The Sense of Zen – Venus in Leo & The Relational Self

Until Saturday (10 July) at about noon (GMT), Venus, symbolising love and relationships, will be transiting Leo where she is best summarised by the tarot card, The Queen of Wands.

Contrary to popular belief, Venus isn’t so much about love for others as about love for ourselves.  In astrological psychology, Venus points to our feelings of self-worth – the expectations, merit and reward – all which we strive to gain from outside.

As I understand it, in Zen Buddhism the ‘ego’ or ‘self’ seeking such recognition is purely relational – taking the form of but one of many potentialities – the most potent of which is the transcendental ego often described as a circle with no circumference.   But it is the more defined, confined relational ego to which we most closely relate – for it is through this ego that we experience every day.   That the key to understanding our relational ego is through our relationships should then come as no surprise.

In his excellent book The Sense of Zen, the eastern scholar DT Suzuki remarks that upon the awakening of sexual love, this ego takes its first step toward the infinite.  Sexual love causes the ego to lose itself in its object of desire and according to Suzuki, it is through this that we first glimpse that which lies beyond (or perhaps inside); the ego shell is at last broken when the ‘other’ is taken within.

Despite how it may feel at the time, The Queen of Wands is doing us a big favour in pointing this out.   Like a lantern in the dark of night, her charm and warmth draws us near.  She presents the face of a loyal friend, whose advise, opinions, and general good counsel ought not to be ignored.  Through her vibrancy she brings colour and soul into our lives – and we love her – even if she’s a bit impatient and  vain.

But a despite all this (although she is not insincere),  The Queen of Wand works solely for herself – let’s repeat that for clarity – solely.

So during a The Queen of Wands period, don’t be surprised when your relationships (love and otherwise) take on a particularly selfish tinge – after all how could they really be otherwise – for as long as we operate through relational egos our relationships will always be first and foremost about ourselves.

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