Venus returns to her domicile, Taurus, later today. Her journey through this part of the zodiac every year takes a path of riches-to-rags-to-riches. In classical astrology, Venus is exalted in Pisces, in its detriment in Aries, and in its rulership in Taurus.
To understand what these dignities and debilities mean, imagine Venus as a queen in her travels. In Pisces, she is exalted: treated as the highly honored guest for whom no request is too difficult to carry out. She is placed on a pedestal and revered. But upon leaving this friendly realm, she falls into enemy territory: Aries. Worse than being peregrine – traveling unknown and unrecognized – she is in her detriment, her crown stripped, her essence defied. Venus cannot behave like the true benefic it is when in Aries. After Aries comes Taurus, showing her escape from the foe and return to the land of her rule. In Taurus, what Venus says goes: she does not need to ask anyone’s permission to do exactly as she pleases.
I’ve been listening to CDs of John Frawley’s lectures about the fixed stars from a workshop he gave in San Francisco in February 2006. (Thank you, AB!) In the course of his fascinating explanations of mythology and its astrological correlations, Frawley mentions in passing the roles of cardinal, fixed, and mutable modalities in the various elements. It’s given me yet more insight into Taurus and its role in the earth triangle.
In earth, we start with cardinal Capricorn, the initial earth impulse. It is the seed buried in the earth at the winter solstice, whose teleology is to grow and push upward. From there to fixed Taurus, where Venus finds herself starting this afternoon. In the fixed modality, we explore all the possibilities of that element, so Taurus is an exploration of all the possibilities of earth, the material world. Venus wants the comfy bed, the bonbons, the 401(k), and the diamonds. One way or another – or all ways, really – Venus in Taurus explores every aspect of the sensual world.
What about mutable signs? These show where we take what we have learned and carry it forward. Virgo, the discriminating one, is the sign of the harvest. From the crops we have gathered, we separate what we plan to use now from what we will set by for future use – or reserve as seed to sow in the new year.