Venus is the planetary ruler of Libra and Taurus. These signs show two different but parallel sides of Venus – love, beauty, harmony and balance (Libra), and sensuality, pleasure, abundance and what we have (Taurus).
Libra and Venus ~ Allies and Enemies
Libra is an Air sign, and as such is associated with the mind and interaction. The Libra side of Venus is about intimate interaction, like love and sex. In modern times of equality between the sexes, I think Libra also relates to very close friendships (which may or may not be sexual). Basically, it is about the partnerships that we are committed to and that we choose to maintain and invest ourselves in. This could be a spouse, romantic partner, business partner or even a known enemy.
Enemy??? Yes, the people for whom we share a heartfelt hatred or other adversarial relationship fall under the rulership of the 7th House, which is Libra's natural house and therefore also connected to Venus. It may be a bit of a stretch from traditional astrology to draw a line between them, but an argument can be made. Think about it ― we can be just as committed to relationships that are based on disagreement, loathing and rivalry as we are to the ones based on love, harmony and admiration. There can be as much connection, commitment and attachment to our enemies as to our loved ones ― only it's negative instead of positive. (However, hatred itself as an emotion is more associated with Mars or Scorpio or Saturn, according to Rex Bills' indispensable reference, The Rulership Book , whereas Venus and Libra are connected more specifically to love, attraction and interaction.)
The Libra side of Venus holds the basic principles about relating. Libra is the opposite sign to Aries, which is ruled by Mars. Aries is about the basic thrust of life force that propels each of us out of the womb. It is about the Self. Aries says, "I am!" Libra is the other side of the coin, and says, "We are!" As Aries is about individual identity and self-assertion, Libra is about the bridge between people that generates an inter-personal energy that can take on a life of its own and provide points of view not available to the individual.
In any relationship there is I, You and Us. You will see Me differently than I see myself. What You see in Me may be something that is difficult for me to see on my own because it's difficult to be objective and impartial about myself. This is perhaps the most valuable gift of any kind of relationship ― the mirror effect. We each bring to any kind of interaction the ability to see the other person in a unique way. No other person will see Me in quite the same way that You do. This is part of what makes each relationship special and precious.
However, interpersonal dynamics can be very complicated. For one thing, what we each think we see in each other might not be entirely accurate. Each of us view others through our own filters of past experiences, defenses, hopes, expectations, fears and values, and these are often project onto other people to one extent or another. Trying to untangle the knot of mixed up perspectives can be quite a task!
These interpersonal dynamics can be seen in the Synastry between two individuals' charts, where an astrologer will look to see what aspect connections the two charts have with each other. For example, if Your Sun is trine My Moon, this shows that Your sense of purpose and identity (Sun) can support My need for belonging and security (Moon). It also means that My ability to nurture You (Moon) can reinforce and strengthen Your self-esteem and self-image (Sun).
And then, just to make things interesting, I may be different when I'm around You than I am by myself or with others. This creates yet another filter that can colour or distort how I see You, as well as how You see Me. This gets into the Us part. The whole of any significant relationship is larger than the sum of its parts...or its people. The combined chemistry of You and Me forms a third entity ― the relationship or Us ― which tends to take on a life of its own, for better or worse.
The relationship as an entity in its own right is found in the Composite Chart, which combines the positions of each planet in two charts to create a third chart. The aspects and placements within the Composite Chart tell a story all their own that can be very revealing. It will describe the potentials and the challenges inherent in the relationship itself; in the combined energies of the two people.
This composite entity, and the interpersonal dynamics that define and shape it, are the territory of the Libra side of Venus. Librans and people with a prominent Venus in their chart live in this territory, exploring and navigating through the jungle of interactions. But every one of us has a Venus in our chart, which is one indicator of how we experience the territory of relating and interaction.
When Venus goes retrograde, we usually find ourselves much deeper in that jungle and farther off the familiar path than we usually go. That means those interpersonal dynamics can seem unstable and possibly unworkable, but there is exotic and nourishing fruit to be found far from the main path which can enrich the relationship of those who are able to get through the experience intact.
Venus ruling Taurus - Our Internal Balance Sheet
Libra and Taurus may seem as different as chalk and cheese, yet they are both ruled by the same planet: Venus. The mythology of Venus seems to reflect this dual nature. The Greeks saw Aphrodite as a goddess of love and beauty, which reflects Libra traits. The Romans saw Venus as an agricultural goddess of gardens and vineyards, which sounds more like Taurus.
Taurus is an Earth sign, and as such is connected to the body and the physical world. The Taurus side of Venus is rooted in sensuality, pleasure and celebrating the blessings of the material world. This includes money, possessions and resources of all kinds that collectively represent what you "have." The Taurus bull's horn becomes a Horn of Plenty, overflowing with Venus' gift of luscious abundance.
What we "have" reflects what we're worth and what we value. But material worth is not the same as self-worth, even though we often equate the two. If our bottom line is low, our self-esteem may become deflated too. Our "things" can become a mirror that we take a bit too literally. In that sense, Venus and Taurus also symbolize our sense of self-worth. The Taurus side of Venus is our internal balance sheet that tallies up the gains and losses in our sense of self. It is what we "have" ― what we have going for us, the resources we can rely on. It is whatever we can use to barter for what we want, which might be tangible (like money) or intangible (like the talents, abilities, credentials and people we can draw on when we need them).
It is also what we "have not" ― the qualities, gifts and advantages that we lack or feel we don't have enough of. At its worst, this can produce a kind of poverty mentality where we tend to assume that our heart's desire will always be just out of reach. Alternatively, to ensure that this does not happen, we may become so obsessed by material accumulation and possessiveness about what we "have," that we lose sight of the inherent personal worth and value that are our birthright.
At its best, our experience of Taurus-Venus can also take a very down-to-earth view of both the tangible and intangible things in life. Venus' Taurus nature can see the value and worth inside any person, thing or situation, and can appreciate it for its true worth. Venus can also show us how to achieve a feeling of security and groundedness in the ways of the material world. Ultimately this is not done by becoming a workaholic ― it's done by learning to appreciate what we have and to be satisfied with "enough."
© 2006 Wendy Guy, All rights reserved. This content may not be copied or used without the expressed permission of the author. Photo of sculpture by Pompeo Marchesi: Venus and Amor (1838, marble) at Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, Austria.