Single Sky Sample Report

"The Single Sky" relationship sample report
for Venus Williams

Jun. 17, 1980, 2:12 PM PDT; Zone +08:00, Lynwood CA, 118W12'00" 35N55'00"
(note: our source for her birth data is AstroDataBank, Rodden data classification A)

Planets within 1.5 degree orbs of the following house cusp are displayed and interpreted as being in that house, except the Ascendant which uses 3 degrees. Orb Conjunctions with Sun or Moon are 8 degrees. All orbs are set according to Steven Forrest's methods. Copyright AIR Software. Report text copyright Jodie and Steven Forrest. Order Now.

Please note: Since the subject of this report is named Venus, it can be easy to confuse her with the planet Venus! Read carefully...


by Steven and Jodie Forrest

Your Personal Astrological Intimacy Profile

Life without love feels empty. That's one of those ancient human truths that almost no one can escape. Let's immediately emphasize that "love" in this context doesn't translate into the relatively narrow ghetto of "sexual love" or even "committed relationships." We're talking about the far broader human arena of friendship and caring, talking and listening, supporting, sharing, laughing together -- whatever outward form the love may take. People without "partners" can be perfectly content and complete; they can lead full, happy, meaningful lives. But people without love live in shadowland.

The deeper the love, the richer -- and more difficult -- it must be. Certainly love's difficulties and rewards are generally most pressing when two people love each other bodily, psychologically, and spiritually, under one roof. Venus's ability to be happy in that high-stakes environment depends basically on her getting two things right: the first is being clear about who she really is and what she really needs in that department. The second lies in simply choosing the right person -- and, as many a brokenhearted soul will attest, that is far from being the easiest part! In both of those areas, astrology can provide many insights. We'll explore many of them in the pages that follow. While we will emphasize the dynamics that arise between lovers, a lot of what we say will also apply (with a little creative translation!) to "lower voltage" human connections, such as friendships, familial connections, even professional associations.

No astrological connection between two people is so inherently dreadful that enough patience, love and determination cannot only make it last, but make it something precious to both of them. At the same time, there is no kind of astrological connection so wonderful that enough selfishness, confusion about sex, or plain immaturity cannot turn it into a nightmare. That's the heart of the matter, and it underlies every word you are about to read. This isn't just some squirmy attempt on our parts to escape responsibility for any errors we might make -- it's a recognition of Venus's miraculous capacity to love, to live consciously and creatively, and to take responsibility for herself. The power is not in hands of the planets; it's in her own hands, and we want to honor that.

Still, the planetary patterns at Venus's birth do reflect certain needs and potential blind spots in her nature. Understanding them can empower her to make better decisions about what -- and who -- is important to her. We'll start with an analysis of Venus's birthchart from a relationship perspective. Then, in the second part of the report, we'll focus on what her chart tells us about the nature of her natural partners in this world.

Too many books and theories about relationships assume that the same answers work for everybody. And of course that's not true. Passionate folks need a different kind of relationship than do more detached or laid back ones. Some people are very domestic by nature; others wither unless they have more breathing room or a less traditional bond with each other. Our first step then is to explore Venus as an individual. Who exactly is she, independently and as an individual? Let's dive right into that question astrologically.

Venus's astrological profile What follows is a thumbnail sketch of Venus, focusing on the parts of her character that are most relevant to questions of sex, love, and intimacy. Later we'll explore the kind of person with whom she could be happiest in the long run.

The center of the astrological universe is always the Sun. There is something to which Venus must be true if she is going to be authentically real, psychologically centered, and fully committed to life. Astrology is a lot more complicated than Sun Signs, but we can never leave them out of the picture. The Sun is what holds the solar system together, and it holds all the different voices in Venus's psyche together the same way.

When Venus was born, the all-important Sun was in the Sign Gemini, the Observer. Venus may never lose her capacity to be amazed by life on this mysterious spinning ball that we inhabit. She brings a fresh eye and a marvelous open-mindedness to relating, and prefers curious, questioning, lively and communicative partners. There's a great Geminian need for new and fascinating experiences. As a famous novelist once said when advising aspiring writers how to engage their readers, "Give them something to wonder about." Venus does best with a partner with whom life is more interesting than it would be if she were alone. However, if Venus isn't taking enough responsibility for creating an intrinsically interesting life, she may erroneously assume that the partner is to blame for boring her.

The Houses of the birthchart are just a way of indicating where a planet was physically in sky when a person was born -- rising, overhead, down below the horizon somewhere. Symbolically, they're just as important as Signs. At the time of Venus's first breath, the Sun was in the Ninth House, which suggests a quality of exploration, expansiveness, and perhaps erudition in Venus's character, and underlying that, a philosophical idealism deepened and enlivened by a wide appetite for new experience. This is potentially a touchy subject because, while Venus does need to guard against making a self-justifying religion out of her own peeves, needs, and attitudes, we must also respect a few legitimate facts about her: she feeds her spirit with endless learning, fresh experience, and freedom, and without them, her energy would be sapped. She also may possess a genuine calling to make contact with foreign cultures -- or foreign people -- and no one who really loves or even understands her is going to be too quick to interpret any of those parts of her character in terms of "escapism" or "irresponsibility."

One unmistakable bottom line is that Venus gets along most easily with other people who have a similarly curious, open, questing orientation and with whom she can intelligently exchange data. Such people are not inclined to be judgmental about her lack of some requisite "normalcy." What a more dull-witted, conventional kind of person might perceive as a kind of youthful insatiability on Venus's part, a deeper soul might see as refreshing aliveness.

The Moon, in a nutshell, is the heart. One could describe it as the "mood" of a person's life. It's connected to whatever makes us happy -- what feeds or nourishes us emotionally. It's always at least a little bit irrational, and yet if we don't take care of the Moon, we tend to be in a chronic lousy mood and to be hard not only on ourselves, but also on the people around us. Needless-to-say, a reasonably healthy Moon-function is absolutely essential to intimacy, for one simple reason: if we are not taking care of our Moons, were not even intimate with ourselves, and that puts severe limits on our ability to be intimate with anyone else.

When Venus was born, the Moon was passing through the Sign Leo, which has always been associated with a strong drive toward vibrant self-expression, and with all the ancient archetypes of royalty. Consistent with that kind of picture, the mood of Venus's life is one of colorfulness, a desire to be seen, heard and taken seriously, and an endless, generous celebration of all that is truly wonderful in herself and -- equally -- in those upon whom she bestows her love. Intimate life with such a grand soul promises to be an uplifting experience, bigger than life, and full of deep support and encouragement. Those advantages might be balanced by certain less attractive propensities in Venus of which she may not be fully aware: a certain defensiveness regarding the less "noble" dimensions of her own nature, a penchant for what may be perceived as haughtiness, and a certain vulnerability toward acts of unintentional selfishness. She doesn't have to be a living, breathing illustration of all that potentially arrogant Leo Moon material -- but avoiding it requires that she be willing to see herself reflected in the mirror of love...which is to say that she listens to the observations of those who care about her, and makes certain "chiropractic adjustments" in her character.

The Moon was also in the Eleventh House of the birthchart, suggesting that the central reigning needs for Venus are the drive to set long-term goals and to attain them, and as an adjunct to that, to form strategic alliances with key people or perhaps organizations which can help her get to where she wants to be. She is a natural strategist, cannily able to weave the critical "human factor" into her plans and calculations. Her mental wellbeing is enhanced enormously if those long-term goals feature very centrally her "lunar" need to create a home -- and while a physical "dream-house" may play a legitimate role in that aim, the essence of the matter lies in creating a lasting, satisfying bond with a domestic partner. Failing that, she could attempt to make up the "home deficit" by falsely pumping up the importance of other goals, which would leave a sense of emptiness even when they are realized. However we look at her, we must recognize that Venus is a master strategist -- able to commit to dreams and to build effective plans for attaining them.

Sun and Moon are like head and heart, but there's a third factor that's almost as important. It's the Ascendant, which is simply the Sign that was dawning in the east at the instant of birth. Quite simply, it represents how you "dawn" on people: it's your style, the way you present yourself. At the time of Venus's birth, Libra was dawning over the eastern horizon of Lynwood, and thus she wears the "Mask of the Diplomat." As that image implies, there's a poised, attractively graceful, even sophisticated, vibration around her, full of composure, aplomb, and the ability to set other people at ease.

The Ascendant works like a colored filter through which the light of the rest of the chart shines, so all Venus's interior processes and drives are given this balanced Libran "spin" as they are expressed -- she's charming, disarming, able to generate peaceful rapport with a great number of different human types. For all the advantages of sharing life with such a magnetic creature, anyone trying to be close to her offers Venus a tender gift by learning patiently to support her in expressing her darker moods more directly. Otherwise, she can sacrifice the reality of deep human connection on the altar of mere agreement.

Everybody's chart contains all the planets, but sometimes a given planet really stands out as particularly definitive for that individual. One of the simplest and most powerful ways a planet can attain that kind of prominence is just by being lined up closely with any of the three big factors we've looked at already -- in a "conjunction," that is, with the Sun, Moon, or Ascendant. Another way is for the planet to be "the Ruler of the Ascendant," which is simply a way of saying that the planet has a special relationship with the Sign that was rising when you were born. Investigating those possibilities, here's what we find in Venus's case:

The Sun was conjunct Venus, the traditional Goddess of Love, placing intimacy concerns very much in the center of Venus's pattern of motivations. She is romantic, erotically-alive, and tender by nature, and radiates a kind of magnetic attractiveness to which an (appallingly!) wide variety of people respond. Typically, there is courtesy -- and the expectation of its return! There is also in Venus a deep aesthetic sensitivity, which is linked irrevocably to her sexual responsiveness. That means that she is moved to erotic openness by the sharing of flowers, music, candlelight, scent, lovely clothing, and the effort to be as beautiful as Nature permits -- and conversely, that nothing turns her off faster than crassness or gross lapses in personal hygiene!

Venus was born at the rising of Pluto, which puts that planet "in the Ascendant" -- one of the many ancient astrological phrases that's filtered down into common speech. That makes Plutonian intensity an unmistakable part of Venus's outward vibrations and appearance: she radiates a penetrating, searching quality. Some people are going to be very nervous around her for that reason, even suspicious of her in a paranoid way. They take one look at Venus and sense that at any moment she might divine their deepest, darkest secret. Naturally, some people will run for nearest exit, while others will proceed to blurt out what "she seems to know anyway." Venus has a very deep-seated quality of "psychologicalness," and a commanding spirit of control and authority, especially in extreme emotional situations. While there is nothing ersatz about any of that, in intimate circumstances she needs to be alert to the costs of using, perhaps unwittingly, her capacity to disarm others as a mask for her own woundedness and crazy places.

Venus is the "ruler" of Venus's Ascendant. When we look for it in her birthchart, we find it in the Ninth House. That emphasizes a fundamental quality of expansiveness, idealism and philosophy in her outlook, a compelling desire to "do the right thing" -- definitely a constructive characteristic in terms of relationships...unless she haunts herself with a unreachable, unrealistic romantic dreams and ideals. In general, Venus is someone who legitimately needs a lot of stimulation and variety in life -- travel, learning, new possibilities -- and appreciates those same curious, expansive, somewhat cosmopolitan qualities in a partner.

One cannot talk long about the astrology of love without bumping into the Goddess of Love herself: Venus. There's an unfortunate tendency to "feminize" Venus, but a casual glance at any man's birthchart will reveal a startling fact: males possess this planet too! Robbing men of it is old-fashioned sexism, pure and simple. Still, Venus is connected with a lot of behaviors that have traditionally been allotted socially more to women than to men: tenderness, romantic drives, the urge to make oneself attractive, how we go about the delicate art of "arranging to be caught."

When Venus was born, Venus was in the Sign Gemini. In the sentimental realm, Venus is inquisitive, alert and lively, albeit somewhat easily bored. Gemini is the Observer and the Storyteller, and with herVenus there, Venus responds to colorful, energetic partners, good listeners and raconteurs. Gemini likes to share ideas and experiences, and absolutely loves new ones--and people who are open to new experiences. Conversational style helps, but substance is just as important. In courtship, you may not have to be the most articulate person in the room, but it definitely helps if she finds you one of the most fascinating. How to win Venus's heart? Make her life far more interesting with you than it would be without you. Give her something to wonder about. Be willing to go on safari for information together. How to drive her away? Refuse to learn anything new, close your mind and lock it, and be as predictable--and as bland--as yesterday's oatmeal.

It was also in the Ninth House, which implies that expressing Venus's attractive Venusian dynamics is essential for her to feel that life is meaningful. Astrological energies in the Ninth House show what the "holy grail" is for someone and, metaphorically speaking, what their "religion" is. The Dalai Lama once said, "Kindness is my religion." That might be a good motto for Venus's Ninth House Venus. Also, without the input of Venus--a mate, warm friends, creative or aesthetic interests, regular immersion in whatever Venus finds beautiful--life simply isn't worth living. Lower level responses to Venus's Ninth House Venus might include a craving for novelty at any cost to a relationship, avoidance of necessary conflict since it isn't "kind," or self-righteous preachiness. The partner's belief system should be one that Venus respects, although she certainly doesn't have to share it. Venus's gifts to the relationship are liveliness, versatility, a desire to behave honorably, and an interest in new ideas and new experiences. Life won't be boring with her.

If Venus has been overly feminized over the centuries, certainly Mars has been overly masculinized. Here's the "War God" -- a symbol of the heat of your blood, your intensity, and your healthy animal desires. It's passionate and unabashedly sexual. While Venus represents the tender contact of eyes and hearts, Mars is centered a little farther south in the human anatomy.

In Venus's chart, Mars lies in the Sign Virgo, which refines it. The God of War can become subtle and discriminating in the sign of the Analyst. The flow of Venus's energy is disciplined, organized, oriented towards detail and, if too often frustrated, may sometimes be sublimated into overwork or health care routines. Here we find the Mars of a technician or a craftsperson, wielding a stiletto, not a blunderbuss. Chest-thumping, cave-dweller displays of ardor don't go over particularly well with Venus, who can be earthy but tends to dislike crudeness. Precision, diplomacy, strategy and selectivity mark her natural erotic style. Venus can woo by demonstrating how much she could improve the partner's life, by trying to make herself indispensable. Helpful, efficient and logical, Venus may sometimes be overly analytical or critical, and can also be highly susceptible to criticism from a partner. However, the invaluable accompaniment to Venus's sensitivity is an aptitude for fearless self-appraisal, a willingness to admit errors and a desire to improve both the self and the relationship.

It was also in the Twelfth House, where its fiery energy becomes associated with the deepest layers of Venus's inner life -- her spirituality and psychic experiences. Probably the clearest way to think of it is to imagine that Venus has a spirit guide whose nature is that of a warrior. That guide wants Venus to develop "warrior virtues:" courage, clarity of mind under stress, quickness of reflex. To that end, the guide draws her into situations that don't seem "officially" spiritual -- more the intensely-alive "meditation" of mountain-climbing, say, than the mellow vibe of a typical meditation group or church. It may of course not be mountain-climbing in the literal sense, but for Venus, there is definitely a need to study very precisely what happens to her consciousness under circumstances of stress -- and the "guide" will be sure she gets plenty of opportunity for that kind of stretching, one way or the other.

Classically, the Seventh House of the birthchart is called "The House of Marriage." Any planet or planets there give us insight into the nature of our most natural partners and friends in life -- a subject we'll explore thoroughly a little later in the report. Such planets also tell us something very significant about what we need to learn and where we need to grow if our intimate life isn't going to read like a gossip column -- or the obituaries.

In Venus's case, there are no planets in the Seventh House, so we need to look elsewhere in her chart for relationship clues. And don't worry -- they're abundant.

Everybody older than twelve knows the meaning of the words "chemistry" and "electricity" in the context of sexual attraction, but they are notoriously difficult to define -- or predict. We've all met people who seemed utterly inappropriate as partners for us, but there was "just something about those eyes..." Sometimes of course that's a signal to catch the next shuttle for Alpha Centauri, but other times it's a reminder that, as sexual beings, we are inheritors of an ancient and mysterious biological legacy, and while we perhaps shouldn't let those instincts run our lives uncritically, a relationship that lacks that certain undefinable quality of compelling passion might not have the oomph to get us through those inevitable threadbare patches on the road of love. Astrologically, these matters are reflected in the Eighth House of the birthchart. It describes your "natural lover" -- a notion we'll investigate in detail later on -- and also the qualities you must develop in yourself in order fully to inhabit your primordial, instinctual sexuality.

There are actually no planets in Venus's Eighth House. That doesn't mean that sexuality has no meaning for her! But it does put the focus on the more rational, less instinctual concerns we've already been investigating.

Human relationships are precisely twice as complicated as individual human beings. We'd like to complete our investigation of Venus's intimacy profile in a graphic way with a series of scales that compare her to the average human being in a variety of categories. Let's emphasize that there's no special virtue in scoring "average" in every category. Extremes here aren't unhealthy -- just strongly individual!

Our first Scale is called "Centrality of the Relationship Drive." What we're getting at here is just how important the urge toward intimacy is for Venus both from a psychological perspective and also from the viewpoint of the evolutionary needs of her soul.

Next, the Need for Psychosexual Intensity. This isn't to be confused with how often Venus wants to "do it!" What we're looking at here is the drive toward deep, almost scary eye contact and the exchange of strong, primal emotions. This kind of fire isn't everyone's cup of tea, but for those who need it, living without it can feel like a walking death sentence.

Our "Capacity for Conflict" Scale reflects the fact that all relationships involve friction at times. Some people are more comfortable with the expression of anger than are others. There is no ultimate right or wrong in this, but if two people are very far apart on this scale, there are some obvious challenges in terms of finding effective ways of communicating their frustrations with each other.

"Domesticity" is word that conjures up boring images of Dagwood and Blondie Bumstead. That's not what we mean here at all. Some people are naturally oriented strongly toward homelife -- quiet evenings spent reading, meals shared, family feelings, caring for the physical home and enhancing its beauty and comfort.

Next, we come to our "Flirtatiousness" Scale -- and please don't take this as an indicator of infidelity! As any sexually sophisticated person knows, part of what puts the sparkle in our eyes is the sexual or romantic awareness that people have of each other in safe social contexts. Of course, some of us are more "flirtatious" than others. Serious differences between people on this scale could lead to a lot of tension, insecurity, and argument. How does Venus look in this department?

"Need For Verbal Communication." What about talking things out? Some people need to put everything into words in order to feel close and connected. Others are comfortable with silent understandings. Here's how it looks for Venus.

"Need for Solitude and Privacy." Love is wonderful, but we all need some time alone too. How central is the drive for solitude and privacy for Venus?

"Need for Autonomy and Independence." Relationships always involve compromise and joint decisions. Some people find that surrendering of absolute authority over their own lives easier than do others. How strong is Venus's need for autonomy and independence?

"Need for Stability and Security." Solidity, reliability, and predictability in the relationship area have some appeal for almost everyone, but they sometimes must be paid for in terms of spontaneity, freedom, and serendipity. How strong is Venus's need for stability and security in the relationship?

"Need for Emotional Expression." People can talk about their needs and drives reasonably and logically, and that's necessary sometimes. But what we're getting at here is the fact that some people need to experience their partner's emotions more directly and also to express their own inner states in less cognitive, more primordial ways -- tears, touch, tone of voice. Where is Venus on that scale of human possibilities?

This completes our preliminary investigation of Venus's relationship dynamics from an astropsychological perspective. It's time now to explore what her chart tells us about her natural partner.

Venus's Natural Mate
Read enough of those paperbacks about "How to Find the Perfect Relationship" and you might get the idea that if only you could find somebody who'd underlined all the same passages in the book, you'd live happily ever after. But there's something ancient and wise inside all of us that knows better. The "right person" isn't just some walking statistic that agrees with you in every way -- how boring! Choosing a mate is lot more complicated than that dull, deadeningly safe game, and many dimensions of our psyches are involved in making the right choice. We've already investigated some of the more enigmatic parts of that material under the headings of "chemistry" and "electricity." But there's an even deeper mystery here.

Look at any happy, long-lasting relationship (and no jokes about "if you can find one...."). Consider the birthchart of either of the people involved. If you know even a little astrology, you'll make a fascinating discovery: that chart describes not only the person who "owns" it, but the partner as well. It's really pretty amazing -- while you're lying there in your cradle, your chart already describes the individual with whom you may be sharing your life, often in eerie detail...somebody who may not even be aboard the planet yet! One soul-satisfying way of making sense of that fact is to believe that such meetings and relationships are somehow pre-destined...that the notion of "soulmates" isn't totally airheaded, in other words.

Our next step in this analysis is to consider what information Venus's birthchart provides about her natural mate.

Before we start, two comments: "perfect fits" are just as rare in the relationship department as they are in a shoe store -- and, like shoes, a little wear often makes them a lot more comfortable!

The second comment is that what we ask for in a mate is always complex, and often contradictory -- we might spend a long time looking for the perfect "introverted extravert," for example. That brings us back to the scarcity of "perfect fits." In the pages that follow, we are going to try to bring some order into this psychologically chaotic question by dividing up Venus's various needs into a lot of different areas. What turns her on erotically in a person may be different than what allows her to relax and be herself. What entertains her may be different than what she instinctively trusts. All are legitimate desires, of course. Which ones Venus might be most willing to compromise depends on who she is. A lot of our insights into the qualities in a partner without which Venus really can't live are there in the previous pages, where we discussed her personal profile. As we move forward into thinking about the character of Venus's natural partner, our first step is to consider the simple question of...

Certain kinds of human beings simply fit Venus's style of living and being, regardless of gender -- folks who would make good roommates, let's say. That may not be the most exciting idea in the world, but it's absolutely essential to two people sharing life sanely and harmoniously, without their emotional circuits frying. Astrologically, the Seventh House -- the traditional House of Marriage -- gives us lots of insight into the kinds of people with whom Venus simply tends to "get along."

One way of exploring this House is to consider which planet "rules its cusp." At the moment of Venus's birth, , Libra was rising, as we saw earlier. That means that the opposite Sign, Aries, was on the western horizon - and that's the Seventh House cusp. Now, Aries is ruled by Mars, the god of War...and that suggests that the people with whom Venus can form the most lasting, stable relationships are ones with "warrior qualities," balancing her more diplomatic, sensitive Libran style. We are not talking about violence or cruelty here, but rather about straightforwardness, pluckiness, and a sense of adventure. These are passionate folks, unafraid of life, impatient with dullness and delay. Venus needs people who don't mince words. They don't lie. They say what they mean and what they want -- clearly, honestly, and with soul. Good-natured teasing, even some argument, may arise and press Venus's Libra buttons from time to time in minor ways; that's just static on the line. There is, however, one absolute emotional hair-trigger for Venus: disloyalty. Any perceived failure positively to stand behind her in a crisis or confrontation, let alone any full-blown betrayal, kills affection faster than a pin kills a balloon -- and just spectacularly. And that, above all, is why these fiercely loyal warrior qualities are such an essential part of any true soulmate of Venus's, and why it's worth putting up with the occasional jagged edges that go along with them.

Trying to take it a little further, we learn that when Venus was born,there were no planets actually located in the "House of Marriage." This doesn't mean that relationship questions are unimportant to Venus -- only that we'd better pay more attention to the material that follows.

Ah, but there is more to love than merely "liking" each other! What about...

Here we're not exactly talking about sex -- don't worry, that's next! -- but something less definable and just as important: romance. Maybe a better way to put it is that if a relationship lacks that delightfully mysterious emotional entanglement we call "romance," sex usually doesn't interest us for very long, no matter how physically attractive the person may be. We're getting at some feelings here that are tough to nail down in precise words, but which loom large in the human heart (and human birthchart!) anyway: feelings of fondness and affection, feelings that make our insides fluttery and warm. What kind of person might inspire Venus to "climb the highest mountain, cross the widest sea?" Or, to phrase it the way we did in Junior High School, who strikes her as "cute?"

Unsurprisingly, Venus plays a big part in shaping such romantic responses. When Venus was born, "the Goddess of Love" was in the Sign Gemini the Twins...proverbially, the most talkative of the twelve signs. So, does Venus have a thing for chatterboxes? Well, certainly her natural lover is one who enjoys a good conversation, and that means listening as well as talking. The real point here is that Venus responds in a viscerally romantic way to people who always have something new and interesting about which to speak. These are individuals, in other words, who are very much engaged with learning, with seeing new places and meeting new people. They sense that life is rich and brief and that we'd better "eat it now" while we've got it. Venus can certainly be faithful, but she is not the type of person who can or should truly "forsake all others." her natural mate is one who easily allows her space for contact with other people, and expects the same attitude from her. Part of the magic of such a partnership lies in its deep commitment to freshness and change, to mental stimulation, and to the ongoing adventure.

Houses are important here too. Venus's Venus lies in the Ninth House, revealing to us that Venus responds romantically and sexually to qualities of adventure, intellectual and philosophical curiosity, and pluck in a partner. Traditionally, the "House of Journeys," the Ninth House actually refers to almost everything that can potentially stretch our horizons in any sense: travel, education, even learning to hang glide. For Venus, a natural partner is someone whose values and integrity are deeply energized, but who runs on the assumption that life is brief, precious, and not to be wasted on predictability. Some astrologers might announce that Venus would surely "marry a foreigner" or "someone she met while traveling in a foreign land." Such predictions are often accurate, but they miss the deeper point: Venus's natural lover will stretch her beyond her own familiar, safe, turf.

Venus's romantic profile is a little more complicated due to a planetary alignment. At birth, Venus was conjunct the Sun, which suggests that Venus's natural partner is a person with considerable "presence." Such an individual, while fascinating and memorable, is also probably a bit of a handful when experienced at close range. "Dominant" doesn't mean quite the same thing as "domineering," but the very qualities which Venus desires and pursues in a lover will also present her with real challenges once the relationship begins in earnest: in the face of that kind of all-consuming energy, how does Venus remain faithful to her own nature and direction in life? Where does healthy compromise end and wimpiness or co-dependency begin? When has her partner slipped over the fuzzy line that separates the clear expression of one's needs from simple tyranny? These are tough questions, but they pale before one immutable truth about Venus's romantic side: she is destined to share the road with a person who is quite authentically haunted by destiny.

Romantic feelings are closely tied to the Fifth House of the chart as well. That's the traditional House of "Love Affairs," and has a lot to do with all the sassy, funny, sexy energies that keep the sparkle in people's eyes.

As with the Seventh House, we learn a lot about the Fifth by considering the planet that "rules its cusp." When Venus was born, Aquarius was on the cusp of the Fifth House, which makes Uranus its planetary ruler. For Venus to feel easy about the spontaneous expression of her sexuality, it helps her a lot to have a partner who is inventive, unpredictable, and for whom no erotic idea is automatically too weird. There is an imaginative, exploratory quality here, with a distinct tendency to giggle at folks with more narrowly bourgeois inhibitions and proprieties. Aquarius is also one of the more emotionally cool signs of the zodiac, and while this certainly doesn't mean that Venus's natural bedmate is an iceberg, it does suggest that such an individual doesn't feel that every sexual experience must have a psychotherapeutic chapter in it in order to be complete.

When Venus was born, there were no planets actually located in the Fifth House This doesn't mean that relationship questions are unimportant to Venus -- only that we'd better pay more attention to the material that follows.

Now for the PG portion of our program...

If not absolutely essential to happiness in a relationship, great sex is at the very least a tremendous assistance to it. They don't call it "making" love for nothing! Around our twelfth birthdays, give or take a couple of years, most of us begin to learn exactly how easy it is to trigger those kinds of hot, aroused feelings -- and within a few more years we've learned a more baffling lesson: that they are very difficult to sustain, at least in the context of a long-term monogamous relationship. Whimsical passions are easily found, but what we are about to explore is that much rarer jewel...

Keeping the heat turned on! Some people don't even believe it's possible -- that you inevitably "get over it" and soon settle down to the far more sober realities of arguing over whose turn it is to carry out the garbage. Cynics! Astrology teaches us that sexual energy between two people is in fact sustainable, and that while part of the answer lies inside ourselves (see what we wrote about Venus's "chemistry" and "electricity" themes in the earlier parts of this report), a significant part of keeping sex alive depends on simply choosing our "natural lover" -- a person in whom all the ancient, eternal archetypes of mating and bonding are focused for us.

Astrologically, the Eighth House holds many of these secrets. One way of unraveling them is to learn which planet "rules its cusp." In Venus's birthchart, Taurus is on the Eighth House cusp, which puts Venus in the catbird seat as House-ruler. That's the "goddess of love" of course, so the configuration is in many ways an easy, flowing one, suggestive of tenderness and sensuality. Venus's natural lover is an earthy, grounded person, not abashed about the physical body, and deeply aware of the wider erotic palette: touch, cuddles, the delights of a friendly, warm, familiar body sharing the bed on a winter night. For Venus, stability and reasonableness are tremendously desirable qualities in a partner. Only with the sense of an ancient, instinctual, almost biological commitment between them can Venus open up the deepest, most primal dimensions of her passion, which are gentle, tender, and solidly physical when they emerge.

At Venus's birth, there were no planets actually in the Eighth House, which places a lot more emphasis on the material about the sign on the cusp, which we just investigated.

Finally, we come right down the roots of the matter. Romance, partnership, terrific sex -- when they work their magic on us, they are like three rivers flowing into what is perhaps the most basic and ancient of all human institutions: a sense of having found a home. After a while, given hard work and the Grace of God, couples may come to a place where they can "take each other for granted" -- in a very pleasant, healthy sense of that phrase! No one is going to leave. Trust and commitment are total. And (blessedly!) time spent "working on the relationship" diminishes. Astrologically, these deep feelings of comfort and familiarity are represented by the Moon. We've already considered it from other perspectives, but now, with Venus's Moon in Leo, we can see what light it sheds on this most ancient of human institutions: clan, home, and roots. The Lion is the King of the Beasts, and Venus's soul is charged with that kind of energy -- not that she is so beastly! More that, like any good cat, she enjoys attention, at least from people she trusts. And nowhere is that more true than when sitting on her throne in her own "court."

So what does this tell us about Venus's natural life-mate? Such a person is no slave or obsequious "yes-person" -- Venus's spirit is far too expansive to have anything less than another "regent" for a consort. But it does tell us that anyone who is going to share the long road with her is someone who is lavish with praise and support, who, like Venus, has a real appreciation for quality and style, and who is willing to make whatever sacrifices in other areas are necessary for making the home, and perhaps life together in general, into a place of magic and light.

Another piece of the puzzle when it comes to these feelings of having deep roots together is the Fourth House -- the traditional "House of the Home." One way of getting perspective on this part of the chart is to discover which planet rules its cusp. At the moment of Venus's birth, Capricorn was on the Fourth House cusp, which makes Saturn its ruler, and that's the planet of the "Elder" or the "Wizard." Free-associating, we might hit upon imagery of ancient stone towers, dark web-strewn stairways, and musty tomes written in forgotten alphabets. While that may not exactly nail the decor of Venus's house, it does capture something profoundly important: any place where she is likely to feel truly at home is going to be a place with a sense of deep roots, respect for some kind of tradition, and if it contains some evidence of the lives of her ancestors, perhaps even some archeological artifacts, so much the better.

No stiffness or stifling formality is implied; only a sense of dignity, roots, and heritage. Naturally, Venus's most likely hearth-mate is someone who could not only be comfortable in those kinds of circumstances, but also one who would contribute to them as a matter of course. Such an individual would also display sterling qualities of character: reliability, integrity, and a deep commitment to Venus, as if half-feeling that together they were founding a dynasty.

When Venus was born, there were no planets in the Fourth House, so most of what we can learn about this part of Venus's life we already discovered a moment ago when we considered the sign on its cusp.

And with that we end our analysis of the astrological dimensions of the dance you are doing with your soulmates -- and with yourself as a result of contact with them! We thank you for letting us touch this very intimate part of your life, and hope that you've found the words and perspectives helpful.

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