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Venus’ Superior Conjunction and the Opening of the Heart


Here in the northern hemisphere, we are greeted with crocuses and daffodils bursting forth announcing the return of spring’s promise of renewal. On this auspicious equinox day, Venus is near the Sun, applying to an exact superior conjunction which takes place on March 25. In every complete cycle relative to the Sun, Venus makes two conjunctions with the Sun, an ‘inferior’ conjunction when it is retrograde and a ‘superior’ conjunction when it is direct. It is at these times when Venus transitions between its morning and evening star appearances, which ancient Babylonians worshiped as Inanna in her dual nature as Goddess of War and Goddess of Love and Fertility.

Written astronomical evidence about Venus’ alternating appearances and disappearances dates from the 17th century BCE, around 4000 years ago.  Also, from this time period, the earliest literature was inscribed upon clay tablets. The Descent of Inanna is a story that some have interpreted as an allegorical representation of the cycle of the planet Venus. 

As evening star, Venus emerges in the western twilit sky as the Goddess of Love. Rising higher in the night, she unites in a sacred marriage. She then turns retrograde and descends into the underworld, entering a lying hidden phase, where she makes her inferior conjunction. Having died and then been reborn, she re-emerges as the morning star in the eastern sky. Angered upon discovering that her beloved did not notice her absence or search for her, she reaches her highest elevation in the morning sky, raging as Goddess of War. She banishes him and has him sent to take her place in the underworld. Venus then enters her second and longer phase of invisibility, during which it makes the superior conjunction with the Sun. Increasingly the goddess is despondent, lonely, and unable to fulfill her role as giver of agricultural productivity. Midway through this passage, the other gods intervene and arrange for mediation, whereby her husband is released to her for half of the year. Their reunion is celebrated when she once again displays her beauty as the evening star.  

The marriage of Inanna and Dumuzid
An ancient Sumerian depiction of the marriage of Inanna and Dumuzid[92]

We are currently at the moment of the superior conjunction, the tipping point so to speak, where disappointment, anger and loss can begin to be transformed into forgiveness. Over the next two months, until Venus reappears as an evening star around May 24, Venus supports the healing of the heart, not only in our personal lives, but also on a collective level. It is a time when old wounds can be released and preparations made for loving kindness and compassion, reconnecting with others, and initiating a new season of creativity. The next two weeks while Venus is in Aries, the sign of its detriment, anger still burns hot, righteous and justified. After April 15 when Venus moves into her own sign of Taurus, the heart softens and may feel more peaceful. 

Many astrologers have discussed this equinoctial March 20 Aries ingress chart from a political perspective which is the general approach to this technique. From the lens of mythic archetypal astrology, I offer this more personal insight regarding Venus’ co-mingling with the Sun that is occurring right now. In our own private way, each one of us can open to reaping the promise of the benefic Goddess of Love. 

My next webinar is on March 27, 2021, The Hidden Spiritual Symbolism in Traditional House Meanings. In counterpoint to the thinking that Hellenistic astrology was primarily practical, deterministic, and event-oriented, this talk will present many of the ancient Egyptian, Greek, and Roman beliefs regarding the interface of divine and human energies. As expressed in mythology, religion, philosophy, and literature, you will see how they contributed to the hidden meanings embodied in each of the twelve houses of life. These insights can serve as a guide for those who want to access the spiritual dimensions of ancient astrology. Register here (if you are seeing this after March 27, 2021 you can purchase the recording at this link as well).