Sunday, March 15, 2009

Venus in Aries Retrograde and Anger as a Guiding Force

Anger is helpful. There is nothing unspiritual or shameful about anger. It's there to guide us, as an impetus to action. Anger flares up to tell us something is not quite right and needs to be addressed, to be made right.

There are many situations and circumstances on Planet Earth where anger is necessary, vital. To not feel anger/irritation/annoyance in these situations and circumstances shows that the spirit is broken in some way.

Retrograding Venus in Aries is here now, in part, to strengthen our relationship with our own anger. To help us use it properly, to follow its constructive impulses and to learn to love its wisdom.

Venus in Aries is also making sure we're tapped into the raw power of who we are. That we're not compromising ourselves too much or dulling our flames in any way within our relationships or social settings.

So many times in our relations, we ignore the little warning flares of anger. Libra (ruled by Venus) likes harmony and doesn't want to rock the boat. It will often downplay its own feelings for the supposed greater good of the relationship. The problem is - this is not actually good for the relationship. It creates a level of falsity, and over time those flickers of anger we've ignored and internalized become big resentments.

Those flickers of anger are actually meant to be the impetus to action. They're there to tell us to exert our will and make a move, in whatever direction feels right. When we ignore these signals and subvert our will, even in the tiniest ways, we don't get where we need to be within our relationships and in our lives, in general. We end up in a place that doesn't feel right and isn't what we really, truly want.

Every tiny flicker of anger is purposeful and is trying to tell you something about a move that needs to be made.

We're getting a second chance now with Venus retrograding in Aries to work with these co-mingling forces of love and war and to align with the guiding flickers of annoyance, irritation, and anger within our relations with others. No pretending they're not there!

These themes are especially important for Pluto in Libras (1971 - 1984). Our evolutionary work of "cutting the shit" in relationships and creating true equality hinges a great deal on our mastery of Aries within those relationships. Developing the polarity point to our Pluto placement is crucial to our success.

Because I understand the importance of Aries energy for Pluto in Libras (and being one myself), I feel that there is a misstep within the "spirituality of the day" regarding anger. It is the promotion of the idea that "enlightened" people don't get angry. That we have to purify ourselves of anger and "transcend" anger-inducing circumstances.

Horse hooey.

The anger is there to show us what needs to be changed. Anger is our ally when we align with its raw, constructive directional potential and channel it in productive ways.

It's when we deny our anger, ignore it, and cover it over day-by-day - and maybe more importantly, when we are denied our legitimate anger by others - that it becomes dangerous and spills out in less constructive ways.

Instead of listening to people's frustrations, respecting the perspective, and working to understand and address what is causing the anger, there's a New Agey knee-jerk reaction to talk people out of it, to explain it away according to some motto or creed (that often involves a requirement to become "more evolved" or "more enlightened"). It all just needs to be healed with a cup of medicinal tea and a big old group hug! Healing can only happen when the root causes of the pain and anger are addressed. Anger is a symptom. Again with the treatment of symptoms rather than the more difficult work of getting to the nitty gritty root causes.

When people try to talk me out of my darker feelings and show me the "error" of my ways, all I can think is: the only thing that might help is you being less of a dumbass. Instead of dumping superficial and unsolicited "healing advice" on me, try going a little deeper. Take on your fair share of the consciousness and do something constructive to try to improve circumstances, or honestly, just step aside because we're pretty much done.

So many people seem to instantly feel "more evolved" or wise than a person who is expressing anger, and there is a lazy tendency to write people off as "angry" and "negative," as if this is actual meaningful analysis. The fact that the individual is supposedly fundamentally flawed in these ways creates the problems, they say, not the other way around.

Well, isn't that convenient? Again, this lets the collective off the hook for any group, systemic, or institutional responsibility for righting wrongs. It also lacks any sort of understanding that an individual could be taking on difficult life circumstances in order to understand and bring things to light that the collective has been denying or ignoring for too long. This turns the canary in the coal mine into the problem itself.

We don't move on until these things are addressed. Got it?

When we don't take action on anger's instructional impulses, or when we are made unable to take action due to systemic/institutional set-ups, anger becomes toxic to our systems, creating roiling, resentful rage and/or depression. That's when things can get ugly. Think of a kid being bullied in school who has his initial complaints constantly ignored or downplayed - and then one day just erupts into violence.

I would argue it's the constant writing off of other people's frustrations and anger, and the resulting continuation of the root circumstances, that takes things to that next level - rage.

This is why I am choosing to hammer home this point. The denial and condemnation of anger within the "spirituality of the day," and particularly within New Age ideology, is actually dangerous. Those puppies and unicorns have box cutters, y'all.

But honouring our feelings of anger, listening to them, getting to the root of what is making us angry, and then taking action on it - and making space for this process in relationships and social settings? That's a beautiful thing, and we get a chance to experience that beauty right now.


Anonymous said...

Hi Willow;

How did you get inside my brain? :)

Seriously, though, I've been reading your blog for a month or so now (sorry I haven't commented before)—you articulate what I am feeling so precisely it's uncanny.

I too have tired of the "positive-thinking bullies" in the new age arena who would deny us the full range of our human emotions. I think we share lots of Scorpio so there's not a lot of tolerance for that B.S. to begin with. Good thing!

I look forward to reading more.

Sleepless 1111

P.S. By the way I moved from Calgary to Vancouver four years ago, and I remember the "Art of My Heart" store very well. I hope it lives on in another location and soon!

Anonymous said...

What if the person you are feeling these flickers of anger towards is a person who got a position that you had applied for, but were denied, and then, that person ended up supervising you, and they have no management experience? What do you then? You can't express your anger...even though it is totally valid...and fueled by many people at your workplace and partner agencies/workplaces who are all saying "you should have got the job, it was totally political." What do you do then? Because you're pretty angry. You really are.

PS...I love your blog and read it all the time. I'm really tryuing to synthesize the lessons of being a Sag Rising/Leo Sun/Gemini Moon/Pluto in Libra/Pluto conjunct midheaven and north node/sun saturn conjunct in 8th house and you are helping me do it so thank you!

Diane said...

Well it's now a little over two yrs since your post, and quite frankly I really can't find the words to express my astonishment at the accuracy of your observations. Thank you for doing such a magnificent job in helping some of us not feel so lonely in this human condition. If you're of the Pluto in Libra generation, then you're really rather young [at least to an old lady like me], and I'm asking myself how is it you're so very wise for one so young?