Venus Retrograde

Venus Retrograde

Venus is a graceful balance that, simultaneously, warms and humidifies. Creator of her own light, she equally extends resourcefulness to her environment.

“Venus has the same powers and tempered nature of Jupiter, but acts in the opposite way; for she warms moderately because of her nearness to the sun, but chiefly humidifies, like the moon, because of the amount of her own light and because she appropriates the exhalations from the moist atmosphere surrounding the earth.” [Ptolemy, p.37]

Of Phosphorous Ascending: The Synodic Cycle of Venus and Her Phases of Renewal

Every five hundred and eighty-four days, Venus’ flickering pirouette scrapes the frost from an echoing past that taunts one’s resolve. Her retrograde glint, a wayward waltz of forty days (and forty nights), is propelled by the Morning Star’s ascension. This phase of renewal, as part of the Venus Cycle, is a principle intricately explored by ancient Mayan cosmology and mythology, most notably in the Mayan Venus Calendar and the Popol Vuh of the Quiche Maya. Perhaps the oldest record of the celestial movements of Venus is preserved in the Venus Tablet of Ammisaduqa, whose origins date to mid-17th century BCE.

Her first phase, as Hesperus, marks her western descent as an evening star. Hesperos, or Vesper in Latin, is the origin of the name Hesperus, the evening star, sharing root with the English word ‘west’. Her mantled plunge below the blackened undercurrent is the secret bow before her inferior conjunction with the Sun in the east. This pivot marks her Phosphorous phase, bathed in blindingly ferocious light as Lucifer, or light-bearer. In Greek, the name for Morning Star is Heōsphoros (Ἑωσφόρος), translated as dawn-bringer.

Morning Star

Stanisław Wyspiański: Eos, Phosphoros, Hesperos, Helios, 1897.

“At that time when Eosphoros (Dawn Star) passes across earth, harbinger of light, and after him Eos (Dawn) of the saffron mantle is scattered across the sea.”

Homer, Iliad

The Five Celestial Flares

In a lifespan, Venus’ retrogrades trace a celestial five-pointed pentagram that, in turn, activate five specific zodiacal parts (or signs). To note, Venus does not commence retrogrades in Libra, Sagittarius, or Pisces, and, instead, begins in Aries, Gemini, Leo, Scorpio, and Capricorn. Upon completing five Venusian cycles of eight years, the Morning Star returns to the same point in the cosmos. When Venus repeats her retrograde cycle in the before mentioned signs, however, she successively does so a few degrees earlier each time.

It is helpful to recall prior Venus cycles in order to understand the intimate effects of Venus’ celestial sway as it unfurls before one’s current path. Recollecting one’s Venusian trajectory eight years ago can clarify its forthcoming theme. Note the following:

Natal planets (inner and outer) in Venus’ trajectory will activate the more subjectively challenging effects of this retrograde. Depending on the placement of Scorpio and Libra in one’s chart, Venus’ shadow period will also indicate an elongated stay in a particular chart sector. Generationally, natal outer planets in either Libra and/or Scorpio (from approximately 25° Libra to 10° Scorpio) will be conjoined by transiting Venus during her retrograde, depending on one’s birth year. For example, Neptune is activated from 1953–1962, Uranus from 1973-1977, and Pluto from 1981-1988. Of course, this is highly dependent upon the quality of Venus’ impact (or lack thereof) on one’s personal (or inner) planets, and, ultimately, the magnitude of signification in which effected planets represent in one’s own personal chart.

Venus in Scorpio, Uranus in Taurus: Pivotal Opposition

Venus In Scorpio

During this retrograde, Venus makes an exact opposition to Uranus thrice, on 9/12/18, 10/31/18, and 11/30/18, respectively. Noticeably, neither planet feels comfortable in the signs of their current ingresses. In Scorpio, Venus is in adversity (detriment), where the otherwise fluidly reconcilable qualities of Libran Venus are turned on their side. Uninhibitedly, Venus grants amelioration to any fragments of shattered sensitivity, serving as the equilibrium of supportively empathic partnerships. Likewise, she evokes capacity for aesthetic perceptions, and, ultimately, is a conduit for personal and worldly peace. Contrastingly, in Mars-ruled Scorpio, retrograde Venus can respond in indolence, manipulation, and destructively sensual abandonment. Her qualities are contorted when ingressed in a sign that thrives by dismantling the taboo, a territory seldomly charted via Venusian excursions.

As the Morning Star, Phosphorous Venus’ pulverizing light is akin to the severing quality of the Warrior, Mars. In parallel, the position of Venus as Morning Star was the centerpiece of Mayan warfare strategy, noted by the Tlaloc-Venus execution, whose implementation violently resolved Mayan ‘competition’ in A.D. 378 [Schele, p.130]

The maximum separation possible between Venus and the Sun is 48 degrees, which, not unlike Mercury, binds her to the solar ego. Swiftly, Venus can be absorbed by self-possession and lassitude. Retrograde Venus can often socially retreat, becoming immersed in insecurities, unworthiness, and doubt. She accentuates emotive renewal, inspecting the structure of our value system while striving to escape the barricades of a past that taunts our resolve. Likewise, this is an opportune moment to exercise creative potential, a process that, independently, can harmonize the psyche’s bellicose divisions.

Uranus In Taurus

In another sense, we are intuitively aware of the disparities between a planet that rebelliously demands liberation through unorthodox pathways versus a sign that thrives via tradition and paced rhythms. Uranus is the riotous, individual quality inherent in the mind’s structure. Nothing is more rapturous to it than the prospect of insurgence. In essence, the transcendence of cultural and social programming, particularly in relation to the collective and individualistic perspective of currency, is the vigorous current of Uranus in Taurus.

Operating on sensation instead of action, Uranus in Taurus functions through a Venusian lens. However, Uranus transcends worldly matter, aligning with the elevated realms of thought. The innate incompatibility between worldly desires and transcendental exaltation is the impetus behind forthcoming revolutionary change. Historically, Uranus’ previous Taurean transit, from June 1934 to May 1942, ushered a plethora of revolutionary fluctuations, including economic shifts deviating from the U.S. gold standard coupled with bank closures, the lamentable rise of the Hitler regime, and the Great Depression (to the middle of World War II). In essence, values inherent in materialism were as challenged by the erratic undercurrent of Uranian transcendence as they are currently underway.

Venus Retrograde

Venus Opposite Uranus: Tug-of-War

Newly sparked relationships during Venus retrograde likely mirror subconscious forms of necessary escapism from quotidian settings. Permanent bonds are unlikely manifestations under the erratic impetus of Uranus. The undercurrent of Venus and Uranus seeks stimulation, excitement, and unusual experiences through the realm of relationships. A type of friction, or tug-of-war, is surged between the intensely alluring guise of Venus, and the rebellious nature of Uranus, as the latter, dominated by the fixed grasp of Taurus, becomes begrudgingly afflicted. In other words, pressure erupts as a result of the innately incompatible natures of Venus and Uranus when ingressed in signs that cannot adequately compliment their respective energies (Scorpio and Taurus, respectively). Impulsive spending is another key theme under this configuration, as Venus oversees our livelihoods and can justify frivolous consumerism as a form of satiating subconscious voids.

Elemental Fire Void

Until Jupiter ingresses into Sagittarius on November 8th, 2018, an underlying fire void accompanies most of the Venus retrograde. A transit fire void can often manifest as a lack of dynamism coupled with dubiousness regarding the sustenance in the life force itself. This can be accompanied by apathy, low energy, and a lack of motivation to mobilize goals. Self-confidence may be compromised with a tendency towards despondency. Fire voids are often significant indicators of obstacles regarding the manner in which one approaches the scope of experience. All activities, including dietary and exercise regimens, should be moderately implemented in order to preserve energetic reserves. As water-earth is the current elemental emphasis, the fulfillment of security needs become paramount, often to the detriment of intellectual and communicative faculties. Caution should be noted against manipulative tendencies in the pursuit of earthly goals.

The Moon-goddess accompanied by the Dioscuri, or Phosphoros (the Morning Star) and Hesperos (the Evening Star). Marble altar, 2nd century CE.

Venus in Libra on Arcturus and Spica

Venus conjoins Arcturus and Spica during her retrograde and upon stationing direct. Between Spica and Arcturus, there is a minor difference in longitude and a significant distance in latitude. Both fixed stars are omens of good fortune with similar attributes, although Arcturus’ comparative role is that of the Unbiased Protector.

The Athenians saw the Bootes constellation as the leader of people who had fallen at difficult times. The alpha star of Bootes is the brilliantly golden star Arcturus. As per Ptolemy’s location, Arcturus is the bright star in the fringe of the Tunic, representing leadership skills and pioneering vision. Conjoined Venus, Arcturus becomes “a leader in the arts or humanist politics, coupled with a willingness to explore the difficult or unusual in friendships, arts, and social events.” Likewise, Arcturus is said to bestow “popular, gifts and favors from friends.” According to Ptolemy, Arcturus is of the qualities of Jupiter and Mars.

The famous Spica, the wheat sheaf in the hand of the goddess, symbolizes gifts of knowledge, insight, and the potential for brilliance. According to Ptolemy, Spica is of the qualities of Venus, and, “in a less degree, that of Mars.” [Ptolemy, p.51] Conjoined Venus, Spica draws “gifted” people into the native’s circle. However, older texts caution of Arcturus above the benefactor Spica, as if implying celestial justice in the face of possible greed.

Timeline of the 2018 Venus Retrograde in Scorpio/ Libra

Below is my own chronological synopsis of the 2018 Venus retrograde cycle. During this passage, Venus squares Mars and opposes Uranus thrice. Mercury enters Scorpio on 10/9/18, followed by the Sun on 10/23/18. As Venus oscillates from Evening to Morning Star, we witness the shifting of the Nodes to the Cancer-Capricorn Cardinal axis (on 11/6/18) followed by Jupiter’s ingress into his domicile. As Venus stations direct at 25º14′ Libra (on fixed stars Arcturus and Spica), on November 16th, 2018, at 6:52 AM EDT, we firstly witness both benefics simultaneously posited in their own domiciles.

  • 9/3/18: Venus enters pre-shadow phase in Libra.
  • 9/8/18: Venus square Mars at 29°36′ Libra-Capricorn at 4:05 PM EDT.
  • 9/12/18: Venus opposite Uranus at 2°03′ Scorpio-Taurus at 4:41 AM EDT.
  • 10/5/18: Evening Star/ Hesperus Venus stations retrograde at 10º50′ Scorpio (decan I) on 10/5/18 at 3:43 PM EDT.
  • 10/11/18: Venus square Mars exact at 10º16′ Scorpio-Aquarius at 10:29 PM EDT.
  • 10/26/18: Venus in the heart of the Sun/ Cazimi exact at 3º06′ Scorpio at 10:17 AM EDT.

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  • 10/26/18: Venus is now in her Morning Star/ Phosphorous /Lucifer phase and commences a new 584 day cycle.
  • 10/26/18: Venus under the beams of the Sun/ combust at 2:29 PM EDT.
  • 10/31/18: Venus opposite Uranus at 0º15′ Scorpio-Taurus square 0º37′ Leo North Node, at 4:21 AM EDT.
  • 10/31/18: Venus ingresses into 29º59′ Libra, decan III, at 3:42 PM EDT.
  • 11/6/18: The North Node ingresses into 29º59′ Cancer at 2:10 PM EDT.
  • 11/6/18: Uranus regresses into 29º59′ Aries at 2:58 PM EDT, as Venus resumes retrograde at 27º08′ Libra.
  • 11/8/18: Jupiter ingresses into Sagittarius, at 8:39 AM EDT, conjoining 0º03′ Luna, exact at 3:05 PM EDT.

Venus Stations Direct 11/16/18

  • 11/16/18: Venus stations direct at 25º14′ Libra on fixed stars Arcturus and Spica, at 6:51 AM EDT. *On this date, both benefics are found in their respective domiciles (Venus in Libra and Jupiter in Sagittarius, respectively.
  • 11/30/18: Anaretic Venus opposite Uranus 29° Libra-Taurus
  • 12/2/18: Venus regresses into Scorpio at 1:02 PM EDT.
  • 12/17/18: Venus exits post-shadow period in Scorpio.

References:

1. Homer, Iliad, Hackett Publishing.

2. Ptolemy, Tetrabiblos, Harvard Press.

3. Robson, Vivian E., Fixed Stars and Constellations in Astrology.

4. Ebertin, Elsbeth, Fixed Stars and Their Interpretation.

5. Brady, Bernadette, Brady’s Book of Fixed Stars.

6. Brady, Bernadette, Star and Planet Combinations.

Copyright © 2018 Saturn & the Sun Astrology. All rights reserved.

Spirit-Blaze: Full Moon at 8° Sagittarius

At 8° Sagittarius (decan I), the full Moon is emblazoned by the fiery ferocity of Mars. Sparked by spirit-blaze, this lunation ignites the psyche’s potential liberation from varied realms of restrictive experience.

Forming a grand (fire) trine with Arian Chiron and the Leo North Node, this lunation has the power to pulverize façades, erupting the healing properties of truth. By aligning one’s inner guidance with devoted vulnerability, the ameliorating potential of this trine is activated.

At 9° Sagittarius, fixed star Antares conjuncts Luna, further accentuating the Mars-Jupiter energy of this scorching lunation. Antares, the royal scarlet star of Persia at the core of Scorpio’s constellation, consists of the words Ant and Ares, where the “former means against, or in opposition to, and Ares is the Roman name for the planet Mars and Aries” (Carey). ANT-ares refers to the de-structive energy of Mars, also known as Ta Who, or the Great Fire. Mythologically symbolic of extremes, Antares cautions against self-sabotage via unresolved obsession. However, thematically, this star generates success via transformative regeneration, and, in paran with the moon, a willingness to confront penumbras. In parallel, Jupiter (Sagittarius’ ruler, now retrograde in Scorpio), proposes that the ferocious fire of this lunation is suitably steered into illuminating the psyche’s shadow. Jupiter encourages the expungement of antiquated belief patterns. It facilitates the release of repressed growth by confronting fears and liberating the Self from mental impediments.

The Full Moon is one of speed and erupted vision, birthing ideas through the imagination’s velocity. This decan stirs scenes of physical and mental swiftness, potently swaying in accordance with inner vision. In the Yavanajataka, the imagery presented is that of “a man whose bow is drawn and whose speed is as violent as a horse’s. He has a knowledge of chariots and weapons…” The bow, vehicle for the body, transports swiftness toward its intended target. Analogous to the arrow or bullet, dissuasion is futile once the will’s motion is set, although mobility must eventually cease. Despite the planetary urge for swiftness, Mars’ conjunction to the Aquarian South Node cautions against over-exertion and the necessity to regenerate one’s vitality by adjusting trajectories to a measured pace. Augmenting the internalizing influence of Jupiter retrograde, Mars, ruler of Scorpio, is in retrograde shadow (as of May 12th). Instead of reliance on external acceptance, the preferred path fully aligns with heart-centered authenticity.

The blazing lunation’s journey is cleansed by the brilliant billow of a grand water trine (perfected the following day as Venus reaches 15° Cancer). Jupiter’s trine to Piscean Neptune evokes the potential for potent spiritual expansion, perforating portals to higher consciousness. Cancerian Venus, occupying a third water sign, fosters compassionate grace and altruistic love with depth of emotional expressiveness. Expanding concordance, the Full Moon sculpts a Mystic Rectangle, fortified by the lunar nodes at 7° 33′ of Leo and Aquarius, accentuating elemental fire (Leo and Sagittarius) and air (Aquarius and Gemini). The Fire-air combination is an exceptionally creative pairing that harmonizes ideas, inspirations, and plans with the capacity for execution.

This lunation’s precipice, forming a potent yod with the Gemini Sun and Leo North Node, is governed by Saturn, the final dispositor of this Moon’s chart. The Timekeeper’s somber lessons echo an inner serenity of surrender and wisdom in knowing that the highest possible outcome is naturally embedded in the essence of experience. While Kronus’s cold rings may stir fear in attempts to control life’s natural oscillation during this Full Moon, elevated potential is accessed through the soul’s relinquishment of boundaries from barred experience.

The Sagittarius Full Moon occurs on May, 29th, 2018, at 10:19 AM ET.

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5/15/18: The Moon’s Savage Stir at 24° Taurus

At 24° of Taurus, the seemingly exalted new Moon stirs savage imagery, confronting the potentially destructive forces that function via sub-conscious primitivism. Arabic, Indian, Hellenistic, and later European images of this face are accentuated by Saturn, ruler of this decan in both descending order and triplicity designations of planetary rulership.

According to the Birhat Jakata, the Śarabha is the mythological creature (with eight legs and two heads that slaughters lions) corresponding to the third face of Taurus. In Ezra’s work, this Taurean decan describes a man of ‘white feet and elongated teeth visible outside his lips.’ His reddish hair echoes his complexion, and ‘his body resembles that of an elephant and lion, and he is not reasonable…’ In parallel, the animal brain, or the ‘bull-headed god’ of the Age of the Golden Calf, symbolizes the stage of human evolution when the sub-conscious mind is both lacerated by primal passion and oblivious to the utterance of reason. Alluding to the primal faculties of sub-consciousness, one of the body parts allocated by Taurus is the cerebellum, from ‘cere’ or seed, and ‘bellum’, Latin for war and antagonism.

In addition to ancient pictorial correspondences, this lunation coincides with potent fixed stars and clusters. At 24°, the fixed star Algol resides within the exact degree of the Taurean lunation, followed by Capulus at 26°, and the Seven Sisters of Industry (or Pleiades) a few degrees later. Algol, known as a beastly head fueled by focused passion, correlates to Lilith (the first wife of Adam in Talmudic Law). This seemingly malefic star, depicted as the winking head of Medusa, equally alludes to the Lilithian female kundalini energy. Its immensely feminine passion and dominance is akin to the potential power of Gaia. Additionally, the Pleiades cluster offers insight into the occult, leading to encounters with both the ‘best and worst in human nature’ (noted in Brady’s Fixed Stars). This cluster’s lunar attribute, likewise, parallels the New Moon’s trine to Pluto. Void of the light of reason, desires to intensely and passionately merge are dominated by depth and obsessiveness, weaving a precarious gossamer of convoluted extremes (again, the ‘best and worst’, dissolving equilibrium).

Perhaps the most prominent impetus during this lunation is the anticipated circuitry of anaretic Uranus, squaring Mars, and entering Taurus (at 11:16 AM, EDT shortly after the exact lunation, at 7:48 AM EDT). Uranus is the riotous, individual quality inherent to the structure of the mind. Nothing is more rapturous to it than the prospect of insurgence. In essence, the transcendence of cultural and social programming, particularly in relation to the collective and individualistic perspective of currency, is the vigorous current of Uranus’ impending ingress into Taurus.

Operating on sensation instead of action, Uranus in Taurus functions through a Venusian lens. However, Uranus transcends worldly matter, aligning with the elevated realms of thought. The innate incompatibility between worldly desires and transcendental exaltation is the impetus behind forthcoming revolutionary change. Historically, Uranus’ previous Taurean transit, from June 1934 to May 1942, ushered a plethora of revolutionary fluctuations, including economic shifts deviating from the U.S. gold standard coupled with bank closures, the lamentable rise of the Hitler regime, and the Great Depression (to the middle of World War II). In essence, values inherent in materialism were as challenged by the erratic undercurrent of Uranian transcendence as they are currently underway. Now, decades later, we arrive at a similarly pivotal precipice of change. As we experience individual (and collective) dissolution of the tyrannical structure of monetary transaction, newly inventive forms of exchange will be embraced, orchestrated by the principle of self-worth.

Copyright © 2018 Saturn & the Sun Astrology. All rights reserved.

Lilith in Gemini: Mercurial Maelstrom of Revelation


Still life photography by Saturn & the Sun Astrology.

Lilith’s astrological significance, as channeled through the stimulus of Gemini, is a whirlwind of cerebral sagaciousness that pulverizes the circumscribed scope of societal misinformation. Its function in society, (as Lilith’s astrological energy maneuvers the masses) is to make knowledge available to all forms of humanity in a manner that is accessible, lucidly understood, and ultimately, used to provide revolutional awareness. In a natal chart, the house placement of Lilith in Gemini, along with its aspects, indicate the availability of this energy within the individual. When implemented in a detached and genuinely altruistic manner, as Lilith indicates the necessary dissolution of ego-driven desires, Lilith in Gemini provides the individual with an interminable supply of knowledge, ingenuity, and the necessary faculties to effectively translate information so that it is understood and used as a tool for continual expansion.

Lilith in Gemini’s mental magnification propels the mind to such lucidity that it holds the ability to navigate back and forth between experiences or conversations as a means of extending the imagination. The visionary powers of the mind are strong and logical, extending their abilities to promote creative thought or literary talent. Additionally, there is the capacity to remain slightly above the emotional spectrum of relationships, in order to liberate mental navigation and promote its graceful movement in any direction. It is rare to be significantly influenced by others with Lilith in Gemini, since these individuals naturally accept their undeniable right to think as they wish, while respecting this in others as well. Their openness to sensible suggestion is leisurely scrutinized by the mind’s eye while, simultaneously, enriching the limitless faculties of imaginative exploration. Ultimately, the genius factor of this placement may be focused into brilliance.

The physical manifestation of Lilith in Gemini resides in the unique quality of he hands, including fingers, double-jointed fingers, and/ or heavily veined hands. Additionally, there may be prominent sensitivity, considerable strength, or healing capacity, all within the hands. Psychometric talent is also indicative of Lilith in Gemini, particularly if Lilith is in the third house and water placements are significant.

The position of Lilith in Gemini is excellent for prompting objectivity, since both the sign and planet indicate reasoning processes. Those with this placement are capable of brilliant recitations, are natural readers, and hold strong logical powers in the imagination. Ultimately, transcendence for Gemini Lilith resides precisely in the proclivity towards emotional detachment. The emotional objectivity capable of reaching with this placement eventually liberates the individual from the programmed conditioning of ideas impressed during childhood. Ultimately, a strong position of Gemini Lilith holds the potential extrication from a the confines of a conditioned fourth saturated with emotional trauma. This, in essence, is the potency of astrological Lilith: detached objectivity as a form liberation.

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Transcendent Evolution: Parallels Between Saturn and Lilith

Saturn and the Sun Astrology

Saturn as depicted by Chesley Bonestell

Saturn and Lilith are astrological catalysts: whirlwinds of depersonalized change, often at the expense of one’s perceived level of emotional or ego-driven suffering. To be blunt, Saturn and Lilith do not care about one’s feelings. They demand radical alteration of antiquated belief systems, depletion and suppression of the ego in favor of transcendence, and the enormity of dawdling and harrowing metamorphosis. Ultimately, they will proceed to distort (Lilith) and restrict (Saturn) one’s quotidian customs until, by any means necessary, one’s respective lessons are mastered. For Lilith and Saturn, it is insufficient to simply learn: one must thoroughly master karmic tests, lest one forgets.

Lilith’s urgency to experience depersonalized commitment as a means to serve humanity is a profound theme in her astrological work. A myriad of key movement leaders are depicted with a strong Lilith in the natal chart (e.g. Pablo Picasso, Albert Einstein, Mohandas Gandhi, Gloria Steinem, John F. Kennedy, etc.) Once the ego-driven need for self-recognition and personal honor is pulverized, Lilith propels the individual, using whatever aspect, sign and house position she falls under, to bring forth revolutionary change. When immersed in its full-force and channeled appropriately, Lilith’s energy is unyielding: an all-consuming and full-fledged eruption of uncensored power, aiming its spear at worldly injustices and their explosive disintegration.

Lilith and Saturn in Astrology

Burney Relief, Babylon (1800-1750 BCE).

In parallel, Saturn’s impetus for change stems from karmic lessons. Repetitive patterns that inhibit growth often go unnoticed until Saturn begins to unfurl its compressing, frictional grip onto the bewildered native. Then, caught in the ceaseless clutch of unrelenting suffering, one slowly and distressingly awakens to the truths buried beneath Saturn’s impenetrable cloak. The seemingly sluggish yet steady path of awakened psychic consciousness, and ultimately, like Lilith, transcendental awareness begins to originate. Saturn is forcefully slow: its lessons must first be learned and ultimately, mastered. Otherwise, Saturn remains uncompromising slow, perpetually inflicting peril if it is necessary to reach transcendental evolution.

Saturn and Lilith are not unlike each other. Both astrological energies perform best in logical, courageous, and persistent sign /house placements. Harsh aspects to both Lilith and Saturn will ultimately transform the individual, however seemingly unbearable the odyssey unfolds. There is little to no concern for the emotions during the course of entirely revolutionary change that necessitates manifestation. This, in essence, denotes the astounding agenda of  Lilith and Saturn.

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