Venus and Pluto: the Rape of Persephone

When Pluto is in aspect with Venus, he slowly creeps up on her and pounces. Of all the planets – Pluto is the most secretive, his motives are never immediately apparent – and there is something in the essence of Venus which makes her almost always ripe for ambush.

Think of the myth the Rape of Persephone. Legend has it that Persephone’s father Zeus – advised his brother Pluto to snatch Persephone – since her mother Demeter was unlikely to agree to a relationship. This kind of ‘behind the scene’ scheming gives us additional insight into the kinds of useful information which Pluto has access to – which will ultimately guarantee his success in obtaining the object of his desires. 

Pluto is said to be a higher octave of Mars – and is linked to very deep soul desires, the sort of desires that have the power to transcend this life and to draw us back to earth so that we may repeat the performance in a new incarnation.

Neptune on the other hand, is said to be a higher octave of Venus – which seems to suggest an element of surrender and of the naive, undifferentiated feminine which is too willing and believing. We are told that the maiden Persephone was innocently picking flowers when she herself was plucked! It is this level of the female being that allows girls to fall victim to fate. I can’t help but think of the trafficking of young women which still  goes on to this day !!

Tempted by the pomegranate seeds Pluto put before her – Persephone inadvertently sealed her own fate. Once having partaken of food in the underworld – Persephone could no longer return to her mother and live her life wholly above ground. Life had changed irreconcilably for Persephone.

Looked at from the perspective of the myth, Venus – particularly when in hard aspect to Pluto – could be seen as a ‘marry in haste repent in leisure’ aspect!! However, there also appears to be a strong fated quality at play here. By the time Persephone gets real and wants to change her destiny  –  she realizes life is not so simple as it once seemed.

Put Venus and Pluto together, and you have two planets that lock, draw, befuddle and bemuse us. Love and passion are threaded with anger, resentment, desire, and revenge. Demeter’s wrath was great when she discovered what had happened to her daughter – but it was not enough to sway Pluto’s determination to keep his ill gotten gains. Venus/Pluto aspects are about  love lost and sometimes love re-found. Of triumph and loss – pain and joy. St. Augustine voiced the Venus/Pluto dilemma perfectly when he wrote:

“What I needed most was to love and to be loved, eager to be caught. Happily I wrapped those painful bonds around me; and sure enough, I would be lashed with the red-hot pokers of jealousy, by suspicions and fear, by burst of anger and quarrels.”

Perhaps for this very reason, the deeper soul purpose of the Venus/Pluto aspects is to teach us how to learn to love but without attachment. When Venus/Pluto are in aspect in our charts then we need to develop the wisdom that will allow us to let go, fully trusting that love will find its way back to us.

Elizabeth Hathway, DFAstrolS, QHP

Over Liz Hathway

Liz Hathway is a British born astrologer currently based in Amsterdam. Liz studied astrology at the Kosmos in Amsterdam, at the Faculty of Astrological Studies in London and with well known horary astrology John Frawley. Liz also holds an MA (with distinction) in Cultural Astronomy and Astrology, from the University of Wales, in Lampeter, and was short-listed for the 2016 Alumni Association MA CAA Dissertation Prize.
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