We would not traditionally think of the planet Venus as a Goddess of War, when everything seems to associate the planet and archetypal energy of Venus with love and relationships, but what happens to our love in the face of enormous frustrations and thwarting and obstacles, what does it turn into and how does the soul cope without destroying itself? Burning itself up in the fires of its own frustrated desires? Do we just drop the desire and resign ourselves to the fact that what we longed for ‘was never meant to be?’ and give up or judge ourselves for trying and/or desiring? Or do we keep holding on and persevering (recognising life and love are never purely ideal or romantic at times) and dig even deeper for love within?
It was actually the Mesoamericans (Aztec and Maya) who understood the dual aspect of this Goddess/archetype and recognised that during the retrograde movement of Venus (which occurs once every two years in different zodiac signs) Venus is swallowed by the Sun when it becomes evening star during the first three weeks of the retrograde. Three weeks into the retrograde Venus then appears from the Underworld at its heliacal rising (when Venus moves back to meet the Sun in conjunction at a certain degree – this occurs today in the current retrograde) appearing in the psyche potentially as the Goddess of War not love after its summoning up of underworld ghosts or memories or energies.
The Aztecs and Maya made sacrifices at the heliacal rising and they believed vindictiveness was generated from the underground sojourn, so it is that critical events can occur at the time of the inferior conjunction which show us how the shadow of love and relationship patterns may haunt us still in current times, at least this has been my experience most particularly in this last retrograde conjunction which squares exactly my natal Saturn.
In Erin Sullivan’s own word during the entire retrograde
it is a time to contemplate what one’s deepest, most personal, creative needs are and from what wellspring those needs originate. It is a time to explore one’s own needs for love and nourishment and to examine one’s capacity to receive both of those life sustaining forces.
The mysterious ideal can interrupt and tear apart what one has found to be loving and nurturing – flaws and faults in others can become enhanced, and one might see all the dangers of intimacy, rather than the supportive aspects of it. The call to war after the inferior conjunction of Venus with the Sun might bring forth the dead, and one may be recalled to times in the past when rejection and emotional pain conspired to erect an emotional fortress which for current circumstances might be quite inappropriate. Ultimately, it will depend upon the degree of responsibility that one assumes for one’s own lovingness and the capacity for commitment that will correct the situation, allowing for necessary changes.
Astrologer Melanie Reinhardt has expressed it another way. During the later part of Venus retrograde we are challenged to, in her words, “keep our heart open in hell!” Are we prepared to allow love to be the final answer, even when frustration or thwarting or rejection reminds us of all the other times where love was taken from us, or we were challenged or disappointed or hurt deeply in some way? And can we go through the devastating grief process that may be reawakened at the inferior conjunction and dig deep enough to sit with our own wounded self, summoning up the Goddess of Love from deep within our souls, even if from a supra personal force in the collective unconscious?
Today I woke up with the realisation that love, at least to my mind, is state of being. It is not something we acquire from out there, if only others would love us enough, – at least later in life. (That said in childhood having empathy, encouragement, emotional support and kindness as well as mirroring shown to us does help us to know and love ourselves more and when such things are missing its a long journey of trying to understand or repair or compensate in some way for what was originally lost the way to.)
But in the end (if many outside sources betray us) it is ultimately our inner self who can offer the missing love to this wounded self first, and then seek for those also capable of this kind of love. Whether or not we find it out there (and yes, it is going to hurt like hell when we don’t) the least we can do is show kindness to the wound even if we initially are taken down to levels of anger and rage at the missing of what was so longed for or needed. In the end the existance of love depends upon the attitude we take to our sojourn and return from a personal Underworld.