Venus is the nearest neighbour to the Earth in order of the planets from the sun outward but Mercury actually spends more time closer to the Earth when taking both planetary orbits into account. Venus is never more than a 48 degree angle from the sun. This means that in a horoscope, Venus can only be in the same zodiac sign as the sun, or one of the two signs on either side of the sun sign. (If you have Sun in Libra, then in your horoscope Venus could only be in Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, or Sagittarius e.g.)
The planet is named after Venus the ancient Roman goddess of love and beauty and shares a similar mythology with her ancient Greek counterpart Aphrodite and other “love goddesses” of mythology.
The story of Aphrodite and Venus cannot be told without first mentioning Astarte, a Phoenician goddess derived from Ishtar (or Inanna) an earlier goddess of love, beauty, sex, war and politics worshipped by ancient Babylonians, Akkadians and Assyrians. Aphrodite was a very popular goddess and one of the original twelve. She was also popular with the other gods as she was said to wear a girdle that made everyone fall in love with her.
Aphrodite was married to Hephaestus by the decree of Zeus as her beauty caused so much havoc on Mount Olympus. She was never faithful to her husband the god of fire and blacksmiths (his Roman counterpart is Vulcan) and was most often involved with Ares (Mars in ancient Rome) the god of war with whom she bore several children.
Aphrodite also bore a son with Hermes called Hermaphroditus, who was merged with a female naiad Salmacis and then generally portrayed as a woman with male genitals. Hermaphrodite is a passé term to describe a person with both female and male gonads that today we would refer to as intersex. This is an interesting detail considering today’s changing view of love and sexuality. Aphrodite herself was so irresistible she was constantly pursued by a series of gods and mortals and bore many children such as Deimos, Phobos, Eros, and Priapus.
Aphrodite is well-known for her odd birth; Cronus (Saturn) during an overthrow castrated his father Uranus and cast his genitals into the sea, which then merged and created Aphrodite who rose from the seafoam on a scallop shell naked and said to be the most beautiful female of any goddess or mortal. Although Uranus is considered the father of Aphrodite she has no mother. And you thought your family was unusual.
Aphrodite was considered to be the goddess of the sea, war, fertility and a patron goddess of prostitution in addition to her usual dominion over love and beauty. The origin of her name is not completely certain.
Venus was a relatively minor goddess of agriculture and spring in ancient Rome originally and later became syncretized with Aphrodite taking on the same symbolism as primarily a goddess of love, fertility and feminine beauty. It should be noted that many love goddesses existed in several ancient civilizations yet today Venus is most remembered. Also, she is depicted in many ways; most often a nude young woman although at times she is robed or draped. Many illustrations feature Venus on the scallop shell and she also is associated with the common myrtle, roses, doves, sparrows, and swans. Aphrodite was said to travel in a chariot pulled by sparrows.
Today, Venus is still a major deity to some people and is a common archetype across a few cultures. She is the subject of numerous songs, books, films, plays and legends. Her name alone evokes an image of a beautiful woman and femininity. Venus is not depicted as a young girl; Venus had no childhood having been created an adult woman. She is as much a symbol of marriage and feminine sexuality as she is a deified representation of love. She is sacred love and illicit love and a symbol of how feelings can be a great power, strength or weakness.
The mythology of Venus includes many love-sick characters, and stories of passion and love gone wrong but her primary role in mythology was as an inspiration of sexual love, female fertility and marriage. She was said to be able to heal marriages in trouble and her legendary girdle had the power to cause people to fall in love; usually with her. The girdle was used or loaned to her sister goddesses at times when they desired an indifferent lover and was said to cause people to fall in love.
Her son Eros (fathered by Ares) is the male god of lust and desire (Cupid to the Romans). The word aphrodisiac (any substance reported to inflame sexual desire) is derived from her Greek name and eroticism is derived from Eros.
Creativity & Artistry
Venus is the primary planet of art and creativity and this makes sense as most artists will tell you their art is inspired and created by the experiences of deeper feelings, especially passion and pain. As the human soul must evolve from a combined sense of self (Sun), emotional reaction (Moon) and the thoughts and ideas in our mind (Mercury) we respond with deeper feelings. Venus represents all of a person’s feelings in astrology not just love. In essence, emotions are the expression of feelings and this is the distinction between the Moon and Venus. The act of creating for many artists is an expression of their feelings and emotions. Good art is thought to evoke feelings or emotions.
When Venus is activated in the horoscope natally or by transit or progression the desire to be creative is often stimulated. The level of one’s artistry and creativity is determined by interpreting Venus’ connections by sign, house and planetary activities. Venus in earth signs has the native gravitate to arts such as sculpting with clay, gardening, horticulture, woodworking, etc., for example. Venus in the 3rd house may indicate an interest in writing or cars depending on other indicators. Therefore, Venus may show what we create, how and for what reason. Not everyone will sell or exhibit art but nearly everybody does something that expresses creativity, often to soothe or express feelings.
What is artistry and why is Venus involved? Likely because of Venus the goddesses governance of all artworks and beauty. For most people, we can express our feelings in words and motions, yet artists express themselves with colour, sound, flourish, shape and form. The artworks are a physical manifestation of the artist’s feelings. We are all artists because our thoughts, feelings, emotions and materials create the form of our relationships. Our lives are the canvass we all use to manifest our creativity. Life is literally whatever we create it to be; based on feelings, and showing that Venus is a very powerful source of creative energy whether artistic or not.
In astrology, Venus is the prime indicator of creativity and art but it is said that Neptune is a higher octave of Venus, meaning greater and more far-reaching works of creativity and art involve Neptune. The most successful or world-renowned artists of any media will often have a strong Venus-Neptune connection. Aspects to and from Venus with other planets will indicate how artistic or creative one may be and their level of success with creative self-expression in general.
Love & Other Feelings
Venus and her many symbols traditionally represent interpretations of love but there are many other feelings that we human beings have so is an indicator of all our feelings. Ultimately, love is the highest expression for Venus but like the other planets she has negative aspects too.
However one will express their feelings (or not) will be indicated by Venus and her relationships. Venus in Scorpio who is reticent and Capricorn who is taciturn are two Venus placements where feelings are often held in and not expressed. Venus in Gemini or Leo will easily make their feelings known and all of them. Venus aspects to the Moon may give more maternal instincts to a native; Venus aspects to Saturn may be restrictive in expressing feelings, or be too harsh and critical or withholding of love.
In general Venus is a feminine form of energy and symbolized by female expression but love knows no gender really whether familial or romantic love. All feminine traits of people may be related to Venus whether one is male, female or a mix of genders and all romantic love. Yet Venus’ relationships in the horoscope include friends and fraternal love relationships so a neutrality is also implied. Today, Venus is more of an indicator of what the native likes in females or feminine people in general whether for romance or socializing.
As all feelings are rooted in life experience and our responses to people and events in our life, Venus is a rich source of information for how one handles relationships, love, and their feelings in general.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and never has a statement been more true. Yet it is also true that human beings have a relationship with the concept of beauty that is much more than skin deep or what our eyes can see. We also attribute beauty to sounds, tastes, scents and sensation. The list does not stop there; we chat about beautiful thoughts, ideas, places, and things and as a rule we revere or value highly anything we find beautiful. Anything we can make beautiful, everything that is or once was beautiful, all are represented by Venus. She is everybody’s personal aesthetician as Venus will indicate your approach to beauty, where you find beauty and even how important it is to you.
There are so many forms of beauty depending on where you are. What is considered beautiful in one culture or community may not be found at all attractive in another. This alone proves that beauty is a perception, a concept, a natural selection that renders beauty to be whatever the local majority says it is. Sounds like aesthetics marketing but the need for beauty in our lives is necessary to our happiness. We feel better if we believe we are beautiful, or if we surround ourselves with beauty. Beauty then it seems is a value and without beauty somewhere in life we could be unhappy.
Beauty inspires feelings. Some people find the beauty of music or dance so moving they cry; others will tear up at a sunset. Nature is beautiful to some; others could care less ignoring the fact they’re just a parasite on a larger living organism. The Earth is beautiful. So are relationships, with the earth and all other life on it, that can be a beautiful thing. We find more beauty in ourselves when we have love in a relationship often.
Beauty, love, sex can all be a part of a deep spiritual love. Venus is all these things of beauty too.
But the community of human beings desires a standard of beauty; Venus herself was the ultimate symbol of beauty in it’s female form. This is an image, an archetype or icon in itself and that humans are manipulated into convivifying as if it is a basic need. Many people spend money on beauty products or enhancements before they buy food or pay rent which isn’t logical or rational but true human behaviour. The need to be attractive or liked is very tied to beauty which is very painful for many people who don’t fit the mould others dictate is the standard.
To heal the social ill we inflict upon ourselves we’ve created a billion dollar industry called aesthetics and beauty and you can believe Venus rules this industry. Anything at all in the fields of aesthetics, cosmetics, fashion and anything else fabulous is the domain of Venus. She is the original queer eye for every girl or guy and her field of creating beauty and celebrity as entertainment reigns in modern society. Venus and her beauty is what everyone wants.
The lowest expression of Venus is ugliness in any form; insincerity, dishonesty & deceitful feelings, anger, hatred, aggression, prejudice, narcissism, selfishness, etc. We express the best parts of ourselves when sharing our good thoughts and feelings with others and this helps build relationships and community.
Friends, Lovers & Children
Venus is a symbol of all our important relationships. She is our friends, our lovers and our children. Venus connected with other planets and signs in the horoscope will give a fair bit of information about relationships with all of these people in the native’s horoscope.
The 5th house in a horoscope represents children of the mind and the body and also the house of socializing with friends and fun creative activities. Its close tie to Venus can be seen with these rulerships as she represents the same. But wherever Venus is in the horoscope will give information about these people in the native’s life. These details are greatly determined through a full view of the horoscope and all the relationships to other planets and can be specific.
They kinds of friends we have or attract can be indicated by Venus. Someone with Venus aspecting Saturn likely has friends of very long duration, perhaps just a few of those. Someone with Venus aspecting Mars would like friends to do things with like travel, dance, dining, sports and other entertainment. Many of our friendships are made in childhood but we should be open to making new friends along the way. Many friendships have ups and downs and come and go. All may be represented by Venus.
Lovers are the relationships we have where we reveal the most intimate parts of who we are. They see us unclothed, and bared wide open emotionally and mentally as well as physically. Venus is all about love and sex as we know but however for long our secret tryst, or how short lovers are ruled by Venus. Some love relationships last forever in marriage but whether long or short every romance is Venus.
When we fall in love and meet our opposite sex we can literally create another human being from our love. That is pretty amazing when you pause to think about it. Human beings however are very accident prone as well and likely most pregnancies were not planned but however the child got here it is ruled by Venus. All children are represented by Venus wherever she shows up in your horoscope. How Venus is aspected by other planets, signs and houses will indicate how your children may turn out.
These major relationships in your life are all represented by Venus. Childless people will find that Venus will represent creative hobbies and pets in their charts and also the children of other people.
Venus is the people with whom you spend time having fun and being creative.
The Minor Benefic
The ancient astrologers had simple ways of interpreting early astrology and traditionally Venus is known as the Minor Benefic. The Major Benefic is Jupiter and the term benefic is because Venus and Jupiter are usually very positive influences in the horoscope, Jupiter being more so. The ancients observed that most people had good stuff going on when these planets were activated in the horoscope.
It is true that even in a horoscope with a poorly aspected Venus you can find a lot of fun and happiness and often she is the reward after a period of trouble. She is the gift it may seem for making it through the rough time. Just as often, you can recognize certain cycles with Venus and other planets to try and get it to work more positively for you, or be part of manifesting your own positive destiny. Any plan to make a positive change is better than doing nothing. Venus may be good luck but also a positive energy boost when activated.
Venus can be a very beneficial influence in a horoscope. She is representative of anything that makes us laugh, have fun, spend time with others, often with all close family and friends we hold dear. She is our major relationships to other people and our attachments to art and creativity.
Venus is a symbol for our children, friends and lovers and may also specifically represent our wife or whomever fills that role. Venus is all that we love and hold most dear and may be Nature herself.
As a symbol of how we are in relationship Venus has major impact in our lives. Understanding her relationships in the horoscope could improve self-understanding of intrinsic needs involving love.
Much of our adult love life and the relationships we have are rooted in childhood experiences. We often repeat attitudes and behaviours of our parents and family relationships seen in aspects of Venus. Our success in relationships or our failures may be tied to early childhood relationships more than you might expect. As ruler of the 2nd house of sustenance and nurturing and early childhood Venus may represent this wherever she is in the horoscope.
Physiologically Venus rules the venous system and the lower jaw. She is associated with the throat, the thyroid and hearing or voice through Taurus. Venus can represent the hips and kidneys with her rulership of Libra. Her close association of the kidneys to Scorpio’s urinary system is important to note.
Afflictions to Venus by certain other planets and conditions can indicate illness such as atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, CVD (cardiovascular disease) due to diabetes or poor diet, kidney and urinary infections, or blood borne illness.
Venus is very earth centred. She is a symbol of mother nature in one sense while also a symbol for resources of the earth. Venus rules gems and jewels and precious stones, jewelled adornment in general. She also rules earth and the soil in it. Venus is often involved in construction and building trades when tied to bigger planets in certain aspects and signs. She is anything artisanal or created by a crafts or tradesperson.
Venus rules the 2nd house of money and early sustenance and also the 7th house of relationships and partnerships and legal matters. These relationships are the primary houses that help us sustain our lives in a positive way. She also rules the signs Taurus and Libra.
Venus tells the world how we are in relationship just by our behaviour. How we express ourselves as a living creative being is seen in Venus. We live our lives but not alone and in relationship is where we love, learn and grow. Most often these relationships are with other people but sometimes they are with the things to which we give value. Beauty, art, creativity, love, children, fun and sex are just some of the things we attach value to and where we spend a lot of time. With Venus it’s a nice place to be.
Venus and all the other planets except the Sun and Moon have a retrograde cycle. Read more about this here.