The Shadow and the Light

I have been keeping a personal Venus Journal since the last Venus Cycle began on November 4, 2010 as a way to keep track of my personal age 56 eight year synodic Venus Return Cycle. (The cycle lasts about a year and a half so even though I won’t be 56 until next March, the cycle began for me in November.) The  journal I am keeping  is one of the ways I ceremonially connect to each phase of the Venus cycle as it happens.

So for example, most of my journal entries have been around each Venus gate as she was entering the underworld, though sometimes I have had experiences, insights or aha’s that weren’t connected to a Venus Gate or other special Venus Timing but I felt they were related to the cycle so I have been tracking those as well.

During the Venus gates I have been journaling my impressions as well as writing down images  and symbols as I get them. I am just letting them be what they are without too much analysis. Eventually I imagine weaving the entire Venus journey together into a deeper understanding of what this current cycle is about for me personally. Re-reading some of the entries recently I could already see some synchronicities that I hadn’t seen before.

I feel inspired to share about an experience I had during the Venus underworld phase of her  journey. As I write this Venus is conjunct the Moon and very close to the Sun during a Leo New Moon (July 30, 2011). My intent is to share more about this entire Venus process in either future writings or future audios as a way to inspire others to ceremonially engage the Venus cycle…especially a personal Venus Return…as it can provide a way to powerfully connect to the transformational potency of this synodic cycle.

The thing to know about Venus in her underworld phase is she is actually traveling with the Sun. The transformative light of the Sun is illuminating the shadow places where we may be in judgment of ourselves. On the morning of the Leo New Moon conjunct Venus I woke up to a rampage of judgmental thoughts criticizing me for a host of things including my father’s voice of ‘you are lazy, good for nothing and will never amount to anything’ because of course I could be doing better at taking care of myself, I could be working harder at furthering what I do in the world and what about all those incomplete projects and a host of other thoughts about generally just not being good enough. My inner critic was relentlessly doing its job of reminding me of where I feel most inadequate.

Interestingly in a moment of clarity that came from some unknown deep inner place, I just said “Enough, stop, no more! I am not listening to this now.”  (or ever…I hope.) And I think my inner critic or judge was so surprised the run-away critical thought train stopped immediately. I was simultaneously surprised and thrilled. It was so easy to stop it that I am still in awe.

As I was journaling about it later I realized this was a significant experience in my underworld journey facing a part of myself that is ready to transform. An image of the inner critic, or judge, appeared in my mind’s eye, and I saw that aspect of myself stepping into an unknown void or shamanic death process. I could see the swirling colors of what seemed like atoms and molecules rearranging themselves into a gentler, kinder expression.

In a way it feels similar to the meditation practices that describe letting go of everything – including what we judge in ourselves and others. It was a flash point in my personal timeline where I stopped trying to fix me and accepted myself exactly as I WAS creating a BIG assemblage point shift. Suddenly I was in a space of not trying to figure it out, not working at it, not pushing that stone up the hill, and definitely not fixing it or fixating on it. This created huge relief through a moment of genuine surrender as I released all the shoulds and should nots and embraced what WAS right then and there.

This experience confirms for me that compassion for ourselves and asking the inner critic to give it a rest is one of the greatest acts of self-love we can do for ourselves. To be truly willing to surrender the self-judgment that says we are less than, deficient, inadequate, unimportant, and not good enough is a key to transforming this shadow aspect.

Update mid-August of 2011
Since that time my Inner Critic has spoken up again though now I am taking time to curiously watch the process, and hear what that part has to say to me. When I feel I have had enough or that I got the message,  I am able to say “stop” and turn my thinking to more supportive thoughts.

I am sure this will be an on-going process as Venus is in the underworld for another couple of months so it will be interesting to keep track of how this unfolds. Meanwhile this experience was a miracle (see article on Miracles) and I will post updates on how it goes.