by Boots Hart, CAP

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Our Venus-Alhena Thing

La Naissance de Venus (The Birth of Venus)
 by Amaury Duval (1862)

There are certainly days when I wish I had that ‘common’ concept of Venus as the beauty who simply walks out and is adored for who she is.

Unfortunately, I don’t. For one, most of my growing up was done in Hollywood, where the expression ‘beauty is only skin deep’ proves out in any number of very ugly ways. I’ve worked on films. It was a joke on some crews that ‘the prettier the stars are, the uglier their behavior.’
I’m not saying this is everyone. I grew up knowing Raquel Welch – and not only was she then one of the most beautiful women in the world, but I’ve seen recent photos. She’s still pretty darn gorgeous.

More important to the young and insecure pre-teen I was when we were knowing each other back then, she’s really a nice person. She acknowledged my existence. She sympathized with all the budding teen angst I was going through. She told me how she had gone through some of those very same ‘growing pains’ I was going through at the time.

Which I still go through from time to time.

Let’s face it…though we ultimately get oriented to adult life, there is some part of us which remains child-like and yes, sometimes child-ish.

Some of us more than others (yes, that is me raising my hand!).

But Raquel’s kindness…? To me, that remains the finest essence of her personal beauty. Yes, it is a plus that she’s simply wonderful to look at. But were she not a nice person, all that glorious womanhood would – at least to me – mean pretty much nothing. It might even make her seem shallow, cheap...more insecure about herself.

And she's none of that. Not a drop of that.

I give thanks that Raquel was one of the truly beautiful people in my early life. And I remain someone who would much rather that you be kind than be photogenic. I care much more about whether you know how to own your humanity than what you look like.

Oh – and while we’re at it, I don’t care what kind of car you drive, I don’t care about how ‘cool’ your home address is and I could care less whether you wear designer clothes.

In fact with me, you may get some points off for designer clothes which don’t flatter you. There are a lot of people in this world who, when given a choice of the $20 sundress which looks cute and the $250 sundress which looks odd but has that designer label will buy the designer label.

Honestly? I pity them. Those who think they’ll be ‘acceptable’ if they lose five pounds or have their eyes done, I wonder when it was they lost sight of the fact that the ugly book with the pretty cover is still an ugly book.

Satisfaction is internal. Security is how we feel about ourselves. No amount of tweaking and covering and posturing counts.

I guess I got lucky to meet some of the Hollywood ‘style icons’ early on. From stars to designers, the one thing which sank in was that I had to accept myself. Clothing which doesn’t look good on me isn’t chic at any price.

We’ve all know that woman or man who may not be a ‘photograph’ but whose smile lights up the room. We’ve probably also all met that person who has all the opportunities, all the benefits, all the privileges and who does nothing useful with them beyond amusing themselves and their friends.

We love the former. They warm our hearts and inspire our spirits.

The latter? We recognize them as unhappy with their Self. We wonder why they don’t ‘get it’ at the same time that we know that – at some level - they’re scared of falling short of minimal approval, which is ironic. Even tragic. The very fear which alienates them from who they really could be is what keeps them from being the lovable person who wouldn’t be so scared.

Knowing ourselves, accepting who we are, making the most of who we are and recognizing the value in who we are – that’s the bedrock upon which our success as people is ultimately grown.

And that’s Venus, the root of our true human beauty.
I have my own Venus problems. Everybody does. But when times are toughest and I feel the least able to achieve that quality which will elicit the response I really crave in this world, I remember Raquel.

Raquel Welch
(photo credit Justin Hoch for Hudson Union Society,
 Apr 2010 - released through Flickr)

I remember that as beautiful as she is as a woman how that beauty is both validated and revealed by who she is as a person. The Raquel I met and knew was very human. I like the human vulnerability part.

More than that, I respect it. And this one idea, as much as any metaphysical teaching I’ve ever read, keeps me going back to who I am and who I can be. And here in the days before Venus-the-planet goes retrograde in Gemini, there’s one particular aspect of that Gemini idea of ‘the inside versus outside’ which seems particularly apt.

That factor is noted by Alhena, the star which is the ‘foot’ of Pollux, one of the two Gemini twins.

 Constellation Gemini

Alhena is known as the star of ‘purpose.’ Our purpose. Located in the constellation of Gemini, it's now - in zodiacal terms - in Cancer. So Alhena says a lot about our struggles as a human, and to be human.

That it’s the ‘foot’ of a human zodiac figure tells us how important it is to stay ‘grounded’ in this life. It also says that our purpose (aka Purpose) is in our life (read: in our head) supposed to be part of what keeps us humble. Or at least that we’re supposed to learn some humility from our experiences.

I know there are those who would argue that Alhena being the foot of Pollux (a rather intellectual fellow) says that those who are intellectual will ‘walk on’ others. And that hey, if other people haven’t succeeded in life, that’s their problem. And that hey – who has time to care about others when we’re so busy taking care of ourselves?

If the Gemini twins stand for anything, they stand for the concept of 'brotherhood.’ It has to start with us. Through our caring about others, through our kindness, we may now physically be their ‘keeper’ but we add something to their lives which helps them grow…and in the process we become more beautiful. More Venusian.

I’m in a couple of personal pickles. They concern people I care about…which is obvious, as we seldom get into arguments or difficulties with people we don’t care about. After all, the opposite of love is not anger or hate – it’s not caring. Since I care enough to disagree so fervently (as do my fellow pickled people) I obviously care.

There are two people I’m thinking of here – and no, they’re not connected to each other. They’ve never met, and may well never meet. They just happen to both be part of my life.

That both of these people have clearly indicated to me that they want to pull back from our discussions isn’t my cup of tea, but then, I don’t rule this world.

Obviously I don’t rule even my part of this world – that being something we all deal with!

Because I’m am an astrologer, I’m aware of this Venus going retrograde thing. And if this is when they need to think over what their values, choices and priorities are, Venus retrograde is a proper time to do it.

Note: that doesn’t mean I enjoy it. But why I don't enjoy it? That's the common Venus retrograde thing (- see the last post.) In short, I have to deal with it (whether i like it or not) or suffer the consequences of not having dealt with it.

(And no, I’m not sure whether to growl or sigh here.)

I’m betting a lot of conversations are going on hold. A lot of people are thinking this or that is a lost cause.
And some of it is. No question. Every time a solar eclipse comes around people die, facets of life fade-to-black (as they say in movies) and we are forced to look at life is a more…well, naked sort of way.

(That’s our being naked in our own estimation, mind you.)

When all is said and done here, when all the choices and options and values are gone through, I’m still thinking that it’s our Purpose which counts.

It’s the Alhena of it all. There are absolutely those in my life who think of Raquel Welch as one of those ‘beautiful people.’ They want to know what it was like to know her. There are people I know who clearly only see Raquel as a sex symbol. They’d love to sit down with her to – I suspect – see if they could charm her.

(Okay, seduce her. Let’s be real here.)

Every time I hear someone reacting to a ‘name’ I’ve known on the personal level as an icon, as an image, as some sort of Venusian symbol whether that means they’re beautiful or they’re rich or they’re talented…I get a little annoyed and a little upset.

Yes, I think Raquel is beautiful. But to me, she’s beautiful as a person. They don’t see that, they don’t know her. Okay!

Is that why I get upset?

Not actually. The 'upset' part comes from the fact that what I really want to do with my life would cause me to become well known. And I like being known simply as a person. I like that people don't just allow to have flaws, but rather expect it.

If you’re ‘one of the millions’ you’re probably flawed. If you're an icon, people will try to skewer you for your flaws.

We've all seen it. Who would volunteer for that? And why is it that we're so startled that stars and icons have flaws?

Obviously they will. They're human too. But that we don't want them to? Or that there are those who take such vindictive, delicious delight in seeing the famous fall?

That's all about us. More specifically, that's about our lack of satisfaction with our Self. People who buy into that sort of gloating snarkiness probably have a ways to go with their Alhena.

After all, we're all flawed, right?

Personally, I’ve come to think my fear of being well known is all about that 'mask.' So many in the limelight or of renown are isolated by the very thing they excel at. It becomes all people see. They want you to do 'that' and be the person they imagine you to be.

I know what my Purpose is. It isn't about being famous (as some people think) and though I'd like to earn a decent living, it isn't about wealth.

It's about doing what I need to do. It's about my Purpose.

Straightening that out in my own mind, heart and soul is my personal Venus retrograde project. With that done, maybe I too can put my best and most ‘purposeful’ Alhena foot forward.

 Just taking a step forward, never mind putting our
 best foot forward is harder sometimes than at others.
 (photo credit Lorenz Kerscher November 2004)

I'm hoping so. I'm intent on making it so, though I am human, and we don't always get where we want to go as fast as we want to get there.

In the meantime, my wish for you and everyone else is that we all live to be our more purposeful selves. Maybe by choosing to reveal our inner beauty – vulnerabilities and all - we will find out how lovable we are, and beautiful we can be in our own eyes and in this life, just for being human.

And Raquel…? If someone out there calls your attention to this blog, I hope you’ll recognize how much your little talk with me in the kitchen during my dad's filming of Fantastic Voyage meant then - and how much beauty you’ve not only added to my life, but allowed me to learn to appreciate as a reality of Self. I didn't grow up to be a movie star like you, but I did grow up to realize that I too have a Purpose which is measured not just in looks, but in the value of who I am and what I do.

That you proved to me with the astonishing and lasting beauty of your kindness. I may not be able to follow in the beauty of your physical being, but in your helping me learn the value of a loving heart you helped build all that I can give to others.

Thank you, Raquel. Just...thank you.


  1. Really interesting comments on human fallibility and flaws, and on the perception of celebrities. I've noticed both fans and biographers have difficulty dealing with their famous subjects' humanity. Admittedly, so do critics. I'm mostly a film critic and it's difficult to find the right balance sometimes.

    Also, it's hard for people to reveal themselves or be vulnerable, especially after being rejected for revealing yourself in the past. The most unimportant things can end up being "deal breakers" for some people.

    Glad to see you back from your hiatus!

  2. Thanks for that 'welcome back'!

    About celebs, I've noticed the same thing that you have - and for the life of me, I don't understand it. Talent is talent - it's a wonderful thing to behold. But after thirty years in business (twenty-plus in the film biz) I've come to think that the more potent the talent, the more human(e) the person. It's like they don't have to try. Their grace is so strong, their talent is simply who they are - there's no posturing and the poses are part of the job.

    I do understand one thing however - that when a car company wants to craft an image, it goes to a PR company...a creative company. When movie studios and record labels want to craft an image, they just call on their own.

    What I'm saying here is that the 'magical aura' cast on movies and movie makers strikes greatly as being the product of leaving the fox in charge of the hen house.

    It takes a lot of survive breaking into any part of the entertainment industry. That unimportant things - as you say - end up setting off a firestorm is, I think, partly an accumulation of the difficult life being a 'pure artist' AND 'pure business person' requires. It can be exhausting. Some entertainment people just 'go home from the office' but some are working on 'getting famous' all the time.

    I think (and I think astrology backs me up here) there's a difference between artists and celebrities. For the first, fame is a byproduct. For the latter, fame is the goal.

    If you understand the difference I'm referring to, have you had an easier or harder time judging the work of an artist as opposed to that of a 'star'? Or is it strictly by the person - or about anyone in that business?