In honor of my Venus return during my Venus profection year I want to talk to you about what Venus in Scorpio really means.
First let's talk about what Venus signifies. When we think of Venus we most often think of love, beauty, and luxury. We think of the goddess Aphrodite and the birth of Venus. Venus, the lesser benefic, is associated with corporeal pleasures in a way that's almost superfluous. I mean, yeah, luxuries are nice but they aren't essential. What utility does "pretty" have when we're talking about Life?
(The Birth of Venus, painting by Sandro Botticelli)
The reason we focus on these more frivolous significations is pretty simple. We don't have to worry about the serious Venus shit as much anymore. Somehow we modernized Venus into being something you can find at Bed Bath & Beyond. So, what is the serious Venus shit? What did Venus mean to ancient cultures whose lives revolved around survival rather than convenience?
Venus determines what's safe. What's the number 1 way we identify danger? Appearance! It's easy to forget in modern society but nature is incredibly dangerous and finding food is really difficult. If you sent my ass outside right now I sure as hell couldn't come up with dinner.
Venus helps us discern what's edible. Which apple you eating?
(comparison between a fresh and a rotten apple)
Each of the planets are associated with various plants, animals, and minerals based on symbolic associations. Some of the associations are pretty clear like the sun being associated with gold and the moon being associated with silver. Venus is associated with copper. Why?
Copper has known antimicrobial properties that were used by the ancients. You couldn't just store a pot of stagnant water. The water would start to turn scummy and gross which can make people sick. Copper vessels helped prevent water from going bad by inhibiting microbial growth. The ancients didn't really know why but they knew that copper kept water pure.
Purity is a key Venus word because that's essentially what we're looking for. Things that are not "corrupted." Sure, we could say clear water is "prettier" than scummy water but that's not quite right. We're looking for the absence of rot, the absence of foreign elements because foreign elements are often dangerous i.e. the mold on some food.
We often associate Venus with scented candles but not smelling milk to see if it's bad. We often associate Venus with decadent tastes but not tasting something to see if it's edible.
In a similar way we could say Venus isn't about sensual pleasures so much as it is the senses in general. We often associate Venus with scented candles but not smelling milk to see if it's bad. We often associate Venus with decadent tastes but not tasting something to see if it's edible. Food safety is so much less of an issue in modern society that we can pretty much ignore it. For ancient societies it was an extremely important part of daily life and a matter of life and death. Diarrhea can literally kill you.
Venus also helps us evaluate danger. Being able to tell the difference between things that are cute and ugly/scary is a survival function. You don't need someone to tell you the difference between a puppy and a hissing snake. Even if you had never seen either of those animals you can instinctively evaluate the threat. Your body will physically react to bared fangs, erratic movements, alarming colors, and threatening sounds. Our brains also extend this to other humans which makes us more likely to trust people who are attractive and more likely to be wary of those who are not. It's not a perfect system by any means but it's generally enough to keep us from dying. We find babies of pretty much all species to be cuter than adult versions. Why? They're WAY less threatening.
If you want an apple you're gonna go for one that isn't busted. If you want a person you're gonna go for one that isn't busted.
When we think about sexual attraction or even just the standard by which we find people attractive, it's mostly about health. Regardless of what your default is I promise you're uglier when you're exhausted and stressed because you don't look like you're at your best. If you want an apple you're gonna go for one that isn't busted. If you want a person you're gonna go for one that isn't busted. It's not really any different from picking out produce. It's just more instinctual when it comes to people. We're still looking for something fresh, plump, juicy, thicc, delicious. We don't want the snack, we want the whole meal. We also have our own individual tastes. I don't care how fresh, plump, juicy, thicc, and delicious some brussels sprouts are cause I don't like them. But if I did, I would want those ones.
Venus in Scorpio
Now let's talk about Scorpio. Scorpio is a fixed water sign ruled by Mars. It's associated with things that are hidden, plotting, secrets, alchemy, poison, and medicine. As the nocturnal sign of Mars, the planet of war, how do you kill someone on the low? Poison, not a battle axe. The water signs Cancer and Pisces are generally associated with life and fertility, being ruled by the moon and Jupiter respectively, but Scorpio is the odd one out. With Scorpio being ruled by Mars, instead of nutritive, life-supporting water, it's more like a caustic bile that strips flesh from bone. It's fluid that opposes rather than supports life.
Alcohol, aka "fire water" is a good example of how Scorpio can be both poisonous and medicinal. Anyone who's had a hangover before knows damn well that alcohol consumption isn't good for your body. It burns your throat, makes you vomit, black out, damages your liver, etc. It's fun so we do it anyways but there's absolutely no denying that it's a fucking harsh liquid and alcohol poisoning is a thing. On the flip side to that, what do you do when you get a cut? You disinfect it with alcohol. In both instances we see alcohol as being a substance that destroys life. The difference is how it's used. The unique thing about poisons/medicines is that they're able to discriminate what they destroy. Technically, setting my hand on fire would kill the bacteria in a paper cut but it would also destroy the rest of my hand. If I use alcohol then I can kill the bacteria and keep my hand. If you set your bathroom on fire then it wouldn't be dirty but that's WAAAAY overkill so you use bleach. You get the idea.
Now let's tie Venus and Scorpio together by talking about how alcohol is made! Alcohol is made by fermentation. Yeast, a bacteria, is encouraged to grow in organic material. Let's think about that for a minute. 95% of the time bacteria is exactly what we DON'T want when it comes to food. That's why we all have refrigerators. Fermentation is what Venus in Scorpio is all about. Venus is exiled, in its detriment, or in its antithesis in Scorpio. If we think of Scorpio as bacteria and Venus as food, they usually aren't supposed to go together. We don't typically want our food to go bad. Except, some really awesome things can happen when you put the two together.
Venus in Scorpio is about growth and relation as a means of processing. It's about benefic decomposition; life-affirming rot.
Venus in Scorpio is about growth and relation as a means of processing. It's about benefic decomposition; life-affirming rot. Connecting with things that seem dangerous and scary can be amazing. Fermentation is basically encouraging the growth of specific, "good" bacteria, which prevents the growth of "bad" bacteria. You have to be careful when playing with fire though! Botulism is what you get when you encourage the wrong kind of bacteria to grow in your preserved food and that shit can kill you. Remember, we're talking about Venus in Scorpio. You can't look at bacteria like you would a fresh vs. a rotten apple. It's subtle, like a living poison. So, Venus in Scorpio is about managing that kind of risk. Who is safe to let in? How do you tell the yeast from the clostridium botulinum which causes botulism?
Thinking about the ancient civilizations in which astrology was developed, food preservation was important af. There were no refrigerators. You either ate it before it went bad, dehydrated it (arguably Venus in Aries), or fermented it. That's it. Those are the options. Fermentation and food preservation were not only an integral part of daily life but a necessity for survival.
(Anubis weighing a heart against the feather of Ma'at)
We can think about the importance of preservation in the context of Saturn's exaltation in Venus ruled Libra. Saturn can be so cold, and so barren as to preserve beauty and freshness. Much of the astrology we know today was practiced in Egypt where preservation was a huge part of their culture. Saturn is the lord of death and they considered it of upmost importance to preserve the body after death so one's spirit could make the journey to the afterlife. Whereupon its arrival, the god of the dead, Anubis, would weigh their heart on a scale against the feather of Ma'at, goddess of truth and righteousness. That sure sounds like Saturn exalted in Libra to me.
So, the takeaway for Venus in Scorpio is that yes, Venus things can turn sour. The key is in making sure things get the right kind of sour. The kind that adds a richness, depth of flavor, and longevity rather than food poisoning. What bacteria (people) are you inviting into your food (life)? How do you tell the difference between those that will transform and elevate and those that will poison and destroy when you can't rely on your senses? Be observant. Consume in moderation so if someone is poison you didn't just shotgun the whole thing in one go. Trust your instincts and trust your feelings. At a certain point, love is like baring your neck to someone. Whether you feel their lips on your neck or their teeth tearing out your throat, all you can do is trust your own judgment.