This post is a bit delayed. My life has not been conducive to writing lately. But it is New Year’s Eve, a time when many people are wanting to make positive, lasting changes in their lives, and the subject of this blog is in the same vein.
On the night of Winter Solstice, the beginning of a new Solar cycle and what many folks like me who honor the pagan traditions consider to be the official start of the New Year, I made a very solemn vow. It was something I had been considering in recent weeks, after my stay in the psych ward, as I faced the realization that my relationship was in ruins.
On that sacred night, in ceremony with friends, I vowed to commit myself to a period of celibacy. I will maintain this celibacy for approximately 17 months. This may seem like an arbitrary length of time, but it is based on something far more meaningful to me than a magic number.
It is based on the astrological movement of the planet Venus as she slowly engraves her five-pointed star across the sky. That bright celestial body turns retrograde on the same five points on the wheel of the zodiac and returns to the first point every eight years.
For those of you not familiar with the language or more advanced concepts of astrology, all planets except for the Sun and the Moon have occasional periods of retrograde motion. The planets, from our geocentric perspective, slow down, stop, and then move backwards through the zodiac. It is an optical illusion, just like when a car in the slow lane on the highway seems to move backwards as you pass it. But energetically, these retrograde periods can have quite an impact on those of us here on Earth.
Venus turns retrograde for about 40 days every 18 months, approximately. The most recent retrograde period lasted from July 25th to September 6th, 2015, when she backpedaled through the latter half of the sign of Leo. It was an intense time for many of us, and any conflict with communication seemed to be drawn out even longer by the fact that Mercury, that trickster god of planets, had its own retrograde motions right before, and again right after, the Venus retrograde period. (Mercury goes retrograde approximately 4 times per year, for 3 weeks at a time.) Not an easy time to communicate from the heart with any clarity.
So why am I talking about Venus Retrograde? Because Venus is a key planet in my natal chart. I was born with Libra on the Ascendant, and my Moon in Taurus, both signs ruled by this planet of beauty, harmony, value and love. I am keenly aware of her mark on my personality, and I have observed her impact on my life as her movements have activated various areas of my personal chart. I have observed the retrograde cycles as well, when the light of Venus disappears from the night sky and she “goes into the Underworld” taking the form of Persephone.
So I am timing my commitment to celibacy to sync up with the life-changing lessons that come from the Venus cycles. She next goes retrograde on March 4th, 2017, at 13 degrees of Aries. This is just over a week after my 40th birthday, while the Sun is right in the middle of my beloved birth sign, Pisces. Venus remains retrograde until April 15th, turning direct at 26 degrees of Pisces. She will then slowly regain momentum as she once more moves forward through the last degrees of Pisces into Aries, exiting the “shadow period” when she returns to 13 degrees of Aries on May 19th, 2017. That is the date I have set for the end of my commitment.
I am hoping that, by working with the energy of Venus while intentionally keeping my heart and my body to myself for the next 17 months, NOT emotionally caught up in any unhealthy relationships and NOT subjecting myself to the emotionally self-defeating process of actively seeking love, I will come out of this period stronger and wiser. I am encouraged by the fact that the next Venus Retrograde is happening right after my 40th birthday, and will be strongly tied in to the energies of both my Sun sign and the position of Venus in my natal chart.
So here I go, stepping forth upon my renewed journey, but with a clear intention this time around. Hopefully, working within the parameters of this commitment to celibacy, I will become more attuned to my life’s purpose, here on the Earth, in this bodily form.