The Valentines that Never Came:
The Power of the Moon and Self-Love
By Debra K. Rozek
“I learned the truth at seventeen
That love was meant for beauty queens
And high school girls with clear skinned smiles...
...And those of us with ravaged faces
Lacking in the social graces
Desperately remained at home...
To those of us who knew the pain
Of valentines that never came...
...dreams were all they gave for free
To ugly duckling girls like me.”
Title: “At Seventeen”
Artist: Janis Ian
Traditionally, February 14 is a celebration of that perennial illusive human quest known as romantic love. Perhaps a creation of Hallmark, FTD florists, or those who sell confections, Valentine’s Day is marked by giving candy, cards, and flowers to that “special someone.” Universal symbols we associate with Valentine’s Day are hearts: love; candy: sweetness; and flowers: beauty.
Actually, the human heart is a muscle (ruled by the Sun) that pumps blood (ruled by Mars) to sustain life. The passionate emotion we call “love,” like all emotions, involves a cocktail of neurotransmitters and hormones accompanied by physical sensations. The Moon rules love and emotions, the sign of Cancer, and the natural fourth house, representing the home and early childhood.
In a book entitled Why Am I Afraid to Love, a Jesuit priest named John Powell wrote that we are a product of “those who have loved us” and “those who have refused to love us.” Our fragile egos indelibly imprint upon the subconscious mind every slight, hurt, or rejection, real or imagined, along with happier, more fulfilling moments in our relationships. The subconscious mind never forgets. To me, the subconscious mind is ruled by the Cancer’s third decanate, Pisces, ruler of the seas and the twelfth house, or that which is “hidden.”
Here I am reminded of Freud’s analogy of the iceberg, with the conscious mind, our awareness, represented by the smaller, visible part of the iceberg above the water. Correspondingly, the subconscious is symbolized by the deep, dark mass of ice below the surface.
Like the iceberg that crippled the Titanic in the frigid North Atlantic, too many of us remain damaged, broken, or emotionally disabled by haunting memories like the “valley of the shadow of divorce” (Peter McWilliams) or the agony in the garden of unrequited love.
I have an embittered, never-married neighbor who is 58. Joe was born in 1953 with a Libra Moon sandwiched between Saturn and Neptune, all opposing his Aries Sun. While all that Libra energy desperately needs to love and to be loved, he remains isolated in a self-imposed prison with his dog, his disability check, and his Budweiser. The back pain (Saturn) and the alcoholism (Neptune) began in the 1970s when his beloved returned the engagement ring.
I suspect there are few of us who cannot relate to some degree with Janis Ian’s adolescent angst or Joe’s shattered dreams. To some extent, we all have ghosts in our closets and shipwrecks in the depths of our subconscious minds from failed romantic relationships and unfulfilled desires. Beyond the loss of “love,” the sting of rejection mirrors to us an image of ourselves accompanied by a debilitating sense of inadequacy.
For some reason, the hurts and rejections in our lives tend to be magnified or given more power in our self-dialogue and self-image than our successes. We are all sensitive and vulnerable, and deeply affected by the memory engrams of our earliest experiences.
I regretfully recall my insensitive reaction to the first Valentine I received from a member of the opposite sex. We were six years old and in the first grade. Bob shyly handed me the envelope addressed to “Dedra.” My little professor, Capricorn rising, was horrified at the misspelling, and wondered if it was an insult! Now, with the eyes of age, I realize that Bob was dyslexic, and I may have inadvertently damaged his young male ego in a fledgling attempt to show affection to a girl.
The Dalai Lama said, “My religion is kindness” and “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” It was to be many years before I learned that it is more important to be kind than it is to be right. Now, I rarely correct anyone, even when I know they are wrong. The vast majority of the time, it really doesn’t matter.
Astrologer and horoscope Magazine columnist Donna Cunningham would probably call me a “lunar type in a solar world.” My Moon has the highest strength of any planet in my chart, given that she’s in her own sign of Cancer and angular in the seventh house. She opposes my Capricorn Ascendant, and with that Ascendant she forms a T-square with a tight Saturn-Neptune conjunction in Libra in my ninth house. Years ago, Noel Tyl told me that I would be “fine” if I had an Aquarian Ascendant. I responded, “My Ascendant is in Capricorn!” Today, I would probably say to him, “Noel, my Ascendant is in Capricorn, and I am fine, thank you!”
That cardinal T-square well describes my formative years, which were very structured around a close-knit ethnic religious community. My hair was permanently waved, and I wore a starched white dress as I carried a potted lily around the church, chanting in Latin, which I didn’t understand. Under the direction of Catholic nuns, the synchronized Easter procession rivaled the precision of Radio City Music Hall’s Rockettes.
We were rigidly trained to be high achievers and neurotic perfectionists ridden with guilt and fear for our mortal and venial sins. “God” was a bearded old man in the sky ready to punish us in limbo, purgatory, or hell, but He was never portrayed as a “God” of love. They never taught us to love one another, and perhaps more tragically, we were never taught to love ourselves.
It’s been half a century since the first grade, and I’ve come to believe those are the critical ingredients to happiness and personal fulfillment—unconditional self-acceptance and self-love. It logically follows that those are prerequisites to unconditional love and acceptance of others. In The Art of Loving, Erich Fromm emphasized that we have a mistaken cultural myth that we need to find the right person or object to love, when, in fact, it may be more important to develop the capacity to love.
In You Can Heal Your Life, Louise Hay writes of the importance of self-acceptance and self-love, and the tremendous damage that negative messages can inflict on the psyche of an impressionable child. In his book Homecoming, John Bradshaw echoes the same ideas, speaking of the “child within” and the notion that it is “never too late to have a happy childhood.” At the ISAR 2009 conference, British medical astrologer Jane Ridder-Patrick exclaimed, “Nurture your Moon!”
Take another look at the Moon in your chart. What does she need? I’ve learned that my Cancer Moon needs domestic stability, good nutrition, and occasional solitude. Talk to your child within, find out his/her needs, and be attentive to fulfilling them. The subconscious mind can be re-programmed with positive affirmations.
Use the power of the Moon and the subconscious mind to heal and make peace with yourself. Accept and love yourself just the way you are, flabby thighs and all, so that you can build harmonious relationships with others. I think we are all called upon to become “wounded healers,” and that peace on earth truly begins with “me.”
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Ian, Janis. (1975) “At Seventeen.” Columbia Records.
Powell, J. (1972) Why Am I Afraid to Love? Argus Communications Co.
Freud, S. (1995) Basic Writings of Sigmund Freud, New York, Modern Library.
Colgrove, M., Bloomfield, H.H., & McWilliams, P. (1991) How to Survive the Loss of a Love, Prelude Press (Bantam Books).
Dalai Lama, Dalai Lama Quotes, Retrieved January 13, 2010, from www.thinkexist.com.
Cunningham, D. (1996) The Moon in Your Life: Being a Lunar Type in a Solar World, Samuel Weiser, Inc.
Tyl, Noel (1998) Quoted from a conversation at a preconference workshop, Radisson Hotel, Lansing, MI.
Fromm, Erich (2006) The Art of Loving, New York, Readers Subscription.
Hay, L. (1999) You Can Heal Your Life, Hay House, Inc.
Bradshaw, J. (1990) Homecoming, Bantam Books.
Ridder-Patrick, J. (2009) Quoted from her workshop, “The Secret Life of Symptoms” at the ISAR 2009 Conference, The Value of Astrology to Society.
Copyright © 2011 Debra K. Rozek
This article originally appeared February 2012 in Dell Horoscope, The World's Leading Horoscope Magazine.
Copyright © 2015 by Dell Magazines, a division of Penny Publications, LLC. All rights reserved. No portion of this article may be reproduced without the prior written permission of the publisher.