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We're going to find out why some people cannot stand you yet others feel so powerfully attracted to you that they simply cannot resist your charm. And, as Venus rules art and music as much as she rules romance, we're going to explore your instinctive aesthetic preferences. We're going to look at both the shapes and colors that strike your fancy, plus the figures and faces that fill your fantasies.
Venus is a planet for romantics. Her very name conjures up an image of mystery and sensuality, but she was a seductive symbol long before the Romans coined this name for her. The Babylonians called her Ishtar, Goddess of Fertility. The Sumerians knew her as Inanna, Queen of Thunder. To the Egyptians she was Isis the Enchantress, and to the Greeks Aphrodite, ultimate icon of feminine charm and the mother of Cupid.

If you are a typical male, your Venus sign represents your ideal woman. Aphrodite wears many disguises. Today, you will see which she dons when she wants to capture your heart. If you are a woman, your Venus sign governs the kind of person you turn into when you exploit your feminine charm. I have to confess, though, that when reading romantic preference in a horoscope, all astrologers find female psychology more complicated.

Aphrodite was the ultimate free woman. She belonged to no man yet she awakened a deep and profound spirit of desire in the heart of every man she encountered. She had passionate and fruitful romantic involvements with gods as diverse as the witty, intellectual Hermes, the silent, muscular Adonis and the pompous, powerful Zeus. Throughout all this she also had a tolerant husband: aloof and irritable Hephaestus, the wounded craftsman. Forget for a moment any judgement you might feel inclined to make about her character. We are dealing here with a symbolic goddess, not a real human being and we must view her in her proper context: as an icon of femininity. One day, I hope to write an entire book about her. For our purposes here, though, all we need to understand is that we are dealing with the image of a woman who is attractive to every type of man. A man's Venus sign tells us whether he is more likely to try and appeal to Aphrodite by acting like a Hermes, an Adonis, a Zeus or a Hephaestus.

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A woman's Venus sign, however, does not tell us which of these four symbolic gods she is most likely to be drawn to. There is an image of an ideal man inside the mind of every woman, but to identify this using astrology we have to look at a woman's Mars sign, not her Venus sign. That comes later in this book.

For now, while we're looking at the Venus sign, we simply need to remember that every woman has the spirit of Aphrodite somewhere within her and that her spirit is forever a free spirit. It reserves the right to pick and choose between all four types according to the mood of the moment.

In a man's horoscope, the Venus sign represents his ideal female fantasy figure: the guise in which he is most likely to perceive Aphrodite when he thinks of her and the way in which he would most like to relate to her. In a woman's horoscope, the Venus sign represents the way of being which is most likely to make her feel relaxed, at ease, sensual, confident, charming and appealing. It tells us what kind of role in life is most likely to make her feel supremely free and feminine.

'Are two people with the same Venus sign compatible?' The short answer is, sometimes yes... but please don't be misled, especially where you notice that the female description of a Venus sign appears to be a direct match for the male fantasy outlined below it. It's more a point in favor of the partnership's potential than a cast-iron guarantee.

Your Venus sign reveals a lot about your attitude to love but it also speaks volumes about the way you relate to Mother Nature.

Mother Nature is a powerful entity. To some, she appears in an impersonal, scientific disguise. To others, she is very much a living individual with tastes and preferences, habits and hobbies. But to all, she is a source of inspiration and support. Without the environment that she so carefully creates we would have no air to breathe, no water to drink, no sunshine to bath in nor, indeed, no world within which to pursue the love of one another.

We may not understand all that nature does, but we cannot help but appreciate how vast, powerful and influential her activities are. Whether we take her for granted, live in awestruck appreciation of her strength or actively seek a logical explanation of why she does what she does, we are bound to have a relationship with her. It is the particular quality of this constant relationship that your Venus sign describes.

Do you see yourself as needing to compensate for what nature has seemingly failed to endow you with? Or as overwhelmed by the generous gifts that she has bestowed? Do you see nature as an abundant force, constantly offering to supply whatever you need? Or as a weak, easily corrupted character, in need of sensitive protection? How you feel about the wider world you inhabit speaks volumes about your attitude to other people. If you're naturally inclined to trust nature, you'll trust loved ones. If you're always suspicious that the elements are about to play some nasty trick, you'll be similarly guarded about giving too much to those close by. In these and a thousand other ways, the links between you and nature are as revealing as any session on a relationship counselor's couch.

Venus is the second planet from the Sun and the nearest to our own. She is roughly the same size as Earth but, as the planet is covered in clouds of sulphuric acid and has a surface temperature of 460 degrees Celsius, it is hardly the place you would want to go on holiday. Yet even astronomers have to concede that Venus has a bright, compelling beauty that makes you want to run to her. She may be a planet, but she twinkles like a star. She may have no gravitational effect on the human body, but she never fails to pull the heartstrings of any soul whose gaze wanders skyward. Venus's days may be four months long, but she is the ultimate symbol of nocturnal promise.

Those who are only prepared to see Venus as some distant ball of gas and rock can hardly be expected to recognize her power to influence events on Earth. There is, as yet, no satisfactory scientific explanation why Venus or any other planet should do this. But then, love itself is not a scientifically provable phenomenon. To experience it, you have to stop asking what it is and just give yourself over to something you feel to be true. If you're going to say that Venus is only a planet, you may as well say that a rainbow is nothing more than an intriguing phenomenon involving the refraction of light. Or that a kiss is only an expression of some primal urge to reproduce the species. Romance defies logical explanation - and so, to some degree, does astrology. But that doesn't make either of them any less real.

Now, if you have not already done so, please turn to the tables on p.278 and look up your Venus sign before you read on...."
Copyright by Jonathan Cainer 2001
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