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Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot - 'Orpheus Leading Eurydice from the Underworld' 1860 {{PD}}

Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot – ‘Orpheus Leading Eurydice from the Underworld’ 1860 {{PD}}

Here’s something we need to get clear on: Venus is not, on her own, a sweetness-and-light kind of energy; when we portray her that way, we conveniently forget that she signifies jealousy, envy, a particular kind of want that’s like lust, and a gluttony (literal or symbolic) that desires whatever it desires, without boundaries or end, and this on top of standing for Love, Money, Beauty, talents, and all other assets. She is appetite, a kind of monstrous need, monstrous because it doesn’t know satiation or restraint. Sign placement can offer those things, put reins on expression, give the appetite form, focus, and purpose–and in Scorpio we see a Venus that wants to know the Truth, that carries a vortex of passion crushing as a black hole, that holds at her receptive center a mystery, and a question: What lies beneath?

Scorpio beckons us to go below consciousness, to look beneath the day-to-day, to venture into unexplored or hidden or even denied territory, and Venus is want, she is desire, she looks to bond, to blend, to cooperate, and so drives that attempt to, in the modern vernacular, hack the Scorpionic darkness. Here she becomes concerned with what is behind the curtain, under the polite invitation or excuse, curious about the attitude lurking beneath the etiquette and the passionate heart hidden by the prim, sugary smile. Venus in Scorpio sees the beauty in death, decay, in trash and what’s used, discarded, broken; she also sees beauty (and finds love) in what’s ugly. If we were to name a Venus in Scorpio fairy tale, it might be Beauty and the Beast, or anything where the discerning eye sees potential in what others have agreed to overlook, to declare useless, valueless, vulgar, obscene.

Venus in Scorpio always reminds me of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice; it’s a story of dealing with the darkness that tells us the only way to retrieve your Love from the confines of Hades (the personal one found in the negative Venusian traits, located in the caves of Scorpio or the contact of Venus to Pluto) is restraint, in Self-discipline, looking only toward what’s ahead, as to look back will cause you to lose what you want most, a future filled with light, that knows loss and so extraordinarily values what has been saved.

It’s interesting that beautiful young Orpheus had immense power and charm derived from his singing and playing of the lyre, with these being related to that other Venus sign, Taurus, ruler of the throat and voice. Eurydice is the woman he loved, whom he married and who died on their wedding day, bitten by a viper as she walked with her maids through a field. Orpheus mourned, but out of desolation came the desire to go to the Underworld himself, to rescue his love. He felt he could play for Pluto and Proserpina and in moving them persuade them to allow Eurydice to return to the world. He believed his playing would be powerful in Hell in the same way it drew all living things to him on Earth, and even moved objects in Nature–and it was. Milton says that Orpheus’ performance, “Drew iron tears down Pluto’s cheek, and made Hell grant what Love did seek.”

There was one condition: Orpheus could lead Eurydice out, but he was not to look back at her until they had reached the surface. In symbolic terms this is the restraint and Self-discipline that is required for any safe journey to and return from the Underworld; it is what’s required to survive in our current form the entry into and exit from a world that’s not our own, and most importantly, to successfully bring back something of worth, something we love. Even Pluto’s bride, Proserpina/ Persephone, was warned that she would be unable to return to the surface if she ate while in Hades, as she was still alive when taken there–and she ate 6 pomegranate seeds, binding her for 6 months of the year to the darkness.

It was a long path that Orpheus took to climb out pf Hell, one that wound through what seemed like an endless series of Scorpionic caves, and he had to trust that Eurydice was following behind. He was told that no matter what, he wasn’t to look at her until both were completely above ground. Orpheus climbed and eventually the blackness turned to twilight, and then to a gray like sunrise, and Orpheus was consumed with fear that Eurydice wasn’t following, that she might need help–he heard nothing at all behind him–and he turned to look at his love, only to see her disappear from the mouth of the cave, returned to the land of the dead–and of course, he was barred from a second foray as long as he lived; entry to the Underworld is unnatural for the living, and to consciously pass between the two is a privilege the gods never grant twice.

On the 4th we have, besides Venus’ entry to Scorpio, a Mercury-Jupiter square. This alerts us to the potential for exaggerated communications, and that our own thoughts could run away from us, blown into something impossible to realize. It could also promise some difficulty accepting facts, conflict over beliefs, and both criticism and discovery, with the potential for confusion as to which is the source of what, as each body sits in a sign ruled by the other.

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