Venus is portrayed as handsome, endowed with extraordinary physique, broad shoulders and chest, with heavy thighs. He has beautiful eyes, a fun-loving nature, charming but passive disposition with a countenance exuding peace. He is fond of wearing colourful attire and has a white horse as his steed. This attractive figure is the Acharya or Guru of the Titans, the Asuras and Daityas who reside and rule the nether worlds and perpetually crave the nectar which the gods alone monopolize making them immortal. The Asuras are therefore the antithesis of the Devas, the demigods with whom they are in perpetual conflict. He is known in India as Shukracharya (the Guru Shukra) and his day of the week is Shukravar, Friday. Like Brihaspati for the Devas, he too is adept at giving advice to the Titans. He too like Brihaspati is a Brahman. Several sects of Brhamins in India claim descent from him, much like the dynasties and clans of several ruling families in India trace their origins to the Sun and Moon.
Shukra, the Guru knew something that his counterpart Guru of the demi-gods did not : the Mantra to revive the dead. Immortality was after all always the most contentious of issues between the Devas and the Asuras. We have already recounted the story of how the Asuras were denied the nector of immortality which emerged from the churning of the cosmic oceans. Jupiter ( Brihaspati) wanted to learn the secret of Venus’ ( Shukracharya ) formula for bringing the dead back to life. He therefore sent his son Kacha to study under Shukra’s guidance. Shukra’s daughter however fell in love with him. The Asuras learning of Kacha’s secret intent killed him but Shukra kept reviving him. Finally Kacha learnt the secret of reviving the dead despite the Asura’s efforts to prevent him.
According to another legend the Asura chief Mahabali came to grief when he did not heed the sagatious advice of Guru Shukracharya. Mahabali had gained ascendency over the heavens the earth and the nether worlds by defeating the king of the demi gods, Indra. The gods beseeched Lord Vishnu the supreme being to restore their realms to them from the mighty Titan. Vishnu assumed the form of a little Brahmin lad, Vaman and came to the ritual Yagya being performed by Mahabali for futher empowerment. Mahabali magnanimously asked the Brahmin lad to ask for any wish which would be granted. Shukracharya warned the King not to be fooled by the lad who was none other than the lord of the universe in disguise. Mahabali felt honour bound to keep his pledge and did not withdraw the offer. Vaman said all he wanted was land as much as he could cover by taking three steps. Mahabali asked him to demand something more valuable, like villages, chariots jewels, palaces etc Vaman said he wanted nothing more. The wish was granted, whereupon Vaman suddenly grew to cosmic proportions and with one foot covered all the heavens, with another he covered the rest of the universe and demanded where he should take his third step. The magnanimous Mahabali then was left with no option but to offer him his head. The threat from the Titans was thus averted and the heavens were restored to the demi gods and the earth was saved from being ruled by the Asuras.
Shukra is significator of sex, passion, spouse, romance, marriage, genitals and semen. He also represents spring, flowers and living things. He is also associated with embroidery, ornaments, perfumes and entertainment. He also represents the fine arts, music, dance, theatre,ooetry, philosophy and aesthetics. He typifies love, indulgence, charm, cultivated manners, a congenial and happy disposition, sensual aspects of life and mundane pleasures. He is indicative of the ability to be attractive and the fulfilment of objectives through charm. He is also indicative of enjoying the comforts of conveyance and ownership of vehicles.
However his adverse placement in a horoscope signifies problems in the reproductive system, normalcy in sexual relations and impotence. Aspects of other planets exacerbate negative and positive aspects of sexuality. For instance when influenced by Jupiter or Mercury, it brings forth genuine love but Mars creates a passionate and over sexed nature. When aspecting other planets it has diverse effects. If its aspect on Saturn is adverse it may produce loose moral character and domestic infidelity. Its placement at birth in different celestial houses will create different results. Again the movement of planets as they transit different signs of the Zodiac during the lifetime of the subject would give distinct effects depending on their quality – Zodiac signs have earth, fire or water qualities, are fixed, moving or common in nature or again male , female or neutral.
Venus is inherently a benefic planet, though as we have learnt, on the subjective level this need not mean favourable results for a horoscope. It rules over the Zodiac signs Taurus and Libra, is exalted in Pisces and debilitated in Virgo. It is powerful in the Fourth house, benefic in the First, Fifth and Ninth houses and ineffective in the Sixth. Its presence in the Seventh, of which it is also ‘Karak’ ( significator) is not considered favourable for a chart on account of the belief that Significators in their own celestial houses are not favourable. Venus is friendly towards Mercury and Saturn, neutral to Mars and Jupiter and inimical to the Sun and the Moon. His steed is the white horse, his metal is silver and his gemstone is the diamond.