Apollo and Daphne, 2009
We've all known it or will experience it, in one form or another, at some point. It’s an important part of our initiation in the labyrinth of love.
A few non-astrological considerations...
It seems to me there's almost always a connection between UNREQUITED and UNATTAINABLE.
Apparently, someone lives an unrequited love when he/she falls in love with an unattainable person. Usually the reasons are (there are many cases, I'm just highlighting a few which seem to be more common):
-a generally appealing person who seems to have many admirers, obviously can't be with all of them
- someone who's a very different type than your type who maybe seems alluring BECAUSE of the difference
- someone distant or inaccessible one way or another, yet part of the public ethos (like a celebrity). With celebrities, because they are a public figure, people (some more than others) feel as if the celebrity belongs to us and we are "entitled" to love those and this is when the line is being crossed between someone's life as a public figure and their private life and personality which may be very different from the public one.
- someone already in a couple
- someone who can't reciprocate love for various reasons. One classic case I've noticed is falling in love with a generally noncommittal person (for example a womanizer or the feminine equivalent). The one falling in love usually believes their love will at some point change that person and "convert" them or that if the noncommittal type is really in love (with them), they will change their ways. This almost never happens. Hence, the unrequited situation is prolonged. (If it does, it's most likely second-rate, like someone living a life of "experiences" until 50 or 60 years old and then settling down at the very last moment feeling old age is coming and needing someone to take care of them during their senior years)
What is the astrological recipe for unrequited love?
Personally, I've identified two major triggers:
1. natal charts predisposed to unrequited. Some natal charts are more vulnerable in this respect and prone to fall under the spell of an unrequited love. In synastry, the other triggers the prone-to-unrequited pattern in a strong manner. In this cases, the natal "embraces" the unrequited love in a fluid, rather natural manner, sometimes even with a certain enthusiasm, as if it comes naturally to the person to react this way or as if the person is being engulfed by the unrequited feelings.
These unrequited loves are likely to take a long(er) time.
2. accidental unrequited situation triggered by synastry For natal charts not falling in the 1st category (prone to unrequited), a person triggers a specific unrequited configuration. The natal feels the situation as unnatural to him, out of character, experiences unease, perplexity, the desire to understand and ultimately to get out. The danger to see some sort of mutuality when in fact it's unrequited is diminished, the natal is generally aware this is unrequited love, not something else.
These unrequited loves are more likely to be temporary and short-lived.
Of course, many times it's a combination of both.
For case no. 1, by exploring the natal charts, I think I've found some clues about the "culprits". I've decided to use the cute, yet solemn ancient term of "Lords".
First Lord of Unrequited is Pluto
Pluto's domain is power. Pluto's domain is to replace his own permanent or temporary powerlessness with...power. Pluto's domain is to render someone powerless, to strip them of their control, to make them surrender. Pluto in love - when love is denied to him - will tell you he is deeply in love, a soulmate love, that transcends reciprocity. He is wrong. Pluto feels powerless and worthless, yet utterly fascinated, at this stage of love and all Pluto wants is to get his power back from the other. Pluto wants to own the other, to make him his own, Pluto wants the other to surrender to his love for self-worth reasons. When the other resists, this is when Pluto's obsession kicks in, his chase to get his power back.
Many times when Pluto "wins" and the other "surrenders" completely, Pluto's interest dies in a Plutonian way.
Pluto's lesson in love is to learn to differentiate between power and love. For this, he needs to learn from his opposite yet twin sister, Venus. Ultimately, the Plutonian transcends his superhuman strength into the power of love.
(Sun/Venus/Moon/ASC/DSC in Scorpio or 8th, Pluto in hard aspect to Sun/Venus/ASC/DSC/Moon/Mars, Pluto in some houses - 1st, 7th, 3rd, Pluto as love ruler)
The second Lord of Unrequited is Neptune
Neptune forever holds a dream of ideal love into his immense wavy heart. He chases the unattainable too, just like Pluto, but for a different reason. Neptune's object of chase is a glamorous, otherworldly person/love. The fantasy. The Romantic's Dream. Neptune rules unrequited because he has no problem with living in a fantasy world, he has no problem with the lack of tangible reality events, proofs, real love. He may even be repulsed by ordinary, day-to-day loves. They suffocate his dream, they are interference.
Neptune finds an unattainable glamorous person to feed the dream. Or he transforms an ordinary person, through the power of his imagination and the power of his self-illusion, into the dream.
Beloved Neptunian people keep the flame of the ultimate love dream lit for all of us.
Neptune's lesson in love is to learn from his opposite twin sister, Mademoiselle Virgo, how to see and bring magic to (sometimes ordinary) people close to them, those who really love them and to bring the magic little by little into everyday life.
(Sun/Venus/Moon/ASC/DSC in Pisces or 12th, Neptune in hard aspect to Sun/Venus/ASC/DSC/Moon/Mars, Neptune in some houses - 1st, 7th, Neptune as love ruler)
The third Lord of Unrequited is Saturn
Usually responsible for the second case scenario for the triggers presented above, Saturn activated in synastry can sometimes behave as a rejection or “wall” planet, when it is “touched” in the wrong manner, rubbed the wrong way. We all have specific natal needs when it comes to the aspects we need and love to receive from another person. But this is another very complex topic requiring further exploration. Saturn, among its many meanings, has a protector vibe, for ourselves and the other, and in this case it becomes a “defensive” planet, protecting us from a kind of love/person we don’t want or need.
Keep in mind this is just ONE side of the described planets, for their symbolism in our charts is multidimensional.
First published here: http://www.linda-goodman.com/ubb/Forum35/HTML/000313.html
Three fundamental myths of these three giants and their unrequited love stories
Persephone’s abduction by Hades, emblematic for Pluto’s desire to posses at all costs. You can read about it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persephone#Abduction_myth
The Rape of Proserpina Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Galleria Borghese, Rome
The meeting of the two astrological giants of love: Venus-Love and its Higher Octave, Neptune
Saturn devouring his children, a self-preservation myth (read about it here: http://www.theoi.com/Titan/TitanKronos.html)