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
Excellent post! I love the way to tie in the astrological symbolism, and ourosboros is such a powerful symbol. This post als makes me realize I need to read more Proust. I only read excerpts from Swann’s Way in college.
Thanks, Jeff! You also reminded me about what I love with your post on Jim Morrison. Proust is worth reading, that is a given.
I agree with your idea that in love we try to unite ourselves with ourselves by means of others. Both missions impossible in essence I’m afraid. Futhermore: I loose my mind when I’m in love and by that also my creativity.,. 🙂
But you’ve been so creative recently! I think you are tuning in to all that water energy floating around us.
Hmm, I’m not in love maybe..
I saw that photo of the bookshop, and the canals… I swear I began drooling like Pavlov’s dog.
But who wants to talk about that when the topic is love? That quote by Proust is unique in explaining the “polarity change” that occurs in all thinking when universal love is at the emanating center. From the ability to place proper value on perceptions, to a reforming of every desire, it is like the moisture that penetrates all things, or the process that “alchemizes” all necessary earthbound experience into divine wisdom, maybe. Love unites unfamiliar humans, from different worlds and entirely different experiences, by unveiling it’s source as the same source shared by all, and everything.
“Plato suggests that what we love is our own essence which we see reflected in the object of love” <—that…has to be true. Has to be.
That is the most dramatic uroboros i think i have ever seen. (:
Thank you, Jim, for this beautiful comment. “Like the moisture that penetrates all things.” – love that. That uroboros is not shy about devouring:-) (I wonder if anyone can recognize a Seinfeld quote here, probably only a geek like me).
Listen Monika. Watching Seinfeild may make you a geek, but the good news is in the pre Big Bang Theory world, Seinfeild viewers were the smart geeks.
As a friend once explained my own confirmed nerdiness, “in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king”.
I was flattered.
Haha, I also love The Big Bang Theory.
A brilliant post. Thank you!
Thank you very much!
That quote from Liz Greene is amazing! I have a tattoo on one of my shoulders — It’s an Aubrey Beardsley illustration of a fetus sucking its own tail with a skeleton popping out of its head. I had to describe it to the 5 year old Parisian that I nannied over and over, like a story that I told over and over. I would tell her: They’re bookends. It’s before birth and after death, everything that we do not know and is other to our lives. I never linked it to Ourobouros… much less Cancer! Fabulous article, Monika.
Kelsey, that is some tattoo! I wish I could see it, haha.
Liz Greene is by far the best interpreter of Jung, myth and symbols. She has got her Sun in Virgo, the Moon in Sagittarius – there is both richness of detail and an intuitive wholeness. Paternal and maternal ouroboros is the idea of Erich Neumann, but his writing is somewhat dry, she managed to pour life (I would say spirit but do not want to offend you:-) into it.
By the way, I decided to write about love after I saw that reading you did with Jim, the Running Son. It was awesome to see him for the first time and he is like a resident on my blog. I felt so slushy and sentimental when you guys mentioned me.
Say ‘Geist.’ I understand it as a figure of speech. Haha. I kept getting called “intense” so I looked up synonyms to better understand what that was supposed to mean — spirited, spunky, vivacious, etc. — all these words indicating, quite frankly, an excess of life! What a weird commentary…
Liz Green sounds really familiar to me. I know that I’ve heard her name mentioned a lot. I’ll check her out.
Slushy and sentimental is good. It was fun reading brought about by you! 🙂
And you will see the tattoo, whenever you’re ready for your Tarot reading.
I tried to find the image online, but it’s not one of his famous works. I found nothing. 😦
I am getting there this summer! Promise.
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