Ask Aphrodite-July 4, 2016

Dear Aphrodite, I love a guy very much; he knows my feelings for him, but he just keeps saying “I like you” and “I don’t want to lose you.” His changeable attitude towards me confuses me; he always calls me if he needs advice or help, or someone to understand him, but he has a girlfriend. I don’t understand what to do. The times we spend together are some of the happiest moments in my life. Maya

Dear Maya, Oh, dear. We all have fallen into this unfortunate rabbit hole from time to time (can I get a hear, hear?!). Unreciprocated love has got to be one of the cruelest love lessons we grow through as humans. I think what makes it infinitely more cruel than it has to be is that we tend to think they don’t love us because there is something inherently wrong with us. This isn’t the case! But our psyche just goes there, maybe at first out of boredom, or simply trying to understand the unfathomable, but if we let that subconscious thought linger too long it communicates something deeper about our (low) self-esteem.

I don’t know if this is something that is keeping you hooked and hanging around a relationship that’s clearly not going anywhere, but it’s a wormy little thing lurking in many a woman’s mind and heart, a fear that because this one person doesn’t love you, others probably won’t, either. I want to tell you: That’s such baloney. One of my favorite phrases about this phase of relationship, dating, I lifted from a marketing/sales guy: “It’s not about rejection, it’s about selection.” Because, really, who can control who they fall in love with, or who they don’t (think about it a moment: Have you ever been able to simply choose who you fall in love with? If you haven’t, why do you think he should be able to do that?)?

I suspect that if you weren’t caught in this misunderstanding you’d already have moved on from this guy, because deep down we all know that it is far more juicy to be loved in the way we want to be loved – or be in hot pursuit of the promise of that all-encompassing, mutual love – than hanging around someone who can only offer crumbs of affection. Put this mantra on your mirror, right after you say goodbye to Mr. Crumbs: “I want to be with someone who feels as deliciously wild and crazy about me as I do about him.” If you still need a compelling (astrological) reason to do so: Because, you have Venus in Libra, and for you, love must be a give and take, a two-way street. When you find someone who truly deserves to be placed so high on your pedestal, you’ll know it — they will do the same for you.

Jessica Shepherd | Astrologer & Author | Health Coach

Ask Aphrodite-May 21, 2016

Dear Aphrodite, I’ve experienced some grievous losses recently and am despairing of ever enjoying any sort of deep love or relationship again, or even feeling real joy. Transiting Saturn is squaring my natal Venus, which goes right along with the uncomfortable way I feel about a most of my relationships right now, and my fears about love. Do you see anything in my chart that might help me to feel more optimistic about what seems like a bleak future regarding romantic love?-Spica

Dear Spica, I’m so sorry for your losses. I’m concerned that you’re limiting your self in terms of how you approach love. Romantic love is only one form of love, and though it’s the most popular and coveted, by thinking purely in terms of romantic love we limit our selves from experiencing other forms of love available to us.

According to Plato there are many forms of love; there’s phileo, a tender, warm “platonic” love that inspires affection and loyalty, as you might feel for some friends you want to have in your life. There’s storge, the love that we feel when we are bonded to someone. It has an unconditional feeling to it- like the love you feel for a pet, best friend or partner. It is a primarily safe and accepting love.  There’s eros, of course, the grand passion comprised of raw sexuality and emotions. Then there’s my personal favourite, agape love, the love you feel for your fellow human beings. You don’t have to know or even like them to experience agape.  This love surpasses all conditions, faults and shortcomings. It’s the kind of love you feel when you’re standing in line at the supermarket, feeling utterly alone in your plight and with pain heavy in your heart, and you have the sudden awareness that every other human is feeling their own version of what you’re feeling and that realization inspires a wellspring of connection in your heart to all the other hearts beating around you. Agape has supreme healing grace in it. It offers resilience and buoyancy in times of darkness.

Grief is a difficult but natural part of life and has its own timeline; we just don’t know how long this tunnel will be. All the more reason to expand your ability to receive love in all of its ways and means. Has a painting or work of art ever moved you to laughter? Has a walk in nature ever given you to a powerful sense of connection? Have those precious animal videos always circulating on social media ever opened your heart on a sleepless, lonely night? These are the secret teachings of Aphrodite/Venus, too, about how to receive love, joy and connection –no matter what season of life you find yourself in. You have Venus in Virgo opposed by Jupiter in Pisces in your natal chart, so I have a feeling I’m speaking your language. Don’t underestimate the power of your Venus to offer you these seemingly small experiences that are meant to expand your capacity to appreciate and receive the love, joy and connection in all of its forms. Plus, you do know your loved ones would want you to enjoy your time here, right? People who’ve had NDE (near death experiences) or life-between-life regressions, all report the same thing: Earth’s chocolate and gardens, afternoon champagne dates with friends and shoe shopping is unparalleled!

Ask Aphrodite-April 7, 2016

Dear Aphrodite, My relationship has just ended, a relationship that I deeply believed would be a lifelong partnership. Our connection felt very unique and singular, but we neglected the third body, our relationship. He left me for someone he had just met.  Is there any insight you can give into why this pattern of being left, either through infidelity or seeing your partner fall in love with someone else, has repeated for me? -Anna

Dear Anna, I don’t believe a birth chart can tell us whether we are vulnerable to patterns of infidelity, however, it does illuminate blind spots and areas of growth with others.

Astrologically, you were born during a full moon phase which consistently draws you toward relationship to learn about your self. Partners are your greatest teachers. With Gemini Moon on your seventh house cusp, ongoing dialogue, being present to and involved with the daily life of the partnership, staying in touch and most importantly really listening to what’s being communicated (or not), are vital to an engaged, balanced relationship. Your third house Pisces South Node (ruled by Sun-Neptune conjunction in the twelfth house) suggests you can become overly absorbed in your own dreamy inner world and processes. When you get too relaxed into the daily patterns of partnership you can miss out on the nuances of information available to you, from your partner. Being curious about the other’s perceptions, present, making daily efforts to check in about work, life, each other’s satisfaction levels, desires and needs from the relationship are ways of staying engaged.

With your natal Venus and Uranus conjunct in Scorpio, intimacy involves compassionate emotional honesty, transparency, sexual empowerment and deep loyalty. Unfortunately this pinnacle of intimacy often arises only after “fierce grace” type experiences with others. I’m so sorry you have experienced betrayal, and I think this is important to say: It is not your fault. Experiencing the complexity of feeling around betrayal, grief and entering into process the healing of emotional trust and forgiveness is high Venus in Scorpio work. Honor this Venus work as part of your sacred feminine journey.

Here are some more practical tips:

We always attract from our Venus sign, so if you’re not drawing in the higher expression you may be attracting from your Venus shadow. For you, unreliable partners who may hold a piece of their self separate/dissociated from the relationship (Uranus) and who are not totally honest with you (Venus in Scorpio) are pointing you toward areas to look at, in yourself. Commit to embodying your Venus’ need to have a fiercely honest, healed, and rich relationship to your self, to others, to life.

Also, with such a clear pattern established, if you haven’t already, take a look at your primary relationship model: your parents. Journal about the model they set for you. Include their secrets, longings, unmet needs, dreams. If you don’t know what those were, imagine what they might have been (kids are really good at picking up on what was not voiced or expressed).

It’s rich territory to discover patterns occurring in our relationship life, even though the process leading us to awareness is painful. Yet if you consider every single relationship as a precious teacher, use those lessons learned as stepping stones toward greater authenticity and connection with your self, you get closer to finding, and keeping, the love you dearly desire.  –Jessica

Ask Aphrodite-February 22, 2016

Dear Aphrodite, I’ve had 4 chronic years of unstable employment, (year long gaps between jobs). Nothing comes through. I feel like I’m being tested. In my entire life, I never wanted to do anything other than write, not even to be published, but just have time to activate my imagination. Time to daydream. That’s all. All I ever wanted was just a day-job where I could have enough time to write privately on the side. I never questioned it until now. Sometimes I just wonder if I’m wasting my own time?  How can I know which path is the right path to go in so muddied a road? I just want to be free. -Amy

Dear Amy, With your Rising, Sun and Moon in Mercury-ruled signs, these and a handful of other signatures indicating a calling for self-expression, are written all over your birth chart. Yet you are experiencing your Saturn Return (which happens at around ages 28-30), an often discouraging time when our faith is tested. And it is happening in your third house of, you guessed it, communication. I encourage you to take the long view and keep at it. Nothing in life happens easily for a Sun-Saturn born person (you have a natal opposition), or for that matter, a writer! But if you feel this is your calling, as I suspect you do, it will be worth moving mountains, persisting through financial droughts, honing your craft over and over again, if, for no other reason than because *not writing* is the equivalent of not being alive.

It is not unrealistic to get a job that allows you to write on the side. If you can swing it, look at your year-long gaps between jobs are writing times. Many writers would give their left arm (or, the one that’s not needed for writing!) to be in those shoes. But unless you’re independently wealthy, you probably need to work.

So let’s get some inspiration going. There was once a writer who had stories to write but she was poor. So she took jobs teaching, sewing and caretaking- jobs she disliked immensely. She only lasted a month a nursing, as she almost died from the typhoid pneumonia she contracted during that time.  Bedridden, at home, half deranged by Mercury poisoning (ironically, the planet of writers shares a name with the very medicine of that time that had the potential to drive people to madness), she produced short vignettes. Casting her self as a stalwart character and writing about the patients, their stories and travels, she’d met during her time in service, she sent them to her local paper. To her own surprise, “Hospital Sketches” became immensely popular. Her name? Louisa May Alcott.

The moral of the story here is: she used what she had to do -work, service she wasn’t crazy about but needed to take on in order to survive – to create art. There are many similar stories out there about authors (JK Rowling, for instance) and many, many more untold ones. For artists, as it was for Louisa May Alcott, life is the inspiration. It’s all right here: rich, dark mulch for your work. The struggle, the difficulty, the persevering through hardship, is the fuel for great art.

Your Saturn Return struggle is that rich, dark mulch. It’s all right here.  During this period, commit to doing what you have to do to create something great and you will be rewarded. Focus less on the daydreaming side of your fantasy and more on taking action. The hard work we do during Saturn transits always pay off.

Jessica Shepherd | Astrologer & Author | Health Coach

Ask Aphrodite-January 9, 2016

Dear Venus, I’ve often struggled with my romantic life. I often find myself in situations where I end up doubting my every move, whether I’m letting someone walk all over me or I’m doing the opposite and demanding respect. I have an even more difficult time knowing if I should or should not let certain situations go or if I should hold on to hope. I am wondering if I’ll ever find that balance or if this will always be a battle and if after all of this, if I’ll ever really be able to love or trust someone. Thank you, Monica.

Dear Monica, With Neptune on your Descendant, your cosmic relationship homework, to some degree, requires you to become conscious of any delusional thinking, in both yourself and others. This can run the spectrum from being attracted to someone chaotic and messy (not just around the house, but in life) or who needs rescuing, to your relationship ideals and hopes getting in the way of seeing the real picture (for instance, you hold out for hope, when reality, and likely your girlfriends, are telling you that your love interest needs far more than you can give them).

Yet your Venus in Virgo is indeed capable of being utterly practical about partnering as this Venus sign possesses an unusually strong sense of discernment in this area. However, low self-esteem can dismantle the strengths of any Venus sign, turning her light into shadow. Do you waver between feeling both inadequate and superior to your partners? Do you worry, fret and re-hash past interactions? This is a sign you’re in Venus shadow territory… a murky junkyard of broken hearts.  When you walk around in this negative space, it’s impossible to access connection, love and pleasure.

Here’s a radical suggestion: If you’re not feeling honored or respected, you’re the one not honoring or respecting your self.  If I know need a responsive listener in a partner, I can ask for it, but I’m not going to stick around if the other person isn’t capable of giving it to me (with a caveat: some relations, ie, bosses, family, we may not leave. Those require firm boundaries). If I do stick around with someone who doesn’t demonstrate the capacity to have an intelligent conversation about things that matter to me, then I’m dis-respecting my self. Venus teaches us that respect and honor is never about attempting to squeeze blood from a turnip, but walking our talk. We teach others how to treat us, by example. If you consistently waver between demanding respect or letting someone walk all over you, it’s an opportunity to see exactly how, and where, you are not honoring you.

Self-esteem is generated by honoring and taking action on behalf of your own desires, wants and needs. There are no shortcuts to this. Your Venus invitation is clear: if you’re not having the experience you want, change the program. Don’t fall into the trap of believing your love life is doomed; instead, take action. Paste this affirmation onto your bathroom mirror, where you can see it: “When I honor myself, others naturally honor me.” While we can’t change others, or even understand them, we can do the inner work on our self, turning any adversity we experience into wisdom.  With Saturn transiting your sixth house, sextile Jupiter in your fourth this year, it’s time to examine and drop any unconscious programming you’ve been carrying around about your worth and deservedness. Remove those obstacles and you’ll clear the path for Jupiter’s visit to your fifth house of true love, next year. Happy 2016!

Ask Aphrodite-November 25, 2015

Dear Aphrodite, This Saturn-Neptune square is throwing my normally positive Sagittarius upbeat self for a loop. I’ve been downright negative. Things that usually bring me joy, my healing work and socializing, aren’t. All I want to do is go to work and come home. That’s so not me! What am I supposed to be getting from this? Signed, downhearted Sag

Dear Downhearted Sag, To answer your question, I’m taking a page from the Stoics- a branch of philosophy that flourished for some 400-odd years in Ancient Greece. This philosophy had one goal in mind: To help good people like you maintain a level of equilibrium during times of discouragement, despair, anxiety and overwhelming distress. Here are four problems the Stoics can help with (summarized from the School of Life’s blog).

  1. Anxiety. Most of us, when met with difficulty and disaster, receive platitudes from friends, ie, “it’s the darkness before the dawn” and “look on the positive!” hoping that such aphorisms will lift us up. It usually doesn’t. The Stoics opposed this approach saying that it would only create extremes of mood. Rather, they suggest we take time to deliberately embody our worst-case scenarios. This work isn’t for the weak, and can be quite extreme in practice. Is your worst fear being homeless, friendless, penniless? Why not try that out? It’s kind of like homeopathy for the soul. A little bit of poison can cure us.  On a related side note, Tim Ferris, successful person extraordinaire, took a page from the Stoics right here. He attributes this single act of focusing on your fears, not goals, to his current success!
  1. Fury. We all get angry but the Stoics say anger is naïve because at it’s root is an “incorrect picture of existence.” The Stoics define anger as “the violent collision of hope and reality” –and let’s face it that collision happens all the time. We can’t avoid it. The solution for this is reaching a state where nothing can disturb us… which essentially means we learn to hold the big picture of life. Life consists of suffering, loss and disillusionment, along with the good stuff for good measure and balance. Tragedy, sorrow, misfortune… it’s part of the full meal deal.
  2. Paranoia. After a spate of “bad luck” or misfortune we can fall into the habit of thinking the world is out to get us. The Stoics insist we understand that our life is in the hands of Fortuna: “a demented character who… depending on her mood might throw you down a perfect job or beautiful relationship and the next minute, simply because she felt like it, watch you choke to death on a fishbone.” Now that really puts it all in perspective, right? Seeing as how our fortunes are in the hands of such a whimsical, quixotic creature, they likewise suggest you go gentle on your self about your failures and hold lightly to your successes.
  3. Loss of Perspective. Speaking of perspective, we all suffer times when our little life seems so tragically big. The Stoics suggest “we must regularly be reduced in our own eyes” as a necessary preventative against our own self-importance. In other words, we must regularly attempt to disavow our selves of the illusion that we are really are *all that*. Beautifully, all we need to do is look up at the night sky, the planets and stars, to calmly and peaceably come to grips with our own insignificance. “Nothing that happens to us, or that we do, is – blessedly- of any consequence whatsoever from the cosmic perspective.”

Blessings, Aphrodite and Jessica

Ask Aphrodite-October 12, 2015

Dear Aphrodite, I am ready to have the balance I’ve always desired in my life. I feel so exuberant about it and I can’t take no or opposition for an answer. I’m basically starting from scratch and though I’ve had successes in the past, I want to be able to cultivate a life for myself rooted in pleasures, peace, and luxury in a way I’ve never had. My mind and my dreams are so confusing- I see what I want and need and I also see and feel the actions of people around me and I just end up in the same confused state. I do believe in what I want and need for myself but it’s definitely brand new territory I’m pursuing and though I’m excited by it I feel like I lose myself often in the confusion. How can I better establish my own boundaries so anxieties about the changes I am pursuing don’t scatter me? Signed, Dea

Dear Dea, With Venus having just entered efficiency-loving Virgo, joining Jupiter, planet of better and big things, we could all learn from your question. So I’m going to put on my coaching hat and talk with you about time management. If you want to be effective and successfully reach your goals, prioritizing what you spend your time on is a crucial boundary to learn.

I learned this exercise, called Big Rocks, while in Nutrition school and trying to keep up with my full time job and life.  It goes like this: Imagine you have a jar, and a specific amount of: sand, pebbles and rocks. The jar, which can only contain so much, represents time. The sand represents relatively inconsequential stuff like social media, phone calls, emails; the pebbles, simple tasks that may have some negative consequences if you don’t do them; the big rocks are the most important things in your life that will have serious consequences if you don’t do them. The interesting thing is, if you pour the sand in first, followed by the pebbles, you will find your self in a situation where some of the big rocks won’t fit. In other words, you’ll run out of time and your biggest priorities will not be met. But if you start with the big rocks, then add in the pebbles and the sand, somehow everything magically fits (you can watch the video demonstration of this right here*).

It’s a striking metaphor for what actually happens in real life. Stephen Covey, who originated this exercise which demonstrates the same point once said:  Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important. So what are your big rocks? You have a goal: a life with more peace and luxury than you’ve previously known. I’m assuming you have a strategy for this. Maybe it’s becoming an entrepreneur, going back to school or writing a book on your topic. So choose your big rocks, prioritize them, and let everything and everyone else fall into place around you. For instance, if I want to publish a book, that becomes my big rock every single day. Phones, other people, burst pipes and emergency plumbers will happen. But I can turn off my phone. I can let people know that I won’t be available for a certain number of hours every day. I can answer emails only between noon and 1 PM, if I choose. And if the pipe bursts, I can let the plumber in …and get back to writing.

Sure, other people can and will try to create priorities and “urgent emergencies”, for us, but only you get to decide what’s important. If you feel too easily roped into others’ lives, pulled hither and tither, you might even say: “Hey, I’m turning over a new leaf. I’m working on a really important goal that requires all of my focus. I’m happy to talk to you, but later. Thanks so much for understanding.”

What are your big rocks? Relationships? Creative free time and play time? Spirituality? Starting a business (which may also have other big rocks within it, like, time to plan, networking etc.)? Have fun identifying your big rocks and putting this new system in place. Creating boundaries around your time is a strategy for getting exactly what you want: a more peaceful, enjoyable life!

Ask Aphrodite – August 29, 2015

Dear Aphrodite, My Venus retrograde outrage has to do with not being in the mood romantically (dead tired, short on time etc.) and having to figure out that an emotional withdrawal/moody acting out from my partner is due to his fear that I have taken away all romantic inclination forever, even though we were exceptionally close for days prior. I have felt disrespected and outraged to have been given a cold shoulder over this, like everything is up to me. A stand off exists. How should I handle this to feel I keep my right to be treated as a person and yet be fair? -Maria

Dear Maria, Sex is not an on-demand thing, like cable television, something you can turn on and off at will. To enjoy sex women need to be rested, restored, not stressed out and in an amenable mood – which is often a tall order in this day and age. However, I suspect your guy knows this (and if he doesn’t, this is an opportunity to educate him), because, as you said, you identified this “acting out” as his fear of not having intimacy.

It sounds like you may be mixing his fear of not being romantically intimate with your own outrage/fear at being sexually objectified. I understand. All we have to do is look at how our female images are used in media and feel icky. It’s as though the world at large has co-opted Venus into becoming a role/body, not a person. That said: Is he the type of guy who would demand sexual intimacy when you don’t feel it? If so, you might want to rethink this relationship. You need to decide whether this man is truly being unreasonable.

Let’s acknowledge what you are bringing to your partnership. In your natal chart, Saturn (planet of Fear/Authority), and Mars (planet of Action/War) are in your seventh house, square Venus in Virgo. I have noticed just how easy it is for my Virgo Venus friends to myopically focus on something and then pick at it till it bleeds, and with this combo it may feel like there’s always “something” – more relationship work to be done, etc, an issue that needs to be addressed, causing you to throw down the gauntlet and declare war. These are your planets, not his, and owning this can empower you to not project your stuff onto him. Good news!: To mobilize these warring forces within, Venus in Virgo simply needs something to work on. In a calm and open frame of mind, you might try this: Sweetie, I know you want more intimacy from me. Can we talk about what’s keeping me from being in that relaxed, sensual place -and how you might help to get me there? (For instance, if too many household chores are preventing you from feeling slow and sensual, I bet he’d be more than willing to pitch in and help!)

Lastly, If you consider this guy a keeper, I would think very carefully about how you want to respond to the vulnerabilities he shows you. Men easily feel emasculated by a woman who is not in her power. We have much more authority with them than we realise. They have raw feelings and fears, like we do, but they look to us for direction on how to proceed on emotion/heart matters. Can you be a leader here– use Mars/Saturn to build up trust between you, not tear it down? Part of being in loving committed partnership is learning to recognise our partner’s fears and wounds, and befriending those as best we can. It takes practice and forgiveness. We screw up. No one is perfect. But if he’s a loving guy who genuinely cares for you, why not try placing your trust in that and start there? Think about it: He has a fear of you not being intimate with him for an extended time. That’s another way of saying “I want to be intimate with and close to you.” Not such a bad problem to have, eh?!

Ask Aphrodite-July 15, 2015

Dear Aphrodite, In a week, my divorce from my abusive ex- will be final. I have being doing a lot of work on myself but after experiencing four years of emotional abuse, part of me is still afraid of men in a romantic context — afraid of being controlled, sexually rejected and powerless. How do I know if I’m ready for new love? How do I stay open and out of fear so that love can flow freely? How do I overcome the fear and defensiveness that come up when I even consider dating?  –Sophia

Dear Sophia, First, congratulations for having the courage to leave an abusive relationship, and for the work you are doing on your self, which will pay off! You are starting to heal, but there’s a reason why they call it a “healing process” (it’s a process).

It sounds like the residual fear and powerlessness you feel when you consider dating, while an echo of your past relationship, still holds authority over you, and is acting as a sort of signpost telling you when/if you’re ready. While occasionally new relationships can be agents of healing and change, if we don’t give our healing process the time and space we need, more often we end up replicating the old one with a new person- which only perpetuates the cycle of trauma and heartache. So better questions for you at this point might be: What strategies can help me to heal this disempowerment? And if I’m going to give myself time to do this to my satisfaction, can I be okay with being in this liminal space?

For the former, try this experiment: On a scale from 1-10 rate your fear of men in a romantic context, of being controlled, sexually rejected and powerless. Now place your hands on your lap, palm sides up. Gently tap the inner area of your hand (between the base of your palm and pinky) with that of the other hand (this is an Emotional Freedom Technique and is called the “karate chop” point) and repeat the following: “I have so many fears about being with men romantically. I am afraid of being controlled. I am afraid of being sexually rejected and powerless. I experienced 4 years of abuse and it is so very hard for me to turn this corner. And I completely and unconditionally love and accept myself.” Keep going. “I am sooo afraid. I am afraid of getting hurt again, and I am afraid of being alone. I get defensive when I’m around potential romantic partners. I like men; I want to enjoy men. It’s so confusing! And I completely and totally love and accept myself.” Do another round of this with your own words. Now rate your fear again, from 1-10. Did it go down? If it went down even a little this might be a good technique to help you process out some of the emotions that are keeping you stuck. While this was just a taste, a good EFT practitioner will take you through the entire sequence, help you to release trauma and move the emotional intensity of your fear and powerlessness down to zero– the goal of this work.

We tend to want to get rid of fear so we can just get on with our life, but fear is a warning sign telling us to slow down, get quiet and pay attention. Treat your fear like the ally she is; she is saying that you need to restore your internal sense of power, trust and safety. When past hurt and pain controls your ability to move forward, you need to go back and give your past self -who is likely still in a “flight or fight” state- resources she needed then but didn’t have. EFT works for this but so can other therapeutic techniques specifically designed to release trauma.

Astrologically, you are in the right space for exploring, learning and mastering the kinds of experimental techniques that can help you see your healing progress. All summer, Saturn conjoins your Uranus-Mercury opposition. If you invest time and effort in this area, Saturn rewards with new skills, healing tools and authority.

You can do this! There are thousands if not millions who have been or are where you are now, and who have gone on to find fulfilling satisfying relationship (hold the space for that by affirming “My True Love comes to me in Divine Timing.”) And remember, patience: It’s okay to not be ready for love, yet. The better part of finding love is becoming the right person for the love you want to find you. –Jessica


Ask Aphrodite-June 2, 2015

Dear Aphrodite, Often in the past, I have lost touch with my connection to you and my connection to ease, beauty and pleasure. When this happens, my spark and interest in life dims. How do I keep this connection vibrant and pulsating like the flame in the candle? Love, Taurus Beauty


Dear Taurus Beauty, What a wonderful question! I have pondered this myself. Firstly, because we are not static beings, I believe it is natural to move in and out of connection with ease, beauty, romance, creativity, sensuality and pleasure: We experience moods, cycles, impulses throwing us into a relatively constant state of imbalance. Venus is a dynamic force for creating equilibrium, one we can call on when we’ve swung too far from center. For instance, we are uninspired; we visit a beautiful and uplifting cathedral. We feel un-sexy; we take a yoga class and mentally stroke our body with positive messages. Jean Shinoda Bolen, in her book Goddesses in Every Woman, alludes to this need for the Aphrodite in us to return to homeostasis by doing something like “jumping in a hot creek on a cool day.”

I underscored “doing something”: Venus is an active planet, not a passive one. In myth, she was constantly taking action by going after who and what she loved, pursuing the arts of pleasure with voracity, enthusiasm, appetite, and often, great courage.  Yet I’ve noticed the tendency of fans of astrology to think all things Venus (pleasure, love, inspiration, romance…) will just happen, with minimal effort on their part- probably reflecting our culture’s relationship to Venus’ shadowy, passive side. In extreme, it’s as if we’re continually waiting for a celestial package to arrive in the mail with our name on it.  That’s not keeping in the spirit of Venus.

Venus, the Goddess of 50/50, is a planet we need to learn to meet halfway.

If we’re overheated, we jump in a cool creek. If we’re tired, we rest. If we’re displeased, we need to find our pleasure. If we want her, in us, to resemble something more than a cliché from old astrology textbooks, we need to teach ourselves to read between the lines, to imagine our self into Her. Our Venus needs co-participation and cooperation, from our inner life and our imagination.

Knowing our Venus sign is a good place to start. Your Venus is in Taurus, her home sign. You are a true daughter of the Goddess Aphrodite, in her earthy aspect. Your Venus is fulfilled through sensual pleasures and delights in nature, both animal and human. As I say in my book, Venus Signs, for your sign, “Cultivating a calm, easygoing lifestyle with plenty of sensory diversions, as well as interactions with nature and animals is vital to keeping that peaceful, easy feeling on tap.”  Yet the shadow of Taurus is complacency, so when life becomes too tame or comfortable you’ll need to shake things up once in awhile, to mobilize your Venus into dynamically readjusting your relationship to balance, pleasure, joy and ease. See how elegant Venus is?