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I’m a regular reader of Dawn Bodrogi’s blog The Inner Wheel. Her work is awe-inspiring, not only because of its depth and attention to detail, but because she approaches it with great seriousness. She’s been kind enough to let me pick her brains and, recently, we were talking about Neptune, love and relationships. I want to share some of that conversation here because what she said goes a long way in dispelling the “bad guy” reputation that Neptune has acquired.  So, with Dawn’s permission, let’s turn the spotlight on Neptune and the soul-longing for love that infuses his children.

 

One of the reasons I specialize in synastry is that relationships are the fast track to spiritual development (and even ordinary old common sense, when it comes down to it).  We often learn more of the soul’s desire from being in relationship than we would in ten or twenty times the same space in ordinary ‘life’ experience. The state of love itself is a spiritual state, in all of its manifestations.  The ability to experience love is both a gift, and a power.  Sometimes, we give our power over to another, and sometimes we wield it, and learning about all that is part of the trial.

We often long for completion, yet we are not incomplete.  However, there is something lacking in us, a cry for wholeness, which nags at us eternally.  It is something inherent in us, the result of the separation from the Source which is physical manifestation.  No human being  born can complete us. However, we are born with the need to have certain experiences that expand our conscious awareness.  Astrology tells us so much about this.  Other people fit into our patterns of lack–perhaps connecting with us from other lives, perhaps not–and they help us learn what we’re here to learn, to know what we’ve come here to know.  These people, these loves, appear to be the missing key to what is needed.  Unfortunately, a lot of people mistake this for fate, for destiny, as if there is no choice, and I don’t blame them, because it feels like it.  Some one or some thing has brought us exactly what we need, at the right place, at the right time.  Why?  Beats me.  For me, it’s one of the great mysteries.  It’s one of the things that has convinced me that not only is the universe intelligent, but, in its own perverse way,  it is kind and generous.

If there was more proper synastric astrology about, people wouldn’t get into these delusions about one everlasting partnership.  Or they might, but at least they would be forewarned.  It’s one of the goals of my site, to wisen people up about the meaning of relationships.  There’s too much negative Neptune about–we’re still experiencing the fallout from the so-called ‘Romantic’ period (when Neptune was discovered) and the fallout from the Medieval period, when courtly love (i.e. longing for the unattainable) was the order of the day.  I think there are more and more of us who are experiencing other ways that Neptune weaves us together, no less powerful or passionate, no less profound, but more purposeful, less delusional. Sometimes I think that our ideas about what relationships should be are 600 years out of date.

It drives me crazy when people start categorizing states or stages of love, as if there is some kind of ladder of love we need to climb.  I don’t think it works like that.  Love is so varied, so multi-planed, so infinite, that I don’t believe the human mind or heart can grasp its reaches, let alone give us some kind of twelve step plan to a twin flame existence (God, I hate that term, twin flame, don’t you?  It’s like something someone would read on a Hallmark card.). There are even some otherwise very good astrologers out there who think they have it all figured out–which just tells me very loudly that they don’t know what they’re talking about.

I don’t agree that soul connections are about unresolved issues between people.  Sometimes they are.  But that’s far too mundane an explanation.  Sometimes, a lot of times, they’re about healing.  We can help one another heal. Sometimes they’re about pure joy.  Sometimes they’re about taking responsibility.  Sometimes people are here for us to simply help us through, or to learn.  Those aren’t issues.  And yes, I have to say it, sometimes they’re about giving unconditionally.  But the giving that we do in those circumstances is never painful, and doesn’t leave us lacking.  It brings us more joy.  It makes us stronger.  And it teaches us how and when to let go, that when we let go, we don’t lose love, we live it.  It becomes a part of us.

There is a mistaken notion that people who love are always on the same level of loving.  It isn’t always an equal playing field.  This is where we get into difficult territory, because we can be intensely in love with people who are not up to our level of loving, and cannot reciprocate.  However, where real love is concerned, there is always a kindness and an understanding that allows us to let go. 

The notion of ‘forever after’ in love is rather strange to me, because for me, the love we feel for others is always forever, embedded within us.  If the love is genuine, we will pick up where we left off.  In particular, intense sexual loves carry the deepest imprint. There is a belief in Tantric Buddhism that every time we make love to a person, we create a little ‘ghost,’ an echo, a psychic imprint that will reverberate through time.  What we often don’t realize, and what I hope we are opening towards, is that these seemingly ‘extraordinary’ experiences of love are everyday, common experiences.  The world is not put together in the way we have been taught.  And we need to be more careful about where we put our energy.

It’s human nature to want to cling.  Deep down, we know our lives here are ephemeral, and we fear it.  Our reaction to our human brevity is to long for ‘forever’ types of love. For one love that will never alter, never abandon.  Yet in real terms, each love is defined by the participants, and each love is unique, with its own purpose and history.  Some of  our loves will develop side by side.  For others, we will play ‘give and take’ throughout lifetimes. But in truth, we are obsessed with love because the experience of loving is one of the few in life that allows us to experience our own immortality.  When we are in love, we are at one with the movement of the universe. We are past, present and future all in one. No boundaries can contain us, there is nothing we can’t achieve.  If we had more of a sense of how we could use this power, we would advance so much, so far.

As I’ve said to you, Neptune and I are old friends.  My experiences of him have run the gamut, from the typical longing for the ‘unattainable’ in my youth to, well, the strange and intense and awe-inspiring new experiences of love that keep coming along.  If we’re open to love, it is never finished. It grows stronger and wiser and more flexible and more sure.  The kind of power that love wields, the power of awakening and understanding and healing, is alive and running through all of us, all of the time, if only we would stop being distracted by temporal things.  If only we could tap into it on a regular basis, instead of focusing on the silly bits, think how far we could go…

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Dawn Bodrogi has studied astrology since the age of twelve, and has been a practicing astrologer for over twenty years with a special emphasis on synastry. Her studies in Jungian psychology, alchemy, and Buddhist philosophy inform her work. Her upcoming book, The Inner Wheel, takes a new look at interpreting secondary progressions. You can see more of Dawn’s work at her blog, The Inner Wheel: Living with Astrology.
 

 

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Sure, I got time to talk. It’s the weekend. So, where do you want to go? On a hill ‘round a fire, drinking cheap booze? Or to Couch despite their loud music, ‘cause they do the best Cosmopolitans in the city? Or do you just want to come over and we can talk late into the night? ‘Cause we’ve got to get the mood right. It’s Neptune, the mood is everything.

Want to talk about love, huh? Freud said that’s all there was: love and work. Sure, we can talk about love. What do you want to drink? Oh, no, not for me. Thanks. I don’t smoke that stuff: freaks me out. I’m sticking to whiskey, grown to really like it and they say it doesn’t give you hangovers.

What did you say? You think he’s really not that into you? Yeah, I saw the movie and read the “book.” The movie was a bit dull except for the opening scene with the little girl, where her mom tells her that the boy who was mean to her is doing it ‘cause he really likes her. Don’t young boys do that, though? They taught us in psych class that till they’re about 10 or 11, boys and girls don’t really mix with the other gender. So, um, no socialization skills, I’m guessing. And unless they have older sisters they wouldn’t know how to behave with girls. Even grown-up boys are hard to understand. When my brother ribs me, I get really mad. My nephew told me that’s how guys show affection. Stuff like that really messes up one’s head, I don’t blame you.

You want some music on? Can we start with Kenny G’s Song Bird? I don’t hold with people who denigrate his work. It’s a very evocative piece, haunting. Or Adnam Sami’s great, too: his Bhigi bhigi rato mein is after all about love and longing and it’s such a great song. Sami it is, then.

Where were we? Oh, look at that alliteration! Sorry about that, my Mercury squares Neptune and I’m always getting distracted with stuff like that. Yeah, so boys. They’re different. Really. I bought my husband a copy of Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus a few years ago. He never did read it, but I did and it helped me for a while. Then I forgot about it. What? I’m rambling? Oh, yeah, it’s a full-on Neptune post, just go with the flow, will ya? And let me get you another drink!

I’m a regular visitor at Jeffrey Kishner’s Sasstrology because I absolutely have to read Matthew Currie’s Daily Sky every day. On bad days, when I remember I haven’t read it, I cheer up, because I still have something cool to read. It’s that much fun. So I’m on Sasstrology at least once a day and sometimes I check out the forum widget to see what people are talking about. It’s mostly along the lines of, “How do I get a Libra man to ask me out on another date?,” “What does it mean if a Taurus guy is ignoring you?” Let me make some up: “If a Capricorn is not returning my calls, does it mean that he is not in love with me?,” “If a Virgo crosses the road when he sees me, does it mean he is just not that into me?” For me, fresh from the Saturn-Venus boot camp, it’s clear: Babe, if he liked you, you wouldn’t be fretting so. See what I’m saying? He isn’t that into you. Give up already. What, you can’t? Addicted, you say? Yes, yes. I get it, it’s that Neptune again. Time to get down to brass tacks now.

I’ll have you know that I’ve been wanting to write a post on Venus-Neptune and unrequited love for over a month now. I’ve got two incomplete drafts already but neither pleases me. They’re too dull, and Venus-Neptune is anything but dull. So I’ve given up on the idea of writing a serious astrology piece about it. I mean, Venus-Neptune is all about love and poetry and heartbreak and addiction and love songs and sighing and pining and dreaming. So hanging out with you here, talking about loves lost and sharing a drink over Rick Astley’s singing…

My heart starts breaking
When I think of making
A plan to let you go
I keep thinking maybe tomorrow
I’m gonna let you know
But when I think about leaving
I think about losing
The only love I ever knew
Every time I think of you

My heart starts aching
My hands keep shaking
And you know’ you
know’ you know

It would take a
strong strong man
To ever let you go to
ever let you go
To ever let you go

 …that’s what Venus-Neptune is all about.

In case you were wondering, here is the first draft (dull, dull):

I’ve studied psychology and now I study astrology. For me the links between the two subjects are clear: both study people, their emotions, personalities, behavior and ultimately their fate (for character is indeed destiny).

Certain diseases and medications produce a complete lack of “affect” or emotion in people. Imagine that, living in a void, being the living dead, feeling nothing. Being in the world, but not a part of it. I can’t imagine anything worse and that is why I think every feeling is valuable, every feeling is an affirmation that you are alive. If someone is going through an emotionally painful episode in their life, and you were to tell them this, they might look at you as if you are mad. And, yet, it is our feelings that weave the rich tapestries of our lives. It is our feelings that give value to our experiences.

Suffering, pain, loss: they mark a pattern in all lives. How they play out is widely divergent: today, I want to focus on unrequited love. In the face of collapsed and collapsing civilizations, limping economies, genocide, war, poverty, what’s a broken heart, you might ask. Not much. It doesn’t matter, from a certain perspective, how many hearts are broken, bruised or aching with longing. It doesn’t matter except to the person who sitting around clutching a pillow with the light in their eyes dimmed. If you have ever undergone heartache, you will know how meaningless life becomes. I read somewhere that Napoleon once wrote this to Josephine, “Without you, the world is a desert.”

Love is the grandest of emotions: when you are in love the world is a brighter place. The highs are higher and the lows are low indeed. A gazal I love says, “It takes a moment to spark a fire and lifetime to put it out.” So how do you go about fixing a broken heart? Lost loves are of many kinds, I will focus on the damndest one them all: unrequited love. Whoever he or she is, they don’t love you. Move on. That’s all there is to it. Or is there? It took me half a Saturn cycle to get over my great unrequited love. For some, the emotional liberation happens sooner, for some it takes longer and some poor souls carry a torch around for a lifetime. I see nothing but an aching fist for those who are roaming the world carrying that infernal torch. If it makes you happy, by all means, go ahead. I’m addressing those who are fed up of living with a persistent ache in their heart.

Does the chart give clues about who is more susceptible to this affliction? It does indeed. In my experience, the harsher aspects of Venus and Neptune are the main culprits. In fact, anything that Neptune touches it imbues with a strange kind of longing that is hard to satisfy. And when it is messing around with your Venus (what you value and love), it creates psychic storms in your romantic life. You will be prone, in this lifetime, to be in love with what you cannot have. Prone, people, I said prone. Please put your weapons down. To continue, you carry Neptune’s signature in your personality, but how far you let it determine what happens to you is your choice. This is a good time to quote something that Linda Goodman wrote in one of her books, “The stars incline, they do not compel.”

And here is the second draft:

Almost every day, I get a hit or two on my blog for people looking for something on “astrology and unrequited love”. So with the transiting Venus in Taurus (now Venus is in Gemini: let’s talk and write about love) about to square the Chiron-Neptune-Jupiter conjunction in Aquarius, this is as good a time as any to talk about the astrology of unrequited love.

The English poet, Francis Thompson, was right when he said that love is a many-splendored thing. But unrequited love’s a b*tch. So can astrology shed light on this plight of many? It sure can. In my experience, there are some people who are prone to pine over someone they can’t get. With them it’s a pattern that occurs over and over again. Do you recognize yourself or a friend here? If you do, it might be a good idea to look at the natal chart and see if there are any Venus-Neptune links, especially the conjunction, square or opposition. These harder aspects between the two planets lead to dysfunctional ways of approaching romantic love.

Venus-Neptune: bad, mad, addictive love: Venus rules romantic love as you and I know it. Neptune is believed to be the higher octave of Venus and in his realm; love is ethereal, other-worldly, mystical. Put these two planets together and you have someone who yearns for something out-of-this-world. Since these aspects also bestow a tendency towards addiction, you literally have someone who is addicted to love. Which is great if things work out. But, here’s the rub, with these aspects there usually isn’t a happily-ever-after.

This is true no matter how the love story ends: if these natives manage to snag the affection of their love object and the relationship becomes normal and stable, they bore faster than you can say How do I Love Thee? Normal and stable is not good enough, it doesn’t allow for romantic projections, you see.  Once they realize that their love interest is human after all, the romance is gone for them. Stephen Arroyo, the astrologer’s astrologer, says these aspects give “divine discontent.” I thought of this when I was reading M. Scott Peck’s In Search of Stones. In this rather autobiographical book he says that his numerous affairs during his marriage were really his way of linking with God. Because what he was seeking and not finding was God and what he did about it was keep on falling in love. And you know what? He’s written the truth there.

Something useful:

My planets in earth signs and earth houses are always focused on how useful something is. So, I’m going to honor them by allowing them to have their say. Here we go:

If harsh Venus-Neptune contacts occur in synastry, you can expect the following themes to play out in your interaction: illusions, delusion, half-truths, drugs, lies, illicit affairs and a bit of the savior-victim drama. The last one, especially, creates an unhealthy bond. Its theme is, “This person is so messed up, they need help. I’ll help them, heal them and then we’ll live happily ever after.” The savior-who-eventually-turns-into-a-victim tires to help the perceived victim-who-eventually-turns-into-a-user with generous outpourings of love, support, money, whatever. It’s mostly done without reciprocity, as a gesture of love. But healthy relationships need reciprocity; because without that, resentment and hurt set in.

When Neptune is casting its shadow over your natal or synastry chart, you always need to have integrity. You need to tell yourself the truth about your relationship and the object of your affection. Neptune clouds the visions, makes it difficult to see things and people as they really are. It also makes you inclined to ignore reality. Many times, you are in love, but not with a real person. Since these aspects also cause one to long after people who are in some way unavailable, it’s easy to nurture delusions of perfection about the other person. This is not ideal for the idol of your worship, either. As someone I know put it, “Who in their right mind would want to be somebody’s Neptune?”

In case you misunderstand me, please know that I’m rooting for these dreamers. But their nature also makes them vulnerable and some things just need to be said. I’ve noticed that they tend to attract people I call “emotional vampires.” Emotional vampires are needy themselves and they know just how to manipulate the gentle Neptunian dreamers. Beware, folks, you tend to get used!

New Agers aren’t helping, either, with their endless harping on about love. For instance, see this, “There are only four questions of value in life… What is sacred? Of what is the spirit made? What is worth living for? What is worth dying for? The answer to each is the same. Only love…” Love is great, babe. But we’re talking about relationships, the real stuff, not some story-book scenario. The urge to give unconditional love is strong here. But if the focus of that love is a distant being that can’t or won’t receive your love, it’s a waste.

At some point you will need to accept the fact that no human being can quite make the grade, that you will tip in and out of love, that your romantic life will be dramatic and that you prefer it this way. Because dull and normal would bore you and Venus-Neptune can’t handle boredom. Once you embrace that, you will find peace, and then you can see how you want to express this aspect of yourself. It’s your choice. Venus-Neptune is looking for perfection, the perfect relationship, the perfect partner, the perfect feeling. They won’t find it in normal interactions. This is the reason why the object of their love is usually someone who is unattainable: a dead writer, a character in a book, a married man or a woman who lives in another country. Neptune is calling you to a Higher Love (like Steve Winwood’s song, remember that one?). You want a soul-mate, your twin-flame, divine love, a fantasy lover.

Neptune Blessings

Now let’s look a little at the blessings this aspects brings: it enhances your sensitivity and creativity. Since nothing and no one, and I mean no one, on this planet will ever quite satisfy your longing for a perfect union, you might want to look at what else you can do with it. Create, dream, write, paint, heal. Your soul is yearning for more, reaching upwards, go with it and bring back to this sad, tired, cynical, harsh world the beauty you know exists.

The arts, especially, owe a large debt to Venus-Neptune people. Many, many poets, song writers, romance writers, playwrights and movie-makers stand honored in their fields because they can grasp the ephemeral, the divine and bring it to the world the rest of inhabit. Go on, take a walk in their world: it’s beautiful and haunting. Just like them.

Conclusion:

Good, so now we’re done with that! And it’s late and we’re both pretty drunk. Why don’t you sleep in the guest room? I’ll make tea for you in the morning. It was great fun talking, huh?

Oh, and if you want to learn more about the astrology of Neptune in relationships, please check out this article by Annie Heese, one of my favorite astrologer-writers. She’s the real deal, click here.

For surcease from Neptune sorrow, go here.

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1. When you kill someone, it creates a very strong karmic bond: “Hey! We meet again!”

2. Never sit in the back of the class if you’re short.

3. Your instincts will never mislead you. Trust them today; or pretend that everything’s all right and realize much later that you were right the first time.

4. You can have anything if you are willing to wait long enough. A year, two, a decade. A lifetime or several lifetimes. How bad do you want it?

5. If you are irrevocably in love with someone who doesn’t love you back, you can choose to love them unconditionally. Try doing it for lifetime or even a year. It’ll teach you a lot about your definition of love.

6. At 30, I decided that since I didn’t fit in, I was gonna leave the party and throw one of my own.

7. A strong emotional foundation will allow you to face and rise above anything life can throw at you. If you’re lucky, the surest love is in your family bonds. Remember, the only people who are really happy at your success are your family.

8. They say that only the honest could look into Apollo’s eyes without going blind.

9. You pure intent expressed, verbalized will force everyone’s hand.

10. Remember we hide behind the truth as much as we hide behind lies.

11. The only moral laws that apply to us are the ones that we choose for ourselves. The universe was born a-moral. If you think like this, you’re preparing to break the moral laws of your time.

12. You are the impulse. You are the restraint. (From an ad)

13. There are two ways to live. One is “I accept.” There’s a lot of peace and harmony in that. It’s amazing how much you can put up with when you’re resigned to something.
OR
You can live like this, “I’m not going to do it by the book. I’m going to rewrite the book. I’m going to change the world.” There’s a lot of energy in that. But for how long can you sustain that kind of passion?

Ideally, you should be able to shift between these two attitudes. And feel free to change your mind as you go along.

14. Charm smoothes out the rough edges in human interactions.

15. This is your life story, you get to star in it: dress for it. Choose to look as attractive as it is humanly possible. Or don’t. Either way, you’ll find out how important looks are to you.

16. The eyes have it. Ever tried to get someone’s attention by smiling quietly into their eyes?

17. What are you doing with people you don’t trust?

18. No one enjoys your company more than you do. Try and spend some time all alone. Do this religiously. You’ll lose the fear of having to live alone.

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Too much, I think is made of “never giving up.” Do we stop and ask ourselves is this goal worth pursuing? Is it for my highest good? I have a lot of fixity in my chart and it’s well-nigh impossible for me to give up. But, of late, I’ve been considering the emotional cost of pursuing some things. And that has made me learn the fine art of giving up. It must be the strong Neptune in my chart: It has taught me the power and wisdom of surrender.

I’m not talking about a weak-willed, “Oh, this is too tough, let me give up” attitude. What am I talking about? Gosh, Neptune is making it difficult for me to find the right words. So I’m going to call on Mercury in Virgo as an antidote and explain with an example. Take unrequited love (all you people with Neptune aspecting your Venus will get this one): He’s just not that into you. Give up already. And if it’s still not working, listen to Elsa P. of http://www.elsaelsa.com talking about it in her direct and honest way. Hope it helps:

http://www.elsaelsa.com/archives/2009/06/06/1-minute-astrology-hes-not-that-into-you-so-what/

I just spoke to a friend grieving over this man who just won’t love her back and, today, to address the power that comes from giving up and embracing Neptune’s wisdom, I wrote this:

On Giving Up 

I gave up on happiness
And found peace

I gave up on your love
And found the love inside of me

I gave up on success
And found it followed me

I gave up on control
And won cooperation all around me

I gave up on manipulation
And found that truth works just fine

I gave up on hubris
And the Universe started teaching me

I gave up on irresponsibility
And found doing my duty sets me free.

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