|Are Women From Venus?
An Astrologer’s Perspective
by Jenny Yates
Venus is the planet of love, beauty, and pleasure. That sounds like women, right?
In the world we live in, these things are keyed to women. We’re traditionally the ones that go crazy over
love, and we think of all the little romantic touches. We are the ones that are supposed to look
beautiful all the time, and we fund an enormous fashion industry. And we are the ones who feed our
senses with long hot bubble baths, perfume and flowers.
Of course, these are gender stereotypes, since men also fall in love, enjoy beauty, and feel pleasure.
But they don’t tend to inhabit a world in which these things are the main concerns. Men who focus on
love, and on what feels and looks good, are often ridiculed, like the men who won’t go to war when
called up. Men are supposed to be concerned with running the world, and what does that have to do
with love, beauty and pleasure? (Of course, one could say that this is what’s wrong with the world
Venus is all about happiness. Looking at the position and aspects of Venus in a person’s birth chart,
you can see her route to happiness. What makes her heart sing? What makes her feel wonderful?
What makes her walk around in a haze of well-being?
Often the answer is: love, beauty or pleasure. Falling in love feels better than almost anything else,
and it keeps you feeling good for days – or sometimes years. Beauty makes you catch your breath in
amazement, whether you’re looking at a lovely sunset or a piece of art. And pleasure is all about
connecting to the people, things and activities that make you feel good in the moment.
Of course, Venus exists in the birthchart of every man as well, and it means exactly the same thing. It’s
a question of focus. Women are taught to focus on the things related to Venus, while men are taught
to think of them as peripheral. So if you look at two birthcharts, one a man’s and the other a woman’s,
and you see Venus in the same position and with the same aspects, you’ll still find many differences in
the way these two people look for (and accept) happiness.
So does that mean that women are happier because of the way we’ve been socialized? I think there’s a
case to be made for this. Given this, do we want to give up these gender stereotypes, and our
emphasis on love, happiness and pleasure?
The thing is that Venus is only one planet in a person’s birthchart, and there’s always a lot more going
on. Suppose a woman is born with her sun in a strong position? She’s ambitious. She’s a leader. She
needs to be the one running the world.
Remember Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII? She was born with a strong sun, and what
would her life have been like if she could have taken power in a more direct way, rather than seducing
the king? Anne Boleyn spent her life occupying a Venus archetype – the Beautiful, Desirable Lover –
but her chart shows she would have been a lot more fulfilled on the throne.
What about if a woman is born with Saturn in a strong position? She is most interested in wisdom and
experience. Venus can be the enemy of age, because age is not considered particularly pretty. Yet
Saturn is about the benefits that come with age.
Here, we can take a look at the chart of the poet Emily Dickinson. She was born with a strong Saturn,
and what would her life have been like if she could have been known for her innate wisdom? She was
shy, but that could be because she was supposed to be someone she wasn’t, a sweet and innocent
angel of the house. Instead, she should have been a holy woman, a guru.
What if a woman is born with Mars in a strong position? She could be a great athlete. And yes, she
could also be a warrior, accomplished with the bow, knife or in martial arts. What if she is born with a
strong Uranus, so that she could be a scientist, inventor, or revolutionary icon?
Venus is about what makes you happy, and women are often experts in the art of happiness. But as
important as love, beauty and pleasure are, they have to be part of a whole life. One of the purposes of
Venus, in a birth chart, is to make your work in this world more palatable. When you know how to make
yourself happy, everything is easier. But that doesn’t mean that your entire purpose, morning and
evening, is nothing but personal happiness.
There are some women for whom Venus is the strongest planet, such as the Impressionist painter
Berthe Morisot. Although there was still a lot of social disapproval, she was born at a time when a
woman could make her living with the brush. If Morisot had lived in an earlier time, she probably would
have painted only for her own pleasure, and perhaps she would have been equally happy. But what
would we have lost?
So, are women from Venus? Almost all of us are raised that way, and many of us inhabit the archetype
quite easily. But some women don’t feel it at all in their core selves. And even the women who are
strongly influenced by Venus need to express everything else in their charts as well. None of us are
first published in Womyn's Words, April 2012