Perhaps all our loves are merely hints and symbols; vagabond-language scrawled on gate-posts and paving-stones along the weary road that others have tramped before us; perhaps you and I are types and this sadness which sometimes falls between us springs from disappointment in our search, each straining through and beyond the other, snatching a glimpse now and then of the shadow which turns the corner always a pace or two ahead of us.
Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited
Have you been waxing nostalgic over the last couple of weeks? Have you discovered something profoundly new about yourself? Has anyone from your past arrived unexpectedly on your doorstep?
Welcome to the current 40-day Venus Retrograde that started on March 4th and ends April 15th. Venus, the planet of love and relationships is making her descent into the underworld for 40 days to connect with dark goddesses like Hecate, Lilith, Persephone and Kali.
Kali in particular has gotten my attention.
In the past I have deliberately pushed her out of my mind, unable to bear her gaze. I have paid a price for this ignorance in my relationships, deliberately disowning the shadow I'd cast. Kali is typically shown with her red tongue out dancing with her right foot on Shiva’s chest. Her visage has typically made me uncomfortable. Yet, when I’ve looked back over my relationships I've seen STRONG Scorpio themes (hence Kali themes) as she is typically associated with Scorpio and Pluto. Look to your charts to see if you have any prevalent Scorpio or Pluto! I can see that I have had my share of relationship carnage and am finally coming to understand what it means to find and own this shadow.
How can I be substantial if I do not cast a shadow? I must have a dark side also If I am to be whole.
Some of my clients have been asking questions around intensity and relationships. When we find that we are too intense for the world we turn that intensity upon ourselves. We punish ourselves for having too much passion, too much darkness, too much love, too much curiosity. We feel shame for being too earnest. Kali is the goddess of the TOO MUCH.
I asked too much of you. I knew it all along. Really. Only God can give you that sort of love.
--Sebastian Flyte: Brideshead Revisited.
We all know when we’ve had this reflected back to us. We all know what its like when we are rejected, judged, and asked to relax. Kali teaches us how to own our intensity. This IS NOT an easy task. She teaches us how to bear the darkness and how to transmute our deepest fears into genuine pearls of light. She helps us BEAR our intensity. The more we honor the representative of shadow the more we own the destruction we create around us. She helps us recognize our hunger and to see hunger as human and to feel no shame for it. She is not going to make it easy for us, or stroke our heads and whisper endearments. Conversely she is the loyal bad ass who approves of our righteous rage. She tells us to stand up and fight for ourselves, to love unabashedly, fully and rightly. She asks us to be less afraid of the dark.
I encourage you to contemplate this kind of strength during Venus Retrograde. What would it feel like to radically approve of yourself? What does it mean to own your shadow? Where have you gotten in trouble in relationships because you haven't owned parts of yourself?
The time will come
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other's welcome,
and say, sit here. Eat.
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
the photographs, the desperate notes,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life.
--Love After Love by Derek Walcott