The mistress of love and harmony, Venus herself, is usually pictured reclining, either ready for love or just finished. The power of the goddess subsumed into the erotic fantasies of generations of artists and patrons. The goddess of love diminished into an object of desire.
Her astrological meaning is, of course, much more complex, powerful and multifarious. But it’s hard to blot out the popular image of her as a fleshy toy in the periphery of our vision, and of course, sex is part of her story, maybe especially when she’s in the sign of Virgo, the virgin.
We need to think about Venus now because she is standing still before turning retrograde on July 25. Indeed she sits at 0° Virgo from 18 July to 31 July. This is a long time for her to stay in one spot: maybe she’s making a point.
Traditionally, Venus is in “fall” in Virgo, because she is “exalted” in Virgo’s opposite sign Pisces. Supposedly, this means her action is weakened.
Contrariwise, Venus in Virgo, the sign of the virgin, in the natal chart can give a powerful earthy sex appeal. Think Sophia Loren, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Brigitte Bardot, Alain Delon, Patrick Swayze, Antonio Banderas, Catherine Deneuve — all actors famous for celluloid-melting sexual charisma, and frankly flaunting it for the camera. And think of that great poet of sex and death and passion, Leonard Cohen, with Venus precisely conjuncting Neptune, the planet of music and poetry, in Virgo.
Oh I want you, I want you, I want you
On a chair with a dead magazine
In the cave at the tip of the lily
In some hallways where love’s never been
On a bed where the moon has been sweating
In a cry filled with footsteps and sand
— Leonard Cohen, Venus in Virgo, Sun in Virgo Rising
No, Venus in Virgo is not about virginity or abstinence. Rather to the contrary: Venus in Virgo is dead sexy. Maybe that’s why she’s said to be in “fall”; after all sex appeal is a dangerous thing.
So what of this station on 0°? 0° is important in any sign. It’s the omega, the opening credits, the entrance, the initiation. This month Venus looks into Virgo for a while, maybe polishes the doorstep with the tail of her toga, and then turns around and heads back into Leo on August 1. Nevertheless, only this o° Virgo and 14° Leo receive this much Venusian attention this year.
Virgo has a connection to health, diet and daily routine. Part of that is sexual health, but there’s more.
Def Leppard’s Pour Some Sugar On Me makes explicit the Venusian connection between sweetness and sex. As is the way of astrology, Venus is telling us something else also as she stands on the threshold of Virgo.
Sugar is highly addictive and in excess, it’s a kind of poison, and herein lies a dark side of Venus. There’s more than one white powder that can own you. Neptune brings down the fog, but Venus seduces us with sweet substances, and junk.
Value vs. Junk
Venusian arts — painting, decorating, stitching, laminating — add value. Venus can make the worst piece of tut look like Louis Quinze ought to sit on it, or the ugliest face disappear under artful makeup.
Virgo is a critical sign. After the bling and bombast of Leo, Virgo does the accounts. Libra, of course, will put things in the scales and make it all harmonious and lovely again, but it’s Virgo who does the maths and finds what’s wanting. Venus is the planet associated with cash. Huge wealth and debt are Pluto’s domain, but money is Venus.
Venus at 0° Virgo asks you to take a critical look at your accounts, both literally and in terms of what you value. What’s under the veneer? Is it chippendale or chipboard?
So here are some questions to ask yourself during this Venus station.
What do I value?
Is my sex life healthy?
What am I addicted to?
If you have planets at 0° Virgo or Pisces, this station may be asking you to look at your relationships in the light of these questions. If you have planets at 0° Taurus or Capricorn, you may want to ask yourself about the things you take for granted. But this station is useful for all of us, because astrology is about living well with the spirit of the times, and Venus in Virgo demands that we make living well a daily practice.