I have a history of painful separations with this particular Venus retrograde. Every eight years she retrogrades in Aries through my 8th house of births and deaths. First there was the loss of a husband, then friends, my community–and now, my partner had left to take a job in California. His move is a good one and we keep in touch almost daily through Skype. Still his absence brings a lot of pain, stirring up what’s unresolved in our relationship, and raising old grief from previous separations.
So at the last full moon, with a skittery heart, I went to the baths with my friend Holly. It was ladies night, when the moon, mineral water, naked breasts, gossip and laughter always heals my soul. I was crying and telling Holly how my heart was aching, when a young mother, her beautiful body, full as a ripe pear, rose up and addressed the group. “I believe in the power of women,” she said. “And I would like you to help me by joining in a prayer, a blessing, that would encourage the father of my young daughter to step up and take an interest in her.” Her 10-month-old daughter, wide-eyed, was held in another woman’s arms. Someone recited a prayer. We all raised our hands. Holly whispered, “Dana, this is a prayer for you too.” Then somebody gasped and pointed. Twenty turkey vultures were circling above, a cloud continually dissolving and reforming itself as it moved across the sky. “They eat dead things,” another said. I thought of all my dead griefs and hoped the vultures would take them.
Driving home, the full moon was behind me and Venus was glowing in the west. That night I slept deeply. When I awoke, I could no longer find my pain. Instead I found myself in joyful tears at nearly everything I saw.