Of all the planets, Venus is perhaps the most instantly intuitive and recognizable. Venus is the goddess of love, attraction, relationships. She rules beauty and art and aesthetics — the things that make this world lovely. She shows up in museums the world over, a muse who inspires.
But what does that mean for you? Venus is whatever you personally do in your life to attract and inspire your lover(s), those you want to impress. Venus craves a response. Venus is passion. Venus is also receptivity, receiving. Venus wants to woo and be wooed. Venus is romance.
Venus is asking your partner to tie your tie, and putting on a garter belt and stockings just as they’re leaving for work to maybe make them stay a few extra minutes, and putting on an old thing they got you ages ago that will make them weepy because oh my god, how do you still have it?
Venus is call and response.
In traditional astrology, Venus and Mars were often shoehorned into traditional heteronormative gender roles, with Venus being “more” important for women and Mars being “more” important for men, in that Venus was the receptive source of desire and Mars was the active pursuer, the dominant sexual partner.
For queers, of course, we know that we can deconstruct the shit out of this. First of all, everyone has Venus and Mars in their chart: yin and yang, receptive and active energies. How Venus and Mars work for you, and how you express them, will be individual, depending on your sign, on the planets’ placement within your chart (what “house” they are in), as well as other planets aspecting (or acting on) your own personal Venus and Mars. Add on to that your own personal bevy of romantic and sexual experiences, desires, wants, needs, goals, and you’ve got your own unique cocktail for how you do sex and/or relationship.
tl;dr We contain multitudes, let’s not be reductive.
A note on compatibility: when it comes to synastry, what we really look for is Venus matching with a partner’s Mars sign (Mars is the next and final article in the series). Your Venus and your person’s Mars being in the same sign makes for the most potent chemistry, but having Venus and Mars in the same element (e.g. both water — Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces) is also pretty smoking. Reason being: Venus is the more receptive. Venus expresses love, but Venus really likes to be wooed. Mars is the active agent, the pursuer, the sex drive. And we all have both!
However, remember that this isn’t a necessary thing! After all, (rumored) couples like Janelle and Tessa don’t have this synastry. Janelle and Tessa have a fire Venus, water Venus, earth Mars, and air Mars. Which is to say: not obvious Venus/Mars compatibility at all. Casual reminder to not sweat it too hard, and rather to focus on learning about your partner(s)’s stuff in order to better understand them.
Think Wonder Woman. Beyonce in the “Don’t Hurt Yourself” video. Furiosa in Mad Men. The last scene of Carol. Tasha riding her motorcycle off the base in The L Word.
A Venus in Aries’ motto in love might as well be, “Just do it.” You always know how you feel and don’t know why others don’t. You’re direct, flirty, feisty, and hopelessly addicted to the pursuit. (You might be a tad impulsive, sometimes.) You aren’t afraid to go after what you want, to pursue, to allow yourself to be pursued. Matters of the heart always involve risk. You understand this, intrinsically, and it doesn’t frighten you.
How you show love: Energetically. You like shared, spontaneous activities that get your heart pumping. You don’t overthink it.
How you want to be wooed: Bold and adventurous grand gestures. You know your heart and aren’t afraid to show it, and you need – nay, require – folks who will show up as fiercely as you do. However, you can get bored easily, so you also need folks who are interesting, ambitious, and who can keep you on your toes and juggle that need you have for your own space. It’s all a balancing act.
Celeb Doppelgangers: Janet Mock, Rachel Maddow
Your love languages are luxury and long-term commitment. Creatures of habit, Venus in Taurus folks are deeply connected to your bodies, to desire, to what you want – and when you figure out what and who you want, you dig the fuck in. You’re bullish, stubborn. Venus is at home in Taurus and luxuriates in the slow, sensuous earthiness. You know how to show up every day and do the work of tending, of building something beautiful.
As a Venus in Taurus recently told me about her 5+ year partnership: “The sex I had last night. I swear to god, the sex gets better and better every day.”
How you show love: The fine art of tending. Tending looks different, depending on the stage of a relationship. This could look like building a nest together; it could look like tending to the body of the one you care for – whether for sexual pleasure, and/or for someone’s health. It always looks like nourishment through food. Venus in Taurus expresses care through the physical.
How you want to be wooed: You don’t need the trappings of romance; you’re looking for substance. You want someone who is direct and committed and knows how to communicate that.
Celeb Doppelgangers: Hayley Kiyoko, Lena Waithe
Oh, Venus in Gemini. You light up a room with an effervescent ease and wit. Think Jack Dawson charming the pants off all those stuffy first class folks in Titanic. You can put enough grease on any conversation to ease what was struggling; you have that particular gift of helping folks feel at home in their own skin without sacrificing your own integrity. You are always wholly yourself. Of course, you also run into the problem of being read as flirtatious in situations where you don’t intend to be. In truth, variety is just the spice of life. You enjoy meeting different people, and it takes a lot to hold your attention for long. At the end of the day, you need people in your life who are secure in themselves (and in your affections) – and who aren’t the jealous type. Clear communication is one of your non-negotiables.
How you show love: Because you so enjoy variety, when you bestow your attention on someone for an extended period of time, that’s a sign. For you, affection (given and received) is also verbal, so communicating interest directly through language is important.
How you want to be wooed: Clever and intelligent conversation. Witty banter. A trip to the bookstore.
Celeb Doppelgangers: Laverne Cox, Jasika Nicole
Security is everything to Venus in Cancers; you are private when it comes to matters of the heart. You want the other person to show their cards first. Meanwhile, you’ll cook for them, care for them, remember every little thing they’ve ever mentioned in conversation. But you need to feel emotionally secure before taking any next steps. It takes you a while to come out of your shell.
Also? Family is important to you, whether natal or chosen, and it’s important for you that your partner(s) blend well with your people. That’s always in the back of your mind.
How you show love: By taking care of your people. Nourishing them. You have a knack for sensing their needs, and filling them.
How you want to be wooed: Consistently, but not necessarily directly. You take time to reveal yourself, and you need folks who get that you’re the slow burn type. Being asked to make a yes or no decision right away probably isn’t going to go over very well. But a slow dance? Yes, that’s more your style.
Celeb Doppelgangers: Angelina Jolie, Jane Lynch
Did someone say grand gesture? Romantic. Ride or die. Loyal AF. Experts at making your person feel like your one and only. Generous to a fault. That’s you, Venus in Leo, riding in on a white horse with a bouquet of red roses and a speech that will command the attention of everyone in the vicinity. You’re the person who announces to the world that you and your beloved vibrate on the same frequency, if you know what I mean.
How you show love: You’ve got a big heart and aren’t afraid to wear it on your sleeve. Shouting from the rooftops for all to hear? That’s you. You’re loud and proud, whether that means flowery social media posts, lots of PDA, fancy dinners out on the town, or treating your person to their favorite things.
How you want to be wooed: Anyone who is willing to go over the top for you – especially when it’s out of their comfort zone – is golden. You’re a sucker for a grand gesture, but you aren’t used to getting as good as you give. You’re also loyal to a fault, so demonstrations of commitment go a long way.
Celeb Doppelgangers: Tessa Thompson, Sue Perkins
Your penchant for noticing the little things serves you well in life – and in the bedroom. A little on the kinky side, you’re earthy and find pleasure in attention to detail. You’re not over the top – this is not the sign for grand gestures, flowery language, or long emotional conversations that go until the wee hours of the morning. You tend toward the pragmatic. If we’re talking love languages, you’re Acts of Service, all the way. You want to build something together. Help folks get their life together.
How you show love: Compared to some other signs, you’re reserved and subdued in your affections. You’re the person who reminds them to make an appointment, or who goes out and buys Drano for their always-flooding bathtub.
How you want to be wooed: A shared Google Calendar. Being put together. Sharp fashion. A clean living space. Good cologne and perfume.
Celeb Doppelgangers: Sara Ramirez, Demi Lovato
When it comes to parties and fashion, no one does it better. You’re ruled by Venus, which brings an extra touch of beauty and charm to everything you do, but the catch is that you require substance with style. If someone doesn’t have their shit together internally as well as externally, don’t even bother. You want someone who can match you, who wants to rule the collective roost and look good doing it. For you, partnership is everything.
You also value harmony. Picking a fight, or arguing for the sake of hot makeup sex? Not your thing. You prefer a peaceful environment, to be in a sanguine agreement with your partner(s).
How you show love: You’re a classic romantic. Whereas Venus in Leo is over the top and Venus in Pisces wants to U-Haul, you’re the consummate rom com hero(ine). Thoughtful, tasteful, just enough. Always the right gesture at the right time.
How you want to be wooed: When it comes to romance, mutual, shared passions are a must – with a romantic cherry on top, like someone planning a day for you and then picking you up in a rented convertible.
Celeb Doppelgangers: Amandla Stenberg, Shailene Woodley
Venus in Scorpio is all intensity, all the time. Extraordinarily private, it takes a lot to win your trust. You’re slow to share, slow to peel back the layers and reveal yourself. But once you feel safe with someone, you put all your cards on the table. Totally committed: sexually, emotionally, spiritually. That kind of single-minded focus draws people to you like a moth to a flame.
This kind of energy can easily feed into that green-eyed monster, jealousy. A key for you in relationship is being with folks who are gut-honest about how they feel about you. Plain and simple.
How you show love: Quietly, thoughtfully. Over the top social media posts? Not your style. You’re more behind the scenes: love letters, long drives, sex all night – and calling in sick to work the next day, so you can do it all again. You’re all about investing that quality time.
How you want to be wooed: While wanting someone to just “get” you is a common desire, when it comes to Scorpio energy, you need someone who matches your intensity and has an intuitive sense for how and when to push. They have to be able to really see you, see your wounds, and not flinch, not press too hard, but not shrink away, either: just stand with you, naked in vulnerability. That. That’s what does you in.
Celeb Doppelgangers: Janelle Monae, Jodie Foster
Freedom is a must. Love looks like trusting you to do your own thing and come back around for more. More than any other sign, you are 100% down for long distance relationships. You need the space to roam, literally or figuratively or both. But this doesn’t mean that you don’t want your person/people to not be loyal, or to not check in – you crave communication, after all. Sagittarius energy is no bold, forthright, let’s get this shit out there and talk about it. Being able to trust that someone can level with you is everything. After all, you are further empowered in your freedom and independence when you have the emotional support and security in strong, healthy relationship.
How you show love: By planning an absolutely killer trip, complete with adventurous sex — and then by encouraging your boo to go off and do their own thing. Love is embracing each other’s individuality and exploring each other’s worlds.
How you want to be wooed: Expansion is really the key here: sexual adventures, or exploring your local surroundings. Conversation and flirtation that goes beyond the everyday. Smart live entertainment that inspires debate. Thoughtful gestures that push you both/all towards the limit.
Celeb Doppelgangers: Kate McKinnon, Tilda Swinton
There’s no flash here, just consistency and a plan for the future with killer follow-through. You’re the person whose understated, self-controlled demeanor belies a deep well of emotion that shows itself in concrete, actionable plans. You want a relationship you can grow with and grow into – and you want people who are as committed to self-improvement as you are. To you, the idea that relationships are work is not frightening. It’s just part of the process.
How you show love: By providing structure for the people you love. Helping them fix what’s broken. Helping them organize their life. Being consistent and showing the fuck up.
How you want to be wooed: Let’s be real: you get off on competence, which doesn’t just mean book smarts. You love when someone shows they care about something, have put in the effort to become an expert. And when someone shows that they’ve put in the time and energy to understanding you? That’s everything.
Celeb Doppelgangers: Elliot Page, Jamie Clayton
You’re the ultimate unconventional rule breakers who say “fuck off” to social expectations around love, sex, and relationships. While some astrologers call you the most likely to be in an open or polyamorous relationship, the truth is, you just want the space to construct the relationship that best suits yours and your partner(s)’s needs. You value your independence and don’t invite people into your space lightly.
How you show love: You come off as aloof, but when you’re interested in someone, you pay attention and seek common ground through intellectual connection. You’re the person who watches the TV show your person casually mentioned, who sends over a book recommendation you think they should check out.
How you want to be wooed: You often prefer to be friends first, and this carries over into the relationship: you want to be treated like you’re someone who matters – who is valued, prioritized, thought of and considered in the little things. You find it easy to cut and run at the first sign of waning interest (after all, your time is valuable), so follow-through and consideration are non-negotiables in any kind of partnership.
Celeb Doppelgangers: Ellen DeGeneres, Stephanie Beatriz
You are the ultimate romantics. Sensitive, intuitive. You care with your whole heart. You crave oneness: merging, losing yourselves in each other, two (or more) become one.
For you, trust is the ultimate currency of care. Learning to discern in love, and to discern who to trust, is a lifelong journey, because once you trust, you trust. You’re compassionate, gentle, and giving, and it’s vital for you to be with folks who invest in you emotionally and spiritually just as much as you invest in them.
How you show love: While in some ways you’re prone to the trappings of romantics, the truth is that you’re the kind of person who will do anything for the people you love – hence, why discernment is so important. And why it’s important for you to know what you want and need. It’s easy for you to bend, to adapt, to their needs.
How you want to be wooed: You want to be cherished. No matter the calcification on top, you’ve got a tender heart, and you need to be nurtured.
Celeb Doppelgangers: Kristen Stewart, Samira Wiley
Here’s How to Do It Yourself!
There are many places you can go, but to do your own chart, go to astro.com. To get the most accurate chart, you need your exact time of birth in addition to your date and place of birth; however, you can still do a chart without a time of birth.
If you’re an app person, I would recommend Time Passages, which provides an incredibly detailed breakdown breakdown of your chart with daily horoscopes as well as your transits and progressions (this will make sense to the more advanced astrology folk among you). It also gives you the opportunity to save other people’s charts
If you’re interested in starting to research and learn more so that you can interpret your chart for yourself, start with The Only Astrology Book You’ll Ever Need (which is not, in fact, the only book you’ll ever need, but is a great starting point). There’s also a wealth of excellent free content by queer practitioners on the internet, like Chani Nicholas’ horoscopes and courses as well as the queer-centric astrology content at Beth Maiden’s Little Red Tarot. Go forth and learn!