The Answer Box
Shirley: Why is Venus traditionally associated with our “feeling” nature, our love nature, when it rules an Earth and an Air sign, neither or them emotional elements?
Zip: That is a very good question. I emphasize the relationship of Venus with pleasure, whether from material sensuality (Taurus) or from human companionship (Libra), but it is only passionate and intense when placed in either fire or water signs or houses or in close aspect to fire or water planets. Fire and water are the emotional elements, as you pointed out. When Venus is not involved in one of these ways with fire or water, it can be a very “laid-back,” relaxed kind of easy-going enjoyment in Taurus or, in Libra, a bit flirtatious but also with a need to please since one’s pleasure depends on the reaction of others. Of course, in a real horoscope, there are always mixtures so in one sense, any of our twelve basic principles is a construct, never found in “pure form” in life.
I see letter Five: Sun, Leo, and the Fifth House, as the capacity for a more intense outpouring of giving and receiving love; a passion which may become ego involved and destructive with a need to build self-worth by dominating others or by constantly eliciting their applause. Letter Five is far more intense and urgent in its hunger for and capacity for love and joy. Remember, it symbolizes the heart, the power center of life.
Letter Eight: Pluto, Scorpio and the Eighth House, are keys to partnership along with Venus-Libra-Seventh House, and Letter Eight is the passionate, intense side of the combination. When emphasized in our nature, we may try to protect this emotional need by dominating the mate; we may retreat and hide to avoid the possibility of being hurt; we may fight it out. But there is none of that flippant, flirtatious air quality which Venus can manage when in air signs or houses. Letter Eight, true to its water nature, really “feels,” though the response may include a mask of stoicism and self-control. Of course Venus in Libra or in the Seventh House has more feeling than in Gemini or Aquarius, since the pleasure is really dependent on a lasting relationship, and more concessions have to be made to sustain it, in contrast to the casual contacts with friends and neighbors and the intellect as a primary source of pleasure for Venus in the other air letters (signs or houses).
I hope that this clarifies the principles a bit. If you would like additional comments on the subject, please write again. Even though we never find the “pure principle” in real life, I think we are only going to have a fully effective astrology when we can be fully clear in our definition of the constructs.