Named for the goddess of love
Venus the planet, and therefore Venus in Astrology, is named for the Roman goddess of love. That's the short definition of what she symbolizes, and the minute people hear that, their ears perk up and they want to know more, more, more. Her Greek counterpart was Aphrodite, but that's not the "more" people want to hear. Like all short-and-simple answers to complex questions though, this one is misleading and woefully incomplete.
Venus the goddess was in charge of many other things besides "love" -- however you define it ... because people apply that word to different, even unrelated, feelings, desires and needs. What means "love" to you, even if I understand and agree with it ... even if you're able to articulate and describe it well ... may not be what means "love" to me at all.
More complex than the meaning of love
Venus energy, in the eyes of an astrologer, has many colors, shades and shadings. Sign position, house position, aspects, they all impact how Venus operates for you and what her energy means. That's why "love" means different things to different people ... even those who share a Venus sign in common.
Your Venus energy, however, is so much more complex than simply the meaning of love. Venus is one of the powerful indicators of how you express your feminine energy -- energy everyone has, including the most masculine of men. (They may repress theirs completely out of sight ... which, by the way, is a terrible idea ... but it's there, nevertheless.)
Art, beauty and more
Venus also deals with your aesthetic sense ... your taste in art and beauty, your definition of style when it comes to decorating and fashion ... and your feelings of attraction when selecting lovers, partners and people whose connections with life's pleasures and finer moments are simpatico with yours.
Venus deals with receptivity and relationships, your social skills and ability to form alliances, your management of all manner of relationships, the things you offer into partnerships and the things you're looking for from "your people." She represents your experiences of pleasure and desire, both physical and intellectual. Where you find comfort and enjoyment, stimulation and satisfaction, you find Venus energy at work.
All things of value
As the ruler of Libra, Venus deals with issues of marriage and legal alliances as well as intimate friends, partnerships of all kinds and your relationship to other people, including the public in general.
As the ruler of Taurus, she is also charged with managing your material assets, including money and income. She oversees your spending choices -- and how those reflect your values. She influences the kinds of possessions that appeal to you ... and how you manage and replenish your financial assets.
In her many complex dealings, Venus handles things of value -- what you need to support yourself, which makes her condition in your Natal Chart something of more than passing interest. Using your Venus energy well is an essential part of your survival. You need her in order to live.
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