Today I am going to take a look at the New Moon in Capricorn and this Moon cycle ahead.
Hi everyone. This is Acyuta-bhava from Nightlight Astrology, and today we are going to take a look at the New Moon in Capricorn. And a few points of meditation for this moon cycle ahead, which really features the culmination of our Venus retrograde cycle, which will be finishing as the moon cycle is finishing this month. So that's what we're going to be taking a look at today. I'd love to hear where people are coming in from do a little roll call in the chat box. We're doing a live stream today. It's the first first content of the New Year. Happy New Year, everybody. I hope that you guys had a great holiday season, and a happy new year. I'm really excited for a new year of content, I have to thank everybody for helping me finish strong with the Kickstarter, we finished on New Year's Day with 1607 backers, which was about 250 or so more than we did last year. So we not only met our goal, but we topped it considerably. So deep thank you all for your support, I feel like I have the best audience I really enjoy you guys. I hope that you enjoy the content that I create in the year ahead. And one small announcement, which is that if you donated and are receiving a reward, I will be emailing everybody today and tomorrow to tell you about how you will receive your reward and when you will receive it. So you'll receive an email through Kickstarter with that explanation. I've been getting a bunch of emails from people asking, I didn't send it out over the weekend, just kind of wanted to chill out. So today, I'll be sending those out. And you'll get instructions on how all of that works. But anyway, a huge thank you to everybody who pitched in, I really deeply appreciate your support.
Okay, so we're now going to look at this first moon cycle of 2022. The other thing I should let you guys know is that I will be doing Bhakti Wednesday this week, but otherwise, the rest of this week I am taking off from content creation. I'm taking this the first four days, the rest of the four days of the week, I am going to be fulfilling hundreds of recordings that I have to make. So I'm just taking the first week to kind of reset a little bit and so you'll have Bucky Wednesday, this Wednesday, you'll get back the Wednesday, otherwise you won't have content Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and I'll be back on Monday next week. And then it's game on. But I wanted to come on today to share an initial reflection for the new year on this new moon cycle. And we'll get really we'll be diving into that today. And then we'll sort of reset and I'll be back fully next week. But again, there will be a bhakti Wednesday talk this week as well.
Okay, so here is the real time, I'm going to put the real time clock up on the screen. And here we go. So you can see on the screen here, whoops, I have gone backward in time. I am here we are. So the new moon yesterday, came through in the sign of Capricorn. Let's go back just one day. You can see here's the moon and sun coming together on Sunday January 2. And so this is the start of a moon of a new moon cycle in Capricorn that features the copresence of Venus and Pluto with Venus still retrograde. And what I want to show you is just why I think this moon cycle is so Venusian in nature what makes this moon cycle really all about Venus's continued retrograde and completion of a retrograde cycle. Let me just map that out first. Then we're going to go into sort of a meditation on some of the key features of what I see as the finale of Venus's retrograde. So from this standpoint, let's move forward to about the first quarter moon. When the first quarter moon starts coming through. There's a couple of things that are happening. Here you can see the first quarter moon is in Aries. This is going to be January 8 into the ninth key to the early part of this moon cycle are a few things one, I want you to notice what's happening with Mars and Neptune. Mars is in Sagittarius starting to square Neptune in Pisces. Those are Jupiter's signs with Jupiter now well dignified in its own home sign of Pisces.
So you have a very fiery expansive energy that's coming through around the first quarter. It feels kind of like a prophet, a holy roller, a moment of conviction, a moment of emotional passionate intensity, and the moon is in Aries the sign of Mars at the exact same time of the first quarter moon. And what's also unique about this is Venus is going through her cazimi. So she's at the heart of the sun, combust, and then hits the heart of the Sun moment and becomes greatly empowered as Venus is now resetting and is going to start emerging on the other side of the sun into her morning star position. So Venusian things are becoming empowered at the exact same moment that you have this very passionate charismatic Mars Neptune square, at the same time that there's a first quarter moon, action oriented in the sign of Aries, Mars is sign. So I get the feeling that whatever's happening with Venus, she's about to hit her breakthrough moment around the first quarter moon the breakthrough meaning whatever this cycle has been about so far, the rebirth is about to occur, and that's usually an energising healing, reviving resuscitating kind of energy, you start feeling a lot better again, in that area of life that Venus retrograde has maybe been putting you in the soup and making you do the hard work. Okay. And if we take it forward a little bit more, the rest of the moon cycles also really interesting. want you to notice what's happening right around the full moon.
Here's the moon in cancer at the same time that the sun is conjoining Pluto and Venus is coming into a trine through her retrograde with Uranus who's stationing to turn direct. Feels like another kind of breakthrough moment. By breakthrough I mean, a moment where there is catharsis significant catharsis so each of the moon cycle moments this month for new moon first quarter, and the full moon so far, they all feature important moments of breakthrough around the new moon you've got Jupiter having just moved into Pisces and Venus just separating from Pluto around the first quarter you get Mars Neptune square. And you get this kind of moment of catharsis with Venus cazimi the full moon, you get the moon opposite Pluto with the sun conjoined Pluto and Venus retrograding into a trine with Uranus. So both are very dynamic and change oriented meaning rapid, sudden, swift changes. And it feels to me like these are the moments where whatever Venus retrograde has been working on the the actual substantive changes of the light bulbs going off, start to appear and you know, okay, you know, the plot or circumstances are changing rapidly, or I'm changing rapidly, or whatever the case might be. But it's a cycle where at the early stages of this Venus retrograde, Venus is moving slow, and it's sort of ponderous and heavy. And it's conjoined with Pluto, it's just, it's deep, and it's hard and it's intense, and you're so in it that you may not really be able to even see what's going on. These are the moments where you probably can see what's going on. And the changes are being effected more swiftly. If you go to the last quarter moon, same thing. Last quarter moon comes through around the 25th, what's happening? Well, you have another very Uranian looking moment, here's the moon at first quarter hitting Uranus as the sun is starting to engage with Uranus at the exact same time. Very dynamic moment and what's happening right around the last quarter moon Venus is stationing to turn direct.
So just within days after that last quarter moon, Venus is slowing down tremendously and stopping and then Venus is going to turn direct and that's what the very within a very close trine to Uranus. So again, the feeling of breakthrough in the air. Then you go forward all the way to the new moon and at the time of the new moon. What's happening? Well, Venus is now starting to move forward again, it's moving forward as it still trine to Uranus still slowly starting to move forward. And now you have a new moon. That's also going to be squaring Uranus. So again, the feeling of breakthrough. So to me I'm very optimistic about this month, leading us to the kinds of breakthroughs that we may not have been seeing early on because of the kind of slow heavy dense and deep quality of Venus Pluto that was there at the beginning of the cycle. And not only Venus was conjoined with Pluto but Venus was barely moving. So I think the potential for a lot of dynamism in this moon cycle the feeling of a lot of catharsis and sort of release of the energy that gets stagnant or the the muck that you're in when some heavy transit is moving through and then things start to shift really rapidly. Remember, Saturn and Uranus are also separating Jupiter's now in a better place in this first moon cycle the year really starts moving things quickly. So I'm very optimistic about it overall.
I want to talk today about what it might mean that Venus is going through the final stages of her retrograde and just a few more meditative thoughts on Venus is retrograde for us today, given that this really is to me at the core of of the lunar cycle, the beginning of the year here. Coming into this new year, Venus has been retrograde in my own ninth house the place of philosophy, belief religion. And I've just been re rereading a lot of James Hillman material, you guys have heard me utilising a lot of James Hillman's work. And I have another passage I'm going to read from him today, but also a short passage from a summary study of a famous bhakti yoga philosophical texts called The Nectar of Devotion. This is by a swami who is basically unpacking this text and offering commentary. And the text is one that has a lot to do with, you know, bhakti, in some ways, could be called the yoga of emotion. And so this is a text that really is a philosophical text about different states of emotion, and how they play into spiritual life. There's a place for all emotions in bhakti. So there's a way of understanding all emotions as divine in nature, divine in origin. We're gonna talk about that a little bit today, as well as an essay from James Hillman on art therapy. When I was first finished with graduate school, and I went and moved to New York City, in the hopes of getting more involved in all of the spiritual things that were becoming very important to me at the time. But for a while, I worked as an art and activities therapist, as a social worker at art activities therapist, and saw firsthand, and not that I had any real training either. But basically, what I did with the residents I served was to come up with meaningful activities to, you know, that were conducive to working with complicated, regularly complicated and very difficult or challenging mental and emotional states. Most of it was just like, you know, I remember one thing that we did a lot was we took cameras, disposable cameras, and we went out into New York City, walking around and would go to interesting places, and have everyone take interesting pictures, then we would come back and we make collages out of them and stuff like that. And there's all sorts of stuff that I came up with or that were pretty common activities that the residents I worked with, were used to, you know, and I learned a lot from that. And some of that is reflected in what I have to say today, as well as in this essay on art therapy by James Hillman.
Let's start at the beginning. Why am I thinking about art, working with emotions, art therapy, things like that. One of the reasons has to do with Venus's kind of age old relationship with Saturn. Venus is in Saturn's sign. Venus is the goddess of the arts, of sensuality, of the five senses, the pleasure and also of beauty. And Venus is rules Libra, where Saturn is also exalted. So there's an old relationship between Venus and Saturn archetypal II philosophically. And I think it's important to go back to the roots of that because we have Venus retrograde in Saturn's sign. And you guys have heard me say a few things about this already. But I want to say a few more today, because I think that the kinds of breakthroughs we're going to have in this lunar cycle that I outlined in the moon cycle, the beginning of this video, the kinds of breakthroughs are probably those that are common to the philosophical roots of Venus's relationship with Saturn. So, remember a few things. Remember that Venus, let's broadly talk about Venus is significations philosophically, Venus represents desire, insofar as we have desire for pleasant things, pleasant, pleasing environments, people tastes, touches, smells, which could also be sexual in nature, that it could be your desire to see good art or to watch you know, a good performance at a theatre or to dance, or to have the right colour scheme in your wardrobe or in your office. Me, you know, I'm a Taurus rising. So my office colour, you know, it was a long, slow decision for me to choose my purple. I love that kind of stuff. So Venus is like that, though. It's like, what do you love? What makes the environment feel good around you? What is desirable, what is pleasing? You know, this is Venus.
So we say Venus is about relationships. But the reason we're saying that is because Venus is related to the state of harmonious connection, not just with people, but with the world isn't there, there's nothing more offensive to me than going into buildings that feel very bare, and uncared for aesthetically, like I find certain kinds of architecture that is very plain or cookie cutter, kind of offensive. I think other people feel the same way. I was recently with a friend and, you know, we were driving through a neighbourhood and and I won't go into it too much. But the neighbourhood was one of those neighbourhoods where all the houses look identical to each other, like literally identical. And we're just like, offended by this. So. And of course, we were sort of joking and sort of being snobbish. But Venus is like that Venus is is wants to see a well arranged balance of different different things that come together harmoniously. They say one of the Beatles' icons like who did the Beatles like as a band and one of their favourites was Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys. And I remember I think was George Harrison who once said that he liked them so much because they took all sorts of different sounds and made just layers of layers and layers of harmony. And it was just so beautiful. I love the Beach Boys by the way, one of my favourite bands of all time. Venus is like that, Venus is the the need that we have in the psyche for harmony. There's discord and C to like discordancy exists. It's a state. Some ways we can't know harmony without discordancy, but we have strife and we have discord with Mars, you know? And so Venus is that state of harmony.
Now what's the relationship with Saturn? Well on the negative side of things Saturn was said to be the ruler of feigned appearances. The ruler of feigned appearances. To feign means to simulate an action or emotion. It has the connotation of pretending imitating or pretension. It has a root etymological meaning which means to touch with the intention to alter something from its original and almost like a counterfeit piece of art and it has actually a Sanskrit roots, to the idea of something that is formed as in a body, a human body a figure or a shape that represents something, but isn't the thing but it represents it. This is a Sanskrit idea related also to the body itself. There is a way in yoga philosophy in which we are each a feigned appearance, right our body is somehow the shape or mould of a subtle body. Something like that.
In 1999, September 17, I want to take you guys back in time here, check this out. Let's go back to September 17 1999, that was what I had up on the screen at first and I just forgot. Let's go all the way back to September of 1999. So on the 17th I want to show you just something really kind of neat in 1999, while Venus was in a square with Saturn in Taurus, Saturn was in Venus's sign. And Venus was in a square with Saturn. And by the way, this square with Saturn came September 11. Venus had turned direct. So September 11 1999, September 10, it turns direct, a week later, September 17. One of my favourite movies came out. So this is just after a Venus retrograde while Saturn is in Venus's sign and Venus is squaring Saturn. The movie American Beauty came out. I don't know if you guys remember this movie. This was the cover you may remember it and let's see if I can just pop this up on the screen I just did an image search the iconic cover I don't know if you guys remember this one in particular. It had Kevin Spacey. He was the lead and I'm trying to remember the name of girl I think it was Thora birch. But it was a fantastic movie. I want to read you some quotes from that movie. That ring just ring out with the Saturn Venus dynamic. As I think it was his wife, who was played by Annette Bening, if I remember correctly, she is in the car, driving listening to like, pump yourself up self help talk in order to be successful. The voice on her tape says one must project an image of success at all times. So this is Venus Saturn to a tee. Venus knows what is pretty what is beautiful, what is harmonious. But Saturn is willing to feign its appearance out of duty. It's like going to a job interview, you know exactly what to say how to look into and feel good or appealing to the person who's interviewing you. If life isn't an interview, Venus Saturn is a great ally. Right? If you need to be responsible at a large corporation dealing with people's needs in a human resource department, you have to do so with care and concern but political tact Venus Saturn might be your friend or an exalted Venus might be your friend or well placed Saturn in Taurus might be your friend. This is one of my favourite scenes. I'm just going to read it to you. So Kevin Spacey gets to a point where he basically realises that his feigned appearance of life can't exist anymore. He just can't go on doing it.
Lester Burnham: Janie today I quit my job and then I told my boss to go fuck himself and then I blackmailed him for almost $60,000. Pass the asparagus.
Carolyn Burnham: Your father seems to think this kind of behaviour is something to be proud of.
Lester Burnham: and your mother seems to prefer that go through life like a fucking prisoner while she keeps my dick in a mason jar under the sink.
Carolyn Burnham: How dare you speak to me that way in front of her and I marvelled that you can be so contemptuous of me on the same day that you lose your job.
Lester: lose it. I didn't lose it. It's not like whoops, where'd my job go? I quit. Someone pass the asparagus please.
Oh my gosh. If you haven't seen the movie, go you should you should see it if you want a good one for understanding the Venus Saturn dynamic. If you have seen it. You know how hilarious that scene is. Kevin Spacey: for 14 years have been a whore for the advertising industry. The only way I could save myself now is if I start firebombing. So He says, look at me jerking off in the shower. This will be the high point of my day. It's all downhill from here.
And again, I'm just trying to read some funny quotes in the movie that captured the spirit of Venus Saturn at its worst. One big act, one big, faint appearance. You know, one big life is a job interview. And secretly when you're not feigning the appearance of whatever it is that you're feigning in any area of life, you know, there's something in the background that it it starts to something starts getting sick, right, something something goes wrong. And then, you know, here comes the midlife crisis. That's why I love the title of this American Beauty where so much of our culture is surrounded by advertising images of what, what beauty, what satisfaction, what comfort, what Venus is supposed to look like, whether it's your body or your food, or what happiness looks like. A lot of it is sold to us. And I'm not trying to get on a soapbox here. I just think that's a basic truth. And I think everyone knows that. And I know I'm preaching to the choir, everybody knows that. We can forget, though, that even if you're aware of that fact, so much of your day can become a feigned appearance, so much of your day can become about something that should be beautiful. But you're acting, you're you're faking it. At some point, there's two hours left in your workday, and you've tried to bring the best that you can to the table. And you got two hours left, you got nothing left, you're faking your way through those last two hours. There's a good portion of every day that's like that, for us. Not only is it normal and human, and I'm not trying to say that it's some great sin. It's very common. It's very mundane, that we feign our way through things and try to push out an image of some kind. It's just so human. In fact, the word pretension means to stretch out in front of you can imagine, okay, I don't feel good right now, I don't want to sit down in the last two hours of my job, but I'm going to like get a get out in front of that and sort of stretch out an image, you know, so that people don't see I'm done. I'm exhausted.
As the movie goes on, and Kevin Spacey sort of has his midlife crisis and his sort of his breakthrough. One of the things he that is said is this, he says: That's the day I realised that there was this entire life behind things in this incredibly benevolent force that wanted me to know that there was no reason to be afraid ever. And this is also in tandem with what's happening with a neighbour boy, who has this poetic eye for beauty that he likes to capture with his camera and he's sort of having a relationship with Kevin Spacey, his daughter, and if you've seen the movie, it's he's a key part of how Kevin Spacey starts becoming aware of these little beautiful things that he's lost touch with because of how much of his life he's had to live as a feigned appearance. In order to be successful, one must project an image of success at all times. He says something later in the movie, he says, I can't feel anything but gratitude for every single moment of my stupid little life.
There's a couple of other quotes that are really beautiful. It's hard to stay mad when there's so much beauty in the world. Sometimes I feel like I'm seeing it all at once and it's too much. My heart fills up like a balloon that's about to burst. Contrast that with the very first line of the movie. My name is Lester Burnham. This is my neighbourhood. This is my street. This is my life. I'm 42 years old. In less than a year I will be dead. Of course. I don't know that yet. And in a way, I am dead already.
The next door neighbour says it's like God's looking right at you just for a second. And if you're careful, you can look right back. And Jane says to Ricky and what do you see and Ricky says beauty. So I wanted to share with you guys a few quotes from that movie again. That movie was released just as Venus turned direct in a square with Saturn who was in Taurus in Venus's sign. So the Venus Saturn dynamic. It's natural for us to go seeking for Venus in every day in the small cracks of life. Venus is always there. It is also very normal for us because of the mundane facts of life. We produce waste, we have to take care of takeout trash go to the bathroom, you got to go to sleep, you got to pay bills got to get groceries, you got to prepare food, there's a lot of elements of our daily have changed diapers, if you have kids, there's a lot of elements of our daily lives that are very mundane. And it's easy to lose track of Venus, it's easy to lose track of making even the most mundane things beautiful, attractive, pleasing, funny, desirable, we can lose that little grace, that makes all of the simple things in life sparkle, it's really easy to lose it. And when we lose it, we don't want to lose it, we don't want to lose at least we don't want to lose the appearance of being in touch with it. And so it's very easy to start. You know, think of Instagram filters, think of the way that we project our lives in social media. You know, we went to the zoo the other day. And I was walking around and I realised with my daughter, I realised that people were more concerned with taking a picture of being at the zoo, than they were a being at the zoo. And I don't think I'd ever seen it quite like that before. I've seen people taking pictures at the zoo, but it was pronounced like everyone was taking pictures for social media. Like probably I saw, like 100 people doing this, they were and you know, maybe I'm just blowing that out of proportion, maybe they did enjoy their day at the zoo. But you get the point, you get the feeling when you're walking around, that people are trying to capture the right image of life, you know, and that, but we can lose touch with what it feels like to actually be in it.
When I reflect on, you know, my own daily life, and what bhakti brings to my daily life, if I had to summarise it, it would be just that it's an emphasis on making sure that if it's a mind, state, a mood state and emotional state, small things in my surroundings, that there's an emphasis on the practice of caring and making things beautiful, like Goddess care. So that the experience is one that you know, the beauty is, the beauty is sparkling around us. For me, as you guys know, I've said this so many times the planets are a way of helping me understand and see the unfolding of experiences around me in terms of beauty and in terms of relationship. In fact, one really interesting thing to note is that the, the word cosmetic, which we think of cosmetics is a Venetian thing. The word cosmetic is shares the same root as the word cosmos. A well arranged whole, beautifully harmonised whole, our lives are not that far from a state of cosmic beauty. It just requires peopling it with presences. Rather than feigning appearances. It requires that we relation allies, the end and us and care for the aesthetics of our everyday experiences. That's not easy. Like it's a lot easier for us to try to feign our way through it. So I think that this Venus retrograde cycle broadly speaking offers us the ability to reflect on it's going to look and feel differently for all of us. What area of life does this appear? Maybe what whole sign house? Does Venus appear in in your chart right now as it's retrograding? But can we look at our lives and just go Where is there? Where is what's the feigned appearance here?
For example, I'm gonna give you guys two examples from my own life in the hopes that it illustrates Venus's retrograde in my ninth house. I mentioned this earlier. I've been revisiting philosophical and psychological and artistic texts and been a little bit more active in watching artful, like good art artful films. Part of that for me is because philosophically at the outset of this and you guys might have even heard me say this previously, I was just feeling a little dead inside like, I'm feeling a little dry. And so I found myself needing to get back into a space mentally and spiritually where I felt that I wasn't just feigning the appearance. I do my practice every day I create my content every day I do my meditation every day, I read sacred scriptures every day. But something was feeling just a little dead. So I needed to change things and look for Venus. Where did you go? When did I start feigning an appearance? And where did you go? You know, searching out the goddess, Goddess searching out God. That dynamic is very present in bhakti. Union, you feel connected and in separation, Saturn, the ruler of separation, you feel apart from that which you love, that which fills you up with presents beauty to you. So it's also natural to go through in some ways, we can't know what we love until we fall into pretension until we fall into the separateness and the feeling of being in some simulation.
Now, why is it so popular these days for people like Elon Musk, or whatever people walking around being like, I think this is all a simulation? Well, first of all, it's I always kind of, you know, I always kind of laugh will smug laughter when I'm like, it's funny to how popular the simulation idea is, as the newest Matrix movie is being released or whatever. Considering that the Vedas, the Gnostics, the Upanishads, different philosophical modalities and 1000s and 1000s of years old, all over our planet have said something rather similar. But at any rate, we, but it's not that, oh, we live in a simulation. So let's get to the real thing. And this is all fake. And the real thing is over here, it's more nuanced than that. It's about recognising that the feeling of being in a feigned appearance of pretension of some kind, is actually, when we recognise it, you don't recognise it for a while. And basically, it's like you're alone, wandering through a forest. And you're pretending like you're still walking hand in hand with your lover, but your lover is gone. So it's lonely, to be in the act of pretension. In a feigned appearance, it's very lonely. I'm feeling a little fake, this is feeling a little hollow. That's a really good sign, because that's the beginning of the call for the lover to come back. When you feel that, it's the beginning of the call for the lover to come back. Usually, in our culture, as in the film, American Beauty, people will initially reach for something when they feel the lover has gone, Venus is gone, I'm in a simulation. They will reach for a new car, a new lover, something that's going to be a simulation of Venus. And it's huge. It's often very disruptive. But what I loved about that film, American Beauty was that they drove a wedge into the problem of pretension in middle life. And they said that the film sort of said, very artfully, that's doesn't feel like a message, it feels like a story. That's the other thing is that, you know, the goddess only works as a teacher, when the art of the story is more important than the message. The message has to somehow emanate from the artfullness of the story. So that's lost on us, sometimes. When we live in a pretentious world, you can always tell because more and more, the art will take the form of messaging rather than art that also speaks a message and there's there is a difference between that in my humble opinion.
But at any rate, in American Beauty, they drive a wedge into the middle life pretension situation and they show the hollow attempt at trying to get back that sense of beauty. Get back the relationship with with The Goddess, the sparkle of life through, you know the misfires of middle aged midlife crisis and then the real thing which is the beauty that's discovered in the famous scene that you were probably remembers the lighting it's like a little bag swirling through the air that the boy catches on camera. So I want to read to you a little excerpt on pretension from the Nectar of Devotion. It's a summary study written by Swami that I really like. And you're talking about different kind of it's like an anatomy of different emotional states. one's desire to hide. Their real mentality is called avajita or concealment, and a desire to exhibit superiority is called pride. Both of these may be classified under pretension. In a pretentious attitude, both concealment and pride are to be found to concede conceal one's real feelings, one must employ pretension, they must pretend to feel differently than they truly do. Similarly, pride, dumba involves concealing one's real status and pretending to be something greater. Thus, concealment, implicitly includes pride. So it's kind of I said, it's like a philosophical text and different sort of emotional states. But one of the reasons that I think it's really important is because they're sort of like there's a gradation.
On the one hand, if we're walking around simulating things, trying to make our lives look a certain way that's appealing or attractive, or whatever, we can do this to ourselves unknowingly. It's not just how we present ourselves to others, how we can present ourselves to ourselves. But if we, if we're doing that level one is, first of all, that we're just feigning something that we don't really feel, or we're trying to make something look a certain way that it isn't really. And okay, we all do that. We do that usually in very small ways, you know, but the next step is pride. And pride is where not only are we concealing what we feel, or what we think we're also presenting ourselves as more than what we are. So pretension can also be something that we're not just feigning a state, but there's in this famous yoga philosophy text. The second step is to think that you're better than you are, or to present an image that you try to, for example, I know that, for me, one of the simplest ways I do this is there's days where I'm just faking it through things because I don't feel them, then there's days where I'm acting in a way that is greater than I am. Because not only am I not feeling it, but I want people to think that I'm a lot more than what I really feel behind the scenes. Those are two things that I think we all deal with. But there's a difference between just feigning something and then also projecting an image that's a lot more than what you feel. So those are things that Venus and Saturn can both, especially when they're combined can be guilty of. So interestingly enough, Venus Saturn is also allergic to pretension. You will find that Venus Saturn natives, Venus, Saturn squares, or people like myself, I have Saturn in Libra. But any kind of Venus Saturn combination can also be rather allergic to pretentiousness. Or to pretence or some people might call it in authenticity.
And I find that really interesting. I think there's, at least this is important to say: one is that Venus Saturn can find itself allergic to pretension. But sometimes that that allergic reaction that we have to pretension or inauthenticity is a little bit of a mirror for us. Like I know that when I am irked, for example, by someone's hubris, or their pride or their pretentiousness or whatever, and I have a strong reaction. I want to make fun of them or I want to, you know, cut them down to size somehow or whatever. That if I'm being 100% Honest, I know that there's something of their pretension that is it's causing an allergic reaction in me because there's something of that there in me too. Venus Saturn is also not just pretence and pretension and feigned appearances, but it's also about the allergy to feigned appearances. So there is a temptation with Venus Saturn in the pretentiousness that you'll see. And it goes like this. Just be yourself, man. That's the slogan, just be authentic. Screw the pretentiousness just be authentic. I'm just gonna be me. And that's the same attitude captured in American Beauty and so many other midlife crisis stories that usually lead someone to, you know, maybe at the most benign level, just rip holes in their genes. You know, the worst, maybe spend way too much money on a new car. Just be yourself screw the inauthenticity. Usually, that's an overcompensation in the same way that irritation within authenticity is often kind of a mirror back to some of our own feigned appearances, our own problem with feigned appearances, and these are things that are taught in this yogic text. These are some of the takeaways that I've been getting from reading this ancient book on yoga philosophy.
I want to read you something that Hillman wrote about art therapy in an a collection of essays called in human relations in human like not human inhuman. This is a an essay, a short essay that he wrote called, your emotions are not yours. I wake in the night and the emotions are there. I'm afraid of the future alone. I am tormented by my incapacity to meet what is expected of me. It would be easier to be just dead. Whatever I do, wherever I turn is wrong, the night thoughts assail me. They sit on the edge of my bed and fill my head with cutting criticisms in my heart with despair. I toss and turn or lie rigidly awake, begging for release and sleep. Like Blackwing demons the emotions come at night for several hours. They call it insomnia, nightmares, depression. But the clinical language only masks the face of the emotions that are visitations from another world, the underworld reminding me of Hades, are they asking me that I pay homage for a few hours perhaps to that all important God who is invisible in the day world, whose moves are made in the dark through the dark who is allied with hypnosis and Thanatos and who if recognised voids life of its usual programmes, offering instead the strength and fullness and beauty to of the invisible background of all life. Psychology wants to interiorized these events and make them personal the night terrors become that only that they remain humanised and do not lead to figures of another world. They are my problem for which I see my therapist or take my sleeping pills. That the Blackwing demons may also be protective angels offering familiarity with the world the day world does not allow that they have their intentions with me, other than my intentions with myself that they are guests in my room and not part of me, complexes problems, negative intuitions, rehearsals of childhood traumas, etc. There are of course, emotions that do not arise from the world out there. There seem to be as well an invisible uncaused ground of emotions, emotions that suddenly come upon us states of dark purple moods, lassitude or stony silence. These seem to spring from nowhere they do not have the world as their reference not even thought memory or dream has caused them.
He says these alterations of the psyche initiate accompany and signify changes in the subjective soul. These emotions without reference or what Chinese psychology calls movements of the heart or of heaven so he says what do we expect will happen to the patient and to the emotion when engaged in art therapy? The patient is patient because He is the recipient the channel shall we say victim of the Divine influxes that are never merely feeling states in effective tones, but are always as well. imaginations, imaginations of behaviour, imaginations of fantasy, imaginations of movement and intention and desire. The patient is patient in my narrow and rather irreverently clinical View not because of the past the family, the abuse, the church in education, the sexuality, the economic hardships, the afflictions of accident and disease that have brought handicaps. I do not underestimate these events, but they remain contingencies of the second order in my narrow view. Primary is the disordered imagination, the incapacity of the imagination to encompass the past and its traumas. restrictions of imagination appear as excessive emotion for when emotion is not held within its image. When the images have been reduced in quality, captured by collective commercialism, harnessed to exploitation voided by rationalism, then emotion runs rampant, and we have to dose it with pharmaceuticals, or exercise it with therapies of release or expression. Instead, I'm suggesting that the restoration of the imagination is the fundamental cure of disordered emotions, and especially that imagination I have touched on again and again, the imagination that welcomes and give places to the powers once called Gods.
So to me, first of all, I find that astrology itself is like, moving through life, with a kind of an art therapy in my sphere all the time. There's something aesthetically pleasing about moving through the world of events and not seeing them as events, but seeing them as gods, there's an aesthetic dimension. For example, let me just give you a simple example. Last week, there was some or two weeks ago or something there were some I think it was Jordanian lawmakers like brawling over a vote, an amendment or a vote or something about women's rights. Venus's conjoined with Pluto, as Venus is retrograde. Now I see that event and there's a polemical level, a rhetorical level, an argumentative level, an ideological level at which that event is discussed and immediately thrown up in the air and, you know, it becomes like the what is it the someone heard a friend of mine right lately, who called it the Thunderdome. Like, everyone just goes after it as an event that's about ideas and concepts and debate and so forth. Astrology allows us of course, to engage with the events of everyday life as though they are events existing in political narratives, cultural narratives, etc, that it also opens up the aesthetic, which if we lose means that we lose our appreciating capacity without an appreciating capacity, events and concepts good or bad in our subjective states and our relative likes and dislikes all become feigned appearances, they all become saturnine.
So it's not only what's happening, what's being dismantled, what tradition or structure is being changed, it's the fact that we're talking about it like that all the time. That's not very aesthetically pleasing, especially when you do it over and over and over and over again. So Venus is also about bringing beauty and justice together. Think about Libra, Saturn and Venus together. It's about saying, there's so much of life that exists in a kind of disembodied conceptual mental realm. Remember Saturn's exaltation is in the air sign of Libra. Its other domicile is the air sign of Aquarius. It's easy to live in polarising conceptual states all the time. That's why we need Venus. Because Venus reminds us that life is also sensual and embodied and Venus gives us that appreciating capacity. And when I look at that image, I see Venus Pluto, I literally see Venus and Hades. You know Aphrodite and Hades, Gods figures, powers presences beings. And to me, that has it that comes in front. Because it reminds me that the way that I relate to this image that I'm about to relate to, is personal and relational. And then my response becomes more organic and more creative. And it becomes more like that blood that bag fluttering up in the air. It becomes something that is capturing me as I'm capturing it. In some state of reverence, it's seeing me as I'm seeing it, because it lives in me as it lives in an image in the world. So at any rate, to me, this is what Hillman is talking about, in very specifically, what is life look like when we move from thinking about our mind state? Are moods or emotions, as mine as things to be looked at, as things to be owned and then cured or fixed, especially the negative stuff that we deal with mentally or emotionally. He says very clearly, he has another book, Hillman wrote just called emotion, which is fantastic. It's earlier on in his work. It's not as poetic as a lot of his other writing, but it's very good. And he's not saying dissociate, you're not your emotions, you're just some automaton that doesn't have emotions, and only complex, you know, reflects upon them objectively. That's not what we're talking about. But what we are talking about is saying, when you think that every state of mind, mood, emotion, fantasy, feeling thought image coming through you, is you. First of all, it's very overwhelming. Second of all, you're much more likely to try to attach yourself to positive images. But then the images go there, like clouds, they just go. So the image leaves, which try to keep holding on to that image, and what do you do you feign an appearance.
On the other hand, let's say a negative state comes in and you're getting identified with the negative state, then you try to fix the negative state. But because you can't fix it right away, you'll you'll do one of two things, you'll either feign an appearance while still trying to fix the thing inside, or you'll the fix that you make will be another feigned appearance itself. This is specifically what bhakti yoga is teaching us about. When it comes to emotion, and thought, the life of the mind and the emotional body, and the teachings are very much the same. Hillman says living a life of art therapy means that we take time to relate to images, we take time to relate to desires and different states creatively, which is to say we participate with them. Take a minute for example. Scan the news and don't scan it so much for information as much as you scan it for the presence of the gods. And then when you scan it for the presence of the gods rather than constructing a big narrative that matches your ideology, even though it's valid and okay to have a point of view to have, you know, desire for how things go or to have a concern with justice, or whatever the case might be. Rather than doing that, just pause and try this exercise. Instead, find the gods in the news. And then just sit with them and find an image that captures the gods in the news and spend time with it like you're in an art gallery looking at it. It's not that one is better than the other, it's that one is far less done than the other. And because it is far less done, it becomes much easier for our life to be lived in dissociated states, which is to say states of pretension and feigned appearances, because we don't engage aesthetically with the images presented to us in the world.
We don't take it in and go, ah, you know, like, we don't do that whatever your response might be. It could be disgust. It's not that you need to take it in like it's so beautiful. Its beauty is something in its philosophical state in the ancient world that goes beyond, you know, the simple likes and dislikes thumbs up and thumbs down. I like the style. I don't like that style. It's not beauty is not a petty thing. Beauty really is tantamount to an appreciating capacity. So sit and appreciate images, see how that changes your life in the next three weeks, especially if you can, you know just do a little technical work and look and say where is Venus presenting itself right now you should be able to notice it naturally. But if you don't just look at the birth chart, look at the whole sign house Venus is appearing in the topics of that house should give you a clue. And the temptation, you know, be careful of the temptation is antidote I'm just going to be myself.
Because that's a pretension to when we try to like assert some kind of just being myself. I don't care what people think I'm just going to do me. Right? Well, that that's an it's a feeling, maybe a feeling of disgust, resentment for being inauthentic or something that bubbles up in us then we try to do something with it and stake ourselves down on it and and it passes just as quickly as a cloud all over again. Then we're staked down with you know, like I was in the eighth grade with flannel and ripped up jeans and a Nirvana t shirt. There's oh, you just caught me. It's my hatred of pretension that lives in me too. So. Alright, anyway. I want to give you an exercise. This is something I did over the weekend. Maybe you'll find it helpful. I just did this for myself. And then I thought, hey, maybe you guys would find it useful.
First, this is a way of doing bhakti yoga. In a sense, even though you're it's not like a formal practice of bhakti. I think anyone can do this. And it's very much like what bhakti yoga is all about. First, you have to catch an appearance that speaks to you. It's a mind state, it's a mood. It's a feeling, it's a thought, you know, something that comes in really strongly, you know, something that comes through. And then literally, find a space after you catch it. Maybe you can't do this right away, maybe you have to do it later. But catch it, remember what it feels like what it looks like, whatever. And then let it lay on your back somewhere. I don't suggest a bed, I suggest a floor. But lay on your back. And imagine that you are looking up at it as a passing cloud or that you're sitting on a hilltop watching it as a weather system is moving in. Find an unusual place like lay down in your bathtub, empty, no, no water, lay down in right outside your front door. If it's not, you know, or inside your house, that it's cold outside, find a place that's weird. And lay down in that space. And look up, eyes open, eyes closed doesn't matter. Look up at that thing that thought that feeling that mood, whatever it is, especially the ones that come on very strongly it could be positive, it could be negative. I'm not saying to you know, this is not a form of, of therapy, fix negative emotions or something. You're not you're bad thoughts, you're just going to look up that and then fix it with some good thoughts. Nothing like that. You could catch a good thought you could catch an enthusiasm. You can catch a charisma. Whatever kind of spirit it is, just note one that strong. Lay down your back in a weird place. Look up at it. Ask two questions and give five to 10 minutes, each of just meditating on contemplating and listening to what responds after you ask these two questions. Who are you? Or what are you more? Probably better as who are you? What might get a little metaphysical. So let's just say who are you? I'd love to know you would you introduce yourself? Treat that presence that thought that emotion like it's a being? So first and foremost, who are you will say? Then let give space to respond and really listen. Like you're really waiting for something to respond and then to ask, what do you love? What do you love? And then listen again. And then final step, try then to make something or some gesture, some creative act in dedication to what that thing loves. It could be very small, symbolic, a gesture and act in dedication to what that thing loves.
I'm going to give you example of how this happened to me what how it worked out for me. So I noticed this weekend that I was feeling sad when I was whenever I was in a particular room in our house. It's our basement, which is the it's like kids play room, but it also doubles as kind of like a family room. And I just noticed that I'm always sad when I'm down here. I wonder why that is. And I thought that's Venus. That's this Venus is speaking to me right now. This is very much you know, for me, it says something about the room the presence, like this is this is important. And I I caught it. Okay, so then I sat down, I laid down on the stairs. In the family room, there's like these three little steps that go from like a slightly higher level down to a lower level. And I just laid on one of the steps. I don't know why we just did. But it felt afterwards I realised it was important that it be not like a normal place where I do things that put me into like my normal ego state, like I gotta find a space. It's a little out of that. And that's what I reflected upon after the cycle that was really cool that actually just laid in this random place. So I lay down on one of the steps. And I said, Who are you? And I listened. I just sat and listened for a while. And I heard a few statements that weren't many, but I heard a few statements. I heard a voice in my mind say I am the feeling of being all dressed up with nowhere to go. I am the feeling of being all dressed up with nowhere to go. Then I heard I am the birthday party that nobody arrived at. And then I had this feeling because I said what are you as well. And it wasn't a literal voice. It was just this kind of understanding that there's like there's genies of places, it's pretty common view in all cultures all around the world. And this is like the spirit of the room. This is the genie of the room, speaking not that it matters. Anyway, so I said, What do you love? And it said two things. And it took a while for these to come through and not for me to be fabricating answers in my head. And there's a difference and you can tell if you sit long enough. It first it said, I want warm light. I love warm light. Didn't say I want warm light at extra said I love warm light, and company. I just thought that's funny. I don't ever spend time here. I don't spend time in this room. Neither does my wife, my kids do but not in the family like the kind of family room portion of the playroom. So I was like, huh, so I realise, like that, suddenly, I realised, oh, I have this lamp that I loved. So much used to be in my old office. And that lamp is in storage in the little storage room in the basement. So I took it out. And it's one of those Tiffany lamps, guys know those, but they have like, beautiful stained glass, kind of look old. So I took one of those out, and I put it in the little living room area. And I turned it on, and I turned all the rest of the lights down like the big lights. And it was weird I could it was just suddenly I was just like, that's what this room wants. That's what this room wanted. It just wanted a little, like warm lamp light. It needed a little ambience. And then that evening, I sat and I read. And I just hung out. After you know, kids were in bed, I just spent leisurely time down there. And the room felt different to me. I felt love. A simple, not not some grandiose state I'm talking about just like a simple feeling. It felt a little better in there, the room felt a little happy.
So this is like bhakti, because of this. If I see the room as God, the act of listening and service to the room. Because God is in all things, the simple act of listening. I don't remember who said this, but I heard this somewhere recently, and I can't even remember. But they said that. Like pure attention is one of the rarest and most sacred, generous gifts that you can give someone just pure attention. You know, if we this action that I went through is a product of my practice of bhakti. There's nothing else in my life that would have led me to doing that if it weren't for what I broadly call the practice of bhakti. Bhakti has a lot you can just call it devotional life, a life of devotional consciousness. I see the room as God and the act of listening in service to the room become service to God. God is in all things I've listened. I've gotten to know the presence of this space not as an impersonal space that I own or possess, but as a space that has a living presence. And instead of saying, I'm sad, when I'm in this room, I say I noticed sadness in this room, I wonder what it is. So just a simple example, doesn't have to be a room does, you know, just start with anything that strikes you very strongly and consider that that's something that actually wants to talk to such a state that I had to analyse and fix. But a relational opening that invited me into deeper intimacy, care and friendship with an environment. And the cosmos is just that. It's a living, breathing environment filled with beings. And the greatest spiritual goal of any of our lives is to care for it and cultivate intimacy, love, respect, relation with it. In bhakti you actually have a separate room in your house that's dedicated to God that you care and 10 for an altar room or a special room that's just for God.
But informally, these kinds of practices lead to in bhakti, what we call the, your bajan. Your bajan means like your devotional song, your life becomes a devotional song, some traditions, your life becomes a moving prayer, a walking meditation, different ways of talking about the same thing. But I suspect that Venus retrograde in Capricorn will ask us for a song. I need a little harmony in my soul, I need a new song. Even the Psalms sing about this, right the Psalms and the great poetry and love prayers to God, how long will I sing this song? You guys heard that one before. And the desire for a new song is a way of saying that there's, you know, we need new, really a new relational mode to enter our lives, it might be in a literal relationship, but don't think about it too literally, or the change you make will be just another feigned appearance. So I suspect again, that this is what we have before us this month is to find our way into revisioning our relationship with ourselves with others with our environment with images. And that's going to appear maybe more specifically in some areas of life than others for us, and that can be very much dependent upon your individual birth chart. But I wanted to spend time with this this week to leave you something really strong a strong impression of Venus Saturn in their dance, to accompany us for the rest of the lunar cycle. And also just where my own thoughts and you know meditations have led me recently. So I hope that it's helpful for all of you. I hope that you are off to a great start to your new year. Remember bhakti Wednesday will air this week on Wednesday. Otherwise I am off from Content Creation this week as I'm fulfilling a whole bunch of Kickstarter rewards. So just this video for the new year as a focal point. I will be back to you guys next Monday. And fresh is ever ready to go. If I didn't take a little break for myself right now to do this, you would just have a bunch of feigned appearances as content so So at any rate, have a great day today.