A thousand veils—the Dance of Venus and Neptune.
The soul is covered by a thousand veils—Hazrat Inayat Khan
On February 14th in many places on this earth, we’ll demonstrate through chocolates, music and flowers, our longing to love and be loved. As cloyingly sentimental or overtly commercial as this celebration may seem, Valentine’s Day has survived world wars and financial crashes. It has evolved from rumbustious fertility ritual origins enacted by the Romans. On February 14th, we celebrate Love that breaks us open, initiates us into the mystery of the human heart, lifts another veil from our soul.
On Valentine’s Day, the moon slips into her third-quarter phase as she glides through the fire sign of Sagittarius, carrying our vision for new beginnings, second chances, repair and healing, while the Sun in Aquarius moves towards a serious and conjunction with Saturn on February 16th, tethering our longings and imaginings to what is practical and possible.
Venus shimmers in the night sky as she moves through Pisces, sign of her exultation. On this day dedicated to Love and Lovers, she nestles closer to Neptune, an incandescent and brief union (in orb from February 11th-17th) that summons seduction and timeless pleasure as we gaze deeply into each other’s eyes, allows our hearts to lead us to our love’s longing. This evocative conjunction perfects on February 15th, drawing us into beauty, heightening our compassion.
When Venus meets Neptune in Pisces we may be lured by the promise of romance, ecstatic spiritual experience, or opulence. Venus/Neptune contacts offer us the gift of soul-union with a lover, artistic inspiration, the ability to be selfless, to see the beauty growing out of the cracks in the pavements, or the black delta of mould in the subways. It also can signify the tsunami of grief and loss at the ending of a relationship or the realisation that we have been unrealistic or too naïve concerning our finances or what we hold dear to our heart. When Venus makes contact with any of the outer planets, ancient gods stretch and yawn. We enter the archetypal realm and we are asked to lift one more veil that, as John Welwood suggests in his book, Journey of the Heart, “will inevitably penetrate our usual shield of defences, exposing our most tender and sensitive spots, and leaving us feeling vulnerable—literally, able to be wounded.”
Venus/Neptune chaperones blind spots, often accompanies delusion and disappointment, unmasks the power of the saboteur/victim within all of us. Yet, this aspect contains the power to liberate us from lack and scarcity, from our belief that we are not enough, and invites us to reimage a different use of our personal power, an opportunity to step back and read a situation symbolically.
On Valentine’s Day we engage with the Lover Archetype, and as we allow this energy to fill our senses, we may sense a stirring of something beyond reason, a feeling of interbeing, a term created by Thich Nhat Hanh.
In myth, Venus was not faithful. She delighted in variety, she evoked jealousy. She defied the patriarchal Greek and Roman morality. This multifaceted face of the Feminine embodies different qualities as she moves through Pisces, slips on her mermaid tail, adorns her hair with seashells. In Pisces, she dives deep into opaque waters where music and poetry melt walls that divide.
Each archetype of the zodiac manifests within us differently, but all have the potential to awaken our divine potential, cast light on those shadowy corners in our psyches. As Venus swims through the shimmering waters of this dualistic sign, perceptions may shift, new insights may wash to the shore of our consciousness, or ambiguity, uncertainty and confusion may swirl around us as we swim in uncharted waters. Yet, wrapped in the sweetness of Love’s beginning is also the sorrow of its ending. Anais Nin wrote so poignantly, “Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we do not know how to replenish its source.”
So how do we replenish Love’s source? Love requires an artist’s eye, a poet’s sensibility, a gourmet’s palate. The willingness to be curious, to engage in the mystery, to re-ignite the flame of Eros with the spark of our human imagination. “Love is fearlessness in the midst of a sea of fear,” Rumi reminds us.
Mars symbolises the Warrior/Amazon archetype which has many guises, but carries a charge of heroism, stoicism, loyalty, and self-sacrifice as we defend and protect the people and those things we love and value.
Mars in Gemini is picking up speed again after moving direct on January 12th, charging through that portion of the zodiac associated with the power of thought and communication. Gemini and the numinous image of the Twins are powerful motifs on this day offered to Love.
In Tarot, The Lovers card accompanies that sense of separateness, individuality, and awakens our very human yearning to relate and bond. The shadow that emerges can be the Don Juan/Femme Fatale who uses sexual power to pursue and control until a tremulous vulnerability is exposed, breaking open a heart longing for deep love.
So this Valentine’s Day, dare to pause a while amongst the heart-shaped second chances to speak our truth. Buy those red roses. Say I love you. Celebrate the confounding mystery and magnificence of the human heart.
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