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The Many Loves of Venus

In the chart the sign in which Venus falls in says something of our romantic nature, of the ways in which we love and receive pleasure. And the aspects that Venus makes tells of the archetypal patterns we will encounter in our relationships - what sort of partners we are drawn towards, what sort of patterns and conflicts and needs battle for supremacy within us, and are reflected in those we attract and are attracted to.


In my chart, Venus makes many aspects. A square to Saturn, a trine to Pluto, a quincunx to Uranus, and an opposition to Neptune, and each of these aspects reflects a different (and often contradictory) kind of agenda, longing and need.

I have met some of the ultimate betrayals and transformations in Love, and my relationsihps have been deep and meaningful, intense and passionate. They shattered me, they transformed me, they devastated me, they changed me, they were often about power. I experienced some truly great gifts and very powerful losses, I learned what it was to be both powerful and powerless, and finally how to love and cherish and be loved and cherished as an equal. I met Venus-Pluto in many guises and many ways, and with each thing that broke me down and shifted me I learned more about myself and my own core, until everything had become stripped away and that was just me, Who I Was, Who I Wanted To Be, burning brightly as a flame and I realised my own powerful creative potential and purged and cleansed my relationships and made of them what I wanted them to be.

With Venus-Uranus came the longing for space I think, for unconventional relationships. A fear of being tied down, and sudden changes in my emotions. The ability to disconnect from the object of my affections very completely just *switch off* love and be completely dispassionate. This tends to be a hard one to combine with being with somebody, so most of my romantic engagements have been flings - something exciting and unpredictable and short-term. Lots of space and breathing room for me and all involved. And an attraction also towards those who were unconventional, stood out from the crowd in some way. I have an abiding fear of commitment, because I have a fear of being bound, tied down, suffocated. It seems worse than death to not be able to move and breathe freely, and any union of mine which lasted was with people who understood that and never tried to hamper my freedom.

But the two aspects which I have struggled most with, which appropriately enough for a square and an opposition imbued me with termendous tension and energetic potential and creative energy, were/are Venus-Neptune and Venus-Saturn.

On the whole Venus-Saturn adds up as someone who has strong security needs. On the mundane level it can translate into a zillion different ways - tendency towards love affairs with older partners, or partners who represent a parent-like figure, marrying for money [or someone with strong financial prospects who can provide security on a material level], a feeling of doubting one's own worth, or feeling unloveable/unloved, a serious outlook on relationships, a longing for long-lasting unions etc., but ultimately for whatever reason or several Venus-Saturn longs for security. In many ways I think the ideal of Venus-Saturn was the old-fashioned ideal of marriage in which duration in some ways measured worth and quality, and in which you were meant to *stick together*, and *make it work* and *make it last*. Duty, responsibility, stability, commitment are solid, Saturnian concepts. And in its positive side, Venus-Saturn can infuse things with reality and a stability. It can cope with people leaving the toothpaste uncapped, and the death of romance and excitement in order to reap the less glamorous rewards of the long-haul, of having invested energy into something and having made it work despite its challenges.

But Venus-Saturn is not a piece of cake, because I think Venus-Saturn is at its core very afraid and this can make Venus-Saturn very controlling. In today's world it is not easy to struggle with the fears and longings of Venus-Saturn. After all there are so few guarantees, so many things which threaten Venus-Saturn from the rising divorce rates, to the idea that people can just *grow apart* and leave one another, to the deep rooted ideas within the self that Venus-Saturn person themselves is somehow unloveable.

I am not suggesting that wanting to have long-term, solid, stable relationships is in any way a bad thing, only that living in fear of things not lasting may not be the healthiest attitude for it can lead a person and their partner into very deep misery. The need to keep a partner, to prevent them from leaving, can make someone very controlling indeed, and prone to the ideas of feeling threatened by other people and circumstances who may wish to lure the partner away therefore leaving Venus-Saturn with some of the things they fear the most. The wreck of things, and the archetypal fears of their own lack of worth which a broken relationship is seen to be proof of. After all, Venus-Saturn has such a longing for secure relationships, for the buffer against the insanity and unpredictability of one's own shadow psyche and the world.

And now at last to Venus-Neptune, the most ephemeral of them all. Venus-Neptune is a terribly romantic aspect, and one destined for terrible unhappiness unless consciousness and self-awareness is attached to it. Venus-Neptune feels such terrible longings, such an ability to easily fall in love and be carried away to Otherlands, the lands of perfect union before birth and individuality imposed their terrifying concepts and separations. Venus-Neptune longs to lose itself, to fuse, but the love of Venus-Neptune is too great to be contained by any human or any mortal relationship. The love of Venus-Neptune longs for the Gods, for the return to Eden, and when Venus-Neptune is anchored into human relationships (rather than say creativity, or music, or astrology, or fashion, or its hundreds other expressions) then those relationships run into trouble very soon because as soon as the romance dies (as the first flush of romance inevitably does) then Venus-Neptune is out of there and carried on to the next romantic thing.

Very often Venus-Neptune individuals can have relationships with several people at the same time, or seek out the people who are in some ways unobtainable [because if the relationship can never become fully real, the relationship cannot die - it will forever be floating in an aspect in the waters of possibility, yearning and imagination]. Venus-Neptune is too big to hold, and a partner of a Venus-Neptunian must in some ways content themselves with knowing that one will never have the whole of a Venus-Neptune person because there is a part of them which is, and longs for the boundless.

In some of its most positive expression Venus-Neptune represents a longing for, and an ability to see beauty. For romantic, compassionate, unconditional love. For infusing the mundane with a sublime and ethereal sense of the otherworldly. An echo of Gods, and myths and stories, and fairy tales which is all fine as long as one does not begin to live the tales and get lost within them and absorbed into acting out their scenarios.

In its shadow side, Venus-Neptune can also represent sacrificial love. The feeling that one must sacrifice for love, or that love itself needs to be sacrificed. Alternatively that one needs to redeem or be redeem through love, or that love itself, the physical body and its attachment stands in the way of one's own Redemption and return to Paradise Lost.

The other shadow side of this of course is Disillusionment because Venus-Neptune has romances with ideals, with the Gods, and their mortal mirrors are only hooks for that. At some point in relationships with real people it is inevitable that the mirror will crack, and that Disillusionment will set in. The challenge of Venus-Neptune is not to get carried away by Illusory relationships in the first place (even though the attraction to them is so powerful, because Venus-Neptune can perceive so much magic, such beautiful ideal potential) and then not to give up immediately when that first fantastic romance dies.

Years ago, the first astrologer who interpreted my natal chart told me I was destined to have a succession of lovers but never find a true fulfillment, and I told her that I didn't believe in Fate but in Human Choices. I still believe that, and I'm big on Consciousness and Self-Awareness too. I don't believe that anything dooms us, except ourselves and that the contradictory longings within us and our own natal charts can be combined together and made to work for one another in termendously creative ways.

Probably the best thing that happened to my Venus-Saturn was my Venus-Pluto. I was very afraid, and quite controlling because of the fear. I needed reassurances and guarantees and the idea that relationships should be made to last forever because I was terrified of aloneness, and abandonment and rejection. But then Venus-Pluto came along, and all of my deepest fears surfaced, and not only did they surface but they all came true, including the ones I thought I'd never survive and had been too scared to name. I will not pretend for a second that the materialisation of those fears was a pleasant experience. It wasn't. I was an emotional wreck for a number of years. Each of the things that happened, each betrayal seemed worse than the last. Each broke down further all the stable structures I thought I had built, each stripped away a bit more of the things I had been holding on to.

And at some point there was nothing else left to take away. I was naked, and broken, and completely alone. But at the end of that what I learned was that I could survive. That I could put myself back together again and be all the stronger for having been broken. And that furthermore, that having met and lived through so many of my Fears, I could go on and live a life that was not ruled by those Fears anymore. Of course those Fears are still there -from time to time they still drop by to say hello, but now they are no longer the driving forces behind my decision making processes. I no longer need guarantees that things will work out, or that there will be someone who will never leave me or hold me up in my old age, because I know there are no guarantees [beyond death and taxes] and that I am strong enough and joyous enough to stand on my own two feet.

I am grateful to my Venus-Uranus for preventing me from settling, and helping me to learn to hold things lightly, to let go. To seek and cherish the partners who were neither possessive nor jealous.

I am grateful to my Venus-Saturn for keeping my Venus-Neptune bound to earth, and grounding the Neptunian longings and dreams and preventing me from floating off completely. And in turn I am grateful for my Venus-Neptune for reminding the Venus-Saturn part of me of the beauty inherent in the world, and of its magic. For not letting me become too steeped in the mundane and for having an endless, boundless capacity for love and falling in love. For being able to turn the love and relationships I experience into things which are not sacrificial, but sacred.

These are not by any means, easy balances to maintain. They are precarious. There are many conflicting urges each pulling in a different direction. But these balances are very energised because of their tensions. They are termendously creative, and they certainly stop me from stagnating. I feel frustrated at times, and I feel delighted when I can make them work. Certainly it feels so much easier now when I embody the whole of the aspect rather than *split it* by embodying part of it and having a partner embody the other half for me.

I've done an awful lot of work with these aspects because I did not want to be a blind pawn of my inner conflicts or my transits. It really was not easy, although the opposition was somewhat simpler to get a hold of than the quincunx or the square. If the Venus aspects I've listed are difficult to marry within oneself, they are also difficult to marry within a relationship. The problem with Venus-Neptune fer instance, is to equate *duration of romance* with *duration of relationship*; and that while one may easily fall in love with a person one easily falls out of love also. Then challenge then is to exercise the Saturn and persevere because a) romance cannot be sustained continuously, forever b) unless we're all living in cardboard boxes, relationships are not just about romance but also about the mundane like paying bills and doing the dishes c)i've learned that I can fall in love again with the same person, and that this process is a cycle like breathing in and out.

In which my Venus-Neptune spots something magical, something ethereal and infinite about them and we touch the Divine within ourselves and one another. And then of course comes the inevitable disillusionment, because we are after all just human with all the deficiencies and visceralities thereof, and it's hard when that disillusionment hits and all the wonderful romance feels deflated to not walk away there and stay with the feelings and breathe through them and experience romance again.

And now that I've talked about these aspects on general principles, here's some more of the personal experience of how they affected my life on an earthly level, in the sphere of relationships.

Excluding a teenage attachment, it's been only twice in my life that I've managed to sustain a relationship with someone living in the same city as me. Most people I've been in love with were not even in the same country. Frankly I considered it a positive development if we were both based in Europe. These relationships may be stressful for some people, but they suited me completely for a variety of reasons, but mainly:

a) The closeness/distance dilemma - I like intimacy, but not too much, because I have a fear of being tied down. But it's impossible to be tied down by someone when you have so much space between you, so it's safe. The relationship allows to experience the wonderful intoxication of romance over and over, in dreams and love letters, because without the everyday physical dimension pure love and pure dream is really all there is to it.

b) If a relationship doesn't become too real, then it also won't break down painfully into Disillusionment. If we just confine ourselves to the endless realms of romantic possibility then we don't have to give up the dream.

c) The element of distance would insure that people would not be posessive of me, because frankly they couldn't be, and I was free to love and dream and flirt as I pleased.

With a couple of exceptions, I would not say that any of those relationships were bad, or unhealthy, or regrettable. At the time, they were perfect. They served a wonderful purpose, and they were extremely enjoyable. I still remain on excellent terms with the majority of the people involved, and still feel a great deal of love for them, probably because I don't see them every day. ;)

So, what changed? I did. And A major Saturn transit began (transiting Saturn moving into conjunction with my Natal Sun and sextiling its own natal placement), and it really wasn't especially traumatic but suddenly I began to experience all sorts of new ideas about what I wanted. For the first time I considered that Stability might not be a Strictly Bad Thing, and I knew I was going to have a hard time with the concept of a long-term, near-distance relationship but I wanted to push and challenge myself and do all the Saturnian things of building something solid even if it wasn't always exciting. I wanted to experience the mundanity of it, just to see if I could cope. The fact that transiting Pluto was starting to come into aspect of my Natal Venus-Neptune opposition probably also had a lot to do with this too, the wanting to experience relationships on a different level.

And really, almost no sooner had I finished thinking that *hmmm, yes, I'm probably ready just about now* than I met Z(who had just finished a major transit of his own - Pluto conjunct Sun- and decided synchronously that he was ready for relationships as well).

I thought I would freak out, and I did, because I got very scared about being so close to someone, without having the comfort of distance between us (we live in the same city, a half hour's drive away), we have many of the same friends etc. so this was never going to be someone I could dodge when the going got tough. I think it is fortunate that I picked someone who understands my need for both playful flirtation and space and lets me get on with both, and seems happy to go off and do his own thing and wait for me to come back. Also fortunate that he appreciates the fact that I return the favour, and allow him a lot of independence and breathing room, and that we both love to travel (He has a Saggi Sun, I have Jupiter on the Ascendant) and don't have a problem with doing it together or individually.

And now that I've met someone who is such a caring, considerate, self-sufficient person, with whom I truly could build a solid, real Saturnian thing I can feel the Neptunian side of me kicking off and going *Oh, but there are so many other interesting people to love in the world*. I was pretty sure I would experience that, and I was right, and that's where the element of Conscious Choice comes in. Because I believe you can take these feelings and work through them, sit with them, breathe with them and not just be a blind little reactor bouncing around from one feeling to another like something in a pinball machine. You can and do have a lot of say in how you deal with things, and manage thoughts and feelings.

So even though it is hard for me, it is workeable hard and as with any Saturn experience provided you are willing to do the work there are an awful lot of rewards. Mundanity is not all bad. Some of the routines of every day life together are highly pleasant, as is repetition of certain experiences [e.g. normal after-work ritual is to cook dinner and snuggle on the sofa afterwards to drink a glass of wine and watch a film]

At the moment Z's in Canada, travelling for a bit, making the best of lack of snow and it's fine because I'm happy for him and happy to be on my own - having the separations and the space makes me happier to see him when we are reunited.

I don't really miss him [he is after all, coming back] except by odd moments. And when I do, the things I miss about my lover are Venus-Saturn things, the earthly, the everyday routine moments between us. I miss the warmth of his body and the scent of his skin. I miss the way we sleep, I curled up on my side and he curled behind me, stacked neatly as cards in a deck. I miss the sweetness of drifting off to sleep with his hand on my stomach or hip, and his breath on the back of my neck.

I miss the familiarity of his touch and the gruff, concerned sound of his voice in the night if I start to wheeze/cough and half-wake up both of us, and the way the heat of his hands seems searing against my skin, and the feel of him reaching out to touch my back and pulling himself against me to hold me close until the spasms of my airways subside.
I miss our sleepy dual cursing of the alarm clock in the mornings and the ritual of foregoing breakfast for a little extra time to snuggle.

But at the same time, it's not bad missing. I don't feel an emptiness inside me because even though I've really appreciated his practical presence and emotional support I know that I can do without. I'm pretty self-sufficient anyway, and now it's nice also to starfish on the bed, and not have to wake up at 7 (even though today I woke up at 5:30, grrrrrrrrr) and be able to do a lot of fun stuff with the girl-chicks over the coming weeks. It was ever so much fun to go to Brighton and do things that are about what gives me joy, rather than what feels good in a couple.

ANd I am anticipating Karaoke, and Newham House party and spending time with the laydees with pleasure and childlike excitement, that I haven't felt since putting together my Lego jewellery over the weekend.

x-posted to evolveastrology, astrology

Edited to Add: squaddie67 I haven't had a chance to look at your chart properly yet, mostly because working out a chart is quite a lot of work and I am still not in a good mindspace. But I will, soon as I am more rested and have more time to concentrate.

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
gromwell
Mar. 9th, 2005 08:40 am (UTC)
A mind blowing post. I want to pay you huge amounts of cash to interpret my chart.
rainsinger
Mar. 9th, 2005 12:25 pm (UTC)
Helen!
You're alive! It's great to see you about - I've missed you on LJ.

I'm still learning my way around chart interpretation for other people, but I'd be pleased to give it a shot (even though I have a bit of a backlog and brain-blank moments).

do you msn?
gromwell
Mar. 10th, 2005 12:54 pm (UTC)
Yes, still breathing! Thank you for missing me.

I don't msn. I'll mail you, though?

No worries about backlog - whenever...
squaddie67
Mar. 9th, 2005 01:23 pm (UTC)
Not a problem, whenever you're ready.
minnesattva
Mar. 9th, 2005 05:04 pm (UTC)
I do not have your interest or knowledge of astrology, but just reading this I am impressed at the context it gives you for thinking about things like relationships. I am, and probably many of your other readers are, well-acquainted with the different approaches to relationships that you describe here, but I for one am not used to them having formal names and defined characteristics. There are obvious benefits to ideas that you can sort of hold in your head as discrete entities and then see how they relate to other people, or other aspects of oneself, as you do here.

I've come to conclusions about myself and my relationships that are recognizably similar to some of the things you mention here, but for me it was informal and messy and difficult and confusing, at times. So I must say I envy you the clarity brought about by your framework of astrology. :-)
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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