As Mercury in Aries - the most youth-oriented sign in the zodiac - moves into opposition to Saturn in Libra (May 5), the theme is strong, particularly in media.
I find this, along with all the attempts to maintain youth - surgically, hormonally, or otherwise - horrifying, not to mention enraging. I can't get over how eroding it is. How false it is. And I also can't get over the acceptance of this as "the way things are" by people who, I feel, should be rebelling against it.
I'm tired (Saturn) of hearing people, especially women, talk about the "aging = losing your beauty" paradigm as if it's a real thing. "Betty, you just turned 50? Well, I guess it's time to hand over the hot." Looks shift and change with age. Health problems crop up that can make people feel less attractive. There's no doubt about it. But that doesn't mean people automatically lose their beauty and appeal as they move through the seasons of their physical lives. Quite the opposite in many cases.
This is a version of youth-obsessed physical beauty created, programmed, and reinforced almost entirely by monied mainstream media in order to keep people grasping and buying.
Real beauty doesn't make you feel jealous or 'less than' when you behold it - that's socially-engineered glamour and the energy of beauty as some sort of false hierarchy. It's "who's the fairest of them all" stuff, created mostly by males for the male gaze, and it keeps women insecure, competing, and divided - in this case, along younger versus older lines.
It's a false version of beauty I do my best to steer clear of, but I can't help but see it seeping into the psyches of some wonderful people I know, and I can't help but want to bust that shit up in a major way.
I've never been enamoured of youth. Even when I was in my teens and twenties, I wasn't that into it. I don't look back on my younger years as the good old days or as the point where I hit my peak in any way, shape, or form. I've also always found people of all ages attractive - both men and women - and still do, so I just don't buy this idea of the aging woman or man as some sort of fading flower, past its prime.
Now, you have to understand, this is coming from a person with Venus in Scorpio in the natal chart. This might sound eyeroll-worthy, but Venus in Scorpio really is about the beauty of the soul, primarily, radiating through the physicality. It's like an old leather jacket perfectly worn in. A pair of cowboy boots that have walked a couple hundred miles. The beauty of wisdom through experience, of an authentic life honestly lived, scars and all. That wary, weary, wise look in the eyes that says, "I've seen your kind before. Don't even start with your bullshit."
The lit and make-upped, fake boobs, fake teeth, fake lips, fake hair, fake tan, Photoshopped version of beauty does nothing for Venus in Scorpio. It isn't interested in pretty, empty vessels. What it's looking for won't be found on the pages of Maxim or Vogue or People magazines, and it won't be found in the Hollywood blockbuster. It wants the battle of life worn through flesh and bone. It's one placement that finds the changes and processes people go through throughout life - including the difficult stuff - fascinating and attractive. The beauty (Venus) of metamorphosis (Scorpio).
One of the reasons I bring Venus in Scorpio up is that the energetic flavour is similar to what we are about to experience with Saturn's movement from late Libra into early Scorpio. As Saturn completes its transit of Libra, the issues around age and beauty are up front and centre. And as Saturn begins its transit of Scorpio in October of this year, the issues deepen.
One of the truly beneficial aspects of Pluto's transit through Capricorn is the opportunity (should we take it) to completely change the ways in which we view aging and older people. This is going to require a breaking down and re-structuring of programmed ideas about aging, as well as the institutional ways of relating to older people, and it's going to require people resisting, rejecting, and proving wrong the current ideas and ideals.
Things hit extreme catalytic/metamorphic potency on this front with Pluto in Capricorn in mutual reception with Saturn in Scorpio (October 2012 into September 2015) when we have two heavy-hitter planets double-teaming issues around aging - Pluto over the longer term and Saturn over the shorter term.
This will bring the opportunity to face deep, collectively-ingrained fears related to aging and death, shifting the orietation to those things dramatically and sloughing off current ideas about what those things even are.
Throughout the Saturn in Scorpio transit, we'll have the opportunity, personally and collectively, to shrug off once and for all the phoniness and fakery we're told is beauty and to appreciate the depth and gorgeousness of our own souls and the depth and gorgeousness of those around us - at every age.
A strong alternative to the current paradigm can be solidified and strengthened during this transit - one that appreciates the mystery and magic of life on this planet, the deep beauty of its continual metamorphosis, and the processes of aging and time passage as the modus operandi of that metamorphosis.
This is one of the best case scenarios for the Saturn in Scorpio transit: people honouring their beauty and attractiveness, simply refusing to accept a version of reality where a person loses appeal past a certain age marker. People of all ages, of all shapes and sizes, working it, confident that they're hot tamales, no matter what the current paradigms are telling them.
Pluto in Leos, you lead the way.
Thank you so much for this post today, Willow! I really appreciate your observation about the upcoming Saturn/Pluto mutual reception. With all the focus on the Uranus/Pluto aspects upcoming, I had not thought of the the mutual reception. And I could not agree more with your commentary about changing attitudes of aging and beauty. I just turned 52 (Venus in Pices, Sun in Aries), and remember years ago, when women my age began to seek out "cosmetic" surgery with such vigor, thinking....how very, very sad. Why would women use the tools of Mars (surgical knives, botox needles etc), to glorify Venus? It made no sense to me, and still doesn't. It seems as if women are physically attacking themselves in order to reach the goddess, either literally with surgery, or chemically with peels and dyes and such. If I understood more about psychology, perhaps I would have more answers, but I haved trusted astrology for over forty years to guide my understanding of humanity. I hope also that with Saturn in Scorpio, women (and men) will put aside the war on their bodies, to learn how to live in and love what the earth has given to each of us. To nurture, respect and treasure, and not to abuse our bodies and natural beauty.
"... but Venus in Scorpio really is about the beauty of the soul, primarily, radiating through the physicality."
Yes it is. We sure are lucky to be able to see and feel things others don't because they're too obsessed with surface-shit.
I hear ya. I feel better now, in my thirties, and healthier, than I ever did in my earlier years.
And I think aging is a beautiful thing...
Thank you, Willow.
Debs, agreed. But such a double-edged sword for me. I feel every single bloody iota of joy and pain, in my life and in others', and like you, see through it all. I've almost lost faith that people can be honest and vulnerable. Seen too many run away from the beauty of their own truths, own souls... It kills me they wear blinkers and don't have the courage or oomph to dive into the beautiful 'darkness', the juice of life, that transformation requires. Best of all, they even get upset at you for trying to holding their hand. Always a bit too close to home, but right now it's in my face.
Mine's in the 11th, where's yours??
Bring on Saturn in Scorpio. I'm done with it in Libra.
Willow, another deep gut-wrencher - congratulations!
from a pluto in leo woman... i love this post willow.
you know, it's funny, i look at myself and i feel i have never been more attractive, beautiful, wise, interesting, articulate.but heck,
no one else thinks this but me!
our culture has been corrupted with what beauty really is. i say let's change that.
"...the beauty of the soul, primarily, radiating through the physicality. It's like an old leather jacket perfectly worn in. A pair of cowboy boots that have walked a couple hundred miles. The beauty of wisdom through experience, of an authentic life honestly lived, scars and all. That wary, weary, wise look in the eyes that says, "I've seen your kind before. Don't even start with your bullshit."
Magnificent. Purely magnificent.
I turned 60 this past January, and over the years I've developed a terrific relationship with the lady in the mirror. Self-love is another one of those "eyeball-rolling" terms that's been used to death, but that's exactly what it is, pure and simple. There's nothing like it, it can't be bought/faked/injected, and I wouldn't trade it for the world.
PS--I'm close to finishing my first-ever book. It's entitled "Old Wolves" (interestingly enough!), and the quotation above resonates with me like you wouldn't believe.....
Thanks so much for this!
Deb, totally agree. I find the aging process sexy, too.
"no one else thinks this but me!"
shannon, I think that! I've said to myself many a time that you are a bigger babe now! I think "stone cold fox" was the exact phrase.
It badly needs to change, so let's get 'er done.
Donna F, congratulations on Old Wolves! That's a fantastic name for a book.
This is a great post. I'm determined to love myself at every age. As a former cutter I cannot bear the idea of self-mutilization in the name of beauty. No fucking thank you.
I will continue with my non-evasive grooming and self-care rituals and fuck the rest. Public Enemy put it best--don't believe the hype.
Thank you for the post. I have always felt similarly about the whole age/beauty thing. Some of the most beautiful faces I have peered into have been weathered in wrinkles. And as I have, myself, aged, (now 45, nearing the ominous 50)I have made another discovery: age has given me the gift of confidence which in turn has made me feel sexier and more beautiful than I have ever felt. And I'm no longer embarassed by the imperfections of my body like I was in high school or college.
great news!! thank you. it is overdue. Especially for young women who are prized in our society the most for beauty "what a pretty little girl!" "Isn't she cute?"
As someone with Venus in Scorpio, Sun & Ascendent in Libra (27 & 29 degrees, respectively), and 48 years old, this post is especially relevant.
I've been getting my ass kicked by Saturn for the past few months, and it ain't gonna end anytime soon, since I have 4 planets in early/middle degrees of Scorpio.
Been feeling like I'm going through my 2nd mid-life crisis and feeling, well, washed up.
I'm in my mid sixties - Pluto in Leo - and I believe that beauty to some extent comes from within (tho looking after yourself, looking forward, and not dressing 'old' help too).
It doesn't go away... it changes in form but not in essence. The great body may have gone the way of all flesh, but I still have men coming after me, some much younger than me, and did all through my forties and fifties too. I have self-belief, and I'm not ready to 'let myself go'!
Great post, Willow. Venus cj Saturn in Scorpio 2nd (Pluto in Leo) and agree with every single word you've said.
Always had a horror of the knife and as a Virgo not really into injecting myself with toxins, either.
I can't even stand listening to old blues songs I used to love cuz of all the 'you're my little girl' and 'be my baby' crap. And, yes, pushing the capitalist envelope is at the root of some of it. It makes me very sad and angry to hear about mere children already volunteering themselves to the brethren of cosmetic surgery.
I had friends who felt 'old' when they hit 30! I do think the wave of baby boomers are going to change attitudes about aging so Plutos in Leo not all bad, as much recent press (and many astrologers) would have it.
There's a certain segment of the Pluto in Leo population that, I think, will change ideas about aging, but it's always a small minority that really skillfully does the Pluto work. That minority should get a boost from Saturn in Scorpio, thankfully.
I do see a lot of Pluto in Leos buying into the youth-obsession hook, line, and sinker. And just not going deep enough to really get anything done. But again, that's always the case, it seems!
So, life story times ahead:
I had facial surgery due to a one by two inches spot on my face that would eventually become cancerous. I also was regarded one of the ugliest people where I lived back then. After the operation and now 12 years later I am regarded as a very beautiful person, and everybody envies my waist line. But inside I am exactly the same, and I have not gotten more social, because I know that many of the superficial people would hate my flaming guts had I not have this operation. It is a sad thing really, this "Yeah, right" -feeling that I still carry. But the aprupt change from before and after just made me lose faith in most people in an irreversible way. I am still the same, These were just those two square inches of my face.
Yes, I had a similar ugly duckling to swan experience, and I'm very grateful for it. It taught me what beauty is and showed me that a lot of the pretty people don't have it.
I love the distinction between the word pretty and the word beauty in your post. I decidedly do not regret my experience either, but sometimes I wish I did not have the "But would you also talk to me, if I did not have the operation". I therefore feel that I have still my work cut out working through this issue. But with age comes time and with time comes accomplished work :)
Yes, sounds as if you are doing some divining of character now! It's a good skill to have.
I appreciate how you have re-framed Saturn's entrance into Scorpio for me in this post. Soon to be 65 and refusing to do anything to myself but "age",as disconcerting as that can at times be and feel, I am counting on beauty of soul as being the goal for us all. My Venus in Taurus has been physically aware, but it has been the beauty of the earth and other peoples' lives and souls that has always attracted me the most. Kudos to you, dear woman, and again thanks so much for your sharp toothed words of wisdom and truth.
I've just discovered your blog & read your article about Saturn in Libra. You have really inspired me. I will be coming back to read more.
completely overcome by this issue lately and didn't know why
now I know - Saturn in Libra, all you articulate here is happening to me
having Scorpio Venus (mutual reception with Pluto Libra) I have always been at war with beauty paradigms in general to the pt of at times eschewing simple personal hygiene so as to 'not have to deal with it' (morons staring at your boobs sure get an eyeful when you lift your arms and show hairy underarms lOLZ).
a recent sun pluto conjunction placed me in a context of being 'belle of the ball' in spite of best efforts to shun the crown - what can I say, I got hooked on the attention. 5 years later and creeping age & I find that chimeral space receding farther & farther, demanding more & more personal and financial efforts to recapture it, were I to choose to pursue that avenue so easy to the young - bringing an understanding of how easy it is to fall into the commodified fetish bullshit if one cares not to examine one's inner landscape.
so, dear Willow, your article comes to me at a crossroads time. Thanks for it. It doesnt resolve anything per se but it is at least intellectual arsenal
yes, natal venus in scorpio...
and i'm elated with saturn in scorpio now....as i attempt to translate (to others via the modern marketplace)beauty as truth as shadow/light to create beauty/art, as alchemy of the soul translating into form(the body)....as an expression of natural intelligence.....good to know i have good company in cyberspace....(:
Although, there also tends to be a typical dichotomy created around any topic...it's either 'be superficial b/c you want to look good as you 'age', or 'eff it, i don't care what society says and that surgery and stuff is creepy and being obsessed about food it boring and uptight'.
There's an interesting option for sovereignty in this beauty madness. and it's neither/nor, really....personal timing and choice about larger cycles, means inner freedom and know thyself regarding what the human being is 'supposed' to do or be....what we are currently told is that we can 'expect to live to a certain age', and that women can 'expect to have children until such and such age and that her eggs will get old and ugly and die,'etc. etc etc.
To just say no and remain true to inner cycles, does not disqualify a transcending of personal, biological, spiritual or genetic tendency. And this is not about fighting our ultimate demise, or negating that there is more to life than physicality/health/radiance/beauty. IT is more about realizing that humans have more potential than meets the eye, in my view. There's latent, sleeping material tied up in this beauty and aging concept. In the energetics of natural intelligence, life force, qi, etc. is a beauty. Right now it seems to be all knotted up in these typical dualities that we humans love to create. Saturn has other plans, I am telling you.....(: Whose 'time' is this anyway? Who have we given our 'time' to? In letting a paradigm choose our death, we give ourselves away.....my views.(: Happy saturn in scorpio to all.....
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