In your personal horoscope, the planet Venus indicates how you love (not how you lust). It shows what qualities you find attractive in a person or a thing. The position of Venus lets us know what you value most in life and how you are most apt to generate an income.

Once you receive money, Venus lets us know what you are likely to do with it. Most importantly, Venus indicates whether or not you feel you deserve love and money and what your inherent sense of worth is.
The goddess has been on my mind. As a symbolist, when I get a message, it comes to me in continual signals. For instance, Venus is symbolic of sweets. This year we received confections in quantities that demand a house party. Brownies, macaroons, chocolates from our German friends, a “12 days of Christmas” box, fruit cake and taffy… we need more house members!

Weak with the flu over the holidays, I read The Lost Hero, the new book by Rick Riordan which my daughter had received and read Christmas Day. Riordan is a hero in our household, because he’s written a series about children of the Greek gods and goddesses (the real explanation for the increase in ADD/ADHD). This book is the first in his new series which pulls in the Roman versions of the gods. Aphrodite/Venus is represented shopping in a Vegas-style mall; but her essence strengthened her daughter.

And what is her essence? Once healed, we went to the library to shore up our book and DVD resources (as popular as any shopping center by the parking lot). The new book that caught my eye is a slim volume: On Kindness by Phillips/Taylor. It’s premise is the basic human instinct is to help one another and that this has been trampled over by a false belief that survival and success is better.

Venus, this is her Roman name. I remember the first time I encountered Botticelli’s vision of her, I was an earnest art student. The Uffizi Gallery had been closed with a strike for my brief days in Florence. I rushed in my last morning there, trying to cram in an hour which ordinarily I would have savored all day. I didn’t expect her; one of the most famous images in the world to be tucked in a corner, but there she was: gorgeous, lush and unprotected. I have no idea if this is still the way she’s presented, but at that point in time no one seemed as interested in Venus as I. This was in the 1970s when conceptual and abstract art ruled. If I had been with a team of art students, I would have been self-conscious to spend so much time admiring a piece of artwork many would have deemed “kitsch”.

Although she was not birthed on a clamshell, any depiction of Venus/Aphrodite must convey her ability to captivate. Personally, at this point in my life, I picture Beyonce undulating out of the surf, rather than Botticelli’s depiction. Let me explain.

The original Greeks were wandering people who came from the Russian Steppes. They migrated southward and spread into the peninsula and islands inhabited by a goddess-worshiping people in the land that is now Greece. The Greeks took anything they wanted: land, women and the stories that the indigenous people told. They integrated these stories with their own mythology, which had been simply Zeus: the god of thunder and appropriation.

The stories told of Gaia, the Earth mother who hungered for a companion and out of her longing came Ouranos, the sky god. Ouranos mated with Gaia in endless copulations, which did not allow her the ability to birth her children. Her children were trapped within her, and together they plotted the overthrow of their father.

These were the Titans, led by Cronos/Saturn. Gaia fashioned a scythe out of diamonds for her son to use against Ouranus. She counseled that when he freed her, he overthrow his father in a methodical and thorough manner. But Cronos/Saturn succumbed to celebration (his brief foray) and waved his trophy for all to see.

Since he had castrated his father, he unleashed his seeds into the receptive ocean. This gave Aphrodite a unique birth and unlike her siblings, she rose from the waves unbound and filled the Earth with her beauty and love.

In the chaos that followed, Cronos/Saturn became king of the Titans and Ouranus and Gaia reunited as a couple familiar with one another but without the lock of passion. This union is symbolic of the true glue that holds a relationship, obvious once sex has been taken out of the picture.

Aphrodite is the last child of the Earth and Sky and she is without chains or a need for power. She is not a Titan or Giant like the children spawned off of Gaia’s imprisonment. She is the first god/dess of Olympus, the symbol of what separates humans from instinct: love.

She is the Divine Symbol of Love which springs from the heart and is without logic. If you feel challenged in the areas of life that bring love, wealth and self-worth, you are probably born with a challenge from Venus. This does not mean you cannot learn to embrace her, but it does mean you have to want her. Allow the goddess in your life. Wear a dress or shirt that brings out your eyes, buy flowers just for you, give in to the impulse to do something sweet for a loved one or hang up a picture of puppies.

If you know what sign your Venus is, this can help you understand how to court her. Venus in Aries probably likes a hot car and Venus in Libra won’t think anything is really beautiful unless she witnesses it with someone else.

I think Beyonce is a good image for Venus because she’s very 3-dimensional; you can’t really enjoy life without savoring it and her figure is very womanly, not a starved girl. I also think her grace during the upset caused by Kanye West was Aphrodite at her best. But Beyonce is just one face favored by the goddess, she is everywhere once you start looking. And the more you appreciate her message, the more she will grace your life.

When you next look at the spray from a wave breaking or a waterfall crashing, you can feel her promise. She gives you opportunities every day to appreciate her beauty; indulge!

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