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