Love is fearlessness in the midst of the sea of fear—Jalaluddin Rumi
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.
For those of us who have been shamed and shunned, harmfully shocked, brutally intruded upon, the scar tissue that wraps around our heart may ache in the month that is dedicated to Love and Lovers. Betrayal, loss and entropy may press their leaden weight on our resolve to dare to love again.
“We live in a patriarchal, narcissistic, addictive culture that has a lot of anti-relational bias in it. Within that culture, we just don’t give our sons and daughters the skills that they need to have the kind of wonderful relationship we all want these days,” says relationship therapist, Terry Real.
This week, the New Moon in Aquarius on February 11th symbolises a new beginning, after a time of turmoil; the seeding of a creative new vision that may include second chances, repair and healing. Venus and Jupiter in Aquarius, meet on February 11th for a sweet caress in the apricot light of dawn. This brief union happens only once a year, yet it carries the promise of serendipitous meetings, joy-filled celebrations, favourable outcomes. For birthdays and weddings, for the fruitful budding of professional or intimate relationships, this day is incandescent. Aquarius encompasses our friendship circle, those anam cara, soul friends, who hold our hands tightly when we’re broken hearted. Mercury in Aquarius, still travelling Retrograde, encounters the sweetness of Venus and the optimism of Jupiter this week, draping our dreams in silken images that sparkle and inspire, offering us an opportunity to re-write the narrative of our lives and move toward “what if” … “what could be”…
Yet, wrapped in the sweetness of Love’s beginning is also the sorrow of it’s 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? David Schnarch writes, love and desire are “not a matter of peeling away the layers but of developing them—growing ourselves up to be mature and resourceful adults who can solve our current problems.”
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.
The Sun enters Pisces on February 18th. In the archetypal journey around the zodiac, we’re invited to wear our mermaid tails and adorn our hair with seashells. 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. In Pisces, we dive deep into opaque waters where music and poetry melt walls that divide. We may experience, in the words of Eckhardt Tolle, “all things that truly matter―beauty, love, creativity, joy, inner peace―arise from beyond the mind.”
Pisces is not an easy constellation to see with the naked eye. And in our birth chart, Pisces planets or the house, may be concealed by louder or more overtly visible planetary archetypes. A rumbustious Aries Sun or dutiful Capricorn Moon may be more comfortable in a world where we compare, compete, do our duty, and have a “nice day.” We may hesitate at the water’s edge, admiring other people’s creativity, their altruism, their faith. Julia Cameron, writes, “The voice of our original self is often muffled, overwhelmed, even strangled, by the voices of other people’s expectations.” Pisces is where we journey to those soulful regions of our psyche, those places where we encounter mysterious daimons, and where powerful currents of emotion surge like a rip-tide, shattering our peace, bringing us to our knees, altering our own expectations. In this underwater realm, we hear the songs of the whales, the whisper of the sea grasses, the prayers of our ancestors who lie full fathom five.
As we immerse ourselves into this sphere of water this month, there are sea changes that reflect the swelling tide of worldly events. Saturn and Uranus clash on February 17th in a fractious square that will send shards of social unrest and disruption across the globe throughout 2021.
As we heal our hearts, unrest ferments in Myanmar and in Russia, perhaps mirroring our own fear and unrest; our own heart-call for change or freedom. The first of three squares will be exact on February 17th, followed by the second on June 14th and the denouement on December 24th. Perhaps in the break-down of all we know is safe and sure, we discover that it is our partner who has been taking care of our marriage after all. In stretching out of our familiar roles, seeing each other with new eyes, we rebuild a relationship that has collapsed under the heavy weight of our fear and control―or we dare to love fearlessly as we begin again―with someone new.
On this Hallmark day of commercial brouhaha and the echo of the death cries of the martyred Valentine, let us pause a while amidst the plethora of heart-shaped second chances to speak our truth, buy those red roses, to dare to say I love you. Let us celebrate the confounding mystery and magnificence of the human heart. Happy Valentine’s Day!
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