*Eleditor’s note: Astrology isn’t a religion. We’re not sure it’s a science, either. It’s magic, maybe. But, as with feng shui, say, things affect things. So as long as we don’t go blaming our problems on the stars, as long as we assume responsibility for our own actions…well, hell, a little auspicious coincidence and applicable wisdom can’t hurt. And so, with that grain of salt…enjoy!
Cupid, the deity of love, is always depicted with his bow and arrow.
Love comes to mind when we see him but his symbolism is more of the desiring type. When we really start to look at who Cupid is, the elements of passion, desire and attraction come to the forefront. He’s the force that can ignite anyone out of a slumber—but close encounters with Cupid can entrap us as well.
When Cupid takes aim and hits us with one of his arrows we can fall hard.
Crazy in love comes to mind.
While many can attest to being “struck” by Cupid’s arrow, few are aware of his deeper meaning. This is all because of how our lover boy operates. Cupid is the symbol of desire, lust and more specifically sexual attraction.
We can easily become blinded when under his influence because, quite bluntly, other things are taking over.
Honestly, Cupid isn’t about deep, long-lasting love. He’s the catalyst that wakes up the libido. His force brings out eroticism and sexual energy.
Love and libido are two totally different things.
I want to share more of the details behind Cupid and his passion filled arrows.
Being an Astrologer, I’ve always felt connected to mythology because of the captivating stories. Much of the deeper meaning behind the planets, asteroids and stars in Astrology are actually tied into the myths. Every planet correlates with a God or Goddess.
Even though Cupid is not a planet, he also falls into this category.
Understanding Cupid, as well as his familial relations, can help us come to a greater awareness of the deeper meaning of love.
The story of Cupid stems all the way back to the ancients.
He was known as the God of Desire by the Romans. The Greeks, on the other hand, referred to him as Eros. Whether we call him Cupid or Eros, his essence is totally erotic (a word that stems from Eros).
Passion and desire are not love. They can lead into love but the leap there can be pretty big for some.
Yes, we need the heat of Eros to move us to connect and feel alive.
But passion and desire won’t give us the long-lasting relationships we really want. Passion and desire can blind us—preventing us from true intimate connection, which is the thing that brings pure love alive.
In order to study the love aspect, in regards to our own personal Astrology, we have to look at Eros’s mother, Venus (known as Aphrodite by the Greeks).
Mother knows best after all.
Mother (Venus) and son (Eros) had a strong connection. These stories have been the basis of many love poems. They tell the tale of a mother and son who end up encountering quite a few obstacles. The most legendary is the story of Eros falling in love with Psyche (the beautiful maiden Venus despised). This story proves that things can get rough if your mother-in-law doesn’t like you.
Venus attempted to curse Psyche forever by making her fall in love with the ugliest creature.
However, her plan backfired with a capital “B.”
Her beloved son, Eros, wound up falling in love with Psyche instead. Yikes. Psyche certainly had some major mother-in-law issues to contend to after that. However, love prevailed, as it always does in these kinds of romantic tales. The reuniting of Eros and Psyche was happily ever after, after the drama was over.
However, real life doesn’t always work out like the stories, legends and myths, or does it?
Astrologically, Venus is a planet while Eros and Psyche are asteroids. Eros is sexual energy while Psyche is known as the purest form of love.
Keep in mind that a planet is more powerful than an asteroid. Size alone proves this from a scientific standpoint. We’re going to feel to a much bigger bang if we’re hit by a planet versus an asteroid.
When it comes to really understanding pure love we have to cut through the adjectives (because that’s what asteroids in Astrology can be). Moving beyond the superficial and looking at the more profound components will give us the answers we’re really looking for.
No matter what, the planets always take reign in our personal Astrology especially when it comes to matters of the heart.
I’m an Astrologer who believes planet’s story is what matters most.
Love is complicated. It has many different facets. The English language doesn’t give enough detail to describe love.
She loves him. He loves her. But what kind of love are people really referring to?
The Greeks, on the other hand, do a fabulous job at divvying up the differences between love in their language.
In Greek there are four different words for love.
The first word for love is eros.
It equates to the feelings that come from passion, attraction and desire. It’s that red hot feeling that comes over us when we feel attracted to someone. Everything depicted by the God of Desire, Eros (or Cupid), is represented by the word eros. It is the first stage of love and it runs hot just as passion does.
The second word for love is storgē.
Storgē is the word used to describe the love between parent and child or families.
It’s the kind of love that comes from being tied by blood and extremely different than attraction.
The third word for love is philia which is the love felt between friends.
It’s a totally non-sexual platonic love. This, of course, is an important side of love because friendship is a special part of our relationships.
The final and most important word that describes love in the Greek language is agapé.
Agapé is what makes us put aside our own personal desires and serve someone else. This is the kind of love that most of us crave and the one that keeps relationships strong. It brings out a selfless love state and sexuality is removed from the equation.
Agapé is when we feel, “I love him/her so much that I’d die for them.”
Agapé is the kind of love that Eros and Psyche had. It’s love is in its purest form. It’s saying, “I love you to the moon and back—forever and ever—no matter what the cost.”
If we’ve experienced agapé, we have fought or hurt for love.
In our personal Astrology we can find out more about our agapé by looking at how Venus, Eros’s mother, operates in our birth chart.
This planetary mama represents who we want to love, what we like and how we approach getting it. Romance is what she’s all about. Her operation also reveals how our affectionate side works, including how we give and receive love.
However, we can’t forget about creating the sparks necessary to ignite love.
Eros’s father, Mars, shows how we act and do things. In relationships he reveals how we express what we want from other people.
He relates to sexual energy as well but not the lustful kind like Eros.
If we really want to see how our love component affects the whole picture, we have to look at both Venus and Mars in our personal Astrology to gain clues.
For starters, we can explore the elements associated with the various signs—fire, earth, air or water. Keep in mind that some of us have both Venus and Mars in the same sign but most of us likely don’t.
First we need to generate our personal Astrology charts.
Having your exact birth time makes our chart more accurate but it’s not necessary for this exploration. Just your birthday and location of birth will do.
Once your chart is generated, you can hover over each glyph (planetary symbol) to reveal the sign of your Venus (pink) and Mars (red). Determine which element your signs fall into—fire, earth, air or water.
Here are the elements and their signs:
Water: Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces.
Earth: Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn.
Air: Gemini, Libra and Aquarius.
Fire: Aries, Leo and Sagittarius.
If your Venus and Mars fall into two different element categories, you’ll have to blend the two different descriptions to come up with your special mix. We’re all complicated beings and our personal Astrology reveals that.
Here are the descriptions of both Mars & Venus in the Elements:
Note as you read these descriptions: Venus is our romance gal. She shows our affectionate side, what we like and how we approach intimacy. She’s how we find our agape. Mars is our planet that takes action —he’s is the catalyst to us getting what we want.
Water (Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces):
This the type of person who wants the other person to initiate things. They want someone else to be the “doer.” Intimacy is connected through emotions and security. They feel things intensely. This is the element that is also sensitive to other people’s feelings (given their high level of intuition) and can literally feel another’s energy. This includes their partner’s emotional needs. They can also provide a calming release of tension in intimate situations.
Earth (Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn):
These types have a down to Earth attitude about love and intimate matters. They can be quite duty bound. Emotions don’t play a big part in their operation—it’s all about efficiency. However, they can be instinctually in touch with other people’s physical needs. Sensuality is present but a key to this element is their control. They are always fully grounded, just like their element, Earth.
Air (Gemini, Libra and Aquarius):
Forget touchy and feely when it comes to the air signs. They aren’t looking for physical closeness or dramatic displays of affection. What these types crave is talking and communication. In order to intimately connect with the air signs we have to be willing to talk. Communication invigorates them and makes them feel alive. If you aren’t communicating with these signs, you’re slowly snuffing out their intimate energy.
Fire (Aries, Leo and Sagittarius):
Fire signs like to heat things up physically and can be direct about what they want. They also like to keep things entertaining. An important facet to these signs, however, is that they aren’t looking to get too emotionally close. There’s a bit of the impersonal distance with the fire signs. Laughter is another key aspect that can get these signs going—they simply love to laugh.
No matter what the sign, if Venus and Mars fall in the same sign or come close to each other, there is a high level of attraction to the opposite sex. This type of dynamic person relates well with others and will magnetically attract them. It’s quite an alluring mix of planetary energy.
Love can be taken to many different levels because it’s complicated.
Another important component to explore, in regards to how we love, is the placement of the Moon in our personal Astrology.
She’s the biggest mama when it comes to our emotional satisfaction. Explore deeper by looking up your Moon Sign.
Exploring how two people love together is another facet of Astrology.
This is called synastry—it compares and looks at how two people’s planets interact with one another. There is also a composite study which takes two people’s charts and meshes them together to form an entirely new chart.
What many people don’t realize is that relationships have a life of their own—just like us.
We can use composite charts to study the inner happenings of a specific relationship on a deeper level.
“People should fall in love with their eyes closed.” ~ Andy Warhol
These words simply encapsulate the true essence of love or agapé.
It reminds us about what we need to be blind to. At the end of the day, the only thing that matters is what’s inside the soul. None of us can see the other facets clearly anyway.
The love that we all desire is the kind where someone tells us, “I love you—no matter what.”
Author: Crystal B.
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock
Photo: flickr/Curtis Foreman
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