Taurus and Libra are the two signs belonging to the planet Venus. Similar to Mars, these two signs hold no Ptolemaic aspect, rather they are inconjunct and their one link comes through being ruled by the same planet. Taurus is feminine in gender, cold in active quality, dry in passive quality, and together the two qualities create the element of earth. Taurus rising is cautious, slow to react, and fundamentally tied to the safety of routine and the realm of predictability. Taurus is a fixed sign and there is nothing extra to be gained through the additional sight advantage of antiscia and contra-antiscia as the fixed signs already form a square or opposition to one another by both aspect and antiscia states. For this reason, three signs plague Venus’ sight of its rulership sign: the two masculine mutable signs of Gemini and Sagittarius cannot see Taurus, nor can Venus in one of its signs of detriment (Aries) see its earth Ascendant.
Libra is in complete contrast to Taurus. It is a masculine sign with a combination of hot and wet qualities and as an air element it seeks movement, loves constant stimuli, and lives on the anticipation of something new and exciting waiting around the next corner. Only one sign restricts Venus’ sight to Libra, and unfortunately, this is the sign of its detriment. Venus in the fixed sign of Scorpio is averse to Libra and this will create an Ascendant which has no sight from its governing planet, a debilitated Venus, situated in a place from where it cannot manage its affairs.
Detriment creates more than the difficulty of Venus or Mars expressing its true nature through being disposited by each other. The archetype of the female (Venus) is constantly at war with the archetype of the male (Mars) as they oppose each other not once, but twice, across the Thema Mundi chart. Both through cardinal (Aries/Libra) and fixed (Taurus/Scorpio) signs the battle rages, and even when we remove the obvious gender difference, the genesis of this conflict lies in a philosophy that dates back to the fifth century BCE.
This is the time when the Greek philosopher Empedocles described the opposites of Love and Strife as the two corporeal substances which created the four elements, or roots, as he named them.
Hear first of all the four roots of all things:
Zeus (fire) the gleaming, Hera (earth) who gives life, Aidoneus (air),
And Nestis (water), who moistens with her tears the mortal fountain.
Empedocles deliberately bestows the four divinities’ names on the quartet of roots implying that each has an active nature and is not just inert matter. Each singular root is drawn to the next one through a shared quality and the attraction of Love (Venus’ representative), but are driven apart by the dissimilar quality and the destructive forces of Strife (Mars’ agent). The qualities of the roots remain the same but the influence of Love and Strife waxes and wanes as they are locked in constant battle. This conflict is not only observable in the respective planets’ nature and the opposing positions of their signs in Thema Mundi but is also found within the actions and reactions of human behaviour.
In juxtaposition to the changeability of his roots, Empedocles talked about perception (sight) which later became known as the emission theory of vision. Empedocles believed that Aphrodite (Venus/Love) had fashioned the human eye from the four elements and that she lit the fire which shone out from the eye, making sight possible. He explained that tiny particles, or “effluences”, flowed from objects continually and that the fire in the perceiver’s eye was attracted through Love to exchange effluences with the objects it sees. In this way both the perceiver, and the perceived, would receive Love’s benefit through the gained advantage of the exchange. Sight not only brought awareness, clarity and recognition, it also produced a transfer of energy or ‘electricity’ between one thing (the eye) and another (the object being viewed) and the surge contained both the spark of life and the potential for activity. By the extension of this theory, aversion or blindness wasn’t just lack of sight; it was the presence of Strife bringing with it a total lack of energy, separation, the ignorance of one effluence to another’s existence, and ultimately, the loss or death of connectedness.
Prime Motivation for Earth Signs:
The need for a safe and secure physical environment
TAURUS RISING : Ruling Planet – VENUS
Venus is the planet that signifies both sensuality and sensitivity. As adjectives the difference between sensuous and sensitive is that sensuous is appealing to the senses, or to sensual gratification, while sensitive is having the faculty of sensation, i.e. pertaining to the senses.
In the same way as seven is the number of our visible planets, seven is also the correct number of our senses.
The first five senses are well known to us – Sight (Vision) ; Hearing (Auditory) ; Smell (Olfactory) ; Taste (Gustatory) ; Touch (Tactile) – but we may not be familiar with the final two – and no, one of them is not extrasensory perception.
Instead, the sixth sense is Movement and Balance (Vestibular) and this is the sense which gives us information about where our head and body are in space. A well developed Vestibular sense helps us to stay upright when we sit, stand and walk.
The seventh and final sense is Body Position (Proprioception) or the body awareness sense which tells us where our body parts are relative to each other. Proprioception also gives us information about how much force we use, allowing us to do something like crack an egg while in the process not crushing the fragile shell in our hands.
When Venus is in aversion to the Taurus Ascendant – the house of the physical body – then possibly, one or more of the seven senses may be compromised as a blind Venus struggles to commit these senses to memory or automatic receptivity. I am not a qualified medical astrologer but her sign and/or position in the chart may give an indication as to the nature of this difficulty or perhaps where these weakened senses may be over-compensated by the other senses.
THREE AVERSION Signs and House Placements:
Gemini (2nd H) : Sagittarius (8th H) : Aries (12th H)
Challenge for P.M. – Venus in Gemini (2nd)
The constant distraction of needing to chase after lost resources or moveable wealth, or to recoup money spent on luxuries, disrupts and distracts from this Taurus Ascendant achieving its Prime Motivation. Money spent on behalf of friends who tell a good story, or entice the individual to invest poorly, means that the routines and safety rituals that are necessary for an earth Ascendant to feel safe within their environment keep altering and manifesting in new patterns. Safety lies in repetition for this fixed earth sign and Venus in Gemini is too easily influenced by others’ fabulous ideas and crazy new plans to truly give their P.M. a decent period of relaxation or shore up the individual’s sense of security.
Gemini’s dispositor, Mercury, will give some indication as how scattered Venus’ behaviour is in this mutable air sign, but one thing is for sure, Venus’ blindness to Taurus will unsettle the native and personality traits such as fretting, anxiousness, and constant rechecking of friendships and conversations are part of the landscape for this scenario of Gemini Venus ruling the Taurus Ascendant.
Challenge for P.M. – Venus in Sagittarius (8th)
The pull between needing to feel safe and the impulse to go out and explore, is a constant issue for the fixed earth Ascendant. In Sagittarius Venus’ fear of being stifled is confused with the need for comfort and familiarity and this dichotomy helped little by Venus’ position in the difficult eighth house. The dilemma for Venus creates the catalyst to end things that bind you to others, but then creates insecurity when you have to start anew.
Taurus rising is quite happy with the concept of ‘morphing’, a special effect in motion picture post-production which uses computer animation techniques to smoothly transform one image into another.
Taurus rising’s morphing involves small gradual steps on the part of the chart owner in order to bring about a seamless change of someone or something important in their life. But Venus in Sagittarius is too restless – and too blind – to have the patience to move so slowly in order to bring about imperceptible transformation and to make sure that the individual feels safe within the new environment before they completely surrender up the old one.
Drama and chaos in the eighth house, no matter how sweetly presented by Venus, is not good groundwork for providing the opportunity to morph if it can be done at all, without experiencing pain, loss, embarrassment or exposure to others’ judgement of one’s decisions. Taurus rising’s need to feel safe within their world is jeopardized by these emotions which are not conducive to a relaxed or calm atmosphere for the individual.
Challenge for P.M. – Venus in Aries (12th)
Venus in detriment sits in the 12th house undermining the sense of security and adding fear and mistrust of others’ motives or actions. Shyness or awkwardness about the individual’s body image can mean that when they begin new ventures, or go to new places, they feel alone and friendless.
Venus is disposited by Mars and has its own battles by being opposite its sign of Libra which is on the sixth house cusp when Taurus rises. All Venus’ energy goes into the conflict between Love and Strife across the most difficult axis in the chart. Venus is busy dealing with the chart owner’s relationship to illness, injury, separation, isolation, fear and rejection and it has little or no vigour to cope with an Ascendant sign it cannot see.
The twelfth and sixth house concerns which occupy Venus are likely to be part of the story of why it cannot connect to this earth sign’s Prime Motivation. The native’s lack of physical strength, vitality, animation or social connectedness is inhibited by Venus’ preoccupation with the hardships of the poorest of the cadent houses. Nor is Venus helped by being in Mars’ sign as it can become inflamed, easily agitated or anxious when it searches for reasons as to why it lacks solid grounding, or it fears change and Life’s unpredictability.
Alternate Rulers to help Ascendant achieve Prime Motivation
Exalted Ruler for Taurus, MOON
Once more in a reflection of the relationship between Love (Venus) and Strife (Mars), the opposite luminary to the Sun – which is the exalted lord of Aries, a sign belonging to Mars – see the Moon as the exalted ruler of one of Venus’ signs.
In the case of Taurus rising, the Moon can stand in as a substitute ruler for Venus, but it must be in a sign that can see her fixed earth sign. The Moon is the nocturnal luminary and shares the same sect preference as Venus so at least there is some compatibility here. Like Venus, the Moon also seeks love, companionship and acceptance from those whom it cares for, and has the required patience and empathy needed for the slow movement of a Taurean Ascendant to activate the seven senses needed to become simpatico with its surroundings.
Term Rulers for TAURUS (besides Venus)
Mercury (8-14): Jupiter (14-22): Saturn (22-27): Mars (27-30)
Mars is the Term Ruler for the high degrees of Taurus (and also for Libra’s last two degrees) and again, although Mars gains dignity over both Venus-ruled signs it may not be a suitable substitute governor for either a Taurus or Libran Ascendant in their final degrees.
However, to quote Theodore Roosevelt “When you’re at the end of your rope, tie a knot and hold on” and Mars may be the only planet that stops the Taurean Ascendant, and its Prime Motivation, from falling into the abyss. Libran Ascendant’s Prime Motivation comes from a different source but it too will need to proceed carefully if Mars is to be its sole director. Being forceful or accusatory will not help its own Primary requirement for communication and rather than protecting Venus’ interests Mars/Strife may separate through conflict rather than attract its listeners and supporters through the power of Love.
Prime Motivation for Air Signs:
The drive for communication and freedom of movement
LIBRA RISING : Ruling Planet – VENUS
ONE AVERSION Sign and House Placement:
Scorpio (2nd H)
Only one sign prevents vision to the Libran Ascendant, frustrates its drive to communicate with others, and inhibits its freedom. Love and Strife meet once more as Venus’ other sign of detriment is disposited by Mars.
Challenge for P.M. – Venus in Scorpio (2nd)
The last thing Libra rising needs is a prickly Venus in detriment in the money house. Without careful restraint the P.M. can become based on out-competing in accumulating money, salary comparisons, and unnecessary luxuries bought by this insecure Venus. Awkwardness or self-consciousness about the body image can mean spending money the individual can’t afford on finding ways to feel attractive, or comfortable in their own body.
Communication becomes awkward for the social-loving sign on the Ascendant; both in creating easy conversation, and later dissecting every word exchanged with a ‘but what did they really mean by that?’ Venus signifies women in general and both genders can be suspicious of exchanges with the ‘fairer sex’ when Venus is in Scorpio. Freedom of movement carries with it the fear of harm when Venus is in a sign belonging to the ever-watchful, overly cautious, and always defensive Mars.
Alternate Rulers to help Ascendant achieve Prime Motivation
Exalted Ruler for Libra, SATURN
Saturn seems an odd companion for this social sign of Venus, that is, until we remember the Libran icon of the Scales of Justice. Any planet or point in Libra has its Saturn qualities where there are no intermediate shades of grey, and black and white sit in opposite camps when it comes to opinions on social justice. If Venus is in Scorpio then Saturn will need to step up as a substitute ruler for the Libran Ascendant but if Saturn’s statements are harsh, cold or judgemental, then this will do very little to alleviate the native’s discomfort within their environment.
As well as a tendency to be awkward in social gatherings Saturn can also frustrate the air Prime Motivation’s drive for freedom of movement as Saturn is not necessarily an easy and versatile activator within the physical world.
Term Rulers for LIBRA (besides Venus and Saturn)
Mercury (6-14): Jupiter (14-21): Mars (28-30)
FOOTNOTE TO VENUS IN AVERSION
If Venus was running for public office we might write Venus’ manifesto for rulership of the Ascendant as
a commitment to creating an environment whereby ease and comfort with others is achievable;
providing the chart owner with pleasurable experiences;
increasing confidence through the avenue of self-love by promoting a regard for one’s own well-being and happiness;
bestowing physical attributes such as beauty, charm, style, self-expression, ease in the art of flattery, and grace;
providing good social skills and a modicum of Good Fortune to the individual.
However, in aversion Venus’ platform disappears and she is left with a list of responsibilities that she struggles to accomplish with ease. Issues such as discomfort in areas which should be enjoyable, shyness or awkwardness in social situations, and misinterpretation or misunderstandings with others can occur as a ruler missing-in-action struggles to counter-balance these concerns.
Because Venus represents the female gender there can be difficulties or trust issues with women; trust issues being that past experiences have been painful and made the individual wary of dealing with a certain characteristics or a perceived ‘type’ of female personality.
Extremes in behaviour can be polarized between conceit and vanity to the point of narcissism, or self-destructive and hedonistic behaviour that borders on a total lack of control. On the other side of the coin lies the possibility of an almost puritanical self-denial of all pleasures, or a repression of the five most rewarding and Venusian senses.
Someone once said “Being desperate is unattractive” and this must be how Venus feels when she falls short of managing one of her houses, let alone the most critical and life-affirming house in the chart.