Join me in the Strength of Love

My work with Venus and her exploration of love has focused on approaching her and approaching love from a position of strength and self knowledge. With this approach, we start by understanding what we want—what we need—accepting this, and drawing strength from our needs. I managed to capture this while writing to a girlfriend about a year ago; I'll share an excerpt from that essay :

;:I hope you will meet me in the strength of your feelings, sharing them even when it is hard. I hope you will meet me in the strength of your needs, acknowledging them and meeting your own needs even when that is hard. I hope you will meet me in the strength of your love for your self, strong in the conviction that you are worthy of love, that you embody love itself. I value you, the you that is true to yourself.

I wrote these words to her. However, every time I read them, I also hear the lover speaking to the beloved, the goddess speaking to all those who would work with her.

This is a message about coming to love with agency, with an understanding that we always have choice. I do not have to do what Venus asks; I can and have spoken to her where what she asks conflicts with my needs. I can work with someone in a relationship, but it is not a judgment of either of us if we need different things. Sometimes, often actually, we can find common ground. Venus's path has helped me develop the skills to do that. When we cannot find that common ground, sometimes the choices are very difficult. However, even when we leave a relationship, we can leave respecting the others' needs and feelings, honoring them as the embodiment of love sacred but on a path different from our own.

It's a message of trust. When I hope that someone will meet their own needs, even when that is hard, I trust them to do that. When they say that we've found common ground, when we find a compromise, I trust them to accept that only if it is right for them. If I have lingering doubt, I discuss that doubt as my own feeling rather than pretending to know them better than they know themselves. More importantly, I trust them to stand up for themselves and not to settle for less than they need. I support honest compromise, but I hope people will stand firm rather than denying their own value.

However, this idea of coming to love from a position of strength extends further back than that essay, running through the core of my entire Venus work. Looking back at my notes on the first Venus ritual I attended, I find the entire invocation of Venus into the space was based on this principal. The priest asking as consort told us that we needed to take responsibility for what we made of the opportunity offered. We were asked to commit to doing that; Venus was brought in on the energy of that commitment, we and she bound willingly by that sacred vow. The strength of Venus and my resolve to respecting our needs was surely tested over that first ritual as I struggled finding a balance that was right for me to open to her while respecting my existing commitments and some long-held needs.

Later, I was considering whether to accept dedication to Venus. I was evaluating it as a very serious question because it seemed like there would be no turning back from that decision once made. Venus had other ideas; she told me that if I ever needed to leave, there was a way and she showed me a ritual for respectfully leaving the community. On one level, i felt safer, more certain that she was a goddess who respected my agency, my needs. On another level she was asking me to commit more fully to meeting her in the strength of love. Every time her path requires surrender, I surrender willingly. There is a safe word; I can walk away. The surrender is deeper because it comes from a stronger position of power, trust and knowledge. The commitment to Venus and love is ongoing, renewed each time I live in the moment with my needs and feelings, embrace them, and actively choose how her path interacts with my needs.

This strength is also echoed in the Three Truths. I come to love knowing that I am loved. I am strong in my capacity to love; this is true and nothing can take it away from me. No matter what my needs, no matter how painful the consequences of my choices, these things are true to me and they lend me strength. I also hold the truth that I am love. I come to the table where we build connection as a peer; like everyone else around the table I have sacred value.

I hope you will join me in the strength of love, exploring and discussing your path and mine, finding common ground. In that spirit I welcome you to my blog and offer what I have learned in openness and strength.