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With Venus, the archetypal goddess of love, the arts and all things beautiful, gradually building up to an exact conjunction with Pluto on Saturday, the passions may be aroused, with a greater degree of emotional intensity available to animate the affections. Any creative expression could have a stronger dramatic overtone too. Intenser emotional involvement may manifest itself in the consciousness of some, particularly those with a strong Capricorn influence in their charts, as this is where the Venus -Pluto conjunction occurs. All of us could feel the effects to some degree, and on a lower octave this could manifest in some as an insatiable desire for affection or attention, to the point where manipulative skills may be employed to obtain or keep the attention of the other.
Because this conjunction falls in Capricorn, some may feel the compulsive need to be accepted by others, the need to be accepted by the public as a whole. This is the vulnerability of the showman or public figure who finds fulfilment in the attentions of an audience and does whatever it takes to maintain their appreciation, to the point of becoming a populist who will say or perform whatever is commercially viable on the day. We all know of some band or singer who made great music but then went completely commercial just to appeal to the mass audience. Or the politician who changed his finance minister twice in a week just to placate his voters, even if it ended up destabilising the entire country’s currency. Even on a personal scale, the desire to keep the affections of the other will be so strong that some may stoop to unsavoury methods to keep those attentions. So be careful of a desperation based on a poor self-image which actually makes us dependent on the other for our feeling of well-being. It may be difficult to accept the fact that s/he is just not into you, as they say. Intense jealousy or possessiveness may result. One way or the other the feelings will be intensified, with an urge toward dramatic or highly charged emotional encounters, of a life and death quality. Shallow or light-hearted relationships will simply not suffice over the next several days, as only the deepest or most profound of intimate contacts will satisfy. This might even end up in pain for those who are caught up in unfulfilled or unrequited relationships.
On a higher octave this Venus–Pluto conjunction also has the potential to transform or revive an outmoded or decayed relationship, bringing it to a higher level of experience. Relationships may also be sought because of the power they can provide. As a result influential association may be sought which helps raise our status socially or materially. Even money is an attractive Venus ingredient, and sometimes marrying for money or power brings satisfaction to those on that level of existence. The potential to transcend mundane attractions and rise to the higher level in such relationships is also available now, as we find newer and fresher dimensions to the exchange. Some degree of regeneration is possible this weekend. In highly evolved individuals this weekend’s conjunction can even bring about a transcendent love, or inspire a spiritual love or emotional exchange, whether with a significant other or with the divine. A spiritually suffused love is the most empowering thing, capable of raising our consciousness to an elevated level not dependent on flickering economic fluctuations or the whims of time and age. Once empowered by such a love, the lover or devotee is able to perform great feats of prowess, as it brings out the best in us and provides the meaning and impetus to act on the material plane. Or we are able to take that which is normally mundane and turn it into something transcendent. Whenever divinity is put in the centre of our activity, or is the goal of the action, such apparently mundane action is transformed into a divine service, into devotional service. Such service is then free from the laws of karma or the need for any karmic reaction. It no longer binds us to the material world, like the lust for the objects of the senses, but rather liberates us from this material misconception of reality. Thus even a once materially motivated action, like satisfying our tongue, belly or genitals, becomes spiritualised when offered in service, as a sacrifice to the divine, to the source from whence the energies originated in the first place. It’s like when a parent brings home some fruit, and then the child – in order to bring joy to the parent – offers that same fruit to the parent for their pleasure. The parent was the source anyway, but happily accepts the fruit and more particularly accepts the sentiment with which it is offered. This is just a simple example to illustrate the point that all energy, whether subtle emotional, or gross physical originates from the original cause of all causes to begin with, and we may try to enjoy that for ourselves, but will only ever reach a basic level of satisfaction. But by engaging the energy in the service of the original energetic source of that energy, we can tap into a greater level of pleasure as a concomitant bi-product of that sacrifice or service mentality. Then that practice becomes your yoga, because it links you up with your divine source. This practice of Bhakti Yoga is the ultimate goal of all yogas. This yoga of divine love is the culmination of any other yoga practices, which are simply aids on the path to the highest love.
By falling under the influence of a shallow or superficial, ego-based interpretation of reality, we miss the higher love, the deeper intimacy available to us all, a love which is endless and which awakens us to the miracles which can become part of our everyday reality. So as it builds up to the exact alignment this weekend, let’s remain receptive to a window of transcendent love symbolised by the Venus alignment with Pluto.
With Venus, the planet of love, trine transpersonal Neptune over the next few days, we can expect diverse expressions of love to fill the air. Love may be in the air, and beauty in the subjective eye of the beholder, but whether it is real or not will be wide open to interpretation.
The more mundane expressions of the current archetype under discussion are likely to present themselves to the unsuspecting majority as the all-too-easily misunderstood, yet equally bewildering allures of Maya, the illusory energy, or Shakti expansion of Vishnu deputed to keep us under her foggy influence. In other words, falling in love or falling under that spell weaved by the mystique of “the other” as she seduces us with her allure, may be hard to resist now. Some simply fall in love with the concept of love, wishing to feel its intoxicating chemicals of dopamine or oxytocin throb through their veins. Here we find ourselves lifted up on clouds of fancy at even a hint thereof in the media around us, vicariously even wallowing in the affairs of others, particularly celebrities, or in Hollywood screenplays – the modern day fairy tales that enchant the multitudes. In actuality such dreamers are more than not so caught up in ego identification that they actually become enamoured by themselves, and thus by their reflections, whether in the mirror as in the myth of Narcissus, or in their own anima projections onto some apparently significant other. The age of the “selfie” has truly empowered every wannabe to find their 15 minutes of fame. These are all themes symbolised by Venus linked with Neptune.
Ask any adult who it is that symbolises the top movie sex symbol of the twentieth century and they will more than likely say Marilyn Monroe. Curiously she was born with this very Venus trine Neptune aspect in her horoscope, and it is she who personifies this type of attraction and mystique, so easily expanded by the big screen. The mundane or lower octave expression of Venus trine Neptune that we feel this week, is that of something alluring that is larger than life, yet also unattainable in reality. Monroe, like any Hollywood starlet, was so glamourised and made up that every woman wanted to be like her, while every man wanted her, while in reality off screen she was nothing like the hyped illusion created by the big screen and the advertising. Such is the illusory power of Maya. Ultimately she died a premature and tragic death, for she was never able to live up to the overinflated persona demanded of her by the producers or by the public. In other words, on the lower level of expression, we become bewildered by our own preoccupation with our external façade – the body – or we long to be something illusory, puffed up by the ego’s desire for name and fame. Take a selfie and upload it; there you are, on the cyber screen, up in lights before the entire world, even if only to yourself. Still the illusion and the attraction to that illusion is irresistible. Certainly, there are gains available under this planetary influence, for it favours modelling, photography, cinema, fashion, other visual arts, as well as music, so anyone involved in those spheres may benefit in their artistic expression. Still the imaginary value of much of it may be intangible, even while the imagination is being greatly inspired. Despite the inspiration though, practical follow through is not always as readily available, and visions may never leave the subtle realm of mind unless there is willpower and active work to ground the flights of fancy now.
Besides the usual sentimental romantic expression of this planetary trend, a higher manifestation will incline some to become more selfless in their love or care for the other, to a point where the love can become a sense of compassion for those suffering in any way, where the urge to assist the world at large arises, or at least the ability to empathise with those other than our selves or our immediate circle. Such compassion is truly a higher expression of love for it sees all life as worthy of love and compassion and even concern, particularly if it is being exploited in some unjust way. Taken still further up the ladder of love, this theme may express itself as a divine love, a love of God spoken of by mystics of all ages and all religious cultures. Again we are entering an ethereal realm, where intangible states of consciousness may be glimpsed, perhaps only in the psyche of the aspirant. This is another expression of the Neptune archetype in western astrology, though it has been alluded to not only by Catholic or Sufi mystics but even further back in history by mystics of India in the Vedas, where divine love is a science. Obviously a divine love extends to become a love for all life – life being a symptom of the divine spark present within every creature.
So whether you express your love in the allure of glamour-filled fashion magazines with their seductive models, or on the silver screen, or in the arts, or ultimately in the divine, now is the time to tap in to the more subtle expressions of that which makes the world go round. Depending on your level of realization, you will hear the call and become entranced as you hear every word as a song and feel every step as a dance, or you will find that the woman in the red dress is merely the prison warden of your own imagined dream world. The beauty is undoubtedly there and the beholder is invariably you.
As Venus squares Pluto this weekend and then makes an exact opposition to Uranus on Tuesday 24th, the Cardinal T-square formed between these three planets may oblige us to face up to challenges in our field of relationships and love. Relationships affect all our lives, even single hermits, because to exist on the planet we are obliged to relate to others in some capacity or another. We are social beings living in a society after all.
To begin with the Pluto – Uranus square has been with us for some years now, on and off, and it is the arrival of Venus in the coming days that activates this alignment still further, making a perhaps impersonal or generational influence a more personal one. The positions of Pluto and Uranus in the Cardinal signs of Capricorn and Aries respectively already indicate a powerful energetic influence, where an impatience and determination to fulfil one’s desires, whether for power or relationship, may incline one to use any means possible, fair or foul, in a selfish and roughshod urge, like that of a Jihadi terrorist who disregards the rules of the game as well as the innocents who may be injured along the way. It is the perfect recipe for one who is willing to wage war against the established authority to achieve their ends. In a healthier psyche this combination may manifest as the desire to achieve the top regardless of the challenges and hardship, like a rock climber battling the elements or corporate executive for example. So we need to look at our own circumstances or horoscopes to see how this force will express itself in our particular lives.
With Venus in Libra now entering the equation with a square to Pluto from the other side, the above-mentioned theme or force can be seen to play itself out in relationships. For example the sex scandals of recent times have really revealed the shadowy underworld of taboos in unexpected places like the Catholic Church, amongst politicians, etc. Pluto is the Lord of the underworld, and what was hidden has come to light, shocking the world into the realization that sex scandals are more prolific in our society than we imagined. So this weekend more may come to light in that regard, for Venus is here like the goddess Persephone in Greek mythology and Pluto the Underworld God who kidnapped her and took her to his underworld kingdom, where she remained trapped as his bride, only to be allowed access to the surface for a brief moment every year. One way or the other, this combination can indicate intense, perhaps even shocking relationship issues this weekend. If anything it suggests an emotionally insatiable need for attention, like a demanding boss who insists you do overtime, or a partner who insists the same in the bedroom. And they may be so charming or manipulative that you just can’t resist. So depending on your nature, you may be on either side of this equation, and hopefully the charm is used to win the other over to a worthy cause, like a diplomat brokering a peace deal between two enemies. Of course that diplomat may make you fell so special until you realize that all his negotiations are conducted in that way.
Our own insecurities about our attractiveness may emerge too, especially if our attempts at winning over another are not succeeding. Or our ability to let go may be challenged. We cannot ever own the other like Pluto when he kidnapped Persephone, as much as we try, and feelings of jealousy and possessiveness need to be resolved if they arise. The need to love intensely or be willing to die for your love may seem rather Gothic, but that is the Jihadi’s modus operandi. Let me prove my religious devotion by blowing myself and others to oblivion to prove a point, with the hope that oblivion is where the pearly gates lie, with their multiple virgins all waiting to serve me. That is the deluded and mundanely distorted perception of a shallow religious zealot who still thinks with his genitals when contemplating the divine kingdom. It’s in the teachings too, clearly indicating the lack of actual spiritual realization in the bewildered world of some pseudo religions. Of course the intertwining of sexual imagery in the esoteric revelations of mystical Hinduism (Bhakti) or Islam (Sufism) also allude to the union of the lover with the beloved, or the love affairs of Krishna with His unwed secret lover Radha, but never for a second are these taken literally by the meditator. They are always understood to be analogous to the union of the soul with the divine source. And it is the contemplation of this kind of “higher love” that is the topmost expression of the Venus-Pluto alignment now. The love of the gopis for Krishna was of that intense sort that was all-consuming and endless, and it is that which enraptures the consciousness of the devotee when experiencing exalted states of “bhava” and “prema”, two Sanskrit terms for types of divine love available to the meditator found in the ancient texts, the Vedas, although long since lost to the spiritual traditions we grow up in on the western half of the globe.
Ultimately we need to look at any feelings of unrequited love, or obsessive neediness as a symptom of some deeper yearning in the psyche. It could stem from some form of abandonment in infancy, or the baby’s separation from the mother at birth, but on a higher level it is described that the soul resides in a state of separation from the divine source and it is that relationship which is the missing link, the key to union and perfection of human life. All other attempts are mundane substitutes in filling the gap, a gap which is bridged by yoga, the word yoga translating to mean “union” in Sanskrit. And when union is even glimpsed for a moment in ones life, one sees that we are all part and parcel of that one original source, that we are all in relationship, that there is no “us and them”, and one can never again feel a vacuum, or perceive the other to be anyone less than our own family, all children of the one original cause of all causes.