February 1 - February 25, 2021
In the tale of the Swan Maiden, a motif found throughout folklore, a man observes a flock of swans alight on a pond to bathe. Unaware that they are being watched, the swans begin to remove their feathered robes, revealing their womanly human forms underneath. The man, in a fit of desire for one of the maidens, steals and hides her cloak, so that she cannot fly away, and must marry him. For many years she remains with the man, and though he loves her, she often appears forlorn, until one day her children happen upon her hidden cloak, and bring it to her out of curiosity. Reunited with her wings, and remembering her avian nature, she suddenly flies off, to her home in the land beyond the North Wind, never to be seen again.
There is something of the swan maiden in Venus, our goddess of love and relationship, moving through the distant, disembodied air of Aquarius. Her stay this year will not be long. Under Saturn’s rulership, she will do her duties to the sign as best she can, and under Uranus’s, then she will be gone. Her head and heart are not bound to the earth, and to try to change her or to domesticate her would be an unwise move, as the story shows. Any attempt to define, confine, or contain her will succeed only on borrowed time—eventually she will tire of denying her true nature. Paradoxically, however, if she is allowed her freedom, or if she finds her mate in a fellow exile, then partnership can work quite well, and need not follow convention. Swans, after all, are known for forming pair bonds, and are socially (though not sexually) monogamous creatures.
Poet Emily Dickinson wrote, “The heart wants what it wants, or else it does not care.” She was right, and I believe our Swan Maiden would agree. The Aquarian parts of our charts are home to much cosmic activity this month, and Venus’s contribution is to guide us toward our tribe: that is, the relationships that we choose, based on similar ideals and visions of the future; the spaces where we share the same differences, and are free to be ourselves. Venus in Aquarius would not have us suffer where we do not belong; rather, she would liberate us to follow our hearts.