Everybody knows Venus, the Goddess of Beauty and Love, as well as her glyph—universal symbol for the feminine. Yet only a few know her story. Where is she from? What do ancient myths tell us about her? There are several opinions about it.
According to Hesiod’s Theogony Venus was born from the sea foam, after Cronus cut off Uranus’s genitals and threw them into the ocean. Homer instead, wrote in the Iliad she was the daughter of Zeus and Dione. Who’s right?
In the Symposium Plato gives us a good explanation for this difference of opinion. He said that these two different origins referred to two distinct entities: one is Aphrodite Ourania, heavenly and spiritual; the other is Aphrodite Pandemos, her common and mundane version.
This tells us something very interesting about the nature of Love. Even though Love might be something highly spiritual it embraces nevertheless all the spectrum of the human experience, even the lowest animal levels of our being. We can find Venus in the skies (ouranos) as well as among common people (pandemos).
Venus as a Force
Technically speaking, Venus is the force of Attraction. Through her, we’re lured towards anything we find attractive just because the way it makes us feel. Design objects, stunning pieces of artwork, charming perfumes, delicious aromas, elegant clothes, our favorite songs. This applies not only to things but also to people, especially the person we’re in love with. Venus is the goddess of pleasure and contentment, both physical and moral.
Loving something is to regard it valuable and worthy of our time and energy. Venus represents indeed the ability to value things and people. In other words she is the force at the very foundation of our judgment. This is very important to understand, because we go through life choosing our goals according to our judgment. Without Venus we have no direction whatsoever. Everything becomes pointless simply because we feel it’s not worth it.
In our Natal Chart she rules our evaluation process. We can picture her like a lady watching two contenders competing for her, weighing both sides of the scale. Calmly, she goes through all pros and cons. She’s always going to hear the other side of the story, but eventually she is going to go for what she loves most. She knows her value and she knows what she wants.
Judgement and beauty are a matter of harmony and balance, as well as of physical health. Being Venus the goddess of pleasure, feeling well falls under her domain. Strictly speaking, she’s not a force of healing. Nevertheless, she’s definitely capable of relieving pain and curing symptoms. In addition, body creams, lotions and cosmetics, as anything that makes us feel good, are her gifts to make our existence more enjoyable.
The Power of Attraction
Beauty and attraction are very powerful. It’s been statistically shown that beautiful people have an easier life, to the point that attractiveness is seen as a form of privilege. They get jobs, rewards and social life way more easily than normal people. But why is that?
Their body is a sort of reminder of what you might get having them around. Of course this is not true, meaning that a beautiful woman or a very handsome man are not necessarily good for you (nor having them around, for that matter). Still, their body functions unconsciously as an implicit promise of health, wellbeing and pleasure.
They are kissed by Venus, who was in fact called Fortuna Minor, lesser fortune (whereas Fortuna Major was the name given to Jupiter). It’s true, many people work hard for their bodies. But let’s be honest: most of the times real beauty is a gift from nature. Being attractive gives you more opportunities and with them comes one simple thing: optionality.
As you can see the power of attraction granted by Venus requires you to develop your sense of judgement. With a lot of optionality you are going to spend some time to make your decision, whereas if you have few options you must deal with what you have.
Optionality is a form of freedom, so we might better understand why in the mythos Venus was born by Uranus—the—planet of freedom.
- Femininity, etiquette, manners, courtesy, politeness, refinement,
- beauty, style, charm, attraction, admiration, elegance
- hedonism, pleasure, taste, enjoyment, contentment, satisfaction, love,
- hygiene, cleanliness, health, wellness, care, harmony,
- decency, decorum, dignity, detachment, distance
- rejection, disobedience, choice, judgment, balance, order