The Aphrodite Within
Given that most people’s exposure to astrology is to the sun sign horoscope in the local newspaper, it’s easy to forget that astrology is one of our richest repositories of myth and symbol. Our understanding of basic archetypes can deepen profoundly by studying this ancient cosmology, and, what’s more, astrology can allow us to examine how these archetypes manifest in our own lives.
Each of us has an Aphrodite within, an inner goddess of love and beauty, which seeks expression.
In an astrological chart, a rough depiction of the sky at the moment of your birth, Aphrodite is represented by the planet Venus. Her placement will describe much about your relationship style, your sense of beauty, and your capacity for joy and pleasure. She also describes your ability to unify by smoothing away the rough edges of difference, and she speaks to what makes you sparkle and others sit up and take notice. In this way, she’s tied to our self-value and how we like to be acknowledged and appreciated.
Though an in-depth analysis of Venus is beyond the scope of this article – your Venus is as individual as you are – we can look at Venus in the elements to touch on some major themes and essential desires of various Venus placements.
(Note: If you’re unsure of your Venus sign, go to the end of the article for help on finding where she was at the moment of your birth.)
Venus in the Elements
Venus in Fire: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius
When Venus is in a fire sign, you are most attracted to people who are vital and alive. You want to be surrounded by others who share your willingness to set off on an adventure and appreciate your love of challenge.
In relationships, you want to feel inspired and passionate. You crave authenticity, joy, and creativity, and you need leeway to explore the world around you. Your friends and lovers need to support your desire to set your own direction and call your own shots. Most of all, you need to feel attuned spiritually to the other (“Our vision for life is aligned”) and that the people closest to you share your sense of possibility.
You can’t abide a killjoy: someone who continually thwarts your native enthusiasm, or mistakes commitment and responsibility for a self-serious, narrow approach to life. In love and in friendship, you’re looking for a bit of magic and you want to share the long journeys with those who delight in living.
Think of yourself as a kite, your ideal partner holds the twine, stabilizing and supporting you to catch flight. If your partner tamps down on your ability to feel alive or wants to permanently ground you, then you’re likely to go it alone.
Venus in Water: Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces
With Venus in a water sign, you desire intimacy and deep connections. Your relationships are safe harbors, places of refuge in a storm, and you’re attracted to people with whom you feel emotionally secure. Those closest to you know what you’re feeling before you say a word. They make you feel that no matter what happens, everything is going to be all right and they’ll be there for you.
You’re looking for people with whom you can share every flaw, every vulnerability, and they’ll love you all the more. What you want most in relationships is a sense of profound emotional attunement, safety, and deep sense of belonging: a nonverbal understanding that says, “You get me, I don’t have to explain.”
What you fear most is betrayal. When you stand before another and drop all defenses, you expect that person to honor the trust you’ve placed in her or him. Anyone who is careless with your feelings or who doesn’t share your innate sensitivity will find themselves shut out in the cold.
Venus in Air: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius
When Venus is in an air sign, you’re attracted to people who stimulate and engage you, and you genuinely enjoy learning about others and their lives.
In relationships, you seek partners who are smart, independent and share your native openness, love of variety, and playfulness. You want enough space to connect with the world around you, and those you love support your unmitigated curiosity and need to explore. You’re looking for a partner who is both lover and fellow traveler, someone who makes the journey more interesting, rich, and fun.
What you desire most is the freedom to think and say what’s on your mind, to share your ideas without censure, and for your partners to be equally engaged in the discourse. To this end, you look less for someone who meekly agrees with you than for someone who will challenge you to push your understanding yet further. Ultimately, you seek the self-awareness that is wrought from interacting honestly with another.
For you, routine and boredom are the death knells of passion. Those who cannot match your open-minded approach to the world or who are unwilling to at least entertain the unfamiliar cannot accompany you on your travels.
Venus in Earth: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn
With Venus in an earth sign, you seek the security, peace, and comfort that come with committed friendships and relationships. You understand true passion stems from mutual respect and that love needs to be tended.
You’re drawn to people who are sensual, competent, and have a surplus of integrity and strength. Particularly attractive are the “doers” of the world, who work hard to create the life they want. Your ideal partner reinforces your sense of stability and facilitates your native self-reliance and desire to get things right.
You’re a sensualist, so touch is often a profound means of connection: holding hands, making love, a passing caress act as outward demonstrations of what you share. What you want most from your relationships is to feel physically attuned and connected to others, to know on a cellular level that those closest to you are every bit as strong, dependable, trustworthy, and committed as you are, and that together you can weather anything.
To capture your heart, one must first earn your respect. All style and no substance leaves you cold and those prone to unrealistic flights of fancy make you flee for the nearest exit. You take the long view on life, seeking what is real and lasting, and you aren’t prone to settle for less.
Discover your Venus
To find your Venus sign go to Astro.com. You will be linked to another page where you can log in as a guest user. Click on “Click here to go to the data entry page” and enter your birth data into the form that displays. (If you don’t know your birth time, enter noon as the time. As long as Venus does not list as 29 degrees or 0 degrees in the chart, you can trust your Venus sign. If it does show up at 29 or 0 degrees, you’ll need to locate your birth time to determine your Venus sign and element.) After entering your information, a chart will display with a small box to the left that lists your Venus sign and position.