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Life in the Tower
This Venus retrograde period begins in Virgo and then Venus retrogrades back into Leo (on July 31). A maiden imprisoned in a tower is an apt metaphor for this. Rapunzel begins her life with some very Virgo restrictions and when she arrives at adolescence, a Leo-style crisis hits because the tower can no longer contain her.
The budding of sexuality and expression in the second quadrant of the zodiac
The zodiac is a human development cycle. The first quadrant takes us through early childhood, while the second quadrant carries us from there to adulthood. This second quadrant contains houses that have to do with self development and learning who we are. Leo and Virgo appear here, along with Cancer. Cancer represents our relationship to family and heritage, the context we come from. It’s where we learn to nurture ourselves. It also represents the hormonal and emotional changes of adolescence. Cancer is followed by Leo, the symbolic teen years, a time of self-expression. In Leo we come to know who we are through creativity, performance and audience response. Here we develop self-confidence. Then comes Virgo, the threshold of young adulthood, a time of shaping and perfecting oneself. Here we develop integrity and restraint. Here we prepare to meet the Beloved in Libra, sign of partnership and love. After we learn who we are, we are then ready to link with a partner and fully merge with them (in Scorpio).
Rapunzel’s part of the story begins in Virgo. She is a maiden, a virgin, inexperienced and innocent, untouched and isolated in her tower. Rapunzel doesn’t know she’s a princess or that she’s beautiful. Her life is a Virgo one of restraint, humbleness and modesty.
Venus retrogrades into Leo, sign of creativity and fun
This Venus retrograde period begins so extremely early in Virgo that Venus quickly retrogrades back into Leo. Virgo is of course the sign associated with virginity while Leo is associated with love affairs and sex for pleasure. What could this mean?
A Venus retrograde period takes our relationships backward before they can go forward. It is a time of retrospection and introspection. Rapunzel has been limited to a Virgo life before she had had any fun. How can she prepare to meet the Beloved if she doesn’t know who she is? Before Rapunzel can become a true partner (in Libra), she needs to become an independent young adult (Virgo) and before that she needs to really play and to discover herself (Leo). So back into Leo Venus goes, to discover fun, creativity and playfulness.
What is rampion?
While researching this story I discovered a page that tells the whole story of Rapunzel with helpful annotations. There I found this quote, with some interesting biological facts about the rampion plant that Rapunzel is named for. Rampion is an autogamous plant. This means that if it is not fertilized with the help of insects, it can split a column within the plant to fertilize itself. The split column will “curl like braids or coils on a maiden’s head, and this will bring the female stigmatic tissue into contact with the male pollen on the exterior surface of the column.” How cool is that?
A beautiful maiden in a tower in a fairy tale is an invitation for adventure to happen, just as virginity is an invitation for sexuality to happen. Nature dictates that budding sexuality be discovered, and very soon, that is exactly what happens. And what fairy tale would be complete without the arrival of the prince?