The Planets

Modern astrology recognises 10 planets (this includes the Moon and the Sun) as well as several asteroids that are located between Mars and Jupiter.

The Sun is bright and hot. She’s life-giving yet can be destructive. Because we can’t look at Her radiance directly, the Sun is more coarse than delicate and more powerful than magical. For that reason She rarely features in the mystery religions of the ancient world. Until Patriarchy hi-jacked Her, in most parts of the world the Sun wasn’t given too much attention. However, the fact is that She IS the centre of our solar system and without her radiance and heat there would be no life on Earth. She may not be considered magical and mystical in quite the same way as the Moon (although there are plenty of scientific mysteries surrounding our very own star), without a shadow of a doubt the Sun is vitally important. For that reason instead of going along with the notion that the Sun is male, we need to reinstate Her as the Great Mother Goddess that She is!

The night-time planets – the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and the asteroids – is where the real magic and mystery lies.

The most prominent lights in the night sky are:
the Moon
Venus
Jupiter and
Sirius.

Sirius, which the Ancient Egyptians linked to Isis / Osiris, is the brightest star we can see from Earth. She’s not a “wanderer” (planet) and so doesn’t feature in astrology.

The Moon, Earth’s very own satellite, is the brightest and most magical body in the night sky. She’s big (as big as the Sun from our vantage point), can travel both in the day and at night and is born, grows to maturity, dies and is reborn every month. It is no wonder that She is the main manifestation of the Goddess. The Moon has always been linked to women, menstruation, fertility, wisdom, intuition and water. She has so many more sides and powers beyond what modern male-oriented astrology gives Her credit for. (See also “Moon Magic and the Triple Goddess“)

Venus is by far the brightest planet and is simply stunning to look at with Her true 5-pointed star shape. Like the Moon She appears, disappears and then reappears. She sometimes graces the eastern sky as a morning star and sometimes the western sky as an evening star. Venus has always been linked to the Great Goddess such as Inanna in Sumer, Ishtar in Babylon, Astarte in Canaan, Aphrodite in Greece and Freya in Germanic northern Europe to name just a few. (See also “The Original Venus – Goddess of Heaven, Earth and the Underworld“)

Jupiter is also an exceedingly bright planet that slowly wanders across the night sky. With Her being an outer planet unlike Venus (and Mercury) She travels literally across the sky without appearing and disappearing. I have no doubt that due to Her brightness Jupiter also featured prominently as a manifestation of the Goddess in earliest Mother-worshipping astrology. However, despite my long research I couldn’t find any reference that linked a particular Goddess to planet Jupiter. The earliest astrological records from the by then patriarchal Babylonians called Jupiter Marduk, the slayer of the Great Sea Serpent Tiamat. Alternatively, they referred to Her as Nibiru, the Planet of Crossing or the Ferry Boat.

Mars is another planet that can easily be seen with the naked eye. She’s bright orange and definitely stands out, more so than other orange stars like, for instance, Betelgeuse in the constellation of Orion. However, Mars is nowhere near as bright or spectacular as Venus, so I’m not sure just how much attention our foremothers would have given Her. Many of the qualities that modern male-oriented astrology attribute to Mars – such as carnal sexuality and drive – used to be a vital part of the Goddess as Venus. She was always both a Goddess of love / sex as well as of battle. Modern astrology has split up romatic love and beauty (Venus) from its sexual expression and general human drive and passion (Mars).

Saturn, which was for a long time considered to be the outermost planet of our solar system, is also clearly visible with the naked eye. However, only through a telescope can Her true beauty be appreciated: there’s not much that’s more spectacular than Saturn’s rings! Due to Her small size and average brightness when viewed with the naked eye Saturn doesn’t stand out in the night sky. For that reason I doubt our matristic foremothers paid much attention to Her.

Mercury, the closest planet to the Sun, is similar to Venus in that She appears, disappears and reappears, in this case, throughout the year. Like Venus She is also either a morning or evening star. Mercury never strays far from the Sun and so is difficult to spot from Earth. She can only be seen within 40 minutes of the Sun setting or just before rising. In addition to that Mercury is also a very small planet that doesn’t look very bright. For that reason, the same as Saturn, I don’t think She would have featured very prominently in early Goddess-worshipping astrology.

The outer planets – Uranus, Neptune, Pluto – as well as the asteroids have only been discovered recently and so have no Goddess-worshipping past.

I believe that with exception of the Sun all the characteristics modern western astrology attributes to the planets used to be aspects of only the Moon and Venus.

The astrological Moon only deals with Her motherly aspect, while Jupiter represents Her maiden form. The crone aspect of the Moon has been split up into Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. (See also “Moon Magic and the Triple Goddess“)

Equally, astrological Venus only deals with the romantic loving nature of the Goddess in Her manifestation as Venus. Her driven and sexual side have been attributed to Mars and Her capacity for relationships and magic are now aspects of Mercury. (See also “The Original Venus – Goddess of Heaven, Earth and the Underworld“)

The Sun is different and a newer introduction to astrology. I don’t believe that our early foremothers included Her theme of core character and life purpose in their teachings. Such ego-centrical thoughts would have been quite alien concepts to them.

In the following entries I’m going to reassign Goddesses to the various planets. This has been done by several other wonderful and inspiring women already, but I’m going to do it again, as it can’t be done often enough. Although it might appear at first glance that my doing so is no better than patriarchs assigning all male gods to the planets (with exception of moody Moon and beautiful loving Venus of course), I’m doing this in order to heal the devastation patriarchy has left behind in our women’s hearts and souls. After 5,000 years of oppression today’s women no longer feel a sense of self and self-worth, we no longer KNOW what it means to be female or feminine. As a sex we have become completely dependent on male approval and quite naturally accept the lie that all creatures and objects are essentially by default male, not to mention that humanity’s early achievements were all acomplished by mankind. Our women’s past has been violently erased. The main religions on Earth today only have one god-head who is a male. So when you consider that gods are usually archetypes based on real human traits that people of all walks of life can (or should be able to) relate to, to just have a male god-head makes 50% of the population worth-less.

Patriarchy tells us that in order to be feminine, a woman needs to wear dainty clothes and act submissive and chaste. We are first the property of fathers who then kindly pass our care on to our husbands. We first carry our father’s name, then our husbands. We don’t have names of our own. Many women are happy with this, even crave the traditional wedding and marriage set up. Some of today’s women have chosen to do completely the opposite of what we’re taught a woman should be like. They act and dress more like men and choose not to marry or have children in order to stick their proverbial fingers up at society’s male ideals. I believe that neither of those are true representations of what it means to be a woman.

It is no doubt that today’s women are much freer that we’ve been in thousands of years and yet it’s a far cry from the freedoms, appreciation and power our Goddess-worshiping foremothers must have enjoyed. If they could see us, their daughters’ daughters, now, they would surely weep! Women are estranged from their own selves, from their mothers and sisters and rarely are able to enjoy true women-women friendships.

The fact is that unless we listen to our hearts and try to open the door to our imprisioned and indoctrinated selfs, we will not find our true woman selves. We have been robbed and left as empty shells! However – and this is so very key – although our women’s past has been consciously erased, it has not been forgotten, but continues to slumber on in the recesses of our memories. In order to heal ourselves and become whole again, we need to rouse those memories and rediscover who we truly are. We need to decipher and de-power patriarchal value judgements and not care what anybody think of us. We need to rediscover our self worth, our inner strengths and natural magical and mystical powers. By assigning Goddesses to the planets we will be able to see all of human traits in a female light. The images will nourish our souls and teach our inner selves that it’s good and valid for a woman to be strong and passionate like our Amazonian foremothers were and that it’s equally as good and valid to be a mother or an old wise crone.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. FeistyAmazon
    May 22, 2013 @ 21:04:50

    I’m a DykeAmazon who is Butch and dresses in men’s clothes and I’ve NEVER been feminine or related to femininity and babymaking or marriage to a man. I’ve been an Amazon/Dianic Wiccan ever since the Dyke Witches brought me out 32 years ago, and on the Path EVER SINCE. I came into my Amazon nature at the tender age of 14 when I entered the Martial Arts, but also after reading about them, and Greek Mythology and connecting with Artemis and the other Female Greek dieties, more so than my own Jewish religion. So that whole business putting those of us who don’t dress feminine down as a mere ‘reaction’ doesn’t hold water, WE’VE ALWAYS BEEN HERE, unrecognized, as Amazons continuing the struggle for Female power and autonomy.

    As far as Sun Goddesses, yearly I work with Amateratsu, and Her story, Japanese Sun Goddess whenever I celebrate Winter Solstice. Her story has many layers of meaning for me. Also the Goddess who encouraged Amateratsu to emerge from Her cave after Her brother committed sexual violence against one of her handmaidens and general male destruction, was bawdy Crone Goddess Uzume who stood on a bucket and danced lasciviously, displaying her Sacred Yoni to the other Goddesses and Gods, getting them to laugh, so Amateratsu would be curious and would emerge from Her cave, where She had shut herself up into after her brother committed the violence. The Sun did not shine, and the Earth was becoming barren as a result.

    Uzume is very parallel in energy to the Goddess Baubo, who is depicted as also a bawdy Crone with Her head on top of a Yoni, who cheered up Demeter who made the Earth barren after another rape myth, Hades abducting Her daughter. The two parallels are amazing, but I see these synchronicities over and over again when studying Goddess worship and our myths and stories, and creating our own!

    Also many womyn celebrate Lucina, another Sun Goddess during Winter Solstice as well. There are cultures that have Sun Goddesses, and to me I ONLY work with Goddess energy full Amazon/Dianic that I am.

    -In Sisterhood,
    -FeistyAmazon

    Reply

    • Silvestra
      May 22, 2013 @ 22:34:34

      It’s a pleasure to meet you, FeistyAmazon! It’s always great to hear constructive alternative experiences. Thank you for your very informative comment! Blessing, Silvestra

      PS – After I’d written this post I read Paula Gunn Allen’s book “The Sacred Hoop” in which she explores “dykes” and “lesbians” in her own culture – Pueblo Indian. She concludes that strong feisty lesbian women were simply a normal part of their lives. They were often medicine women in a special sense.

      At the time of writing the article I was writing from within my own Western European background, which is from my experience very homogeneous. I still believe that from your average European environment my conclusions stand. In a place like for instance the USA where many different cultures from all over the world have mixed, things may be different. So, thanks for your input!

      Reply

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