We’re in the middle of a Venus retrograde period, lasting from October 8 to November 18. Today is the day in Venus’ backwards journey that she conjuncts the Sun. The Sun sheds light into the dark corners and brings illumination to Venus’s domain, which is the domain of relationships.
Has your relationship gotten stuck? Has romantic, erotic love gone away? Have you been working at restoring love? Today look for special insight. It could arise spontaneously from within or it could come from conversation with other people. Look for a new understanding that reframes your relationship or how you behave in it. This insight could come anytime between October 26 and 30.
(If you’re just starting this thread here, please begin here. Then what follows will make more sense.)
Love Flies Out The Window
When Eros awoke to find Psyche watching him by lamplight, he knew his identity had been revealed. He could no longer stay. Dismayed and angered that Psyche had done exactly what he’d asked her not to, he flew away and returned to his mother, Aphrodite.
Did Eros want to leave Psyche? Of course not. He was just as in love with her as she was with him. But he couldn’t maintain their relationship in the light of day, for fear of being caught by his mother, Aphrodite. Unfortunately, keeping his identity a secret had become a point of vulnerability for Eros, a vulnerability Psyche’s sisters exploited. They aroused Psyche’s curiosity and fear, claiming that he was a terrible monster and goading her to get a look at him in the light. Psyche was afraid, but didn’t really believe them. She wanted to know Eros truly and love the person he was, instead of keeping their relationship in darkness. So she lifted the lamp over him.
Romantic love is a delicate thing, a dance of illusions. We want to look and behave our best when we are in love. When the illusion is shattered, love flies away in fear. Isn’t it ironic that we come to relationship to be seen and then can’t stand it when it happens? When she lifted the lamp, Psyche had no idea what that simple act would cost her. But all the pain that ensued was necessary pain, because without it, her marriage could not tolerate the light of day. Her desire to see Love face-to-face was the catalyst for doing the work necessary to restoring Love to her marriage—but this time in the daylight.
Let me say this again in a different way.
The human psyche craves love, and will accept it, even if given only in darkness. The psyche recognizes love as benevolent until fear and jealousy creep in. When goaded by dark emotions, the psyche will become curious to see the face of love, but upon being looked at too closely, romantic love flies out the window and the psyche has to do inner work in order to restore love.
Have you had an experience of love “flying out the window” in the last several weeks? Have you shed light on some aspect of your relationship and found that it is not what you thought it was? Have you or your partner run away from being seen?
Psyche’s journey has begun—has yours?
Read “Psyche Panics” for more insights about this powerful myth.
The following is a repost of an old post from back when I began my blog. I still feel passionately about this, 3 and a half years later. Here it is, just to remind us both:
I was raised almost entirely without religion. My mother was raised Irish Catholic and by the time I was growing up she was a practicing Buddhist. My father was raised German Lutheran but ultimately ended up somewhere around the atheistic end of the religious continuum, but with a healthy dose of reverence for nature. Neither parent gave much conventional religious training. The lack of it gave me a perspective on life that was often very unlike the people around me.
When I was still a fairly small child, I noticed that . . . (continue here)
(If you are beginning this thread here, read this first.)
Psyche wandered the earth, lost in grief. She found herself at the temple of Ceres, where she cleaned and tidied the harvest tools until Ceres took notice of her anguish and advised her to go to the temple of Aphrodite and beg forgiveness. Psyche did so. “I know you don’t like me much,” she addressed the goddess, “but I am in love with your son. What do I have to do to get him back?” You could just about hear Aphrodite rubbing her hands together in glee.
Aphrodite declared that Psyche might win her husband back by doing four tasks, the final of these bringing her into the underworld, to the very throne of the god and goddess of death. If Psyche should complete these tasks, her husband, her love, might be restored to her.
What Does The Story Mean?
The tale of Eros and Psyche is the tale of the soul seeking the fulfillment of true love. When Eros and Psyche live together in their castle in the clouds, love cannot see the light of day. It is too fragile. Psyche’s journey to reclaim love shows us the way to convert ethereal love into the real thing.
Timing of 2010’s Venus retrograde period
October 8, 2010: Venus turns retrograde. Love flies out the window and Psyche is cast upon a journey to recover him. She submits to the process because she recognizes that the only way out is through and that love cannot be forced.
October 28, 2010: Venus conjuncts the Sun. There will be a relationship epiphany on or near this day.
November 18, 2010: Venus goes direct. Eros and Psyche are restored to each other. The retrospective period is over, and now you must go on from here with the insights you’ve gained about your relationship.
What Does It Mean That Venus Is In Scorpio?
Venus’ retrograde journey this year takes place in the sign of Scorpio, an apt symbol for the death of a dream, for loss and grief and for the place Psyche’s journey takes her to—the underworld.
In the underworld, there is darkness and uncertainty. We do not know what is happening to us. Change is going on, but we don’t know what we’re changing into. And we have no idea when it will be over.
Scorpio’s message is “trust the process.” Love cannot be controlled, dominated or forced by the psyche. Love comes when it comes, not when demanded. A show of devotion helps, but only if it is not viewed as a bargaining chip.
In the upcoming weeks, as Venus continues retrograde, we’ll follow Psyche on her journey . . .
Friday, October 8 through Thursday, November 18, 2010
What Is Venus Retrograde?
When Venus goes retrograde, she takes our hand and pulls us into the darkness of our relationships. A retrograde period of any planet is a retrospective of that planet’s themes. It is like going into the deep, dark cave of oneself in whatever area of life is covered by the planet that is retrograde. It is a time of moving backward, perhaps of going back to pick up pieces lost in the past. It is a retrieval, a turning inward, perhaps a letting-go. Since Venus’ domain is relationships, this turning inward will happen in that domain.
The Tale of Eros and Psyche—Forbidden Love
The story of Psyche’s marriage to Eros, her loss of him and her journey to recover him, is an apt metaphor for the retrograde journey of Venus. Here is her story.
Psyche, whose name means “soul,” was a mortal woman of great beauty, beauty to rival even Venus-Aphrodite herself. People came from miles around to worship Psyche and bring her gifts. This aroused the anger of Aphrodite, for no mere mortal deserves to be worshipped as a goddess. Aphrodite sent her son Eros (Cupid), who represents living desire, to punish Psyche. He came upon her when she was sleeping, and fed her the drink of Bitterness, then touched her with his arrow, that she might fall in love with the next hideous creature that came near. But in doing so, Eros was grazed by his arrow himself, and he became struck with her beauty, so he gave her the drink of Joy also.
Psyche was now cursed. Everyone wanted to worship her but no one wanted to marry her. She was unloved. Her parents consulted an oracle, which said, “she is destined for no mortal husband” and advised them to leave her on a mountain top where a monster would claim her. While her parents were dismayed, Psyche herself submitted and went to the mountain top. There she was swept away by a friendly breeze to a marvelous castle, filled with attentive but invisible servants. There also she met her bridegroom, who was loving, affectionate, charming and passionate. He visited her daily, but only in the dark. He gave her everything and required only that she never ask to see his face.
Psyche was allowed a visit from her two sisters, who were jealous and concerned at the unusual marriage she had made. “What,” they exclaimed, “you only see your husband in the dark? How do you know he isn’t some kind of frightful monster who only wants to do you harm?” Their suspicion persuaded Psyche to break her promise to her husband and make an attempt to view him in the light.
One evening, after a fabulous (but unlit) meal and the same splendorous lovemaking Psyche had come to expect from her mate, he fell asleep in her arms. She gently crept out from under him and, lighting a lamp, held it over him to see what he looked like. No one was more surprised than she to see that the being she was married to was not at all a monster who wanted to hide his face in the dark, but the very God of Love himself! She fell into a reverie, feeding her hungry eyes on his features. Just then a drop of oil from the lamp fell and landed on his perfect shoulder, scorching him and awaking him. “Now you’ve done it! Love cannot live with suspicion,” he cried, in anger and regret, as he flew out the window and into the clouds. He went back to his mother, whom he had defied in living with Psyche.
This tale–and its meaning in your life–to be continued tomorrow . . .
Why is it that Libran types are so darned lovable and easy to get along with? It’s because Librans are born under the influence of Venus, and with the goddess of Love & Beauty on their side, they have mad social skills. Funny thing is, Librans are attractive even when they are arguing a tough point. Here are just a few of the many abilities of this Air sign:
1. As a natural matchmaker, Libra is most content when people are getting along. Libra loves relating for its own sake and is deeply interested in relationships between all human beings. Libra is fascinated with the ways people connect and the reasons why they hit it off. Your local Libran is never so happy as when she matches up two people (whether professionally or romantically) and a mutually beneficial association results.
2. Libra is always thinking of the other person, which has its benefits and its challenges. It’s natural for a Libran to think of others more than himself and so he is all too prone to giving himself away to make room for the other person to be heard and to get what she wants. This tendency to negotiate away all his own rights gets Libra into trouble sometimes, but it also forms the foundation for other useful and attractive traits.
3. Libra has a Devil’s Advocate side and can argue a position strongly. Some of Libra’s favorite words are “But on the other hand . . .” because to Libra, there’s always another position. This gets Libras into a lot of arguments, because when a Libran hears a strong opinion, her first and most natural reaction is to bring up the opposite view. This gives Libras the reputation for being argumentative, which isn’t exactly so. Libras want to be sure all the possibilities are examined, that’s all.
4. No sign is better at looking for the common ground between two seemingly irreconcilable positions than Libra—he really knows how to sweeten the deal. Libra is a natural mediator and can find that common ground. Libra is adept at seeing both positions in a dilemma, refusing to take sides and instead offering solutions that give both sides what they need. Libra is willing to compromise and balance “take” with “give.”
5. Libra has a strong, almost physical sense of fairness and justice. When things are unfair, Libra feels it keenly and miscarriages of justice break the Libran heart. This is so whether it is Libra himself or another person entirely who is the object of unfairness. Libra simply finds injustice deeply wrong and injurious to the human soul. This Libran trait is rooted in a deep love of symmetry, harmony and balance, which leads directly to the firm Libran belief that rules and agreements can be both loving and fair, and can bring out the best in everyone.
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This is a repost of an article originally posted in the San Francisco Bay Area Women’s Journal. You can read the original here.
Jupiter and Uranus have returned to Pisces briefly, on their way to moving into Aries for real. Once in Aries, Uranus will spend 7 years there, while Jupiter will whip through in just 1 year.
Uranus: Hey, this is a little annoying, to have to return to Pisces when we’d tried Aries out and it was so much fun.
Jupiter: Yeah, but once you leave Pisces, it will be a long time before you cycle around to it again. Remember, I’ll be back to visit Pisces in 12 years, but it will be almost 80 years before you come back to this sign.
Uranus: That’s true. And we’ll be off into Aries before you know it.
Jupiter: Besides, aren’t there things you wanted to finish in Pisces before moving on? Uranus: Like what?
Jupiter: Perhaps there are a few spiritual communities you’d like to ignite.
Uranus: You mean the few that I missed before?
Jupiter: Yeah. And there might be some artists out there who need one last little lightning bolt of inspiration from you.
Uranus: I could get excited about that.
Jupiter: There are a lot of imaginative types that could really use some startling new ideas. How about raining some lightning bolts down on Disney, Pixar and the whole film industry?
Uranus: Ok, now I AM excited. There’s still time for me to spark a groundbreaking movie that could be released later. Maybe I’ll download some insights into the brains of independent filmmakers and spark an appearance at Cannes or Sundance next year.
Jupiter: The gift that keeps on giving.
Uranus: Would you please tell the studio audience why you made these particular suggestions?
Jupiter: It’s because Pisces is the sign that rules the imagination. Pisces represents artists, dreams, imagination and especially film. When a person goes to the movies, he is diving into the collective ocean of all-experiences-that-can-ever-be-had.
Uranus: I’ve noticed that human beings really like imagining the ways their life could be, sometimes to escape how it is.
Jupiter: That’s because they’re not gods, like us.
Uranus: Who’s calling himself a god? (smacks Jupiter’s head playfully)
Jupiter (smacking back): I’m bigger than you are. I’m king of the gods!
Uranus: But I was a god before you were born!
Jupiter: You were a flash of primordial lightning before I was born!
Uranus: And you were a dream human beings hadn’t even invented yet!
Jupiter: Dork! Geek! Nerd!
Uranus: Fattie! Egotist! Jerk!
As we leave the scene, they are wrestling and attempting to duck each other, quite obviously having a great time.
Will this transit affect you personally?
If you’re a Pisces, born in the last week of Pisces, which is March 16-19, it probably will. It also might affect you if you are a Gemini born between June 17 and 20 or a Sagittarius born between December 17 and 20 or a Virgo born between September 18 and 21.
If you are feeling unusually restless and you’ve got the desire to bust out and make really big changes, you might want to have a reading to understand what it all means for you and how long it will last.