For some years now I have been working to heal my Venus in the 12th house. As a Taurus Sun sign, and someone who has a total of eight planets and asteroids in Venus-ruled signs, the placement of Venus is most important to me.
Self-Sabotage and Venus in the 12th
Having Venus in the 12th is not a naturally benign place to be. While exalted in Pisces, Venus feels rather restricted in the house counterpart to the sign. The positive manifestations of the house are solitude, meditation, mysticism, and past life work, rather unnatural fits to a social personal planet concerned with self-actualization and sensual satisfaction in the here and now. And the more negative aspects of self-sabotage, loneliness, and past life shadows and wounds seem worlds away from the bright, glittering light of love and pleasure that Venus shines upon us all.
For me, my Venus in the 12th speaks of shame – sexual and sensual shame, yes, but also the sabotage that happens when I stand in my own way in the pursuit of love and pleasure and when I have sabotaged the success of my relationships with others.
Relationships and Venus in the 12th
I have not spent much of my life in romantic relationships. An interpretation of Venus in the 12th that is neither positive nor negative is the need for solitude, and as an introvert, this is a need of mine that must be met on a regular basis. This can also translate to being single until one has truly healed the Venus in the 12th placement. If one doesn’t actively heal this placement, it could lead to a constant sabotage of relationships so that one ends up alone but also miserable because there is the desire to be in relationship with another (especially with Venus in Gemini, as I have) but a subversion of said relationships.
Have I actively sabotaged my past romantic relationships? Yes and no. I do crave a long-term committed partnership, and I do well in such a relationship. At my best, I am a nurturing, strong partner. I have frequently sought out and/or fell in love with people who are in some way unavailable to me, however: a May-December romance, someone who is in a “complex” situation, someone who cheats on me, someone who is otherwise emotionally unstable or in some other way unavailable. When in a relationship, I have battled both my codependent tendencies and my overwhelming fear of the impending end to the partnership, even at times wondering to my beau when he will leave me. No matter how much one may be attracted to a self-deprecating, even self-abusing, personality, it can’t help but erode his faith in the partnership, or at least be an ongoing annoyance to him.
Difficult Aspects to Venus in the 12th
In addition to my natal Venus sitting in the 12th house, it also opposes my natal Neptune. (The opposition is within five degrees, a little wider than my conservative astrological self-training usually allows, but I believe this is an important and telling aspect.) Difficult Venus-Neptune aspects often deal with the hard truths of illusions – the lies we tell ourselves about love. Moreover, the North Node is conjunct Venus in my 12th, and the South Node is conjunct Neptune in the 6th house. Now, illusions about love have a past life and karmic underpinning.
I have never had a committed partner be completely faithful to me. I have never been with anyone who was fully invested in our relationship. I have never lived with, married, or had children with a partner. I have never had a consistent relationship last more than a year. I have been so distraught over love that I have tried to commit suicide.
Karma and Past Lives
All of these things are true, but I am just as much at fault for them as other people are. I had a professional astrology reading with Dena DeCastro last October, on the day of a solar eclipse right on my natal Saturn at 0 degrees Scorpio in the 4th house. I had accumulated some anxiety for this eclipse, especially since it keenly reminded me of my Saturn return some years prior in which I had been dealing with the aftermath of a breakup and my own suicide attempt. Dena saw the eclipse as a point of healing, a “star” in my crown, as she said. She also provided another point of healing and release: a Venus-Neptune opposition so close to the Nodal axis indicates a past life in which a love didn’t work out or was taken away, and I was punished (or punished myself) by being cloistered in a religious community or playing the martyr in some other way.
Bringing consciousness and intent to this difficult opposition is the key to heal the pain of lifetimes stemming from this lost love and the continual cycle of self-punishment chosen to atone for it. The ruler of my chart is the Moon (I have Cancer as my rising sign), which is in Capricorn in the 7th house. This means that my emotional home is found within relationships. Furthermore, Neptune conjunct the South Node in my 6th, while a point of pain needing healing, is like a straight arrow to the conjunction of Venus and the North Node in my 12th, meaning that fulfilling my karmic and evolutionary path goes hand-in-hand with walking the way of love and healing my Venus placement.
Not that this is an easy path. Afterall, my Moon and Venus are quincunx. My need for love and for emotional security have often been at odds. I have frequently held myself back from pursuing love because of my fear that losing a love would throw off my hard-won emotional equilibrium. By the same token, my spontaneous overtures to romance and sexual satisfaction have often put my emotional health at risk – getting into a relationship with someone who, deep down, I knew would be a destructive force in my life just because I wanted him; initiating a wild, at times catastrophic, sexual affair with someone who wasn’t totally free to be with me. Throw into the mix a Juno exactly square my Venus. The goddess of long-term partnership at a 90 degree angle to the goddess of sensual sparkle? No wonder my needs for a lifelong love are often at odds with my need for a quick fling.
Helpful Relationship Aspects
Fortunately, my Capricorn Moon and Pisces Juno are sextile. My need for a solid foundation of security in relationships is strongly supported by a soulmate connection with someone who can spend all night talking about philosophy, culture, law, the stuff of the higher mind. Someone who wants to travel the world with me, or at least hop into a hot air balloon. Someone who values my code of ethics.
Therein lies the key: engage the Geminian Venus through talking, sharing ideas, being spontaneous. You must nurture its desire for variety, novelty, new slices of information, and more than a few kinks! When that first blush of love is gone, as it always and inevitably will be, you must continue the engagement through that strong mental, ever evolving connection.
The second key is to take responsibility for all that I have done to sabotage my own past. A Mercury-ruled sign, Gemini doesn’t have time for your navel-gazing pity parties. All of the litanies of the terrible, horrible things everyone has put you through your whole life long? Gemini is already off tending to their twelve careers. It doesn’t care. And you know what? I shouldn’t either. It’s one thing to take the time that one needs to process and heal fully. That’s important. That’s essential. And it may take a very long time. But I’ve reached the point where I’m finally able to put it all behind me. I’ve woken up in a room of sunshine, the weight having slipped off my shoulders in the night. My Venus has entered its true healing. And to turn back now is beyond absurd.
So, I don’t project my pain or sexual shame onto others. I vow not to relive the bitter past again and again. I take responsibility for my part in my own hurt and the hurt I’ve caused to others. But I don’t play the martyr either – I won’t deny when lovers and potential lovers have done me wrong; it is not for me to take on their sins.
Helpful Aspects to Venus
Some final natal chart aspects to my Venus that are providing me some strong hope and guidance as I continue to navigate this place of healing: Ceres in the 8th house is trine my Venus. As I deal with feelings of loss from my past (the 8th), my desire to have children and build a family (signified by Ceres) will inspire me to actively work through my Venus issues. The asteroid Pallas is conjunct my Moon, so once I fully heal the quincunx tension between my Venus and Moon, I can speak (and perhaps even teach) from a place of leadership and triumph (Pallas) in regard to my Venus struggles. And last, but most certainly not least, Venus and Pluto are trine in my chart, meaning that when I truly heal my Venus placement, I will have transformed my ideas of love and relationship so that, like the Phoenix, I may rebirth my love life into what it has always been destined to be.
When the Time is Right…
And why now? Why have I chosen to heal my Venus in the 12th at this point in my life? Well, my progressed Moon is sitting right on my natal Juno. My current emotional state is aligned with my need for my twin flame. What better time to get the goddess of love in the here and now and the goddess of forever love finally in sync? Not to mention that a recent New Moon fell on my Venus, renewing my charge to heal her!
Houlding, Deborah. The Houses – Temples of the Sky.
Pelletier, Robert. Planets in Houses: Experiencing Your Environment.
Shepherd, Jessica. Venus Signs: Discover Your Erotic Gifts and Secret Desires Through Astrology.