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 Seventh Gate, the Gatekeeper Demands Inanna’s Raiment
Inanna’s raiment is her royal garments. They are the mark of her dignity and self-possession. They are the last thing that protects her. Her identity is vested in them. “But I’m a queen!” she cries, “These garments are mine by right!”
Without clothes, you are utterly naked and your dignity is no longer there for you to hide behind. In removing them you are removing the last vestiges of a false self-esteem. You are saying, “I need no embellishment; I am enough just as I am.” Pretense is entirely gone.
The Gatekeeper Asks:
Are you willing to be stripped, unembellished, before your partner? Do you believe they will still love you in your nakedness? Are you willing and able to love your partner as merely another human being, not the charming creature who first enticed you with their attractive exterior? Do you have a deep, human connection with him/her that goes beyond surface attraction? Can you be your real, ultimate self?
This is the final gate. What purpose does your dignity serve you now? It is the hard core of your resistance. In stripping the raiment off you are saying, “I am merely human, like everybody else. When you do so, you join the timeless community of everyone who was ever hurt by love. It makes you human and brings you into the fold. You are one of us, naked and in pain. This is ok. It happens to us all, sometimes. And then, inexplicably, it passes. We leave the darkness and re-emerge into the light. This is how we grow and evolve. It is natural, organic and right. And no one is an exception.
For the whole story about Inanna’s journey and what happened at the other gates, look at Venus Retrograde: Descent Into Love’s Darkness. This thread ends with Inanna’s return: Venus goes direct on April 17.