The ancient Sumerian legend of Inanna* guides us ceremonially through the cycle of Venus as we experience the shamanic journey of release, renewal and re-empowerment. In surrendering, trusting and letting go of who we thought we were, we create a new, more empowered sense of self. We accept and love ourselves for who we are and activate our inner strength and beauty.
Follow the story and the cycle of Venus month-by-month to release what is no longer serving you and to be reborn into a new, more empowered you!
The Ancient Legend of Inanna, the Queen of Heaven and Earth
Inanna is Invited to Enter the Underworld
Inanna (Venus), the Queen of Heaven and Earth, receives an invitation to go into the Underworld to attend the funeral of the husband of her sister, Erishkigal, who is the Queen of the Underworld. [Venus rises as “morning star” and is at the brightest point in her synodic cycle.] In preparation for her journey, she dresses in her full Goddess ceremonial regalia, and before leaving, she instructs her servant, Ninshubur (Mercury), to petition the gods to save her should anything go wrong. [Venus retrograde]
Inanna Begins Her Journey
Inanna sets out on her journey through the gates to descend into the Underworld [The conjunctions of the Moon and Venus as morning star]. Soon she meets the gatekeeper, who has been instructed by Erishkigal to tell Inanna that she must surrender something representing an element of her power at each of the gates in order to pass through on her journey.
Inanna Passes through the Gates
[The Moon and Venus together in the morning sky: the 7 or 8 conjunctions with the Moon.]
At the first gate, called the Gate of Authority, [representing the violet, seventh chakra,] Inanna gives up her crown, symbolizing the surrender of the blocks to her connection to heaven, to her spiritual self and to her divine Goddess Light.
At the second gate, called the Gate of Perception, [representing the indigo, sixth chakra,] she gives up her lapis earrings and her royal staff, symbolizing the surrender of any blocks to her spiritual vision and her ability to manifest spirit into matter.
At the third gate, called the Gate of Communication, [representing the blue, fifth chakra,] she gives up her double-stranded, lapis beaded necklace, symbolizing surrendering all the ways she has not spoken the truth or been authentic or true to her own self.
At the fourth gate, the Gate of Compassion, [representing the green, fourth chakra,] she gives up her breastplate, symbolizing the surrender of being disconnected from her emotional heart and the release of all the ways she no longer truly loves herself.
At the fifth gate, called the Gate of Personal Power, [representing the yellow, third chakra,] she gives up her ring of power and the golden hip girdle from her waist, symbolizing the release of the ways she may have tried to have power over others or given her power away.
At the sixth gate, called the Gate of Creativity [representing the orange, second chakra], she gives up her ankle bracelets, symbolizing the surrender of all the ways she no longer loves or values herself.
At the seventh gate, called the Gate of Manifestation, [representing the red, first chakra], she gives up her royal robe, or “garment of ladyship”, symbolizing the surrender of her life force.
Finally, at the eighth gate, called the Gate of Death by Intent, [may be represented by an additional, visible conjunction with the Moon], she reaches the Underworld, naked and stripped of all her power and anything no longer serving her and she surrenders her life force.
Inanna Meets her Sister in the Underworld
In the Underworld, Inanna meets her sister, Erishkigal, who kills her and hangs her body on a hook. [Venus disappears from the morning sky and spends 60-90 days behind the Sun, meeting with the Sun, the Source of all life.] Inanna’s spirit remains in the Underworld as she dies to her old self and meets with the Source, preparing to be reborn.
Meanwhile, Inanna’s servant, Ninshubar, knows that something has gone wrong, so he sends two emissaries to rescue Inanna from the Underworld. They begin by healing the pain and anger of the dark sister, Erishkigal [integrating Venus' shadow self], and they revive Inanna by giving her the water and food of life.
Inanna Ascends from the Underworld
Inanna begins her ascension from the Underworld back through the seven gates collecting her vestments, symbolizing her progressive rebirth and re-empowerment. [Venus rises as “evening star.“] Though she is weakened from her experience in the Underworld, she re-empowers herself as she does the journey and gains strength and brightness at each of the gates. [Venus as evening star is farthest from the Earth, yet gets progressively brighter.]
At the first gate, called the Gate of Manifestation, [representing the red, first chakra], she retrieves her royal robe, or garment of ladyship, reclaiming her life force and the healthy expression of her beingness.
At the second gate, called the Gate of Creativity, [representing the orange, second chakra], she retrieves her ankle bracelets, symbolizing a renewed sense of her own value and self worth.
At the third gate, called the Gate of Personal Power, [representing the yellow, third chakra], she retrieves her ring of power and golden hip girdle and reclaims her personal power.
At the fourth gate, called the Gate of Compassion, [representing the green, fourth chakra,] she retrieves her breastplate, symbolizing the healing of her emotional heart and her renewed ability to truly love herself and thus love others.
At the fifth gate, called the Gate of Communication, [representing the blue, fifth chakra,] she retrieves her double-stranded, beaded necklace, reclaiming the healthy, authentic communication of her true self.
At the sixth gate, called the Gate of Perception, [representing the indigo, sixth chakra,] she retrieves her lapis earrings and her royal staff and reclaims her spiritual vision and her ability to manifest spirit into matter.
At the seventh gate, called the Gate of Authority, [representing the violet, seventh chakra,] she retrieves her crown, symbolizing her reconnection to heaven, her spiritual self and her divine Goddess Light.
At the eighth gate, called the Gate of Ascension, representing the 8th, blue/green chakra, she completes her ascension and reclaims her role as Goddess Light and Queen of Heaven and Earth.
At the end of the cycle, Venus stations retrograde for 40 days. She disappears from the evening sky, returning to the Source Light of the Sun for 7-8 days and then re-appears in the morning sky, beginning her new cycle.
Inanna’s Shamanic Journey of Death and Re-birth
In her shamanic journey into and out of the Underworld, Inanna releases all her shadow parts and all the ways that she ever doubted or misused her true, Goddess Self. In her passage through the gates, she surrenders all of her power and dies to who she believed that she was, creating her own shamanic death and rebirth, unifying all parts of the Self, including her “shadow self”. At the end of her journey, she has re-empowered herself with the wisdom gained through her experiences and her journey into the pain and darkness of the Underworld.
*The story of Inanna is summarized from the Sumerian legend as told in "Inanna: Queen of Heaven and Earth ©1983 by Diane Wolkstein and Samuel Noah Kramer, Harper & Row publishers.
* Mahalo to Daniel Giamario and Cayelin Castell, co-founders of the Shamanic Astrology Mystery School for their research of the ancient wisdom of the Venus cycle.
Discover more about the Venus Cycle, your own personal Venus expression and your Lemurian Goddess Light in a Personal Lemurian Goddess reading!
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Karinna Nielsen is a spiritual channel and purveyor of ancient Lemurian wisdom. She is a certified practitioner and the lead facilitator for the Signature Cell Healing® International workshops and online courses. Her channeled articles are a regular feature in the Sedona Journal of Emergence. Karinna is passionate about guiding others to explore healing through the wisdom and practices of the ancient Lemurians.
Photo of Karinna, mahalo: Alison Hayashi