The mythology of Venus is ancient with roots in Neolithic Greece. She was called Eurynome, which means
"wide wandering one". She was born of primal Chaos, dancing on the water. Eurynome transformed the North Wind into a
serpent named Ophion. The serpent coiled himself around her, impregnated her and she gave birth to the Cosmic Egg. Ophion
wrapped himself around the egg seven times and stayed until it hatched Creation.
As Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love, she is rich in mythology. Homer wrote of her, calling her the
beautiful, golden goddess. Depending on the source, she was either the daughter of Zeus and Dione or she sprang from the foam
of the sea. In early writings she was depicted as a soft, weak, unimposing goddess, but later she became a treacherous, spiteful
goddess who exerted a destructive power over men.
Perhaps the most famous of her exploits were the events that led to the Trojan War. There was a contest to
name the most beautiful of the goddesses. The choice was narrowed down to three: Juno, Pallas Athena and Aphrodite. Zeus was
chosen to decide and intelligently declined, suggesting they ask a young shepherd, Paris, who he assured them, would be a
fair judge. Paris was not asked to look upon the goddesses, but to choose the fairest by choosing which of their gifts he
would accept. Juno offered to make him the ruler of Europe and Asia. Pallas Athena assured him he would lead the Trojans to
victory over the Greeks. Aphrodite offered him the fairest woman in the world. He was the choose the winner of this contest
by giving her a golden apple. His choice to recieve the golden apple was Aphrodite. Keeping her promise, Aphrodite led
him to Helen of Troy, the wife of Menelaus.
Adonis is another important figure in the mythology of Aphrodite. Smyrna, the daughter of King Cinyras of
Cyprus, was rumored to be more beautiful than Aphrodite (Venus). Cinyras's wife bragged of her daughter's beauty and Aphrodite
went into a vengeful rage.She caused a spell to fall on Smyrna, who then fell in love with her own father, went
to him while he was in a drunken stupor and became pregnant by him. When Cinyras found out what had happened, he pursued Smyrna
to kill her and as he raised his sword to strike her, Aphrodite turned her into a myrrh tree. The tree was sliced in two and
from the cleft emerged Adonis.
Adonis was taken to Persephone (Queen of the Dead) to be raised. Persephone and Aphrodite both fell
in love with Adonis and neither would give quarter to the other, both desiring him. They asked the Muses to decide the fate
of the situation and the declared that Adonis should spend one third of his time with Persephone, one third of his time
with Aphrodite and one third of his time alone hunting in the hills. The dishonest side of Aphrodite emerged and she used
her power to get Adonis to fall in love with her and stay with her rather than abide by the decision. In anger, Persephone
told Aries (Mars), who disguised himself as a wild boar and challenged Adonis on the slopes of Mount Lebanon, where Adonis
was gored to death in Aphrodite's sight. Aphrodite, still unwilling to let go of him, begged Zeus to intervene. He did and
Adonis was allowed to spend one half of his time above ground and the other half in the underworld.
The story of Aphrodite (Venus) is much like the story of the Sumerian goddess Ishtar, Queen of Love. She
descended into the underworld to find the soul of her dead lover, Tammuz. As she journeys through the underworld, she is stripped
of her glory by the Guardians of Hell. When she comes before the Queen of the Dead, she is hung on a meat hook and left for
dead. Eventually she is rescued by the will of the gods and made the Queen of Heaven.
The myth correlates to Venus as it travels through the heavens. As the morning star, Venus runs ahead of
the sun as it goes through its earlier degrees of longitude. As it moves through superior conjunction with the Sun it becomes
invisible (correlates to the underworld). Then Venus reappears as the Evening Star, moving through later degrees.
The myth of Aphrodite and Adonis (Ishtar's Descent) is important because it represents a psychological process
in a relationship. As the morning star, Venus is concerned with the love, the infatuation, rather than the relationship itself. Those
with prominent Venus tend to be impulsive and fall in love quickly. With psychologica growth though life experience,
maturity evolves. The evening star represents greater maturity. Maturity and the evening star are both more highly reflective.
Maturity is more cautious and more aware of love's transformative process and in this state more able to keep a relationship
Venus (Aphrodite) was married to Vulcan (Hephaestus), the skilled artisan/craftsman who cared only for his
work and possessed little capacity for holding up his end of a relationship. As a result of her being neglected by Vulcan,
Venus looked for passion and physical love elsewhere. She found it with Mars (Aries). Mars truly adored Venus.
Venus is the planet of personal relationships, attitudes toward money, comforts and possessions, and also
determines sex appeal, creativity and social graces. Venus represents the woman's image of herself (the glyph is the hand
held mirror) and in the man's chart, indicates the kind of woman he is attracted to.
A strong Venus bestows an eye for design and beauty, a knowledge of how make a impressive physical impression.
Afflicted, Venus indicates a strong streak of conceitedness and lack of willpower.
As the goddess of love, Venus delighted in many sexual exploits. It must be remembered; however, that Venus
and Mars were having an extramarital affair. Venus was not faithful to her lovers and she enjoyed the act of falling in love,
but once a love relationship was established, the ability to maintain the relationship eluded her. The aspects Venus and Mars
create between the charts of couples cannot be used to indicate marital stability. It is a gauge toward passion and attraction.
The desire for love, sex and relationships are the first social needs to emerge. It is Venus, the goddess
of love, who is the guide to the deepest layers of the unconscious, the collective mind or world soul.
Venus also embodies the watery depths of deceit. She lied to her lovers to gain their attentions. She
will say whatever she needs to gain the object of her love, i.e., when Venus appeared to Anchises she was dressed in
red and fragrant with oil, but giving off a golden glow. She assured Anchises that she was a mortal woman.
It would seem she is so appealing that her lovers are blinded by reality in her presence.
As the traditional planet of Libra (the marriage sign) Venus is sometimes mistaken for the planet of love AND
marriage, but marriage really falls under the realm of Juno (Hera). In Libra, Venus is concerned with the interplay of
opposites that exists in relationships. Venus is gentle and seeks the aggressive Mars. There is a tendency to seek out in
the other person that which we feel we are lacking in character. Unfortunately, once we have that "opposite" attraction in
a relationship, we immediately begin to work on changing that person. Stress and contention are a natural element in such
relationships. It is also possible that women with this sign, without proper attention to self-esteem issues, tend to end
up with strong willed, abusive men.
As the ruling planet of Taurus, Venus exudes raw sensuality, whose sole purpose is to enjoy the abundant
earthiness of the physical world represented by nature and the body. Thus, she was sometimes known as Aphrodite Panderos,
the patroness of common love. Prostitutes worshipped her as one of themselves under the name Aphrodite Porne or Aphrodite
Basically, Venus represents the principles of "I" of self-worth in Taurus, the "I" of "What do you think
of me", in Libra.
Venus (Aphrodite) is the most beautiful of the goddesses, yet she needs constant validation. She
is easily threatened by other beautiful women and exhibits a jealous, angry side. When mortals began talking about Psyche,
whose beauty they said rivaled Aphrodite, the goddess condemned her to death. Psyche was rescued by Eros, Aphrodite's own
son. The Aphrodite/Eros/Psyche story is told in the Snow White fairy tale: Snow White is condemned to death by the queen when
Snow White began to rival the queen for beauty. The handsome prince rescues her from death and they marry and live happily
ever after. Eros and Psyche married and lived happily. Their union signifies the displacement of the mother as the most important
female in a son's life with the elevation of the wife.
Mythology: by Edith Hamilton Mythic
Archtypal Powers in the Horoscope: by Ariel Guttman and Kenneth Johnson