Fade Into You ~ Venus Retrograde – October 5th-November 16th, 2018

On October 5th, 2018 Venus will turn retrograde in the dark waters of Scorpio, her traditional sign of detriment. With the Sun in Venus-ruled Libra, the retrograde journey of the goddess will become the thematic focus of the weeks to come.

The dark waters of Scorpio will summon a melancholy tone, a sleepy, shimmering, reflective feeling. Make peace with the sadness, finding the exquisite beauty it holds. Over the coming weeks, life may feel like a wistful love song, a long pause for reflection, reminiscence and heartbreak.

This Venus retrograde will offer an intense exploration of the vulnerability of sexuality, the mystery of attraction and the primal need for affection.

I want to hold the hand inside you

I want to take a breath that’s true

This retrograde is divided between the time that Venus spends in Scorpio and Libra. She will struggle in the dark waters of Scorpio until October 31st. In the first weeks of November she will retreat back into the last degrees of Libra, stationing direct on November 16th.

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The last half of Libra and the first half of Scorpio represent a special pathway in the zodiac, called the Via Combusta or Path of Fire. This is an alchemical fire that will burn away the dross.

I look to you and I see nothing

I look to you to see the truth

The heat will quicken your blood, illuminating the truth of what you truly need out of your relationships.

This purifying process begins with Venus retrograde in Scorpio, the sign of sex, death, and transformation. Traditionally her sign of detriment, Venus becomes obscured by the murkier aspects of the psyche. It is in Scorpio where lust and obsession reign.

Scorpio is ruled by Mars, a planetary energy typified by victory and conquest. In territories of conflict, Venus’ soft light and gentle manners are lost.

With Venus retrograde in Scorpio, you can imagine the goddess of beauty and love cast adrift in a void of darkness. Here she is left starving, hysterical, naked.

You live your life

You go in shadows

You will be reminded of times when your heart was rejected. You will recall losing yourself in someone else’s shadow, but the damage done to your heart can be healed now.

Venus is love and only she is truly strong enough to enter this void without weapons, her arms and legs wide open to whatever may emerge. As she spirals deep into Scorpio’s heart of darkness, there are only the undulating waves of primordial creation to guide her through the night. With keen instincts, she discovers the caverns where your pain is buried, where your grief haunts.

You’ll come apart and you’ll go blind

Some kind of night into your darkness

As the retrograde begins, a wave of sorrow will rush over you as her light is swallowed whole. But her return to the watery depths initiates her death and resurrection.

You may feel loss and suffer deeply with this transit. But your heart must break in order to grow. Remember that love must reach the hidden wastes of lost dreams and forgotten hopes, for love is the alchemical force that transmutes darkness into light.

Fade into you

Strange you never knew

During Venus’ six-week retrograde there will be an opportunity to deepen your experience of intimacy and love, which always demands vulnerability and sacrifice.

Venus in Scorpio will ask you to become conscious of your most primal hungers. You will be made keenly aware of the dance of eros and thanatos, the intrinsic pulsation of sex and death within every experience.

Fade into you

I think it’s strange you never knew

It should be noted that the French phrase for orgasmic ecstasy is la petite mort, the little death. But la petit mort describes more than just a physical orgasm. It also describes the psychological loss that occurs in the act of giving one’s self fully to another. In order to know another person, you must lose a part of yourself, fading into them without fear.

A stranger’s light comes on slowly

A stranger’s heart without a home

Even the loss of love can become a great spiritual gain, for love gives birth to new beauty and new life.

To ease your heartbreak, listen to something exquisite like Fade Into You by Mazzy Star. Though the lyrics are cryptic and impressionistic, the pain of loss is transmuted into the most ethereal somnolent medicine for the soul.

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The fear of intimacy is the fear of death. And with Venus retrograde in Scorpio, you will not be able to hide from this fear.

In the dark, she sees the tangled web you weave. True love requires nakedness and so you will be stripped of the conditions and pretensions that bind you to fear. Through love, the death-of-self becomes a path of transcendence.

Fade into you

At the end of October, the most difficult period of the retrograde will arrive as Venus opposes Uranus in Taurus. This aspect will summon a tidal wave of disruptive energy, which may test the integrity of many love relationships. Those that have no foundation beyond sex or social status will become torn apart.

I think it’s strange you never knew

For those with stronger bonds of established intimacy, the Venus-Uranus opposition will create an opportunity to shift boundaries and responsibilities. The freedom and spontaneity of Uranian currents may open a new flow of emotional expression and creative spirit. Those who remain lovers and friends after October will have an ecstatic connection with one another.

On October 31st, Venus will retrograde back into Libra, her sign of rulership. The mood will shift, from blackest night to the soft light of the rosy-fingered dawn.

With Venus in Libra, the deep well of emotions that have been churning will begin to lighten up through the realm of beautiful ideas. Your close friends and lovers will become a mirror, a reflection of your best and worst qualities. In response, there will be an increased awareness and sensitivity to manners and etiquette.

The last four weeks will have stripped your pretensions away, leaving you with a renewed ability to align your social graces with sincere intentions. This is the time to learn the value of giving your word, making only the most sincere promises to others.

In Libra, Venus’ retrograde will transmute the primal sexual power that has been stirred into high ideals and beautiful notions. Since Libra operates through the element of air, you will begin to reflect more upon the meaning of love.

Modern ideas about love, especially in a culture of individualists, tries to tame the experience, to protect against the element of risk and abandon. Demythologized and demystified by diagnostic language, love’s spiritual dimensions are reduced to chemistry and norms. Romance is slurred into meaningless sex.

And yet, the longing for another person to hold burns in everyone’s heart. Love is the mythology of humanity’s quest to be made whole.

The mythology of love is timeless. A great testament to this can be found through the writings of the ancient philosopher, Plato, whose famous dialogue The Symposium delves deeply into the meaning of love.

In ancient Greece, a symposium was not a meeting of rigid academics quibbling over semantics. Instead, it was a lively drinking party where the guests were encouraged to discuss important matters. In Plato’s Symposium, the guests of the party decide to have a debate regarding the nature of Eros, god of Love.

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The Symposium includes several great speeches made by Phaedrus, Pausanias, Aristophanes, and Agathon, but Plato as a dramatist clearly intends for all these speeches to build anticipation for the moment when it is Socrates turn to speak.

After a brief argument with Agathon, Socrates begins to share his true beliefs about love by recounting the words of his teacher, the wise priestess Diotima, who taught him “the science of things relating to Love”.

Socrates explains how Diotima taught him that love’s ultimate purpose is to illuminate the soul through the realization of divine wisdom and beauty.

According to Diotima,

“Love is not a god at all, but is rather a spirit that mediates between people and the objects of their desire. Love is neither wise nor beautiful, but is rather the desire for wisdom and beauty.”

Love, according to Diotima, is not a god. Love is a Daemon, or an intermediary spirit between the divine realm and the human realm. As an intermediate, Love’s nature is to “interpret and communicate between divine and human things”.

Diotima’s teaches that the first step towards realizing Love is to fully appreciate the attraction to the physical beauty in a person that one desires. The devotion to your lover’s physical beauty eventually leads to the realization that,

“physical beauty in any person is closely akin to physical beauty in any other,” therefore, “it is great folly not to acknowledge that the beauty exhibited in all bodies is one and the same”.

Thus, according to Diotima, true devotion to one person’s beauty enables a vision of the beauty in all humanity: the microcosm unveils the macrocosm.

The second step towards realizing Love is to experience the beauty of the soul. Thus, your lover’s physical beauty transforms into a vision of the beauty of their soul. The physical form, once the sole reason for love, is then perceived to be an emanation of the incomparably more beautiful soul. And again, the picture zooms out and illuminates the beauty in the souls of all humanity.

The Symposium goes on to describe how Socrates learned from Diotima that Love reveals the Beauty in the Cosmos. Love for an individual is the seed of a much more expanded Universal Love. Thus, in this ancient understanding, the gifts of Eros are actually a true spiritual calling leading to the path of wisdom.

Let the ancient wisdom of Diotima guide your heart during Venus’ retrograde in Libra. From this day forward, remember that the gift of your love is sacred.

For this earnest Love is a tendency towards eternity.

On November 16th, Venus will station direct in Libra, bringing an end to this period of deep internal exploration and healing. By the end, you should feel a renewed capacity for intimacy. You will have reconnected to the truth that love is infinite. There is no limit to how much you can open your heart to another, merging with the light of their soul.

During these forty days, let your heart break open and be healed.

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