By Phoenix of Elder Mountain – Twice a year we all work with Venus energy. The first time is during the new moon cycle of Libra and then the full moon of Libra, a shining planet who is so very, very bright. She shows up in our lives near the Autumn equinox and then returns again around the Spring equinox in her fullness.
She presents herself so we can learn about our personal relationships, about the beauty of being a young woman who then matures. She resolves our struggles in relationship by being accommodating, charming and using her prowess and popularity to find her way in life with material wealth, with love and sometimes jealousy and with the power of beauty.
Those are her basic attributes, but there is a much deeper hidden and mysterious side of Venus / Aphrodite which was washed away many millenniums ago. Its as if one hundred goddesses of the mature adult were disposed of in order to fulfill the power of the beautiful maiden whose rise to power in ancient society, was a benefit to the patriarch, just like today.
As her purity falters today with the Millennial generation, so too will Venus’s more ancient sides begin to appear as one who has a Scorpio side, not just a Libra side. After all, all Libra Maidens turn into Scorpios as adults, just as as all Virgos turn into Scorpios as Elders.
Like Uranus, the planet Venus moves in reverse rotation in her orbit, and that always means trouble… one way or another. My apprentice had suggested that maybe Urania was really the equal to Uranus and later changed to the name Venus. Lets start with one of her oldest myths:
The Fish called the Ikhthys, who were two large Syrian River fish who rescued Aphrodite (Venus) and Eros when they were fleeing the monster Typhoeus. Aphrodite also disguised herself as a Fish to escape the sea monster.
(if you are Darker Skinned or African American, this article is about ancient mythology, stories and archetypes, not about race related or those who follow the Yoruba traditions like Iansa (Yamaja’s sister).
Fish also were credited with assisting in the birth of Aphrodite from Sea Foam. In all versions of the story they were set amongst the stars as the constellation Pisces. The Fish were probably the same as (or reimagined as) Aphros and Bythos, the fish-tailed Ikhthyokentauroi (Ichthyocentaurs) Sea-Centaurs of late classical art, who are depicted bringing Aphrodite ashore after her birth.”
Astrologers and hipster astrologers today, speak about Venus and her shinning light, her love, her beauty and abundance, and the human joyful bliss of a typical juicy Goddess. Doesn’t that sound just great? It does, in our youth, but what happens when Venus ages into adulthood and then enters midlife and that tough time of the chiron return? I call, all these aspects of Venus and Aphrodite, the forces of the shadows of beauty.
In some astrological texts, the power of Venus has less to do with her priests and more to do with her priestesses, especially in Antiquity astrology which shows that Venus ruled both the seventh and the eighth houses and both houses were considered one. There is the duality of Venus, the Mother and Whore, Baba Jaga and Vasilisa, Dark Witch and Good Witch, Snow White when young and the Evil Queen when she is old. One cannot separate the ravishes of beauty when its lost and what gems are replaced.
The masculine and feminine principle of Venus are attributes focused on the powerful light maiden (youth), especially when she was used as a pawn as bride in the princess centuries of the kingdoms of countries. When Mars controlled the eighth house in late antiquity, Venus’ role had shifted and she lost her warrior attributes and as we see today, Eris, Mar’s sister has taken up that sword appropriately once again. People rarely or barely remembered Venus and Aphrodite as powerful warriors and its shadow.
This is clearly seen, as the conscious modern astrologer does not write about her in her wholeness of masculine and feminine traits. Since the 14th century she has been imprisoned in her seventh house of personal relationship, love and beauty status because frankly, her Taurus influences, money, property and energy was completely eradicated after the 3rd century for women in general.
If you want to see the darkest and most neurotic sides of women, look to the pain, woundedness and corruption of her Venus or in a man’s chart where he refused to give up dominance and control of women’s needs for freedom, the warrior or any other archetype other than lover/mother. This is why, since the seventies the elder Dark Goddess has risen on earth and many young women super project their lack of power into making the Dark Goddess (elder grandmother), youthful and the younger adult stages of life. That is a corruption in itself.
Much like the negative contexts of the original medical doctors who are witches forced out around the 3rd century and condemned for being women who heal. To understand woman’s past, we cannot separate astrology from mythology and fill all the missing pieces with men’s theology, philosophy and University archeology, because these do not fit. The origins of Venus and Aphrodite expresses and always has, both her masculine principles of action and protection equally to the loving, abundant, beauty aspects of Venus.
Since ancient times, the seduction of Venus verses the vitality of Mars, woman has experienced through her own energy of Venus power, ruined lives, broken hearts and destroyed families, all under the jurisdiction of her archetype. Most are shocked or don’t even call their relationship crisis, a Venus driven reality, but they are. When society only projects one side of a reality, people begin to believe its truth, when its not. And when its not the full truth, people began to project the dark sides of venus onto the dark goddesses such as Hecate, Nehkbet, Lilith, Medusa or even Baba Jaga, but I am sorry to inform you my friend, it is quite the opposite.
Many feel that dark Goddesses rule difficulty in relationships, and rule over the problems of self undoing, and yes this is true, but within dark goddess territory, it is confined to the “inner nature” called the “inner rulership” and the “acknowledgement” of entrapment touches everyone eventually, even if its a loveless marriage. The realms of death and rebirth cannot be rejected by Venus her whole life. Dark goddess is also appropriate for the seasons of the Wise Elder or Grandmother and her collective intention, one in which the Venus women has no power in her elder years.
Younger women who could be pagan, witches, healers, medicine women or even ordinary women as they get older, may get entangled into a Venus trap when feminism after forty or older could save them. Is this true? Of course, but Venus rejects the idea of being alone in the world so feminism is not a popular choice for self saving. This may not feel right to align with her sisterhood or even be a part of her devoted path when Venus prefers men or the hero.
The maiden archetype can live these idealistic sides of Venus much easier than mature women or elder women, because she lives years beyond youth and that can bring Venus into her blackness. Depending how dark the addiction to love is, will determine the amount of pain a woman sustains in her intimate relationship. In other words, Venus is blind to her own shadow and that is more troublesome after one’s forties.
Venus’ shadows generally start to appear around 28 at the first Saturn return, as she enters the Mother stage, the all creative, she is the beholder of fertility (expansion), abundance, beauty, the rites of woman or the innocence of Maiden (inexperience) which Venus rules all of them.
Venus shadows begin to arrives when pleasure begins to become an addiction, being alone brings up fears, or even sex addiction, pleasure addiction or the more shadowy terms of sex slavery, bondage sex, even if its intended for healing). Venus’ shadows betray with a too much false light that is a little too bright, too many promises that get broken, and too many fairytales gone awry.
Love Goddesses do offer us the opportunity for healthy desire and pleasure if we have no karma, but every single person has karma. On her positive side, she allowing us to fall in love, to express our creative power as women, especially in intimate relationships and much more.
The rules of projection of her myth in fairytale and folktales are extremely dysfunctional for the purpose of showing us the intensity of relationship that all women must learn, but most of the time without a happy ending, and more of the dark goddess medicines of just “letting go and moving on.” Simply put, Venus is born through the gate of the “lack of experience” and desire which can be driven into “impulsiveness or self denial,” but like all shadows, it clearly shows us what is not working for us and our karmic debts must be paid – this is just life, and not our fault, our past life karma is our fault, but those who cannot bridge this are left unknowing who they are in their soul and many questions are unanswered when we are old and pass on.
Venus is not an accumulative nature like the dark goddesses, she is the everyday goddess, the everyday woman, the mundane made beautiful, especially through her creativity and arts. This is her seventh house aspect, this part of our nature allows us the ordinary life including the need to feel alive, to feel desired or desires, which heals many things and that passion can destroy us or keeps us alive. Venus Aphrodite also offers us an escape sometimes, not in a Pisces or Neptunian way, but through the beauty of passion and through our sensuality and acceptance of our own beautiful nature or connection with other women as well who support us, in a different way than men.
Women in competitiveness or blame game over men, is a maiden aspect of Venus, and only partially applicable to the adult Venus and not applicable at all in the Elder Venus (if all the lessons have been healed). Drama is one of the deepest woundings of the shadows of Venus which grew up in a Patriarchal society of men’s views of Venus (not woman’s views, writings or perspectives). Venus Barbata (‘Bearded Venus’) was an epithet of the goddess Venus among the Romans. Macrobius also mentions a statue of Venus in Cyprus, representing the goddess with a beard, in female attire, but resembling in her whole figure as that of a man (see also Aphroditos).
The idea of Venus thus being a mixture of the masculine principle and feminine principle seems to belong to a very late period of antiquity. Elsewhere she is known as Bald Venus, Aphrodite was shown with a man’s bald head, just like the priests of Isis. Aristophanes calls her Aphroditos, a Cypriot male name. Aphrodite appeared in battle armor in Sparta… [and] Venus Armata or Armed Venus became a Renaissance convention.
But over the 600 years, Venus has remained a Virgin (youth) more than ever because of late 1880s advertising into today’s slick marketing. She is free, but moves through her development stages with dysfunction. She not only has man troubles, but has issues with her mother, her sisters, her girlfriends, her female bosses and her competition and drama for love or sex and this reconnects her back to the eighth house rulership.
As long as we are willing to accept the responsibility this shadow side of Venus, we can work with it by become conscious of it, if not, the price can be very expensive in relationship lessons with men. And this is because it is where our personal “values” are created and our karma is extracted from deep within our soul. There is no wrong or right here, there is only being aware and healing our drama and pain as women.
The Venus shadow in elder women after fifty, can bring forth an issue of fading beauty, or the elder aged woman who feels a lack of personal values around her other talents besides men, love, or vitality in living relationships in the world. This finally puts woman into her Taurus aspects of Venus where art and creativity comes forth through her magic and empowerment (warrior Venus). Venus was birthed from the male’s idealism of woman and his version of story and his view of woman’s worth and value, not hers. Marilyn Monroe is a classic modern example of a woman who died in the shadows of Venus in her own small expression of who she was, which says – “You are worthy to get what you desire in our society and social structure of men, but only if you lower your standards (values) to retain the fountain of youth (maiden) as an adult or elder woman.”
How shadowy is that for the last 1,000 years? Very.
The next step of the more collective shadows of Venus comes through the fashion industry, its magazines, editorials, photographic natures, even the selfie generation into the social media pages. The once nubile youth (under 28) gets even younger into her 12 and 13 year old to represent all women. These are all under Venus’ magical wand, with a little help from Mercury, its everywhere and its easy to see.
The first glimmer of the second wave of hope to expose Venus shadows besides the post baby boomer generation of the generation x (Pluto in Virgo) are the next ‘fixed sign leaders’ of the Pluto in Scorpio women. They are going to totally cleanse Venus in her bath of purification and expose it through the living reality of her darkest sides. Its a burning of Venus as a witch at the stake, making woman confess her shadow nature for all to see.
These Pluto in Scorpio women and teens are already doing it and it can be seen by the mothers of this generation, It will focus around the power of sex, power, beauty and money. For she rules the tragic stories of relationship of dis-empowerment of woman since the middle ages and the struggles of real relationships and the ability to rise above it (heal from it).
The flames were lit by the Pluto in Virgo women, for the Pluto in Libra and Pluto in Scorpio women to be able to deal with the sickness of Venus in society. For most women, its about reclaiming a completely different Venus and rebirth her into the female version, not the male versions anymore. To heal what has been sold, stolen or broken by the self or others.
The Venus 12 step program of emotional addictions of relationship, sexual dis-empowerment and fears of intimacy can help to empower the self without excuses. The goal is how to learn to be a healthy Venusian in sticky situations, which requires emotional boundaries and that its ok not being liked.
Or calling one’s dark goddess sisters, or the dark goddess within the self to emerge to protect the maiden self (our entire life). Generally this comes from real experiences about learning the ways of her shadow and how it operates inside of us or our responses from other peers (regardless of age).
What are Venus’ shadows?
On an emotional level, Venus rules all aspects of Drama, Jealousy, Gossip, Betrayal, Back Stabbing, Triangle-Conflicts, Vindictiveness and Revenge, Mother-Daughter issues, which all sound like potent words, flat on paper, but real in life.
In astrology, Venus Jungian types of teachings says she has a personality disorder, a conflict, and we call it the “open enemy mirror” – which means we acknowledge that a person in our circle is our mirror, the one who does not like us, or is jealous of us, or does not have our best interests in their heart or good actions towards us. But they want to be our friend.
If we acknowledge that we do the same (which is much harder to see) we can then work on the self to begin to unbind our past life karma. Once we establish this for our self and accept it as truth, we can begin to work with the shadow sides of Venus in a more “honestly and open way” which is a key to this door …
In adult situations, women can be jealous creatures, lashing out instead of finding why we are jealous of someone and taking the steps to attain it our self. After the first Saturn Return around thirty years old, the Maiden Venus turns into the Venus Woman and things begin to change, the old ways of operating as a child, teenager or young woman, do not work anymore. We must learn about the new Venus emerging.
Who is the “Open Enemy”
An open enemy is anyone who you must deal with in “conflict,” whether you want to or not. Not a stranger, but someone in your intimate relationship, a friendship, a co-worker in your personal environment. Home and family relationships or even with the self (such as shame of one’s body and beauty etc). The open enemy can be either male or female because life has created the scenario a few times in your life, so you can learn and choose your values after the maiden stage (thirty years old or older).
Adult issues are about accepting this part of life and welcoming it, and done with consistency, behind honest with yourself and honest with others, even if they throw daggers at you for doing so, just keep doing it. And hopefully in the end of a good ten or twenty years of experiencing Venus’ shadow, the open enemies can evolve into ‘frienamies” status, which is the best one can hope for – even if the open enemy your dealing with never gets it, just do it for you, to better yourself so the karmic aspects will dissolve.
The first steps required are practicing a heavier form of boundaries, because it generally will involve three people and two can gang up on one in these scenarios. And I am only speaking of ‘conflict’ in relationships, where the ‘open enemy’ results in one loss and one gain, one is to be empowered and one is to be shamed or reprimanded for their behavior, which role we play depends upon our karma. Venus is always about relationships, and love triangles, affairs and marital affairs or the freedom of a man or woman from an unhealthy marriage, where she enters the scenario to bring passion into the ring of fire, and someone always gets burned.
Issues around betrayal of sex or money are big ones, especially when women transition from their own maiden stage into womanhood, things do not sit comfortable with women, like the opened armed maiden. No maiden would understand this until she is just past 30 years old because the issues that arise with Venus shadows, are cheating on a partner and this is a big one when one has children or one is married and the other is single. This falls into the archetype of betrayal, but generally to break up a bad marriage. Once this break opens, and we accept what is really happening, then we can begin to resolve some conflict within, by addressing it in its death.
Remember, Venus rules triangles so even if you are in a multi-partnership type of harem person in relations, even within that freedom, betrayal happens even bigger because a whole group (family) can fall apart, yet no one invested in the relationship but is going through the same motions as those who commit in a more traditional way. Simple triangles, generally two who are involved, do not wish to confront these powerful feelings and one does, and a loss is then experienced, one loses a friend, a lover that one only realizes how much they loved them when they are gone, or monetarily and sexual energy depletion.
We also have the Venus daughter mother issues which is very complex even in its best relationships. This usually involves a mother who is less tradition or leaves and breaks up the marriage and the daughter will feel betrayed just like the husband. Then the triangle becomes daughter and father against mother who seeks freedom.
The issue begins to arise when the daughter begins her moon cycle, as both mother and daughter now bleed and the woman feels somehow older and not as powerful in her Venus energy as the daughter begins to emerge in sensuality and youthful beauty. Each mother and daughter work this out according to how the grandmother and great grandmother handled it, and for most, that wasn’t very well before the 1970s in societies. Things are improving since then.
The darkest shadow energy of a Venus’ in her shadow aspect is the sex archetype in the form of Lolita, and second to this is the karmic rape or drug rape. Lolita destroys the man, and in the second, scenario which is connected by past life karma, there is rape involved in the souls on this path of a past life. I would say in society it is about equal, its just the Lolita is a lot less open in society because men are involved as the one who must make the changes and that rarely happens. These situations both fall under the most intense karmic laws involving the laws of attraction in its negative polarity. The karma of the “victim archetype” the one raped, meets the “perpetrator archetype” of the rapist, and wherever these play out, it is by fate alone, not by accident and not by being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Convincing women who do not have this archetype to free themselves from the fears of rape, is a difficult one in order to help them undo worry and fear they carry needlessly because its not their archetype.
Venus is given and receives many shadows and many gifts like love, money, beauty, talent and even grace, so she rarely turns against men, but in rape, men turn against her. Venus women can blame other women for their misery, in bad situations as an escape and this has happened ever since Greek and Romans began to record story, plays and writings about women and the breakdown of mother and grandmothers power, giving the youthful Venus power beyond her years to handle them appropriately. She can’t but society gives them to her anyway.
The last complication of the shadows of Venus is the “Triangle” where Venus will almost always chose a man over a woman, be it her sister, her mother or her best friend, when it comes to conflict and thus brings a more ancient Venus darker karma forth. Venus’ power in it’s shadow form at its essence is also the misuses of “wealth, popularity, status and beauty” of the female power and a Venus in crisis would be the once the great sacred Hora (light) respected once in community for her sexual services, under the guidance of mothers and grandmothers to protect her.
A collective Venus word is “judgement” and when people get frightened, they judge harshly and books like “The Scarlet Letter” is a good example, which shames the Maiden for having sex in a circle of married puritan women, where the man escapes punishment. This is the complex of the projected Venus shadow issues are not over until a union is completely destroyed or completely healed, or the third option which rarely happens, where the perpetrator in the trinity bows and asks for forgiveness from the other two.
First, I suggest is to find a women’s circle that is more healing, like the Red Ten, or Yoga or Shaman Woman’s circle. Any circle led by a more spiritually mature women who has both experienced this and healed from it and then brings that teacher aspect into the circle. This will give you a full circle with full support and full mirrors to who you are as a young woman, middle aged woman or elder woman, these types of circles based on healing rather than social spiritual or knowledge circles.
I have run one for a long time and still do, to empower women to explore the greater self, not the limited self and the aspects of empowerment which are taught and practiced, not given. I see so many young women under their first saturn return so lost, and so swayed by shadows that they do more drugs than they should, they trust more when they should learn healthy boundaries.
Second, if your situation is more intense or a crisis, a good therapist (not friend or family) can really help your sort out issues that are emotionally draining and very upsetting to the point of crisis. Rarely is a woman strong enough to seek help if they are not the warrior type, but just finding a warrior type woman friend or circle will change your entire reality. This generally happens when disillusion and heart break finds us unable to cope anymore or so depressed we do not even see we are depressed.
When we sink into the underworld without knowing, its very dangerous for Venus women to enter into the warrior women’s dark goddess territory that is not really for the light goddess unless for one reason: death or going to die without an infusion of deep changes. We can learn objectivity by asking for help, about our situations and see some real solutions with support, or stick with a healer or a therapist or counselor for at least one or two solid year, until you resolve a conflict that you are in currently.
Third, which is a very powerful help, which many never heard of, is to get completely sober, getting off all wine, pot beer, hard alcohol, drugs, shamanic drugs, just to clear your mind while you are trying to make changes during a Venus emotional conflict in a personal relationship or relationship crisis. I have seen so many women in their 20s and 30s and even 40s who are saturated and their aura is so gray just from thinking pot is a spiritual drug, its not, it destroys women and their perception. Don’t believe me? Stay sober for 3 years and come back and read this again.
Forth, if your situations not that bad, do some weekly yoga and stay committed until the issues resolve to a point of less stress.
Fifth, find a good holistic healer, especially energy work or cranio energy massage, from a sober healers who also works on herself, which will be more purified and powerful, to help get to the core of the issue faster. Any sort of holistic healing you are attracted that helps you get deep into your emotional body or physical to release physical pain. If you do not deal with your soul or emotional issues the physical pain can come back regardless of what you do in the long run, it requires all.
Sixth, take a dance or movements class with strong and powerful artistic people or invest some time in an art circle which can help you relieve stress and talk it out while doing something creative (and again find a sober group that does these things).
Seven, find a wise elder female who had many years of experiences resolving her own conflict and now supports young women. And try listening to advice rather than suffering from the “know it all” syndrome or the “I am perfect” syndrome and fear arises if you think your not perfect. We are all not perfect because we all have karma.
Eight, the most accepted out in the world and the greatest consistent practice is to do meditation and do it every morning for fifteen minutes to a half hour for four years, this will bring stress levels down. Walking in nature (walking, not running) will also heal you greatly if your consistent about it.
All of these practices help you feel more confident, grounded and enable you to get you through the next day or month or year while you are working on your personal Venus situations of complications.
Phoenix of Elder Mountain Dreaming holds a PhD in Astrology and has led goddess circles, moon circle and dreaming circles for women since the early 90s. She honors Venus in her light and has healed her dark Venus karma. If you would like to be on her once a month Lunar Workstudy, please write to Eldermountaindreaming@gmail.com. Painting by Yaroslav; photo of woman in blue on red blanket with apples by Margarita Kareva; Софія Караффа-Корбут (Sofiya Karaffa-Korbut) Illustration of the Maiden and Moon Woman.