Venus, the sister planet to Earth, has slowed down. Each night until June 5, you can see her at sunset in the western skies. In the sign of Gemini for the next 2.5 months, we are all under an integrated Humpty Dumpty effect. (Resist any and all temptations to take something or someone apart that you cannot put back together, or you'll have a great fall!) Venus will be in retrograde from May 15 through June 27. In essence, she strongly suggests no overreacting to each other's flaws, and a little well-meant appreciation goes a long way.
It benefits all of us to integrate some new information to get us thinking and analyzing why we hold dear, what we hold dear.
In this vein, I want to say that I wrote these foregoing introductory words before our president ended his fence-sitting on the issue of marriage equality. As Venus runs our values and how we relate to each other, it is little wonder to this stargazer why he chose this time to "come out," as it were. Venus in Gemini categorically means an integration of words and deeds. It does matter what we call any relationship. It does matter that a majority cannot vote on the rights of a minority. I shudder to think what would have happened in the 1960s if the majority was called to vote on, ironically, the Voting Rights Act, Fair Housing Act or Civil Rights Act ... and we think the "new South" is still backward now? Like Kansas, what's wrong with them?
I say we need to smudge the southern states with sage because some Confederate ancestors have not moved on and into the Light. With our divisions in this country, Humpty Dumpty at his most broken self, we are in what I'd call a psychic Civil War. I'm reminded of this every day at my new office in the Film Row Building. There's a poster directly outside my door for the movie Quantrill's Raiders. Bushwhackers (guerrillas) who fought for the Confederacy at the Missouri and Kansas borders under William Clarke Quantrill. Love the synchronicity regarding my name; for whom they fought, not so much. Gemini also connects thoughts and situations in a unique way, hence psychoanalyst Carl Jung's recognizing and naming seeming coincidences "synchronicity." This poster was there before I leased the office. Just seeing and saying ...
It will take the integration (pun definitely intended this time) of our spirituality (seeing ourselves as one) and physicality (seeing how our differences shape our perspectives) to continue our human evolution. As I would not presume to know what it is like to move on this Earth in a female body, please do not presume what it is like to move on this Earth in a black male body, either. (I cannot tell you how many places of business I've had to leave because of this one too often overlooked fact, even in 2012. I'm in a new office now.) Anger alert! African-American men can be hypersexual or angry; these have been (are?) our only choices. Change is slow; true transformation is slower.
Let me break it down for you ... if you're heterosexual, be thankful for your rights that you can receive in Las Vegas and terminate almost as easily. And if you know a marriage-equality bigot (for whatever reason or deed) and you do not speak up, you are not an ally or friend. As a minority, one of my only privileges is whom I allow close to me, whom I drop my guard just enough for you to see all and the real me. Gemini is about the informal conversations we have with our siblings, neighbors, people we run into while running errands or handling our business. So, the same is true of men who denigrate women in all-male enclaves or whites who speak differently about people of color when none are around. How do you speak about the "other" when they are absent? (Damn, remember it was 1967 when the U.S. Supreme Court in Loving v. Virginia held that Virginia's Racial Integrity Act of 1924 was unconstitutional.) And do you really believe you have more to lose publicly than our biracial president? Really? In a relative world, maybe. But this is bigger than any one person.
First-class citizens share the same marriage rights; second-class citizens get "separate, but equal" civil unions; third-class citizens get to shack up and fornicate (OK, that last one was humorous mostly to mask the pain). Thanks, Ms. Maddow, for inspiring this bottom line (no pun intended).
Taurus, April 20-May 20, concentrating earth (physical)In the spirit of your guardian planet retrograding (appearing to move backward from Earth's perch), let's talk a bit of Chinese. In the I Ching (also called The Book of Changes), you are being called on to do just that, change. Not a fan of change, so let's frame it and call it transformation. You have the ability to move away from a critical mass where you think the roof is about to cave in to a realistic assessment of where your inner truth exists. Huh? The answers to your most pressing problems are within you. No shit, Sherlock, you shout?! Yes, but have you looked inside past your egocentric assumptions? Have you deconstructed what Mommy Dearest may have passed down? Parents love imperfectly, too. Let this weekend remove your blinders around unexamined traditions. After all, Venus' aboriginal walkabout was made to get you to break with routine presumptions. Get to moving.
Virgo, August 23-September 22, adapting earth (physical)
Like it or not, your exceptionally critical self serves a needed function. Like any artist, you reunite us with reality. However, when you are not tied to the source of your knowledge through practical applications, you can easily become the hypocrite that our ancestors and teenagers warned us about. "The town may change, but the well stays the same" is a metaphor for that the people come and go, but the need for water and nourishment remains. Spring roots. Your mind turns to adventure and achievement. Through broadcasting your unique perspective, you nourish those closest to you. And, like a teenager, put a bit of sass in your expression. On you, a rebel with a cause has rarely looked so good or had so much swagger. If you do not believe what you're saying, neither will we.
Capricorn, December 22-January 20, initiating earth (physical)
For your soul's perch, you live in a gentrified neighborhood. You know what needs to be fixed in your life. You have the determination to make a mark, to live a legacy. In your quiet zeal to affect history, this explains your calculated caution that some mistakenly read as excessive ambition. With dwarf planet Pluto giving your soul a timeout in your potentially flooded basement (read: psychological foundations built in early childhood), you have an excellent opportunity to rise above your roots and display your best self. It's all about integrating your private and public self. So what if you've had a green acres or ghetto fabulous beginning? It is to where you've grown, how you've restored yourself and, most importantly, the people you've helped along the way.
Gemini, May 21-June 20, adapting intellectual, the changing mind
Being the adaptable air sign, you thrive on thinking and fantasizing. Variety may be the spice of life, but if life is at least a five-course meal, would you want the main course to have an excess of tarragon, saffron or garlic? It is time to return to basic cooking, as it were. With your often contradictory thought patterns, it is best at present to keep your answers simple. No, I'm not encouraging you to lie by omission. I'm discouraging you from believing that you have the only plan, that your way of doing things must be our way of doing things. Instead, use your well-oiled brain to truly live from a "live and let live" place of acceptance and joy. Therefore, in lieu of being like life's meal, be like a "wine that is served not before its time." You may not be moving up to the East Side a la the Jeffersons, but your mind's tastes are becoming more refined.
Libra, September 23-October 22, initiating intellectual
Similar to Taurus (never thought you'd hear that, huh?), you have an ability to procrastinate under the guise of deliberation, even courting your indecisiveness to get us to make the decision for you. Or even worse, do the work you said you'd do. Then, when left to your own devices, situations reach a critical mass where the roof is about to cave in. Unlike Taurus, you are less likely to confront the crisis head-on when it involves only yourself. You are precisely why we have an affirmative defense that protecting others can justify a homicide. Huh? You are likely to do for others what you won't do for yourself. Get to the root of this behavior, the origins of it, if only to fully understand it. It is beyond time to stand up for yourself and what you know to be true about what you truly need from yourself, life and love.
Aquarius, January 20-February 18, concentrating intellectual
"If I had your hand, I'd turn in mine" is a phrase that allows you to recognize what is good about your life. I started this week's column paying homage to the I Ching (you didn't read the introduction, did you?). Go back and do so. I'll wait. You're back? Good. Sure, it can get really gloomy in your gray matter. Yet, the ancient Chinese wisdom in this year of the Water Dragon categorically states that "an enlightened person follows a path of virtue. He accumulates small effects in order to achieve something high and great." You are learning to contemplate your deepest knowledge in order to turn it into "something high and great" aka wisdom. No need for fanaticism or smoke-and-mirrors machinations, just simple and consistent expressions from your thinking heart. By the way, a "thinking heart" combines both logic and feeling.
Cancer, June 21-July 22, initiating feeling (soul)
It is as if by taking one step backward before you turn a corner, you leave temptation in order to resolve what has been holding you back for far too long. Your evolutionary gift demonstrates itself through your precise and intimate service to others. But resist the temptation to be like the messenger spirit who forgot to pick up his own head (after telling everyone else when and where to get their heads). Those who love and support you see you clearly. There's no need to boast about how well you helped others; we know it. There's no need to fight a proverbial city hall. All you must do is live from an intensely creative and safe space. You can distribute acceptance and joy to others because you own these virtues within yourself.
Scorpio, October 23-November 21, concentrating feeling (soul)
You know what and who are important. Your basic challenge with Leo is that being important is not synonymous with doing something that's important. You sometimes suspect that these stubbornly fiery folks do not know the difference. And when they are adolescents, either chronologically or on a soul level, you are right. However, when your values are admirably placed and you feel secure, you can instruct by example anyone who's looking. You lead through taking a more background position, doing what needs to be done by assessing what is needed. The trap, though, is you get caught up in anticipating our needs before we express what we need. Take a chill pill. It is not as if your self-esteem needs our recognition. Or is it?
Pisces, February 19-March 19, adapting feeling (soul)
One definition of insanity is doing the same thing repeatedly but expecting a different result. Expectations can be the bane of your existence. Expectations take you out of the present moment. Expectations cause you to keep your eye on the other guy, outside of yourself. As with the 19th-century pioneers, Louisiana Purchase and Manifest Destiny, instead of charging ahead screaming "Go West!," it is time you say, "Go Inside!" Unless you peer within, your gifts will be lost through a fundamental lack of internal consistency, similar to a pudding that spent too little time in the fridge. In the next couple of weeks, though, you can expect (it's not bad to expect in small doses) an increase of benevolent forces to come to your aid, should you ask. Paradoxically, this help shows up, yes, you've guessed it, when you least expect them to ...
Aries, March 20-April 19, initiating spiritual (fire, visionary)
You live in a state of cosmic order. Unless you are the insecure Aries that cannot help but stir things up compulsive, you know if you act from a place of pure intention, then you can stay off the road to hell. You are the proverbial noble fireman or ambulance driver. You risk your life because you know you have the skills to rescue. However, do you know how to take a behind-the-scenes stance? Can you stir up our subconscious, that is, through a certain subtlety, allowing us to come to our own answers, even when you know the answer? Wishing and hoping and dreaming is so Ani DiFranco and My Best Friend's Wedding. You act. That is, after all, what real men and women do, certainly those born at spring's beginning. Well, a little sweet tea on the front porch will do you real good, partner. Allow those wishes and hopes and dreams to steep for a spell. The time to act is coming, but it is not now.
Leo, July 23-August 22, concentrating spiritual (building your identity)
One of the brightest Leos I know took exception to being compared with Apollo and Zeus last week. I don't blame her, she's probably smarter than they are. Anyway, she prefers Sekhmet, a lioness goddess in the Egyptian pantheon. Warrior and healer, her breath was said to create the desert (now that's some hot air!). I couldn't resist. Brilliant and graceful Leos, I love you a long, long time. And those who behave like Amaterasu, I love you a long, long time, too. Amaterasu was coaxed out of a cave through a raucous laughter and mirror where she saw her reflection. Those of you Leos who reflect the joy and shining spirit in others will be loved (and respected) for a long time as well. This Japanese goddess did not immediately come out of the cave; they had to hire some of the royal court's best comedians. But it was the one who came with a mirror and jokes who got her to shine again. Message this week? Come prepared, but be ready to display your improvisational skills. Thanks, Wahabah.
Sagittarius, November 22-December 21, adapting spirituality, wise adviser
Like Pisces, you can save the damsel or gent in D.C. via New York and Fire Island (especially if there's a party). You do not take the straight route to your destination. These next several weeks, continuity counts. Without consistency, you can appear like you have a split personality. Maybe you do. Maybe you live with the comedy and drama mask tattooed upon your flaky spirit. When inconsistency and breaking promises (mostly due to overcommitment or not wanting to miss out on anything) become your modus operandi, you lose respect in your community. And, please no dismissal of wanting your community's respect. Only the most insecure of you desire worship (aka as excessive loyalty). All fire signs (Aries and Leo) desire respect. For you, this virtue is earned through knowledge and its practical application (aka as wisdom). Without continuity of thought and action, you can easily follow trends and Twitter memes, but be hollow and make no true connections with those who are in physical, not cyber, space.
Text or call Quan at 816-931-0010 or check out his website at beliefisnotrequired.com.