Venus in Cancer trine Saturn in Pisces – May 12, 2023
A rejection of abstinence as a discipline.
“Eroticism is the willingness to be vulnerable, to allow ourselves to be seen, touched, and experienced by another in a way that transcends our everyday experience. It requires discipline, practice, and a willingness to be present in the moment.” Michaela Boehm, The Wild Woman’s Way
Even in moments where I experience my own sexual liberation — a frontier beyond the previously imagined limitations of my sexual expression and desire — I still feel pulled down into the shadows of shame by the weight of the sexually repressive shackles of my forefathers and my foremothers.
Like a prisoner, I refuse to lay down the chains, even after my release. What is this weight I carry and why do the handcuffs sometimes feel more comfortable than the overwhelming potential of freedom? Perhaps, I feel safest in the areas of what I know, even if what I know is routine oppression upheld by a semantic understanding of reality that produces repressive outcomes. Our ethics are embedded in our language and ideas, and inform the way we act and delimit the boundaries of appropriate and acceptable behavior.
The only thing more effective at holding us down than external oppression is internalized shame.
Whether these sociocultural narratives are steeped in religious history or cultural conservatism, I’d rather not get wrapped up in the origin story of sexual repression at this moment. It’s too vast and deep to unpack here and still get anywhere else, let alone the astrological transit of the day.
What I’m recognizing inside myself, despite a disposition toward evolution and growth, is that I still have notions of sexual purity and discipline entrenched in my personal ethos. Even if I reject it on an intellectual level, my physical body and emotional landscape are moved by an association between abstinence and control: I’m only in control of my sexuality when I’m not succumbing to my erotic desires. At the tip of the mental framework, an iceberg that I’m certain reaches down into the oceanic depths of my unconscious mind, there is a tether between “giving in” and being weak.
I am attempting to provoke the paternal instinct of Saturn with my contextual prelude on sexuality. Because Saturn as we know typically conjures connotations of structure and discipline, which are generally speaking some of the least sexy ideas around. However, I am making a plea for an idiomatic reframe, with the support and validation from the aforementioned Michaela Boehm quote, that discipline and eroticism can and perhaps should go hand in hand.
Or in my case… dick in hand.
Venus trine Saturn gives us a wedge to pry open the tired and oppressive associations between discipline and abstinence and let some light in where shadows once shrouded the situation.
Saturn gives us a structural pathway to freedom. However, this is the yellow brick road, not the red carpet. There will be trials and tribulations along the way that test our mettle and reveal the greatest gift that can be bestowed – to see what we’re made of. When it comes to sexuality and eroticism, there are still very few out there that are showing us the way. We largely lack a language and modeling to give us a framework to work within. How Saturnian that we not only have to travel the path, but we have to build it brick by brick as we go along?
What would it be like to have sex (or masturbate) as a daily practice?
For those of you enriched beings out there already doing this, I am in awe of your capacity — you practically walk on water in my mind. Lord have mercy!
As for the rest of us “plebes” still wading around in the muck and mire of our sexual confusion, I see this Venus-Saturn trine as an opportunity to challenge the pervasive norm that restriction or subtraction is the only way to practice something — especially sex or eroticism. For me, the thought of explicitly sexually expressing myself on a daily basis sounds more daunting than eliminating sugar from my diet or waking up every day before the sun comes up.
When we bring this kind of intentionality to any action, I think the mind (and perhaps the body too) builds up an aversion to the behavioral shift because to try and adjust any habitual pattern means that we can no longer live within the comfortable confines of our present reality. Nobody really wants to leave the nest — it’s warm and cozy and someone else does the hard work required to feed us.
As it pertains to sexuality and turning it into an additive, rather than subtractive practice, I believe that intentionality is the distinguishing factor between mindlessness and mindfulness — with the latter being the optimal trajectory for constructive evolution. To put it simply, I’m not suggesting we recklessly sleep with a different stranger every night as a way of sexually liberating ourselves. Though I’m not saying that sleeping with different people isn’t NOT the way either. Choose your own adventure, folks.
A helpful way for me to think about this is that discipline is no different than making a commitment and commitments can be very difficult to uphold as time goes on. A friend said to me once that commitment was making the same choice every day — sometimes that quote makes me feel optimistic, that I only have to make one choice daily. Other times, the thought of consenting to the same thing every single day makes me feel hopeless and claustrophobic. My point is that even when we enjoy sex, it still becomes challenging to choose it every day, especially when we don’t feel up for following through with the commitment we’ve made to consecrate it through daily practice. The menu of justification is a cornucopia of delicious excuses!
All this to say, how is this scenario harder than abstinence? Abstinence is just a commitment — a different daily choice to express, or not express.
To come back to my subtitle of this blog, I guess I want to renege on a full-blown rejection of abstinence. I’m not saying there isn’t a time and place for reeling in your sexual energy. I think fasting from anything is a great way to reevaluate our relationship with it. However, I think it’s important to look at the larger cultural narratives that we’ve adopted as personal beliefs around sexuality and abstinence… and about discipline in relation to what we’ve deemed indulgent.
What if giving in wasn’t weak? What if sometimes it was the strongest thing we could do — to admit and live into the vulnerability of wanting something and then allowing ourselves the permission to have it?
May today’s Venus trine Saturn give you some gusto to go against the grain, and try living into an authentic expression of your desires. And perhaps, to make a daily practice out of it. After all, the beauty and the beast of free will is that you can always choose something totally different tomorrow.
Image: Illustration by Helen Stratton, 1915 for ‘A Book of Myths’