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 Third Gate, the Gatekeeper Demands Inanna’s Necklace
A necklace covers the throat, which symbolizes Inanna’s voice. A person’s voice is at once an aspect of her selfhood and a medium for connecting with others. To have a voice in a matter is to speak your mind truly, honestly and completely, leaving nothing out. However, to connect with others, you must modulate your voice, soften it and consider the other’s point of view when you speak, so that your words can be heard. You must also be prepared to listen, because communication is not just speaking—it is also hearing.
Inanna’s necklace covers her voice, thus muting her message. She might well be using the necklace to sweeten her voice, to persuade and manipulate and avoid speaking her truth. Or she may be using her words as weapons to sting and hurt. Either way, the necklace is in the way of her truth and the Gatekeeper says it must go. And if Inanna is struggling to speak, then chances are good she is having trouble hearing too.
The Gatekeeper Asks:
Would you rather speak charming words than tell the truth? Do you habitually decorate your communication so that you can persuade without conflict? Have you gotten comfortable withholding the truth—do you need to speak what you have been holding back? Are you ready now to say all that is in your heart and mind? Put aside any anger at having to hold back, because to hold back has always been your own choice, not forced by your partner. Your truth is your own responsibility.
When you speak, can you do it in a way that allows your truth to be truly heard by your partner? Are you listening to your partner’s voice? Do both of you have as much say as you need to have in the matter?
Communication is love and withheld communication is withheld love. Talk it all out, uncover every stone to reveal every unsaid thought, but don’t stop at revealing what’s painful, dark and ugly. Persist beyond that to the heart of the matter. Something beautiful is buried underneath all those unspoken words. When you are ready to confess (out loud) that all your defenses are powerless in the face of real, authentic love, then you have truly taken the necklace off.
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 fourth gate in about a week.