The Planet Venus has been given many names throughout history. It has been called the evening and the morning star, the dawn star, Eosphorus, Hesperus and Lucifer. It is the planet closest to Earth and has been called Earth’s sister planet, even her twin. It is easily seen in the sky in the evening and morning and is the brightest “star” in the heavens. It was second only to the sun and the moon in significance by the reckoning of many ancient cultures.
Sumerian hymn to Innana addressing the planet Venus:
”To her who appears in the sky, I want to address my greeting, to the hierodule who appears in the sky, I want to address my greeting, to the great queen of heaven, Inanna, I want to address my greeting, to her who fills the sky with her pure blaze, to the luminous one, to Inanna, as bright as the sun, to the great queen of heaven.”
Planet Venus; bringer of disaster?
In ancient times, Venus was associated with disaster and people offered human sacrifices to Venus in order to calm its fury.
”You make the heavens tremble and the earthquake. Great Priestess, who can soothe your troubled heart? You flash like lightning over the highlands; you throw your firebrands across the earth. Your deafening command … splits apart great mountains.” (Sumerian)
”And when it [Venus] newly emerged, much fear came over them; all were frightened. Everywhere the outlets and openings of [houses] were closed up. It was said that perchance [the light] might bring a cause of sickness, something evil when it came to emerge.” (Aztec, as reported by Franciscan Monk Bernardino de Sahagún)
The planet has also been associated with the Goddess Eos, as the morning star, and the two torches of Hecate, as it appears in the morning and evening.
Venus in Astrology
In Roman mythology, Venus was the goddess of love and beauty, famous for the passions she could stir among the Gods. Likewise, the calm, beautiful surface of white clouds that the planet Venus presents hides its hot, dense atmosphere and intense volcanic activity! Venus orbits the sun in 225 days, spending about 18.75 days in each sign of the zodiac. It is the second brightest object in the night sky, next to the moon.
Venus is the ruling planet of Taurus and Libra and the modern ruler of the 2nd and 7th houses, but traditionally ruled the 5th and 12th houses – the 5th house of play and the 12th house of self-undoing. Venus was said to have ‘joy’ in the 5th.
Astrologically Venus is associated with the principles of harmony, beauty, balance; the feelings and affections, and the urge to sympathize and unite with others. It is involved with the desire for pleasure, sensuality, personal possessions, comfort, and ease. It governs romantic relations, marriage and business partnerships, sex (the origin of the words ‘venery’ and ‘venereal’), the arts, fashion, and social life. The first-century poet Marcus Manilius described Venus as generous and fecund, and the lesser benefic.
In Chinese astrology, Venus is associated with the element metal (or gold), which is unyielding, strong and persistent. In Indian astrology, Venus is known as Shukra and represents wealth, pleasure and reproduction.
Venus in the Birth Chart
In Western Astrology, Venus rules the hedonistic side of your body. All things that give you joy and pleasure, all the things that turn you on, are indicated by the sign that the planet Venus is traveling through at the moment of your birth.
If Venus is in retrograde at the moment of birth, feelings can run deep, but expression can be awkward and difficult.
Venus in Retrograde
Approximately every 18 months, Venus goes retrograde or appears to be moving backward in the sky for about 40 days. This period is considered challenging for relationships and not a good time to make any major decisions or changes related to relationships; especially ending or beginning them. It is a good time for closure, tying up loose ends, examining your honest feelings regarding relationships and take a good hard look at why certain things aren’t working out.
This period may have people feeling both extra-needy and extra-sensitive, bringing up old issues, long buried but not resolved. Any communication issues will become relationship issues and will need to be resolved.
Venus also rules aesthetics, and the retrograde may have you thinking about switching up your look or redecorating your surroundings. Go ahead and sketch out that tattoo and pick up those paint samples, but don’t do anything permanent until after the retrograde has passed.
Venus is associated with love, passion, beauty, grace, charm, aesthetics and also our personal tastes, pleasures, artistic inclinations and those things that bring us joy and pleasure. It is looked at in the natal chart regarding both relationships and leisure activities.
As Venus is often the first light that appears in the evening sky, it is often referred to as the “wishing star”.
Symbols and Associations
The astrological and astronomical symbol for Venus is a circle with a cross below, similar to an ankh but the circle is more rounded. It is also the symbol for female. Venus is associated with the feminine in opposition, or cooperation, with Mars.
In medicine, Venus is associated with the lumbar region, the veins, parathyroids, throat and kidneys. Venus was thought to be moderately warm and moist, and was associated with the phlegmatic humour.
Venus is the planet of Friday. In languages deriving from Latin, such as Spanish and French, the word for Friday often resembles the word Venus (viernes and vendredi respectively). Dante Alighieri associated Venus with the liberal art of rhetoric.
Animals associated with Venus include the goat, elephant, partridge, sheep, pheasant, sparrow, dove, pigeon and swan.
Friday is Venus’s day.
The Pentagram of Venus or the Rose of Venus describes the shape made by the apparent orbital path of Venus as seen from Earth. This takes about 8 Earth years. (The actual orbit of Venus around the sun is nearly circular.) This has been cited as evidence of the pentagram’s ancient association with Venus though the historic record doesn’t seem to play that out. It is very interesting from the perspective of sacred geometry.
For further discussion, see
Venus Energy in Magick
Venus energies are often utilized in love potions and spells and those related to healing, garden magic, immortality, relationships, harmony, artistic talent, the creation of art and performances.
Herbs associated with Venus often have fragrant red flowers or fruit. Healing herbs that have astringent qualities, that are toning to the skin and/or affect the kidneys and urinary system are often associated with Venus as are any with aphrodisiac qualities and those that help balance the female system.
Venus plants include Alkenet, American Alder, Persimmon, American Styrax, Almond, Ambrosia, Angle’s Trumpet, Angelica, Apple/Crabapple, Apricot, Artichoke, Asparagus, Pea, Baby’s Breath, Beans, Bergamot, Birch, Birthwort, Bishop’s Weed, Bitter Melon, Bramble, Blackberry, Blue Vervain, Broccoli, Brugmansia, Brush Box, Buckbush, Bugleweed, Burdock, Cabbage, Gooseberry, Cardamom, Cashew, Catsfoot, Lesser Celandine, Cherry, Cinquefoil, Clover, Coconut, Collard, Coltsfoot, Columbine, Cowslip, Cucumber, Daisy, Damiana, Datura, Desert Four O’Clock, Dianthus, Dropwort, Sumac, Elder, Filbert, Garden Sorrel, Geranium, Gobo Root, Goldenrod, Gooseberry, Great Blue Lobelia, Groundsel, Gypsophila, Herb Robert, Heartsease, Hickory, Hollyhock, Honeysuckle, Jasmine, Jerusalem Artichoke, Jimsonweed, Kidneywort, Lady’s Bedstraw, Lady’s Mantle, Lambsear, Larkspur, Lettuce, Lily, Lotus, Mallow, Meadowsweet, Mescal, Mint, Moneywort, Monkshood, Motherwort, Mugwort, Myrtle, Olive, Passionflower, Peach, Pear, Periwinkle, Pistachio, Plantago, Plum, Pomegranate, Oak, Primrose, Pumpkin, Quince, Ragwort, Raspberry, Mangrove, Rose, Sanicle, Sassafras, Sea Holly, Selfheal, Sesame, Sicklepod, Silverweed, Soapwort, Sorrel, Spider Flower, Strawberry, Sweet Breath of Spring, Sweetgum, Sycamore, Tansy, Thyme, Toloache, Tomato, Tonka, Venus Flytrap, Venus Looking Glass, Verbena, Vervain, Violet, Visnaga, Willow, Witch’s Butter, Woodbine, Yarrow
Stones: Emerald, Turquoise
Colors: Greens, Rose, Sky blue
Card: The Empress
Element: Water, Earth or Air
Fragrances and incense: African violet, almond, apricot, benzoin, cherry, honeysuckle, jasmine, lilac, mint, myrtle, palmarosa, red sandalwood, rose, strawberry, tonka, vanilla, violet
Gods Associated with the Planet Venus
Akka, Aphrodite, Astarte, Estsanatlehi, Freya, Frigg, Ilmatcuhtli, Quetzalcoatl, Innana, Ishtar, isis, Lalita, Lucifer, Medb, Qetesh, Renpet, Sukra, Selket, Tauret, Yolkai Estsan, Oshun