What does it mean to have Venus Square Pluto or Venus Trine Pluto in the natal chart? In this post, I will address Venus Pluto Aspects: all the major “hard” and “soft” aspects will be discussed. Please note that these are baseline interpretations and may be modified according to the presence of other factors in the chart. You can also study Pluto Houses I and Pluto Houses II discussed in other posts.
In evolutionary astrology, Pluto symbolizes the Soul, and Venus represents our basic needs and desires. The proximity between these two symbols, therefore, can be read as an alignment between the evolutionary path of the Soul and the individual’s primary needs or heartfelt yearnings. As Venus also represents one’s particular style of befriending others, maintaining relationships, and expressing love and appreciation, this conjunction can also hint at the possibility of evolving through relationships and social contacts, through sensual or material desires, or through a particular passion with which one is “in love.”
As discussed in a previous post, in psychological astrology Pluto represents a different aspect of our existence: it can be interpreted as the sum total of all we have successfully repressed or all that has triggered pain or shame in us and has thus been duly dismissed from the presence of our Consciousness.
Venus, on the other hand, represents the soft and sweet in us, our cravings and our magnetism. It is our personal touch, our particular mode of connecting, loving, adoring, relaxing, savoring, and soothing. It is our aesthetics, our preferences, our priorities. It is the clothes we wear, the writers we like, and the music we listen to. It is the colors we choose, the flowers we buy, and the gifts we make. Venus, in short, is our reason for in-carnation, the kiss our soul has put on the lips of our body before entering it, the mortal melody which has seduced us into descending from the heavens to explore the many joys and pains of having a body in the first place.
Conjunction between Pluto and Venus can thus be interpreted as an inherent alignment between the Soul and the five-petalled Senses (five, as in the pentagram of Venus): with this alignment, the Soul manifests in the Sense, as the Sense is coronized by the Soul.
If the energies symbolized by Pluto and Venus are psychologically integrated, the Sense will be a direct portal to the Soul, allowing the Soul to manifest in the form of pleasure, equilibrium, and love. In this case, one may be reminded of one’s own yearning to evolve when simply using the five senses: observing the colorful wings of a butterfly, hearing the ceaseless cries of a baby bird, or smelling a fresh flower can all serve as doors to a deeper dimension.
The mundane world, what can be seen, heard, smelled, touched or tasted can also be reminiscent of the ancient longings of the Soul: the sense-sharpening kiss of a beloved can trigger long-forgotten cellular memory; the gentle vapor rising from a cup of tea can recruit memories of misty lands where the Soul crossed lifetimes ago. The smell of a particular perfume, the sound of a particular name, or the taste of a particular fruit may instantly summon the Soul through time and space, with all the unnamed longings attached to it, memories without a face yet with a trace, and wounds crusted and re-opened from life to life, yet never completely healed.
However, if this conjunction is under stress in the birth chart and remains psychologically unintegrated, the individual may fall in love with the wounds carried by her Soul, become magnetically attracted to the idea of her own annihilation (thus the eventual release from all pain), and allow Thanatos (the Death Drive) to overpower Eros (the Life Instinct). Such an individual would summon up all those forgotten, festering wounds in every single encounter happening in the mundane world with unassuming friends or partners, feeling an impulse to re-create hurting scenarios in relationships in hopes of re-accessing those wounds in order to, perhaps, this time healing them to perfection.
In some cases, this conjunction may symbolize love for healing oneself and others or a Soul mission to become a therapist, psychologist or counselor. Engagement in any of these professions will certainly provide a healthy outlet to channel the potent energy represented by this conjunction. Dealing with death and destruction in any constructive form, such as composing funeral music, becoming a grief counselor, working with trauma survivors or contributing to hospice care are some possible options.
With this configuration in the natal chart, one’s aesthetic, sensual or relational style may have been challenged by one’s karmic or ancestral predispositions, or by what is demanded by the Soul as part of the evolutionary process.
In some cases, the individual perceives relationships as blocks to her evolution or psychological wholesomeness, thus rendering any intimate connection to a potentially destructive exchange. An urge to transform and heal oneself through relating is nonetheless quite strong, and even excessive, despite the fact that the individual may lack the practical or psychological conditions necessary to relate to the other on equal terms.
In other cases, a parental figure (usually the mother) may have been deeply loved by the individual yet taken away from her, either literally (through death or divorce) or figuratively (through physical or emotional unavailability). In this scenario, one may have grown to believe that love equals death, thus an immense defense mechanism may have been erected around the idea of “falling in love,” even if the individual is not conscious of this.
As the first priority of our psyche is survival and not love, the individual may have become stuck in a psychological loop of constantly prioritizing her personal needs over the needs of the relationship in an exaggerated fear of annihilation, thus “causing” those relationships to fall apart, and subsequently interpreting this situation as further confirmation of her original fear. Until the individual becomes conscious of her own role in the disintegration of her relationships, this vicious circle will continue.
If these energies are eventually integrated, however, the individual can become a healing agent to her own wounds and that of others around her. As Venus is also connected with the material world, this configuration in its integrated form may point to the possibility of transforming one’s material conditions (e.g. rags to riches stories) or creating something immensely beautiful with a moving effect on its audience: quite a number of writers, philosophers, artists, and actors have this placement in their natal chart.
With this configuration in the natal chart, one’s sensual or relational style may have been crystallized around the exclusion of the primal, the profound, or the taboo aspects of oneself. Consequently, the “other” may be rendered to the position of one’s sentimental shadow, i.e. all that the individual fears and yet finds irresistible comes to her in the guise of the “other.”
If this configuration remains psychologically unintegrated, the individual may find it difficult to be in a reciprocal relationship with others, as she may constantly fall into either the controlling pole or the controlled pole. This tug of war may repeat itself so many times that the individual may start believing that this is what love is, and since being overpowered is always possible in this game, it is better to take preemptive measures and become the sole controller of the course of the relationship.
This energy exchange may also be symbolically reflected in the myth of Persephone and Hades: a young, delicate girl is first desired and then violently abducted by the god of the Underworld. The key to understanding the psychological aspect of this story is to pay attention to the setting: it all starts in a charming garden of flowers reminiscent of Taurus (the realm of Venus). Persephone is walking around with her maidens (i.e. her support network) singing and picking up flowers. She suddenly sees an exceptionally fragrant flower which arouses a deep desire in her. She bends down and plucks it. This is when the seemingly-safe ground under her feet along with all the beauty, support, and safety of her world is ruptured and she is pulled down to the dark and dingy Underworld to be violated by Hades (Pluto).
This story mirrors the tremor an individual with this configuration in her natal chart may initially experience in relationship with the “other”: the fear of losing ground and falling into an abyss any time love blooms and beauty allures can be strong enough to, in fact, sabotage the possibility of ever relating to the “other” on equal, human terms.
The key to integrating these seemingly-incompatible energies is to remind oneself that love is never quite safe, that even the seemingly “safe” encounters may erupt into unpredictable scenarios, and that human beings, by nature, are fallible. Despite all this, in order to live fully and passionately, one has to let life take its course and surprise one with the equally-unpredictable blessings coming from all-too-human encounters with the “other.” Even if at times, these encounters may seem to trigger nothing but pain, one cannot stop living and loving in fear of getting hurt. It is impossible to entirely protect oneself, yet it is possible to choose to love again. At the end of the day, nobody gets out alive, so we might as well just live and love a bit before the opportunity is taken away forever.
This configuration may signal that the sensual or relational functions might have been diminished or dismissed by karmic habits, ancestral patterns, one’s fears, or one’s pain. The individual may be envious of those who have been blessed with more beauty, wealth or lovers, or those who have a facility for being socially charming or adaptable. Love may seem to be defective by nature, and one may feel that she has to work hard to maintain it, or that one can never feel fully deserving of it.
In some cases, the individual may find it easier to relate to those who are occupying lower or higher ranks socially, economically or age-wise, rather than those who seem to be a fitting match. This may indeed work well: as long as there is an apparent inequality in the relationship, the unconscious urge to sabotage oneself and capsize the relationship boat may be less present.
As a quincunx, by definition, points to a lack of balance and therefore symbolizes a constant critical approach, it is important for individuals with this configuration in their natal chart to be aware of their tendency of “never being quite satisfied” with whatever the other has to offer (or conversely, allowing ceaseless demands from the other in hopes of satisfying him or her). This apparent “lack of luck” in finding the “perfect match,” in other words, is simply a reflection of the individual’s inner view of love as something eternally flawed. Therefore, even if the so-called “perfect match” appears and approaches the individual, he or she may not even pay attention to the encounter or may be dismissive of the relationship altogether.
To allow oneself to be seduced by those who seem to be out of one’s league is a temporary solution, whereas a more constructive way of working with this configuration is to practice opening one’s heart to love without expecting love to be a cure to all of one’s pains or yearnings. Love can be a wonderful pastime, and not necessarily a life-or-death decision. Once we learn to give it the place it has, rather than expecting it to perform miracles for us, it can even start becoming enjoyable.
This configuration may signal that one’s sensual or relational capacity may have been polarized from one’s instincts, fears or suppressed emotions. Alternatively, one’s ability to relate to oneself or others may have been indirectly affected by an experience of severity, extremity or crisis.
If the individual consciously works with these energies, she will be able to keep these two spheres separate from each other without feeling that she is missing out on something in life: one may be able to relate to the “other” or enjoy pleasures of the flesh without bringing a heavy burden from one’s karmic past into the equation.
Otherwise, if these energies remain psychologically unintegrated, the individual may attract relationships which present a sharp contrast with the evolutionary path she is walking on, or, in some cases, relationships may serve as a convenient distraction which can hinder the process of facing and healing one’s karmic wounds.
With this configuration in the natal chart, there usually exists a psychological tendency to attract relationships which will ultimately contribute to one’s process of evolution, especially when it comes to uncovering and healing karmic patterns which have been in place for generations. In other words, individuals with this placement in their natal chart have been given the unique opportunity to correct various forms of generational karma regarding relationships through recognizing where the error is, rectifying such inherited patterns, and thus establishing new patterns regarding relationships for herself and her bloodline.
This, by no means, indicates that an individual with this placement in her natal chart will only encounter wonderful partners; it rather indicates that whoever such an individual encounters in life in the capacity of friends or lovers will end up playing a pivotal role in the process of recognition and thus rectification of karmic patterns in the psychic life of the individual. This, at times, may include heartbreaks, separations or pain, yet with conscious effort, the individual will be most likely able to learn the difficult lessons and move on to progressively better relationships as she is rectifying her own inherited patterns and thus those connected to her.
If this configuration is not psychologically well-integrated, however, the individual may move from one relationship to the next seeking some form of psychological thrill, expecting the other to act as a psychologist or counselor, or she herself may fall into a similar role for the other. The desire for soul-bonding and healing through relating is quite strong when Venus comes into contact with Pluto in any form, yet with this particular configuration, there always lies the danger of taking things for granted: one may naturally dump on the other one’s entire relationship history, sexual fantasies, wounds, and psychological hang-ups in the name of intimacy, unaware of the fact the other may be unwilling to play the shrink.
With this configuration in the natal chart, one is often presented with opportunities to develop relational skills as a result of extreme experiences or difficulties in early relationships. In some cases, a Venusian figure in the immediate environment (the mother, a sensitive or artistic sibling or friend, etc.) may have been exposed to some form of loss or crisis (especially regarding relationships or partners), which may have triggered the individual’s capacity to understand the complexities of human relationships early on in life.
If the energies symbolized here are well-integrated in the psyche of the individual, she will be able to learn from observing how others interact in their relationships or respond to their partners, and subsequently, she can develop a high degree of emotional intelligence and genuine insight into the nature of human relationships.
Otherwise, if these energies are not well-integrated, the individual may inadvertently inflict pain on those relating to her as business or romantic partners, or she may use her intelligence to manipulate others, keep things hidden from them or use them for her personal benefit. Emotional fixation and being obsessed with a particular person in the immediate environment (a relative, coworker, neighbor, etc.) is another possibility, as well as having illicit affairs regarding the management of financial resources.
Willingness to become conscious of one’s psychological complexes has to be present in order for the individual to start recognizing her own emotional patterns and thus modifying them; otherwise, no amount of encouragement or persistence coming from outside sources (such as partners or friends) can initiate the healing process for such an individual.
In the next post, I will offer a basic analysis of Pluto in aspect to Mars in the birth chart.