The Venus Cycle and the Myth of Inanna


Pentagram of Venus "Rose of Venus" her cycle seen from Earth

Venus is a planet that has been tracked by many ancient civilizations for thousands of years. Humanity's fascination with her is palpable and can be seen across cultures. Venus is associated with the Goddess of love, beauty, sensuality, sexuality, divine justice and abundance, her Greek name is Aphrodite. but what many don't know is that Aphrodite has much older origins. The ancients often attributed a God or Goddess to the stars and planets, adding myth to their movements. Venus' first attributed Goddess was the ancient Sumerian Goddess Inanna, she was the first incarnation of Venus, Inanna is also the Babylonian and Akkadian Goddess Ishtar. It is said that Venus came down to Earth from the heavens as a woman, Inanna, therefore she is the personification of the planet Venus. Inanna/Ishtar was one of the most worshipped and revered goddesses of the ancient world, she was known as the "Queen of Heaven" and many temples were dedicated to her across Mesopotamia. Her cult flourished until the first to the sixth centuries AD when Christianity swept the world, patriarchal religions grew and the Goddess along with her temples and teachings were destroyed.


The "Burney Relief" Inanna 1800 -1750 BC

Her most popular myth written in the form of a poem 'Inanna’s Descent to the Netherworld / Underworld' begins like this “From the great heaven she set her mind on the great below. From the great heaven the goddess set her mind on the great below. From the great heaven Inanna set her mind on the great below. My mistress abandoned heaven, abandoned earth, and descended to the underworld. Inanna abandoned heaven, abandoned earth, and descended to the underworld." (I can't help but notice how this correlates to the disappearance of the Goddess after patriarchy took over). Inanna decided to go into the Underworld in order to extend her power there, where her older sister Ereshkigal

'Queen of the Underworld' resides.


When she arrives at the gates of the Underworld, Inanna tells the gatekeeper, that she has come to witness the funeral rites of Ereshkigal’s husband. When Ereshkigal receives this news, she is not at all pleased, and ordered that the seven gates of the Underworld be bolted against her sister. Inanna is only allowed to pass one gate at a time, and before each gate, she is required to remove a piece of her royal garment.


By the time Inanna reaches the throne of Ereshkigal, she had been stripped naked, and was powerless. Inanna is then killed and remains in the Underworld for 3 days and nights until her father Enki sends help, Inanna is then reborn and returns to Heaven, as she crosses each gate, she is given back each piece of her royal garment. But Inanna is never the same, she has been transformed. Her descent was an initiation into the mysteries of Life and Death.


In this myth, the movements of Inanna correspond to the movements of Venus in the sky, as she too, descends and ascends. Some cultures thought of Venus as two different stars due to her setting in the west when she is on her Evening Star phase and rising in the East when she is on her Morning Star phase. But the Sumerians and Mayans knew it was the same planet as tracking Venus was extremely important to them.


Inanna's crossing of the seven "gates" refers to the Venus-Moon Conjunctions that happen when Venus is in her Evening Star phase of Ascent and Morning Star phase of Descent. A Venus-Moon Conjunction is a gate or portal into greater spiritual power, transformation and Divine Feminine healing. Each gate of descent in the myth represents something that Inanna had to give up, sacrifice or shed from her being. Each gate of ascent represents what Inanna gained back or a gift she was given as a tool for reclaiming her queenship and sovereignty.

Ishtar 2350-2150 BC

Therefore, each time we have a Venus-Moon Conjunction when Venus is on her Morning Star phase we are given an opportunity to release and shed a part of us that's stuck in illusion, limiting beliefs, trauma and whatever is holding us back from achieving our highest potential. In turn, when we have a Venus-Moon Conjunction with Venus on her Evening Star phase we are given the opportunity to reclaim our power, sovereignty, purpose and potential. We all must descend in order to ascend, and this motif is seen across myths of Gods and Goddesses across the world.


The seven gates not only correspond to each Venus-Moon Conjunction in the sky but also to our seven chakras (energy centers). When we look at the myth as a map to the body and our inner self, the descent represents the clearing of each chakra as we travel from the crown (heaven) to the womb (underworld) where our shadows, suppressed emotions and trauma reside waiting for us to go and release them. The ascent represents the activation of a virtue for each chakra as we travel from the Underworld (womb) back to Heaven (crown).


For those unfamiliar with the phases of the Moon, the reason we descend when Venus is in her Morning Star phase is because Venus conjuncts (aligns) the Waning Moon which is when the Moon is growing darker. The reason we ascend when Venus is on her Evening Star phase is because Venus conjuncts the Waxing Moon, which is when the Moon is growing in light. There are usually seven Venus-Moon Conjunctions during each of her phases.


Venus-Moon Conjunction

The Venus Synodic cycle is also called the Venus cycle of Light. This cycle has been tracked since 7000 BC with the Venus tablet of Ammisaduqa. This is when she makes one orbit around the Earth that takes approximately 19 months or 1.6 years, 584 days. She begins her cycle with 9 months on the Morning Star phase rising before sunrise (heliacal rise) in the East and going through 7 or 8 Venus-Waning Moon Conjunctions or Gates of Descent (Inanna/Ishtar begins her descent to the Underworld), then she goes into the Underworld for 60-90 day when she conjuncts the Sun, called a 'Venus Superior Conjunction' (Inanna dies and then is reborn after she meets with the Sun or Source of Life) to then be reborn as the Evening Star rising after sunset in the West and lasting another 9 months in this phase where she goes through another 7 or 8 Venus-Waxing Moon Conjunctions or Gates of Ascent (Inanna/Ishtar begins her ascent back to Heaven), then going retrograde (moving backward) for 40 days and disappearing from the Evening Sky, while in the 40 day retrograde she meets the Sun for 7 or 8 days called a 'Venus Inferior Conjunction' and then emerges anew in the Morning Sky, starting a new cycle all over again with her Heliacal Rise.


Because Venus is the birthplace of the Rose Lineage, the gates can also be called "Rose Gates".


The Venus Gates in correlation to the chakras are as follow:


Venus in the Morning Star Phase/Descent (Venus conjuncts the Waning Moon)

Dance of the Seven Veils Striptease/Disrobing


Gate 7 - Gate of Sovereignty - Crown Chakra

Gate 6 - Gate of Perception - Third Eye Chakra

Gate 5 - Gate of Communication - Throat chakra

Gate 4 - Gate of Love - Heart Chakra

Gate 3 - Gate of Power - Solar/Lunar Plexus Chakra

Gate 2 - Gate of Creativity/Sexuality- Sacral Chakra

Gate 1 - Gate of Life - Root Chakra


Here we are called to release and sacrifice a shadow related to each chakra when Venus conjuncts the Moon in that specific Gate.


Venus in the Evening Star Phase/Ascent (Venus conjuncts the Waxing Moon)

Dance of the Seven Veils Rebirth


Gate 1 - Gate of Life - Root Chakra

Gate 2 - Gate of Creativity/Sexuality - Sacral Chakra

Gate 3 - Gate of Power - Solar/Lunar Plexus Chakra

Gate 4 - Gate of Love - Heart Chakra

Gate 5 - Gate of Communication - Throat Chakra

Gate 6 - Gate of Perception - Third Eye Chakra

Gate 7 - Gate of Sovereignty


Here we are called to reclaim and activate a virtue related to each chakra when Venus conjuncts the Moon in that specific Gate.

Human Chakras "Gates"

The myth of Inanna and the movement of Venus in the sky also refer to her dual nature of Warrioress and Lover. In Sumerian Mythology the Morning Star Phase is the "Warrior" and the Evening Star Phase is the "Lover". We all have both these aspects within us and they are not aspects that go against each other because the Warrior fights for what she/he loves as a way of protecting. The Lover and the Warrior are two sides of the same coin.


Venus is a relating Goddess, she is all about communion and relationship with Self and other. Her phases and cycles mirror our faces and cycles, as we move from being seen into hiding from time to time.


Her sky movements and the myth of Inanna are a perfect laid out map and guide for us to do our inner work, helping us transform ourselves into a being with a greater capacity for Love. Her myth and cycle are a reassurance that when it is most dark is because we are transforming into a greater, more realized being. Venus is the perfect guide in the Feminine Path, whether man or woman. We can all use more Venusian healing feminine energy.


May her descent serve as a Sacred Striptease for you to disrobe and release the old, and her ascent serve as the opportunity for you to Rise and be Reborn as you live out your very own Myth.



In Love,

Sofia Magdalene Rose

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