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romantic love Tag

Saturn in Love

Saturn—Pluto Co-presence—An Ode to Love

lovers 32This Valentine’s Day, millions of people will demonstrate through chocolates, music and flowers, their longing to love and be loved. “Perhaps it is true that we do not really exist until there is someone there to see us existing, we cannot properly speak until there is someone who can understand what we are saying in essence, we are not wholly alive until we are loved”, writes author Alain de Botton.

To be seen, fully seen by our lover emboldens and ennobles us. The power of love plucks us out of our literal life into the full-throated drama of  our fantasy, flings off our inhibitions, invites us to create a-new. Yet, the course of love in the digital age is perilous: we’re ghosted, benched, and bread-crumbed. We’re executed with one lethal swipe.  There’s absolutely nothing we can do or say to make someone love usto treat us with kindnessto engage. Concealed within the seductive scent of a scarlet rose, the soft sentiment of  Teddy Bear, love coils and cools, neglected and betrayed. Kristen Roupenian’s highly acclaimed short story, Cat Person, is chilling rendition of the arc of  relating in our adolescent culture. With the callous flick of a finger, a tender human heart crushed, a connection cruelly cauterised.  The technological revolution has got everyone talking, yet so few of us have the courtesy to listen, the skill to empathise. Love amputated by ridicule and disdain aches like a phantom limb years after the bond has been irrevocably severed.wings 6

 

 The astrology of these next five years (as Saturn moves through Capricorn and then through Aquarius) eloquently portrays the flavour of fin de siècle: a closing of an era exemplified by the events of the 1980s. Saturn’s co-presence with Pluto in the sign of Capricorn—December 20th 2017—December 2020—mines Collective and personal trauma that may offer, for some of us, a creative impetus to work through noxious legacies, to stoically endure a world that is falling apart as we learn to love with all our hearts.

passagewayThe archetype of Saturn is redolent of prisons. Pluto is accompanied by a primal, shadowy fear that’s hard-wired in every living creature. Pluto is life and death. Pluto is survival. Tapping into the core scene of the Saturn/Pluto energy of this time, Hard Sun, the pre-apocalyptic BBC drama, depicts a world that faces certain destruction in five years. It’s a prophetic vision of love and survival that resonates with the zeitgeist of Pluto in Saturn’s sign.

The eclipses that fall like hailstones on January 31st, February 15th, July 13th and 27th and August 11th, puncture our birth chart, stir fresh opportunities to re-calibrate, to flush out contaminated old stories. Pluto irradiates Saturn: Traumas of the past are made manifest. Now we must plumb a toxic legacy more consciously. Now we must question those predigested ideas, examine formulaic rules that have no place in a spiritual partnership or a new world order.  

Mars changes sign on January 26th, and as he moves from Scorpio into Sagittarius, from water into fire,  we may feel an infusion of vivifying red, a new impetus to love bravely and honestly that releases us from the prison of fear and conditioning. Mars will be travelling through Sagittarius until March 17th. This Jupiter-ruled sign is associated with faith and optimism. Love lives in the imaginal realm of our soul, and like Santa and the Easter Bunny, authentic love comes to only those who truly believe.

On February 11th, Venus moves from Aquarius to Pisces. She joins Neptune on February 22nd, amplifying the Piscean flavour of the intoxicating sweetness of that first kiss embossed on a silver cord of memory that reverberates across the bars of a song. Neptune is associated with illusion and delusion, with the pain of longing, the exquisite eroticism of an idealised love enshrined in the sugary commercialism of Valentine’s Day. Romantic love is a multi-million-dollar Bolly-Hollywood illusion that mirrors our collective longing back to us from the silver screen. The glittering grandeur of star-spangled romance leaves us breathless, aching for more.

“Illusion” is derived from the Latin, “in ludere,” which is translated as “in play.” And when our world-weary souls expand in joyful play, our lives are graced with “illusions” that may enfold us and protect us from “reality” which may be a mere stand-in for an authentic life.
By your Side 100

Our challenge, as we navigate this end time, is to balance caution and mature wisdom with compassion. To cherish the precious fire-fly of Romantic love. To remember that when we ghost, freeze or bench someone, we wound a tender human heart.

A love that lasts requires a Saturnian back bone: the resilience to stay the course as passion wanes, flickers, and re-ignites. Love in the time of Saturn demands maturity and wisdom, and the courage  to expand our hearts and clear our heads of the clutter that belongs to someone else.

Expect to be moonstruck by the image of beauty in the one you Love. And in the quiet darkness of the new Aquarian Moon on February 15th  let Love press itself deeply into your heart.  

Avoid the flourish. Do not be afraid to be weak. Do not be ashamed to be tired. You look good when you’re tired. You look like you could go on forever. Now come into my arms. You are the image of my beautyLeonard Cohen.

Join me in Dún Laoghaire, Dublin, Saturday, April 28th, 2018 for a day devoted to the sibling constellation in our birth chart: Bonded By Blood. Email: ingrid@trueheartwork.com

loving couple

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Another Love

spring dayAnyone who has ever loved will know that there is nothing  linear or certain about Love. Love can’t be contained or explained. Love has its own circadian rhythm: a sweet scented breeze that shape shifts like clouds on a warm summer’s day then fades like a rainbow. It waxes and wanes like the Moon. Love can erupt as a formidable Force rupturing the structures of our lives, rendering them irrevocably changed. Love burns us in the fire, renders us shining, resplendent and forged a-new. Love is a Many Splendoured Thing.

 

couple dancingWe can’t measure Love the way we measure ourselves:  our attractiveness, our worthiness, our “success”. Love lies in the soft folds of the skin that shelter our elbows. Love lies in the lattice of maturity on our faces. It cannot be smoothed away in the way we smooth lines of anger or worry or happiness with sharp little pricks of Botox. It cannot be cut off or pulled tight in mask-like caricatures of a youth long gone. Love nestles in the warm chambers of our hearts. Love, like Faith and Trust is a Force as indefinable and immeasurable as the Intelligence that throbs and shimmers through the uni-verse.

Popular books with titles like “Getting the Love You Want”, or “Mastery of Love,” mirror a fast-food culture where Love is a commodity that can be ordered, gotten, or kept. love 6 Gary Chapman’s The Five Languages of Love hints at the paucity of language to describe this thing called Love.

In all the Western languages, English may be the most lacking when it comes to descriptive feeling words. Sanskrit has 96 words for Love, there were 30 in ancient Greece and 80 in ancient Persia.

We use the word, Love, to describe a host of experiences that delight, enthrall, satiate, soothe and stimulate our senses“Our superior function has given us science and the highest standard of living the world has ever known … but at the cost of impoverishing the feeling function,” writes Robert A. Johnson in The Fisher King & The Handless Maiden.

starlings murmurationBut does Love feel the same for us all whether we live in London, in Papua New Guinea, on the frozen arctic plains?  Kristen Lindquist at the University of North Carolina and her colleagues have discovered that  our ability to understand the meaning of words has  a measurable effect on whether we can recognise those emotions in others. The way we speak about feelings might influence how we feel them. Researcher, Tiffany Watt Smith writes in The Book of Human Emotions , “most of us have on some occasion felt the urge to crumple into the arms of a loved one to be coddled and comforted. It’s important and reviving, this sensation of temporary surrender in perfect safety. The concept is not easily captured in English, but Japanese people know it as amae, the feeling of being able to depend on another’s love and help with no obligation to be grateful in return. It helps relationships to flourish and is an emblem of the deepest trust. In the 1970s, Western anthropologists became very excited about amae, claiming that it was evidence that even our most intimate emotions are shaped by the societies in which we live. They argued that Japan’s traditional collectivist culture had allowed amae to flourish.dad and baby girl

So one wonders why those of us who grew up speaking English often fumble when trying to articulate a similar experience. Perhaps this lacuna in English speaks volumes about how hard it can be to accept other people’s support.”

Even though we can’t find the right words to describe what we feel, this thing called Love is what opens our hearts and connects us to our own Divinity. We are changed when we allow ourselves to love deeply and to be loved in return.

To love means risking loss or rejection. To love with our whole heart is to know the hollow emptiness of the ending. Love is not a victory march. It’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah… When Love changes form, we may dare to love again, but it will be another kind of love… “She had … an affair that struck deeply; I believe she loved totally and was loved totally. I know about it, and I am glad… This love, and the ensuing emptiness of its ending, changed her. Of such events we are always changed — not necessarily badly, but changed. Who doesn’t know this doesn’t know much” wrote Mary Oliver about Molly Malone Cook her inseparable partner for more than four decades.

 

older couple together on benchIt takes enormous courage to Love. To fold yourself into the different rhythm of The Other, day after day. To sleep night after night tangled in one another’s dreams. It takes courage to forgive the transgressions, the betrayals, the words that tumble thoughtlessly and pierce straight through our hearts. It takes tenacity to move like patient oxen yoked together, through fields of sorrow and fields of joy.

Anyone who has ever loved will know that Romantic Love, falling in-to love, is not the same thing as staying in love. Writer Mandy Len Catron knew Love after asking 36 questions.

Love didn’t happen to us. We are in love because we each made the choice and chose again and again… and I continue to make that choice without knowing whether my partner will continue to choose me…we want the happy ending… we want someone to love us back. It is terrifying but that’s the deal with love.

Anyone who has ever loved will know that Love is the most profound mystery of our human experience. We choose to Love, again and again and again, even though we have no certainty. We hope for, but know deep down inside there may not be a happy ending.  And yet the warmth, the glory of Love fills us like radiant sunlight. And again and again we turn our innocent faces towards the life-giving warmth that ennobles our humanness.

 

so in love
Relationship Astrology workshops London

nun and rabbi

Lust, Love, Loss and Longingnun and rabbi

Saturday 31 October & Sunday 1 November
The Astrological Lodge of London, 50 Gloucester Place W1U 8EA
10am-5pm

£85.00 per day, or £150.00 for both

Join us for an exciting weekend of relationship astrology in London, designed to be suitable for all. Join us for an exciting weekend of relationship astrology in London, designed to be 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. Bookings – ingrid@trueheartwork.com or  email joannaw@otenet.gr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The One I love

images954O6GS6This one goes out to the one I love.

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. Emerged from the gruesome torture and execution of men we now call saints and martyrs. On February 14th in most places on this earth, millions of people will demonstrate through chocolates, music and flowers, their longing to love and be loved.

Romantic love is celebrated in song and literature. It’s a multi-million dollar Bolly-Hollywood illusion that mirrors our collective longing back to us from the silver screen. The glittering grandeur of star-spangled romance leaves us breathless, aching for more. Love lives in the imaginal realm of our soul. It emboldens and ennobles, plucks us out of our literal life into the full-throated drama of our emotion and our fantasy, flings off our inhibitions, invites us to create a-new.

We’re cautioned that Love is an illusion. I believe that like Santa and the Easter Bunny authentic love comes to only those who truly believe. “Illusion” is derived from the Latin, “in ludere,” which is translated as “in play.” And when our world-weary souls expand in joyful play, our lives are graced with “illusions” that may enfold us and protect us from “reality” which may be a mere stand-in for an authentic life.

imagesP8PZ7MQVScientific research purports that love lies in the brain, not the heart; that lust has lodged in our brains since Pleistocene era. That passion can be measured and scanned. The premise is that love shape-shifts from a coat of many colours into a knobbly old cardigan.

There are theories that suggest it is body odour that draws us to our lovers. That when we fall in love it’s more about fertility – and our collective survival.  So men are drawn to fertile women with perfect waist-to-hip ratios. Women will lust after high testosterone men with angular jaws and wide shoulders. That we fall for healthy symmetrical faces unblemished skin and pouting sexually aroused lips. What airless little boxes we would live in if this were true.

Psychoanalysts have their theories too – when we “let fall our hearts” and tumble into Love’s terrain we enter the domain of lunatics. Those in love have a similar profile to those who suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder, they tell us. Other currently favoured theories suggest we seek to find in our lover what we did not receive in our childhoods. It could be the raise of an eyebrow, his smell, the sound of her voice or the curve of her shoulder. In love we seek the familiar. We nostalgically yearn to reclaim the past … So our adult years are a ceaseless quest to recapture the love and attunement we did not receive from childhood caregivers. So we say we’ve found our soul mate, or met again from a past life. Perhaps we have. There may be a sense of recognition or a soul connection that defies the tick in the box.  Scientists say it is oxytocin, the bonding hormone, that we must honour each wedding anniversary. And this Valentine’s Day, it’s the delicious dopamine drenched cocktail that brings lovers together. So is romantic Love merely a chemical like Prozac? Do we blame dopamine and serotonin for luring us time and time like hapless moths to swoon and die in passion’s flame? It’s the caudate nucleus of the brain that lights us when we fall in love. Or can be something far more mysterious, more nuanced, more subtle? Love opens the windows to those parts of ourselves that may have lain hidden and dusty for decades. It initiates us into the complexities of being human. It anoints us with courage and jealousy. It brings us unexpected endings. It mangles and cracks open our calloused hearts.imagesP1C7LALQ

Love in all its splendid visitations is a Mystery. Can we categorize and quantify and measure Love as our bodies soften and our hearts unfurl in a thousand blossoms? Can we fear that which captivates our soul? Love’s landscape cannot be measured or quantified by the intellect. Its nuances must be imbibed through the heart. Savoured with all the senses. Love cannot be separated from the rich loam of the imagination. And each one of us will experience Love quite differently.

So  expect to be moonstruck by the primrose-coloured light of the full Leo Moon on Valentines’ Day. For those of us who have known even one Great Love this life time… Aren’t we the Lucky Ones?

Rosie Thomas sings enchantingly, the one i loveimagesO0BLJOIQ

 

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Like a Virgin

sandro botticelliNew – fresh, innocent, exciting … we are curious primates, irresistibly drawn to things that look different, that we have not tried before. Advertisers bait the hook with words and images that attract our insatiable appetite for novelty and variety. Our hunger for “newness” is in direct conflict with the jaded repetition of most of our very ordinary lives. The searing surge of sexual attraction we feel when we fall in love, soon dissipates as we grapple with the practical realities of earning a living, calling the plumber to fix the blocked kitchen drain, packing school lunches, and giving our harassed spouse a peck on the cheek as he hurries out the door to join the flight to the concrete city hive.

How do we see enchantment, magic in the ill-tempered scowl of our frazzled life partner who has been sitting behind a desk all day? Where do we find a frisson of excitement in distant eyes? How do we continue, year after year, to arch with delight at a touch that has grown so familiar and find intimacy in the tangle of tasks that require left brain engagement? When do we allow time for romantic reverie, erotic fantasy conjured up in expansive imaginings? Alain de Bolton, in his new book, How to Think More about Sex, proposes that the ethos of modern marriage “with its insane ambitions and its insistence that one person can plausibly hope to embody the eternal sexual and emotional solution to another’s every need” sets us up for bitter disappointment. He suggests that love, sex and family were wisely differentiated from one another historically for very good reasons. Like oil and water, they do not mix. The elevated high of romantic love that inspired the chaste troubadours in the twelfth century to write sublimely beautiful songs and achingly beautiful poems was fuelled by the sleepless suffering of unrequited love. Raising a family and earning a living were never urgent desires of lusty eighteenth century Parisian libertines. Says Bolton, “the impulse to raise a family has been well known to the largest share of humanity since our earliest upright days in East Africa. In all this time, however, it seems to have occurred to almost no one (until very recently, evolutionary speaking) that this project might need to be fused together with constant sexual desire as well as frequent sensations of romantic longing at the sight of a fellow parent at the breakfast table.”

Love and marriage. Horses and carriages. We are conditioned, admonished, to balance our wet erotic urges with the harness of constrained convention. And yet, the swoon of a stolen kiss, the delight of a brush of skin, the intoxicating scent of newness, awakens the beast within our bellies. What we think is romance, or love, nearly always comes in the guise of someone who makes us feel all shiny and new. And the fee at the tollgate of adultery may bankrupt us, liberate us, or lead us on a circular road right back where we started – new horse but same carriage.

goyaIn Greek mythology Thanatos was the daemon of death. Thanatos and Eros dance together, two polarised forces. Eros thrusting into the hot rush of life. Thanatos sucking us like the undertow into cold dark waters of death. Perhaps the monumental challenge we face as modern-day humans is to navigate through the narrow inlet between these two Titanic forces, paying homage to both.

Without Eros there would be no great works of art, no new inventions, no unfurling of passion that galvanises us to cross continents, discover the hero within, experience events that crack us open like juicy pomegranates and flood our lives with sweet pink juices. Eros confirms our existence is real, vital, infinitely creative.

The icy blackness of Thanatos quenches our flame, pulls us down to the stark finality of endings. Ego deaths are accompanied by a retinue of unspeakable isolation and grief. Loss of a sense of Self so often ensues after a dance in the flames that burn us black, leave us charred, irrevocably. When we step aboard the sailboat of a committed long-term relationship, we are required to use the compass of common sense to deal with the myriad practicalities of survival. We are summoned to bend with the winds of change as they hurl fiercely against our sails. We are asked to be humbled by our own humanness and the contradictions of living with another who is so different and yet so familiar as to seem invisible to the arrow of our ardour.

It may be impossible to feel weak at the knees with a heated rush of lust when our rumpled partner staggers through the front door after a long day at the office. It may be ludicrous to feel anything but resignation as he burps in unrestrained satisfaction, leaves the loo seat up, uses the last of the milk, and clips his toenails while sitting on the side of the bed naked and not so sexily exposed.

red rose and bumA night in an unfamiliar hotel, a steamy romp on fresh new sheets while the kids are at a sleep over might fan the flame of passion. Maybe it could be a shared adventure with just a hint of danger that throws you trembling, quite unexpectedly, together once more. Homo not-so-sapiens may require plenty of thrills, spills and surprise to bring out the hirsute wild man or wild woman in us all.

So as you lie together on rumpled sheets, or hold his hand and feel his skin against yours, remember to open the window wide. See in the softness of the moonlight the innocence of his familiar face. Remember there was enchantment there once. And if we use our artist’s eye and our poet’s imagination, we will find it there again.

older man and woman

Madonna –  Like a Virgin

 

 

 

 

 

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