Overvaluing the Small Shit

7.22.07


Who doesn't love Venus? Her very name is synonymous with love itself. Through her tantalizing tutelage, we explore what's most dear to our hearts. She draws it to us, and helps us form bonds of connection.

But like every planet, Venus is happier in some signs than others.

Sure, we could find something nice to say about each and every Venus sign (so none of you astro-dabblers better start wailing about your 'failure of a Venus'!). Still, it would be willfully na´ve to overlook the affinities she has with certain zodiac groups—and doesn't have with others.

Since Jul 14, Venus has been in Virgo, one of those signs that leaves her feeling somewhat ill at ease. She will remain there through Aug 8… only to return again from Oct 8 to Nov 8. (Those numerologists among you might note all the 8s here?)

The reason for her double visit, of course, is that Venus will soon be retrograde—beginning this Friday (Jul 27) and lasting through Sep 8 (another 8?)—which only adds to the out-of-sorts quality she's presently emitting. (I will be writing more about this Venus retrograde in the next couple days, but in the meantime, go here for my initial remarks.)

Why are Venus and Virgo such an awkward match? Venus likes to join together… whether through forming interpersonal relationships, uniting artistic vision with the means to carry it out, or just generally drawing us toward that which we desire. Virgo, however, is better suited to discriminately picking apart, through the perpetual practice of discernment and refinement, correction and perfection.

Nothing makes Virgo happier than putting things in their proper place, while buffing away any scratches and bumps that threaten to contaminate a given category's contents. Venus would much prefer to broker a compromise, so that differences can blend into an amiable pairing. Can you see where the potential discomfort arises?

Now don't get me wrong: Venus in Virgo is not a bad placement, as it carries an aesthetic impeccability ideal for creative precision. I find that folks with natal Venus in Virgo can be amazingly skilled at artforms and handicrafts that require immaculate attention to detail and an innate eye for proportion—pottery, sculpture, drafting, weaving, graphic design, interior design, formalist poetry, ballet. These are ideal disciplines for channeling Venus-in-Virgo's exactitude.

In the same vein, it's also useful for those accounting types who find grace and beauty in numbers that balance. With Venus in Virgo, our greatest avenue to increased wealth may be tightening up our budgets, analyzing our expenditures to catch and cut the extra fat. And for computer programmers or engineers, this Venus's influence can help root out the small errors and inefficiencies that compromise the functioning of the whole.

But—and this is a big 'but'—when it comes to handling people, Venus in Virgo is likelier to reveal her dark side. After all, people are not perfect… and even if we were to concentrate our microscopic focus on all the little 'flaws', to try and fix 'em, we still wouldn't be perfect. As such, Venus in Virgo can tend to criticality (toward others and ourselves)… unable to fix its gaze on the bigger-picture of what real relationship (and the tolerance it requires) can promise, so compelled by every small 'glitch' and 'stain' that prevents the relationship from living up to its ideal potential.

Relationships, as everyone knows, are a big fucking mess… mainly because of that pesky reality which prevents us from being able to control other people's feelings, thoughts and actions. If we want to be happy with someone else—in love, in business, in friendship or family—we must be content as we watch them color outside the lines, toss their dirty laundry on the floor, and speak out of turn without any awareness of how they're 'spoiling' our pretty picture.

And if we want to be happy with ourselves, we can't let the obsessive-compulsive self-evaluations keep us from living in the moment, just because we are able to imagine how great our lives could be—if only. The extra ten pounds. The zit in the middle of our face. Our shamefully small vocabulary, or our unnervingly timid personality. Whatever the overly microscopic specifics of where we fall short of faultlessness may be. If we spend all our energy on those, we can't enjoy all that we do have, in its splendidly complete incompleteness.

While Venus is in Virgo, we should take care not to overvalue the small shit… the fixations on spotless apartments, 6-pack abs, watertight arguments, and compulsory adherence to a trillion more spoken and unspoken rules and strictures that, truth be told, are more context-specific than universally. (Who ever said our abs were supposed to look like washboards?)

In the process, we'll have to overlook each other's shortcomings (and our own)—that is, if we hope to find matches that are based on genuine feeling, rather than checking a sizable number of items off the laundry list of absolutely required traits.

While our uncompromising musts might seem like a good guide to attaining relationship happiness, they often instead lead us to flat or shallow interpersonal associations with all the desired trappings… but that still lack a certain indiscernible something no level of rational inspection or analysis can get at.