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Mighty Aphrodite (Venus)
(with affinities to Taurus and Libra)

Tribute To Venus

Many Moons ago (1996 to be exact), when coming up with a design for the Zodiac Master section on Love,  I decided it would be the better part of wisdom to pay proper tribute to Aphrodite (known to the Romans as Venus), the Greek goddess of love, beauty, and pleasure...

Therefore, in the Astrology Planetarium section of this site - only, Aphrodite (Venus), the goddess of love, beauty, and pleasure has been given an entire Menu section (the Love Shack) dedicated solely to Aphrodite (Venus) and to her delights (and tortures)!

Are you listening, Aphrodite?

You see... Aphrodite (Venus) doesn't like being ignored... and she has her own special way of "stirring things up" if she feels that she's being ignored... for that matter, Aphrodite has her own delicious (and torturous) way of "stirring things up" even when she isn't being ignored...

Goddess of Love, Beauty, and Pleasure
The ancient Greek philosopher Plato defined love as "passion aroused by beauty." This perhaps captures the very essence of Aphrodite...

Whoops! Did I just mistakenly say: "captures?" Just kidding, Aphrodite! Never in a million years, could a mere mortal - not even wise Plato - capture your exquisite essence...

But simply stated - as taught by the Zodiacal Sign of Taurus: What we (each, as unique individuals) find to be the most beautiful is, also, what we (each, as unique individuals) usually end up valuing the most...

As Homer once asked of the Muse:

“tell me the deeds of golden Aphrodite the Cyprian, who stirs up sweet passion in the gods and subdues the tribes of mortal men and birds that fly in air and all the many creatures that the dry land rears, and all the sea: all these love the deeds of rich-crowned Cytherea.” Hymn To Aphrodite, Homer

It's common knowledge that the Greek goddess Aphrodite (Venus) gets a wee bit green-eyed jealous and downright annoyed if she’s ignored and not given proper tribute. If ignored or, worse yet, criticized and castigated – then there’s always a very high price to pay to Aphrodite. However, we’ll get back to that high price in just a minute.

To The Greeks
To the Greeks, Aphrodite (Venus to the Romans) was the high status Olympian goddess of love, beauty, and pleasure. In one version of the story, Aphrodite would eventually give birth to the youngest god, Eros (sensuous love). For most folks, young Eros is more familiar as the cherub-like Roman god, Cupid, that shoots golden arrows of love and passion into his unsuspecting victims.

From Plato's Phaedrus

“so does the stream of beauty, passing through the eyes which are the windows of the soul, come back to the beautiful one; there [255d] arriving and quickening the passages of the wings, watering them and inclining them to grow, and filling the soul of the beloved also with love.

And thus he loves, but he knows not what; he does not understand and cannot explain his own state; he appears to have caught the infection of blindness from another; the lover is his mirror in whom he is beholding himself, but he is not aware of this.

When he is with the lover, both cease from their pain, but when he is away then he longs as he is longed for, and has love's image, love for love lodging in his breast…” Phaedrus – Plato,  translator – Benjamin Jowett 1871“

According to astrologer Liz Greene, this passage from Plato's Phaedrus contains: "the most profound meaning of Venus – the beloved, be it person, object or intellectual idea, as the mirror of one’s own soul.” Liz Greene from The Inner Planets

Wars, Conflicts, and High Prices
However, as marvelous and lovely as Venus is, don’t let her kid you.
Unlike the Greeks, the ancient Mayans identified this wandering star as a deity of war. This was likely because the Mayan astronomers found this wandering star to be often associated with the beginnings of wars and conflicts.

Heck! Despite what one might think, even for the Greeks it was no surprise that Aphrodite (Venus) enjoyed stirring things up. In her form as the ruler of Taurus, Venus is highly involved what she considers to be valuable. Most often this includes being interested in money, possessions, and/or other commodities that are considered to be valuable. How many wars and conflicts have been fought over money and/or the control of natural resources?

In her form as the ruler of Libra, Venus was paradoxically known as the Zodiacal sign of both diplomats and military generals. Fickle Aphrodite just can’t seem to make her mind up as to whom her lover should be. As such, Aphrodite knows all about jealousy and envy being a root cause of many conflict and wars. On a more personal level, she can often be found stirring things up when she functions as the irrational source at the heart of the proverbial “Lover’s Triangles” that we humans, throughout the dawn of history and until now, keep repeatedly getting caught up in.

Trust me, these Venusian “Lover’s Triangles” have been the cause of a war or two. Personally, just about any day of the week, I’d pick getting lost in the Bermuda Triangle over that of getting caught up in one of Aphrodite's “Lover’s Triangles.” 

When Aphrodite - already married to the lame god Hephaistos - got together for a little passion with the War god Ares in her own personal "Lover's Triangle," together she and Ares produced her children named Harmonia, Deimos (Terror), and Phobus (Fear). Get the message?

High Prices of Cutting off Venus
Back to those high prices that I mentioned earlier… I’m reminded of the early Christian church desert monks that chose to cut themselves off (often literally) from Venus and all of her fleshly carnal desires of the world. The high price [other than the obvious one involved in physical castration] these monks paid was that Venus then caught them up in a proverbial “Catch 22.”

The further out into the desert that these holy men moved and the harder that they worked at exorcising and purifying themselves of any, and all, of their worldly and lustful desires for women – all the more that these holy men were then plagued and tempted with disgusting, impure, and polluted thoughts that they then attributed to attacks of the "evil one."

Although times have changed over the past almost 2,000 years, it appears that the pleasure-seeking archetype of Venus is still busily at work harassing those that would dare to demean, devalue, and/or diminish her realm.

Nowadays, Venus plagues Christian fundamentalist preachers, celibate Catholic priests, and conservative politicians with desires for unnatural sexual acts and/or fetishes that are most often much more repulsive, ugly, and sick than what they so zealously fight, preach, and/or guard against.

Plato and Venus
In defining Eros (love) as "passion aroused by beauty," Plato rightly understood the pathway to his metaphysical, eternal "ideas" [one of which was "Beauty"] as a road that first takes one straight into and through the heart and depths of sensuousness.

For Plato, the spiritual journey - where one entered into a heavenly type existence that he called "full sensuousness" - was not a voyage where one could hope to skirt around and/or avoid "the sensuous." For Plato, no shortcuts around Aphrodite and her son Eros are allowed.

It's in the "Symposium" that Plato explains Eros is the soul's driving power that leads the soul from the physical love of one body all the way up to the intellectual love of everlasting "ideas."

"Plato seems also to be aware that there is a mystery of love not only in nature, but in man, extending far beyond the mere immediate relation of the sexes. He is conscious that the highest and noblest things in the world are not easily severed from the sensual desires, or may even be regarded as a spiritualized form of them... Love is with Plato not merely the feeling usually so called, but the mystical contemplation of the beautiful and the good. The same passion which may wallow in the mire is capable of rising to the highest summit - of penetrating to the inmost secret of philosophy." From Introduction to the Symposium - Benjamin Jowett

Wow! Plato's concept regarding the divine mysteries of love may feel more than a wee bit foreign to you? It certainly doesn't feel comfortable to the average person, as the majority of our major religions have taught us the morale morays of looking down on our sensuality, desires, and sexuality and viewing them (Venus) as being patently "unspiritual" if not "sinful."

The prevailing Collective Consciousness (Society) of the past 2,000 years has managed to successfully create an uncrossable chasm separating spirituality from sexuality. To the typical societal way of thinking... our sensuality is certainly not a pathway to the Divine! Rather, the two (spirit and flesh) are split apart and most generally considered to be antithetical.

Oh well...

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