How to Use the Cosmos for Deeper Love and Connection
Everyone I talk to longs for deeper love and connection. We can fulfill this universal desire and enhance our relational lives by looking to the symbols and archetypes of astrology.
An archetype is a universally repeating image or experience with meaning across all cultures. When we say "Mother," for instance, we all have a sense of what that stands for. Other archetypes include the Father, the Warrior, the Hero, the Wizard, and the Trickster. Across cultures, you will see variations on these archetypal themes, but the core energy of the archetype is easily identified through those differences.
Astrology has its own archetypes, associating the seven planets with Greek and Roman mythology. Each planet's symbolism is a doorway to understanding ourselves and others. We can use this ancient wisdom to understand what is essential in fruitful relationships and how to grow and learn in the key areas they represent.
Here are the seven key archetypes:
Apollo is the god associated with light and the Sun (in addition to music, poetry, art, prophecy, truth, archery, plague, and healing). The Sun represents our basic identity. It reflects who we think we are and what we identify with. The statement that accompanies the archetype of the Sun is "I am."
What the Sun archetype means for relationship: When we shine our Sun fully, we feel our most alive and engaged with life. To have a solid relationship in which both people are sovereign in their individuality and able to support one another's growth, one must have a true and anchored sense of identity. In a relationship, each person must be a solid "I" to build a healthy "we."
The Moon represents our non-negotiable needs—how we nurture ourselves and how we need to be nurtured.
What the Moon archetype means for relationship: To have true intimacy, we need to be able to identify and communicate our basic needs. Many people believe that someone who truly loves them can mindread what their deepest needs are. However, a fulfilling emotional life depends on our ability to identify our innermost needs and be courageous enough to share them honestly. The Moon also reflects our capacities to manage our most tender and intense feelings with maturity instead of reactivity.
Mercury represents our capacity to listen well and to communicate effectively.
What the Moon archetype means for relationship: To have meaningful and substantive conversations—the bedrock of healthy relating—requires excellent speaking and listening skills. Many people are frustrated with not feeling seen, heard, and acknowledged. Most of the issues that I hear about from people in friendships or romantic relationships have to do with being misunderstood. The archetype of Mercury calls us to attend to stellar communication and radical listening, neither of which is adequately valued or taught in our educational system.
Mercury is also known as the Trickster. This aspect of Mercury reminds us that without a robust sense of humor and a lack of ego defensiveness, we do not enjoy the maximum benefits of wit and joy. The more we can laugh at ourselves and our flaws, the happier we will be!
Venus represents our values and our ability to attract what we want—the power of attraction.
What the Venus archetype means for relationship: We need to fully investigate and adhere to a set of core values to know how to craft those values into existence. In a close and committed connection, we naturally share strong common morals and convictions. When aligned in our intractable values, we have foundational support for the love we want to cultivate. If we do not know what we want—and, more importantly, why we want it—satisfaction will feel elusive. The archetype of Venus reminds us to attend to these questions.
Love and attraction are intricately wedded to beauty. Venus is the purveyor of aesthetics and reminds us that beauty is an essential part of being inspired. As we own our particular aesthetics and grow in confidence in our unique style and appearance, our charisma builds.
Mars reflects the energy of action. It emphasizes going for what we want instead of just talking about it. Mars symbolizes the lust for life, the competitive spirit, and the fight for what matters to us.
What the Mars archetype means for relationship: Ideally, Mars supports us to go after what we desire most with equanimity, excellence, and poise. Mars also reminds us that we need to learn how to fight well. We learn not to become oppressors or bullies but to negotiate and address conflict with a win-win mindset. Mars also reflects our capacities to be positively sexual, meeting our desires and preferences in a healthy and proud way. When we repress our needs for action, boundaries, or sexuality, we create problems instead of solutions. Exercising healthy assertiveness in love is key to a satisfying union.
Jupiter represents seeking joy, knowledge, and wisdom. It magnifies the necessity for a purpose-driven life and the development of our learning and gifts. To the degree we embody wisdom, we feel more connected to divine energy and grace.
Jupiter is often associated with abundance and luck; a deeper look at this archetype suggests that we can only access abundance if we live with humility and integrity. Fortunes and fame may come and go, but optimism is a state of cherishing what we have and looking for every opportunity to increase our gratitude.
What the Jupiter archetype means for relationship: Jupiter reminds us that the journey, not the destination, brings us our deepest joy and meaning. If you do not have a consistent practice of gratitude and appreciation in relationship, your luck will fade; but if every day you magnify and prioritize the great fortune that led you to one another, you will fully experience the largesse of Jupiter.
Saturn is our karma—the consequences we face and our ability to be accountable for the lives we create. With Saturn, we learn about the responsibility of being a mature adult.
What the Saturn archetype means for relationship: Character is not defined by what we've been given but is shown through the adversities we face and how we handle them. We will fail at any long-term relationship if we cannot address our mistakes and flaws with humility and accountability.
Saturn is the structure or glue of any lasting bond. As Saturn teaches us that discipline and consistent effort bear long-term positive results, it reminds us that we will all make mistakes and fail along the road of relationships. Gleaning Saturn's relational wisdom is about remembering that how we make mistakes matters less than how we heal ruptures and repair the harm we have caused.
Blaming is the most undermining and immature reaction to stress or pain—and it currently seems to be trending. Defensiveness, contempt, and stonewalling (the act of cold withdrawal or ghosting) will kill any chance of growing intimacy. When, instead, we muster the courage to see conflicts through and own our part in whatever ruptures have arisen, we reap the rewards of the work we have put in.
One of the symbols of Saturn is the cornucopia, which assures us that when we have resolutely taken the highest road, we can partake of the horn of plenty. Nothing is more inherently rewarding than healing a rupture and feeling a renewed closeness, where trust is stronger than ever.
Using the Cosmos to Create Flourishing Relationships
Love requires a daily practice of honoring these archetypes. We can do this by paying attention—the biggest gift we have to give—and by putting in the time to keep elevating these ideals.
Tend to the seven key areas represented by the planets by asking yourself the following questions:
• How can I continue to develop my fullest sense of self? (The Sun)
• How may my love meet my own needs and yours? (The Moon)
• How can my thoughts and words be messages of positive inspiration and understanding? (Mercury)
• How can I stay true to my values and consistently enhance my powers of attraction? (Venus)
• How can I assert myself in a mature and powerful way? (Mars)
• How can I continue to learn and grow with humility and grace? (Jupiter)
• How can I take full responsibility for my actions and demonstrate true emotional maturity? (Saturn)
The astrological pantheon has offered us thousands of years of guidance and wisdom. It is our human free will to follow this guidance or to forget it. When we choose to prioritize these divine energies, we reap the benefits.
So today, let the cosmos be with you!Jennifer Freed, PhD is the bestselling author of A Map to Your Soul and Use Your Planets Wisely. Make sure to sign up for her free event The Psychological Astrology of Connection.