Gateway of Descent #4 VENUS at the HEART CHAKRA Dec 2023/Jan 2024 


GATEWAY OF DESCENT #4 Dec 9, 2023 to Jan. 8, 2024



Breastplate from India, 13th Century. Notice the hearts on this breastplate.

At GATEWAY number 4, on December 9, 2023, Venus is removing her Breastplate at the HEART CHAKRA. What a courageous thing to do at such a vulnerable place on our bodies! This is the Gateway of LOVE. 

Image painted by Shahastra Levy from her "HEART SERIES"

see more of Shahastra's art at

 by Sharon Russell (click HERE to get this image as a card or print)

OUR GODDESS for this '584-Day Venus Cycle of RENEWAL' is LEO

SHE is a FEMININE SOLAR GODDESS when in this zodiac sign.

We are being asked to remove obstacles to loving ourselves, obstacles to loving others, and to receiving love into our  hearts. This is so much about having passion and love for ourselves first, then when we are full of the wholeness and balance that love of self as a divine creation brings into us, that love naturally flows out to those around us!

Rose Quartz has a softening and healing effect on the heart chakra. It promotes love without obsession and brings peace to the mind/heart.

Watermelon Tourmaline brings peace and calm. It creates a space to feel JOY within our hearts. And we want the happiness that love can bring because it gives life to us, body and soul. We are refreshed and made young in our hearts, the place where love abides.

These are the two colors of the heart chakra: Pink is a  heart chakra color. Wearing tourmaline can counter anger and resentment, bringing in a greater ability to perceive beauty. It can strengthen the energy of the heart itself by creating a powerful field of love and compassion that can heal many levels. 

Emerald Green is a 'higher heart' color awakening universal love. Our high heart also connects us more directly to our Soul. It is located just above and to the right of the heart...if you place your hand over your heart, then move it slowly to the right and upwards, you can feel this remarkable place near your breasts. 

Copper rules the planet Venus, stimulates the heart and circulation and is a good metal for this chakra. Copper can channel higher vibrations and is somewhat like a conduit between heaven and earth. It takes invisible manifestations and energy and grounds them into the earth. It can enhance any earth stone that it is combined with. 

"GRACE AND PEACE are the gifts of a healthy heart chakra."

The breastplate (shown above)was considered to have great power in Sumerian (and other ancient) times. He or she who owned it ruled the Universe. We don't need to rule the Universe, but we can become Queenly in our own lives with greater power in our hearts to do and be what we know to be right. 

Inanna wore a breastplate. As she made her descent, she removed it! This must have been quite a moment! This removal symbolized to her that it was time to release past hurts, old wounds in love, hate, and emotional encumbrances to love, the essence of life.  

We no longer wear the patriarchial BREASTPLATE that men and Amazons donned when they prepared for war. War and Love, War and Peace.....the breastplate of our HEARTS can be the WALLS WE HAVE BUILT to keep out love, to stay safe from what we feared in our past, in this life and lives not clearly remembered.

It is often enough to have the INTENT to remove encumbrances even without the memory of the situation that caused our heart's wound(s). But sometimes, the memory can come up and be overpowering. Pain and sorrow may come up for you. It is important to feel them and then release them. If intense feelings come up, be wise: talk it out with a friend or counselor during this month of heart healing.

My spiritual teacher used to say to me: "modulate" your feelings and your dreams so that they can be felt but do not overwhelm you! This will be especially true as Venus descends through the Lunar Gateway in the sign of Scorpio on Dec. 9, 2023, at 6:30 AM PST. This gateway will be activated until January 8, 2024. Each descent gateway begins when Venus and the Moon are together; this is called a conjunction.

Venus is going through a GATEWAY when she looks like this with the Balsamic Waning Moon! Oh, how exciting to see and comprehend this vision of light. If you GO OUTSIDE EARLY in the morning and the weather permits - you will be blessed!......and filled with a new awareness. This month's Heart chakra will awaken your heart on a new level, more will be possible as you 'consciously' release blockages to loving and to being loved.'

When Venus is MORNING STAR, she is in DESCENT, surrendering her old Self to be born anew later in the cycle. Her goal, and ours, for this gateway descent phase is to release blockages to loving ourself, and that will naturally carry over to the love you can learn to feel and express with others! Such a magical month for LOVE!  

For those of you new to these Venus Cycles, I will explain the full 584-Day Cycle of Venus in an upcoming article.  

Like this gateway of tremendous energy found at the beach in Big Sur, California....this is a powerful passage that VENUS makes!


and DOVE are animals associated with the heart.


ROSE is the flower of Love, radiating a sense of compassionate caring, and passionate heart-centered love.

Pink Lotus

Flowers are a part of the chakra system.  Beginning with the bud of a pink lotus (or rose), imagine the flower slowly unfurling itself in your heart as you meditate or while resting this month. The lotus is sacred to Eastern philosophies because it grows from the mud and water of the earth into an exquisite creation of joy and beauty. It represents the folding and unfolding of consciousness into wholeness and delight! As our consciousness grows, our LOVE grows too. What a blessing!


Venus goes through the #4 Gateway of the HEART at 5° Scorpio to offer its great gift of compassion. Compassion is often thought of as what we feel for those who are suffering, and this is true, of course. But it is also true that YOU may be suffering, and self-compassion may be important for you to feel in order to clear up blockages within that may be keeping you from being able to RECEIVE love from others.

Ultimately, all living creatures have a pure and good heart. We are trying to bring forth energy not just of release and blockages to love but of SOUL connection and recognition. Old souls, old soul companions on your path, ones you may have loved or hated in other lives - are still with us today, now in our everyday world....can you open your heart to release the walls that keep your heart from growing towards the ability to HOLD great and even greater Divine Love?

In Scorpio, there is often intensity, and elements of the personal shadow are sure to emerge. Scorpio can sting itself and bring a kind of paralysis into feeling what is deep down inside. It may be hard to find what makes us feel happy and alive. Notice this! Write about it in your journal.

Release useless criticisms or too much striving to attain perfection both within yourself or projected onto others. This can be a great relief to the heart; healing may occur for you. Be open to all possibilities. 

This is Sharon's book about working with our Shadow - it will take you on a kind and loving journey through the territory we can encounter this month as we release old blockages to love. This is because of the movement of Venus through the Gateway of a Scorpio Moon, a moon with shadows and defenses, things in the psyche that keep us from looking at what we need to see in order to heal our deep heart wounds. I highly recommend it to accompany you at any Venus DESCENT phase as it companions well with our inner journey. Love and beauty accompanied by a powerful but knowing dragon become your guide to a feminine way to work with and release your fears. This book makes a great gift, too! Order it here for only $17.

As the 4th or heart chakra is right in the middle of our bodies, it is our place of balance.

When you love someone or show them love, it can bring you back into balance with them, especially if you have felt critical of them for not being perfect or doing what you expected they should do.

Since Leo rules children, it will be essential to honor the integrity of the children in your life. Notice where your heart may feel the pinch of jealousy or judgment towards children. And specifically, if this comes up, journal about how you felt as a child, especially at Christmas time. Childhood is a precious time in our lives, but many of us had less-than-perfect times in our formative years, and our hearts were wounded. For many, this gets brought up during the holiday season. It certainly does for me!


Put simply, VENUS descending is releasing and removing any blockages that have been in the way of our ability and desire to LOVE.

You don't have to wait until December 9  to see the APPROACH of this magnificent sight....go outside and look to the east early in the morning to see VENUS - you can't miss HER - the brightest morning star in the great above....and then look to see the waning Moon. Each morning, the Moon comes closer and closer to join with Venus, and they get closer and closer until Dec 9, when VENUS PASSES THROUGH THE GATEWAY of the Old (Balsamic) Moon. This December Balsamic phase of the Moon activates this process of release because it can carry our Souls into a very feminine receptive place of healing that wants to be here for us. This is the task at Old Balsamic Moon: to heal, to open, to rest, to release old blockages and judgments, and to allow shadow material within ourselves to slowly come forth so that we may grow into a greater version of this LEO metagoddess on her mission of LOVE.

Want to learn more about the phases of the Moon and what they mean? go HERE. 

Go HERE if you just want to learn about the Balsamic Phase. OR refer to any of the phases in CYCLES OF BECOMING on the left of your screen midway down.


Heart Chakra by Sharon Russell

Notice that the Moon on the left is the Waxing Crescent Moon, and the one on the right is the Waning Old Balsamic Moon, also called Waning Crescent. These are the two gateways where Venus/Inanna does her great work of integrating spirit and matter through each Zodiac Sign at the Chakras.

Getting outside to see the moon makes a difference; this is how our ancestors did it. They received a direct transmission of the newly emerging feminine energies of Venus as they set their intent just before the sun rose above the horizon. They lived under the night sky, and it meant so much more to them than it does to us now...but we are becoming world citizens and eventually citizens of the we RECONNECT with the beauty and majesty of the heavens, we enliven parts of our brains and hearts that have gone dormant or are yet to be enlivened by physically bearing witness to Venus and the Moon!

Kuan Yin meets Mother Mary       by Sharon Russell

(you can click HERE to find out how to easily get this image as a card or print)

(MUSIC) (leave your window open and come back to Gateway of the Heart as you listen to the heart-healing sounds of these Tibetan bowls from Meditative Mind.)


LEO as the solar feminine Goddess, wants to feel truly alive and passionate about something or someone. What is your passion? One of my passions is in my garden, and going out to work in it puts me in a LOVEly place indeed! You may want to go out into nature and experience your love for the trees or flowers or those favorite places in your life that help you step toward getting closer to opening your heart. And while you are there, look for signs in nature about love.

Thanks to Dian Jaffee for these heart clouds!

You may come upon rocks, leaves, shells, clouds or any of the little magical things in nature that take the shape of hearts!

from Shahastra's "Heart Series"


This darling couple is on Sharon Russell's card "Passion" and represents the Scorpio nature of connecting deeply and intimately with another SOUL. They are SOULMATES. They are in LOVE and living out their dream, one they have created together. If you have blockages in your life related to this area of LOVE, then this passage, gateway #4, through the heart could be especially potent for you.

"Passion"     Scorpio     Sharon Russell

(Sharon's art is available as cards and prints; click on the image to see.)

TIP: as you stand out under the early morning Moon/Venus conjunction, feel your heart slowly releasing old fears, old wounds, old ways of seeing and wait,.....give up blockages.....your sisters and brothers are with you too doing the same.....we do this for OURSELVES, we do this for our FAMILY, we do this for our WORLD!

Mother Mary has a strong heart chakra, infinitely so, I believe. Notice aspects of the mystery that she holds: the twelve stars above her head and her hands in prayer over her heart chakra. Her white robes are for the purity of the virgin, a woman, albeit a young woman, unto herself. Mary embodies a pure and healthy heart chakra. Blue, as the color of the sky, represents transcendence, mystery, and the divine, a heavenly color of universal peace and love.

St. Anne with Mary and the baby Jesus by Leonardo di Vinci

Mary was born during the season of Virgo. She will assist us in the release of blockages at the heart chakra. One of the stars of the Virgin is close to the Moon at this Heart Chakra Gateway. She is celebrated as Guadalupe on the Feast day of the Immaculate Conception of Mother Mary by Mary's mother, St. Anne, on Dec 12th. Nine months later, Mary/Guadalupe is born a Virgo. Most people don't understand the important distinction of this holy day, mistaking it for the immaculate conception of Jesus. It is actually the immaculate conception of Mary we are celebrating; that is why it is her feast day. 

The constellation Virgo: notice in her left hand a shaft of wheat. Spica is the star at this point.

The divine feminine star of Spica, which is located in the constellation of Virgo, is the star in the Virgin's hand, the one that holds a shaft of fertile wheat ready to be seeded into the Great Cosmic Mother. She helps us to spread fertile seeds of love/wisdom far and wide in the cosmos. 


SPICA is a STAR, a huge body of light, energy, and intelligence - much bigger than our Sun, MUCH BIGGER! If she were any nearer, we would never have nighttime - good thing she is so far away. 

As the feminine principle regains its lost heart energy, the power and authority of the LEO overarching Venus archetype will be transformed into healthy self-love and action not based on ego-centered power or a need for dominance over others to heart-centered power and authority... through the process of this current great Venus Cycle - all people will begin developing a greater power to take action for the good of all from their hearts. We descend with Venus and remove blockages of 'feeling less than, or that 'we are not capable of 'power,' 'authority,' and 'mastery' or 'happiness.' The whole planet and everyone on it is going through this gateway; we go too..... and in the name of LOVE..... you will eventually emerge with greater, stronger heart energy.

The "feminine principle" is in all of us, men and women. Women do not have to become men in order to be strong and rule with their hearts. Likewise, men do not have to become women to rule from the tender wisdom of their hearts.

"As your capacity to love grows, so will your JOYThese two go together!"


Peace and calm be with you as you enjoy this Holy Day Season of Light!

 Love from your Soul Sistar,