Relationships are difficult, confusing and ambiguous. They force us to feel weak, needy and vulnerable—and who likes to feel that way? Love is a mystery, the other person a whole, new and frightening Universe to explore. Is it going to swallow us in a black hole? Or is it perhaps a shimmering galaxy full of wonders? Most of the times it can be both, because there is no black or white when it comes to romance.
Astrology is often consulted for love questions. Does he love me? Is he going to come back? Does she want to have kids? The uncertainty brought by this mysterious dimension makes us shiver like autumn leaves. And if it doesn’t, you might have built up very good defenses. But protecting yourself from love is like trying to live by fasting as long as you can. Is it worth it?
Venus. The ruler of the fifth house. The lord of the seventh house. His Moon. Her Sun. We can look at the charts and get a very neat analysis of the situation. And sometimes a synastry—that’s how we call it—definitely helps. We can better understand the situation, so we can at least figure out what to expect. But does it change the way we feel?
Love is Not Power
Love never hurts. Never. You might be rolling your eyes replying that not only love does hurt, but it hurts a lot. Unrequited love, a break up, cheating are just some of the countless examples of painful love. My take on this, is that it’s not love that hurts. It is something else, something that always comes with it. In a word, it’s about Power.
Love is not power. Even though I can’t deny that love always comes with power, they are not the same thing. In this article I am going through some astrological examples to show you how power is always getting in the way. There are in fact many forms of power, and we can analyze them according to the planets.
Pluto, Sex and Obsession
Let’s start with the raw forces of Pluto. Sexual attraction is a very powerful drive, to the point that Freud put libido at the very foundation of the human psyche. We don’t need feelings to have sex. We don’t need love. When we are grabbed by those instincts, all we want is to devour and to get devoured. It’s a blind animal impulse what we are feeling.
This impulse is what was called in ancient times a passion. The word passion comes from the latin “patire”, which means to suffer. You are suffering from this passion, a fire that doesn’t leave you alone. Also the term passive comes from the same word, meaning that a passion is something that we received, something that nature gave us in the first place. We didn’t ask for it.
This force is incredibly powerful. We feel manipulated by it, like puppets in its hands. And since we are feeling the power that it has on us, we do a very simple thing: we fight back power with power.
A war of power begins. We start getting obsessed. We call it love, but is it really so? No, love is not an obsession—power is. We feel subjugated by something, we feel weakened by it. Suddenly we become powerless, but we call it love! We don’t want to feel that way, but at the same time we want him, or her. Power and love mix together in a messy blob.
And it hurts. But again—it’s not love that’s hurting you. It’s feeling powerless. The secret is becoming more and more capable of discerning in us power from love. If we are unable to do it we will call power with the name of love.
And from this confused perspective, what are we going to do then? Somehow, we will try to get control back. All this because simply put control is a form of power.
Saturn, Trying to Get Control Back
What is she doing? Is she dating another guy? Why wasn’t he online? Who’s this girl he tagged? Why hasn’t he texted me back yet? Similar thoughts have been on everybody’s mind, right?
This because control is the simplest form of power we can get. We unconsciously use it to counter the power they have on us. Basically, if we get more control over this person we are going to balance the power we are undergoing. So we check on them. But where’s trust? Where are the feelings?
This type of power is based on fear. Saturn is indeed the planet of fear and control—two sides of the same coin. Usually this behavior is typical of people with an anxious attachment style. Regardless, everybody falls for this temptation at one point or the other. It really depends on who we are dealing with.
But if you insist in doing that it means two things. First of all, that you are unable to perceive this sort of power struggle that you are waging. Secondly, that you are shooting yourself in the foot. Really. Why? Because you are laying the groundwork for the other person to walk away from you. Nobody likes to be controlled, and they can feel it when it happens.
Their natural reaction allows me to introduce the last form of power involved in these little wars: Detachment.
Uranus, Who’s more free and independent?
“Don’t let him know you are involved”. “Treat her like you don’t care”. “Don’t text her first”. “Show him that you are having fun without him”. The withdrawal becomes part of the strategy. Anything to get more power.
Basically what you are trying to communicate is “I don’t need you”. But.. you love them, right? Again, this is just another form of power. Sure, it can be part of a healthy seduction. Postponing pleasures makes them even more satisfying, as Venus teaches.
But when all this becomes a race of pride just to see who’s more independent, or above the situation, it’s simply sad. Not only because you’re mostly lying to yourself, but also because it means you are afraid of intimacy.
Don’t get me wrong, we all are. But if you want to grow emotionally please stop playing the adult. I don’t believe in the “tough guy” / “modern woman” story. It’s part of a narcissistic behavior that eventually leads to suffering. This doesn’t make you a narcissist, but at least be aware of that.
Uranus is the planet of freedom. And for this reason it also brings us means to achieve our goals. It unleashes us, allowing to express ourselves. Having material means which set us free from necessity is an Uranian form of power. And some people might use it in a relationship.
Of course, being independent is desirable. Nevertheless love is a bond, so it must come to terms with freedom. Or at least be an expression of it. This might also become an opportunity to trust more your partner.
Discerning Love from Power
Discerning love from power is one of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned from life. It also made me aware that power always comes with a cost. Here’s a brief summary on how to distinguish love from power more clearly:
- Stop calling power love. If you are obsessed with them, or you are checkin on them all the time. If you are in strategy mode. That’s Power, stop calling it Love. Calling things by their real name is the first step in self-awareness.
- What triggers you most? We all experienced a form of power that we couldn’t stand. What is it? Is it being controlled—or worse—managed? Is it being ignored or distanced? Or is it perhaps a toxic form of seduction?
- What’s your favorite way of fighting power back? Unconsciously, we are going to choose a strategy to counter the power we are undergoing. Knowing the way we usually react is another precious form of self-awareness.
- Is this a battle you want to fight? When you become aware of the power dynamics you’re ensnared in, you have choice. Is it worth it? Is this the way you want to go for? Your call.
- Where’s love in all this? Once you’ve identified power and you know what you’re doing, step back for a minute. Where’s love? Try to track it back. In my experience you’re going to feel less in a head-space and more in the chest, in the heart.
Recognition, the Power of Love
“Love that moves the Sun and other Stars”
—Last verse of Dante’s Paradise—
So, now that we know that power is not love does it mean that love is powerless? Love is trust, openness, esteem, appreciation, beauty, romance, poetry. Love is a feeling that energizes you, not an overwhelming emotion that chains you down. But does this mean that love has no power whatsoever?
Love leaves you free. It doesn’t force the hand of change. Love is immensely powerful but it doesn’t act unless it’s recognized. It is able to feed you, support you, heal you, make you evolve in so many ways. But it stands still until you recognize its value and meet it halfway.
This is also the way the Spiritual World works. The moment you open yourself to the gods and start your spiritual journey, the Universe moves as well. Countless forces come to your rescue even in the darkest times. When you recognize, appreciate and love a spiritual being they immediately put themselves at your service, without asking for anything in return.
Thanks for you attention, I really hope this helps you out. If you enjoyed this article please subscribe to the Astronomicon Newsletter with the bar at the top of the website. Thanks again for reading, have a good week.
I consider myself a free researcher in western spiritual disciplines, in particular Rudolf Steiner’s Anthroposophy and the Neoplatonic Hermetic tradition. I have a three-year training in Astrology at the CIDA delegation of Trieste, the Italian Center for Astrological Disciplines. I graduated in Computer Engineering from the University of Trieste.