Welcome to Venus Retrograde in Scorpio.  It’s not gonna be all love and light, and thank goddess for that.  The thing is, we don’t live in a Care Bear universe (and would we even want to?).  We live in the multiverse where things are complicated as fuck.  When people confront this world’s challenges and tell me to just focus on LOVE and LIGHT, I feel as though they have reduced the complexity of our existence into a get-well-soon card, just so they can feel better.  Which I totally understand, because feeling into your darkness is possibly the most uncomfortable thing you can do in this world.  But if we limit ourselves to just focusing on the positive, we are actually practicing spiritual deception. And we can’t afford to deceive ourselves any longer.  We must be willing to acknowledge our own shadows, the shadow of our culture and the past, or they will to continue to reek havoc on our current lives.  Here’s the deal, the things we hide from only gain more power.  The thoughts and fears we refuse to share or speak out loud continue to grow in their intensity.

Our mission over these next few months is to begin to unearth the shadows and the shame that have been clogging up our hearts.  Our path forwards can only continue if we allow ourselves to reveal and revel in the power of our hurt, our disappointment and our rightful anger at a world that has tried to keep us under its thumb.  It’s time to shine your darkness.

What does it mean to shine your darkness?  To me, this means not holding back the truth of who we are.  Our capacity for joy and healing is only as great as our willingness to experience our own despair and trauma (and the collective shadow as well).  We cannot have one without the other, this is a natural law.  Not my favorite natural law, but an unavoidable one nonetheless.  Shining your darkness means having pride in the totality of your journey so far.  We all know how to expose the good things in our lives.  But what about the bad, what the about the ugly?

Growing up in idyllic, sleepy little San Diego, I was taught to keep my shame and struggles hidden.  I was instructed to only share what was “good” in my life.  My experience of otherness, my feelings of rejection, even my fears were best kept in the dark. Have you ever noticed how no one really talks about how they’re feeling at a dinner party? This is because we live in a society that doesn’t understand the value of vulnerability, of exposing your wound.  Let’s change this, now!  Let’s remind ourselves how empowering it can be to own our darkness.

Venus, the planet of love, beauty, art, luxury, money and sex turns retrograde today and spends the rest of this month in the early degrees of Scorpio.  Astrologically, this is a tremendously potent opportunity to begin to love your darkness, to acknowledge what is truly beautiful about it.  We can spin our shadow into silk, weave it into poetry, elevate it to the levels of high art– but first we must encounter it completely.  Can you begin to open up to the dark of your heart?  Remember that the dark gets a bad wrap.  Not all darkness is malicious.  Consider the darkness of your mother’s womb, the darkness of fertile soil where seeds are planted.

In restorative yoga, we teach that there are three elements which will bring the body into the deepest state of relaxation so it can heal.  These three elements are warmth, silence and most important, darkness.  Darkness is a healer, a nurturer.  I would even argue that only in complete darkness can we see ourselves  as we truly are.  Light refracts and reflects, plays tricks on our eyes; only in the dark can we experience the essence of our being.  Shine your darkness, own your anger and your shame, dance with your shadow.  And in this way we can honor Venus, the morning star, as she blazes backwards, in passionate warrior mode, through our cosmos.

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