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Heroic Courage to Love

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"The Heroic Courage to Love"

by Kelly Lee Phipps

Copyright 2003. All Rights Reserved

In this article I want to focus on the dynamic interplay of the Aries-Libra axis. Aries epitomizes the archetype of heroic courage that comes from heart (French cour) while Libra symbolizes the harmonic balance in life that flows from grace. Together they create graceful action.

Where Aries asks us to seize the moment through heroic living, Libra asks us to demonstrate that fierce heat of living in and through our relationships. Aries defines the AM-ness of existing as an individual, rushing forth into total self-expression as a force of being, while Libra defines the relationship between beings and expresses the field of love and interaction as well as tension and opposition. Where Aries is the warrior, pioneer, and leader, Libra is the artist, lover, and diplomat.

The mystics proclaim that God is love and that eternal being finds expression through humanity and creation. The second Hebrew letter “bait” (Greek beta) means literally “house” and symbolizes the divine spirit dwelling in form. We discussed this concept in the last article on Ascension into the Here and Now. It’s difficult for some to imagine the Western omnipotent, almighty God having a need for creation, yet that is the creator’s essence. The primary attribute of a creator is creativity. I like to think of universal love as the instrument of cosmic creativity. The gravitational principle of divine love serves galaxies around the clock.

In this way, the love of divinity flows into and enlivens creation and causes life to blaze into being. The beauty of the archetype of Libra is demonstrated as this love flows into and between the individual sparks of consciousness that Aries symbolizes. The Hindu’s call creation Lela, which means God’s Play. The Te in Tao Te Ching is usually translated as virtue and power. The Chinese character for Te actually combines the three radicals (mini-characters) for motion, vision, and heart symbolizing the ability to act or move through life guided by heart vision. That’s the kind of graceful action (wu wei) that emerges from the Aries Libra polarity. You can see it expressed in the graceful movements of martial arts, (Mars doing art!).

In my fantasy adventure novel series I’m crafting one book for each sign of the zodiac. The first book, Brazenwood, explores the Aries archetype seen through the lens of Libra. My main character Arian faces incredible challenges in his quest requiring him to express great courage, but the source of that courage comes from love. In the end, it is his heart that elevates his path of destiny above a random meaningless fate.

Each one of us is on a quest whether we realize it or not, to find our unique path in life. Our souls would rather fail at following their own destined courses than succeed at living someone else’s life. The unknown sea of our future often looks ominous and people are goaded by society to pull into the nearest harbor for a nice, safe and secure life. I once heard that ships enjoy being docked, but they were made for sailing. It is this image I tried to capture in the following poem.

Well of Being

Deep in the well of being burns the hidden desire
that you must discover and surrender to.
It alone will open the voice of your soul.

You must find that fiery star and set your course
across the treacherous inner sea.

The awakening of your true longing will inspire you
to persevere despite the abyss of fear that looms before you.
Your passion must resonate with eternal being
as you plunge into those mystery depths
so that the resolve generated in your heart is pure.

It is that soul purpose only you can fulfill,
because destiny emerges from action and welcomes initiative.

Then you will make your lasting contribution to humanity,
like Prometheus stealing the sacred fire from the gods
you will rise to the occasion and follow the
only life you know you must live but have forgotten.

Despite the strain of Western culture on the traditions of Asia and Africa throughout the Age of Pisces, the unfolding drama has not been one of total loss. Most of the explorers of the Renaissance were Europeans. In this sense, the West has given the East its spirit of adventure, curiosity, and that Promethean fire that goes against the grain of tradition to inspire new discoveries.

That same fire is available now to women as they have been empowered to explore their own unique brand of courage rarely witnessed in history in such people as Joan of Arc, Cleopatra, Boudicea, and Queen Elizabeth. At the same time it has become kosher for men to explore and awaken their anima to reconnect with the mystery of the Sophianic feminine.

I was talking to a 78-year-old Italian immigrant the other day called Zai who is an Argentine Tango dance instructor and he told me the story of his life. He moves and dances like he’s 45 with his Gemini Sun, Sag Moon, and Leo Rising. His childhood in Fascist Italy was brutal and his father was harsh. This led him to escape into books and the life of the imagination.

After migrating to America in his teens he eventually married and had three children. In time his wife was diagnosed with a terminal illness (auto-immune disease). The doctors said she had less than a year to live. Her name was Margaret (notice the Mars hiding in her name inspiring courage). She told the doctors that she was too busy to die and had to raise her three children. She often told Zai, “You take what you’re given and you go with it.” During the next 25 years of her life the doctors said she would be dead within the year six times before she finally surrendered and passed into the spirit world after raising her children. The doctors began calling her the miracle lady.

Zai told me that he didn’t discard challenges until after he discovered the gift they offered. At that critical first juncture when his wife was supposed to die, he had to make the heroic choice of a lifetime. His wife’s illness made it impossible to share passion together. Instead of leaving her or cheating with other women on the side, he made up his mind and heart to become an ascetic and devote himself to her and the family.

He channeled his sexual energy into creative prowess through various Eastern disciplines like yoga. During those last 25 years his wife became his spiritual teacher. Her spirit was unquenchable, as she stood bold in the face of her slow demise. Through her illness he mastered the heroic courage to love integrating Aries and Libra.

As I talked with Zai at the Irish pub here in Asheville one night he told me of the physical challenges he was able to overcome through the continuing power of his former wife’s love. At age 69, he climbed a wobbly pole strapped in a harness for safety and stood on top of a swaying one-foot square board balanced precariously thirty feet in the air and leapt onto a trapeze suspended high across a 12 foot divide.

Where most other men of his men’s group between the ages of 20 and 50 failed, he succeeded. The younger men were astonished. He told them that he made the jump because he imagined his wife sitting on the edge of the trapeze smiling and urging him to do it. Secretly, he had a pinch of her ashes in his sock during the test of courage. He often traveled to places she once enjoyed to deliver a pinch of her ashes. As he told me this incredible story the following poem spontaneously came into my mind. To me it symbolizes the essence of the Aries-Libra axis of life.


I constantly contemplate transition, death, change,
the end in which I begin in utter transcendence.
Know thyself, and then go beyond it.
“Take what you’re given and go with it,” she said.
With a pinch of her ashes hidden in my shoes
I leapt and attained my aspiration.
I can still see the magic reflected in her cheek bones,
the courage blazing in her fiercely loving eyes
that froze even death for 25 years.
I continue to tango into her smile, her powerful presence,
her love that never falters as it reaches across dimensions
and wells up as tears in my eyes.

Aries is about motivation, self-expression, and adventure. Wherever this sign is flowing into your chart, that’s where you are activating your essence, creating vitality, and, and expressing consciousness. Libra is about the grace of loving and the art of being loved. Wherever this sign is flowing into your chart, that’s where you need to initiate awareness, illuminate ideas, create the thought forms that nourish social interplay.

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