Venus, Goddess of Love, rules Valentines Day. However she has become overly-entwined in our imaginations with Neptune, Venus’ higher octave, the planet of romance.
Together these two planets give us a “rose-coloured” idealistic perspective on love. Everyone thinks Venus represents love, fidelity and romance, perfect for Valentine’s Day. The true picture, however, gives us a different story.
Venus’ predecessors in the mythology line-up were Inanna and Ishtar, around whom cults developed worshipping both goddesses. Part of the Sumerian pantheon of Gods and Goddesses in ancient Mesopotamia, they ruled sexual love, fertility, prosperity and warfare. Ishtar in particular was known for being “cruel and wayward”.
Move forward to Roman mythology and Venus was Goddess of prostitutes, although she could turn the hearts of men and women from sexual vice to virtue. In other words, Venus ruled all aspects of love (think of the term venereal disease which derivates from the word, Venus).
In Greek mythology, Venus was Aphrodite who ruled sexual love, desire, beauty and fertility. She was forced into an arranged marriage with “ugly” Haphaestus but was vehemently independent and constantly in search of a new lover. One of her more familiar lovers was Ares, God of War, whom she later married. But she had many affairs and many children, Eros, Rhodos, Hermaphroditus and Aneas, to name but a few.
So love comes in many guises and on this Valentines Day, 14th February 2012, it’s important to celebrate all aspects of love. If you’re in a conventional marriage or relationship, give your red roses, chocolates and champagne in honour of love. But if you’re not, honour what love means to you, whether your love of the Divine, love of friends and family, even love of a good book. Don’t be limited by what love has become. Love is immense and immeasurable and poses one of the biggest conundrums of our present day. Ask anyone “what is love?” and everyone will have a different answer and rightly so.
Very refreshing to read a different article on love. I love the way your blog is opening my mind to the origins of so many different things.
I love fairy tales too and have quite a collection – have you read Angela Carter’s? Very quirky.
hi Jan, Sorry I didn’t reply to this earlier but yes, I do love Angela Carter’s fairytales. My favourites were the traditional tales, such as the Brothers Grimm. best, Sally
Kerry Hales says
And you end with a simple question… What is love?!?!? Sally, now Sally, your blog is making me think differently! I love it! Thank you… Now… What is love… For me… Oh my…
Yes, it is a big question that one, isn’t it, Kerry?! Thanks for your comments. They’re very much appreciated. best, Sally
Bianca Tait says
I’m a bit freaked out by Venus now since Venus rules Libra (my sign) more strongly than any other planet…. ooooo she was a bit racy wasn’t she? I will have to brush up on my knowledge of her as it is clear from reading your post that I know nuffink! The stuff I am learning here is mega! Thanks Sally.
Please don’t be freaked out, Bianca. Venus does rule all things lovely, such as art, beauty, love & money. It’s just we don’t remember that Venus was more interesting and complex than people think. Like love, I suppose! best, Sally
Amanda Thomas says
Love the images of Venus – very “hip…”
And what a great reminder about love, such a subjective experience for us all. Timely article on this Valentine’s Day which has become doused in consumerism & stamped with Hallmark for many. Easy to forget to appreciate what/ who we have around us. Thanks Sally, Amanda.
Glad you liked it, Amanda. Yes, I think it’s important to remember that love is a subjective experience too. best, Sally
Judith Morgan says
You are reminding me that I want and need to know a lot more about Greek mythology. I have a fabulous book in mind and this will help with general knowledge quizzes too. Did you study it in depth or what? How, what, when, why, where? Spill!
You can’t be a good astrologer if you don’t know about Greek and Roman mythology. I haven’t studied Greek mythology per se but have many books on the topic and attended astrology workshops on the God/desses. I’ve been interested in mythology and symbolism since university days. I wrote my thesis on “The Sexual Nature of Fairy Tales” (oo-er, missus!), went to evening class to learn about Ancient Mesopotamia and was told by a Mexican clairvoyant that I was the incarnation of Kukulcan, God of Wind, in a former life. (I can feel “Another 5 Things” stirring…) best, Sally