Astrology of Now: Battle for the Throne of Ishtar

Friday June 13th 2014
Salome holds the severed head of John the Baptist by Aubrey Beardsley.

Salome holds the severed head of John the Baptist by Aubrey Beardsley.

“…Syrians and Iraqis are both trapped between dictators on the one hand and extremists on the other. An unhappy choice.” from today’s Economist on-line.

Yes, that sounds like the situation for a lot of people — more or less — caught in the crossfire of the Uranus-Pluto square, which is currently ignited by Mars, the planet of war in Libra.

On June 10, a smallish rebel army took Iraq’s second city Mosul, located in the north of the country in the province of Nineveh. As I write, they are just 50 miles from Baghdad and marching south. For  English readers, this is the equivalent of Oliver’s army taking Oxford — and we all know who won that particular war — and also, that after a decade or so of no theatre and no fun, it turned out all right in the end.

It’s fascinating that the Islamic fundamentalist group attempting to take over Iraq has as its acronym ISIS (the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria), which happens to be the name of the great goddess herself. How ironic for a group that seeks to banish women from public life.

And here’s another connection with the great goddess: some historians suggest that the word Nineveh (which was one of the greatest cities in the ancient world, the remains of which lie near Mosul) translates from Babylonian as “the seat of Ishtar”. (Nina was one of the goddess’ names.)

Ishtar was never Mrs Nice. From the fragments left to us, she seems to have been a feisty, fickle, ferocious number. In the most famous myth about her, she descends into the underworld and passes through seven gates on her way down. At each gate she sheds a garment until by the end she is completely naked. Then she attacks the queen of the underworld, Erishkigal.


Isis c.700BC

According to some sources she was the goddess of love, fertility and sexuality, so while she was in the underworld all sexual intercourse on earth stopped. But according to others, she was also the goddess of war. This is interesting because she was the personification of the planet Venus, which in Western and Vedic astrology rules love and fertility, but in Central Asian and American cosmology, is a planet related to war.

Isis was the Egyptian goddess of magic and healing, whose cult eventually spread throughout the Roman empire. The remains of an Isis temple have been found in London.

The word Isis means throne, and her headdress is a pharaoh’s seat. Like Ishtar, she dealt with the dead, bringing her husband Osiris back to life after piecing together his body, and helping dead pharaohs in their journey to the underworld. Isis is also a precursor of the Virgin Mary. She was often depicted dandling baby Horus on her knee.

How any of this relates to the current civil wars in the Middle East, I’m not sure. But I do note that if you look only at the planets which are visible with the naked eye right now, as our Babylonian ancestors would have, the most striking aspect currently is actually the opposition between Venus — associated with the goddesses — and Saturn. On the day that Mosul was taken, the Moon conjuncted Saturn.

Using modern astrology, one might look at Lilith. Lilith is Adam’s first wife, but we can see she is a fearsome evolution of Ishtar. Currently, she is in the sign of the Lion (one of Ishtar’s beasts) and in a peculiar but tight angle to the Mars-Uranus-Pluto T-square.

The other Biblical character associated with Ishtar is Salomé, whose dance of the seven veils is equated to Ishtar’s journey through the seven gates of the underworld. Salomé too ends up naked, but her prize is the head of John the Baptist on a plate.

The group ISIS also favours decapitation as a form of execution, of course, but I doubt they are making sacrifices to the goddesses.


Lion on the Gate of Ishtar in Babylon.



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  1. mm says:

    Another thoughtful and informative post, Christina. Thank you.

    Sobering and chilling as well to note that in the coming week Venus will be approaching a conjunction with Algol in Taurus, which I ‘ve read has a link with decapitation. (The murder of the soldier in Woolwich in May last year occurred during a Mars conjunction with Algol).

    It is difficult to know how the current situation will end. It looks as if Iraq as we know it may well cease to exist in its present form. This Mars/Uranus/Pluto T-square is something else.

  2. Gilly says:

    The most terrifying aspect of the situation for me is that this is a sectarian uprising, Al-Qaeda backed Sunni insurgents against a ruling Shiite administration. It’s unlikely Iraq’s Shiite neighbours Iran are going to let Sunni revolutionaries take control of Iraq without a fight of some sort. And then there’s Syria’s neighbour Israel. Israel, of course, has a formidable army, Western backing and nuclear weapons. I can see this situation becoming very dangerous very quickly indeed. This Mars-Uranus-Pluto is starting to look very nasty indeed.

  3. Christina says:

    Mars is squaring Pluto now and will oppose Uranus on June 25.

    But it’s by no means over after that. In March 2015, Mars conjuncts Uranus when the U-Plu square is exact and then in December that year, the war planet is already back to where it is now.

    Not good.

  4. mimi says:

    You wrote ‘I doubt they are making sacrifices to the godesses’ .

    Maybe not consciously, but they certainly are !

    Currently the sign of Cancer is under attack from Pluto transiting Capricorn and this is causing all these attacks on women. These are very ancient feelings coming to the surface in men and women throughout the whole world and they are not aware of these feelings representing their own problems with femininity.

    At the same time Moon and Saturn were opposite each other, again Cancer and Capricorn.

    Lilith has just left the sign of Cancer (feminin) for Leo (masculin) and has therefore gone from very strong (women no longer willing to undergo humiliation, forced marriages and abuse) to very weak (Leo is the most masculin sign) and so she can be attacked and so they did !!!

    These attacks can only stop if people learn to accept their feminin and masculin side. Christina, this is impossible to achieve; it takes a lot of education and will take ages.

    Awareness is always the best medicine.


    • Christina says:

      Mimi – I love your take on this. I have been thinking a lot about how one manifestation of the Uranus-Pluto square is the exposure of the war on women.

      Are you suggesting that ISIS is sacrificing to the goddess? Could you expand on that?

      • mimi says:

        I feel that all over the world right now (like the ISIS-organisation, but also the men in India who are raping and killing women,and Boko Haram who have abducted these young girls and the young men in America for instance who are acting out their rage and kiling at Universities) are acting out their unconscious rage against the feminine feelings inside themselves.

        It is very important that one understands that these feelings are coming from deep down unconscious levels inside their own psyche. In fact these men are lashing out at their own feminine side and they use the women in their world in an attempt to get rid of it.

        These feelings create great fears inside them – underlying and behind rage is always fear !!! Becoming aware of these fears gives enlightenment and enlightenment gives peace in the heart and no reason to lash out at or harm anybody else (be it women or homosexuals of even animals) .

        I think that is one of the underlying conflicts of this time. Men have to realise and accept that they also have a feminine side,
        Women have already developed and still are developing their masculine side. Maybe this violence we are seeing today is an answer to the women developing themselves over the last decades.

        I guess men can’t handle that. That is also why homosexuality is such a great problem for certain groups in the world. Education is so very important to have a healthy democratic society.

        ISIS is a group of people whose goal is to seize the power but in fact it also is an answer to a development which they do not like, they don’t want freedom for women – they are afraid of homosexual men / they don’t want this modern society (this WILDNESS OF LILITH).


        • Christina says:

          Thank you for that mimi.

          It is clear that there’s a battle going on, but putting it in the context of a battle within is very acute, and clarifies the situation beautifully. I will put up a post on this soon I think. Lilith is so important in this — and so I think is Ceres.

  5. weaver says:

    wow, mimi. 1st take i have heard on the actual opposition, large scale – and of course, most primal, of the houses. rings very very ‘right’.

  6. Iris Horsey says:

    One short but important idea is that it takes both men and women to create lives. No women no life.

  7. Isy says:

    It occurs to me that these forces we call gods or planetary are what they are, whether we like it or not. If Ishtar is getting sacrifices, will she really care who they’re from? Or will she put on her war face and wreak havoc for those who have adopted her most healing form and aim to subvert it for their own hateful ends? Not sure how much we can speak of the free will or judgement of gods.

    However, it’s also true that they are not kind to those who abuse their favor.

    I hope the honeymoon with ISIS ends quickly for Isis, and she becomes again the force of healing and of womanly power and self-direction. I’ll be curious to see your article, Christina. xo

    • Christina says:

      Yes, you are absolutely right there Isabel. We make a mistake if we think the gods care where there sacrifices are coming from :(.

      • Isy says:

        It also occurs to me, as I thought about Isis, that there are some chilling parallels…

        She assembled the pieces of her dismembered husband, as ISIS seeks to assemble fragmented Islamic states into one blatantly patriarchal force.

        We often see her nursing Horus, but I don’t recall ever seeing her nurse a girl… ISIS is certainly suckling lost men shamelessly into a dependency that lends itself to martyrdom and subjection to their brand of tyranny.

        Osiris did not come fully back to life. He was basically the first zombie. He was still wrapped in his funeral winding-sheets. But his testosterone flowed — he’s often shown as fully erect. As those of us who live with men know, the difference between violence and sex as an outcome is not the level of testosterone, but the frame of mind of the man. Isis certainly got Osiris’s testosterone back in gear, but he still lacked that vital spark.

        These days, I find that chilling.

        Such a ray of sunshine, me…

        I still hope they fail. I still suspect that, at some point that’ll seem inevitable in retrospect, their desperate attempt to extinguish the feminine will go on long enough that they will find the sting in its tail, and die of it.

        • Christina says:

          I agree with you completely Isy. There’s always been a sinister, macabre edge to the Isis story for me. It’s not all sweetness and light and mother-love is it? She is a magician as you describe.

  8. sherryl haverhals says:

    Venus is conjunct Regulus, not Algol. Regulus, of course, carries themes of the Royalty, the Lion which is the Goddess’ totem and having just precessed into Virgo, brings forward the archetype of the Goddess rising to power. For the last couple of thousand years that Regulus has been in Leo, a masculine sign, representing masculine power and authority.

    What we may be seeing is the Patriarchy unconsciously sensing and responding to the redistribution of power and authority and grasping, even ambushing and rebranding themselves as ISIS. This smacks of when the priests of Attis would castrate themselves to emulate the priestesses and to this day, priests of the Catholic church wear robes/dresses that were worn by priestesses in the days when the Goddess was the greater power. We are seeing a shift in the power structure. Nothing happens overnight, though. It’s the pendulum swinging back in the opposite direction.

    I strongly dislike these thugs using the Goddess’ name ISIS to do their bloody work. I hope she awakens and crushes them underfoot.

    It would be nice to see some peace and quiet if the Goddess did awaken and take her position as Queen of Heaven.