Venus is probably the hardest planet in our birth chart for us to fully appreciate. In spite of what those age-old astrology stereotypes often tell you, both men and women can struggle with totally owning and properly expressing their Venus sign’s energy, in one way or other. Why is this? Well, Venus is the symbol of our personal attractiveness. Out of all the personal planets, Venus is the one that’s (seemingly) most dependent on the approval of others. Our identities (Sun), our moods (Moon), and our actions (Mars) can be judged but these are facets of ourselves that are more likely to operate outside of the validation of other people. But, being attractive can feel like it’s completely in the hands of someone else. In some ways, it is. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
However, it’s this grain of truth that can distort our Venus into an expression of insecurity. We all have major issues around our personal attractiveness that we need to overcome, in some sense. The reason for this is cultural. We are constantly bombarded with images of perfection: not only physically but as far as “the whole package.” We have these ideals of the perfect man or woman shoved in our faces, both overtly and subliminally, through magazines, film, television, advertisements. We distort our Venus when we buy into these superficial images and standards and expect a) ourselves to live up to them and b) others, especially our significant others, to live up to them. This is the shallow end of Venus that will never be truly satisfying.
A planet can express itself in a variety of ways. When our Venus strives desperately for external beauty and validations of its beauty, then this is when we get the negative archetypal behavior of this planet: narcissistic mirror-gazing, obsessions with materialism, gold-digging, seeing a partner as a trophy rather than a real person. All twelve of the Venus signs can display this kind of behavior in their own ways. But, it’s all fundamentally linked to a lack of inner substance and true self-worth. This is what our Venus also stands for: how we value ourselves.
It can be tough to genuinely value yourself in a society that’s constantly telling you what’s attractive. Body image issues are often linked to our Venus and this can be as much of a problem for men as it is for women. Just like women can feel insecure by needing to live up to the standard of impossibly thin supermodels, men can feel insecure by feeling pressured to look like the ultra-buff guys on fitness magazines. It’s all quite ridiculous. Since beauty is in the eye of the beholder, there are countless different definitions of what’s sexy, beautiful, or attractive. What turns one person on isn’t necessarily going to turn on the next and that’s okay. Yet, our culture still has issues completely embracing this diversity of images. This is what can make it so difficult to honor our Venus. We often try to fit it into a mold of what we think it should be, instead of letting it just be.
What’s the side effect of such insecurity? Well, Venus might be a peaceful, loving goddess but push her too far and she’ll have her revenge. How does she do this? Through an act of irony that often escapes us. The harder we try to make ourselves attractive to others, the less appealing we actually are. The passive quality of the planet Venus means that we don’t need to try and exert this energy on to the world, even if it’s in a Fire or Air sign. This only causes disaster as this isn’t Venus’ natural function, just like it’s equally disastrous to let our active Mars sign go dormant. Venus only exists to exist, to be appreciated and valued. If you don’t appreciate her beauty, then just look elsewhere. It’s like a painting in a museum. It’s simply exhibited, allowing others to naturally come to it.
However, when we go over-the-top with our Venus, becoming vain, desperate, or aggressive with our expression of this sign, then it has the opposite effect. It simply repels; the flip-side of this planet’s Law of Attraction. It doesn’t matter what the outer package is. In fact, this is the contradictory influence of a dishonored or distorted Venus. Even if the surface is nice and pretty, there’s an ugly old hag lying beneath the surface, just waiting to be unmasked. It’s the classic example of the physically attractive person who’s hollow, shallow, selfish, or even cruel and cold on the inside. Such a revelation will send potential suitors running for the hills.
An unfulfilled Venus doesn’t just negatively affect us. It also negatively affects how we relate to other people, as well. When your Venus is self-confident and sure of its own worth, then you’re charming, relatable, engaging, and relaxed. When it’s the opposite, then that green-eyed monster of jealousy will rear its ugly head. After all, why was that Evil Queen so pissed at Snow White? Because she was so insecure, in spite of her power, that she had to ask, “Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?” When she didn’t receive the answer she was looking for – that she was the fairest – then she took it out on Snow White, who did absolutely nothing wrong to her.
You can see this distorted Venus principle at work in our society when you consider the envy that people attract just by being good-looking, talented, or successful. Soon enough, quite a few “friends” will whisper bitterly behind that person’s back that they’re not so great, after all. Just go on the Internet and look up enough information about some high-profile celebrity. See how many total strangers say awful things about this person, who they’ve never even met and who’s never done anything to them, besides seeming to “have it all.” It’s the ugly part of human nature, as well as an individual sign that someone is not honoring themselves properly. The cliché must be said, as it’s very true: when you feel good enough about yourself, then you don’t need to tear anyone else down.
Essentially, this is what Venus is all about. Though it’s often about how we look good to others, we need to turn that focus inward and make Venus more about how we feel good within our own skins. This can be a difficult lesson to learn. Not only do human beings naturally want approval but we all have a deep-seated need to be attractive and attract a mate that pretty much dominates our entire adult awareness. This is perfectly fine, just as long as we focus on how we’re considering ourselves attractive. When we make it less about looks, body, and clothes and more about our inner sense of ease, pleasure, and self-worth, then we’re establishing a more stable sense of our own attractiveness. It’s a state that no one can really take away from us.
In doing this, you honor your Venus. You must turn inward and enter into her temple, finding ways to please your particular Venus placement. Those with Venus in Virgo, for example, need good health and productivity in order to feel happy and comfortable in their skin. However, the full pursuit of our Venus’ pleasures often means going against cultural expectations and ideas and firmly sticking to our own values. The eat-anything-you-want lifestyle that society often unapologetically promotes is something that Virgo Venus needs to really avoid. These people are very health-conscious and have a certain “glow” about them when their diets are healthy and junk-free. More than most, eating right makes Virgo Venus more beautiful. People with Venus in this sign also often have a nerd-complex to get over. They can be too shy or self-critical about their intelligence to really own it. Though being a bookworm is not often seen as the coolest trait, being so smart is what ultimately makes Virgo Venus so attractive and sexy. Therefore, it’s a trait that must be accepted by themselves and allowed to totally shine through.
This process can be applied to all the signs. Venus in Scorpio has to learn to value their strong sexuality, without being plagued by cultural conditioning that it’s “dirty” or “naughty.” For Gemini Venus, valuing the fact that they’re first-class talkers and jokers, without letting the inhibited sourpusses of the world make them feel like they’re annoying for being so communicative and fun, is their challenge. The same applies for the house position of Venus, as well. With Venus in the 9th, value the joy that adventure and freedom brings your way. In the 12th, value imagination, compassion, and transcendence. We must fully enjoy the pleasure that our Venus sign and house have to bring into our lives. In short, we must be attracted to our Venus before anyone else can. When we really appreciate her, then she’ll bring riches to our lives.