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The Moon, the Morning Star and the Magnificence of Grace

Living the tarot hasn’t just opened up the archetypal energies within the cards, it has also transformed astrology from what used to feel static and fixed to something dynamically vital and very much alive.


In his book The Light of Venus, Adam Gainsburg describes the 13 phases of the Venus cycle as she revolves around the Sun moving from Morning to Evening Star. The longest of these is the ‘Surrender & Discovery Phase’, during her final swansong as Morning Star. According to Adam, this is when the “Queen of Heaven deepens Her wisdom through trials of surrender and loss, and gradually discovers what can never be lost”.

Earlier this year, I caught an interview with Adam (at Protecting Gaia’s Oasis Summit) in which he talked about the practice of living sky astrology - connecting with the actual skies in real-time not just angles and charts on the page - and then invited listeners to get out under the night skies and experience it for themselves.


The invitation was specific; join Venus as she rises first thing in the morning at the start of the balsamic or dark moon phase, right at the end of the lunar cycle. This final phase of the moon is a powerful period to let go and release, making way for the potential of what is as yet undiscovered. The combination of the meeting of the Moon and Venus in her surrendering phase activates a double potency. The dying moon brings Venus lower, exposing something she’s been reliant on as a part of her identity - Venus as the bright, radiant star of the morning. In the loss of this part of her identity, the way is cleared for her to discover what lies beyond this version of herself.

So the invite was, to contemplate what you are ready to let go of and then as Venus rises, to surrender it. It was invite I could not resist! Given that there are only a handful of dates this year on which this can be done, I set a note immediately in my calendar for the next one. Early that morning, 4am to be precise, the alarm went off and I ventured outside. It’s winter here in the Southern hemisphere and it’s pretty cold that time of day so thick blankets, steaming hot coffee and a hot water bottle also thankfully accompanied the proceedings.



First came the rise of the dark moon, surprisingly luminous despite only a hint of her underbelly still visible. I watched the moon ascend from behind the hill, rising rapidly to clear the tree line and climbing higher still until just after 430am and with sun rise still hours away, suddenly I realised that the celestial light now emanating from behind the trees could only be Venus.


And so she rose. Fierce and unapologetic in her desire for the day, daring me to the same. This version of Venus is a long way from the replete and satiated Evening star that she will become. In the morning, she radiates Aphrodite at her most mighty and yet just at her most indomitable, she is being called to surrender.



Imbued with these energies, I marinated in the magnificence of her as she rose, feeling my way into my own surrender and the giving up of all glory. Something came over me then. I felt contrite for all the many, many occasions I and the world is brash, vulgar, grasping, crudely self-absorbed, perpetually wanting. The black and white of the night dissolved into rose-coloured cloud-floss at daybreak and then the sky transformed into the palest duck-egg blue. At this point, I simply cried, overcome and at a loss for words. Venus and the Moon now rendered into the finest porcelain, all trace of their former fierceness gone, giving way to an exquisite delicateness. Gradually they disappeared into the day with a grace that took this mere mortal’s breath away. The experience has been unforgettable, my own evolution following the invitation in ways I cannot yet understand but are already beginning to take shape as I write. Invite in this experience yourself and venture out with Venus, the next and final dates this year are July 26th and August 26th 2022.





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