I got an e-mail about the last post, and I thought I would clear a few things up...
When I talk about my "afflicted" Venus, I really should put that in quotation marks. I was being a bit cheeky there in the previous post. I just think it's an amusing way to shut people up when they ask me why I'm not married with kids.
"So...why haven't you gotten married yet? No men in your life? No kids? Why is that?"
I mean, how do you really answer that, anyway?
"Afflicted Venus in the 4th," seems as good an answer as any.
Or maybe: "I'm a Pluto in Libra, and my generation has a lot of soul-crushing, crystallized relationship dynamics to break down. Instead of attracting karmic relationship after karmic relationship into my life to break the old, toxifying constructs down, I choose to process it on my own until I've cleared enough collective debris and the timing is right for a real, long-term dude." Better?
Or how about: "Well, I sense that you and your significant other have about another six months, tops. You're really just buying into what you think a relationship should be and letting some serious problems fester, there, rather than building on true compatibility. I just want to avoid situations like that."
Yeah, "afflicted Venus in the 4th" it is.
It's not actually the definition of afflicted, so that was a bit of a misnomer. Afflicted generally refers to a heavily stressfully aspected planet. My Venus is what they call "in detriment" - in the sign opposite one it rules. Venus rules Taurus and Libra, so it would be considered in detriment in Scorpio or Aries.
(The Sun is considered in detriment in Aquarius, the Moon in Capricorn, Mercury in Sagittarius or Pisces, Venus in Aries or Scorpio, Mars in Libra or Taurus, Jupiter in Gemini, Saturn in Cancer, Uranus in Leo, Neptune in Virgo and Pluto in Taurus. Sort of like a concentrated oppositional energy. Trying to find expression through a sign it lacks compatibility with in certain respects.)
My natal Venus has also just turned retrograde, almost stopped in the sky, so I consider in detriment + just stationed retro to be "afflicted," if only in the general (not astrological) sense of the term. Retrogrades can bring delays and a feeling of going back over old territory to finish off situations begun previously, so there you go. Then being a Sun/Pluto Libra, with Venus as the dispositor of that - it's very influential.
I can see the possibility of someone holding the idea that he/she has a "bad placement" and that causing problems, but for me, it's the opposite. I've lived these dynamics my whole life and wondered why, and the astrological symbol just clarifies what is going on. It helps me to work with the process, tailored to me, instead of trying to set my life up according to the usual rules.
I don't read things in a fatalistic way or tell people, "Oh, you're being punished for past lives. It's your bad karma." *cough* bullshit! *cough* (Although there is often an element of necessary personal growth or adjustment, collective karma is the overwhelming battle these days.)
I believe everything in a birth chart is purposeful. You just have to look deeper sometimes to see the purpose (and benefits) of difficult aspects and placements. That is not to say they're easy or fun things to deal with. My Venus is a bitch, but I sure do love that bitch. I don't go overboard with the supposed "negative" aspects of placements, but I don't believe it's helpful to sugar-coat them, either.
The people I know with the strongest character, morals, integrity and will to help and do the right thing - the people I admire the most - have lived very challenging, often difficult, sometimes hellish lives. They've dealt with knock after knock, and they came out the best stuff humanity has to offer.
From my experience, afflicted planets or planets in detriment are somewhat difficult placements involving a process that requires more time, effort and challenge to master the themes. They're not easy, flowing placements. They're a bit of a bitch and a bit of a mystery, and you have to give it your all to really understand and work with the dynamics. They relate to working out some really tight knots that have existed in the collective for a very long time now.
But these are also often advanced placements, for people with the mad skills, and come with big rewards if they should be mastered. And if not, well, at least we did everything we could, and the next comrade can take it from there.
It's the idea of whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Although with Scorpio/Pluto involved, you often feel that it will end up killing you. (Or sometimes wish it would?) Warning! Super off-colour humour up ahead ---- For Scorpionics/Plutonics, if you haven't fantasized about sucking on the business end of a shotgun before, you're not doing it right.
My particular Venus "affliction" (Venus Rx in Scorpio in the 4th House) has to do with "going back for people" on a soul level, so it's a meaningful placement. A lot of completions of the soul, so to speak. I've travelled to some very odd outposts to reactivate people who had become lost in the set-ups of it all. The interactions triggered necessary endings, transitions or transformations. They got things moving in that alchemical Scorp way. And it was often energetically dangerous stuff because those reinforcing the set-ups don't want people reactivated on that level.
So from an outside perspective, this looks unfortunate to a lot of people. And in a way (on a personal level), it is. But the conditions have been such that I had to give it my all to try to tip the tipping points. My energy up until now went into other things rather than the traditional life with a husband, home, family. I know these things will come if they're meant to. I trust cosmic timing. But this situation does come with it's frustrations. I just try to be completely honest about it and put it into words on the blog for myself and anyone who has similar themes to deal with.
As far as it being a choice to do this work (or to live under any particular conditions), again, these are decisions I've made while taking the collective circumstances into consideration - so considering the conditions I live within on Planet Earth, my particular skills to deal with those conditions, and how things need to change, the amount of "choice" involved is highly limited.
For myself, I know that choices are often made for long-range progress/to assist the collective whole that aren't necessarily the choices that would be made if free will and immediate personal gratification were the only forces at play. (Which is one of the reasons I'm not a proponent of The Secret or the so-called law of attraction.)
I don't believe we're born into a blank slate. I believe we're born into and are connected to what has come before on this planet, what exists at the moment, and what is yet to come. For myself, I know that I have to work with the circumstances as I understand and experience them. I have to understand my own personal context in order to do what I came to do with this life. It's not strictly about me...
I guess it comes down to the fact that the majority of people on this planet seem to think soul or spiritual direction is in the realm of "make believe." They don't understand this type of work or this type of motivation and think I'm just putting off becoming an "adult" and taking my place in the rat race. Not so.
For those who think this isn't work or that it doesn't take any particular skill, I'd suggest they give it a whirl themselves, and then they can make their judgements. As far as astrology, they can learn it, gain some mastery of it, start their own astrology blog, start doing readings and see for themselves.
That's a problem with Virgo energy - it makes things look too easy, as if anyone could do them. Again, have a go at it, and then we'll talk.
As far as dealing with these dynamics, I love myself deeply, and I love the people I'm here for equally as much. That's why I work hard for us.
I'm guilty of helping people who didn't deserve my help in the past. I've also been guilty of continuing to try to help people when they didn't want or maybe didn't know how to use the assistance I was trying to give. I've been bitten in the ass in that way many times. But that's something you have to live and learn and adjust accordingly - also a strong Virgo-Pisces polarity theme.
I'm not actually sure why, but I find that a lot of very good people (the best people, really) are often treated badly by others. I don't think it's a lack of self-worth that "creates" the dynamics. I think it's actually a very strong, unshakeable sense of self, purpose and self-worth that triggers other people, somehow. If you're not insecure in the ways that they are and living life in the ways that they are, they want to somehow make you that insecure. Break you down or push you down.
I think in a way, people are threatened by those who live by their own values and internal guidance/sense of right and wrong. And by those who have simple motives to help and do the right thing.
I'm not sure if it makes THEM feel badly about themselves/resentful and they lash out. Or if it's just that they try to attack what they don't understand. Hard to say, but it sure is irritating.