More on Venus and Neptune in Relationships
More on Venus-Neptune and Relationships
Here are some themes we might encounter with Venus in aspect to Neptune in our natal charts.
One of the themes is an attraction to complicated relationships and/or attraction to a “fixer-upper”. Venus-Neptune people seem to be drawn to trouble in love like moth to flame. They might find themselves in love triangles, in love with an attached person, drawn to people with addictions, or attracted to people who seem to be in need of help. It’s hard to say whether their expectations in personal relationships are too high or too low. On the one hand, they tend to easily accept behaviors in their partners that others wouldn’t accept, as they are compassionate and see human weakness as attractive and beautiful. On the other hand, their romantic dreams may be so powerful that they are easily disappointed with the reality of relationships. It’s also difficult to say whether a Venus-Neptune person is easy to please or difficult to please. Little romantic gestures from a loved one might put them on cloud nine; but what others might consider “normal” disappointments can bring a Venus-Neptune person crashing down. Sometimes, they’re easy to please for the moment, and difficult to please for very long!
A Venus-Neptune person can quite readily fall in love with the concept of loving, failing to see the reality of the relationship or the loved one. For example, some with these aspects cling to a romantic notion that someone loves them when in reality that person doesn’t return the affection. Or, they may cling to a romance that has lost all hope. Another possibility is devoting their love to someone who is unattainable or who is unable to commit. Yet another Venus-Neptune scenario is loving someone who treats them badly, all the while clinging to an idealized image of the partner. No matter what the scenario, romantic yearning and longing, as well as delusion, tends to be the theme. The expectation here is that loving someone requires self-sacrifice, and the result can be an attraction to relationships that are co-dependent and even abusive. Venus-Neptune people are often drawn to victim/savior relationships, and they can play either the role of victim or savior–sometimes swinging between the two! Dependency or neediness in a partner can be confused for love. In an attempt to love unconditionally, they may too readily sacrifice their own needs and eventually feel used. Sometimes, it’s about being in love with their own ability to love unconditionally! Forgiving a loved one (repeatedly) can give them a rush.
It’s important to consider the possibility of “fear of commitment”– an idea that many Venus-Neptune people, especially those who are constantly yearning for an ideal love relationship, might initially balk at. This might be especially true for those of us who are constantly finding ourselves in relationships that seem to have little hope. Our friends and family are telling us that we “deserve better”, and we tell them (or ourselves) that they don’t know the whole story. The challenge for Venus-Neptune is to truly love a partner for who he or she is, not for his or her perceived potential. Because they yearn to be loved, it can be hard for them to see that they may actually be afraid of a complete, committed relationship. One symptom of this fear is loving someone for an idealized image they have of that person, as they are effectively choosing fantasy over reality. Another symptom is loving someone who is inaccessible or unattainable, as this keeps them “safe” from a true and realistic commitment. At the root of this fear is the awareness of their own vulnerability in love.
If we repeatedly find ourselves in relationships in which we feel we’ve been deceived by a loved one, then another important consideration will be whether we’re somehow inviting others to deceive us. Let’s say my partner tells me something about his romantic past that shocks me–or rather, that rocks my fantasies of ideal love. If I react in an overly sensitive manner to this, my partner might decide to keep other similar types of confessions to himself rather than share them with me. This pattern can continue to the point where my partner actually encourages me to live in my own little fantasy world, fearful that he might burst my bubble or hurt me with the truth. One day, I might discover something about my partner that floors me, and I might decide that I have been deceived or used.
With my Venus-Neptune square and sensitive 12th house Pisces Moon, I noticed this particular pattern rather early in my adult life, in my marriage. I have since worked on it quite extensively, and it’s not always easy to do so. I’ve even heard myself say “please don’t burst my bubble”, as there were times when I was terrified of the truth. I’ve certainly learned that the truth hurts far less than lies do. Awareness of Venus-Neptune themes is always helpful, but it doesn’t mean I am struggle-free in this area.
With the hard aspects, we can experience extremes of trust and distrust in love. Neptune is “very good at” swinging from extremes, and very rarely finds that middle ground. We may have been naive in our early relationships, but have since faced some ugly truths. The term “ugly truth” is very Neptunian. In fact, we might strive towards seeing truths as beautiful. With difficult experiences under our belt, we might question our judgment in subsequent relationships. In her excellent ebook, Outer Planet Aspects to Venus and Mars, Donna Cunningham notes that Venus-Neptune people rarely “turn their back on love after being badly burned”– they are drawn to love relationships over and over again. Even after experiencing love relationships in which their trust has been betrayed, Venus-Neptune people usually keep on plugging.
However, I feel it’s impossible to truly fool ourselves when we’re faced with repeated themes of dishonesty in our partners, especially with the hard aspects of Venus and Neptune, and this can be at the root of the mood swings that are so often present with Venus-Neptune. We can imagine terrible things about our partner one day, and wonderful things the next. We might question our own judgment, and fear judgment itself. We can feel trapped in a state of not knowing when faced with signs that a partner is deceiving us, fearful of passing judgment on a loved one just in case we are wrong. Venus-Neptune people want to love a partner unconditionally, but can struggle with their very human need to establish boundaries and rules, not always accepting this need in themselves as a valid one. The general rule should be that if something doesn’t feel good or right, something should be done about it. Venus-Neptune people might feel guilty for setting up rules in love.
Venus-Neptune can fall in love with imperfection. They will see beauty in the downtrodden, the underdog, the lost causes. This is, in fact, a beautiful trait. The struggle comes when we feel badly about the sacrifices we make for a relationship, or for another person. I have said it many times before that the very idea that we are making sacrifices for someone else is a dangerous place to be. If we feel that we are giving something up for someone else, we have to take responsibility for that action to the point that we don’t even feel that it is a sacrifice. We have to recognize that we are giving up something for ourselves, and if we don’t feel that way, then we are headed for serious disappointment.
With Venus-Jupiter-Neptune-Chiron in my natal chart, my first reaction to, for example, singles ads that list all of the qualities a person wants in a potential mate, prenuptial agreements, or anything that seems to treat love relationships like businesses, is some level of horror. Saturn, practical Virgo, and the earthy sixth house are all strong in my chart, so I do understand these things on some level. However, there is part of me that just can’t truly understand how people can treat their love life as if it were a business. I remember when I was separating from my husband, and discovering after the fact that our finances were in a total mess, my brother offered me very sound advice that I didn’t follow because of this basic belief. He even told me that he knew it might be hard to do, but to at least temporarily treat my marriage as a business, stay together, sort out finances, and after that decide whether or not the marriage should be dissolved. In retrospect, it truly was sound and practical advice. I might even give the same advice to someone in a similar situation. But at the time, I felt it was beyond me to follow it. This is Venus-Neptune. Practical considerations when it comes to matters of the heart are often thrown out the window.
Venus rules money as well as social relationships, and a person with hard Venus-Neptune aspects can just as well lose money due to the tendency to gloss over problems. Just as they tend to ignore warning signs in personal relationships, they can let money slip through their fingers because they neglect to keep records or account for their belongings. They may have problems from “borrowing from their future” because of overly optimistic attitudes. They may continuously get the short end of the stick as they lend money to people who never pay them back, or invest in unrealistic projects. Have you ever seen a grown woman cover her eyes and then reluctantly and fearfully peek through her fingers at her bank account records? I have! She has Venus square Neptune.
We’re not all incurable romantics in the more obvious sense of the word “romantic”. I have been accused of being less than romantic, probably because of Saturn and Uranus both strong in my chart. Most people who know me would describe me as practical and grounded. I am generally a good judge of character as well. I can usually call bad situations before they happen, especially when it comes to people who have hidden agendas, scams, and the like. Yet I have experienced virtually every possible Venus-Neptune scenario in my life. While I don’t overtly express the gushier, starry-eyed side of Venus-Neptune, I have often failed to apply logic and practicality to my own love life. In fact, I often knew what was happening on some level and let it happen. Turning a blind eye to red flags is Neptunian.
I’ve recently considered the possibility that I might be addicted on some level to the drama involved with a challenging love life. I didn’t want to believe that was the case, by all means. After all, why would I want to experience heartache? I once read somewhere that all (Neptune-ruled) Pisces, on some level, want to be martyrs. The experience of heartache and angst can be oddly addictive and possibly even satisfying on some level. It can give birth to very powerful and potent creative impulses, can force us into a reflective state, and can bring us to new levels of consciousness and even enlightenment.
I have two male friends who have Mars in Taurus in opposition to Neptune in Scorpio. Both of them admit to an addiction to sexual “challenges”, at different levels. Mars in Taurus alone can be quite hedonistic. Add Neptune to the equation, and the addiction factor might come into play. One of these guys is forever chasing tail. He is at a point where simply finding a woman, wooing her, and bedding her is not enough. He is bored of that straightforward approach! He sets up what he calls “challenges” for himself. I won’t go into the gory details, but there is clearly an addiction involved.
Through a conversation with the other male friend with Mars-Neptune, I recognized Venus-Neptune by substituting the word “sex” with “love”. He talked about how he is attracted to a woman who he feels is a challenge to get into bed. He is not interested in a woman who is all out there, “easy”, or straightforward about her sexual needs. The ultimate challenge for him is to woo a woman who keeps her sexual needs on some level a mystery. I found this conversation interesting because this is sometimes the case for women with Venus-Neptune in their charts, except that they are often attracted to “bad boys” who seem to have a lot of good inside. Their challenges or conquests involve wooing a man who is perhaps on the macho side, who has never fallen in love or made a commitment, or who is not overtly romantic, and having him fall in love with her. And what if either of these people “succeed” at this challenge? Some will be satisfied, and others might move on to the next challenge. Of course, not all people with Venus-Neptune and Mars-Neptune aspects are addicted to romantic and sexual challenges or conquests! It’s simply one way that these aspects can play out. Venus-Neptune people have much to offer–they’re often delightfully quirky, they find beauty in odd things (and people!), there’s very little they won’t do for a loved one, and they can be quite seductively just a little out of reach. They can be attracted to people with a lot of “layers”, and delight in peeling them.
What are possible solutions to the challenges of Venus-Neptune in relationships? For one, we should ask ourselves whether we are attracted to these very challenges. On the other hand, we might ask ourselves whether we are afraid of the challenges of committed partnership–not only the demands it might make on us, but also whether we feel worthy of its possible rewards–that is, if in fact committed partnership is a goal, as it is not for everyone. Not everyone with these aspects suffers greatly. In fact, once we can accept that we are attracted to the complications and complexities of love relationships, our experiences can be seen in a different light–as rich, creative, and rewarding. We can learn so very much about ourselves and our limits as we strive towards limitlessness, about others, and about love itself.
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References & suggested further reading:
(1) The Combination of Stellar Influences by Reinhold Ebertin offers interpretations of midpoints and planetary pictures. A classic.
(2) Midpoints: Unleashing the Power of the Planets by Michael Munkasey offers interpretations and keyphrases for midpoints and planetary pictures. More modern definitions.
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