Venus the She Warrior

Monday October 10th 2011

Bright blue Venus seems suspended in the black branches of my neighbour’s cherry tree these evenings. When I tuck my daughter into bed, I look out her window and see the planet shining more brightly and steadily than anything else in the sky.


I am looking west. Venus is in her guise as the Evening Star. She is very, very beautiful now. Who could possibly imagine her as a harbinger of violence?

Inanna

I’ve been inspired to think hard about Venus thanks to Laura’s posts – and I noticed that, quite by accident, I published her piece about Venus’s underworld journeys on the very day the planet entered Scorpio, the sign of Hades. Intentionally, it was published on Venus’s day – Friday, the 5th day of the week.

Many years ago, I edited a series of books on mythology published by Time-Life. I happened to read the volumes on Mongolia and Mesoamerica back to back. I was very taken with some clear parallels in the myths of the Asian steppes and those of the Aztecs and Mayans. In particular, I noted that on both sides of the Pacific, Venus was considered a planet of war.

Since it’s considered quite likely that early Americans walked from Asia across the Bering Straits and down the continent, I suppose it’s not much of a surprise to find there are shared mythological roots. But then one can trace the idea of Venus as a planet of war further west across Siberia along the Silk Route to ancient Mesopotomia – the birthplace of our astrology.

According to some sources, Inanna, the mother goddess was the planet Venus. As such, she was both the goddesss of fertility and a warrior queen. The goddess had two faces.

In Western astrology, we have emphasised the soft side of Venus – her sexual allure, her indulgence, her beauty. In our iconography, it’s sometimes hard to tell the difference between the face of Venus and the face of the Virgin Mary. Indeed Botticelli plays on this in his famous puzzle painting Primavera.

Primavera: for a discussion of the symbolism of
this painting click here

We have been rather seduced by Roman stories and Renaissance paintings. We are entranced by the bright shining star I see every night at the moment – and we have forgotten that Venus has another face. Catch her in the morning, before the ritz has gone on and she has a nasty nature. The Mayans called Venus as the Morning Star, the Spear Thrower.

Now why I wonder, is Venus almost wholly scary on one side of the world, and almost entirely good on the other? And what does this tell us about the dark sides of the signs she rules?

Here are some interesting links:
http://www.onereed.com/articles/qvenus.html
http://www.skyscript.co.uk/venus2.html

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  1. jess says:

    What do you really think about this Mayan 2012 business? It seems to me it must be significant in some way although the idea that we’re all about to reach a higher consciousness or whatever seems – well – remote at the moment…

  2. Christina, I wonder if our western concept of Venus has been somewhat cleaned up and her power a bit neutralized over the centuries? In western culture, particularly since the spread of Christianity, women were meant to be seen (ideally seen as beautiful as possible), but not heard, after all. Is it possible that Venus had darker roots in the west as well, but her image has been made more demure by cultural preference? She does have connections with the Underworld through the myth of Aphrodite and Adonis. I suspect there’s a bit more of her warrior side originally in the west than we’re aware of.

    Jess, personally, I don’t know what to think about the 2012 thing. It’s not even clear to me that the people who have decided the Mayan calendar is ending in 2012 have interpreted it correctly. I think it’s entirely possible that nothing will happen. I also think it’s very possible that something will, but I doubt it will be the end of the world. I do think that, as dark as things often seem, we’re coming quickly to a time when either we wake up and realize we have to care for our own planet and the other people on it in a much more holistic and harmonious way, or we don’t and then things get very, very bad. I like to think positively, though, so I am hoping that the multiple levels of world crisis that are occurring will bring about some sort of awakening of human consciousness.

  3. Hi Christina,
    Thanks very much for this comment on Venus. It confirms what I’ve been thinking for some time, above-all as to the signs ruled by Venus. There is a dark side in the signs of Taurus and Libra which is hardly recognized. Venus wants what she wants and often succeeds in using others’ energies to magnetically attract what is pleasing for her in a way that SEEMS unintentional or justified by higher motives (justice, harmony, beauty). But if you succeed in not being magnetized by her allure, you can see a huge greed for power behind and a violence based on subtle manipulation. She is an artist in doing it, and she seldom fails in attaining her objectives, but when this happens, you can see the wrath of Sekhmet. Have you too noticed these characteristics in Taurus and Libra?
    Thanks again for your stimulating posts 🙂
    Alessandra

  4. Christina says:

    @Alessandra – yes very much. I had to stop myself when I was writing this post from becoming too negative in fact. Just as two examples, Tony Blair is a Taurus (May 6) whose desire for money has destroyed him. He is also an arch-manipulator. Then there’s Thatcher, one of whose most famous questions about potential allies was “But is he one of us?” a very Libran question. In my experience Librans like an argument (sometimes this is a good thing), but that is not the usual story we hear.

  5. Phoenix says:

    Venus was actually a MALE DEITY before the Sun cults paired with Sky Goddess Urania

  6. […] can also be a symbol for the warrior goddess. many indigenous and asian cultures conceptualized venus as a warrior, and planet of war.  since venus is known as the morning and evening star, we can think of her energy as two sided, […]