Secrecy, danger, novelty and forbidden fruit make our hearts race and flood our brains and bodies with an intoxicating cocktail of sweetest taboo. Greek myths are steamy stories of infidelity, trickery and connivance. Handsome youths seduced, innocent maidens abducted. The kind of sex that makes Fifty Shades seem more like Enid Blyton’s Playful Pets.
Lipstick on the collar has now gone digital. Where once we secreted our love letters in padlocked boxes, we now have passwords and browsing histories to delete. Some of the fallout from the Ashley Madison “affair” is a mushroom shaped cloud of moralistic condemnation sprinkled with a dusting of judgement which says more about the judge than those being judged. As Hackers, presumably with their own agendas, smoke out the “sinners”, there’s a lot of talk about affairs and the destruction of so-called family life but not much intelligent inquiry as to the Why we want what we can’t have and do what we do to get it. And yet, in this age of instant gratification and increasingly sophisticated digital technology driven by a porn industry that caters for all preferences, Why not? What we once termed aberrations and perversions, thankfully have now become “normalised” though there’s is still an odorous smell to the word adultery. And in some places in the world sex outside marriage is punishable by death.
Love and Desire are two completely different things. So says sex therapist and author of Mating in Captivity Esther Perel. Astrologers agree. Mars and Venus in their healthy expression move us to want, to take and to own. Author Thomas Moore writes, “Mars when he is honoured, gives a deep red hue to everything we do, quickening our lives with intensity passion forcefulness and courage… It is important then to revere the Martian spirit and to let the soul burst into life in creativity individuality iconoclasm and imagination.”
Eros is not the chubby diaper-wearing infant we see on Valentine’s cards. He takes us to the beating heart of our own “red light district”, he brings us back to life. He’s an antidote to the terror of ageing, the annihilation of death.
Eros and Thanatos are the provocative invitation on the now infamous Ashley Madison website: Life is Short – Have an Affair!
As author and teacher, Joanna Watters writes The Astrology Blog this week, “The most obvious retrograde Venus story in the news at the moment is the hacking of website Ashley Madison. This company has built up a membership of a staggering 37 million people around the world, and continues to sign up new members at the rate of 35,000 a day. Noel Biderman, the CEO of the company, is born 1 January 1971. Unfortunately there is no other birth data but you don’t really need to look any further than the date as he’s born on a triple conjunction of Venus and Mars (the love and sex planets) and Jupiter (expansion) all in Scorpio (the sign of sex, secrecy and all that is taboo)”
Our comfort-seeking astrological Moon craves security and safety and dependability and permanence. Paradoxically, good connection, good intimacy does not guarantee good sex. Routine, predictability, too much closeness and familiarity are a cold shower to an erotic charge. Spontaneity in long term relationships is a myth. “There is no neediness or caretaking in desire,” says Esther Perel.
“Sex is a place we go to,” says Perel. “A space we enter inside ourselves with another or others”. For some it may be a place for aggression or playfulness, for others it is a place of surrender and relinquishing control, for others it is a templum for transcendence and dissolution, poetically described by the planets and their aspects in astrology. Eros resides in the imaginal realm. And says Perel, “the erotic mind is not politically correct.”
She adds also that few of us know how to bring our self-hood to our partner. Or how to stay connected to ourselves in the presence of the Other. Few of us know the landscape of our bodies in relationship with the Other. Committed sex is premeditated sex. It is willful, focused, and present. And foreplay starts at the end of the previous orgasm.
The poetics of our erotic life transforms sexuality by our own imagination. But what when fur-lined cuffs, leather whips, slivers of silky underwear, or a romantic getaway without the kids fails to alleviate the tedium of sex gone stale? The answer lies within when we ask ourselves is – “I shut down my desire for my partner when…”
Our responses will be as unique as our birth charts. For some, the answer may be, “I shut down my desire when I work late at night, for others when I am overweight and feel unattractive, for others still, when we fight over the in-laws or the kids … and for some, I shut down my desire when I feel responsible, when I don’t feel I have a right to want, when I don’t feel I have the right to receive, or to take, sensual pleasure…”
For most of us, growing up, reclaiming Eros, is hard to do. And in our adolescent culture where we objectify each other and Mother Earth, where phallus-shaped guns are given to young children and wars and violence continue to continue, until we are Collectively ready to Imagine another way of being in relationship to one another there will be affairs and heartbreak. And also the opportunity to re-pair and heal and rebuild our ravaged relationships and invite Eros and Aphrodite back into our bodies and our lives.
Astrology workshops London
Lust, Love, Loss and Longing
Saturday 31 October & Sunday 1 November
£85.00 per day, or £150.00 for both
Venue – The Astrological Lodge of London, 50 Gloucester Place W1U 8EA
Suitable for all levels.
The two days are completely different but are designed to complement one another. So you can choose to do either day, or both. Venus and Mars in your birth chart with Ingrid Hoffman – astrologer and Imago Practitioner, founder of Trueheartwork, and a magical day of traditional horoscopy and synastry between two individuals with author and astrologer Joanna Watters.
Please contact Joanna directly and come and join us in London.
Jaymes Young – I’ll Be Good