Venus by William Lilly

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Venus is the second planet from the Sun, orbiting it every 224.7 Earth days. It has the longest rotation period (243 days) of any planet in the Solar System and rotates in the opposite direction to most other planets. It has no natural satellite. It is named after the Roman goddess of love and beauty. It is the second-brightest natural object in the night sky after the Moon, reaching an apparent magnitude of –4.6, bright enough to cast shadows. Because Venus is an inferior planet from Earth, it never appears to venture far from the Sun; its elongation reaches a maximum of 47.8°. –


Venus represents love. In its lowest state it is blind attraction, producing gravitation among the corporeal planets and instincts among animals. The more it becomes amalgamated with intelligence, the more does it become capable to manifest its divine qualities. Pure love is a divine and self-existent power which only gives and does not seek to receive. It has no desires; but it creates desires in the objects in which its power awakens. In its higher aspects it rules artists and true physicians, in its lower state it is active in all affairs of love and marriage and in pleasures of various kinds. Among the metals it is represented by silver[1], in the spiritual realm by the goddess of Love. As Power is the father of all gods, likewise Venus is their mother. No being can exist without love. When their ♀ is departed they will all be swallowed up by ♄.


Venus is the Roman goddess whose functions encompassed love, beauty, sex, fertility, prosperity, victory, and desire. In Roman mythology, she was the mother of the Roman people through her son, Aeneas, who survived the fall of Troy and fled to Italy. Julius Caesar claimed her as his ancestor. Venus was central to many religious festivals, and was revered in Roman religion under numerous cult titles.

The Romans adapted the myths and iconography of her Greek counterpart Aphrodite for Roman art and Latin literature. In the later classical tradition of the West, Venus becomes one of the most widely referenced deities of Greco-Roman mythology as the embodiment of love and sexuality. –

Aphrodite is the Greek goddess of love, beauty, pleasure, and procreation. Her Roman equivalent is the goddess Venus. She is identified with the planet Venus.

As with many ancient Greek deities, there is more than one story about her origins. According to Hesiod’s Theogony, she was born when Cronus cut off Uranus’s genitals and threw them into the sea, and she arose from the sea foam (aphros). According to Homer’s Iliad, she is the daughter of Zeus and Dione. According to Plato (Symposium, 180e), these two origins were of entirely separate entities: Aphrodite Ourania and Aphrodite Pandemos.

Because of her beauty, other gods feared that their rivalry over her would interrupt the peace among them and lead to war, so Zeus married her to Hephaestus, who, because of his ugliness and deformity, was not seen as a threat. Aphrodite had many lovers—both gods, such as Ares, and men, such as Anchises. She played a role in the Eros and Psyche legend, and later was both Adonis’s lover and his surrogate mother. Many lesser beings were said to be children of Aphrodite.

Aphrodite is also known as Cytherea (Lady of Cythera) and Cypris (Lady of Cyprus) after the two cult sites, Cythera and Cyprus, which claimed to be her place of birth. Myrtle, doves, sparrows, horses, and swans were said to be sacred to her. The ancient Greeks identified her with the Ancient Egyptian goddess Hathor.

Aphrodite had many other names, such as Acidalia, Cytherea, and Cerigo, each used by a different local cult of the goddess in Greece. The Greeks recognized all of these names as referring to the single goddess Aphrodite, despite the slight differences in what these local cults believed the goddess demanded of them. The Attic philosophers of the 4th century, however, drew a distinction between a celestial Aphrodite (Aphrodite Urania) of transcendent principles, and a separate, “common” Aphrodite who was the goddess of the people (Aphrodite Pandemos). –




HEAVENLY, illustrious, laughter-loving queen, Sea-born, night-loving, of an awful mien; Crafty, from whom necessity first came, Producing, nightly, all-connecting dame: ’Tis thine the world with harmony to join,[2] For all things spring from thee, O power divine. The triple Fates are ruled by thy decree, And all productions yield alike to thee: Whatever the heavens, encircling all contain, Earth fruit-producing, and the stormy main, Thy sway confesses, and obeys thy nod, Awful attendant of the brumal God: Goddess of marriage, charming to the sight, Mother of Loves, whom banquetings delight; Source of persuasion, secret, favoring queen, Illustrious born, apparent and unseen: Spousal, lupercal, and to men inclined, Prolific, most-desired, life-giving, kind: Great sceptre-bearer of the Gods, ’tis thine, Mortals in necessary bands to join; And every tribe of savage monsters dire In magic chains to bind, through mad desire. Come, Cyprus-born, and to my prayer incline, Whether exalted in the heavens you shine, Or pleased in Syria’s temple to preside, Or over the Egyptian plains thy car to guide, Fashioned of gold; and near its sacred flood, Fertile and famed to fix thy blest abode; Or if rejoicing in the azure shores, Near where the sea with foaming billows roars, The circling choirs of mortals, thy delight, Or beauteous nymphs, with eyes cerulean bright, Pleased by the dusty banks renowned of old, To drive thy rapid, two-yoked car of gold; Or if in Cyprus with thy mother fair, Where married females praise thee every year, And beauteous virgins in the chorus join, Adonis pure to sing and thee divine; Come, all-attractive to my prayer inclined, For thee, I call, with holy, reverent mind.



I Call great Cupid, source of sweet delight, Holy and pure, and lovely to the sight; Darting, and winged, impetuous fierce desire, With Gods and mortals playing, wandering fire: Cautious, and two-fold, keeper of the keys Of heaven and earth, the air, and spreading seas; Of all that Ceres’ fertile realms contains, By which the all-parent Goddess life sustains, Or dismal Tartarus is doomed to keep, Widely extended, or the sounding, deep; For thee, all Nature’s various realms obey, Who rulest alone, with universal sway. Come, blessed power, regard these mystic fires, And far avert, unlawful mad desires.


CHAP. XII Of the Planet VENUS and her severall significations and nature.

She hath these degrees in every Sign for her Terms. In ARIES, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14. In TAURUS, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. In GEMINI, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20. In CANCER, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27. In LEO, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19. In VIRGO, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13. In LIBRA, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. In SCORPIO, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21. In SAGITTARIUS, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14. In CAPRICORN, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. In AQUARIUS, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20. In PISCES, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

These degrees are allowed for her Face. In ARIES, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30. In CANCER, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. In VIRGO, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20. In SCORPIO, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30. In PISCES, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10.






These pentacles are usually made of the metal the most suitable to the nature of the planet; and then there is no occasion to observe the rule of particular colours. Saturn ruleth over lead; Jupiter over tin; Mars over iron; the Sun over gold; Venus over copper; Mercury over the mixture of metals; and the Moon over silver.

They may also be made with exorcised virgin paper writing thereon with the colours adopted for each planet, referring to the rules already laid down in the proper chapters, and according to the planet with which the pentacle is in sympathy. Wherefore unto Saturn the colour of black is appropriated; Jupiter ruleth over celestial blue; Mars over red; the Sun over gold, or the colour of yellow or citron; Venus over green; Mercury over mixed colours; the Moon over silver, or the colour of argentine earth.



What Things Are Under the Power of Venus, and Are Called Venereal.

These things are under Venus:


How Provinces, and Kingdoms are Distributed to Planets.

Venus with Taurus governs the Isles Cyclades, the seas of Little Asia, Cyprus, Parthia, Media, Persia, but with Libra she commands the peoples of the island Bractia, of Caspia, of Seres, of Thebais, of Oasis, and of Troglodys.


The Composition of Some Fumes Appropriated to the Planets.

For Venus take musk, ambergris, lignum-aloes, red roses, and red coral and make them up with the brain of sparrows and the blood of pigeons… To Venus flowers such as roses, violets, saffron and such like…

Bk. I Ch. XLIV Of Light, Colours, Candles, and Lamps, and to what Stars, Houses, and Elements severall colours are ascribed

But all white, fair, curious, green, ruddy, betwixt saffron, and purple, resemble Venus, Mercury, and the Moon.


What Places are Suitable to Every Star

To Venus, pleasant fountains, green meadows, flourishing gardens, garnished beds, stews (and according to Orpheus) the sea, the seashore, baths, dancing places and all places belonging to women.

Bk. 2 Ch LVIII Of the names of the Celestials, and their rule over this inferiour world, viz. Man.

The names of Celestiall souls are very many, and diverse according to their manifold power and vertue upon these inferior things, from whence they have received divers names, which the ancients in their hymnes and prayer made use of. Concerning which you must observe, that every one of these souls according to Orpheus’s Divinity, is said to have a double vertue; the one placed in knowing, the other in vivifying, and governing its body. Upon this account in the Celestiall spheres, Orpheus cals the former vertue Bacchus, the other a Muse. Hence he is not inebriated by any Bacchus, who hath not first been coupled to his Muse.

in the sphere of Venus, Lysius, and Erato

Bk 2 Ch LIX Of the seven governers of the world, the Planets, and of their various names serving to Magicall speeches.

Moreover they did call those governors of the world, (as Hermes calls them) Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, the Sun, Venus, Mercury, and the Moon, by many names, and epithites;

Venus is called the Lady, nourishing, beautifull, white, fair, pleasing, powerfull, the fruitfull Lady of love and beauty, the progeny of Ages, the first parent of men, who in the beginning of all things joyned diversity of sexes together with a growing love, and with an eternall off-spring propagates kinds of men and Animals, the queen of all delights, the Lady of rejoycing, friendly, sociable, pittifull, taking all things in good part, alwaies bountifull to mortals, affording the tender affection of a mother to the conditions of them in misery, the safegard of mankind, letting no moment of time pass without doing good, overcoming all things by her power, humbling the high to the low, the strong to the weak, the noble to the vile, rectifying, and equalling all things: and she is called Aphrodite, because in every sexe, she is found to be of every mind: and she is called Lucifera, i.e. bringing light, bringing the yeers of the Sun to light; and she is called Hesperus, when she follows the Sun, and Phosperus, because she leads through all things though never so hard.

Bk. 4 Familiar shapes of the Spirits of Venus.

They do appear with a fair body, of middle stature, with an amiable and pleasant countenance, of colour white or green, the upper part golden. The motion of them is as it were a most clear Star. For their signe, there will seem to be maids playing without the Circle, which will provoke and allure him that calleth them to play. But their particular forms are,

Additional Reading

  1. Classically this is usually copper. This may have been a typo; later on Venus is also attributed the color green which is more usual.  ↩

  2. TT: 'Tis thine the world with harmony to join. According to the Orphic theology as related by Proclus, and from him by Eschenbach, in Epig. p. 52. Venus is the cause of all the harmony and analogy in the universe, and of the union of form with matter; connecting and comprehending the powers of all the mundane elements. And although this Goddess ranks among the supermundane divinities; yet her principal employment consists, in beautifully illuminating the order, harmony, and communion of all mundane concerns.  ↩

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