By Amanda Painter
Did you know that self-care is sexy, healthy, genuinely loving, and can actually enhance your relationships? Yes, there are certain circumstances in which self-sacrifice is ‘the right thing to do’ and serves the highest good for all involved. But it’s easy to romanticize self-sacrifice to the point of self-harm — and ultimately, that isn’t good for you or your relationships.
Note that ‘self-sacrifice’ is not the idea behind true service. It does not serve humanity to turn yourself inside out, caring for everyone else but not for yourself.
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In terms of the question of sacrifice or care in your own life, this weekend’s astrology says you have a choice. You have chance to reset the balance in this equation if it’s gone askew in your life.
Here’s the scene: the Sun in Cancer (with Mars nearby) is entering into a T-square with the Moon’s South Node (in Aries) and North Node (in Libra). This T-square is exact Saturday. Without getting too technical, the Moon’s nodes are hypothetical points related to its orbit; they also indicate eclipses when a Full Moon and New Moon happen near them.
You can think of the South Node as relating to karma — whether for you that means old habits and patterns that hold you back from true growth, or actual past-life baggage. The North Node relates to dharma — that is, what you can grow toward; your soul’s higher purpose; ‘acting as if to hold the world together’. To have the Sun, symbol of your consciousness, balanced between these two points signals an opportunity to be more fully aware of your ability to choose actions that move you further along one of those two paths.
Interestingly, the asteroid Vesta is conjunct the South Node in Aries. Vesta tends to express in one of two ways. In positive form, it is devotion to your inner flame of creativity, devotion to your erotic fire, and devotion to service for the highest good of all. In a more ‘shadow’ expression, it can indicate detrimental sacrifice of some sort.
So this is where the question comes in regarding whether you have a tendency toward sacrificing yourself — your inner spark — to the point that it’s unhealthy. Or, if you’re actually devoted to personal growth, does it ever cross the line into self-absorption?
The Cancer Sun brings in the question of how you take care of yourself and others. In balanced relationships (with ‘balance’ and ‘relationships’ both themes of Libra, where the North Node is), both happen. You are able to keep your inner flame burning, and also nurture and nourish those whom you love. Likewise, anyone in relationship to you is able to do the same: they cultivate their own devotion to their healing, growth and inner sense of identity, yet also care for you in loving ways. And you allow yourself to receive it.
Unfortunately, the balance swings out of whack often for many people. For example, it’s pretty common to see someone who compulsively puts everyone else first, and therefore is running on fumes and never receives support. On the opposite end is rampant self-absorption, which can still creep in under the guise of seeking ‘spiritual’ enlightenment.
But what I also see in this astrology is that the Cancer Sun is conjunct the asteroid Eros, named after the Greek god of love. Here’s my simple take on what this means:
The cosmos is trying to focus your attention on the fact that self-care is sexy when it’s in balance with your relationships. In fact, devotion to stoking your own fire — with full awareness of how caring is a two-way street — frees you up to enjoy interdependence rather than getting bogged down in co-dependence.
Or to bring things down to Earth in blunt terms that the God of Love himself could groove with: taking care of your own orgasms frees you to care about your partner’s pleasure, minus any guilt, resentment or sense of lack — and vice versa.
No partner? That’s okay; when you take care of your own true needs, you set your inner balance to a place where caring for others is not a substitute for what they are not giving you in return; it’s something you do because you have enough inside to share. Now that’s love, baby.