© March 2011 by Fabienne Lopez
Gratitude and Letting Go
Recently, one of Donna Cunningham’s post on her blog Sky Writer had me thinking. Published around Thanksgiving time, Donna’s post – Being Grateful when you are not – reflected on Gratitude and the eternal debate between the need to acknowledge the blessings in our lives and the mourning for things that no longer are?
Her post strikes me as a good example of the difficulties of practicing gratitude.
Gratitude is hard to define as it depends many times on societal views or mass consciousness. If asked, most of us would have a hard time defining the concept of gratitude. Is it a “thing”, “something”, a spiritual attitude?
In this regard, astrology has a perspective that can help better understand gratitude. To me, gratitude is the expression of a Venus-Neptune connection.
Venus and Neptune: Practical Gratitude, Spiritual Love
Venus and Neptune are considered the lower and higher octaves of Love. Neptune is connected to the concept of unselfish love, all encompassing and unlimited. Venus in Pisces is said to be exalted in that sign, lending an unconditional, non-judgmental quality to love capable of accepting all that a person is.
Together, Venus and Neptune give Gratitude an outlet for the need to give form to the high spiritual ideals this daily practice requires. In this sense, Gratitude is wonder; it is appreciation; it is looking at the bright side of a setback; it is fathoming abundance; it is thanking someone in your life; it is thanking God; it is “counting blessings.”; it is not taking things for granted.
However, Gratitude is an elusive thing, as it raises many questions with no definite answer. What are you grateful for? How does this practice interweaves with your spiritual practice, if any? How do you cultivate Gratitude?
Some people are grateful for material things, like possessions, social status, and wealth. Others are grateful for other people in their lives. Some people will tell you they are grateful for waking up to yet another morning.
Nevertheless, how close are these individuals to the “All” of our existence required by Venus and Neptune?
Gratitude as a Venus-Neptune Practice
That is a question that is common for a Venus-Neptune contact.
Together Venus-Neptune desire a connection that is more illusion than reality. What follows is often times disillusionment, as the difficulties to achieve the idealistic quality required by this contact become reality.
The same thing happens with Gratitude. Often the words proffered are just convenient ones in order to satisfy a sentiment of obligation, once a year and not a daily practice.
As with the Venus-Neptune contact, we must look clearly and closely at whatever obstacles may be in the way of feeling grateful, if we want this sentiment to be grounded in our lives. Ordinarily, things like judgment, anger, depression, and weariness or fatigue can prevent one from feeling grateful. More simply, the needs of day-to-day life, which command us to attend problems and be focused only on the aspect of life that needs fixing, are sometimes the biggest hurdle to overcome.
Similarly to Venus-Neptune’s desire to attain a more idealized type of love, the practice of gratitude is a process and experience that one gets better at with attention and in-tention, so that even if one starts out in the beginning with not very much gratitude at all, the desire for it can foster the necessary motivation.
Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others. –Cicero, ‘Pro Plancio,’ 54 B.C.
What do you think? Do you agree that gratitude is a Venus-Neptune expression or would you choose another planet or combination of planets? Share your thoughts!
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