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Deconstructing Venus

A reader called my piece on Jupiter a “rant.” She was quite complimentary about it and the good news is that I’m not done with this solar system yet. For the past two weeks, I’ve been seeing hearts in cloud formations and in water stains, the Morning Star on days I wake up too soon and, today, there was a rash of Venus-themed posts on AstroDispatch. That’s just asking for it. So, today, we’ll take a close look at Venus and see if she stands up well to scrutiny.   

If you are expecting to read a fair and balanced (two words the Venus-ruled Librans love) post, then please stop right now. I suspect that I have an ax to grind when it come to Venus: She is both debilitated and badly aspected in my chart and I can hold a grudge as well as any Scorpio. 

pink460You rarely meet pure types in real life, so I can’t pluck a convenient acquaintance and try and rip ‘em apart here. But there’s enough Librans and Venus-kissed-dimples-and-cleft-bearing people in my life for source material.  Let’s begin with the duo I call “the Librans.” I have no fear that they will stumble across this because how can you read when you buff your nails 10 times daily on a weekday and 50 times on the weekend?

They are both people you like: they dress well, smell good, their clothes and accessories are color-coordinated, their nail polish is never chipped and they re-apply their lipstick frequently. It’s like being surrounded by cabin-crew lookalikes all the time. Every hair in place, nose always powdered, wrinkle-free clothes. But put all that effort in one direction and other areas of your life are bound to suffer a bit. But Venus blesses her children with a unique perspective on the world and reality doesn’t bite. Being rightly upbraided by the boss for doing a half-baked job? This is what one of them had to say about it: “As I listen to her, I’m glad I’m dressed so well because then I can look down on her.” But, yes, of course! If you are wearing the exactly right shade of L’Oréal, what does it matter how you’ve mucked up what you’re paid to do? You looked great while doing it, right? Good Lord, what more do people want from one these days?

But I would be doing Libra and Venus an injustice, and we know Libra stands for justice, if I led you to believe that looks are all they care about. They read as well, quite a bit in fact, I was wrong about that before. There’s always reading material lying around when you go to a salon to get a pedicure. How else do you think they know the exact shade of pink to buy this season? Reading, man, it improves the mind. And their minds gets quite a work-out, a warm-up even because of their close affinity to their best friend, the hair dryer.  

Astrologers call Jupiter and Venus the “benefics” because the former bestows good luck and the latter beauty, to name a few of the goodies that… Wait! Put that kitten down! Before you sacrifice it to appease these two, here’s one random piece of information: sometimes, when this happy guy and this pretty lady are batting eyelashes at each other in your nativity, it’s almost certain that you will be afflicted by diabetes. I see that the well-glossed Venus smile is a little dimmer now. Good, it was hurting my eyes.

Dear God, I just realized that today is Friday, a day holy to the goddess Venus. Despite my vituperative tirade, I know it is unwise to call her wrath upon my head. James Hillman, a Jungian psychiatrist, has written an essay titled “Pink Madness” on Aphrodite.  In it he talks about the harm we cause ourselves and the society if we do not honor Venus is our lives. Maybe the heart-shaped clouds are trying to tell me something. Maybe it is a good idea and only fair (thank you, Libra) to reconsider the value the goddess of love and beauty brings to all our lives. A confession: I’m rather susceptible to Venus men. Beauty calms my soul and I say a silent prayer of gratitude wherever I find it: in a man, in nature, in spiffy hotels or in a piece of work well done. In Terry Pratchett’s Going Postal, every time Sam Vimes, Commander of the City Watch, enters his son’s nursery his “world turns pink.” The image invariable makes me smile and softens the edges of my sometimes harsh and frenetic world.  Love, beauty, fairness: we need them all. Every day. Just as we need balance, the lesson that Venus-rules Libra teaches. So, that’s it for now. I gotta go buff my nails!

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