Libra, Venus &
Objectifying Our Spiritual Practice
by Jef Bartow
Having completed the first half of the lifecycle regarding any new spiritual practice, we come to the opposition point (180°) where we meet some type of confrontation. This confrontation is to help us take our spiritual practice to a new level. Here we have the opportunity to gain substantial growth in consciousness from our spiritual practice. If we do not take this opportunity, then we experience some kind of regression. In this seventh phase (7th house), we are challenged to somehow more objectify the intent or purpose of our spiritual practice. Since the seventh house represents how we meet society, working cooperatively with others and hidden qualities within us that need conscious integration, the confrontation here is somehow related to these things. If we have made improvement through self adjustments in the sixth phase as described in our last article, this phase is also a first flowering or conscious success regarding our new spiritual practice begun in Aries. For myself, at one point I decided to use physical exercising as a spiritual practice. In the beginning, it was a combination of speed walking and bicycling. My original goal was to average at least three times per week for at least 40 minutes per session. Over the next year or so I worked on fulfilling my goal. In making this spiritual practice a habit, I noticed that while exercising my mind would wander to the issues of the day, unresolved problems in my relationships and work life. Making improvements through self adjustment (6th phase) came in my instituting a mantra while I was exercising. This meditative drawing of energy resolved my wandering mind.
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Taking my exercising spiritual practice to a new level through confrontation came about a year later. No matter what I seemed to do, I could just barely average three times per week. I realized that I would have to do something more outside of myself in order to make my spiritual practice a real success. Instead of just competing in periodic races, I decided it was time to participate in a triathlon. This challenging commitment required me to take my exercising to a whole new level. First, I had to add swimming to my spiritual practice. Second, if I was to complete in a triathlon (typically 1 ½ hours at minimum), I would need to be exercising at least four of five times per week.
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My real first flowering of success in this spiritual practice came through two changes. First, I was easily able to exercise 4 to 5 times per week in preparing for the triathlon. And, of course, completing a triathlon was a significant success. Additionally, having internalized my mantra over a couple of years, I experienced a drastic inflow of energy through my entire personality and physical body while participating in my first triathlon. As mentioned previously, my ascendant is Scorpio with Taurus on my seventh house cusp. Therefore, my natural approach to this seventh phase would be by being productive, resourceful, practical, and realistically determine in how I take my spiritual practice into the outer world.Venus (ruler of Taurus) in Gemini in the seventh house in my chart indicates that success in objectifying my spiritual practice will be aided by being emotionally passionate (quality of Venus) in a variety of experiences in order to accumulate understanding (needs of Gemini). Completing an Ironman qualifier triathlon (almost 3 hours) was certainly helped by my passionate approach to the swimming, bicycling and running necessary to prepare for this key event. As we learned through previous articles, we can also look to where the natural ruler of the seventh phase (seventh house) and its ruler reside to gain further help and understanding in taking our spiritual practice to a new level. For myself, this is Libra on my 12th house cusp ruled by Venus in Gemini in my seventh house. Having discussed Venus, it is how Libra on my 12th house cusp can be of help that is left to identify. Regular exercise is good for everyone. But making it a spiritual practice means fulfilling some purpose or intent beyond exercise. For my spiritual practice, it was learning to draw spiritual energies through my bodies while exercising. Beyond traditional descriptions of 12 house activities in life, the 12 house also represents our meditation, our behind-the-scenes activity, and energies which sustain us. Libra on this cusp indicates that I need to retain my sense of beingness through balance, harmony and thoughtfulness in my meditations and behind-the-scenes activities.
Regarding my exercising spiritual practice, it was exactly this that helped me take it to a whole new level. During my exercising and participation in triathlons, I was definitely fulfilling a meditative behind-the-scenes focus on drawing spiritual energies. This helped me to not get caught up in the typical outer or materialistic focus of exercising as a way to improve my appearance and body form.
The critical need in this seventh phase in the lifecycle of our spiritual practices is to make a leap in conscious growth by making our spiritual practice a more objective part of our life. In our past example of reading spiritually oriented books as a spiritual practice, this leap to a whole new level could be as simple as committing to write an article for publication based on the realizations and insights learned through reading. Regarding journaling, many successful books have been written expressing the spiritualizing journey that takes place in making self reflection an integral part of day-to-day life. If you make attending seminars and workshops a spiritual practice, taking this to a whole new level is not just attending the seminars. It becomes how you objectify in the outer world what you gain through your spiritual practice. For example, this could be done through committing to give a lecture locally developed through internalizing a seminar or workshop you attended. Every spiritual practice has a potential leap in conscious growth beyond the practice itself. This seventh phase in the spiritual cycle is about realizing that potential.