Volume Two,  fifty and single

Stepping stones to love

What Venus and Chiron Retrogrades have helped me understand about how to love and how to heal.

When I was brand new to the world of divorce, I remember having coffee with a few “more seasoned” divorced friends who told me that as I moved through my healing process there would be several phases. The questioning phrase filled with self-doubt. The angry phrase. And the one that I remembered the most “the slut phase“.

Now I know what you may be thinking: what does a blog about spritituality have to do with sex? Well, let me tell you, this post has less to do with sex and more to do with freeing myself from a story that no longer serves me nor the greater collective of women. During this powerful Venus Retrograde in Leo and Chiron Retrograde in Aries, it’s the perfect time to address the loaded negative connotation of this word and how it pertains specifically to women who are expressing their sensual power and passion and learning how to love themselves and others through relationships. Today I’m going to shine a light upon the stories of my past, paying tribute to each and every stepping stone along my path that has taught me something about how to love and how to heal.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Shining Light Upon Truth

Relationships, they say, are mirrors to the soul. And yes, it is true that I may have required more mirrors than most (what can I say? I’m a stubborn bull and can be a slow learner sometimes). In the end, as you read through my stories, I encourage you to look at each and every one of your own stepping stones to love. Where can you give thanks? What have you learned? Where do you have more room to grow?

As Venus, the planet of beauty, creativity and love descends into the “underworld” she sheds skins in order to free herself from the stories and beliefs that keep her small and limited. When she emerges from the darkness after her 40 day retrograde, she will rise on the eastern horizon as a true warrior of love. Strong. Protected. Powerful. Passionate. Whole. And Chiron, the wounded healer, will simultanously re-write stories of the self; letting go of what others think in order to create a courageously authentic version of self. Chriron says that being a SLUT is Shining Light Upon Truth.

I want to carry no shame forward to the otherside of these transformational retrogrades, and that is my wish for you too. So I’m bringing my love stories to light, all of them. There will be no mention of names, but you know who you are. And I thank you. Here’s to the “S.L.U.T. phase”

The above song is to set the tone for the letter that follows: simply replace the word “girls” with “guys” and swoon over Julio Iglesias with me!

To all the guys I’ve loved before,

My thank you letter begins with love and gratitude towards a quiet gentle man who instilled in me a passion for musical theater, gold stars and astrology. Your reserved and constant support of me throughout my life is something that has shaped me into the woman I am today; I am learning to look within for validation. Thank you for always loving me and helping me take my financial power back.

To the San Diego surfer kid who lived across the street from my childhood friend, thank you for teaching me to surf and igniting a spark in me for the opposite sex. You were my first real life crush and I will always remember those summers in San Diego during our akward early teen years.

To the foxy boy in high school who I had a four-year crush on, thank you for seeing me at last. You are the first lesson in the painful experience of unrequited love, a valuable lesson that we all learn at one time or another. Thank you for your sweet smile and for accepting my invitation to the Sadie Hawkins dance our sophomore year.

To the cute Austrian with dimples who shared a first kiss with me in the Summer of ’88, thank you for sharing that awkward moment with me. I was 15 years old when this right of passage finally occured, and I love that it was with you, and I am so glad that we have reconnected across the miles after all these years.

To the passionate musician who had the voice of an angel and was my first love and also my first heartbreak, I hope that you are happy and well. I often wonder what would have happened if we met at age 32 instead of age 16. I will always remember you with a special fondness and sincerely hope that our paths may cross again someday, if for nothing else to know that you are well. Thank you for loving a very self-centered 16 year old girl (almost as much as you loved your music).

To the surfer/ diver with abs of steel and a kind heart who was my faithfully devoted boyfriend for two years, thank you for setting me free. I didn’t know how to accept the love of another who was so kind and generous. I needed to spread my wings and you let me go to learn. I’m sorry. Thank you for being you.

To my college roomate’s brother (yes, I said it! And it’s okay, she knew and was cool with it). Thank you for reminding me to have fun admist all the hard work of college. Bednobs and Broomsticks.

To the long-haired hippy dude who I hung out with one summer before I moved to France, thank you for giving me the Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy. As you told me it would back then, it changed my life. Thank you for the letters you sent me with pictures of mermaids and the moon.

A mon cher copain français “Monsieur Chatouille”, merci pour une année spectaculaire à Lyon. Je ne te méritais pas. Tu n’étais que gentil, et moi, je ne sais pas…je suis vraiment desolée comment tout s’est terminé. Si je pouvais refaire la fin, je le ferais. Merci de m’avoir aimé quand même.

To the man who would become the father of my children and my best friend and partner in life for twenty years, I lost myself in our marriage. I wish I had known how miserable you were. I needed to be free and now I am and I have you to thank for that. I have no regrets. Our three children are amazing, kind, unique souls. I hope that we can do what’s best for them moving forward. I’m sad for all of us and yet grateful too. I forgive you. And I finally forgive myself. Thank you for the good years. Let’s hope there can be more to come with circumstances as they are.

To my post-divorce “rebound” Jack T. Colton. Thank you for being there when I really needed a friend and a companion and someone to remind me that I’m beautiful and maybe even sexy sometimes. You were a solid rock on whom I could lean as my life continued to crumble before me. Thank you sometimes just doesn’t seem enough.

To my kind-hearted Millenial friend who came into my life under the Full Strawberry Moon, thank you for your consistant companionship: for the movie nights and moon circles and book clubs and Ted Lasso nights, especially when we saw Episode One for the first time. Thank you for your optimism, your friendship, your challenging banter. I will miss you as you spread your wings and fly off to another continent. May we continue to be the wind beneath one another’s wings.

To the bracelet-wearing Adonis, the spirit bird who kayaks at night under the light of the moon at Redfish lake, thank you for resurrecting me. With all my heart I pray that you are healing and thank you for your tenderness.

To the wandering tree climber/ secret Grammy-award winning music producer who does a yoga headstand like nobody’s business, you are sacred to me. I’m forever thankful for our adventures with the windows rolled down, camping under the stars. Thank you for teaching me not to cannonball into the deepend…I learned that lesson the hard way. My heart was vulnerable and wounded and I take responsibility for not listening to what I didn’t want to hear. You are a Starseed.

To the dead-head sensai who reads French literature for fun, cooks Cassoulet like a four-star chef and pairs it perfectly with an appropriate “vin” and can also keep up with me when we ski, thank you for all the hard lessons. I didn’t want to hear them. I wanted more than a friend and a companion and our desires didn’t match. What can I say? I’m a stubborn Taurus and it took me an incredibly long time to understand that you’re showing up in my life as you are able. You taught me to cultivate my garden, which I am doing, insight and out. I do hope that we can find common ground to build a new friendship upon. Plus Jasper misses wrasslin’ with you.

To the pickleball playing poet and tattoo artist, thank you for being my concert buddy and for the slow dance under the moon and stars that one cold, snowy Spring night when Pluto moved into Aquarius. Thank you for all the enlightening discussions about quantum physics and Jacques-Louis David and the poetry you read to me. We’ll never know what could’ve been.

To the French speaking pool guest at the Palm Motel in Ashland, Oregon, thank you for your sincere interest in the Cards of Destiny and Love Cards. Remember that you’re a double 8 (what does the number 8 mean to you? lol). Thank you for showing me that there are good, kind-hearted, sensitive, curious and sensual men out there who love to stargaze in hammocks under the constellation of Cassiopea. YOLO 2.0.

To the guitar-playing Starseed from Alaska, the aeronautical mechanic with arms like Channing Tatum, thank you for showing me the power of visualization and manifestation. And thank you for accepting the way that I howled at the Full Aquarius Moon and didn’t think I was weird or that I should be quiet. You let me be me that night when you kissed the full moon, and I never felt more truly alive!

Thank you all for teaching me how to love myself, one stepping stone at a time.

Sincerely, Andrea Blythe “Strong Spirit”

Still I Rise by Maya Angelou

You may write me down in history

With your bitter, twisted lies,

You may trod me in the very dirt

But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?

Why are you beset with gloom?

’Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells

Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,

With the certainty of tides,

Just like hopes springing high,

Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?

Bowed head and lowered eyes?

Shoulders falling down like teardrops,

Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?

Don’t you take it awful hard

’Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines

Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,

You may cut me with your eyes,

You may kill me with your hatefulness,

But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?

Does it come as a surprise

That I dance like I’ve got diamonds

At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame

I rise

Up from a past that’s rooted in pain

I rise

I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,

Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear

I rise

Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear

I rise

Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,

I am the dream and the hope of the slave.

I rise

I rise

I rise.

May we all look to the stories of our past with love and compassion as we learn to heal by Shining Light Upon Truth. Which stepping stone of your past do you need to acknowledge, forgive or thank? How will you let the Venus retrograde transform you during the remaining days of her descent into the metamophic cocoon of the underworld? I dare you to be courageously authentic and write and healing note in the comments below. Take it a step further and join me for the Awaken Your Inner Divine workshop on Friday, August 11th. Go on, be a S.L.U.T. and set yourself free!


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