How Venus intervenes in matters of the heart
Venus — you know her as the goddess of beauty, love, fertility and pleasure. Venus is the Roman name, Aphrodite the Greek name, for the same entity. In other cultures she has been known as Ishtar, Inanna, Miriam, Rhiannon and Oshun. All these names refer to a deity worshipped for her beauty and her ability to bestow love and wealth and to fight for what she believes is fair.
Venus in mythology
The telling of myth is a tradition as old as time, however the association of myth to planet is a relatively modern astrological technique. There are many myths that describe the essence of Venus. Listening to her stories you gain a strong sense of Venus’ energy and the themes associated with her. During an astrology reading your astrologer may describe various myths to you that may incite a visceral response deep within.
Common themes of myths about Venus include taking time to prepare oneself and creating a beautiful image. Venus is often described as first going to her temple, bathing, oiling and dressing herself. The theme of physical and sensual preparation is strong.
Second, she sets her sights on a target or goal (often involving a male!). She may have the desire for a mortal man instilled in her or she may simply be intent on fulfilling a desire or want.
Third, she constructs some ruse or disguise to allow her to get as close to her target as possible. Then she carries out her cunning plan to her full satisfaction. What Venus doesn’t do much is worry about the effects her actions will have on others. She is fully focused on her own satisfaction and goes to great lengths to create the right scenario and environment to fulfil her wishes.
Now this doesn’t mean we should all become devious and completely selfish according to the style of the sign where Venus is placed in our birth chart. What it does mean, however, is there is a greater need to invoke the spirit of Venus when we style or dress ourselves, and to understand it’s OK to put our own needs first.
Venus operates under the unwavering belief that with enough time, energy and effort one can turn a fantasy into reality. Nothing is impossible once Venus sets her mind (and heart!) on a conquest. She doesn’t expect anyone else to do her bidding. There’s a theme of putting one’s heart on the line but, once the essence of Venus is invoked, it is very hard to lose.
The concept of the courtesan or geisha is an expression of another face of Venus. Whether it’s the desire to be admired, to advance financially or simply to enjoy bodily pleasure, Venus is expressed through this sacred profession. The essence of the courtesan that Venus is associated with represents the part of the female psyche that longs to be valued enough for her womanhood to be worth riches. Venus as courtesan speaks to the inner femme fatale in us all. Invoking Venus in our preparation for an important date or function allows us to embrace her seductive beauty to the full. At her heart, Venus wants to be both the admired consort and the most lusted after woman in the room.
Venus is also mentioned in her many guises as a patron of war. This represents the side of Venus that is willing to fight for what she loves or desires. The fury of a woman scorned is not to be dismissed; nor should you take lightly her absolute commitment to the pursuit of something she deeply desires.
The astrological Venus
Astrologically, the core principle of Venus is to unite. She wants to “become one” with another. This desire to relate and form partnerships is unique to each of us according to where Venus is placed (by sign and house) in our birth chart. Venus is the part of us that recognises we can’t achieve all our life’s dreams on our own and that significant partnerships are required to help us along the way. The placement of Venus in your birth chart shows your level of desire to form partnerships and how easy (or not) it is to do so.
The cycle of Venus
Venus has a relatively short cycle, moving around the Sun about once every 13 months (geocentrically speaking). This means approximately every 13 months Venus moves back into the same place in the same sign she occupied when you were born. This is known as a planetary return and strongly highlights the particular planet’s energy.
About every 13 months Venus becomes a prominent energy in your life and you are encouraged to evoke her essence. You can do this by changing or updating your appearance or living environment. Often a Venus return coincides with a change in style or taste. For example, one year you might like navy blue and white at home; 13 months later chocolate brown may feel more comfortable.
Venus can also be invoked by adopting a more feminine, flirtatious attitude. With Venus highlighted in your chart, others will naturally find you more attractive than usual — because you exude more confidence when connecting with others. During your Venus return you are naturally looking for more love and affection. New relationships can begin and existing ties can be renewed with more love and tenderness under a Venus return.
When Venus is retrograde
Venus spends part of every cycle retrograde (moving backwards). When the planet of love is moving in reverse, many of us find ourselves going over our love choices. Relationships from the past seem to play on our minds and all the things we could have done may haunt us.
When Venus is retrograde, relationships can be tense as both partners go through a subtle review process. As we compare our partner to our relationship ideal we notice what’s missing as much as what we have that was unexpected. Relationships often feel strained under Venus retrograde as you rethink your commitment and attraction to your partner. Most people come through Venus retrograde with a renewed sense of commitment to and desire for their partner and the relationship.
Venus moved backwards from 24 December 2005 to 3 February 2006 in the sign of Capricorn. She will next be retrograde from 28 July to 9 September 2007 in the sign of Leo. All of us experience a love review when Venus is retrograde, but this is especially so when Venus is retrograde in your Sun sign or Venus sign.
Venus represents one of the two facets of the feminine archetype in the birth chart, the other being the Moon. The Moon represents the caring, nurturing, “mothering” function of the psyche, while Venus represents the seductive aspect of the psyche. Venus describes the specific nature of our desire and shows how we like to please ourselves, physically and emotionally. The instinctive nature of the Moon drives us to take care of and protect those close to us.
We all have Venus and the Moon somewhere in our horoscope. Sometimes Venus obviously dominates the Moon and other times vice versa. We will all move through different times in our lives when either the Moon or Venus will be our driving feminine archetype.
You can recognise a Venusian period (such as a Venus return) by an increased desire for relationships and bonding as well as wanting or getting a complete image overhaul. Venus shows how we style ourselves, so what we wear and how we wear it becomes more of a focus under Venus’ influence.
Venus in your birth chart
Venus is never more than 48 degrees from the Sun. In your birth chart Venus will either be in the same sign as your Sun sign or in the two signs either side. For example, if your Sun sign is Gemini, Venus can only be in one of the following signs: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer or Leo. This is because in her orbit Venus moves between the Earth and the Sun.
Venus, along with Mercury (the only other planet that moves between the Earth and the Sun), is considered an essential energy for a healthy ego and creative expression. How well you express your Venusian self is a good reflection of how comfortable you are in your own being.
Modern culture actively encourages more masculine ways of living: strong, direct, assertive, action oriented. In some ways this dishonours the Venusian approach. Venus seeks to build strong relationships based on attraction or a shared sense of desire and pleasure. The more you feel you are able to access your Venusian self the more comfortable and confident you will appear.
A denied Venus is noticeable in those who are overly focused on external achievements, particularly at the cost of their emotional/personal life. One of Venus’ key themes is to encourage the pursuit of pleasure and the attainment of success as of equal importance. In today’s society we could all benefit from extra holidays, more pampering and more time to connect. Venus does love a little extravagance but she’s just as satisfied with simple pleasures: for example, a phone call to an old friend or a stroll in the sunshine.
Venus’ placement in your birth chart shows your preferred relating and physical style. Do you prefer a fiery, tempestuous relationship with lots of drama (Venus in a Fire sign: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius)? A more practical, stable, regular love (Venus in an Earth sign: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn)? An intelligent and mentally stimulating partnership (Venus in an Air sign: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius)? Or a soulful, emotional romance (Venus in a Water sign: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces)?
Venus, Taurus and Libra
Venus rules two signs of the zodiac: the Earth sign of Taurus and the Air sign of Libra. If Venus is in either Taurus or Libra in your birth chart, you’ll find you closely identify with many of Venus’ images and desires. Through her rulership of Taurus, Venus seeks physical pleasure and security. In Taurus, Venus’ bodily connection is heightened. Through her rulership of Libra, Venus appreciates diplomatic skill, art and the principle of relating.
When Venus passes through either Taurus or Libra she is said to be strengthened. These times are extra strong for fulfilling the specific desires associated with these signs. Therefore, when Venus moves through Taurus, physical pleasure, creature comforts and lots of touching and affection are important. When Venus moves through Libra the little things are noticed more in relationships and it’s easier to negotiate compromise. It’s also a great time to appreciate art or see an exhibition. For some that might even mean going shopping!
The nature of Venus
Venus is attractive, which means she is a magnetic force pulling things towards her. Where Mars is masculine and assertive, Venus is feminine and receptive, which means she doesn’t work in an obvious or direct fashion. She is comfortable making small gestures (for example, when we flirt) to entice people and objects to move closer to her. Her principal method of operation is subtle yet strong. Venus represents the ability to attract what you want through the seemingly unexplainable principle of magnetic attraction. The specific way you’ll go about this is shown by the sign and house Venus occupied at your birth.
Since beauty and attraction are key themes in Venus’ myths she is also known for bestowing great beauty on those in whose charts she is prominent. If Venus is angular in a birth chart (that is, conjunct the Ascendant (Asc), Midheaven (MC), Descendant or Imum Coeli (IC)), the individual is likely to be incredibly physically attractive.
When Venus moves through a man’s Sun sign
Venus is a feminine planet. She represents the essence of the female: alluring, sultry, subtle, coy, shrewd. Being a feminine energy she is most easily expressed by individuals who are comfortable with their softer side.
When Venus moves through a man’s Sun sign (or makes a significant aspect in his birth chart) he is likely to feel more and want to express his emotions and desire for unity. While it would be easy to simply say that Venus moving through a man’s Sun sign means he wants more love, affection and togetherness (which he will), some men may find it difficult to ask for it.
One way to help out with the expression of Venus is to evoke her in your style and life. The person you are attracted to is more likely to notice a new look, image, smell or style when Venus passes through their Sun sign or Venus sign, so make an effort with your appearance during these periods. They are also more likely to respond to physical affection with genuine care and tenderness. Note the dates when Venus will be affecting them and be as goddess-like as you can towards them and your relationship. Venus demands an expression of beauty and pleasure — she looks for indulgence and doesn’t worry about what happens later.
Your Venusian self
Venus is the principle of beauty, love and fertility and, as with all women, she has many complex layers. As you start to unravel your own relationship to the Venusian parts of yourself you will notice more of the good fortune Venus is known for bringing into your life. You may not have the relationship or image you fantasise about; however, if you dare to invoke the spirit of Venus in small ways in your life, you will notice beneficial changes.
Frawley, John, The Real Astrology.
Kaldera, Raven, MythAstrology.
Spence, Lewis, A Dictionary of Mythology.
Kelly Surtees is a professional astrologer who does astrology readings for individuals and couples. She is a committee member of The Astrology Association of NSW and teaches astrology at Nature Care College, Sydney. W: www.astroweather.com.au, M: 0414 414 564. To find out where Venus is in your birth chart, do your chart for free at www.astro.com or order a basic chart interpretation for a nominal fee through Kelly’s website www.astroweather.com.au.