Aphrodite Pandemos, Aphrodite Urania

Plato talks about two aspects of Aphrodite.

Aphrodite Pandemos: Love for everyone. Common love. On the physical plane, pertaining to sexual attraction.

Aphrodite Urania: Queen of Heaven. The celestial aspect of the Goddess, transcendental, spiritual, eternal.

It is very interesting to observe two aspects of Venus in astrology. Venus may mean love as it is, sensuality, pleasures; the good feelings we get via the five senses. In some cases, Venus plays a spiritual role. It is surprising to our modem minds that Venus can be the significator of spirituality and spiritual awakening, but she is.

Charts with a special emphasis on 4-8-12 houses may be more inclined to host Aphrodite Urania. If we have a chart which is focused on the joys and pleasures, toil and trouble of the Earthly realm, chances for a celestial goddess to shine forth is less in such a chart, so Aphrodite Pandemos will step forward brining lovers, money, riches and earthly pleasures. It can be both, too! 😉

 

 

Blessings,

Begüm

What is a Mercury Retrograde and How to Wield it

Mercury retrogrades perhaps are the most discussed topics in popular astrology. For all to know, no planet moves retrograde yet we, the innocent observers on Earth, only see them move backwards in the Heavens due to the exquisite mandalas their orbits weave  around the Earth.

Star of Hermes (Mercury) is the indicator of Mind and Thought. Hermes is the Messenger of the Gods and the Guide of Souls. Hermes, as the psychopomp he is, can travel from Olympus down into the world of humans and then down into the dark and cold Hades. Thus he carries messages between the Worlds.

Mercury goes retrograde twice or thrice in a year. It takes 24 days each time. When the Star of Hermes seems to be moving backwards, we say Hermes visits the Underworld, that is, Hades. It is time to find that which is forgotten. It is a time our mind moves inwards, we walk down into the depths of our Soul where we find our buried treasures.

Underworld, Inferno, Unconscious. Here in the dark lurks things forgotten, long lost and forgotten. This is a dungeon where we locked up our most unsuitable desires. Here are ghosts of the moments when our hearts broke. Here you hear the haunting howls: “we will not accept you unless you do this for us”. Your forgotten talents, your forgotten loves, your forgotten Self, Soul lies here.

During this 24 days, walk we into the Night to face our fears, to face what we have so long been hiding from our own sight. Now we can see in the dark.

It is a great time to work with our mind. It is a great time to uncover our conditionings. It is a time to make the Unconscious conscious. All the inner work, meditation, spontaneous writing and observing our mind and life can be more beneficial then usual. That is how we move forward in life, by cleansing our closet.

We get rid of that which no longer serves our Purpose so that we can re-grow better.

 

 

The Lament of the Soul 


“Turn to me with your whole heart
Do not spurn me
Because I am weak and black.
The depths have hidden my face.
Because I am held fast
In the mire of the deep
And my essence is not revealed
I cried out of the depths;
And from the abysses of the earth
Doth my voice speak to you.”

Aurora Consurgens, quoted by C.G. Jung ETH, Vol.VI

 

 

 

Blessings,

Begüm Asteria

November 2018

Istanbul

Venus Retrograde 2018: The Mirror of Prometheus

This autumn Venus will start moving retrograde in the Sky. On October 6th, she will station in the sign of Scorpio and she will step back into her Queendom, Libra. She will be moving retrograde for 40 days. 40 days mark a time of completion, the amount of time needed for certainty regarding birth and death. Perhaps 40 days is the time of “passage” from one realm into another.

Here in my country, 40th day of the newborn is celebrated. 40 days after one passes is also equally important.

Retrogrades of the planets are their journey into the Underworld. Venus, as Goddess Aphrodite, is known to travel to chthonic realms. She may wander on Earth and She may travel into the Underworld as well. Do you remember her looking for Adonis on Earth and through the Underworld ? She seeks for her beloved Adonis who was kept by the Goddess of the Underworld, Persephone. How do you imagine Aphrodite descending ? In her gorgeous red hair, shining beauty or clad in Shadows ? Or perhaps, as a friend reminds me, she will be wearing the Helm of Invisibility ?

In an even more ancient story related with Venus, now as the Sumerian Goddess Inanna, She descends to the Underworld right after her marriage with the Shepherd God Dumuzi. She descends into the Underworld to visit her sister Ereshkigal. Inanna is sweet, beautiful and abundant, she carries Life. Ereshkigal is her sister Death, the dark Goddess of the Underworld. During her Journey of Descension, Inanna passes through the Seven Gates. In each Gate she is required to leave a bit of herself, her persona, her identity. She leaves her glimmering garments, her Crown, her wonderful jewels… At the Seventh Gate, she is naked. Thus the Goddess enters the Underworld…

During her 40 days retrograde Venus will be descending down into the Underworld. She will shatter what is not her essence. Only her Life, her body, her core, her very essence  will be left. During the 40 days we will be shattered of old and rusty relationships. We will get rid of wrong self-image issues. We will get rid of the deep beliefs that stand between us and Love, be it Divine Love, Universal Love or just Love.

On October 26, in the middle of her retrograde period, Venus joins the Sun and becomes invisible. It is a special day when Venus is conjunct the Sun. Look for something Venusian. After joining with the Sun during the retrograde, Venus will become the Morning Star, no longer the Evening Star she was during this summer. We will be bearing a new consciousness.

Evening Star Venus is said to be the Love Goddess and Morning Star Venus to be the Warrior Goddess. Inanna is, after all, the Goddess of Love and War.

At the end of the 40 days of retrograde movement, Venus will stand still at 25 degrees of Libra in mid-November.

Inanna enters the Underworld. There, she hangs from a Tree for days. This is where she is purified completely and finds her new Strength, New Life, New Secret… Then she comes back, she is Reborn.

Venus stations direct on November 15.

Inanna leaves the Underworld and ascends through Seven Gates, moving upwards. As she ascends, she wears back her identity, her garments, her jewels, her persona and her Glory, her Crown. Venus will complete her Journey on December 17.

As soon as she arrives in the World, Inanna finds out that her husband Dumuzi was cheating on her with a mortal girl. Inanna of course gets very angry at Dumuzi but she chooses not to punish him. I leave this riddle for you.

 

I regard this Journey of Venus as a very deep energy shift. We will be exploring our depths, facing our Shadows, disappearing into our Darkness and come back reborn. It is up to us whether we would like to take the Journey with Venus. The gift may just be Forgiveness, as Inanna’s story indicates.

During her Journey, Venus, just like Divine Io herself, will encounter Uranus, Prometheus, twice. Venus will hold her mirror into the face of Prometheus who is bound to the cliffs right in between the realms of Aries and Taurus. This means that we might have more than one surprise on the collective level and also on the personal level regarding Venus issues. It is hard to guess what will come out of Pandora’s Box, after all Pandora is another female figure related to Prometheus.

 

pandora

 

This looks like an interesting autumn for us all. A time to remember and I hope this Journey will help us open our Hearts more, love more and be loved more. Venus rules all relationships, our relationship with ourselves, friends and partners. Let us look for the day her Glory will be restored and let her be our guide down into our own Shadow, our own Underworld where the secrets and Pluton (Wealth – sometimes inner wealth) lie.

 

 

With Love and Blessings,

Begüm Asteria

Istanbul

September 2018

Philoctetes and the Great Healer at Troy

The Iliad is the epic of Ilios, the modern western Turkey. Yet the Iliad tells us of the long lasting war in Ilios, around Troy and Troy gets destroyed at the end of the Iliad. This used to confuse me. Homeros himself was also from Illios, why did he write an epic on the destruction of his land ?

Today a very wise woman has told me that the Iliad was about the deeds of the people who later get punished for waging war against and destroying Troy. That is why the Iliad is read together with Odessey. Odessus gets lost in the seas, rowing from one island to the other; Agamemnon gets murdered by his wife and her lover only to be revenged by his son Orestes and mourned eternally by his daughter Electra.

One of those who fought at Troy and was in turn punished for it was Philoctetes. He was already renowned for he was bestowed Heracles’ bow and arrows that never miss. During a battle, Philoctetes was wounded at his leg. His wound never healed, even caught infection. No ointment, no cure, nothing ever worked for him. It worsened each day. It also had a horrible smell, it was very hard to stand this smell so people began to shy away from him. On his homeward voyage Philoctetes anchored his ship at the thyme and olive rich island of Lemnos. He ordered his crew to land on this island for hunting meat to keep them for the journey. His crew tricked Philoktetes for they wanted to get rid of him. The smell from his wound was so bad that they all decided to forsake him on the island all alone. They left in secret and all that Philoctetes could see was his ship leaving the shore…

Heracles’ magic bow and arrows helped him to survive all his days on Lemnos. Yet his wound and infection worsened and worsened… He did not die but he lived with it. He lived with the pain and smell.

Over the course of years his wound turned so bad that its smell could be felt from distance. Ships had to change their routes and avoid the winds from Lemnos for they carried the smell of Philoctetes’ unhealing wound.

It was never forgotten that Philoctetes carried Heracles’ magic bow and arrows. Fetching them from a dying man was an attractive idea. Yet even the desire to own such great weapons was not enough to drive men closer to the island for they always, always turned away from the smell. No one could stand it.

On a warm summer day, a ship approached Lemnos. Its prov was braving the waves and its sails loved Lodos, the south-east winds. There was a band of determined theives coming to steal Hereacles’ weapons. As they neared Lemnos, the smell got worse and worse… They withdrew one by one. At last they forced their youngest for the task. Poor boy he had no choice. He pressed rag to his face and took the small boat and landed on the golden sands at Lemnos. The smell was utterly unbearable on the island… yet the boy looked for Philoctetes. The boy roamed the island for three days and nights. At last he found the old dying man lying under a great olive tree. Philoctetes was lying there all alone, in pain. Something stirred the boy’s heart, he forgot about the bow and arrows. The smell was still present but he did not mind it. He ran to a stream to fetch water for Philoktetes. The old man drank. Then the boy carried him to the small boat and together they sailed for the Great Healer Aesclepius at Troy.

The reason Philoctete’s wound never healed itself was the guilt of his deeds at Troy. He was guilty and the gods (his consciousness and unconscious) knew it. It is guilt that blocks our own healing mechanisms so the wound never heals and it gets even worse. It is guilt that makes life and growth impossible for us. It is guilt that isolates us from the world. Once another person joins the scene and witnesses our pain and lets us make a connection with the rest of the world, healing may begin. Philoctetes’ healing lies where his guilty deeds were.

Ilmarinen the Eternal Hammerer

This article is about the Inventor Archetype, the Maker. In all mythologies of the world we see this character. A God or mortal who makes things at his forge. This is related to technology and humans’ gained ability to work with metals.

Power belts, magic rings, swords that never miss… Magic helmets, chains that never break and even melting down a whole mountain… This is the power of the Maker.

Ilmarinen is a god in the Finnish epic Kalevala. Kalevala is the oral folklore and mythology tradition of the Fins. It is the great tale of the heroes of Kalevala against the evil forces from Pohjola. It also tells us about the creation of the world.

In Kalevala, among many characters today we will focus on Ilmarinen. He is the blacksmith, the maker, the inventor. He allies the metals at his forge with an essence of magic and this magic is his intuition. He even makes wife of gold for himself.

It is interesting that in Greek Mythology, Hephaestus’ wife is sometimes called “Golden Aphrodite”. Hephaestus is also the blacksmith, the inventor. His symbols are hammer, anvil and thongs. Hephaestus is the god of technology, he is the tool maker.

Greek word “techne” means “small boat.” Thus techne-logia is knowledge of small boat. It is the knowledge of how to make a tool or item. It is the knowledge of invention and invention relies on intuition. Technology is the sum of skills, craft and practical tricks that pass from the master to the apprentice for generations.

What is the inventor archetype ?

The inventor creates things of endurable value. I met a few people with strong inventor instinct when I worked at a computer company. You will find them were technology is. It is always fascinating to see how an archetype manifests itself through people in countless ways. People who come up with solutions, people who just can’t ignore a broken item and make sure they fix it, people who create and enhance the use of tools… The inventor archetype is also manifest in artists for it is about creating.

Intuition is what makes us invent the new. Without intuition and imagination we would only be repeating what we already have, as the mass-producing modern economy entails. The inventor is a very powerful archetype for it enables us to create technology. It is the primary urge within us to invent tools. Until the nineteenth century, the Inventor more or less worked for humanity’s survival. Today we have a great threat by him for the tools we use are no longer helping us to survive but putting us slowly but surely in danger.

When guided with love and wisdom, the Inventor creates wonders. He is our card to play if we want to be free of the bonds that bind us. To allow more creativity into your life, you need to find and nurture your Inner Maker Give him some tools, give him some raw material. This raw material can also be your self. Let him use his hammer with great artistry and create a masterpiece out of you and your life.

Andromeda the Chained Woman

Archetypes come to us only when we are ready to embody them. In our personal journey, we might currently be embodying the archetype of The Fool or The Great Mother or any other archetype. It is a highly personal process. Yet with conscious work we can realize what archetypes we currently embody and enable ourselves pass the thresholds easier and quicker. Which character of the Greek mythology are you right now in your life ? If you are feeling stuck, perhaps it is time to understand this character, learn his lesson and pass through the threshold and transition before you. Are you ready to embark upon a lively, meaningful life where you walk amongst Gods and Heroes ?

Andromeda is the woman who suffers her mother’s hubris and unfulfilled desire to be better than everyone else, a narcissistic desire.

Her mother’s comparisons, unrealistic expectations and unhealthy view of Andromeda ends up having the maiden chained to the rocks by the storming seas. There comes a great resistance, or, rather a great force into the scene. The Sea-Monster Cetus rises from the depths of the wine dark sea and curls its oily body around the rocks where the chained maiden dwells.

Gustave_Doré_Andromeda

Andromeda is robbed of her own life due her mother’s complexes. She is the young woman who stays where she is put, haunted by the depressing thoughts and feelings from the dark depths. She is constantly under the vigilance of her own monster from the Unconcious waters. Cetus is her power turned against her. When we do not let our energy into the world, it turns around and sabotages us back. All oppressed desires and energy will come back in the form of horrible things.

Andromeda is the chained woman. What will happen to her ? Is she going to rot where she is ? Are the sea-birds going to hunt on her ? What will become of her ? How does she break free and become the “ruler of men” she is destined to be.

I call our hero, Perseus as the accomplished masculine. He already has completed deeds, he has archetypal gifts and support (Helm of Hades, Shield of Athena…). He is already a hero, his mettle has been tested and he passed through the tests. Now it is time for him to become a ruler, too. Perseus gains consciousness in his former adventures, he completed his own quests and now he is coming to conjunct with his female part.

It is interesting that Andromeda stays chained, suffering her mother’s unlived life as Perseus accomplishes that much. These two figures give us clues about the parts of the self. Conscious and the Unconscious.

Perseus is the conscious, the masculine part. He accepts his gifts, interacts with others, competes, defeats his monsters and releases a Pegasus into the winds. He is loved, cherished and supported by the Olympians. He is gifted. He is the male principle, the Consciousness.

Whereas Andromeda stays chained, slowly paying back her mother’s unsatisfied, unlived, unaccomplished life. She is the victim. Yet Andromeda is her name, ruler of men.

After the unification of Perseus (Consciousness) and Andromeda (Unconscious), can the Self emerge as a ruler, no longer a victim or a roaming hero but a King/Queen to build a house, kingdom for the future.

Until the inner-masculine (Perseus in our story) arrives, the woman stays as a victim. She is paralyzed and enslaved without her inner man. Only after the arrival of inner-masculine, the blocking elements from the Unconscious (Sea-Monster Cetus) can be handled and lifted.

The Masculine breaks the chains of the Feminine. He defeats the Sea-Monster, the Dragon that has been keeping us a prisoner for too long.

What keeps us in this victim stance ? It can be unrealistic expectations from our family. For women it is sometimes unfulfilled desires of the mothers. We are all chained down watched over by the strict rules of the society. Over-culture is a life-draining monster.

Women with rather weak Masculine qualities are the people pleasers, passive, empty, non-creative people with little reason or knowledge.No mistake, we all start out this way. Yet on the Journey, we get to let our Masculine side grow and acquire his own accomplishments and finally free us of our chains.

If you feel there is a similarity between Andromeda and your current situation it is recommended that you dig out your inner masculine. Find him, in whatever condition he might be. Birth him. Nurture him. Mother him. He will grow to be a hero, your hero.

As a small starting step I recommend practicing this small exercise:

Write down all the masculine images that stayed with you. This can be images from art, movies, books… make a long list and try to see what you have.

I used to be an Andromeda. Bound to the shores of the Unconscious due external issues and circumstances. This is not our fate but just a page in our story book. Every woman has her Perseus inside. Your inner-Perseus, inner-Masculine can be hidden, forgotten and slipped down to Unconscious, like a great antique city that lurks at the bottom of the Sea. It is my duty to guide you through your Darkness to find him and bring him to your daily life where he will liberate and empower you.