What can Venus do for your love life?
Since Venus is the goddess of love, the position of Venus in your birth chart has a strong impact on your nature. Venus can never be more than 48 degrees from the Sun, so she can be up to two signs away from your birth sign. There’s a good chance she will be placed in the sign before or after your Sun sign and this will bring opposite elements together. For instance, a predominantly assertive fiery Sun sign may have a more timid, cautious, earthy Venus. Or a chart dominated by cool, logical air signs can have an emotionally sensitive, moody Venus in a water sign. Since Venus is our social mediator influencing values and tastes, this means that forming relationships can become a complex business indeed. That is particularly so if Mars is in an opposite element from Venus.
Which elemental force will lead us forward? There is no easy answer and this is part of the interpretation of the whole birth chart as a combined pattern. We can nevertheless know that our natal Venus shows how we want to be loved, to be desirable and achieve our desires. Your Venus sign might attract you into relationship with someone very opposite to you in nature. In a sense the Venus of your birth, whatever sign and place she occupies, will tend to level the playing field. The desire to be loved is a powerful force indeed! Sudden magnetic attractions and creative adaptation to achieve our desires all serve our Venusian needs.
As Astrologer Liz Greene says: Venus reflects a fundamental need within us to challenge those social and moral restrictions which we impose upon our hearts for the sake of safety and respectability, and draws us instead into relationships which connect us with an immediate, passionate and vivid sense of life. In other words, you may feel more vividly alive when in relationship with someone very different from yourself. Comfort zones are meant to be challenged!
Venus in the sky
This brightest of planets we so enjoy seeing on the western or eastern horizon is often called Earths Sister. This is because Venus is similar to Earth in diameter, volume, mass, density and gravity. Yet when it comes to her orbit and the rotation on her axis, she couldn’t be more different. To begin her fascinating astronomical profile, Venus is the only planet that spins backwards on her axis. Her rotation is in the opposite direction from all the other planets circling central Sun, just as astrological Venus can draw in a relationship that puts an opposite spin on your life. She also rotates so slowly that her day is longer than her year. Her year of 225 Earth days is the time it takes to orbit the Sun but her day takes even longer than that! It stays dark for a long time on the planet of love … more time for loving perhaps? Earth rotates once every 24 hours, giving us our day, but Venus takes 243 Earth days to make one complete rotation, or one Venus day. Then there’s the matter of the thick sulphurous clouds that permanently cover the planets face and could melt your skin on contact. Sweet Venus indeed! Who was it that said love hurts?
Most interesting of all is her monthly metamorphosis from Evening to Morning Star. For a time we see Venus setting in the west after sunset as the Evening Star. Then she catches up to the Sun and becomes invisible the Underworld Dweller. Then she reappears rising in the east before dawn as the Morning Star. This, too, is a significant feature to explore when your birth chart is analysed. Was Venus goddess of the morning the forerunner for your solar purpose? Or was she the Evening Star rewards received when your solar purpose is ensured? Or was she next to the Sun, entwined with your solar purpose as the shadow half goddess of the underworld?
A Shamanic approach to astrology is based on the real experience of the planets in the night sky and Venus usually makes great viewing. Whether the Evening Star or Morning Star, she is one of the brightest objects in the sky. Venus was either the beauty of the night or beauty of the morning at your birth, unless you were born when she was within 10 degrees of the Sun and invisible. When Venus carries this underworld energy it tends to require an experience of surrender and rebirth, according to Shamanic astrologer Daniel Giamario, who has long studied these cycles.
The pentagon, or five-pointed star, symbolises the human being with hands outstretched to the cosmos. Leonardo da Vinci made this image famous but it is planet Venus that traces a five-pointed star through the heavens every eight years. She forms this shape as she moves through her stations and appears to stand still. The path would probably look more like a five-petalled lotus if you had the right cosmic vantage point and a spare eight years to track Venus. The pentagon shape is interesting considering Venus represents love, and love gives us mere mortals a sense of the divine. Deep feelings can be timeless and the pentagon aptly represents this lasting power of the human spirit.
Without your natal chart, you cannot know which position Venus was in at your birth. (You can get a free natal chart from www.astro.com.) Yet you can know with certainty that about every eight years of your life she will repeat her original position and original relationship to the Sun. Whether you are turning 24, 40, 48, 72 or other multiples of eight, an old door is reopened then. On your birthday as Sun returns to your birth position, Venus does as well, recapitulating your relationship dynamics Evening, Morning or Underworld Star.
Something extra special happens if you are turning 32 or 64: Mars repeats its original position at the same time as Venus does. All facets of your relationships are likely to be renewed then or challenged. The original signature from the birth chart [is] repeated at a higher octave … the original issue is brought forward to be handled again. 2 This could shake you free of a situation that’s not right or shape you up for some meaningful changes. When the male Yang Mars energy reciprocates itself at the same time as the female Yin Venus energy, a new life direction or life-changing relationship creates itself.
Beauty and the beast
Desire, the quality of our desire and how we attract what and who we want are all the realm of astrological Venus. The sign a planet occupies is like the sheath or suit of clothing it dons for the play of life. Venus has so much to do with desires, need and sexual identity that all the shadowy, shameful or guilty secrets are present, too. The only thing is they mightn’t be the big secret we assume because we often wear our Venus, clear to the discerning eyes of others.
Since Venus loves light-hearted pursuits, lets go on a Venusian romp through the Beauty and the Beast sides of each Venus sign. Venus is the arbiter of the qualities you value in a partner, the image of the beloved and even your own issues of worthiness and attraction. This light glimpse explores that strangely human swing from beauty to beast:
- Venus in Aries: Your you beauty aspects are the impetuous passion and childlike fun. Beastly bad are the fires of anger or the haste and bad timing.
- Venus in Taurus: Beauty itself bows down before the sensual touch and seductive voice. Beast rears up as the possessive interference and habitual ways.
- Venus in Gemini: Your entertaining ways and charming wit are beautiful. Too bad about those dishonest, evasive slips that reveal the beast.
- Venus in Cancer: Beautiful are your caring, gentle ways, your devotion. The beast arrives when devoted becomes manipulative and instinctively controlling.
- Venus in Leo: Your humorous, gregarious style and great taste are your beauty pass. Your demanding, pouting, petulant moments can be simply beastly.
- Venus in Virgo:Helpfulness, cleverness and modest competence are beautiful traits. Its beastly bad when you morph into bossy, critical or obsessive micro-manager.
- Venus in Libra:Charming, beautiful and having good taste as well your refinement is your calling card. Yet no ones home to your call when agreeable is simply pretence.
- Venus in Scorpio:Wild passions that sweep you away and drown you in desire can be a beautiful or a beastly experience. Its all up to you.
- Venus in Sagittarius: Your good-humoured style and bring on the next adventure attitude are a beautiful thing. Its beastly when you disappear at emotionally demanding moments.
- Venus in Capricorn: Holding onto things you value brings you beautiful experiences. If you only value material wealth, the beast emerges.
- Venus in Aquarius: Giving your all for the group or community interests gains you a beautiful reputation. The beastly side is when power plays overrule personal passions.
- Venus in Pisces: Your mystical, compassionate, caring ways make for beautiful loving. Loss of identity and excess sacrifice can be rather beastly.
Venus in mythology
The mythic Venus is an interesting character indeed. Some of the titles this goddess has accrued from the myths of various cultures are: Inanna, Ishtar, Astarte, Hathor, Bast, Aphrodite and, of course, Venus. She is variously the Queen of the World, Goddess of Illicit Love, Bringer of Sexual Magic, Patroness of Dance, Battle Goddess, Sacred Whore, Geisha, Golden One Rising from the Sea, Irresistible One, Doyen of all Desires and Bringer of Beauty and Delight.
These titles give you a taste of Venus as luscious but potentially trouble! While the word Venus comes from Roman mythology, its her predecessor from Ancient Greece Aphrodite whose myth we will explore. While there are many heroic journeys made by mortal men in Greek mythology, there’s only one series of tasks set for a woman those set by Aphrodite. These labours are presented to beautiful young Psyche on her strange journey of love. This is a particularly potent mythic journey for the modern woman or for the modern man in search of his feminine side.
The journey of Psyche
The goddess Aphrodite has a son called Eros, later known as Cupid in Roman times. She commands Eros to take the mortal maiden, Psyche, to be placed on a rock as a sacrifice to a sea monster. Instead, Eros falls in love with Psyche at first sight and whisks her away to an underground cavern where all her needs are met. At night, under cover of darkness, he too visits her and she begins the journey of love. However, she’s not allowed to look upon his face, a rule she naturally breaks! Once Psyche sees the beauty of Eros by the light of a lamp, she falls completely in love but he flees because she broke the rules.
Aphrodite then re-enters the picture and sets Psyche a series of tasks, which she has to fulfil if she is to be reunited with her lover. It’s these labours that contain valuable guidelines for the development of a loving relationship and the expression of our Venus principle.
The tasks she sets for Psyche are threefold: first, Psyche must sort a mountain of mixed seeds into their various components in a single night; then obtain some of the fleece from a golden ram that will kill you if you enter its field; and finally she must fill a container with the waters of life from a pool thats impossible to reach. Each time a labour is set, Psyche tearfully surrenders to the impossibility of her task then receives help from various facets of nature.
The ants come en mass and sort the seeds for her, the reeds whisper the wise advice to collect the golden fleece from the fence against which the wild ram rubs and the eagle takes her container and fills it with the magical waters.
Finally, Psyche herself must descend to the Land of the Dead and obtain from the Queen of the Underworld a pot of beauty cream. This is destined for Aphrodite and Psyche is instructed not to open it. Like Psyches tears, each time an impossible labour is described to her, human weakness shows itself again when she cannot resist opening the jar, having ascended from the Underworld.
Something so valuable to the Goddess of Beauty has got to be good and surely she wont notice a tiny bit missing! Instead, as she opens the jar she faints into a swoon and wakes to find that Eros has collected her and is presenting her to the gods as his partner and wife.
It seems that human failings and the deep forces of nature that lie beneath the surface of everyday life are intrinsically a part of the journey of love. Tears are our recognition that we aren’t invincible or perfect or able to gain our every desire. The ants are the relentless natural survivors whose earthy persistence and teamwork keep going until life’s goals are sorted and achieved. The water reeds carry the instinctive wisdom that knows how to approach wild forces strategically rather than dangerously. The eagle has the vision to see far and the ability to fly to that place that enriches life with the healing waters of love.
Psyche is young and curious as she starts on her journey of partnership, but she had to see her lover as he truly is and defy his mothers rules. Psyche herself is the other face of Venus, not the immortal goddess but the fallible human who will reach her goal of love by taking one step after the other, with an open heart.
1. Liz Greene, Mythic Astrology, Simon & Schuster, Australia 1994. Pg 24.
2. Daniel Giamario, an interview in The Mountain Astrologer, Issue 104, August/September 2002, Pg 13.
Christine Broadbent is a professional astrologer and writer who offers personal consultations and printed astrology reports as well as seminars and events. She is available for consultations in Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland at different times of the year. Telephone (02) 9938 4382 or email email@example.com for more information.
8 June 2004
8 June 2004 is a special time for the planet Venus when a rare event will occur: the occultation of the Sun by Venus. This is the equivalent of a Full Moon eclipse of the Sun, only Venus is further away and looks smaller. We will see Venus slowly tracking a path across the solar disc rather than covering it. Eyes, of course, must be guarded by strong welding glass to view the Sun. Its interesting that such an event originally brought Captain Cook Australias way. He came to the Southern Hemisphere to observe a Venus occultation.
The occultation occurring on 8 June 2004 can occur only when Venus is exactly aligned with central Sun and in apparent backward motion. This means she will be in the underworld where the most feeling-oriented and intensely transformative energy is available. The sign this all happens in is Gemini.
Invisible to our sight from June 2 to 16, Venus will make a startling appearance on June 8 in the form of planet tracks across the face of the Sun. From about 3pm AEST you can see the journey begin. Then on June 17, she reappears as Morning Star, pre-dawn. Other important dates are May 18 when Venus begins her backward cycle and June 30 when she resumes direct motion. You might also like to watch out for Venus cradled in the bowl of the crescent Moon as they set in the west together after sunset on May 21.