I just realized I wrote a post I forgot to publish and for some reason it made its way back to me as I was sorting out through my drafts. I release it now in the hope that some curious cats might find value in it:
From the outskirts of what has been a painfully slow and difficult period, I report back on the state of ‘ugly restlessness’ that the Venus retrograde in Capricorn (conjunct Pluto, Mars and Mercury) spread in the collective for us. We began 2022 under this energy and so far this year proved to be traumatic. Whenever we have a stellium (*a cluster of planets in the same astrological sign) in the sign of Capricorn, we usually deal with loss, death and disease (much like in 2020 when Jupiter, Pluto and Saturn met in this sign, we were faced with mass deaths created by the Covid-19 pandemic). There is a reason why astrologers throughout time associate the sign of Capricorn with the image of the Grim Reaper and the Devil, and that being that Capricorn takes something away from us, before it can rebuild on a stronger foundation. I also need to say that part of my role as a lightworker is to shed light on difficult aspects of life, dark things and dark experiences, uncomfortable emotions that deserve to be acknowledged and transformed. If you believe that walking the spiritual path is all ‘love and light’ you are mistaken. Actually the more you try to slap on the tag ‘love and light’ without dealing with the darker undercurrents of the human experience, the more you’ll create a psychogenic pressure cooker that will unleash Pandora’s box in your life when you least expect it. To live only in ‘love and light’ is paradoxically to be dominated by your Shadow Self – and remarkably the sooner you come to terms with your human flaws, limitations, obsessions and desires the more you start to infuse your life with the light of truth and creation. What makes living such a fascinating experience is how we pendulate between dark and light and work with the grey areas in life, also known as the infamous ‘it’s complicated’ terrain. In life, we will spend most of our living energy striving towards something, recuperating from something or letting go of something, so we can use our remaining energy to build something new and to maintain what we’ve gathered so far.
The past Venus retrograde which ended this weekend, was a period of 40 days and nights, where feminine energy was externally depleted, and beauty was not obvious but skin-deep. This happened in order to focus on the self-esteem that is built from within. Those of you who were born with a Venus retrograde in your natal chart might be familiar with this energy, as beauty/love/money aspects in your life that require more effort, that are earned by focusing within first and then manifesting without. Whenever an astrological retrograde takes place, reality shifts a bit and we experience optical and visual illusions. During a Venus retrograde you might wake up and look at yourself in the mirror and see all your flaws, only your imperfections and you could feel old, tried and drained. However, as soon as the retrograde is over the same mirror-image changes and you start to feel ‘cute’ again, to think that ‘hey, I do have nice hair or nice eyes’. This is because retrogrades focus the energy within, into that beautiful inner realm that lies beyond the capacity of our visual field but exists nonetheless (like many things in our reality that we like to take for granted due to the inherent limitations of our visual field – case in point, Roentgen radiation).
I think the best representative of this inner beauty/outer beauty Venus retrograde energy is the Norse Goddess of Death and Despair, Hel (pictured above). Half human, half monster, her face depicts the beauty dichotomy and sends us thinking: Who are we when we don’t base our self-esteem on how we look? And would we feel better about ourselves, if we were just living in a state of inner beauty? And would the world around us, people and society, react respectfully to us even if we didn’t spend time crafting our external image?
Let’s talk about how ugly an individual sometimes feels when living in the midst of an energetic burnout. How food seems to lack color, sexual desire disappears, as more space is created in the body for mysterious aches and pains, a perturbed sleeping schedule which might involve waking up several times a night and cold sweats in the morning, pins and needles in the shoulders and neck invading the body right before bedtime. In the midst of burn-out we might not even be aware that it is happening, and it usually takes a disease, an event or a malfunctioning limb to set things into perspective. What brings about a burnout? Excessive stress from work and the effort needed to survive. And what is Capricorn ruling over? Well, the word of work. We have all been on some level traumatized & burnt-out by the depleting energies of Pluto in Capricorn and now on its final degrees, the effort intensifies as we are all collectively pushed into revolt exactly at the moment when we feel we cannot give anymore and we expected some solace (or divine intervention).
This retrograde therefore showed us at a skin deep level (since it was conjunct piercing Pluto), almost at a bone level (Saturn rules over the structures in our life, such as our skeleton), the pains and aches of the economic system we live in that requires us to function and work over-time for meagre salaries that cannot be spent to completely nourish ourselves, our bodies and our souls. In addition, the global capitalist system purports values which are about image-management and self-obsession rather than valuing inner beauty, and even more so it values traits on the job market which fall in line with a masculine energy: competitiveness, confidence, self-marketing, self-promotion, leadership, power, constant movement and change to seek novelty etc. The feminine keeps being under-paid, under-valued and attacked. These commodified values are affecting our relationships, our bodies and our capacity to balance masculine energy with feminine energy, and the past Venus retrograde brought these things so close to home it hurt. It is timely too, not only because Saturn the ruler of Capricorns governs over time, but also because this is the final Venus retrograde before we shift into a new era, the Pluto in Aquarius era. (And what followed after this retrograde ended its Shadow zone, was Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the subsequent raping and killing of Ukrainian women).
Keeping this in mind, what are the lessons that the Venus retrograde in Capricorn conjunct Pluto, solidified for us, after 14 years of Saturnian collective stoicism, effort and darkness:
- That forceful, faster and emotionless might not be the best course of action forward. Sooner or later something or someone will crack under the pressure. And it might be your mind or your body.
- Honour feminine energy & take time to rest, because no matter how much the neo-patriarchal system of social relationships – which we still find ourselves living in – disdains it, people who rest are indeed more productive. People who rest have the power to fight back.
- Build something slowly and carefully over time to reduce the cost and shock of something just randomly dissolving in front of you when you least expect it, due to a fault in the foundation: this can be metaphorically applied to your workplace, your health, or your marriage. Although, a spontaneous invasion or a terrorist group could easily destroy all that you built, so try to not get too attached to objects.
- Don’t blindly follow tradition just for tradition’s sake. Transform it until you feel it has a deeper meaning for you and then you can ‘obey’ it because it resonates with your soul and not with what somebody else tells you to obey.
- If a relationship doesn’t work, let it die. If a person will not change, let them go. If your money is depleting, slow down the roll of spending and conserve it.
- You can live well with less.
- Your addictions are not you, they are the inner demons you didn’t take time to slay. And the side-effect of the daily personal hustle needed to maintain neo-capitalism.
- Love, creativity, peacefulness, integrity, faith, feeling good – they all matter. Not everything that is tangible and marketable has intrinsic value. Some things are just unquantifiable, eternal and intangible.
- The survival mantras of “I am strong” & “I can do this”, which characterized the first part of this Pluto in Capricorn transit, have now become “I approve of myself” and “I accept myself”, under the decade-long influence of Neptune in Pisces. And this summer, in 2022, as Jupiter enters Aries, they will become ‘I have no fear’ & “I had enough”.
With universal love,