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Emerging Archetypal Themes: Libra, Dangerous Beauty and The Art of Relationship

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Emerging Archetypal Themes:

Libra, Dangerous Beauty and The Art of Relationship

Libra is not only about the need for partnership, it is also about the art of partnership.   This month's Emerging Archetypal Theme focuses on the artistry of relationship and the need for women to remember our role in the relationship dance.   In our hurry to achieve equal rights with men and to be "friends' with them, we women have lost some of our instinctual feminine knowledge, especially the art of attracting, charming and seducing our partners.   As the heroine of our movie is taught,   ""you need to understand men. No matter their shape or size... position or wealth... they all dream of the temptress. The irresistible... unapproachable Venus."


Adam & Eve
(Image by Peter Rubens)
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Adam & Eve by Peter Rubens

Aphrodite of Rhodes
(Image by Anonymous)
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Aphrodite of Rhodes by Anonymous

Birth of Venus
(Image by Botticelli)
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Birth of Venus by Botticelli

Veronica Franco knew how to use these feminine virtues.   Trained as a courtesan by her mother, who was also a famous courtesan, Veronica quickly became a favorite of the power elite in Venice.   From an ancient, yet impoverished, Venetian family, Veronica was skilled in all the arts of the courtesans, for Venice was famous throughout Europe for her courtesans.   Her literary skills were enjoyed and supported by the rulers of Venice, and at one point, she helped Venice attain the support of the French king in their war with the Ottoman Empire.   But when the plague swept through Venice, the Church blamed it on the licentiousness of the courtesans and had many of them brutalized.   Veronica was charged with witchcraft, but she saved herself by standing up for herself and shaming the noble men who had used her for their own pleasure and yet were quick to abandon her in her trouble.   The character of Veronica Franc is the most complete and whole female character in any movie I've ever seen.  

Dangerous Beauty is a story about Veronica's rise to fame, as well as her enduring love for a powerful Venetian noble, Marco Venier.   When Veronica (an amazingly artful Catherine McCormack) learns that Marco cannot marry her because he must marry for wealth and power, her mother Paola (the beautiful Jacqueline Bisset) encourages her to become a courtesan.   The scenes where she is taught the arts of the courtesan are both informative and delightful.   The power of the courtesan is that she can be educated, unlike the proper noble wives of Venice, who are left ignorant of both history as well as current events.   Veronica's friend Beatrice, sister of Marco, has to ask Veronica to come and tell the proper ladies of Venice how their husbands fare during the war, for as Beatrice says, they are totally inconsequential to their men.  

The beauty of Veronica's character is that she has all the virtues of the noblemen of her time, and yet she displays them through her femininity.   While she is wildly in love with Marco, once she becomes a courtesan she will not sleep with him, although she enjoys -- yes totally enjoys -- the sex with other men.   It is Marco who finally breaks down and comes to her after a nasty altercation with his drunk cousin, Maffio (a deliciously evil Oliver Platt).   And once they are together, it seems nothing can separate them.   That is, until Venice needs Veronica to seduce the French King and get his help in their war.   When she does, she wins their accolades but loses Marco.

When the men return from war, they find a completely transformed Venice; the plague has decimated the city and fanatical preachers assure the people that it is God's vengeance on them for their frivolous and licentious ways.   Courtesans are beaten and killed.   Veronica is imprisoned and accused of witchcraft by Maffio, who has always been je


The Mirror of Venus
(Image by Sir Edward Burne-Jones)
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The Mirror of Venus by Sir Edward Burne-Jones

Veronica Franco knew how to use these feminine virtues.   Trained as a courtesan by her mother, who was also a famous courtesan, Veronica quickly became a favorite of the power elite in Venice.   From an ancient, yet impoverished, Venetian family, Veronica was skilled in all the arts of the courtesans, for Venice was famous throughout Europe for her courtesans.   Her literary skills were enjoyed and supported by the rulers of Venice, and at one point, she helped Venice attain the support of the French king in their war with the Ottoman Empire.   But when the plague swept through Venice, the Church blamed it on the licentiousness of the courtesans and had many of them brutalized.   Veronica was charged with witchcraft, but she saved herself by standing up for herself and shaming the noble men who had used her for their own pleasure and yet were quick to abandon her in her trouble.   The character of Veronica Franc is the most complete and whole female character in any movie I've ever seen.  

Dangerous Beauty is a story about Veronica's rise to fame, as well as her enduring love for a powerful Venetian noble, Marco Venier.   When Veronica (an amazingly artful Catherine McCormack) learns that Marco cannot marry her because he must marry for wealth and power, her mother Paola (the beautiful Jacqueline Bisset) encourages her to become a courtesan.   The scenes where she is taught the arts of the courtesan are both informative and delightful.   The power of the courtesan is that she can be educated, unlike the proper noble wives of Venice, who are left ignorant of both history as well as current events.   Veronica's friend Beatrice, sister of Marco, has to ask Veronica to come and tell the proper ladies of Venice how their husbands fare during the war, for as Beatrice says, they are totally inconsequential to their men.  

The beauty of Veronica's character is that she has all the virtues of the noblemen of her time, and yet she displays them through her femininity.   While she is wildly in love with Marco, once she becomes a courtesan she will not sleep with him, although she enjoys -- yes totally enjoys -- the sex with other men.   It is Marco who finally breaks down and comes to her after a nasty altercation with his drunk cousin, Maffio (a deliciously evil Oliver Platt).   And once they are together, it seems nothing can separate them.   That is, until Venice needs Veronica to seduce the French King and get his help in their war.   When she does, she wins their accolades but loses Marco.

When the men return from war, they find a completely transformed Venice; the plague has decimated the city and fanatical preachers assure the people that it is God's vengeance on them for their frivolous and licentious ways.   Courtesans are beaten and killed.   Veronica is imprisoned and accused of witchcraft by Maffio, who has always been jealous of her beauty and power.   Marco wants her to plead guilty so she can confess and be absolved of her "sins' but she refuses because that will mean she has to deny who and what she is.   Her speech before the Church court beautifully expresses the feminine standpoint that has been so denigrated by Christianity and patriarchy.  


Dangerous Beauty
(Image by Marshall Herskovitz)
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Dangerous Beauty by Marshall Herskovitz

Veronica Franco:  "I confess that as a young girl I loved a man who would not marry me for want of a dowry. I confess I had a mother who taught me a different way of life, one I resisted at first but learned to embrace. I confess I became a courtesan, traded yearning for power, welcomed many rather than be owned by one. I confess I embraced a whore's freedom over a wife's obedience. I confess I find more ecstasy in passion than in prayer. Such passion is prayer. I confess I pray still to feel the touch of my lover's lips. His hands upon me, his arms enfolding me... Such surrender has been mine. I confess I pray still to be filled and enflamed. To melt into the dream of us, beyond this troubled place, to where we are not even ourselves. To know that always, this is mine. If this had not been mine-if I had lived any other way-a child to her husband's will, my soul hardened from lack of touch and lack of love... I confess such endless days and nights would be a punishment far greater than you could ever mete out. You, all of you, you who hunger so for what I give yet cannot bear to see that kind of power in a woman. You call God's greatest gift- ourselves, our yearning, our need to love - you call it filth and sin and heresy... I repent there was no other way open to me. I do not repent my life"

Wow!   I love that speech.   And yet, how many women today would think to say those things.   We are so concerned with making our way in the world -- the masculine world of commerce -- that most of us don't value our relationships as much as our jobs.     We no longer believe that relationships are central to our lives because we've bought into the patriarchal paradigm that power and money are more important than love and commitment.    I'm not advocating going back to the old paradigm of patriarchal relationships and family values.   I firmly believe, though, that women are the heart and soul of relationships and that we need to polish up our feminine virtues -- our courtesan nature -- if we want to create vibrant, loving, creative partnerships.

Women can find our wholeness when our sexuality is as full and as deep as our minds have become.   The centuries of shame and sin that Christianity has projected onto sexuality must be healed and transformed, for sexuality cannot be anything other than spiritual when it becomes the union of body and spirit.   Before we can engage in true union between two people, we must first bring about a union of body and spirit within ourselves.   We must be somebody if we are to love somebody.   Aphrodite can lead us to this kind of feminine individuation.

So if you haven't seen Dangerous Beauty go out and rent it today!   It is a feast for the eyes and the soul.   And t


Dangerous Beauty
(Image by Marshall Herskovitz)
  Details   DMCA

Dangerous Beauty by Marshall Herskovitz

Veronica Franco knew how to use these feminine virtues.   Trained as a courtesan by her mother, who was also a famous courtesan, Veronica quickly became a favorite of the power elite in Venice.   From an ancient, yet impoverished, Venetian family, Veronica was skilled in all the arts of the courtesans, for Venice was famous throughout Europe for her courtesans.   Her literary skills were enjoyed and supported by the rulers of Venice, and at one point, she helped Venice attain the support of the French king in their war with the Ottoman Empire.   But when the plague swept through Venice, the Church blamed it on the licentiousness of the courtesans and had many of them brutalized.   Veronica was charged with witchcraft, but she saved herself by standing up for herself and shaming the noble men who had used her for their own pleasure and yet were quick to abandon her in her trouble.   The character of Veronica Franc is the most complete and whole female character in any movie I've ever seen.  

Dangerous Beauty is a story about Veronica's rise to fame, as well as her enduring love for a powerful Venetian noble, Marco Venier.   When Veronica (an amazingly artful Catherine McCormack) learns that Marco cannot marry her because he must marry for wealth and power, her mother Paola (the beautiful Jacqueline Bisset) encourages her to become a courtesan.   The scenes where she is taught the arts of the courtesan are both informative and delightful.   The power of the courtesan is that she can be educated, unlike the proper noble wives of Venice, who are left ignorant of both history as well as current events.   Veronica's friend Beatrice, sister of Marco, has to ask Veronica to come and tell the proper ladies of Venice how their husbands fare during the war, for as Beatrice says, they are totally inconsequential to their men.  

The beauty of Veronica's character is that she has all the virtues of the noblemen of her time, and yet she displays them through her femininity.   While she is wildly in love with Marco, once she becomes a courtesan she will not sleep with him, although she enjoys -- yes totally enjoys -- the sex with other men.   It is Marco who finally breaks down and comes to her after a nasty altercation with his drunk cousin, Maffio (a deliciously evil Oliver Platt).   And once they are together, it seems nothing can separate them.   That is, until Venice needs Veronica to seduce the French King and get his help in their war.   When she does, she wins their accolades but loses Marco.

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I am a Jungian psychotherapist, astrologer, teacher and storyteller. Our collective stories are not feeding the souls of the world because of the corporate ownership of the media. So it is up to storytellers to understand what stories can enhance (more...)
 

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