Venus Alchemy: Shamanic Descent and Rebirth

by Nov 1, 2017Article, Healing Methods

Bright morning star’s a-rising,

Bright morning star’s a-rising,

Bright morning star’s a-rising,

Day is a-breaking in my soul.

–American Folk Song, Author Unknown

It was 5:30 am on a cold November morning in downtown Albuquerque.  We were a circle of eight women standing on the street corner facing east toward the Sandia Mountains, drumming, rattling, and singing, praising and welcoming Morning Star Venus as she shone brightly over the mountain peaks in the pre-dawn skies.

We knew we were not the first to honor the rise of Morning Star Venus through ceremony. Something ancient and joyful stirred in our hearts as we ignited our connection to Creation by honoring Earth’s Sister Star, the bright planet revered across cultures, space, and time, often as an embodiment of the Divine Feminine.

Restoring our Ancestral Roots in the Sky

Though our roots may be buried deeply, we all come from ancestors who were earth-based, indigenous people. Restoring our connection to these roots is one of the essential functions of shamanic spirituality and practice. Shamanic Astrology taps into our ancestral knowledge of the Night Sky mysteries, helping us bring our lives and culture back into balance through this awareness.

For our ancestors, the celestial bodies, like all aspects of Creation, were alive and sentient. The sky was understood by many ancient people to be our original home. The Sun, Moon, planets and stars were beings with whom we could communicate, be in relationship, and receive guidance for life. Woven into the fabric of their community life was a dynamic conversation with these beings through stories, songs, and ceremony.

We know earth-based people ceremonially observed the seasonal Solar cycles of the Equinoxes and Solstices, or nearer the equator, the Solar Zenith. We have also come to understand that many observed the 18.6 year Lunar Standstill Cycle.

The Venus Cycle

As the third brightest celestial object in the sky, Venus’s cycle was tracked closely by many ancient people including the Mayans and Aztecs. Many Native American groups dedicated songs to the Morning and Evening Star, had special ceremonies and stories to honor them, and created beautiful patterns representing Morning and Evening Star on their blankets and regalia.

The ancient Sumerians, who were a root culture for many of European heritage, had a very special relationship with Venus. Their myth about the Underworld Descent of their Great Goddess Inanna literally described the 19-month Venus Cycle. This cycle was so important to them that every eight years, when Venus would rise as Morning Star closest to the Spring Equinox, they would enact great ceremonial rites bringing to life the Inanna Descent Story.

Since 2014, I have joined with Cayelin Castell, co-founder of the Shamanic Astrology Mystery School, to guide groups of about 100 people from across the globe through the Venus Cycle as an initiatory journey, using elements of Inanna’s Descent story as our guide. Our third cycle, the Aries Venus Cycle, began March 31, 2017 and will complete in November of 2018.

Through Venus Alchemy, we offer online and live courses connecting people with the mysteries of Venus in the sky and in their birth charts. When you know, for example, whether your birth Venus was Morning Star, Evening Star, or in the Underworld, we gain a more intimate understanding of the Venus Cycle and our place in it.

Venus has been called a “sister planet” to the Earth, as the size and density of these two celestial bodies, as well as their mineral makeup, are so similar. Venus has an eight year cycle composed of five 19-month cycles initiated with Morning Star rise at a different season within each cycle. Over the course of these five cycles in an eight year period, Venus creates the pattern of a pentagram or five-pointed star.

Every eight years, we go through a personal Venus Return Cycle. In 2012 I conducted in-depth research into the Venus Return with thirty clients and saw a striking pattern of descent and rebirth, or shamanic initiation events, present within their lives during these periods. When Cayelin and I create a strong ceremonial container for experiencing the Venus Cycle, our intention is to support those moving through their Venus Return as they navigate the intensity and soul work initiated during this period.

Several dozen people have joined us in every Initiatory Venus Cycle class we have facilitated. Moving into our third cycle together, participants now have a powerful connection with the night and morning sky. We help them connect with the stars surrounding Venus as she moves, and the Sun and Moon as well.

Blessing the World

It is hard to put into words the magic of bringing the mysteries of the Venus Cycle back to life for a growing community of individuals across the globe. To see everyone share photos of Venus and the Moon each month, from Australia, to Montreal, to Fort Collins, and feel the deep love and appreciation this practice instills within each of us is a source of endless delight and wonder.

In Awakening to the Spirit World, Sandra Ingerman says the true function of the human being is to bless this world. For those of us who use shamanic tools and awareness, we see how Creation responds immediately when we bring our full attention and gratitude to a sunset or sunrise, as well as the plants and trees, animals and birds that comprise our more-than-human community.

We bless Creation also when we remember to look up, and connect with the rhythm of the planets, the Sun, the Moon, and the stars. It is our role, as the upright beings we are, to be conduits of connection between Earth and Sky, remembering the secret language of the stars, the Sun, the Moon, and the planets, as our ancestors did in ancient times.

About the Author

Tami Brunk is a Fully Certified Shamanic Astrologer and past president of the Shamanic Astrology Mystery School, and an Active Dream Teacher through Robert Moss’s intensive Dream Teacher program.  Her life passion is to reawaken Priestesses and Earth Mages through ceremonial work with Venus and her cycles, marrying the worlds of Dreaming and Shamanic Astrology. She has conducted in-depth research into the Venus Return Cycle for women, and is co-founder of Venus Alchemy with Cayelin Castell. Through Venus Alchemy, Tami and Cayelin lead a dynamic global community of women and men through the entire 19-month Venus Cycle as a re-enactment of the Inanna Descent Story.


  1. Julia King

    Beautiful. Thank you!

  2. Patricia Liles

    Thank you so much, Cayelin and Tami for sharing your wisdom. These are topics dear to my heart. Looking forward to the Jupiter/Venus conjunction in the pre-dawn sky on Nov 13, 2017!

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