The word icon is applied haphazardly to every passing celebrity these days, but there are some modern faces that have unarguably become iconic. It might not be what you expect from Venus in Aries, but there are more icons in this group than any other. Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Audrey Hepburn, Jennifer Aniston, George Clooney: these actors have, and had, faces that have been imprinted in the popular imagination. Then there’s Albert Einstein, Abraham Lincoln and Bob Marley. You think of their faces right away don’t you?
It’s so interesting – and not what I expected. I imagined that a search for Venus in Aries would turn up a crop of flame-haired beauties — say Rita Hayworth, Julianne Moore and Amy Adams. Nope.
The word icon originally referred to religious images – like this one from Ravenna of the Empress Theodora. These images were, and still are in some churches, integral to religious worship. During the Easter break, I watched Greek Orthodox worshippers reverently kiss their icons.
The penetrating gaze of Byzantine icons and the way they are revered in the Eastern Mediterranean to this day reminds me of Hindu practice also. Darshan, seeing the god, maybe in a vision but also a statue or picture of the god, is an important part of the Hindu religious experience. A pilgrimage is not complete without Darshan, which is almost like an exchange of energy with the god. You see the god, and the god sees you.
The gods have often been embodied by real people — look at Empress Theodora there. In earlier times, our kings and queens did this for us, but now we look at celebrities. And maybe from these photographs, the gaze is returned.
Aries is the first sign of the Zodiac and, as such, rules the head, the face, so Venus in Aries is likely to give someone a beautiful, or at least a charming or alluring, face. It’s also the sign of the baby, and there are quite a few baby faces here: sweet round foreheads, wide apart eyes.
There’s also a thing going on here with eyebrows and heart-shaped faces.
One of the charms of Aries is innocence. Aries comes to the world fresh and unsullied, eager for experience. This brings with it a certain vulnerability and openness, which seems to show in the Venus in Aries face.
Of course, for looks, the Sun sign is important and so is the ascendant. George Clooney and Audrey Hepburn have birthdays a few days apart and they certainly share a warm, doe-eyed, strong-boned Taurean beauty.
Now there’s definitely another look for Venus in Aries which is not the one that Jack Nicholson exemplifies here. The penetrating gaze is the same though.
A clutch of the most successful female TV character actresses from the late 90s have Venus in Aries. All of these women will forever be identified with one particular part.
Aniston and Parker do look similar — narrow faces, long noses, bright blue eyes — but they don’t look much like any of our earlier icons, nor do they seem vulnerable or innocent. Parker’s character Carrie in Sex in the City did exemplify a kind of Aries in Venus quest for love though… always willing to try again.
On the other hand both Aniston and Parker have had long post-TV careers as cover girls (or women). There was a time in this country when you couldn’t walk past a magazine rack without having darshan with either Aniston or Parker or possibly both at once. They certainly have the gaze.
And here is blue-eyed, long-nosed Abe, giving us the look again.
Speaking of bone structure – a gift to Abe from Aquarius Rising and Moon in Capricorn — both ruled by bonemeister Saturn – how about our first genuine redhead.
She was played in a recent biopic by Cate Blanchett — back to the long, piercing blue eyes.
Finally, a couple more genuine 20th century icons.