From ancient mythology
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.
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