Venus and the Appetitive Part of the Soul

We are accustomed to think of Moon, Mercury and Lord of Ascendant in delineating native’s character, probably the planets in first or aspecting the first house. Then comes the theory of calculating temperament which follows some different parameters including the seasons, summing up the elements, phases of the Moon, etc. Many people think that if Venus is not connected to the personal factors in the chart, like the ascendant and the Lord of the Ascendant, that Venus is representing someone else in our life, or external event, without too much to say about our personality. This is far from the truth. Venus represents the appetitive part of our soul, our ‘carnal desires’, our lust and passions so to speak. Ancient philosophers talked and wrote a lot about the tripartite theory of the soul. Plato speaks of 1) Logical (λόγος), 2) Spirited (θυμός) and 3) Appetitive (ἐπιθυμητής) part of the soul.

Antonio Montulmo and later on Regiomontanus (hence Schoener and other medieval ones) payed close attention to delineation of the appetitive part of the soul and they ascribed Venus as to represent this part of our soul. Not that the earlier Hellenistic and Perso-Arabian astrologers didn’t speak of this, they did (read Ptolemy and among the lines you can find this in Valens too), I just mention Montulmo because I am studying closely his chapter on the delineation of Soul these days, so he is on the tip of my tongue at the moment. He asks from us to see in which sign Venus falls, that sign alongside his analogy/representation in human’s body, will have a say for particular nature of the appetitive soul of the native. For example, if Venus is in Leo (the heart), the native will be “infatuated” (be inspired with an intense but short-lived passion or admiration for). Native will be intense lover.” Of course, Venus in fiery sign gives intense passions. Valens says that if the sign is that of the passionate (licentious) ones, then the native is successful in gaining the object of his passions (p.50). I would also say that if Venus is particularly well situated in good house, then the passions are fulfilled (manifested in the desired goal) more easily (especially if Venus is not afflicted and in a night chart). If Venus is in bad place, cadent and otherwise afflicted and weakened, then these passions can bring problems or the there is difficulty in controlling the passions, fulfilling the need for that carnal desires, the native may be a wishful-thinker, someone who is longing for someone (let’s say romantic love and sexual desire) but is not able to fulfill these desires for many different reasons.

ἐπιθῡμητής (epithumētēs) means “one who longs for or desires, one who lusts”. This is the Greek word that stands for the appetitive part of the soul. This is the part of the soul that is opposed to the logic, to the reason. Not only erotic love, but hunger and thirst also. The appetite for erotic love is not so different then the hunger and thirst, it is the one that can be transformed, ‘energy’ that can be successfully invested in some different activity though, say many mystics and hermits.

So next time when you look at natal chart, pay closer attention to the position of Venus and think in terms of the appetitive part of our soul. Analyise the sign in which she is, look for the Lord of that sign, because the signs share the characteristics of the Lord that is ruling the sign. Pay close attention to the aspects Venus receives and the house in which it is found. Venus poorly positioned in 6th or 12th, in fiery sign, may give indications for passionately longing nature, but finding it difficult to fulfill those desires, to manifest them in life, and probably passions hard to control. Venus in licentious sign, especially connected to Mars may give indications for very licentious person, if the sign is bi-corporeal, involved in many different relationships and promiscuous.

There are other things pertaining to the delineation of the appetitive part of the soul, like for example the decanic face rising on the ascendant, but for this, more in some other occasion.

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