On Love and Separation

My dream life has been busy lately. I’ve had a hard time hanging on to them, though. The last dream I had this morning involved having a conversation with Eric about astrological Venus. And because I asked the dreamtime for some help with what to write about before I went to sleep last night, I figure I should honor that.


I have natal Venus in Pisces in the 8th house. It might just be my favorite part of my chart. It represents the part of me that is able to see the light in the dark, especially when my own personal life goes to hell, or when I get sucked into desperation while paying attention to the collective. I’ve called her my guardian angel, although Venus does have quite the shadow side. If I’m honest with myself, I realize that I’ve romanticized and longed to identify with more of a Persephone archetype. But as time goes on, I realize I am quite Venusian, and that the depth I crave is embodied there as well.


The experience of love and heart opening for me is one of transcendental bliss that pulls me closer to the divine and reminds me of the inherent connection of experience, from depth to height, through exploring intensity and psychological understanding, and then letting it all go.


In astrology, Venus rules Taurus and Libra and is exalted in Pisces. I come back to its Taurean qualities with clients over and over again. Venus in Taurus is the way that we love and hold ourselves. The way that we embody what we value and get to know our resources and worth. Venus in Taurus is fundamental to our happiness in that it is where and how we have created a foundation for self-love. Developmentally speaking, it’s how we internalize the way that our caregivers held us, that sense of security, right after that Aries burst of being, and just before that Geminian development of the perception-thought-speech pattern.


In our society, we tend to emphasize the Libran functions of Venus first, which in my opinion just fucks everything up. Of course Libran Venus plays an important role in natural development and diplomacy. It’s where we extend to the other, interact, reflect and mirror, and learn the other’s views. But it seems like so much emphasis is placed on this external validation – “you’re no one ‘til somebody loves you” – and that the self-love-and-knowledge thing, which should come first, is overlooked. This leads to only feeling safe, secure, and validated through external means, which is quite problematic.


And then there’s Venus in Pisces. Venus in Pisces is divine love, the return to source, merging with oneness. For me, it’s dancing out in the open air at a concert, or standing next to rushing water, or orgasm. My monkey mind quiets down, and I’m just present in awe at the way music translates emotion and memory, the way water is constantly moving and sculpting, the way endorphins are rushing through my system… I experience Venus in Pisces when I’m gawking at a sunset, relishing synchronicity, or just ecstatic that I get to participate in the adventure of life.


Recent experiences with lovers tell me that the combination of Taurus and Pisces in natal charts and composite charts leads to the kind of embodiment of the divine that leads to full blown bliss experiences that lingers for days. But that’s another story.


Here’s the other thing. My natal Venus in Pisces also squares Neptune and opposes Saturn. This results in a heckuva kerfluffle when it comes to discernment. The Pisces shadow begins to appear. For brevity’s sake, it can be translated as an uncanny ability to be completely and totally delusional and idealistic in love. I have the ability to see through to the core of who someone is, and love them unconditionally – which is beautiful! But I’ve had to recognize that being able to see someone’s core does not mean that they’re necessarily wanting to, needing to, or planning on going for that. And it’s not my job to force that development or be a martyr to someone else’s cause. I value my tendency towards radical acceptance – but it also gets me into trouble. For Venus in Pisces is not all transcendence and love, it is also the unqualified experience of being in the abyss, of losing one’s self in the fog.


I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately about the idea that the soul has two primary desires – the desire to separate from source at the same time as it has a desire to return to source. I’ve also been thinking about separation from source as the “original” would or trauma – and noticing it in so much happening around me. The events in Ferguson, for example. Or our ability to detach from an emotional experience of what’s happening to our ecosystem. I’ve been recognizing it in the experience of projecting divine love onto the face of a lover and pondering its relevance to the work I do with soul loss and fragmentation. Why do we seem to lose parts of ourselves so easily? The ease with which we “go away” speaks to some pretty deep imprinting.


Once again I’m brought back to my deep belief in love as the guiding principle, love as healer. Embodied love – for the self and the physical vehicle – is part of it. Love of the other, while recognizing and withdrawing our projections so that we can learn about ourselves at the same time as we allow others to be who they are rather than who we need them to be. And love for and from the divine, love of the mystery, and recognition of connection. Recognizing that when we fall in love we are projecting the divine onto our lover, or onto a song or landscape might help with the recognition that that blissful, transformative source does lie within – and all around. We are never separate, although the experience of separation is vital to creative self-actualization. And while everyone’s path is different, it seems like the more those of us who are called to do so can build up a core of self-worth in ourselves, the better our chances of holding spaces for transformation without judgment or agenda.