“Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, but loving someone deeply gives you courage”.
~ Lao Tzu
Jungian author, Robert Johnson, is famously quoted for having said that “Sanskrit has ninety-six words for love; ancient Persian has eighty, Greek three, and English has just one word”. Lack of complexity in the English language limits our ability to understand the multifaceted nature of love and as a result sustain lasting relationships.
Just think what we could do with 95 more words for love?
One of my favorite Sanskrit words for Love is Sneha, which also means oily, liquid, soft and smooth. The Vedic cultural use of this word to describe Love is well illustrated in Ayurveda Snehana therapy, which uses medicated oils, both internally and externally, to remove excess Vata Dosha (dryness, roughness, nervousness) in the mind and body.
We could all use some Snehana therapy to make us more fluid in our “love language”, which was shaped in early childhood and continues to reflect our deeply held core believes about what love looks like. The importance of thoughtful gifts, or words of affirmation, might be what you took in as an expression of love, but what happens if your partner considers taking your car for servicing, or keeping the kitchen counter clean the supreme act of love?
From the Astrological perspective, the development of our personal core values takes place in houses 1-6. Astrologers turn to the Seventh House and Libra to decode our intimate relationships. Here the desire to go beyond self-development awakens as we seek out someone to partner with.
In the 8th house that follows, the painful process of losing our identity to merge with our partner (finances, values, core beliefs) reaches a crisis point. In the transpersonal houses, Ninth through Twelve that follow, the limits of the personal identity must slowly be discarded into the whole, if we are going to progress on our hero’s journey. In that sense, our seventh house and intimate relationships are the training ground for the higher sacrifices that will be required by the hero in the remainder of our journey.
All the planets speak their unique love language and can help us advance our understanding of the multifaceted depth of feeling we call love. Planets in the seventh house and those of the planetary period (dasha/bhukti) you are running will have much sway on the type of person you are drawn to, as well as how you “speak love”.
So, let’s look at what each planet looks like when in love. While our love language, or that of our partner, will be a combination of many planetary influences, you should be able to recognize one or two planets that “speak to you”, more than others.
Attractive and Tempting Venus in Love – Venus is the Goddess of love. It is her longing to experience delight and joy, that creates the desire to “fall in love” in all of us. So, the early part of most relationships is dominated by Venus, regardless of our “love language”. Venus lovers are sensuous and romantic, ready to soak in the pleasures of all five senses. She loves to give and receive thoughtful gifts, exchange loving words and revel in touch and foreplay. The Venus lover knows the value of the joy her partner brings her and is prepared to pay the price. Fair and balanced is a healthy Venus in love. But don’t be surprised if she walks out, as soon as the scales are tipped, and she has to give a little more than she takes.
Affectionate and Sensitive Moon in Love – The moon seeks much deeper connection and love than Venus. She wants the familiar flow and comfort of the love of a mother’s gentle arms and the unconditional security and safety that comes with it. The moon can be a very endearing lover, because of the strong emotional bond he creates with the partner. The moon’s heart can overflow, and he will nurture you and hold you close. He is always eager to have the opportunity to give more than he takes. But he is super sensitive, and the slightest transgression leaves him an emotional wreck. (It comes as a surprise to most people that the moon is the most likely planet astrologers turn to when looking for an affair).
Dynamic and Impulsive Mars in Love – Mars is our drive energy, determination and self-assertion. In love, Mars is exciting and daring. He is the raw sexual energy that meets the lover with great passion and fearlessness. He will seek an intense and risky relationship and fight for his beloved. He will not be swayed by what others say, his strong resolve will make you swoon. But be careful just don’t challenge him at every turn, and don’t expect him to stay up late and negotiate the terms of the relationship. Another downside, Mars thrives on danger and adventure, so he may also lose interest when the intensity fades. But unlike the Moon he will be honest about it.
Dignified and Authoritative Sun in Love – The Sun lover brings generosity, stability, security and guardianship in love. He can sacrifice his personal desires and offer much warmth and protection. He is kind, consistent and always reliable. In return he asks just one thing, that you let him lead and let him be in command.
Expressive and Indecisive Mercury in Love –Mercury uses his intellect to navigate love and can communicate his feelings into words better than any of the other planets. He is the only planet who will go with you to couples counseling and actually open up, as he is keen to improve his relationship skills. Where other planets fumble, Mercury’s eloquent words and ability to express love (he may even write you a beautiful poem), will make him hugely attractive. However, his greatest strength is his intelligence and capacity to see all possibilities at once and to prioritize and assess them accurately. This makes it hard for him to make a commitment. He won’t tell you until the last minute ,but he has always had the option of one foot out of the door (ie. he knows too many things might go wrong).
Benevolent and Idealistic Jupiter in Love – Jupiter is philosophical, religious, and spiritual. He is full of optimism and full of faith and he seeks spiritual connection and deep meaning in the relationship. He will never cheat on you and holds the relationship to high moral standards. He is also learned, wise and charitable. The Jupiter lover will gladly attend spiritual retreats and meditate on the heart chakra with you. But at times you may find him a little too idealistic and maybe even naive. Also, be ready for every experience to become a teaching moment and a philosophical lecture, and of course you better share his beliefs with the same fervor that he does.
Disciplined and Unglamorous Saturn in Love – Saturn may not be the most charming, sensuous or attractive of lovers, but he is dutiful, and he takes his obligations very seriously. He is patient and persevering and will carry inordinate burdens to sustain the relationship. His tenacity to endure difficulties without complaining is commendable but his pragmatism and common-sense nature can feel dreary to the more vibrant and emotional Venus and Moon type of lovers.
All IN and All OUT Rahu in Love – Rahu is the raw desire which has lain unfulfilled for many lifetimes. So, Rahu’s love language is always a little extreme. The Rahu lover is intense and consuming. She will give all her time, all her attention and even all her resources. Rahu will use all the available means, to court the partner and will not take no for an answer. She will say she is “all in” from day one. But deep down she will swing between extremes of hot and cold, total commitment and estrangement at the same time, that will leave you a little confused. Also, beware, Rahu does not handle breakups easily, even if she is the one who broke up with you, she will fixate over the relationship long after it is over.
Disoriented and Disengaged Ketu in Love – Ketu has none of Rahu’s compulsions or raw desires. He usually lacks energy and focus in the slippery realm of human relationships. He does not really care enough to keep the fires of affection burning. He is also very critical and negative; his standards are not of this world. But Ketu is excellent for meditation and withdrawal from the world of senses. A higher Ketu is one who has worked through his personal needs and wants. If you are lucky enough to find yourself in a relationship with him, he will probably give the most fulfilling and spiritual of relationships, as there is no personal ego, or desires, getting in the way.
Adding new words to your vocabulary on love is not for the faint of heart, it is perhaps the most courageous act of all.