When it comes to famous forbidden love affairs, Mars and Venus are right up there with Romeo and Juliet! Humans all share the desire to love and be loved, and we’ll do almost anything to make it happen. We’re fascinated with the story of Mars and Venus because we are Mars and Venus…right now! We explore love, power, sex, and passion every day. We seek that person who will claim, complete, and satisfy us. The search for the Beloved between masculine and feminine is eternal. Myths, like Mars and Venus, are metaphors or symbolic stories that communicate deeper truths of existence. Mythology never gets old because it’s about the basic nature of humanity and possibilities of human experience. Michael Meade, in his book The Genius Myth, writes: “Mythic imagination can break the spell of time and open us to a level of life that remains timeless. Myth is not about what happened in past times; myth is about what happens to people all of the time.” In this blog, I’ll tell you the story of Mars and Venus – Love Immortal.
Mars and Venus – Love, Secrets, Shame, Envy
The story of Mars and Venus is one of forbidden love. Venus was married to Vulcan, the old, unattractive, boring God of Fire. Vulcan was a blacksmith and matter-of-fact kind of guy who really didn’t do it for Venus. She fell for Mars, who was much more exciting, powerful, and handsome. Vulcan found out about their affair and made a fine iron net trap – so fine it was invisible. His net caught Mars and Venus together in bed, humiliating them as the other gods watched and laughed. Invulnerable Mars seemed foolish all tied up like a fish, but those same gods who laughed were envious. Even Mercury, who expressed the least sexual desire of the immortals, joked that he wouldn’t mind being caught in a trap for a toss with Venus.
Love Conquers All
Being loved by Venus was worth taking a risk. In this sense stories never change. The seduction of beauty, pleasure, and love draws even the most practical of us into compromising situations. We just want to keep feeling that amazing feeling. We’re drawn to Venus moments like a moth to the flame. The erotic nature of Venus and Mars is just the tip of the love iceberg. They also stand for sacred love; the union of masculine and feminine. We’re all a combination of feminine and masculine energy. Like Mars, we fight to assert ourselves with independence and willpower. And like Venus, we long to merge with and absorb life, creating harmony, beauty, and unity. The feminine receives the masculine, just as Venus received her many lovers.
The real risk in love isn’t betrayal. It’s not losing your money in a divorce or being caught cheating. Yes, those are real possibilities, but it’s deeper than that. To love requires choice and surrender. You can’t control what will happen, and if you think have it all planned out, you’re fooling yourself. When you really choose love and surrender to it, you risk change; transformation. Opening your heart without knowing what the future brings lets the present moment flood in. Once you let life in like that, you’ll never be the same. When Venus unites with Mars, she absorbs his fury and tames his temper. In Botticelli’s painting, Mars sleeps like a baby with Venus watching, while the satyrs play with his weapons and try to wake him. He remains adrift in sweet slumber, defenseless. The metaphor of their lovemaking is: Love wins.
Who’s the Real Love Hero?
Venus isn’t all light and Mars isn’t all shadow, but it seems to be easier – and sets a more dramatic story – to make things black and white. Mars in Roman mythology is combative and unpopular. He simply likes to fight and we always imagine him with his sword out, but he maintains a code of honor, confronting his opponents head-on and laying his cards on the table. Venus is sensual, soft, and gentle, except when her beauty is challenged. Her anger over another being declared the fairest is said to have caused the Trojan war. Together, Mars and Venus represent one whole person, but we almost always look at them as separate, just like we separate the parts of ourselves.
What did Venus and Mars create together? From their passionate affair, their daughter Harmonia was born. Harmonia is the Greek Goddess of Harmony. In particular, she oversees the harmony of marriage and partnership. She’s the soother of controversy in all things. Synonyms for harmony include cooperation, understanding, unity, integration, and oneness. The union of the God of War and Goddess of Love is cosmic balance. In the end, Harmony is created when the fighter (Mars) returns to love (Venus), but this doesn’t devalue the warrior or masculine. It’s important to remember that feminine and masculine don’t even exist without each other – they are in essence polarities. The story would be empty without Mars giving up his sword. The hero is love and the one who surrenders to love.
FLY! – First Love Yourself
What’s your Mars and Venus story? How are we, as a society, currently reinventing love, power, sex, the feminine, and the masculine? Do modern Mars and Venus still look like those old paintings? Myth only points to the truth – we have to find it for ourselves. We’re all characters in a grand life story and as the drama unfolds, the costumes, settings, and roles shift with the times. Cupid’s arrows can inflict pain or pleasure, as we all know too well. The rules of the game change, but the search for love remains. Embracing and integrating your own masculine energy (Mars) and feminine energy (Venus) is a prerequisite to true love. Before you can have real depth and intimacy with another, you have to be complete in yourself. No person can fill your sense of lack or emptiness. There’s no “better half” out there because halves imply a lack of wholeness. There’s nothing missing from you or anyone else. To offer yourself as and to be a whole person is the greatest gift of love, and you deserve nothing less in return.
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