Interview with #Venus in #Virgo: Don’t Blow My Glow, Gurl

Image from Deposit Photos

(Astrology Explored Blog) Venus, the goddess of love and money, moved into the Virgo Suite of the Zodiac Hotel on October 3rd, and ever since, there’s been trouble. I got this message from one of my friends on Facebook:

Friend: So is it the stars that are making me feel so off-kilter?

Me: Venus in Virgo—so neurotic!

Friend: Exactly how it feels.

But perception isn’t always reality, so I decided to visit Venus and ask her what’s up.

Beth: (Knock, knock)

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The Astrology of Venus in Scorpio: Persephone and Pieces of Rose, Part 3

Hades and PersephonePersephone

(Astrology Explored) Daughter of immortal deities, called the Goddess of Spring, Persephone’s story is Scorpionic in nature. Her birth, her life and her eventual role as Queen of the Underworld speaks to us about unrelenting forces that transform our existence.

The French say, “Mama, yes; Papa, maybe” and certainly this is true in Persephone’s case. Some accounts have Neptune as her father, others, Zeus. As with all things Scorpionic, there is more than a little mystery involved here.

The daughter of Demeter was given more than one praise of her beauty in Greek literature. She was called “white armed” and “slimmed ankled”. As Persephone came into puberty, all the male gods vied for her hand in marriage a situation that was said to be sparked by Aphrodite (Venus) herself. Aphrodite became concerned that Persephone would turn out to live life as a virgin just as her cousins Artemis and Athena. She, in a moment of Plutonian overkill instructed her son Eros to let loose his arrows on every god in Olympus. Even Zeus was so struck by Persephone’s beauty that:

The ruler of the universe, the charioteer of heaven, bowed his neck to desire–for all his greatness no thunderbolts, no lightnings helped him against Aphrodite in arms: he left the house of Hera, he refused the bed of Dione, he threw away the love of Deo, he fled from Themis, he deserted Leto – no charm was left for him but only union with Persephoneia.

Demeter was so alarmed by all this attention towards her daughter, that she sought the advice of an astrologer, which I include here in its entirety because of the fascinating detail of the astrologer’s process.

She hastened with quick foot to the house of Astraios the god of prophecy [or more specifically astrology] . . . She laid her left hand on the knees of the kindly ancient, and with her right touched his deepflowing beard in supplication. She recounted all her daughter’s wooers and craved a comfortable oracle; for divinations can steal away anxieties by means of hopes to come. Nor did old Astraios refuse. He learnt the details of the day when her only child was new born, and the exact time and veritable course of the season which gave her birth; then he bent the turning fingers of his hands and measured the moving circle of the ever-recurring number counting from hand to hand in double exchange [reckoning the number of days in the years of her life on his fingers]. He called to a servant, and Asterion lifted a round revolving sphere, the shape of the sky, the image of the universe, and laid it upon the lid of a chest. Here the ancient got to work. He turned it upon its pivot, and directed this gaze round the circle of the Zodiac, scanning in this place and that the planets and fixt stars . . . When he had noticed everything and reckoned the circuit of the stars, he put away the ever-revolving sphere in its roomy box, the sphere with its curious surface; and in answer to the goddess he mouthed out a triple oracle of prophetic sound : `Fond mother Demeter, when the rays of the Moon are stolen under a shady cone and her light is gone, guard against a robber-bridegroom for Perephoneia, a secret ravisher of your unsmirched girl, if the threads of the Moirai can be persuaded. You will see before marriage a false and secret bedfellow come unforeseen, a half-monster cunning-minded: since I perceive the western point Ares the wife-stealer [the planet Mars] walking with the Paphian [the planet Venus], and I notice the Drakon is rising beside them both . . . ’

Concerned and alarmed by this prophecy she bore her daughter away in a chariot drawn by dragons to a secret cave. The dragons were then given the task of protecting Persephone. All seeing Zeus however, found the hiding place, and transforming himself into a dragon, seducing Persephone with cunning. He lured the girl into a sleep by surrounding her with his soft coils and sweet kisses. Their union produced Zagreus, who by virtue of his father’s deception, was born In the snake like shape of a dragon. Zeus took this child to Olympus, intending to set him on the throne of heaven, but the Titans rebelled against Zeus decision and tore the child into pieces. Grief stricken Zeus put the pieces of Zagreus’ heart in a drink and gave it to Semele, the moon goddess to drink. She became pregnant with this genetic material and bore to Zeus, the god Dionysis, known to the Romans as Bacchus, another god whose mystery religion was revolved around transformation through the consumption of wine. Thus Persephone was associated with two mystery religions, that of the Eleusian Mysteries and the rites of Dionysis.

Persephone herself was forever transformed by her foray into the Underworld. On the surface, Persephone can be viewed as a voiceless victim. Her fate is decided by Zeus, her husband and her mother. But Pluto is seductive for sure. Unlike Zeus, Pluto is intent on making her a permanent fixture in his life. He makes solemn pledges to her:

“… I shall be no unfitting husband for you among the deathless gods, that am own brother to father Zeus. And while you are here, you shall rule all that lives and moves and shall have the greatest rights among the deathless gods: those who defraud you and do not appease your power with offerings, reverently performing rites and paying fit gifts, shall be punished for evermore.” (Hades to Persephone, Homeric Hymn to Demeter 2.363).

Was it the power that Pluto offered that ultimately seduced her, or was it the dark charm of lord of the Underworld? Those among us who have experience of love that can not be denied know the addictive nature of such relationships. Whether by one or both, Persephone is initiated in to the sexual world as a wife.

There is evidence that Persephone’s own nature may have had an manipulative element to it. Persephone blamed Hades for the consumption of the pomegranate seeds, telling her mother that he secretly forced the seeds in her mouth. Yet how he “secretly forced the seeds” in to her mouth is yet another story. She would have needed to take the food willingly for the doom of Hades to fall upon her.

There are other stories of Persephone’s Scorpionic nature. When Venus gave Persephone the youth Adonis to care for, the dark goddess was just as enthralled as Venus with his beauty and refused to give him back.

Hades had one affair, with the nymph Menthe, who jealous Persephone trampled and transformed in the mint plant. (Crushed mint was added to a drink made of grain that was said to be drunk by her mother Demeter, and possibly was served during the enactment of the Eleusian Mysteries). Clearly, Persephone was not about to share her dark husband with anyone. Hades was not known to step out on her again.

And despite her initial (and probably faint) protests over her marriage, Persephone fulfilled her role as Goddess of the Underworld, sometimes even displaying more power than Hades himself.

Here is the influence of the Pluto we know, secretive, controlling, manipulative. The story of Persephone is illustrative of the lies, obsessions and jealousy as any one subject to Venusian, Scorpionic and Plutonic forces, the epitome of Venus in Scorpio.

As with all those under the influence of a Pluto influenced Venus, Persephone epitomizes the archetype of transformation. From innocent goddess of the spring to the queen of the underworld, Persephone held the promise of life and ultimately the promise of the life to come.

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The Astrology of Venus in Scorpio: Persephone and Pieces of Rose, Part 2

Demeter and Perspehone In Their ChariotThe Mother’s Story: Ceres/Demeter

We often forget as women of a modern era that in the ancient world that as many 1 in a hundred women died from childbirth and as many as 30 infants died for 100 births. This meant that to embrace life women had to embrace the reality of death.

The Romans knew her as Ceres, the Greeks called her Demeter. No matter. They are different names for the the same goddess.

Demeter was the goddess of fertility. You might know her by another name “Mother Nature”. The daughter of the ancient primordial god Cronos (Saturn) and Mother Earth (Rhea) she along with her other siblings were swallowed by her father at her birth to prevent a prophecy that one his children would overthrow him as master of the world and heavens. Demeter was freed when Rhea betrayed her husband. At the birth of Zeus, who we call Jupiter, she swaddled a rock and fed it to her husband. She then raised the child in secret, and raised him to avenge her misery at the hands of her husband. Zeus freed all of his siblings, and Neptune and Pluto joined Zeus in overthrowing Cronus. Rhea’s boys thus split the seas, the underword and the heavens among themselves, but none of them could rule their mother, Earth. Demeter, as Rhea’s daughter, however, ruled the fertility of the earth itself. Demeter had one daughter, Persephone, also called Kore (maiden) with Neptune being Persephone’s father.

So Persephone was stolen from her mother by Pluto (Hades) with a wink a nod by her father and his brother, and no one would tell Demeter why her daughter mysteriously disappeared. Thus in a totally Plutonian manner, Demeter was betrayed by her family.

Demeter, unlike the other Olympian gods and goddess of the time, walked the earth and worked directly with the people. During her desperate journey to find her child she shared the gifts of wheat and corn with the people she met. While Prometheus brought fire, she was the civilizing force, bringing stable food sources to the subjects of the gods.

Eventually Demeter found where her daughter was and who had her. She appealed to Zeus to have Persephone returned. The jig up, Zeus was in a real situation. Pluto wouldn’t give up his bride, promising to let the dead lose on the living if Zeus tried. Zeus couldn’t upset the balance of power between Neptune, Pluto and himself which would only lead to another heavenly war. Zeus denied Demeter’s petition. Mother Nature responded in the only way she could. In her grief she failed to bless the fields of man, and famine came and humans starved. Men and women railed against the gods, blaming them for their troubles and would make no more sacrifices to the gods. Since Zeus could not intercede himself, he appealed to more ancient forces, the Furies, who declared according to their laws that Persephone could return if she did not eat any of the food of the dead. The question was of course, did Persephone belong in the world of the living or the dead? This was the crux of the mystery religion that revolved around Demeter and Persephone.

The Eleusian Mysteries

The worship of Demeter and Persephone was ancient, possibly predating Greek civilization as a redux of a similar Minoan cult and thought to be established 3,500 years ago.

But we should not omit to mention the very great benefaction which Demeter conferred upon mankind; for beside the fact that she was the discoverer of corn, she also taught mankind how to prepare it for food and introduced laws by obedience to which men became accustomed to the practice of justice, this being the reason, we are told, why she has been given the epithet Thesmophoros or Lawgiver. Surely a benefaction greater than these discoveries of hers one could not find; for they embrace both living and living honorably.
(Diodorus Siculus V, 5)

The mysteries lasting two thousand years, were a major festival during the Hellenic era, later spreading to Rome.[4] The name of the town, Eleusís, is a variant of the noun έλευσις, éleusis, arrival.
The rites, ceremonies, and beliefs were kept secret, as initiation was believed to unite the worshipper with the gods and included promises of divine power and rewards in the afterlife.[5] There are many paintings and pieces of pottery that depict various aspects of the Mysteries. Since the Mysteries involved visions and conjuring of an afterlife, some scholars believe that the power and longevity of the Eleusinian Mysteries came from psychedelic agents.[6]

Now the details of the initiatory rite are guarded among the matters not to be divulged and are communicated to the initiates alone; but the fame has traveled wide of how these gods appear to mankind and bring unexpected aid to those initiates of theirs who call upon them in the midst of perils. The claim is also made that men who have taken part in the mysteries become both more pious and more just and better in every respect than they were before. And this is the reason, we are told, why the most famous both of the ancient heroes and of the demi-gods were eagerly desirous of taking part in the initiatory rite; and in fact Jason and the Dioscuri, and Heracles and Orpheus as well, after their initiation attained success in all the campaigns they undertook, because these gods appeared to them.
(Diodorus Siculus V, 48, 49)

The initiates of the Eleusian mysteries were promised a land of plenty in the Underworld in which to spend eternity, the Elysium fields watched over by the daughter of Demeter, Persephone.

And those that have three times kept to their oaths,
Keeping their souls clean and pure,
Never letting their hearts be defiled by the taint
Of evil and injustice,
And barbaric venality,
They are led by Zeus to the end:
To the palace of Kronos [the ruler of Elysium]

As the story goes, because Persephone had eaten a few pomegranate seeds, (and more on that later) curiously a symbol of fertility, it was decided that she would spend the four months of the winter in the Underworld and the rest of the time with her mother. When she was in the Underworld however, she is said to watch over the humans in Hades care. Persephone was seen as a vital link between the world of the living and the dead. and the reason why the fields returned to fertility in the spring.

The mysteries themselves, though the exact nature of the rites are not known, celebrated the love of a mother for her child, the child’s death and the symbolic rebirth of the child in the reunion with her mother.

Saturday: Persephone

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The Astrology of Venus in Scorpio: Persephone and Pieces of Rose, Part 1

(Astrology Explored) Venus in Her Courses

Shortly Venus in the heavens to retraces her steps in retrograde motion. In the divine dance of our heavenly sister around the Sun inside our own orbit around it, she appears to move, stop, and move backwards and forward again. The ancients, in their observations of the brightest star in our heavens noted the complex motion that appears from our perspective on earth over the course of time to trace a pentagram and also a rose.

These are potent symbols, imbedded in our psyches as well as our tarot cards, archetypes of life and love.

The orbit of Venus is profoundly tied with the life cycle of humans. Venus usually moves through a sign in twenty-eight days, matching the lunar month, and a woman’s menstrual cycle. Being within 48 degrees of the Sun’s position at all times, the only major aspect she can make to the Sun is the conjunction which she does every nine months, the length of a human pregnancy. She has been at turns associated with war by the Sumerians and the Maya, and with sensual love by the Romans and the Greeks. Galieo discovered that Venus could be viewed in phases, like the moon, which smashed the idea that the planets revolved around the earth. She could only be thus viewed if she moved around the Sun. So it was that Venus can be seen in the same manner as the moon, moving from “birth” to “death”.

Orbit of VenusVenus turns back onto her orbit, we are driven to look at events in our past. Venus in Scorpio is a darker Venus than most, delving into our deepest selves. We suspect or perceive the manipulations of others. Relationships with old lovers or significant women are examined with aching compulsion. We are driven to explore relationships that are magnetic in their draw, obsessive in their nature. If we are open enough, we find our own fatal flaw, and if not, find the fatal flaw in others. The story that best illustrates Venus in Scorpio is the tale of the Rape of Persephone, a tale that lay at the heart of the Eleusian Mysteries, a religion of the Greek culture that featured a risen god, established at least 1,500 years before the birth of Christ.

The Back Story of the Rape of Perspephone

Persephone, the daughter of the earth mother, Ceres was raped and forced marriage to Hades. Persephone was gathering flowers in a field, out of her mother’s site when Hades caused the ground to open up and he swept her into his chariot and took her down into the Underworld. As with all things Plutonian, Hades saw what he wanted and took it.

This story marks a period in human history where matriarchal cultures who worshipped the Goddess were overturned. This happened by stunning earth changes (the Theran volcanic explosion around 1600 B.C.) and the invasion of the warrior civilization the Mycenaeans.

Barbara Hand Clow wrote this story of Medea, “The Search for the Golden Fleece”

“. . .The violence of the Earth in my times were beautiful like the wild, wild wind. The Earth crunched and groaned so that the rocks became molten liquid. The water rose so high . . . The volcano was of such violence, the earthquakes shook all that was left in your soul; and then men decided to never trust again.”

The destruction of the powerful matriarchal Minoan civilization centered on Thera marked the first throws of the end of the Bronze Age that existed during the Age of Taurus. We see how slowly astrological ages turn over the reigns of power in the story of the Myceneans, the northern tribe that overtook and redefined Greek culture from 1600 B.C. to their eventual decline at beginning of the Iron Age around 1100 B.C., the Age of Aries. Though historians disagree with the reasons behind the collapse it is said that the Myceneans could not withstand the attacks of invading Dorians who wielded technologically superior iron swords.

In Clow’s rendition of Medea’s story and her part in the Quest for the Golden Fleece, Medea’s mission was to restore the balance of female/male energies due to imbalance caused by the earth changes. In this quest, Jason was forced to kill Medea’s brother, a sacred prince, and Medea killed her uncle to secure the throne of Pagasea for Jason. But these murders poisoned the intent of the quest. Jason refused the throne secured by matrilineal descent, looking “for a better throne”. Jason’s refusal to take the offered throne shattered the last hope for a sacred kingdom based on the king as protector of home and hearth. The trust between man and the Goddess was broken, earth was not blessed, and the imbalance remained. Jason was thus banished by the priestesses of the Moon that raised him.

From that point the power of women was diminished. Athenian women lost the vote, the war goddess Innana morphed in the playgirl Aphodite, the gods did not invite an ancient goddess, Eris, to an important wedding, and Hades was allowed to make off with the Earth goddess’ daughter and force her to be his wife.

Tomorrow: The Story of Ceres

Image of Roses courtesy of Photobucket user GreenWhite

Image of Venus Orbit published under a Creative Commons license from from Wikipedia

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