venus Lucifer ("the light bearer") and the evening phase Hesperus ("setting in the West"). The Mayans linked the morning phase of Venus with Quetzalcoatl, one of their major gods, believing that this was a time when leaders are struck down and natural disasters occur. The Mayan calendar closely follows Venus cycles and even has Venus tables that chart these cycles with an accuracy that astounds modern astronomers. This current retrograde period marks the fourth station before Venus reveals her shamanic transformation in a rare transit in front of the Sun during the final leg of this eight year set in 2012.

Astrologers view retrograde cycles and this change in perceived motion to represent an alchemical shift in consciousness. In Vedic astrology, retrograde planets are believed to be more powerful. In Astrology of the Seers, David Frawley writes: Retrograde planets often indicate a karmic result. They may be functioning to fulfill some karmic debt or promise or to clear up affairs from the past.

Astrologically Venus represents how we get what we want, and the nature of the love we receive. When this power is afflicted, relationships may loose some of their luster, communication may not be as sweet, or or we may not be able to get what we want as easily as when the planet is strong. When Venus is retrograde, it is a great time to turn our relationship radar inward and reassess any problems, differences, or unresolved issues. As Western astrologer Lynn Koiner points out: Discrimination is more effective. You become readily aware of any problems, differences or unresolved issues. It is NOT a time, however, to act upon any unfavorable awareness. It is purely a time of evaluation rather than direct action. As little frictions and disagreements crop up, they serve to remind you that the relationship is not perfect. Under the retrograde influence, you must assess the severity of the problem and the “cost-benefit” of the relationship. Only after Venus turns direct should you initiate any alienation if this is deemed necessary.

Vedic astrology offers wonderful remedial measures, called upayas, to soothe afflicted planets or difficult transits. Some of these remedies include wearing gemstones and chanting mantra. White crystals, such as diamond and white sapphire, emit a frequency that resonates with Venus.

By wearing these crystals we imprint our field with this vibration and thus strengthen the Venus frequency within us. Or we can meditate on divine images like the yantra which are based on sacred geometry that visually reflects these frequencies.

In the Vedic tradition, Venus, Shukra, is the son of the great seer Bhrigu who taught his descendant all spiritual sciences and Vedic scriptures. As Venus rules chanting of mantras, tantra, alchemy, the medical arts, and fine arts, these pursuits are great remedies. Venus retrograde is the perfect time to reconnect with these practices -- especially on Venus' day, Friday. A mantra one might use is: Om shum shukraaye namah.

During this 42 day retrograde cycle Venus will transit its mulatrikona or favorite sign, Libra. Her backward motion through the nakshatras of Swati (October 8 - November 6) and Chitra (November 6-18) will influence the themes of her shamanic work. While in Swati, which gives the power to scatter like the wind, pradhvamsa shakti, Venus may stir the mind. Swati is ruled by the airy planet Rahu which may increase rumination and obsession with what we want or feel we are not getting. The deity Saraswati is associated with the nakshatra and may give opportunites for new communication, lessons and ideas.

Venus Morningstar October 29, 2010 - August 16, 2011

Venus conjoins the Sun on October 28, 2010 and disappears from the earth's view while she sheds her love attire and takes up her warrior wear. When she reappears as the Morningstar and goddess of war, she will be in the nakshatra Chitra ruled by Mars. The Mars influence may make us more impulsive and less patient, but it might also spark and release repressed sexual energy. Chitra is called the "star of opportunity" and during the last days of the retrograde may bring about new options and outcomes. Chitra's power is the ability to accumulate merit in this life, punya cayani shakti, so the last days of Venus retrograde will be especially strong to not only clear up old karmic debt, but also to create new positive karma about how we love others and ourselves.