VENUS and our handmade business | doing everything as beautifully as we can - part I

"we have no art. we simply do everything as beautifully as we can" .... balinese saying

venus by ryan bater

Venus is the invisible force of attraction. She rules beauty, love, women and art. She rules the signs of Libra and Taurus, our second house of values (everything money can buy that matters to us and everything money can't) and our seventh house of marriage and partnership.

Venus transits emphasize our connection to what we are in relationship with. We fall in love. We fall out of love. We question our worth as well as the value of the things, people and places we spend our energy and resources on. And she makes us aware of those resources. Venus transits show us what really matters to us. Not what we give lip service to, but what we really need.

When we make things for a living - we need those things to be attractive. In an aesthetic sense (remember the opposite of aesthetic is anesthetic and we don't want our handmade offerings to put anyone to sleep!) - and also in the sense of "having the ability to attract".

We increase our ability to attract when we honor Venus.

We all carry the Venus archetype. Our makings do, too. I have come to believe we are the emissaries of the work we put out into the world. Not the other way around. The work has sent us here. We are required to do something for, and with, the stirrings of our heart.

Environmentalist John Seed, channeling his Venus, and working to save the rain forests says if he thought he were just one man, just one Seed (how wonderful his name is Seed, huh?), the vast needs and seeming hopelessness of his work would "feel overwhelming". 

Instead he sees himself as "the part of the rain forest that has evolved into a man."

He doesn't see himself as laboring alone even when he is laboring alone. He connects to the work that has sent him here (his Venus - the thing he loves). It's that connection that allows his work (and ours) to attract what it needs for as long as it needs to exist.

How can we liberate our creative energy? What wants to be created through us?

First and always, remember the Venus energy we carry wants needs to be honored.

We honor Venus when we do everything as beautifully as we can. When we move art from the periphery to the very center of whatever we are doing. The act of creation is a spiritual act that worships Venus. Our grandmothers instinctively knew this because this is how they spent their days - they made bread, they made sweaters, they made friends with their neighbors, they made a life with what they had.

We honor Venus when we are joyfully partnered with the things, people and places we love. Venus isn't the girl who settles. Venus is the space in our chart where settling will never work for us.

The house and sign she calls home in our natal chart is an indication of what we need and find attractive as well as clues to our own powers of attraction.

For example Venus in Gemini needs a mental connection and variety while Venus in Cancer needs an emotional connection and commitment. These are non-negotiables.

Venus asks us to focus society on culture rather than economy. For artists who have turned themselves and their makings inside out in an effort to focus on business instead of art (and trusting the work they are here to do to attract what the work needs) - Venus asks, "if artists become business people, who will be left to be artists?".

And this isn't because Venus is above making money - Venus rules money! Venus knows money flows where our passion does, too. 

We honor Venus when we honor what we value. I am rethinking this. The things we truly value, we naturally honor - one of the ways we know what is really important to us is that it will be the thing we spend the most time on.

What will we pay more for? What do we hang carefully on the padded hanger and what do we drop carelessly on the floor? If our money is crumpled into balls in the bottom of our handbag, is it really something we value? If our partner is valuable to us why don't we do the small things we are perfectly capable of doing and know will make them happy?

Sometimes a Venus transit wakes us up to what we value by bringing us close to losing it.

The Buddhists say the way we do one thing is the way we do everything. Venus would entice us to do everything beautifully.

We honor Venus when we honor ourselves. We honor Venus with simple things like long baths we don't have time for and complicated things like accepting the image of ourselves as "artists". We honor Venus with leisure time and yes, even what we might call "waste". If I didn't give myself the gift of a few hours every Friday night to play in my cluttered studio, I think I'd go mad.

Venus entices us to take another look at what we have blindly called "luxuries" and embrace them as necessities.

Venus is an inner planet and always connected (within 48 degrees) to our Sun (ego). She can drag us into vanity and self-possession turning love into manipulation and have us collecting chalk marks on our bed posts if we carry her into dysfunction. In her highest form though she balances out the masculine energy we carry - she literally soothes the savage breast. She brings us to peace.

I am an artist (and yes, I didn't always feel comfortable with this word and had to grow into using it!).

I am an Aquarius (the rebel, genius, criminal energy) Sun with a stellium (four planets) in Aquarius, and the questions I most naturally ask myself with my work are "is this different?",  "is this humane and sustainable?". My Venus (in my second house of values) asks "is this beautiful?", "can I make money with this?". My Venus (in Sagittarius) asks "will this make people happy?" "will this attract enough people to be worth bringing to market?", "how do I get this to the people who will love it?".

These are not great and noble questions, but simply the way my mind quickly works and I can answer them in about five seconds with anything I am thinking about doing. Sometimes a negative answer will stop me in my tracks. Other times, like with my astrology posts on this blog, my passion for the material is strong enough that nothing can stop me .... and I thank Venus. :)

Here is a Venus ritual from the amazing astrologer Caroline Casey (if you read the wonderful book Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert, you might remember she referenced Caroline when she talked about 'trickster' energy, but she called Caroline a 'radio personality' - maybe she didn't want to use the term 'astrologer' in her book - ack!):
  1. It’s best to perform this ritual on a Friday - which is Venus’ day. You’ll need a round piece of bread, a dinner roll will work. Make a hole in the bread and put a nickel or five pennies inside (the number five is sacred to Venus, Friday is 5th day of the week).
  2. On a small piece of paper, clearly state your desire. Fold this paper and put it into the bread, on top of your nickel. Then pour a little honey on top to sweeten the deal!
  3. Finally, place a small candle in the hole (bigger than a birthday candle, but smaller than a taper, Casey says yellow. I have used green). 
  4. As the candle is burning, do something to honor Venus - take a bath, bake a cake and eat it, etc. Do something that makes you feel beautiful, prosperous and happy. 
  5. When the candle is completely burned down, so that only the melted wax is on the bread, go to a stream or a river, but not salt water like the ocean. Toss this now ritually potent (and fully bio-degradable!) bread into the water, saying a prayer, poem, etc.
  6. Venus energy will respond to our desires. She might fulfill our dreams in amazing ways. Or she might play the trickster, revealing a blind spot that still stands in the way of us attracting what we need.
Note - rituals are powerful and effective and carry the energy of all the previous rituals prepared in the same way. If you decide to do this one - use care and respect.

In Part II we will look at Venus in our natal and business charts!

Have a nice weekend! Long void Moon today so a good day for practiced, productive work. Expect glitches with anything out of the ordinary. Challenges now will highlight our comfort zone in some way - upsets, power plays, excitement, dealings with what and who is foreign to us, could disrupt and/or empower our need for emotional and/or home security. The Sun moves into Pisces - more on that next week!

xo all


stregata said...

Thank you, Cat, once again for these posts. Glad you are following your passion - as it is a gift to us. This one in particular has my heart banging in my breast. I will have to sit with this and look up my Venus in my chart. Big hugs to you. xox Renate

lynn bowes said...

I don't know why this thought came to me when I read the saying 'we honor what we value' but I am reminded of a little book I picked up in a bookstore for under a dollar. It is 'Sweeping Changes, Discovering the Joy of Zen in Everyday Tasks'. In it the author talks about the zen of sweeping and other mundane tasks but takes it further by saying that these are the ways we honor our homes, ourselves, our possessions, and more. I am thinking of those things as we prepare our farmette for sale; that we are honoring the place we have had as our home for these years and upkeep should never be thought of as upkeep and drudgery. Cleaning and ridding yourself and your home of detritus are the ways we pay respect to our homes and our bodies. All of these things are fleeting but how we honor them stays with us always.

So it has nothing to do with art directly? Maybe yes, maybe no, but I think if we are honoring our work by creating thoughtfully and presenting it in a thoughtful way, it shows. It's all part of us and we are all part of it, whatever 'it' is. Really then, our art is just us. We should offer it in the same way we offer ourselves - thoughtful, tidy, honored. Don't you just cringe when you see artists selling their work when it is just jumbled on a table for you to pick through? They are presenting their work exactly as they present themselves to the world and it never gives me a good feeling. Be careful what you show people as that impression is what they will feel for your work.

Anyway :: xox

Catherine Ivins said...

Thanks Renate - I'm going to put all the Venus placements in the next post! xo

That's so true Lynn - and "how we honor them stays with us always". I love this way of thinking about caring for our home. Since it's been just hubs and I, I have been doing dishes by hand and there is something about that mundane task that is so satisfying. It's making me think of the "our body as our temple" - and how throwing our house together for company connects with letting ourselves go and then dieting as opposed to caring for our home and our bodies out of respect and honor because we value them.

I grew up in a very chaotic, messy household. Married young and hubs, Virgo rising, was very picky about cleaning and things. He'd grown up in a very neat and sterile home. Nothing was ever good enough for him and I came from a long line of women who didn't really value housekeeping. Truly I didn't really notice. Being a person more connected with my head than my hands in those days, I just thought he was anal. Then we were on vacation, maybe 20 years ago, and I really didn't want to come home. I realized that what I really liked about the vacation was the near empty hotel room and the peace it provided to not be surrounded with all my 'stuff'. I gave so much stuff away when we got home, cleared every hallway, left every shelf 1/3 empty, rolled up rugs, took down curtains. It was life changing. I got off track with this a few years ago when I started collecting vintage - a rootless person buying somebody else's roots I think - so am paring that all down now, too. So hard with my love of flea markets! I am still the person cleaning up for company ....

Excellent points about presentation. I'll include that in part II. I think the same way - our art is just us. And what we show people of ourselves being what they will feel about our work - very well said. xo

lynn bowes said...

Funny - we built this house in 2008 and I intentionally left out a dishwasher. Such a waste and having my hands in warm water while I stand at the sink is meditative for me. (Of course, we knew we would sell eventually so the spot where a dishwasher will go is stubbed in and sized correctly but that's for the next person to worry about.) I also love to iron. I mean LOVE. Warm hands, smooth fabric, my mother's old wood ironing board, scented Caldrea fabric spray = heaven. Meditative time for sure.

Love your story about chaos as I grew up in a messy house, too. So many things I didn't know a person was supposed to do but I learned from my husband how to care for so much stuff, like you. This paring down we are doing for the upcoming move is freeing and I look at so much in the trash and wonder what the f** I was thinking! I'm a flea market person, too, and will keep you in mind as I roam through the next one.

One last thing having to do with honoring and valuing. A friend of mine used to work on Habitat for Humanity homes but he quit saying that people only value the things they have to work for. He said that all too often HfH would return to a home they had gifted people only to find that it was in shambles. Things broken, walls torn down, carpet ruined, and more. He said bluntly that people had not toiled and labored for those things so they did not know how to care for them and further, did not care to care for them. So that phrase has stuck in my brain and I am reminded of it when I see people giving cars to their kids only to have them disrespected and ruined, when people win the lottery and fritter it all away, when people receive what they did not work for. It's all about respect and whether you worked for what you have or you received a 'handout' which carries no weight at all. Lots to think about when it comes to money and possessions and respect.

I digress :: xox