Love, support, empathy, kindness, rapport, harmony, and compatibility — these are words in Venus’s bible. Recently a thought came tumbling into my mind, and I realized it was inspired by Venus and represents an important expression of her Libra archetype. Being in the Sun’s month-long stay in the sign of Libra, I am not surprised that Libran values are dominating my mind and heart. The Libra archetype makes the art of relationship a sacred temple.
I was listening to a conversation between two people where one was more interested in making his own point than in hearing and receiving the other person’s thoughts and feelings. I felt sad for both… We have all done it and been there, on both sides… When one is observing, it is easier to see how helpful it would be to the relationship, and to the precious sense of relatedness in the relationship — if we realized that effective communication, not to mention a feeling of communion, only happens through a balanced give and take of expression and reception: not just seeking to be heard, seen, and understood, oneself, but making the effort to hear, see, and sincerely understand the other person as well. This give and take must happen on both sides, or there develops a one-sidedness in which the person who does not feel heard and seen eventually retreats inside — for, on a deep but subtle level, it feels as though his existence is not being acknowledged.
This is a painful feeling, even if it is not perceived consciously. Ordinarily the conversation continues at this point, but at least one of the participants will feel, to a degree, frustrated and invisible. This creates distance and resentment, and the sense of union or camaraderie is diminished. When both people are more interested in making their own points without listening and acknowledging the other, the quality of the interaction degenerates even more and becomes like two young children, before they have developed the capacity to actually relate, not speaking with each other, but speaking at each other.
The practice of truly listening to another is more than simply hearing words and responding with one’s own ideas. Often we do hear and understand but fail to explicitly articulate in some way that we hear and understand. This small omission weakens the sense of connection in that moment. In addition, the ideas of the one vehemently trying to make his point without first acknowledging the other person, usually lose power and are often lost altogether. I would go on to say that the power of the ideas is lost because the sense of deep communion has ruptured. It takes, for instance, not just a nod from the listener, and not just a pause on the listener’s part before talking about his own experience, but genuine interest. Then, the texture of the listener’s responses will reflect nods, pauses, and relevant questions which indicate the listener’s caring about what the speaker is expressing, but more important yet, the listener’s caring about the speaker, himself.
With the Sun in Libra, there is the opportunity to experience being more keenly attuned to the other person. It is an excellent time to consciously practice one’s capacity to take in what the other person is seeking to share and express — to hold it, dwell with it, feel it inside, and actively respond about it — before switching the commentary over to one’s own experience, thoughts, or feelings. That is the key. The one who has been heard, seen, and understood has received a gift, and the sense of communion prospers. To mutually gift one another in this way is one of the treasures of Venus and her sign, Libra.
This one seemingly small communication practice is so powerful that it can make or break a relationship, and has the power to rescue a failing relationship. These Venusian communication skills are not automatic and they often feel counter-intuitive, but If we applied them, our relationships — personal, professional, civic, and global — would be benefited with more mutual understanding, love, peace and unity.
About the Author: Marlena Applebaum, M.A. in Counseling Psychology, offers astrological counseling for psycho-spiritual exploration, understanding, and transformation. Astrology utilized in this way can be a missing key for deep inner work and can shed light on the path towards greater harmony with the natural rhythms and cycles of one's life journey. Marlena’s approach to astrology is to share the potentials and opportunities she sees while exploring how the symbols and archetypes are manifesting uniquely for each individual. Astrology is a wonderful tool for self-knowledge and a help in times of challenge or transition. It can facilitate tremendous insight and peace, as well as provide timelines for certain archetypal or energetic influences affecting our lives and inner states of being. Consultations, written reports, and gift certificates are available — for birth chart exploration, current influences, relationship analysis, and timing for important events — in person or over the phone or skype. For more information go to marlenaapplebaum.com.