Planeloads of red roses arrive from Ecuador. Milk chocolates filled with gooey who-knows-what are packed into pink heartshaped boxes. Commercials remind us that a diamond says “it’s forever.” It’s Valentine’s Day, and we celebrate love. For many people, however, Valentine’s Day is a cue to feel blue because they are missing the perfect love they have always imagined and wanted.
We place a great deal of emphasis on romantic love in our society. I am convinced that’s because in our materialistic culture it is one of the few ways that we allow ourselves to experience something beyond our everyday mind. Falling in love is about as close as most of us come to an experience of the transcendent, a sense of the numinous reality that lies beyond - yet somehow within - the mundane world. Many people have their only real “spiritual” experiences when they fall in love. Yet the realities of relationships seldom live up to our expectations, as we come to discover that our beloved is, after all, a human being. After a few months of walking on clouds, a little air inevitably has to come out of the balloon. We might try to rekindle a little passion in our partnerships with a night away or romantic gift, but there’s a point at which we know that although we may love our significant other, they are no longer transporting us out of this world.
We effortlessly fall in love, but eventually have to work at our relationships. And most of us do work at them. We have been taught that relationships require effort, and much of that effort has to come in the form of compromise. Don’t be selfish, we are told, you need to make sacrifices for the good of the relationship. This often leads to what I call a “least common denominator (LCD) relationship.” In an LCD relationship, she likes to dance but he doesn’t, so neither of them dances. He likes to go skiing but she doesn’t, and the skis get dusty in the garage. Since they both kind of like to watch television, that’s what they wind up doing, the Least Common Denominator of all their potential activities. Most of us don’t seriously question the assumption that a good relationship will be so worthwhile that we should sacrifice a large part of ourselves for its sake (although we may question whether this partner is worth it!).
Until now, that is. I will skip over the astrological details, but among the many things that are happening at this time in our collective consciousness is the dawning awareness that we each need to fulfill our personal potential if we are to be any good in our partnerships. Romantic relationships are an important part of life, but they will only take us part of the way towards fulfilling ourselves, and in fact they really only fully blossom after we are firmly established as individuals.
In the coming years, we are going to see an increase in independence in relationships. At best, we’ll exhibit “creative selfishness,” my term for recognizing and acting on the importance of manifesting our highest individual potential. With creative selfishness, we don’t want to hurt our loved ones and don’t carelessly ride roughshod over their feelings, but neither do we let the wants and needs of others overrule our own deepest desires.
Because we are so often counseled against being self-centered, it has been difficult for many of us to be creatively selfish. We have been inclined to think of ourselves as part of a couple first, and as individuals second. It’s a matter of perspective, like that image that sometimes looks like two faces, and sometimes like a goblet. In the coming years, our image of partnership is going to shift, and we will recognize that a relationship is only as good and happy as the individuals who create it.
Of course, not everyone is all that evolved (especially in the area of relationships) and we’ll also see plenty of old-fashioned selfcenteredness popping up. Plenty of people will feel threatened by the change and will confuse the two types of selfishness, so we will also see a strong reaction.
In fact, those who call for relationships to follow the traditional path may be the most vocal at times. In the long run, however, our evolutionary potential is calling us towards a more mature way of relating. More than anything else, we each need to get in touch with our own deepest callings and follow them wherever they may lead.You can pick up some chocolates on the way.
Armand M. Diaz, M.A., C.A., is certified as a Consulting Astrologer. He is available for private consultations, helping clients make decisions that are in harmony with their greatest potential. Armand has practiced divination for more than twenty years, working with the I Ching and Tarot in addition to astrology. He has published in astrological journals, including The Mountain Astrologer, and is the author of Tranformation: The Four Keys to Thriving in Times of Change, due out this winter. He can be reached at 917-216-1541 or email@example.com, or though his website at www.integralastrology.net.