The Astrology of 2022: Venus as the Goddess Inanna

The Astrology of 2022: Venus as the Goddess Inanna

I wanted to try something a little different for my annual forecast this year. Initially I planned to do the usual tour through the 12 months and talk about the big transits in chronological order. But I did that last year, and that’s what everyone does.

My process for looking at the astrology of a whole year is very nonlinear. I use the animate chart feature in Solar Fire and spend hours going backwards and forwards in time, tracking the movement of certain planets until another one catches my eye; then I follow that one, and then another, and then I’m back to the first, and so on. It’s very intuitive and flow-y – and super inefficient – but it’s also fun to see what emerges in the process.

As I was working through this for 2022, I decided to write about the upcoming space weather on a planet-by-planet basis. There are some overlaps, of course, because the planets are always interacting with one another. But this year apparently the planets wanted me to feature each of them in their own post, so here you go!

I’m starting with Venus, because she is about to station retrograde here at the end of 2021 and that’s the first big piece of space weather going into the New Year. Also, I’m Taurus rising with a Libra Moon, so I have a particular fondness for the laughter-loving queen.

NOTE: All times below are in Mountain Time (MT).

Venus, as taken by the Mariner 10 spacecraft on its way to Mercury.
NASA/JPL-Caltech, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Venus starts 2022 in a tough spot: retrograde, near Pluto, and in the cold stone hallways of Capricorn. On December 19, 2021 she stationed retrograde and was forced to turn around and walk backwards for the next six weeks, with Pluto standing impassively before her all the while, fixing her with his metamorphic gaze.

This transit feels very much like the Descent of Inanna myth, the first few lines of which I’ll share here:

“From the Great Above she set her mind toward the Great Below,
The goddess, from the Great Above she set her mind toward the Great Below,
Inanna, from the Great Above she set her mind toward the Great Below.

My lady abandoned heaven, abandoned earth,
To the nether world she descended,
Inanna abandoned heaven, abandoned earth,
To the nether world she descended,
Abandoned lordship, abandoned ladyship, 
To the nether world she descended.”

As Inanna descends into the Underworld, she is stripped of her royal garments and jewellery. Once there, she is struck dead by her sister Ereshkigal and is later resurrected by the working of Father Enki, with the help of Inanna’s faithful servant, Ninshubur.

It’s easy to draw comparisons between this myth and Venus’ retrograde motion, especially this particular one as it is conjunct Pluto – a literal Underworld god. When a planet is retrograde it is considered weakened; its usual powers and significations are stripped away. Venus, the planet of beauty, adornment, unity and temperance, is thus rendered naked and unadorned, her imperfections up for scrutiny; she’s prone to intemperance and discord. Pluto’s influence ensures this will be a particularly transformative journey, one that will leave a mark and perhaps demand a sacrifice – just as was the case for Inanna.

However, just as Inanna eventually returns to the land of the living, so too does Venus station direct – on January 29 at 11 Capricorn. Revivified, she begins slowly making her way back through the rest of Capricorn once again.

Queen of the Night (The Burney Relief) – British Museum
Andres Rueda, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The day of Venus’ direct station is quite an intense day for space weather. There’s a huge Capricorn stellium that starts in the early hours of January 29, when the Moon ingresses Capricorn, through to the 30th until the Moon enters Aquarius. On these two days, five planets are in Capricorn: Moon, Mars, Venus (stationing direct), Mercury (retrograde) and Pluto. Oh, and the Moon and Mars are also out-of-bounds at this time. Even outside this two-day range, there’s quite a heavy emphasis on Capricorn with four planets there from late January through mid-February.

So, 2022 begins with a lot of very heavy Capricorn energy. This recalls the Capricorn Singularity (as I like to call it) that Pluto has been opening up there since 2008. It reminds us of the 2020 Saturn-Pluto conjunction, which happened at 22 Capricorn on January 12, 2020 – a degree that Venus will pass over three times throughout her retrograde cycle.

Capricorn represents the various structures of our world – government, financial, military. Upon Pluto’s ingress into Capricorn in 2008-09, we got the global financial crisis and ensuing recession, the invention of Bitcoin, the swine flu pandemic, and the escalation of the War in Afghanistan.

Now that Pluto is traversing the last few degrees of Capricorn, we see how these themes are being repeated and intensified: the 2020 stock market crash followed by runaway inflation, the surge in price and popularity of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, the COVID-19 pandemic and the end of the War in Afghanistan with the fall of Kabul.

Through the first two months of 2022, Venus explores these themes for herself. She cannot stop Pluto’s merciless transformations of these areas; instead, she bears witness. Fused with alchemical Plutonian energy, as Venus journeys through this part of the zodiac she plants seeds that will manifest much later. The Venusian areas of life – relationships, art, entertainment, children – will grow into a testament of this period in history.

Few read actual history books as a means of remembering the past. Instead, we watch movies, listen to music, read novels, talk to our family and friends. We do not know what is was really like to live in ancient Sumer. But we know the Descent of Inanna myth, all these millennia later, and its themes, imagery and mysteries have become irrevocably intertwined into our cultural mythos.

The Fate of Persephone (1877) by Walter Crane.
Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Venus will be dogged by Mars as she retraces her steps back through Capricorn over the course of February 2022. The red planet finally catches up to her on February 16 to form an exact conjunction. Not to be outdone, Venus pursues Mars as she begins to speed up after her plodding retrograde pace, chasing him down for another exact conjunction on March 5. This second conjunction occurs at the absolute very end of Capricorn – literally at 29 degrees, 59 minutes. The duo links arms and steps into Aquarius simultaneously, just before midnight on March 5, only 7 minutes apart from one another.

So Venus is not alone as she completes her transformative retrograde journey. This reminds me of the Underworld demons who clung to Inanna as she returned to the Great Above.

What this might translate to, in your own life, is the sensation – whether actual or imagined – of being pursued, followed or otherwise accompanied by people who were involved with your Venus retrograde story over the last six weeks. You may welcome their companionship, or you may feel claustrophobic – like you just need some damn alone time to process everything. But these companions have a purpose, pleasant or unpleasant though they may be.

The Venus and Mars conjunctions also fit within another Inanna myth: The Courtship of Inanna and Dumuzi. This one is quite erotic and contains archetypal Venus-Mars themes of seduction, passion, sex, union and marriage.

If your Venus retrograde experience involved hooking up with someone (which is a pretty classic thing to happen during a VenusRet – bonus points if it’s with an ex), there might be a period afterwards where one or both parties spend some time pursuing the other. Mars chasing Venus, and then Venus chasing Mars, across the zodiac reads pretty literally as lovers pursuing one another.

Mars-Venus conjunctions can be good for productivity, especially in any creative fields. They can also be good for relationships and sparking passion among partners. But they can also bring conflict to relationships, so bear that in mind. As I wrote in my December 2021 forecast, because of the recent Venus retrograde being conjunct Pluto, it can bring up some heavy or dark themes. I wish you all the fun, sexy times of the Venus-Mars combination, and none of the darker manifestations.

Mars & Venus, Allegory of Peace (1770) by Louis-Jean-François Lagrenée.
Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Things start to look a lot more easy-going for Venus on April 5 when she enters Pisces, the sign of her exaltation. At this time, Jupiter is conjunct Neptune. This should bring pretty good vibes; there’s also an exact Sun-Mars conjunction in Aquarius this day. That could be really good for getting shit done, or maybe just feeling really great about yourself and on top of your game.

The rest of April should feel similarly nice, particularly in the Venus-ruled parts of your chart. Near the end of Venus’ trip through Pisces, we get the first eclipse of 2022: a solar eclipse at 10 Taurus on April 30. Venus will be in an extremely close conjunction with Jupiter at this time – only two minutes of arc apart. With the eclipse falling in her sign, this might bring some unexpectedness to what should otherwise be a very auspicious transit.

As 2022 progresses, Venus will encounter the usual ups and downs on her trip through the zodiac. From May 2 to May 28 she is in Aries. This might be a slightly more difficult time for all the Venus aspects of your life, since this is the sign of her detriment, opposite the sign of Libra which she rules. She perks back up when she enters Taurus – the other sign she rules – on May 28. However, there’s a stellium of planets in Taurus then – and all the eclipses in 2022 fall along the Taurus-Scorpio axis – so the trip through her own domicile will not be a quiet one.

“Taurus” (1825). Plate 17 in Urania’s Mirror, a set of celestial cards accompanied by A familiar treatise on astronomy by Jehoshaphat Aspin.
Sidney Hall, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

In keeping with the comparison of Venus to Inanna, I felt that the myth of Inanna and the Huluppu Tree resonates with Venus’ transit through Taurus in 2022. In this myth, the father god Enki plants the Huluppu tree by the banks of the Euphrates River, but then a storm washes it away. Inanna plucks the tree from the river and tends it, but then a trio of unpleasant creatures take it over: a serpent who could not be charmed makes its nest in the tree’s roots; the Anzu-bird makes a nest for its young in the branches; and the dark maid Lilith builds her home in the trunk. Inanna weeps and begs for help from various people, until her brother Gilgamesh shows up, kills the serpent, and scares away the Anzu-bird and Lilith.

Venus ingresses Taurus on May 28. A few other planets are in Taurus then: the Moon and Uranus will form an exact conjunction at 16 Taurus, Mercury is retrograde at 27 degrees, and the North Node is at 21 Taurus. Venus rules Taurus so she is strong here, but she’s got a lot of cleaning up to do with retrograde Mercury in her house as well as chaotic Uranus constantly shaking things up.

You can think of Uranus as the storm that washes the Huluppu Tree down the river, and the Moon as the nurturing of Inanna tending to the tree. The North Node’s influence could signify the annoying creatures that mess up the tree, as they signify the eclipses that are happening along the Taurus-Scorpio axis throughout 2022 and are constantly shaking things up in this area. Retrograde Mercury could be Inanna’s attempts to find someone to help her out – which isn’t straightforward; she has to petition a few different people before Gilgamesh steps up.

I’m hoping that Venus will exert a temperate, balancing effect over Uranus as she transits her sign throughout the end of May and most of June. Hopefully she’ll also have a bit of balancing effect on retrograde Mercury as well.

Remember the myth of the Huluppu Tree during this period of 2022, from May 28 to June 22, especially if the things that you were tending around this time suddenly go awry. You will find help in dealing with these issues, but you might have to ask a few times or look in different places.

Krishna and Radha under a Tree in a Storm (c. 1780-1840); artist unknown.
Brooklyn Museum, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Venus ingresses Leo on August 11 which puts her into a sign-based T-square with Uranus in Taurus and Saturn in Aquarius. Because that square between Uranus and Saturn is in effect all year, any planets in fixed signs will be in hard aspect (or conjunction) with those two planets. So, pay attention to all the transits (not just Venus’) through fixed signs in 2022.

Venus ingresses her domicile of Libra on September 29 and remains there through October 23. By this time, Jupiter has ingressed Aries and so the two will be in a fairly close opposition. The two benefics staring each other down across the zodiac makes me think of Inanna and the God of Wisdom. In this myth, Inanna gets drunk with the father god Enki, who proceeds to bestow upon Venus all her gifts.

The myth is basically a laundry list of all Inanna’s attributes and significations, many of which are the same as those assigned to Venus in the ancient astrological texts. This is unsurprising, given the influence that the figure of Inanna had over other deities that came later, including Venus/Aphrodite. In the opposition between Venus and Jupiter, we have Jupiter playing the role of the father god Enki, bestowing many virtues upon Venus, who plays the role of Inanna. This is a great time to think about the source of your own virtues and the many attributes you possess – and come up with a plan to obtain the ones you still desire.

Venus spends the second half of her trip through Libra quite close to the Sun, and is therefore combust most of the time. Because Venus is in the sign of the scales, this may present itself as a tough choice to make.

Venus returns to Capricorn, the sign in which she started the year, on December 10. She makes it to 27 Capricorn by the end of the month, bringing her exactly into conjunction with Pluto again. Thus, Venus has come full circle and revisits the place where she began this journey: Inanna has re-entered the Underworld. This time, however, Venus isn’t retrograde and is thus in a much stronger position. This would be a wonderful time for recapitulation exercises, especially if you had a tough experience in early 2022.

Think back on the Venusian seeds that were planted early in the year, when Venus made her way through Capricorn. Have they started growing yet? Do they need more time to be nurtured?

Roots (1943) by Frida Kahlo.

If you’d like to connect with Venus as Inanna, here is a morning prayer that you can use. This is excerpted from Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth: Her Stories and Hymns from Sumer by Diane Wolkstein. This would be best recited right around dawn, especially when Venus is visible in her morning star phase. In 2022, Venus is a morning star for most of the year, from about mid February through September, so you have a lot of time to work with this prayer.

Morning Prayer to Inanna
My Lady looks in sweet wonder from heaven.
The people of Sumer parade before the holy Inanna.
Inanna, the Lady of the Morning, is radiant.
I sing your praises, holy Inanna.
The Lady of the Morning is radiant on the horizon.

If you really want to step up your Inanna/Venus devotion, I recommend reciting The Adoration of Inanna of Ur, which is a poem written by Enheduanna – high priestess of Inanna, daughter of Sargon I of Akkad, and the world’s first-known poet.

I will not post the full text here because it is very long, but you can find the full text at this link.

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