Full Moon in Cancer | Monday, January 17th | 6:48pm Eastern Time
Bright full moon blessings to you! I’m really feeling the potency of the heavenly realms right now, and today I’m going to share some wisdom about Venus, goddess Brigid and the Moon.
I also want to offer you a meditation gift to help you connect with the powerful energies of goddess Brigid and Venus. You can access the meditation gift here.
On my journey of sacred remembrance with the ancient Irish traditions, I’m constantly reminded that there is so much ancient wisdom that is available to us…and yet, there’s also so much that’s missing due to the influence of colonization, patriarchy, and religion over the millennia.
Fadó fadó in Ireland, many moons ago, wisdom was passed down orally and through direct transmission in a lineage. It’s even thought that perhaps the most sacred knowledge was kept secret in order to protect it (primarily from being misused or misunderstood).
What this means for those of us wanting to come into heartfelt connection with these traditions in modern times is that we need to build a foundation of knowledge (based on what we do know) and marry this with our own intuitive wisdom.
This is how we build a relationship with our own sense of meaning and truth, and really feel this wisdom in our bodies.
Jen Murphy and I had a beautiful conversation about embodied feminine wisdom in my Dreaming the Ancestors podcast last week. You can listen to the podcast episode here:
With all of this being said, I’m now going to share some of my own embodied wisdom about the sacred connections between Venus, goddess Brigid and the Moon…
Venus’s Sacred Cycles
Similar to the moon, Venus has different phases and cycles that hold unique energies and powerful wisdom. These are her three phases:
- Venus as the Evening Star (when she is visible in the Western Sky at dusk)
- Venus as the Morning Star (when she is visible in the Eastern Sky at dawn)
- Venus in the Otherworld (when she is in close proximity to the sun and she disappears from the sky from a geocentric perspective, because the Sun’s light is obscuring her).
There are also times when she conjuncts with the crescent moon, creating beautiful gateways of harmonizing energies, as Venus and the Moon are very complementary to each other.
In her sacred dance with the sun, she creates a beautiful geometric rose shape from our earthly perspective, like so:
In the center of the rose there are five petals that make a pentagram. The inner points of the petals are created when Venus passes between the earth and the sun (called an inferior conjunction) and the outer points of the petal are created when she passes around the other side of the sun (called a superior conjunction).
For most of 2021 Venus was in her Evening Star phase. Currently, Venus has just emerged from her Otherworld phase, which is a time of deep transformation and metamorphosis, and always happens when she is retrograde.
Her inferior conjunction with the sun happened on January 8th and over the past few days (depending where you are in the world) she has transitioned out of her Otherworld phase and revealed herself as the Morning Star. If you’re able to get a clear view of the Eastern sky, I invite you to wake up 30 minutes before sunrise and look for Venus.
Shortly before the Full Moon today, the Moon will be directly opposite Venus.
In astrology, when celestial bodies are directly opposite each other, they create a powerful and harmonizing effect. Since Venus and the Moon are already so complimentary, their harmonizing energies are powerfully amplified at this time.
My reflections on Venus & Goddess Brigid
It feels very powerful that the re-emergence of Venus is happening just a few weeks before Imbolg (also called Imbolc) on February 1st, which is the sacred festival of Brigid as both goddess and saint.
I’ve always had an intuitive sense that goddess Brigid is connected with Venus, and in the past few years I’ve embarked on a journey to try and make sense of this by looking at her mythology and sacred symbolism.
When reading the ancient Irish myths, there is potentially a lot of astrological symbolism. We know for a fact that the skies were important to the ancient Irish, and there are neolithic monuments that honor the movements of the sun, stars and planets.
Goddess Brigid’s name is thought to mean “Exalted One” or “High One”, and she is also referred to as “fiery arrow” in Cormac’s Glossary.
In Northern England as Brigantia she is portrayed as having a crown of fire or light. Across Ireland and Britain she is often associated with fire, warmth and/or light.
Given her bright nature, I can’t help but wonder about her astrological significance. There are certainly other gods and goddesses who are associated with the stars. (I highly recommend reading “Island of the Setting Sun: In Search of Ireland’s Ancient Astronomers” by Anthony Murphy and Richard Moore for insights on these connections.)
In “The Book of Dunn Cow,” an ancient Irish text, goddess Brigid’s sacred number is said to be nineteen. Numbers are important in astrology, and the number 19 is associated with both the Moon and Venus.
Nineteen is connected to the Metonic Cycle of the moon. Nineteen is also the number of months in Venus’s synodic cycle (a synodic cycle marks Venus’s journey between her conjunctions with the Sun).
The Moon and Venus also happen to be the two brightest objects in the night sky.
In the book “Ireland’s Ancient Astronomers” that I referenced earlier, Anthony Murphy & Richard Moore suggest that the conjunction of the crescent Moon and Venus might be represented in Irish mythology as the cow and the calf. The crescent moon looks like the horns of a cow, and the calf would be Venus.
Here is another tentative connection with Brigid, as goddess Brigid is associated with cows (and all livestock/domestic animals). Interestingly, St. Brigid was said to have been nursed by a white cow with red ears (an Otherworldly cow) just as Venus is nursed by the crescent moon in the mythic representation of the cow/calf configuration.
In another story about St. Brigid, we find that she has a special relationship with apples. Like the rose, apples are a sacred symbol of Venus. When you cut an apple in half, a pentagram symbol is revealed in the center, similar to the sacred geometry of Venus’s dance through the skies.
Another interesting connection between goddess Brigid and Venus is that they both have a three-fold aspect to their nature.
Goddess Brigid is known as a triple goddess in Ireland, as either a triad of goddess sisters (all named Brigid) or a single goddess with three faces. As I described earlier, Venus has three primary aspects to her cycle; Venus as the Morning Star, Venus as the Evening Star, and Venus in the Otherworld.
In the story of St. Brigid’s birth it’s said that she was born with the dawn, and that a column of fire emanated from the place of her birth, giving the impression that the house was on fire. This story gives me such a strong feeling of Venus as the Morning Star, who’s bright light shines in the sky with the rising dawn.
Something else to consider is the name for Venus as the Morning Star in Irish, which is caillichín na mochóirigha meaning ‘early-rising little hag’.
This potentially connects Venus to the Cailleach, who is the Hag/Crone goddess in Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man. (For reference, the evening star is called “An réalta nóna” which literally means ‘the star of the afternoon’.)
However, according to St. Brogan Cloen’s poem the word caillech is translated to “Virgin”. So it seems that the word that has come to be recognized as “hag” can also mean virgin.
St. Brigid, who is said to have lived in the 5th century, is famed for her virginity in the Christian faith as a nun. As the only female patron saint of Ireland, she is not just any nun or any virgin, but arguably the most important one.
Is caillichín na mochóirigha a reference to St. Brigid the virgin? The early-rising little virgin?
These mysteries and sacred connections feel incredibly alive for me…whispering to me of deep feminine wisdom longing to be remembered.
As we approach Imbolg/Imbolc I invite you to sit with these mysteries. Allow the light of the full moon to illuminate that which is hidden, waiting to be revealed and reclaimed. Be with Venus’s energies and invite goddess Brigid to share her love and wisdom with you.
In Classical astrology, Venus is the goddess (and planet) of love. Like Venus, goddess Brigid holds powerful codes of love. This energy emanates from virtually every story about her, as both goddess and saint.
As a little offering for you this Full Moon, I have recorded a short guided immram (meditation) for you to connect with the powerful energies of goddess Brigid and Venus. You can access the meditation gift here.
Before embarking on this journey, I invite you to create sacred space for yourself. Light a candle for goddess Brigid. Burn sacred herbs. You might also like to bring an apple or a rose into your ritual space, or an image of Venus’s sacred rose geometry. Invite in the energy of ritual and reverence. This will help to deepen your experience.
Want to learn more about goddess Brigid and connect with her sacred energies?