This blog post was inspired by watching and discussing Corey Dowds (aka Eye of the Veda)'s youtube video on the correlation between Lady Luck and Lakshmi (Venus in Vedic writings) .
You can check out his video here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4b2B3s4zEQ
Also, you can listen to this song called birth of Venus while reading:
Okay, so Venus.
Venus is one of the two Brahmin planets, the other being Jupiter (traditionally, in India, Brahmins are the sacred caste of priests and sages). You will notice there is a sequential relationship between these two, Jupiter being the number 5, and Venus 6, and also in the weekdays- Jupiter's day is Thursday (the 5th day when naturally starting with the Sun as day 1, Janma) and Venus' day being Friday. In Greek mythology, one of Aphrodite (Venus') origins is as the daughter of Zeus (Jupiter). In Vedic mythology however, Jupiter and Venus are enemies, and so are they in the astrological chart. One of the differences between the manifestations of these two planets is that Venus talks more, is more 'worldly', sociable.
As mentioned above, Venus manifests as the number 6, which is the worldly fulfillment. Think about the Tara Nakshatras and the 6th placement, Sadhak.
Also think that Venus rules Virya, the life force - the DNA. The DNA of us carbon-based beings is made of exactly 6 protons, 6 neutrons and 6 electrons. Gives a whole new meaning to 666, right? The number of Lucifer, the morning star, Venus. Also keep in mind that in astrology, in the so-called planetary war, Venus is the one defeating any other opponent.
Now, moving on to another aspect of Venus- what is more earthy then sex? Remember that Venus is the Karaka (producer) of flowers, and flowers are the sexual organs of the plants. The other side of the coin is that Venus lent its Latin denomination Venera to the (I can't resist the association) Venus flytrap of bed pleasures, namely venereal disease.
Famous Botticelli painting Birth of Venus (La Nascita di Venere)
Besides the origin stated above, Greek mythology has an alternative: Venus (Aphrodite) was born from the semen of Uranus, whose genitalia had been cut off by Cronus and cast into the sea. So another connection to the water element (which it rules in Vedic astrology) and to Virya, the life force, the semen.
There is the hypotheses that there were two different Aphrodites, and the one born of Zeus was the more worldly one. I could correlate that to the two signs ruled by Venus, Taurus being more earthy and possessive and concerned with concrete material stability, while Libra is more concerned with the social aspect of interchange.
In Greek mythology, Aphrodite was married to a deformed god, the blacksmith Hephaestus. That reminds me more of Saturn type - the lameness and the 'low caste' work. Saturn is a friend of Venus, but even so, when it's joined with her, it starves her. But no need to pity Venus-Aphrodite as she did have many lovers, one of them being Ares (Mars), another being Hermes (Mercury). In Vedic astrology (and mythology), a Venus-Mercury combination is very auspicious, since these two planets are also mutual friends, and they are the manifestations of Lakshmi and Vishnu, the divine pair. In Greek mythology, the affair between Hermes and Aphrodite resulted in a child named Hermaphrodite.
I also want to mention that in Romanian folklore/fairy tales there is this character - an old woman called Sfânta Vineri. You can easily distinguish the Latin origin of Vineri as from Veneris dies, the day of Venus- Friday. Sfânta Vineri = Saint Friday (feminine form). She appears in the hero's path offering them gifts to help them complete their missions, sometimes even putting them to the test. This is also one of Venus' aspects in Vedic astrology, the capacity for appropriate decision-making. Additionally, there are some fairy tales where Saint Friday is cruel and punishing, perhaps due to the Christian tradition overlayer, where Friday is the day Jesus was crucified and the local Church demanded the day to be observed with reverence.
Also, let's not forget that in Vedic mythology, one of the bloodiest characters was Venus' avatar Parashurama (6th avatar of Lord Vishnu) and from Assyrian/Babylonian goddess of Ishtar who, in the great Epic of Gilgamesh, sends the Bull (another Venusian reference) of the Heavens to defeat the respective hero.
I'm sure there are numerous other cross-references from ancient civilizations about Venus and I would love to hear about them in the comments :)
Parashurama slaying an elephant.
Sotheby's collection, NY.
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Research and musings on astrological topics I find interesting