Astrology Secrets Revealed by ERIC FRANCIS

Looking for Love

September 24, 2004


Dear Eric:

Thank you for your wonderful work! I have retrograde Venus in Scorpio which in so many books just seems to spell 'doom' for relationships, which I have experienced as a matter of fact, repeatedly. I also have retrograde Saturn. Am I marriage material? Cause I am feeling so lonely at this point . . . and never before have I so wanted a partner. I am a single mother of a beautiful daughter and I need to know, what should I look for (sign-wise) in a man? Does my chart look as if I will ever find love? I feel like giving up . . . as well as 10 years of physical pain and suffering, I have been thru so much heartbreak. Birthdate: November 16th, 1970, 1:35 a.m., San Francisco, CA.






Dear Rahmana,

Every woman is good marriage material for the right man, that is, if she wants to be. And if one is into women, this still holds true; it's all a matter of meeting the right person at the right moment. But remember that marriage or long-term partnership is an experience projected over time, so people must not only be compatible with one another, but also change in compatible ways. That would allow a true marriage that is based on progress rather than suppressing growth and potential.


Isn't it so strange that in the times we want, and feel ready for, a partner the most, and are even feeling the most beautiful, they are the most difficult to find? I don't know whether it's energy, psychology, or a cruel psychic joke, but it seems to go around like the flu.


Let's take a look at your chart and see what we can see.


You mention your retrograde Venus in Scorpio, and I have some ideas. Remember, though, that astrology is not the truth! It's a form of personally applicable fiction, kind of like a myth, that may or may not actually be true for you. So look for symbols, or if none of this applies, feel free to disregard. But here's what I'm picking up.


Actually, your Venus is placed in an extraordinary angle of your horoscope, conjunct Jupiter and other planets, and as so often happens, a much larger story is told throughout the other houses that adds depth and insight. Always look for supporting themes in any chart; often when you're reading a chart you'll get the feeling that the whole thing says the same thing!


First let's consider a retrograde personal planet. Personally I consider these more significant than retrograde outer planets -- the inner worlds, particularly Venus and Mars, are retrograde substantially less than the outer planets. And their effects are so close to the world of personality and basic interrelating that they must be considered carefully.


Retrograde planets of any kind point to the past. They also lead us inside. Some say past lives; most astrologers would agree that they point to childhood conditions, and the most insightful idea I've worked with comes from the eminent Martha Lang Wescott (Website: She suggests that they represent (remember this) a vital personal attribute that we turned off in childhood in order not to threaten our parents or other caregivers. So the trick to working with retrograde planets is learning how to express rather than suppress them -- and to bring other people into our lives who bring these qualities out rather than try to make us hold them down.


Venus in Scorpio is sexy, dark and inviting. I can see her dressed in a black satin gown. But very sexy energies and people can make waves in conservative households (and many other places), and I am pretty sure yours qualifies. You were supposed to be good marriage material right from the start (before you were born, probably), and then they did everything they could to tattoo this into your mind. It worked -- part of the way. You now seem to live in two completely different realities at once, even two lifetimes at once: a world of deep erotic awareness and secret, mystical passions, and, at the same time, this is trapped within the rigid values of your family and its culture. You can, at times, incarnate as one or the other; how to be present for both is the question.


It would be worth stating at this point that nobody, and nothing, are ever going to stop you from being who you are. You are just too strong. So you might as well give up on not being you, assuming you haven't laughed that one off a long time ago. You are extremely determined to work out your life, your particular way. It just may take you some time to reconcile all these little wrinkles in the cloth and seeming contradictions, and to stand up to your inner parents, those voices of guilt, conscience and control. And I would not be surprised if there's a layer of inner conflict because you really do hold some of the cultural values that came through your family close to heart. If so, one thing that sometimes helps is to go deeper into that tradition and its roots rather than to live on the surface, like most of the people you know.


Now, back to astrology, there are times when using asteroids truly helps the issue and times when it's less helpful -- and in your chart, we've hit oil -- jasmine scented oil, from the temple of sacred erotic healing. This arises in the form of an exact conjunction between Venus and Vesta in Scorpio (exact, meaning within the same degree). This conjunction suddenly provides us with a lot of extra information about the nature of that Venus, as Venus and Vesta function as one idea and one experience in your chart.


Vesta, discovered in 1807, is a complex goddess figure and correspondingly complex asteroid who has some interesting implications for our times. Called Hestia in Greek, she's the brightest asteroid (visually), appropriate for her role as the goddess of the hearth, in whose temple the six Vestal Virgins tended the eternal flame. But this 'flame', kept in a temple for the purposes of the priesthood, has erotic implications (fire always does). With the discovery of Vesta, we have the emergence of the Sacred Whore in astrology: the priestess or goddess of sex and pleasure for healing, ritual and transformational purposes, as well as 'spiritual reproduction'. She would also cover reproduction for the purpose of giving a child to another, for them. She appears in the Bible as Mary Magdalene. We met this character in The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown, and, in fact, many other places, usually without knowing.


This is what you might call a 'secret' aspect of women that a great many women sense is alive and burning deep within them, but few know how to express. Those who do have this awareness know they have to be very careful, lest they be misunderstood, or threaten others with their knowledge and experience of a taboo.


Astrologically, Vesta has been taken to represent issues like using work as a substitute for relationships, the transfer of sexual energy into art (both sometimes called sublimation), and learning how not to take things so personally. All these themes hold true, but they seem to cleverly disguise the real issue: the attribute of the feminine which, making a personal sacrifice to do so, uses her erotic fire for the healing of others, in their service. She knows she is part of something larger than herself, and she gives herself up, or gives of herself, to do its work.


Now, this mode of living can convey itself into ANY aspect of life, and it is clear that you are a person who gives deeply from yourself, or who yearns to, and this, I think, is part of your impulse to marry.


If anyone knows how to surrender to a lover, it is you. But it's not always so easy. And the big variable is finding a partner who understands and appreciates the depth to which you are capable of going. This can provoke control issues in those not so willing to dive deeply into life.


Hence, looking for friends and a love, beware of moralists of any kind; these are people who, beneath it all, are obsessed with control. Vesta takes us beyond the morality of sex and leaves us facing the reality of sex. In her love aspect, she is the love that loves through us; and the experience of becoming a vessel or conduit of love for another person. Vesta is about yielding.


Another asteroid aspect helps us understand your dilemma: Juno (planet of marriage) retrograde, conjunct Saturn retrograde, in Taurus. This says to me that you may be likely to attract controlling, conservative men who may not necessarily be so impressed with your depth, sensitivity, independence and capacity for surrender. It will not take much work for you to identify the parent who has conveyed this vibe to you, and that will help you make the correction; look for the parent with a sense of threat, and obsessed with tradition -- the same one that led you to shut down in the first place. (I'm gonna guess Mom. Dad seems pretty open minded. But there's a LOT of tension in their relationship.)

I suggest you look for partners amongst those whom we might call 'adepts' or at least those on the path -- men who are learned in the mystical arts, and (for example) those who have some experience with the Kama Sutra. Yet all of that is merely window dressing if someone does not have a genuinely loving heart they are willing to share. One measure of this is that the men around you be capable of getting along, and of not competing. That is a bit of wisdom from Tantric teaching.


If you haven't already done so, also I suggest you learn to surround yourself with women who know how to be generous with their personal gifts and pleasure rather than ones who will chastise you (note the word chaste contained within chastise). And remember: watch out for anyone at all who thinks sex is a moral issue; who is offended by your passion and emotional capacity; or by your awareness and depth; or who is uptight about their own body. You'll know who I'm talking about if you close your eyes and feel, rather than look or think. You should be able to smell these people around the block. Do yourself a favour for the next 99 lifetimes, don't tie the knot with any such person or even let them too close -- find someone who would read this article and say, "Ah. She exists."


You do!


More can be found about the four major asteroids at this link on my page: