Sunday, November 28, 2010

Funny Squares with Squiggles and Finding the Healer Within

This morning I decided to launder the sheets. It's something I get around to every week or so, and whenever I catch myself waiting too long, it reminds me of college, when I washed things only after too many little bits of hair and other stuff started getting stuck between my toes at night. When this happened, and brushing the crumbs off the sheets no longer felt like enough, I'd hustle up some tokens and deal with taking apart the bed. With Philadelphia having just been rated number two for bed bugs by one of the major exterminating companies, I thought this day's activity could be a pro-active thing on my part. And anyway, warm, clean, and crisply tucked sheets are one of life's true pleasures.

While I was "at it", I felt one of those occasional rushes of motivation and vacuumed the bedroom carpets thoroughly, sweep the stuff up off of the wood floors, and thought about what I could do about the rather empty, unfinished area around my bed. This seemed like something likely to contribute to a rotten night's sleep, and lord knows my poor, aching body could do with fewer of those. I grabbed a feng shui book so I could refresh my memory of the basics and have some fun "doing it right."

That kind of thing is often a recipe for trouble. I had tried feng shui before, at my apartment in Nebraska, and got bogged down micro-engineering every detail of the process (*Pluto in Virgo*). I probably lost much of the intended transformative effect as a result (*Chiron in the second opposite Pluto, with both squared to a fifth house Jupiter*) Part of the problem had to have been my forcing the feng shui cure "down my throat," though I have to admit I took on the project with a sincere passion and steadfast earnestness. Evolutionary astrologer Stephen Forrest, who operates with a great deal of passion himself, says, when the intellect shuts the feeling function down, it's time to put the charts and books away for a while. Interpretations should feel "alive" with energy, not be the ones that are correct because they follow somebody's standard formulas and procedures.

Well, I've got a bit bogged down with the feng shui this time, too. I'm worrying some about whether this particular set of books should be in this corner or...and whether I can let go of these or...but, for the most part, I am kind of amazed by what I think the way I had some of the things arranged were saying about who I was and what my issues were. So now I've made some changes and look forward to seeing if they help clear anything up psychologically. I hope they result in some practical changes, too, especially a good night's sleep.

The pre-makeover arrangement was a product of a nine-month makeover that started in October of 2009. I had just returned from visiting the family of a college friend who lives in Canada and participating in an astrology workshop in Toronto. I was feeling kind of glum about returning to my lonely place in Havertown, so I didn't put things back the way they had been when I left.

This loneliness has been a big problem for me, one I've been trying to work through for years. It's the downside of enjoying the freedom to do things on my own. I take Jan Spiller's advice for a Gemini North Node by not pressuring myself to be around people all the time, and by trying to listen more when I am. Things get to feeling relatively peaceful when I experience domestic solitude for a whole uninterrupted day - and when I get a cushion of a few days on either side separating me from social events or family obligations. Still, I feel like I should "get out and have fun" more often. An ongoing balancing act that I'm feeling my way through.

Part of the process has been to learn that 1)something that feels like hard work (like pushing yourself to be around others) isn't "really good" and "worth a lot" just because it feels like hard work; 2)that being around people isn't the same as connecting with them (though it can help), and 3)there are certain kinds of people and ways of being that are more comfortable for me than others and it's okay to make those kinds of friends and activities a priority and pass on the others (even though I want to stay open to learning from everything and everyone). Which brings me back to lesson number one.

And now back to the part about arranging my things. The gloomy return to home last year grew into a reorganization project encompassing several rooms on two levels (*Uranus-Pluto trines the Taurus IC*). This led to more than the usual amount of things being left out of place around the house, something I don't often do (*Virgo Moon*). Either because I was feeling depressed or had some uncommon good sense, I let them stay that way until the "right place" found them. I'm trying not to let my Virgo Moon say it was a bad thing to have some messy corners - I had a lot of them before I moved into my first dorm and got jolted into the routine of moving regularly, but this time, I'd like to get things into place quickly, keeping some boundaries around this makeover project. When I did the makeover last year, it was nine months before the last piece of furniture found a place for itself as a writing table by a window in my bedroom. This was an old kitchen table that had found its way from the kitchen to the dining room and then to the living room before moving up the stairs into my bedroom. I can't imagine where it will head to next.

Last week, before this latest "manic makeover" got underway, I paused in my other work around the house to thoughtfully reflect (*Moon trine Mercury*). I told myself there were three different things I was doing here and spelled them out. These were 1) organizing my childhood belongings, 2) cleaning up the stuff my parents' left when they moved out, and 3) creating a nurturing living space for myself. The part of this all which I like to think about least, is that ultimately this work is meant to prepare the house for sale. Maybe I'll be ready and even willing to move out in a year or two, but in the meantime, I wanted to use the opportunity to try remaking the place in my own image - not that I have a god complex or anything - and wrap things up from my childhood on my own terms in my own way. In the process, I've explored values and the kind of lifestyle that I want to have, which is very much centered on my living space and a mission in life. Writing has helped me make sense of all of these efforts, and it's brought a sense of closure and meaning to the process as well as some new directions to take things in. A process of transformation, you could say. I've certainly been attempting to make it one, and just now, I think, as I realize the objects themselves and the memories related to them have the kind of finite boundaries that I thought they would always lack, the projects' direction and scope become clearer, and I can see the separation between them. Things are becoming easier, more efficient, and somewhat less stressful.

Besides treating the work on the house as an experiment in learning over the last three years, I've gotten the idea that a subconscious part of me is also using it to cleanse my Self of negative attitudes from the past, which I am often reminded of when I sort through things in this house. I see it in the items themselves, in the way they've been stored, neglected, left in the same place forever, or arranged in ways I find uninteresting or unimaginative. In changing something about them, or eliminating the things that don't seem to fit or aren't of use to me, I imagine I'm going about the process lovingly and with a higher purpose on one hand, while being a bit grating and a little overly forced on the other. I've felt that I've also created some friction by the way I've attempted to share the process with others or engage them in my mission here, which has probably made it a little more difficult on myself, though I suppose that when things have been suppressed for so many years, its going to get a bit cantankerous as one tries to bring them to the surface and change what's going on.

Okay, let me back up and talk about where I got this idea about cleansing from. It was in the section on sesqui-squares in Dynamics of Aspect Analysis, by Bil Tierney. Sesqui-squares are an aspect (angle between planets, flow of energy in the psyche) equivalent to one-and-a-half squares - either 135 degrees (90+45) or 225 (180+45). The planets in such an aspect are in a kind of relationship moment in their cycle that puts them halfway between a square and an opposition, and it represents a turning point in one's understanding of interpersonal dynamics that is often vexing to the person involved.

Tierney states that upper sesqui-squares (the 225 degree kind) require a cleansing of old negativity so that the person with the sesqui-squares can be free to use the big energy and penetrating insight (freed up by the Scorpic quincunx that precedes this aspect) to deepen their bonds with others. Until the cleansing occurs and "appropriate social outlets" are found for the inevitable vexation this aspect creates, one experiences a lot of frustration when he inevitably attempts to recruit others to his enthusiastic new vision and penetrating insight.

Well, that pretty much seemed to describe my behavioral issues and social and familial frustrations. I guess I've been unconsciously trying to cleanse myself by working on the house, and the process has certainly created a lot of frustration, when my father, the owner, doesn't share my vision. Now I'm finally getting that it is okay, and even feels satisfying, when I accept the reality that I can only do so much when the other person doesn't want to invest in the opportunities I see or has other plans for those resources. If I can generate my own resources, I can do more of what I want, but it is easier to let go of having to control the other person and merely open up to the possibility that seeing things from their perspective brings.

I have "major sesqui-squares" in my chart. The Virgo Moon sesquisquares the Capricorn Sun. The Capricorn Sun sesquisquares the Gemini North Node. Vesta, which is sextile to the Moon, sesqui-squares the MC. The example of my father and this house is related to all three, it seems, but especially shows up in the Vesta-MC, since I created a job for myself with someone who doesn't share the obsessive drive I have for this mission of mine, though it was he and some of his friends and advisors who initially proposed the idea. On my part, I for once listened long enough to consider something one of "those people" said, and its been a useful endeavor and a real learning experience, though sometimes unnecessarily difficult.

Just to explain the bit about the house and my father as an example - the sixth house represents the part of life related to jobs, pets, mentors and other forms of unequal relationships, and the MC represents your reputation, the work you're known for doing in the world. Yikes! No wonder jobs and careers (including the one I've attempted to create here with my father) have been such a huge issue in my mind! - now it all makes some sense, and hopefully it means that I'm gaining an awareness of the issues because I'm getting ready to make some important changes about how I handle the energy.

My natal chart's planets (and related objects and points) are pretty much divided into a group connected to the Moon and Mercury and a group connected to the Sun and Jupiter, with two smaller clusters of things in between them. That means close to half of my chart relates to my emotions - and thinking - and half relates to the ideal, heroic self I'm learning to become out there, visible in the world. Half of my lunar configuration sesquisquares a third of my Solar configuration!

The psychologist I started meeting with last month to work on vocational and other practical issues, says my logical side is at war with my emotions, which prompted one of these sides to go find an astrological explanation that would support or refute his seemingly astute, but somehow annoying, assertion. And this is what led me to sesqui-squares and the idea I'm currently hyping (*Jupiter in Gemini*) that they're a defining part of my personality. Now I have to find what to do besides hype it, since I don't really want to go into advertising or politics.

I guess I'm starting to see how my dad represents or acts out the part of me that I don't see as offering useful insight because I'm completely consumed with finding all the faults and articulating what makes me so frustrated. Since I finally feel like I am starting to do that successfully - articulate my frustrations and issues, that is - and I have an understanding of things solid enough to back it up, perhaps I'm just now ready to begin separating emotionally and experiencing life from a different vantage point and material base.

Now my Virgo Moon is going to look at myself critically again for a bit.

There is ample experience with which I can back my hypothesis up. For instance, I've noticed that when I've pursued a new program of study or gotten into some kind of new learning experience, I've unwittingly become ungrateful and dismissive toward people I'm close to - or I've tried to get them to do what I was doing. It's likely that I need to find the right people to share my enthusiasms with, but I can also see how my life would be a lot easier if I would relax my enthusiasm a little and channel my energy into finding out what magic there is to discover when you "let others be themselves" (Tierney). And if anyone knows of any "appropriate social outlets" that would be a good fit for me, please let me know - I'm still needing a few!

I first noticed this problem in phone conversations with my Libran sister while I was living in Michigan. Which makes me think this might have something to do with Quaoar - the indigo child planetoid, since it's the only thing I have in Libra. It quincunxes my natal Piscean Ceres, so there may be a challenge related to unconditional acceptance, and Ceres receives semi-squares from Mars and Venus in Aquarius, which means they might give Ceres the cold shoulder once they find something new to get jazzed on. Hmmm.

Interesting...Anyway, what happens is that I drive people away by pushing my ideas on them too enthusiastically - or sometimes by being subtly overbearing. I saw this manifest in a grossly unsubtle, heavy-handed way in a letter to an old college girlfriend that I recently reread. Bless her trusting, caring heart, she did go to the chiropractor I was seeing, was helped, and then moved on, while I remained stuck in a pretty frustrating relationship there for several more years.

My sister is especially sensitive to this kind of tone. She, a Scorpio rising with Neptune on the Ascendant, does not always trust me to do what I suggest - except when I present it kindly and rationally. I often have to listen to what I said again to hear the overbearing quality of my tone, and I usually think she's being overly sensitive, but, because I value having her in my life, I try to learn what I did and make adjustments (*that's like the Virgo quincunx*) - or, simply surrender the effort and let go of the fear that someone I need won't be there if they don't change with me (*that's like the Scorpio quincunx*). It's a lot harder for me to remember how to do that, but it's a wonderfully big relief when I do, and it helps a lot with the mental knots and crazy feelings associated, no doubt, with the Virgo Moon and twelfth house Mercury, which it trines.

Nine months, the pieces fall into place, and now, several months after that, I'm reworking it again, but keeping more of the underlying structure intact while changing major details. Nine months is a typical human gestation period, and it is also one half of a complete Venus cycle. In nine months, Venus, the planet of beauty, possessions, and social graces, goes from its conjunction with the Sun to its opposition (or vice versa) - from a New Venus, close to the earth, to a Full Venus, close to the Sun.

Today, I discovered what significant remaining issues my "intuition" had brought to the fore, by having placed things the way it did during that nine month period...even though I thought I was "feeling things out" in a way that would be healing and effective. In other words, it was a fantasy I didn't know much about, because I was afraid to express it openly for fear of it being unrealistic.

I was organizing furniture and things based on an intuitive logic that felt right and expressed both practical discipline, and a desire to show how I have good taste even when saddled with second-hand stuff that others had to buy - (*part of my second house Chiron 'wound'*). It seems to be a lesson in healing and community, because what I did by myself certainly seemed to be the case of one side not knowing what the other half is doing or trying to tell it. Doing it by myself is a big part of this whole three-and-a-half project of mine, and while organizing and cleaning up this place my way is still important (a cleansing process my sesqui-squares seem to be initiating), doing it by myself or in that me-against-the-world kind of way is becoming much less attractive.

Part of me was functioning like a would-be healer that has the wrong body or set of tools to work with, hence the problem of working on everything by myself, though it is important to have the time and boundaries I didn't in the past so that I can commit to learning who I am (*Vesta in Cancer sextile the Moon in Virgo and trine Juno in Pisces; Lilith asteroid in Cancer on the Descendant opposite the Sun).

Until I started writing here, about three hours ago, I was being critical of that part of me - the one that put the chair (as in charity) that belonged to my parents next to the basket (as in basket case) on the reputation wall, or the shelf full of academic textbooks in the marriage corner (both very accurate and very telling 'snafus'). I was making it into a joke, as I often have done in here with these things, perhaps seeking to cover up the fact that I've been very mean to myself for quite some time, having not given that part of myself what it wanted to feel taken care of. Yes, here was another example of the evil-spirit-killing-over-the-top-asshole-organizer-too-efficient-dictator part of my personality, and then I could joke about it. But now I think that I was being the asshole by not being open to what it was telling me.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Writing A Poem to Honor Venus, Among other Things

Last month I went to an astrology conference in Buffalo. I learned several new tricks there, such as how to create simple charts that don't require a birth time and can show you your world from the perspective of a planet other than the sun.

Here is a brief summary of my Moon chart. I was blown away by how clear and accurate a picture it created, though I'm used to astrology's power by now, so I won't say I was surprised.

Placing the Moon in my first house, which would begin at 0 degrees Virgo, puts my Sagittarian south node at the base of the chart. That fits because I often feel very much at home when I hit the road. Saturn moves to the seventh house, and it seems very wise for me to follow careful Saturn in relationship endeavors. The Mars-Venus conjunction in Aquarius, and Lilith, end up in the sixth. It reflects how often my idealistic enthusiasms, so strongly asserted, don't bring me the results I want, not to mention the concerns I feel about my seemingly ever-present romantic/erotic desires. On the positive side, I regularly spend time in and work with nature to keep me feeling healthy about life. Jupiter and my Gemini North Node fall in the tenth, with the Node on the MC. This is a nice affirmation of my thoughts about a teaching and writing career. The Sun and Mercury end up in the fifth, and I can say that I felt great after being given the opportunity to share a poem with everyone at the banquet Saturday night.

I learned some other tricks, too, such as how to create personal symbols from magic squares. However, I ducked into a lot of these short sessions after they started, so my level of expertise is a bit dodgy - for example, I probably can't tell if a person is romantically interested in someone else by casting a horary chart, though I have a pageful of notes from that session.

The lectures and people I felt most at home with turned out to be the more feminine or psychic-oriented groups. This coming from a guy who joked that he was using astrology to get laid. Well, maybe they're compatible perspectives in some functional universe I'll inhabit. I spent a lot of time in the 80s stoking up some militantly liberal views at Macalester, so perhaps I'm working on finding my own balance between the uptight self-righteous dude and the dumbass libertine.

I haven't been successful with the getting laid part, by the way. I don't truly want that to be the main goal, but it got me to thinking about what my underlying motivations are, and how my desire to use this fantastic system to get to know a person intimately can be applied appropriately. As well as how my level of maturity as a sexual being interferes with or interfaces with my feelings of belonging, outsideness, and self-worth.

At my first astrology conference in May 2009, I intentionally tried so hard to connect with people that I ended up feeling very hurt and angry. So angry, in fact, that I skipped out on my last paid hotel night and drove home in a shameful fury the morning after the conference was over. I knew I didn't have cause to be angry at anyone in particular, but I needed to get away by myself and work things out in my mind. Which I did, and the conference the following year was a lot more fun.

I wallowed in some of these familiar feelings this time again as I struggled to decide whether a friend was still interested in doing breakfast with me on Saturday morning. The funny part of it was that I had turned my cell phone off, so I didn't get the message that I should be meeting her out front instead of tossing around in bed. Its hard not to laugh at these feelings and behaviors, even as you're enduring them, because you know they're ridiculous, but I guess I'm not done working on them until I've described them and understood them to my satisfaction and can truly and freely let go. They're still a kind of anchor for me in a sea of anxiety. I don't trust what might happen if I let go too soon. Perhaps they're creating the anxiety.

The same friend shared this joke with me: there are two kinds of Capricorns, she said. The kind who has worked hard and achieved great things, and the kind that whines about how hard everything is they have to do. Haha. And ouch - pinned. Had been expecting a punch line that was a little lighter than that.

So, what I'm getting to with all this is the story of how I got to fulfill my Capricorn Sun/Ascendant's drive to achieve recognition for some decent, honest work, and how that changed my experience of the conference from my wallowing in self-doubt the first few days to feeling a bit more connected and fulfilled the last two days.

It started on Friday after lunch, when I ducked a little late to a session that was entitled something like "An Offering to Venus". Now, if you'll indulge me a while I'll paint an amusing picture of an image-conscious, logical Capricorn male with a background in science and geography brave or deluded enough to enter such a session, after its already underway. In reality, I've always been into poetry and writing and mystical wisdom - I just didn't dare show it in my family or to the world at large. Being able to "fly under the radar" with my writing and astrology has made them all the more important to me. But my tendency to get into unconventional things as a way of expressing my freedom isn't totally authentic, because I'm only starting to respectfully integrate the part of me which is more traditional and cautious.

And then there's that fact that I still haven't had enough sex in my life, and I haven't won my trophy babe. Half-joking, of course. I worry a lot about whether these are "acceptable" feelings to have and how I come across to others. I try all kinds of different ways of interacting, but I can't leave it behind, despite all my "higher" motives. Maybe it's the Aquarian planets battling against the Virgos. I just know its tiring to approach every social interaction with that kind of baggage and the fears of being rejected that come with it.

A woman who knows all the usual tricks a man, who is insecure, uses to impress her is very unnerving to me, at least until I can let go of the fear, drop the act, and be who I am, which is pretty much like everyone else, though I'm not at all used to spending time in that kind of "honest" space, especially not if there's a component of human sexuality involved - these things didn't seem to exist in our family, or maybe I have exceedingly high expectations on interpersonal communication. In any case, I'm finally getting that I need to stick with being who I am, despite the attractiveness and desirability of whichever manifestation of female energy comes into my range of sight. If I don't feel like I'm being given a chance to do that, then its time to move on. There needs to be time to process and figure things out, and I'm much more okay with doing that than I used to be, probably because I have succeeded at some of the things I felt so badly about needing to.

So, again, if you'll indulge my jokey artistry, imagine what I'm not saying or letting myself feel, as I walk into a room where an astrologer is not just giving a lecture about Venus. That would be something suitably logical and masculine and not too emotional or spiritual. No, she has laid out a cloth and put offerings on it to a goddess who I'm thinking might not like my "guyness" in the first place and sees through all my disguises in any case.

At one point in the presentation, it was suggested that we write a poem, as others from similar events had done in the past. This poem would express our sense of Venus, and we could share it as an offering to the goddess later on. Normally, I would jump at the chance to do something special for someone, human or godly, so, I wanted to see what would happen if I tried to reach some kind of compromise. I went through the motions of hemming and hawing and joking a little about it with the presenter, then went back to my room, exhausted, and got to work, driven by the thought that I had to bring it down to the session that evening.

Astrologically (because I'm still trying to explain this part to my satisfaction), I see this dynamic in the mystic rectangle-like configuration comprised of cardinal and mutable water and earth signs. Its composed of Vesta in Cancer, sixth house (I'm obligated to work devotedly for you, especially if you're family), Moon in Virgo, cusp of the eighth (touchy one, that - please let me do something deeply cool and useful that I'm good at), Juno in Pisces, first (make it just so divine - it's who I am, I depend on it), and Mercury in Capricorn, twelfth (let's get serious and practical about this ethereal stuff). Close? Anyone? :)

So I tossed down some images I had written in my journal, scanned my memory banks for more things that felt right (no shortage there, with that Moon trined to Mercury), and then, as I got comfortable lying on the soft bed in my room, I began to relax, and I turned the poem in a different, more positive direction. Away from Humphrey Bogart nursing his self-imposed wound at Rick's American Cafe in Casablanca, and toward a vision of hope for something genuinely positive. See if you can pick up the shift in the poem. (I couldn't find the underline function in here to help out with that.)

The conference organizer gave me the opportunity to share my poem at the banquet the following evening. I had to retrieve it from my room in the middle of the banquet, because I hadn't been sure I would be given the opportunity to share it at all, and also because I didn't want to lug my journal book to the table. I knew that was okay, and I got to ride the elevator with a man from the event next to our banquet, who was dressed as Jimi Hendrix. Kind of fun, and something to lead with when I got back to the banquet.

A Leo friend told me how he didn't think he was like a Leo in most parts of his life, but when he got on stage, he noticed that he did really open up and enjoy being there. It was like that for me - I have taught big and small classes for about fifteen years, so I'm no stranger to sharing with a crowd, but I had never yet been that visible in front a group of astrologers and shared something quite as personal. These are necessary moments of courage that really feel good to do.

It was a tremendous rush being able to freely share an expression of who I am and the kind of work I've been doing. There was a lot of applause for my poem, and the woman who read after me. We both had nature images that were quite beautiful, though the applause was still ringing in my ears when she read, so, honestly, I didn't appreciate the other poem as much as my own. I bugged myself about that and tried to learn something, but that's another topic.

Mostly, though, I felt fulfilled. When I thought about it later, I decided it was because I had been able to contribute something to the conference - this, in contrast to only absorbing others' work and taking it back for my own use. It felt natural to contribute, like something I had been waiting to do - for a long time. Along with being seen, this was what I really craved - a little taste of doing some creative work with others whose ideas I value, and being recognized for it.

Sharing my poem created opportunities later that evening and over the next two days to have conversations with other astrologers whom I had met before and yearned to connect with more deeply, and with ones that I didn't know before the conference. It took the pressure off me to connect with the few people I had known before the conference, but whom were often busy with their own work.

I felt far less frustrated by the end of this conference than I did at the end of my first one. This, despite the fact that I did allow myself to have "fun" by driving myself to mild distraction while gazing longingly at some pretty faces in the crowd, knowing that my social graces would likely fall far short of the ability to hold a pleasant conversation with any of actual persons. Of course, that is what's actually satisfying - getting to know a real person rather than an image or an illusion, and that takes time - not something a first house Mars conjunct Venus really likes to all.

Illusions, or projections, are powerful and commensurately disillusioning when there's an actual meeting. Thinking about my beautiful illusions made me miss my thruway exit the next night, but I was wide awake driving, so I guess they had a useful purpose!

Since, I feel like I don't step from illusion to social reality with any great agility, I've been telling myself that I should invest more in careful, laid back Saturn in Pisces rather than the excited Aquarian Mars-Venus when it comes to relationships. This advice is backed by the lunar chart I described in the opening paragraphs, though I suppose I have to let them both be themselves in the end.

So, I still have issues I feel like I've barely worked on - aside from those mentioned above, I ask myself, how do I get the recognition and opportunities I want without the ego taking all the glory. Or should I accept that I enjoy being in an occasional limelight as much as I actually do. In astrological terms, it must relate to working through my Sagittarian south node in the tenth house, a place of social recognition, and its ruler Jupiter in the fifth, a place of ego celebration.

To bring it back to the here-and-now, I'd ask my wiser self, do the words I a poem, in blogs and journals, or spoken in conversations, or sessions with the analyst, add up to something fantastic or are they a pile of crap? How does one find the middle ground and build on that to create a sustainable, practicable life's work? What are the daily acknowledgments of self-respect needed to bring such work into the public realm, into the world of paying work? And who are the people around me who support this process? How can I overcome my fear of taking a place among them?

Maybe these words have an expiration date, when its time to let go of the thinking, creating, self-analysis, and ego enrichment and just be. I noticed just recently that my progressed North Node has moved into Taurus from Gemini, but my progressed Moon in Aries is moving into my natal third, so...not yet! Until that time, here is my poem, tweaked a little since the banquet and inspired by a sense of Venus, which natally, falls in the first house (Placidus), intercepted in Aquarius and retrograde, conjunct but separating from Mars, tightly semi-sextiled to Saturn in second Pisces, sextiled to Eris in second Aries, and squared to the Midheaven in Scorpio. I especially like the line about the Grecian Urn - it's Capricorn humor.

Poem to Honor Venus

I am the thin man picking lettuce leaves in November.
I'm falling behind on the trail, because there's a flower I've seen,
and being seen, must photograph.

I'm standing before a Grecian urn trying to feel something deep.

I'm the bicycle and rider at home with the world, on his route,
The exhilaration of twenty-two degrees and a blue sky,
The thudding silence of fresh snow in the pines.
The rebel who wants his freedom and feels surprised when he is left alone.
The rush of talent and cool ideas yearning for something different.

I am a name for each garden that holds the idea of what it could become,
Form taking shape,
An image appearing on film in the pan.

The shelf assembled, standing - astrology books thereon.
The pleased look at the end of the year,
A slow pan of the room, its objects...
How I've done.
Do they reflect an idea of who I am?

And is there a softness to the order of things?
Is the eagle eye of detail brushed lightly with feathers?
(Enough at least to emulate the simple quality of creating quiet comfort in her surroundings -
The one thing I found to admire
When the affront of rejection and seeming finality still burned humbly inside)

But what is it that I want?
It is the courage to know, and ask
With hands unclenched and chest relaxed.
A decision to enjoy the strength of a flexing arm, the striding of graceful legs
Among friends.

To stand in the sun and know success,
But also to work with others who feel
The hope of the earth in their hands,
As fragile as breath on a petal.

All of us doing this together, all of us of each other.