Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Venus in Aries and the Passive Aggressive Epidemic

Passo aggro really is an epidemic these days, isn't it? A symptom of how sick things have gotten and how far from expressing their truth people are, I think.

The current constructs pressure people to put on a happy, smiley face at all times. To keep things harmonious on a surface level and not rock the boat. Everyone is meant to be content, no matter what the conditions. Everything is supposed to be "nice" at all times, especially in the public realm.

So people create this facade self with which to interact. This facade self is always happy, congenial, "positive." It keeps things hunky dory. It's there to give the other person what he or she wants. It will respond to all requests, cater to all needs. It will do things out of a sense of obligation rather than really wanting to do them. It will subvert its own needs to keep other people happy. It will be available at all times. It won't disappoint.

But this just isn't reality.

And the disconnect between the facade self and the truth creates dysfunction. The difference between what the facade self is putting out there in the world and what the real self truly feels and thinks is so big that it becomes an abomination to the soul. It enrages the soul that the facade self swallows what it doesn't want to swallow. That it never speaks up. It's never honest. It's phony, weak, cowardly. It won't stand up for itself or what it really wants, so it goes along to get along...and then bitches about it.

This is a problem a lot of the time with Libra energy (unless it has done the work), especially, as we're seeing, as it relates to Aries energy, but also with Cancer-Libra and Libra-Capricorn squares.

With the Cancer-Libra square, it's the emotional, supportive side of things. The motherly sacrifice. The combo of Cancer and Libra doesn't want to disappoint anyone or make anyone feel bad. It doesn't want to hurt anyone's feelings, so it takes the supposed easy route and tells people what they want to hear, even when it's not the truth. It agrees to things it doesn't really agree with, and then, yeah...gets passo aggro about it.

With the Capricorn-Libra square the pressure is public/career/business world obligations and what people swallow there related to fitting into those constructs, following those rules to get ahead, taking one's place in the hierarchy and never rocking the boat. Think of how much passo aggro is flying around most office environments these days. Toxic.

This falseness in itself is violent - toward the person being lied to, the person doing the lying, and the social environment, in general. It wastes time and energy and does much more damage than being honest and direct, although, passo aggro people wouldn't see it that way. Just the opposite, actually. People exhibiting passive aggressive behaviour usually think they are being the better person by being "nice." Sacrificing what they really want or think for someone else, for surface-level harmony. They see this as a good thing.

Eventually, the real self has had enough, though, and in desperation, becomes so enraged that the facade self can't keep it contained any longer. The anger just won't allow itself to be stuffed down anymore. And because these people refuse to take responsibility for their anger and emotions in a constructive way, it starts leaking out in sneaky, dirty, poisonous little behaviours:

Avoidance, procrastination, seemingly innocuous little comments that poison with tone and intent, little barbed actions (seemingly unrelated) designed to irritate, refusing to meet time limits (since they didn't want to do what they agreed to do in the first place), dropping the ball, "forgetfulness," shirking resonsibilities, blame, denial, two-faced gossipping, leaving other people holding the bag.

All these behaviours (and more!) are used by passo aggros to keep control and manipulate the people around them.

And trying to confront these passo aggros is like "nailing water to a tree." (Heh heh - thanks, sleepless1111). Frustrating as all hell. Impossible, really. They are slippery fuckers and are either in denial about their behaviour and the damage it causes or feign ignorance. I'm not sure which, possibly both. In my experience, passo aggros generally won't even admit there is anything going on - part of the game to keep them in control.

There's little worse than realizing, weeks or months down the road, that you have been completely poisoned by a sneaky passo aggro. It's like one drop of cyanide at a time until your system is overwhelmed, and repairing the energetic damage takes a whole lot of time and energy.

So why so much of this right now?

Remember that Venus is in Aries, just coming out of a retrograde that was designed to bring this stuff to attention.

Venus is the planet of (among other things) relationship. It rules Libra, which is the opposite sign of Aries (sign of self). So Venus is in the opposite sign of its rulership when in Aries, a not-too-comfortable placement.

You can see how things like Arien exertion of personal will, putting yourself first, using anger as an impetus to action, going after what one really wants, directness, honesty, and the willingness to fight for the survival of the self when necessary can be expressed in healthy ways or in unhealthy ways during Venus' transit through Aries.

There has to be a balance, both internally and externally, of Aries and Libra, me and we. And the balance is pretty messed up in a lot of cases.

There is a societal tendency to demonize those Arien things when speaking in relationship terms, especially for women. Putting yourself first is considered a bad thing (selfish!). Exerting your personal will in relation to another is considered a bad thing (pushy!). Being honest and direct in situations is considered a bad thing (not nice!). Even knowing who you are and what you want in a strong way is looked at suspiciously.

Mothers are taught that they have to put their kids first, their husbands first, their homes first. Men are taught that they have to put their jobs first, their families first, their responsibilities first. And we're all pressured within the current constructs to put on that facade self face. People are made to feel guilty or as if there is something wrong with them when they don't do this.

So as people are demonizing and denying these Arien things (or are existing within constructs that make it very difficult to healthfully express them), the anger comes out in other ways - like insufferable passive aggressive behaviour.

The traditional model for customer service is one of the constructs designed to make it almost impossible to healthfully express these aspects of the self. The usual office environment is, too. This is why you see a lot of passo aggro from people trying to work within these set-ups.

This Venus in Aries retrograde, in particular, is about the radical idea that, yes, we have to put ourselves first. If we don't, no one else will. We have to be honest about ourselves, especially in relationships. We have to trust that our anger impulses are meaningful and that they are guiding us in the right direction when we put them to constructive use.

This means shaking off the social constructs that keep us from expressing Aries/Mars energy in a healthy way, changing our structures to allow for the healthy integration of Aries/Mars - and all twelve energies of the zodiac, if you use astrology as a model.

The Venus in Aries retrograde combined with Mars and Venus in Aries squares to Pluto in Capricorn are forcing the dysfunctional relationships we have to these Aries/Mars things to the surface. We're becoming aware of dysfunctional relationships to our own anger, and we're seeing the damage it causes to stuff it down and deny it - passive aggressive behaviour being one of the worst symptoms of this.

I'm hoping that all the passo aggro being forced to the surface in a public way is going to help break down the constructs keeping people from expressing their real selves in healthy, constructive ways. That people are going to ditch the facade self and reconnect to the real self and re-learn how to trust their own impulses instead of looking for external cues.

I think passive aggressiveness does have a self-worth element (Venus) and that people have to learn to value themselves and their own feelings and desires so that they're not always deferring to the external first and then backtracking. People-pleasing is actually pretty ugly.

But in the end, for me, it comes down to taking responsibility for yourself and the way you interact with others. It's not easy to take on the level of self-examination required to peel away facade self layers and move out of passive aggressive coping behaviours. It takes a lot of time, effort, and dedication - things a lot of people aren't too keen on in these days of instant answers.

You have to REALLY want to change. As we all know, no one can make a passo aggro do anything he or she doesn't want to do. So the energy is there to support this process, but as always, it's up to the individual to take it on.

All I know is, I'm done with this bullshit.


Anonymous said...

"There's little worse than realizing, weeks or months down the road, that you have been completely poisoned by a sneaky passo aggro. It's like one drop of cyanide at a time until your system is overwhelmed. And repairing the energetic damage takes a whole lot of time and energy."

Willow, I swear, you're inside my brain! This has described my four years here in Vancouver. So why do I stay here versus go back to Calgary? Hmmm… well, it's a choice between being in a ever-tightening straight jacket (Calgary) or intermittent Chinese water torture (Vancouver). The passo aggro types being the drips, of course. ;)

Speaking of drips, I can't take credit for the "nailing water to a tree" bit (I first read it somewhere about two years ago) but I'm glad you found it valuable. :)

Sleepless 1111

Willow said...

hahaha...I think there is probably an archetypal experience of dealing with passo aggros. Ugh...archetypally CRAP!

And you were the first to bring the nailing water to a tree analogy to my attention, so you'll receive credit in my mind!