Venus As Singleton
Venus is the second of the Preceptor planets, along with Mercury. We saw that Mercury correlates with the nervous system in general and the left hemisphere of the brain, the linear, logical half, in particular. Venus correlates with the right hemisphere, corresponding to the ability to perceive relationships among objects.
Interesting neurological research has just revealed “that the ability to recognize who we are is linked to brain activity in one side of the brain. Recognizing one’s own face appears to be a preferential ability of the right hemisphere.”
Ten experimental subjects where tested to recognize themselves in an image morphed with an image of a famous person. Women were morphed with Marilyn Monroe or Princess Diana, the men with Bill Clinton or Albert Einstein. When the left hemisphere was anesthetized, and only the right hemisphere was conscious, all the subjects recognized their own image when shown the morphed image. When the right hemisphere was anesthetized, and the left hemisphere was conscious, only four recognized the famous person and none recognized themselves.
In a second test, brain activity was monitored as the subjects looked at their morphed images and another image of a colleague. There was more brain activity on the right side when they were looking at their own morphed images.
One of the astonishing findings in psychology is that humans and apes are the only species that recognize their own faces in mirrors. It has been thought that this ability is a hallmark of consciousness [author’s italics]. To know that our own face is ours inevitably requires a knowledge of the self. Without self-knowledge, it would be seemingly impossible to recognize who we are, according to cognitive psychologist, – Julian Keenan
Venus rules the sign Libra, and both Venus and Libra are symbolic of relationships of self with not-self. Without self-awareness and self-recognition we could not really have meaningful relationships with other humans, animal beings, or the world of objects.
Beyond the neurological level, Venus corresponds to all the things associated with the two signs it rules. Taurus, the yin phase, governs the pleasure-pain principle and sensuality. Libra, the yang phase, is associated with consciousness of aesthetics and awareness of relationships, two essential qualities for the development of the fine arts and the art of human relationships or diplomacy. Henry Kissinger has Venus in Taurus, only Earth sign, in the 11th house of collective interests and group creativity.; he is an accomplished diplomat. As Nixon’s Secretary of State he did some brilliant diplomatic work negotiating at the international level for U.S. interests.
Venus is the synthesizer, representing the force in nature that brings things together. It is the physical force we call magnetism, and is symbolic of attraction on all levels. This is the desire to connect with the not-self. On the physical Taurus level, it is all things that give sensory pleasure and gratification: food, sex, and money with all the luxuries it can buy. On the mental Libra level, it is the desire to connect with the aesthetic principle and the idealized other. It is the urge toward union of self with the beautiful, harmonious and balanced. Through experiencing art, whether creating it or contemplating it, we connect with the archetypal ideal. The aesthetics of Libra tend toward the symmetrical such as the design of a classic formal French garden. The Taurian style is harmonious and natural, such as seen in a flower filled rambling English garden or a nature replicating Japanese garden.
There is always the desire to connect with the complementary opposite. When the search for union with the idealized other is carried on in the realm of human interaction we find a lot of projection going on. Falling in love is the process of projecting our own internal ideal onto another. Hero worship involves this process, too. If we do not progress beyond this phase, we inevitably experience disappointment. The lover turns out not to be a god or goddess and the hero has feet of clay.
Where Mercury and the left hemisphere of the brain correlate with intelligence as logical, reasoning, step-by-step thinking process, the intelligence of Venus and the right hemisphere correlate with the perception of balance and harmony. It is a quality of consciousness that is holistic, all-encompassing and produces a sense of peace and well being in body and mind. The truly great cultures of the world have been marked by an equal emphasis on aesthetics and all of the arts as well as logic, reason and the sciences. Our contemporary culture is all too focussed on Mercurial intelligence. We do not give equal emphasis and value to developing Venusian consciousness in our educational and vocational systems. The result is a lot of chronically discontented and unbalanced people in the society as a whole.
The chapter on Mercury mentioned the discovery that women tend to listen with both brain hemispheres, integrating both Mercury and Venus intelligence. I have noticed that a Mercury/Venus conjunction in a natal chart, no matter what the person’s gender, tends to correlate with that same ability: a capacity to perceive in a holistic way, to synthesize and analyze information simultaneously, and to possess a refined style of communication. This is the aspect of the diplomat who has the tact to know instinctively what to say, how to say it and when to say it – and when to keep silent.
Venus corresponds to the urge to compare and compromise. Venus does not want things black and white; she enjoys the play of light and shadows, the different shades of gray, and most especially color and contrast. For example, a Venusian attitude toward religion (a Venus/Jupiter aspect), appreciates the variety in different faiths. A Mercurial belief system argues and debates its merits (Jesuits), and a Mars faith says “my God is the only god and you’d better believe – or else! (the Fundamentalist Islamic and Christian).”
Venus is able to put herself in anthers’ shoes and strike a balance between her own position and that of another. This gives the ability to cooperate. Manners, mores, and etiquette are the result. They are the foundation and the necessities of a “civil” society and of civilization in general.
Venus, along with the Moon, is linked with addictions. Venus’ motivation is to keep on experiencing pleasure and to keep from feeling pain. The Moon simply desires to stay unconscious and infantile. Other Venus problems are the need to conform and belong that can result in dependency disorder, and fear of being cut off from free pleasuring of the body in terms of sensuality and sex. A few years ago there was a big “flap” because someone advocated teaching masturbation in schools. Only in a society with very, very serious Venus problems would it even occur to teach self-pleasuring! That is like giving a baby eating and walking lessons – totally absurd.
The singleton Venus tends toward exaggeration, projection and displacement of sensual and relationship issues. It is the Eternal Aphrodite archetype. Touching, pleasure, and an emphasis on beauty and sensuality are present. There are likely to be problems with body functions such as oral dependencies and sex addition. Common issues revolve around food, sex and money. Issues with specialness in relationship-making abound. There tends to be a deep-rooted pattern of the classic adolescent looking for an idealized relationship. Relationships are passionate, intense, unrealistic and filled with teenage-type game playing.
In Earth and Water signs, a Venus singleton tends to function in the Taurus phase, on the physical level. In Air and Fire signs it acts like the Libra phase at the mental and relationship level.
Two women well known to the author, “Rochelle” and “Donna” serve as examples. Rochelle has her Venus singleton in Taurus (only Earth), in the 6th house. It is in an Earth sign and an Earth house. She has had her share of substance-related health issues. However, she has in recent years found a productive outlet for her Venus through the study, practice and teaching of right nutrician as a path to health and healing. Her specialty is raw food, a very Taurian choice. Donna has Venus in Pisces, its sign of exaltation, posited in its natural 7th house. It is in a Water sign and an Air house. This sounds too good to be true! And, it is! A planet in its sign of exaltation and in its own house usually means the person expects far too much with regard to things symbolized by that planet, its sign, and the house it is in. The result is chronic disappointment and discontent in that area of life. Donna expects too much emotional merging and devotion from partners and close friends, and feels she sacrifices too much for them. From her perception, the people she loves (lovers, friends, and family), repeatedly let her down or deceive her. When alone in nature she feel herself engulfed by vast unconditional love (Pisces), and then stubbornly keeps looking for, and expecting to get, that kind of love from a human being (preferably an eligible man). But, no, Jesus is not going to marry her. Gradually she is coming to the realization that her salvation lies in writing her poetry and working on musical compositions – two media through which she can give universal love to the world and get from others the appreciation that has eluded her.
Among the famous people with natal Venus as a singleton are some we might expect and one surprise. Perhaps it was King Edward VIII’s (the late Duke of Windsor), Venus that led him to abdicate the throne of England in order to marry his divorced American lover, Ms. Wallace Simpson. In Taurus, Venus is both the ruler of the 3rd house and posited in that house; it also rules the erotic, risk-taking, death-and-resurrection 8th house. He died to his Kingship in order to be reborn as the husband of the woman he loved. How romantic to have sacrificed a kingdom for love! By abdicating the throne, he also avoided the very painful experience (a Venus trick), of having to lead his nation through the horrible dark years of World War II. He left that nasty job to his shy ill-prepared younger brother, George (father of Queen Elizabeth II).
Sigmund Freud, father of psychoanalysis, has Venus, only Fire, in the 6th house of work and healing. It is in mutual reception to his Mars singleton in Libra in the 11th house, symbolic, among other things, of his powerful influence on colleagues (like-minded others). Venus and Mars together are primary indicators of sex and sexuality, as well as artistic talent. No wonder Freud saw sex or libido, as the prime motivator of the human psyche. After all, it was for him!
Singer and performer Ricky Martin has as his only Fixed sign planet Venus in Aquarius in the erotic 8th house. It exactly trines a Pluto singleton, powerful in the angular 4th house. He has universal (Aquarius), sex appeal (8th and Pluto). No wonder the world, female and male, projects sexuality and erotic fantasies on him! (An angular Pluto almost always draws projections of either devil or angel from other people in general.)
The surprising chart is that of the monstrous Josef Mengele. Called “the Angel of Death,” he was the chief medical officer at Auschwitz concentration camp. His so-called scientific research was done in an effort to create the beautiful master race. His idealistic urges (Venus singleton square Neptune), to create beauty were horribly perverted by his impulse to brutally mutilate, cut and sever (Mars in Aquarius right on the cusp of the 8th house of surgery is square Saturn in Taurus). The Grand Trine in Water, that includes Neptune, allowed him to escape arrest and prosecution for his mega-crimes. No one knows to this day what finally happened to him. Neptune in the 1st house allowed him to disappear into the mists.
A male client, “Philip,” has described himself as a “sex addict.” Venus singleton in Capricorn in the 5th house is the only planet in a social house. It squares Neptune in Libra. He is never satisfied. He feels the women he becomes involved with, those who like and accept him as he is, are “crones,” while the beautiful blondes he wants elude or reject him. With both feminine significators Moon and Venus as singletons, Philip is “anima dominated” or consumed by the archetypal female image. He projects his sexuality on his girlfriends. It is they who make him do it! He has a love/hate relationship with his own body as well as his sexuality, which seems odd considering the Venus/Mars trine in Earth. But the Neptune in Libra, peer ideals regarding beauty and relationships, betrays his healthy, normal urges. He also refuses to eat any sugar, going so far as to avoid all fruits. He does not drink alcohol either. Sugar is Venus ruled! He does possess artistic talent, and has written and illustrated several books for children. Unfortunately, he never followed through to get them published because he did not think they were good enough (Venus in Capricorn has to be perfect). With Saturn, Venus’ dispositor, in the 12th, he seems deeply afraid that enjoying the sensory pleasures of sweet foods, good wine and physical love will be the death of him. Philip is a pathologically neurotic case of repression and denial vis-à-vis Venus!
Among the famous women to look at, we find St. Teresa of Avila with an exalted Venus in the 12th house at the most critical degree in the zodiac, 29 degrees of Pisces. It is retrograde as well, strengthening its influence. As one arm of a Mutable T-Cross configuration, it opposes a Virgo Moon singleton and squares an elevated 9th house Pluto in Sagittarius, also at the 29th degree. She had an ecstatic and erotic passion for God. Unlike poor Donna, Teresa did marry Jesus! She reformed the Carmelite Order of nuns and was a prodigious writer on spiritual experiences (The Interior Castle). It is said she would spontaneously levitate while deeply absorbed in contemplative prayer (meditation). Some speculate she was the reincarnation of Jesus’ disciple, Mary Magdalene.
Another saintly woman is the late Mother Theresa whose only Fire sign planet is Venus in the 8th house of intensity and transformation. She spent much of her life being creatively loving, caring for the poorest of the poor in Calcutta, India. One has only to see the documentary about her to really comprehend the degree and intensity of the divine love she radiated.
Singer and actress Barbra Streisand, like Teresa of Avila, has her Venus singleton in Pisces in the 12th. But it manifests differently – as great singing and musical talent with huge wealth. Remember that Neptune/Pisces/12th house can expand things even more than Jupiter/Sagittarius/9th. Jupiter is a millionaire, Neptune is a billionaire. With her stellium in Taurus, Barbra’s obvious wealth is of this earth. Teresa’s priceless treasure was spiritual (lots of Fire and Air) – the kind you can take with you. They both have Mars and Jupiter in Gemini in the 3rd house, and communicate powerfully, each in her own way.
Finally, writer Anne Morrow Lindberg, author of Gift from the Sea, wrote books that “reach out to touch the hearts and feelings of women everywhere with empathy and perception.” Venus in the 11th connects her to likeminded others. Venus also rules her 9th house of universal communication and long distance travel. She became a pilot in 1929 and accompanied her husband, Charles, on trips to Asia and Europe.
We can see the women tend to “own” and perhaps overcompensate their Venus singletons, while men are more likely to project it onto women. Certainly the Duke of Windsor, Sigmund Freud and Philip did. Ricky Martin seems to be the object of other peoples’ projections. He is a performer and artist, and as such he can access his feminine side without the social stigma most men feel. There seems also to be some question as to his sexual orientation.
Venus and Mercury are the “Perceptors.” Venus and Mars are the “Artist-Lovers.” Venus is a bridge between the mind with its perceptive functions and the physical body in action.
In the next chapter we will look at Mars as a singleton. George W. Bush, has Mars in Virgo in he 2nd as a singleton Earth sign planet. Bill Clinton had a singleton Moon in the 8th house (sex scandal), and singleton Uranus in the 9th (big legal issues). (See Introduction for Bill Clinton and Sun as Singleton for George Bush). Will George W. leave a legacy of financial security or military scandals? Only his Mars singleton knows for sure.
Example Charts Used in the Article
About the author:
Eleanor Buckwalter has studied, practiced and taught astrology in Los Altos, CA for more than twenty-five years, including three years with the late Richard Idemon, a psychological astrologer. Her primary astrological focus of interest is parent-child relationships and family dynamics.