Venus: The Answer is No!


This summer I was talking to a priestess of Aphrodite about the Sacred Lover work. Particularly we were talking about offering to work openly with people who came to us. She said that one thing that stopped her is her concern about what would happen if someone approached her who she just couldn't connect with sexually. She thought it might be crushing for someone approaching Aphrodite because they were lonely to be told no.

One possible answer she gave was to trust the gods not to bring people to us who we cannot work with. I don't have the experience with Aphrodite, but that's definitely the wrong answer for Venus.

A lot of Venus work is focused around the joy of accepting and valuing your desires. Over and over again, I've been challenged by Venus to accept my desires and to want the things I want with all my heart. I've been encouraged to be open about my desires, to celebrate them, and to strive for them. This has been wonderful work; I am more confident, I am more comfortable admitting what I want, I have much less shame and fear in my life.

Yet there's a flip side to being open about our needs and desires, especially when they impact others. Those people might not share them. Learning to accept rejection when we are open about our desires is an important part of being able to meet in the strength of love and it is the hardest kind of Venus lesson I've experienced. It's a lesson I face often.

At the beginning, I pictured her sitting there, denying me what I was hoping to achieve to teach a lesson. At my first Beltane, I think there may have been some of that: once I reconciled myself to the idea that it was wonderful to accept my desires even though none of them might come about, suddenly all sorts of connections and experiences started to happen. Perhaps it was just that happy people are easier to connect with. Once I accepted that it was great to desire even if I was not able to achieve my desires I was a lot happier.

These days, I'm more certain that Venus is there encouraging me to value my needs and draw strength from them. They are a valuable part of me even if they prove impossible to achieve. She will support me in having them and accepting them because that is its own strength. It still hurts to be vulnerable and then later face rejection.

I cannot imagine our work as Sacred Lovers being any different. Valuing our desires even when we find them difficult to achieve is a huge lesson in fighting shame. So, I expect we'll have our share of people who Venus sends to us to learn this lesson. Our job will be to connect, to help them be open to their desires, and to show that we honor and respect their desires. Then our job will be to turn around and say "However, we cannot help you with that." Sometimes it will be because we don't connect with them in the right way. Sometimes it will be because they are not ready. Sometimes they may desire something that we cannot do for legal or other reasons.

However, every time we say no, we need to find a way to say it in a manner that enforces the value of the desire. We hope to find away that they can see they have grown as a lover, taken a step forward, even though they were vulnerable and faced rejection. That is going to be really hard. Often we'll be able to find something we can provide that is valuable to them and that they can see helps them grow towards their desires. However, I think we'll get more than sufficient practice selling no as a wonderful growth experience.

This aspect may be the most frightening part of Sacred Lover to me. I see the value, I have some ideas. However it will be really hard work, and my skill will matter to many I interact with.