VENUS, PLANET OF LOVE
June 8, 2004 was a special time for
the planet Venus when a rare event occurred: the ‘occultation’
of the sun by Venus. This was the equivalent of a Full Moon eclipse
of the sun, only Venus is further away and looks smaller. Venus slowly
tracked a path across the solar disc, rather than covering it. It is
interesting that it was a Venus occultation that originally brought
Captain Cook Australia’s way. He came to the Southern Hemisphere
to view this rare event.
Venus in Your Chart
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 to 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 to yourself. Comfort zones are meant to be challenged!
Venus in the Sky
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, resplendent. 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 at your birth – with relationships becoming a forerunner for discovering your solar purpose? Or was she the Evening Star at birth – indicating rewards received and happiness ensured when you find your solar purpose. Or was she next to the Sun, invisible, entwined with your solar purpose as the shadow half - Goddess of the Underworld?
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 is 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 whom and what we want are the realm of astrological Venus. The starsign 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 outwardly, clear to the discerning eyes of others.
Since Venus loves light-hearted pursuits, let’s 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
Venus in Gemini
Venus in Cancer
Venus in Leo
Venus in Virgo
Venus in Libra
Venus in Scorpio
Venus in Sagittarius
Venus in Capricorn
Venus in Aquarius
Venus in Pisces
VENUS IN MYTHOLOGY
While the word Venus comes from Roman mythology, it is her predecessor from Ancient Greece – Aphrodite, whose myth we will explore. There are many heroic journeys made by mortal men in Greek mythology, but there is only one series of tasks set for a woman – the tasks 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 initial 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. Finally she must fill a container with the waters of life from a pool on an impossibly high mountain. Each time a labour is set, Psyche tearfully surrenders to the impossibility of her task then miraculously 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. After all this, 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 Psyche’s tears each time an impossible labour confronts her, her human weakness shows itself again when she cannot resist opening the jar. She has ascended from the Underworld…something so valuable to the Goddess of Beauty has got to be good and surely she won’t 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. Venus represents our surrender to the principle of eros – then miracles happen.
It seems that human failings and the deep forces of nature that lay 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 keeps 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 mother’s 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, open to the miraculous.
Copyright Christine Broadbent