Today I re-present an article on the nature of Venus dated February 22nd 2003, completed at 22:22 in Berlin. In the spirit of Venus it even includes a couple of my hand drawn pictures!
The Feathered Serpent
An examination of Venusian Consciousness
(For Rawn, who taught me more about Venus than I ever dreamed I could know)
“Beholding the blossoms of the earth and the starry flowers
in the infinite fields of the sky, how can one not wonder,
‘Is there a hidden Beauty behind these finite patterns?’”
– Paramahansa Yogananda
What does it mean, to love, and be loved? Why do we each yearn for companionship and affection, to be given and received unconditionally? Perhaps most importantly, where can we find it?
The answer, as always, is within. Love is what you make it, because Love is All. Love is consciousness and consciousness is, in fact, Love. To love is its own reward for to love is to be loving, and therefore to be love, as well as loved. To truly be ‘in love’ one must first realize that there is only love. Wherever we shut love out there is only the need to let it back in. We do not just yearn for love and affection because we are needy creatures, with insecurities – we long for true love because that is what we truly are. Love is the essence of all resonance with significance.
For so long Venus has had her true face hidden from our view, shrouded in her toxic clouds, astrologically significant only of the affectionate and loving needs within us, the urge for pleasures. Just as young women have been limited in their roles over the so called Age of Pisces so too has our awareness of the true spirit of Venus faded from our consciousness. For She is more than the object of our desires and affections, more than the need for love and union with another, She is the Emerald Sister who offers us the Rose of pure love, the spirit of the Victory of Love over all things.
In this article, I will be looking in detail at the astrology behind Venus attempting to pierce through the veil of ignorance that surrounds her from our perception. I will be discussing the primary energetic of Venus before moving on to an examination of the general archetypes for each of the 4 Elements when Venus is found in them according to 3 principle urges of Venus. Finally, I will share with you the hidden Rose of Venus.
Venus is first and foremost like a sister planet to Earth, similar in size and form yet under the stress of an advanced greenhouse effect. In fact, at the relatively close distance of 102,000,000 km from the Sun with an atmosphere of carbon dioxide, sulphuric acid rain, super fast winds, an incinerating day temperature of 475 C (and despite being close to the Sun, there are also some extremely cold temperatures at night on Venus, a deathly -170C) and an atmospheric pressure 90 times greater than Earths, you could be forgiven for calling it a hell hole.
Such is love 🙂
We have to see with better eyes than that. The positioning of Venus is perfectly situated from the Earth point of view for reasons that shall hopefully become clear later. Firstly, however, we should note what the ancients did, namely this – that she rises and sets with the Sun, being closer to it in orbit from our perspective. The ancients called her the Morning Star (Phosphorus or Lucifer, which means ‘Light bearer’- this name was later perverted to mean ‘satanic’ when the Goddess Cults were subjugated by organized religion) and Evening Star (Hesperus, meaning ‘Western’) for this reason. She is never visible for more than about 3 hours before sunrise or 3 hours after sunset. She comes, then, to signal the arrival of a new dawn or a new night upon our awareness, often accompanied by a riotous skirt of beautiful colours in the sky that never repeat themselves (Mercury is also called a Morning and Evening star by some, but it is far dimmer than Venus and only visible for a few weeks annually – Venus, on the other hand, is much brighter, the 3rd brightest stellar object after the Sun and Moon).
Like the Moon, to which she is astrologically related, Venus appears in our sky in phases. The time of ‘Full’ Venus is when she is on the far side of Sol, so she appears smallest to us then. Venus is actually at her brightest when in ‘Crescent’ or ‘Balsamic’ phase, during which she is extremely bright to the naked eye – about 15 times brighter than the brightest star, in fact. The phases of Venus occur over a period of 1.6 years, but actual transits or passages of Venus across the disc of the Sun (effectively Venus-Sun eclipses, which charge Venus with cosmic energy and what I call ‘stellar resonance’) are very rare, only occurring once every century, in pairs, with the next occurring in 2004, and 2012 (some may wish to observe that this is synchronous with the Mayan calendar. More will be said of this correlation later).
To the wise ancients Venus was the planetary embodiment of the Love goddesses – Venus, Aphrodite, Isis, Astarte, Kamala, Frigga, Europa, The Muses and Graces, Lamia, even Juliet – they are all part expressions of the same inexpressible whole being, archetype, or sphere. As such She is the Feminine, the lover or sister and polar reflection of Mars, the Masculine; these planets represent essentially the same polarity as that of Sun and Moon yet here it is expressed less universally and more specifically through human gender, feeling and desire – where Mars is the urge to desire and expend ones passion upon another, Venus represents the urge to be desired, to attract and empower relationship more Magnetically than Electrically. Earth sits at the mid-point between Venus and Mars in the solar system just as our own humanity is at the midpoint of our genders.
This directs our attention to the truth that each man and woman, indeed each and every thing that is created upon the Earth, is, as an outgrowth of being part Electric and Magnetic, also a part male and a part female, for both Venus and Mars are found in any horoscope constructed here, in equal parts, yet with infinitely different stresses and balances. Gender is in all things, not just what we usually consider living things (further meditation on this will provide the soul with more evidence that everything is, actually, alive). We are each containing within us our polar opposite which often seeks expression through the unconscious and is then frequently sought through a relationship with a suitable partner upon whom we can project these unconscious parts of ourselves. An important feature of all our lives is this quest for relationship, which takes as many forms as there are possible individuals yet ultimately always resolves the same way – by reclaiming whatever we may have projected and bringing the resonance of that Love home.
That, in my view, is what Venus is really all about. It is the Love of Eden or Heaven on Earth that we have lost, that we often seek externally and this explains the mysterious esoteric connection between Venus and the ‘fallen angel’ known as Lucifer, and why the planet is regarded by us as a sister. It is quite a tangled mythic thread. I feel that Venus holds a loving vibration for the Earth in much the same way a musical tuning fork can hold and transmit a vibration across space, or a lover can heal your heart. As the Moon contains all our unconscious patterns for us, releasing them back to us for conscious reintegration along appropriate points of the cycle, so too does Venus act as a repository for Love we have forgotten – the personal Love of the All, of the unified Self. The potential to love is truly limitless, and Venus symbolizes the most natural way for us to reach this potential.
THE ASTROLOGICAL VENUS
There are in my view essentially 3 principles involved in our astrological Venus, but these principles or urges interact and are so varied in themselves that they cover an awful lot of things.
Here’s a selection from what the ‘Encyclopaedia of Medical Astrology’ (H.L. Cornell, M.D., 1933), one of my very few books on astrology, has to say about her qualities. They are best read slowly and with emotional awareness of their significance:-
“amorous…artistic…beautiful…benevolent…careless…cheerful…emotional…erotic… fertile… folly-loving…fruitful…
nourishing…nutritious…nurturing…relaxing…softening…soothing…warm and moist”
These are good places to begin your own meditating on the qualities and nature of Venus. Modern astrologers and society have expanded greatly upon this list, so that an astrological description of Venus now reads something like this –
– loving relations, sexuality, creativity and art, pleasure, affections, personal adornment, attractiveness, femininity, sisters, general relations with females, the urge to be desired and find harmonious similarities through comparison in relationship–
If you are able to perceive the connections between these things you have taken a step towards the Venus energy, something each of us experiences in our own unique way. If you can actually FEEL the connection, you’re there. If you would like a more tangible experience, I suggest you open all of your senses to this Venus incense from a recipe given to me by my mother in England (thanks again Mum!) :
- 2 parts Sandalwood
- 1 part Rose Petals
- 1 part Benzoin Resin
- A few drops of Rose Oil
- A few drops of Patchouli Oil
Keep it stored in a sealed clean jar in a cool dark place and remember that incense often blends and improves with age.
I can’t honestly tell you what it will feel like I can only tell you what it feels like for me. In the animal and plant kingdoms Venus is the force of fertilization with its contra or shadow side of decay, survival or natural predation. In the human realm, it is focused on a number of things.
To clarify, I have sorted the general influence of Venus into 3 urges or principles found in each human life. They are the result of my meditations on key words which describe the influence of Venus on a mental, astral and physical plane, respectively. I have done this to clarify the energy of Venus for this article; please do not limit your own creativity by holding them as absolutes. The principles are:
- Creativity or Art (Resonance with meaning)
- Pleasure or affection (Resonance with significance)
- Sharing or giving of self (Resonance with substance)
The Principle of Creativity
“Venus salutes him with this fare good-morrow:
‘O thou clear god, and patron of all light,
From whom each lamp and shining star doth borrow
The beauteous influence that makes him bright,
There lives a son, that suck’d an earthly mother
May lend thee light, as thou dost lend to other.’”
-‘Venus and Adonis’, W. Shakespeare.
The principle of Art or creativity is the most abstract of Venus’ principles. Each and every one of us has an individual and personal need for creative activity, whether it’s knitting, child-bearing, painting, writing, computers, or star watching, we each do something artistic or creative with our lives to resonate with meaning and we each have our own unique and valid viewpoint of what ‘art’ is, and what makes it appealing to us. This is the first part of the significance of Venus in our lives.
It can be seen from early cave paintings that this principle of Venus has been with us from earliest memory. It is from within the need to express emotional tastes and feeling responses, to make tangible our inner experiences, and to externalize this energy that much of our art arises. Indeed, this principle of creativity (and here I include all forms of sports and athletics as creative or artistic acts) is so ingrained in human behaviour we might call it ‘natural’, or human nature, since it seems we cannot help but be creative – we individualize all that we touch and are at times creative even in spite of ourselves.
It should be noted here that creative artistry is not astrologically a province of Venus alone, however, but one she shares specifically with Jupiter – planet of macrocosmic expansion – and generally with all the other planets, which are creative in themselves albeit in their own fashion, for as we are taught by the structure of the Tree of Life, All things contain the All.
The placement of Venus overall in any chart shows our natural attunement to this principle of creative artistry. It has been statistically observed (in an exhausting survey by Michel Guaquelin in ‘Cosmic influences on Human Behaviour’) that those who have Venus on the midheaven (directly overhead at or near the 10th temple key) or ascendant (rising in the east at or near the 1st temple key) at birth are Venusian professionally, that is, they are often drawn into the Venus professions – the arts, beauty, healing, food and wine, sensual pleasure, etc – and this is true in a vastly overwhelming majority of cases I have encountered. Venus, however, can not only show by zodiac sign the types of art and creativity that will get our own creative juices flowing, but also more importantly the whole dynamic of our approach, appreciation and use of the entire artistic principle.
Art is essentially the expression of archetypes in forms through creative acts. The archetypes inform and underpin all artistic acts and because the expression of feeling is so important to the process of symbolising these archetypes we can say that art is the expression of the feeling we have about the archetypes we encounter within and without us. These archetypes are the same archetypes which inform our mythologies, religions, societies, and ideas – they are depicted in the nebulous images of the tarot, the spheres of the Tree of Life, the planets in astrology, the categorisation of angels, etc and they are literally endless and continuously expressing themselves through our lives. Our Venus is a two way door through which we may perceive the archetypes in their raw state through the formation of creative acts; through our creative acts, they are born and live out a material existence in our world.
For instance, the Fire Element Venus is most fired up by the initial creative act, the impulse to new creation, the springtime of the artistic process, in other words, the new birth of form for archetypal forces. This is because of all the types theirs is the most directly attuned to the archetypes. This attunement is intuitive. The Fiery Venus is unconsciously aware and excited by the birth of new possibilities and original impulses which are then often enthusiastically and energetically embraced. They generate motivation and excitement, the initial stimulus or impulse needed at the beginning of and throughout every creative project. The intuitive Fire signs are often unaware of their own unconscious creative power and its source in the archetypal world. They generally just have an often ‘lucky’ hunch or a strong impulse to do something. They also often feel an excitement which sometimes switches to impatience as the creative vision ‘slowly’ manifests. So while the strength of this creative energy is simply its raw potential and power, its weakness is often its inability to persevere long enough to make the vision a reality. A new stimulus comes quickly, tempting the energy away.
To illustrate the subtle difference between the 3 expressions of a fiery Venus (as Active, Stable or Reactive Fire), I offer the following comparisons –
A Venus in Aries phrase is “I am Love”, values independence, originality, and active initiative in art and is often associated with certain of the more defensive martial arts, creative leadership, competitive creativity and competitive arts.
Venus in Leo is “I am Lovely!”, values glamour, radiance, playfulness and creative vitality in art and is linked with theatrical and dramatic arts, gambling, spectacle and grandeur. It represents the emanation of resonance as a creative light.
Venus in Sagittarius is “I am seeking (the greater truth of) Love”, values broad mindedness, adventurousness, aspiration and honesty in art and is connected with the philosophy of art (and art of philosophy), athletics, horse racing, love of the wilderness and the art of romance.
The Water Element Venus is more psychic and feeling in approach to art and creativity. These Venus signs want art to make them feel something, usually something nurturing or comforting, and there is a much more emotional experience of art than with any other type. These are the actors and performers who put such emotion into their work that it becomes cathartic for them, and powerful for spectators. The creative urge of Venus in a Water sign is drawn inwards to feel some love or closeness with the work and a sensitivity or psychic attunement then takes over and directs the experience. These types tend to actually feel emotions as they encounter the archetypes in art and creative expression, and this can deepen even to the point of totally merging with the source, or confusing the source with an external projection, such as when they lack detachment and take things too personally. So, this same union can present the Water Venus with its own unique challenge, namely a lack of objectivity or detachment – these types can literally be swept away in a tide of emotions.
Cancer, the Active Water sign, adds a nurturing, caring, sympathetic aspect to Venus, and this Venus sign therefore signifies someone who values art or creativity which evokes these qualities in the emotional body. It is, like all Water signs, deeply imaginative, being attuned to astral nature, specifically being drawn to the astral materia of the past; therefore, family trees, ancestral history, home, family and hearth, motherhood, protection, nostalgia, memory and heritage are Cancerian artistic themes.
Scorpio is the Stable Water sign and it is deep, secretive, mysterious and passionate because it is a collection of the Water Element in a concentrated space. With Venus here,our view of art is penetrating, insightful and capable of uncovering hidden meanings in everything. It is also profoundly emotional and intense. Venus in Scorpio is drawn to creative and artistic eroticism, the occult and magical or hermetic arts, the art of attraction and subterfuge and the darker or more intense themes of art in general.
Venus in Pisces, the Reactive Water combination, is characterized artistically by an extremely dreamy, surreal, idealized creativity which often contains strong elements of fantasy. This kind of Venus is an absorbent one and is therefore impressionistic and compassionately yielding, often leading to vulnerability. It values all of these qualities in art and creativity. Artistic themes of self sacrifice, unconditional love, martyrdom, dreams and the depths of the heart-sea and the unconscious are Piscean.
The Air Element Venus is often a good one for Venus (creatively speaking) and it is said to be a primary indication of the sanguine temperament if Venus is found in one of these signs under harmonious aspects. The sanguine temperament is mentioned by Franz Bardon in ‘Initiation into Hermetics’ as belonging to the Air Element and is also known as ‘the artistic temperament’.
Venus in Air is cheerful, bright, curious, social and inventive and this characterizes this type of approach to art and creativity. People with Venus in an Air sign can even be drawn to involvement in the arts for social reasons alone and enjoy the creative principle for its mental stimulation, its intellectual properties or its ideology. However, the extremes of Venus in Air take detachment too far and can give rise to emotionless analysis of the creative principle into groups and labels, geometric thought forms and abstract ideas which do not emotionally resonate with self or others and so they are insignificant and only amount to trivia.
Venus in Gemini symbolizes the art of writing and communicating, creative writing and musical scoring for example, as well as dancing (especially in duet), creative travel and speech making. There is a youthful curiosity and vivacity in matters of creativity and art with Venus here and this often goes well with children. Intelligence and wit are valued in art by these types, along with the magic of word-play. William Shakespeare was allegedly born with Venus in Gemini (in the 10th temple of material action or career, with Neptune, planet of dreams and the collective unconscious also there, Venus being sextile Mercury in Aries and trine Moon in Libra).
In Libra Venus is most inwardly creative of all – this is her own realm, a realm where art and beauty are synonymous. Virtually all forms of art and creativity appeal to these types of people, so long as it is generally in ‘good taste’, that is, not deliberately and cruelly offensive to anyone. To Venus in Libra, art is everywhere, we just have to put a frame around it (whether metaphorical or literal) to see that it is there. Typical Libran themes in art and creativity are beauty, balance, justice, truth, relationship, fairness, polarity and harmony or peace.
Aquarius is the most experimental of the signs and Venus here is freer, friendlier, more tolerant of individual differences and therefore more liberal in artistic and creative taste. These people are actually inspired by the archetypes which represent the future – hence, the media of computer art, fractals, ideological visions, science fiction, all that is new, bizarre, eccentric or just plain wacky. This Venus potentially has the farsight we call genius. To an Aquarian Venus, art should preferably suggest surprise possibilities, hidden interconnections, abstract dynamics, or revolutionary breakthroughs. The expression of their own creativity follows a similar path.
The Earth Element Venus is far more tactile, sensual, and pragmatic than the others and is often either drawn to the practicality of art, such as art administration, or to more solid forms of representation of the archetypes, such as clay modelling and stone sculpture. It values substance, realism, economy of energy, functionality and simplicity in art and creative activity but can at times lack the motivation or vision needed to make a new breakthrough or to be truly creative; this is a working, material Venus that calls for physical expression in art and creative pursuits.
Venus in Taurus, the Stable Earth sign, is commonly associated with singing because of the long association Taurus has with the throat through the occult anatomy of the body. A beautiful voice is a work of art and a creative instrument in itself, all in one. Jewels, statues, grass skirts, singing and the fine art of eating and drinking all belong in this category. Opera anyone…? This is a traditional sign, and so Venus here will often be fond of the classic arts. Let’s not forget the arts of creating with nature – farming, ecology and agriculture, which also grow here.
Venus in Virgo is, perhaps, even more classical in its approach than Taurus, the epitome of this energy in known human history achieving incarnation in such individuals as Virgil (serendipity strikes!), Sophocles, Aesop, Aesculus and Euripedes. This energy is known by its purity, detail, pragmatism, scepticism and analytical approach and these qualities filter through into the reception of art and the approach to creativity. Method and fool-proof design, achieved through systematic practice or rehearsal, is a hallmark of this Venus. Themes of servitude, work and rationalism run though Venus in Virgo arts.
Finally there is Venus in Capricorn, which tends to approach the arts from a material angle through administration or government, or as a tool for the expression of political or social ideas, or simply to create something from material reality. This is the archetype of sculpture, the art of architecture, city design, monolith erection, politics and mountaineering. Venus in Capricorn often sees art and society or stage and state as reflections of one another. Thematically it relates to moral leadership and government, achievement through determination and planning, ambition and cynicism.
The Principle of Pleasure
Pleasure, or affection, is at the heart of Venus. Venus is the comforter, the luxury, the attraction of beautiful and pleasurable things; the feminine nature whose symbol is the circle of spirit over the cross of matter, derivative of female anatomy and the fertility of the Egyptian Ankh. Principle of feeling, sister to the Moons principle of responding and reacting, Venus is the archetype of sensitivities and values and all those aspects of self which mould the experience of resonance and pleasure.
So great and beautiful is the mystery that Venus displays for us here that we cannot attempt to define what is or is not pleasurable, so infinite is the scale, so diverse our individual and personal human sensitivities; we can say there are some things we all generally enjoy, – breathing, enjoyment of comfort, sexual union – but how we enjoy these things and the specifics of how and why we like it, and what actually turns us on, or rather, turns Venus on in us – is where we differentiate, and we differentiate infinitely, and yet, not at all. This is the principle of the realm where Venus resonates with significance, with attraction or repulsion.
It can obviously benefit us immensely to become consciously aware of what we like, and how we like it. This is what Venus represents for us in astrology so it gives us a perfect and objective symbolic picture of our (evolving) feeling body, if we know how to read the total symbol of our birth chart.
As usual, astrology gives us 4 basic archetypes based on the Elements, each of which approaches the feeling and pleasure principle differently. However, these 4 baselines are only beginnings, a full analysis of Venus and the feeling body requires much more of an individual approach of course. In addition to the Elemental and zodiacal nature of Venus, a good astrologer will also consider whether Venus is retrograde, her temple or house position, her aspects to other planets or points, her latitude, as well as the particular phase of Venus (her relationship with the Sun as Lucifer or Hesperus and her brightness in the sky). The 4 archetypes following are merely a good beginning if you want to study the subject.
Venus in Fire signs expresses and feels affection and resonance majestically, energetically, grandly and directly, on impulse, instinct, and spontaneously. There is great warmth, passion, enthusiasm, and generosity. These types like to be stimulated by surprises, newness, and the thrill of the chase (but not necessarily the catch!). They feel pleasure as a direct infusion of enthusiasm for living, as it warms them to the potential for their own happiness to be satisfied, for life to reward them with success and comfort.
Venus in Aries feels impulsively and directly, is ardent and passionate and values originality, freshness, courage and boldness. Initiative and independence are the key emotional qualities of this feeling body. Its challenge is in maintaining contentment by learning to love the self as much as the pleasure of self satisfaction.
Venus in Leo is magnificently brilliant and generous with its own majesty. This Venus feels dramatically, with itself centre stage in the spotlight, alongside its children – pride, playfulness, enthusiasm, grace and loyalty. Recognition and vitality are key qualities of this Venus, with the challenge being towards greater emotional humility.
Venus in Sagittarius is adventurous, explorative, as restlessly free as a wild horse and as romantic as a rosy glow on the next horizon. This Venus is independent, needing to roam and move freely to be comfortable, but it is also inclined to honesty and truth. Possibility and discovery are key qualities of this Venus, which is challenged to reconcile its idealism with realism.
Venus in Air Venus is involved with the pleasure of friendship, with intellectual and mental co-operation. This Venus expresses affection socially and draws pleasure from a sense of companionship. Venus in Air is at its most changeable, seeming to be blown along from feeling to feeling by an invisible force, never resting in one place for long, always opening up a fresh perspective. This type feels pleasure more abstractly than others, as stimulation or quickening of thought through the mental body. They can be fickle and lack emotional depth because they are enchanted by glimmering reflections on the surface.
Venus in Gemini possesses an extremely flexible and adaptable emotional body which often leaves them wondering how they really feel. This elasticity is the result of a polarization of all feelings by the individual. Feelings are evaluated for their alikeness or similarity to other feelings and pleasure is experienced when change produces a fresh environment. Versatility and change are the keywords of this Venus, which must learn to adapt and merge with differing opinions less often in order to know what it ‘really feels’.
Venus in Libra is never wanting to upset the delicate balance of good feeling that must exist in order for peace to reign exalted in all their relationships. This Venus is diplomatic, fair, just, considerate, charming and gentle. Harmony and beauty are the keywords of this Venus, which seeks to balance all the feelings – those of self with those of others – in order to be fair, according to some nebulous definition of what that means. The need for a partner is often strongly felt here, as the energy of Libra naturally seeks to unite the divided poles of Gemini, and it is this urge to project their feeling tastes that these types must face.
Venus in Aquarius is much cooler, more detached and impartial than any other type of Venus. Here, Venus becomes experimental, eccentric, individualistic, freedom loving, surprising and unconventional. Venus in Aquarius draws pleasure from imaginative theories and humanitarian effort, from independent experimentation and rebellious extremism. Its keywords are freedom and co-operation. Its challenge is to not become enamoured of mental fantasy or aloof from real feeling.
The Venus in Water signs engulf Venus in deep and powerful oceans of feeling and resonance with significance, submerging the individual in emotions and perceptions which more often than not lead to direct sympathy. The feeling body is psychically sensitive, compassionate and thus often profoundly moved or otherwise affected by the feelings of those around them. There is a mysterious quality to these Venus’ which comes directly from their emotional power, but it is also a potential vulnerability which excludes the comfort they seek from contact.
Venus in Cancer is exceptionally nurturing and shielding, parental, familial, loyal and seeks pleasure from knowing the things which are important to them are safe. They are both sensitive and tenacious, like the crab, and feel instinctively from a place deep in the breast or gut. Devotion and protection are the key words of this Venus energy, which must often confront the worry that hides behind its own defences.
Venus in Scorpio is the most erotically charged of the 12 and experiences the feeling principle deeply, passionately, and with extreme often consuming emotions. Deep significance and resonance is being dealt with freely and often with gusto. These qualities are automatically radiated out from them lending them raw Magnetic sex appeal. They seek to penetrate deeply into the hidden territory of the pleasure principle and are stimulated by mystery, taboo, and power. Secrecy and transmutation are the key words of this Venus, which must learn to direct and wield the enormous power of their emotions if they are to avoid obsession, jealousy, or worse.
Venus in Pisces is the most self sacrificing of the emotional types. The feeling body here is in touch with feeling on a more saturated and unconscious level than most and this receptivity makes them compassionate, selfless, romantic, imaginative and dreamy. Thus, these people enjoy fantasy, make-believe, fairy tales, music, mythology, and practically all forms of escapist pleasure. Unity and forgiveness are the keywords of this Venus, which is challenged to confront emotional self deception and transform the physical world rather than just dream of its ideal replacement.
Venus in the Earth Element focuses herself more physically than anywhere else. She is dealing with substance and with the reality of feelings. These Venus energies are more dependable, solid, reliable and firm and they appreciate this in other things. Feeling for this Venus is to be filtered through Earth so that it can be drained of unrealistic attitudes. Touch and material or tangible pleasure is the heart of this Venus, these are often the people we describe as being ‘a rock’ in times of emotional crises. However, the very method they use to stand firm against the emotional game of life can often cause them to calcify or petrify their own feeling body.
When Venus is in Taurus, she is the Earth Mother, nature itself in human form, in love with touching and the tangible fruits of living like eating and drinking, because these things – nature, touching, eating and drinking – nourish and strengthen the physical body and that’s what Venus is all about here. Loyalty, physical luxuriousness, permanency, wealth, land, stability and endurance are the pleasures of this Venus, its keywords being dependability and practicality. The challenge for Venus in Taurus is in not becoming fixated on old emotional patterns.
Venus in Virgo expresses the pleasure principle helpfully, modestly, and timidly. It is matter of fact on the feeling and emotional body, finding precision, rationalism, perfection, exactness, detail, good service, integrity and humility to be pleasing. Emotional purity and emotional logic are key words I use when working out what this type of Venus symbolizes, and she most often requires a less critical, fussy or analytical approach to be taken to the emotional body, which often seems rather messy or untidy to these individuals.
Finally, Venus in Capricorn symbolizes that feelings connected with security, organization, order, hierarchical management, controlled planning and the steady realization of lofty material ambitions will bring pleasure. Venus here is inspired by the feeling that significant things endure and great things can be achieved by those who patiently scale the mountain and never take their eyes from the ground or their mind off the summit. Reputation and duty are the keywords here and the challenge is not to allow fear, suspicion or an impersonal approach to inhibit the feeling body.
After this brief introduction, you should be able to conduct your own further inner or outer investigation. If you refer back to earlier articles I have written, comparing the statements I made then on the 12 Elementary energy patterns of the zodiac, you will see something of the mechanism of astrology as many of those qualities mentioned above will be seen there too, since what I have written above is an extrapolation of the zodiacs basic meaning through the feeling and pleasure focus of Venus. The planets are of the nature of the chakras, foci of intensely concentrated energy which represent symbolically in the cosmic body of the solar system a concentration of energy within man and woman, and vice versa.
The Principle of Sharing
This is the principle of relating. Specifically it is the urge to be loved, to experience the Venus within ourselves as a substantial thing which is stroked, held, kissed, given and taken. The natural resonance we experience as chemistry with other people and things tantalises us with the elusive promise of a perfect mixture. The quest then is to identify the resonance of this substance, seek out its material form, and then merge with it.
Let us pause here a moment, and ask how often we hear women say they want or need to be loved? And, how often do we hear men openly voice the same need without feeling uncomfortable?
The principle of sharing – the desire to be loved and to engage in relating our resonance with other resonance – is essentially a Venusian quality and women have a bias to identify more strongly with it than men, who, on the other hand, more often personify Mars, the urge to desire, the need to satiate desire upon another. To be desired and to desire are the same as giving and receiving, which are one in truth, for what is truly given from the self is also given to the self. Mans destiny is woman’s – they rise or fall together. ‘Man’ in this context is the embodiment of the love of truth, and ‘Woman’ is the embodiment of the truth of love. They are therefore the same, only expressed differently. And both exist intertwined within all things.
Sharing is the exchange of love and affection, whether it’s a kiss on the cheek, a halved sandwich or a multi million pound donation. All of it is equal because only the love that is behind it is truly of value, and genuine love is always equal and fair. It may seem at times to our skewed perceptions that what we give away is gone from us or that love can be lost and won, but ultimately these are illusory conditions arising from out of the abyss, echoes from the voice our true love eternally calls out to us with from beyond the nothing that separates us from it.
All that is shared increases and every loving relationship in the world makes it a more loving world for everyone. This includes the one we most often forget to truly love, the relationship with the self. Sometimes, the lack of love we feel for ourselves is felt very personally, as with the Water signs, who often feel that love only wounds them. Or, it is felt as romantic disillusionment, as with the Fire signs, which tend to project their own lack of self love onto an idealized image of a real person. It may be felt as alienation, an inability to connect with others on a deep emotional level, as tend the Air signs. Or perhaps as hopeless pessimism, a scepticism of all feelings, through Earth. However it manifests for us, we all confront it – heartbreak – the sudden realization that there appears to be a space of emptiness in the heart, an abyss that yearns to be closed or bridged, a need to have the holes filled. We look outside for the answer, and thereby perhaps make our only mistake we ever do in relating – we seek correction in the place where correction is not needed.
Venus in our birth chart is a symbol for our relating skills and habits, the kind of sharing we are most free and happy with. It couples with Mars to give an overall picture of our relationship attitudes. Taken together, these two show us a great deal about our interpersonal relationship dynamic, but they are by no means the only relevant areas of astrology as far as relating is concerned. Any two charts can be compared and a skilled astrologer can then interpret the highly complex and individual combinations to gain insight into the Elemental and planetary forces at work between the two people. This is called synastry and it is a very skilled art that requires a comfortable working knowledge of the methods of interpreting a birth chart along with at least a degree of psychic and/or intuitive sensing. It is used very successfully in practice through the work of talented astrological counsellors all over the world. Synastry reveals how different individuals experience one another in relationship, but charts can also be merged with one another – producing what is called a composite chart – which is a symbol of the entity that is produced by two people inter-relating, and it is often very startling to people who know nothing of astrology when an astrologer describes their relationship with another person the astrologer may never have met, almost as if they were intimately aware of what it feels like to both of them in their relationship. This is the magic of an enlightened understanding of the art of composite charts.
So often in their line of work, astrologers are asked questions about relationships with other people. There is a poor understanding of what astrology can and cannot do in many of these cases. The birth chart itself is best viewed in these matters as a seed of potentials which will naturally expand, inter-relate and play out over time. It does not truly limit us, since any limitations we experience are our own, and Venus is no exception to this. If asked, “when will I find love?”, perhaps from a person whose natal Venus is especially challenged, an astrologer has some options to pursue which can point out potentials in the time-space continuum, but it is up to us to seize the potential, wield all the energies and craft our own being from the experiences that come. The misconception most people have is that somehow everything that happens to them is written in the stars, which paradoxically is and is not the case; the potential for certain things is always within us, and out there – how we handle that, and what we do with it, is up to us. Otherwise, this would be a clockwork universe and we would just be part of a soulless machine with our lives running like software programs on hardware. Nature simply does not behave in that way.
This confusion surrounding astrology arises out of a deeper confusion regarding the nature of free will and fate. Like giving and receiving, they are poles of the same thing, and therefore one. The psychologist Jung emphasized this when he said “character is fate”. It is a subtle paradox that must eventually be understood by anyone seeking to understand how astrology actually works.
The Feathered Serpent & The Rose
I could now discuss the zodiac positioning of Venus with respect to the principle of sharing, but the notes I have provided so far should prove sufficient for people to comprehend how Venus operates. What brings us pleasure is what we seek in relationships, and similarly, the love of art mirrors the art of love, so what I have said for the previous two principles can be extrapolated into the sphere of human sympathy and relationships. Rather than go through the 12 signs again, I instead want to offer you something more heartfelt.
To begin with, however, I need to give a few pointers about Venus. The sign Venus occupies from our geocentric perception when we are born describes our relationship with relationships, in essence. Since Venus occupies an orbit closer to the Sun than Earth she can only be perceived in the same sign as the Sun, or one (sometimes 2 in extremis) to either side. From each of the 12 Sun signs this gives us 5 possible variations for Venus. Remember this 5 later – it has great hidden significance.
So for an Aries person for example there is the following possibility –
Aries Sun with one of the following – Venus in Aquarius, Venus in Pisces, Venus in Aries, Venus in Taurus, or Venus in Gemini.
The natural progression of the 12 signs being Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces.
This is a large reason why a computer generated astrological report can only go so far – it simply assembles all the pieces like a jigsaw but it doesn’t tell you anything of how or why they work together, and almost nothing of the overall picture of the jigsaw puzzle is revealed to the mind. Such reports are good for learning a basic outline of your chart but they do nothing more than list all of its ingredients, with no thought as to what’s being cooked up. In fact, this part of the principle of sharing, of seeing how the overall horoscope functions as one interrelating, evolving whole, is one of the most magically satisfying of all astrology’s revelations. It is an art, blended with the natural laws that are the science of the universe.
That science is in evidence throughout our solar system in hidden patterns that are traced through the void by seemingly wandering planets (the word itself stems from ‘wanderer’) but which are in fact coordinating themselves in a grand ballet that is staggeringly awesome to conceive in its completeness. It is generally lost to our modern mind because we have crunched time down into fractions of a second, losing sight of the greater cosmic timing and the macrocosmic patterns that contain us. Ancient peoples were more attuned to this cosmic clock. Many harmonized their social existence with it.
The Mayan people had a deep affinity for the planet Venus. In fact, their calendar is based on her cycles. To them, however, ‘she’ was a ‘he’, and his name was Quetzalcoatl, the Feathered Serpent. In Mayan belief, he came to Earth to live as a man before ascending as a god, and he was identified with the evening star, Venus Hesperus.
As Venus circles the Sun, there are points when, closest to the Earth, she disappears from our perspective, emerging 8 days later. She disappears again when circling round the far side of the Sun, this time for longer, an average of 50 days. The time when Venus is invisible because of being between the Earth and the Sun are called the inferior conjunction, and when she is on the far side it is called the superior conjunction. When she is moving from inferior conjunction to superior conjunction, she is Venus Lucifer, the Morning star; and when she is moving from superior to inferior conjunction, she is Venus Hesperus, the evening star.
The points on the picture labelled “birth” and “Ascension to Heaven” are when Venus first appears and later disappears around the far side of the Sun – when she appears in our skies, and when she vanishes from them. The points I have called “Descension” and “Ascendancy” are when she is furthest in elongation from the Sun – as far east or west as she can be, and she is consequently at her brightest and greatest magnitude then. Between “Death” and “Rebirth” (the shaded pink area), she is not visible, having sunk into the horizon, just as the Feathered Serpent god did for 8 days before resurrecting himself and ascending to the heavens again.
The Mayans were aware of all this, and they plotted their (in)famous calendars on it. Not only did they know the cycle of Venus, they further realized that there was a pattern in her appearances. She only ever shows us the same face at inferior conjunction; the same face which faces out from the Sun at the superior conjunction, as if sharing between the Earth and the wider universe. This face is Ishtar Terra.
They knew a further mystery – if one were to plot the zodiacal points of the superior or inferior conjunction, the points of maximum elongation or brightness, or the points at which she appears or disappears – in short, any of the points on her cycle shown in my humble picture – then over 5 cycles they produce a perfect pentagram, or five pointed star. So, as Venus traces a perfect pentagram pattern around the Earth, slowly rotating itself anticlockwise, the Feathered Serpent coils gracefully through time and space, eventually completing an entire circuit, thereby offering the Rose of Venus.
A poignant and beautiful gift of love to us all, I think you’ll agree.
I hope this brief description of Venus has encouraged you to look at nature not just as the grass and sky around you but as the whole universe, a place where galaxies flower and Suns blossom in an intricate network of elaborate patterns that we have yet to fully detect, even as it occurs eternally all around us through nature.
May you continue to grow and prosper in natural wisdom.