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The Lessons of Underworld Venus

This week, Venus comes into a conjunction with the Sun at 29 degrees Libra. 29 degrees of any sign is called the “anaretic degree” because it is the final degree, and therefore often is accompanied by the deepest challenges of that sign. As Libra’s themes involve partnership, love, and peace, this conjunction is likely to bring up issues in these areas. On a global scale, we see Russia’s acts of war heightening. In a personal way, we may be coming to a point of intensity with our partnerships. The tension is undoubtedly there.

Whenever the Sun and Venus conjoin, Venus becomes invisible as the planet is lost in the rays of the Sun. As discussed in a previous blog post (click here), the ancients would tell myths of the Goddess descending into the Underworld as an allegory for this disappearance of Venus.

It makes sense, at this time of year, that we discuss the symbolism of the Underworld. Last week we had the Autumnal Equinox, where the length of daylight hours is equal to that of nighttime, but now we will experience our first full week of darkness overtaking the light. The time of growth, fecundity, expansion of Nature is behind us. Now we harvest, reap, compost, release in preparation for the winter months ahead.

The darkness of the winter months can be seen as foreboding, scary, intense. Scorpio season and Samhain/Halloween is just around the corner, after all. We are often, as humans, afraid of what we don’t understand. The “shadow,” the “underworld,” the dark - they are all iterations on the same theme. Ultimately, of course, it comes down to the idea of death.

As a culture, we tend to struggle with the concept of death. We eat meat that has been slaughtered and processed behind closed doors, and then refuse to kill a mouse that’s been eating food in our pantry. We avoid thinking about things like wills, funerals, hospice until we are forced to. We don’t really think about whether our souls live on until it’s a loved one’s or our own.

And yet - darkness has purpose. Without darkness, there would be no contrast. There would be no joy because there would be no grief. There would be no love because there would be no separation. There would be no life.

Further, darkness is a place of limitless possibility. What can be learned by sitting quietly in the dark and listening to the invocations of God/the Universe eclipses anything we can learn by day. The mystery, the depth, the metamorphoses is all inextricably link to the dark.

So while Venus makes this transit through her Underworld stage, aligned as she is with the Sun at 29 degrees Libra, we must ask ourselves: how am I trusting in the power of love? How have I been taken in by the collective delusion that we are all separate from Creation, rather than children of God ourselves? How am I honoring the darkness and death in my life, so that I may truly appreciate the light?


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