I am beloved, and my beloved’s mine ~ Song of Songs, 6:1-3

A man once went to his priest, asking for advice – sharing that he loved the woman he was with, and for the first time in his life he really wanted to get married, but was afraid of commitment and if he’d be able to sustain a long term marriage as everyone around him was getting divorced and giving him their two-cents opinions on how his marriage too will “break apart, so why bother at all”; and the priest told him that a lasting marriage is like being held together with comfortable handcuffs.

Even as you both get older and change, you stay connected to each other and allow your partner to evolve within your union, even when it seems as though their evolution could break you apart. The people each of you are when you marry, will likely be very different to the ones that you end up with after a lifetime together, but you will be together. And you’ll then sit on your porch, wrinkled and all, but still being witty and laughing with the same sparkles in your eyes when your face shines when it laughs, and still hand in hand. It’s the pink fluffy handcuffs.

It’s about freedom within relationships, rather than freedom from relationships. But – and this is a big but – as I always say, you need to choose the one you trust with your life, because you are not just choosing a partner, you are essentially choosing the kind of life you will live. And if you can’t trust him fully, don’t lock it in. Otherwise you’ll end up in the middle ages with the iron ones, rather than with the pink fluffy ones; so choose wisely.

Naturally, the priest then gave the man the spiritual advice of “those who pray together stay together”. And this is a very important one, though it isn’t necessarily about sharing the same religion; it is about the ability and willingness to look towards the same direction, horizon, holding a mutual belief that there is something greater than you, and holding the same higher values of loyalty, integrity, intentional listening and trust.

You see, what the priest was actually speaking of with the handcuff analysis was merely a fun way to portray a higher spiritual truth – that we enter into a circle through our vows; and it is a circle not only made by our human lips, but by our souls also. This is the circle of Venus, and the entering of the temple that a relationship is; which is why in astrology, the D9 or Navamsa chart, which is the higher purpose of your marriage and marriged life, and your dharma in general in your life, where you are moving towards on a soul level, is seen through diving deeper into the 9th natal chart, rather than the traditional natal marriage 7th house.

In ancient astrology texts, the 9th house was called “the house of God”. And in modern astrology it is associated with higher beliefs, religion and spirituality, foreign travels and foreign cultures, higher learning and education, philosophy, the virtues, and essentially all that dissolves the boundaries within us so that we can move towards soul growth. The significator of the Navamsa is Venus; and yet that one who holds her is Jupiter, the wise one, the breath of our soul, the original ruler of the 9th house.

Let’s dive in deeper.

Venus: Copper, Rings and the High Heart

Venus rules copper and rings, like a wedding ring, a circle, as it rules our vows and the circle we bind ourselves to. We make vows not only with lips, but with our souls too; and within the circle, the relationship or marriage or that to which we vow ourselves to, becomes the temple, the monastery, the prayer within us and our home, our house which we make our home with our love, and the home of our heart; and within this home, this sacred circle, we evolve i.e. we don’t separate to evolve, we evolve within the relationship while also individually as well.

Within the marriage, even as we get older and change, we still stay connected to each other through this circle and ring of Venus, and we allow our partner to evolve within the union, even when it seems as though the changes we move through may break us apart. No matter how long we’ve lived together under the same roof, we will never know everything about our partner; inner worlds change, both ours and theirs. We all have our inner unique emotional, spiritual and physical wildlands; and some parts of us, and of our partner, will remain wild unknowns. The humility of this deserves to be treasured.

We are rarely the same people we were when we first married – and change happens, and we let go of our dreams that never happened, we build new dreams, paint new horizons, and sometimes we need to also let go of the people we never became and the goals we didn’t reach – yet now we’ll have new dreams, new goals. Within one marriage there are sometimes a few – after each phase, a new one begins, and we learn new ways of communicating, relating, touching, and we re-learn and re-explore one another, and we re-learn to make fire, and we re-learn the kissing, the holding, and the tending, not in the way we always did but in the way we need to right now.

Marriage isn’t about the white picket fence of the house nor on the ideas of it; these are not what binds a couple for a lifetime. What binds us in love is our ability to adapt in any climate and adjust through the changing shapes as we walk along the wilderness. And sometimes learning, or re-learning, to build our fire, as primitive as it may sound, is actually the path forward and towards each other. We need to know how to climb mountains, how to find ourselves and see ourselves through the density of the forests, how to walk with patience and kindness of rhythm, because we learn the cycles of the land.

The ring symbolism, and Venus’ higher spiritual essence, also relate to “those who pray together stay together”. And this isn’t about religion necessarily, but it is about believing in something greater, opening the palms of surrender and acceptance of what is, and together, looking towards that direction, whether it is having a garden, a creative project, a boat, a dream, a mutual horizon towards which we look together and dream together and value together.

Venus also rules copper as I mentioned, and she is often portrayed with a mirror – it was a mirror made in the old days from polishing copper, until it was polished enough to see our reflections in it. This beautifully portrays how self reflection is the building block to intimacy and relationships, and self love.

The Venus symbol, ♀, is a circle with a small cross below it, representing her higher spiritual essence, i.e. transcending physical matter (as the cross symbolizes matter). Some people also connected this to her polished copper mirror, thereby showing that we can only reach spiritual growth through our willingness to self reflect; the path out is in, the path of transcendence is through the inner realm, because the heart is the initiatory pathway to higher consciousness. Venus is connected to the earth, our five senses, yet she knows how to see beyond them and understands deeply their higher spiritual purpose.

Venus is a rose, a wild rose. And if we trace her orbit as seen from our earth, it creates a geometrical pattern that looks like a rose with five petals; and each petal represents a new phase towards a greater love unfolding. In astrology this is known as the Rose of Venus, which is an 8 year cycle, and you may see what celestial stories your own love evolution speaks – because things always move and travel and evolve. Our natal charts are only spiritual studies of all that has passed through time; he stars, planets and constellations are only great indicators of what time has already consumed; but things are not fixed; seasons move, we move, new petals blossom.

Venus rules the high heart – which holds within itself the pure holy emotions of the Christ consciousness, the virtues, the love, the trust and faith. She speaks the poetic, intuitive and mystical language of the heart – the one we understand the words of only when we’ve opened the doorway of our own hearts.

Venus is love. Love comes in various speeds and movements, different shapes and forms. Love unfolds in generosity, tenderness, patience, forgiveness, grace, discernment, gentleness, delicate communication, kindness, compassion, laughter, creativity, and so on. Venus’ evolutionary cycle thus, through our life, is about connecting us to a deeper and more meaningful love, and to be of service to others, to love others, in more meaningful and intentional ways.

The beauty of Venus is in her natural beauty – it is not about the lotions, potions, fillers and filters, injections, botox and whatever – it is about her heart shining, her kindness, her humbleness, her gentleness that melts ice from people’s hearts. It is the kindness we have within us that makes us beautiful. Or rather, it is about our embodied kindness – it is about the embodied love.

Venus is natural beauty because she rules the earth, the soil, the moist soil which makes all seeds bloom as they are and they need to, and all petals of the roses unfold scenting the air – with a fragrance of love and sweetness.

Venus is love, and love is like bread. It needs to be made and remade each morning, made anew. Made with our hearts and hands. We are here to build love, contain love, emit love. Love is a consciousness that needs to be shaped and formed through our every day lips, hands and seemingly ordinary gestures along the circling staircases of our life. This is where and how true beauty shines.

Cover photography by me of our beautiful wild roses.

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