Venus has surprisingly been one of the hardest subjects for me to start writing about. That is until I figured out WHY. It could be very easy to begin with Venus being about harmony and relationships and all things pleasurable, but I wanted to go a little deeper than that. Then, the other night I was staring at the images of the Cardinal Cross and I realized what I wanted to write about. Venus is beauty most assuredly, but it is also NOT beauty because it is about opposites. It is about paradox. “Not beauty” can easily also be beauty. It is the concept of AND as well as OR.
Since this is a post about Venus, let’s start with the scales.
What thoughts come to mind when you see the scales? Perhaps concepts of balance? Fairness? Isn’t it interesting that the word “fair” implies both beauty and justice? When I was looking at the scales the thought that came to me was symmetry. It was a quick next thought to consider how things that are symmetrical are often beautiful. Taurus, the sign of nature, is also ruled by Venus. We find symmetry all over the place in nature.
Libra brings balance and equality. Harmony through symmetry. Our eyes become relaxed as they would when viewing a sunset. The sign of Libra looks like a setting Sun. It also looks like the diaphragm when it is relaxed. The diaphragm relaxes when we exhale. This is the spirit of Libra. Now let’s look to the opposite sign, the Ram, for Aries, the spirit of independence and conflict!
The Ram is similar to Libra because it still celebrates symmetrical beauty. But we all know what the rams like to do…
They like to fight! They need to engage in combat. They need to prove themselves to be BETTER than their opponent. It is hard wired into their natures. Their balance is found in conflict.
Onward to the other branch of the Cardinal Cross. Cancer is the Crab, who’s spirit is that of home and protection. In the alchemical picture at the top of the page we see Cancer depicted as a LOBSTER instead of a crab and that’s when I realized another key component to that symbol. The lobster and the crab are often ASYMMETRICAL. Not only that they are some of the only examples of this in the animal kingdom.
To further tie this theme back to our original exploration of Venus, it’s hard not to notice how these proportions are still beautiful.
Perhaps it is a certain boldness in asymmetry that adds to it’s beauty. It wakes us up a little from the slumber of too much balance. Marketing agencies play with these tricks too.
Okay, back to the rest of the Cardinal Cross. The last sign to discuss is the sign of Capricorn, which is the Sea Goat. The Sea Goat is an entirely fictitious creature. It is half goat and half fish. It represents mastery of the physical world. I find it funny that the only sign of the zodiac that is an imaginary creature is the one that pertains to Saturn, the planet of concrete reality.
But wait, did we say half GOAT half FISH? Sounds a bit like a MARRIAGE (Venus) between Aries the Ram and Cancer the Crab! Libra is the only sign on this cross that is not an animal (all air signs are inanimate). It seems that the action of Libra is to marry the previous signs- Aries and Cancer. And from that magical union comes our Sea Goat. The master of the physical world. And the final Venusian joke is that this creature doesn’t exist. Reality (Saturn) is represented by unreality (the Sea Goat). Venus as paradox. Venus as beauty. Where would we be without her?