“Dream delivers us to dream, and there is no end to illusion. Life is like a train of moods like a string of beads, and, as we pass through them, they prove to be many-colored lenses which paint the world their own hue.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson Essays, Second Series
Johfra Bosschart, “Animus and Anima”
Today the planet Venus will move into the sign of Pisces. Here is a short quote from Dane Rudhyar’s Zodiac as Universal Matrix about Venus in Pisces:
“In Pisces, Venus operates primarily with memories, with the essence of things now vanishing, with fantasies and transcendent ideals. For this very reason it is so full of charm and mystery. Venus in Pisces is the dream-lover, the mystic Beloved, Dante’s Beatrice, the ‘redeeming woman’ of the Romantics. It often gives to a person a disarming kind of fascination which can hardly be defined. Yet no one should trust too much such a person in emotional matters. Her love is usually based on the projection of some complex, and it lacks either freshness or the constructive power of emotional maturity.”
Dante Gabriel Rosetti, “Salutation of Beatrice”
Having read the words of Rudhyar, I started to ruminate. First of all, I think the projection he mentions in the last sentence is definitely something that colours everybody’s experience of relationships in our culture. In a romantic projection, reality recedes into the background while we continue to spin illusions that veil the real world. If the end product of such an illusion is a masterwork similar to the Divine Comedy, then perhaps we may see that the way Dante perceived Beatrice was not entirely false, since “Beauty is Truth,” as the poet said.
Gustave Doré, “Beatrice and Dante”
However, it always helps to see through our own, more run-of-the-mill romantic projections. In his book Healing the Soul: Pluto, Uranus and Lunar Nodes, Mark Jones talks about how romantic projections can bring about our undoing:
“Many relationships never evolve beyond the meeting of the need in mutual projection. We meet someone who fits our image of the perfect partner and we are fortunate that we meet their image of the perfect mate and we then become glued by the fit of imagery. This is necessary glue it could be argued, a tool for bonding. However, if this is all there is, it is sticky!
It is hard to underestimate the extent to which human beings want the word, and other people in the world, to conform to their expectations. Acknowledging this T.S. Eliot writes in Four Quartets, ‘Go, go, go, said the bird: human kind Cannot bear very much reality.’ To bear the reality of another human carries the potential of loving them for who they actually are versus engaging with them in a superficial kind of psychic mutual masturbation.”
Mark Jones was a student of Jeffrey Wolf Green, the founder of the School of Evolutionary Astrology, who has fascinating things to say about relationships, which he divides into five types:
He also offers his unique understanding of the concepts of soul mates, karma mates and twin souls. For a complete discussion, you can look here. I will talk about various types selectively. This is what he says about co-dependent relationships:
“The co-dependent relationship is a relationship in which both people are dependent on one another for their lives to be sustained. In this condition each person will project their needs upon the other in such a way as to expect each other to perpetually meet those needs. This then becomes the basis of mutual projection wherein each person ‘out pictures’ their inner reality upon one another, this out picturing and projection of inner realities upon one another creating a situation wherein neither person can see clearly, if at all, the actual reality of one another.”
In a co-dependent relationship, people cannot live without one another and cannot picture themselves outside of the relationship.
Moving on to the sadomasochistic type, I found a lot of Green’s statements very striking. He speaks of unconscious thought patterns which “condition, control and create the circumstantial realities of the masochistic type of person.” These are:
“(1) I deserve pain, punishment, crisis, suffering, humility (to be humiliated), and denial and I do not know why. …
(2) For my needs to be met, I must hurt first.
(3) I am essentially worthless, while intellectually knowing better.”
According to Green, masochists frequently attract the type that he calls “emotional wounded birds.” These people always need to be fixed emotionally and psychologically. The needs of the masochistic partner within such a dynamic remain unacknowledged:
“In this situation, the masochistic person does almost all the giving, and is constantly putting out the emotional brush fires that the ‘wounded bird’ is creating. It is as if the masochistic partner might as well walk around the house with a white uniform on, red cross on the shoulder, and a name tag on the breast!”
Sadists, who can be both men and women, operate guided by the unconscious “fear or feeling that the opposite gender will disempower, undermine, capture, enslave, or in some undefined way destroy oneself. Consequently, the sadistic pathology will desire to hurt another first, to attack first, to destroy first, to ‘get even’ first, before it allows itself to get hurt.” It is interesting that both partners feel punished or fear punishment, but the masochist feels that he/she deserves it, while the sadist is angry and vindictive. Both these individuals are driven by subconscious feeling of guilt. Green points out that the sadomasochistic dynamic permeates our culture. Women are still not equal to men, he argues:
“Again, can it not be seen in the man and women doing the same job and the women makes less ? Can it not be seen in a man or a women who withholds their emotional or sexual attention from their partner as a form of punishment ? Can it not be seen in various forms of perpetual criticism from one partner to another; or both. This form can also be linked with “teasing” when that teasing has a motivation of humiliation.
Can it not be seen in the man who expects the women to be merely a vicarious extension of his reality whose only purpose is to SERVE his needs ? That the women is inferior to him: a second class citizens at best. Is this not a form of dominance and submission?
Or, more commonly, the situation of a man who can be emotional and placating to the women in order to have sex with her, and then when the act of sex is over he is suddenly emotionally remote or overtly/covertly disdainful of the women; sometimes even angry at her. Why? He has given in to the temptation! If you can understand this, then you will understand why women has to be PURE, and why women feel that they must be pure for their men: atonement linked with the original guilt generates the need to be clean: pure.”
Medieval painting of a witch preparing a love philter – Flemish School (image source. http://www.luxnoxhex.org/LNXMUS-sabbath-7.html)
Because the above themes correlate astrologically with the signs Virgo and Pisces, Venus entering Pisces can make us think of these issues on a collective and personal level. So much injustice, so many imbalances are currently coming into our global conscious awareness. In this climate, seeking retribution, being stuck in victim mentality is not easy to avoid. What we can choose to do instead is to create a new world and a new reality for ourselves in which these conflicts will be outgrown. This will take years but is a necessary evolutionary step for humanity.
The highest and most sublime form of the sign Pisces or its modern ruler Neptune manifesting itself in relationships is in the so-called soul mate relationships. The Internet is full of idealistic articles about this kind of a blissful union; I think it may be interesting to see how Jeff Green sees it:
“Soul Mates are two people who have independently acted upon their desires to embrace a spiritual or transcendent reality, and the real purpose of the union with one another is to continue their individual spiritual development BECAUSE OF AND THROUGH THE RELATIONSHIP. …
A subtyping within Soul Mates is the phenomena of the same Soul. What this means is that in certain states of advanced evolution, the spiritual state defined earlier, a Soul can manifest itself in more than one body/personality/ego at a time. In essence, the Soul, in order to accelerate its evolution through the progressive elimination of all separating desires, can manifest itself in what appears to be different people who exist at the same time and place, at the same time in different places, or both. …
The classical or archetypal feeling in each of the ego’s or personalities that the Soul has created in order to accelerate its evolution in this way, is one in which there is a deep, permeating sense of not being complete; that there is a great inner existential void. Even when everything else in their life is so full, including a rich and experiential spiritual life, the different “individuals” who emanate from the same Soul have this inner feeling of something missing: it haunts their conscious sense of self. This feeling is registered in the ego’s of the different personalities (people) that the Soul has created. Archetypically, there is a reason for this feeling. And the reason is that, at some point, the Soul who has splintered itself in these ways must merge back into itself the different components of itself that took on the FORM of distinct and separate people.
In the beginning of this reunion, the different people who meet can manifest a resistance to one another. The reason for this is : the ego in each person has defined itself as a separate individual. This is a reflection of the separating desire inherent to the Soul. Thus, for the ego to let go of itself, to merge back to the Soul that created it, is to simultaneously ignite the fear of personal dissolution. So, in the beginning of such a dynamic, there is attraction and repulsion. Over time, such fears will subside. As they do so, the different people that the Soul has created will become ever closer to one another. The last stages of this process will manifest in such a way that the different people will finally commit to one another in a marriage type of dynamic. When this occurs, it will be a relationship within the specialty typing called Soul Mates. When this evolutionary process culminates, the manifestation of the different people will no longer exist. The merging of the Soul’s different components, reflected in antithetical desires as the different people, has occurred. Thus, the Soul is now fully integrated, and ready to begin the conscious merging of itself back to its own Source: God.”
Gustave Dore, “Heavenly Host” (Having reached the Ninth Heaven Dante and his guide Beatrice look at the circles of the heavenly host. After reaching the summit of Purgatory, Dante got a new guide to the afterworld: Beatrice, his Divine Love, who took over after Virgil.)