Portraits of Venus : the female object of desire

Aaah! The male fantasy of women! The female side of the male psyche that is often projected onto women. What Jungians term the anima. The female object of desire for heterosexual men and gay or bisexual women.

In astrology, this can be read from the position of the planet Venus in a man’s chart. She represents a man’s unconscious feminine side: in her positive aspect: artistic, sensuous and creative – in her negative aspect: mischievous, mendacious and unreasonable. Venus also represents how a man relates to women and the type of woman he is attracted to – and even gay men have their divas.

Just as women are not usually aware that they are projecting their masculine side onto men, so men are not usually aware that they are projecting their feminine side onto women. For a man the inner feminine appears as a figure from his dreams. For him, she is unfathomable, mysterious, the wellspring of creation. She is the poet’s muse, the musician’s inspiration, the femme fatale with her intoxicating mix of beauty and danger.

But when a man withdraws this projection and comes to terms with and owns the feminine part of himself and sees women as individuals, he is whole.

So, here they are: Venus as she appears in the twelve signs of the zodiac, the Twelve Dancing Princesses from the fairy tale, each one representing an aspect of the goddess of love and attraction. Each has her own character, her own charm. Each deserves her own portrait.


Venus in Aries

She is eternal youth. Impatient for love. Desire that burns, burns out and reignites. But do not speak of meeting or parting – there is only this moment, this now.

Venus in Taurus

She is so connected to the earth that she suffers because of what is being done to it. She needs you not just to admire her beauty but to listen to her voice. She has songs, stories … warnings. When she says ‘yes’, she means it. When she says ‘no’, she means it.

Venus in Gemini

She is playful, always amusing, always seeking amusement. She is the embodiment of caprice – flirtatious, flickering between shyness and boldness in an instant. Can you keep up with her games?  Can you follow her dance?

Venus in Cancer

In fullness and depth her tides will move you. In the ebb and flow of her moods and the magic of her sister moon you will find yourself borne to where you always were. Though clouds may cover her, and silence may veil her, we her children are.

Venus in Leo

She can transport you to the worlds of courtly love. There, there are dramas in which you are servant, knight, ambassador, secret paramour. Never sacrificing majesty or nobility, she is always the queen and her will is supreme.

Venus in Virgo

Pure as befits the name of the sign. She will bring you simple fare, free from the false promises of luxury, but brimming with the energy of life. But there is something about her, something beneath her cool surface that longs to be released.

Venus in Libra

Beauty, harmony, peace. All that you desire in those eyes, that graceful presence, that cultivated appearance. Her kind words, the home she creates that when you enter, instantly soothes your soul. She is the one who balances and completes you.

Venus in Scorpio

She desires nothing for she is desire itself. Any boundaries you thought you had, do not exist for her. What is ancient in her seeks what is ancient in you: the stillness at the moment of release. This love is all consuming. Will you survive it?

Venus in Sagittarius

She is your guide, your bellwether. Amid the pointless hassle of the world she will show you your goals. Encouraging you, leading you on the path to fulfilment, inspiring your journey, reminding you that you must create your own destiny.

Venus in Capricorn

She will test you, test your honour, your loyalty, your commitment to her. Will you be good enough for her? Will you meet her standards? Know that you must strive for her love, then strive to keep it. She is a worthwhile investment, for her beauty will grow with the years.

Venus in Aquarius

She will take your ideas and preconceptions of what a relationship is, what love is, twist them all around and blow them away. You will try to find how to say what she is to you – girlfriend, woman, partner, significant other and none of them sound right and none of them get anywhere near it. Loving her you can love all women.

Venus in Pisces

She is Mélisande, you come across her fairytale beauty in the forest, having lost her crown. She is Mélusine, the water nymph, the spirit of the holy well. You can try to summon her, beg her to appear, but she is not to be summoned – she appears only when she wants. She can be wilful, insouciant and you will never understand her wiles, never know her secrets, or if she is truth or deception. Her smile, her touch, her kiss can transport you. Will you ever return?

Ben Belinsky

June 2024

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