Her star peaks over the horizon at daybreak, twinkling in the early hours of the morning. But she has barely arrived in the blue light of dawn before she changes course and arrives in the evening instead, the first to shine and the brightest in the night sky. Sometimes she couples next to the Moon when her fellow goddess cycles near to her, once a month or so. Other times, she cycles to align with her fellow planet-stars in the sky, visiting for a moment before skipping away again. She leaves their side but briefly, knowing that she will see them again soon. Maybe for a month, maybe for a day, maybe on and off for the next four years. But soon, nonetheless, and again, and again.
When she is alone, Venus bathes in the ocean at night. Foam rushes over her soft curves and pulls away again, dressing and undressing her over and over. The water wraps itself around her shoulders and holds her close. She smiles, stands, and saunters up the sand. Gods and mortals are captivated by her, by the way her soaked gown clings tight to her skin, how she sways when she walks. Men drive themselves mad wanting her, demonizing her as the source of their lust and their shame, then turning around and worshipping the idols they've created in her image. Venus has always been tied to the magic of desire, to feminine powers of love and beauty. We all fear it, and we all follow it, as we watch her hips divot up the shoreline.
Her dainty footprints lead off the shore and away, into the peach-coloured roses that climb a bevy of cypress trees. She pads into a garden, where the air is perfumed with jasmine flowers, plates are filled with rich dessert, and crystal glasses are filled with summer wine. When you find her, she eases under your touch. She uncoils like a flower in front of you, her petals opening, inviting you to run your fingers along her stem and pluck her. A prick of pain, and she is yours, to keep, to have and to hold, to own all to yourself. But take her inside and put her in a vase, and you've killed what you cherish most because of your own selfish desires. If you love her - truly - you would leave her to grow in her garden, with her other flowers, and the moon and the stars and the earth at night. Nurture her, take care of her, devote yourself to her selflessly. She will blossom every night if you do.
The glyph used for Venus is the alchemy symbol for copper (♀), more commonly known as the symbol for female. Some say it represents a hand mirror or a distaff. But it can also be seen as the reproductive organs of a woman: vagina, ovaries, and womb together. As a circle atop a cross, we have a body grounded by the physical world, connected to nature and the earth itself. Beauty, sensuality, physical pleasure, indulgence, and hedonism are all under the realm of Venus. And as a symbol for femininity, you can also see it as a woman's body birthing new life into the physical realm.
Venus is your femininity, or your "feminine side". At her core, she is desire and pleasure, beauty and harmony, love and lust, and everything that makes life worth living. She is sensual, able to judge aesthetics with the finely tunes senses of her body. Her delicate tastes lead her to indulge in rich food, days in the sun, nights in the rain, in shopping trips and plush blankets, and all the soul comforts one needs to feel really, really good.
Venus is very popular among astrologers because she is chiefly concerned with love, partnership, friendship, romance and sex - relating to and getting along with others, be they your friends, your spouse, or your lover. Many people come into astrology because of questions surrounding their love life, asking, "Are we compatible?", "Is he a good match for me?", "What should I do to impress her?", and "What went wrong in my last relationship?" So what does astrology tell us a good relationship needs? What does our Venus want, and how do we give it to her?
When you love somebody, and you know you are loved in return, Venus oozes with self-confidence. You get along with other people very well, for you actively practice cooperation, sensitivity, empathy, and compromise. These feminine qualities are what make relationships healthy and meaningful; people can get much closer when they feel the person they are opening up to is receptive to their thoughts and feelings. Feminity is also very beautiful, artistic, creative, and sexual, open to building upon these areas of life in order to connect to others much more deeply than we otherwise could. More than anything, the secret to a healthy Venus and positive relationships is in that open exchange of words and feelings between two people who feel they can trust one another. A simple concept, but one that escapes us more often than we might think.
An unhealthy Venus is one who has let desire and a love of pleasure rule out good sense. The desire for luxury and ownership is warped to make her jealous, possessive, greedy, and materialistic. She indulges herself in pleasure so often that she becomes fat and lazy, content to sit while her partner does everything for her. And her vanity is not a true love of beauty - it is an over-compensation for fears that a younger, more beautiful, more desireable person will steal her spotlight. One who is not loved, who does not feel sexy, or whose sensual needs are not met, lashes out or overcompensates. Insecurity creates the angry goddess, a sorceress who seeks to use her feminine powers to make people love her. The dark side of Venus must be dealt with in order for any kind of relationship (with oneself or with others) to become healthy again. And the secret to that lies in confronting the unique challenges of your Venus placement.
Something to remember: Venus is never more than 47° away from the Sun, which means that it can only be in the same Sign as your Sun or in one of the two on either side. So if you have your Sun in Taurus, your Venus can only be in Pisces, Aries, Taurus, Gemini, or Cancer. Or, if you have your Sun in Sagittarius, your Venus can only be in Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, or Aquarius. Who you are as an individual and how you relate to others can be very different. But never so different that there is major conflict between the two.
RULERSHIP AND EXALTATION
Most astrologers will say that Venus is Ruled by both Taurus and Libra together, and Exalted in Pisces. Personally, I choose to practice it differently. I say that Venus is Ruled by Taurus and Exalted in Libra - something that many people wont agree with, I'm sure, but something I believe in very much.
Taurus is the earthy, sensual, pleasure-seeking side of Venus. Sexual and gluttonous, pampered and lazy, she indulges in all the joys her body gives her and feels no shame in doing so. Libra, on the other hand, is the more relational side of Venus, the part that craves the love and attention of a partner. The side is polite and considerate, valuing harmony above all else. Both Signs can fall into Venus' dark extremes, indulging in food and sex, or using manipulation, seduction, and jealous rages to trap their partners by their side. But they are also two of the most beautiful Signs in the zodiac. They make excellent artists, are monogamous and loyal in love, and can ignite desire and massage pleasure into everything they do.
Venus is in Detriment in Scorpio and in Fall in Aries. She is uncomfortable in these Signs because they are inherently masculine, not feminine, by nature, and so do not fit well into her soft, sweet, submissive disposition. Scorpio is always competing for power and control with other people, which creates a more chaotic, abusive, volatile environment for relationships to grow in. Aries is independent, selfish, aggressive, all of which create conflict between themselves and other people. Both these Signs are loyal and protective of the ones they love. But their insecurity and desire to "win" everything leads to spite, competitiveness, and an unholy temper. Both need to work on the more feminine aspects of their personality in order to have healthier, happier relationships, which means putting themselves on equal terms with their partner.
VENUS THROUGH THE SIGNS
Your Venus Sign placement shows not only how you view partnership and how you behave in your relationships. It also shows the qualities that you are most attracted to, and what you are looking for in a partner. Venus is most often looked at when you are judging compatibility between two people. And it is often stated that if you are attracted to women, this is the kind of woman you are looking for.
In my previous series, each article has a "RELATIONSHIPS" segment, which describes how each zodiac Sign sees romantic, sexual, and platonic partnerships. Since I go into much more detail there (and I don't want to repeat myself too much), click below on whichever Sign your Venus is in to read more!
Regardless of your biological sex, your gender identity, your sexuality, or what you see yourself as - every person has a feminine side, and a masculine side. Feminity, represented by Venus, is very relationship-oriented. It means putting the needs of another person equal to your own, and moving forward together, as a joint union. Masculinity, represented by Mars, is very self-oriented. It means putting yourself first, ahead of other people, so you can move forward as an individual. Both are equally important, but serve different purposes in different areas of your life.
The next article is about Mars, and what it means in your birth chart. Click the thumbnail below to read more!