Known as one of the benefic planets, Venus deals with bringing sweetness and goodness into our lives. She is responsible for things like art, joy, pleasure, relationships and connection with others. Her moist quality helps bind and glue things together, meaning that she takes care of the things that draw us to other things and each other. We’re talking about magnetic attraction and loving connection, that feeling of unification and belonging.
Simply put, Venus rules over those things that make life worth living.
Sounds great, right!? Who doesn’t love some good old sweetness?
But for some folks, accessing those things can be fickle, or even downright difficult (I know it does for me!). This could be because your own Venus placement isn’t well resourced, or because you have other placements (often a strong Mars and/or Saturn) that overshadow your ability to connect with Venusian things. Regardless of your planetary placements, residing in a place of pleasure, joy, and good enoughness may feel like a huge challenge for you, too. It’s not something our society generally values.
Luckily, my approach to astrology is an uplifting and affirming one. I believe that every astrological placement has a gift to share, and I also believe that every astrological placement can be worked with, strengthened, and embodied in an empowering way. Things like essential and accidental dignity are often just the starting point of a journey to discover how you can be more authentically yourself – never a conclusion, something you just have to resign yourself to.
If this sounds abstract or technical to you, don’t fret. While determining the extent to which your Venus may need some extra juice may warrant a little visit to a pro astrologer, strengthening your natal Venus is something you can do regardless of how well you know the gifts and challenges of your own birth chart. Because ultimately, it comes down to strengthening your capacity to feel more love, joy, and pleasure in your life.
And as mentioned before, we all deserve more of that (yes, that includes you!)
Signs your Venus needs strengthening
Now, before we get into the good part (I know that’s what you’re here for!), I just want to make sure that I give you some guidance on when you might consider introducing the practices below into your daily/weekly/whatever practice.
First and foremost I want to stress again that there has to be no astrological reason for doing any of these things. One of the main things that Venus represents is anything that just “feels good”, and if doing these practices simply make you feel good, why bother reason with the stars?
But, chances are that if you feel inclined to strengthen your capacity to feel more joy and pleasure, there are astrological reasons for doing so.
Your natal Venus is in detriment or fall
If your natal Venus placement is in Aries or Scorpio (detriment), or Virgo (fall), that’s what’s technically called a “debilitated” Venus. I can imagine this term brings up all sorts of thoughts and emotions (panic might be one of them!), but it’s very important to note that this does not in any way mean that your Venus is “bad”.
Let me say that again in a different way: a technically difficult Venus doesn’t mean that you’re doomed.
Essential dignity simply refers to whether a planet is well-placed in a sign or not. This has to do with how well resourced the planet is, and ultimately, to which degree this planet can be itself. If your Venus is placed in any of the three above mentioned signs, this does not make your Venus bad or “lesser than”. It just means that you have to figure out a different way or strategy to express Venus themes, because you don’t have the resources available to do it in a traditional way. But hey, breaking the norms can be incredibly liberating and inspiring to others, once you figure out what’s right for you.
Your natal Venus is in aspect to Mars and/or Saturn
Also called “maltreatment”, this simply means that Mars and/or Saturn (known as the malefic planets) prevent Venus from bringing out her positive functions.
Your natal Venus is in a difficult house
If you have Venus placed in any of the “dark houses” (the 2nd, 6th, 8th or 12th), this makes it more challenging to access Venusian topics.
Your natal Venus is in an angular house without any dignity
While this may seem counterintuitive, even if you have a peregrine Venus (i.e. a Venus that has no essential dignity) placed in an angular house (1st, 4th, 7th, or 10th) or ruling any of the angular houses, it may still need a bit of extra juice. If that’s the case for you, Venus has a very important job to do in your chart (and life!) but doesn’t quite have enough resources to do so. Strengthening your Venus could be super beneficial for you.
Your natal Venus is currently receiving a challenging aspect
Even if none of the above natal conditions apply to you, there could always be something going on in the sky that diminishes your ability to let your Venus fully shine. Hard aspects (squares or oppositions) from the aforementioned malefics (Mars & Saturn) are particularly rough, but let’s not forget our outer planet friends, whose influence in our chart is often longer lasting and life-changing. So while a Uranus square to your Venus, for example, doesn’t always have to be incredibly challenging, it may coincide with a massive reorientation of Venus themes in your life. Figuring out how to do Venus things under these transits may be necessary.
How to strengthen your natal Venus
With all of that out of the way, let’s get to the good stuff at last. First, I want to say that there is a lot of information online about remediating your natal Venus. This refers to doing things like building an altar for Venus, wearing green on Fridays (Venus day), planetary charity or making Venus talismans. These are all great things in the realm of planetary magic that can be beneficial to do if you want to strengthen your natal Venus, but you won’t find any of those tips below. While I have absolutely nothing against planetary magic, and sometimes even dabble in it myself, something about it always feels a little bit abstract to me. Or maybe, to put it in another way, it feels a little bit… unnecessary. Yup, I really said that.
Look, if planetary magic is your jam, then by all means, do all the things! There are some amazing astrologers out there that specialise in planetary remediation, so I definitely recommend checking them out (happy to refer you also, if need be).
But for me, everything starts and ends with embodiment. We don’t need to pray to the planets or create magical rituals in their honour to get more of what we need. We can simply practice being and embodying more of Venus in our lives, and from that, transformation will follow. Sometimes it’s really that simple. And it gives more agency to us as humans, too (not a bad thing to feel in an overwhelming world).
And, if you want to get a sneak peek into my practice, these practices below are also some things I offer to clients in my astrology coaching sessions.
1. Acknowledge what’s difficult first
I promise I’ll get to juicy and positive stuff, but I first want to address that strengthening your connection to your natal Venus may not be easy. As someone with a fallen Venus and a malefic planet ruling my ascendant, I’m all too aware that embodying Venus can be difficult or terrifying. You may note that you have a lot of trepidation when it comes to embodying joy and pleasure. I want you to know that that’s okay and that your resistance can be a great place to start. Welcome it. Invite the resistance to the table and get to know it really well.
When you think about experiencing joy, love and pleasure, what comes up for you in your body? What are some thoughts or voices that come up? Maybe you discover a deeply seated belief that you don’t deserve to feel pleasure. You may find worries or fears that it’s not productive, not leading anywhere. That there’s other, more important matters to attend to. Whatever arises, acknowledge what shows up. Let that belief or worry know that you hear it, that you understand it. And you can maybe even ask it: what would you need from me to feel safe and seen when I do start strengthening my capacity to experience pleasure? Honour what comes up.
For me, what often helps acknowledge my resistance is setting a time container. It feels more manageable to me to dedicate a limited amount of time to joy and pleasure and to acknowledge that I can do other things afterwards. It makes the other parts of me feel heard and seen, without stopping myself from having (p)leisure time altogether.
2. Develop a personal pleasure practice
I got this idea reading Pleasure Activism (by adrienne maree brown). It’s very easy: create a personal practice where you commit yourself to experiencing pleasure on a regular basis. How often you do that is really up to you: whatever feels possible giving your specific circumstances, whatever feels good. The commitment to pleasure can look different every time, but the most important thing is that you stick to it regularly. It’s a radical, even political act, if you will, of explicitly centering pleasure in your life. This could look as basic as slowly and deliberately sipping a delicious cup of coffee, but you can also decide to dedicate your pleasure practice to intentional (self)sex.
Another crucial thing is that you commit to regularly doing something that feels good just in and of itself. Not because it’s useful or productive, not because it makes other people feel good, not even because it makes a future version of you feel good (those taxes ain’t gonna do themselves, lol). Just something that feels good for you right now, in this present moment.
3. “I want” practice
This is one of those practices I do with clients in my Constellate sessions, as it’s a very powerful way to get in touch with your own needs and desires in a safe way. You’ll need a pen and paper for this one. (It is possible to write or type on an electronic device, but I highly recommend doing it the old fashioned way. There’s just something about the embodied experience of writing things out that brings us closer to our needs.)
Start from an embodied place, meaning that you take some time to center, ground, and focus yourself before you start writing. When you feel like you’ve landed in the present (and also: what does that feel like?), start free writing a list of phrases starting with the words “I want”. The idea behind free writing is that you write without inhibition, without editing yourself. You just let the words move through you and put them on the paper. There are no wrong answers here.
When it feels complete, or maybe after a certain time limit (5 minutes is probably a good start), stop writing. Take a deep breath. Read back what you wrote, maybe out loud. (In my sessions I often offer to read the list back to my clients, which can be super affirming). Notice what comes up when you read or hear your desires. How does it feel in your body to receive your own desires? What images, metaphors, or themes come up? And what insights do you take from that, moving forward?
4. Search for beauty with all senses
Sometimes we need to strengthen our connection to Venus because we’re incapable of seeing the beauty in our lives. This could also be due to experiences you’ve gone through that may be difficult, things like separation, loss of work, or grief. Especially when that’s the case for you, this practice could be a great and accessible way to connect to more beauty around you.
Throughout your day, try to find or do one thing that feels/looks/tastes/sounds/smells beautiful. Something that sparks joy. One thing for each of your senses: touch, sight, hearing, smell and taste. Touch something soft and fuzzy. Look at something that’s beautiful, whether it’s natural or human made. Take in any sounds that feel beautiful, maybe the sound of the sea or your favourite playlist. Go out and smell something delicious. And treat yourself to something that tastes incredible. For each of these, take a moment to really take it in with your entire body, feel what happens when you sense that beautiful or joyful thing. How does it feel to receive that beauty? Where do you feel it in your body? What thoughts, images, or ideas come up?
Reflect on the experience afterwards. What was easy to find or experience? What was particularly hard or difficult? And what does that mean to you?
5. Write a body poem
Another practice from my astrology coaching practice, this one is best to do with another person, though you can also do it by yourself. In this practice, we tap into the areas in our body that feel good (or just okay and simply not bad) and create a poem from that. If that sounds intimidating, don’t worry! The beauty of this practice is that you don’t need to try hard to be creative (I know some of us may feel that creative blockage already). The point is that you just let your body speak for you and see how you are art.
Again, start from an embodied place. Maybe do a gentle meditation beforehand. Scan your body for areas that feel good or simply not-bad. Maybe it’s a warm sensation in your hand, a texture on your skin. Whatever it is, sense in to that and get really curious and intimate. How would you describe that sensation if it had a colour, shape, images, or sound?
If you’re doing this with a facilitator, voice everything that you observe. Your facilitator (or me, in a coaching session) writes down everything that is being said. If you’re by yourself, maybe record yourself as you’re speaking out loud. I find that this is less disruptive to the experience than writing out every single thing.
End your practice with the question: “If this pleasurable (or any other word that feels more appropriate) sensation could talk, what would it say?” Maybe a variation of this question feels more fitting for you. Share what comes up.
Coming out of the experience, your facilitator will recite back what you’ve shared, like a poem. Take it all in, these words from your body. You can reread the poem any time you want or need to. If you have recorded yourself, you have the added possibility of listening to your own voice as it speaks of pleasure. What does embodying pleasure sound like?
6. Practice conscious relating
One final topic I want to address here (of course there are many more ways to work with Venus) is the theme of relationships, another one of Venus’ domains. The ability to engage in intimate relationships with other people is a major Venusian skill, and one that folks with the aforementioned challenging Venus placements may find difficult. Strengthening your capacity to be intimate with others can be a great idea, but there’s a catch… You kinda need other people to practice with, so these practices definitely require another person and are less accessible to practice on your own.
I’ll go out and say that if you’ve done all the practices above, there’s a good chance you already feel more centred and connected to yourself, which is the most important prerequisite for relating to others. Getting clear on your own needs and desires is the first step to expressing them to others.
But if you do want to continue practicing intimacy with other people in your life, there are a few things I suggest exploring with another person (and again, these are some things I also offer in my Constellate sessions):
- Pratice non-violent communication: For the Libra parts of us, this is a great practice to get really comfortable with sharing your needs and requests to other people without worrying that you’re attacking them. Non-violent communication consists of 4 steps: 1. Observing instead of evaluating · 2. Stating your feelings · 3. Expressing your needs · 4. Making a request.
- The 5-5-5 method: This is a great practice for conflict resolution, but also just to learn to hold space and be fully present with others. Set the timer for 15 minutes. Each person takes 5 minutes to share what’s on their mind. The other person simply listens with full presence and doesn’t interrupt. When the first 5 minutes are up, the other person shares for 5 minutes. Maybe they reply to what has just been said, but they can also just share anything else. You can use the last 5 minutes to debrief and reflect together.
- The “come here, go away” game: One person starts by centering themselves. The other person is standing in front of the first person, at a distance that feels good to begin with (for person number 1). When the first person is ready to start, they sign the second person to either come closer or go further away. The second person follows accordingly. Person 1 keeps checking in internally to see how the closeness or distance feels, and keeps adjusting if necessary, until the distance or closeness feels just right. This is a great game to practice personal boundaries and also experience how this can change moment to moment.
If you’re eager to explore how you can personally strengthen your Venus placement, I’d love to see you in a consult.