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Venus in Scorpio 6

The One I Love—Venus Retrograde—October 5th—November 16th.

Venus Rx 4

Sometimes it’s only when we lose what has been comfortingly familiar, tenderly consistent, that we discover what we truly value.

Venus goes Retrograde on October 5th. As she moves apparently backwards in the skies through the deeply sensitive sign of Scorpio, she quickens our hearts and demands only the most honest and loyal bonds of attachment. Venus symbolises our inner values, and in Scorpio, superficiality and masks just won’t do. We may have reached a crossroad where we wonder, as author, Elizabeth Gilbert once did, “do we want our belly pressed against this person’s belly forever—or not?”  Whether we choose to go or to stay, to keep or to give away, Venus Retrograde periods distill the essence of what it is that we hold very dear to our hearts.

The ancients tracked the passage of Venus in a perfect pentagram across the skies, ascribing her disappearance in the skies to her descent into the Underworld. The pre-Colombian Mayans believed that kingdoms were unstable, regimes might topple, and so her emergence signified an auspicious time to begin a war. Retrograde cycles emphasise those areas in our lives where we unconsciously lead with our wound. Where we move through life like a somnambulist, unable to truly value what we have until it’s too late. Where we make Shadow choices drawn from unexamined cultural programming or adaptations to past trauma. In therapy, we may learn skills that help us leave behind the legacy of our old conditioning, surpass our constricted hurt lives, all by ourselves. And yet it is in relationship that we encounter our Shadow and our Light.

venus and the MoonIn myth, Innana (Venus) is stripped of all her valued regalia and exquisite clothing. She enters the Underworld vulnerable and exposed. In modern times, the Underworld is a symbol of our own unconscious where we may encounter a truth that reverberates viscerally. The trial of these 40 days and 40 nights are a cosmic reminder for us to dissolve, discard, out-worn values and beliefs. To re-organise, re-examine, re-prioritise those things we value around a more truthful, authentic place that rests in  the hearth of our heart.

In astrology, Venus is about relationship. As she travels through uncompromising Scorpio, she encounters her vulnerability in intense emotional encounter.

“It’s a tough, anti-relational world out there. Relationships between men and women have never been more difficult,” therapist Terry Real believes. “Close to half of couples getting married will divorce. And there are far too many couples who suffer in relationships that lack the passion and closeness we all deserve.”

The Archetype of Venus transcends gender and sexual preference. These 40 days and 40 nights bring an opportunity to transform vicious cycles into charmed circles as Venus magnifies and amplifies our most private and intimate relationships.

Blood-soaked centuries of patriarchal conditioning have programmed men and silenced women.Venus Rx 1

Writes Robert Bly, “many men numb themselves so they’re not expressive. If you’re too expressive in IBM, you get fired”.

Terry Real believes, “men are just doing what they have been programmed to do—work hard, try to be more involved in the family, try to be responsible and responsive—and feel that they will never get it right.”

Venus in her retrograde cycle invites us to slow down—our speech, our movements, our breath, the beat of our heart.

To be present with ourselves, with our lover, in a way that engages all the cells in our body and makes our heart expand like a Super Nova…

1ac16e4abe0d0efb860214925ee820a5In A Plea to Women,  John Wineland imagines that what all men want is—Less. “Our nervous systems can’t handle more. We love range. Especially in bed. We want the Divine Mother, the cock-worshipping whore. Find ways to playfully and lovingly bring that to us. Try to separate the tools that you use to succeed in business from the tools that you use in our relationship. We want more of your vulnerability, more of your fear, more of your pain, we don’t want to be told what book to read, what seminar to go to what therapist to see, we want to be told how painful it is for you when we don’t show up for you… we want you to find something in us every day that you trust implicitly…. because the thing we want the most is to feel that you trust us and that you would let us lead you anywhere and find some way to continually surrender.”

Transiting Venus moves apparently backwards in her dance across the skies once every nineteen months. Now, she’s pinned like a diamond on the coral swathe of the evening sky. Venus passed her superior conjunction with the Sun on January 9th, a mythic mating, a Venus “new Moon”, and since then, she has been moving further and further away from the glare of the Sun. She reached her greatest brilliancy on September 21st, reclining low on the western horizon. During the last week of September, she appeared as a large, elegant crescent, surrendering to the embrace of the darkness of each night, a fragile, vulnerable, a faded version of her former splendour. At Christmas time, she emerges from the Underworld, The Star of Bethlehem, the Angel of the Dawn, gifting us with a new revelation of our heart’s desire.

Philosopher, Lao Tzu once said, “being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” 

Venus Rx 9Venus in Scorpio demands that we love deeply and bravely. And when she emerges once more as the glittering Angel of the Morning, may she find us awake to new possibilities, fully aware of what we truly value, and extravagantly generous in our loving.

 I post regular astrology updates on FaceBook:

https://www.facebook.com/ingrid.hoffman.75

Please contact me directly for private readings in London and for more information about forthcoming UK workshops—ingrid@trueheartwork.com

 

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couple-168191_960_720

The One I Love

in love 2In myth, Venus retrograde periods are cosmic magnifying glasses, amplifying our inherent values and intimate desires. We may be blindsided by the behaviour of our lover, pressed down by the weight of the frustrations, the drama of it all. We may have reached a crossroad where we wonder, as author, Elizabeth Gilbert once did, “do we want our belly pressed against this person’s belly forever—or not?”

In myth, Innana (Venus) is stripped of all her valued regalia and exquisite clothing. She enters the Underworld vulnerable and exposed. In modern times, the Underworld is a symbol of our own unconscious where we may encounter a truth that reverberates viscerally. The trial of these 40 days and 40 nights are a cosmic reminder for us to dissolve, discard, out-worn values and beliefs. To re-organise, re-examine, re-prioritise those things we value around a more truthful, authentic place that nestles at the hearth of our heart.Venus 26

In astrology, Venus is about relationship. Retrograde cycles emphasise those areas in our lives where we unconsciously lead with our wound. Where we move through life like a somnambulist. Where we make Shadow choices that we draw from compulsive, unexamined cultural programming or adaptations to past trauma.

Psychology uses the language of self-empowerment, internalisation. In therapy, we may learn skills that help us leave behind the legacy of our old conditioning, surpass our constricted hurt lives, all by ourselves. And yet it is in relationship that we encounter our Shadow and our Light.

“It’s a tough, anti-relational world out there. Relationships between men and women have never been more difficult,” therapist Terry Real believes. “Close to half of couples getting married will divorce. And there are far too many couples who suffer in relationships that lack the passion and closeness we all deserve.”hand-1613399__480

These 40 days and 40 nights bring an opportunity to transform vicious cycles into charmed circles. The Archetype of Venus transcends gender and sexual preference. What your partner wants might not fit neatly into a heart-shaped cookie-cutter. As Venus magnifies and amplifies our most private and intimate relationships, do we dare ask ourselves, what do men want?  Pretty much the same as woman—with all the subtle water—coloured nuances and dappled light. To to be fully seen. To be heard and validated. To be loved. Just as they are.

Blood-soaked centuries of patriarchal conditioning have programmed men and silenced women.

Writes Robert Bly, “many men numb themselves so they’re not expressive. If you’re too expressive in IBM, you get fired”.

Terry Real believes, “men are just doing what they have been programmed to do—work hard, try to be more involved in the family, try to be responsible and responsive—and feel that they will never get it right.”

Venus in her retrograde cycle invites usTrojan Horse 3 to slow downour speech, our movements, our breath, the beat of our heart. To be present with ourselves, with our man, in a way that engages all the cells in our body and makes our heart expand like a Super Nova…

In A Plea to Women, John Wineland imagines that what all men want isLess. “Our nervous systems can’t handle more. We love range. Especially in bed. We want the Divine Mother, the cock-worshipping whore. Find ways to playfully and lovingly bring that to us. Try to separate the tools that you use to succeed in business from the tools that you use in our relationship. We want more of your vulnerability, more of your fear, more of your pain, we don’t want to be told what book to read, what seminar to go to what therapist to see, we want to be told how painful it is for you when we don’t show up for you… we want you to find something in us every day that you trust implicitly…. because the thing we want the most is to feel that you trust us and that you would let us lead you anywhere and find some way to continually surrender.”love actually 2

Now as Venus withdraws from the light of the Sun, she’s “in the dark”. A fragile, vulnerable, a faded version of her former splendour. Venus has the same eight phases as the Moon. As she aligns with the Sun, a mythic mating, a Venus new “moon”, an alchemical union with our soul-self. She reveals herself, resplendent and radiant once more, as Venus the morning star (March 24th,) offering clear vision, new revelation of  our heart’s desireimagesQNGE4N2G.

Two archetypal energy forces are activated in ourselves and globally as Venus moves between fiery Aries and watery Pisces these 40 days and 40 nights. In Aries, Venus hunts Mars. She’s the warrior, the activist, the persecutor, the feisty rebel. In relationship, tone down the volume. “Try to separate the tools that you use to succeed in business from the tools that you use in our relationship.”

In dreamy Pisces, she’s exulted, raised on high in love but also in escapism, delusion, illusion and fantasy. She may be the victim, the rescuer. She may search for the Mystical Lover in the vain hope of redemption. Use this symbolism to appraise your own relational style.  We want to be told how painful it is for you when we don’t show up for you…

Philosopher, Lao Tzu once said, “being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”

When Venus appears again as the Angel of the Dawn, dare to love generously, deeply, expansively, creatively. Bring forth the Divine Spark within you and blaze brightly out into the world.aphrodite-the-olympians-16599123-1000-579

R.E.M.The One I Love

 

 

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Magnetised 22

Magnetised

It’s ilovers 25n my imagination that I become the avenging hero. The beautiful princess. It’s in my imagination that I search for synchronicities, clues, correspondences. You are my soul mate. My twin flame. My past life lover. We’ve woven a new story with a thread of a new truth…we exchange souls in a kiss…

 “Relationships are about stories, not truth. Alone, as individuals, we each have our own personal mythologies, the stories we tell in order to make sense of ourselves to ourselves. That generally works well as long as we stay sane and single, but the minute you enter an intimate relationship with another person there is an automatic dissonance between your story about yourself and his or her story about you,” writes author Louise Doughty in her brilliant exposé of a Neptunian love-affair, Apple Tree Yard.

In the boundary-less, nebulous realm of cyberspace’s Neverland we become Tinker Bell, a Lost Boy. Amidst those seamless hours in altered reality, we escape the mortgage, the rigors of ageing, our sordid family dramas. We cloak our ordinary lives in a sparkling façade as we author new stories about ourselves. Artfully embellish the old rusty ones. In the spaces between the lines, in the tantalising silence of omission, we can be anything we want to be. beautiful_photographs_of_rain_42

Neptune’s long transit through Pisces— 2011 —2025 liquefies boundaries between what we think is real and true stirs the dark sediment suspended in the crevasses of our unconscious. Neptune infuses a numinous, otherworldly dimension into our mundane, often unremarkable lives. Offers a tantalising escape from the crass harshness of the world through hypnosis, meditation, shamanic journey, altered states of experience. False gurus, fake news, virtual reality porn, and Rebel Redeemer Dionysus figures enter our lives, mysterious White Knights carry us away in a sequence of algorithms… As Google and Facebook trawl through the vast data lake, hauling up a richly writhing catch of even the most intimate parts of our lives, we comply. Without a whimper. By the end of Neptune’s transit through Pisces personal privacy will be dead. A quaint anachronism cherished only by those ( perhaps with Pluto in Leo )  who remember what things were like once upon a time.
The look of loveThe porous membrane of social media offer the thrill of voyeurism and subterfuge but no anonymity. Surveillance pervades every quiet sanctuary of our existence and is an attentive audience in the circle of our Neptunian theatre  as we can play at being someone else, glamourise our drab dull lives, blur the boundaries just a little because, we tell ourselves, it’s harmless. And like any addict, we truly believe we can stop any time we want to. And like any addict, we loose all empathy for the feelings of those around us.

Writes sex therapist, Esther Perel, “In this relationship culture, expectations and trust are in constant question. The state of stable ambiguity inevitably creates an atmosphere where at least one person feels lingering uncertainty, and neither person feels truly appreciated or nurtured. We do this at the expense of our emotional health, and the emotional health of others… Ghosting, icing, and simmering are manifestations of the decline of empathy in our society — the promoting of one’s selfishness, without regard for the consequences of others. There is a person on the other end of our text messages (or lack thereof), and the ability to communicate virtually doesn’t give us the right to treat others poorly.” mermaid 8

Neptune’s domain is the liminal tidal zone where morality, ethics and what we deem to be true are sucked into the undertow of the ineffable. Swept along with bleached bones of Victims, Martyrs, and Persecutors.  Fantasy, glamour and magic gleam in the lustrous shell of illusion. Integrity sinks like a stone. We want the Hollywood ending that fades out with music and moonlight. We want the passion, the excitement that lifts us up where we believe we belong.

When we’re “love struck” we experience the euphoria associated with cocaine and alcohol. Our neural pathway that’s responsible for fear and judgement shuts down.  It’s impossible to be “sane” when our brain’s reward circuit is flooded with dopamine, cortisol, vasopressin and oxytocin. We’re blind, in the most deliciously submissive way, until the cortisol and serotonin levels return to normal. Yet the subterfuge and instant gratification can be addictive. And when things get too complicated in this parody of connection, there’s the innocent ease of “unfriending” another human being. Just like detonating all life on earthall it takes is one click.

loving coupleNeptune’s seductive siren call is hard to resist even with our own internal Saturnian checks and balances. Christian morality casts the devil outside ourselves, so we scapegoat those whose life style or religion frightens or confuses; those whose opinions enrage. We don’t mean to judge or blame. We don’t mean to deceive. We are the Victims of our whims, slaves to our addiction to distractions that dissipate our energy. It’s not our fault.
magnetised 6

The internet screens us from the next stage in love’s cycle—death and re-birth. And yet, Neptune in the sign of Pisces is about compassion, a love that cradles the passage of time gently in tender arms.

On February 26th, Mercury ingresses into Pisces bringing a sense of fresh starts to the  solar annular eclipse (Pisces 8 degrees. Saros 19 South.) Astrologer, Bernadette Brady writes that this family of eclipses promises pleasant surprise, lucky breaks, joyful wins that will be life changing. There’s a subtle change in tone, a shimmering supernatural quality in this seeding moment as this new moon merges with Neptune. An opportunity to align with the Divinity within, to transcend our mortal addictions and delusions.

In the alchemical process of our life journey, we will all encounter the searing singe of loss, the choking confusion of betrayal, the languid silence of a lie. We may see our own horns and scaly tail in those we rescue or try to redeem until we truly know, in the words of Robert Bly, that every part of you that you do not love will regress and become hostile towards you…beautiful_photographs_of_rain_53

We will know that no one can rescue us or redeem us. That the tears and protestations of the Victim are charged with a force that provokes a rush of rage. That we can swim not drown a wave of other people’s regurgitated opinions the helpless, hopeless places assigned to us the frenetic dispersal of our precious energy on meaningless connections. We will know that our holy truth is anchored by stillness and reflection. That we can travel to Neverland but we don’t have to stay there forever.

Tom Odell Magnetised

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Sea of Air

little boy peepingToday I heard a famous man ask his wife, “How did I do?” Her smile was received by his eyes only. The nod of her head, indiscernible to the sea of faces in the room, her whispered, “Wonderful!” dissolved in the air that shimmered with applause.

Inside us the little girl or boy seeks comfort, validation, perhaps approval. Certainly love and acceptance. “Am I OK? Do you love me? Did I do something wrong?” As adults we may hunger and thirst for these words: You matter to me. I appreciate your uniqueness. I love you.

And yet what if we can’t get the love and acceptance we yearn for? What if, despite our best (conscious) intention, our belief in the formulaic “The Secret”, our prayers of supplication, we don’t get the love we want in the way that we want it? What if the support we need from our colleague, the recognition and praise we yearn for from our boss, seems to leave us hungry for more? What if we spend the rest of our lives floating adrift on a sea of air, not waving but drowning?girl at window in winter

 

In the 1970s we were collectively “ready” to accept the notion of “the Wounded Child Archetype” as used by self-help movement pioneer, John Bradshaw.  Robert Bly wrote in A Little Book on the Human Shadow, “When we were one or two years old we had what we might visualise as a 360-degree personality. Energy radiated out from all parts of the body and all parts of our psyche. A child running is a living globe of energy…but one day we noticed that our parents didn’t like certain parts of that ball. They said things like, “can’t you be still?” Or “It isn’t nice to want to kill your brother.” Behind us we have an invisible bag, and the part of us our parents don’t like, we, to keep our parent’s love, put it in the bag… by the time my brother and I were twelve …we were known as “the nice Bly boys.” Our bags were already a mile long.”

Modern psychology tends to favour the disease model and focus on our experience of suffering. It is enormously helpful to our own soul’s evolution and certainly eases out some of the Gordian Knots in our relationships when we heal the wounded child within with gentleness, compassion and understanding. And most certainly, it’s in the shadowy world of the unconscious that we find our richest treasure, our own redemption. As Jung wrote, we “do not become enlightened by imaging figures of light but by making the darkness conscious.” But like most children who are indulged with too many sugary platitudes and left to run the household while  parents cower and hide behind their incessant demands, our Wounded Child may grow up to be a tyrannical “ Wounded Brat” says teacher and author Caroline Myss acerbically.

family on the moveIn an interview back in 1997 she admonished: “How long are you going to waste the precious gift of life mourning over the fact that you didn’t have this perfect childhood, when in fact nobody has a perfect childhood?

At some point you’ve got to say to yourself, I’ve got to get over this because I’m wasting my adulthood. Many people are waiting. They have confused healing with becoming perfect and with making their life perfect. Until they reach that state of perfection they aren’t moving on, that is nonsense. It is this kind of attitude I really cannot support anymore. I tell people, get rid of your wishbone and get a backbone. It’s time to really move forward with strength instead of identifying yourself by your weaknesses and your wounds.”

Thich Nhat Hanh, in his beautiful book, Reconciliation, Healing the Inner Child adopts a more compassionate approach. He suggests that we talk tenderly to our inner child several times a day. “When you climb a beautiful mountain, invite your child to climb with you. When you contemplate the sunset, invite her to enjoy it with you. If you do that for a few weeks or a few months, the wounded child in you will experience healing.”

So in our own healing we heal generations of our ancestors and our descendants. In moving forward in life with strength and fortitude, in focusing less on the Wounded Child and more on the Magical Child we may find comfort and joy in our own creativity, our Core Aliveness in our resilience.

Backbones not wishbones. Caroline Myss calls for action, not procrastination or wallowing in Victim consciousness. So how would that look?  Perhaps we start something new to signal a new cycle of growth in our life. Perhaps we focus on gratitude for what is right in our world instead of continually lamenting what is wrong. Perhaps we leave a relationship where two Wounded Children huddle together and moan and whine and expect some one, something, outside themselves to make things better for them. Perhaps it is not another human being who is the surrogate parent who dispenses the love, the validation and the support we crave. Perhaps we spend more time in silence, tuning out the babble and the brouhaha and find out how to truly love and value ourselves.

Chogyam Trungpa taught the practice of the awakened heart. “The genuine heart of sadness” which he said was natural to us all when we allow ourselves to receive the full experience of life with open hearts. It is in this “genuine heart of sadness” that we discover our repressed grief, our forgotten anger, our thin shard of shame,our intoxicating joy and our boundless capacity to Love.

Portugal. The Man – Sea of AirimagesDPOO8O92

 

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