A meditation on this set of transits today...
* Venus' conjunction to Neptune in Pisces is romantic, dreamy, cooling, calming, fluid, emotionally uplifting, imaginative, hopeful, compassionate, and idealistic, whereas the Sun in Aries square to Saturn in Capricorn is controlled, powerful,willful, active, structured, dutiful, traditional, hard, dry, hot, and uncompromising.
* Venus conjunct Neptune craves intimacy, secrecy, benefits from women, friends, partners, or colleagues.
* The Sun/Saturn square is principled, enforcing, consequential, and wants to mold the world to its will.
* Venus conjunct Neptune is the ideal of paradise, of perfection, beauty, grace, and bliss forever.
* The Sun/Saturn square with the south node is an image of one trying to force something to happen with great effort. Imagine a man trying to cut down a tree with a dull or rusty saw. He is failing hard. Trying and trying but exhausting himself.
* Venus conjunct Neptune is the image that drives the man on in his efforts...the impossible dream of the beautiful home he will build with the wood from the tree that keeps him feverishly working at the impossible.
* If and when he is finally exhausted, he will then reach for a cold and intoxicating beverage. A potion of forgetting or "self-forgiveness." Or a potion of indulgence or "self-love." A potion of apathy or not caring any longer. The man, finally exhausted, says, "If I can't accomplish this task, then nothing matters. Nothing is worth my time. It's all an illusion anyway."
* Then, the man begins drinking his poison, just as feverishly as he was trying to cut down the tree.
* While he was sawing, someone might have come along and said, "Why don't you stop and sharpen your blade?" to which he would have replied, "I don't have time for that!"
* While he was drinking his potions, one after another, just as feverishly, one may have said, "Why don't you stop drinking all by yourself and come for a walk with me?" to which he would have replied, "What's the point in that?"
* These are, of course, the extremes of spiritual life informed purely by the ego. When spiritual life is rooted in the desire for personal happiness or liberation, when it is rooted in the impossible ideals of personal perfection or ceaseless inner empowerment, we are like the man trying to cut down a mighty tree with a rusty saw. The rusty saw is our selfish motivation. When our motivation is for personal gain, then we will suffer feverishly with whatever we are endeavoring for until we are finally exhausted by our finitude. A spiritual goal, a humanitarian goal, an artistic goal, or any other kind of "noble" goal, when it comes from the place of lusting for what we do not personally have, from what we want or desire in some way for ourselves, will eventually exhaust us.
* Once we are exhausted, we then sometimes think to ourselves, "Trees cannot be cut down." We don't stop to think, "Maybe a different approach. Maybe a sharpened saw would do the trick." Instead, we try to forget, try to deny, or try to pretend as though nothing matters anyway. We then celebrate this attitude and take it up as a lifestyle. We're still sawing away with a self-serving attitude, but now we're sawing thin air and saying things like, "There is no higher truth, no higher goals, no higher good...that's all an illusion, and there is no point here, it's all subjective. I'm only human, and so I'm forgiving myself of these pointless spiritual endeavors and just doing what I want."
* This so-called "letting go and just being human" may sound enlightened. But, it's actually even more exhausting because, now, even though we are still sawing away, we are no longer aware of what we're doing...
* Sometimes the pattern becomes cyclical. We eventually wake up from our intoxication and say, "My god. I need to get back to my sawing!" And so we take the rusty blade back to the tree and start all over again until we're exhausted once more and once more take to our drinking.
* Imagine that for many souls, there are countless lifetimes spent like this. Why? Because love is a choice.
* We know there must be something higher, but we cannot fathom that this something higher is not a personal goal or ambition but a personal person, a being, like us, who does not desire perfection from us, who is not asking us to achieve anything, but rather is hoping, waiting, and longing, for a surprising, mysterious, and intimate relationship. This relationship is not forced upon anyone, just as the man drinking and sawing, sawing and drinking, is not forced to stop.
* Without this relationship, we are always trying and failing, failing and trying. We fail at the trying and we try at the failing.
* Think about it. Our social media feeds are filled with two basic pictures of egoism. One is the confessional images we post of ourselves achieving something, of feeling so great because we've transcended something, ascended, gained, won, in some way or other aspired and attained victory. The other is the picture we post of just how good or bad we feel to have lost, or to have given up those pointless perfection trips and to have found self-love along with our ice cream sandwich, vacation time, or self-indulgent days at the spa.
* On the other hand, the natural result of using our free will to make love of the divine, and love of others, our first concern (as Jesus taught), is that we are able to be loved in return. We may thus enter into the bliss of so many eternal relationships and divine associations. In this heavenly realm, all is accomplished without vanity. En route to this realm, the blade of love and sweetness is sharp and effective in cutting through our illusions of isolation and yet cannot harm or exhaust anyone.
* And again, now, to our astrology of the day...
* The Sun/Saturn square can be like the rusty blade. The Venus/Neptune conjunction can be the hopeless selfish ideal we cannot stop chasing, the tree we are trying to cut down, or the intoxicating beverage of personal ambition or personal failure, looping endlessly. These images are made acute right now by the planets but they exist perpetually.
* On the other hand, what lies beneath these transits is the same truth behind all transits....that we may surrender both the relentlessness of personal ambition and personal failure, for the sake of love.
Prayer, an excerpt from St Francis: "O divine master grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it's in dying that we are born to eternal life."