This malady which Swann’s love had become had so proliferated, was so closely interwoven with all his habits, with all his actions, with his thoughts, his health, his sleep, his life, even with what he hoped for after his death, was so utterly inseparable from him, that it would have been impossible to eradicate it without almost entirely destroying him; as surgeons say, his love was no longer operable.
The quote above comes from Proust, whose birthday is approaching on 10 July. I love to lose myself in his long, meandering sentences. With the New Moon in Cancer and a number of planets in water signs I have been thinking a lot about love. The quote is about romantic love but I have been casting my net more widely today. I have been pondering on Love as Plato saw it in Phaedrus. He wrote: “Each man in his life honours, and imitates as well as he can, that god to whose choir he belonged.” Plato suggests that what we love is our own essence which we see reflected in the object of love. Furthermore, what we love is strongly connected with our destiny: we often pursue objects which reflect the yet unevolved parts of ourselves. Wanting to unite with an object of our affection is a desire to redeem the deepest part of our souls, the ones that may have been lost or sacrificed.
The sign Cancer, which rules the heavens today, has a lot to teach us about love. I read these beautiful words in Liz Greene’s Astrology of Fate today:
Uroboros is the most ancient symbol of man’s origins, arising from the depth of beginning where world and psyche are still one … In answer to the query, ‘Where did I come from?’ this powerful image arises from the depths, which is both mother and father at once. It is the original perfection before opposites and conflict began, the egg out of which the world was formed. Therefore Uroboros is the primal creative element – what Jung termed the ocean of the collective unconscious – which slays, weds and impregnates itself for all time. Cancer represents this maternal womb, but it is not solely maternal. It is also a union of masculine and feminine opposites, the World Parents joined in eternal cohabitation. I feel that Cancer is driven to seek this divine source; that is its daimon, which is imaged both as the beginning of life before physical separation and birth, and the end of life when the soul is one again joined in unity with the One. Thus it is both a regressive longing for the womb, and a mystical longing for God.
When we are doing what we love time and boundaries disappear. We are in the ocean of limitless creativity. Joseph Campbell’s most famous admonition was “follow your bliss.” I feel we have a unique chance this summer, with all the planetary alignments, notably the Grand Water Trine, to discover what it is that we love and suffuse our daily lives with It.
A unique bookshop in Venice: my kind of Paradise