Sculpture: Venus and Mars

Heart's Desire, Love, Feelings & Emotions

Since Venus is about love, we might assume that she holds our core feelings and emotions. However, Venus is more specifically about our heart's desire, what we long for, and the delight or sorrow we feel as a result.

We tend to associate Venus with feelings of love, and feelings in general are the territory of the element of Water. However, the signs ruled by Venus are Air and Earth (Libra and Taurus) – no Water signs. Despite that, in Classical astrology systems, she is associated with the element of Water. The Moon, Mars, Pluto, Jupiter and Neptune are the traditional and modern rulers of the Water signs. The Moon is perhaps the quintessential Water planet (no, it's not technically a planet, but we often call it that for convenience). The Moon rules our personal feelings of intuition, vulnerability and needs. But isn't love an emotion or feeling?

The Libra side of Venus is more about the conscious choices you make that facilitate your feelings about other people. When you take marriage vows, for instance, you promise to love someone "'til death do us part." But you can't always predict how you will feel about your spouse years from now ― you can only vow that you will choose the way of love and commitment, of positive regard and alliance.

These choices are closer to the realm of Air ― conscious decisions made by the conscious mind, which may or may not regard our feelings and emotions as the biggest priority in the decision. This is how the diplomat (a Venus word) is able to function, as she/he smiles and calmly shakes the hand of an enemy. This is also how a lot of marriages are able to last, as each person makes the choice (sometimes several times a day!) to let cooler heads prevail and try again tomorrow to reach an agreement (another Venus word).

As humans, we are subject to a vast range of feelings and emotions ― love, hate, fear, anger, disappointment, sadness, loneliness, joy, happiness. Feelings are not something we choose. Oh, we can choose how we respond to them or express them, but we cannot simply choose not to have them. And the attempt inevitably brings a huge price of losing touch with part of our humanity or emerging as seemingly unrelated problems (the wrath of Venus/Aphrodite).

If you try to consciously ignore or deny your feelings and emotions, they will come out in other ways ― like health problems or word slips (often referred to as a Freudian slip). They may also emerge as an excess of certain emotions that hide less comfortable emotions, such as anger hiding fear or cynicism being a mask for disappointment.

Feelings just are. They express your subjective experience and may tell you something about your current situation. Although having feelings is inevitable and normal, that doesn't mean you have to let your feelings make your decisions for you.

If you are furious with your partner, you can still choose to remain in relationship with them and continue your commitment to that relationship. Or, if your partner's choices conflict enough with your own values, you might choose to renegotiate or end your commitment because it is no longer something you can feel good about. If your experience of that relationship no longer holds any pleasure, joy or connection, you might conclude that the relationship you are committed to no longer exists and it is time to end it and move on.

Do you see the difference? Feelings (the Moon) are a fundamental expression of your most personal inner human nature, which you cannot entirely stop but you can choose how to respond. Committed love relationships (Venus) are about the choices you make ― possibly arising out of your feelings and passions, or perhaps based more on your values and priorities.

Feelings tend to fall into four categories: mad, sad, glad and afraid. With the Moon, you simply FEEL something (mad, sad, glad, afraid). With Venus, you feel ABOUT something or someone, and this shapes your choices about them. The Moon and Venus are related and their paths cross, but they are not the same. They are both about the human heart but different facets of it.


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