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A Visitation from the Goddess: Reflections on the Gemini New Moon (June'04)
ByJean Hinson Lall; Published with permission from

We have now entered an eight-year period between two transits of Venus, both in Gemini, after which there will not be another transit for over a century. We might think of this interval as a visitation from the goddess, a time when her nature and activity may be more visible than usual. Venus is always retrograde during her transits of the Sun, suggesting a movement toward the depths or a reflection on the ultimate meaning behind appearances. So the two transits, in 2004 and 2012, create a frame for reflection with and upon Venus.

The fact that the current transits occur in the Gemini and Sagittarius, two signs which are concerned with knowledge, consciousness and wisdom points us beyond the conventional associations of the astrological Venus with romance, relationship, aesthetics, comfort and pleasure. It reminds us that the planet Venus was linked not only with Greek Aphrodite and Roman Venus but with the Mesopotamian goddess Inanna/Ishtar and with Egyptian Isis. In these deities we see more clearly the wisdom aspect of the goddess.

The profound psychological, spiritual and mental significance of the motif of twins or siblings, and the longing for a twin or soul-mate, is reflected in myth, iconography and ritual. Twins are a primary image combining unity and duality, for they are at once the same and different. Twins symbolize the fact that no knowledge and no creation of the world are possible without the initial division of the single cell, the separation of male from female, light from dark, and the generation of all the other pairs of opposites. The longing of these divided beings both to realize themselves and to recover their original unity with each other then sets in motion the whole drama of existence. Twin or sibling love and enmity often help drive the plot. Inanna, goddess of heaven and earth, first loved her brother, who later brought her together with her great love, Dumuzi. She also had a sister, Ereshkigal, goddess of the underworld, for whose sake she descended into the nether regions, suffered, died and was reborn, now capable of passionate and ecstatic union.

Venus is the goddess of love and desire and Gemini means "the Twins". Duality appears everywhere as a fundamental image for religious and philosophical contemplation. The Chinese yin-yang symbol, the Hindu and Buddhist images of deities with their consorts (sometimes in sexual union), Tantric art and practice, the union of Church as bride with Christ as bridegroom, the marriage of chemical substances in alchemy, and even the special aura that surrounds human couples on their wedding day all reflect a mystical truth. Within the sacred language of each religion can be found word roots and poetic images reflecting the love and longing of each thing for its opposite, the desire of God for the soul and the soul for God.

Venus retrograde in Gemini might be our guide to these mysteries. We are born from original oneness into the world where the opposites are at play. Through observing and participating in the world’s polarities we come to understand the workings of nature and to create a distinct self, to become "individual," which means "not divided" from or within oneself, yet differentiated from others. Individuality is not a piling up of special talents, accomplishments and possessions but a sacrifice of all that is not one’s true self. Like Inanna, perhaps, we only become capable of great love once we have undergone the journey to the underworld and had everything superfluous stripped away, becoming reduced to our essence. The alchemical principle, separate in order to unite, applies equally to union with a human partner and to reunion with the divine. Union is possible because fundamentally the two who are separated have never ceased to be one. Gemini initiates us into this mystery of unity in duality, through which all things are generated as separate beings yet remain at one with the ground of being. Venus is the power of desire that draws things into manifestation, joins them with their opposites, and reunites them with the unmanifest. She gives to each being the particular form and placement which enables it to shine forth as part of the cosmic order, its ephemeral beauty a witness to eternal truth.

© 2004 Jean Hinson Lall - All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission.

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