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Venus Retrograde’s Intimate Journey: The Second Gate

By March 14, 2009September 27th, 2021Astrology for Non-Astrologers, Astrology for Students, Venus

From March 6th through April 17th, Venus is traveling retrograde (i.e. backwards) through our skies.  The Venus retrograde period is a time for reevaluating your relationships and your capacity for love.  While Venus is retrograde, notice the places where you are drawn into your relationships’ darkness and notice the ways you might find increased intimacy there.

The retrograde journey of Venus is depicted in the Mesopotamian tale of the descent of Inanna into the underworld.  It is the story of a journey into the dark places in relationship, an attempt to recover lost love.  During her descent, Inanna was stopped seven times, at seven gates.  Each time, she had to remove one item from her person and leave it behind so she could go on.  Any or all of these items might have symbolic meaning for your explorations during this Venus retrograde period.

At The Second Gate, the Gatekeeper Demands Inanna’s Scepter
A scepter symbolizes force and the willingness to use it.  A scepter is a threat, a way to control behavior.

Most people who bother to be in a relationship want it to continue and almost everybody feels a fear of abandonment, however well concealed it might be.  If a relationship is seen as a contract to stay together and bond, then a threat of withdrawing love, attention or compassion is a powerful one.

This kind of threat is most effective when it is hidden; when seen in the light of day, it is clear what it is—a way to control.  But a loving relationship is no place for coercion, whether obvious or veiled.

The Gatekeeper Asks: 
What threat are you secretly holding over the head of your lover?  Are you eagerly planning to withdraw something (love, support, nurturance, attention) if they don’t give in to what you want?  Have you figured out what they prize most about the relationship, in anticipation of someday needing such a withdrawal?

To the one who is holding the scepter, the lover looks like an enemy and holding out a threat seems necessary, perhaps even for the survival of the relationship.  But what if fear itself is the real enemy, dividing you from this precious person that you love and don’t happen to always agree with?  What if letting go of control had nothing to do with the survival of yourself or of your relationship?

Can you let the threat go?  Are you ready to acknowledge that you have absolutely no control over what your partner does, not really, and that you never have?  Do not try to sneak past this gate—you cannot pretend to let go of control.  You have to actually do it.

Remember Where You Are
At this point, we’re deep into the underworld and it’s not a game anymore.  These feelings and thoughts are very uncomfortable to look at.  Congratulations for doing it.  This examining of the dark corners of how you conduct your relationships is the very work that will re-infuse your relationship with life after the dark period is past.

For more about Inanna’s journey and what happened at the other gates, look at Venus Retrograde: Descent Into Love’s Darkness.  I’ll post about the third gate in about a week.


Jamie has been practicing astrology in the Bay Area since 1992 and teaching since 1997. She is currently certified at NCGR Level 3. She specializes in feminine archetypes and a positive, empowering approach. Jamie enjoys working with individuals, couples, and families to improve the quality of their lives and expand each person’s choices.

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