“Love is not the same thing as analysis.”
This approach to personal development came to me through Bill Plotkin of Animas Valley Institute, though I don’t know the origins of the sentiment. But the difference in orientation is profound. When we consider our approach to natal charts, whether our own or others’, analysis brings flesh to an entirely different animal than the one animated by love.
To analyze something means to pull it apart, to try to separate a phenomenon into different parts in order to understand how it functions. Analysis starts off with value judgments and assumes that the one who is analyzing has an answer to a designated “problem,” or the correct view on matters. It tends to discount the native intelligence of the psyche or soul itself, the intelligence in its functioning just as it is, the inherent value of its activity and existence apart from whether the observer may appreciate it or not.
Love offers quite a different approach. Rather than pulling things apart to answer “how” (and therefore bring under control), love tends to draw parts together, making a space between the observer and the observed in which reflection can happen. Awareness can emerge under the application of love. No scrutiny need cause a behavior, an attitude, a memory to scuttle back into hiding, because it is welcome to be itself. Love thus promotes self-disclosure, and allows for a greater wholeness to weave itself.
Orienting by love, various parts of the natal chart and their associated activities can themselves disclose what is problematic, which promotes an infinitely more stable and cohesive solution. Our solutions are defined by the way a question is asked, by the way a problem is posed.
An orientation of loving is rooted in a fundamental trust in the intelligence of the soul or psyche, that it knows what it needs for healing and wholeness to come in its own time. Outgrown behaviors or stances did serve their purpose for a time and should be honored for their roles in our lives. Good or bad, they bring us to this present moment which is curiously the only time in which things seem to happen. When we’re able to be exactly where we are and how we are, and in the present with that reality, things can change, move and flow in time.
What happens if we offer this attitude to the entire world around us? Our partners, our children, our neighbors, our politicians? What sort of space for new possibilities could open up? This may be a repugnant idea to many, and such is love, not the soft, cuddly, cloying thing it has been made out to be. If nothing else, though, we could try this when working through interpersonal conflicts with those whom we already care about. What if, rather than analyzing them as if we know what the problem/solution is, we offer our curiosity and presence so that both (or all) parties can witness a disclosure of the nature of the conflict.
It can be difficult to let the other person(s) have their own feelings and perspective and not try to make it better, change it or “fix” things. But that is one of the greatest gifts we can give to each other, to allow the intelligence of the other being to try to express itself. Whether that is an inner figure of our own psyche, or a fellow being on this planet, cultivating an attitude of love can generate awareness which makes visible more choices, and offers a chance for real understanding.