Throughout 2017, the planet Venus has been the guardian goddess of the dawn. But now that we approach the darkest time of year, this goddess, also the goddess of love and beauty has disappeared from view. Does this mean we have to live without love for a spell? The news of the day can certainly make it seem that way. But there’s a deeper mystery written in the sky right now, and it’s here we should cast our imaginations.
Although it is much disputed, there’s a myth that claims that Venus is the mother of Cupid. These are their Roman names~in the ancient Greek they were known as Aphrodite, in charge of wedlock and the tender passions, and Eros, love.
One of their stories is that they were chased by the monster Typhon, so they transformed themselves into fish, bound themselves together with a cord so they would not be separated, and jumped in a river to hide. The Gods were pleased with their devotion, and placed them in the sky to commemorate their love. We know these fishes as the constellation Pisces, and in the sky they appear bound together by a beautiful starry cord.
In ancient astrological tradition, the planet Venus is “exalted” in Pisces, which means its energy of love and beauty is given its greatest, or its most ideal expression here. So even though the planet of love and beauty will not be visible for us during the darkest time of the year, the constellation that exalts her ideal will be visible throughout the season.
Still, it’s not enough to just transfer our sense of love and beauty from a wandering planet to a fixed star~the two represent different stages of love, one more wayward, the other more cosmic, or heavenly. In Plato’s philosophical text Symposium, he described two types of love, which he called: “Aphrodite Urania” or noble love, and “Aphrodite Pandemos”, a common, more base, or meaner love.
In departing from view this season, the goddess of love and beauty seems to be leaving us with a choice: For either an expression of love that is base and mean, or a love that is higher and greater.