Venus and Neptune are both involved with love – in many ways they are attuned and in harmony.
Venus is engaged with our individual desires and personal loves. Neptune is spiritual, divine love, he provides encouragement, an invitation to look beyond our own selves and the everyday to see and embrace compassion, idealism and the mystical.
Venus is exalted in Pisces, the sign that Neptune rules – Venus adores Pisces, finds it delightful and as a result can bring to fruition magical and pleasurable results.
The signs and planets all have rich and varied mythological stories spun around them. Exploring mythology, using the tales as tools, helps enhance understanding and insight into the astrology.
In Greek Mythology Aphrodite (Venus) was born when Kronos (Saturn) castrated his father Ouranos (Uranus) just as he was about to have sex with Gaia. Uranus’s testiles fell into the sea, where his creative seed gives birth to Venus who emerges fully grown riding on a seashell – famously depicted by Botticelli in “The Birth of Venus.” Uranus was full of love for Gaia when he met his fate, Venus birthed at this moment is suffused with love, creativity and inspiration, and capable of igniting this within all she touches.
In Greek Mythology Neptune is Poseidon – god of the sea. The name Poseidon originates from “posis da” which means “husband of the earth” and suggests he was perhaps earlier worshipped as a consort of the earth goddess – Demeter (Ceres). As Poseidon Hippios he was god of horses, and there is a version of the tale of his birth where instead of being swallowed by his father Kronus (Saturn) at birth his mother Rhea substitued a foal for him (Pausanias 8.8.2).
The Romans also worshipped Neptune as Neptune Equester – god of horses and horse-racing. Neptune was regarded as the creator and tamer of horses, as well as being the father of two famous supernatural horses – Arion (who Arion Astrology is named after!) and Pegasus. Arion has Demeter (Ceres) as his mother, Pegasus, Medusa. There are many fascinating affinities between the stories of Arion and Pegasus (but, I am going to stop myself going off at a tangent – as really that is a whole separate post!), here I am highlighting Neptune’s connection with horses. Neptune’s astrological influence is not always easy to decipher from mythology, but to me, horses illustrate and cast light upon Neptune, along with the eternal link between water (symbolically the source of life in various creation myths) and earth.
The ocean’s cover a large amount of the earth’s surface, deep, mysterious and filled with secrets. Astrologically Neptune is like the ocean and symbolic of emotion, inspiration and the mystical realms all around us. The realm we came from, and will eventually return to.
The shaman uses the horse, the shaman’s drum being evocative of a horse’s hooves, to journey to these other dimensions of reality, to connect and communicate with the souls of the dead and to return with healing, transforming messages. The horse is also believed to be a psychopomp who leads souls to the afterlife. The horse is a symbol of, and embodies, carriage to and passage into other realms.
Horses display many Neptunian traits, and riding them means entering a Neptunian realm. Horses are beautiful, powerful and courageous, but they can be fearful if they sense a threat and instinctively will take evasive action rather than aggressively attack. Whilst strong and tough, they are equally incredibly sensitive, naturally they are herd animals and prefer to co-operate, be connected rather than compete with others. Horses trust their instincts, and use emotion and intuition rather than logic.
Horses evoke intense feelings in us, admiration of their beauty, awe at their power. They can be wild and instinctive, but are also endowed with innate intuitive wisdom. Horses are compassionate, offering unconditional love and devotion, happy to sacrifice their own desires to be of service to us. Riding a horse is an honour, they let us share their strength, speed and athleticism, intuitive communication brings unity with another mind, enabling us to experience a magical freedom as our own physical abilities are expanded and enhanced.
To bond with a horse we have to open up to having our emotional energies and behaviour reflected back, by doing so horses carry us along a path that leads to wisdom, inspiration and magic. But, on the flip side, if we take Neptunian dreams or illusions about ourselves too far, horses may literally send us crashing painfully back down to earth and reality – clearly shown in the myth of Bellerophon and Pegasus.
Bellerophon befriended then rode Pegasus to battle the Chimera and emerge victorious, after which his success made him slightly arrogant and Bellerophon attempted to fly to Mt Olympus, the home of the gods riding Pegasus. This greatly annoyed Zeus (Jupiter) who sent a gladfly to sting Pegasus, who bucked and caused Bellerophon to fall back to earth. He lived, but was left crippled, blind and never rode Pegasus again.
Riding a horse literally elevates us, but if we are not alert and paying attention to all the details of our skills or surroundings, we may just bite the dust! Comparable, perhaps, to Neptune who can heighten everything, bring ecstastic experiences, but also deceive us leaving us susceptible to major disappointment or a huge downfall.
Venus square Neptune
A square is often regarded as a difficult aspect, the planets involved rather than interacting in a harmonious way, can block and and frustrate each other. Each planet is a part of the personality trying to get it’s own way unconcerned about the other. People with squares in their charts need to find ways to utilise both planets to be happy, but quite often they can be unaware of their inner conflict and external behaviour.
Squares can show up as people or happenings in life that depict the struggle and may leave the native feeling victimised until they recognise the problem. But all this stress and tension can create a powerful drive and the energy to overcome the dilemma – producing results and success.
Venus and Neptune in any aspect, tends to have quite a similar feel and influence. Venus/Neptune brings an easy acceptance and an endless seeking of anything in life sprinkled with magic and a touch of fantasy. A square highlights that difficulties in love may be more pronounced, along with perhaps an enhanced drive to pursue creative or spiritual yearnings.
Venus is about what we personally love and desire, Neptune elevates our emotions and senses to look past material reality to what lies beyond it. Neptune at his best can reveal all that is idealistic and inspirational. So Venus square Neptune may seek perfection in everything they love, be surrounded by a Neptunian magic fog enhancing their vision. Natives may have no idea how, or wish, to deal with reality, finding it constrictive, boring or even depressing, which could lead to creative brilliance or spiritual enlightenment. The problem is if the Neptunian fog leads to blindness, no clear vision or understanding of who they are, an inability to see anything loveable about themselves, perhaps a sense of feeling detached or isolated from others and life, that potentially brings confused or even self-destructive behaviour.
C. E. O Carter (a Venus square Neptune native) in his book The Astrological Aspects describes all hard aspects between Venus and Neptune as “a divine discontent” of the energetic influence –
“In some respects, they seem to lead to more definite results than the trine or sextile, for they bestow a divine discontent, and a constant restless seeking for an ideal which is not easily realisable on earth. This is particularily so in matters of the affections. The ideals are indeed very high, and there may be a persistant dissatisfaction both with things and persons, varying from a petulant or peevish attitude, to a noble aspiration, and persistant endeavor to seek for a fuller realisation of inner visions.” page 119
Relationships are an area where natives are vulnerable. Deep inside they long for the perfect, fairy tale romance, the ideal partner – their soul mate. As natives are likely to be rather compassionate and pure of heart, they can be blind to the true nature of their beloved, and equally, more than capable of gifting them imaginary traits and talents. Love could see them tolerate behaviour others would find totally unacceptable, on the other hand it is also possible that natives may be evasive and hard to pin down about the true nature of their feelings.
This can all of course potentially lead to heartbreak and anguish if reality can no longer be ignored or glossed over. At such times, seeking the input of trusted friends and family may be a good idea.
Venus/Neptune bestows a vivid imagination and creative flair. Talent with art, music or drama is highly possible, it could also be using the body in graceful, exquisite expression through dance but equally any sport that is tantalising and exciting to the individual. For instance going back to horses (my thoughts are still caught up with them!) – the art in motion that is dressage, horse and rider thinking and moving as one in harmony doing a flawless piaffe, or say the tennis player stylishly demonstrating an awesome serve – both requiring years of dedicated training in pursuit of delivering the ultimate performance.
Natives will likely take care over and put thought into the image they present of themselves – their hairstyle and clothes, they may also enjoy being inventive and occasionally transforming their look. Having said this, whilst they love glamour it could also be a mask to hide behind, as possibly underlying this is a lack of self-confidence or love for themselves. Natives could have a distorted self-image, feel ugly, unworthy, have a tendency to focus on all their perceived flaws. Others may see them as stunning and seductive, but they are unlikely to believe this, unless they work on and alter how they think of themselves, find ways of embracing positive thoughts rather than dwelling on negative ones.
The desire to transcend or escape reality may be strong. Awareness that something exists beyond what we can see and touch is likely strong, as is the wish to touch, feel and experience whatever it is. This could lead to discovering a susceptibility, a fondness for alcohol or drugs, an enjoyment of feeling reality dissolve or alternatively a quest for insight and knowledge about anything spiritual, supernatural or magical. Then again it could also be both.
Overall, like any natal aspect exactly how the influence works individually will be guided by the natal chart as a whole. So without commenting on the whole chart – just the influence of Venus square Neptune, the list of natives below provides some insightful connections.
The most obvious is Whitney Houston, brilliant, mesmerising – a megastar – whose marriage to Bobby Brown was filled with drama – tempestuous – during which she spiralled into using drugs and alcohol. Whitney was found dead in the bath of her hotel room in 2012, a mixture of drugs were present in her system. Whitney’s daughter, Bobbi Kristina who also had a natal Venus/Neptune square added to the tradegy by bizarrely being found in similar circumstances. In 2015 Bobbi Kristina was found face down in her bath, and remained in a coma until she died, drugs were also present in her system.
Bob Champion achieved possibly the most emotional and inspirational victory in the Grand National – one of the toughest horse races in the world – ever. Bob Champion after being diagnosed with cancer was given a far from optimistic chance of overcoming it, he endured a vicious course of chemotherapy which in itself nearly killed him, his dream and faith in the possibility of winning the national sustaining him. To add to the magic, the real-life fairy-tale, his horse Aldaniti had also recovered from serious, potentially career ending leg injuries. The story was made into a film called Champions, starring John Hurt.
Victoria Beckham appears to seemingly, from an outside perspective, to have initiated and be living the experience of all her dreams coming true. Not one, but two successful careers, long and happy marriage to a football legend, four lovely children and a fabulous home life.
VENUS SQUARE NEPTUNE NATIVES
Adam Lanza 0 01′ Cristiano Ronaldo 0 05′ Christian Louboutin 0 13′ Tina Turner 0 15′ Ewan McGregor 0 15′ Stevie Nicks 0 19′ Natasha Kampusch 0 19′ Christy Turlington 0 20′ Michael Schumacher 0 40′ Bob Champion 0 49′ Nicholas Cage 0 54′ Kim Kardashian 0 58′ Charles E O Carter 1 02′ Bobbi Kristina Brown 1 21′ Whitney Houston 1 44′ Madonna 1 45′ Victoria Beckham 1 48′ Frederic Chopin 1 57′ Pamela Anderson 2 00′ Myra Hindley 2 07′ Paul Foster Case 2 15′ Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall 2 21′ Joan Collins 2 23′ Charlize Theron 2 36′ Salma Hayek 2 37′ Edgar Allan Poe 2 53′ David Wilcock 3 02′ Sharon Stone 3 25′ Rihanna 3 26′ Coco Chanel 3 33′
VENUS ~ The Empress
NEPTUNE ~ The Hanged Man