|Orbital Period||224,701 Days|
|Opposition Interval||583,92 Days|
|Smallest Distance from Earth||0,256 AU|
|Largest Distance from Earth||1,744 AU|
After Mercury Venus is the second planet whose orbit lies inside the Earth's orbit, and this means that it can never be more than 47 degrees away from the Sun from the Earth's perspective (Elongation).
It has a diameter of 12104 km which makes it almost the same size as the Earth. Its average distance from the Sun is 108.21 million km and takes just over 224 days to make one complete orbit around the Sun (sidereal orbit) and 10 to 12 months to go through the whole zodiac. Its average daily movement is 1 degree, 15 minutes of arc. From the Earth's perspective, Venus is the brightest heavenly body after the Sun and the Moon.
Like Mercury Venus appears either as the Evening Star or the morning star, although the term typically refers to Venus. In the case of the former (evening star), Venus appears on the eastern horizon before the rising Sun and is behind the Sun in the zodiac; in the case of the latter, Venus is still visible on the Western horizon after the Sun has set and is in front of the Sun in the zodiac. When Venus is within 10 degrees of the Sun it is not visible to the naked eye.
In ancient Sumer and Babylon, where the precursors of horoscopic astrology originated, the planet Venus was associated with the goddesses Inanna and Ishtar, respectively. These goddesses had a far greater repertory than their cognate goddesses Aphrodite (Greek) and Venus (Roman) as they were associated with fits of temper and warfare, as well as with physical beauty and love. The name Inanna may derive from Nin-Ana, Sumerian for "Lady of the Sky." In her Phoenician version as Ashthoreth, she may have been the "Queen of Heaven" condemned by biblical prophets.
Although it is hard to say why this planet's worshippers should have associated her with strife, the planets in Sumer and throughout most of Babylonian history, were used as celestial omens. Possibly an early star-gazer noticed that the planet Venus in particular configurations coincided with times of war. Also, the early star-watchers noticed the seemingly irregular movements of Venus as morning and evening star, and likened the planet to a willful woman.
Aphrodite/Venus was one of the twelve Olympian gods. She was the goddess of love, fertility and beauty. Her sobriquet "foam-arisen" alludes to her birth. The titan Kronos (Saturn) had castrated and overthrown his father Uranus at the behest of his mother Gaia and thrown his genitals into the sea. The sea started to foam at the place where he threw them in and from it arose Aphrodite in all her beauty. The world was immediately struck by her charm and as she emerged from the water flowers blossomed under her feet.
Aphrodite was married to Hephaistos, the divine blacksmith and god of fire. Although the relationship symbolizes aesthetics in the arts and crafts, it was an unhappy marriage. Hephaistos was ugly and had a limp but was the greatest craftsman. Aphrodite was not satisfied with this combination. As the embodiment of sensuality and passion she sought more attractive lovers such as Ares (Mars), the god of war. True to her Near Eastern foremothers, Aphrodite's passionate nature led her to become embroiled in most of the battles and intrigues among the gods. She was in no way the naive, shallow beauty as the present day image of Venus suggests. Her admirers could rely on her support. However, she severely punished anyone who displeased her.
In Traditional Astrology Venus particularly has to do with women, luxuries, and esthetics. Although a badly placed Venus could make people lazy or give them difficulties through women, the effect of Venus was generally seen to be beneficial, giving the planet the nickname of the "lesser benefic." (Jupiter is the "greater benefic.")
Venus rules the signs of Taurus and Libra. It is in detriment in Scorpio and Aries: the signs ruled by her lover Mars as the traditional and sole ruler, respectively. Venus is exalted in Pisces and falls in Virgo.
Venus is associated with the organs of equilibrium, together with the kidneys which have an important influence on the regulation of the circulatory system and hematopoiesis as well as the balance between acidity and alkalinity in the body. The balancing quality of Venus is also expressed in the body's venal system: The arteries pump blood enriched with oxygen around the body to the organs and the veins then transport the blood back to the heart. Venus is also associated with the skin in its capacity as a sensual organ. (The skin is associated with Saturn in medical astrology, in its function as the outer boundary of the body.)
Venus generically rules the fine and performing arts, aesthetics, luxuries, and many items and professions associated with women. In a woman's chart, Venus shows her sense of femininity and female sexuality. In a heterosexual man's chart, Venus shows the type of woman to whom he is attracted.
Venus in the natal chart symbolises that energy which seeks harmony, whether through relationships, the love of another person, or love of beauty as expressed in the arts. She also stands for the principle of attraction and what is attractive about a person.
Venus' position by house and sign describes how individuals interact with others, what they like, or how they satisfy their need for harmony. It shows how one loves and wants to be loved, how one expresses and wishes to receive affection. It indicates the kind of things that bring someone pleasure and what is likely to appeal to an individual's aesthetic nature.
In a woman's chart, Venus and the Moon represent important aspects of her feminine identity. Venus is associated with the erotic and sexuality, and taken together with Mars reveals an individual's attitude to these aspects of life. In a man's chart, Venus and the Moon reveal his image of the feminine; whether positive or negative.
A planet or axis aspected by Venus will be coloured by some of the Venusian qualities such as charm and beauty. Even a hard aspect will be softened if Venus is one of the planets involved.
Transiting Venus generally stimulates sensual perception for a short period, as it normally stays in one degree for less than a day. It may indicate a pleasant period.
- Wikipedia on Venus (astrology)
- Wikipedia on Venus (astronomy)
- Our Solar System's Planets: Venus (Astronomical Demonstration, Astrum 2014; 12,5 min)
- "Aphrodite" (theoi.com)
- List of articles on Venus (Skyscript)
- The Pentagram of Venus (youTube-video; 3min)
- Venus, the Rose and the Heart. (Nick Kollerstrom)
- The Eight-Year Cycle of Venus and the Global Economy (Arielle Guttman, The Mountain Astrologer 2015)
- Gustav Holst: Venus (Audio)
- Stephen Arroyo, 2007. Person-to-Person Astrology: Energy Factors in Love, Sex, & Compatibility, Frog Ltd.
- Baring, Anne and Cashford, Jules, 1991, The Myth of the Goddess: Evolution of an Image, Arkana Penguin Books
- Robert Graves, 1992. The Greek Myths, complete ed. Penguin Books
- Greene, Liz, and Sasportas, Howard. 1993. The Inner Planets: Building Blocks of Personal Reality, Samuel Weiser, Inc.
Notes and References
- From a wall painting in Pompeii, first century CE