In the previous post, the very verdant verity of an inner spring was examined via Erich Fromm’s two existential modes of “having” and “being”. It seems natural to stick with Fromm for this next transit on Sunday March 21st, as Venus, the Love Goddess goes into action-oriented Aries.
Fromm begins his very popular book, The Art of Loving (1956), with this question:
“Is love an art? Then it requires knowledge and effort. Or is love a pleasant sensation, which to experience is a matter of chance, something one “falls into” if one is lucky?”
As the title suggests, he believes it is an art. A “faculty” rather than a “feeling”. A verb rather than a noun. He sees love as an “activity” rather than a “passivity”, centering primarily on giving rather than receiving.
For Fromm, we have it all wrong when we try to make ourselves more lovable to attract love. Thinking this way turns ourselves into self-made commodities, looking for the commodity in others that fit the bill. The problem becomes a passive problem of being loved, rather than an active affirmation of our capacity to love.
Fromm himself was an Aries, born right around the time of the vernal equinox. Spring is a clear display of life, and for Fromm, so is the art of loving. The name of his book is The Art of Loving, not The Art of Love. Love, like life, is not a noun, but a verb.
And what does the dedicated artist of love give to others, and to the world?
Fromm says, “he gives his life”. This, however, is not a sacrifice. He further explains,
“he gives him of that which is alive in him; he gives him of his joy, of his interest, of his understanding, of his knowledge, of his humor, of his sadness—of all expressions and manifestations of that which is alive in him. In thus giving of his life, he enriches the other person, he enhances the other’s sense of aliveness by enhancing his own sense of aliveness. He does not give in order to receive; giving is in itself exquisite joy. But in giving he cannot help bringing something to life in the other person, and this which is brought to life reflects back to him.”
Maybe this is why springtime birds sing so much. They are skilled and knowing artists practicing the liveliest art. The art of loving.
How can you turn love into a verb? Venus will delight in Aries until April 14th, when it will cozy up in Taurus.
Happy Astro Pondering!
Astro Art by Johhnie Day Durand